Translate

Thursday, July 19, 2018

SPIRITUAL CONVICTION OF A SLAVE

SPIRITUAL CONVICTION OF A SLAVE 


"That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things" Titus 2:10


Here are two ideas which flash with a surprising brilliance. The first is that the doctrine of God our Savior can be ADORNED; and the second is that those who are spoken of as able to do it are SLAVES. Perhaps we shall understand the first better, if we begin, with the second. The word SERVANTS here are distinctly the word for SLAVES and it may well be conceived that the conditions of SLAVES in Crete, where Titus was laboring, were of the worst. Paul had already said that the testimony of one of their own prophets was true that the Cretans were liars, evil beasts, and gluttons (Titus 1:12). SLAVERY in a society of such must have been a terrible thing. Among these SLAVES there were some who were saints, and these were declared able in the very life of slavery, to "adorn the doctrine." Moreover, the Apostle had declared how they would do it. It would be done by subjection to their masters; by seeking to be well-pleasing, by not contradicting; by honesty, by faithfulness; in short, by such action in difficult circumstances as to win from their very masters’ recognition of their goodness. Thus we see how "the doctrine of God our Savior" may "be adorned." It is ADORNED when its effects on life and character are expressed in CONDUCT. To be true and gentle and faithful in circumstances that are hard and unfair, and even unjust, is only possible in the power of some great Spiritual Conviction; and the value of such Spiritual Conviction is revealed in such Conduct.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

RESTRAINING LAWLESSNESS

RESTRAINING LAWLESSNESS  


"The mystery of lawlessness doth already work; only there is One that restrains now" 2 Thess. 2:7


Many opinions have been held concerning what Paul meant here by "the mystery of lawlessness," and to whom he referred when he wrote of "One that restrains." The difficulty has been largely created by the view that he was thinking of something and someone peculiar to the times in which he wrote. The context shows that he was looking forward to the day of the Lord at the consummation of the present age, to the Parousia, or Presence of Christ, and especially to the Apocalypse aspect of it, in which the "Man of sin" having been also revealed, should be slain. With that in view, he wrote these words, and they naturally apply to the whole age to be so consummated. During that age—this age in which we live, "the mystery of lawlessness," the principle of evil, which at last will be unveiled in the person of the Man of Sin, is already working. But it is also true that, during the same age, there is One Who restrains that working, holds it in check, prevents its final development, and He will continue to do so, until He is taken out of the way when He raptures the Church when she is taken away also. The reference unquestionably is to the Holy Spirit, Who by His work of convincing the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgment, MAKES IMPOSSIBLE THE OUTWORKING OF LAWLESSNESS TO ITS FINAL ISSUES. The time will come when the RESTRAINING INFLUENCE will be removed, so that the mystery of lawlessness may be wrought out to its final expression, and that, in order that it may be destroyed by the unveiling of the Lord.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

ADVANCED THOUGHT – STRONG MEAT


 ADVANCED THOUGHT – STRONG MEAT


"Whosoever goeth onward and abid­eth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God" 2 John 9



The major theologians have pointed out that both the second and the third letters of John have to do with the subject of Christian hospitality. In this one, addressed to "the elect lady," perhaps a church, and perhaps a person, the people to whom no Christian hospitality is to be extended are dealt with. These are described as "deceivers . . . even they that confess not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh." It is with reference to such that this declaration is made. They were persons who CLAIMED TO BE the leaders (there is One Leader according to Christ) (Matt. 23:10 NASB); they were advanced thinkers, they were progressive. The Gnostic teachers of the time were claiming that while the Gospel of the historic Jesus might be all very well for unenlightened people, they had a profounder knowledge. Such were to receive no hospitality. In this warning, we find a principle of perpetual application. There is always room for advanced thinking, for progressive interpretation, for the things of Christ are as profound as God and life and that advanced thinking should come from the Holy Spirit using the words of Christ. We never ought to be content to remain with the first principles of truth going on to the MEAT OF THE WORDS OF CHRIST (Heb. 5:12-14). We should in knowledge go on unto perfection as we are being led daily by Christ and His Spirit. But there is one infallible test for such advanced thinking, for such progressive interpretation. It is that the advanced thinking does not contradict the first principles, or deny the fundamental facts of our faith—those of the historic Jesus, that of the fact that He came in the flesh, again led by His Spirit Whom He and the Father sent to guide us in our thinking (John 14:26). Such advanced thinking as denies these things, is not progress but retrogression and apostasy.

