"SLOW ME DOWN LORD"
"Fear ye not stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord" (Ex. 14:13)
The turbulent Colorado River is so dirty and so muddy that "The water is too thick to drink and too thin to plow." In its rapid flow it picks up this dirt along the way, but when this same water becomes a peaceful lake behind a barrier such as Hoover dam, it suddenly becomes clear. Even below the dam the overflow water is still a clear stream with trout swimming in it.
The reason for this transformation is the, slowing down of the river. The dirt is settled and the water is clean once again.
We are living in the hubbub of a turbulent day. Many people are troubled and they find no peace. The mud pace of our machine age ever accelerates and one wonders when exhausted, frustrated humanity will throw up its hands in despair and write off life as futile and unworthy of further effort to prolong it. There was a time when our culture was more rural, that the Winter months slowed down industry and folk had time to relax and reflect in the comfort and quiet of their homes or with neighbors. Progress (??) has changed much of this and quiet times are fewer and further apart. God had provided one day of seven for mankind to rest his weary body and let his soul catch-up-with him. A day of meditation, prayers, worship, and waiting upon God that the sediments of carnal influences might be cleared away and leave us fresh and clean for another week in the valleys of service. Needless to say, the times of waiting upon the Lord are sadly neglected. The Sabbath is fast becoming a day of commerce or worldly pleasure. The obvious consequence of this is an increasingly empty and powerless Church and a secular society that has lost the benevolent influence of a Church that was recognized as different from the world and that challenged them to a new and better life.
An old Negro spiritual uses these lines: "Slow me down, Lord, I'so agoin' too fast...I can't see my brother when he's walkn past, I miss a lot of good things day by day, I don't know a blessing when it comes my way."
Christ is the answer to man's quest for a meaning to life. He is the salvation from the condemnation and ultimate consequence of sin. Therefore, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.
In February we observe Valentine's Day and amid many light and frivolous exchanges of cards there will be the more serious ones that express deep and lasting affection between lovers. The accepted symbol of Valentine's Day is the heart.
Revelations 3:20 gives us another and more important picture of the heart, and the greatest Lover man ever had. Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with Me." It is Jesus that stands at the heart's door of every individual offering His love and the many provisions of grace to all who will let Him come into their life as Savior and Lord. He loves you enough that He gave His life for you on Calvary. He wants you to return His love and in the language of Valentine's Day. He wants you to be His Valentine "and" love and serve Him. He will not force His way into your life but will stand and patiently wait for your invitation
Have you opened the door of your life to the Heavenly Lover of your soul? If not, how long do you expect to keep Him waiting? Many lovers have tired of their pursuit of the object of their affections and turned to another. You have no assurance that Christ will wait longer for you to invite Him in for, "Behold, today is the day of salvation." The Heavenly Lover may depart from the door of your life and never return. Why don't you invite Him in today just now as you read this? It will be the most glorious event in your life.
"Now for a long season Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law. And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the land." 2 Chron. 15:3,4
At long last our involvement in the Vietnam war is coming to an end and for this, America is glad. However, America needs peace with herself as well as with other nations. The many civil disturbances with resultant injuries and death plus the destruction of public and private property points up one fact-America is not at peace with herself. How aptly the fourth verse of our text describes the condition of our lands.
The first verse of our text suggests three essentials for national peace: First and foremost is the "true God" with the restraints and encouragements of an implicit faith plus the presence and power of a Divine Ally. It isn't enough to merely say, "In God we trust." We must make our faith a vital part of our life. Second is a "teaching priest." This means thorough instruction and indoctrination of the pure Word of God. The pollution of unregenerated, carnal minds that would interpret the Word to suit their own likes and dislikes. Third is "Law". Personal liberty had threatened to make Israel a nation of outlaws. While the overwhelming majority of our citizens are law-abiding, a minority that seems to get away with anything and everything is rapidly destroying the security and well-being of the rest of the land.
The way out of our internal difficulties and the achievement of personal and national peace is before us in our text. The question each of us must now face is: "What can I do to usher in a revival whose Holy Ghost fires will burn out the carnality and sin within the Church, call sinners to repentance, and restore God to His rightful place in the heart and life of America?"
February 1, 1973
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