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Lead me in a Plain Path
Tuesday, 22 February 2005
Testing has a Purpose
Now Playing: Are we seeking for God's answers in our troubles ?
Topic: Testing
Genesis 22:1,2; 1 Peter 1:3-7

God wanted Abraham to prove that he loved Him more than the things of this life and more than any other person. For this test God chose the person who was the dearest object of Abraham's life--Isaac.

God may sometimes test you this way also. Although the test may be severe and may involve the dearest person or thing in your life, you will be a better person for God as a result of the test.

The offering of human sacrifices was a common practice of the heathen in Abraham's time. However, there is no other incident where God tested a believer in this particular way.

Human sacrifices were strongly condemned by God in the Old Testament. His people, Israel, were to totally abstain from this heathen practice. But with Abraham, God chose this test to prove whom Abraham loved most. God knew what he would do.

When God promised him a son, Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. But, having received the promised son, there was the danger that Abraham would give more of his attention to the gift than to the Giver.

He knew that out of Isaac would come the descendants God had promised. Abraham was in danger of concentrating on the fulfillment of God's promise to the exclusion of God Himself, who had made the promise.

"Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps" (1 Pet. 2:21).

(from T. Epp)

Posted by dondegr8 at 9:42 AM EST
Wednesday, 16 February 2005
Trusting despite Circumstances
Now Playing: Are we willing to trust in God in every situation ?
Topic: Devotion
Genesis 22:4-5; Hebrews 11:17-19

Genesis 22:4-5 says, "Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."

In these verses there are three things in particular that reveal the tremendous faith of Abraham.

First, he told the young men who were with him, "Abide ye here." Once Abraham saw the mountain that God was going to send him to, he wanted to be sure that nothing or no one would hinder what he had undertaken.

Second, Abraham told the young men, "I and the lad will go yonder and worship." Thus Abraham gave up all of his desires and ascribed everything to God. It was a true act of worship when Abraham was willing to give up everything for God.

Third, Abraham told the young men, "I and the lad will. . . come again to you." His faith was in the God of the resurrection. He believed that God would bring his son back to life.

Can we trust God when we are totally unable to see how He is going to work out His will? Abraham demonstrated that he could.

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15).

(from T. Epp)


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Posted by dondegr8 at 9:03 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 11 November 2006 3:43 PM EST
Sunday, 13 February 2005
Friend of God
Now Playing: Are we willing to let our faith be tested by God ?
Topic: Guidance
Genesis 18:16-21

Abraham's faith grew and developed through the spiritual exercise of testing. This is also why God permits our faith to be tested.

First Peter 1:7 says the purpose of testing is so "the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."

In Genesis 18 there are some very significant statements about Abraham. The Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?" (vv. 17,18).

The Lord was going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, but He told Abraham first. Truly, Abraham was the friend of God.

God said of Abraham, "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him" (v. 19).

What a tremendous statement--and to think it was spoken by God Himself! God knew Abraham intimately, and He knows every detail about us.

Are we determined to do His will at any cost? Does He have first place in our lives and thinking? Do we command our children and our household after Him?

"He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye" (Deut. 32:10).

(selected from T. Epp)

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:16 PM EST
Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Result of Pride
Now Playing: Are we trusting in our own strength ?
Topic: Pride
Stay on guard!

Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Anyone who has traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland has probably seen the Edinburgh castle. It is a tower of seemingly insurmountable strength. However, long ago that castle was attacked and seized.

One place in the fortress was protected by its steepness and impregnability, they thought, so no guards were posted there. But at an obvious weak spot was where the most guards were stationed. Wouldn't you know that at an opportune time, the attacking army sent a small band up that unguarded slope and surprised the garrison into surrender. Where the castle was strong, there it was weak.

In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin wrote: "There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility".

I guess the even best of us struggle with pride in our lives -- wait, come to think of it -- it's most likely the best of us that struggle with pride the most!

The enemy of our souls would like nothing more than to cause us to stumble -- especially in the areas we feel most secure!! We need to be on guard. Let's never put our hope in our own strengths, or anyone else's for that matter. We must remind ourselves continuously that it is the Lord who is our strength, and He alone.

