Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Love Came Down 12.20.2015
Dear friend,

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 133:1, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity," and then goes onto describe in word pictures of the origin of love: It descends on mankind from above.

The Apostle John writes of this descension (1 John 4:1-13) coming down in the person of Jesus Christ and then concludes with these three basic successive revelations: God is love (4:8b), He demonstrated His love by sending His Son down to earth (4:9-10), and that if God so loved us, we ought to love one another. (4:11)

Our Word for the day comes from John 17 which consists of the intimate communion/prayer between the Father and the Son which took place just previous to Jesus offering Himself for capture by those who wished to put Him to death. It is a holy and sacred conversation which begins with the Father and the Son speaking with one another of their upcoming glory and honor: The honor, glory and joy that filled their hearts as they approached the hour of the ultimate glory of God: The redemption of mankind.

The communion moves from their intimate conversation (17:1-5) to a prayer for His present disciples (17:6-19) and then a prayer for all future disciples who would come to know and to believe in that which the redemption through the cross would provide. He prays for all future believers that they would not only come to know this redemption, but that they/we would all grow in the knowledge and experience of the oneness that the Father and the Son lived in and demonstrated to all mankind.

As we approach the manger this Christmas, and as we sing and listen to the carols that speak of this descension of love which is unto all people, may we experience anew the the joy that motivated and moved the Father and the Son to carry out their mission of mercy and love that was enacted 2000+ years ago and has brought life to as many as received Him. May we be drawn deeper into this oneness of love that the Father and the Son lived in and that was the essence of His prayer for us: For He has not only declared unto us name of the Father in bringing us the forgiveness of sin, He continues to declare His name so that we would be drawn deeper in this oneness of Their mutual love.

20:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

John 17
The hour has come for two reciprocal acts: for the Father to glorify the Son that the Son may glorify Him. Jesus accomplished the desire and will of His Father in bringing redemption to mankind by taking away our sin through His atoning sacrifice here on earth, and now Jesus looks to the heavenly part: Bringing eternal life and glory to all to whom it is given through His resurrection and ascension!!! There is much depth in these verses, one which we will not attempt to plumb in this brief message, as we want to focus on what it means that Jesus has declared our Father's name unto us, and will declare (continue to) it so that the love that is between the Father and the Son would be in us and He in us.

In verse six, Jesus begins to speak of His name. We are reminded of how God spoke to Moses concerning His name:

Exodus 33: 18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

The name of God means Word or revelation. It is all who God is in His Essence, in His Being, in His Existence.

In verses 7-10, Jesus speaks of the reality of how through the oneness of Their essence and Their purpose, the disciples have been brought to where they are one in Them. That is not to say that they are part of the Trinity, but that they have been brought into participation through the name of God: Through the Word and by revelation. In verse 11, Jesus refers to this oneness, and He brings His deep request to His Father, to the end that all His successors would be guarded in this oneness.

KJV John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Now let us move down to the last part of this chapter, as Jesus expands on the meaning of this oneness that He is praying for.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

How do we understand this oneness of and in love that Jesus is referring to?

We stay on the simple truth: Love Came Down, The Word Came Down, God Came Down, Love came to rescue us, to redeem us, or we could say the Word came down.

1. Love/The Word came down and He alone determines who we are: either we are guilty outside of faith or we are righteous through faith.

2. As Christians, we come to others only through Jesus Christ, He bought us back, we have the gift through faith.
He is our Peace, the One who brought us back to God.

3. In Jesus Christ, we have been chosen from eternity, accepted in time, and are united for eternity.

He is for us, He came to be with us in the flesh, and He is now in us. And His essence is Love. And the Oneness that we live in is Love, the Word, Christ, God........

I wrote to a sister last night in discussing the one word sermon title for today, and in doing so I shared with her that whenever I approached the word love in relation to defining and trying to explain it, I get a word picture in my mind. I see myself kneeling by the Lake Superior with a cup dipping water out of the vast waters. Each cup that I scoop out is pure and clean, but as soon as I take the cup out of the water there is no indication of any less water in the lake. The love of God is so great, many have tried to describe it using earthly language to do so, and have done very well, but yet.....

Last night I sat listening and singing the Hymn "The Love of God" over and over again, wanting to be touched to the depths of my heart and soul by the love of God that came down to us. Love came down...Love came down.. Love came down...The Apostle Paul put this into a few words, but yet encompassed what it means that "Love came down."

