Basking in the Lord

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By John Thiel

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

What does it mean to follow Jesus steps? It means to follow his example, to follow his suffering because Christ suffered for us. We are called to follow like that, suffering. Some people don’t like an announcement of suffering. Following Jesus means suffering but when we suffer we are able to find comfort in the Lord. I once studied with a man and it came up many times and at the end he said you keep on talking about suffering. We are called to suffer with Jesus.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 7 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.

We may enjoy the comfort of being the sons of God if on this planet we will suffer with Jesus. If we want to reach a higher level in any human situation, what must we do? Somebody who is not financially well off to gain financial well being, someone who is not so socially high but wants to go higher, what must he do? He must go through a level of stress. He must drive himself to gain a level. The responsibility, the warfare involved is also ours in the footsteps of Christ Jesus. The persecution we meet, the warfare against Satan, the self denial that is called for, the rejection of earthly pleasure, we are not to follow the world and its ways. Others around us are having fun but we must say that is not what Jesus would do. We can’t have the fun that the world is having. It is self denial. It is rejection of earthly pleasures. It is part of the Christian path walking in the footsteps of Jesus.

The 144,000

What is written about the 144,000 in this time period? What is written about them if we are going to be part of the 144,000?

Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

To be a true believer of Jesus Christ and of all these messages in the last days we will need to go through that. Jesus said to the Laodicean people, he who overcometh will sit on my throne. To overcome even as Christ overcame, to suffer with Christ and overcome, as we partake of this living truth in the last days, as we have chosen to be part of such a people, it creates a burden that time and time again calls for some release of this stress created inside of us.  Some have said when I want relaxation so I sit in front of TV and that relaxes me. Can we do that? If I want relaxation, I want to plunge myself where I don’t have to think and enjoy myself. This is true in this time in which we are living, there is so much stress that comes upon a true follower of Jesus it gets a bit heavy. What do I do? I relieve myself from caring and feeding for the flock as it gets heavy sometimes. Is there any present repose besides the wonderful bliss of hope for the future if I am going to be faithful to the end, is there any release from the stresses that come upon us?

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Here is a suggestion. What is the suggestion of release from stress? We who are struggling who are having our battles in conquering the evil one, in the responsibilities that fall upon us in self denial, where can I find release? Being justified by faith. If you will believe it, Jesus in his atonement with us has actually taken the stress out of all doubt. The atonement will reveal to us that I don’t have to doubt that God is smiling upon me. The God of the universe is smiling upon us. We must not doubt this. Especially when we sometimes fall in our efforts to reach the perfect way to be among the 144,000. We feel I am never going to get there because look at me.  Let us explore this revelation of true peace. Of true joy, of true release from stress in a stressful situation. The 144,000 come out of GREAT tribulation, great stress, heaviness and conflict.

The Atonement Of Jesus Christ – What God Has Made Him To Be

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

When Jesus was made to be sin, what did he die of? He died of a broken heart. Recall Gethsemane and what was he saying, doing and suffering.  He was crying out if it be possible let this cup be removed from me. What was he perspiring? Drops of blood. His stress was so severe, more than anyone of us. His blood pressure got so high it squeezed the serum out of his blood vessels.  When the blood pressure gets too high you can come out in a terrible sweat but when it got so high with Jesus it pushed the serum of the blood through. That is how severe the stress was. What did he do that for? So that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The Righteousness of God

What is conveyed because Jesus has gone through that stress? Here is the amazing consequence of what Jesus went through for our sake.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Take that seriously. You are here, you have accepted Christ as your personal saviour and it states now you are a son or daughter of God. You say it’s impossible I’m not worthy of that.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

You feel impossible? We are the sons of God and there is need for us to be purified as it says everyone that has this hope in him purifies himself as he is pure. The hope that I am the son or daughter of God when Jesus comes I’m going to be like him. There is a hope, there is something precious in this scripture.

