We walk as pilgrims through the earth, With empty hands, bereft and bare; To gather wealth were little worth– ‘Twould only burden life the more. If men will go the way to death, With them we will part company; For God will give us all we need to cover our necessity. — Tersteegen
Between school semesters I have been given autonomy on deciding the teaching series for the flock I get to lead. Naturally, I thought going through the Psalms would be not less challenging, but more free flowing. Boy, was I wrong. Majority of the teachings been coming from David, a man after God’s heart, ( 1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22 ) which has exposed my inadequacies. “Now you see them,” you may say, and to that I say so thankful GOD is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”, Ps. 86:15. To think you got to be perfect to serve God and have all your ducks in order then God uses you is not true. Honestly, His will is being done through or over you. The here and now is NOT all their is; yet to see otherwise one needs ‘to be born again’ (John. 3:3-8) if you will indulge my Christianese jargon I shall explain, but First, let’s examine Horatius Bonar’s words:
It is forgiveness that sets a man working for God. He does not work in order to be forgiven, but because he has been forgiven, and the consciousness of his sin being pardoned makes him long more for its entire removal than ever he did before.
An unforgiven man carried work. He has not the will, nor this power, nor the liberty. He is in chains. Israel in Egypt could not serve Jehovah, “Let my people go, that they may serve Me,” was God’s message to Pharoh (Exod 8:1): first liberty, then service.
A forgiven man is the true worker, the true Law-keeper. He can, he will, he must work for God. He has come into contact with that part of God’s character which warms his cold heart. Forgiving love constrains him. He cannot but work for Him who has removed his sins from him as far as the east is from the west. Forgiveness has made him a free man, and given him a new and most loving Master. Forgiveness, received freely from the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, acts as a spring, an impulse, a stimulus of divine potency. It is more irresistible than law, or terror, or threat.
If ya ever wonder where I get all these quotes from variety of authors it’s by His grace He gave smarter men the find and then let me stumble across them in my off time. Bonar says it clearly, so no need for my remarks on the matter. Also maybe wondering why I named the title, Dependence? You know, honestly, I can’t fully explain it but throughout all the quotes and lessons God been speaking to me this past month have this underlining theme: Dependence.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” — Galatians 5:13-17
You know being a christian and when I say that I mean a real christian in America is hard. Living across the pond viewing the home country and all the political, gender, racial, moral, sexual, etc.. issues stemming from sin, one could say, “All you need is love. Keep that religion betterment to oneself and opposing it on me is not love.” HAHAHAHA! I’m sorry, not sorry to laugh at you. How can one love without a source? Who put that love in you? If interactions with your neighbor ain’t blatant to you, love is a choice. Speaking as a human, don’t you feel the obvious pull to be self-focus compared to other-focus when the time arises? Me and my slice of the pie does shine more seductive then the call to sacrifice all desires for the betterment of others. No wonder people can’t forgive when they inward focus, and I’m speaking deeply in the heart.
Sin also carries on its war by entangling the affections[desires] and drawing them into an alliance against the mind [our reason]. Grace may be enthroned in the mind, but if sin controls the affections, it has seized a fort from which it will continually assault the soul. Hence, as we shall see, mortification is chiefly directed to take place upon the affections.– John Owen —
Sin. Sin. Sin. All Christians talk about. Some say they’re degrees. I mean lying ain’t as bad killing someone. Raping a girl ain’t the same as taking the last seat on the metro because your feet hurt and you deserve a rest. To hurt your over-inflated wisdom just a bit more, what makes you assume all sin is different? Are people really good and deserve to be saved? Our standard of good is solely base off measurements in what we can perceive as inherently good; yet can we say my standard is better then yours? We can’t. One human can’t over assert his truth as The Truth, but let’s say that person is a herald of The Truth. This herald ain’t advocating his way but the Higher True way his and your way takes offence toward. There is Truth that is perfect, and we all fall short of that one. See we all taking a leap of faith on some set ideas call it religion, ideology, science, or whatever the cool kids these days advocating, but we can’t all be right.
Being Born-again now makes total sense, because that’s the only way we can perceive this Truth which ironically ain’t on your capabilities. Our hearts are tainted by our own thinking and the world’s ways, but this new heart comes from the Way and Life. The Spirit that dwells in you through faith in Jesus beckons you forth.
You are disobedient, you are trying to keep some part of your life under your own control. That is what is preventing you from listening to Christ and believing in his grace. You cannot hear Christ because you are willfully disobedient. Somewhere in your heart you are refusing to listen to his call. Your difficulty is your sins.
Men are frightened of solitude, and they try to protect themselves from it by merging themselves in the society of their fellow-men and in their material environment. They become suddenly aware of their responsibilities and duties, and are loath to part with them. But all this is only a cloak to protect them from having to make a decision. They are unwilling to stand alone before Jesus and to be compelled to decide with their eyes fixed on him alone. — Bonhoeffer