It is sobering experience to read some of the things that Jesus says about the last day of what we call history, that is, the day of judgement. He always warns about the suddenness and unexpectedness of the arrival of that day. He emphasises the ordinariness of things, until the very moment arrives. He tells us that people will be going about all their normal business, even marrying and giving in marriage (Matthew 24; 36-39). Because of these facts, He says to us all, “Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord comes (Matthew 24:42).
There will always be those who say that say it will never happen. the bible calls them “scoffers” (2 Peter 3:3). Their argument is utter foolishness. They argue that it is so long in coming that it will not happen at all. This is, of course, not an argument. It proves nothing. What they do not realise is that God, in His mercy, is giving them more time to repent.
There is only one answer to the dilemma of not knowing when Christ will come, that is, to be always ready. Easy? Not for such weak creatures as we are, but the command is ‘watch and be ready’. It is good for us to ponder the word “shall” in the following quotes:
“Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence” (Psalm 50: 3).
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout” (1 Thessalonians 4: 16).
I am happy to say that I am now recovered from my broken arm, apart from a period of physiotherapy and general rehabilitation. I wish to express my sincere thanks to all of you who sent your good wishes to me over the last few weeks.
If the Lord will, I hope to go on holiday for three to four weeks, but, if circumstances permit, I will post some holiday thoughts each week.
God-willing, I hope that RightWithGod will continue to appear each week in a much shorter form until my broken right arm is healed, but I will not burden you with all the explanation given in a previous blog.
On a Lord’s Day morning in preparation for preaching, I often read randomly from the letters of Samuel Rutherford. This is to prepare my heart. I often find myself wishing that I had such appreciation of Christ as Rutherford had. I have the same feeling when I read the account of the “woman in the city who was a sinner” in Luke 7: 37-40. Her actions describe her love and thankfulness to Christ with a power and eloquence that no words could ever match. She had what one would call ‘a history’, such that ordinary people would not allow her to touch them. She approaches Jesus and begins to weep over Him and as the tears began to fall on His feet, she began to wipe them with the hairs of her head. The rest of the company waited for Jesus to draw back from her, but no such reaction came. He just let her do it until she was finished. This adds further to the beauty of the scene. It tells us that Jesus recognised her gesture as one of deep appreciation. Of what? At this point, we have to assume that Jesus had a previous conversation with her during which she got RightWithGod. He would have conveyed to her the wonderful news that He was able and willing to forgive her and cleanse her from ALL sin. How I wish that I had such appreciation of Christ as she had.
God-willing, I hope that RightWithGod will continue to appear each week in a much shorter form until my broken right arm is healed, but I will not burden you with all the explanation given in an earlier posting.
It is God’s way with His children that He mixes His judgements with mercy. As time goes on, and I look at the hard trials of others, I realise that my broken arm is indeed “light affliction, which is but for a moment” (2 Corinthians 4: 17). God has in fact been merciful towards me. What He has brought upon me is not judgement, but Fatherly chastisement, and done in love. It was nothing like what I deserved. In fact it was not the smallest fraction more than was necessary to bring about the required ‘stop’ in my life, and I hope that I am now truly thankful for it.
One thing is becoming clear to me over these days of ‘stoppage’. It is that there has been in my spiritual life considerable ‘drift’. It is not that my discipline of prayer and bible reading had fallen by the wayside, but that the level of love, earnestness and fervency in these things had dropped. The problem was that it had dropped so slowly that I was not aware that it was happening. As always in such ‘drifting’, there was some loss of appreciation of what Christ had done for me. I am grateful to God for His intervention. May He revive and quicken my heart, and may I set about making all the adjustments now necessary with commitment and resolve.
God-willing, I hope that RightWithGod will continue to appear each week in a much shorter form until my broken right arm is healed, but I will not burden you with all the explanation given in my last blog. Believers are continually faced with a problem which is peculiar to believers, and which is not easily understood by anyone else. On the one hand, we believe that God is involved in every detail of our lives, and indeed has His own individual lives; on the other hand, God gives us all a set of circumstances within which we are to make decisions and choices according to the principles laid down for us in His word. The latter is an area if the believer’s life which we call “duties”, and it is extremely important. This is where our obedience begins. It necessarily involves some planning, but all our plans must be prefaced with the acknowledgement, “If the Lord will” (James 4:15). God may sometimes have very different plans for us from what we expect. I was once given an old saying which, although not from the scriptures, has been a great help to me over the years: ‘Duties are ours, events are God’s’.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).