The Bible in Chains

Bible in ChainsThe word of God is not bound.” (2 Tim. 2:9).  But sadly, there have been times in history that the Bible was chained to an altar written in a language only scholars could understand. Thank God for great men like Wycliffe, Luther and Tyndale we can read the Bible in the language of the people. Now many years later, with so many interpretations something has gone wrong and many are still thirsty for the fountains of the scripture to be opened by men who call on the Lord with a pure heart whose sole motive is to glorify God (2 Tim. 2:22).

This day of doctrinal chaos is heartbreaking. What is worse is when men who profess to believe the “cardinal doctrines” of scripture suppress the truth in unrighteousness by holding back and committing spiritual fraud by not proclaiming what the Bible really says (Rom. 1:18)!  There lies the Bible in chains! God hates the false doctrine of preachers who preach from their own spirit, desires and thoughts! He loathes when men hold the party line, being political and he ridicules the pastors who reinterpret his Word in order to pander to people.

Many preachers on the television, radio, and Internet are so misleading by making the word either ambiguous or uncertain or they preach only what they deem to be practical and positive. The focus on the agenda issues and negelct the weightier matters of the Word of God. In some cases, domestic abuse, perversion, adultery, malfeasance is the poison fruit of these ministries because they have chosen another god with another message because they have discarded the scripture and its proper interpretation (Hosea 7:4). It is high definition heresy. The issue is clear: to abandon God’s Word is to abandon God. To not preach the scripture is abandoning his covenant (Deut 29:25) and despising his Word by breaking his commandments (Num 15:31; 2 Sam 12:9).

All the religious experts want you to buy what they are selling: knowledge of God without embracing the teaching of scripture. God has called men who preach to be charitable not marketable. We must in love freely give what the Lord says not wholesale the fashionable ideas of our day. These diabolical hunters of the souls of men are becoming worse “deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim 3:13) and they are regarded as the experts on church growth and about God. Yet the Bible seems chained up, relegated to a small corner and back room for those who “want to go deeper.” The Bible is peripheral, the scripture is marginalized any way you look at it-it cannot be central when the agenda of flesh is in the center.

A bone chilling verdict has been pronounced many times against those people who profess to serve the one true God in any time period who become backslidden and even apostatize from the faith. This judgment begins “the house of God first” (1 Peter 4:17) and the pastors and churches that refuse to obey will be robbed of the most precious gift God has ever given his people: the Word of God. Imagine that! God will no longer speak to his people. Evangelicals may have the Bible, our wonderful confessions and creeds, but could it be possible, could it be they do not have the testimony of Christ because a shroud blinds their eyes, a cold mist covers their heart because of their unbelief (John 5:39; 2 Cor. 4:3-4)? 

If Christianity chained the scriptures to an altar for one thousand years and the Jews of Christ day rejected the Messiah even with the scriptures and the voice of the prophets read in their synagogues every day (Acts 13:27) can we no longer be suspect? Have we provoked the Lord to jealousy are we greater than him (1 Cor. 10:22)? This unbelief is the notion of being relevant without being prophetic. It charges God with lying by saying that his Word is not enough. I insist that God can, will and may have begun already a deep sleep upon their hearts, blindness to his truth and muffled their voice (Isaiah 29). The unintelligible spittle that I have seen lately in the media from the pulpit is not the word of God but it the useless wisdom of man. The prophecy of the scriptures lies dormant  because we have made it irrelevant fine print.

The United States has entered into another era which comes in history from time to time where it is said, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.” (Amos 8:11-13).  Even today we have to reach back many years to the commentary of the reformers and a few men of like precious faith.

There is a lot of “sharing” of religious thoughts and ideas going on today in many different ways, shapes and forms but it is not the word of God.  Why shoul we complain then when we see that God sends this famine. He is the source of it. People have serious problems with such a statement. In the church today we defend God as if he was flawed somehow and that when tragedy happens we use some other excuse saying that this is not God and even attributing it to the devil, global warming and the like. But God is Sovereign and he issues a guilty sentence on apostasy and he does it by removing the gift of his Word and his servants who preach it and the signs that accompany it in God ordained, God anointed preaching (Ps. 74:9; Mk. 16:20).

