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Leaves from a Disciple’s Journal . . . From LODEBAR . . . A place of no pasture

By Doctor Gene Scott
     
     
     INTRODUCTION
     
     In His high priestly prayer, Christ said, “This is life eternal.” There’s a beautiful simplicity about that statement. He doesn’t add any qualifications. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” (John 17:3)
     
     Hearing that statement by Christ causes me to puzzle at the way people seek every other kind of religious knowledge and stay off the central issue - a knowledge of God as revealed in Christ. They remind me of the story from Oriental literature about a man who was shot with an arrow. As he lay dying, friends wanted to bind up his wounds. He stopped them saying, “Not until you tell me who shot the arrow.” They told him who had shot the arrow and were about to bind up his wounds when he delayed them again, saying, “Not until you tell me where I stood.” After the friends answered this question, the man still delayed… and asked, “What was the arrow made of?” “How heavy was it?” “Which way was the wind blowing?” “What was the angle of entry?” He died asking those questions. The title of the story is, “Questions Not Tending Toward Edification.” The questions might be important but they weren’t first in importance.
     
     The Bible speaks of some who are ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. They don’t learn the first and most important truths. They ask the wrong questions. . . or all but the right ones. They become expert on “religion” but don’t know God.
     
     Others ask the right questions but look for answers in the wrong places. Canon Green once told of a little girl who quit playing hide and seek because it was all seek and no find. Like that little girl, people are not finding God because they’re looking in the wrong place. You’re not going to find God by wandering around looking for mystical revelations in strange places.
     
     God found us. That’s what revelation means. The Eternal Word became the Living Word. The Living Word became the spoken Word. The spoken Word became the written Word.
     
     Look in the Bible first. It reveals to us what God is like. We needn’t be in the dark about that subject. In the Bible God even paints pictures for those who don’t understand as well in any other way. He dramatizes the revelation in illustrated type. Many of those true stories of the Old Testament which are selected by God and given highlights which qualify them to be canonized in Scripture are not chosen by accident. In the drama of God’s encounters with life we have a revelation of what God is like.
     
     The Old Testament stories are true history; but they are also more than history. When Abraham sent his servant, Eliezer, to find a bride in a far country for his son, Isaac, the act was more than history. It reveals a deeper drama. We have a picture of God, the Eternal Father, sending the Holy Spirit as his servant to seek out a bride for Christ in this land, the world, that we too might be joined with Him at the “marriage supper” in the Father’s House (Revelation 19).
     
     That little book of Ruth, capsuled in between others in the Old Testament, gives a picture of a stranger who is redeemed by one near of kin. This near kinsman, Boaz, is willing and able to deliver Ruth and her inheritance. He pays the full price and they are joined together in marriage. Again, that’s not just a historical or romantic story. It’s the only picture in the Old Testament of the kinsman redeemer role that Jesus performs for mankind. To fulfill this role, Christ had to become one nigh of kin, be born of woman, and take on Himself the mantle of flesh. He moved into a tent of human flesh
     and, in that way, identified (“kinned”) with all of us. He became our kinsman redeemer, who was willing and able to pay the price; and then actually did pay it at Calvary.
     
     Every page of God’s Book therefore tells us about God. A someone has said, “The Old Testament is unfolded in the New and the New Testament is enfolded in the Old.” Whatever is said in the New has behind it a picture which makes it clearer in the Old.
     
     I gave that as introduction because I want you to see beyond the incidents of Old Testament scriptures to which we look in this study. Let’s go beyond the mere history in this record to its deeper truths. May we see God’s grace to unworthy vessels as revealed in a beautiful act by David, king of Israel, which fulfills a covenant made with another to redeem a son out of the house of Saul.
     
     Please open your Bible to follow the story in 2nd Samuel, Chapter 9. The chapter opens with David speaking as the type of God our Father: “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul?” Saul began great. He was head and shoulders above all the people in Israel; their first king. Through self will and presumption, seeking his own way and in disobedience, Saul degenerated. Finally, he who had received direct messages from God through the prophet, had to seek out a witch when he needed direction. In the end he took his own life on Mount Gilboa. As a result of the sin of Saul, his sons and his household had been reduced to almost nothing.
     
