Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stored Up Manna

To say God’s people were not allowed to store up more than their daily portion of Manna, least it breed worms, is only partially true. They were permitted to gather a double amount on the sixth day to be kept in store for the seventh. The purpose being that God’s will and plan be carried out in their lives on that day.

I believe there is a great principle to be found in this story. The traditionalist and legalist have difficulty breaking a set pattern, even if God authorizes it. David eating the shewbread, which was not “lawful” for him to eat would be frowned upon by these carnivorous watchdogs,no matter how great the need or scriptural proof.

Many of God’s dear children have hidden His Word, as David and Mary, in their hearts. This “stored up Manna” sometimes takes them through a day when God’s exception supersedes His rule. Running late for an early flight, caring all night for a sick loved one, evacuating your family in a sudden storm, and a host of other unforeseen circumstances.

O, dear saint of God, never fear those exceptional times, knowing more often than not, the Lord has ordained them. During these occasions, you will live off the stored up Manna. There will always be food in your pantry if you store some back in the Ark of your heart.

“I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.”

Friday, September 27, 2013

One of the Crowd

“Then shall I another man.” Once Samson decided to disobey God he became just like one of the guys. He was no longer one of a kind, but rather, one of the crowd. As long as he followed the Lord, he was of a rare breed; when he went back, he became a regular toy soldier, in step with everyone else. Someone wrote, “Be like a diamond; precious and rare, not like a stone that is found everywhere.” 

Only in doing the Will of God will you find individual distinctiveness. Everything and everyone outside His plan is run-of-the-mill. All look and taste like vanilla, life becomes monotonous. The adventure and excitement resulting from serving the Lord leaves one, and nothing is left but daily boredom. Without God as the center of our lives, all our created enthusiastic endeavours fizzle out like a sparkler.

Only the life wholly given up to God is the one full of constant surprises. When we are willing to be different from the mass, it is then He distributes His individual gifts. To the rest, like those working in an office during holidays, all receive the same thing.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter; and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr, Seuss

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I Forgive You

I personally do not know of three sweeter words an offending saint will ever hear from those whom they have offended than, “I forgive you.” I guess it is because I have so often had to ask God and loved ones to grant me this request, as well as those unrelated.

The Bible makes plain it is wicked to not forgive (Matt.18:32-33). We need not ever expect peace of mind as long as we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts. And this is just as true when applied to oneself. If God so willingly forgives us, should we not then follow His example? 

A woman gave testimony at our church that she had had great difficulty forgiving herself for killing (aborting) her unborn son some years previous. I whispered to my wife, “Why? she murdered God’s Son, and He freely forgave her.”

I think something I saw and heard on the old western T.V. series, Gunsmoke, holds the answer for those of us who have miserably let ourselves down. The statement was made by the town drunk to Marshal Dillon, “All my life people have given me another chance; the problem is, I have not been willing to give myself one.

Don’t you think it’s about time you forgive yourself? God has, and so have others, way back when you first asked them.    

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Beside of God

“I am the first, and the last; and beside me there is no God...there is no God else beside me; a just
God and a Saviour; there is none beside me...beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”

“Beside me,” not as in sitting next to or along side of, but as in, there is no alternative. Most certainly, there are other gods, as Paul tells us, “For though there be that are called  gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God…” That is, “One true God.”

God, no doubt speaking facetiously, tells His people He is not aware of any other God than Himself. In the context He asks his people, in essence, have you ever met a God that can do what I can do?  He certainly never met one that could stand in comparison to Him. The pagan god, Dagon, fell on his face in pieces, when in the presence of Jehovah God!

Why, O why, then would God’s elect seek refuge in a shanty when they have a ROCK to hide in? Why would they ask a beggar for help when their KING has offered them His? And why would we seek worldly wisdom when we have the ALL-KNOWING-ONE at our disposal? True, God uses human means in His people’s lives to accomplish the above mentioned. But when trusted alone, apart from God, they become miniature gods who are impotent at best.         

“I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”

Monday, September 16, 2013

Renovating the Old

A young man sold his recently deceased parents’ farmhouse and land to a developer. Having received an unusually good price for his inheritance, he wanted to do something special in return for the generous buyer. And so he made some needed repairs and put a fresh coat of paint on the old place. Upon seeing the new look, the now owner said, “Son, I wish you had not taken the time or effort. You see, my intention is to tear the old down and start all over again.”  

I have spent a large part of my Christian life trying to patch-up what God condemned, trying to whitewash the dry-rot in my old Adamic nature. In spite of the fact that I am told over and again in scripture, God by-passes the old nature, condemning it, for the new. Every time I have put new wine into old bottles, they burst; and each time I patch an old garment with a new, I look ridiculous!

