In Remembrance of Our Spiritual Forebears… To Recall, Recognize, Repent, Renew, Rejoin
Each short, pithy, and sweetmeat for the race-runner’s heart will be followed by a very brief offering under the banners of “The 5-R’s”:
Recall—remember what God, by way of the author, is saying to us His people.
Recognize—know the Truth in order to vanquish any falsehoods lurking within our heart.
Repent—examine how a discipline may have hung tight to idols, lesser gods, or the sins pride or control.
Renew—apply to the walk of faith those things recalled, recognized, and repented of that it might glorify God, bless our heart, and serve to act for the increase of our saltiness and light of a decaying and dark world.
Rejoin—reunite with the chaos of a broken world, and with those people has providentially placed in our midst to be as Jesus Christ to them.
Please consider this series is mainly about a feast for the born-again heart by means of God’s Scriptural Truth and Love for those called to run the Godly and good race. Please chew your food well. Please share with another Saint how doing so may have changed your heart: Any change of heart is more likely to be a long-term change as it shared in the community of faith and put to work in God’s Kingdom come… on earth as it is in heaven!
[An excerpt from:] “The Immutable Mercy of Jesus Christ”, by Puritan Thomas Adams
“Solomon compares wealth to a wild fowl. “Riches make themselves wings, they fly away as an eagle toward heaven” (Proverbs 23:5), but the immutable, unchanging, manifold mercies of God in Christ last forever.
This wild fowl is not some tame house-bird, or a hawk that may be fetched down with a lure, or found again by her bells; but an eagle, that violently cuts the air, and is gone past recalling.
Wealth is like a bird; it hops all day from man to man, as a bird hops from tree to tree; and none can say where it will roost or rest at night. It is like a vagrant fellow, which because he is big-boned, and able to work, a man takes in and keeps him warm; and perhaps for a while he works hard; but when he spies opportunity, the fugitive servant is gone, and takes away more with him more than all his service came to provide.
The world may seem to stand you and I in some stead for a season, but at last it irrevocably runs away, and carries with it our joys; our goods, as Rachel stole Laban’s idols; our peace and our contentedness of our heart goes with it… and we are left desperate once again.”
Recall—God in Trinity is from everlasting to everlasting. All else is but dust, and will return to dust.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” (Isaiah 40:28)
“For Kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.” (Psalm 22:28)
“’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’” (Revelation 1:8)
Recognize—Our heart was made by God and can only be satisfied in the love, truth, praise, and service of and to Him. Due to our Sin [nature] and sinning [by habit], our heart is inclined to love the things of this world, our own selfish desires, and the wiles/ways of the deceiver [Satan].
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
Repent—Replacing the Security of God with the many insecurities of fleeting worldliness and wealth is a sin and brings grievous harm and woe to man. When, in any way, we have strayed from God’s ways and toward our own ways, we need to recognize this as sin, repent of it to God and another Saint, and get back into fellowship with God, the Holy Spirit. For the disciple of Jesus Christ, repentance is not about punishment, but for Father God’s loving purification.
“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.” “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:1, 10)
Renew—The above—to Recall, Recognize, Repent—is always used of God for Renewal: To reestablish, reaffirm, revive, and restore our faith in God and not in this passing world or even the slightest wealth—that can so quickly and easily establish idols, false security, and pretense in our heart.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for evermore.” (Hebrews 13:8)
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
Rejoin—“The Immutable Mercy of Jesus Christ”: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Sanctified by “Recall, Recognize, Repent, and Renew”, we are called to be “Little Christ’s” (Martin Luther), salt and light in a decaying and dark world—until Jesus returns or we’re brought up to Him in death.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:12)
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:12-17)
Come on back to the Training Table next week… as we chew on “Directions for a Peaceful Death”, by Puritan Richard Baxter.
Until then, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13),
Jesus Christ, Anointed One, by R.C. Sproul