To Refuse God’s Love
10 August 2013
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
(M) I called John to get together this morning. I was listening to the podcast about the greatness of God’s healing for the afflicted child. And when I read Pauline’s comment, where she said, “You and John and Vicki heard dance to the flute and mourn to the dirge”, which is one of my lifetime passages. And I really began to go back over forty odd years, (Martha laughs) forty odd, ah, the love of God. And I thought yes, God’s love is a great healing miracle. And I began to cry out and ask Him, and I began to grieve for those who would not let God’s love heal them, because there are those who refuse. And that’s not often told. And I think it’s important to, to note, for Jesus Christ, not just us. Ah, one of the most poignant things I think He ever said, Luke records it in thirteen thirty-four. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, she who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” And I thought about Judas, and I thought about how much evidence there is that Peter and John and the rest of them, were captured by the love of God in Jesus. They got up and left their father in a boat, and followed Him. And Judas was different, I think aside from the sovereign choice he was to do what he did, he was different. And one thing that characterized him was greed. He stole the money from the moneybags; he sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. And he was paid for his betrayal. Somehow he wanted to betray Him, he wanted to tell them where He was, and so they could arrest Him and ostensively we think probably he wanted Jesus to rise and escape. But he, he extracted a price. And I looked up to see what that price was worth. What was Jesus worth to the Jews? Today’s economy it would be equal to twelve to fifteen thousand dollars. That’s a lot of money to some, it’s nothing compared to Jesus. So the thing that characterized Judas was greed, and I said, oh, oh Lord, those who leave You are greedy. That’s what it is, it’s money, it’s ambition, it’s whatever you’re greedy for. And I then began to see that greed was the evidence, but not the problem. As I waited on Him, the Lord began to unfold it to me, why people leave the love of God, when it is the very, very thing that we need the most, that is the place of healing, that is ah, literally our transformation. It heals us and takes us into becoming a human being in Christ, alive and fully functional, creative, as you said. I remember that last week when Jen was writing her finally post on parents, called “What Price Eternity”. I read it through and said that’s just wonderful, and praised what she had done, which I will tell about later. But I called her back and said, “Jennifer I’ve got a verse for you. It’s the most essential verse of Jesus ministry. It’s the most succinct and clear verse.” And she said, “What is it?” And I said, “ If you lose your life, you find it.” And Jesus said it in Matt.10:37 about loving mother and father more than Me. If you love father and mother more than Me, you’re not worthy of Me. He who loves, we had some controversy about you’re not to hate your parents, but here we take the positive view, “He who loves father and mother is not worthy of Me; he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me, is not worthy of Me.” And here’s the principle, the Christian disciple principle and demand, “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” That’s your life verse too, isn’t it?
(J) I’m amazed at it because that was the very first, ah, verse I ever heard. And when I was actually introduced to the concept of death. And ah, I was just three or four years old, and I had ah, gone to a church, actually by (he laughs) myself.
(M) You have to tell the real story John, it’s so, it’s so wonderful, and frightening, but go ahead and tell it. (Martha laughs.)
(J) Because, it was under five. And uhm, there was a bus that used to pull up, ah, to the front of our house. It was a little ah, church bus. And I don’t know how I did it, ok, I don’t have any consciousness of how it transpired, how I got out to it. But I know that I went out to the bus, I got on the bus, and I remember the bus was leaving and I was looking out the window back at my house and my Mother was looking horrified at the bus, and I just was waving as we left. Well I went ahead and went to the church, and uhm, I sat there and I listened to the preacher, and they were doing this before the church service, ah, they basically brought all the children to the front of the church and they gave a little children’s church. The pastor would give a little children’s church, ah, parable that would relate to basically his, his message. And so he gave the story to the children and then they would be released. Well the, I was sitting there listening, and I was amazed because he basically introduced me to uhm, the fact that we will die, and that we’re not here forever. And that was a completely new concept to me. And then the other thing he said is, “If you love your life you’ll lose your life, and if you lose your life you’ll save your life.” And I was, I said, “But God, I love my life.” And uhm I was horrified. But I just find it interesting that my whole entire; that was my beginning, you know, that was the start of my real conscious understanding God speaking to me and everything like that. And here it is, you’re saying that it’s the disciple’s call. So that, that blows my mind.
(M) Well uhm, it’s in, twice in Matthew. Another occasion He said to His disciples… It was the time… He said it to them I’m sure a number of times. But this is the occasion when Peter knew His identity and the other disciples didn’t; and Jesus said, “This has been revealed to you by My Father in heaven.” Then Jesus… Then he, then he didn’t want Him to be crucified, and Jesus said get away from Me Satan, you do not savor the things of God, but man’s. And ah, well anyway Peter went from the good guy to the bad guy. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.” So therefore, John, it is so absolute, if you want to go after Jesus you have to deny yourself and take up your cross, which is all of the things in life that cross you up and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” It says the same thing in Luke. It’s recorded in Luke. It’s recorded that time when Jesus was telling the disciples, it’s Luke 9:23, ah, that He would suffer and be killed and be raised the third day. On every occasion it seemed Jesus went back to this basic, you’re a disciple on this ground and this ground alone. Otherwise you really haven’t followed Him. He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it. And whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” That’s Luke, here’s John. This is an occasion in John’s writing when the Greeks wanted to see Jesus. And Phillip and Andrew came and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them in a strange answer that He, it was one of His times when He doesn’t answer the question. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Unless a grain of wheat falls in the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies it bears much fruit.” There also He is laying down the basic premise for life. “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.” “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” So the Lord took me there. Greed is but the evidence of one who would not lose their life. And then this haunting thing in the Amplified, I’m not even reading it in the Amplified. It’s when Jesus, ah, He’d healed the centurions servant. In Luke 6 (reference is: Luke 7:29-30), it was ah, when John was baptizing, and this is what Luke recorded. “When all the people and tax collector’s heard this, they acknowledged God’s justice having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisee’s and the Lawyer’s rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.” The baptism of John was about repentance, which means they refused. Ok, let me repeat it, “But the Pharisee’s and the Lawyer’s rejected God’s purpose for themselves.” And Jesus said, “To what then shall I compare the men of this generation”, what are they like. “They’re like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say we played the flute for you and you did not dance. They sang a dirge and you did not weep.” Here’s the haunting passage too, and this is in Matt.23. This is Jesus, twenty-three is His great, ah, call to the disciples, and His pronouncement of woe on the Scribes and Pharisee’s. And then He said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I would have gathered your children together the way a hen gathers her chick’s under her wings, and you were unwilling.”
(M) What is it that He wanted? It was His love, it was His great overshadowing love. I wanted to gather you and protect you, but you were unwilling. And then it says, “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate, for I say to you that from now on you will not see Me until the day you say blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!” And John, even in your time, even in your eighteen years with me, out of the forty-four whatever, you have seen this. This is real, a house left desolate because one would reject the love of God. So the thing I’m grieving in really, frankly this morning, crying profusely is over the years the memory of those who wouldn’t, who rejected God’s love. It’s not that they never had it. I think a lot of people probably don’t have the visible evidence of God’s love, or don’t see it. But here are people who did, who knew the love of God was coming, but who would not lose their life, because that’s what it takes.