Payh Blog
SFTD-10-29-20
Oct 28, 2020

Unknowable Humility

“Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:29


It is truly remarkable that the one who even approaches having the amazing grace of humility never thinks himself or herself humble. The one who is closest to being humble never claims he or she really is. In truth such humble people think they are actually prideful, while at the same time they continually strive to slay that pride.

They participate as we all do in this life-continuous-battle acknowledged in the quote: “I am convinced that the purpose of life is to be humbled regularly.” (Dennis Prager) They understand this fray while accepting the plan God has laid out for them.

They see their life lived out under the hand of God’s sovereignty, while all the time doing constant battle with His arch-enemy, Satan. This fallen angel has a consistent goal: stir up and sustain in every human creature the very same trait he introduced to the hearts of Adam and Eve: self-pride!

He blatantly lied to Eve that she and Adam could be just as God if they ate the fruit God forbid them to eat. Their eyes would be opened, he said, and they would be equal with God.

Of course, on its very face, such is impossible. No one can be made equal to the Creator of all, to the One and Only God, to the One who has no beginning and no end. The Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit simply is! And no one or thing even approaches Him as the eternal being. All else and all life is begun and is created. Otherwise it simply isn’t!

God said of Moses that he was very meek, more humble than any man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3). It would do well to study the character of Moses in the Scripture to get a better picture of what humility is.

Jesus described himself when he said. “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest to your souls” (Matthew 11:29). Study the person of Jesus to get a true sense of what it is to be humble in your heart.

Meekness is humility. Practicing meekness is expressing a humble spirit. Yet, the meek Jesus expressed righteous anger when he drove the money-changers out of the Temple and called the Pharisees white washed tomb stones.

We get in our heads a wrong understanding of humility. It is not something we highly respect or aspire to imitate. You need to look to Jesus and to Moses to seek to imitate their humility as the pillar of your character. But it is not easily gained. It requires putting yourself to death. And that is not something we really want to do.

Philippians 2 expresses the essential elements of humility when it says you should imitate the mind of Christ in yourself. “Do nothing from self ambition or conceit, but in humility count others as more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Think this through with the firm intention of becoming like him! If you are not intentional and you do not follow through in the grace of Jesus it will never happen. You must be convinced that you want to have the mind of Christ more than anything else in life! You strive to be humble, but you never believe you are. To you it is truly unknowable and unattainable. But it happens as you surely and steadily put the Lord Jesus Christ on your own self!


“I ask thee for the daily strength, to none that asked denied, a mind to blend with outward life, while keeping at thy side, content to fill a little space, if thou be glorified.”

(3rd verse of Anna Waring’s hymn, “Father, I Know That All My Life,” 1850)


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Payh Blog
SFTD-10-22-20
Oct 21, 2020

Accumulation

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:19-20


By the grace of God we just sold our home in Colorado Springs where I grew up and my parents lived for over 50 years. My wife, Glenda, and I owned this home for all 16 years of our marriage. Though only living in it for a few months out of every year we accumulated a lot of “stuff” in it in those sixteen years.

My separate ministry from PAYH, which I led when Glenda and I married, took us around the world. We accumulated memories of where we served and places we visited. Later travels after leaving this ministry to concentrate on PAYH added to the “stuff.” We found out just how much when the house was packed and loaded on a truck by movers.

We all have experienced thieves, moths, and rust through the years. We know how such things impact “stuff.” We have had some “precious” things of ours stolen through the years, have somehow lost other significant possessions, and more has simply broken and worn out with age.

These are most valid reasons to not put your trust in your accumulation of temporary things; nor to worship or “treasure” them. Your real treasures should lie elsewhere. The old adage of never seeing a U-haul trailer hitched to a hearse tells the true story: you can’t take it with you. All of it burns up in the end.

The accumulation of “stuff,” however, should never be assumed to be evil in and of itself. It is the worship of “stuff” which amounts to sin. Your “stuff” can truly be a reminder of God’s care for you, of His provision for your family, and remembrancers of His love.

Your eyes should above all else continue to be fixed on your Savior’s face, beholding your real treasure, the essence of your trust, the sure repository of your forever love. (Hebrews 12)

Not in every instance is the accumulation of inessential “stuff” sin; rather, it is how you view it, how close you hold it to yourself, how unbearable it becomes for you to part with. Your one heart-propelled exclamation ought always be instead, “Give me Jesus, or I die!” Mere stuff can never take the place of your being in Christ, and His being in you!

