Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Morning Dew

The Word of God often compares His people to the life giving dew. Like the dew, God's people nourish His creation humbly; silently; and almost without perception or appreciation. As the dews of heaven, His lambs choose, as their time of refreshment, a  darkened world where all men are sleeping, and few can see their silent, life giving work. They cover the leaves with clusters of pearls. They impart into the bosoms of the flowers, and leaves new cupfuls of sweet life. They pour themselves down among the roots of the grasses and tender herbs and plants, losing themselves altogether, and yet they are not lost. For in the morning there is fresh life everywhere, and new beauty. The fields are greener, the gardens are more fragrant, and all nature is clothed in His fresh luxuriance.

Here, my friends, is our blueprint, our heavenly paradigm for service in His Kingdom; that we should be willing to lose ourselves in the self-forgetful love of His calling and service;  as the dew loses itself in the bosom of the rose — caring only that other lives shall be sweeter, happier, and holier — and not that honor shall come to us. We are too anxious, many of us, that our names shall be written in large letters on the things we do, even on what we do for our Master; and are not willing to sink ourselves out of sight — and let Him alone have the praise.

Our Lord's teaching on the subject is very plain. He says: "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." That is, they have that which they seek — the applause of men.

This is an insightful test, both to God and to us, of our relationship with Him. Are we willing to be as the dew — to steal abroad in the darkness, carrying blessings to men's doors, blessings that shall enrich the lives of others and do them good — and then steal away again before those we have helped or blessed awaken, to know what hand it was that brought the gift? Are we willing to work for others . . .without gratitude ... without recognition ... without human praise ... without requital?

Are we content to have our lives poured out like the dew — to bless the world and make it more fruitful — and yet remain hidden away ourselves? Is it enough for us to see the fruits of our toil and sacrifice — in others' spiritual growth, and deeper happiness; yet never hear our names spoken in praise or honor — perhaps even hearing others praised for things we have done?

Hear what the Word has to say, my friends:
Psa 110:3  Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
Psa 110:4  The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Lambs are not only marked by a glad obedience to our risen Lord, but that obedience rests upon the service of sacrifice. The word here rendered ‘willing’ is translated throughout  the Old Testament as freewill offerings. As priests after the order of Melchizedek, adorned in the beauties of His righteousness, birthed into this fallen world from the womb of Heaven itself, the sacrifice we have come to offer, is ourselves. It is this obedience, this willing, silent sacrifice that God accounts as the morning dews, bringing life and refreshment to His creation; and wafting a sweet smell of incense throughout the corridors of Heaven.

The Lamb

The lamb, is of
Another Spirit,
From the multitude
That tread upon
The courts of the Lord:
He has seen,
That of which
They have only heard.
The journey he takes
Is not on his feet,
But in his heart:
He walks with God,
In the garden
Of his own soul;
And as the
Morning dew,
Loses itself in the
Blossom of the rose;
He is drawn in,
Softly absorbed,
Into the wonders
Of Infinite love.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

brightclearing @ podbean

I have opened another podcast at podbean called bright clearing.
It will have its own separate material from Cunneda's Ramble. He has not told me to discontinue these, but He has led me to begin something new and different. Pray that I follow His lead.

The first podcast for this new channel is now going up. You may listen



The Word

That most people find the Bible hard; if not impossible, to understand cannot be denied. Testimony to these difficulties  is too full and too widespread to be dismissed. As a teacher of His Word, this lack of understanding, aside from outright unbelief or hostility, is the most common problem I confront. Many would tell you that there are many reasons and complex answers for this; I respectfully disagree; I believe that most folks find the Bible difficult simply because they have no real relationship with its Author.

The Word of God is not addressed to just anybody. Its message is directed to a chosen few. These few are chosen by God in a sovereign act of election; they were known by God from everlasting to everlasting; and have known Him before they knew life in this world of darkness, ruled by time.  But whatever may have taken place in eternity, it is obvious what happens in time: some believe and some do not; some are  receptive and some are not; some have spiritual capacity and some have not. It is to those who do and are and have that the Bible is addressed. Those who do not and are not and have not will read it in vain -- in the words of our Lord; even the little they have shall be taken from them.

