Faith is Not Under Your Seat

1 Corinthians 10:1–4 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Paul does not want the Corinthians to be unaware. When dealing with holy things, ignorance can be deadly.

Paul wanted them to know that their fathers had all passed into the sea. The Jews in the wilderness are called the fathers of the gentiles at Corinth. There is a covenantal identity between them – together they are the people of God.

This is how those who don’t descend from Abraham in the flesh can be considered His sons and daughters. The thing that unites us is the covenant and the crux of keeping this covenant is faith.

Faith brought the Jews to the banks of the Red Sea and faith brought them to the shores of their baptism.

But there is a warning. The Corinthians and many Christians since have assumed automatic blessings in the presence of God. But it was in the presence of God that Ussah was struck down, Uzziah was afflicted with leprosy, Nadab and Abihu were consumed, and many Corinthians got sick and died.

Unimaginable blessings are set before us today. But don’t be unaware. Blessings are appropriated by faith and faith is not automatic. Faith was not handed out at the door. Faith is not under your seat like an Oprah Winfrey door prize.

Faith receives like a child. Faith is not up in heaven leaving us wondering how it is to be attained. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. And this is the word of God. Here is the body of Christ, broken for us. Here is the cup of the new covenant, the blood shed for the remission of sins.

Do you believe? Then take and eat.

Come and welcome to Jesus Christ.

 

**In order to learn how to write decent Communion meditations, I am imitating others. This is was a rewrite of Pr. Wilson’s (So come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, Evening reading, January 3rd.).

Eating the Cross

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Those the father as given to the son are drawn to Him as He is lifted up. The cross is the source of our healing and hope but to the perishing world it is folly.

The words – this is my body broken for you – are delicious to those being saved and they are repulsive to those who walk in their own wisdom and authority.

Lifting up Christ scatters the worldly wise and insults those who are their own gods. The cross disgusts those who are perishing. But to those who have been given eyes to see and ears to hear – the lifting of the Cross and the word nailed to it, draw all to Jesus.

Eating the fruit of the tree of life, which we do here now, is the only true nourishment for the people of God.

But those who aren’t His people, their rebellion is a hunger strike that surely leads to death.

Yet there is another way to run from this food common among evangelicals. And that is to say that the Lord doesn’t nourish His people in any special way – that the elements before us do not present Christ to us so that we might respond to Him in faithful eating.

But they do. It is the true nourishment of our souls by faith. Not faith in bread or wine but faith in God, faith in His Christ.

So, Come and welcome to Jesus Christ.

 

**In order to learn how to write decent Communion meditations, I am imitating others. This is was a rewrite of Pr. Wilson’s (So come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, Morning reading, January 3rd).

So That You Believe

John 6:27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

Jesus commands us to labor for the food which endures to everlasting life. He tells us not to give ourselves to idolatrous labor for that food which perishes in the mouth.

The Father honors Jesus with the name that is above every other name – that that the whole world would bow the knee to Him. The victorious kings give gifts to His entourage and that includes the loaf of living bread. The Son of man gives us living bread because the Father has sealed us in Him in glory by His Holy Spirit.

The disciples then asked Jesus, “how do we work of this bread?” Jesus gave an enigmatic answer; the work the Father does in us is that we believe in Jesus Christ and in thus – we receive this bread.

We sit down at this table in faith. We meditate on what this loaded table means, by faith. We feed by faith. We receive Jesus – the living manna by faith.

We truly are what we eat. By faith we feed on the faithful one and by doing so the Father multiplies His grace to us and in us.

If you show this table contempt, then God uses as a means of judgement. Rather, honor the table, and look to the one who endured all judgment for us on the cross.

We look away then from ourselves and our faithlessness to the one who was faithful in everything – unto death – unto eternal glory above us and above all principalities and powers. To the one whose hands are full for giving.

Look upon Him now and behold, in faith, the food of the gospel.

So, Come and welcome to Jesus Christ.

 

**In order to learn how to write decent Communion meditations, I am imitating others. This is was a rewrite of Pr. Wilson’s (So come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, Morning reading, January 2nd.).

Satisfied Eating

Isaiah 53:11Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

Isaiah prophesied that the suffering servant would look upon the anguish of His soul and be satisfied.

The doctrines of Calvinists are the doctrines of grace, but we too often focus on the doctrine of total depravity. We too often draw false conclusions from current events. We see with eyes of flesh – of death, despair and estrangement and not with the eyes of faith – love, hope and peace.

We do not consider the whole counsel of God’s word if we forget or miss or neglect the promises.

One of the promises is that after His passion and after his resurrection, Jesus would look at the fruit of the cross and be satisfied.

He is not reluctant to gather with us. He is not ashamed to sit at table with us. He is not ashamed of our table manners. And has we receive free grace. As we receive the fruit of his cross we can’t be less satisfied.

We are learning new table manners; repentance, peace, gratitude, the fruit of the spirit. This table is not the reward of the worthy. It is a conduit of grace, of satisfaction. It is a means for God to make us worthy. Take and eat and see that the Lord is good.

We don’t work to earn our bread. We are weak, trembling and in need. We are given bread so that we are strong enough to work.

Jesus provides that bread. And We need to learn to be as satisfied as He is, in it. He is satisfied with the table as it is set, with what is set on it and with sharing it with you.

Therefore, it is possible for us to join him, eat of it and be satisfied as well.

So, Come and welcome to Jesus Christ.

 

**In order to learn how to write decent Communion meditations, I am imitating others. This is was a rewrite of Pr. Wilson’s (So come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, Morning reading, January 1st.).

So Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ

I am going to introduce a phrase into to our Communion liturgy before Covey and I distribute the elements. The phrase is “Come and welcome, to Jesus Christ.”

First, the scriptures instruct us that coming to this table means we are coming to the table of the Lord Jesus Christ’s (1 Cor. 10:21).

When we come to this table we come to Jesus Christ. As we approach and take what is freely offered to us in Christ, we are shaped by God’s grace, we grow up into the perfect man, the Lord Jesus. This is not a mere ritual. It is a memorial, but it is so very much more than a mere memorial. It is effectual. It’s is food and food is for strength and growth and celebration of a harvest.

Eating at this table together is one of the means God uses to accomplish His purpose of remaking us. He commands us to come and eat and by obeying we become what God made us to be. When we come to this table in faith we are coming to Jesus. To become like Jesus.

The word “Welcome,” is equally important. Covey and I do not examine you before we give you your food. There is no catechism. There are not armed guards or metal detectors.

If you are baptized and in good standing within the Church of Christ, then you are welcome. This table defines a relationship. And that relationship is one of love, generosity, compassion, familial goodwill and joy.

Furthermore, you are not given bread and wine because you are a ‘good,’ person. You are given bread and wine so that you will grow up to become a good person. You are welcome here, not because of what you have done, but because of what God, by His grace is doing to you.

Lastly, the word ‘come,’ is an open invitation to everyone. For those not baptized, it is an invitation to the water. For those unrepentant it is an invitation to repent. The only barriers to this table are found within the sinfulness of the human heart. Christ on His cross provides cleansing for every human heart and now crowned, He offers Himself – fully and completely – to all.

So, Come and welcome to Jesus Christ.

**In order to learn how to write decent Communion meditations, I am imitating others. This is was a rewrite of Pr. Wilson’s (So come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, Evening reading, January 1st.).