Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
Painting by L. Lovett
THE MAN ON THE CROSS
Have you ever seen a painting of Jesus laughing? Have you seen one where He is having such a good time, His face is creased with smiles and He is rubbing His hands excitedly? You don't see things like that, do you? It's because we think of Him as a "suffering Savior," or as Isaiah calls Him, "a man of sorrows" (Isa. 53:3). He's been exalted to God's right hand and is now building His church, but what is there about the church to make Him smile? She's never been so divided, so powerless as she is today. Here in America where the Gospel is vigorously heralded, the impact is scarcely noticeable. The country is rushing headlong to self-destruction and the church is inadequate in the face of it.
Immorality is now the American way of life. People openly worship God's worst enemy—Satan. As cults continue to expand in the land, God is put to ridicule. Even evangelical Christianity is not what it used to be. When you think about it, what is there to bring joy to the Lord's heart? No wonder the apostle Paul speaks of, "That which is still lacking and remains to be completed of Christ's afflictions" (CoI. 1 :24 AMP Bible). Yes, the Lord is still suffering, He is still a "man of sorrows."
BUT A DAY IS COMING
A fabulous day is coming for the Lord Jesus. We get a hint of it in Heb. 12:2...
"Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God."
What joy is set before Him? Not His exaltation to God's right hand, for He has that now. That joy has to do with a day, a day when His church is completed and He comes in the glory of His Father to receive His "bride" and His Kingdom! (Matt. 25:31). That would be a big day for anyone–even for Jesus.
Before we speak of "that day," please remember Jesus went to the cross as a man. We evangelicals are so defensive about the deity of Christ, we scarcely consider the fact he is a man (though He is God). Even now He is a man, "The man Christ Jesus," as Paul calls Him (1 Tim 2:5). That's why His exaltation is so fabulous—He earned it—as a man! If He earned it as God, who'd be impressed?
He came into this world as a man. He lived a sinless life as a man. He yielded to the Father as a man. He died as a man. It was a man Who was raised in the power of the Father (Rom. 1:4). And it is a man Who is coming in the glory of His Father (Matt. 16:27). It is a man Who is getting married on that day. And it is a man Who is going to, "Sit on the throne of His father David" (Luke 1 :31-32).
All this glory and honor will be His in a day. That's a lot for a man to handle, but He can do it. What do you think will excite Him the most? Receiving His kingdom? No, it will be His "BRIDE" (the church). He died that He might have her for Himself (Eph. 5:27). You and I—we are the Lord's obsession, His passion. But He can't have His bride yet. He must wait for that day when He returns as a man to claim her. When that day arrives, heaven will explode with hallelujahs and shouts of thunder, "The marriage of the Lamb is come!" (Rev. 19:7).
To my mind, this will be the greatest day of Jesus' life!
HIS JOY IN THAT DAY
It is prophesied that Jesus will be the HAPPIEST MAN ON EARTH in that day:
"Therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (Heb. 1 :9).
Observe the "THY GOD." Those words are addressed to Jesus as a man! That is saying Jesus will be happy. Isn't that the way it should be? Isn't that the way we want it? Doesn't something deep inside you confirm...THE HAPPIER HE IS, THE HAPPIER WE’LL BE? Our joy will surely be multiplied when we see our dear Savior happier than anyone else on earth!
And yet, what comes to our minds first when we think of Jesus' return and His earthly kingdom? Is it not our own joy, what we're going to be doing? We like to dwell on our resurrection bodies and fantasize about ruling over nations and angels. But in view of what He's done for us, aren't we a little selfish? When you consider that He has given us "all things" and filled us with "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1Pet. 1 :8).
It ought to concern us very much that this is His big day. He's already given Himself. We should shift our focus from what that day means to us, to what it means to Him. We should love to see Him overwhelmed with joy, even consumed, ecstatic. His soul raptured with boundless satisfaction as He beholds His "bride." We should dream of tears of joy streaming down His face as He sees His church and so thrilled He'd say. . . "I'd gladly go through it all again!"
LIVING FOR HIS JOY
I spoke of the "marriage of the Lamb." But I didn't finish the verse. It goes on to say, "The bride hath made herself ready" (Rev. 19:7). Has it ever struck you that the "bride" had to make HERSELF ready? With Jesus' coming so close, getting the bride ready is probably the final work of the Holy Spirit on earth.
Think what it would be like if all of us who truly loved Jesus banded together for the sole purpose of making sure the day of His return WAS the greatest day for him! How can we do that? By doing what we can to make sure He is not disappointed with us; by getting others to similarly commit themselves to live for that day as well. Don't you think there are Christians who would rally to such a call? Wouldn't it be fabulous to see the Lord so happy? I've committed myself to making that day as fulfilling for Him as possible.
READY FOR HIS APPEARING
You've heard the word "maranatha." Paul used it at the end of his first letter to the Corinthians. It means "0, Lord come!" What a perfect word to apply to those who "LOVE HIS APPEARING!" (2 Tim. 4:8). I believe many who read my articles truly love the appearing of the Lord and would welcome the chance to add to His joy in that day.
After writing several books, I felt called to help Christians prepare to meet the Lord and not be ashamed before Him at "His appearing" (1 John 2:28). So if the fire I feel in my spirit leaps from the pages of this article to your heart, the same vision will burn in your spirit.
IT MAY BE YOUR CALL ALSO
Our Lord needs lots of Maranatha men and women who'll join in the VISION of helping the "bride" get ready for the "marriage of the Lamb" (1 Cor. 1:26-29). He calls you and me and fashions us into tools that fulfill His purpose. He wants committed believers banded together to produce a glorious "bride." Be a Maranatha man or woman and let's make sure the "man of sorrows" rejoices with you. . .
ON THAT DAY!
C. S. Lovett
(Edited by Marjorie Lovett)
© 2017 Personal Christianity. All rights reserved.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master’”
(Matt. 25:21 NASB).
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