Tuesday, March 25, 2014

May The Lamb That Was Slain Receive The Reward Of His Suffering!

      Last week I heard Bill Johnson tell a story about the Moravians.  He said some were so surrendered to Christ they sold themselves into slavery so that those slaves who wouldn't otherwise have a chance to hear could learn of the love of Christ.  When their families stood on the shore as they were sailing away, knowing they would never see each other again, they would shout, "May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of his suffering!" Do we love Jesus that much?
       I couldn't remember the exact wording of the cry so I googled it.  I found this wonderful article by John Piper.  I have included some of it here, and a link to continue reading it on the Be Strong In The Lord website if you want.

“May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of his suffering!” – Moravian Missionary Cry

The reward of His suffering:
The Holiness of His people (Ephesians 5:25-27)
The zeal of His people for good deeds (Titus 2:14)
The passion of His people for World Evangelization (Revelation 5:9)

The reward of his suffering is also:
The forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7)
Justification by faith (Romans 5:1) and (Romans 5:9)
Reconciliation with God (Romans 5:10)
Cleansing of conscience (Hebrews 9:14)
Final victory over Satan (Revelation 12:11).

- From John Piper 5/7/89
The following is the whole message:
At the Price of God’s Own Blood - May 07, 1989 | by John Piper | Topic: Pastoral Ministry
Series: Eldership: Serving the Lord with Humility, Tears, and Trials

Acts 20:28
“Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.”

I have been moved deeply recently in reading about the life of Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. Many of you know about him. Some don’t. He was a German, born in 1700, who founded a community of earnest Christians called Herrnhut (“The Lord’s Watch”). The community became part of the Moravian Church and was best known for its unparalleled missionary zeal.

Zinzendorf’s Commitment to the Blood of Jesus
In 1727 the community started a round the clock “prayer watch” that lasted unbroken for 100 years. There were about 300 persons in the community at the beginning, and various ones covenanted to pray for one of the 24 hours in the day. In 1792, 65 years later, with the lamp of prayer still burning, the little community had sent out 300 missionaries to the unreached peoples of the West Indies, Greenland, Lapland, Turkey, and North America. They were utterly, and radically dedicated to making Jesus known.

I mention this not only because I dream of a church saturated with prayer and sold out utterly to Christ and ready to leave everything for his call. I mention it this morning because behind this community at Herrnhut there was an experience of deep humbling, and cleansing, and power based on the blood of Jesus.

After Zinzendorf had finished the university, he took a trip throughout Europe looking at some of the cultural high-spots. And something very unexpected happened. In the art museum at Dusseldorf he saw a painting by Domenico Feti entitled “Ecce Homo” (“Behold the Man”). It was a portrait of Christ with the crown of thorns pressed down on his head and blood running down his face.

Beneath the portrait were the words, “I have done this for you; what have you done for me?” All of his life Zinzendorf looked back to that encounter as utterly life-changing. As he stood there, as it were, watching his Savior suffer and bleed, he said to himself, “I have loved him for a long time, but I have never actually done anything for him. From now on I will do whatever he leads me to do.”

For the rest of his life the blood of Jesus had a central place in the doctrine and devotion of Zinzendorf and his community at Herrnhut. And the story goes that when the first two young missionaries boarded the ship in Copenhagen to sail for the West Indies, perhaps never to return (20 out of the first 29 missionaries to St. Thomas and St. Croix died in those first years), they lifted their hands as if in sacred pledge and called out to their friends on shore, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of his suffering!”

The Question Before Us Today
My message is going to be short today because I want to save a good portion of time to worship the Lord and to pray together before we take the Lord’s Supper. And the question I want you to ask yourself and ask the Lord as you prepare for the Lord’s Table is this: “Has the Lord obtained the reward of his sufferings in your life?” When you think about the blood of Jesus running down his face from the thorns, and from his hands and feet and his pouring side, are you content with what he has of you? Has the purchase that he made been obtained freely from your hand. Or are you withholding any of the reward of his suffering?

What God Purchased at the Price of His Own Blood
To help us answer that very personal question, let me take a few minutes and meditate with you on the blood of Christ. What did God purchase at the price of his own blood?

Continue reading here

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