Psalms 103:13 Like as a father pitieth [his] children, [so] the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we [are] dust.

Let it Sink in

We are the sons of God, the daughters of God and how does he look upon us? How many people are under a despondent sense because they are not measuring up. Every time we read something of Gods character and message to us we think I am so unworthy and I don’t know whether I am going to attain to anything different. I’ve lived under this message for so long and look at me. He is our father. He looks upon us in pity remembering what? He knows our frame. He knows we are dust. Dust that is sinful flesh. Here I am in my weariness, I can hardly do a thing right and when I need to become on fire for the Lord, I’m in a sleepy state. It’s a long tedious journey. We are not home yet. Many people have gone spiritually asleep and are lost in this part of earth’s history. The 144,000 are to live before God without sin. Me 144,000? How can it be? But if it I’m not I’m lost. See the anguish that affects God’s people? We must believe I am a son of God and yes I have some purification to go through. He looks upon us and loves us in spite of me. He knows I am dust. He knows it’s a long weary journey. He knows in our dust we are prone to drop off to sleep.

Do I believe that God means what he says?

Psalms 103:13 Like as a father pitieth [his] children, [so] the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Do you fear him? Or do you just carelessly think he is a lovely person? To fear him means to want to honour him and give him our life and live a perfect life before him and not go to sleep spiritually. I’m afraid of myself. Do I believe that this person who fears him like that he is happy with? That he is our father and we are his sons and daughters? If we believe this then is ours and a reality to bask under.

Appreciate What God Wants You To Bask In

We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. {SC 62.2}

The perfect life of sinless he says give me. You and I who fear God say how can he do that? my sins can be completely taken away? His righteousness can be with me in reality?

This Life Is Yours

If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned. {SC 62.2}

You are to bask in this beautiful reality.

That Is Not All

More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. So you may say, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. So Jesus said to His disciples, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” Matthew 10:20. Then with Christ working in you, you will manifest the same spirit and do the same good works –works of righteousness, obedience. {SC 62.3}

So we have nothing in ourselves of which to boast. We have no ground for self-exaltation. Our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us. {SC 63.1}

You need to surrender yourself to this wonderful God and you will be regarded as have never sinned before. If you continue to surrender and believe this God an bask in such amazing demonstration of Gods nature before you, you will continue to be worked upon by him so that the working of the holy spirit, you are going to do the good works you don’t have naturally in you to do.

Our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us. {SC 63.1}

If you really believe this, what is happening to you as you open your heart to it? Is it lovely? Does it taste beautiful? The beautiful gift of Christ Jesus in your life? We are worshipping God contemplating his wonderful love and as you do so it is wonderful to be in his presence is it not?

There are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ, and who really desire to be children of God, yet they realize that their character is imperfect, their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit.  {FLB 118.4}

Is this your case? You can think o thank God I have been pardoned as though I’ve never sinned but there is another part that sees after my life is faulty and I can doubt if I’m ever going to be free from my condition. Is my heart really renewed by the Holy Spirit?

To such I would say, Do not draw back in despair. We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes; but we are not to be discouraged. {FLB 118.4}

What will you do often? Weep at the feet of Jesus. Why? Because he knows we are dust. If you are a person who is meticulous, to see everything right and because you are like that, you see how wrong you are and how many mistakes you make and you feel like giving up and despairing. Do not draw back in despair. There is a temptation to go back and not walk any more. I have such a faulty nature that I’m ready to despair. Don’t draw back is the word of God to us.

Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off. {FLB 118.4}

Do you believe it? You’ve overcome and you done wrong, it’s really serious and you think that’s it. Sometimes we look at each other and say you have gone too far my friend. If we do, we are not understanding the work of God. When my brother or my sister make a serious sin, we are not to cast off nor forsaken and rejected of God. If God hasn’t rejected me, how dare anyone else?

Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Said the beloved John, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” And do not forget the words of Christ, “The Father himself loveth you.” John 16:27. He desires to restore you to Himself, to see His own purity and holiness reflected in you. And if you will but yield yourself to Him, He that hath begun a good work in you will carry it forward to the day of Jesus Christ. {FLB 118.4}

He desires to restore you again. Can you remember the thing that God did in the beginning and you were melted down into love of God’ goodness? That is why you are here today. You have made a decision that Jesus is everything to me. That discovery was not your own doing. It was the mercy of God that brought you there. what can he not do for you now? He has begun the good work in you.

We are to grow daily in spiritual loveliness. We shall fail often in our efforts to copy the divine pattern. We shall often have to bow down to weep at the feet of Jesus, because of our shortcomings and mistakes; but we are not to be discouraged; we are to pray more fervently, believe more fully, and try again with more steadfastness to grow into the likeness of our Lord. As we distrust our own power, we shall trust the power of our Redeemer, and render praise to God, who is the health of our countenance, and our God. . . . {AG 302.4}

He will finish the work started in us. We are to yield more even though we fail. He is someone who will smile upon me even though I have failed him. As the hymns says ‘Jesus I may cross have taken, All to leave and follow thee, all things else I have forsaken’, oh how easy it is to stop thinking that. to think about me and where I have been sinning and I can’t get rid of the thoughts about me but father knows I am dust but he smiles upon me in my anguish and he says don’t despair I love you.  My desire is to give you victory. I’m going to help you. Know this full salvation and really take it in. This is what we want to really take in this divine service and hold onto it.  Bask in the smiles of his face. Think what fathers smiles are thine and now as you think, bask in the smiles of his face. Are you picking up the message? It is God’s desire to save you and me and he has given Jesus Christ to take away the sin and to make you feel as though you have never sinned before. As you surrender your heart to this, although you have to weep before him, the Lord does not want you to despair but to come to him and enjoy his smiles some more. When you sin he is waiting there in anguish that you won’t run from him. As you turn to him with your weeping, bask. It takes a lot of faith to do that when you are such a miserable person. He can’t smile upon me when I am running from him as then he is frowning but if I come with my weeping and tears then he smiles upon me. When are the times I feel most depraved and unworthy. When are those times?

Daniel 10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.

10:9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

10:10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and [upon] the palms of my hands.

10:11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

What does my comeliness mean? Vigour. What makes you vigour when you feel good about yourself?  What was Daniel doing? He was chastening himself just like you do when you have sinned against God and you see your character. You want to beat yourself. Recall martin Luther he was beating himself and God was smiling upon him. My son I want to use you. Daniel, you are chastening yourself, I’m smiling upon you as you are much beloved. Job who was announced by God to Satan as being the most faithful on all earth. This man of God, this pure man, this righteous man, what happened when he was shown of God?

Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

42:6 Wherefore I abhor [myself], and repent in dust and ashes.

Do you abhor yourself when you see yourself in contrast to God’s pure character and you see what a wretch you are? Do you abhor yourself? God is smiling upon you. Bask in the smile.

Psalm 42:3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where [is] thy God?

Be careful you will not become like those who say where is your God when someone is weeping for his sons and you stand by and say where is your God?

Psalms 42:10 [As] with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where [is] thy God?

Here is he feeling terrible about himself and others are rubbing salt into his wounds and what is the experience? In the consciousness of my own self condemnation and of people rubbing salt into the wounds, God is at work to deal with me and if I come to him in that total surrender, in that condition don’t run away from him in despair.  Many will drive you to despair and when you go down they will say see he wasn’t good. No one is good. Only he who God cleans. Those people can be good but not in themselves.

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?

8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth.

