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.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Rest

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30).
 
When we read verse 28 we need to stop for a while before reading on and getting offended. He says, Come and I will give you rest. “And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” (Mk. 6:31). We need to stop and savor Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful love.
 
“And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life.” (Jn. 6:40).

Before Paul went out to preach the gospel, he spent time alone studying the Savior and talking with Him. “He fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?…
And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.…
And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.” (Acts 9:3,4,8,9,17-19).
 
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” (Gal. 1:15-17).
 
We need to rest, some more than others. We all need to see Jesus. But, some have been abused by the power of darkness more than others and need more doctoring by the Great Physician. We don’t put invalids to work. We fix them up, and when their health is restored then they gladly return to work of their own accord, leaping and running with their new lease on life. We don’t put infants to work. We give them time to grow. A 2-year old can do small tasks, and we should task them. But, a one day old or a one year old must continue to get lots of rest and love. All ages must get an abundance of love and attention and affection.
 
My wife was put to work at a very young age out of necessity because of poverty. But the servitude has left a permanent scar. Yes, she is a good worker and a strong worker. She learned how to work efficiently and put her mind into the work. But, her soul has been bruised; her love has been hurt. To this day she resents people who give her a duty. She sees in everyone who requires anything of her as those who only saw her as a slave, a machine. This is how she was mistreated as a child. There was no love for her because her parents had abandoned her and her siblings; and the world without loving, caring parents is a very cold, demanding world.
 
This is not what Jesus intended when He made His famous invitation for humanity to come to Him. Those who heard His many such invitations while He walked the earth saw the love exuding from His voice and body language. His Spirit which His Father had given Him without measure, reached their hearts in wave after wave of love, and continually drew them to Him and to His example.
 
“And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with Him,
And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance.
And when much people were gathered together, and were come to Him out of every city, He spake by a parable:
A sower went out to sow his seed…” (Lk. 8:1-5).
 
Here is the context of the parable of the sower. Notice the seed that fell on the stony soil.
 
“And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.” (Lk. 8:6). “Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.” (Matt. 13:5).

And hear Christ’s explanation. “He that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon [G2117 immediately, straightway] with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” (Matt. 13:20,21).
 
Such persons trust in their rightesouness and immediately run out into the foray of persecution. They have a little knowledge of Jesus, but have not His Spirit to equip them with the power to attend their message. The enemies don’t fall back, but rather rebound with greater fury and overwhelm the hard-hearted preachers. These disciples who went forth to witness for the Messiah had no spiritual root in their soul. They had no fortitude that comes with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, so that the wrath of Satan could run right off of the shield with which God covers them. They last awhile and look good, but sooner or later they get offended and fall away from the Savior of the world.
 
They wouldn’t abide in Him who called them out of darkness. They came to Him, but wouldn’t learn the rest He wanted to give them. They didn’t stay long enough to receive His sanctifying grace and truth. They ran away to do something great for God; but, they didn’t know God. They weren’t content with the simple things of fellowship, companionship, trust, growing in grace.

These were the things the Lord gave Adam and Eve before the troubles of sin inundated the world. Theirs was a very simple life. Love was the modus operandi of paradise. Christ, the second Adam, was no less simplistic. In that life of simplicity He found such a deep rest in fellowship with His Father that He had to do something with the energy He received from the rest.
 
Then He worked; and He worked hard. His work was so incessant, that His disciples thought He had become mentally imbalanced. “And when His friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on Him: for they said, He is beside Himself.” (Mk. 3:21). “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit.” (1Cor. 15:45).
 
And He gives us the secret to His power. “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.” (Jn. 14:10). “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” (Jn. 17:21).
 
The work God gives us is a simple work. It is one where we first abide in Him, receiving the power of His love and wisdom. Then we go out from that holy sanctuary and simply speak the words and do the works that He gives us to say and do throughout the day. We are under His control, and protected by the armor provided by His providence and Spirit.
 
But, to go out to represent Him before He has sanctified us is to speak for His adversary and be a worker of iniquity. “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” (Jer. 23:21,22).
 
