Rhema Grace February 2016

“The United States shall be liable, respecting the provisions of this title relating to tort claims, in the same manner and to the same extent as the private individual under like circumstances, but shall not be liable for interest prior to judgment for punitive damages.  If, however, in any case wherein the act was caused, the law of the place where the act or omission complained of occurred provides, or has been construed to provide, for damages only in punitive nature, the United States shall be liable for actual or compensatory damages, measured by the pecuniary injuries resulting from injury to the persons respectively, for whose benefit the action was brought, in lieu thereof.”

Did you get all that?  Or is it as clear as mud?  I hope you haven’t thrown this Devotional away already or deleted it from your computer! I really am going to make a point here , so please read on.

I was searching for information not long ago concerning legal information and stumbled across the paragraph above.  I am not sure why, but I actually read it twice thinking I might “get it.”  Maybe you read it and you understood it and you “got it.”  If you did, may I say the Lord has so blessed you with understanding and intelligence, but I did not “get it” and still don’t “get it.”

Has anyone ever tried to explain something to you and when they were done, you had that proverbial look on your face like the calf at the new gate?  Oh, I have.  There have been many times in my life I have had to say, “I don’t get it.”
Keep that thought in mind as we take a condensed journey in the life of Jesus.  How many people “got it” when He was born? When I say “got it,” I mean how many understood Who He was and why He came.  Mary got it. After all, this was the angel’s divine announcement to her, “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God.  Behold thou shalt conceive in the womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name Jesus.  He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David” (Luke 1:30-32).After hearing this, in the midst of Mary’s bewilderment, she “got it.” As she pondered in her heart the words of the heavenly messenger, she knew this child was the Messiah she heard and read about from past prophecies. What an exciting , yet humbling experience it was for Mary to get Who this One would be in her womb.

Then as she watched Him grow she would ponder the reality of Who He was. It was a continual process in Mary’s life to get what the angel declared to her that day.

Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, “got it.”  It took a visit from an angel telling him “that which is conceived in Mary’s womb is of the Holy Ghost,” but he “got it.”

Simeon and Anna “got it” as they took part in dedicating the Child to
God after He was born.  Simeon proclaimed, “Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation!”  Anna gave thanks for this wondrous gift to all of mankind.

When Jesus was twelve years old, He escaped from His family to a temple and taught spiritual truths to the religious leaders and they were astonished at His wisdom.  Some of them “got it.”Some did not. Some realized there was something special about this young man, while others just thought He was arrogantly intelligent.

Then eighteen years later, Jesus, His mother and the disciples were attending a wedding.  As everyone celebrated the wedding, the traditional beverage of grape juice had been depleted.  It was there that Jesus had performed His first noted miracle by transforming water into grape juice that tasted much sweeter than they had already drank during the celebration.  I wonder how many understood Who Jesus was?  How many “got it”?  John 2:11 records that some of them did.  “The beginning of miracles did Jesus at Cana of Galilee and manifested forth His glory and His disciples believed on Him.”  They “got it.” Others walked away from the wedding , went back to their routine of life and never knew Who this Miracle Worker was.

Eight verses later, early in Jesus’ ministry, He says, “Destroy the temple and in three days I will raise it up!”  Of course, the religious of that day took His words literally and wondered how Jesus thought He could ever rebuild a temple in three days when it took them 46 years to build it.  They did not “get it.”  They did not get that He was not speaking of a building made with hands, but of the body that His Father had prepared for Him. He was speaking of His mission in life.  The Cross.  The Resurrection.   The reason He had come to earth.

In John, Chapter Three, Nicodemus told Jesus that he believed God was with Him since He did all these miracles.  Jesus cut right to the chase and told him “unless a man is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus responded with the question, “How can this happen?”  He did not “get it” immediately, but eventually he did.  Holy Spirit continued to work the words of Christ into his heart. John 7:49-51 indicates that Nicodemus had surrendered to the words that Jesus had spoke to him that night recorded in John chapter 3.

Zacchaeus was well to do, but he sought Jesus to see Who He really was.  He even climbed a tree to see Jesus and Jesus saw him.  That one look combined with Jesus’ words, “I am coming to your house,” caused Zacchaeus to “get it.”  The rest of his family “got it,” too.

Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, “got it.”  She sat at Jesus’ feet, then later took oil used for burial and washed Jesus’ feet.  Judas complained as he thought it was such a waste.  He did not “get it.”  Jesus told Judas to leave her alone because she “got it.”  She knew Who Jesus was.

When Jesus was hanging on the cross, one thief “got it.”  The other one did not.  When breathing his last breath on the cross, a soldier watched darkness fall in the middle of the day and he felt the earth shake.  As he looked at Christ hanging there, he said, “Truly this was the Son of God.” He got it. Many who witnessed His death did not.

