Thursday May 3, 2018
Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - an excellent wife and an excellent home.
When we can glory in the weaknesses put upon us, we will be clothed with Christ’s power. This is why we will not be excellent or extraordinary without Christ.
He is our home. He is all and in all.
MAT 5:43"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.'
MAT 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you
MAT 5:45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
MAT 5:46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?
MAT 5:47 "And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others [how are you extraordinary]? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
“than others” is not in the original. The Lord said, “If you greet your brothers only, how are you extraordinary?” If we greet our brothers only then we do not comprehend the unfathomable love of God.
MAT 5:48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Everyone one of us has to be forcibly knocked out of our self-reliance, the palaces of our own making, our tendency to isolate ourselves from God in any way.
No, we do not desire the weaknesses that come upon us from the arrogant invader, the pressure of the circumstance, the persecution of those who push us, or the necessities put upon us by others (referring back to 2Co 12), but we must know that without them, and actually without our glorying in them, we will never really climb down off of our palace molehill of self-reliance and into the arms of our loving Savior who has come to prepare a place for us.
Christ came to earth to show us the way home, to be experienced now, in which we are surrounded by power and peace and joy.
Only He can bring us home, which home is for you now, in time, before you go into eternity.
We must be aware that Satan and the kingdom of darkness makes war against the reality of Christ being at home in our hearts. This is why you may know and believe what we have learned the last few classes concerning the home that Christ has prepared for you, and still you go through times when you are not at peace and lack joy.
The war is on and it is for the souls of men.
Some insight into the means that Satan uses to deceive believers into blindness concerning their current home with Christ comes from the parable of the sower.
MAR 4:10 And as soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables.
Interestingly, the Greek word translated “alone” is kata mone, the preposition meaning “down” and the word for “abode”.
MAR 4:11 And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables,
Notice the imagery of inside the kingdom and outside. Our home is an unshakeable kingdom and as is revealed in Eph 3 (last night’s teaching) that when Christ is at home in our hearts we are able to seize the breadth, length, height, and depth of the love of God. The love of God is a great mystery, and every believer has been invited to seize the mystery for himself and understand it.
Those who are outside get everything in parables:
MAR 4:12 in order that while seeing, they may see and not perceive; and while hearing, they may hear and not understand lest they return [turn towards Christ] and be forgiven."
They say that they say and hear, but they do not. So, the truth is given in a form that is silly to the unbelieving but wonderful to the believing. If the truth were not given in a parable, they would still mock it, but the parable is fully incomprehensible to them that reject Christ.
The difference between the believing disciples and the unbelieving in the crowd is not initially in understanding, for the disciples didn’t understand the parable either, but that the disciples searched for its meaning while the unbelieving walked away scoffing at it.
MAR 4:13 And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? And how will you understand all the parables?
MAR 4:14 "The sower sows the word.
MAR 4:15 "And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.
It’s not for us to figure out the many ways in which Satan can take away the word or the truth. Suffice to say that he can. We know that the gospel and the truth is presented to the whole world. The cross of Christ and Christ Himself have been declared all over the world.
Paul said in Athens:
"Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
Yet some in the crowd listening to these words mocked Paul. You see, they already knew that resurrection was impossible. Their Greek philosophers already told them so.
The gospel and the truth are discredited by Satan as myth and fairytale, while ironically, he markets myth and fairytale as the truth.
In Matthew’s account Jesus states that these did not understand the word of the kingdom.
“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it [suniemi: to bring together so as to understand], the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.”
Paul writes that: 1CO 2:1
a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Christ states that: MAR 4:14 "The sower sows the word. The word is the good news or the gospel of Christ. He has furnished proof that Christ was raised from the dead. These things are sown in every heart, but for some hearts they are not understood and immediately Satan snatches them away. Why is he able to do so? They believed the lie and the exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of a corruptible creature. The glory of God was not believed by faith but rejected as unreal.
“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved.”
Satan’s attack is not just upon the gospel in the world but also within the believer. The believer understands the things of the kingdom of God, but sometimes sight overwhelms faith and we doubt or we go spiritually blind for a while.
Fighting to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus will strengthen and confirm our faith.
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.