I remember very distinctly a Jewish lady from our nursing home ministry in Baltimore who, every Sunday, would mute our attempt to tell her of the Messiah by saying, “but he did not bring the goods!” The sense of loss could not be more profound in my heart as I looked at her, now in her elder years, with a raspy yet robust voice, in her wheelchair, repeating, “but he did not bring the goods!” Against whose timing and schedule can we determine that God failed? My friends, my brothers and sisters, I dare say what seems incredulous of the Salvation of God, through Jesus Christ, is that His salvation, is not withstanding any immediate external change to the believer. And this must be because it is a free gift unforged and unconditioned by what someone comes with or their station in life.
You and I have and will continually be propositioned by all sorts of nonsense (our eyes are open) in the next couple months/the New Year. We will be challenged to gauge our Christianity by all things natural, from materialism to what kind of following we have if we are in ministry. But again, I will insist that the Salvation of God is notwithstanding anything external. There is no need for deduction, in I Corinthians 2 it is the inner work of the Holy Spirit which sanctifies and raises a person to a place of shared kingdom-glory with God. If you are not persuaded of this in your Spirit-man, it is only time before you are led away by external things (“the goods”). My prayer is that, from within, we would have a replete experience of the peace of God. This signature peace was promised/prophesied of old (Isaiah 9:6); celebrated at His birth (Luke 2:14) and He, Himself, delivered it (John 14:27). The Apostle now, rightfully, demands that this peace rule in our hearts (Colossians 2:15). That is, all things must be brought into subjection to the omniscience and omnipotence of the unrushed character and nature of God in you, in me. Why? Because we will be sustained by His unfailing promise of His presence through His indwelling, inundating peace (Philippians 4:12). And through this rulership, His power will be there to produce all things that pertain to His pleasure in our lives: Philippians 2:13!
Pray for us, that we continue to appropriate the mind/thinking of Christ to be, by grace, a cup running over for those made parched by the worlds’ thinking that external possessions equal power (Romans 14:17)… So from the prophesy, to the crib, to the Cross, to the Throne let us say as the woman at the well did, “Come see a man,…is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29).—
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
…From the Matthew Family in Puerto Rico…