Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. (Proverbs 7:2 & 3)
Some years ago, I found myself in Jerusalem in obedience to our Lord. Upon completing the business of God, Jesus gave me leave to go back home to the USA. It was still morning. Having a few hours left before embarking on my flight, I thought of a certain gift I had seen in a store window that I wanted to bring back for my son. The store was in the "old city."
Upon arriving one half hour after the establishment's scheduled opening time; I was surprised to find the door locked. As I peered in the window, to see if anyone was there, I observed a man kneeling in the center of the floor. Time being a factor; I thought that I would just knock on the window and get his attention. However, Father God stopped me. The Holy Spirit said, "take a closer look at his hands and forehead." I could see his hands and forehead were bound with leather cords. They were there not from any misdeed or robbery, but in observance to Jehovah (God). I was amazed to see how tightly they were bound to his body.
The law binds,makes one religious,causing an outward sacrifice of self righteousness. However, the spirit of God, on the other hand will make you free. Does not the Scriptures instruct us that the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)
Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, "The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." (Luke 24:5-7)
Yes! He is risen. Glory, hallelujah! But where is he now? The Scriptures tell us that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. And Jesus said, "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17) Can Jesus be seen today yet a little closer than the immeasurable heights of heaven?
I once read about a man, while serving in the military, who passed away. His toe was labeled and his earthly remains placed in the proper housing; awaiting burial. He still being alive, yet without a body, had the most amazing visit from the Lord Jesus. He then found himself living once again in his earthly body.
Some time later, he was injured in battle and needed medical repair. As the medic ministered to his wounds, he once again felt the presence of Jesus; as it was at the first time of visitation. To no surprise he found out that the medic was a professed Christian. Yes, Jesus' presence could be felt. So, where was he? Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in. (Revelation 3:20) Jesus was in the medic!
Take a look around you today. Do you see him? When you gaze into a mirror, do you see him? Have a blessed Easter holiday.
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (James 5:11)
Some years ago, a brother in the Lord was sent to my door to be an encouragement and support. Although he was motivated by the spirit of God, he reasoned the outcome of his mission. If he admitted that my plight was God's will; then it would have a resounding effect on his life. But if he challenged, with success, what Almighty God was doing, then his life could remain exactly as it was; seemingly with God's blessings.
So as it was with Job's accusers, I also felt the sharpness of my accuser's tongue cutting deep wounds into my spirit. His condemning words were, "God does not expect us to leave everything known and dear to us and move halfway across the country. This can never be God!" This only added a heavier weight of loneliness and grief to my already overwhelming situation.
It seems as we are reaching out to God and start to get closer to our Father through obedience, having given so much, that someone will come along to help us according to their own prospective of life's values.
Beloved, don't let this overwhelm you. Put on the garment of patience. Get into the vehicle of love and faith. God will strengthen and comfort!
And the Lord said to Job's accusers, "for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath." (Job 42:7) And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Proverb 25:11)
This proverb has been one of my favorite for years. Yes, a word from the Lord has a most profound and picturesque effect always on its hearer. This is one reason why we the children of God gather.
As we come God's house, worship him, pay our tithes and make prayers on life's weighty matters; this sets the theme of communication. We await a word fitly spoken.
When you or I go into the produce department of a supermarket, we look for the freshest, most appealing vegetables or fruits on display. All of these products have a shelf life and we know the fresher the better.
Not so unlike the sermon we will here today, fresh words will come out of heaven and be displayed upon the tables of our mind. It's no wonder God compares his word to fruit (apples of gold). We supply the container, (pictures of silver). The rest is easy! Praise the Lord.
Dr. Thomas Snyder