DayBreaks for 7/21/17 – My Witness

DayBreaks for 7/21/17: My Witness

How many times in your life have you wished someone has witnessed something that happened and could back up your story? It may have been when you were a kid and it may have been something relatively insignificant, such as whether or not it was you or your sister who put their finger into the chocolate on the freshly frosted cake and messed it up. It may have been when you were in grade school when someone shoved you or called you a name and you retaliated by shoving them back – and the playground monitor saw you shove them, but missed the fact that they’d shoved you first. It may have been at the scene of a car wreck, or a crime – and you long for a witness who can verify your innocence.

You are not alone. Since day one of human history after the fall, we’ve been longing for a witness who could clear up the issues for us. Job is an outstanding example of that. Verbally and emotionally attacked by his “friends” and charged with some horrible sin that he must have committed to be suffering so, he cries out for a truth-teller, someone who saw what was true: Job 16:19 (NLT) – Even now my witness is in heaven. My advocate is there on high.

It is interesting that Job uses both the term witness and advocate in that utterance. There is a difference, you know. A witness just reports what they saw…an advocate goes to bat for you even if it’s against the odds or testimony of everyone else.

The concept of an advocate doesn’t disappear with Job. The Spirit is described as our advocate as well as counselor in John 14:26: – But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

I don’t know about you, but I have a bit of a difficult time identifying with the Holy Spirit. He is the mysterious part of the Godhead, the one we know the least about. He’s so ethereal (yet real!) and the last part of his name “Spirt” just adds to the confusion and mystery.

That’s why I really like this next verse: 1 John 2:1 (NLT) – My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. Who is our advocate in heaven? The Savior Jesus Christ! And of course, Hebrews explains how he is the perfect advocate for us.

Sometimes I think too much about the Spirit and even Jesus observing/witnessing all the things I do that I shouldn’t, and all the things I don’t do that I should. And I can get very depressed about that. But, I don’t think nearly enough about the Spirit and Jesus advocating for my plight before God Himself. If they are advocating for me, do you think for a second that the Father will disagree with them? No! They’ve held a mindset of perfect unity forever and nothing that I do is going to change that. Even if it came to a vote in the heavenly court (which it won’t!), it would be 2 versus 1 for acquittal as Jesus and the Spirit advocate for me. But perhaps the best news is that the judge himself is my advocate, Jesus: 2 Timothy 4:1 (NLT) – I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom…

Did you need that bit of good news today? I did!!!

PRAYER: Jesus, Spirit, thank you for being not just my witness but my advocate, and letting me know that you will pronounce me as righteous and innocent because of the blood You shed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 12/14/15 – Christ’s Longest Ministry

DayBreaks for 12/14/15: Christ’s Longest Ministry

Rom. 8:34 (NLT) – Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve been accused of something that you didn’t do?  How did it feel?  How does it feel when someone comes to your defense in that situation?  There’s a huge difference between having to face accusations alone and facing them with someone who pleads your case.

There is, of course, a difference between declaring your own innocence and being declared innocent by the Judge or by the law.  And there is, therefore, a huge difference between the hypothetical situation I described above where you’re incorrectly accused and the situation we face before God.  Let’s be very clear here – we may not have committed murder or swindled folks out of millions of dollars, but when it comes to sin, we are not innocent – but the passage from Romans 8 encourages us by telling us that Jesus has been placed at the highest place of honor (placed there by God!) – and that he’s pleading with the Judge on our behalf.  He’s not so much pleading our innocence – because we aren’t innocent – rather He’s pleading for God’s mercy on us because of our acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice by faith.

We tend to think of the 30+ years that Christ spent here on earth as being the most significant portion of his existence – his life and his ministry.  But as John Ortberg suggests in The Life You’ve Always Wanted, Christ’s earthly ministry really only lasted about 3 years and then was over, but his intercessory ministry has now lasted for nearly 2000 years. 

Walter Wink made the statement that the future belongs to the intercessors – those who pray the future into being.  Certainly, Christ is bringing a glorious future into existence for you and I before the very throne of God!  May His name be praised!

TODAY’S PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we are so thankful to you for your pleading for us before the Father’s throne.  Thank you for your interest in our eternal destiny, thank you for your assurances that we will not be condemned when we stand before the Father.  Teach us to be intercessors for those we meet and have the privilege to pray for each day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2015 by Galen C. Dalrymple.