Monday, July 16, 2018

OLD FEAR VS NEW FEAR

OLD FEAR VS NEW FEAR 


"Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God" Eph. 4:30


Two ideas are brought prominently before the mind in this command, and their interrelationship is very suggestive. The first is that of THE CHARACTER OF THE SPIRIT, in that Paul here, with evident intention, employed the full and solemn description, "the Holy Spirit of God," every word of which is full of meaning, while laying the utmost emphasis upon the HOLINESS OF THE SPIRIT. The other is that of THE DEEP LOVE-NATURE OF THE SPIRIT, in that Paul speaks of Him as being capable of SORROW, for the simple meaning of the injunction is, "Cause not sorrow to the Holy Spirit of God." The interrelation of the ideas reveals to us the effect which sin produces on the Spirit of God. It causes SORROW. Perhaps no Apostolic injunction, if its force be rightly apprehended, constitutes a more prevailing incentive to a walk which is in HOLINESS AND TRUTH. Thus is created that NEW FEAR which is of the very essence of safety. The OLD slavish FEAR of God, which was fear of His anger, and of suffering which such anger might bring to us, is completely done away by the manifestation of His love in Christ; but now a NEW FEAR takes possession of us; and that is a fear lest anything we do or say should cause sorrow to Him. The OLD FEAR produces no high spiritual or moral results. This NEW FEAR keeps the soul in living touch with the loving Lord, and so ensures its growth in strength and purity and beauty.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

WALKING THE PURE MODE

WALKING THE PURE MODE 


"To the pure all things are pure; but to them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure" Titus 1: 15


These words closely follow a reference to "Jewish fables, and commandments of men," and this fact helps us to understand them. The whole system of living by tradition was unutterably evil; and our Lord Himself and His Apostles protested against it. Such traditions constantly led men to a burdensome life, in that they made actions to be sins which were no sins, and left the truly sinful things of the inner life untouched. It is so even today. Man made regulations as to what men may do or not do are the greatest enemies to real spiritual life that it is possible to conceive. These words, then, touch the true deep note about life. The "all things" refers to everything which is non-moral; such as appetite and food, desire and marriage, exchange and commerce, weariness and recreation, and so on through all the varied realm of life. To the pure all these things are pure, and they will be maintained in purity. And A man walking towards perfection of his life is unseen and denied by the man walking in impurity. To the impure, every one of them may be made the vehicle and occasion of impurity. No traditions, no commandments of men, no rules and regulations, can save the ordinary things of human life from positive ob­scenity, if the man handling them is himself as impure man. On the other hand, the man who is pure may enter into them all; and not only will he not be defiled by them, but will not defile them; he will hold them in pureness. To all of which the words of Jesus testify, that not what goes into a man defiles, but that which cometh out of him.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

NON-FADING GLORY

NON-FADING GLORY 


"This . . . veil . . . is done away in Christ" 2 Cor. 3:14


This is a superlative statement of the perfection and permanence of the glory of Christ. The illustration is taken from the story of how Moses veiled his face when speaking to the people, after he descended from the Mount. The reason for that veiling was not that they should not see the shining of his face, but that they should not see that it was PASSING AWAY. They saw the shining and it was so glorious that they were filled with fear, and Moses did not put the veil on until he "had done speaking with them" (Exod. 34:33). Paul distinctly says that the veil was worn by Moses, "that the children of Israel should not look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away." They looked on the glory, and then it was veiled, and the sense of the glory REMAINED. Had they seen it pass, that sense would have been lost. This interprets these words: "This . . . veil . . . is done away in Christ." It is DONE AWAY because His glory has no diminishing; it does not pass away. The assistance of Moses, that is, of the law, is that of CONDEMNATION. The assistance of Christ, that is, of grace, is that of RIGHTEOUSNESS. The former has a glory, and it is inspiring, but there is no hope in it for sinning men; and so it passes, for it leaves them SINNERS. The latter has a glory, more moving, for there is hope in it for sinning men; and so it never passes, for it makes them RIGHTEOUS. Because of the finality of the glory of Christ, He lifts an unveiled face upon men.


