Friday, December 13, 2013

"Golden Apples, Silver Pictures"

(For the preachers, teachers, writers, and witnesses who receive these messages, through whom the Lord provides "apples of gold, in pictures of silver.")

"Golden Apples, Silver Pictures"

     I sometimes receive responses to a sermon or essay concerning particular points that hearers and readers find pertinent to their own experience and need.  On numerous occasions, I've almost felt the urge to cry "Foul!" because the points with impact were not those I planned to possess the most influence.

    "Wait a minute!  I appreciate your appreciation, but that was just a transitional thought meant to segue between the really important truths I intended to capture and change your heart!" (I don't actually express this, of course.  But I often think it!).

    Such humbling experience helps to remind that we serve as mouthpieces of another Voice, and more to the point, of another Mind and Heart possessed of perfect knowledge regarding the needs of human souls.  God alone sees to the essence of people.  "All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13).  Thus, God alone accurately directs the illumination, encouragement, and challenge of His truth.  Certainly we do well to prepare our message or testimony of grace and truth in the Lord Jesus. 
"Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (I Peter 3:15).  However, we also trust the Lord to apply whatever word or words that will meet our audience in precise accordance with its need.  "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold, in pictures of silver" (Proverbs 25:11).

    We do well to present our hearts, minds, and tongues to the Lord for His preparation and planning.  He may nevertheless surprise us at times by skillfully revealing the Lord Jesus through that which may seem to us little more than a word in passing.  As the Holy Spirit blesses and illuminates, however, it may become a wealth in provision.  He is the Teacher.  We are those honored to serve as His voices unto a world that must partake of golden apples, displayed in silver pictures...

"O Lord, Thou knowest!"
(Psalm 139:4)

Weekly Memory Verse
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
(II Peter 1:20-21)

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