TruthInvestigate

“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Son of peace

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1Jn. 5:12 ).
 
Peace and happiness, wisdom and prosperity, where does it reside? How can we have the disposition that produces these fruits? Buddha sought out this question. He spent his lifetime searching out the spring of happiness, the fountain of youth. And so have countless other philosophers and gurus, pastors and priests, Pharisees and rabbis.
 
“Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.
The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.
Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?
Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.
Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.” (Job 28:13-22).
 
What are the head waters of the river of life? Can we be specific and nail it down? Can we find it in Buddha whose sculpture of rotund laughter seeks to bless a billion homes? By beholding we become changed; but can an image put into us the power to transform our nature? The Bible says no. “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight.” (Ecc. 1:14,15).
 
“They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” (Ps. 115:5-8).
 
It takes the living God who created us. Only the infinite One can change the natural bent of our character. “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake…. But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.” (Ps. 115:1).
 
But, even He is powerless if we choose not to be changed. We must want to be changed before He will provide the power to change. King Saul and others are examples of hearts God changed with only the minimum desire on their part. (1Sam. 10:6,9;Matt. 13:20). That minimum effort to know God was enough to receive the initial glory of God’s Spirit, but giving the relationship with God no further effort proved the loss of that initial glory and even their damnation. (1Chron. 10:13,14;Matt. 13:21;Heb. 10:38,39).
 
How do we cooperate with God in our salvation? Paul earnestly contends that we must cooperate. “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12,13).

Our salvation is a joint effort. We must take ownership of our title to eternal life; we must take responsibility and hold ourselves accountable for our redemption. This is what Saul failed to do. He lost his faith and, in this busy life as king, he did not strive to get it back.
 
Dwelling in the deepest faith and surrender is like the egg that floats down the fallopian tube. The unfertilized egg is a loose clump of proteins and molecules so loose that it must be attended by nursing cells holding it together. The stance of faith and surrender keep us held in the palm of God’s hand; yet, it is like dandelion seed where only one tiny puff of daily affairs sends it flying away. So, how do we hang on to genuine faith?
 
There are many brands of fake faith, many imitations. What brings true rest and peace is “faith unfeigned.” (1Tim. 1:5). We’ve looked at the entirety of 1Timothy 1:5 in previous posts, that God’s Law and the fire of His condemnation brings us to faith. But now I want to look even deeper into this spiritual reality and phenomenon.
 
We see a common thread in some of the most outstanding individuals of sacred history—Abraham, Rebecca, Moses, Ruth, David, Abigail, Daniel, Mary, Paul, Phebe, Aquila, Priscilla, John, Mary Magdalene, and at the center and standing head and shoulders above them all, Jesus the son of God. All the different attributes of these godly folks, Rebecca’s willingness to serve, Daniel’s excellent spirit, Abraham and Moses’ friendship with God, all converge at the experience of Christ that gives us the head waters of the river of life, the fountain of youth. “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant.” (Is. 53:2).
 
The intimate, vulnerable phase of Christ’s development reveals the foundation of His Father’s preparation for His role as our Master Teacher, exemplar, substitutionary sacrifice and propitiation. This tender condition must have been the foundation for all the other greats that populate the living word of God. Christ never lost His tenderness; His mercy exuded all of His words and acts. The early life of David and the later lives of Moses and Abraham as shepherds brought them face to face with tenderness as they were in constant contact with tender lambs and kid goats.
 
Jacob expressed the mercy of such an occupation. “And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.” (Gen. 33:13,14).
 
The tender plant is where we need to be. The infant, the toddler, the child, the youth lacking self-confidence don’t accomplish great things. In fact, of themselves they accomplish nothing. Overdrive them and they die. To lead them on softly is a must. We must be tender plants of God’s if He is going to work His salvation into us. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” (Jas. 4:10). We must be stripped of our proud facades.
 
The Lord can do nothing toward the recovery of man until, convinced of his own weakness, and stripped of all self-sufficiency, he yields himself to the control of God. Then he can receive the gift that God is waiting to bestow. From the soul that feels his need, nothing is withheld. He has unrestricted access to Him in whom all fullness dwells. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15.  Desire of Ages, p. 300.
 
What great achievements have we really made? All the applause of the world ends in the cesspool of the celebrities. All the celebration of religions ends in the same. What we need in religion is a good spanking to reset our pride. We need our clocks cleaned. We need to see stars, and be stopped in our tracks. 1 Timothy 1:5 needs to be implemented.
 
And in the end we will be quiet, happy, humbled. “Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still.” (Jer. 31:20). Let’s deny our hopes to be great and recognized and applauded. Let’s decline the invitation of Satan and the world to come down to their level. “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Is. 2:22).
 
Let’s be simple. Let’s be unlearned and untrained, so that God can get a word in edge-wise and train us up in the way He knows we should go. Let’s even be a fool. Let’s not make ourselves into anything. Let’s let God make us into something.
 
“Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?…
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1Cor. 1:20,27). “When I am weak, then am I strong. I am become a fool in glorying.” (2Cor. 12:10,11).
 
This doesn’t mean we must be spoon-fed by anyone. But, it does mean we must be spoon-fed by Jesus; and that, everyday of our lives. “This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the LORD.” (Is. 54:17).
 
This concept drove imperial Rome to bring down all the retribution it could upon the early Christians. It will likely do the same today. Satan led the Romans to live for the pity of Venus and Diana and Mary, but he couldn’t dare let God’s children receive the same from Him.
 
Let’s be servants in order for God to make us His ambassadors. Let’s be His little people, abiding “under the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps. 91:1), “leaning on Jesus’ bosom” (Jn. 13:23), that he might be able to “raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.” (Hos. 6:2). “But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” (Mal. 4:2).
 
This is how Jesus did it and He became the most well balanced and whole person that ever lived. And other heroes listed above only confirmed that we can have their same experience.
 
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10). “But now, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.” (Is. 64:8). “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” (Is. 30:15).
 
Let’s accept the humbling of God’s Law so that we can be tender plants, apt for the molding of God’s Spirit and His angels.
 
“Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thane eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD that thy children shall come again to their own border.
I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the LORD my God.
Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.” (Jer. 31:15-19).
 
“And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, saith the LORD.” (Verse 14).
 
“But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?...
God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof.” (Job 28:12,23).

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