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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Reeves’

He who clothes himself with light as with a garment

Stood naked at the judgement.

On his cheek he received blows

From the hands which he had formed.

The lawless multitude nailed to the Cross

The Lord of glory.

 

Today is hanged upon the tree

He who hanged the earth in the midst of the waters.

A crown of thorns crowns him

Who is the king of the angels.

He is wrapped about with the purple of mockery

Who wraps the heaven in clouds.

—Orthodox hymn for Good Friday, tr. by George Papadeas, in Greek Orthodox Holy Week and Easter Services (Daytona Beach: Patmos, 2007), 322; quoted in Michael Reeves, Rejoicing in Christ (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2015), 59.

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There is now a man, a real man with our flesh and blood, our experiences of the world, our humanity, in heaven.  A man now sits next to God in perfect harmony.  And a man with a “human hand will grasp us as we make our way into heaven.  We shall be greeted by a face—the face of Jesus.”

—Michael Reeves, Rejoicing in Christ (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2015), 74.  Reeves quotes Gerrit Scott Dawson, Jesus Ascended (New York: T&T Clark, 2004), 7.

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Because of the nature of our God, the Spirit doesn’t just bring us in Christ to the Father—he brings us together to him as the Father’s family.  Therefore we also pray together with Christ as brothers and sisters before our Father.

Communal prayer, then, is the Christian life in a nutshell—the family of the Father coming together to him to share his concerns.  This is why in some ways the prayer meeting is such a battle of flesh against Spirit: will you bludgeon your brothers and sisters with your impressive prayers and actually ignore God, or will you truly go to your Father and seek blessing for them?

—Michael Reeves, Enjoy Your Prayer Life (Leyland: 10Publishing, 2014), 40-41.  Emphasis in original.

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‘In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans’ (Rom. 8:26).  That’s an enormously helpful verse if you’re interested in genuine communion with God.  The Spirit knows that we’re weak, that we struggle to pray and that we often don’t know what to pray—and his desire is to help us.  This means that we don’t need to pretend to be giants in prayer or make resolutions that are out of our league.  Since the Spirit knows our weakness, we can be real with our Father, accepting how babyish we are in our faith, and simply stammer out what’s on our hearts.  …Cry for help.  Don’t try to be impressive.

—Michael Reeves, Enjoy Your Prayer Life (Leyland: 10Publishing, 2014), 37.

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While under Old Testament law the high priest would go into the presence of the Lord in the Holy of Holies on behalf of the rest of Israel, the Son takes us before his Father—and there the Spirit helps us.

—Michael Reeves, Enjoy Your Prayer Life (Leyland: 10Publishing, 2014), 27-28.  Emphasis in original.

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To know you are a beloved child of God protects you from thinking of prayer as a ladder to God or an exercise by which you work your way into his favour.  Prayer doesn’t make you more accepted.  Instead, prayer is growing in appreciation of what you have been given.  It may be that your heart is cold, your love is weak and your prayers are shabby, but what matters is that, united to Christ and in him, you are a cherished son—and your Father delights to hear you.  Of course, with any other God we’d have to come in the strength of our own fervour; with this God we come in his.

—Michael Reeves, Enjoy Your Prayer Life (Leyland: 10Publishing, 2014), 26.  Emphasis in original.

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Jesus’ prayers are not just significant because he’s praying on earth as the model human.  No, he’s also showing who, eternally, he is.  John tells us, ‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself’ (Jn. 5:19).  …For him, everything flows from his communion with his Father.  And so for eternity he has enjoyed communion with him and he has prayed to him.

The Son, then, is the first pray-er.  And the salvation he brings is a sharing of his own communion with his Father.  Prayer is learning to enjoy what Jesus has always enjoyed.

—Michael Reeves, Enjoy Your Prayer Life (Leyland: 10Publishing, 2014), 20-21.  Emphasis in original.

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