     Then David, the type of God, the Father, and king on the throne, says, “is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (v.1) In verse 3 David again asks Ziba, a servant in Saul’s house, “is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him?”
     
     Now listen to the picture of the grandson of Saul who remained: “And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet. And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is the house of Machir, the son of Am’miel, in Lodebar.”
     
     Remember the word, LODEBAR. We’re going to come back to it later.
     
     “Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir . . .” “Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee . . .”
     
     Look closely at this scene. All too often, in modern evangelism, there is the picture of Jesus standing outside the heart’s door with hat in hand, begging to come in. And it’s made to sound as if you’re something great if you accept.
     
     I remember in my youth, when I stumbled along in agnosticism in college, wanting to define God in a way that everybody would accept. I sought to define a God that man would approve. Thank God for the day that the light dawned upon me that if God exists at all, He is not at all dependent on what I think of Him. What’s important is how He thinks of me. If God is God, He doesn’t need me; I need Him.
     
     In this story of David, Mephibosheth had a proper attitude: A holy fear before the king. “And David said unto him, ‘Fear not, for I will surely show thee kindness’” (not for Mephibosheth’s sake) “for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said: What is thy servant that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”
     
     “Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master’s son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.” In the 10th verse, he says to Ziba, “Mephibosheth, thy master’s son, shall eat bread always at my table.” And in the eleventh verse: “As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king’s sons.”
     
     
     Those who are familiar with the New Testament will have already recognized that Mephibosheth receives from David a type of the blessings which God gives to us for the sake of Christ. “So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.”
     
     That’s the story. It’s message can be divided into four parts.
     
     First, There is David, the type of God, and his action. In this record David is a type of the King Eternal. His action portrays God’s grace and can bring new realization of what God has done for us.
     
     Second, there is Mephibosheth and see the way in which he typifies the sinner for all generations.
     
     Third, we shall see the redemption which the king provided.
     
     And at the end, let us apply a measuring rod to our response to which God did for us, because of Christ, and see if it matches Mephibosheth’s response to what the king did for him because of Jonathan.
     
     
     I. The Type of God
     
     Notice first that David, the king and type of God, took the initiative. This typifies what theology calls prevenient grace. This is not to say that God somewhere settled it for everyone; that there are some who are elected, who then prove their election by the way they act.
     
     We simply say that in God’s sovereign freedom He starts the action. Don’t ever think that you can come to Him anytime you decide you want to come. The initiative begins with God. Christ says, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” Some people who desire to come to God live in a perpetual fear of committing the unpardonable sin. This fear is all too often exaggerated beyond scriptural basis.
     
     Peter tells us no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation; no one verse stands alone. There are sins for which there is no longer any remission; in the book of Hebrews, it speaks of that. Another example is that of the Pharisees who would willfully credit the work of God to Beelzebub. In that case, there is a direct statement by Christ about a sin against the Holy Spirit.
     
     But whatever our sins may have been, God’s Word has a firm, broad, multi-scriptural basis for this truth: the source of a desire to come to God is rooted in God. And as long as the desire is there, say, Praise God!” That means I can come. Don’t let anyone frighten you with horror stories about those who say they want to come to God and cannot. The devil isn’t going to make you want to come; only God can and will draw you. Thank God for that which is typified in David: the heart that sees a lost one and asks the question, “is there yet any that is left?”
     
     “Where is he?” David asks. In my country they’ve conceived the stupid doctrine that God is dead. I like what one preacher said, “if He is dead, who killed Him?” That’s a pretty good question. This kind of thinking is the result of the idea that man must seek God. God’s not lost at all. Man is the one who’s lost. And thanks be to God, He took the initiative. While we were yet sinners (the Bible says), Christ died for us.
     
