“Now the end of the Commandment is charity out of a pure heart and of a good conscience and of faith unfeigned.”
I Timothy 1:5
If we don’t know where we’re headed, how will we know when we’ve arrived?
Truly, life is like a jigsaw puzzle—composed of many pieces. . .some brightly colored. . . while others are dark with sharp edges. But, in Christ, they all “work together for good when we love the Lord and are fulfilling His purpose in our lives” (Rom. 8:28).
It’s true “Abraham went without knowing where he was going” (Heb. 11:8). He knew he couldn’t go with God and stay where he was. And, he only knew he was going “unto a land that God would show him” (Gen. 12:1). But, through faith he and Sarah “counted Him faithful Who had promised” (Heb. 11:10), knowing He’d ultimately fulfill His promises to them.
So is it with this jigsaw puzzle called life. Each puzzle is different; yet, ultimately each one that professes that “Jesus Christ is Lord” will one day be transformed into His exact likeness (I Jn. 3:2). Hopefully, through this daily process of sanctification here on earth He won’t have to engage in “Extreme Makeover” on us when we finally see Him face-to-Face.
Today’s Manna further fleshes out what it’s all about in this Pilgrimage of Faith. Paul said “Now the end (Grk. ‘telos’—‘goal, conclusion, purpose, final outcome, ending, etc.’) of the Commandment is this: Love that flows out of a pure (Grk. ‘katharos’—‘clean, clear, cleansed, etc.’) heart, good conscience and unfeigned (Grk. ‘anupokritos’—‘unadulterated, sincere, without hypocrisy, no pretense, etc.’) faith.”
It’s that picture of “childlikeness” that Jesus talked about (Mt. 18:2-5; Mk. 10:15; Lk. 18:17). It’s possessing the simplicity and sincerity of Nathanael that caught Jesus’ eye that day as he sat under the fig tree reading God’s Word (Jn. 1:47-48). And, this cannot happen until Christ’s Love indwells us and overflows to those around us.
David knew the importance of a pure heart, for he wrote/sang “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy Place? He that has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity or sworn deceitfully” (Ps. 24:3-4).
But, who of us meets those criteria?
None of us. A big, fat zero of us.
That’s why we must run to the Cross, claiming only His Mercy and Grace. Then, we must spend the rest of our lives asking the sanctifying Holy Spirit to “create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit with us” (Ps. 51:10). Each day we must claim His Blood, which alone is able “to clean our conscience from dead works that we may serve the living God” (Heb. 9:14). And, we must continually cry out, “O Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” (Mk. 9:24) so we can “fight the good fight, run with patience the race that is set before us and keep the faith” (II Tim. 4:7; Heb. 12:1c). Why not pause right now, Pilgrim, and thank God for His sufficient Grace as you ask Him to help you be His Conduit of Love to others today? Then go out with the ultimate Goal in mind, resting in the assurance the Holy Spirit will help you fulfill it.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated September 13, 2009