May 23

Today's Bible Readings
     Numbers 32
     Psalms 77
     Isaiah 24
     I John 2
''Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ''I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him." (I John 2:3-5)
      Without doubt, the most prominent theme in the book of I John is how to have absolute assurance of your salvation. It is important that you settle, beyond a shadow of a doubt, this vital issue and never use words like “think, hope, perhaps, maybe” in regards to your salvation. It is a “know so” salvation. Some thirty-nine times in these five chapters, the word   know is used. The word refers to an experiential knowledge.
      Already, in chapter one, John has dealt with the issue of continuing obedience and celestial joy as irrefutable evidence of genuine salvation. Now, he begins to talk about changed affections. The first one he mentions is a changed attitude toward Scripture.
       When I first read these verses in our memory text, I was a bit frightened since I knew I had never kept all the commandments that God had given. Upon closer examination, however, I discovered the word ''keep'' is an interesting word which means to ''carefully guard'' as if a person were guarding a treasure. The reference to commandments is obviously a reference to the written Word of God. The person who is genuinely born again will have a heart attitude with desires to carefully guard and keep the written Word of God. If that is not evident in a person's life, he is a liar and the truth is not in him - he is obviously not a Child of God. The lost man has no desire for the things of God. The unregenerate soul has no interest in the written Word of God, but the New Birth experience puts into our hearts a desire to really and actually do what God wants us to do.
       When I was merely a church member and not a born-again believer, I had no interest in the written Word of God, but through repentance and a total commitment of faith, I experienced the Living Word, and immediately had a distinctive love for the written Word of God.
  I once read about a young lady who read a novel and disliked it and threw it aside. Some years later, she met a young man and fell in love with him. She discovered that he had written the novel that she disliked. She read it again and guess what - she loved it. When you love the author, you will love his work. When you love the Living Word, Jesus, you will love the written Word, the Holy Scripture.
  The Book of I John is rich and redundant with evidences of a genuine conversion, but you need go no further if there is not within you a love for, and a conscientious desire to obey the written Word of God. That includes an appetite and hunger for it. It also includes a commitment to it being the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God. You must examine yourself in light of this truth today.
  Saudi Arabia has become an enigma to the western world, seemingly a friend at times, and an enemy at other times. This country once had a large Christian population but was expelled when Islam gained control 1300 years ago. It is now one of the least evangelized nations on earth.  No Christian workers are permitted, and all Christian “propaganda” is banned. No Christian is permitted to set forth on Islam's holiest city, Mecca. Pray that one day soon, this land may have many Christians praising the Lamb that was slain. Pray also that the leaders in the western world who deal with Saudi Arabia may know how to deal with them in a way that will well represent Jesus Christ and the Word of God.
''Sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny."
G. D.  Boardman