Arthur Pink commenting on the witness protection program of Elijah the prophet says about God. “The most valuable gift He grants any people is the sending of His own qualified servants among them, and that the greatest possible calamity which can befall any land is God’s withdrawal of those whom He appoints to minister unto the soul, then no uncertainty should remain. The removal of the ministers of His truth is a sure sign of God’s displeasure, a token that He is dealing in judgment with a people who have provoked Him to anger.” 

In the Gospel of Luke there is a lesson in the account of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man is sent to eternal hell and is tormented.  His family saw him die. They had his funeral. The sent the flowers. They mourned and dispersed his inheritance. The buried him. He was dead. But they are unaware of where he is after he is dead. He is in a burning hell. This man sees Abraham and suddenly he is gripped with the condition of his family. He knows they are not ready to die and they will end up in where is he is. Even in his own pain a sense of unselfish desire grips him. He must tell his family about this place!

He begins a heart rending dialogue with Abraham and asks for the chance to be sent from hell back to the world of the living and to his family. This man would have been the greatest evangelist that ever lived. A man, who dies, buried and sent to hell and then resurrected to tell others to repent so they won’t go to hell. But Abraham does not say it is impossible, (Christ holds this title of Great Evangelist) but Abraham it is quite unnecessary. Notice what Jesus reports in Luke 16:29-31:

“Abraham saith unto him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.”

And he said, “Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.”

And he said unto him, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” 

Jesus Christ the resurrected Prince of Life teaches us that if people do not believe the scriptures, they will not believe the miraculous and, “though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.” (John 12:37). If they cannot believe the Bible they will not believe in the testimony of one who has come back and has witnessed what is on the other side of eternity.

Oh that we had people that would turn to Christ just because the Bible says to do it and because men of God challenge them by the preached Word! The Bible says that John the Baptizer “did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man (Christ) were true.” (John 10:41). I pray that once again we would base the worth of a man’s preaching ministry on his love for God in the accuracy of his testimony about Jesus Christ.

When a man steps behind the pulpit and really preaches the Word as intended he must leave the consequences to God Almighty. When the barrel of the Bible gun is pointed at the world in its politics, sexual orientation, abortion and evolutionistic beliefs there is no problem. But when the bullets fly in the church-that is a different story and you will see plenty of elbows and heels. Many times when a preacher begins to compare the scripture with the way the church is being run I am sure that they will be seen as a threat. Many man pleasers end up in leadership in this structure with their sycophantic brown noses and spread the odious gospel of flesh without harm. But anyone who desires to preach the Word will be berated as unspiritual, unteachable, and unaccountable and bullied verbally or shunned stealthily. The Bible does never, ever agrees with sinful man, it does not compromise with rulers and it does not change for the law breaker. It brings comprehensive and total change.

 

God is calling men today to speak his unfettered, uncontrolled and undomesticated Word. To preach the Bible with fire of the Holy Ghost burning in their belly, with lips touched by the finger of God, with heads anointed with the oil God’s presence who do not trust in their own words but in the scriptures testimony about itself that it is God speaking to the people.

 

How long will the Bible be in chains? How long will it be shackled to the altars of denominational, religious and political rhetoric? When will we allow the same book that released an entire continent from religious slavery as in the Protestant Reformation to liberate the United States from it sins? How long will we cower from the message of the scripture because we are afraid of the power it carries and the sword that it wields to overthrow everything we hold dear and replace it with God’s glory and life? It shakes all that can be shaken until only it the living Word of God remains which cannot be toppled.

 

How long will we shun the same word that brought sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, mobility to the paralyzed and life to the dead? How long will we limit the Holy One and resist the Holy Ghost because of uncircumcised hearts and ears! The word of the Lord is near us, it need not be brought down from heaven or lifted up from the depths and that word is come to test us and everything we are to see if we will speak it for God and his glory. Oh dear brother, preacher, pastor unchain the Book of books, let his words fill your tongue and God will give you his authority, power and Word as he speaks in his Divine Right, “Let My people go!”

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You Have Been Warned!

