Faith is not only Intellectual

“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.”

– Isaiah 29:13.

Intellectual pride is the highest form of pride. Merely knowing the truth of Scripture will not save any man (cf. James 2:19). This form of pride was evident in the Jews (see Romans 3:27, 31). Salvation is open to all. It is by grace through faith in Christ alone. There’s nothing that one actually does in terms of one’s salvation; it is the work of Christ alone.

Boasting in our intellectual prowess, then, is to be in a terrible position. Sometimes we may say our works or faith are the reason for our salvation, but that is absolutely wrong, false! One’s faith is merely the instrument by which they receive salvation, and our works are merely the outward expression of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Titus 2:14).

We must be careful not to lay our salvation in an intellectual plate. If we must boast; let us boast in the Lord, not in ourselves. We are saved for good works, not by good works. ‘Tis all of grace, nothing but grace (cf. Eph. 2:8, 10).

“Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”

– Romans 3:27, 31.

An Epitaph: Though Dead, Yet Speak

If there is any one author(s) I’d recommend to any faithful Christian for their lifetime reading and study after the Bible; I’d not hesitate to recommend the Puritan Preachers immediately. Read everything by the Puritans. EVERYTHING, I insist! I owe these men a lot, especially in my formative years of childhood when I became familiar with their works, thanks to a great and brilliant grandpa!

And now, looking back in those early foundations, I’m deeply grateful and indebted to God for such grace.

The Puritans never waste your time, indeed they cannot! They will break you and heal you. Indeed, any serious student at their feet will be humbled and very much instructed.

Very well, then. There’s my answer. Keep the Puritans if you don’t want to waste time in the others. You’ll climb Everest mountains you never thought existed. An epitaph worth deserving the Puritans is:

“He, though being dead, yet speak.”

– Hebrews 11:4, emphasis mine

Is God your Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, Friend & Kinsman?

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.”

– Jim Elliot.

I’ve been meditating on these remarks of Christ to his disciples, “In this world you will face many tribulations; be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Now, these words show us that our blessed Lord Jesus Christ knew, indeed, for His names’ sake, we will go through tribulations, even death.

It is true. Almost all His immediate disciples went under the sword. Each, I say, gave up their life for Christ’s sake. Consider, too, the early Christians; church history with all its high and lows. Many laid down their lives.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, one of my favorite book classics, if asked, is a must read for the Christian who would learn and be humbled from all these faithful, normal day-to-day people, who chose death over comfort and convenience.

That is the account of John Foxe describing the awful graphics of what became of these persecuted men and women of God, plus children, must surely confirm one thing to us: we’re not alone; we’ve never been alone!

As the writer to the Hebrews would have it succinctly,

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

– Hebrews 12:1.

That, then, is our encourgement in the face of persecution. We are not the first nor the last. Through all, though, Christ is all! Let us be encouraged that Christ has not left us as orphans. Oh, God remind us these truths we are so prone to forget.

“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it.”

Have we lost all hope, perhaps? Are we experiencing any form of tribulation and persecution? If so, may the following paragraph from Foxe’s account encourage and humble you/us who are under the crucible of suffering. Note:

“When sentence was read, condemning [Mrs. Prest] to the flames, she lifted up her voice and praised God, adding, “This day have I found that which I have long sought.” When they tempted her to recant, “That will I not (said she), God forbid that I should lose the life eternal, for this carnal and short life.

I will never turn from my heavenly husband to my earthly husband; from the fellowship of angels to mortal children; and if my husband and children be faithful, then am I theirs.

God is my father, God is my mother, God is my sister, my brother, my kinsman; God is my friend, most faithful.”

– JF, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1517 – 1587).

Two of One, One of Two

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

– Genesis 2:25.

Marriage is that union which has God as the center of its love; Christ as the sure foundation of which it is built, and the Holy Ghost as the comforter and counsellor in all its seasons, the good and the bad.

Marriage is true friendship burning into a flame of love (between a male and female), a love that says “I want to spend the rest of my life with this person.”

Love may dim a little in-between; but a love that is built in true friendship, I say, will preserve the love. Plainly put, marriage is two merry souls united as one. It is both (that is, marriage), in the words of the Puritan-Preacher, George Swinnock…

“Both honourable and onerable.”

‘As God by creation made two of one, so again by marriage He made one of two.’

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

– Genesis 2:24.

Random Thoughts on Issues of the Day (Part 7)

“For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the way of life, please press three.”

– Alice Kahn.

The technological-social world is apparently going through an outage. Now, I’m no expert or user of these modern social apps, other than WhatsApp. Reports say that Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, & Instagram are all under one company? Well, being a ludite, I didn’t know that!

Actually, it was not until late last year that I was told Instagram is designed solely for pictures. I’m told all sorts of models exist there, you name it! And one of my friends laughed when I told them I didn’t know TikTok was an app until two-three months ago.

