Borrowed Truths

Only One Time

Borrowed Truths

Only One Time

My beautiful wife has begun to memorize Scripture verses, and it is an amazing thing to me. Just the other day she quoted over thirty of them as we drove back from the grocery store, and I must admit that tears began to well up in my eyes as I heard this wonderful woman serve the Lord her God, her beautiful heart is beginning to reflect His. But not only is she memorizing the verses and their locations in the Scriptures, she is searching out how to apply them in her daily walk. She seeks to hide God’s word in her heart, a heart that was once stone but is being turned into one of flesh, so that she does not sin against Him, but she also is beginning to realize one of the gifts that He has bestowed upon her, her memorization talents for the glory of God, and that this gift is not meant only to be hidden within her.

She is, as all those who have given to their lives in servitude to Christ are, are a light to the world, a light that requires very little to be seen anymore, for the times are very dark indeed. I try to encourage her as much as I can in her endeavor to follow this course that the Lord has placed before her, and remind her, perhaps a little too often, that those words of God that she is beginning to hide within herself are not for her benefit alone, but for all that cross her path. When she stumbles at times, I offer consolation and encouragement, but I have also learned that there are times when this encouragement is best offered in silence, with a smile of patience, for she is a very determined lady in her efforts, and is learning to hone this gift from the Lord into a skill to serve Him better. I offer my humble knowledge of whatever verse that she has memorized that week, sometimes two a week, and we discuss how it is not only relevant to our lives, but to all of those who have given themselves to Christ.

Unless we are aware of the life applications of the Scriptures, we are doing no more than simply reading another book, if we hide his words in our hearts but never share them with others we are committing a sin of omission, for we have been commanded to “Go into all the world, and preach the Gospel.” (Mark 16:15) Encouragement and consolation, two items that every believer needs in their lives on a regular basis, and one would hope the first one more often than the second. I believe though that the inverse of this statement is true, for only those who are serving need further encouragement, while it requires the knowledge that we are not obeying the Lords will for our lives to require consolation.

When we witness to the lost, we are encouraging them to come to the cross, repent of their sins, and begin a life of following the Lord Jesus Christ for the entirety of it and beyond. We speak of the encouragement that He offers to them and all of His children, His love, peace, and abiding presence, how the cares of this world will slowly fade away and His Word will be the only truth that they will over need. To those who are on the path and planting seeds, to those who are nurturing and lifting up the Name of Christ to all that they meet we offer encouraging words, praising the Lord God for their continued service to Him. To those who are being used in ways that we are not, serving mightily by His power on the path that He has placed them on, we do not envy, we do not feel discouraged, we give God the glory and encourage them in the Word, reminding them always that there is more, there is always more of Jesus to be found. We edify, we rejoice, we encourage.

But there are also those brothers and sisters in Christ that need consolation, those whose names are written in the Lambs book of life but have lost their way. I am not speaking here of the grief associated with the loss of a loved one or other incidences that the Lord allows to come into our lives that can temporarily break our hearts, for these we are told to grieve with, (Rom. 12:15) and only time and the Lord can mend the heart that has been torn. Here we are referring to the one who has lost his way on the path, the one who is no longer quite sure what he is to do next or perhaps has even lost the determination to continue to carry his cross.

Sometimes the path that the Lord has placed before us is as clear as a well-worn path, at other times it is as if it is made of sticky mud with the wind howling right in our face, and then there are those moments it is similar to walking on soft grass. These are His decisions and His will; we are simply commanded to remain on the path and continue forward, no matter what it is like at that moment. But this brother or sister is not doing that, either they have stepped off the path somewhere for whatever reason or are unsure of how to continue on it, it is perhaps not as clear as it once was, these are they which require consolation. I have never met a child of God yet who needed consolation with their encouragement, but everyone of them that needs consolation also needs encouragement.

You cannot console someone, then just walk away from them and leave them with no hope, and you cannot offer encouragement or hope without the Word of God, all else would just be shallow words, the words of men and the world can offer no eternal assistance. There was no hope in the hearts of Mary and Martha, save that they would again see their brother Lazarus on the final day, (John 11:24) but after Jesus consoled them, He showed them incredible encouragement by raising His friend from the dead, He showed them that He is the only truth that we need, that all the encouragement and consolation that we will ever need can be found in Him.

When we are consoling our brothers or sisters who have lost their way, we must also offer encouragement, the truth that there is always hope, for they have not really lost their way on the path, or even stepped off of it, what they have done is taken their eyes off the Savior. These have lost sight of the prize which is Christ, the world has been calling them back, and they have heeded the call, the troubles in their life have covered them like a shroud, and they have forgotten the one who has allowed these troubles to enter into their lives in the first place. Nearly all those who need consolation outside of grief have taken their eyes off the Lord, off His mercy and grace, and so encouragement is also required when we are called to console them.

For those who are unsure of the direction of the Lords will in their lives at this time, well then, you have more time to study His Word, don’t you? Those who are doing, but see no fruit in their labors at the moment, except perhaps very rarely, patience is the key word, our Lord does not lead us to others or them to us unless He has prepared both hearts to hear what He has to say, the truths that He wants to impart to us. Many who believe that they are not serving as they should be, or to the full extent that they could be, have forgotten that all of God’s chosen ones are on the same path, but we all leave our own footprints upon it. Yes, we are to follow the footprints of  Christ that are before us, and the examples of God-fearing believers that have left their marks upon that path, but we are never to compare what Christ has us doing with what He has any of His other servants doing.

Look at our Lords response to Peter in John 21:22, “Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” Our Lord basically told him not to be concerned with what or how that other disciple was going to be used by Him, you follow me. Can the hand say to the foot? When you are not sure ask, pray, study and wait for an answer, but do not just sit around feeling sorry for yourself, hoping that the Lord will send someone to tell you what to do next. What you are studying in His Word and the things that He is allowing to come into your life right now will more than likely be the clues as to how He may decide to use you next, and that may come sooner than you think. We must remember that those who are used frequently for His glory also require a break occasionally, our Lord does not need to rest, we do, it may be as simple as this, search your heart and His face, and He will let you know.

I have often wondered about the life of Paul in this area of consolation and encouragement, so if you would, please allow me a small bit of conjecture here. “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. (2nd Cor. 12:2) This was the only man besides our Lord to go to heaven and return, not just visions of heaven as others in the Scriptures experienced. Why? Consolation and encouragement, I am tired of being beaten and whipped, stoned with rocks and left for dead, I am tired of my own beloved countrymen hating me, of so many mocking me for trying to tell them the truths of Christ, I am getting tired in the work.

Let me ask you a question here, how would your walk with Christ change if you were allowed for only one moment to see Christ in all His glory in the kingdom of heaven? How would that change you when you returned here to earth to continue on the path that He has set before you? I’m going to presume that you would not be thinking of what had to be done at work the next day or what you needed from the grocery store, in fact, I don’t think that you would concern yourself with anything in the world again ever except the people in it.

Would you ever need consolation for anything concerning Christ in your life ever again, I think not? But I would guess that you would be very good at encouraging people from then on.

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