Monday, July 14, 2014

Parable of the Lamp, Part 7: Revealing Secrets

For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. (Luke 8:17 NASB)

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. (1 Corinthians 3:12-13 NASB)

As we have seen over the last few days, this parable and the one before it have dealt with how we receive and handle the Word of God. In the previous post, we saw that what we have hidden in our hearts will become evident in times of trial and persecution, and that our faith will sustain us when we most need it. 

Today, we look at something that may be painful. If faith and the Word of God are what we have stored in our hearts, then that is what will become apparent in times of difficulty. If faith and the Word of God are not what we have stored in our hearts (or not all that is there), that will also become apparent. 

The first verse above tells us clearly that there is "nothing secret that will not be known and come to light."  The word translated as "secret" is apokryphos and comes from a root word meaning "to hide" or "to keep secret". Most, if not all, of us have things in our hearts we would prefer to keep hidden. If not blatant rebellion and sin, then there are almost certainly attitudes that are displeasing to our Lord (which, by the way, are also sin). For example, the fruit of a judgmental and critical spirit can be more damaging than you can imagine. 

Regardless of what "secret sin" we are hiding, Jesus said that one day all would be revealed. 1 Corinthians tells us that all our works will be tried by fire. That built with gold, silver, and precious stones (symbolizing purity and value) will remain. Those built with hay, wood, and stubble (symbolizing impurity and impermanence) will be evident, because they will not remain after the trial by fire.

Dear ones, it is past time for the disciples of Christ to prepare our hearts in such a way that what we are hiding there will be pleasing to God. Jesus told us that we would have trouble in this world, and we will. It is likely that we will see more trouble than we have already, and regardless of what form that takes, we need to be prepared in advance. When hard times come, whatever the form, we should desire that only that which is good and acceptable to God will be brought forth. The only way that can happen is if we have prepared our hearts in advance. 

You may well ask, like the apostle Paul, "Who shall deliver me?" The answer is simple. Jesus Christ. The how of that is also simple. 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NASB)

We do not have to store things in our heart that are displeasing to God. We do not have to continue in secret sin, be it active action or passive attitudes. To make that change to a purified heart, we do have to confess that sin and allow not just forgiveness but also cleansing. The crux of the matter is summed up in two words. Will we?  Will we allow the cleansing we so desperately need?  The hard truth is that, if not, one day we will wish we had. 

Today, dear ones, today is the day to allow God to search our hearts and remove that which is displeasing to Him. Today is the day to allow Him to fill us with that which is pure and lovely to Him. Today. Don't wait. 

Pray that we and our loved ones will be willing to allow God to make the changes in us that are so desperately needed. 
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Link to last night's post : http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/07/eight-days-of-hope-part-2.html
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In obedience to the command of Christ to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, please continue praying for Nasir al Wuhayshi, who has sworn to destroy the cross and those who bear it.