Posts Tagged ‘Surrender’

Dispatch bag.png

Dispatch bag – adjusted by Ross Cochrane

Psalm 4:2 – I ADVISE YOUR UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER

The High Commander dictated the letter for immediate despatch. Not wanting to be misunderstood, his words were measured and strong.

To The Commanding General of the Opposing Army

Based on the spirit of grace, I have the authority to present this note to you advising you to surrender unconditionally.

My concern is for your Army, which now stands isolated from any reinforcements, and remains therefore unaided.

You have many fierce and gallant men and officers; all fine warriors in their own right. It would be of no benefit to continue plying them with false hopes of victory or seeking to undermine our reputation as a worthy enemy. How long can you continue?

The implementation of our strategies in this war has already sealed the fate of your forces, and a continuation of hostilities would only serve to decimate your Army.

I expect that you, accepting my advice, will give up this meaningless and desperate attempt to gain victory and promptly order the entire front to cease hostilities.

If on the contrary you should reject my advice and present an escalation of hostilities I shall be obliged, though reluctantly, to order my army to attack and defeat your forces with no quarter given.

Expecting your reply within the hour

Signing and sealing the letter, he placed it carefully in a leather dispatch bag and after signaling for safe passage for the messenger across enemy lines, it was transported to the general of the opposing forces.

The purpose of a letter of surrender?

TO OFFER TIME TO RECONSIDER

Obviously, David has enemies. His own son, Absalom, has turned once trusted associates against him. This is a time of rebellion against him and against God.

This Psalm could virtually be used as a message to the opposing army advising them to reconsider the serious nature of what they were doing. David is giving Absalom and his henchmen time to reassess their position and repent.

“How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies? Interlude” (Psalm 4:2 NLT)

When first I read this verse from Psalm 4:2, I wondered who was speaking. Was it David or God? As God declares David innocent (Psalm 4:1), David declares his opposition guilty.

It seems David and God speak in unison.

Reading the newspaper today reminds me that there are many in the world who oppose Biblical standards and the values of Jesus. I find myself asking, “Do I have a reputation for being someone who honors God and His Word? Is it confronting to those in this generation, enough for them to pay attention? Does what I stand for matter to anyone particularly? Does the impact of my reputation and influence make a difference in the world?”

The Answer is “Yes”. Imperceptible in the scheme of things, maybe. It may not survive to be written in books or make front-page news, perhaps. But it makes a difference because it reflects God’s purposes. It is stamped with God’s character in light, and so it will only add to the godly glow of generations of believers gone before and hopefully provide a well-lit path for those to come.

It occurs to me that David mirrors the sentiments of his descendant, Jesus. Such words could easily have been spoken to the religious leaders; the High Priest or the Sanhedrin. How long do you think you will be able to continue with such wickedness?

And I believe God is asking this question to this generation; to those who don’t follow Christ, but unfortunately also to many who do. How long will you continue …?

It continues to amaze me how many people who claim to be followers of Christ are willing to abandon or ignore Biblical principles and values. God is asking educators and politicians and religious leaders who inflict their distorted values upon others .., “How long will you people ruin My reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies?”

I find myself translating David’s words into our culture. David writes words to his own son and to any who are willing to ask, “How long will I continue to speak with amoral deceitfulness, an anesthetized conscience, and ill-considered agendas? How long will I continue to destroy the reputation of those who seek the absolutes of God’s Word with my ridicule, accusations, and lies? How long will I continue to be unwilling to reconsider what I am doing and look beyond my own selfish ambitions and schemes?”

Hebrews 6:4-6 (NLT) speaks of those who have tasted the goodness of Christ but in the end have denied him authority in their lives and … “by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing Him to the cross once again and holding Him up to public shame.” How long?

After opening the dispatch and reading the letter, the Commanding General breathed a sigh of relief and wrote back …

To the High Commander

Having reconsidered my position and the precarious nature of my circumstances, I am proposing the capitulation and submission of my forces. I am willing to enter into terms of unconditional surrender if such can still be attained.

I thankyou for the grace with which you have offered this course of action to me. I propose an immediate cessation of hostilities for the purpose of discussing how best to proceed.

Signed by the Commanding General

Christ has written a letter asking for unconditional surrender. The question remains, “How long?” How long will it take for a world gone crazy to respond to His gracious invitation, to reconsider their precarious position and surrender their lives to Christ?

How long will it take for you to accept such an invitation, to acknowledge and build your life on the Way, the Truth and the Life and the absolutes of His Word?

