Gospel Gems: Seven Words Each


THE HOLY GHOST SHALL COME UPON THEE – Before Christ is formed in any individual the Holy Ghost will come, drawing, convicting and offering wisdom and comfort. Little Mary freely offered herself into the agenda of God without reservation. She accepted the angel’s assurance that with God nothing shall be impossible. She did not stumble at any prospect of future inconvenience or fear of man.

MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE – In the forty day wilderness trial, Jesus had been in rich communion with the Father, gaining new spiritual eyes. He saw the fount of life arising from righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost; from judgment, mercy and faith. Such complete trust was being developed that He would only speak, act or eat at the direction of the Father. Satan could never be his director, even in such a simple matter as provision of food. Jesus would only listen to one Voice.

YE ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH – Believers bring to their community flavour, cleansing, disinfectant, and a healthy balance in the intake of pleasures (water). Man did not enter into salt’s manufacture. It was simply mined from God’s earth.

LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN – Our seventy or eighty years constitute only a brief introduction to eternal life. How sad for individuals to focus on making that time-span a comfort destination rather than a preparation. Later Christ would name as the true riches our heavenly fellowship with God and the saints, and endless service and discovery in His Father’s Mansion.

SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD – The contentment of self-discovery does not come from an inventory of possessions, accomplishments or popularity. Rather from a progressive understanding of God’s purposes in Creation and His merciful inclusion of the believer in the community of faith. Only God satisfies the pre-determined empty space within us. We must first shine in our little corner actualizing little bits of Heaven, both as practice and preparation for the Grand Arrival.

JUDGE NOT THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED – The judge sees and acts from a superior position with the fullest possible familiarity with the facts. We have neither the purity nor understanding to occupy that bench over other mortals. The fact which we do not know will always condemn our assessment of the situation. We know best those facts concerning ourselves. Hence we are told to judge ourselves. The other parties are God’s projects and still unfinished.

ENTER YE IN AT THE STRAIGHT GATE – Jesus described a counter-culture, a swimming against the current. This would not be a popular route or an obvious one. Loving an enemy. Refusing to retaliate. Forgiving on every occasion. Giving beyond the norm. Considering only provision for today. Mortifying all unseemly thoughts. Fleeing from praise or flattery. Eventually we will see the gathered Church of the Ages as a “little flock” in comparison to the numbers who could never abandon their self-love or lusts.

BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM – Those who have been fore-ordained by God into His family will manifest both the right confession and the right fruits of a charitable heart. The mouth and the actions must display the inner man. For years the parable of the Vine (John 15) troubled me because it appeared as if the husbandman had cut a member out of the Vine and burned it. I now see the unfruitful branch as a pretender and not a life-carrying branch. The same might be said of people who occupy church pews in hypocrisy.

YOUNG MAN, I SAY UNTO THEE ARISE – Not a fact of the scene missed the Master’s notice. Here was a young man, stricken in his prime and the chief joy and only provider for his widowed mother. The Saviour’s voice traversed the gap to the place of the dead and commanded that young soul back into living fellowship and purpose. No small comfort to those of us who have lost believing loved ones for a time beyond the veil.

COME UNTO ME ALL YE THAT LABOUR – Jesus was a workman who knew the challenge of training, the sweat of toil and the reward of a job well done. His clothes were not silken. His hands were not smooth. His countenance was not pale. He would encourage us to manifest the Kingdom in steadfast service, reliability, courtesy and good cheer. Let us not forget that He offers to be our yokefellow (Matthew 11).Consider the oxen, and then imagine being attached to the power and potential of Jesus. Will the job be accomplished? Will you present yourself honourably as His team-mate? Whatever the task our Partner also affords us rest. Note that the Perfect Man describes Himself as “meek and lowly”.

DAUGHTER, THY FAITH HATH MADE THEE WHOLE – Here was a hemorrhaging woman barred by the law from society, from worship, or from the intimacy of touch. She had confidence in the ability of Jesus, and a special inner witness that the healing would come in an instant if only she would touch the Physician’s garment. This miracle had been a long time coming and science’s pharmacy had been exhausted. Nothing remained but God, and the woman took the leap.

BE OF GOOD CHEER, IT IS I – If we are partnering with Jesus, He will come to us in any place of peril and be our comfort and safety. The day’s requirements took the disciples out onto the Lake and a vicious wind trumped their mariner’s skill. Through the hopelessness of it all walked their Hope, dominating the very waves which threatened to sink them.

I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD – Light is the guide and encourager along our path, the revealer of God’s wonders and the means of exposing wickedness. All of the times and cycles of our planet depend upon the sun and yet the Psalmist goes on to say “in thy light shall we see light”. Without light nothing is fresh or healthy or nourishing. “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy loving-kindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart” (Psalm 36:9, 10). The man of blind birth in John 9 was given eyes to see that Jesus, the gentle healer, was the beginning of blessing and not any institution of man.

