Donald Trump, Serena Williams, Murder in Jamaica and The Living God 

It started on Sunday night. And ended Friday night!

” Look unto Me, and he began saved”. Isaiah 45:22. KJV.

The great difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God, and it is His blessings that make it difficult.
Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere. The teaching of the sermon on the Mount is, in effect  – Narrow all your interests until the attitude of mind and heart and body is concentration on Christ Jesus – from Oswald Chambers ” My Utmost for His Highest “. The Devotional Guide which I read at nights, along with one or several Psalms before going to bed.

Consider this: The Sermon on the Mount is the Gospel Reading for my Church at the worship  service tomorrow Sunday. Coincidence! I think not. And so having read in preparation for tomorrow ” Blessed are the pure in heart,  for they see God”, for me was the ‘ take home message’. As without Christ ‘ the sinful heart of mankind ‘ can never be pure! And therefore without Christ we will never see our Creator.

Then life according to the writer of Ecclesiates, would have been all ‘ vanity’, and pointless.
Hence the cry of the Psalmist ‘ create in me a pure heart and renew a right spirit within me’. Psalm 51. Words and in effect  a prayer uttered with deep groans,  and penitential tears even, by many believers over the centuries.
In that context I thought about the horrors that The Moravian Church is going through now. And others chutches too! For clearly some, and far too many Pastors, have not heeded the Isaiah message – Look to Me, and ye be saved. But rather have had  their focus, elsewhere and  further south,  than up to The Living God.
But the problem does not begin and end with sexual temptations. That’s not what Isaiah is saying. Nor Oswald Chambers. And certainly not Jesus in His Sermon on The Mount.

Take no thought  for your life. Matthew 6:25
A warning which needs to be reiterated is that the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the list of other things entering in will choke all that God puts in ( a warning from Luke in the story of the Sowers of The Seed….my words).
We are never free from the recurring tides of this encroachment. 
If it does not come on the line of clothes, and food, it will come on the line of money or lack of money ( going to the Insurance company for cheques owed and not getting any); of friends or lack of friends ( finding a faithful man…..finding a husband) or in the line of difficulty circumstances  ( Donald Trump, almost 100 murders in one month, ISIS, ….).
It is one steady encroachment all the time, and unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the  standard  against it, these things will come in like a flood.

No wonder then that the celebrated British poet, William Cowper, was moved to write these words to which I was drawn this week.

Thy mansion is the Christian’s heart,

O Lord, thy dwelling place secure!

Bud the unruly throng depart,

And leave the consecrated floor.
Devoted as it is to thee,

A thievish swarm frequents the place,

They steal away my joys from me,

And rob my Savior of his praise…….
I know them, and hate their din,

Am weary of the bustling crowd;

But while their voice is heard within,

I cannot serve thee as I would….. 

And so Chambers continues…..

” Take no thought for your life”. ” Be careful about one thing only”, our Lord says – your relationship to Me.

The challenge therefore for all who claim Christ is to place an absolute focus on Him who died for us. And was by the mighty power of God raised from the dead. So that in Him,  we might, among other things, have ‘ a pure  heart’. 

And therefore, with confidence, 

 ‘ dwell in the secret place of the Most High and Holy God’,  who cannot countenance Sin.
But then news breaks on CNN about Donald Trump and we get distracted. Or excited about a Serena Williams vs Venus Williams final….and get distracted. Or become caught up with defending Nesta Carter so that Usain Bolt can retain his Triple Triple status. Or weighed down by the latest calamity in our lives, and God knows there are many, and forget that we can still rejoice,  and give thanks as Christ died so that ultimately we may enjoy life with our Creator God eternally. Regardless of what trials we face in this life. 
A reality which inspired the following tweets. 

The strangest truth of the Gospel is that Redemption comes through suffering #MiloChapman  100 murders ought therefore  move us to seek God

That God cannot let you be content without him because then you would be ….well,content without him #christigreen

Like it or not your pain exists to drive you to the Healer the Forgiver, the Redeemer- Redemption’s Pain #christigreen #Moravianchurch
God simply let’s the world go it’s own way so that it will eventually have enough sense to come back to him #christigreen #RedemptionsPain 

This after reading one of Chris Tiegreen’s meditations entitled Redemption’s Pain ….inspired by the famous passage from the book of  Romans 

The creation was subjected to frustration….in hope that it will be liberated from its bondage to decay. Romans 8:20-21

Finally, in the same context of ” Look to Me and ye be saved”, of placing an absolute focus on God despite all the trials which come out way, the Lord led me to read the following favourite passage of a church sister, and no doubt many others too,  yesterday morning. 
This, after she had called to encourage me about road safety  in Jamaica , for  which  I have some responsibility. Coincidence! I think not. And then as I went on my morning walk and pondered this enormously encouraging truth, Job’s exultation came into my head.

I know that my Redeemer lives…..

As He alone, to Whom we must look, without ceasing, can help  when the inevitable trials of life come. And stay! Sometimes  for far too long for us to bear.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.  
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.  It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:3‭-‬18 NIV


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s