     During his days on earth, Jesus spoke of his reason for being, saying, “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.” You’re not reading this by accident. If you’re a Mephibosheth, God drew you. Sometimes His initiative is an act as powerful as the striking down of Paul on the Damascus Road. With others He deals more gently. Yet, God is the “hunter,” always God, not man.
     
     There have been times when I was doubting, I wished God would knock me down, as He did Paul. I struggled with faith. I was sure that God didn’t know I existed, if He existed. I thought . . . had God treated me like the Apostle Paul: knocked me down, blinded me, and sent me to a stranger who would tell me all about myself, lay hands on me and restore my sight, then I wouldn’t have any
     
     trouble with faith either. I wanted to find something Thomas had written during those struggling years. Thanks be to God that He included one like Thomas in His Book. God has a way of calling even a doubter. His initiative is as varied as the spectrum of full color. But remember this, the slight tug or the strong tug, both are initiated by God. He’s expressing His concern and saying, “Where are you?”
     
     Notice that God’s initiative is not taken because of the merit of its object. Here we eliminate one of the greatest stumbling blocks to effective commitment in the lives of many. We’ve heard what Christians ought to be for so long, that we’ve become crippled in our ability to respond to the message of God’s grace. Thank God, when Christians slip off the track, their unworthiness does not block a return to God.
     
     What David did, as a type of God, the Father, was not based upon Mephibosheth’s merit. It was done for the sake of another, for Jonathan’s sake. It was done because of a covenant sealed long before.
     
     If we look back in the 20th chapter of 1st Samuel, we find David and Jonathan have joined together in the woods. David is the anointed king, but not yet crowned, for Saul sits on the throne. Jonathan asks something of David in verse 8: “Therefore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; for thou has brought thy servant into a covenant of the LORD with thee . . .” And in verse 14, he says, “And thou shalt not only while yet I live show me the kindness of the LORD, . . . but also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house forever . . .And Jonathan caused David to swear again.”
     
     We need to de-mystify spiritual things. Salvation is an act of God, beginning in His heart. As Romans 8 puts it, back before time began, in the councils of God, there was a covenant drawn. It was sealed when Christ died at Calvary, sealed by His own blood, in which dwelt the life, spilled as the penalty for our sins. For the sake of the Son, God now takes the initiative to seek us out. Love gives the motive (John 3:16), but more than that, it is based upon a covenant sealed with the life’s blood of the Eternal Savior. That is motivation and the power structure behind God’s initiative towards us.
     
     We don’t have to deserve it. We just sing, “How Great Thou Art!” to the One who would do this for us.
     
     
     II. The Type Of The Sinner
     
     Now let us look at the recipient, the sinner. The name Mephibosheth means “a shameful thing.” It’s derived from a word that was also used for Baal. In the early days Baal simply meant “lord” or “father.” But with the coming of Ahab and Jezebel and the identification of Baal with the Phoenician sun god, the word took on a shameful connotation. Because Baal was identified with the sun god and all of his power, Elijah’s challenge to the prophets of Baal was apt. As the sun went up, Baal was given every hour to drop fire on the sacrifice. Failure resulted, for Baal was no real god. Under the worship of Baal in the days of Ahab and Jezebel the word from which Mephibosheth is derived came to mean, “a despicable thing.” The name Mephibosheth, every time it was uttered, forced attention, therefore, on the true condition of the one named.
     
     There is complacency in much of this generation in its attitude toward coming to God. I really believe that a missing ingredient is repentance. We don’t feel a need to repent because we don’t really know our condition. Those who grew up in the church often view the world of sin as some delightful thing that has been given up by them. God, therefore, owes them something for their “goodness.” They are not really so bad after all. Those outside the church are busy erasing a sense of sin from their consciousness altogether.
     
     What is sin in the New Testament? Paul says to the Romans, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” The word for sin in the Greek (written with English letters as it sounds) is hamartia. It means “to fall short.”
     
     And what is righteousness? There was a righteousness, an expression of God’s righteousness, that found a breakthrough on the stage of time, in the revelation of God’s Law in the Old Testament.
     
