Wisdom From Vance Havner 5
Our Lord*s attitude toward prospective disciples was exactly the opposite of our approach today. We dare not mention the cost of discipleship for fear we shall scare away prospects. He did not encourage cheap dedication. He seemed to dash cold water on the enthusiasm of would-be disciples. (Luke 9:57-62) He gave the rich young ruler a shock treatment not a massage. Alexander McLaren says, The best way to deepen and confirm good resolutions too swiftly formed is to state very plainly the difficulty in keeping them. This is utterly different from our psychology, but it is scriptural to challenge cheap consecration. Let us never forget our Lord*s description of those who hear the Word and receive it with joy but have no root in themselves, and the son who said I go, sir, but went not.
This is a day of experts who have all the answers but who don*t know what the question is.
Ideal environment does not guarantee perfect performance. After all, Adam was in Paradise when he fell! The New Testament was not written on vacation; much of it was penned in jail. Paul was not resting at a pleasure resort when he wrote the Epistles. The Pilgrims Progress was not put together in a villa on the French Riviera.
It is said that P. T. Barnum invited Charles H. Spurgeon to lecture in America and at a good price. Spurgeon answered him with Acts 13:10: O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right way of the Lord? In this day of deliberate diplomacy, nobody turns the devil down with such robust language. But then, there are no Spurgeons.
Some of the old mystics were really mistakes. They tried to be more saintly by living in caves. Living in a hole never made anybody holier.
There is a good old song about it, but actually we have no business standing on Jordan*s storm banks, casting a wishful eye toward Canaan*s fair and happy land where our possessions lie. Canaan is not heaven and we do not have to go through a graveyard to get there. It is the land of a victorious Christian life, open to all who will follow the Joshua of their salvation and possess their possessions in Christ. We can cross over Jordan now and live in the promised land long before we get to heaven.
A true pastor must not only feed the flock, he must warn the flock. He must not only be zealous but jealous. 2 Corinthians 11:2: For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
The right side is the bright side ultimately but not always immediately. We are not called to be pulpit Pollyannas wearing rose-colored glasses and painting the clouds with sunshine. Paul*s contemporaries may have explained his dark picture of the last days by saying He is just a bilious old bachelor in a Roman jail, and everything looks yellow to a jaundiced eye. Someone may have reminded him that one can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, but Paul was not in the fly-catching business, anyway.
Judas betrayed the Lord with a kiss, not with a slap. Our Master is betrayed more often with a show of affection than any other way. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clave unto her. We need more people who cleave unto the Lord and are not content with a Sunday morning kiss.
This is the day of amalgamation and homogenization. The churches are being fused into a world church, the nations into a world state. We hear of a syncretism of world religion. Syncretism is a dignified word for hash. I never eat hash away from home because I don*t know what it is made of, and I don*t eat it at home because I do know what it is made of! We are not going to improve the bad eggs of humanity by stirring all kinds of eggs into one omelet.
Spiritually, there are only two races . . . the children of Adam and the regenerated children of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6). The supreme race issue is whether we belong to the once-born or the twice-born. There is not much excitement about this issue, but it is the only one that will matter in eternity.
If you enjoy the wisdom of Vance Havner you might find some of his short but powerful books online, in a Christian bookstore or from Baker Book House, 2768 E Paris Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (616) 957-3110 or copy and paste this in your URL: bakerpublishinggroup.com.
These are some of the titles:
By The Still Waters
Care to discuss Wisdom From Vance Havner 5 with Ron?