The Truth Can be Difficult to Hear, but it is Always Good to Hear!


When we read the Bible, there are a few verses that we can come upon that can stop us in our tracks and cut to the bone (Hebrews 4:12).  They are not always easy to hear, even for those who know God, but they nonetheless are always True and Good. Some verses that hit home recently include the following:

John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

In this world, when things are going well, we can so easily get caught up in the love of the things of the world, the material world, and all of its material enticements.  We can easily forget how ephemeral they all are, and how these things can so quickly pass from us apart from the good grace of God Who provides them.  We can easily take them for granted, and not focus on the God (the God of the Bible) Who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift (and the eternal “good and perfect gift” from God is the salvation of souls that only comes through Jesus Christ).

James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
The truth is that we are all earthly by nature, but we must focus on the heavenly, just as we read in 1 Corinthians 15:47-49,

The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 

We must catch ourselves and repent (turn away) and hate and forsake the world and its enticements and remember that it is really all so much vanity and indeed it (along with our physical bodies) will soon fade away.   Just as we read in Eclesiastes 1:1, “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?”  

When we stop to consider God’s Word, and what the Book of Ecclesiastes tells (along the same lines as we read above in John 1:15-17), we come to the end of that book and read in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecclesiastes reminds us of what Jesus said in Mark 8:35-37, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
(see also Matthew 16:26 and Luke 9:25)
The bottom line is that we are instructed to take up our cross as Jesus commanded in Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Let us all pray that God will be merciful to us who are unprofitable servants (as to one degree or another we are all unprofitable servants).  Please Dear God, grant us the desire and the ability to take up our crosses daily, and follow Jesus and deny ourselves in Your service. Help us to hate the world though we remain dependent on the material sustenance that God allows it to provide to us.  Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Let us consider, and never forget, the message given in the “Sermon on the Mount, in Mathew chapters 5:1-16,  and 6:24-34, where we read where Jesus is described and quoted as follows:

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

And later in Chapter 6:24-34, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Dear Heavenly Father, Lord God, please give us the ears to hear, the eyes to see, the hearts to receive, and the willingness to be obedient to Thy Word.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen

 

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