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Behold My Mother and my Brethren!

June 6, 2007

This is going to be a hard post and it hits me more than one can imagine as it reflects on a boatload of past blunders.   Yet it’s a most needful one as many distractions can come from those who are closest to us.  For their sake, along with that of our own, it’s ever so needful to ensure that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly our first love.  Before plunging into this, however, here are two links that contain some very needful concepts.  Concepts that often seem to be not fully understood within the ranks of twenty-first century christianity. 

www.satisfiedhousewife.wordpress.com/2007/06/05/what-does-it-mean-to-be-mighty-in-spirit/

www.abmi.wordpress.com/2007/06/06/we-were-created-for-more/

When discussing such things, one cannot help but wonder.  If Jesus was here today in a body of flesh and preached in many of the present assamblies of saints, what would be their reaction?  I’m asking this of myself also.  Jesus preached a message of total self-denial and total obediance to God.  A total forsaking of a love for carnal things and complete trust in him; even when that trust meant doing something in direct opposition to common sense.  (Like “sell all that you have, give to the poor, and follow me.  Don’t ask where; you’ll find out when we get there.”)    This is a post where I fall way short of the concepts discussed and yet strive to grow into them. 

Matthew 10:34-39  “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I come not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter -in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a mans foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

When a person comes to Jesus and their sins are washed away by his blood, there’s a peace that defies explaining.  A peace that the world can never offer, add to, or take away.  This relationship with the Lord, however, will inevitably bring us into direct opposition with friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, the government,  and almost any group of individuals with whom we associate.  As we grow, this division appears to enter the ranks of christianity where many have become comfortable with a portion, instead of growing into total Christ-likeness.   I imagine that all of us, at one time or another, have become comfortable and stagnated for a season.  It’s an easy trap to fall into and I’ve fallen into it more times than I care to think about. 

The dividing line of faith runs through my household and as such the spiritual battle sometimes reaches the appearance of a breaking point.  A situation that came about while I was in a season of stagnation, I now have battles that wouldn’t be if I had been obediant in earlier years.  This is not to suggest any lack of love for my household because I love them all more than ever.  Oftentimes such a conversation as this can take on a perception that love for another has been diminished when, in fact, the exact opposite is true.  My love for my wife and kids is stronger than ever and concern for their eternal well-being surpasses any self-serving wants or plans.  (I Corinthians chapter seven is a great chapter concerning marriage.  Verses 12-17 talk about households that are divided along spiritual lines) 

The title of this post comes from Mathew 12:49 in which Jesus makes statement which appears harsh on the surface but portrays an important truth.  A truth that still remains as the word of the Lord endures forever.  Our true brethren are those with whom we will spend eternity.  With all sincerety and natural affection, we love our family members more than we ever could while lost and undone.  We likewise love our neighbors as ourselves in accordance with the second great commandment.  As a result we should compass sea and land, as it were, to win them for Christ.  Nobody wants to see any within their circle of acquaintances lost and undone when they leave this world.  We pray, fast, remain in season, out of season, plead, reason, and do anything to admonish them to come to Jesus.  We see the enemies handiwork when they “just don’t get it” and we cry out all the more in agonizing travail.  We sow in tears, longing for the moment when they come to Jesus and enter the household of faith. 

Ezekiel 18:31-32  “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of israel?  For I have no pleasure in him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”

II Peter 3:9-10  “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  but the day of the lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall melt with a fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

The single reason for Jesus leaving the glory of eternity past, coming into a world that was altogether contrary to his holy nature and subjecting himself to the most agonizing and humiliating treatment imaginable was to seek and to save that which was lost.  I think that sometimes we unwittingly fail to grasp just how incredible our salvation is.  He died on a cross so that whosoever would believe on him should be saved.  But the time comes when the window of opportunity is closed.  When a lifetime, be it short or long, is expired and the soul enters eternity along with their decisions.  The very thought of this hits me ever so deeply as I shudder to think of all the wasted years and blown opportunities.  The turmoil in my own household falls squarely upon my shoulders and I pray that we all would seek to redeem every available opportunity.  We never know when a final moment will arrive and a decision etched into the fabric of the everlasting. 

