Thursday, January 5, 2017

"When we weep"

I realize this is a bit unusual for me to be posting again so quickly, but being off this week has afforded me more time for study and as a result I have found more things of interest to write about and more time to write. If I could only get paid for reading and writing I would think I was living next door to Heaven!

When we weep. This photo has been making it's way around the net for some time now. I latched onto it a few years ago, it seemed to stir my emotions and impress upon me the sacrifice that is often times demanded as a result of living in such a fallen world.

I titled it in my photo file simply "Sacrifice" but I was able to see it slightly different this time. The idea of sacrifice was not diminished, but perhaps to see slightly beyond the tears.

I was reading in John 20:11 (But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher,) and I took special notice of the fact she was weeping. It is hard for us to imagine the sense of lose she must have been experiencing. Mary has been connected in Christendom over the years as a lady of ill repute. There is no real evidence of this, but whatever her life was like before she met the Lord, it appears to have been a life of tragedy. It is said of her, that 7 demons were cast out. We can only imagine the oppression that was upon this lady's mind, the torment and confusion. Perhaps she was at times affected with fits, maybe constant battles with depression or living on the verge of insanity. I entertained the idea of posting a picture of a demon possessed person for illustration, but the pictures the search brought up deferred me from that idea. It would be safe to say, her appearance under such stress must have been heart wrenching.

But she had found peace in the Saviour, so it is similarly difficult to imagine the affection she must have had for our Lord. Very possibly the only, and most assuredly the greatest love she had ever known. Now through this series of events, it had all been taken from her. Have you ever lost the one person you had come to love the most? Do we not wonder how we can go on without them? Would it have been possible for Mary to wonder such about her life? Could she have wondered if the torments would return now that her Lord was gone?  This event in her life took my mind back to 3 events in my own that hurt deeply. Many carry with them memories of many more that, the Providential workings vary greatly in our lives, but we all share them.

 We find her here at a most dreadful place, a tomb. It was the place that brought her closest to her loss. Though it seemed an impassable sea between her and her Lord, yet she must stand upon the nearest shore and gaze across.

Throughout life's journey we will all from time to time find ourselves here. What we must take note of is what Mary could not see at first. Beyond the loss, beyond the hurt, beyond the tears, was the greatest gain, the greatest joy, the greatest hope. The gain, the joy and hope, were only magnified by the loss and hurt. It is these times that move us from the temporal things around us. We may work hours upon hours to learn and achieve levels of success to obtain our homes, cars, affluence, and securities of life. One of these moments, such as Mary's, can render all those things worthless. Their true value will be exposed, the home of one's dreams can be but an empty shell without the one you love to fill it, it's value worthless.

So what are we to make of these things? There is an error being taught in Theology today that tells us God desires us to live in health and prosperity. It tells us if we find ourselves lacking in these things we have been robbed of God's blessings.

For a moment I'm going to imagine, say from my teenage years, I found the secret of health and success. From that time until now I had not experienced any physical pain, I had not known any financial need or disappointment. Beyond that, I had amassed a wealth of surplus and have lived life at its best.

In fact, lets say I had been able to possess in fullness what the preachers of this message say God's wants me have.

I will just simply ask you to give a good guess as best you can, what kind of person now in my late 50's do you think I would be? Would I have character? Would I have a real understanding of compassion? Would servitude be the utmost of my desire? Solomon came the closest of anyone I know of obtaining all the things these preachers say God wants us to have and it brought him to ruin.

No my friend, in this fallen state, these experiences like Mary's are our greatest friends. For they are the means by which God works all things together for the good of those that love him (Romans 8:28). They turn our eyes away from this world and the attachments of it, and cause us to gaze upward to another world.

Look at Mary's situation for a moment, in her despair Jesus is standing ever so near. He does not rush in to try and save her from her grief, but simply ask, "Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?" and then awaits her answer, allows her to explain her dilemma. He seems to be in no hurry to relieve her of her distress and conceals the fact of his identity as she works her way through it. After the expression of her concern, he simply reveals himself by speaking her name, "Mary".

As you follow the discourse, Jesus seems purposely avoiding the issues that were distressing her, but immediately points her to heavenly things. He tells her he's still leaving and going to heaven. It was afterward that she would realize the dividends that lay beyond her tears were unmeasurable. In the Providences of God these things must be, 2Co 4:15  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
2Co 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
2Co 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

My dear friend, if the things which are seen are troubling you, take heart, they are temporal. Turn your eyes heavenward, to all those things near you that are not seen, for they are eternal and weighty with glory.

Perhaps by providence you have found yourself reading this blog, but you are in a place obscure to the Gospel, you find these things strange to your ears. My wife reminded me of this the other day, that it is very possible in today's technology one could find this blog and wonder what these things mean. Let me explain,  Co 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.   
Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  

If you find yourself attracted to these words, something in you inquiring, yearning for more understanding; follow it. Turn upward to heaven and ask for help! A simple cry for help will catch the ear of God. There may be no light around you, cry for help, God will move nations to reach a soul that cries out to him for help.

May the Grace of God be upon each of you,




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