The Word I’m Looking For (episode V)June 11, 2009
This post must begin with an apology as I’ve been unable to make the normal rounds over the past few days. There is a lot of drama currently in play at home and souls are in the balance. The devil is continuously seeking whom he may devour and working feverishly to sidetrack those who walk in truth. I thought about going into some detail at the beginning of this post, but the situation is so delicate that it’s better to request prayer for this household. The complexity of the situation is such that I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around it. And now, on with the fifth installment in this series of words which have a single appearance in the King James bible beginning with:
Psalm 38:11 “My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.”
Psalm 38 contains Messianic implications in verses 13 and 14. Verse 11 can also be taken into consideration because when Jesus was brought before those who sought to put him to death, nobody stood by his side. Matthew 26:55 reads “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.” But the real-time focus at the moment of recording was that David had been deserted by folks closest to him while his enemies were bearing down heavily. A fair weathered friend is one who will give every appearance to being solidly in our corner, but when trouble arises, they’re nowhere to be found. I’m convinced that, when the real shaking begins, many of us may find ourselves under the same type of circumstances. We are to love the brethren and our neighbors as ourselves, however, our confidence must be completely in Jesus.
Luke 14:32 “Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.”
The full context is found in Luke 14:26-35 where Jesus is explaining the need to forsake all that is in the world in order to truly be his disciple. We live in an age in which one can preach about material acquisitions and pack a stadium with those who equate material gain with godliness. But a message of complete discipleship; that being counting all of our former treasures as dung that we may win Christ, is not very popular at all. A thought has been with me for a long time concerning this. When we set our affections “completely” on the Lord Jesus Christ and the age to come, we may find that our passion is not understood or shared by many professing christians. But those who do understand will be authentic. They will also be the ones who stand with us in times of trying.
I Corinthians 16:22 “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.”
It’s a word meaning either devoted to destruction or accursed. (I’m not a greek expert and I’ve come across both interpretations.) In short, a person who rejects Jesus Christ, is in a a most precarious situation as there is no salvation in any other. I think that the single most tormenting aspect of being lost for all of eternity has to be the knowledge that it wasn’t necessary. When Jesus said “It is finished” the sin debt of everyone who would ever pass through the valley of decisions was paid. But for a number of reasons, multitudes reject the sacrifice that Jesus made for them. For some it’s prestige amongst their contemporaries, while for others, it’s pride in their abilities and understanding (so called). Still others simply love their sin for s season. All of these devices lose their power, the moment a person exhales for the final time and their eternal destiny is secured.
Hebrews 6:19-20 “Which hope we have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
Jesus Christ; our high priest forever; who ever lives to make intercession for us. A continual prayer is for a greater understanding of our incredible salvation. A salvation so complete that it defies explaining. We are anchored in the truth and no longer sifting through the endless streams of philosophies and teachings of men in search of something to hold on to. Nor are we placing all of our confidence in the institutions of this world which seem solid as a rock but cannot deliver in times of shaking. For two days now, I’ve been fixated on Psalm 49; to the point that it may become a post. Verse 11 discusses the illusion that the things of this world will go on indefinately and folks strive to leave a legacy in stone. Yet when a person leaves this world, the only thing that truly matters is whether or not they are anchored in Christ.
Acts 3:7 “And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.”
What a stir this miracle caused. The man was above forty years old and had been a fixture in the community for a long time. Suddenly, this man who was laid daily at the gate, was leaping and praising God for this miracle. When those in the vicinity took notice, Peter preached Jesus unto them; explaining that through faith in his name, this man was made whole. Subsequently, this got the attention of the priests and Saducees who had thought that, once Jesus was no longer on the scene they could get back to their “old time religion.” But this miracle; done in the name of Jesus, was undeniable. Consequently, the resisters of truth could do nothing other than issue empty threatenings. We know that about five thousand believed on Jesus after this miracle transpired.
Luke 2:36 “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”
I’ve been steering away from names in this series, but Anna is special. As was the case with Simeon, she bare witness that Jesus was the Messiah. She gave thanks to God and spake of Jesus to all who looked for redemption. This was a lady who spent all of her time with the Lord and departed not from the temple. She didn’t remarry or seek out what would be considered a normal life. There is something profoundly special and inspiring about those who give their “all” unto the Lord at this level.
Psalm 23:5 “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
It’s the one Psalm that’s known by almost everyone. This verse tells how the Lord will meet our needs completely while those who are arrayed against look on. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, he will grant restoration and peace to those who trust in him. We should never fear threatenings in the ambience but place our complete confidence in God, who inhabits eternity and knows what we have need of before we ask.
Proverbs 6:6-8 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
So much can be learned by casual observance of the creation. This example reminds us of how important it is to diligently prepare for the seasons to come and to not allow precious time to pass by. Once a day is gone. it’s gone forever. June 11, 2009 will never happen again. This principle is even more serious in the spiritual realm where half-hearted efforts can have eternal ramifications. May we all strive to make the most of every remaining day. As Psalm 90:12 reads “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
This looks to be a good place to conclude this episode. This series has a long way to go and it quite possible that I’ll not be be actively blogging long enough to see it through. I’m convinced that time is quickly running out on this age and, as such, we must be ever so diligent about the tasks at hand. I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.