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Men need nothing in these modern days so much as they need a working philosophy of life—an adequate way to live. Loosed from the moorings that have held life, many are now adrift. They claim to be free. They have thrown overboard the chart, the compass, the steering wheel, and the consciousness of destination. They are free from everything—everything except the rocks, and the storms, and the insufferable absurdity of being tossed from wave to wave of mere meaningless emotion.
Three times in the first two chapters of the book of Job, we find that Job was called a “perfect and upright man.” And two times God even comments that “there is none like him in the earth.” Job loved righteousness and hated evil. There was not another man his equal in all the earth.
We have a lot of decisions to make in life, don’t we? Individuals have decisions to make. Families have decisions to make. Churches have decisions to make. The very word, “decision,” tells you that there is going to be results from your decisions, consequences. “Consequences” is not always negative, even though it has that connotation. It just means when you make a decision, something is going to happen because of your decision. If you choose black, you’re going to have black. If you choose white, you are going to have something that is white. Those are the consequences.
In the previous issue, we printed the tract on “have to” vs. “want to” obedience. The following tract was usually bound in the same Anabaptist books with the other one, and since the writing style is so similar, it is assumed both are by the same author. Michael Sattler, who probably penned the Schleitheim Confession, is suspected to have written them, but they are unsigned, probably due to persecution to anyone whose name appeared as author of an Anabaptist tract.
Obedience is of two kinds, “have to” and “want to.” The “want to” has its source in the love of the Father, even though no other reward should follow, yea even if the Father should desire to destroy His child. The “have to” has its source in hoping to get paid, or springs from self-love. “Want to” obedience always does as much as possible, without needing to be told to. “Have to” obedience does as little as possible, yea nothing except what is directly commanded. The “want to” is never able to do enough for Him; but he who renders “have to” obedience thinks he is constantly doing too much for Him.
Every person, when he first applies himself to the exercise of this virtue of humility, must consider himself to be a learner. He has to learn something that is contrary to his former thinking and habits of mind, and which can only be gotten by daily and constant practice.
How many of you read the previous article in the March/April 2010 issue of The Heartbeat of the Remnant by Clement of Alexandria titled “Frugality: A Good Provision for the Christian”? He compared seeking this world’s riches to someone who crawls through life on his belly. Quoting the article:
To the godly nature, living for good feelings in the body is a thing most alien; to regard sensual pleasure as a thing to strive for is the sign of utter ignorance of what is excellent. Love of wealth entices a man to stop feeling shame at what is shameful.