On Facebook and Messenger. I don’t even know how they operate(s), let alone have them in my gadgets. I do know, however, that these companies have succeeded in mining peoples’ data and sell them into third parties without the consent of its users. The users have become their products. Nothing is free. We’re the product.

I’ve closely observed and noted sundry outbursts the worldwide web is currently talking about in other news feeds.

Fortunately [for me], knowing a few tricks here and there in my iPad, I have a section where I can scroll to my left and the screen will bring me all sorts of headlines happening around the world in real time. What I love about this feed is that I don’t have to be subscribed into these channels and social apps to access their content.

They have also categorized their genres: Breaking News, Happening Now, Celebrities, Sports, Entertainment, Movies, Technology, Science, etc…etc. This is super helpful to manuever through and not waste time in useless things.

Anyways, some few rambling thoughts. It is kinda good these social apps have experienced an outage. I mean this, knowing fully well there are some people who use these apps for their work and daily living, that is, business wise.

So then, for those affected in this way, honest and faithful laborers, I hope and pray all will be well so that your families will have a meal and daily supply.

The “goodness” of which I speak here is the sense of helplessness when we see our “freedom” to connect is certainly under “attack,” so-to-speak. The same energy people are taking to twitter or whatever available social app should be the same energy with which we stand up against tyranny.

The reason many are “bored” now it’s because we feel our “togetherness” is being threatened. But, have we paused and asked how this [separation] is currently happening to us under some mandates that prove false and at worst, contradictory? We’re told to stay far from our families, for example. Those that pass these mandates are the same people who flaunt their own rules in public.

Have you asked yourself why the mass is prone to follow the narrative, even if the mass is clearly out of line? Is it that we are fools or what? Or we are idiots, perhaps?

On society under technology. The current outage is proof that we’ve been conditioned to be dependent upon these apps. This is sadly the case. We’ve been fed lies mixed with some good things, though, the bad outweighs the good. We’ve become like zombies that never cease looking at our phones. We’re always watching something, never praying!

Just observe how some families (during this time), I’m sure, have had probably the best time together without anyone mindlessly and needlessly have to respond to every pinging coming from their phones. Some fathers have finally managed to have the whole gang together for a family picture.

If we are sane and serious to account how we use and spend our day; make a calculation of how many hours you/we spend before these apps. It’s an addiction! I’m sure, that is, those of us who are used to have all our time in these apps, must be having itching fingers. “Who do I text?” Constantly checking if the issue has been solved.

I think this is the best time to think through these things, beloved. Like I wrote another time, [in question form], what if one day all these apps, the internet, fully shuts down? What will you do?

What if they say, as I’m sure the plan is there, you’ll not have access to the internet without first complying with the mandates, getting the vaccine and what-not, what will you do? You should ask and answer these questions yourself.

On spiritual matters. Have you noted how much time we spend in these apps more than in prayer? I’m ashamed and guilty of this. I’ve not given myself fully to prayer as I would’ve loved. But I’ve given myself to worthless clicks of social media more than I’d require.

In short, I’ve wasted time when I should’ve prayed. Not that I must pray to feel better or check a box off, no. But to pray to spend more time and getting to know the will of God through prayer. My dependence should not be in my prayers but in the God of whom I’m addressing in prayer.

God is my foundation, not my prayer. Prayer is essential, indeed, but we must never rest in prayer or the means of grace, but on God who provides these means of grace for our sanctification and for His own glory.

We’ve become lazy when reading God’s word; but very active once we open our social apps. We slumber when we read a chapter; but we can spend all night watching Netflix and YouTube videos.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with these things. What is wrong is that they have taken full control of us to a point of feeding on Satan’s table (constantly) whilst we starve our souls of spiritual food, real spiritual food.

In a sense, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, and all those other famous apps, succeed to make us zombies. There’s proof. The social world is now “lonely” because we put too much dependence upon vanity.

May God open our eyes to see. May God cause us to draw lessons from all these. May God make us more prudent. May God…may God…may God…may God help us in this age of constant and meaningless distraction. O God, help us!

You’re wise and know how to apply.

There she was in the Library

His eyes and heart could not look anywhere else ever since!

There she was in the library, up the ladder, just two steps high. She had a fine modest dress with a black light top. Blonde hair let loose. Her eyes were deeply fixed at the middle (row) shelf; carefully looking. Adjusting her spectacles and grabbing two books, she climbed down the ladder. You can imagine the narrator, a love story continued and has never ended. They became inseparable ever since! 

It is their love story.

Mourning through Book Characters

Have you ever read a book and come to the end feeling like you’ve lost a dear friend? Well, that has been my many years experience when reading books. There’s a sense when you pick up a title you pray it never ends.

The characters become too personal and attached to you. You get totally lost in the story, fully!

It has been my habit, that is, when I sense a book has me hooked from the very beginning; to never read it at once but make sure to take it slow [as much as possible], to extend the pleasure and experience.

That’s the thing about books. Once you let them in, they never let you out!