Daily Archives: October 1, 2012

A Thought on The Whole Truth

I read a few statements tonight that said, “Sadly, many people who assume they are saved are lost.”  Here’s another one, “Verbally professing that Jesus is Lord is necessary, but it is meaningless apart from a faith commitment to follow Him.”  And let’s finish off with, “The only way to know Jesus personally is to yield our hearts to Him by faith, that is, to make Him Lord of our lives.  Anything less is just religious ritual and activity.”

These were just three of the statements I read again tonight, and taught in a Sunday School lesson just a while back.  By themselves they were enough to get my attention, and in truth just those three statements can provide me with more than enough to meditate on for a long time.  How about you?

Are these statements true?  Sadly, the truth is that the majority of people reading this probably don’t know for sure if you believe what the statistics say about people and their knowledge of God’s Word.  And, you see that’s the problem.  A lot of people say a lot of things, and they write a lot of things, too.  How do you know that any of them are true?

There’s only one real way to know, and that’s to search it out in not what others publish about God’s Word, but IN God’s Word.  Yet, even in this, we must be careful because people like to use what are called “proof texts” which are exactly what they’re called, text that can be used to make a particular point.  Many, many people quote Scripture in this way, and in and of itself there’s nothing wrong with quoting Scripture, but just remember that the devil can quote Scripture with the best of them, and like him, there are people in this world who use it to mislead others every bit as much and as well as he does.

Please remember that even the best, most well-intentioned, most literate, and most educated people on earth can be wrong, and that’s why we need to do more than just trust what someone tells us.  We need to make sure by doing the work to find out if we’re being told the truth.

And remember this, too, getting a part and parcel of truth is as much a blatant lie as a lie.  People teach God is a God of Love and so He is, but He is also a God of Justice, Holiness, and Perfection.  You’ve heard the phrase “The truth and the WHOLE truth,” and there’s only way to know the difference.

 

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

“My Beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.” – Son_5:4

Knocking was not enough, for my heart was too full of sleep, too cold and ungrateful to arise and open the door, but the touch of his effectual grace has made my soul bestir itself. Oh, the longsuffering of my Beloved, to tarry when he found himself shut out, and me asleep upon the bed of sloth! Oh, the greatness of his patience, to knock and knock again, and to add his voice to his knockings, beseeching me to open to him! How could I have refused him! Base heart, blush and be confounded! But what greatest kindness of all is this, that he becomes his own porter and unbars the door himself. Thrice blessed is the hand which condescends to lift the latch and turn the key. Now I see that nothing but my Lord’s own power can save such a naughty mass of wickedness as I am; ordinances fail, even the gospel has no effect upon me, till his hand is stretched out. Now, also, I perceive that his hand is good where all else is unsuccessful, he can open when nothing else will. Blessed be his name, I feel his gracious presence even now. Well may my bowels move for him, when I think of all that he has suffered for me, and of my ungenerous return. I have allowed my affections to wander. I have set up rivals. I have grieved him. Sweetest and dearest of all beloveds, I have treated thee as an unfaithful wife treats her husband. Oh, my cruel sins, my cruel self. What can I do? Tears are a poor show of my repentance, my whole heart boils with indignation at myself. Wretch that I am, to treat my Lord, my All in All, my exceeding great joy, as though he were a stranger. Jesus, thou forgivest freely, but this is not enough, prevent my unfaithfulness in the future. Kiss away these tears, and then purge my heart and bind it with sevenfold cords to thyself, never to wander more.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian

PRAYER (6)

In May 1996, ValuJet flight 592 crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing 110 passengers.  Navy experts tried using special technology to detect the plane’s black box, without success.  Holding a rope that kept them spaced three feet apart, searchers poked through every square foot of muck.  After fourteen days they had found nothing.  The physical conditions were unbearable.  The sun beat down upon them and temperatures hovered in the nineties.  Diesel fuel and caustic hydraulic fluid floated in the water, forcing searchers to wear several layers of protective rubber.  Fourteen days of that had left them exhausted, but they had to find the black box.  Sergeant Felix Jimeniz of Metro-Dade  Police was one of the searchers.  For fourteen days he’d prayed for the bereaved families and the safety of his fellow workers.  But on the fifteenth day as he took a break, suddenly he realized he’d failed to pray for one important thing: that God would help them find the black box. So he asked God for direction, resumed the search, and when he stuck his pole into the water he hit something metallic.  He pulled the object out of the muck.  It was the black box.  Jimeniz writes in Guideposts: “I thought of the many days we had spent searching for the recorder, how we must have tramped over it many times, and I wondered why its retrieval had taken so long.  Amid the low rustle of the sawgrass and the call of the wild heron, I seemed to hear the response: “Why did it take so long for you to ask?”

From “Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes” by Horatius Bonar

The Better Choice Of Moses.