(selected)

Posted by dondegr8 at 2:30 PM EST
Wednesday, 19 January 2005
Biblical Leadership
Now Playing: Are we following the scriptural pattern for service to God ?
Topic: Service
Biblical Pattern for today

In recent years, there has been an organizational explosion in Christendom of such proportions as to make one dizzy. Every time a believer gets a new idea for advancing the cause of Christ, he forms a new mission board, corporation or institution!

One result is that capable teachers and preachers have been called away from their primary ministries in order to become administrators. If all mission board administratorswere serving on the mission field,it would greatly reduce the need for personnel there.

Another result of the proliferation of organizations is that vast sums of money are needed for overhead, and thus diverted from direct gospel outreach. The greater part of every dollar given to many Christian organizations is devoted to the expense of maintaining the organization rather than to the primary purpose for which it was founded.

Organbizations often hinder the fulfillment of the Great Commisision. Jesus told His disciples to teach all the things He had commanded. Many who work for Christian organizations find they are not permitted to teach all the truth of God. They must not teach certain controversial matters for fear they will alienate the constituency to whom they look for financial support..

The multiplication of Christian institutions has too often resulted in factions, jealousy, and rivalry that have done great harm to the testimony of Christ.

Consider the overlapping multiplicity of Christian organizations at work, at home, and abroad. Each competes for limited personnel and for shrinking financial resources. And consider how many of these organizations really owe their origin to purely human rivalry, though public statements usually refer to God's will. (Daily Notes of the Scripture Union)

And it is true that organizations have a way of perpetuatung themselves long after they have outlived their usefulness. The wheels grind on heavily even though the vision of the founders has been lost, and the glory of a once-dynamic movement has departed. It was spiritual wisdom, not primitive naivete, that saved the early Christians from from setting up human organizations to carry on the work of the Lord.

G H Lang writes: An acute writer, contrasting the apostolic work with the more usual modern missionary methods, has said that "we found missions, the apostles founded churches." The distinction is sound and pregnant. The apostles founded churches, and they founded nothing else, because for the ends in view nothing else was required or could have been so suitable.

In each place where they labored they formed the converts into a local assembly, with elders --- always elders, never an elder (Acts 14.23, 15.6, 23; 20.17; Phil. 1.1) --- to guide, to rule to shepherd, men qualified by the Lord and recognised by the saints. (1 Cor 16.15; 1 Thess. 5.12, 13; 1 Tim. 5.17-19) and with deacons, appointed by the assembly (Acts 6.1-6; Phil. 1.1)--- in this contasted with the elders --- to attend to the few but very important temporal affairs, and in particular to the distribution of the funds of the assembly . . . . All they (the apostles) did in the way of organizing was to form the disciples gathered into other such assemblies. No other organization than the local assembly appears in the New Testiment, no do we find even the germ of anything further."

To the early Christians and their apostolic leadership, the congregation was the divinely-appointed unit on earth through which God chose to work, and the only such unit to which He promised perpetuity was the church.

[from the Believer's Bible Commentary, William MacDonald, p 1591, with author's permission]

Posted by dondegr8 at 11:37 AM EST
Friday, 7 January 2005
Alone with God
Now Playing: How much time are we truly alone with God ?
Topic: Devotion
Alone With God

"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a
man with him until the breaking of the day" (Gen.
32:24).

Left alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of Heaven! If His followers spent more time alone with Him, we should have spiritual giants again.

The Master set us an example. Note how often He went to be alone with God; and He had a mighty purpose behind the command, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray."

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. It was alone with God that Jacob became a prince; and just there that we, too, may become princes--"men (aye, and women too!) wondered at" (Zech. 3:8). Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him. (Josh. 1:1) Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel. (Judges 6:11 and 11:29)

Moses was by himself at the wilderness bush. (Exodus 3:1-5) Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel came to him. (Acts 10:2) No one was with Peter on the house top, when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9) John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (Luke 1:90), and John the Beloved alone in Patmos, when nearest God. (Rev. 1:9)

Covet to get alone with God. If we neglect it, we not only rob ourselves, but others too, of blessing, since when we are blessed we are able to pass on blessing to others. It may mean less outside work; it must mean more depth and power, and the consequence, too, will be "they saw no man save Jesus only."

To be alone with God in prayer cannot be over-emphasized.

"If chosen men had never been alone,
In deepest silence open-doored to God,
No greatness ever had been dreamed or done."

(selected from R.K.G.)



