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The Priority of the Holy Spirit-Jesus – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2022 2:00 am

The Priority of the Holy Spirit-Jesus – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Ann Graham Lotz introducing today's Living in the Light.

Maybe the death of a loved one, maybe the diagnosis of a disease. I don't know what the hard place is, but listen to me. God may have allowed you to be in that hard place because He's wanting to show you a fresh vision of who He is. We're glad you joined us for Living in the Light with Bible teacher Ann Graham Lotz. God drew a self-portrait and His name is Jesus. Jesus is the incarnation of God's greatness, and He is the incarnation of God's gospel. Ann will reveal two more aspects of the incarnation of God in today's message, the priority of the Holy Spirit, Jesus. It's taken from the Gospel of John. Let's join Ann now to discover more.

I'm going to tell you something. This is not politically correct, but every other religion in the world is a tower of Babel, and they're all trying to reach God through their own philosophy, their own religion, their own works, and you cannot possibly reach God that way. The separation between man and God is too great. That's why God sent Jesus. We can't climb our way to Him through any religious system. God sent Jesus down not to invite us into a religion, not to invite us into a denomination, not to invite us into an organization, not to invite us into a tradition, but to invite us into a personal relationship with Himself through Jesus Christ. Amen.

He's the true light for every man. That's why we send out missionaries. That's why we preach the Gospel. That's why we share our faith. And if you have, as I do, I've got a new neighborhood next to me, and people of all sorts of backgrounds have moved in, and I'm doing my best to befriend them just as I walk and talk, and you know, I don't know what will come of it, but I know as I walk, I pray for those homes, and because I know God loves them. Maybe that's why He's brought them into my neighborhood, and you know, so don't be shy just because someone is of a different race, different background, different religion. They're all created by God, for God, for personal for personal relationship with Him through Jesus.

He is the true light, and that light penetrates through our testimony and through the truth. So don't be so intimidated by our politically correct culture that we hide our light under a bushel. I don't know what your bushel might be. Maybe the opinions of others. Maybe you want to be popular. Maybe you want to be accepted. Maybe you just don't want to rock the boat. Maybe you don't want to draw attention to yourself. Maybe you're afraid that they'll ask you a question you can't answer. You know, just turn on the light.

Let the chips fall. See what God can do, just with a little spark. So Jesus is the incarnation of God's greatness, the greatness of His person and His power and His purpose, and He's also the incarnation of God's gospel. Jesus is the gospel, and He presents us with a choice to reject Him. In verse 10, they rejected Him due to ignorance. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.

And that's not speaking of creation, I don't think, because the wind obeyed Him, and the waves obeyed Him, and you know, even demons obeyed Him, but the world of men. And He came into the world that was created by Him and for Him and through Him, and it's heartbreaking to me that they didn't recognize the Creator. And I don't know how many people you know that don't know they've been created by Jesus, for Jesus.

Just about everybody, right? And it's heartbreaking, and they reject Him through ignorance. And it's one thing to reject Him because they know Him and they choose, they just don't want Him, but it's another thing to not know who He is, not know that there is a God who so loved the whole world that He gave His only begotten Son, that they could believe in Him and not perish but have everlasting life, and they don't know that. And so to not receive Him, to reject Him simply because you're ignorant, that's still rejecting Him.

And that's a tragedy, that's, you know, do what you can to tell people they can reject, they don't have to receive your witness, they don't have to respond in a positive way, but at least we want them to make an informed choice. And people reject Him through ignorance, some rejected Him through intolerance, they just didn't want Him. In verse 11, He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. And that would be in John's day speaking of the Jews. And the Jews who had the ceremonies and the sacrifices, and they had the prophecies, and they knew all about the Messiah, they were looking for Him, they longed for Him, and when He came, they recognized Him, but they just didn't want Him. The leaders wanted somebody who would throw out the Romans and put them in positions of world power, the common person just wanted Him to give them bread from heaven and make life easier, and He wasn't the kind of Messiah they wanted, they knew who He was, and they rejected Him. In our day, I think those who would be His own would be professing Christians, and they sit in churches, and you know, all across our country, and He came into His own, and they're so filled with their denominational whatever, and their traditions, and their rituals, that somehow they never enter into that personal relationship.

