January 2005

blindfolded-peopleAugustine said, "...the heart of man is restless until it finds its rest in Thee." Augustine spoke of a void that every man has in his heart that can only be filled by God. In other words, the search for the meaning of life is endless until our life is filled with the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit.

Many people search throughout the Earth trying to find God in sacred artifacts and relics. They become devoted to religious institutions, never obtaining what they are looking for. Salvation, that comes from trusting Christ, is already within easy reach. In fact, the message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart." 1

Searching For Answers

For centuries men have continued to search for the Holy Grail. It is defined many ways, but is usually claimed to be the challis Jesus used at the last supper to serve His disciples the night before His death on the cross. Jesus placed importance on the wine in the challis, not the cup itself. He told His disciples that the wine was a symbol of His blood, which was to be given to forgive the sins of many. 2 There has been investigations, which have taken place over many centuries, into the authenticity of Shroud of Turin. It is thought to be the cloth that covered Jesus in the tomb.

There has been many explorations seeking to find the resting place of Noah's Ark. The search for the Ark of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments, has kept archaeologists baffled. The reality of these priceless antiquities are recorded in both Biblical and secular history, but while the majority of people believe they exist, they have not been located. Could it be that God desires these historic items to remain hidden, so they won't become a form of idolatry for those who lack faith? For most with Judeo-Christian beliefs, our faith is not based on artifacts and relics.

Many people today are searching for answers from the book, The DaVinci Code. This book offers an erroneous view of Christ and has left its readers wondering just how much of it is actually fact. This book is a work of fiction, but it can deceive those who are not well grounded in the Scriptures. There are those who mastered the Bible, but still do not understand the Scriptures testify of Jesus Christ. 4 The problem is their unwillingness to believe in their heart the testimony of God.

The Lord is more concerned with our spiritual wisdom and the revelation of the knowledge of Christ, than He is with our discoveries of temporal things. The Scriptures tell us there are secret things that belong to the LORD our God. The revealed things belong to us, and our descendants forever, so that we may obey the words of the law. 3 In God's view, to ignore His revealed will, as expressed in the Bible, while chasing after the things He has left secret, is pure folly.

Blowing In The Wind

I chased after secret things for years. I was looking for answers, echoing the words of Bob Dylan's song, "The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind." It was like everyone was keeping a secret hidden from me. I felt like a contestant on the game show "To Tell The Truth", where I was questioning the panel to figure out who was telling the truth. I chose to not believe in the God of my parents, but in my friends, including Charles Manson, who ended up having no understanding of God at all. I chose to trust in material things for temporary relief, rather than spiritual truths for peace and serenity of the heart. I was searching for the cup myself, rather than the wine inside the cup.

The Apostle Paul wrote that God gave him the responsibility to proclaim the Lord's testimony that had been kept secret for centuries and generations past. It pleased God to reveal the riches and glory of Christ through Paul. For this is the secret for believers: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory. 5 Truly, the answer to life is blowing in the wind. The wind that is the breath and life from the Holy Spirit, the voice that calls and says to all, "Come ...Come...Come, whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." 6

What About Dylan?

In the '60s, I viewed Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Stones and other groups as having the secrets of life hidden in the lyrics of their music. In an October 4, 2004 interview with NEWSWEEK, Bob Dylan said, "...the big bugs in the press kept promoting me as the mouthpiece, spokesman, or even conscience of a generation. All I'd ever done was sing songs that were dead straight and expressed powerful new realities. I was more a cowpuncher than a Pied Piper."

In the article, Bob shared that in the '60s, "Outside my family, nothing held any real interest for me and I was seeing everything though different glasses. Being born and raised in America, the country of freedom and independence, I had always cherished the values and ideas of equality and liberty, I was determined to raise my children with those ideals." Even though Bob had his problems with drugs, his thoughts of the promises that America offered, formed his beliefs and feelings that propelled him into action, producing habits, a determined character and destiny for his whole family.

Bob Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman of Jewish heritage. During the '70s, his life was spent hiding from those who sought to worship him. After his conversion to evangelical Christianity in 1978, he came out with the album "Slow Train Coming" (1979), and then "Saved" in the early '80s. In his songs on those albums, he acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Today, he is a Rock 'n Roll legend, but much greater yet, he is a child of God, drinking of the water of life freely.

Rivers Of Living Water

What person in their right mind would reject what Jesus has promised to them? Jesus says to let anyone who is thirsty come to Him! If you believe in Him, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow from within. When He said living water, He was speaking of the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in Him. 7

The key is the word "believe". It is not just a mental concept. The devil has an intellectual belief in God. 8 I've seen many who believe in God, but it does not lead to their salvation. They are trying, like the Jews, to get right with God by keeping the law and doing good works instead of by depending on faith. They refuse to simply trust in and rely upon Jesus to make them right with God through the finished work of the cross. Jesus had become what the Scriptures calls their stumbling stone, because it seemed to easy to simply believe; not having to do any work themselves for their salvation. But anyone who believes in Jesus for their righteousness will not be disappointed. 9

In other words, unbelievers don't understand God's way of making people righteous. They are clinging to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. Christ has accomplished the whole purpose of the law. All who believe in Jesus are made right with God. 10 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They all have the same Lord, who generously gives His riches to all who ask for them. For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' 11

Faith comes from listening to the message of good news -- the Good News about Christ. 12 When faith comes, our spirit comes alive because we have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in us. 13 For His Holy Spirit speaks to us, deep in our hearts, and tells us that we are God's children. 14 For we know how dearly God loves us, because the love of God is spread throughout our hearts by the Holy Spirit. 15 Truly, out of our hearts flow rivers of living water, cleansing us with the washing of water by the word, that we should be holy and without blemish. 16

A PRAYER FOR YOU...

Beloved, will you call upon the name of the Lord and be saved today? As God opens your heart, I invite you to pray with me:

"Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I renounce the works of Satan and all his ways. I know my sin deserves the punishment of death. I believe in my heart that Christ took my punishment of death. He died on the cross paying the price for my sin, was buried and raised from the dead. I trust Jesus alone as my Savior and confess Him as Lord. I give You my life, Jesus, and ask you to cleanse me from my sins and come into my heart. Be Lord and boss over me and make my life pleasing to You. Make me a new creation and change me. Thank You for saving me. Amen."

If you have prayed this prayer, please let us know so we can keep your new life in our prayers. Remember, God loves you, and so do we!

Footnotes:

Scriptures references from the New Living Translation Bible, unless otherwise noted:

1) Rom. 10:8
2) Matt. 26:27-28
3) Deut. 29:29
4) John 5:37-40
5) Col. 1:25-27
6) Rev. 22:17 NKJV
7) John 7:37-39
8) James 2:19

9) Rom. 9:30-33
10) Rom. 10: 3-4
11) Rom. 10:9-13
12) Rom. 10: 17
13) Rom. 8:10-11
14) Rom: 8:16
15) Rom. 5:5 KJV
16) Eph. 5:26-27 NKJV

 

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