Friday, July 13, 2018

COMING TO FINAL PERFECTION

COMING TO FINAL PERFECTION 


"The love of Christ ... the fullness of God" Eph. 3:19


Here are two great phrases. They occur in one of the apostolic prayers for the saints. In that prayer the ULTIMATE DESIRE is that they should "know the love of Christ," in order that they "may be filled unto all the fullness of God." The idea, then, is that the knowledge of "the love of Christ" brings to the soul the experience of "the fullness of God." To be "filled unto all the fullness of God" is to find the ultimate experience of life. Where this is so, there is no true desire of the soul unsatisfied, no power of the soul undeveloped or idle. The true meaning of life is discovered, and that not as an ideal seen but unrealized, but as an actual experience. It is eternal life; it is PERFECTION; it is satisfaction. How then can it be attained? By KNOWING THE LOVE OF CHRIST, for in that there is the very FULLNESS OF GOD; and so wonderful is it, not only as a VISION, but in its POWER, that to know it is TO BE TRANSFORMED by it into the likeness of itself. To the finality of this knowledge and experience we have not yet attained; but if we know anything of the love of Christ, we know something of the FILLING OF THIS FULLNESS of God. That is the story of the beginning, the, process, and the consummation of true Christian experience. The love of Christ captures our hearts, and the life of God produces rest and quietness. The love of Christ is PROGRESSIVELY INTERPRETED to us by the Spirit, and the FULLNESS OF GOD BRINGS US MORE AND MORE INTO THE JOY OF LIFE. At last we shall come to FULL APPREHENSION. Then we shall come to a FINAL PERFECTION in the FINAL FULLNESS of God.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

GRACE TO SUFFER

GRACE TO SUFFER  


"To you it hath been granted ... to suffer" Phil. 1:29


This is Paul's great singing letter. It was at Philippi that he had sung in prison at midnight, in the company of Peter. Now he was again in prison, this time in Rome, and writing to "the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi." This letter thrills to the tireless music of a psalm. It is a glorious revelation of how life in fellowship with Christ triumphs over all adverse circumstances. The triumph, moreover, is not that of stoical indifference. It is rather that of recognition of the fact that all apparently adverse conditions are made allies of the soul and ministers of victory, under the domain of the Lord. "The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the progress of the Gospel" exclaimed the Apostle. His very bonds opened the door of opportunity throughout the Praetorian Guard. It was this sense of the power of life in Christ which inspired the particular word which arrests us. In them, suffering it the behalf of Christ is referred to as at honor conferred, rather than a burden to be endured. It is something granted to the saint, as a privilege, the very granting of which is a favor, a gift of grace. To this conception all will agree who have ever really known what it is actually to suffer on behalf of Christ. They are not callous; the suffering is very real, very acute; but it brings a sense of joy, and gladness which finds no equal in human experience.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

ARRESTED AND CALLED AND UNITED TO WORSHIP


 ARRESTED AND CALLED AND UNITED TO WORSHIP

"Bless Jehovah, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy Name" Psa. 103:1


This great Psalm of perfect praise is one of the most familiar in the Psalter. It is a glad outpouring of gratitude to Jehovah; for His ways with men; for what He is in Himself; for His great mercy; for His faithfulness therein; for the order and perfection of His government. For our present help we stress these introductory words, revealing as they do the responsibility of the soul in the matter of rendering PRAISE to such a God. The singer addresses himself. He realizes that he has power over himself that he is able to give or to withhold that which is due to God. He realizes also the complexity of personality. In order to perfect praise, all its powers need to be ARRESTED, SUMMONED TO ACTION, UNITED in order to completeness. Whether intentionally or not, is there not here a recognition of the spiritual nature as ultimate, and all mental powers as possessions thereof? The method harmonizes with that of Paul in Rom. 12:1, where he called upon believers to present their bodies, to seek the renewing of their mind, and thus to render reasonable (or, more accurately, spiritual) service. The one value of these opening words is that they show us that worship is not involuntary and automatic. It calls for the co-ordination of all our powers, if it is to be perfect. This truth should arrest us whenever we enter the place of worship. The sanctuary is not a lounge, a place of relaxation. We should enter it with all the powers of personality arrested, arranged, dedicated. Then we may render a service of praise that is worthy and acceptable.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