When I was little, my granddaddy was a doctor, and he gave me a smallpox vaccine, and he scratched my arm, and he rubbed the the vaccine, which was some of the smallpox, into my arm, and mine took, so it bubbled up, and it blistered, and I got a little bit of the real disease, just to keep me from getting the full dose of the disease, so I was inoculated against it. I think people in churches today, we have just enough religion to inoculate us against the real relationship with God that He offers us through Jesus Christ. He came to His own, and His own received Him not. That's a tragedy, and I think one of the things I felt God impressed on me years ago was to get His own into the Word, and when I started my Bible class back in Raleigh, we had hundreds of women come through there, most of them, I'd say 95% of them church members, maybe 99% of them church members. I can't tell you how many women we saw year after year born again. They just had never entered into that personal relationship with God through Jesus, rejecting Him through ignorance, through intolerance, but some receive Him. In verse 12, to all who received Him, to those who believe in His name, He gives the right to become children of God, and to those who receive Him, you receive Him into your being. I remember somebody, actually it was an interpreter, I was giving a message. In the middle of the message, I was hitting this point, and she said, and she said, that's a Baptist thing.

And I said, no, that's a biblical thing. Jesus said, you must receive Him. And a couple of weeks ago, I had a neighbor who came by to see me, and he's lived there as long as we've lived there. He came to the door, and he just wanted to know how I was doing. He knew I had not been well, and people were asking him, have you seen Anne, and is she okay?

And he said, I just wanted to check on you, see how you were. And I stood at the door. I had the door open, but I was busy. I didn't want to invite him in. I felt uncomfortable inviting him in anyway, since I was there by myself. And so we just talked at the door. He asked questions. I answered. I thanked him for coming by, and then he left.

I never received him into my home. And I think there are people today, you know, we can talk to Jesus in prayer. We can hear what he says through his word. We can fellowship with other believers in church, but we never open the door of our hearts and receive him from the outside in.

So is there somebody here like that? Somebody born and raised in the church? Call yourself a Christian. You talk to the Lord in prayer. You read the Bible, but have you ever received him into your heart? Open up, and it's humbling, isn't it, to open up your heart and receive him into your life, believing on his name. And you believe on his name, not that you just agree that he's Jesus of Nazareth, but you believe on his name that he is the Lord.

That means the Old Testament, Jehovah, Yahweh, but it also means boss. He's your Lord. And Jesus, that means he's your Savior, the only Savior. Only way you can be forgiven of your sin, only way your sin can be atoned for, only way you can get right with God is through faith in Jesus. He's the only Savior.

If there's another one, God would have found it, all right? He wouldn't have sent Jesus to the cross, but Jesus is the only way, and he's Christ. That's the New Testament word for the Old Testament word Messiah. And Messiah was someone who would bring peace and prosperity, but also the one that one day is going to come back and receive us to himself. So you receive him as Lord of your life.

That means when you receive him, you're understanding as much as you can at that point, but you're inviting him into your life to take control. He's going to be your boss, and he's your Savior. He died on the cross for you. If nobody else needed a Savior, you did. And so you claim him as your Savior, and he's your Christ, someone who will give you peace and blessing after blessing, and one day take you to heaven to be with him. And you believe in his name, the Lord Jesus Christ.

When have you done that? Can you remember a specific point in time when you invited him to come in and take over your life, be your Savior, be your Christ? So don't keep him waiting in a screen door relationship. There's a huge difference between having him on the outside. And you can be here, and you sense his presence because the person next to you has him, and so you feel like you're really close to him. But you leave the cove, and you leave his presence that was there, and the person next to you, and there's a difference. So make sure before you leave, you have received him believing that he is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Makes all the difference. And then you become a child of God. People today say, we're all children of God.

Well, the Bible says, no we're not. You know, we're all created by God, but we're not all children of God. You're only a child of God when you receive him believing that he's the Lord Jesus Christ. And the Bible makes it clear it's not of generation. In verse 13, children born not of natural physical descent. That means you cannot inherit a relationship with God.

God has no grandchildren. If anybody could inherit being a child of God, maybe I could, where both of my parents were Christians. My grandparents on both sides were Christians going on up the ladder.

I married a Christian. His parents were Christians. Both of their parents were Christians going on up the ladder, but you can't inherit it.

It's not of generation. Just because you're born in a garage doesn't mean you're a car, you know. Just because you're born in a church, born in a Christian family, raised in whatever, doesn't mean you're a Christian.

Can I just get that across to you? Don't make a false assumption. You trust like a Christian. You talk like a Christian. You mingle with Christians.

