Meditations by John Dean

Monday, July 13, 2020

Lessons from the Cross

John 19:25-27  These things therefore the soldiers did. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! ……

In reading this scripture I feel as if I am standing there listening to a conversation between Jesus and His mother. Things couldn’t be worse, the pain and hopelessness that day was unbearable. What happened to Jesus goes against everything that is in us because we are born survivors and will fight for our last breath. That being the case, why did Jesus allow this to happen to Him without a fight? After all, He did heal the sick, walk on water and raise the dead. He could have called ten thousand angels to deliver him … but He didn’t. The reason He didn’t was because He knew the spiritual will of His father and we only know the natural mind of man.
Satan had been trying to take over mankind since the Garden of Eden. It was in the Garden of Eden where God told Satan that He “will put enmity between him and the woman, and between his seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
As Mary and the other three women stood looking at Jesus that day, it didn’t seem like a lot of head bruising was going on … but it was. Jesus used the most unlikely weapon known to mankind to defeat Satan. He used the weapon of yielded-ness for which there is no defense.
Jesus was not weak, He chased the money changers out of the temple. However, He was not going to be pulled into Satan’s type of warfare because Satan’s warfare was of the flesh. Jesus’ job was to bruise Satan’s head as His father had said in Geneses 3:15, and this was going to be done by the Spirit and not by the flesh.
One may think that Jesus actually surrendered to Satan and that’s why He suffered the way He did.  No, He submitted to him and there is a big difference between submit and surrender. Even though both words are verbs, submit means to yield to another while surrender means to give up entirely. Jesus never gave up and as a result He was always in charge.
Many years ago, I felt the Lord told me to go to another country and minister. I went to the elders of the church and shared my call and vision. They all agreed that it was not God who called me to go, it was me. I knew I had heard from God and I wanted their blessing, but they would not give it. I had been in the ministry a long time at that point and I knew how to hear God’s voice and I knew they were wrong. I was actually caught between a rock and a hard place because I felt it would be displeasing to God to ignore them since I had asked them. I asked for God’s forgiveness and submitted to them … but I did not surrender to them. I waited another year or so and then I went to this other country and for the next twelve years I had extremely powerful meetings over the whole country. I would go three or four times each year. God honored my submission but He blessed me because I did not surrender my vision and call.
If we are distracted by the pain of the moment with Jesus on the cross, then we will miss the bigger picture and all of the layers of lessons. The reason yielding is such a powerful weapon is because there is no known defense for it.
Teach us the difference between submitting and surrendering. We submit to one another but we surrender our wills to You by dying daily. We want to learn the layers of the lessons that Jesus taught us while on the cross.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Carrying His Fragrance

(Matthew 5:15-16)  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 

Out of all the flowers in the world a rose is my absolute favorite. A rose not only has a unique fragrance that is very inviting, it also possesses a unique tenderness that is equally inviting. However, there is an old saying, … “the true fragrance of a rose is never fully released until its petals have been crushed”. For some reason the words tender and crushed don’t seem to go together … but in this case it is true.
I suppose the same thing is true with Christians. Our light, (like the uncrushed rose), will shine to a degree while just living a normal Christian life. However, when Christians go through difficult times, (as the whole world is going through right now), they are like the rose petals that have been crushed. There is a depth of light and fragrance that is released from them that is overwhelming.  As a matter of fact, their depth of tenderness seems to have risen to the highest possible level.
I have been around a long time, but I have never seen so much light and sweet Christian fragrance released through so many people as I do now.
When Jesus said, “don’t put your light under a bushel but put it on a candlestick so all men can see” … I seem to know more of what that means today than at any other time. What is happening today is far beyond just our natural Christian fragrance, there is a supernatural fragrance being released.
Several years ago I was on a mission trip to Bulgaria. After several days of very powerful ministry I went to a large open-air market on a Saturday morning in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. As I walked through the market looking at all the old tools, war memorabilia and old handmade furniture, I spotted something that really caught my eye. Beneath a lot of other stuff lay a little tiny dusty perfume bottle. It probably had not been used in seventy or eighty years. I picked it up and unscrewed the little lid and smelled it. Even though it was empty, to my surprise it still had the smell of sweet perfume.
I later found out that Bulgaria was the rose capital of the world and still grew large fields of roses. The roses had to be harvested at a certain time early in the morning while they were at the peak of fragrance and shipped to Paris to make perfume.
As I stood looking at that little bottle that day in the market place I thought to myself, when I become old and useless in the eyes of others I still want to be a “candle on a candlestick” and possess the fragrance of the Holy Spirit.
When the disciples said, “Lord teach us how to pray”, it was not because they did not know how to pray.  It was because they did not know how to pray faith prayers. We also want You to teach us how to let our light shine more on a candlestick and not under a bushel. We not only want to shine like You … we want to have the same fragrance as You.

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