RECORDED HISTORY FOR THE CHILDREN


RECORDED HISTORY FOR THE CHILDREN

"That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments" Psa. 78:7


This Psalm may be described as a poem of history. From vs. 9, the singer reviews the history of the people of God, dwelling upon their persistent dis loyalties, and the unfailing goodness of God to them both in chastisement and deliverance. All this is a poetical illustration of the principle laid down in the first eight verses. In that first movement, the singer declares that it is the will of God that the story of His dealings with the nation should be taught systematically to the children of each succeeding generation. In these words the reason of this is set forth, as they reveal the effects which such teaching, adequately given, is bound to produce. Under its influence they will set their hope in God, will remember His works, and will keep His commandments. Observe the idea carefully. The immediate is stated last. It is that of OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD. In order to that obedience, two inspiring activities are referred to: First, HOPE, which has to do with the future; and second, MEMORY, which has to do with the past. By such teaching of history as sets, it in relation to God, hope for the days to come will be centered in Him, and memory will be instructed by His works. This is a wonderful revelation of our duty concerning the young. It is also a key to the true WRITING OF HISTORY. History, written as it should be, will always show that all true prosperity comes from God, and that man has no hope except that which is centered in Him. History should always be the record of the works of God. Godless men distort history. That is to emphasize the important factor. History thus written, and thus taught, will so affect hope and memory in youth, as to constrain it to obedience to the God revealed; and this is the way of life for man and nation. Satan knows his pathway with history as God does.

Monday, July 9, 2018

SCHOOLING KIDS PROPERLY

SCHOOLING KIDS PROPERLY


"Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it" Prov. 22:6


Perhaps there is no Proverb in all the collection which has been more frequently quoted than this; and perhaps also none has been more persistently misunderstood and misrepresented. It is a brief and complete revelation of the TRUE METHOD WITH A CHILD. In order to a correct apprehension, everything depends upon the real meaning of the words "in the way he should go." That is by no means an inaccurate rendering, but the question arising is: What is the way in which a child should go? A more literal rendering of the Hebrew at once answers this question. Such translation would be: “Train up a child according to his way." In every child there are special and peculiar powers. The true business of training a child, therefore, is that of DISCOVERING what those powers are, and DEVELOPING them. It is a disaster to prepare a program for a child without consulting the particular and peculiar life of that child, and then to endeavor to compel the child to conform to that ideal, to live by that program. In all training of children the first business of those responsible must be that of considering the children themselves. Herein is revealed the need for individual work. No two children are alike. They cannot be trained in groups, in standards, in grades, in classes. They may thus be dealt with for the impartation of general information, but when the real work of training them according to their ways is undertaken, they must be taken one by one. This is one reason why the school which approximates to the family ideal is most successful. Our methods of training children have hardly begun to reach the Divine ideal. The schools today have become politicized and are destroying kids in great numbers.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

FREEDOM AND ITS LIMITATIONS

FREEDOM AND ITS LIMITATIONS


"A man's heart devised his way; but Jehovah directs his steps" Prov. 16:9


This is a very profound word. The more carefully it is considered, the more challenging does it become. It recognizes the FREEDOM OF THE HUMAN WILL; and then sharply defines the LIMITATIONS OF THAT FREEDOM. "A man's heart devises his way." That is a recognition of the truth of which we are constantly reminded in these sacred writings, namely that the heart, the realm of desire, is the most potent factor in personality. It is also a clear declaration that conduct is directed by the heart, by desire. That is the measure of human freedom. A man can and does devise his own way under the direction of his heart. If desire be evil and sinful, the way devised is evil. If desire be good, the way devised is good. But that is not all the truth about life. This also is true: "Jehovah directs his steps." Every action of a man, whether in answer to the inward desire of good or evil, is an action in a realm of law from which there is no escape. The steps of evil and the steps of good are directed by Jehovah. THAT IS TO SAY THAT NO MAN CAN STEP OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD, NO MAN CAN DEVISE A WAY THAT ENABLES HIM TO ESCAPE FROM GOD. The warmth of the fire which blesses is God's action. The heat of the fire which blasts is God's action. I can devise my way with regard to the fire, but the steps I take are directed, governed, by God. I can, if I will, answer the lusts of the flesh, devising my way accordingly; but God will di­rect my steps, and the destruction which comes is the result. I can, if I will, yield myself to the lure of the spirit, devising my way accordingly; but still God directs my steps, and the realization of life which follows is the effect of that directing which arrives at perfection (Jude 24).