As Saint Paul wrote, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him.” (Philippians 3:8-9)

You must keep the accumulation of “stuff” in the truest perspective. Never grasp mere things over boldly grasping Jesus Himself. He alone is your salvation, your all in all!


“My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine; for thee all the follies of sin I resign; my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou; if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.”

(1st verse of William Featherston’s hymn, “My Jesus, I Love Thee,” 1864)


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Payh Blog
THE MINISTRY EXPANDS
Oct 17, 2020

The Legacy of Paul Anderson

88 years ago today, a champion was born. After overcoming Bright’s Disease as a young child, Paul Anderson went on to win the 1956 Melbourne Olympics before founding the Paul Anderson Youth Home. This year, as we prepare to celebrate 60 years of operation, we look back and remember the life, legacy, and selfless sacrifice of our PAYH Founder.


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Payh Blog
SFTD-10-15-2020
Oct 14, 2020

In His Image

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:26-27


Folks sometimes post pictures of their children with a child picture of themselves to point out how they are the spitting image of one another. Is this what it means somewhat to say you are created in the image of God?

You ARE made in the image of God, yet you are visible, and God is not. So His image in you must not be your big nose or small hands, but rather your human nature, your mind, character, heart, and soul; all that lives on as “you” when your body is discarded.

Is it possible to know who you are when you exit your distinctively “you” body? I believe Paul tells you “yes” to that question when he describes his brief “translation” into heaven in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. This is a mystery, but as Paul says, “whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell”; yet they still know one another.

So do you actually think much about what it means to be created “in the image of God?” You ought to know something about it because Scripture indicates it is a vital truth for you to grasp. It describes who you are foundationally. You are made in God’s image whether you claim it or not.

It is a good thing to do to meditate on what God’s image in you means. Do not treat it glibly, matter of factly, or just ignore it. Rather be reminded of it and do the personal research to grow in your understanding of who God is and through knowing Him knowing who you are.

Calvin wrote in his Institutes of the Christian Religion: “Again, it is certain that man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked upon God’s face, and then descends from contemplating Him to scrutinize himself.”

So take your Bible and search in it for the biblical defining of God, in all 66 books. Scripture always enlightens Scripture, so its parts reflect the truth of the whole. Scripture is never inconsistent with itself. If you find it so you are not understanding the true meaning of a text or you are taking that text out of context.

Then, also look at the magnificent Creation and see the magnificence of God in it. This is the God in whose image you are created. You are never equal to God, but His nature is reflected in you, minus your sin. As it says so poetically in Psalm 139 you are marvelously made.

Attempt to list the things you know about yourself that you believe reflect the image of God in you. An exercise like this will help you to look at the face of God and then at yourself through this lens to know yourself more thoroughly.

It ought to humble you at the very least. God’s glory does that. Your ultimate goal in all this is to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). This is your glory.


“Clearer still we see thy hand in man whom thou hast made for thee; ruler of creation’s glory, image of thy majesty. Music, art, the fruitful garden, all the labor of his days, are the calling of his Maker to the harvest feast of praise.”

(2nd verse of David Clowney’s hymn “God, All Nature Sings Thy Glory,” 1960)


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Payh Blog
SFTD-10-08-20-e1602881176672
Oct 08, 2020

Expert Schemers are We

“God made man upright, but he has sought out many schemes.” – Ecclesiastes 7:29


Men and women are schemers. Does it surprise you? Yet the Bible calls you such. If sin impacts you, and it does, it necessitates the nature and capacity to scheme. It is a route chosen and manipulated to really try to avoid God. Adam and Eve did this right after they had chosen to believe the lie to be equal to Him, rather than love, obey, and worship Him. The scheming really began in earnest.

Scheming is defined by your planning, either unconsciously or purposefully, to avoid the presence of God; avoiding His perceived eyes on you or simply ignoring His commandments. This is because of an avid pursuit of other desires not conforming to His expressed and loving desires for you.

Being in God’s image, and not an animal, machine, or non-human concoction we have an imaginative, magnificent mind to scheme well. But the One whom we image not only sees through those schemes, but in a real sense laughs at our numerous machinations. Yet His love for us keeps Him resolute in “bringing many souls to glory.”

In hindsight we see quite clearly the lie the ultimate schemer, the serpent, foisted on Eve, and through Eve on Adam. Then they both schemed to avoid their Creator as they tried then to escape His presence. Alas, we follow in their footsteps. Our imaginations work overtime in thinking we can pull one over on God. He will not see, He won’t be aware, or He simply will not care. None of these are true.