You go to church like a Christian, but have you received him into your heart and believed on him as the Lord Jesus Christ? Then you become a child of God. It's not of generation, not of determination.

Verse 13, it's not a human decision. You can't say, well from now on I'm going to be a Christian. I'm just going to try harder.

I'm going to really be good today. I'm going to turn over a new leaf. It's not of determination. Verse 13, it's not of tradition. It's not of a husband's will or the will of man, a pastor. Nobody can pressure you into it. You can't walk the aisle of a church and sign a card and say, now I'm a Christian.

You know, somebody can't force you to like convert to Christianity like you would convert to another religion and force you to do it and that doesn't make you a child of God. It is a regeneration. You're born of God and it's such a supernatural miracle.

How can we describe it? And I'm going to use this illustration probably in each message because I think it's a good one. But when the Virgin Mary, do you remember when the angel came to her and he said, Mary you're going to conceive a baby? And she said, how can that be? Because I've never known a man.

I haven't had sexual intercourse. And he said, the Holy Spirit will come upon you and that which is conceived within you will be the life of the Son of God. And Mary said, be it unto me according to your will. And she conceived within her the physical life of Jesus. And in the same way, when the Holy Spirit hovers over your heart and he quickens you and comes upon you and you hear a message like this or something in your church, you're reading a book or reading your Bible, or I don't know when that moment in time came for you, but he came to you and you received him believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. And when you came confessing that you're a sinner, telling him you're sorry, you're willing to turn away from, you believe he died for you, he rose up from the grave to give you life and you open up your heart and invite him to come in, he comes in and you conceive within yourself the spiritual life of Jesus. That's the life of the Holy Spirit within you.

That's Jesus in you. So make sure that you have a point in time that you can remember. And you know, you may not remember the day. I can't remember the, I remember the day. It was a Good Friday. And that was in response to a movie I'd seen on TV about the life of Jesus. I can't remember the year.

I was seven, eight, nine years of age, but I know I became a child of God because I told God I was sorry for my sin and asked him to forgive me and come into my heart. And he did. So don't assume anything. If you can't remember a point in time, generally speaking, you know, how do you know you've ever received him into your life?

Just make sure. God knows. God understands. Jesus is the incarnation of the greatness of God, the gospel of God, and the glory of God. In verse 14, the Word became flesh, made his dwelling among us. We've seen his glory, the glory of the one and only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. And John says, I've seen his glory.

And I've seen Jesus. You know, in the Old Testament, the glory of God was on Mount Sinai, golden glow and the fire and the thunder. And then when Moses went up, he came back, the glory shone on his face. He had to put a veil over his face so that people wouldn't see when the glory departed. And in the tabernacle, when they sacrificed, the glory came down.

It was so intense, the priest couldn't go into the tabernacle. And then the glory of God led the children of Israel in the wilderness, the fiery pillar at night and the cloudy pillar by day. And John says, the glory of God I have seen with my own eyes. And I've seen him when he was tired and when he was rested and when he was sleeping and when he was awake and when he was preaching and when he was praying and when he was being blasphemed and when he was being praised.

And I've seen him in every conceivable situation. And I've seen the glory of God full of grace and truth. And the glory of God is not just a golden shining cloud. The glory of God is his character. The glory of God is his goodness, his faithfulness, his mercy, his loving kindness.

And I want to tell you something. I've seen the glory of God too and I want to explain it this way. Moses in Exodus chapter 34 said, God show me your glory. And God said, all right. He said, I'll show you my glory. I'm going to put you in the cleft of a rock and I'm going to put my hand over you. Then he said, I'm going to take my hand away and I'm going to pass by and you can't see my face but you can see the backside of my glory.

And you'll see my goodness, my faithfulness. And so he did. He put Moses in the cleft of a rock.

Listen, that's putting him in a hard place. And then he put his hand over him so Moses would know God was near him and God was there. And then he removed his hand. Moses must have felt abandoned and alone.

And then he looked and he could see the backside of the glory. And I want to tell you what I've seen the glory of God in a hard place. Hard place. The past years, the hard places where I've been. And there are times when I felt God's hand on my life and I knew he was very near.

And there are times when I felt abandoned and I felt very alone. And I look back and maybe not at the moment, but I could look back and see his goodness and his kindness and his faith. It's one of the reasons I loved writing this new book, Jesus in Me, because in that book I was able to look back, not just the last years, but often on my whole life. And you see, you have eyes to see in retrospect the glory of God. Jesus is the incarnation of God's glory. And Isaiah said when he was in a hard place and King Uzziah died, he looked up and he saw the glory of Jesus.

