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Archive for September, 2010

Genuine boards on the new bedstead

Pass me the….the….board?  It was a 1/4 inch thick by 10 inch by 12 foot piece of fiber-cement siding.  It beats vinyl siding all over the place for looks and durability.  But in stumbling over what to call it I was reminded that name and form and similarity of a thing to the actual item does not mean it has its substance.  Such are many in the church and the world:  “And he said to them, “An enemy has done this!” The slaves said to him, “Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?” But he said, “No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”” (Matthew 13:27-30)  “Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where your are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.'” (Luke 13:26-27)  How should we react to such a word?  Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you- unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5) for “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”  “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40) What is the substance of your heart, a believer saved by the grace of God exhibited on the cross by the death of Jesus to take away your sins, or a believer in name and assuming the form of a believer though not actually ever having had an experience with the living God? “Examine yourselves!” Are you the actual item, wood all the way through (as opposed to cement, or cork  (any baseball fans?), perhaps), or do you only bear the shape and name of the same?

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I made a new aquaintence in church today. We exchanged interests and learned that one was classical music and another was potentially poetry.  He wrote down a poem from memory and gave it to me at the end of church.  At home I sat down to read the poem.  I was really enjoying it, but then I got to the last three lines and felt disappointed.  Perhaps the author did not know the good news that I know, or perhaps his focus was elsewhere. At any rate I include the poem here and two verses that I quickly added (in a different color) to, as they say in music, resolve the dissident chords, caused in me at any rate. In defense of both Dr. Stidger’s thoughts and mine, I remind you of what it says in John 13:10: “Jesus said to him, ‘He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.'”  I believe Jesus means both that Judas was unclean and that His disciples can pick up dirt from this world, that though they are clean, “needs only to wash”.  Oh, how glorious, I’m clean!

  

 

I saw God wash the world
     by Dr. W. L. Stidger                                   

Junco

 
I saw God wash the world last night
With His sweet showers on high
And then when Morning came
I saw Him hang it out to dry
 
He washed each tiny blade of grass
And every trembling tree
He flung His showers against the hill
And swept the billowing sea
 
The white rose is a cleaner white
The red is more red
Since God washed every fragrant face
And put them all to bed
 
There is not a bird, there is not a bee
That wings along the way
That was a cleaner bird or bee
Than it was yesterday
 
I saw God wash the world last night
Ah, would He had washed me
As clean of all my dust and dirt
As that old white birch tree!
 
But oh, He has and cleaner yet
But not with rain and wind
He washed me in the blood of Christ
And I’m completely cleansed
 
Yet I will have dirt settle on me
As indeed will flower and tree
But my soul is cleansed of all its sin
And could not cleaner be

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I was encouraging my healthcare provider and Christian brother  who turned and encouraged me even more by several comments he made.  The one that struck me most was him holding his palm before his face and saying, “If we keep the Word before our face it keeps changing us.”  We listen rather than work because our sanctification is by grace through faith as surely as our initial salvation experience.
 

 

Keeping the Word before your face
Concept and meaning ever trace
Continual changes in you
Please God and better run the race
 
Setting your mind on things above
The things of God you learn to love
Cleansing your heart so it is true
Undivided heart like a dove
 
Eternity within the heart
Begun in Christ and not depart
When I’ve sinned and turned away too
By His Spirit I may restart
 
Learn to live life by faith alone
No schemes and planning on your own
By His Word guided by each clue
To heed the Spirit’s call be prone
 
When in danger for Him you call
Secure in Him never can fall
Peace with God is ever in view
Assurance of heaven’s bright hall
 
The Word before your face again
Best deterrent to prevent sin
Knowing that all to God is due
Forgiveness, glory, life you’re in

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