Posted by dondegr8 at 8:42 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 27 January 2005 10:18 AM EST
Friday, 17 December 2004
Fulfillment of Scripture
Now Playing: Are we amazed at God's perfect plan for all time and all history ?
Topic: Scripture
Art Thou `That Prophet'?

"This is of a truth `that prophet' that should come into the world."

Deuteronomy 18:18, "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."

John 1:19: "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who art thou? '
20: "And He confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21: "And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And He saith, 'I am not'. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, 'No'.
22: "Then said they unto him, 'Who art thou ?' that we may give an answer to them that sent us. 'What sayest thou of thyself ?'
23: He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias."


John 1:45: "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, 'We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph'."


John 6:14: "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, 'This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world'."


Acts 7:37: "This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, 'A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear'."


Jesus; and Moses,

Jesus; took up residence in Egypt, as did Moses.
Jesus; earthly family initially rejected Him, as did Moses' family.
Jesus; earthly family later believed and supported Him, as did Moses family.
Jesus role; Prophet, Priest, Lawgiver, Teacher and Leader of men, as was Moses.
Jesus fulfilled the law before Israel, which Moses delivered to Israel.
Jesus; taught new revelations from God, as did Moses.
Jesus; authenticated His teaching with miracles, as did Moses.
Jesus; confronted evil/demoniac power and subdued it, as did Moses.
Jesus; 70 disciples to teach the people, Moses appointed 70 elders.
Jesus; chose 12 apostles to bless the lands, Moses chose 12 spies to search out the land.
Jesus; fasted for 40 days, as did Moses.
Jesus; commanded the waves and natural elements, Moses - the Red Sea,
Jesus; transfigured, shone with Glory, as did Moses on Sinai,
Jesus; spread open His arms, interceding for mankind on the cross, with a man on each side of Him, as did Moses, interceding for Israel, with a man on each side of him.
Jesus; lifted up on the cross, Moses elevated the brass serpent,
Jesus; faced the rebellion of His own people, as did Moses.
Jesus; promised the Comforter, Moses promised "That Prophet",

Moses, delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage,

Jesus Christ, delivered freedom to all who would trust in Him.

Moses, seven days later, Feast of First-fruits, led the children of Israel through the Red Sea, type of death and resurrection, and defeating the enemy of Israel.

Jesus, on the Feast of First fruits, became the First Fruits of the resurrection of the dead, defeating the archenemy of mankind, death.

Moses, 50 days later, on the feast of Penticost, delivered the Word of God from Mount Sinai,

Jesus, on the Feast of Penticost, delivered the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth `that prophet' that should come into the world. (John 6:14)


Adapted from, "Unveiling Mysteries of the Bible" G. R. Jeffries (by D. Hopkins)

Posted by dondegr8 at 12:23 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 17 December 2004 12:32 PM EST
Thursday, 2 December 2004
The Breath of God
Now Playing: Is are we allowing God to work in our life ?
Topic: Divine Blessings
The Breath of God;

The breath of God authored natural life;

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7

The breath of God authored spiritual life;

"Then said Jesus to them again, 'Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you'.
And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, 'Receive Holy Spirit':"
John 20:21-22

The breath of God authored spiritual bread to sustain spiritual life within natural man;

"All scripture is (God breathed) given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

These elements require no explanation; they do require experience, it is not enough for man to be left in his unregenerate state, he must receive the washing of regeneration, man in his regenerated state is incapable of being sustained, except it be by the power of the Spirit of God, nourished by the bread of life.

All scripture (is) God breathed and profitable, that is it brings value. The only time `success' is employed in the KJV, is in relation to a man being personally faithful to the written word. Joshua, would not be successful by teaching others, or forcing obedience upon others, he would be successful by personal obedience to the word of God.

It did not mention he would be a CEO in a fortune 500 club Corporation driving an extravagant camel and possessing property in Los Angeles. (Joshua 1: 6-9)

It is profitable for; Teaching, Conviction, Correction, Instruction that is in righteousness,
That the man of God may be, "Thoroughly furnished." This literally means; to be prepare perfectly, to complete for a special purpose.(W.E.Vine)

These are the words of His mouth; resting upon His breath as He whispers to our haste saturated hearts each day.

