Treasuring The Truth
By Lois J. Stucky
When we open the Bible, God’s Holy Word, we open a treasure chest of truth. There are no counterfeit coins therein; all are pure gold. No little child will be cheated; no aged saint will be deceived. The articles in this issue of Herald of His Coming which warn of the deceptions prevalent today, cause us to think with renewed appreciation of the source of the truths we can trust to save and keep our souls for time and for eternity! When well-grounded in God’s Word, our discernment of error is sharpened, keeping us safe ourselves as well as spiritual "lambs" for whom we may be responsible.
In Mark 7 is an example of Jesus emphasizing the importance of hearing and heeding God’s Holy Word. He severely reproved religious leaders who "reject the commandment of God, that [they] may keep [their] own tradition" (v. 9). He plainly told them they were "making the Word of God of none effect" (v. 13). Calling the people to Himself Jesus said emphatically, "Hearken unto Me every one of you, and understand" (v. 14) and He gave clear instruction from God’s Word. He concluded with, "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear" (v. 16). Various other places in the Gospels our Lord exhorts, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Does that not put a responsibility on us? We all have physical ears, but are we hearing, really listening, to what the Scriptures tell us? It takes more than a casual reading to adequately understand what we read, and to apply it to our everyday living. "Ears to hear" involves also our minds. And very importantly, we are blessed to have the Holy Spirit to help us understand (1 Cor. 2:9-13). Wise is the one who thoughtfully studies the Word of God and depends on the Divine Teacher, the Holy Spirit, for deeper understanding.
Just as we are eager for God to have ears to hear our pleas and prayers, we need to have ears to hear what He is saying to us. The Apostle John wrote: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John v. 4). Do you not think that God feels the same way about His children, only infinitely more so? God has poured out His heart toward mankind through the Living Word, Jesus, and through the printed Word, the Bible, and has miraculously preserved His marvelous revelation for us through the centuries. Might we give it due priority in our lives: reading, meditating on it, memorizing it, obeying it, listening attentively to its being preached, and passing it on to the coming generations! All of this takes strong effort, and sadly, not all Christians are prepared and willing for this.
What a precious opportunity and responsibility parents have! If the church is to have its "Timothys" to carry forward the leadership in the church, then parents must take to heart the preparation for that. Paul wrote to Timothy: "Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:14-17).
In the parable of the sower of the seed, which is the Word of God, Jesus warned of those hearts which are "dull of hearing" (Matt. 13:15). He spoke of those who had no depth in their heart so the Word did not take root (vv. 20-21); in other hearts, the seed was crowded out by "cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches" (v. 22). But there is the good heart which understands and in which the Word bears fruit – even one hundred fold in some hearts. Might we give first place to having the good heart that has ears that hear and heed; the good heart that is not hardened and callous; the good heart that is righteous, humble and obedient.
United in Prayer
How valuable to the work of God’s kingdom is every blood-bought, praying saint in these perilous times! Around the world, 24 hours a day, there are burdened hearts calling on God. While some sleep, others are at prayer. We want to encourage all of you to keep faithful. Our hearts are warm toward you and how much more is God’s! We ask that God may inspire and strengthen afresh those of you weary, battle-worn prayer warriors who have borne the heat of the day. We ask that God might call into active duty some now on the reserve list, and we ask that He might conscript many young, strong volunteers to join the praying ranks. Can we unite in this heart-felt cry to God in this new year: "O Lord, in 2011, rend the heavens! Come down in mighty revival power! Melt our hearts! Purify Your Church! Save the perishing! Throughout the whole earth, glorify Your holy, exalted and excellent Name!"