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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Christian Obedience JULY 15


And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 1 John 2:3.

Some years ago a minister went to visit one of the poorest of his parishioners, taking with him a gift of money to pay the woman's rent. But there was no response to his knocking. So he finally left. Yet the woman was inside her house all the time. When she learned later of the minister's call and his generous intention, she said: "I heard the knocking on the door. I never thought my minister had come with a gift. I thought it was the landlord demanding my rent."

Many professed Christians interpret the divine claim for obedience to the commandments as a demand rather than a gift of God. They assume that God has laid down a set of laws, and that it is up to the believer to make the proper payment by living up to them.

Christianity is not first a demand. It is first the gift of God's saving righteousness to us in His Son Jesus Christ. At the same time God insists that if we really know Him, we will also obey Him. He who truly knows God is to make no truce with evil, no halting between two opinions.

The Bible says that when the Israelites tramped through the wilderness for forty years, their clothes and shoes waxed not old upon them. A later writer wrote a legend embellishing this account. According to the legend, as the children grew so did their clothes and shoes—the little Hebrew boy who crossed the Red Sea in boy's clothes wore the same clothes when he crossed Jordan into the Promised Land forty years later. Interpreters of the legend came to regard it as a parable of a man's life with God. As men grow old in years and experience, the garment of Christ's righteousness given to the believer when he accepted Christ, fulfills all the spiritual needs of the passing years.

As we hear His call to obedience, shall we reply that it is an impossible thing? Or shall we say, "O Christ, You are my life. I truly know You whom to know is life eternal. Your righteousness never fails. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Keep me clothed with Your righteousness until the day when I shall stand in Your presence."

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