     God’s righteousness is again expressed, not as a standard, but as a living substance in the life of Christ. For in Christ we find the righteousness of God clothed in human flesh. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.” There on the stage of time you find One who perfectly fulfilled God’s standard. And that’s the only measuring rod God will hang alongside the lives of men.
     
     I’ve heard sin defined as everything from automobiles (under the preaching of Jake Miller in my country), to cuffs on the pants, to the way you color your face. If I were to report on traditional definitions of sin, I’m not sure that I’d be able to finish in less than an hour and a half.
     
     There is one state in my land, where if I were to drink a Coke, they’d be sure I’d drunk the devil’s brew. I could drive on a few thousand miles into another area, and there, if I opened the trunk of my car and disclosed a bag of golf clubs, some people would be sure that I’m from the devil. But, if I happen to have fishing rods instead, they’d want to dismiss two nights of the week’s services so we could go fishing.
     
     We have other places in our land where jewelry is considered all right as long as it doesn’t touch the flesh. You can wear it on clothes, but you don’t dare wear it touching the flesh. I have preached in places in the Philippines where they sang in the Spirit, worshipped God, loved the Lord, and dedicated their lives; but I noticed the ladies wore their dresses to their ankles and quite low at the top. A few weeks later I flew a few hundred miles to preach in Hong Kong. The place was a refugee church. God must have reversed Himself. I noticed that the ladies had added an extra layer at the top. The dress had to be so high it almost cut under the chin while the girl at the organ had her skirt split at the bottom, Chinese style. Then I really ended up in confusion when I went to India. There the ladies in the choir wore dresses up to their chins and down to their ankles, yet bare in the middle.
     
     Now I’m just reporting; I’m not taking sides. I simply want us to understand that sin goes a little deeper than some of the catalogues we go by. God’s Word defines it simply, in the book of Isaiah. “All we like sheep have gone astray.” How? “We have turned every one to his own way.”
     
     The root of sin is: We want to sit on the throne, take the seat in the pilot’s room and chart our own course. And as Reinhold Niebuhr puts it, we’re not willing just to sin, but we have to compound the problem by convincing ourselves and others that our sin is not really sin after all. Don’t you believe it?
     
     The generation growing up in the church, lacking the rebellious nature that will chuck it all and leave, all too often merely cloaks its self-centeredness with outward expressions of humanly approved righteousness, while at the core, the personality is still on the throne. If you listen long enough, you’ll find this out. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” As we talk, we reveal where we’re centered. We speak of “my church, our church.” “How come my church doesn’t do for us . . .” This all reveals wrong focus for the church is not mine, it’s God’s.
     
     The truth is that all our garments of humanly approved righteousness are as filthy rags. The root of sin is that each one, in his life, wants his way and simply wants God to approve it. I remember the day this light was shined upon me: that there is once, on the stage of history a revelation of total dedication to God’s will in a Person. He came and treated this life as though it had only one reason for being, and that was to do the will of His Father who sent Him. The norm of His life is seen in the garden: “Not my will but Thine.” That was Jesus.
     
     When I measure the days of my life alongside that performance of Christ, I have to come to the conclusion that, although many others approve me daily, Gene Scott is “a shameful thing,” a sinner in need of grace, an unworthy vessel with no claims of his own to make upon God. I’m an alien with no inheritance, crippled . . . crippled through a fall . . .
     
     In 2nd Samuel 4 we read how Mephibosheth’s nurse took the little boy and fled, and that he fell, and as a result of the fall Mephibosheth became lame in both feet. HE WAS CRIPPLED AND UNABLE TO HELP HIMSELF. That’s our condition. “No man can come to me” said Jesus, “except the Father which hath sent me draw him.”
     
     Paul, scanning the entire arena of life in Romans 1 and 2, concludes that all have sinned. He takes in the Jew who has had the knowledge of the law from his youth; and the heathen, who, because some insight of conscience in his nature, might outperform the Jew. When we forget about comparing man to man and lay both performances alongside the revelation of God’s righteousness in the law, in His Word, and in Christ, we have to say that all have sinned. Jew or heathen, all come short of the glory of God.
     
