Let the Redeemed Say So

You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you. COLOSSIANS 3:10

I wonder if Jesus doesn’t muster up a slight smile as he sees his lost sheep come straggling into the fold—the beaten, broken, dirty sheep who stands at the door looking up at the Shepherd asking, “Can I come in? I don’t deserve it, but is there room in your kingdom for one more?” The Shepherd looks down at the sheep and says,“Come in, this is your home.”

Salvation is the process that’s done, that’s secure, that no one can take away from you. Sanctification is the lifelong process of being changed from one degree of glory to the next, growing in Christ, putting away the old, taking on the new.

The Psalmist David would tell us that those who have been redeemed will say so! If we’re not saying so, perhaps it’s because we’ve forgotten what it is like to be redeemed. Let the redeemed of the earth say so!

Walking with the Savior

Confronting Closed Doors

Acts 16:6-10

God has the power to open any closed door. And yet He may decide to let things that seem important to us remain blocked. Why does the Lord allow doors to stay shut?

• Protection. He might be trying to keep us from making a mistake. On our own, we may not have adequate knowledge to make right choices.

• Redirection. God could be sending us on a new path. His plan might include bigger opportunities, deeper satisfaction, more productivity, a season of suffering, or an opportunity to glorify His name. The Lord closed doors in Asia so that the apostle Paul would minister on the continent of Europe. His obedience led to increased fruitfulness—the churches at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Corinth—and to more knowledge for us through his letters to them. Though Paul experienced much suffering, he also knew the joy of participating in God’s work.

• Testing. When God says “No,” our faith is tested, and we discover what we really believe about Him and His plans.

• Perseverance. When our path is blocked, we have opportunity to develop steadfastness. Romans 5:3-5 tells us that we should actually “exult in our tribulations,” because of the positive results the Lord will cause through them.

• Timing. Sometimes our Father places stop signs in our way to work out the right timing for His will.

• Disobedience. Past waywardness can affect future experiences and blessings.

When your way is stopped, look to God and seek His purpose for the interruption. How do you respond to “no”?

The Danger of Adding to Scripture

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18)

This sober warning almost at the end of the Bible was given by the glorified Lord Jesus Himself (note v. 20), so should be taken very seriously.

The Bible is not just a great book. It is The Book! Its content had been “for ever . . . settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89) but had been gradually transmitted to men on Earth through God-called prophets, whose writings were “given by inspiration of God”—that is, literally “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). “God . . . at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” (Hebrews 1:1).

In various ways—sometimes by direct dictation, more often by Spirit-guided research and meditation using each man’s individual style and abilities—God conveyed His message down to mankind. Finally, the New Testament was given through Paul and others “by revelation . . . revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:3, 5). John was the last of the “apostles and prophets” when he wrote Revelation (all the others had been martyred), and Christ then indicated (see text above) that nothing more could be added, not just to John’s obviously finished book of Revelation, but really to the now-completed body of inspired Scripture from Genesis to Revelation.

Those “false prophets” (Matthew 24:11) who have tried to add some new revelation to the Bible (e.g., Mohammed) need urgently to go back to the Bible alone. We need no new revelation. The Bible is more than enough for our salvation (2 Timothy 3:15, etc.) and all needed guidance until Christ returns (2 Peter 1:19). HMM

It is not in me

“It is not in me.” (Job 28:14.)

I REMEMBER a summer in which I said, “It is the ocean I need,” and I went to the ocean; but it seemed to say, “It is not in me!” The ocean did not do for me what I thought it would. Then I said, “The mountains will rest me,” and I went to the mountains, and when I awoke in the morning there stood the grand mountain that I had wanted so much to see; but it said, “It is not in me!” It did not satisfy. Ah! I needed the ocean of His love, and the high mountains of His truth within. It was wisdom that the “depths” said they did not contain, and that could not be compared with jewels or gold or precious stones. Christ is wisdom and our deepest need. Our restlessness within can only be met by the revelation of His eternal friendship and love for us.—Margaret Bottome.

“My heart is there!
Where, on eternal hills, my loved one dwells
Among the lilies and asphodels;
Clad in the brightness of the Great White Throne,
Glad in the smile of Him who sits thereon,
The glory gilding all His wealth of hair
And making His immortal face more fair—
THERE IS MY TREASURE and my heart is there.

“My heart is there!
With Him who made all earthly life so sweet,
So fit to live, and yet to die so meet;
So mild, so grand, so gentle and so brave,
So ready to forgive, so strong to save.
His fair, pure Spirit makes the Heavens more fair,
And thither rises all my longing prayer—
THERE IS MY TREASURE and my heart is there.”
—Favorite poem of the late Chas. E. Cowman.

You cannot detain the eagle in the forest. You may gather around him a chorus of the choicest
birds; you may give him a perch on the goodliest pine; you may charge winged messengers to
bring him choicest dainties; but he will spurn them all. Spreading his lofty wings, and with his eye
on the Alpine cliff, he will soar away to his own ancestral halls amid the munition of rocks and the
wild music of tempest and waterfall.

