CAPTURED MY HEART
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
God is gracious and long suffering. He is righteous, holy and merciful to all who call upon His Name in sincerity, repentance and faith! He rewards such penitents who prostrate themselves in submission and the fear of the Lord.
He is not a God who is far off but is nigh unto them who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. His peace fills the whole world and those who love Him and obey His Word of Truth. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), but with faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His glorious resurrection, all things are possible. (Mark 9: 3; 10:27).
Our Lord said: “No man can come to Me except the Father which hath sent Me, draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” (John 6: 44, 47,48). “Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6: 37);
“Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke easy and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11: 28-30)
JESUS CHRIST ABSOLUTE TRUTH!
Jesus Christ is the only way to God the Father. He declared: “I am the way, the truth and the life: No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” (John 14: 6). “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4: 12)
God's great love captured my heart. His generosity made me His love slave (gr. doulos).
His compassion touched my spirit and His amazing grace made me His child for time and eternity! Through Jesus Christ's great Redemption, I was adopted into the family of God as a son and heir. (Rom.8: 16, 17).
I am a messenger for Jesus and an ambassador for Christ's Kingdom! (Eph. 5:11; 6:20)
The Holy Bible says: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall we draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Is. 12: 2,3); “Now the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power .” (Rom.15: 13)
Jesus stated: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither it be afraid.” (John 14:27); “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! '
How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For of Him, and through Him and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever.” (Rom.11: 33, 36)
JESUS SAVES! JESUS SAVES!
This great Gospel hymn was written by Priscilla Owens, 1882.
We have heard the joyful sound,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;
Spread the tidings all around,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;
Bear the news to every land,
Climb the steeps and cross the waves,
Onward, 'tis our Lord's command,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
Tell to sinners, far and wide,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;
Sing, ye islands of the sea.
Echo back, ye ocean caves,
Earth shall keep her jubilee,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
Sing above the battle's strife,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;
By His death and endless life,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;
Sing it softly through the gloom,
When the heart for mercy craves,
Sing in triumph o'er the tomb,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
Give the winds a mighty voice,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;
Let the nations now rejoice,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves;
Shout salvation full and free,
Highest hills and deepest caves,
This our song of victory,
Jesus saves, Jesus saves!
The Bible says: “...God's goodness leadeth me to repentance.” (Rom. 2: 4); “O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good for His mercy endureth forever.” (Ps. 136: 1-3); “God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of a man that He should repent (change).
"Hath He said and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good? (Nu. 23:19). He states: “I have sworn by Myself, the Word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness and shall not return....” (Is. 45:23)
GOD'S PATIENCE OVERWHELMS ME!
His patience overwhelms me and His grace is sufficient to meet my needs! David stated: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.” (Ps. 11-14). God's wisdom is above all understanding and too great for human knowledge!
To compare a mountain towering above the earth to a pebble on the beach is beyond the scope of our ability. Comparing that huge mountain to the North Star, however, is an impossibility. Now try to compare sinful mortal man to the infinitely holy God, and human love to Him and His eternal love to us, and we have a snapshot of who we are and Who God is!
Martin Luther was found lying on the floor beneath a statue of Christ, sobbing uncontrollably, saying: “fur mich, mien Gott, fur mich.!” The revelation that Jesus Christ died for Him personally had suddenly reached his inner man and it broke Him.
It is one thing to declare that Jesus died for the entire world, but it is quite something else to fully understand that He died for you personally! That is when the heart breaks and the tears flow!
“Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities, and Thou wilt cast all their SINS into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7: 18, 19)
What an amazing description prophet Micah gives of Almighty God. In very few words he allows us to get a glimpse of the eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator and God. We see His most holy, compassionate and good character. Micah asks: “Has anyone ever heard of anyone like the God of Israel?”
He pardons us and forgives our sins. He overlooks the transgressions of His people and doesn't hold grudges, because He is merciful. He will return to us and give us another opportunity and have compassion upon us. He will give us victory over our sins and failings. And He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea, never to remember them any more!
GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD!
The Holy Bible says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3: 16); “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3: 16)
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom.5: 8); “I am the Good Shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (John 10: 11); “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for his friends.” (John 15: 3)
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because the world knew Him not. Beloved now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3: 1,2)
The Bible states: “I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in Me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal 2:20);
“Set your affection on things Above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” (Col..3: 3)
St. John declared: “He that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from he beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3: 8)
HOW AMAZING IS GOD'S GRACE!
You may ask: “Why did Jesus come to this world? He came to defeat the devil and destroy his works. He came to seek and to save those who were lost. He came to redeem mankind and He came to establish His Church, the body of Christ. Finally, He came to be our Justification, Wisdom, Sanctification and Redemption! (1 Cor.1: 30)
How amazing is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? There is nothing that could ever compare with the mercy and grace of God the Father sending His Son to earth to liberate us all from the kingdom of darkness and translate us into the Kingdom of God's dear Son! (Phil. 2: 5-11)
By taking our place on the cross, Jesus of Nazareth atoned for the sins of the entire world, past, present and future. He fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy of the Messiah who would take upon Himself the sins of mankind in order to free us all from the power of the world, flesh and the devil!
The incarnated Christ met the righteous demands of Divine Justice in the Courts of Heaven and through His sacrificial death for us all, paid for our freedom and liberty. His pure and holy blood purchased forgiveness, healing, peace and eternal Life for all sinners who receive the crucified and resurrected Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour!
Taking away my sins and condemnation, the Lord Jesus made me a new creation. My sins were washed away through His atoning blood and inscribed my name in the Lamb's Book of Life in Heaven. His resurrection from the dead guarantees my justification. Praise the Lord!