Paul Before FelixThe Bible records that the Apostle Paul stood before and earthly king and preached the gospel. It says, “And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” (Acts 24:25).  Where is the bold witness for Christ in this day of compromise and syncretism who will warn men of their coming encounter with the thrice holy God? Where are men like Paul who will not hold back speaking of God’s justice before the most powerful men in the earth?  His life was in the balance and his future uncertain as he stood before these men detained in their judicial system for two years. But he remained a witness to the fact that the King of the Universe, God Almighty would judge them. Paul was more afraid of God than some earthly sovereign. They shook in the presence of this man of God as the Holy Spirit reproved them (John 16:8 ) through the man who called himself the Lord’s prisoner (2 Tim 1:8). Where are the people who know their God and do exploits such as this?  Where are those who are unafraid to say that God will judge this nation because of its’ evil? How long will the preachers of God who would warn the elect of God (Ps. 19:11) be sidelined by a worldly church until they make up their minds?  “To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.” (Jer 6:10). 

 

While it is true there have been and always will be people who are condemning and vituperative in the use of scripture (Rom 2:1) and you will always find bitter and hateful people who act in line with their twisted, hardened hearts, the kindness of God is seen in leading us to repentance ( Rom. 2:4) through men who love the church and would suffer all things for the elects sake.

 

The justice and mercy of God do not cancel out each other. How can that be determined? It is because Christ is Judge and Savior. The concept of judgment is not the unpredictable anger of God, but when God in his justice sentences people to physical and spiritual penalties who continue in unrepentant sin. All people are eternally obligated to love and serve God and he is infinitely offended when they break his laws. It is not an option to serve God, it is a responsibility through grace. But how sad when people bristle and become twisted any time that someone addresses them concerning the God who cannot tolerate unrepentant sin or stomach lukewarmness (Rev. 3:16). People in their well oiled theological machine see God as so “merciful” that he will not penalize anyone for sin and evil. We are more at ease blaming the forces of “mother nature” because the thought of God acting against sin and the creation being revolted by sin is unthinkable!While they will say that people only punish themselves they cannot see God dealing with sin in his justice. They could not be more wrong. It should be reiterated here that the most basic understanding of God anyone could have is that justice is what we deserve; mercy is something we do not deserve. When God acts in mercy and saves us we experience it as undeserving lawbreakers.

 

It is damnable to think God Almighty will not act in his justice against sin just because a person sends up religious smoke screens talking about grace and forgiveness. That does not blind the eyes of an all seeing God and stop him from taking punitive action against sin. Church people beware. Unrepentant, habitual sin especially on the behalf of the backslider carries more serious consequences than those who have never known the Lord (Heb 2:1-3; 2 Pet 2:20-22). The church growth movement with its focus on fleshly unity sees anyone addressing the biblical concept of the judgment of God as divisive, legalistic and unteachable. Do people who feel this way think they will escape the judgment of God (Rom. 2:3)?

 

It is wonderfully true that the New Covenant brought mercy and grace (John 3:16-21). Thank God! But that is only partially true. Christ’s first coming brought a light the darkness could not extinguish (John 1:5) and exposed demons, death and disobedience in unyielding exposure. Those who hide their sins are already condemned because they love darkness. Jesus said he came for the purpose of judgment as well (John 9:39). God the Son has authority to judge (Mt. 5:22, 27). Christ taught that people place themselves in danger of judgment (Mt. 5:21-22) and based on their actions their sentence could be more severe (Luke 10:14).  Even every idle, careless word will be examined on judgment day (Mt. 12:36). You have been warned.

 

This United States has defied God and deified sin and God’s anger is not seen so much in traumatic weather or economic recession. In the middle of it all is a backslidden, lukewarm church. Then these so called ministers who no longer preach the gospel message are powerless though they shake themsleves like at other times not knowing the Lord has departed from them (Jud. 16:20).  But what is worse is that the awful price we are being forced to pay is not being on talking terms with Almighty God as he snubs the disobedient and will not speak his Word to them  through ministers who are a flame of fire (Amos 8:11-13)! In his mercy God has left us men in the past who have written about the doctrines of grace for us to read. We can at least warm our shivering souls in solid biblical exposition and feed upon the grain in these storehouses of Joseph despite the wet blanket of snow fallen upon the evangelical church. One can only weep in hope, to break up the hard clods of ground upon the our hearts, so we plant the seed of the scripture in fertile soil. We wait for the Sovereign mighty God to come and raise up men in our day to minister the words of his mouth.  At last  the saint of God will say, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.” (Psalm 85:8). 

