I will be doing a radio interview on Susie Larson’s KTIS Radio Program “Live The Promise” in the coming week. Check out her website for more information. We’ll be discussing living a life of worship and talking about my book “The Isaiah Encounter”. I invite you to listen and tell other people about this. Thank you! Chris
(This is an adaptation of a message I presented to my home church this past weekend in preparation for communion.)
My friends, today God wants you to know how much He loves you! God has given us the gift of the Lord’s Supper, communion, for all who have asked Jesus Christ into the depth of their being as Savior, Deliverer, Lord, and ruler of our lives. We gather around the table of the Lord to remember what Jesus fully accomplished for each of us. His body was broken, his blood was shed, and his flawless life given as the perfect, end-all sacrifice and payment for our fallen nature and sin-ravaged lives.
“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. ” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes… Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.”
I Corinthians 11: 23-29
In the passage, we just read the apostle Paul instructed the church to examine ourselves before taking communion. In my book the Isaiah Encounter, I told the story of my nephew Jesse who was on the television show “The Biggest Loser”. Jesse initially weighed in at almost 370 pounds, and during the show lost over 160 pounds. Jesse told me that the key to his weight loss was seeing and correcting the false agreements he made throughout his life. A False agreement is anything we receive as truth that is actually untrue. In Jesse’s case, he accepted the false notion that food was the antidote to issues of self-worth.
Even as Christians, we sometimes accept things as truth that are in fact false in the light of God’s Word. These are thoughts that our culture or other people have introduced to us that are wrong and opposed to God’s Truth and Word for us. Satan, the enemy of God and all who know and follow Jesus, continues to try to infiltrate our thoughts and minds with falsehoods. Left unchecked, these lies can paralyze us in our lives and walk with God. There are many ways that the enemy tries to deceive us into accepting falsehoods. Here are three examples of false agreements I invite you to consider as we prepare for communion:
1) One false agreement we sometimes make is this: Our past or present failures override what Jesus did on the cross. This is a lie from the pit of hell! When we have confessed our sins, fully received Jesus, and given him our hearts, lives, and future, there is nothing that can separate us from God. God has put away all our sins as far away as the east is from the west. Right now Jesus stands before God the Father, pleading for you and me, even in times when we stumble.
2) Another false agreement is that we will always be unworthy, so God will never fully accept us. This is only half true, as there is no one worthy to stand before God. But because of Jesus who IS worthy, all who receive him take on his worthiness. We are now clothed in his righteousness and adopted as a FOREVER son and daughter of the Most High God. Nothing or one can change our eternal worth in God’s eyes. Here is the Truth: You are precious to God now and forever. He loves you!
3) A third false agreement we accept is this: Because we continue to have temptations and trials we are not truly members of God’s eternal family. Remember, Jesus himself was tempted and tested, but never gave in to sin. Temptations and trials will always come: Our only hope in times of testing is Jesus. The Bible tells us that He who is in us is greater that He that is in the world.
The writer of Psalm 139 asked God to search his heart and point out anything that is offensive to Him. If you have not yet experienced a life-changing encounter with God, I urge you to give Him permission to search the depth of your being and reveal His Truth to you. Open yourself to Jesus Christ and trade your sins, unworthiness, and trials for His cleansing, forgiveness, worthiness, and strength,
For all who have received Jesus, do as Paul urges: Take every thought captive to Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 10:5), especially the false agreements that He wants to replace with His life-giving, freeing Truth that we are His beloved children now and forever. I can think of no better time to do this than right now.
Please pray with me:
Lord Jesus Christ, We thank for all you have done for us and in us. As we remember your saving work on the cross, search our hearts and shine the light of Your Truth on any false agreements and anything offensive to you. Renew our minds with the Truth that sets us free, and lead us by Your Word and the Holy Spirit to our Heavenly Father and His eternal, everlasting way.