Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Is Thy Heart Right With God

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.  
I love that old chorus we used to sing for altar calls, etc., Is Thy Heart Right With God. It goes as follows;
     Is thy heart right with God
     Washed in the crimson flood
     Cleansed and made holy
     Humble and lowly
     Right in the sight of God
In 2nd Kings 10:15 we read,  "And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot." This is the story about Jehu's zeal in performing God's judgment on the house of Ahab, king of Israel. Johonadab was a Rechabite. According the Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, Rechab was not an Israelite, and I quote, "The Rechabites were not descendants of Jacob; they were Kenites, 1st Chronicles 2:55, a people originally settled in that part of Arabia Petroea, called the land of Midian; and most probably the descendants of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. Compare Numbers 10:29-32, with Judges 1:16; Judges 4:11."  I assume he was the one who was mentioned in Jeremiah 35:8-19 who charged his children that they were not drink wine, not to build houses or sow seed and have vineyards, but were to dwell in tents, "...that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers." Both are interesting accounts, you ought to read them.

I have often wondered if a person who professed Christianity, e.g., obedience to the Acts 2:38 message, but whose heart was not right with God make it to heaven? My earnest desire today is to live in such a manner as to please God. This  has been the case throughout my Christian walk. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 1:10, "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Can one knowingly be disobedient in service to the Lord Jesus and still be pleasing in His sight? In Luke 9:51-56 when the Lord and His disciples were passing through Samaria and one of the villages refused them because "...he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem," the Bible says, "...when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? ... he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village." I remember once my brother Joe saying that he was glad he was not God for if he was a whole lot fewer people would make heaven their home.

There is something of the spirit that James and John expressed that day in us. When we see people who profess Christianity that don't seem to live right according to the Bible we are ready to "...command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them..." I have to agree with my late brother, I am glad I am not God! Had it not been for the longsuffering of the Lord Jesus, His patience with me, His hearing the prayers of those who loved me, where would I be? Another old chorus comes to mind. It goes as follows;
     I don't know what I'd do, I don't know what I'd do,
     I don't know what I'd do, without the Lord.
     When I look around and see, all that He has done for me,
     Then I don't know what I'd do without the Lord.
I was lost and undone and on my way to a devil's hell when the Lord Jesus, in His great love, intervened in my life and called on me to make Him my choice. That has been going up on 49 years ago. I am so glad He saved me. When I look at people in this world, a realization hits me, they are lost and undone as I was. They are headed towards a devil's hell if they do not turn to the Lord Jesus and obey the gospel.

In Matthew 22:35-40 a Pharisee, "which was a lawyer, asked him a question, (a legal question?) tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." I have never really had a problem with the first commandment. I love the Lord Jesus with all  my heart, soul mind and strength. (See also Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27) I love the Lord Jesus because He first loved me. (See 1st John 4:19) It is the second commandment that I have had trouble with. Oh I know that I have had a heart for missions from the very beginning. In spite of my many mistakes I witnessed to my mother, my unsaved stepfather, my brothers and my friends. I felt the call to the ministry and went to Conqueror's Bible College in Portland Oregon, then with my family to South Dakota as a tent-maker. We went again as a home missionary to Yankton S.D. And yet again to Aberdeen S.D. to pastor. With a brief interlude in Lincoln Nebraska and Portland Oregon. I then felt the need to start a church in the S.W. Portland area and did, holding services in our home. During all of the above places my wife and I have supported missions. Finally we moved to Sedona Arizona, trying to please God. I do not mean to belittle any of the things mentioned but I believe one can spend his or her life doing all of the above and never really love people as God does.  

The vast majority of people the world over are lost and undone. They are where I was until the Lord saved my soul. We have all no doubt heard of the "Golden Rule." It is found in Matthew 7:12 where the Lord Jesus said, "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets," (See also Luke 6:31).  In James 2:8  James called it "the royal law" when he said, "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well..." The Lord said in John 15:12-13, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." I was not His friend but the enemy of God when He first loved me. How much should I then love a world of people even when they are my enemies. I entitled this posting, "Is Thy Heart Right With God." As I draw to a close, I have to ask myself the question, is my heart right with God? It is my desire that the Lord be pleased with me, no matter the outcome! How about you?

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