Saturday, July 7, 2018

MANS VAIN AND FOOLISH THOUGHTS


MANS VAIN AND FOOLISH THOUGHTS  

"Jehovah knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity" Psa. 94:11


This Psalm also is one of praise, but its note is entirely different to the previous two. In Psa. 93 the singer is looking above and beyond the conditions of the hour, and offers praise because Jehovah reigns. In this he is looking at these conditions and they are such as to seem to contradict the declaration that Jehovah reigns. The people are oppressed by tyrants who declare that God is not concerned with the affairs of man. He does not see, nor consider. The singer knows the falseness of these declarations, and his song is the argument for his conviction that GOD DOES HEAR, AND SEE, AND CORRECT. He summarizes all in this statement, that "Jehovah knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity." In this song we see how the very things which assault faith, and threaten to produce despair, may be made the opportunity for praise, in the place and act of worship. In the long history of the travail and conflict of faith, how constantly have faithful souls been strengthened to bear and endure, by this very exercise of praise! In catacombs, in dungeons, in places of the uttermost desolation—when it has seemed to sense that the way of God was blocked, that His rule was overcome, that all evil things had gained the victory—these songs have arisen, proclaiming Him King, mocking all the VAIN AND FOOLISH THOUGHTS OF MEN, and declaring His ultimate victory. Thus God has been to such souls a high tower, their rock of refuge, and they have found the strength and courage which have enabled them to endure, in this activity of worship by faith. Read the last of His book and believe those words of grace He has shared through John.

Friday, July 6, 2018

LET GOD DO THE CHOOSING


LET GOD DO THE CHOOSING

"Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art" Gen. 13:14


These words were spoken to Abram when he was in a place of peculiar difficulty. He was now in the land to which he had been sent by God. Moreover he was there after a deflection from the pathway of faith, in which deflection he had gone down into Egypt. An hour had come when domestic difficulties had arisen between him and his kinsman, Lot. It had become necessary for them to separate from each other. With the magnanimity of a great soul, Abram had given to Lot the right to choose the place where he would dwell in the land, and Lot had chosen. The result was that Abram, on that level of human arrangement, was excluded from the best of the country. It was at this juncture that God Communed with him, and gave him this command. The words are seen in their true suggestiveness when they are put into contrast with those found in the 10th verse, “Lot lifted up his eyes." In doing so Lot had chosen upon the ground of personal advantage. When he had gone, God said to the man who had chosen not to choose, "Lift up now thine eyes," and directed him to look "northward and southward and eastward and westward"; that was to every point of the compass and consequently over all the land; including that which Lot had chosen for himself. All he thus looked upon was then secured to him by the covenant of God. The teaching of the account is obvious. Man has no final rights in any possessions other than those which are his by the gift of God. The man who, by faith, leaves the choices of his life to God, is the man who finds his way into possessions of which he cannot be robbed. God makes His choices on complete and absolute Truth and Knowledge based on the past, present and the future He has in store for all mankind.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

GOOD MEN AND BACKSLIDERS


GOOD MEN AND BACKSLIDERS  

"The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself" Prov. 14:14


Which simply means that whatever may be within a man, in the deepest region of his personality will sooner or later be wrought out into actual experience and visibility. The BACKSLIDER in heart is the man who, knowing the way of wisdom, does not desire to conform to it, but rather desires the ways of foolishness. The GOOD MAN is the man who, whatever his consciousness of weakness may be, does in the deepest of him desire the ways of wisdom. In either case, that underlying desire is the most potent factor, and sooner or later will gain its victory, and produce its result in the life. It is possible for a man for a long time to conform to the rules and regulations of wisdom and the fear of Jehovah, while yet in secret he desires the forbidden things. Such a man is backsliding in heart, and at last that backsliding will become obvious. It is equally true that a man may falter and blunder, and fail, again and again, while all the time he hates his own shortcomings, and earnestly aspires after the highest things. Such a man is a good man, and ultimately that quest after the highest will be successful; he will be satisfied from himself. The revelation of Scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments, is constantly urging this truth. We do well to take heed to it. To do so is to be brought to a realization of our personal helplessness, and our need of a Savior. We may say with a great deal of reason that we cannot control our desires. Hence the need for the SURRENDER of ourselves to Him Who can create the clean heart, and renew the right spirit within us (Psa. 51:10).