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”- Heb_11:24-26.

Moses had everything to bind him to Egypt, to Pharaoh, to Pharaoh’s house: ties of silk, chains of gold; natural affection, gratitude, learning, pleasure, love of ease, pomp, splendor, riches; everything that the flesh desires, that the intellect covets, and that the world contains. For what was there of worldly glory, pleasure, learning, pomp, and power, that were not to be found in Egypt?

Yet he broke every tie; he came out; he separated himself; he ceased to touch the unclean thing; he flung aside the riches of Egypt, and trampled on the crown of Pharaoh.

What prompted this severance? Was he a disappointed man? Had his life been a failure? Had Egypt used him coldly? Was there no prospect of rising in it? Had its pleasures run dry, or its riches failed? No, these were not his reasons. But he had met with something better than all these. It was this which disentangled his feet, and which broke the bonds.

Yet that which had come across his path was not a new thing. As an Israelite he had known it long, but now his eyes had been opened to see it aright. Nor was it a noble thing or honourable in the eyes of men. It was known as a reproach, a matter of scorn. It is called the reproach of Christ, or the reproach attaching to all who held Israel’s hope of a coming Messiah. This hope was a mockery and derision to all in Egypt. Yet it was this decided hope which Moses took hold of, ‘preferring it to all the treasures of Egypt.’ This was, if not Moses’ conversion, at least the turning point in his life, when he was compelled to make an open choice. We know not what the occasion was, but it brought matters to a crisis. It compelled him to decide for Jehovah or for Osiris, for Christ or for the false worship of the Egyptian temples. It was faith that led him, and enabled him to make the choice; faith that saw through the falsehoods of heathen idolatry, and the vanities of human pleasure and learning; faith that saw the realities of divine truth and joy as centered in Him who, even when seen afar off, was the way, and the truth, and the life. What then does faith accomplish for us? and how? and when?

As to the when, we may answer, the moment that it comes into action by the power of the Holy Ghost. In its state of death or dormancy it effects nothing, whatever its words or professions may be. Has the when in your life come yet, O man? Or is it still a futurity, an uncertainty? When art thou to believe and to act upon what thou believest?

As to the how, we answer, it is the substance of things hoped for. It operates by giving to the future its proper magnitude, to the present its proper littleness; to the heavenly things their true fullness, to the earthly their true emptiness. It sets all things on their right basis, and represents everything in its true proportions. As to the what the answers are endless. What is there that faith cannot do? But the special thing noted in our text is Moses’ change of choice and estimate.

I. His change of choice-He chooses affliction and oppression, degradation and hardship. He chooses them deliberately, joyfully, and not by compulsion. He chooses his company, ‘the people of God,’ as distinguished from Egypt and from earth. With them he casts in his lot for better or for worse. In making this choice he rejects what the world calls pleasure,-the pleasures,-the short lived pleasures of sin. They are worthless and unenduring, as well as evil. He had once chosen them, now he chooses them not.

II. His change of estimate.-‘Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches.’ Faith alters the value of everything to us. That value in itself is incapable of change; but to us it is altered. What we once esteemed we esteem no more; what we disesteemed we now prize, and honour, and love. Faith applies new tests to everything, and finds dross in what we counted gold, and gold in what we counted dross. It changes our estimate, (1) Of sin; (2) of self; (3) of righteousness; (4) of Scripture; (5) of God; (6)of Christ; (7) of earth; (8) of heaven. The aspect of all these things is altered to us. They are not what they were to us, and we are not what we were to them.

Or, to use another figure, faith is the great unveiler. It takes off the mask, or veil, or covering from every object, and shows them to us as they are. There are two kinds of veils or masks on everything here,- bright and dark. The former hides deformity, and makes objects appear fairer than they are; the latter hides beauty, and makes objects appear uncomely. Faith removes both of these. It takes off the bright veil, (1) from earthly pleasure; (2) from worldly riches; (3) from human learning; (4)royal glory. It shows us the dark interior,-the hollowness of all these. It does not misrepresent them or belie them, but simply removes the unreal attractions which deceived and misled us. It does not underestimate, yet it does not over-estimate. It takes off the dark veil, (1) from Christ, and shows Him to us as altogether lovely; (2) from holiness, and shows us what a blessed thing it is to be holy; (3) from the kingdom to come, and shows us what a recompense of reward it is; (4) from the Church of God, showing us what a glory belongs to her, though it doth not now appear what she shall be; (5) from reproach and affliction, showing us how good it is to be afflicted, how honourable to be reproached for Christ, and as He was.

Thus faith works. It does wonders in us, and for us, and through us. It separates us from the world. It brings us out, of the haunts of vanity; it leads us out of the ballroom, and the theatre, and the gay party; it shows us better riches, better pleasures, and brighter glory than the world contains.