Lesson 4 -- third quarter 2011
June 26, 2011
What is the disposition of my heart when someone comes to speak against me?
Have I forgotten my high and holy calling as one chosen and known by God?
I want to walk with God. Am I agreeing with Him?
Will I listen to those who tell forth God's will and way today?
Is the adversity I'm facing a consequence of rebellion?
Would a message like the one in this passage have a positive effect on me?
As we stand at this viewpoint and gaze out on the panorama of history, we shake our heads in wonder at the stubborn blindness and evil disobedience of those people long ago. We point in judgment at the flaws in their character and their decisions. We nod our heads in agreement with God's mercy and judgment.
But what about our own selves? It seems to me that God's people still have a way of missing the warnings that God has for them. I think it is quite likely that we have our own areas of blindness, neglect, and outright disobedience. Are we so different from those people long ago? I am determined that I will be different and I imagine that you have a similar determination. So let's humble ourselves before God and one another, and let's open our eyes and hearts to what He is saying to us. Listen!
A rebel heart knows the right way, but has no interest in following it. The idea of walking in such a narrow way is revolting to it. It has no inclination toward abiding by the restrictions of godliness and the limitations of righteousness. Enter at the strait gate? Forget it! The rebel heart wants to walk in its own way, not realizing (and at times not caring) that it is a way whose end is death. The way of the rebel heart is the course charted by the devil and leads to the devil's destiny. Never forget that!
A rebel heart knows the right Person, but rejects the invitation to a relationship with Him. It has no intention of establishing a binding covenant of voluntary, unrestricted submission to Jesus. The rebel heart would accept Jesus as limited Lord, but He does not offer such an option. To follow Jesus on its terms would be a workable arrangement for the rebel heart, but since Jesus insists on all or nothing, the rebel heart chooses nothing.
This concludes my comments based on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications. To read my comments on the passage for the International Bible Study, click here: The Thrill of Victory.