I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP – When night time fell and the sheep were in the fold, the shepherd literally lay down as the human door to the compound. The movements of all the sheep were known to him and not a single one could attempt to wander into trouble without his knowledge. He had been given the care of the flock by his superior and he would serve to the laying down of his life that none be lost. Have you been taken up by the Shepherd? Do you recognize His voice? Do you understand that He is the only way into assured safety? In times of trouble will you first look to him confident that he is undertaking a rescue?


HIS FATHER SAW HIM AND HAD COMPASSION – Perhaps the father is meant to be the greatest point of focus in the Prodigal parable. He was looking for the return of the errant son and praying for it and quick to see when the son rounded the bend. Luke says that when the son “was yet a great way off” the father ran to him and forgave him and blessed him. So much for our misinformation that the Heavenly Father will only accept cleaned-up candidates. In future days this unconditional love on His part will prove the greatest stimulus to our obedience as thankful children. Love will draw and keep drawing.

GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER – This beggarly posture is our gateway to all spiritual blessings. Truly blessed are the “poor in spirit” and those “who hunger and thirst after righteousness”. There is nothing casual about the belly pains of starvation. The petitioner knows that he must have that food or perish. The Psalmist says that “the Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34: 18)
 More Than Amazing (with Lincoln Brewster)

FOR WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE – There are testimonies of barren wombs opened, hopeless battles reversed, estranged loves renewed, broken bodies healed, food provided to empty tables. The victory list of Hebrews 11 will provide a good shot of adrenaline. But one must remember that the Lord by the Holy Spirit intentionally placed the eleventh chapter (faith) between the tenth (patience) and the twelfth (chastening). All of these three factors work together to accomplish the greatest sum of blessing for the most of God’s children, and to His greatest glory.

I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE – The empty tomb was the pivotal message of the Early Church, the bedrock of apostolic testimony and the great divider of the hearts of men. Acceptance or rejection of this message would determine either a community of hope or of hedonism. Presently some who name the name of Jesus would be content to recognize him as a great moral teacher, and not as our fore-runner beyond death into glorified person and purpose. To them death would remain that unconquerable enemy. But Jesus, addressing troubled Martha in the Lazarus account, applies to himself a “Jehovah” name and power. “I am” the resurrection and the life.

MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN – In the parable of the King’s wedding feast a broad invitation was given but apologetic excuses were many. Determined upon giving honour to his son’s nuptials, the King took his invitation to the highways and by-ways for the less likely, both good and bad. Many of these jumped at the call upon the King’s terms and clothed with gifted raiment. Their eager and uncomplicated acceptance proved them to be the chosen ones. May we be given spiritual eyes to see this as a parable of election and not of whimsical free- will.

TAKE HEED LEST ANY MAN DECEIVE YOU – As the time approaches for the bodily return of Jesus to earth, false messengers, messiahs and visionaries will abound. The sensual self-pleasing spirit described in 2 Timothy 3 will also abound. The children of light, and indeed the very planet, will groan for deliverance. Nevertheless we must not allow our eagerness to press us into the agenda of the false prophets who will delude large numbers. Men will be touting things fresh and new, inferring that the grand old Gospel is no longer satisfactory or certain. God will not delude us. His warnings and promises are entirely trustworthy. The Day of Christ’s return in glory and judgment will be unstoppable. (Acts 1: 11) Let us occupy in love, service and hope.

WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT – Salvation is all of grace and secure. Rewards are proportionate to the loyal and loving service which we render in His name. Compassion for the disadvantaged, lonely, oppressed, infirm and needy ones had been characteristic in Jesus’ ministry from beginning to end. (Luke 4: 18, 19 and Matthew 25: 34, 35, 36) On our part there must be no panic to bless or to self-actualize. If we have studied Jesus, communed with Him and prayed honestly to be used, there will be gracious flashings forth of His life from us to bless His “little ones”. Usually He does not expect us to roam from our present place. He must have gleaners in this part of the harvest field as well. He saw us contributing our part from before the day we drew our first breath. Consider Job 29, Psalm 139 and Isaiah 58.

IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS – What King do we know who offers to share his house or his throne or his inheritance? The many mansions or rooms suggest a paradise tailor-made to the interests and desires of the many occupants. Infinite Wisdom offers infinite diversity of blessing and discovery. It is not only to a King’s home that we travel, but also to a Father’s, accompanied by the finest of elder brothers. Already we are citizens of Heaven.

IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS – Oh how long did I focus on the onus of the second phrase herein, without recognizing the enabling power of the first! This obedience is the threshold to true wisdom and joy. John the beloved frankly assures us in his first epistle that “his commandments are not grievous”.

ABIDE IN ME, AND I IN YOU – Keep coming back to the Lord in repentance and clinging trust. Keep short accounts with Him. Be instant in prayer. Expect to be pruned. As part of the True Vine expect a constant flow of His life through you. Have a healthy dread of self-confidence and presumption. Apart from Him you can do nothing. In bold image our Communion Meal reminds us of this life flow in community. The secret is impartation of life and not imitation.

SIT YE HERE, WHILE I SHALL PRAY – Jesus took the eleven from the Upper Room to Gethsemane and the favoured three to a more intimate circle where he would pray and ready Himself before arrest. His mortality needed their company, support, compassion and prayers, as before He had needed rest, reception, food, fellowship or contemplative time. He knew that they did not understand the darkness of the hour and would not come under its burden. Charitably, He told them to sit while He undertook the heavy task of will-struggle, petition and tears. It is always thus in spiritual transactions; His to DO and ours to sit and trust that it has been DONE in His sufficiency.

I HAVE TOLD YOU THAT I AM – Jesus through prayer has been strengthened for the self-offering. Judas has arrived with troops and torches. Jesus has just acknowledged in prayer that He has kept safely all followers that the Father had given Him. But here is the greatest threat yet; that there will be confusion, arrest and prosecution of the disciples as well. He asks of the guard “whom seek ye” and they reply, “Jesus of Nazareth”. The answer “I am” flashes forth with all the divinity within Him and the troops fall to the ground on their backsides. No doubt that this is an intentional self-offering of Majesty. He is in charge of His own arrest!
(Painting by Tissot)

MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD – Pontius Pilate knew only of kings with swords, intimidation, intrigue, opulence and self-interest. Here stood one with all of the real inner nobility but none of the regalia, insisting that He was King in the line of David. He had even ridden into town on a donkey as did the kings of old. But Jesus spoke of a different spiritual kingdom which he would not summon to act because it was time for the cross. His Kingdom is active now behind the scenes changing the inner workings of the planet, one “small corner” at a time. His armoury consists of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).
He's My Son (with Mark Schultz)

HE IS RISEN; HE IS NOT HERE – “Land ho” said Columbus; “One small step for man” said the astronaut; “He is risen” said the angel. With each announcement came discovery of a new region, but none greater than the opening of Heaven by our fore-runner, and the abolition of the sting of death. As He is, so shall we be. He has left the finite zone of a tomb “in the valley of the shadow of death”. He is not here. We rejoice with Paul the Apostle in “our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”.(2 Timothy 1:10)

WOMAN, WHY WEEPEST THOU? WHOM SEEKEST THOU? – Mary Magdalene, so much like the rest of us, weeping over the failure of a promise, over unanswered prayer, over a lost friend, over the great divide of death. But here was the promise fulfilled, the prayer answered, the Friend recovered. So unbelievable that she mistook the speaker for a gardener, until she heard the soothing pronunciation of her name by the risen Lord. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.” (Isaiah 58:9a)

SIMON, SON OF JONAS, LOVEST THOU ME – On the beach after a catch of fish; Jesus at the campfire, asking Peter not for an apology, not for a promise to do better next time, but simply for an affirmation of present love. Three times this was asked as if to blot out the three denials by Peter in the high priest’s courtyard. If Jesus had the man’s love, then the obedience, service and self-sacrifice would follow. We see from the Big Fisherman’s First Epistle that Jesus’ confidence was warranted.


AND YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME – With the incoming of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Guide, it was inevitable that believers would take Jesus and His Message with them as they went about their ordinary affairs. They were constantly being witnesses. They were a people wondered at. A look, a word, a gesture would have the fragrance of Jesus, and would often open a way for more specific testimony. They were constantly encountering God-ordained opportunities to minister, just as the Good Samaritan had experienced “as he journeyed” on his way to Jericho. (Luke 10) Jesus promised such opportunities, then and now.
 LORD, I BELIEVE; HELP THOU MINE UNBELIEF - This is the only entry on this page of a response from a citizen to the reputation, presence and promise of Jesus. A desperate father seeks help for a son in the throes of epilepsy. He earnestly wants to believe God's covenant promises, but he is handicapped by past experiences and pain, and by what he sees in front of him. 'Lord Jesus help me to overcome unbelief, and to step into the blessings that I have been told you offer freely. I love the boy Sir, and I don't know what to do'. Oh that we would pray like this! Honestly and from the heart. Jesus answered. He will answer.
Doug Blair,
Dec 4, 2011, 2:34 AM