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Saturday, August 17, 2019

What is Lost


Comes to mind the song "The Lost Chord," whose music was written a hundred and fifty years ago by Arthur Sullivan.
The song speaks of the joy of finding a chord of unknown heavenly music,
and the frustration at losing it again.

The music is merely the symbol, illustrating something greater and more essential.
The song speaks of the human condition.
It speaks of the frustration of vainly trying to find that which has been lost
- a something deep within, inexplicable in words, and incomprehensible to the mind.

What mankind cannot find is Life;
     and there is a yearning, 
         an unsatisfied longing which never passes, 
              but rather takes ever deeper root throughout the passing years. 

As worship, which must be in spirit (Jn. 4.24), so with our seeking and finding any part of the spiritual realm.
          The mind merely follows on where the heart has gone.
"Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name." (Ps. 142.7)
As the Jews to whom Jesus spoke, we may think we are free and yet be bound by so many things. (Jn. 8.33,34)

Freedom and Life is ours, as we lift our eyes and our hearts above all that surrounds,
and leave all our being - our hopes, longings, and fears - at the feet of the Master.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

God's Coming


The Bible starts with God coming,
     God speaking,
          God creating.

The Bible ends with  "Come."
His coming, and His working, is the source of all things, natural and spiritual.
God alone, is the Author and Sustainer of all things.

"Seek ye me, and ye shall live," says God. (Amos 5.4)
     This is an unchanging truth for all time.
          This is a promise for every moment of every day.
               On this all our life depends.

Here is the Light for every day,
the strength for every trial,
the quickening for our souls in every moment of human insufficiency.

David declares,  "I have set the Lord always before me:
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." (Ps. 16.8)
This is the way of seeking:
there is an "Always" - an undeviating longing for that which is not yet known,
     There is a "setting before" - a concentrated focus of energies,
          God's Presence "at my right hand" is the ground of certainty,
               and "unmovableness" is the result of this commitment.

"We see through a glass darkly" (1Cor. 13.12),
     if we could only find an ever clearer vision,
          how our lives would be lifted above the uncertainties 

          that shadow human existence.

May we not have to wait until arrive in heaven to know 

the certainty of His nearness,  
and the sureness of His ever-flowing Life.
     In the midst of life let this be our unalterable commitment,
                  "I have set the Lord always before me."




Saturday, August 10, 2019

Clarity




“For all the promises of God in Him are Yea, and in Him Amen.” 
(2Cor.1.20)


Today definitions have changed.
Words have become toxic.
And the enemy is using language to destroy the significance relied upon 
for generations.
Political correctness has twisted meanings 
until they have become unrecognizable.


Look for instance at the word, "freedom:"
When the Puritans spoke of “freedom” they meant the freedom to  
follow God while obeying His laws;
somewhat like the safety we have to travel in our cars, 
while we circulate according to the laws of the road.


“Freedom,” as it is interpreted today, means the casting off of all restraint
in order to follow whatever whims we feel, without regard to time,
or place, or any fellow being.
God has been written out of the picture, and unfettered human 
degeneration has been permitted in His place.

Look at man's "rights:"
We live in a time when if a sector of society likes a thing it is enough to 
provide vindication and confer legitimacy upon it.


A destruction, from a boundless stupidity of chaos, seems to cover all:
A “Christian” celebrity feels a surge of happiness when she hears 
someone speak of the Almighty as “she.”
Other Christians see the need to adapt the unchanging laws of God to 
modern thinking.
In the Bible God created mankind “male and female.” (Gen. 1.29)
- now gender has become whatever one chooses it to be.
And the list goes on, in every area, without constraint.

When the Roman empire was beginning to fall apart,
Augustine wrote his famous book on The City of God, 
and spoke of a Kingdom, not of earth,
a Kingdom which knows no decay.
So today, in the midst of the decay of earthly systems, 
the Kingdom of God stands unchanged and unchangeable.

Heb. 12.28 says, "we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace,whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."

We receiving 
     - that which is beyond the reach of change,
          beyond the reach of decay,
               beyond the reach of sin's destruction.

We receiving - 
     the changeless things which are the gift of a unchanging God.

We receiving -
Life which, in its length, and breadth, and height, and depth, is Eternal.

We need not change with the shifting tides of man's opinions because our 
God changes not.

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yea, and in Him Amen.” 

(2Cor.1.20)



Monday, August 5, 2019

By the Spirit


"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Rom. 8.14)
 
There are two kinds of Christians:
those who are led by the Spirit, 
and those who are primarily led by the mind.
 
Led by the mind ... 
when the mind leads the way through life:
when the Word of God is seen through the medium of human understanding,
when life's challenges are untangled through a process led by thinking,
when life's emotions are controlled by a reasoning process,
when everything is ordered and regulated by the capacities of the mind.
 