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

GOD HATES WAR


GOD HATES WAR 

"He hath scattered the peoples that delight in war" Psa. 68:30


The historic relations of this Psalm are obscure, and definite. They are obscure as to the actual, time of the composition, and as to the particular events in history which are celebrated. They are definite as to the use which has been made of it by men of faith; in the process of the centuries. Kirkpatrick finely says, of it: "To the Crusaders, setting out for the recovery of the Holy Land; to Savonarola and his monks, as they marched to the 'Trial of Fire' in the Piazza at Florence; to the Huguenots, who called it 'The song of battles'; to Cromwell, at Dunbar, as the sun rose on the mists of the morning and he charged Leslie's army—it has supplied words for the expression of their heartfelt convictions." To all of this we may add that, during the years of the First World War, perhaps no Psalm, with the single exception of the 46th, was more constantly used. It is preeminently the Psalm which celebrates the march of God with His people, against their foes and His, to assured and complete victory. The words we have stressed describe that victory in one application, and in a very remarkable way. The whole song is of war; one is conscious all through of the clash of conflict. Yet it is not a song in glorification of war. God is manifested as the GOD OF BATTLES, but His victory is that He scatters the people that delight in war. He does not delight in it; His purpose is to end it and He will with the greatest of battles. Here is the true test of the relation of men of faith to war. If the heart delights in war, God will make war the instrument for the discomfiture and defeat of that unholy passion. If the heart hates war, then He will give victory in war to those who thus fight. Whether that end has been reached, it is not for us to say. Certainly the principle had remarkable illustration in both the first and second world war and with a final one to follow and then war no more. They arm up now for the greatest of all with all nations against the nation that was created for the blessings of all nations as revealed in the previous article (Israel's Purpose for Existence). The nations reveal their hatred of God and His plan (Psa. 2).

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

ISRAEL’S PURPOSE FOR EXISTENCE


ISRAEL’S PURPOSE FOR EXISTENCE 

"Thy salvation" Psa. 67:2


This phrase constitutes a poetic interpretation of the thought of the one word of which it is a translation. The Hebrew word is one, and signifies quite literally, salvation. It is salvation in the sense of deliverance, aid, and so nationally of victory. The conception in its national significance is very beautifully expressed in the phrase, "saving health," of the Authorized Version. The Psalm is a very brief one, but it breathes the very spirit of a clear understanding of the real meaning of the Hebrew nation, according to Divine purpose. Its opening prayer is that God will bless and cause His face to shine upon His own people, in order that His "salvation may be known among all nations." It’s closing, affirmation is that God will bless His own people, and that as a result, "all the ends of the earth shall fear Him." This is the true interpretation of privilege. THE PEOPLE OF GOD EXIST FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THE NATIONS. (Gen. 12:3) They constitute the illustration of His saving health. Their prosperity is due to His aid, His deliverance, His salvation. The nations, seeing that prosperity, are taught the advantage of His rule. That rule, discovered and obeyed, always produces national health, in all the spacious values of that great word. Health is wholeness, completeness, and full realization of possibility, as it is freedom from all diseases, materially, mentally, morally. God alone is able to rule men so as to insure this state of health. His people, then, are called upon to reveal this fact to men, by the health in which they live. What disaster, if by disobedience to the will of God they reveal to men anything less than health Thus the name of God is blasphemed among the heathen. The privilege is great; the responsibility is grave; the resources in God are sufficient. (Again see Gen. 12:2-3).

Monday, July 2, 2018

DISABILITIES AND ROYALTY


DISABILITIES AND ROYALTY

"Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel" Gen. 32:28



  The centrality of this chapter to the account of Jacob is recognized. In these words we have a revelation of the real meaning and issue of the night, of struggle through which he had passed. Everything depends upon a right understanding of the contrast between these names. Jacob literally meant heel-catcher, and so supplanter. Israel is a compound of two words, Isra, which means ruled, and El, the name of God, and so means Ruled-by-God. This was the discovery made to him that night, and that discovery constituted God's victory. Jacob had contended with men and had prevailed. That had been the account all through, and the effect of his successes upon his character had been that of making him self-reliant, and in that measure forgetful that these very successes had resulted from the fact that all his life was arranged and ruled by God. That was the lesson he had to learn in order that he might be delivered from a self-sufficiency which must inevitably have ruined him. That explains all the account of that night. God crippled him to crown him, revealed his weakness to teach him the secret of strength, and defeated him that he might find victory. His cry, "I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me," was not the strident cry of a man compelling a reluctant God to yield to him; it was the sobbing wail of a man casting himself at last at the feet of a God seeking to heal him (see Hosea 12:4). From that day he halted in his walk, and that halt was the obvious of his NOBILITY. Whatever others thought of it, he knew it was the abiding sign of God's victory, and that he was a man ruled by God. How often apparent DISABILITIES are the signs of ROYALTY, and so of ability!