     Crippled, unable to come: That’s the condition of the sinner in Lodebar. Do you know what the word LODEBAR means? “The place of no pasture.” One of my homes is in San Francisco and one is in Oroville, because we’re stretched in varied activities. I walk the streets of San Francisco, which has been, in my judgment, the most beautiful city in our country; and I watch what is happening to it. I watch the kids as they seek pleasure, and the pleasure is there, temporarily. But it’s Lodebar in the sense that it doesn’t have the capacity to give the satisfaction that an abundant pasture can give. I don’t need to belabor the point. Those who are in Lodebar don’t need me to describe it. You know if you’re there. You know the emptiness. You know the seeking. You know the trying of everything.
     
     None of it satisfies. The meaning is brought into sharper focus when you comprehend that the word Jerusalem means the “foundation of peace.” These are the alternatives which lie in man’s path. You’ll spend your life in either Lodebar, a place or no pasture, or Jerusalem, the foundation of peace.
     
     
     III. Redemption Typified
     
     You are never ready for God’s initiative until you realize your condition as a shameful thing, crippled and helpless as the result of a fall. Even though you may be in Lodebar for a variety of reasons, regardless, you can only be a candidate for redemption when you see your need.
     
     David fetched Mephibosheth from Lodebar. I hope that those of you who know you are in Lodebar will realize that you are not reading this by accident. The Lord fetches in different ways today than he did in David’s time. In the Old Testament, a man’s servant, a material substance, went to fetch. In New Testament times the unseen presence of the Holy Spirit intrudes into the schedule of life and sends that fetching effort which brings you into the presence of the message (reading this). If you came (or received this) by what appears to be chance or because of action by your wife, your husband, your friend, or whatever cause, don’t mark it off as an accident.
     
     To the one that’s out there, a shameful thing, in a place of no pasture, the king sends someone to fetch him. David brought him into his presence. And he said, “Mephibosheth.” He called him by name.
     
     I will never forget a message that Dr. Desmond Evans, of Wales, preached at Wescott Christian Center in Oroville, California. He shared the story he doesn’t often tell, of his imprisonment by Asian communists. In the emptiness of those days he often wondered if God knew he was there. He told this in a brief illustration as he preached on the story of Moses’ call. And he shifted quickly from himself to the story of Moses.
     
     Forty years Moses had been in the wilderness, forty years with no record of God talking to him, forty years alone in discouragement, self accusation and defeat. He had tried to help God and failed, when he killed the Egyptian. Forty years without any apparent sound from the Lord. But when God was ready, He took the initiative and called Moses from the burning bush. And to Moses, standing in that desert place after forty years, He didn’t say, “Hey! You over there!” He didn’t say, “Hey! Shepherd!” He said, “Moses!”
     
     Thanks be to God for the grace and the concern which singles us out. I pray each time I preach or write, “God, will You help me somehow to become a channel of communication so that people will hear, as individuals, the voice of the Lord speaking to them.” God singles you out when He speaks to you. I believe there are times that God lets an entire crowd sit on the sidelines while He zeroes in with a message for one person. Are you aware of your needy condition, wanting grace, but feeling God
     doesn’t know you exist? In this message, God singles you out as He did Mephibosheth, and His first words are, “Fear not.”
     
     There are lots of things perpetrated in the name of Christ which are contradicted when you look closely at Him. If you come into the King’s presence and the King singles you out, don’t be afraid. Notice that David does not start accusing Mephibosheth. He names him, but HE QUICKLY SAYS, “FEAR NOT.”
     
