When women went to seek Jesus’ body in a graveyard with other buried bodies, two men in shining garments said to them: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:5-6).
I challenge the readers of this blog to consider: Are you seeking Jesus the way you seek other historical figures who are now dead? In other words, do you only admire the life He lived and the words He said in the same way that you admire the words and deeds of other historical figures, or do you seek Jesus as the Living God, and not merely a great Person of history?
Recently, I discovered 2 quotes (independent of each other) that drove home this point. Allow me to share them here:
1) “He [Brother Yun, of The Heavenly Man] wishes the whole world to know Jesus as he does, not as an historical, distant figure, but as an ever-present, love-filled, all-powerful Almighty God.” – Paul Hattaway, p. 14, The Heavenly Man
2) “Not all Christians think alike. Some believe that Christ was born only in Bethlehem for our salvation, and they celebrate this event at Christmas. Others, rejecting the spiritual contraceptives of unbelief and pride, have allowed Christ to be born also in their own souls after being touched by the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, they have kept worldliness and false teaching from bringing the Divine embryo to abortion. He lives within their hearts…To all outward appearances, Jesus was a Jewish carpenter and rabbi. Thousands knew him without observing that he was more. His being Christ became visible only through spiritual insight./ Thus it is today. We must become Christian ‘in the inward parts’ (Psalm 51:6)./ A Christmas focusing only on the outward, historical event is perilous to the soul. It brings death in the disguise of merriment, whereas Christ born within brings life eternal.” – Richard Wurmbrand, “Don’t Believe Only in a Historical Christ”, from Voice of the Martyrs, Sept. 2012
It appears that lately I’ve had the poetic bug (something that has never been this frequent before). So here is another poem I wrote. It is a reflection on Luke 13:10-17 where the Jewish leaders were OK with Jesus teaching, but were in an uproar when He healed someone who suffered for 18 years with a spirit of infirmity.
May the Lord show us where our rules and faulty beliefs have held back Jesus from healing and changing lives.
“Be Loosed” – a poem
Inspired by Numbers 13
Twelve left as soldiers
Spying out the land.
“It’s easy,” they told us,
“We’re mighty; we’ll stand.”
But crossing the borders,
And taking one long look,
Made them question their orders,
And our God ten forsook.
“See,” ten surmised,
“They’re simply too strong.”
And in trusting their eyes,
Were convinced God was wrong.
But God, to two men,
Was not limited by sight.
Unlike the ten,
Josh and Caleb knew God’s might.
When all twelve returned
And gave their full report,
Ten made God’s anger burn,
While two trusted God’s support.
The end of the story
Happened just as they said
The two received God’s glory,
And the others wound up dead.
So what can be learned
When considering their plight?
For God’s word to be discerned
You walk by faith, and not by sight.
In light of my post a couple weeks back entitled, “The Deception of Knowledge”, I thought it was striking a few days ago when I read a devotional by Derek Prince that said virtually the exact same thing (though he wrote it in 1983). Here it is in its entirety…
Prince writes —
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. (Psalm 111:10)
The psalmist speaks of two wonderful qualities: wisdom and understanding. He points out that each of these has a moral foundation. The foundation for wisdom is the fear of the Lord. The foundation for understanding is following the Lord’s precepts. Where these qualities are lacking, we should not expect either true wisdom or understanding.
We need to observe a distinction between wisdom and understanding on the one hand, and cleverness and intellectual education on the other. There are many clever, educated people who do not have wisdom or understanding. It could be argued, in fact, that most of the trouble in the world today is caused by educated fools. Cleverness is a matter of the mind, but wisdom springs from the heart. The intellect is an instrument whose use is determined by the heart.
A highly educated intellect may be compared to a very sharp knife. One mand uses the knife to cut up food for his family; another may use it to kill his neighbor. It is irresponsible to place such a knife in the hands of a man who cannot be trusted to use it aright. Too long the devotees of secular humanism have worshiped at the shrine of the intellect. It is time for us to lay again the moral foundations of true wisdom and understanding.
(Chords from David’s Harp, 1983, pp. 158-159)