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.


The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell

The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade

To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song.


Let us think on God's love for us: Love came down.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 20 Dec 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
The Joy of Christ 12,13,2015
Dear friend,

May the peace and joy of Christmas be with us now and always, Amen.

Last Sunday we talked about how God made peace with us through the cross, and that by receiving that gift of peace through repentance and faith, we live in peace toward God and desire to live at peace with all people, if possible.. There may be broken relationships which we wish could be restored, but even in spite of these realities, our hearts are at peace.. We strive to live in forgiveness towards others since God through Christ has forgiven us.

Today we will hear of another state of being that we live in as Christians: Joy. The key verse will be the one in which Jesus says: "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." We will hear of how being connected to the Vine (Christ), staying connected in the Vine, continuing in His Word and being faithful to His Word all relate to His joy remaining in us as well as to the
increasing experience of His joy. (John 15:1-11)

The message of Christmas is contained in the Joy (Christ) Who was sent from heaven, the joy of the Child being born, the joy with which the angel proclaimed His birth, the joy in which the angels sang of the blessing He is bringing, the joy with which the shepherds ran to where He was born, the joy of seeing the Promise of God and the joy with which they returned to their place of work in the fields. The long promised Messiah had come to rescue us from sin and death! Hallelujah!!!!

In our text today, we are looking at the joy that Jesus referred to when He told His disciples: "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. What is that joy that He is referring to? It is very important to have a grasp on the relationship that the Father and His Son lived in in order to be able to understand the meaning of what it means for His joy to be in us, that it would remain in us and that it might be full.

KJV John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh (lifts up) away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, (cleanses) that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.



The Joy of Christ was evident in His life.

John 10;10b I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Hebtrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.


His joy was in His union with His Father in love and in truth.
John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

.
His Joy Resulted from His Entire Surrender to His Calling.

John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.


The Joy that flows from heaven towards the redemption of mankind has is evident throughout the Scriptures, as we have illustrated through introducing a new song today: Joy has dawned upon the creation! The union that the Father and Son live in cannot be overestimated as out of that joint union has come our redemption, and it was with joy that it was poured out and is continually poured out into all mankind. This is what Jesus is speaking about in verse 11.

KJV John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Now let us look at these verses in John 15:1-11 and see what He is referring to when He said 'These things I have spoken unto you".

KJV John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh (lifts up) away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it,(cleanses) that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. (positional)

Be in union with Me and My Father
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (Could a vine produce fruit without branches)?

No union, no Life
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Living in this Union, our prayers will be honored.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Abiding, then, requires a belief in the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
It is a dependence upon His provision of life and strength that is emphasized in John 15:4.
It is a belief and a relation with the person of Jesus Christ and His Word
Abiding in Christ means belief, dependence, and endurance.
Abiding in Christ in its simplest terms is trusting our Lord and obeying His word. There are no special techniques or formulas. It is as simple as our belief and behavior.
Abiding in Christ provides us with life and strength. It is the only way to fruitfulness.
Abiding in Christ assures us of answered prayer and an intimacy with Christ.


9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Let us conclude and think about this last verse in relation to how understand what Christ's joy was and how this joy is in our lives. Again, we point out that:

The Joy of Christ Was an Intense Reality,
His joy was in His union with His Father in love and in truth,
His Joy Resulted from His Entire Surrender to H is Calling.

There is joy in the union of the Father and Son in redeeming mankind.
There was/is joy in Jesus in doing His will in carrying out their mission.
There is joy in us within our union with the Father and Son.
Joy is an inner contentment despite one’s outer circumstances.
Joy isn’t primarily an emotion, it is a conviction.

It is the inner contentment of the soul that is actively responding to Jesus Christ.
G.K. Chesterton called this joy “the gigantic secret of the Christian.
It’s important to see that joy is being in union with Jesus, not something we have to try to drum up ourselves.


Joy is a byproduct of obedience
Joy is a reality that is ours through the knowledge that God has reconciled us to Himself through the cross, by His gracious gift we trust in that reality, and even if circumstances change in our lives, our relationship with Him now and forever cannot be shaken.

Joy is not the absence of suffering, It is the presence of God.
Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.

May we know the presence of God in every aspect of our lives as we continue to live in the union of love with God, with the Son and with the Spirit.
Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 15 Dec 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Love Came Down 12.20.2015
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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