Sunday, July 16, 2006

Draw men to Christ...

“The Church exists for no other purpose but to draw men into Christ. . . If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other reason.” - C.S. Lewis

To be drawn into Christ is the purpose of the Church. To proclaim a gospel of CHRIST not man. To lift up the suffering symbol like Moses did with the serpent on the stick, so that all that look upon Him might be healed. Look to Christ sinner...look to Christ saint. Be drawn into Him and you will find life. He freely offers you the fruit of the tree of life to bring about the healing of your soul and the nations. Pick His fruit, eat freely, let His life giving Spirit produce in you the overcoming grace needed to emerge from your death and walk in newness of life. 

The Spirit and the Bride say your deadness, your sinfulness, your hopelessness...come. In fact, don't come until you see that you are totally wrecked, fully without hope, miserably depraved, woefully bound, overpowered and without hope in this world. If you are bruised to the point where one step seems excruciating to bear...come. If the candle of love, of light and of hope seems to be smoldering it's last breath...come. He will not break or snuff you out...

"A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgment into truth". It speaks of Jesus' ministry being one of gentleness and mercy to sinners. " misery he is brought to see sin as the cause it, so that together these, a bruised reed and a smoking flax, make up together the state of a poor, distressed man. This is such an one as our Saviour Christ terms 'poor in spirit' (Matthew 5:3), who sees his wants, and also sees himself indebted to divine justice, [with] no means of supply from himself" (pg. 3-4). But this bruising is itself a gift of grace, as it is "required before conversion that so the Spirit may make way for himself into the heart by leveling all proud, high thoughts, and that we may understand ourselves to be what we indeed are by nature" -Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) "A Bruised Reed."

"Behold, my servant whom I have chosen; my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit on him. He will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not strive, nor shout; neither will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He won't break a bruised reed. He won't quench a smoking flax, until he leads justice to victory. In his name, the nations will hope." -Matt. 12:20

A BRUISED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK...that's the kind of person who is just hanging on for dear life by the narrowest of threads. Jesus grabs hold and makes the ones weak in faith stronger. A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT SNUFF OUT...the smoldering wick is the candle that has just gone out. It won't take much to re-light the flame and it won't take much to snuff it out entirely. 

Matt. 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

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