Short Talks By The Pastor
Pigeons And Crowds
There was one exhibit at the San Diego Fair which no one could pass unnoticed. Pigeons, pigeons, pigeons, hundreds upon hundreds gathered in the great open court. You would naturally wonder why they stayed so closely to a certain center and had become so tame, until you made your way to them and found the man on the stool in their midst dressed in Spanish costume selling wheat and chopped corn at five cents the sack. You, of course, bought a sack, and immediately you were covered with pigeons: there were three on your hat, two on each shoulder, and your extended arm and open hand held a hungry battling mob. Of course, the photographer was there with his own wheel chair asking you to be seated with your pigeon friends while he took the feathery picture. The open blue sky was all about you. The fields were just beyond. Why were the pigeons flocking here? Why did they not fly away from the people? The reason was all in the five cent sacks: The pigeons were being well fed.
A friend had just been trying to argue with me as to why the crowds flocked to a revival meeting and it was lovely to point to the pigeons and the five-cent sacks, and say: “The pigeons and the crowds come because they get fed. Jesus said His Gospel was wheat, because He offers eternal life freely to any one who will believe Him. The pigeons did not come because the bags were fancy colored or because the wheat man wore the gaudy Spanish costume, but only because of the wheat. The evangelist or preacher may dress many ways, may have many peculiarities and the church decorated rich or plainly. It will make little difference if the wheat is not there. The hungry crowds today want wheat. He said, “I am the bread of life.” Let Him feed you today.
Foolishness Of Infidelity
In a public library not very long ago the attendant of her own free will handed me a letter in which were written some of the positive statements of an infidel. I called the attention of the authorities to the fact that this sort of thing was being handed out, but received no reply from them.
To the man who does not believe in Christ these statements would find his hearty support, but to the soul who has found Jesus, these statements are ridiculous. This attendant said that the statements were unanswerable, but we felt free to give her our answer and trust the Holy Spirit to bring the truth to her heart.
The first statement was this: “The particular God of the Christians is one who made man upright, but cannot keep him so.” The infidel who wrote these words is blaming God for creating him a creature with emotion, intellect and will. If he had created him anything else he would be a piece of machinery. God cannot find delight in any creature that did not have his own will and besides it is untrue that God cannot keep man upright. He has provided Jesus Christ to cleanse from all unrighteousness and the Blessed Holy Spirit to abide in His heart by His own consent; to keep him upright. His only begotten son, Christ Jesus, creates him a new creature. God’s plan through Christ Jesus is to redeem even his body and give him a body like unto Christ’s own precious body with which He came from the tomb, the victor over death. Against the statement of this infidel, God says: “He is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the throne of God with exceeding joy.”
How cheap the infidel’s statement is along side of God’s statement, made good through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. God admits that we have strayed but he is perfectly just to us, since He sent His own son and laid upon him the horrible results of our sin and through the obedience death and resurrection of His Son offers us life and victory in Him as though we had never sinned against Him. God says, “we all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Again this infidel says, “He made the devil, but could not control him.” This seems true probably to any man who does not know his Bible and has not taken time to see what God has done. But if this infidel will turn to God’s Word he will find out that Jesus went out personally against the devil for forty days and forty nights in fasting, and in three temptations that cover all the realm of temptation, He absolutely defeated the devil. Over the life of Jesus the devil had no control but over the devil, Jesus did have control.
Jesus offers today absolute victory over the devil to any man who will trust Him as his Saviour, and countless thousands could testify that Jesus is victorious over the devil in their lives. This man surely has found that God has no control over the devil in his life, but if he would spend as much time in asking for deliverance in Jesus’ name as he did in writing out his unbeliefs, he would have found that Jesus would have conquered Satan for him and he could have sung with us who believe:
“Jesus is victor, His work is complete
Crushing all enemies under His feet.
Jesus is victor, the foe from the
Dust never can arise again, if we
Waiting On The Lord
Waiting on God is as delicious as waiting for the day in the early hours of a summer morning when the first streaks of dawn spread through the sky. There is the rosy tinted horizon, gloriously colored trees and grass; song birds coming forth and the brook singing its early morning matin. Oh! Kneel in prayer and wait before God. There is not only light but warmth to your cold heart and revelations of new life within your breast. There is the echoing glad song throughout your whole soul and as you continue to wait the light becomes stronger and stronger, revealing as it comes the truth and the glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
At these times of waiting, one says to their own soul, “be still and know that I am God.” There is no struggle for truth, the spirit of light, without our effort shines upon the realities of God. We learn then to abstain from a continuous noise of words as though we were heard for our much speaking. We learn how to be quiet. Then we cherish as a golden treasure this glowing presence of the Lord. When He has quieted us by the joy of His presence we learn to know His voice. The warm hearty glow of the early season of waiting changes into the shining heat of noon-day love. At such times there is a great glowing; the roots of our faith take hold and we find the truth of what it means to be “rooted and grounded in love.”
When the Lord thus speaks while we wait upon Him, He infuses the spirit and the life of the very things He would communicate. At such hours the soul is conscious of humility or patience or understanding or tenderness, or kindness which are being bestowed. One always comes away from a waiting season before God as conscious as a victor over the conquered city that he is returning laden with spoil, rich, precious spoil. His weakness has become strength. His fretting has become patience. He has not been dealing with emotion. He has been receiving life; new life from the spirit of God.