Christians are not Orphans: #7
Our Lord Jesus, before He left this earthly life, promised that I and you shall have company on our “Journey of Grace.” The Spirit of God and of the Son of God will always be with us (Matthew 28:20). How did I know that the Lord was and is with me.
Here are some of “Jesus’ Promises” that have manifested themselves in my life
“I will not leave you desolate (orphans); I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. He who has my Commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me” (John 14:18-24).
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you (Matthew 10:16-20)
“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:26-33).
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour (Luke 12:32-40).
God protects “His Children”
I have been spared from death, the evil tongue, and from war even in this world. I have been kept from reciprocating in ways that enhance problems. God is our Father and He loves each child for what it is, and not what an earthly father wants it to be. It is sad when fathers and leaders keep their children from loving godly things and godly ways. Here are some lessons from Jesus that have and do cool my temper.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes! And if a hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish (Matthew 18:1-14)
Children, more than “Anyone,” need guidance
God has provided excellent rules! However, God needs parents and teachers to teach the rules to the children (Deuteronomy 11:19). That is how I learned to fear God. When I left Germany and immigrated to Canada, I was twenty-one years old. And my mother still kept feeding me God’s Word, and these words continue with me to this day. Let me add two more verses from David and some from Solomon.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Thy word. With my whole heart I seek Thee; let me not wander from Thy Commandments!” (Psalm 119:9).
“Thy Word is a Lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
“The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. The Law of His God is in his heart; his steps do not slip” (Psalm 37:30-31).
“There are six things the Lord hates, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers.
“My son, keep your father’s Commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart always; tie them about your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you wake, they will walk with you. For the Commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adventuress” (Proverbs 6:16-24).
When does a “Child” become responsible?
The bachelor father Paul had this advice:
“When I (Paul) was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood” (I Corinthians 13:11-12).
O, Blessed Paul, I wish I could feel that I fully understand and have been understood! My conscience kicked in when I was six years old, and it has kept me from shaming my parents, myself, and my loved ones and friends; however, when I look into the mirror of my soul, there is still something missing. I have yet to reach that point where I feel adequate as a “vessel of grace.” Paul, himself, felt that his Corinthians followers were still in their child-like mentality:
“But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh, as babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men?” (I Corinthians 3:1-3).
One of Paul’s brightest students had a glimpse of his teacher’s hope, what the “vessels of grace” had to accomplish among people with a fixed mentality. It took me half my life to open my mind:
“And His (Christ’s) gifts were that some should be apostles (missionaries), some prophets (interpreters of languages), some e evangelists (preachers), some pastors (counsellor) and teachers (show how to live), to equip for the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuild itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-16).
The wise Solomon gave me these “helpful words” to end this chapter:
“My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, if you are snared in the utterance of your lips, caught in the words of your mouth; then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into your neighbor’s power; go, hasten and importune your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler” (Proverbs 6:1-5).