The process ends when the mind is overwhelmed -
defeat comes:
when there are no answers to be had,
when there is no way to advance,
when the burdens increase and the body finds itself without strength to carry on.
 
This is the limit of human capability, but God offers another Way.
His Spirit is given to take over the control of life.
He is the Light for our darkened understanding.
He is the Strength for our weak endeavors.
 
God's ways are not our ways - but in His ways freedom is to be found.
In His ways there is all provision, at all times, for all needs.
 
Years ago Any Carmichael said, "God trusts us to trust Him."
This is the way of the Spirit - 
a depositing all our resources at God's feet,
a forsaking of all self determination, 
and a clinging to God alone for all our needs.
 
When we see God as the Answer to all of life,
when we see that there is nothing hidden or unknown to Him,
when we give everything human into His hands,
then His Spirit will lead us in sure paths.
 
"There is no want to them that fear Him." (Ps. 34.9)
 
 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mercy ... in the Pampas ...


No man can look on God, (Ex 33.20)
And I think the character of God,
and the attributes of God,
are, likewise, only dimly perceived in the time of our earthly existence.

Where is the beginning, and what are the dimensions of mercy?

I remember an older lady, in one of the towns in the pampas of Argentina,
telling us about her son:
He had a painful condition and decided to pray.
Going out behind his house he got down beneath a lemon tree 
and told God that he would not get up until he was healed.
He prayed until about one o'clock in the morning, 
when suddenly he was conscious of a Light, 
and at that moment he was touched with an instantaneous healing.

So many times, and in so many places, the mercy of God surprises us.
I don't know much about mercy - except that it has no limit.
     Mercy has no limit - because God has no limit.
God sees man's limitations, and in mercy comes to give that which man could never attain on his own.
"The river of God ...  is full of water" says the psalmist. (65.9)
 God is a God of fullness and there is no lack to any of His resources.

It is for us to awaken and to reach forth, until to each one of us as an individual,
there is given to know "the unsearchable riches" (Eph. 3.8) of God's abundant Life - for all our earthly journey.


  

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Transformation of Light


Salvation is not just about Forgiveness,
nor is it just about Heaven.
Salvation is supremely about Life and Light.

Today I was thinking of the Transformative power of Light.
Salvation is a going from Darkness to Light.
We come "out of" Darkness, and "into" Light.

What is Darkness?
It is the place where everything disappears;
     a place without horizons,
          a place where there is no form, nor color, nor proportion,
               no distance - no near nor far.
It is a place where all is an unknown, and unknowable, oneness.

Spiritual darkness in the Bible is a place of fears and uncertainties,  
     a place of every kind of undefined dread,
          a place of the presence of evil,
               a place inhabited with every negative and destructive thing of the kingdom of the enemy.

Jesus said, "Believe in the Light, that ye may be the children of Light."
(Jn.12.36)
Salvation is a coming into a place of Clarity,
a Place where all is clearly seen, and the hidden things of darkness can no more oppress.

Paul, the apostle, says, "Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." (Eph. 5.8)

The Old Testament speaks of the path of the just being as a shining light,
that shines more and more unto the perfect day. (Prov. 4.18)
This is God's gift - a Place where the "more and more" is unveiled in ever greater measure. 
God's gift is a path which knows no shadows,
     a place where we are forever delivered from the pursuing darkness,
          a place of Life, of Victory and of Rest.

                     Here - "my cup runneth over." (Ps. 23.5)
  






Sunday, July 21, 2019

Show Me


We are all conscious of things which we need to know,
     yet we all tend to confuse knowing a little bit, 
          with knowing in depth.
We learn a little about a subject, and right away we place ourselves beyond the reach of further instruction.

The one who would know God must always come to Him conscious of the fact that all he knows is infinitesimally small, compared to the limitless realm of revelation which awaits the seeking soul.

The Realm of God is the realm of the Spirit, and all other "knowledge" merely points the way.
God is known through our experiencing Him,
     not by hearing about Him,
          not by singing about Him, 
               not by reading about Him.
These things are pointers which may show us the pathway but not the Destination.

The prayers which our minds may generate only become real as they touch the realm of the Spirit; 
when our words are absorbed into the words which God is speaking.

"Show me" cried Moses (Ex. 33.18)
Seeing is always first hand - we see for ourselves, by ourselves.
     There is no second hand seeing,
          There may be second hand descriptions,
               but sight is ours alone.
Seeing is a knowing of the substance.
Time after time, after time the bible speaks of seeing.

Abraham at the place of sacrifice:
"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, in the mount of the LORD it shall be seen." (Gen. 22.14)
"We beheld His glory" says John (1.14) - there was nothing second hand about it.

May we say as Matheson in his blindness, 
     "Oh Light that followest all my way,
          I yield my flickering torch to Thee."

                    "Open Thou mine eyes..." (Ps. 119.18)



















Yet somehow when