stepcounter

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Last and First


In Luke 24 we have: 
     the last incident of Jesus earthly ministry,
          the last meeting of human need -
 A man who typified all mankind's response to God -
     a thief!
Here is a man fastened to a cross,
     next to another thief, and next to the Savior,
          a man whose freedom is at an end,
               whose days are at an end.

Here is a man awaiting the falling of the final curtain on his life.
     His only possession now is a cross,
          his only tomorrow is the time it takes for life to abandon his body.

The here and now was all he possessed,
and yet, somehow in the midst of his anguish,
he caught a Glimpse of a dimension he had never known.

His eyes were opened, 
     and he saw himself.
          He saw his Lord,
               and he saw a Kingdom.

Somehow this condemned man, rejected by society for his sin,
     and disqualified from a place among the living,
            Saw ...

He saw what the studiously religious Jews around the cross could not see,
     He saw what the disciples who had traveled with Jesus for three years could not see.
          What he saw at that moment,
          not another single person on earth could see.

He alone on that day saw with open eyes a Realm beyond the Visible.
     He alone Understood.

He comes with the simplest of words -
     a confession and a recognition, "Lord."
Other lords had exercised dominion over his life but now he sees only one Lord.
     and to this Lord he surrenders what is left to him - his own free will.
He sees the Lord of a Kingdom,
and he turns from the earthly to that Kingdom.
There is a recognition, and there is a faith.
He no longer seeks anything on earth below;
nothing except that wondrous Kingdom which somehow is made real to him.

The fig tree failed to recognize Jesus - and died.
This man recognized Him and entered into Life beyond all the power of death.

This man was the forerunner of all through the ages have said ... 
                     
                           "Lord ..... remember me."
    

 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Knowing ... Certainty


"That I may know," said the apostle. (Phil. 3.10)

What an infinite world is in these words.
True knowledge is always absolute.
     In as far as we know,
          in as far as we have seen,
                we are beyond the realm of doubt.
"That which we have seen," declares John. (1Jn. 1.7)

Like a man exploring a new continent -
     there may be much territory unseen, unexplored, and unknown,
          but as far as that which has been seen, there can be no doubt.

Paul says also, "we know in part." (1Cor. 13.9)
Paul knew absolutely what he knew,
and yet he also knew that there was much more to be known 
in the realm of God.

The Unknown in God is forever calling
     for us to know,
          for us to experience.
The call of God is to the Infinite,
"To comprehend ... the breadth, and length, and depth, and height." (Eph. 3.18)

The call of God is to the world of the Spirit,
           and only God is seen.

We leave behind the good and the bad of our own lives,
and exchange it all for a total dependency on God.

How much has been said about the safety/covering of the church
as if this were a mechanical thing.
How many have looked to the covering of the church for safety,
     and for the formation of their children -
          only to find out, too late, 
               that the safety of the child of God cannot be in any place outside of God Himself.
If the Everlasting Arms are not what carry us nothing else will avail.

Again: the call is to know ...
     to know the God Who is the Fountain and the Fullness of all.

"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD." says Hosea (6.3)

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Have I Tasted?

Psalm 34.8 says:

     "O taste and see that the LORD is good:
          blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."
Have we really tasted?
     As Shakespeare would say:
          "That is the question."

It is possible to come to the things of God,
and to study the things of God and yet not taste those things.
There are famous "defenders of the gospel" who affirm that the only thing we should do as the days of our lives pass by is to study the scriptures.

But there is the Word of God - and there is the God of the Word.
There have been leaders with huge followings,
     who have built a ministry around forming Christians lives 
          through the practical applications of the teachings of the Bible,
               only to find that the Word without the Spirit is dead.
 And to find themselves in their moment of need,
      utterly defeated by the temptations of life.

We can learn of God through the Word, 
but beyond this - we can only know him by the Spirit.

If we were to spend as much time and effort seeking to know God, 
     as we spend studying the Bible, 
          and what men have interpreted of what is written, 
               we would be far, far more spiritual than we are today,
                    and far more useful to the Kingdom of God.

David's word to Solomon was, "my son know thou the God of thy father." 
(1Chron. 28.9)

Listen to the words of Jesus:

"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee." (Jn. 17.3)
Knowledge of God is Life.
     And the increase of our life in God,
          relates to our knowledge of Him.

This is the simplicity of the gospel - hidden from the wise but revealed to babes.
(Mat. 11.25)