—Thoughts for the Day—and the day after, and the day after that... All ye who hunger and thirst after Righteousness, Ruminate on this one long and hard, daily.

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I have long written, in numerous books of mine (and I even made a bookmark and offered one for free with any book order; which offer no one has ever taken me up on), that my motto for the past few decades (which does not infer that I have stellarly accomplished it) has been—

“Each day that I do not, by God’s Grace, make a conscious effort to be more Christ-like has been a wasted day of my life.”

[of course, this infers a few presuppositions:

1. actually understanding what Christ is like—based upon the FULL Counsel of the Word of God not modern notions of political correctness, humanism, liberal contaminated theology of the Apostate Church, or moral degeneracy; and

2. the Agency of the Holy Spirit being the One Who daily works this, as a believer daily has his mind in the Word of God and asks God to engraft it upon his heart: the Truths of the Word of God being the “raw materials” with which that building by faith will be constructed.  God does not “mind-dump” the Bible, like a computer download, into a person’s brain.  That would be a lovely idea, but even then, most would probably “archive it” and rarely consult it (and maybe even delete it if their free space on their hard drive was running out and they needed the room).]

Today, while musing, meditating, after having completed transforming Psalm 9 into a poem (one of a collection that I have been working on), I had the thought...

How wonderful if I had been able to go through life untainted by sin, even as the Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were preserved through the fiery furnace in that they had not even the smell of smoke upon them!

As King David declared, My sins are ever before me.  Those with a tender conscience toward God will remember and regret every unkind word, every sin, every failure, every shortcoming, embarrassment, even from decades ago.  

“About 19 years ago I was at a Bible conference and the preacher asked the audience, “If you could ask God for anything and He promised to give it to you, what would you ask Him for...?”  I knew the answer in my heart  immediately, but waited, hoping that someone else knew it too.  I waited and heard people’s replies: “money,” “power,” “wisdom,” “fame,” “success,” etc. (you would have thought this was a  secular convention, not a Bible conference peopled by those who supposedly knew the Scriptures).  Not even one soul had the ingenuity and humor to answer “Ten more wishes”.  I was disappointed, dumbfounded.  I waited and waited  hoping someone, anyone would know it.  The preacher was about to end the call for answers and I casually looked around, no one else had his hand raised, so I raised mine.  He motioned to me to answer. I called out “The Power of the Spirit!”  Without batting an eye the preacher pointed at me and declared, “I want what that man wants!"

"Sadly, it seems that no one else in the auditorium had a clue.  No one asked for an explanation.  No one came up to me afterwards to inquire: “Why?”  Why did they not? —sadly, because the majority of Christians (even those who go to Bible conferences) have not had their minds transformed — “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6) and “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14) and “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4).

"Some may have thought that Ecclesiastes 2:3 is in reference to some charismatic experience.  However, charismatic experiences rely upon the emotions, not the intellect meditating upon the Truth of God’s Word.

“You see (in explanation of my answer, “the Power of the Spirit”), Solomon had unearthly wisdom, Divinely given to him.  He understood life and truth and reality better than any human ever has.  However,  knowing what is right to do and doing it are two entirely different things!  All of Solomon’s wisdom in his head did him little good if he did not have it in his heart to do what he knew was right.  This alone comes from the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit Alone Who restrains the carnal passions within us and enables us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).  Paul further admonishes and exhorts us: “This I say then, ‘Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh’.” (Galatians 5:16).  Solomon should have asked for wisdom to properly rule the people—and a heart to never turn from following after God.  The forward-thinking David, who asked to build the Lord’s House, and then when the honor was denied him, asked if he could at least gather the materials (showing his pure heart),  indirectly counselled (I Chronicles 22:12) his son Solomon to ask God for wisdom.  If only David had thought to tell his son to also ask God for a tender heart that would never stray!"  [Excerpted from my Sacred Truth Expository Commentary on Ecclesiastes, 554pp., pb,. 30.00 + P&H.]