We need to cease striving to change the “old man.” It can’t be done, anymore than an Ethiopian can his skin or a leopard his spots. Change comes, not by trying, but in applying. It is not in attempting by works to change the old, but in appropriating by faith what we already have in the new. You might say, “It’s a done deal.” Our appropriation makes a fact a reality.  

To put a garment on or off is a physical act. To put the “old man” off and the “new man” on is a spiritual act of faith.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

God's Family and Ours

Taken in the right context, one might say,”God is a family man.” One of His first acts in creation was the establishing of the family. And Jesus’ first social function was attending a wedding, the beginning of a family.

God has a Kingdom and Satan has a kingdom. God has a family, referred to in scripture as, “The Family of God.” But Satan does not have a family! He was once, so to speak, a member of God’s loving family, but choose to leave it so he could have his own way.

Satan hates God’s family, and because he cannot attack the Father directly, he assails the objects of His love, His children. He is out to divide a house against itself, knowing how devastating this is to a parent. He creates a “great gulf” between them so that,"they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." 

In the Christian family, only Christ can bridge this great chasm. He is the link that makes two one again. All the secular and religious means in the world cannot, if you permit me, "put Humpty-Dumpty back together again." Until Christ is put first in all our lives, there will be no partying "at the Father's House." 

"And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

In Spite Of Or Because Of

I used to believe the generally accepted term, “God uses them in spite of...”; but am now convinced from the scriptures, experiences in my own life, as well as observing scores of others throughout these long years, the right phrase is, “God uses them because of...” We spend a lifetime trying to rid ourselves of an asset.    

It pleases God to choose those with irritating quirks, strange idiosyncrasies, revolting defects, and a host of other observable deficiencies and weaknesses. It was because of these inadequacies, He picked us out to join the ranks of His laughable army. The reason? “That no flesh should glory in His presence.”

Uncle Buddy Robinson stuttered so badly that he could hardly tell his name. F.B.Meyer was given to deep depression. Alexander Cruden was in and out of mental institutions most of his adult life. C.I. Scofield was divorced and remarried after his conversion. And D.L.Moody
had a 6th grade education, calling “Daniel,” “Dan’l.” These all, along with a great host of other men and women successful in the service of the Lord, cannot be explained apart from God.

In other words, our flaws can lead back to a flawless God!

Richard. D. Sandlin

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Meaning of Holiness

As I have said so often in my writings, “God’s Word (A.V. 1611 K.J.V.) is its own interpreter,” not the Church of Rome, or Greek scholars! Peter says, “Knowing this first, that no ...scripture is of any private interpretation.” That ought to settle it for a Roman Catholic. And a Protestant should know better. Ask Joseph who the Great Interpreter is (Gen.40:8,b)

Because of the fact that many saints have a misconception of what the word Holy means, much damage has been done to their spiritual lives.

Allowing scripture to explain itself, we find the following.

Lk.2:23, “As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)...Ex.13:2, Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel... it is mine...V12, thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix... [they] shall be the LORD'S...”

Notice, to be “Holy” simply means to be, “Sanctified,” or “Set Apart” for the Lord.  It is not speaking of moral value. Clothes, ground, days, and utensils know nothing of morality. Nor is holiness sinlessness; inanimate things can’t sin. Neither does our word mean perfection; Paul speaks of, “Perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Holiness then, can be perfected.

It is not emphasizing what one is separated from, but what a person is separated to, that count with God. The more we experience the latter, the more it will be true of the former. The Pharisees were separated from the world, but not unto God. They missed out on what true holiness really is, separated unto God!

Richard. D. Sandlin

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I Am an Adopted Child

“Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

I understand some adopted children have a problem with not knowing their real parents, and this I understand. But personally, as an adopted child, I have no such difficulty; I know my Original Parents and want nothing whatsoever to do with them. They sold me into the house of bondage, and were responsible for the shameful deformity I’ll carry with me throughout this life.

But I am glad to say I am now happy, content, and I think fairly well-adjusted, considering my first state. O, how well I remember being lined up with the other urchins, all cleaned-up and in their nice clothes, standing tall and straight, hoping to impress. And there I was, at the end of the line in my wheelchair, crippled, and in my filthy rags.

All my peers were waiting with bated breath, anticipating the kind looking man stopping by them with a smile of approval. But I had no such expectation. I was very conscious of the fact there was nothing about me, an untainted MAN such as I beheld, would desire to call His son. But miracles of miracles! as He stood over me, looking down with eyes full of tears and compassion, He uttered three words that will remain with me throughout eternity, “I choose him.”

And what do I call the parent who adopted me? I refer to Him as, “MY HEAVENLY FATHER!”       

Richard. D. Sandlin