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Cross Training - Newsletter #37
Lambert Dolphin with Lawrence Hoppis
Back about forty-some years ago a high school student from Grass Valley, (California) came to visit me at my home in Santa Clara (“Pomeroy Palace”). Mark Goeller became a best friend ever.
You’ll see why Mark perfectly illustrates being trained and disciplined by Jesus. His testimony:
Mark and I have enjoyed many adventures together ever since (, are but two examples.
Today you can catch up with Mark and his wife and marvelous family on FaceBook
It’s amazing how attractive and irresistible Jesus was when He was here with us in person. He simply called and grown men dropped what they were doing and followed Him:
“Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”   The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).

One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas”(which is translated, A Stone). The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.

Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.

(John 1:35-51)
(See also “The Man Who Knew Men” by Ray Stedman), and “Jesus Plain and Simple”.

Ray Stedman said, “...the whole Christian walk is to repudiate the life of the flesh with its self-centeredness and to rely upon the work of the Spirit of God to reproduce in us the life of Jesus Christ. How beautifully all this is gathered up in the verse (Galatians 2:20)...The old self-centered "I" has been crucified with Christ so that it no longer has any right to live, and your task and my task is to see that it doesn't live, that it is repudiated, that it is put aside, along with its determination to express what Paul calls "the works of the flesh."

Paradoxically the individual who loses his life will find it. Jesus is Personal to each and every follower and has “all the time in the world” for each one of us, yet He is in charge of the entire universe at the same time! How silly of us to suppose that we can help Him out or give Him wise advice. Amazing beyond belief is the discovery we can make that Jesus teams up with us and actually “incarnates” us with Himself.

It is paradoxical to many that real life springs out of the dying of Jesus for us, that the grain of wheat must fall into the ground and die so that new life may spring into existence.
Galatians 2:20 condenses all this simply:

Thank you Lord Jesus for wonderful traveling companions on the Way — the goal is in sight.

"We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed."
"Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.“
(2 Thessalonians 1:3-12)
"The Christian life is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work. I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires, which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked-the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself; my own will shall become yours."
(C. S. Lewis)

Lawrence Writes: We can always tell the degree of Christ in us vs. "us in us" at any moment using the witness of Jesus' Spirit (John 16:8). Are we indeed 100% sold-out for Jesus the way He wants us to be so that He can call us friends (John 15:15), tell us all things (John 14:26) and give us all that He has prepared beforehand for us? (Matthew 25:34)

Last letter I wrote about breaking of chains. Areas where Jesus' Spirit does not have complete access in the believer's life will manifest as enslavement and bondage (Romans 6:16). We looked at James 4, 2 Timothy 3 and Psalm 119. Today we turn to Jude.
"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord."
(Jude 1:3-4)

Jesus has the power to break every chain.
“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.”
Psalm 107:13-16

No wonder Jude opens with this salutation: "To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for[a] Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance." (Jude 1:1-2) and closes with "To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." (Jude 1:24-25)

Next letter we will examine what it means to be a friend of the King!

Until then, may you be kept in the grace and love of Christ Jesus himself.

Write to Lawrence

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Lambert Dolphin / Lawrence Hoppis · 1103 Pomeroy Ave. · Santa Clara, CA 95051 · USA

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