(Friends: yesterday marked the 42nd anniversary of my salvation. I thought I'd take the occasion to mention a few truths regarding the ongoing spiritual education process of God and His truth, as experienced by slow learner. Indeed, if anything, I have discovered that our Heavenly Father is marvelously patient and longsuffering with His children. Amen to that a thousand times over! I have also learned that His people constitute one of the greatest gifts of God's saving grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. People like all of you, for whom I am and will be eternally grateful. Thanks, Glen).
"Things I Have Learned"
I. God is Christ-centered and Christ-circumferenced. Everything He does flows with the current of revealing and glorifying His Son.
"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him" (Ephesians 1:10).
"This is My beloved Son. Hear ye Him" (Matthew 17:5).
"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shw you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." (John 16:13-14).
"The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand" (John 3:35).
II. Our experience of genuine life as known from, by, and through God, flows with how well we join our Heavenly Father in seeking to reveal and glorify His Son and our Savior.
"To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me" (John 14:6).
"Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me" (John 8:42).
III. Christ, the living Word, and the Bible, the written Word, are perfect companions of one another. The Bible is Christ in print. The Lord Jesus is the Bible personified.
"Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life. And they are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39).
"He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38).
"In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).
IV. God is devoted to our best interests, as He defines them.
"If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).
"He careth for us" (I Peter 5:7).
"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
V. This includes fulfilling the desires of our hearts that align with His glory, and thus with our best interests.
"Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psalm 37:4).
"It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
VI. This also includes His working in ways that are not pleasant, but which are necessary and no less the expression of His love for us.
"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby" (Hebrews 12:11).
"Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth" (Hebrews 12:6).
"I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).
VII. "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31).
That which our Lord does and that which He allows are in accordance with the perfection of His love, wisdom, knowledge, understanding and eternal purpose in Christ. Perfect, not just good or great, or even very good and very great. Perfect.
VIII. Moments can change things in a manner that affects forever.
"My times are in Thy hand" (Psalm 31:15).
"In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day" (Isaiah 27:2-3).
IX. People are God's gifts to us - all of them. He works in our lives through those who are pleasant to us - and through those who are not.
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now" (Philippians 1:3-5).
"Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good" (Genesis 50:20).
X. Fear God. Fear nothing else.
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (II Peter 7:1).
"God hath not given to us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:7).
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3)
XI. "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord" (Proverbs 18:22).
In a word, Frances. Those of you who know her and what she is to me will completely understand!
XII. "Children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward" (Psalm 127:3).
We had all our children and grandchildren together on both Saturday and Sunday, not an easy thing to do because of schedule. But what a gift on the anniversary of my coming to know our Lord!
XIII. "He is altogether lovely" (Song of Solomon 5:16). Eternity will not be long enough to fully discover the infinite goodness of so absolutely wonderful a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen" (Ephesians 3:20).
XIV. No one has ever trusted in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and been disappointed for doing so. And no one ever will.
"Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17).
"He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded" (I Peter 2:6).
Weekly Memory Verse
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
(II Peter 3:13)