By PAT HUTCHENS, A rework of Imitation of Messiah by Thomas A. Kempis—
Blessed is the one who reads and does what God says in the Holy Scriptures. Our own judgments and feelings often deceive us and we discern only part of the truth when we do hear it. What good does it do to argue about deep dark mysteries? We won’t deal with that sort of thing when we face God. It is foolish to neglect what really counts and spend time on things that don’t even matter in the long run. That’s like having eyes but not being able to see.
• Why even talk about the species, genetics and DNA, but leave God out? God is the One who said, “Let it be,” creating absolutely everything. “In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1). He who listens to God’s Eternal Word is free from endless questions. The Word of God created all things and all things speak of Him. No one has wisdom or understanding without God and His Word. God is One! He speaks to us through the written and the living Word. Grasp this truth and you will be enabled to remain steady in spirit, resting in God.
“O God, You are the Truth! Make me one with You in everlasting Love. (John 17) Sometimes I get weary from reading, from listening and from talking. Everything I really want, everything I really desire is found in You. Let all people – from brilliant theologians to the common man – hold their peace. In fact, let all creation keep silent before You. God, I ask that You alone would speak to my soul and spirit.”
• Inward singleness of purpose brings understanding of the deep things of life. However, you don’t get understanding by trying hard. It is a gift of God. God graciously reaches down from above and gives understanding. An understanding spirit is pure, steadfast and not distracted, even though it has many works to do. Why is this? Because it does all things to honor and glorify God and seeks to be free from self-seeking. Who hinders and annoys you more than your own undisciplined self-seeking heart? The one who wants to honor God commits in his heart ahead of time to what he or she will or will not do. This person does not allow emotions of the moment to woo the heart away. Everything is subjected to what is right before God. Who has a harder battle than the one who fights to master himself? The goal is to bring the body and mind under the control of the Holy Spirit, to be strong in the Lord and not in self. No one reaches this goal perfectly in this life, but the goal is not altered. Remember this: “God who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day when Messiah Jesus returns and completes everything” (Ephesians 1:6).
• If only we worked as hard at living right as we do at living well. Then there would be less wrong doing and wrong living – that goes for both clergy and lay people. For sure on the Day of Judgment we will not be asked what we knew, but what we did with what we knew. We will not be asked how eloquently we spoke, but how holy we lived. We won’t be asked what denomination we belonged to, but if we loved God and our neighbor. We won’t be asked if we can quote the Bible, but if we believed it. Tell me, where are all the brilliant scholars from days gone by? Their places are filled by others. While they lived, they seemed important – especially to themselves. Now they are mostly forgotten.
• How quickly the glory of this world passes away. If only what we know agreed with what we do. People would not spend years pursuing vanities and care so little for knowing and serving the living God. Desiring to be great and famous will lead to “vain imaginations.” The person who is really great is the one with great love. Do you want to be great? Keep remembering that you are very small. Humble yourself. Bear up under the pains of life with God’s help. Consider all high honors as fleeting. A wise person knows that earthly, material things are nothing when compared to knowing the only true and living God and Messiah Jesus whom He has sent. The wisest person on earth is the one who learns to forsake self will and do God’s will.
A rework of Imitation of Messiah by Brother Thomas A. Kempis