Long time – no hear!

George Whittenby George Whitten

 

1 Kings 19:11-12 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

An Indian was walking in downtown New York City alongside a resident friend. As they approached a busy street corner in the center of Manhattan, the Indian seized his friend’s arm and whispered, “Wait. I hear a cricket.” “Come on!”, the city boy sneered, “This is downtown New York — how could you possibly hear a cricket?” His friend persisted however, “No – seriously, I do!”

As cars were roaring, horns honking, people shouting, brakes screeching, cash registers clanging, subway clamoring and people bustling about, the Indian began leading his friend along slowly, every now and again stopping and turning his ear toward the seemingly noiseless sound. At last, the Indian insisted they were near and proceeded to follow the sound across the street and toward a small dark corner next to a graffiti covered wall. There, he bent down to a minuscule tuft of grass and pulled out the cricket. “I told, you”, he said, “I heard a cricket.”

Astounded, the New Yorker marveled “How could you have heard that cricket in the middle of all this noise?” “Well”, said his foreign friend, “My ears are different from yours. It simply depends on what you’re listening to. Here, let me show you what I mean.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of change –a couple of quarters, three or four nickels, and a dime and a few pennies. “Now,” he said, “watch this.” He held the coins waist high and dropped them to the sidewalk. At once, every head within nearly a block turned around and looked in the direction of the Indian.

“You see, It all depends on what you’re listening to.”

To what sounds are our ears trained to listen? Are they trained to hear the sound of money, of gossip, of complaining, of worldly things or are they trained to hear the still small voice of the Most High, directing and advising us in the way we should go?

Let’s ask the Lord to train our ears to hear the things of God today. We need to be listening for His direction in the hustle and bustle of this noisy and influential world or we will surely go astray!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten

Slaves of Righteousness

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).

True freedom comes from being a servant of Jesus Christ.

I once knew a man who, though intellectually convinced that the gospel was true, balked at committing his life to Jesus Christ. When I asked him why, he replied, “Because I don’t want to give up my freedom.” He understood clearly that genuine saving faith requires submission to Christ’s lordship. But he was tragically deceived in thinking that non-Christians are free—they aren’t. Unbelievers are slaves to sin (John 8:34). Only Christians have true freedom (John 8:31-32)—the freedom not to sin.

Paul reminded the Roman Christians that before they were saved, they ”were slaves of sin.” The apostle’s use of the imperfect tense indicates that the Romans, like all unbelievers, had been in a continual state of slavery to sin. Every human ever born—since Adam and Eve plunged the human race into sin—has been born enslaved to sin—except of course, for Christ.

When a person comes to faith in Christ, he or she becomes “obedient from the heart” to the Lord Jesus Christ. A Christian’s initial act of obedience, repenting and believing the gospel message (Mark 1:15), is the first step in a lifelong path of obedience. In the words of the apostle Peter, Christians are those who “have in obedience to the truth purified [their] souls” (1 Peter 1:22).

Paradoxically, it’s only those who have made themselves servants of Jesus Christ who are truly free. They alone are free to do what is right; even unbelievers’ “good deeds” are sinful, since they aren’t done to glorify God. Christian liberty is not the freedom to choose to sin, but the freedom to choose not to.

Renew today your commitment to be an obedient servant of God, knowing that “you are not your own. For you have been bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

by John MacArthur