"I have esteemed the words of His mouth, more than the purpose of mine own heart." Job 23:12 (JND trans)

"But as it is written, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.' But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:9-14

We are not arbitrary, accidental configurations surviving simply because we are strongest or most handsome mutations. We are the design of a blessed, loving and deliberate Creator.

By His Holy Spirit we are being taught, convicted, corrected and instructed in righteousness, not for the person in the next seat, not for the other guy, but for me, it is not your tool to perfect me, it is the tool of the Spirit, that I may be thoroughly furnished, and this by the breath of God.

"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit:
for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." 2 Corinthians 3:6

"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently" 1 Peter 1:22

John 19:30 "Jesus said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
Matthew 27:50 "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."

"In both cases the verb suggests it was an act of His own volition." W.E.Vine.
The very breath He bequeathed to bring life to His creature,is the breath He gave up in death that His creature might live. (Poet ink.)

Posted by dondegr8 at 12:10 PM EST
Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Communion or Circumstances
Now Playing: What directs our pathway ?
Topic: Guidance
Communion OR Circumstances ?

Circumstance #1;

Jonah 1:
1: Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2: Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3: But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
4: But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.

Circumstance #2;

Genesis 12:
7: And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
8: And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
9: And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
10: And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.

Communion #1;

Psalm 32:
8: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Communion #2;

Deuteronomy 34:
10: And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.

Communion #3;

Genesis 24:
27:Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth:

I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren.

Eight Faithful Promises;

John 14:
16: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, #1- that he may abide with you for ever; 17: Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18: I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, #2- he shall teach you all things, and #3- bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 15:
26: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, #4- he shall testify of me:

John 16:
13: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, #5- he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and #6- he will shew you things to come.
14: #7- He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, #8- and shall shew it unto you.
15: All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Submission to the Holy Spirit;

Acts 16:
6: Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
7: After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
8: And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
9: And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
10: And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
(put together by Poet ink)

"I have set before thee an opened (conotes purposed of God) door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name." Revelation 3:8


1.Lead on, almighty Lord,
Lead on to victory:
Encouraged by Thy blessed word,
With joy we follow Thee.

2.We follow Thee, our Guide,
Who didst salvation bring:
We follow Thee, through grace supplied
From heavens's eternal spring:

3.Till of the prize possessed,
We hear of war no more,
And, O sweet thought !for ever rest
On yonder peaceful shore.
(Thomas Kelly, #312 Hymns for the Little Flock)

Posted by dondegr8 at 12:23 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 12 February 2005 2:24 PM EST
Friday, 12 November 2004
Religious and the Spiritual
Now Playing: What is our true character in the sight of God ?
Topic: Devotion
The religious and the spiritual;

The next section of our Gospel sets forth, first by a parable, then by facts, lastly by the words which passed between the Lord and the twelve, the characteristics which suit the kingdom of God. The connection is with this as we know it now, rather than with its display when the Son of man comes in judgment of the quick as in the preceding parable. Indeed, the exceeding breadth of the lesson about to be taught we learn in the words with which the Evangelist opens:

"And he spoke also to some, who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and made nothing of all the rest [of them], this parable."

It is no dispensational picture of the Divine ways with Jews and Gentiles; it is a moral delineation which tells us how God regards those who plume themselves on their correctness of ways as a ground of confidence with Him, and what His estimate is of those who are broken before Him because of their conscious and now to themselves loathsome sinfulness.
"Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a taxgatherer. The Pharisee, standing, prayed thus to himself: God, I thank thee that I am not as the rest of men, rapacious, unjust, adulterers, or even as this taxgatherer. I fast twice in the week, I tithe every thing that I acquire.* And the taxgatherer, standing afar off, would not lift up even his eyes to heaven, but was striking upon his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me the sinner. I say unto you, this [man] went down to his house? justified rather than that [other]; for every one who exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

The Pharisee represents the religious world in its most respectable shape;
The taxgatherer, such as had no character to lose, but whatever he may have been,
now truly penitent and looking to God's compassion in selfjudgment. How different are the thoughts of God from those of men! A delicate difference is implied in the two forms of the word which we translate "standing" in each case. With the Pharisee the form (staqeiv") implies a stand taken, a putting himself in position, such as one might naturally do in addressing a speech to an assembly. With the taxgatherer it is the ordinary _expression for standing in contradistinction to sitting (eJstwv")
Again, the essence of the Pharisee's prayer, if prayer it can be called, is not a confession of sin nor an _expression of need even, but a thanksgiving; and this, not for what God had done and been for him, but for what he himself was.