 

God is commanding men and women everywhere to repent because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world. Christ made it clear after Pilate had brutally executed some men and a tower fell upon another group that they were no greater sinners than other people in fact, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-15).  The Bible is clear: “Some people get caught in their sins right away, even before the time of judgment. But other people’s sins don’t show up until later.” (1 Tim. 5:24).  God’s judgment is revealed from heaven now against those who suppress the truth by their breaking of God’s law (Rom 1:18 ) and if they do not see it now eventually they will know the wrath of the Lamb (Rev. 6:16). You have been warned.

 

But the one who holds the gavel of eternal justice will have nailed scarred hands. Christ himself will be our judge in this life and after we die (2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim 4:1). We know Christ came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10) and that he did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them (Luke 9:56). How does he save them?  Jesus death on the cross demonstrated God’s justice (Rom. 3:25) and his punishment upon sin. It fell upon the sinless son of God. No he rules with a sceptre of righteousness and justice (Ps. 45:6; Heb 1:8).  The Lord has spoken to those in Christ his “not guilty” verdict and offers peace to those who will put their faith in Christ’s blood poured out in an atoning sacrifice and propitiation for sin! The Phillips translation of Romans 8:34 says, “Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us!”  He who could condemn -saves! Oh Blessed Jesus! People are saved from God the Judge by God the Savior.  Who has warned you to run away from the coming wrath (Mat. 3:7; Luke 3:7) and run to Jesus for your refuge (Heb 6:18)?!  Your only safety is in Christ the Judge and Savior. You have been warned.

 

A Clean Church

From the Series: “The Ideal Pentecostal Church” by Seth Rees.

Purifying their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:9).  Holiness is a state; entire sanctification is an experience; the Holy Ghost is a person.  We come into the state of holiness through the experience of entire sanctification, wrought by the omnipotent energies of the Holy Ghost.  This is the “baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire” administered by Christ himself, as John the Baptist declares.  He did not mean that there were two baptisms, one with the Spirit and another with fire, but one “baptism with the Holy Ghost ” under the symbol of fire. 

There are some things which the application of water will not cleanse.  Water may cleanse the loose dirt on the outside, but fire alone can make inwardly, intrinsically clean.  Metal ore is not refined by mere washing — it must undergo the crushing and smelting processes.  Again and again the base ore is subjected to the fiery ordeal, until every iota of the useless grit and undesirables and is destroyed and the metal is left free from alloy.  So the water of regeneration will free the soul from external sin-commission, but the sanctifying process of the Spirit is requisite if the heart is to be holy and sinless.

Poisonous air may be driven from old wells and mine-shafts with fire.  The deadly gases must yield before the flame.  And the fire of the Spirit will rout all miasma and malaria from both pulpit and pew. 

Nothing is more refreshing on a hot, sultry July afternoon than a thunderstorm.  A few vivid flashes, a half-dozen dashes of blinding flame, and lo, the atmosphere has become bracing and invigorating.  Of all urgent needs, none is more truly evident than that the church ought to be struckwith double-geared lightning from the upper skies.  The jagged bolts should be allowed to play on both preacher and people.  This celestial electricity would sweeten the spiritual atmosphere in our churches and in our own souls.  It would burn away all the fog of uncertainty and unbelief and doubt, and give us convictions born of assurance. 

Proud flesh requires the fire.  Nothing rivals it in the dispatch and effectiveness with which it does its work.  A Boston physician told me that, with all the modern discoveries of science, there had been nothing found that would do but fire.  In the moral world there is nothing obtainable that will cure proud flesh in our natures and in our churches except Pentecostal fire.  This alone will kill the “brag,” the pomp, the gusto, the ungodly strut so evident in so many professors of religion today.  Let us take down our lightning rods, all our preventatives, and fire, celestial fire, will leap over the battlements of heaven and fall upon us, slaying all our pride, destroying all our tin, dross, and reprobate silver, and giving us a joyous release from all chaff and from all that is lightweight.

