Tuesday, February 28, 2017

“More Than Enough Straw"

"More Than Enough Straw" 
   Every command of the New Testament comes with promise, the promise of God's leadership, motivation, and enabling to obey.

   "God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (II Corinthians 9:8).

   Unlike Pharaoh and his cruelty toward the Israelites of old, our Heavenly Father provides more than enough spiritual straw for His trusting children to make bricks of faith and faithfulness (Exodus 5:6-19).  We must be confident of His promises and submit ourselves to His working in order to experience the grace given that leads to commands obeyed.  Thus, we view Scriptural mandates not as onerous burdens, but as opportunities to experience our Lord's enabling to do that which we could never independently accomplish.  "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:3-4).  Upon this basis, we must have an expectation to obey, not because of ourselves or our own dedication, but rather because of God and His dedication to providing everything necessary for the living of the Christian life.  

    "His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3).

   In those matters of obedience that challenge us, we must realize that in some manner, our "knowledge of Him" is insufficient.  However, sin and failure tends to focus us on ourselves.  "Why am I like this?!  Why do I do that?!"  Such self-centeredness will never lead us into the enabling whereby we experience "the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith".  Only by looking to the Object of our faith can we find the straw to make bricks.  Christ serves as the source and provision for all things, including our faith and faithfulness.  We must better know Him and understand His truth in order to experience that grace already given that empowers obedience to God.  The writer of Hebrews plainly declares such blessed truth, and we close in the light of the Lord who serves as the Life of our lives…

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
(Hebrews 12:1-3; emphasis added)

Weekly Memory Verse 
   Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.
(Ephesians 4:31)

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