Monday, November 28, 2005

Piercing the Heart

The Scriptures are certainly a double-edged sword. I have felt that keenly as I have preached them. I felt it Sunday night. The Word cuts, and it threatens to cut. It is vigilant to keep guard over righteousness. If we sin, it will not spare.

Jesus said to his disciples, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measure back to you" (Matthew 7:1-2). This does not mean, as it is ridiculously reported by some to mean, that we are never to judge. Rather, it means that we must be wary of the standard that we use, for it will be used on us in return. Even our standard, I believe, will be judged by God.

The standard for judgment is the Scriptures. The commands of the written Word will not be avoided or ignored in this life or the life to come. The words are firm, and they are forever.

Sunday night, I preached from Mark 10:23-31. The week before it was 10:17-22. The latter is the story of the rich young ruler; the former is the exclamation by Jesus that it is hard, even impossible, for the rich to get into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Most who read this fall into the "rich" category. If you have a floor that is not dirt, then you automatically have more than a majority of people who have ever lived. If you have electricity, you are greatly blessed. We have more than anyone before or after us.

Without getting into the sermon again, I want to leave you with the thought that cut and cuts me. I told the church that in order to be a disciple, one must be willing to give up wife, brother, mother, dog, cat, 401k, and even life. I further told them that they must love Jesus more than all these as well. I believe I told them right. I believe that this is what Jesus plainly taught. Yet, I find in myself the love of the world, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. It lingers in me and festers.

The Word is piercing my heart even now because my love does not measure up as it should. But I have hope. It is impossible for me to conjure the love that I need, that I long for, on my own. But with God, it is possible. It is my prayer that my faithful Father will grant me such a magnificent picture of Jesus that it will at once drive away all lingering, wicked attachments to this world. I believe that He is faithful to do it.


brother terry said...

This very concept has been tearing me up for weeks.

Can I find the faith to give it all up and follow Jesus?

I literally don't know, I only hope I can when the time comes!


Fellow Pilgrim said...

Thank you for your honesty. I have been struggling with these passages and this issue in particular for the last week or so. It hurts to realize this in yourself