Thursday, December 18, 2014

"(of whom the world was not worthy)" Hebrews 11:38

Vol. 11, No. 2, Mar. - Apr. 1982EDITOR: Mr. Harry Foster


"(of whom the world was not worthy)" Hebrews 11:38

HERE is a glorious parenthesis. It discloses how different are God's values from those which are current among men. Faith faces a sneering and scoffing world and puts it in its place by asserting that the non-believers and unbelievers who have so despised the suffering saints of God were not fit to have the privilege of living in the same world with them.

WE note that the special commendation is not reserved for those great heroes of faith whom we all venerate as we read this chapter, but is applied especially to anonymous harassed and despised fugitives who were true believers. Men never praised them while they were paying the cost of their faithfulness, nor have they recorded their names for posterity. Heaven, however, has taken full note of their tribulations for the sake of the Name and, in due course, will reward them openly before a wondering universe.

WHEN that day comes the unbelieving adversaries as well as their fellows in the faith will appreciate how true this divine parenthesis has proved -- the world with its conceit and self-complacency was not worthy to have such choice souls resident in it.

NATURALLY those here described would never have claimed that their world was not worthy of them, and nor would we make any such claims for ourselves. Yet, as onlookers, we can learn even in our day to appreciate the great value to God of suffering and enduring faith. If we ourselves are knowing anything of the offence of the cross, we need not fear the world and we will not envy it, but we can quietly take to ourselves the comfort of this divine valuation.

DO we feel apologetic about ourselves? Sometimes we do. Do we take on the world's tawdry values and accept its poor estimation of men and women of faith who have nothing to boast of here on earth? Sometimes we do. Do we perhaps even envy the "men of the world whose portion is in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy treasure" (Psalm 17:14)? Alas, there are times when we do.

THE more important, then, that we should not only refresh our faith by considering the examples of faith represented by this "cloud of witnesses" but listen to God's verdict upon them: "Of whom the world was not worthy". That surely is a commendation which we would all like to merit. Who will care what men think of him if he can have such a verdict from God?

Within the Ranks

By Mary Wilder Tileston

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings.
--1 PETER 4:12, 13

NOT more than I can bear I know
Thou, dearest Lord, wilt on me lay,
And I can learn of Thee to go
Unfearing on my way.

IT is a tremendous moment when first one is called upon to join the great army of those who suffer. That vast world of love and pain opens suddenly to admit us one by one within its fortress. We are afraid to enter into the land, yet you will, I know, feel how high is the call. It is as a trumpet speaking to us, that cries aloud, "It is your turn--endure." Play your part. As they endured before you, so now, close up the ranks--be patient and strong as they were. Since Christ, this world of pain is no accident untoward or sinister, but a lawful department of life, with experi.ences, interests, adventures, hopes, delights, secrets of its own. These are all thrown open to us as we pass within the gates--things that we could never learn or know or see, so long as we were well. God help you to walk through this world now opened to you, as through a kingdom, royal, and wide and glorious.

Love believeth all things

By A.B. Simpson

There is a beautiful expression in the book of Isaiah which reflects with accuracy the depth of the love of God. He said, They are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour (Isaiah 63:8). They lied, but He would not believe it. At least He speaks as if He would not believe it, in the greatness of His love, because they were His people. He has not seen iniquity in Jacob nor perversity in Israel. There is plenty of it to see, and the devil sees it all, and a good many people are only too glad to see it, but the dear Father will not see it. He covers it with His love and the precious blood of His atoning Son. 

Such a wonderful love ought surely to make us more gentle to others and more anxious to cause our Father less need to hide His loving eyes from our imperfections and faults. if we have the mind and heart of Christ, we shall clothe even the non-Christians with those graces which faith can claim for them. We shall try our best to count them as if they were real, and by love and prayer we shall at length make them real. Love believeth all things (1 Corinthians 13:7).

Victorious Faith Defeats Satan

By Theodore Epp

Job 1: 12-22

According to Job 1:12 the Lord gave Satan permission to afflict Job up to a certain point.

God told Satan that he could do what he wanted with all Job had, but he was not to touch Job himself So Satan set out to prove that Job was not what God claimed him to be, but God's purpose was to show that Job was a man of God.

When the great calamities fell upon Job, it was not Satan's lightning nor Satan's whirlwind that brought destruction. The lightning and the wind belong to God. Satan merely had permission from God to use them. Even Job saw this, for he said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (v. 21).

The character of a person is generally revealed at a time of sudden crisis. When there is no time for reflection, our true nature is revealed. This is especially true when someone is under as much pressure as Job was.

Satan was defeated by Job's turning to the Lord. The Evil One failed in everything he tried to do against Job. Instead of driving Job away from God, Satan had driven him closer to God. Here was a man who could be faced with all that Satan could cast at him and still stand firm in his faith.

Is this how we react when Satan brings trials and testings into our lives? Or do we cringe and ask why? Do we shake and tremble under the terrible trial?

"My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Builder

By Bible Names of God

"For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house." Hebrews 3:3

Christ is here set forth as "the Builder" or "Establisher" of the house. He is the Apostle. He is the High Priest. The foundation of the house is laid in Him. "Ye are God's building," Paul says in 1 Cor 3:9. We are temples of the Holy Spirit now. Christ dwells within us. We are to be built up into holy temple from which will go forth the voices of millions of the redeemed as they sing the Hallelujah Chorus. Let Christ have His way in fitting us for our appointed places in the Temple of God, for He is the master Builder and we are to share with Him in the coming day.

Grant unto us, Lord, submission to thy Holy will in all things this day. Amen.

Psalm 84:5-7

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

Will You Go Out Without Knowing?

By Oswald Chambers

'He went out, not knowing whither he went.'
Hebrews 11:8

Have you been "out" in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question - "What do you expect to do?" You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder - you do not know what God is going to do next. Each morning you wake it is to be a "going out," building in confidence on God. "Take no thought for your life,...nor yet for your body" - take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you "went out."

Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does?

Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him - what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual "going out" in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God.