The Goods

"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." I Corinthians 2:2

I recently heard a friend say, "It's not what you memorize about Him that matters, but what your realize in Him." I think we have become experts at memorizing truth about the Father. We can recite wonderful passages of Scripture from memory. We can put into understandable words what our doctrinal beliefs are. We can tell people why they need Christ, and give them the right words for receiving Him into their hearts and lives. We can present all the facts about Him. Yet in all of it, can we show them His reality? Do we ourselves live in that reality right now? Or, are we like someone who has become expert in knowing all the data about a country while never having been there ourselves?
T. Austin-Sparks said that a believer has no right to invite someone into the rest that is found only in Christ if they themselves are not experiencing that rest themselves. We can speak of the victory found in Christ, of how we can have a faith that overcomes all the power of the world. We can give attention to, acknowledge all of that. Do we possess it in the core of our being? Do we, as Sparks asks, have the "goods?"
When Jesus rebuked the Pharisees in Matthew 22:29, He said, "Your problem is that you don't know the Scriptures, and you don't know the power of God." The Pharisees could recite by memory His Word, but they couldn't recognize His Word when it was present before their eyes. They had religion, but they didn't have the Person. So many of us are like them. We know His words in our mind, but we don't walk in their power in our life. This is seen from the pulpit to the pew. Vance Havner said, "For Scripture we substitute our own explanations, and for the power of God we substitute our own experience." Again and again in His Word He says, "I would not have you unaware....." Yet too many are unaware. Unaware of the full reality of Who He is, what He has given, and who we can and are to be in Him. He has provided us a feast and we settle for crumbs. He continually tells us, "I have so much more for you than this," but we continue to miss the "so much more," and settle for "this."
In Psalm 81:10, the Father says, "Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things." He calls us to open not just our mouths, but our hearts, our ears, and our arms. He will fill them with His "good things." His Life, His wholeness, His wonder. When that happens His Word becomes far greater than ink on a page, or a verse in our memory. It become His Life. It becomes us, who we Him. When that happens, we have the "goods." Do we, do you, today, "have the goods?"
Pastor O
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   July 2019   
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