The Bible says: “He (Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God: And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
“Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him; but for us also to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.”
“Therefore being justified by Faith, we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom we also we have access by faith into this Grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in Hope of the glory of God. And hope maketh not ashamed, because the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His BLOOD, we shall be saved from wrath though Him.
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom.5: 1, 2, 5-10)
A NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST!
The Bible states: “Therefore, if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor.5: 17); “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God: Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Rom. 3:23-25)
William Cowper tried to commit suicide several times. He was about to drink a glass of hemlock but his hand trembled and he dropped the glass. He tried to shoot himself but was unable to do so. Cowper sought to throw himself into the Thames River but was “strangely restrained.” The next morning, he fell on a sharp knife and broke the blade. He tried to hang himself, but was found and taken down unconscious.
William Cowper was brought to St. Anselms Asylum. One day, he picked up a Bible lying on a bench. He read: “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”
He was born again as the Spirit of God fell upon him and instantly liberated by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. He wrote the hymn, 'There is a fountain filled with Blood', and many other great hymns for the glory of God. John Newton, who had been a Captain on slave ships and an ungodly man, was converted and became Cowper's pastor and helped him greatly. Together they authored a number of Hymns. John Newton wrote the hymn, 'Amazing Grace'.
JESUS' MIRACLE MINISTRY!
Jesus' ministry was miraculous and Spirit-filled. He believed the Word of God because He Himself is the Living Word and the Bible is the written Word. The Holy Bible states: “In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
“The same was in the beginning with God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 1,2,14)
St. John stated: “He that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3: 8);
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devil: and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2 14, 15).
Through His vicarious death, Jesus Christ destroyed the Devil to deliver us! Christ's Victory was Satan's Defeat and our Liberty!
The Bible declared: “And Jesus returned in the Power of the Holy Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about, And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of them all. And there was delivered unto Him the Book of the Prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He hath sent Me to Heal the brokenhearted, to preach Deliverance to the Captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4:14, 15, 17,18)
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing good, and Healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)
In His final remarks before ascending to His Father's Throne, Jesus Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit upon His followers, whom He commissioned to preach His Gospel of deliverance and power to the ends of the earth, with the guarantee that He would be with them to the end of the world!
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world. Amen. (Matt. 28: 18-20)
The word always is a measure of time while alway, is a measure of distance! He was saying, I will be with you all the way, the total distance until the end of your journey!
YE INTO ALL THE WORLD!
The BIBLE says: “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel unto very creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned.
“And these SIGNS shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with other tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:15-18)
JESUS said: “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very work's sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, I will do it. If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you.” (John 14: 13-17)
“If abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15: 7)
THAT THEY MAY KNOW!
When Jesus healed the sick, multitudes followed Him to be near Him, to listen to Him, and to worship Him! His miracles drew people to Him and often caused them to believe in Him. And naturally, they were to relieve the suffering of a needy people who had been oppressed by the devil. Here is a case which proves that great truth:
“And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, not so much as about the door: and He preached the Word unto them. And they come unto Him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where He was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
“When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their heart, Why does this man speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, He said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
“Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sin be forgiven thee, or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, He sayeth to the sick of the palsy, I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed and go thy way into thine house.
“And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch as they were amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.” (Mark 2: -12)
WHY WE PRAY FOR THE SICK!
“That ye may KNOW that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, He sayeth...Arise, take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. He used the miracle to declare Himself the Messiah with power to forgive and SAVE sinners! The reason we also pray for the sick is to point them to Jesus, who came to save people from their sins.
In 1963, I was preaching at the Langley Pentecostal Church. JOHN ERHART was a fiery Pentecostal pastor. Many were coming each evening to be born again, filled with the Holy Spirit and healed of their sicknesses. The revival continued for several weeks. My radio broadcasts on Radio KARI were touching hearts for Jesus and some came from the Mission / Haney area and were filled with the blessed Holy Spirit.
Marge Hill, a Nazarene, was the first to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. She was fired up for God and some of her friends received the Holy Spirit. Marge was concerned about her loving husband Joe who was unsaved. He was an engineer on the railroad and away a lot. Joe was glad that she was happy going to church but he had no desire to do so. She prayed earnestly that he would also be saved.
On Sunday morning in the third week, I noticed that he was sitting beside her. I preached a strong salvation message and invited the lost to come forward to receive Christ. Then, I made a second call and invited all who desired to rededicate their lives to Christ or who needed divine healing to also come forward.
Joe and Marge came with quite a few others. I made my way to them. Marge introduced me to her husband. I asked if he wanted to be saved. He shook his head. They were on their way to the hospital but he desired prayer for healing as he was having terrible pains in his stomach area. He was scheduled for surgery later but the attack might require immediate surgery.
I laid my hands upon him in the name of Jesus and called upon the Lord to undertake. All of a sudden, Joe cried out: “The pains are gone. The pains are gone. I am well.” I threw my arms around that big man as the tears were flowing down his cheeks and mine.
I said: “Joe, lift your hands and say, 'Thank you, Jesus! He lifted hands, and said: 'Thank you, Jesus.' He said: 'O that feels so good'. I said: “Joe, say: 'Jesus, come into my heart.' He did, and then he said: 'That feels wonderful. The pains are all gone and I can breathe well.' I said: ' Joe, You just got saved!'
And the whole church erupted in praise and glory to God. Joe Hill became a solid Christian and their home a Christian home. It was God's miracle that opened the door for his conversion! Hallelujah and Amen!