OFFERING OR OBEDIENCE
"What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?"
November is Thanksgiving month and once again America will take a day to renew family ties around tables laden with the fruit of our fertile fields in a country blessed with freedoms and a way of life to which most of the world is a total stranger to. In many homes there will be a genuine spirit of gratitude and like the Psalmist of old, dedicated Christians will ask the question, "What shall I render unto the Lord?"
The story is told of a little girl and her mother at a sea-side resort. The mother had given the little girl strict orders to play in the yard and not to go near the sea by herself. Like many other little children (and grown-ups) the little girl forgot her promise to obey. "What would she do?" she thought to herself, "Mother will surely be angry at me." Then she had a wonderful thought, "I'll take mother a lot of sea-shells and pretty stones and then she won't be angry." So, with this in mind, she gathered her "peace offering" and started back to the cottage. However, when she got back her mother (without paying the least bit of attention to the pretty shells and stones) scolded her severely for being disobedient. To the mother the child's welfare and safety was far more important than all of the sea-shells in the ocean.
What then, is the best way for us to express our gratitude to God? I think the Psalmist has given us the best recipe for genuine thanksgiving to be found anywhere. Let us "Take the cup of salvation and call-upon the name of the Lord. Let us pay our vows unto the Lord." What a wonderful Thanksgiving we could have this year if each of us would remember all of our promises to God and would "call upon the name of the Lord" for forgiveness and from henceforth live more faithful lives. Or, as the Psalmist says, "Pay our vows unto the Lord."
October 24, 1972
The above caption beneath which appeared a long list of names recently was published in The Times Reporter. A quick glance soon assured me (as I had suspected) that my name wasn't listed. Apparently, the money referred to is contained in small bank deposits that are too small to pay the expense of keeping a record of by the bank and also too small for the investor to pay for transportation etc., to collect it. However that may be, the thing that most concerns me is the invaluable treasure of promises contained in God's Word over which the Holy Spirit has hung a sign that could well say for many who read this, "Have ye forgotten the promise of the Father?"
Unsaved Sinner, have ye forgotten the many promises of God to save you from your sin? Hear the Holy Spirit as He says "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Vacillating, worldly Christian trying to serve God in the strength of the flesh, hear Christ as He says, "As your earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to his children, how much more so will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him." You, who are fearful and afraid to cut loose from all that binds you to the old life and its destructive habits, hear the Holy Spirit as He says "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee."
You, who have forsaken all to follow Christ, refusing to compromise your God-given convictions even though called a fanatic or old-fashioned, remember Christ's beautiful promise to His own, "I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, there ye may be also."
Oh, how immeasurable the wealth that is ours through Christ our Savior and beloved, remember your name is on this list and each one of His promises can be claimed by you because Christ signed the title deed in His own blood. Your part is to claim them by faith.
October 5, 1972
The wild geese arched in primal order against the frosty sky, their cries echoing over the burnished meadows and wintering countryside. Suddenly, one dot fell from formation. It soared, then swooped with wings outstretched to the solace of a haystack in a warm-looking barnyard. The young male goose had been wounded in flight. His white bibbed neck contrasted with the more muted feathers of his body which he began to preen cautiously.
His heart broke as he listened to the honking of his brothers, the wild geese soaring overhead. He watched with longing as they disappeared. At first he was fearful of his new surroundings, of the other animals and of the MAN who came into the barnyard; but the abundant kernels and the ready grain which filled his belly and the warm barn began to destroy his inhibitions.
In the Spring, his breast stirred as he heard the familiar cry. He saw the northbound V against the bright blue. He ran wildly. He flapped his wings. He rose awkwardly into the air then fell to the ground. "The old wound," he excused himself. In truth he had grown too fat to fly. "In the fall, in the fall..." he said. When the wild geese flew again he lifted his head, his heart beat wild, but the day soon came when he never heard their cry.
The cry of the Holy Spirit calls each Christian to feats not usually performed in the barnyard of a comfortable religious life. Are there kernels of comfort, ease, and compromise that keep you from hearing their cry?
October 22, 1974
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