“I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV)
A young mother brought her baby in for evaluation to my counseling office because she was worried that her beautiful little one might be retarded. She hardly ever cried, even when she was hurt. It was as if she didn’t feel pain, all she did was grimace a bit and then smile. She hardly ever cried during the day and the mother thought her child wasn’t normal.
After testing, observation, and evaluation, I had good news for the worried mother. The results revealed that the little one was an alert, brave, happy little warrior. Surprisingly, this news didn’t make the mother as happy as I expected. She expected a baby more like herself. She was a shy and fearful young lady who had turned out just as her dominating mother had desired. I realized that we had a generational problem.
The little one had a simple view that life was just fun even if it was painful at times. She was going to be a challenge for her young mother.
I thought of Einstein’s opinion about simplicity: “Any intelligent fool can make things more complicated, it takes the touch of genius to move in the opposite direction.” Other thoughts swept through my mind — Isaac Newton: “Truth is ever found in simplicity, not in multiplicity.” Fredric Chopin: “Simplicity is the final achievement.” God: “Your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity in Christ.”
Jesus is simply all we need. He is our Savior, Shepherd, and Friend (John 15:5). The simple reality about The Lord Jesus Christ is that He is “The Way, The Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). Completeness is found in the Son of God: Creation, Christmas, Cross.
Jesus gave His children five “Me” verses that reveal how to live “the simplicity in Christ.”
“Come to Me” (Matthew 11:28) first, and consistently. When we come to Jesus it provides the relationship we find with the Son of God.
“Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19). We come to Jesus and because of our relationship, we follow Jesus. He is our Shepherd; what could be more natural than for sheep to follow their shepherd, who is their protector and provider?
“Love Me” (John 14:15). Any time we love someone, our personality is modified; sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad, depending on how healthy that love is. Jesus is our “first love” (Rev. 2:4), the only divine love we will ever have.
“Ask Me” (John 14:14 NASB). A key to the simplicity in Christ is talking to Him. Only a simple, trusting, optimistic soul loves enough to ask Jesus with confidence. The “serpent” wishes to rob that confidence from every brave and smiling face.
“Abide in Me” (John 15:4) Life becomes very simple and effective when we relax in our relationship with Jesus. Just abiding in Christ is the simple solution to life and success.
The serpent is the master of seduction; we must resist his advances by obeying the five Me verses our Lord has given. He has told us with a compassionate voice: “If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love.” John 15:10.
C. H. SPURGEON,
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”- Jhn 1:11-13.
EVERYTHING here is simple; everything is sublime. Here is that simple gospel, by which the most ignorant may be saved. Here are profundities, in which the best-instructed may find themselves beyond their depth. Here are those everlasting hills of divine truth which man cannot climb; yet here is that plain path in which the wayfaring man, though a fool, need nor err, nor lose his way. I always feel that I have no time to spare for critical and captious persons. If they will not believe, neither shall they be established. They must take the consequences of their unbelief. But I can spare all day and all night for an anxious enquirer, for one who is blinded by the very blaze of the heavenly light that shines upon him, and who seems to lose his way by reason of the very plainness of the road that lies before him. In this most simple text are some of the deep things of God, and there are souls here that are puzzled by what are simplicities to some of us; and my one aim shall be, so to handle this text as to help and encourage and cheer some who would fain touch the hem of the Master’s garment, but cannot for the press of many difficulties and grave questions which rise before their minds.
Let us go to the text at once, and notice, first, a matter which is very simple: “As many as received him… even to them that believe on his name”; secondly, a matter which is very delightful: “to them gave he power to become the sons of God”; and thirdly, a matter which is very mysterious: “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
I. Here is, first, A MATTER WHICH IS VERY SIMPLE; receiving Christ, and believing on his name. Oh, that many here may be able to say, “Yes, I understand that simple matter. That is the way in which I found eternal life”!
The simple matter of which John here speaks is receiving Christ, or, in other words, believing on his name.
Receiving Christ is a distinctive act. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” The very people you would have thought would have eagerly welcomed Christ did not do so; but here and there a man stood apart from the rest, or a woman came out from her surroundings, and each of these said, “I receive Christ as the Messiah.” You will never go to heaven in a crowd. The crowd goes down the broad road to destruction; but the way which leadeth to life eternal is a narrow way; “and few there be that find it.” They that go to heaven must come out one by one, and say to him that sits at the wicket-gate, “Set my name down, sir, as a pilgrim to the celestial city.” They who would enter into life must fight as well as run, for it is an uphill fight all the way, and few there be that fight it out to the end, and win the crown of the victors.
Streams In The Desert
By: L.B. Cowman
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29 :18).
Waiting upon God is necessary in order to see Him, to have a vision of Him. The time element in vision is essential. Our hearts are like a sensitive photographer’s plate; and in order to have God revealed there, we must sit at His feet a long time. The troubled surface of a lake will not reflect an object.
Our lives must be quiet and restful if we would see God. There is power in the sight of some things to affect one’s life. A quiet sunset will bring peace to a troubled heart. Thus the vision of God always transforms human life.
Jacob saw God at Jabbok’s ford, and became Israel. The vision of God transformed Gideon from a coward into a valiant soldier. The vision of Christ changed Thomas from a doubting follower into a loyal, devout disciple.
But men have had visions of God since Bible times. William Carey saw God, and left his shoemaker’s bench and went to India. David Livingstone saw God, and left all to follow Him through the jungles of dark Africa. Scores and hundreds have had visions of God, and are today in the uttermost parts of the earth working for the speedy evangelization of the heathen.
There is hardly ever a complete silence in the soul. God is whispering to us well-nigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear the whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not hear, because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.
–F. W. Faber
“Speak, Lord, in the stillness,
While I wait on Thee;
Hushed my heart to listen
“Speak, O blessed Master,
In this quiet hour;
Let me see Thy face, Lord,
Feel Thy touch of power.
“For the words Thou speakest,
‘They are life,’ indeed;
Living bread from Heaven,
Now my spirit feed!
“Speak, Thy servant heareth!
Be not silent, Lord;
Waits my soul upon Thee
For the quickening word!”