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Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Road Less Traveled

"Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair.  I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none" (Psa. 69:20).

I have two markings in my bible in regards to Psalm 69.  The first mark is at the beginning of the chapter and reminds me of a close friend who terminated our friendship and accused me of being a false teacher.  The second mark is in the right hand column beside verse 20 and it says, "saddest verse in Scripture".  I often put these thoughts together in my mind and heart and by the Spirit I find great solace.  Here is how my thought pattern or meditation goes:

I begin by thinking upon the Captain of my Salvation.  I picture in my mind the sinless Son of God who came to earth to redeem wicked men for the glory of His Father.  Jesus Christ did everything in his life perfectly and all that He did was for my good.  His life, teaching, preaching, character, attitude, emotions, and His path to the cross were all impeccable.  I then ponder the way that He was regarded by others in the world.  Jesus had followers that seemed very committed to Him, followers that were superficial, folks that straight-up hated Him, and others who did all they could to ignore Him.

It is when trouble comes that a man finds out who his friends really are.  When the fire became its hottest the number of people associated with Jesus dwindled to none.  The large crowds abandoned him in John 6, Judas was not far behind the crowds, and even those who were closest too Him turned and ran. The great Peter had his self-confidence blown over by the breath of a sorry little girl. When the cursing, mocking, beating, stripping, and the wagging of heads was at its highest temper there were none to be found siding with the great Captain of my Salvation.  David says, "[Jesus] looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but [Jesus] found none".  His Father above was pouring down wrath and Jesus was drinking that cup to the last drop, while at the same time the world below was hurling insults and running to hide and deny any association with Him.  The Captain of my Salvation then said the greatest words I have ever read, "τετέλεσται"!  Yes, the greatest war ever won in all of history was won by one man, alone!  Even though heaven and the world turned against Him, He still walked the narrow road all the way to victory.  I love my Savior!!!!

Secondly, I evaluate my circumstances, emotions, disappointments, and my supposed sufferings in light of my Christ centered meditations and somehow my heart is strangely warmed.  Honestly I say to myself, "the whole world would be justified in turning their back on you because of the greatness of your sins" and my mouth is stopped.  If every friend was to desert me, every family member was to disown me, and even if my own household were to turn against me there would be justifiable reason for them to do so in light of the wickedness of my own heart.

How in the world can such meditation and pondering be helpful to the soul?

First, there is no better medicine for the soul than to look upon Christ.  Secondly, human nature has a way of exalting self and pride is a dangerous friend.  Third, a proper view of a man's heart will cause him to have a higher view of Christ.  Fourth, horizontal visions distort the truth and vertical visions bring clarity to the heart.  Last, no matter how lonely a road may seem, a road that is traveled with Christ is the best road to walk upon.  

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