Notes from the Slough of Despond 01

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What follows and with all “Notes from the SoD [Slough of Despond]” are the writings of someone with seriously whacked out brain chemistry. Now, more then ever, compare against the Holy Word of God everything I write.

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REVELATION 3

14“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

15“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”

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Christ here speaks. “Thus says the LORD!” rings out at the start so let us take heed.

These Laodiceans are mealy-mouthed squish-bombs. They are a healthy, wealthy, and prosperous band. Yet they are without Christ. What is the chief end of man apart from Christ? To be the best fertilizer producer possible. Decay is your most valuable output and most valuable end. With your, ahem, decay you can fertilize the plants and produce great compost. With your final decay you do the same with full, rather than passing, commitment.

Apart from Christ are you worthless? No. Apart from Christ are you nothing? No. Apart from Christ you are worth less than nothing. Your life is but a vapor and even what remains may cause flowers to grow but even those will fade. It will provide food for worms, but those worms shall die. Where are you then?

Your fine motif is sewage. Your riches are paper and stone. Your best medicines are poisons. Your fanciest clothing is threadbare and moth eaten. What have you to offer Christ? Nothing. NOTHING! You never have had anything nor will you ever in this life have anything to bring. Yet he has EVERYTHING to give you. Everything that was made was made by Him and through Him. What have you to bring Him? NOTHING! He made your body. He made your soul. He made the air you breathe, the food you eat, the water you drink. Stop this notion that you can bring some offering to Him. He even gave you the words with which to worship. Go, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice while knowing that even your prayers must pass through Him before the Father can receive them!

One verse in this section has been so misused if not raped that I wonder if Jesus even recognizes the meaning of His own words. The Lord Jesus who is the Christ is not knock, knock, knocking on the door of the heathen heart begging to be let it. He does not stand as a pitiful waif whimpering “‘Tis cold out here sir. And stormy too. Would be awful kind of you if I could come in. Won’t take much of your time. Just about five minutes to pray a prayer is all.” No… Oh, no. The Lord and Ruler of the Universe is not a simpering Oliver, He is the Sovereign of All. This little note, that verse 20 is not written to the unsaved. It is written to YOU, CHURCH! Christ is banging on the door of the church! He does not whine, but demands, “LET ME IN!” As the church purposefully (I use that word with double meaning) engages in contemplative prayer, breathing exercises, yoga, reads and praise books that defame the character and nature of the Triune God, sings songs that sound like trite love tunes, and feeds on bread sliced thinner than music stand the guy with the gel spiked hair, tattered jeans, and oh-so-trendy glasses uses to read his notes from, Christ stand outside church, away from the congregation and yells, “LET ME IN!” You say no because you are worried “the blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet.” [HT: Todd Agnew]

But… But… to that church, that body of believers who says, “COME IN! I HEAR YOU!” they shall be most blessed. Repentant, begging for all that Christ is, they are the ones who conquer. These are they who finish to the end and having received who Christ is, they receive what Jesus and Jesus alone can provide! True riches of heavenly worth, a garment white and unstained (unstainable?), healing balm to soothe the soul trapped in flesh, and eyes cleared to see the unending, unfathomable glories of God. Indeed, intimacy with the One who is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!

If this brings conviction rejoice in the dust and ashes for the summa fide is a life of repentance. A rebuke from the Lord is a sign of His love. Let us say, in the words of the great hymn writer Augustus Toplady:

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

Indian leper beggingLook like anyone?
Matthew 8:2-3

Matthew 8:2-3

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