Those who have received their Pentecost live pure, holy lives.  They never practice unclean habits, whether secret or known.  They do not have unclean thoughts, unchaste desires, or unholy passions.  They do not use wine, beer, tobacco, snuff or opium.  True, a man may have his name on a church-book and yet indulge in these things of which we speak; but he might just as well have it on a board fence, for it does not make him a member of the Pentecostal company.  He may “belong to the meeting-house,” but he is not one of this blessed fire-crowned throng. 

Men who are in unholy connection with this Godless world in lodges, fraternities and Christless institutions, or who will stoop to the commercial trickeries of this age, or who will lend their influence to abet a questionable business, have not been through the furnace of the upper room.  Pentecostal Christians have “clean hands and pure hearts.” “Hands” in the Bible refers to the outward, manifest, visible life.  It refers to what man sees.  The word has regard to conduct. The life must be clean. A man can not be in close contact with the world without being contaminated. Lot well nigh became a Sodomite by dwelling in Sodom and among Sodom’s inhabitants; and intimate relationship with men of unrighteous lives always means demoralization for the Christian. “Clean hands” hold no bribes, they never deal unjustly, they do not give thirty-five inches for a yard nor fifteen ounces for a pound, they do not pay debts at forty cents on the dollar when they could do more. 

The behavior of the tongue is included in the life.  The conversation must be pure and chaste, never vulgar, never immodest.  The jest with its indelicate association is never heard on the mouth of the Pentecostal saint. 

The phrase “clean heart” relates to the inward, invisible, secret nature — that which God alone sees.  It describes a condition of things in which there is no pride, or anger, or jealousy, or envy, or strife, or selfishness, or worldly ambition, or any unholy temper.  Desire for place or position in church or state is purged away.  We who are of the Pentecostal Church see no one who has a place we would desire.  We are not wire pulling to get a position.  We are saved from political scheming in ecclesiastical circles, as well as elsewhere.  In honor we prefer one another. There can be no anxiety, for God makes all our appointments for us. 

When the heart is clean the Holy Ghost saves us from all peevishness, fretfulness, sensitiveness and touchiness.  We hardly know when we are insulted and, therefore, never take offense.  As Dr. Carradine says, we get so we “can live on cold shoulder and cold tongue.” We are not looking out for slights. If any one pays any attention to us, it is that much more than we deserve, that much clear gain. 

How plainly uncleanness of heart reveals itself in the actions, tempers and ambitions of the disciples previous to their Pentecost!  They were selfish: they wanted the best places.  Instance John and James bidding for chief seats.  Notice the anger and indignation consequent upon the rest of the twelve hearing of the request of the two brothers.  But, passing the upper room experience, we look in vain to find evidences of envy or self-seeking in these men.  That Pentecostal electrocution forever put an end to the self-life. 

How this fiery cleansing would relieve the church today!  Office-seeking preachers would not buttonhole the bishops.  This continual lobbying of which the presiding elder or superintendent is the unhappy subject would cease.  Men would be more anxious to show their devotion to Christ and self- denial for his cause, than to obtain the best appointments.  An unheard of thing might possibly be, viz., a vacancy on the official board, and no one sitting up nights concocting a scheme which would lift him to the place. 

Would-be generals are abundant nowadays.  There are plenty of men who would gladly boss God’s army.  They want to be bell-sheep.  They must tinkle the bell, and no one else. If they can’t be bell-sheep, they won’t be sheep at all, but turn goats.  Certainly we need the holy flame to extirpate unholy ambitions. 

Before Pentecost, the disciples were sectarian. One poor fellow was having a glorious time casting out devils. “Does he follow us?” “NO.” “Forbid him. Stop the revival; complain to the authorities! Schism!  Tendency to divide!  Come-out-ism!” There are thousands of people who have no sympathy with a work, however praiseworthy, without the movers in that work are in full unison with them on all points. 

A revengeful spirit crops out in the pre-Pentecostal disciples. “Opposition?” “Down with fire!” “Do not like to hear us preach?” “Rain brimstone!” This is the un-Christlike spirit of even some so called Holiness preachers.  “We can’t punish you, but God can.  We will get the Lord to revenge us.”  How different is the meekness, the heart-lowliness of the Son of God.  “Despised” and “rejected” yet he opened not his mouth. Vengeance and retaliation are burned out of us when we are sanctified, and unholy resentment thereafter finds in the soul no place.

