Sunday, October 17, 2004

Jesus, everything we could never be

Often Matthew 4 is portrayed as a manual on resisting temptation. This really isn't Matthew's intention. Matthew is writing a book about Jesus - not about us. In this passage the big idea is that Jesus is very different from us. It becomes plainly obvious that we cannot substitute ourselves into this story in the place of Jesus.

At his baptism we see Jesus fulfilling all righteousness - as opposed to Israel who don't. Where Israel have sinned and been sent into exile for it. In chapter 3 John has announced the end of that exile and now the King has arrived. King Jesus is unlike Israel. He is righteous. Like them he is described as the Son of God. But this is a son with whom God is well pleased. Jesus is the righteous son of God.

Having been through the water Jesus is led by God into the desert where the devil will tempt him. This time of testing is very reminiscent of Israel's time of testing in the desert. Israel failed the test and was found unfaithful. Jesus is true to his calling as God's son and remains faithful throughout. It is significant that he quotes from the Word of God the commands God gave Israel to which they were to be faithful. Jesus is the faithful son of God.

Jesus is highlighted here as everything we could never be. Matthew is portraying the King before our eyes.

Implications -
1) When we fail we have one who prevailed. Jesus who did not fail. And it is him God looks upon. What great assurance and hope. As the righteous son Jesus will die in our place. However well or badly we fare he is righteous. Let the grace of God in the face of Jesus humble us and sends us repentantly to our King.

2) In the face of testing on our faithfulness we again have the faithful Jesus to look upon. To gaze upon him and be transformed. Not focusing in on the temptations to find remedy verses but filling our vision with Jesus. Let the heavenly anthemn drown all music but it's own! Fix your eyes on King Jesus, who is very unlike us for he is righteous and faithful. Find in him everlasting joy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Make Much of the Cross of Christ!

I've been really affected by studies in Galatians with my Relay worker, and with one of the students I'm discipling. Amazed and delighted to see the sufficiency of what God has done for me in the death of Jesus... see for yourself... Galatians - What's at Stake? Make Much of the Cross of Christ

Friday, October 08, 2004

Amazing Grace and Antibiotics

Amazed again and again by God's grace that takes me from being separated from God to set apart for him through the death of Jesus in my place. This week has been an amazing one where I've felt very affected by the work I've been doing in setting God's Word before people.

At the same time I've been tackling an ear infection with the help of some disgusting antibiotics. But in all things give glory to God - it's only an infection, God created scientists who could make antibiotics, God created doctors to diagnose me, God created pharmacists to sort out this horrible pills, God is at work in me sustaining and changing me day by day. (see also John Piper - How to Drink Orange Juice to the Glory of God)

Spoke again at Surrey CU last night. Second talk in the series in 2 Timothy. This time on authentic discipleship, what it truly means to follow Jesus: The Authentic Disciple - 2 Timothy 2

This week on the train from Basingstoke to Guildford I've been reading The Glory of Atonement which is a practical but kind of big collection of short essays on the death of Jesus and how important it is. Very challenging especially the chapters applying it to preaching and Christian living and keeping the Cross central to all things. Meanwhile preparing some studies in Galatians where Paul urges the reader to live in line with the gospel and not as if the death of Jesus were meaningless.

Monday, October 04, 2004

“You’re Dave Bish”

Just been listening to some old tapes from when I did the amazing Relay programme back at the turn of the century! When the Matrix was new and Fight Club had already become the best film ever. Anyways, it reminded me of my first minutes at the first Relay conference when I walked down a corridor of the Severn Lodge, Quinta and was greeted with the words “You’re Dave Bish”, by a guy with the name Pod scrawled on his badge. My reply “Erm, Yeah,… and you are?”

The more I write online the more I reveal of myself. The more I preach the more people presume to know who I am but don’t actually know me at all. Last week I was preaching Titus to some Cell Leaders, explaining the way Titus was to minister with sound doctrine and sound lifestyle to model gospel living. I wondered how much people really see my life. How much do I invest everything in the work I’m doing? Am I a mere professional some of the time? Do people see my faults and my gifts? Do they see my failings and my successes, and how I deal with both of those kinds of situations.

I might spend every day doing gospel ministry but it cannot be mere professional ministry. Gospel work is about God and it is about people. Being detached can’t really be an option. It hurts more to give everything, but who ever said it wouldn’t?

Friday, October 01, 2004

Gospel Driven Life

Preached on 2 Timothy 1 at Surrey Uni CU tonight, first in a series of four talks in 2 Timothy. Know what you’ve believed, Know whom you’ve believed…. And so testify about the gospel, suffer for it, guard it and so live a Gospel-Driven Life!

2 Timothy 1 - The Gospel Driven Life