Right here, I know that some listeners will either turn me off, or enter  strenuous objections, and for reasons that are clear to see in every church across the land. Christianity, or more to the point. churchianity, today is man-centered, not God-centered. God is expected to wait patiently, even respectfully, on the whims of men. The image of God currently popular is that of a feeble, distracted Father, struggling in heartbroken desperation to get people to accept a Saviour in whom they feel no need and in whom they have very little interest. To persuade these self-sufficient souls to respond to His generous offers God will do almost anything, even using mass marketing and high tech video with contemporary music, while  talking down, and watering down His message to the lowest common denominator imaginable.  This view of things while it often uses flattering and sometimes lovey-dovey terms in praise of God, manages nevertheless to make man, a man other than Yeshua, our risen Lord, the star of the show. Just take a look at any of these mega-churches, or their rock star pastors --- case closed!

The notion that the Bible is addressed to everybody has wrought confusion within and without the body of Christ. The effort to apply the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount to the unregenerate masses of the world is but one example of this. Courts of law and the military powers of the earth are urged to follow the teachings of Christ, an obviously impossible thing for them to do. To quote the words of Christ as guides for policemen, judges and generals is to misunderstand those words completely and to reveal a total lack of understanding of the purposes of divine revelation. The life giving words of Christ are for the sons and daughters of grace, who will receive that life, not for those who merely seek a momentary diversion while leading a life dedicated to chasing and whoring around with the dragon; neither are they given to hostile nations or groups whose chosen symbols are a lion, an eagle, a bear, a crescent, a star, a compass, or the virgin.

Not only does God address His words of truth to those who are able to receive them, He actually conceals their meaning from those who are not. The preacher uses stories to make truth clear; our Lord often used them to obscure it. The parables of Christ were the exact opposite of the modern "illustration," which is meant to give light; the parables were "dark sayings" and Christ asserted that He sometimes used them so that His disciples could understand and His enemies could not. As the pillar of fire gave light to Israel but was cloud and darkness to the Egyptians, so our Lord's words shine in the hearts of His people but leave the self-confident unbeliever in the obscurity of spiritual midnight.

The  power of the Word is reserved for those for whom it is intended. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him. The impenitent heart will find the Bible but a skeleton of words without flesh or life or breath. Stephen King, Shakespeare, or Louis La More may be enjoyed without either belief or penitence; we may understand Einstein, Plato, or Stephen Hawking without knowing anything about these men, or truly believing anything they say; but knowledge, penitence, and belief, along with faith and obedience are absolutely essential to a right understanding of the Scriptures. This is why God's Word will always be a mystery to the natural man; for you see, he has turned God's promises upside down, and therefore can see only distortion and delusion. In the world of the natural man, faith follows evidence and is impossible without it, but in the realm of the spirit, the language of His Living Word, faith precedes understanding; it does not follow it. The natural man must know in order to believe; the spiritual man  believes in order to know. We are of a different order. The faith that restores and renews is not a conclusion drawn from evidence; it is a heavenly thing, a thing of the spirit, a supernatural impartation and infusion, not only of belief and confidence, but also of knowledge of Him and a burning desire for His communion, deep within our hearts.

This is what makes us different, we see because it is placed within us to see, we understand, because He is within us, and we know Him. This faith, which is the only key to any effective understanding, reposes in Him; and it comes to us only when He resides within us. To rightly understand the Word is a supernatural act of God, just as much as were Christ's miracles, and His resurrection. These are impossible acts to the natural man; and explain why the things of God will always be a mystery to him.

The simple truth is that without the grace of God; that natural man cannot understand because it was not given to him to understand -- he has chosen darkness, and darkness will be his lot.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Can See Her Still

Was it a dream?
Or just a time,
Lost in thought?
I can not say.
Yet I saw her then;
I can see her still,
In her gown
Of tattered white.
Stricken, and bowed,
So marred by pain,
and by tears;
That men shrank
From her, as one
Smitten of God.
Wrestling with the
Burden of her anguish;
She kneels in the dust:
Her head downcast,
As if hope had fainted;
Her beloved lyre,
Broken in her hand.
Resting upon a rock;
She presses to her ear
The one unbroken string,
As though catching
At the sweet music,
Of another place.
Softly, she smiles,
And pulls her hair
Away from her eyes,
As she rises slowly,
And makes her way,
Alone, down the path.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Serene Apocalypse

This play of life,
Is a snowflake
On the pond:
A moment white,
Then gone forever;
Yea, without the Wine,
There is but
The empty cup.

Tears, falling
On the icy brow
Of death,
Can not redeem
The years:
Flowers on the grave,
Cast no
Backward fragrance
Over weary days.

Each small fragment:
Cupfulls of time;
In which our years
Come upon us;
Are buds of being:
Seed times, of a sort,
Unto Eternity:
A serene apocalypse,
In the hands
Of a loving God.