The BIBLE VIEW #959 — Conviction

In This Issue:
Obstacles God Puts Forth
Out of the Cave
Troubled Thoughts

Volume: 959     May 27, 2024
Theme: Conviction

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Obstacles God Puts Forth
Bill Brinkworth

Many natural things are prickly. The thorns are the natural defense for many roses, orange trees, and weeds. Grabbing hold of a prickly stem results in one letting it go and coming up with another plan. The “pricks” are the plant’s protection.

God uses the “pricks” of uncomfortable circumstances to change our direction. He did this in Paul’s early life, as the unsaved but religious man traveled on the Damascus road.

“And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”  Acts 9:5

Paul had spent much of his life trying to serve God his way. Unfortunately, he did not detect nor heed the “pricks” God sent in His life to turn him in the right direction that God desired.

“Pricks” that Saul ignored:
“Pricked” ears – When Paul heard the preachers of the Gospel, he did all he could to stifle their preaching. Instead of pricking his conscience so he could change his wrong path, it angered him and encouraged him to do more to silence Christians.

He even held the coats of those who stoned the deacon, Stephen. While standing there, he probably heard the Word of God, as he did when he was around Christians. Still, he held to his religion, even when the people of God preached and warned against his false beliefs.

“Pricked eyes” – Undoubtedly, he saw Christianity in action. He saw families split, people die, and heartaches inflicted. Yet, the Christians would not waiver in their obedience to God’s commandments. In all the trouble he instigated against Christians, he saw that they had a peace that he surely did not understand. He was like King Saul, who persecuted righteous David.

“Pricks” that others ignore:
Pricked by circumstances: Hard times, sickness, failures, tests, aggravating situations, disasters, etc., are often meant to draw us closer to God and to cause us to trust him more. Instead, folks many times grow farther from the source of strength they need during those hard times. They do not examine themselves and what they are doing in God’s eyes nor get the message that God is trying to send them through their trials.

Pricked ears: Perhaps God sent a godly parent, grandmother, neighbor, friend, or Sunday school teacher to us or let us hear a preacher on TV, but still, His invitation was ignored. People often do not “hear” what God is trying to tell them.

Pricked eyes: Many have seen bits of the Word of God in tracts and good Christian testimonies, yet His words and the godly examples allowed to cross our path are ignored. Too often, we do not heed God’s “pricks” to our hearts.

When examining your life, do you see any obstacles God may have put in the way to change your direction?  Is it possible you are fighting or ignoring the barriers God has allowed to be placed in your life to get you to turn in the direction He desires?

Are the “pricks” allowed in your life not changing your direction to where God wants you? If so, what will you do next?

“’Conscience’ is a faults alarm!” — Author Unknown

Out of the Cave

Suppose a traveler, on a stormy night, should take up his lodging in a cave with serpents and venomous creatures.  Because he sleeps, he sees them not.  He sleeps as soundly as if at home in his bed. 

When the morning comes, he sees what companions are about him.  He uses all means possible and haste to escape that cave.

In the same way is every sinner.  Beset with many “serpents” of his sins, he cannot see them and therefore fears them not.  He goes through life without their bothering his conscience or lifestyle.  He is “asleep” as soundly as if in Solomon’s bed.  (He certainly is not ‘woke” as many factiously claim to be today).

However, when he is “awakened” to see the sins that beset his life and see them as God sees them, he sees the dangers around him that his sins have exposed him to. Hopefully, after God opens his eyes, he will run away from his old, sinful life as fast as possible.

“Be quiet enough to hear God’s whispers.”

Troubled Thoughts
Dr. Robert G. Lee

One morning, when I was a boy, a preacher preached a sermon I believe must have been on “The Gates of Heaven.”  In the sermon, he asked, “If the gates of Heaven were opened, would you enter in?”

The question startled me.  I knew that if the gates of Heaven were opened that day, I could not enter because I could not claim to be a Christian.

That night, the preacher’s text was, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?”  He said very simply that to accept Christ as Saviour meant Heaven and that to reject Him as Saviour meant Hell.

I went home that night with the most wretched feeling.  I could not sleep.   I got up in the night, slipped out of the window that opened on the back porch, and went down to the moonlit watermelon patch.  It was a beautiful, clear night, and I thought of Heaven beyond the stars and Hell somewhere in some vast region below.

At the next morning’s breakfast table, my mother said, “Son, you look like you didn’t sleep much last night.”

“No, ma’am,” I said, “I didn’t.”

“What was the matter?”

“I feel awfully sinful,” I admitted.

I had to plow that day.  My misery grew until I finally drove out to the end of a long row and dropped the plow by the side of my old white mule.  I got down in the fence corner and told God how bad and sinful I felt, and I wanted to be saved.

“If one must accept Jesus to be saved,” I prayed, “then I accept Him.” There, in a fence corner, the Lord saved me.

I do not remember the text of the preacher’s sermon that night.  I walked down the church aisle and let it be known that the Lord had saved me.  I do remember the hymn they sang.
“Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night;
Jesus, I come!  Jesus, I come!
Into thy freedom, gladness, and light;
Jesus, I come to Thee.”

The peace that came to me in the fence corner is in my heart to this day.

“Failing morally is bad.  Failing to repent is worse.

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