8:34 Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Oh that God would help us to absorb this message today that when we feel condemned again and again and when others are there charging us, rightfully many times, when I know I’ve been faulty, when I know I’ve not communicated the loveliness of Jesus Christ and I’m hanging there before the Lord who says you’re dust but I’m glad you’ve come to see me. I love you. If God is for us, who can be against us? He who gave Jesus to justify us, justification and sanctification go simultaneously through your life? It doesn’t happen just once in your life. Justification as though you have never sinned continues through the path of sanctification. The death given for you in Jesus Christ, if we sin we have an advocate with the father. Why despair?

Psalm 37:32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

37:33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

I am self judged? When you heart condemns you, God is greater than your heart. Others who know what you have gone through, we are going to be met by the Esau’s of our life. Jacob was the brother of Esau. In the time of trouble, those how know what we have done will be there to threaten us. If you don’t embrace this message you will crumble.

Bask

Under the stress of the last days, this is what we can bask in. As we struggle through life and make mistakes, we can quickly release ourselves and bask and the stresses won’t destroy us as they are quickly removed from us. It feels like presumption, like I’m presuming on God’s grace. Here is my sinful life and my sins ever before me and you think I cannot bask, this is presumption. How can I be accepted with God while I’m such a terrible person. Because of the sense of the terrible person you are, you can bask in his mercy and rejoice. The goodness of God in this message makes you warm to God. You will be yearning to be more perfect. A true Christian is someone who continually senses the forgiving nature of God. If he doesn’t bask in it, he will walk in depression, guilt and condemnation that drains the life forces out of you. The Lord said I give you life and that more abundantly. How do you feel? Are you getting life when you are constantly depressed and underneath the current of unworthiness? How can you have life abundantly in circumstances like that? The Lord wants us to bask in his continual mercy. Believe in his words as though you have never sinned in the overwhelming condition you are a sinner and you are not making it. Say thank you Lord you are working in me, keep doing it Lord, I’m basking in your love. What does basking mean? It is used when a person revels in something. For instance lying in the sun and relaxing.  Completely absorbing the beautiful warmth of the un. What is Jesus?

Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

If only we could believe it.  I fear him because he is righteous and I am sinful.  It is not presumption when you come to him weeping and crying over your sin to say thank you very much and bask in his mercy and no longer carrying the burden of the guilt.  The sin that is ever before me.  To yield is to bask.  Give over to hits wonderful love of God.  Expose yourself without any stitch of your own covering.  Drink in the love, the healing rays.  Do I need healing?  He will arise with healing in his wings.  If I don’t bask in that sun, can I be healed?  No. I am in my decrepit condition and God says come into the sunshine of my love. Bask.  The sure result will be what?  What will God say when you have laid there long enough?

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

What does phosphorus have to do in order to glow at night?  If you keep it under cover all day long will it shine at night?  If you don’t lie and bask in the sun of righteousness, how is it possible for you to shine in the darkness?  We must lie and expose ourselves in these wonderful mercies of God.  It is his work that I surrender in basking.

The less we see to esteem in ourselves, the more we shall see to esteem in the infinite purity and loveliness of our Saviour. {SC 65.2}

What must I do?  Don’t look at myself as I have nothing to esteem there.

A view of our sinfulness drives us to Him who can pardon; and when the soul, realizing its helplessness, reaches out after Christ, He will reveal Himself in power.  {SC 65.2}

Can you see our problem when we don’t bask? When we carry the weight of our burdensome character with us all the time?  If I carry that weight and don’t come to him with the weight of my sinfulness I will never see the next dimension of his wonderful character.  I will be bogged down in my own thinking but I if come to him in my helpless he will reveal himself in that beautiful sunlight of love.

The more our sense of need drives us to Him and to the word of God, the more exalted views we shall have of His character, and the more fully we shall reflect His image.  {SC 65.2}

The 144,000 come out of great tribulation and bask in God’s love so they will one day be told rise up and shine.  Paul said he was chief of sinners but look at how he shined.  Want to shine in these last days?  Shine.

Amen.

Posted on May 23, 2010, in Divine Service Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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