All of creation points to and teaches us of God, His requirements of us, our relationships to Him.
Life in Christ must be as spontaneous and natural as the branches to their tree trunk. And am I presumptuous in pointing out that as branches cannot live without the trunk so the trunk has no life without branches? Can it be that Almighty God is so committed to us, His creation?
We are branches, we are one,
Not by ourselves, not of ourselves,
But we live by the Greater One
Which gives us life,
Which gives us purpose for being.
Though we go our own ways,
One this way and that,
Still we serve the One greater
From where we come,
In Whom we have our being and our life.
We serve the Greater One and give It life;
We live for It and It alone.
The Trunk is our source and our deposit,
The Beginning and the End.
How can we live except we give?
If we do not give, the Trunk does not live;
If the Trunk does not live, we die.
For the Trunk then we live
No other choice can there be,
Yet we give not so that we live,
We are what we are;
We do what we do,
And if we do well we live.
We are all in need of help. But is it the noun or the verb we need? Woe is me! How can this be? Where is that help I have sought? Nothing but wretched know-it-alls Come to disturb my thought - and my peace. Peace? What peace? What am I saying? Who am I trying to kid? If this is peace then give me war And I shall rest and sleep and snore. Time passed on and matters grew worse. I soon lost all that I had. My friends had gone their merry old ways, My family too was gone. My business failed, uncertainty prevailed; I slowly began to wrestle with myself For a change. What's this? A knock? A tiny knock? I haven't had a knock since that beggar came by! I wonder who it might be? Eh? A whimper? A sniffing? A sobbing? More trouble! Add fuel to the fire! Is there no rest for the wicked?! I opened the door and there stood a boy, One hand over his eyes and one on his knee, From where trickled blood to my doorstep! Sir! the lad cried with tear-stained face, I stumbled and fell just in front of your place. I have nobody to help me. Are you a doctor or someone to bind my wound? Angered at first at the gory mess, I nearly chased him away. But though I knew I was only a laborer, He had flattered me with his question. Fancy me a doctor!? “Lad, you have saved your knee,” I thought. “Oh, very well, come in, come in. We'll see what to do with your wound.” I bound up his leg and sent him away, Not...
We walk by faith. Faith overcomes the world. We live by faith. Faith is the work of God. By faith are we saved. This we know. Now there is much ado made about love, joy, peace and works. But the thing that is striking is that with faith in the trial of the saints is mentioned none of those but patience. “Here is the patience and faith of the saints” (Rev. 13:10). Less is said about patience but this patience is the virtue of all virtues coupled with faith. The Lord teaches us to wait. I once saw a man Sitting in a chair on his veranda. His feet were raised up and resting on a rail, His eyes pegged on the road ahead. He seemed to be waiting With longing and hope. He was alone and didn’t like it much, And waited for someone to come. Time passed on…and on…and on. I looked again and saw The prairie without life, as before, The house, the veranda, and chair; I saw the feet on the rail, The figure was still there But no flesh was left, only dust and bones And cloth and cobwebs and hair. Lord, why must we wait so long For promises to be fulfilled? Soon I begin to think and feel That these promises were only imagined Or that I have failed somehow. I begin to think of that man Who waited with hope in vain. Will this be my lot? Am I that man? My heart sick with hope deferred? Will I turn to dust as that lonely soul, Feeding on empty dreams? But no, this is the patience and faith of the saints Who are called to trust and to...
The man of darkness, the carnal man in each one of us, scarcely realizes the implications of his stance and opposition to his Creator. He does not recognize the futility, much less the harm he does himself in what he considers to be his right or privilege to freedom of expression according to his understanding. Least of all does he recognize the Lord coming as a thief to him in order to deliver or judge. The fire rages and Nothing stands in its way... The all consuming fire of God: Who can bear it? A fearful and terrible storm, The wicked are swept away, Having stood and hollered, Eaten and drunk, Laughed and scoffed. Now they are nothing. So great and terrible is that fire That we pity even our enemies, Repentant that they stood against us. But against us they stood, Pushing away their good, Despising their very lives, Pulling seed out of the ground, Poisoning their wells, Burning their houses, Slitting their throats, Hating the urgent help, Vigorously throwing out The butter and milk and all good food, Eagerly saving and eating The eggshells and cardboard cartons, The cellophane wrappers and bones. Would the beggar refuse a banquet? Would a dying man reject a physician? But our enemies have done just so. The fire rages, and Nothing stands in its way; Only a terrible fire Can clear away the refuse And cleanse the contradiction Of the wicked and their ways. Lethbridge, late 80's, early 90's