     The 12th chapter of Matthew contains one of the most beautiful passages about Christ in the New Testament. His disciples have plucked corn on the Sabbath and the Pharisees begin to criticize. Jesus defends them. They then come upon a man with a withered hand and Jesus heals him. The Pharisees again criticize, because it is the Sabbath. Jesus lets them know that He is Lord of the Sabbath, but He discerns in their hearts that they are taking council how they might destroy Him. So He departs to a wilderness place and a great multitude follows Him there. Seeing their needs, He has compassion on them and begins to heal all their sick. Matthew, one of His disciples, is in the crowd. Looking on the performance of Jesus on this day, particularly His attitude toward the crowd, Matthew reached back to the 42nd chapter of Isaiah and applied it to Jesus in this circumstance. He quoted, “A bruised reed shall he not break.” The blade of grass, almost broken, He will not break. “And smoking flax shall he not quench.” This refers to the wick on the edge of the Hebrew lamp, almost out, just smoking. Yet, He will not snuff it out.
     
     In John 8 there is the woman taken in adultery. She is dragged in and they say she is guilty, and there’s no question about it. But that’s not the issue, for Jesus says to them, “He that is without sin among you, yet him first cast a stone at her.” And they, being pricked in their conscience, dropped the stones one by one and left Him and the woman standing alone. He looks around and says, “Woman, . . . hath no man condemned thee?” She says, “No man, Lord.” “Fear not,” David said. The greater King, Jesus, said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.”
     
     Do you think you’re a failure? Look at the disciples. Every disciple Jesus had, failed Him. He taught them love and they bickered among themselves. He taught them to deny themselves for the will of the Father and they fought over the best seat in the Kingdom. He asked them to watch and pray with Him and they slept. And when He was crucified they ran and hid.
     
     After the resurrection, He said, “Go tell my disciples and Peter.” He singles out the one who failed Him the most. And when He appears to them, His first words are, “Peace be unto you.” Oh the times I’ve thanked God that I deal with Him and not with men. Notice Jesus’ treatment of Peter when He found him. He forgave without one word of criticism. In the Old Testament story, Joseph, the type of Christ, reminded his brethren of the bitter thought, “I am the one you sold into bondage in Egypt.” But Jesus did not even remind Peter of his past failure. Only His three fold question is a suggestive reminder of the three fold denial. He asks, LOVEST thou me?”
     
     The One of whom Paul said, in Philippians 2, that He “thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” took that giant step, reaching down to be identified with us. He said the sick need a physician, and to the sick He came. He called us lepers, sick, lost. But, in Luke 15 He tells the beautiful parable of the sheep. “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing, saying, ‘I have found my sheep which was lost.”
     
     David said, “Fear not. I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan’s sake.” In Ephesians 4:32 we read, “ . . . God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” The inheritance lost in Adam is restored - fellowship, sonship, and the deformed feet are hidden under the table of the Lord.
     
     In our church at home we welcome the misfits of the community to come. There are self-righteous ones that are sure the church will never recover from the contamination of association. Well, they called Jesus a wine bibber and a glutton because He took His food with the publicans. I’ve said from the pulpit again and again, “Send us every sinner in town.” Let them bring their deformities. Let them bring their lameness. Let them bring whatever causes them to be a shameful thing and slide up close under the table of God’s redemption and partake of His saving power. He gives us power to
     
     become sons of God. Mephibosheth, with his knees under the table, looked like every other son of David.
     
     
     IV. The Type Of The Redeemed Sinner’s Response
     
     We don’t merit this kindness. In the case of Mephibosheth it was done for Jonathan’s sake! In our case, it is for Christ’s sake. And how are we to respond? “I’ve got it coming? It’s sure tough for me to come to you, God, considering all that I have to give up.” Not at all. “What is thy servant that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”
     
     I remember the day, as a preacher’s kid, when the light finally dawned on me of how unworthy I was. But Christ died for me, and if not one person in history would have responded but Gene Scott, He still would have done it. Unworthy vessel that I am, He wants me to sit at His table. As the grand old hymn says, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”
     
     There’s a sequel to the story. There’s more to the response than just repentance, more even than seeing myself as a “dead dog,” to use the Old Testament bluntness. Devotion is born when I see my worthlessness before Him, and turn from myself to Him.
     