And John, the same John in Revelation 1 when he's on Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ in exile and in a hard place. And he turned around and he saw the glory of God in the face of Jesus. So if God has allowed you to be in a hard place, and I don't know what it is, maybe the death of a loved one, maybe the diagnosis of a disease, maybe a divorce or a rebellious child, or you let go from your job, maybe your pension's not enough, I don't know what the hard place is, but listen to me.

God may have allowed you to be in that hard place because he's wanting to show you a fresh vision of who he is, who he can be to you in that hard place. There are some things we'll never know about God until we're in a hard place. At least some depths of who he is, the richness of who he is, the breadth and the depth and the height and the length, you know. So when we're in a hard place that we can look back and we say, oh my goodness, he's been with me all the way, never forsook me for a moment, even when I didn't feel his hand on me. So he's the incarnation of God's glory. Open your eyes when you're in that hard place.

And he's the incarnation of God's grace. Verse 16, from the fullness of his grace we've all received one blessing after another, blessing after blessing after blessing. Been over 30 years ago, I guess we came back to the house and we had been robbed and the thieves took everything of value in my house. That night I was going to bed and I was just lying there and I felt myself going into shock because I thought, what do I have that can't be taken away? And I was terrified they'd come back and get my children. And, you know, we can lose our spouse if they leave us in divorce or death. We can lose our children when they move away or sometimes they come back, you know. We can lose our health. We can lose our youth. We can lose our education because it gets outdated.

We can, you know, God forbid our house would burn. But, you know, and I was thinking, what do I, and I was just getting stiffer and stiffer from shock. And then I'd just been studying Ephesians and it's like the lights went on. I thought, oh wait a minute, I know things that I have that can never be taken from me. And I began to count my blessings. And there were so many of them. I just based them on Ephesians chapters one and two.

I put them to the alphabet so I could remember them. And this past week I had a difficult night and I lay there in bed just going through my alphabetized list of blessings that were accepted by God. We're blessed by God. We're chosen by God. We're delivered from this empty meaningless way of life. We're enlightened by God to think his thoughts were forgiven by God. We have his grace. We have the hope of heaven. We have an inheritance in the saints.

We're justified just as if I'd never sinned. We have knowledge of God. We have his love and his mercy and his nearness. We're made one with God. We have peace and power. We're quickened by the Holy Spirit, quickened into new life.

We're redeemed. We're sealed by the Holy Spirit. We have truth. We're his treasure. We're united with other believers in the body of Christ. We're validated as being an authentic child of God.

We have wisdom, X, Y, Z. One day we'll be exalted to live with him in heavenly places. Praise God. That's blessing after blessing after blessing. I can remember my blessings.

I have a hard time remembering the alphabet. But count your blessings. Don't ask me for my list. Make your own list.

Make your list of blessings one after another. Things that nobody can take from you. Thieves can't break in and steal. Malls can't corrupt.

You know, rust doesn't corrupt. And count your blessings. Verse 17, for the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. The law, thinking of it as the 10 commandments, was never given to make us good.

It couldn't. It was given to show us how bad we are. It's the plumb line. Paul said it's our schoolmaster to teach us what sinful sinners we are and why we need a savior. So the law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus because he fulfilled the law. And then in himself, he gives us a way out of our sin so that we can be right with God. And in his righteousness, we're right with God.

Something the law could never do. In verse 18, no one has ever seen God, but God, the only begotten son who is at the father's side, has made him known. Jesus is the incarnation of God. A little boy was drawing a picture and the grandfather asked him, what are you drawing? And the little boy said, I'm drawing a picture of God. And the grandfather said, nobody knows what God looks like.

And the little boy said, they will when I finish my picture. And God drew a self-portrait and his name is Jesus. He is the incarnation of God, God made visible his greatness, his gospel, his glory, and his grace. He is the priority of the Holy Spirit. And so my challenge to you as an act of worship, would you make him your number one priority also?

He deserves nothing less. And then would you tell somebody else who Jesus is? To help and encourage you in your work for the Lord, we invite you to It's a great opportunity to further read, study, live by, and love God's word. You'll find Anne's daily blog, her messages, Bible studies books, audio, and video that will enhance your study, your going forward that Anne spoke of today. And plan to join us again for Living in the Light.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-01 11:33:08 / 2023-05-01 11:43:09 / 10

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