Archive for March 2009

The House of God

March 25, 2009
God’s building a house, a Temple Divine;
Not a temple of stone, nor an earthly shrine;
Not a building of brick, with a steeple and dome,
But a spiritual House, called God’s Home.
The Body of Christ this House is named,
By the Spirit of God this House is framed;
A place on earth for God to dwell;
Christ gave to Paul this Truth to tell.
God’s purpose in grace, His eternal plan,
The fullness of Christ, called “the One New Man;”
The Mystery of God for centuries sealed,
Unknown, untold; but at last revealed.
Christ told it to Paul, unto Paul alone;
Now the Secret was his, to make it known.
In the heavens above, Christ has His seat;
There to remain till His Body’s complete.
One spirit, one flesh, saved and secure;
The foundation of God is standing sure;
Joined to Christ, Head over all,
The Mystery of God revealed to Paul.

J.C. O’Hair (1876-1958)
Grace Poems

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Willingness to Walk Alone with God

March 25, 2009

Look unto Abraham … for I called him alone … (Isaiah 51:2).

Abraham was called “the friend of God” (James 2:23). This friendship with God called him to a place of being alone, for indeed God had “called him alone.”

This is to be the expected lot of those who would walk with God. Man often has an affinity for groups, a longing to be “a part of something.” We all naturally love and value the fellowship and companionship of others; but more often than not God calls His own to walk on a solitary road with Him. Walking with Him requires a willingness to go alone if necessary. We must be willing to forgo the many voices of comfort and encouragement; of appreciation and respect. He calls us away from the noise of all of this into the quiet place of His love. God called Abraham (then named Abram) to

Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee (Genesis 12:1).

Earlier God had placed an “alone” call to Noah.

… While the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved … (I Peter 3:20).

Noah and his family walked alone with God. Job did not even have the luxury of family, not even his wife.

Then said his wife unto him, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die” (Job 2:9).

We hear Jesus alone in the garden of Gethsemane, asking of His disciples, specifically Peter,

What, could ye not watch with Me one hour? (Matthew 26:40).

Even Paul, after all his years of loving devotion to others, could say as he stood before his Roman judgment,

At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me … (II Timothy 4:16).

To this he quickly adds,

Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me … (II Timothy 4:17).

This was his testimony. What he lacked from others, while being “alone,” was more than made up for by the Lord. The Lord was his constant friend and companion.

Paul would say in his last letter, while facing death,

… All they which are in Asia be turned away from me; … only Luke is with me … (II Timothy 1:15; 4:11).

These are only a few examples. What did they all have in common? A willingness to walk alone with God; to forgo earthly fellowship and friendship if need be, to honor and follow Him.

Jesus said of the Pharisees,

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God (John 12:43).

By contrast we read of Paul,

… Not as pleasing men, but God …” (I Thessalonians 2:4).

… Do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).

… I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ (Philippians 3:8).

The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote,

Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach (Hebrews 13:12-13).

Only a few verses before, we read those wonderful words,

… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5).

The loss of earthly support is offset and outweighed by a deep sense of the love and presence of our Father.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook

Comparative Mentality

March 25, 2009

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For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (II Corinthians 10:12).

We tend to think in human terms about other people, i.e., in terms of “degrees.” We judge ourselves in a certain way, and as we view others’ lives, we then judge them according to our own judgment of ourselves, thereby deeming others either as good, or better (rarely), or worse (usually, or more often) than ourselves.

It is a natural, carnal mentality that drives us to “compare” others this way, which results in a legalistic “divvying” (or, dividing) of humanity, using ourselves as the “standard” by which others are deemed acceptable first, by us, and then, in our own minds, by God. In other words, we might say, “This person has done worse things than I, and therefore does not ‘deserve’ to be accepted,” etc.

Thus we exclude whole groups of people from the provision of God’s grace on the basis that we are the dividing line by which God has determined one’s acceptability with Him (because, “naturally,” We are saved and accepted by Him, but those others are not, etc.).

André Sneidar
Bible Student’s Notebook
Daily Email Goodies

Lack of Freedom

March 20, 2009

I don’t know if you’ve ever considered getting a degree in divinity or submitting to an ordination process, but you wouldn’t believe the lack of freedom which either one involves. I know schools and churches need to protect their reputation, but if you don’t agree with them point by point on everything, you may as well not plan a very long future with them … there are some real control issues out there.

A God-Tested Brother in Christ Jesus writing to a Friend
(Submitted by John McKay)


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