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This is My Beloved Son
Novernber 21, 2008
Rev. Jim Craig, Kroy Ellis, Dale Steinmetz, and I have returned from our mission to Jordan, Israel, and Egypt. Pastor Jim gave a stirring message on the Sea of Galilee to the 46 people in our group. I spoke at the baptismal site on the Jordan River.
Standing at the Jordan River we could have talked about Jesus the Anointed One (Psalm 2), baptism, what baptism represents, Jesus baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire…lots of different things; but one thing stood out to me above anything else: the delight of the Father in His Son. Jesus is God's Servant Son, chosen, beloved, one in whom the Father's soul is well pleased. God's Spirit is upon Him, fulfilling Isaiah 42.
You can go out in the power of the Spirit, sent, separated, anointed, called to serve, set for the gospel, with a sense of your mission, with clear orders, but
To carry through to the finish,
To go through the crucible of the cross and beyond to resurrection,
To handle the dark nights of the soul and the desert places with the devil,
To resist temptation,
To bear rejection and reproach,
To suffer as you stand for the gospel and truth,
You need to know that the Father delights in you. You are in Christ; and Christ is the Chosen One, the Elect One, the Messiah, the One in whom the Father's soul is well pleased. You are accepted in the Beloved.
The delight of the Father precedes empowerment by the Holy Spirit. (Vince Corcoran) Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee to be baptized of John in Jordan. John knew that he needed to be baptized by Jesus, but no. Jesus was baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus prayed and the heavens were opened, letting the whole spirit world and the public witness to
this beginning of Jesus' redemptive ministry. The Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove upon Him, here at the Jordan.
Jordan means "going down" as it descends from the snowy slopes of Mount Hermon in northern Israel to the Dead Sea, dropping 2,380 feet in a snake-like route extending some 479 miles to the Dead Sea. To this river, sometimes called "The Descender," Jesus came (Easton's Bible Dictionary, "Jordan").
The Holy Spirit rested upon Jesus. Because of this, John knew. "Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizes with the Holy Spirit." (John 1.33) John could then bear record that Jesus is the Son of God. (John 1.34) A Voice came from heaven saying, You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased. (Luke 3.21, 22) The Father's heart turned toward his Son. The Father's soul--His mind, will, and emotions--were vested in His Son. Everything about Jesus pleased His Father. The Father delights in Jesus. His heart takes pleasure in all that Jesus is. All that love--John writes, "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God: for God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3.35, 36)
The Father and the Holy Spirit present at Jesus' baptism symbolizes the unity of the Godhead in our salvation. We are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, saved by Jesus' obedience in life and death on the cross, and Jesus' resurrection gives proof that the Father accepted His once-for-all time offering to pay the penalty for our sin. Salvation is God's gift to us; and it comes in a unified fullness of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus, being full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. (Luke 4.1) The delight of the Father strengthened Jesus for what lay ahead.
We, too, are to encounter the Father's delight in us, His children. So I say to you, the Father loves you--before you went into ministry, before you were launched into the deep, before you did anything in the Name of Jesus, before you took up the cross to follow Jesus, before you heard the call to walk with Him…the Father loved and loves you. The Voice of the Father affirming His love for you establishes your identity in relationship with Him, not in what you do for Him in His Name. The love of God is shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5.5) You are Christ's; and Christ is God's. (1 Corinthians 3.23) After that, you and I, we are just the messengers. We are just the servants of the Lord sent on a mission to go across the street or around the world.
Mary Craig Ministries has now gone into 65 nations on all seven continents with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since 1994, 30 people have gone on 36 mission trips, many more than once. Your continued prayer and giving have contributed to making this possible by God's grace.
There was another time, at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17.5), that the Voice came out of the cloud to affirm, strengthen, and declare the Father's love for the Son. This Voice roared to all a reminder before the great day of salvation, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; hear Him." We do well to heed that imperative!
Again, in John 17.23, Jesus prays that people will know that the Father has sent Him and has loved them even as the Father has loved Him. This is a love with same quality and quantity that the Father has for Jesus. As you rest assured that the Father loves Jesus, so also you can rest assured that you are accepted and loved in the Beloved.
Standing at the Jordan, remembering the baptism that launched Jesus into public ministry, we asked God to allow us to encounter His delight in the Son. To this end, we
Give thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers
Of the inheritance of the saints in light: who has delivered us from the
Power [exousia] of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom
Of His dear Son; in whom we have redemption through His blood,
Even the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1.12-14)
I am reminded of Psalm 2.7. According to the writer of Hebrews, the title "son" in Psalm 2.7 ascribes to Jesus a sonship to God superior to that of angels with all the corresponding dignity, attributes, and functions. (Hebrews 1) More than just the dignity of sonship being
conferred on Jesus, Jesus is God's Son. Implied is a pre-existent personal relationship to God preceding messiahship and serving as the basis of both His being Messiah and His self-understanding that He is "the Son." (Matthew 11.27; Mark 14.61, 62; Luke 20.13) Jesus is the Father's beloved Son, pointing to a unique and personal sonship.
Jesus is One "in whom I delight" according to the Father's Voice. He is "My chosen One, in whom My soul delights" (Isaiah 42.1), One "upon whom My good pleasure has settled" or "whom I have chosen in My good pleasure."
We need to encounter this pleasure of the Father as He delights in His Son and in us in Christ. It will help us to endure in the days ahead. It will fill our hearts with the joy of the Lord and strengthen us. It will be a resting place for us to return to again and again, a place of refreshing, a place of comfort. Ask the Father today to reveal His delight. It is my prayer for you this month.
Please give generously, gladly, graciously, and as the Holy Spirit guides you to enable us to minister in Christ's Name to the lost, to the hungry, to the thirsty, to the broken, to the displaced, to the forgotten, to the orphaned, and to the poor. Thank you!
I am my Beloved's; and His delight is in me,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org. Order books from our Catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests.
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel;
be glad and rejoice
With all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy;
The king of Israel, even the LORD, is in your midst; you shall not see evil any more.
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear not; and to Zion, Let not your hands be slack.
The LORD your God in the midst of you is mighty; He will save, [Mighty Hero Who Saves].
He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in His love,
[or, be quiet in His love, loving you with no need to talk]
He will joy [rejoice] over you with singing.
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