I rather think you need to sharpen your perspective on just who God is. Having and keeping in your mind a clear view of the God who is, will keep you perhaps from attempts at scheming with the awareness that He knows, sees, and yet, above all, still loves you.

Rather than scheming to avoid Him, wrestle with God in vital relationship. Know that it is God with whom you have to do with absolutely everything in your life. Get into a living give and take with the Lord. The worst thing you can do is ignore Him. That is the worst scheme of all.


“Search me, O God, my heart discern; try me, my inmost thought to learn; and lead me, if in sin I stray, to choose the everlasting way.”

(The Psalter, Psalm 139:14-24, 1912)


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Payh Blog
SFTD-10-01-2020
Oct 01, 2020

A “God” Not Worthy of Your Belief

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8


Stephen Hawking, the famous, some say brilliant, theoretical physicist, now dead, denied the existence of God. He said the universe has no need of a Creator; a universe, he claimed, which was able to create itself, and, apparently, sustain itself.

This is exactly why I say, “some say brilliant.” Because he may certainly be very smart, but he is not very wise, and his concepts of philosophy and those truths which are beyond the material universe are self-contradictory. He claims, for example, that philosophy is dead, only science exists, while in the same breath he is philosophically musing. Yet many still bowed in obeisance to his prowess.

The massive problem with his discussion of things spiritual and universal is that Hawking displayed a very diminished view of the God who actually is. His view of God equates somewhat to many primitive and erroneous views of God now and in the past, like the worshiping of an assortment of inanimate things, the worshiping of elements of living creation itself, or worshiping a human construct of who and what God is.

You can see this in the description Hawking believes of God in his writings. He has no concept or understanding of the God revealed in the Bible as well as what is manifest by observing the incredible universe, for he never describes any such God while continually pointing to a “straw-man” of who He isn’t. This is what atheists do.

You would think Hawking would be moved to at least speculate on the majesty of God by the sheer immensity, complexity, intricacy, and purposeful design of all creation. But Hawking instead relies on his own leap of faith, with no shred of extant evidence, to say his personal view of God is not. And yet there is really no plausible, observable evidence to suggest the universe devised its own making out of nothing.

Hawking is aware the universe is inexorably moving, expanding. So he conjectures it must have begun from a single spot, a spot infinitesimally small, and all on its own accord. Actually defying the laws of nature, which Hawking believes rule the universe, these same laws, nevertheless, caused a random creation itself out of nothing. This is a supposition with absolutely no evidence.

Life, however, does not evolve from non-life, as evidenced from continuous observation and scientific research. This fact is a law of nature. And the immensity and order of the universe remains beyond our comprehension. To think it all began unmoved, unenergized by something or someone is a massive stretch of disconnected imagination.

Yet, for all our study of space, and planets, and galaxies we have yet to find life or signs of life beyond earth. Is, then, the whole of this immense universe meant only to impress and serve as overwhelming pointers to the greatness of God, for those who dwell or have dwelled on the earth; those creatures who are made themselves in the image of their most powerful and magnificent Creator?

If this is so, the Creator has an abundant focus and purposeful intent on those who dwell and have dwelt on the earth. But do those who have lived on the earth from the beginning merely pass out of human memory while falling short of the prospect of future being, forever? Is this the general sense of mankind?

Or is there an instinct, a faith-sense of eternity in the heart of man? What thoughts of this really dwell in man’s inner consciousness? Are these eternal instincts worthy of your consideration? I truly believe Hawking died not really convinced he was moving into a realm of empty nothingness. In his inner consciousness he expected something would succeed his last breath. “[God] has put eternity into man’s heart.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

The greatness and immensity of the universe point to the existence of a majestic, infinite, unfathomable God. One to be worshipped and praised on the basis of His works alone; One who draws from His creatures endless praise and love. The god of Stephen Hawking and similar atheists is not worthy of belief, because such a god simply is not.

But there is a God who is worthy of your belief. It is the God who is! O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


“High in the heavens His throne is fixed forever, His kingdom rules o’er all from pole to pole; bless ye the Lord through all His wide dominion, bless His most holy name, O thou my soul. Bless Him forever, wondrous in might, bless Him, His servants that in His will delight.”

(5th verse of Psalm 103 from The Psalter, 1912)


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