Monday, March 17, 2008

Isaiah speaks of the Cross: Can these words help to bring salvation to some of our friends?

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the
Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender
shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us
to him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with
suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces,
he was despised, and we esteemed him
not.
Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace
was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We, all like sheep have gone astray,
each of us has turned his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was lead like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as sheep before his shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was
taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he
was stricken.
He was assigned a grave for the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Mick (a fellow evangelist) my wife and I were in a discussion with a group of 'nearly Christians' a few nights ago in a nurture group. We were looking at Isaiah 53: 1-10 and I asked them to raise their hands when they thought they knew who and what I was reading about. By the time I had finished they all agreed that it could be about no one else but Jesus on the cross (their words not mine!). I then asked them about v 11 of that chapter 'After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.' They discerned that this must then be about the resurrection. They were amazed to find out that the passages were written hundreds of years before Jesus was born to Mary. From their discussion and questions, my heart is telling me that they are nearly there.


At least three of these people have said that they hope to come to Friday's 'Sensing the Passion of Christ' (see blog below)

Please pray for them, that they fully receive Jesus into their hearts as Lord and Saviour!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Those who preach the 'gospel' as though it were fiction

Found this on Sermonillustrations.com

There is a tale told of that great English actor Macready. An eminent preacher once said to him: "I wish you would explain to me something." "Well, what is it? I don't know that I can explain anything to a preacher."

"What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all."

Macready's answer was this: "This is quite simple. I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.

Don't think I need to say more!!