Thursday, 28 November 2013
REJOICING IN THAT MAN
Christoph Blumhardt was an
18 th. century Pastor in Germany.
OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
Isn't it a miracle to be able to rejoice and find a firm grounding in someone who lived two thousand years ago? I don't mean to be firmly grounded in a religion. For Muslims and Buddhists, it is their religion that is important to them, rather than Mohammed or Buddha. But for us religion is nothing, and Jesus is everything. With him we will conquer the world. We are not interested in doctrines about Jesus; we are interested in the Lord Jesus himself (Acts 15:11). He is our doctrine – the Man who can grab us by the arm when we misbehave, or give us a pat when we are good. No dogma, no doctrine, nor anything else – no, the Man himself, it is he whom we want!
LIGHT A LAMP
I tell you boldly: as far as I’m concerned I would not want to live an hour without him. If you do not have [such a relationship to Jesus], wake up and at look for it. Light a lamp and search for it as for a needle so that you can delight in this Man and value him higher than anything else (Luke 15:8). For this Man makes us so firm that our minds and hearts are guarded against everything that agitates and distracts us (Phil 4:7). He is a rock; and if he is within us, this rock will shatter the whole world (Ps 31:1~5; Dan 2:34~35). But he must be within us; we must have him (John 15:4~9). You must all have this Man. Whoever does not have him lives today and is dead tomorrow...
BUT ONE MAN
It's quite nice now and then to have a pint of beer, but it would never occur to me to rejoice in the beer. Or is there something else you would rejoice in or seek strength in? Nature? Politics? Or anything else? If so, I will have no part in that. I can also enjoy these things, but I cannot rejoice in them. There is a difference between enjoying something, and rejoicing in it. There is but one Man from whom we can derive firmness and joy: Jesus. Therefore we can rejoice, because we simply do not depend upon earthly things (Matt 6:25~34). Thank God, I have never depended on temporal things and do not do so now. And so whatever happens, nothing shall deter us if this Man remains with us. And he will remain with us if we are watchful.
HERE ON EARTH
The words, "The Lord is near," are meant for us here on earth (Matt 6:10). If I am always thinking of heaven and do not make efforts to do what is right here on earth, then, having already lost the earth, I will lose heaven too and sit in the middle with nothing. A lot of people have become too other-worldly. They want to have the Lord Jesus in such a way as to have nothing more to do with the earth. Then they lose what is of the earth, and since this is not God's will, they ultimately lose what is of heaven as well and fall between two chairs. Take care therefore! Your task is here on earth. When we have found joy and a firm grounding in our Savior, we must turn our eyes away from the sky and look around on earth. What can I do here with what I have in my heart?
WHEREVER WE ARE
Someone wrote me that he wanted to join a monastery in order to serve the Lord. I congratulated him on becoming a "brother," but I told him that I do not think the Lord's work can only be done in a cloister. It can be done in every house, in every business. We can make a temple wherever we are (1 Cor 3:16). The work of the Lord must come out of the churches and institutions. It has to enter people’s homes and hearts. That is where the Lord's work must be done, not in buildings and clubs. It must come into daily life. Then our lives and everything we do will be done for God (Col 3:17). We will be servants of God without having to buy a clerical collar. We can do the Lord's work with a pitchfork in the hand. Nobody need feel excluded; for everyone, whoever he is and whatever he does, can share in the work of the Lord.