Seth Rees was born at Westfield, Indiana. In March 1873, Seth was converted. Just after his 19th birthday, he attended the Quaker quarterly meeting in Westfield. Under the Spirit’s prompting, Seth mounted a pile of dirt and preached his first sermon. He became known as the “Earthquaker” for his strong preaching of holiness.

A Heart Offering

my heart I offer you Lord“Cor Meum Tibi Offero Domine, Prompte Et Sincere.” is a lovely Latin phrase that is translated as, “My heart I offer to you Lord, promptly and sincerely.”  It was a motto of one of the greatest reformation leaders ever known, John Calvin and it shows that the most noble and sincere gift given to God Almighty is that offering of the heart-our affections and thoughts. A person is willing to give their heart to God because in the day of God’s grace and power has come when Christ takes the granite heart of stone of out them and gives them a soft pliable heart. Out of sheer gratefulness the person who is forgiven much loves much. Our first love is Christ and to him our hearts belong!

In this day and age the heart and spirit are neglected and abandoned by the business of life and even church ministry. The tasks which we once loved now bleed dry our passion all because we have mistreated our own hearts by ignoring the need for fresh hearts warmed with gratitude and affection as we give a minchah or a thank offering to God.  God still speaks in the dreary caves of disappointment and disillusionment to those who in the past used to serve the Lord with such contagious enthusiasm! He calls to us with a still small voice that asks for all our heart, energy and every faculty of our being, promising greater power and desire to do his will as we offer our hearts to him, promptly and sincerely.

How sad, that we give our hearts to anyone and everything in the name of the Lord! Yet to the Lord the one who strengthens our hearts we give so little of the very hub of all we are and often we are surprised that we are drained doing his work.  If you would be generous with God he would be generous with you. Going to God in private even when no one sees or hears is the place where the weary heart finds it easier to exchange itself for a fresh vigor and life only found in the presence if him whose heart once shattered in his labors. How gracious and generous he was to give his heart to us and you and I must be big hearted enough to give this fountain of life and affection to him for our own welfare.

Calvary was Christ’s “sweat and blood” laboring over the souls of men, yet he rose in great power in and strength because he feared. What does this mean? He feared God enough not to give his heart in Calvary’s offering in his own strength! He committed what he did through the eternal spirit of God and offered himself without spot to God (Heb. 9:14). We must commit what we have poured our sweat and blood over to God everyday by doing it through the Spirits power and purity of heart not fleshly energy. Not one act should be done, preaching, praying, worship, and any good work without GOD’s power and presence. This can only be done by offering our hearts to him, promptly and sincerely. 

You cannot claim to have given your heart to him making a loud bragging noise because it is given in a silent frequency that only the ears of God and the very holiest of angels can hear. The reward of men’s praise is only a corruptible crown that soon fades away. The heart can never be given as a surplus because the giving of the abundance of the heart is always all we have and speak. This act of giving may leave us poor in spirit, but only for a short time until the tearless joys of the kingdom of heaven fill its place.

Sometimes the heart must consciously be given over to Jesus more than just once. yes, you can only be saved once, but we must go from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18 ) by forsaking the flesh and those secret hidden sins that shrink back from exposure in our hearts. We act so surprised when we think we have given all of it to him, yet there lurks some part of us that has been held back! Like Ananias and Sapphira we hold back part of the price of our love and the feet of them that carry away such hearts into worldly things wait outside the door of desolation and weariness.  It is also true that when God wants our heart we postpone or delay in our giving. It repeats often in the Gospel of Mark that “the servant of the Lord” Jesus Christ did heal and rescue people in his love “straightway” or “immediately.” What do we wait for? We should give him what he seeks for as soon as the request is made. Let us pour out our hearts to him without lingering and procrastination.

Sadly, the most common pitfall in every age in which people have lived, is replacing heart love with ministry, works or religious ritual.  Yet, there is nothing we can do or say that will meet up with GOD’s standard of perfection and nothing we can do that will satisfy him except the generous offering of our heart.  Have you given your heart to Jesus? Have you offered it to him, promptly and sincerely?