In Matthew 13:25-30 we find the parable of the tares.  For the sake of time, I’ll go to the explanation that Jesus gives in verses 37-43. 

Matthew 13:37-43  “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;  The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

This concerns a separating between the saints and those engaged in drama.  (A preacher once made the observation that the only physical difference between a strand of wheat and a tare is the fruit.  The husk of a tare has no fruit inside.)  When all is said and done, I think that the dividing line will surprise everyone to one degree or another.  They won’t fall acording to denominations, appearances, how loud someone shouts, how many verses a person can quote or how many bumper stickers proclaiming “I’m not perfect; just forgiven” cover their vehicle.  I imagine that we’ll see folks on each side and wonder “what are they doing on that side?”  This is scary to even think about and as such should cause us each to examine ourselves on a continual basis.  Just as when Jesus told the disciples “One of you shall betray me” must have caused a deep pondering on all who were present.

This is a point to think on.  When Jesus said “One of you shall betray me,” I imagine that one could have heard a pin drop.  Each disciple reflecting on their own actions and thoughts; especially since along the way they had been discussing which one of them was the most spiritual.  In other words, nobody suspected Judas over anyone else.  It’s so imperative that we keep our hearts with all diligence and be aware of the pitfalls which confront us all.  That we be aware of the devices the enemy uses in seeking to devour us. 

I have to go.  I’ve been on here all afternoon and have to get some things done around the house.   This topic is causing a lot of reflection on my part.  Sorry for being so long.  I wish all a great day in the Lord Jesus and will leave off with this passage.

I John 3:19-22  And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.  Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God.  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”

   

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13 comments

  1. He is our life. His life is not always an easy life, yet in Him, His life is always worth it, no matter what. He is forever faithful, righteous and true. He is forever loving, just and good. He is forever holy, merciful and wonderful. As He forever is, so we can become in Him, forever, by His mercy, grace and strength. May we forever rejoice in He who is our life, His life, forever!

    Every Blessing in the Lord Jesus Christ!


  2. “When all is said and done, I think that the dividing line will surprise everyone to one degree or another.”

    Indeed. And yes, it is a scary thought. That is why the Scripture so plainly warns us to examine ourselves, whether we be in the faith or not. I heard a quote from Keith Green in one of his cd’s I was listening to today in my van, “I have a good definition of a Christian. A Christian is someone who is BANANAS for Jesus. Someone who loves God with all their heart, all their soul, all their mind and strength.” It sounds funny at first, but think about it. He’s right – if you’re not “bananas for Jesus”, then I would definately examine your heart to see if you’re really born again!

    Gotta love Keith Green! 🙂 Thanks again for the pingback Timbob!
    Blessings to you and your family,
    Jen


  3. “When a person comes to Jesus and their sins are washed away by his blood, there’s a peace that defies explaining.”

    It makes me think of Isaiah 26:3-4

    He will keep in perfect peace
    those who trust in him
    those whose thoughts are fixed on him
    Trust in the Lord
    The Lord God is an eternal rock.


  4. Greetings Phil. It’s so incredible when we think of the love of God. That Jesus left the glory of eternity past (this in itself is incredible beyond comprehension) and went willingly to the cross to redeem a people who had done everything to put God out of their memory. Such a great salvation and such an awesome God that we serve. Thanks for the reflection on just how incredible he really is. A perfect love and a pure holiness that we can never comprehend so long as we inhabit this tabernacle of clay. Soon however, when this corrup[tion puts on incorruption, we shall see him as he is. I really thought about your statement recently concerning every hint of our fallen nature will be gone forever. WOW!

    Have a blessed day in Christ.


  5. Greetings. Keith Green was always one to tell it as it is. One cannot hear his songs and not be challenged. (I was thinking. “Bananas for Jesus” would be a great title for a post.) One time my wife made some comments about folks who really love the Lord and show it. I brought up the analogy of people who go to sporting events, paint their bodies in their team colors, shout,yell, jump up and down when their team scores, and jump up and down when their team comes apart. Her response was “Well, that’s understandable.” I know why she doesn’t grasp it and it just means that the battle is still ongoing for a soul that’s in the balance.