He was not, like the rest of men, violent and corrupt, nor even as the taxgatherer, of whom he cannot speak without a tinge of contempt "this taxgatherer." He finally displays his own habits of fasting and of religious punctiliousness. Not that he laid false claims; not that he excluded God, but he trusted, as a ground for acceptance, to his righteousness, and he made nothing of others'.

He never saw his own sins in the sight of God.
The taxgatherer, on the contrary, is filled with shame and contrition. He stands afar off with not even his eyes raised to heaven, and beats withal on his breast, saying,

"God be compassionate to me, the sinner if ever there was one."

From the homily on lowliness in view of our sins we are now to receive another, lowliness because of our insignificance.

"And they brought to him also infants that he might touch them; but the disciples when they saw [it rebuked them. But Jesus calling them to [him] said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter into it." (Matt. 18: 3.)

The babes were of great price in the eyes of Jesus, not of the disciples, who, if not rabbis themselves, would have lowered their Master to the level of such an one in contempt of little ones. But this could not be suffered, for it was not the truth. Neither the Son nor the Father so feel toward the weak and evidently dependent. Nor is this. all: "of such is the kingdom of God." Those who enter into His kingdom must by grace receive the Saviour and His word as a child that of its, parents. Selfreliance is excluded and replaced by dependence on God in the sense of our own nothingness. Luke 18: 1830.Matt. 19: 1629; Mark 10: 1730.

Next comes the young and rich ruler, who went away sorrowfully from Christ rather than give up the selfimportance attached to his manifold possessions.
"And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Teacher, having done what shall I inherit life eternal? 457a And Jesus said to him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, God.*458 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honour thy father and thy mother.458a

And he said, All these things have I kept from my? youth. And Jesus on hearing [this]? said to him, One thing is lacking to thee yet: sell all that thou hast and distribute to poor [men], and thou shalt have treasure in the heavens?; and come, follow me. But he on hearing these things became very sorrowful, for he was exceedingly rich. And Jesus having seen him [become very sorrowful]|| said, How difficult shall those who have riches enter? into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to enter through a needle's eye than for a rich [man] to enter into the kingdom of God."

The case is plain. The young ruler had no sense of sin, no faith in Christ as a Saviour, still less did he believe that a Divine person was there, which indeed He must be to save sinners. He appealed to Jesus as the best _expression of goodness in man, the highest in the class in which he counted himself no mean scholar. The Lord answers him on the ground of his question. Did he ask the Lord as the good master or teacher, what thing doing he should inherit eternal life? He took his stand on his own doing; he saw not that he was lost and needed salvation. It had never occurred to him that man as such was out of the way, none good, no, not one. That Jesus was the Son of God and Son of man sent to save was a truth to him unknown.

The Lord brings in the commandments of the second table: but his conscience was untouched: "All these things have I kept from my youth."458b "One thing is lacking to thee yet," said Jesus to the self-satisfied yet dissatisfied ruler, conscious that he had not eternal life and that he had no solid security for the future "Sell all that thou hast, and distribute to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me." The conscience which had resisted the test of law fell at the first touch of Jesus. "And hearing this he became very sorrowful, for he was exceedingly rich."

Yet how infinitely did the demand fall short of what we know and have in the Master, good indeed, God indeed, who never laid on others a burden which He had not borne,"" who bore one immeasurably greater and under circumstances peculiar to Himself, and for ends redounding to the glory of God, and with the result to every sinful creature on earth of a testimony of grace without limit, and of a blessing without stint where He is received! To the ruler it was overwhelming, impossible, the annihilation of all he valued; for indeed now it was evident that he loved his riches, money, mammon, a thing he had never suspected in himself before; but there it had been all along, discovered now in presence of and by Him Who, though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. 2 Cor. 8: 9.

The ruler valued his position and his property, and could not bear to have nothing and be nothing. Oh, what a contrast with Him who "counted it not a matter of robbery to be on equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking a bondsman's form, born in likeness of men; and who, when found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself by becoming obedient as far as death, yea death of the cross." Phil. 2: 6ff. W Kelly, Luke 18


Posted by dondegr8 at 12:55 PM EST

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