The fact is, it is only by the Power of the Holy Spirit, that one can even pass through this life without being utterly polluted by sin as those worst, unbridled, unregenerate offenders proudly swim through the septic tank as if it is a badge of honor.  While we cannot traverse this sod without even the smell of smoke, my God’s Grace we can keep from having all our hair burned off and being burned beyond recognition.  We were created in God’s Image, after His Likeness.  That is why sin is such an offense (not merely a “faux pas”): It pollutes the Testimony of His Image entrusted to us His children.  How shameful, embarrassing are children who disgrace their father, their ancestors, the family name; polluting their heritage that had been preserved for millennia.  How tragic for a family to have know the way of truth and been on it—to have then jumped off the train to wallow through the ghetto.  This is the picture illustration of all of Christendom: The U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic.  That is why we are all under Judgment.  The way out of Judgment is not to embrace the evil around us because the Apostate Church is doing it—but separate ourselves from it so that Judgment can fall, and get back onto the Narrow Road.  If others will listen and follow, wonderful; but God does not call His children to surrogate suicide.  It is not the job of God’s people to “talk a jumper off the ledge” or “talk” resisters onto the Narrow Road.  Our duty is to plant seeds and point out the direction of the Road—get back on it ourselves; and inform others that we will be praying for them while we are on it, but we will not, like Lot’s wife turn back for them!  Anyone who thinks that is calloused is a humanist.  Get your eyes off man and back on God where they belong.  On the Day of Judgment you won’t answer to your sister’s brother’s aunt’s niece’s cousin—you will answer to God and He rules by Righteousness and Holiness, not on a “sliding scale” of the “Bell Curve”...!

Referring to my own quotation* at the outset of this Rumination also puts me in mind of the beloved hymn, “Nearer, My God, to Thee” by English poet and hymnist Sarah Fuller Flower Adams (1805-1848); for which I have written three new stanzas, 1 in Spanish.

[* George Bernard Shaw said, “I quote myself often, it adds spice to the conversation”.]

“Nearer, my God to thee,
Nearer to thee!
Even though it be a cross
That raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be:
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!

“Nearer, my Lord, to thee,
Nearer to thee!
Who to thy cross didst come,
Dying for me!
Strengthen my willing feet,
Hold me in service sweet
Nearer, O Christ, to thee,
Nearer to thee!

“Nearer, O Comforter,
Nearer to thee!
Who with my loving Lord
Dwellest with me!
Grant me thy fellowship!
Help me each day to STEP?
Nearer, My Guide, to thee,
Nearer to thee!

“But to be nearer still,
Bring me, O God,
Not by the visioned steeps
Angels have trod.
Here where thy cross I see,
Jesus, I wait for thee,
Then evermore to be
Nearer to thee!"

3 new stanzas by Robert Alan Balaicius:

“Nearer I want to grow
closer to Thee,
Take Lord and fill my cup
I lift it up to Thee
make me Thy Image bear
even if a cross I bear
Nearer my Lord to Thee
Nearer to Thee!

“Nearer I want to bow
prostrate to Thee
humble now this willful heart
I yield it up to Thee
Until Thy Heavenly Throne
is my eternal home
Nearer my King to Thee
Nearer to Thee.”

[Since this Hymn for some reason puts me in mind of classical Castilian, I wrote this Spanish stanza.  One day maybe I will make a crude recording of my rendition of this hymn and also this stanza.  I haven’t truly sung for about 28 years (but the court order has now expired).]

“Uno con El Vencedor
juntos contigo
cuando la muerte viene a mí
no voy a morir.
Siempre mi oración será
en todo la Eternidad;
en paz con mi Creador,
en paz oh Dios con Ti."

[While technically “contigo” would be the proper form for the last line, I imagine there is poetic license in Spanish as well as English (if fake passports can be purchased, a poetic license should be quite easy).  I make no claim to the literary correctness of my Spanish above; it’s been about 37 years since I’ve used it.]

A loose, flowing translation would be:

“One with The Victorious One
Fully one with Thee
When death to me shall come
No I shall never die.
Always my prayer shall be
throughout Eternity
Creator grant me peace with Thee
at peace O God with Thee."

Robert Alan Balaicius