After Christ’s resurrection, some “got it.”  Some did not.  Thomas did not “get it” until he saw Jesus standing before him revealing His nail scarred hands.

Throughout the Book of Acts as the Church grew, some “got it,” and some did not.  The pattern holds true right up to the day we live in today.  Some get the Gospel message of Truth, some don’t.

Let me say at this moment that I do not mean to use the term “get it” in a disrespectful way toward anyone or toward the Gospel.  No one would understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ were it not for Holy Spirit revealing the truth to our hearts.  It has nothing to do with reasoning and intelligence, but everything to do with the grace of Jesus Christ entering into a surrendered heart.  The intention of this Devotional is not the prideful attitude, “You just don’t get it, do you?!,” but with the compassion and love that I want everyone to experience His grace to the fullest measure.

Maybe you have been told in the past concerning something you just did not understand that you would never get it. Words such as that can cut to the heart and cause you to question your worth. The message of Christ is not complicated.  A child can understand John 3:16.  Don’t allow religion to confuse What and Who you have got.  Paul said in   2 Corinthians that “we should not allow our minds to be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”  Think for a moment how simple Peter’s first sermon was to the Church in Acts, Chapter 2.  The closing statement was “God has made this same Jesus Whom you have crucified both Lord and Christ.”  Three thousand people “got it.”

Now think of what man has done with that simple message since then.  We have added methods and formulas to the Message of the Cross.  Some have been added with right motives.  Some not.  I am all for using every tool possible to genuinely touch the heart of every person with Who Jesus is, but without tainting that message with compromise.  If the focus of the message is not clear that our salvation was provided for by Jesus’ death on the cross, then the hearer will not “get it.”

Let me add as well that those that do know Christ, those that have truly been born again, must be aware the enemy will still attempt to steer you away from the pure Gospel.  The enemy uses subtle deception to cause believers to drift away from the truth.  Once you “get it,” keep it.  Paul advised believers often to keep true to sound doctrine and the truth learned at the beginning of their walk with Christ.

When I was a teenager, I would work with my dad during the summer.  He and my uncle would build homes from the ground up.  I remember particularly how much time they would spend on the foundation of the house.  After excavating the site where the house would set, they would carefully measure where the outside walls would be and dig the footer.  The footer is a ditch prepared that concrete would be poured into it which would, in turn, carry the weight of virtually the entire home.  The concrete would carry the weight of the block and the block would carry the weight of the home.  I watched my dad measure, dig, scrape, and labor carefully as the concrete footer was being prepared and poured.  A critical element was that the concrete was level.  If the concrete was not level, it would cause problems in the entire process of building the remainder of the home.

When it pertains to our life, our foundation must be level, solid, and deep.  Paul used the illustration of building our life upon Christ in 1st Corinthians 3:10, 11.  “Let every man be careful how he builds and know that no other foundation can anyone lay than the one that has already been laid, Jesus Christ.”  One of the most difficult things to experience in life is times of remodeling.  If there is an issue at the foundation, then there may have to be some demolition.  But it will be best in the long run because the foundation will be made strong .

You may have seen the popular picture of Jesus sitting on a hill overlooking Jerusalem and He is weeping.(Luke 19:41-44) Why is He weeping? Because the people there “knew not the time of their visitation “, meaning because when God was visiting them , He showed them His grace and salvation in His Son Jesus and they missed it. They did not “get it”. The same is true today.

My prayer is you “get it.”  My prayer is you know Jesus Christ personally.  Many missed the point when He walked on the earth.  Many missed the point after His resurrection.  Many miss the point today.  Don’t miss Him, but abide in Him and allow Him to abide in you. We cannot get Who Jesus is with our intellect and truly say ” I got it.” We read the gospel with our eyes. We hear the gospel with our ears. We process what is being said with our mind. But for anyone to get Who Jesus is and to know Him, it takes a surrendering of our mind, body and spirit to Him. The Holy Spirit then makes Him real in our heart and life. Many people encountered Jesus when He walked on this earth and tried to reason His words and teachings , including the religious. Many today are making the same mistake. To “get Him” is to surrender to Him. The surrender is continuous even after the born again experience and throughout the life of every believer.

Let me close by saying from experience that there is nothing in life that vaguely compares to “getting Him” and  knowing Him. My heart breaks when I read of those who walked away from Jesus when He lived His life on earth and did not “get Him.” My heart breaks even more when I see the same thing happening around me today. Surrender your life to Him. Allow Holy Spirit to make Him real to you. Get Him. Keep Him. Experience life  and Life more abundantly.

Surrendering With You,   Pastor Wes