Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Revelation, Part II :)

If you recall a week or so ago, I posted this quote:

If...a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary's love...for a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted." Amy Carmicheal-Misssionary to India

Sounds very similar to:

Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

James 3:11


Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Matthew 12:33 & 34

Contemplating these verses, I thought of the many many times I have attended ladies' conferences and meetings. In just about every ladies' gathering where there are lessons given to help women in their Christian walk, the subject of our tongue and our words is addressed. With good reason, for sure. The tongue can be an unruly evil and holds the power of life and death within it's power. And for some reason we women can really struggle with taming our tongue. As Amy Carmichael put it, "impatient, unloving words" fly out all too easily.

Why it is we struggle so with our words? Why must the topic be dealt with over and over and over again?

Do you recall the quote I shared yesterday from Susan at JoyMomofMany?

Parenting/discipling our children is more about *people* than *process*. It is more about who I am than what I do.

Yesterday, I discussed this quote in it's original content: the area of child training. But what really is on my heart lately is the second half, and not necessarily only in the field of parenting.

It is more about who I am than what I do.

The reason I must constantly be biting my tongue and working so hard at not saying unkind words is that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh". If who I were inside were kinder, the kind words would follow by default. And doesn't that principle apply to every aspect of our Christian walk?

If we are right on the inside {the heart} than the issues we struggle with wouldn't be such a tenacious battle for us each and every day. Our words, our dress, our actions, our thought life, our choice of entertainment... it would all simply reflect a heart that was right. In fact, it already does reflect our heart... for better or worse.

Thinking about our Lord, it really is more about Who He is than what He did.

If just anyone had died on the cross, it wouldn't have been enough to save the world from sin. The act of Jesus dying on the cross saves us, yes... but only because of Who He was: the Son of God. Holy. Sinless.

I think when we are first introduced to the Saviour, our emphasis can perhaps be on What he has done for us or what He continues to do for us. And He certainly does a lot. His blesses are too numerable to count. But the longer I am saved, the more appreciate God for just being God. An AMAZING God. Merciful. Patient. All powerful. All knowing. My Father. My Friend. It's become more about Who He is than what He does.

On Sunday evening, my pastor preached about showing the joy of our salvation in our every day life. I certainly want to be revelling in the joy of my salvation. But truthfully, this joy can not be manufactured. Just as I can not manufacture kind words all the time (maybe for short time I can successfully "fake it"), I can not produce lasting joy on my own.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Pslam 16:11

So.... what's my point... what is "The Revelation?"

"The Revelation" is intended to be said with a big booming voice, with an echo in case you don't know.

It is more about who I am than what I do.

The heart {our heart} is what the Lord is looking for, and it is the key to all our "doing" (our words, our expressing the joy of our salvation, our service for God, etc).

I've just finished reading I & II Kings. For almost every king of Judah or Israel, the Bible says something to indicate whether that king followed the ways of God AND whether his heart was right. It is therefore possible to DO good things but not have a heart that is not right. Some examples:

Imperfect deeds, imperfect heart: King Abijam "And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father." I Kings 15:3

Imperfect deeds, perfect heart: King Asa "But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the Lord all his days." I Kings 15:14

Perfect deeds, imperfect heart: King Jehu: "And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes... But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart..." II Kings 10:30-31

Perfect deeds, perfect heart: King David. Not to say that David was perfect man, for we know otherwise. I don't mean "perfect" as in sinless; "perfect deeds" just refers to whether the king walked in the ways of the Lord or not. If it doesn't make sense to you, blame the Bible teacher I learned it from! ;)

I want to do good and I want to be good.

And thus ends "The Revelation"... or would it be more aptly entitled "The Ramblings"? ☺


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