Meditations on the Song of Solomon: T.O.C.
Richard Sibbes Sweet Drops:
I was reading 1st Peter 1 a few weeks ago. This chapter is now one of my favorites. It is a great summation of faith in Jesus Christ, faith in God. If you would, please read this chapter. 1st Peter 1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen ones who are living as aliens in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
The chosen ones of God were living as aliens in places into which they were dispersed. They were made missionaries, [many by seemingly unfortunate circumstances to other peoples.] God brings wonderful things out of seemingly bad things. Those who are His children are aliens to this world. The world does not understand us, why we do the things we do. They misjudge our motives and hearts, they cannot figure us out. We have become God’s children through the sanctification of the Spirit. The Spirit most immediately to us, initiated our salvation. He, in one way or another, turned our thoughts to Jesus, He drew us to Jesus, and Jesus reconciles us with God. God led us to God, and God reconciles us with God. We have a sure and trustworthy salvation. “and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Thank God, our salvation is His doing and keeping, and not our own. May His grace and peace be multiplied to us. May we come more and more to rely on His mercy, grace, and love for us, which will produce peace when trusted and relied on.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Oh, Blessed be Our Father, God, and the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This reminds us of God the Father’s love and loyalty to His Son Jesus Christ. It is from this love of God the Father to God the Son, from which our faith in God’s love for us can rest. There is not much in us practically, in our deficient morality, goodness, conduct, hearts; seen by us and others in this world, that is at all worthy of God’s love for us. You see, this is not where our hope lies. Our hope is only sure, steadfast and truly hopeful when resting on The Fathers love and acceptance of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is in the righteousness, love, obedience, the covering of Jesus Christ Himself, that we may have a living hope. This is His wonderful and merciful gift to us. This living hope, who is the living God, Who dwells within us indeed, He is the source and only true Spiritual Life within us. His dwelling within us is what brought us from death to life. As Jesus was raised from the dead.
“that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, 19 and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,“
This same resurrection power has occurred in us, and continues to give us hope and life.
” and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. ”
We have a sure, and powerful Living Hope within us. The Ruler of All is within us, in a mysterious, but true way. Though we may be feeble, and weak in ourselves, we do have access to great strength and power. If only we had a fuller, deeper, more trusting faith in God to believe more fully in His power. I hope, you and I will seek, trust and believe more of the mercy and grace of God for us, to help us experience more of His wonderfully powerful working within us. May we share His great mercy and power more effectively with others, through His working in us.
I will continue this at a later date, Lord willing.- Paul M.
There is not a very in-depth description of Abel. Abel was the son of Adam and Eve, the brother of Cain, a keeper of sheep. Abel came to God with and through the right offering. He trusted God’s way of reconciliation, he was made righteous in God’s eyes. Abel was basically the first Christian, or at least, obviously made known to us by God. The offering and sacrifice He was trusting in was and is the same offering that all who are reconciled to God must be trusting in. His trust was in the blood and righteousness of Jesus, though no doubt, this was not so clear to Him, as to us. The blood and character of Christ so trustworthy and sure, overcame the boundaries of time as we know them, to reconcile and save all God’s children. By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous, God testifying with respect to his gifts; and through it he, being dead, still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4)
Abel was killed by his brother, becoming the first persecuted and martyred saint of God. He was hated, by his worldly brother. The first example of a Christian was very displeasing to a person of the world. Abel was credited with righteousness by God, He was made righteous by God. What was Abel’s reward for choosing and accepting the righteousness of Jesus? He found hatred, He found and experienced the hatred of his own natural brother.
I believe, God is making a strong statement in the way this all played out, and it’s placement in His written word: Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (2nd Timothy 3:12) and Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people reproach you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.(Matthew 5:10-12) This is and should be a defining characteristic of the life of a lover of God, (Father, Son/Jesus, Spirit) a lover of Jesus. (our Loved One) We will find the mercy, love, and blessedness of Jesus, of His Spirit, of His peace and joy. We should expect also and question,(with concern) if we do not find hatred and rejection from the world, especially from the proud ones.
The world teaches us from our births to seek its approval and acceptance. To seek its gold stars, smiles, and pats on the back. This is a very difficult thing to turn away from. We must not allow the enemy to mix this seeking of the world’s approval and acceptance with our seeking of our Loved One. These are very much contrary motivations and can only be mixed at our loss. Please don’t misunderstand me, in a certain sense we should seek to be as pleasing and considerate to all as much as we are able, however, this should be such a much lower seeking, and seeking birthed out of the so much greater seeking of God. Meaning, displeasing others does not need to displease us as much as it does.
God promises us many things, He promises us He will be with us, we will find Him when we diligently seek Him, He will give us freedom and freedom indeed, He will give us life in abundance. He also promises persecution, hatred and rejection from the world. Let us not fear and avoid this rejection, persecution and hatred so much. Let these things not quench the work of God within us, but rather grow even more God’s working and glory within us and through us. May we be more diligent seekers of God, and everything He promises, even the things that are seemingly bad and difficult for us.