Archive for the ‘mind’ Category

14:10 Heart Secrets

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy. Proverbs 14:10.

In one of his sermons, Keith Daniel tells how the godly Andrew Murray in his old age fell flat in the street.

So greatly did South Africans respect this holy man, that a silence fell upon all who saw what happened. Was he having a heart attack? A stroke? Under pressure from a policeman, Murray hesitantly explained that his collapse had been because for the first time in many years he had lost his sense of the presence of God.

Who, standing by, would have guessed that?

This led me to a meditation. What is the most significant day in all eternity?

Not the day of creation.

Not the day the universe dissolves.

Not judgment day.

It was the day God in effect tore himself in two when he broke communion with himself because of our sin, and Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This was the most profound day in heaven or on earth. We may never be able to fully understand the agony of that moment, nor the joy that followed Christ’s restoration.

Oh God, although unable to penetrate your heart fully, may we comprehend something of this and never take Good Friday or communion lightly again.

15:11 All-Seeing

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Roentgen, discoverer of X-rays.

Hell and destruction are before the Lord: how much more, then, the hearts of the children of men?

Since the seventeenth century, discovery after discovery has peeled open the universe to the eyes of men. The result has been a revelation of the miniscule and the distant, the hidden and the ancient. It began with scientists such as Galileo and Leeuwenhoek using clumsy telescopes and microscopes, and advanced as old tools were improved and new tools added. Herschell discovered the infrared. Maxwell predicted radio waves and Hertz detected them. Roentgen stumbled on x-rays. Knoll and Ruska invented the first electron microscope.

A host of other pioneers gave us radio telescopes, ultrasound equipment, ultraviolet detectors, DNA testing, magnetic resonance imaging, carbon dating and other techniques. We now can see inside cells and back to a split second after creation—things our forefathers had no idea would ever be seen. Is it any wonder then, that the Bible declares that God, the maker of all things, is able to peer into what he has made? His knowledge is infinitely advanced beyond ours. Through a spiritual back door poorly understood by us, he can even “see” what is going on in our minds and wills.

Humans are also groping toward the ability to see into others’ minds. This goes beyond what shrewd readers of body-language do when they analyze a subject’s psychological state. New techniques allow us to study brain states. Under laboratory conditions scientific teams can even determine with a fair degree of accuracy which of several pre-arranged objects a thinker is focusing on. This is all very primitive.

Jesus, too, had a deep understanding of human nature and sometimes knew just what was on a person’s mind. We have an instance in which he described Nathanael reading under the fig tree and again, before Peter had said a word, put him on the spot about the temple tax which Peter had just been discussing with religious leaders. John sums up Christ’s clear perception of humans with these words, “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs which he did; but Jesus did not trust himself to them, because he knew all men and needed no one to bear witness of man; for he himself knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25).

16:3 Established Mind

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Robert Boyle, a Christian maker of modern science, struggled with doubts early in his Christian life.

16:3 Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established.

After Robert Boyle committed his life to God at the age of sixteen, he struggled against thoughts of suicide. The reason? Much of the “science” of the seventeenth century went so contrary to the Word of God that he was torn in his mind. Both could not be true.

In the end he opted for the Word of God but determined to study the sciences to see if he could sort out the truth for himself. The results were peace of mind and new light on the sciences. He exposed the errors of alchemy, moved the world toward a more accurate understanding of chemistry, and became a charter member of the Royal Society. He proved in his own person that true science and reasonable faith are not at odds.

The legacy of his faith was of great value to national culture and to science. As his confidence grew, he shared his thoughts with contemporaries. They made bestsellers of his science object lessons. More importantly (as far as the present age is concerned) it was in refuting certain skeptical propositions of Thomas Hobbes that Boyle promulgated his law of gases which still stands. He created the scientific paper as we know it, which describes the hypothesis, tools, and conditions of an experiment.

Moving from the example of Boyle to that of Christ, it is evident that our Savior committed his ways to the Father. He did so with such fullness that he could say “I and the Father are one” (John 10). As a result his thoughts were recorded by his followers and are established as scripture throughout the entire world. So certain was Christ of the validity of his words and his unity with the Father that he could call everyone to take his yoke upon them and learn from him (Matthew 11:28-30). Now that is the ultimate example of having one’s thoughts established.