The soul of man, in its eagle soarings, will rest with nothing short of the Rock of Ages. Its
ancestral halls are the halls of Heaven. Its munitions of rocks are the attributes of God. The sweep
of its majestic flight is Eternity! “Lord, THOU hast been our dwelling place in all generations.”—
Macduff.

“My Home is God Himself’; Christ brought me there.
I laid me down within His mighty arms;
He took me up, and safe from all alarms
He bore me “where no foot but His hath trod,”
Within the holiest at Home with God,
And bade me dwell in Him, rejoicing there.
O Holy Place! O Home divinely fair!
And we, God’s little ones, abiding there.

“My Home is God Himself”; it was not so!
A long, long road I traveled night and day,
And sought to find within myself some way,
Aught I could do, or feel to bring me near;
Self effort failed, and, I was filled with fear,
And then I found, Christ was the only way,
That I must come to Him, and in Him stay,
And God had told me so.

And now “my Home is God,” and sheltered there,
God meets the trials of my earthly life,
God compasses me round from storm and strife,
God takes the burden of my daily care.
O Wondrous Place! O Home divinely fair!
And I, God’s little one, safe hidden there.
Lord, as I dwell in Thee and Thou in me,
So make me dead to everything but Thee;
That as I rest within my Home most fair,
My soul may evermore and only see
My God in everything and everywhere;
My Home is God.
—Author Unknown.

The people, when they beheld Him, were greatly amazed

“The people, when they beheld Him, were greatly amazed, and running to
Him saluted Him.”
Mark 9:15

How great the difference between Moses and Jesus! When the prophet of Horeb had been forty days upon the mountain, he underwent a kind of transfiguration, so that his countenance shone with exceeding brightness, and he put a veil over his face, for the people could not endure to look upon his glory. Not so our Saviour. He had been transfigured with a greater glory than that of Moses, and yet, it is not written that the people were blinded by the blaze of His countenance, but rather they were amazed, and running to Him they saluted Him.

The glory of the law repels, but the greater glory of Jesus attracts. Though Jesus is holy and just, yet blended with His purity there is so much of truth and grace, that sinners run to Him amazed at His goodness, fascinated by His love; they salute Him, become His disciples, and take Him to be their Lord and Master. Reader, it may be that just now you are blinded by the dazzling brightness of the law of God. You feel its claims on your conscience, but you cannot keep it in your life. Not that you find fault with the law, on the contrary, it commands your profoundest esteem, still you are in nowise drawn by it to God; you are rather hardened in heart, and are verging towards desperation.

Ah, poor heart! turn thine eye from Moses, with all his repelling splendour, and look to Jesus, resplendent with milder glories. Behold His flowing wounds and thorn-crowned head! He is the Son of God, and therein He is greater than Moses, but He is the Lord of love, and therein more tender than the lawgiver. He bore the wrath of God, and in His death revealed more of God’s justice than Sinai on a blaze, but that justice is now vindicated, and henceforth it is the guardian of believers in Jesus. Look, sinner, to the bleeding Saviour, and as thou feelest the attraction of His love, fly to His arms, and thou shalt be saved.

He hath commanded His covenant for ever

“He hath commanded His covenant for ever.” Psalms 111:9

The Lord’s people delight in the covenant itself. It is an unfailing source of consolation to them so often as the Holy Spirit leads them into its banqueting house and waves its banner of love. They delight to contemplate the antiquity of that covenant, remembering that before the day-star knew its place, or planets ran their round, the interests of the saints were made secure in Christ Jesus.

It is peculiarly pleasing to them to remember the sureness of the covenant, while meditating upon “the sure mercies of David.” They delight to celebrate it as “signed, and sealed, and ratified, in all things ordered well.” It often makes their hearts dilate with joy to think of its immutability, as a covenant which neither time nor eternity, life nor death, shall ever be able to violate—a covenant as old as eternity and as everlasting as the Rock of ages.

They rejoice also to feast upon the fulness of this covenant, for they see in it all things provided for them. God is their portion, Christ their companion, the Spirit their Comforter, earth their lodge, and heaven their home. They see in it an inheritance reserved and entailed to every soul possessing an interest in its ancient and eternal deed of gift. Their eyes sparkled when they saw it as a treasure-trove in the Bible; but oh! how their souls were gladdened when they saw in the last will and testament of their divine kinsman, that it was bequeathed to them!

More especially it is the pleasure of God’s people to contemplate the graciousness of this covenant. They see that the law was made void because it was a covenant of works and depended upon merit, but this they perceive to be enduring because grace is the basis, grace the condition, grace the strain, grace the bulwark, grace the foundation, grace the topstone. The covenant is a treasury of wealth, a granary of food, a fountain of life, a store-house of salvation, a charter of peace, and a haven of joy.