     The sequel to our story is found in 2nd Samuel 16 and 19. In the rebellion of Absalom, David fled Jerusalem. Then Ziba, the servant who coveted the inheritance of Mephibosheth, came to David and lied about his master. When David asked where he was, Ziba replied that Mephibosheth, at home, was saying, “Today shall the house of Israel restore to me the kingdom of my father.” He pictured Mephibosheth as a traitor.
     
     When the day of victory came and Absalom was defeated, David met Mephibosheth as he was coming home, crossing Jordan. It’s a beautiful picture, “And Mephibosheth, the son of Saul, came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace.” (This was the custom of mourning in that day.) When David asked him, Mephibosheth told the true story of how he had been deceived by the servant, Zina. And David, with the wisdom of a Solomon (who later made a similar judgment concerning a child), said to Mephibosheth, “You and Ziba divide the inheritance of Saul.” Do you know the essence of what Mephibosheth said? “Let him have it all; I’ve got you.”
     
     I watch this generation growing up in the church. They’re more worried about the inheritance; the elements of the kingdom, the positions in the church, the claims they have that they are concerned about Jesus. But to the one who knows his position, who has felt the grace of God, and who, as a shameful thing, has been fetched for the king, and has pulled his knees up under the table and tasted and seen that the Lord is good . . . to him the Lord is enough.
     
     Take the whole world, but give me Jesus; that’s the song of the redeemed!
     
     (Dr. Scott preached this message in Melbourne, Australia over 40 years ago)
     Reprinted with permission from Pastor Melissa Scott
     




- An excerpt from IN DEFENSE OF THE FAITH (P.32) by DAVE HUNT
“Isn’t it interesting that in contrast to the philosophers who have been trying to develop proofs for the existence of God for centuries, the Bible doesn’t waste its time in that manner? The Bible is the one Book where one would certainly expect to see many complex arguments presented for God’s existence, yet not one is given!

Surely, that very fact says something important about the Bible and about God: He has already made contact with every person in his or her conscience. Everyone knows that God exists, and that includes you. So the Bible doesn’t even argue about the issue, because the very fact that all of mankind has this concept says that He exists.”




Prayer Requests for February, 2013
For Willie Harper (Joliet, Illinois) who is having stomach problems.
For Jimmy Huff (Colorado City, Texas), for health. He has diabetes and is in a lot of pain.
For Cody Campbell (Florence, Arizona) who has been dealing with a serious throat infection. He also has a hernia problem not being treated.
For Jacob Cota (Prescott, Arizona) who has back problems (Sciatica nerve).
For Bob McDaniel (Rodney’s Dad) who has been sent back to the hospital again.
For Paul Jones (Pontiac, Illinois) who wants to be united with a loved one.
For Frederick Gray (McAlester, Oklahoma), that he will be transferred soon.
For William Holland (Joliet, Illinois), for health.
For Willie Clark (Lubbock, TX) who is being treated for cancer and should be released from the hospital soon.
For Dennis Martin (Lexington, Oklahoma) who has to have another heart surgery.
For John Crutcher (in Oklahoma) who needs a liver transplant.
For Johnny Carruthers (Florence, Arizona) who has diabetes. His feet hurt.
For Michael Small’s step-mother Suzanne (Illinois) who is being treated for vision problems.
For Willie Scott (Grady, Arkansas), for a lower custody level.
For Anthony Grayson (Shawangunk, New York), that his health gets better, and that he finds legal assistance.
For Mike Long (Larned, Kansas), for health.
For Sister Ann & all the Carmelite Nuns in Little Rock.
For Frank Williams, Jr. (Death Row, Grady, Arkansas). He is awaiting another court ruling.
For Freddie Lee Lott (Robinson, Illinois), to keep his healing and stay cancer free.
For Robert Heffernan (Grady, Arkansas), that DNA evidence will prove his innocence.
For Pastor Scott & her ministry (The University Network) in Los Angeles.





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