The Advent Part 59
Acts 2:25-28, “For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken; Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh will also rest in hope, because You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.”
In these three verses, Peter is quoting from the sixteenth Psalm, and as is the case with most of his discourse the main theme is still Jesus. When did Peter have the time to memorize these passages by heart? When did a lowly fisherman, someone trying to feed his family and survive in those times have the time to commit to memory so many wonderful scriptures?
He had spent three years with Jesus, and as we see time and again Jesus always spoke of the Scriptures, quoted them, and it is not unfeasible that what Peter had overheard Jesus saying had remained somewhere in his heart and mind, and in this instance the Holy Spirit brought it to remembrance.
We have strayed from the reality of how truly priceless Scripture is in our day and age, and as such we often take it for granted, dismiss it, or ignore it. The Bible is the Word of God, and the words found therein are light and life. I remember stories my grandfather used to tell me, of a time when it was illegal to possess a Bible in our homeland, of a time when Communism ruled with an iron fist, and when believers in certain congregations would have no more than one Holy Book. What they would do is they would divide the pages of the Bible between the congregants, and they would go home and faithfully write them down in a notebook, returning them the next service and acquiring new pages. I have seen with my own eyes, the entire Bible transcribed by hand in the home of one such believer, and each time I hear of the extraordinary measures certain souls go to just to have the Word of God, I am exceedingly humbled.
To this day there are men and women who remain in prison, who are beaten and mistreated, tortured and abused in this world because they were found in possession of a Bible. Such individuals saw how truly precious the Word of God is, and as such they risked their freedom and their very lives just to possess it.
Yes, in our freedom we have millions of Bibles, but they are gathering dust somewhere in our home, going unopened for months on end, yet in their persecution there are those brothers and sisters throughout the world who prize the word of God, for whom the Bible is precious and they go to great lengths just to have a handful of verses or a few chapters of this sacred book.
Yes, I know we like to think ourselves the pinnacle of spirituality, we like to believe that we have ascended to a greater degree of understanding than any other nation or continent, but as the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding, and I submit to you that someone who is this day in a prison cell for the sake of Christ, someone who is this day being beaten and tortured for not denying Jesus, someone who is this day risking their life and their freedom in order to give someone else a Bible, is stronger and more mature in the Lord than the Sunday morning, thirty minute service Christians of this nation.
What we fail to understand is that mammoth buildings, Italian chandeliers, reclining chairs, light shows, fog machines, Dolby surround sound, and coffee shops in the foyer do nothing to strengthen us spiritually, to mature us or to grow us in God. God is wholly unimpressed by our production value, the cut of our suit, the gleam of our teeth, or the price of our haircut, and if our hearts are not wholly His, if we are not willing to put Him before our own wants and desires, if we are not willing to put the Kingdom of God before our little sandcastles, then all our planning and machination and perfect execution amounts to absolutely nothing.
What’s worse, is that we have been taught by our spiritual betters to look down upon those who are suffering, those who are going through trials, those who are being persecuted for the faith and enduring until the end, and labeling them as absent of faith, immature and infantile in their spirituality, because if they were mature, then they would know that they could call blessings down from heaven, and pray millions of dollars into their bank accounts.
Believers being burned alive in their own churches, mothers and fathers watching their children being executed before their very eyes, men and women spending decades in prison cells, yep, all their fault for not having enough faith. This is what the spiritual leaders of our day resort to, mocking and belittling the martyrs of the faith all so that they could justify the mansions and the jet planes and the ridiculous toys and lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to. And do we not think that God will judge righteously? Do we not think that God will bring about justice?
If we took a little time and analyzed both the current doctrines of the church, as well as the spiritual condition thereof in what we would call westernized and civilized nations, we would come to the horrifying conclusion that spiritual infancy is the norm, that we do not know the God we purport to serve, and that the god we are serving is a god of our own making fashioned in covetousness, and greed and avarice.
Hebrews 11:35-37, “Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trials of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy.”
With love in Christh,
Michael Boldea Jr.