Pastor Ross

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Matthew 16:13 – A MORE MANAGEABLE MESSIAH

Making Jesus in our own image

A MORE MANAGEABLE MESSIAH - Image created by Ross Cochrane

A MORE MANAGEABLE MESSIAH – Image created by Ross Cochrane

Dear Jesus,

As Your marketing manager I am glad You finally asked the question “Who do others say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13). Finally You are concerned about Your consumer base. Afterall, without people like me, where would You be? Consumer Loyalty is important. You need to control the perception that we have about You if you want to go to the next level? A few points…

GLOBAL SUCCESS

Do You want to accelerate Your success globally; set the pace in a highly competitive world? Do You want to be more powerful and more highly effective? You can only go so far with the things You are saying and doing and I am here to give You some wins on the board.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Firstly, You will need to lose the “I came to do the Father’s will” line. No-one is interested in pleasing their Father in this generation. Half of them don’t have fathers. Leave Your Father out of it. It will only alienate the fans. If You are going to build a fan club, You will need to relate to their way of life. By the way, this “Take up your cross and follow Me” line won’t go down well either. Make it easy for us to follow You. Offer a free lunch instead. You do that well. Customer service.

PERSONAL APPEARANCE, PROFILE AND POPULARITY (The 3 P’s)

I will help You to reinvent Your social image, Your website, revitalise some of Your more popular sayings on Twitter. I’m here to build Your image; give You some style; tweak Your profile page, find the right opportunities, put You out there, pursue fame a little more intentionally. Heal someone famous and watch it go viral on YouTube. I can follow it up by arranging some TV interviews on the morning show, FM radio. We’ll give You, an audition for Australia has Talent or the X-Factor highlighting Your miracles. Do You have the X-Factor? To be honest, no one really cares about Your message unless it is actually entertaining or they are your close friends.

THE BOOK

By the way, You need to consolidate Your popularity by re-editing Your book. It will take a while but, for a fee, I will edit out the things that people don’t like; a smaller, leaner Bible.

THE MOVIE

I’m thinking something like a superhero movie promoting You as someone who intervenes in our human situations and automatically saves us from tragedies, hurts, trials and wrinkles. Bypass the trials and cross straight to the blessings. I’ve got a few good scripts.

Maybe a fishing show on TV. You’ve got a gift. We could sell some merchandise; plastic bank in the shape of a fish etc. And the way You calmed the sea that time we could do a great video on answers to Global Climate change.

You already inspire a lot of people with Your communication gifts. You deserve fame, so please, lose the Servanthood thing. Don’t think so small because You will only encourage others to think small. New mantra – “Assertiveness, not Servanthood.” Maybe a few high-powered “How-to” seminars and hypnosis sessions will fix this.

MESSIAH STATUS

By the way, You are doing the right things by telling us not to tell people who You really are (Matthew 16:20). Telling people You’re the Messiah is not exactly the best way to go viral. Best to withhold a significant amount of the truth until You get a larger profile. And You’ll need to drop the “first shall be last” line. Start using the “Genie in a bottle of blessing” kind of thinking. It’s a lot more popular. Oh, and avoid Nazareth. We don’t want bad press.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

Jesus, You really need to tone down what You say about the Pharisees. Just filter Your comments a little more. It doesn’t hurt to tiptoe a little when it comes to political correctness issues, especially when You disagree with what is popular. What I’m saying is be a little more tolerant ie don’t express Your differences against culturally acceptable sins.

POLITICAL ACTIVISM

You’ve got royalty in Your blood since you come from King David’s lineage and he was quite popular, so make the most of it. What is it with Your desire to mix with the social outcasts. We want to get the bad people off the streets; the muggers, the gangs, the drug addicts, not encourage them! That won’t get You any votes, especially with the Pharisees. You have to mix with the right crowd.

John the Baptist was willing to die for what He believed in. Somewhere down the line You could organise a political march against the Romans. If you didn’t talk of Peace all the time You would probably already be a great militant leader. Don’t get me wrong but people are more interested in victory over the Roman terrorists than loving our enemies. World Peace is for Miss Universe campaigns. What’s the use of having absolute power if you can’t use it once in a while to get rid of those we consider to be undesirables.

EXPRESSING YOURSELF

Just follow my basic ideas on how to behave and wait for me to give You the go-ahead. Follow my script and You’ll get there. I’ll save You a lot of trouble in the end. Salvation is at hand if You are willing to factor in what Your consumers want You to be.

Your Faithful Agent

Judas

NOOO! If I allow my human wants and wishes to define my view of Jesus; manipulate the Messiah to be made in my image, then He becomes a product of my imagination rather than who He really is and I will inevitably water down the message of the gospel. I am created in His image, not He in mine. It is me that needs managing by Him, not Him by me. The invitation He gives comes by way of a choice “Who do You say that I am?” If I respond to Him as God then I can surrender to the very purpose for which I was created, in Him. (Romans 8:28-39)

Pastor Ross