Satan controls them, and makes them represent himself. He makes them selfish and forceful, rather than selfless and gentle and reliant on God to convince people of truth. He leads them to misrepresent the God of righteousness and love, yet make it look and sound like Jehovah is the source of their ministry. They have much light and power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace.
 
“Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make My people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and He that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against Him.” (Mic. 3:5). These prophets were servants of Baal, but had convinced the people that they had the great power of Jehovah with them. Their work was actually a psychological service to Moloch; a work of satanically inspired anger and not of uplifting the victims of Satan.
 
“And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; who also eat the flesh of My people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron.” (Mic. 3:1-3). “What mean ye that ye beat My people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.” (Isa. 3:15). Working apart from God is essentially being a taskmaster in Egyptian slavery.
 
Jesus told us this would arise within the church before His coming. “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:48-51).
 
I have to conclude that this condition in the church happens because those church leaders no longer find rest in Jesus. Could Spiritual Formation have anything to do with this? Yes.
 
The Jews who Christ represented as having a stony heart probably were not as settled in the work of Satan as were the demon-controlled priests and prophets of Baal. But they had been tormented by Satan, and false religion from their leaders was all that they had heard until Jesus came with a revival of the true religion that He had given to the ancient Hebrews. And they failed to recognize their need to unlearn much before they could receive the true message of Christ.
 
We must be careful to prejudge those in the audience of Christ who heard His powerful words and saw His powerful gestures and felt His powerful appeals. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1).
 
Yet, we can recognize that in many suffering people today Satan has left his mark upon their soul, and they need special attention. They need to take it upon themselves to put themselves in the presence of Christ’s truth and then let His grace wash away their stony-heartedness. I know this, because my heart still has many stones in it, that cause me to resist the redemptive love of God and the work of His love toward others. As the stones from deep in the Earth’s mantle make their way to the surface in cold winters, so do I find stones constantly arising in my heart. This won’t stop in me until the sealing, if I am faithful to abide in Christ and let Him do His works in Me.
 
The more fully we come to Christ and surrender our hard hearts to His never-ending love, then the more fully we take His yoke upon ourselves, as He commanded. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:29,30).
 
When we have searched His word and His face for His grace and love and patiently waited for His salvation; when we have truly come to Jesus and surrendered to Him; then we find in His yoke of burden bearing a school, a delightful school. We learn of Him while we do His works. Peter declares,
 
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” (2Pet. 1:5-9).
 
No better way to rivet the knowledge of Christ’s love in our minds and characters is to give the love and tenderness and forgiveness to others that we get from Him. The precious promises He speaks to our hearing we speak to others and see the same wonderful effect those promises had on the poor souls of Christs day. Memorizing Bible texts is only good if we share them with others at the appropriate time.
 
This is how Isaiah became a very wise, learned man. “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” (Isa. 50:4).
 
Jesus will make us wise also, as we join Him as students in His school, yoking up together with Him. The yoke was a way, not only of getting more power for digging up the fields, but also for training a young ox by coupling them with an older, more experienced ox. Likewise, as we do the works of Jesus, we must remember that He is at our side keeping us by His strength and guidance.
 
No wiser, smarter, more intelligent, rational, settled, happy people are there than those who know Jesus and work together with Him. And no sooner do we come to Christ than there is born in us a desire to make known to others the precious friend we have found in Jesus.
 
They waited patiently for Him to remove their stoniness and give them a heart of flesh. Now, their sun shines brighter and the roses blush redder. Their heart and mind are at rest, their nerves are calmed, and their health springs forth speedily. The soul is no longer easily provoked, for it is founded upon a Rock.
 
Through His precious promises He will fortify our minds, He will keep us in perfect peace, and give us the divine nature. “For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” (Jer. 31:25).
 
The Redeemer has saved another twisted and withered sinner, and comforted the weary soul. He has made him wise unto salvation, the only cure for this age of technology and human wisdom and forgetfulness of God. He who winneth souls is very wise.
 
“Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1Cor. 1:30).

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