    This has always fascinated me. Folks will go “bananas” for a sporting event which has absolutely no eternal significance. Yet they don’t even come close to such enthusiasm when it comes to the Lord Jesus. This is not to say that a person has to jump three pews and run around to prove their love for the Lord. It just means that the priorities of many are out of order.

    I find myself, more than ever, thinking on heavenly things and more than ever, desiring to be with the Lord. Nevertheless, there’s much to be done here and as such we must be in complete submission and obediance. I have a whole lot of growing to do as such is a lifetime process. A standing prayer is that each day I would be more like Jesus and less like me. Thanks for the ponderings.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  6. Greetings J Kaiser. That is a favorite verse; Isaiah 26:3-4. Gods peace surpasses all physical realities and is dependant only upon our keeping our thoughts on him. Folks at work sometimes wonder why the constant turmoil doesn’t get to me. The union contract expires in February, AAM is adding on to their plant in Mexico, and one by one, the departments in our plant are heading south. Yet Gods peace is so awesome that I’m almost not even affected by it.

    One time I drove my wife nutty with the “paint” feature on the computer. I made a very accurate drawing of the plant; right down to the windows and rooftop units. On the side of the building I placed the words “MEXICAN AXLE.” Her response was “I’m really glad that everythings a big joke to you!” It’s not a big joke, but rather an attempt to highlight the uncertain nature of this life. (Although I did find it kind of funny) Praise God that the things which are seen are temporal while the things which are not seen are eternal. Thanks for stopping by.

    Have a blessed day in the Lord Jesus.


  7. Timbob, this is an amazing post!

    Your family situation doesn’t seem to discourage you. You carry on, never bringing your wife or children down, but lifting them up even as you speak so the LORD hears your heart crying out for their salvation.

    You are an inspiration to me. You testify to the Truth of the Living LORD within you, for no mere human could live out a life of Peace and Hope as you do, unless Peace and Hope dwells within.


  8. Thanks for your prayers. I sent you an updated email about a week ago. 🙂

    I’ll come back and read this later. 🙂


  9. Timbob this is really good and much on my heart as well. We were created to be like Him, like Jesus who is the firstborn of many, and seated with Him in heavenly places.
    How should that look? Surely not as most of christianity looks. What does that say about who we are in Christ, and what we are to become by His grace? We must not settle for less, for that which may have been sufficient in the past ( if it truly was ) is no longer good enough.
    We need to forget what is behind and embrace what is of and from the Lord God now.

    Blessings and thank you for so many thought provoking posts. Blessings to you again, I am praying for your family and their salvation! Our God is ever and always faithful!


  10. i’ve been praying for your family as well.


  11. Greetings marie. I’m likewise blessed by hearing from you. I’ve been thinking lately about the realignment that seems to be taking place. A bringing together of the serious who wholeheartedly love the Lord Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh. I really think that the edification that we all receive from each other out here will be very much needed in the near future. A future when for a season, we may find ourselves in situations where it seems as though we’re the only one holding the fort.

    I find such encouragement in not only pondering the thoughts of others, but praying for them as well. I started blogging almost “suddenly.” I didn’t know anyone else who did it; I just heard about it and started one night. What began as simply a place to write down thoughts has become an awesome fellowship. I know that one day this venue will be no more, but for the moment at hand it’s a blessing.

    Thank you so much for stopping by.

    Have a blessed day in Christ.


  12. Greetings Code. I have a battle with e-mails because they tend to gang up on me. I will try to be more on top of this in the future and will go back and look it up. Thanks so much for praying. I likewise keep you in prayer as I know that we’re all facing adversity in one form or another. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    Have a blessed day in Christ.


  13. Greetings Susan. I was thinking of I John 3:2 when reading your comment. How it doesn’t yet appear what we shall be, but when it takes place we shall be like Jesus for we shall see him as he is. I remember a statement by Phil on how every shred of evidence concerning the former nature will be non-existant. We shall truly be like him as this corruption puts on incorruption. And as I Thessalonians 4:18 says “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” Thanks for the comforting words. May we all keep looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

    Have a blessed day in Christ.



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