*THE FRUITFUL LIFE SEEKS RAIN AS WELL AS SUNSHINE*

Tag Archives: God’s Word


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NO LOOKING BACK

Luke 9:62

“Jesus said to him: “No man that has put his hand to a plow

and looks at the things behind is well fitted for the kingdom of God.”

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REMEMBER the wife of Lot

This “looking back” is not merely reflecting to evaluate the progress made since one decided to leave the world. Instead, it is like Lot’s wife, who looked back with a degree of longing to return to what she had left. Her life was literally on the line, and rather than being fully engaged in surviving, she placed a higher priority on life’s lesser matters than on the greater one of preserving her life through God’s gift of protection.

She looked back, revealing her heart still to be in Sodom, a type of the world. Her action indicates regret for having left. Success in God’s way requires following an awesome vision of future glory with devoted conviction. Abraham is a primary example: He looked for a city built by God, apparently leaving his homeland without ever looking back (Hebrews 11:8-10, 13-16).

Once we commit to Christianity, God’s calling becomes our vocation, which requires our concentrated attention going forward. A vocation is a person’s regular occupation. What happens when a Christian looks back with a measure of longing is similar to someone talking on a cell phone while driving his car. He frequently drifts all over the road, swerving this way and that because, at best, his attention is split between conflicting priorities. He is setting himself up for trouble, and all too frequently, an accident occurs. A Christian cannot make a beeline for the Kingdom with his attention diverted elsewhere. We are not to be anything but altogether followers of the Son of God. The stakes are that high, for the fulfillment of His promise is so great.

Dramatic, sudden death, as happened to Lot’s wife, will not likely happen to us if we gaze yearningly behind us. For this reason, a person who has begun to fall away will most likely take the second step backwards with hardly a pause. Hebrews 10:39 says, “But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” Almost invariably, longing for the old life is followed by gradually and increasingly believing that God’s requirements are too exacting and difficult.

In Jesus’ parable in Luke 19:11-27, did not the man given one mina complain something similar to this when asked what he had gained with it? “Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow” (verses 20-21).

We must be prepared to put God first in all things. There will be times when this will be exceedingly difficult, especially if the surrender of a thing involves the sacrifice of someone or something deeply loved or desired. It can happen, but such occasions are quite rare.

It has been said that he who is unwilling to sacrifice everything for the cause of God is really willing to sacrifice nothing. Drawing back happens despite God’s promise that every trial is measured to the exact specifications needed by the individual Christian. In I Corinthians 10:13, God promises to provide relief from every problem: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” The word-picture in Hebrews 10:39 portrays a person shrinking back from following through on the demands of faith. He is looking for an easy way out of some distasteful thing he does not wish to face. This eventually happens to us all.

A major appeal of the world’s way is that it seems to be broader and easier. As Jesus says in Matthew 7:13, the easier, broader way it probably is—for a while. That deceptively effortless way draws the person ever-further from salvation, and he grows steadily weaker as he loses contact with God. The one who apostatizes thus permits himself to be drawn back.

The third step is taken when a person actually turns away. John 6:65-66 records such an occasion in Jesus’ ministry: “And He said, ‘Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.’ From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” In this poignant scene, Jesus watched people who may have been friends leave His entourage because they could not comprehend His teaching. He undoubtedly had spoken of things of an order far higher than they were accustomed to hearing, but rather than patiently facing it, as the apostles did, they simply gave up, proving themselves unfit for the Kingdom of God. Their loyalty could not stand the strain of what may have been merely a temporary misunderstanding. They had been followers, but apparently, they were seeking for something else.

By this stage, it is still not too late for a person to grab hold of himself and move forward, but the world’s appeal has become almost overpowering. Spiritual decline has reached the tipping point, and he is in serious peril.

The fourth and final step backward is illustrated by Isaiah in the Old Testament: “But the word of the LORD was to them, ‘Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.’ That they might go and fall backward, and be broken and snared and caught” (Isaiah 28:13).

In examining the context carefully, we see that the people being described have reached the critical point where God’s Word is falling on deaf ears. It is to them just jumbled noise. In New Testament terms, they had backslid beyond the reach of repentance and forgiveness. Here, the apostate reaches the point of no return; he has earned the Lake of Fire.

*John W. Ritenbaugh *




Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

When I feel afraid,
And think I’ve lost my way.
Still, you’re there right beside me.
Nothing will I fear
As long as you are near;
Please be near me to the end.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

I will not forget
Your love for me and yet,
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus by my guide,
And hold me to your side,
And I will love you to the end.

Nothing will I fear
As long as you are near;
Please be near me to the end.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
And a light unto my path.
You’re the light unto my path.


*lyrics : Michael W Smith & Amy Grant*



Ω♣♥ PRIORITIES ♥♣Ω

α Ω α

William Gladstone (1809-1898) was England’s Prime Minister four times, and one

of the most important political figures of his era. He was also famous for being an

active Christian.

Every day as Gladstone went up the steps of the Parliament building, he bought

a newspaper from the same newsboy and said an encouraging word about how

Jesus loved him.

One day, as Gladstone and his secretary were going into Parliament, another

newsboy stopped them. “Hey, Mr. Gladstone, you know the bloke you usually

get’cher paper from?

Well, yesterday he was run over by a carriage and he’s going to die.

He wants you to come get him in.”

“What do you mean, ‘get him in’?” Gladstone asked.

“You know–get him in to Heaven.”

Gladstone’s secretary protested. “No, no, no, you don’t have time to go see

a newsboy! You know how important your speech today is. It could change

the course of history!”

Gladstone thought a moment, then said, “One immortal soul is worth more

than my speech in Parliament.”

So he went to the little garret where the newsboy lay dying.

Gladstone prayed with him to receive Jesus.

He “got him in”–and then the boy died.

By the time Gladstone made it back to Parliament, a heated discussion was

already under way. He gave his speech, and his side went on to win the vote.

Afterwards his secretary asked, “Sir, how could you have gone off like that

and almost miss making such an important speech?”

“The speech was a very important and good thing,” Gladstone replied, “

but getting that boy saved and into Heaven was a better, more important

thing!”

♦♦ * * * ♦♦

*David Brandt Berg*

♦♦ * * * ♦♦

To comprehend a man’s life, it is necessary to know not merely

what he does,  but also what he purposely leaves undone.

There is a limit to the work that can be got out of a human body

or a human brain, and he is a wise man who wastes no energy

on pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he still wiser who,

from among the things that he can do well, chooses and

resolutely follows the best.

** ♦ ♦ ♦ **

There is but one question of the hour:
How to bring the truth of God’s Word into vital contact with the
minds and hearts of all classes of people.

** ♦ ♦ ♦ **

♣ William E. Gladstone ♣



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