Reading through the Bible together

Friday, November 21, 2014

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Vs. 1-16:  Have you ever been tempted to put off the decision to follow the Lord?  Why not enjoy the pleasures of sin (Heb. 11:25, Acts 26:28 KJV) for a few more seasons and then take your stand with Jesus?  Isn't it much easier to earn the same reward after working just the last hour rather than all day long?  Indeed, those who truly commit themselves to the service of God and others, even in the last hours of their lives, receive the same gift of eternal life.

The great danger in postponing this vital choice is that long term habits can be very hard to break. It is much more likely that the "death bed" conversion won't be genuine after a long life of repeated decisions to say "no" to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Can you really change so quickly?  God knows the true spirit of the heart. Now is the accepted day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).  "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." (Heb. 10:26  NKJV).
Vs. 17-19:  The creator of the universe was facing His own cruel execution at the hands of Satan's agents.  Even worse, He would feel the crushing burden of the sins of all who would be saved and the intense grief of separation from God through sin. Through all this He could see the ultimate triumph and joy, not just for Himself, but for all who would truly follow His teachings.

Vs. 20-24:  The essence of the Christian life is service to others.  The "agape principle" (love) enunciated so often in Scripture means "selfless devotion to the service of God and to the wellbeing of others."

One of our greatest satisfactions on earth is realized when we are ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of those around us.  1 John 3:16-18 calls us to die to selfishness and live for others.  Laying down your life for a brother means to use your life to help those in need (vs. 17) even to the point of great personal sacrifice.  The parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) reminds us of who our neighbor is and the true meaning and expression of the "agape principle" (COL 403).

Romans 6 tells us we are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness.  Matt. 6:24 tells us we can't serve two masters. Joshua calls us to choose this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15).  When we follow Jesus we are willing slaves of His will and servants to others. The Redeemer is our loving Master.

Vs. 29-34:  A recent article tells of how a video implant has restored very limited vision for a blind man.  Truly spectacular by today's standards.  When Jesus restored the sight of these two blind men, there was no video implant required and the recovery was complete. Can you begin to imagine the joy these men felt?

For those of us who have "normal" eyesight there is another miracle that can be ours.  Just think of the delight we will experience when our earthly "blindness" is once and for all reversed and we can see our Savior, the one who has the cure for all illness and sin. Please, please don't let the blinding darkness of this world keep you from seeing your Redeemer.  Start now to order your life in accordance with His will.  Rely completely on Jesus, persist in your effort to follow Him, and He will give you an eternal view of heaven (John 14:1-3).


Leo Van Dolson, Jr., M.D., MPH
California, U.S.A.