TRUTH IN LOVE

Your kingdom is built on what is right and fair. Love and truth are in all you do. PSALM 89:14

The single most difficult pursuit is truth and love. That sentence is grammatically correct. I know every English teacher would like to pluralize it to read: The most difficult pursuits are those of truth and love. But that’s not what I mean to say.

Love is a difficult pursuit.

Truth is a tough one, too.

But put them together, pursue truth and love at the same time and hang on baby, you’re in for the ride of your life.

Love in truth. Truth in love. Never one at the expense of the other. Never the embrace of love without the torch of truth. Never the heat of truth without the warmth of love …

To pursue both is our singular task.

from THE INSPIRATIONAL STUDY BIBLE

Don’t Be Troubled

The person who trusts the LORD will be blessed. JEREMIAH 17:7

Just prior to his crucifixion, [Jesus] told his disciples that he would be leaving them. “Where I am going you cannot follow now, but you will follow later” (John 13:36).

Such a statement was bound to stir some questions. Peter spoke for the others and asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now?” (v. 37).

See if Jesus’ reply doesn’t reflect the tenderness of a parent to a child: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this it if were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you.… I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am going” (John 14:1–3).

Reduce the paragraph to a sentence and it might read: “You do the trusting and I’ll do the taking.”

When Christ Comes

Remember the Day of Rest

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.” (Exodus 20:8-10)

The Hebrew word for “remember” actually means to “mark” or “set aside.” The Israelites didn’t need to be told to “remember” the sabbath, because all nations had been keeping time in weeks ever since creation (Genesis 2:13). (Note the references to the sabbath in the sending of God’s manna, prior to the giving of this commandment |Exodus 16:23-29|.) But they did need to be reminded to mark it as a holy or rest day, as God had done in that first week.

The Hebrew word for “sabbath” does not mean “Saturday” any more than it means “Sunday.” It means, simply, “rest” or “intermission.” The institution of the sabbath (that is, one day out of every seven days to be “set aside” as a day of rest, worship, and remembrance of the Creator) was “made for man” and his good (Mark 2:27). It was even of benefit to the animals used by man (note the mention of “cattle” in the commandment). It had been a pattern observed since the completion of God’s six days of creation and making all things at the very beginning of world history (note Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:11).

It is still appropriate today, as well. “There remaineth therefore a rest |that is, ‘a sabbath-keeping’| to the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). All men have a deep need to remember their Creator and His completed work of creation at least once each week, as well as His completed work of salvation—especially in these days when both of these finished works are so widely denied or ignored. HMM

The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and storm

“The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and storm.” (Nahum 1:3.)

I RECOLLECT, when a lad, and while attending a classical institute in the vicinity of Mount Pleasant, sitting on an elevation of that mountain, and watching a storm as it came up the valley. The heavens were filled with blackness, and the earth was shaken by the voice of thunder. It seemed as though that fair landscape was utterly changed, and its beauty gone never to return. But the storm swept on, and passed out of the valley; and if I had sat in the same place on the following day, and said, “Where is that terrible storm, with all its terrible blackness?” the grass would have said, “Part of it is in me,” and the daisy would have said, “Part of it is in me,” and the fruits and flowers and everything that grows out of the ground would have said, “Part of the storm is incandescent in me.”

Have you asked to be made like your Lord? Have you longed for the fruit of the Spirit, and have you prayed for sweetness and gentleness and love? Then fear not the stormy tempest that is at this moment sweeping through your life. A blessing is in the storm, and there will be the rich fruitage in the “afterward.”—Henry Ward Beecher.

The flowers live by the tears that fall
From the sad face of the skies;
And life would have no joys at all,
Were there no watery eyes.
Love thou thy sorrow: grief shall bring
Its own excuse in after years;
The rainbow!—see how fair a thing
God hath built up from tears.
—Henry S. Sutton.

Who went about doing good

“Who went about doing good.” Acts 10:38

Few words, but yet an exquisite miniature of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are not many touches, but they are the strokes of a master’s pencil. Of the Saviour and only of the Saviour is it true in the fullest, broadest, and most unqualified sense. “He went about doing good.” From this description it is evident that He did good personally. The evangelists constantly tell us that He touched the leper with His own finger, that He anointed the eyes of the blind, and that in cases where He was asked to speak the word only at a distance, He did not usually comply, but went Himself to the sick bed, and there personally wrought the cure.

A lesson to us, if we would do good, to do it ourselves. Give alms with your own hand; a kind look, or word, will enhance the value of the gift. Speak to a friend about his soul; your loving appeal will have more influence than a whole library of tracts. Our Lord’s mode of doing good sets forth His incessant activity! He did not only the good which came close to hand, but He “went about” on His errands of mercy. Throughout the whole land of Judea there was scarcely a village or a hamlet which was not gladdened by the sight of Him. How this reproves the creeping, loitering manner, in which many professors serve the Lord. Let us gird up the loins of our mind, and be not weary in well doing.

Does not the text imply that Jesus Christ went out of His way to do good? “He went about doing good.” He was never deterred by danger or difficulty. He sought out the objects of His gracious intentions. So must we. If old plans will not answer, we must try new ones, for fresh experiments sometimes achieve more than regular methods. Christ’s perseverance, and the unity of His purpose, are also hinted at, and the practical application of the subject may be summed up in the words, “He hath left us an example that we should follow in His steps.”

So foolish was I, and ignorant, I was as a beast

“So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before Thee.” Psalm 73:22

Remember this is the confession of the man after God’s own heart; and in telling us his inner life, he writes, “So foolish was I, and ignorant.” The word “foolish,” here, means more than it signifies in ordinary language. David, in a former verse of the Psalm, writes, “I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked,” which shows that the folly he intended had sin in it. He puts himself down as being thus “foolish,” and adds a word which is to give intensity to it; “so foolish was I.” How foolish he could not tell.

It was a sinful folly, a folly which was not to be excused by frailty, but to be condemned because of its perverseness and wilful ignorance, for he had been envious of the present prosperity of the ungodly, forgetful of the dreadful end awaiting all such. And are we better than David that we should call ourselves wise! Do we profess that we have attained perfection, or to have been so chastened that the rod has taken all our wilfulness out of us? Ah, this were pride indeed! If David was foolish, how foolish should we be in our own esteem if we could but see ourselves! Look back, believer: think of your doubting God when He has been so faithful to you—think of your foolish outcry of “Not so, my Father,” when He crossed His hands in affliction to give you the larger blessing; think of the many times when you have read His providences in the dark, misinterpreted His dispensations, and groaned out, “All these things are against me,” when they are all working together for your good!

Think how often you have chosen sin because of its pleasure, when indeed, that pleasure was a root of bitterness to you! Surely if we know our own heart we must plead guilty to the indictment of a sinful folly; and conscious of this “foolishness,” we must make David’s consequent resolve our own—”Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel.”