Bits and Pieces – 132nd Edition – September 18, 2022
THE FUNERAL OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Tomorrow Queen Elizabeth II will take her final earthly journey from Westminster Abbey in London to Windsor Castle where she will be laid to rest beside her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. Hundreds of thousands are expected to line the route to pay their last respects to the Queen who served faithfully as monarch for seventy years. Many dignitaries and politicians from the nations of the world will also be in attendance.
The death of Her Majesty should be a solemn reminder to each of us that we too must eventually follow her. The big problem is that very few of the mourners seem to be ready for that dread day.
The message from the oldest Psalm is clear, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” [Psalm 90:12]. May we learn that lesson? It would be a blessing if many of those honouring the earthly monarch would yield their hearts to the King of Kings, Jesus Christ[Revelation 17:14].
“MY SON, GIVE ME THINE HEART”
It is an amazing fact that God would refer to His children as “son” or “daughter” yet that is exactly what He does [Proverbs 23:26].
It is true that we are all sons of God by creation, but false that we are all sons of God in the spiritual sense. We become spiritual sons only by the new birth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. And He says, “Give me thine heart.” What can we give to the One who has everything? Nothing for salvation. It is God alone who gives “His unspeakable gift” [2 Corinthians 9:15].
But we can give Him Our Service. As C.T. Studd wrote, “Only one life, ‘Twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ shall last.” We can give Our Substance. We are to worship God with our “tithes (10%) and offerings” (Over and above the tithe). [Malachi 3:8]. We can give Our Sacrifice. “If Jesus be God and died for me, then no sacrifices can be too great for me to make for Him” [C.T. Studd].
What the Lord most desires is Our Heart. The rest is vain without the heart, it is but the outward show of the hypocrite. Lot’s wife obeyed, but left her heart in sinful Sodom.
There is a fearful battle raging for the human heart raised by the world, self, sin, and the devil. But the Lord wants your heart. It is a simple request. He does not ask us to bring magnificent temples, or pompous ceremonials. It is you He wants. It is a specific request. It is not the hands, feet, ears, mind, tongue etc. It is the heart. If the Lord has our heart then he has all of us. It is also a sacred request. It is for His holy use, not for the devil’s unholy plaything. The Lord will never lead you into sin. It is a spiritual request. It is not the physical pump God asks for, but a heart beating with passion for God. Jeremiah said, “His word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with for–bearing, and I could not stay” [20:9]. It is a surprising request, that God wants so little as our heart. It seems such an unworthy gift.
May we sing sincerely, “Take, my heart, it is thine own: It shall be Thy royal throne.”
A HEART TRANSPLANT
In 1967 Dr. Christian Barnard shocked the medical world by performing the world’s first heart transplant, replacing a diseased heart with one from a donor. Amazing as it was at the time, the surgery is now fairly common.
The human heart is an amazing piece of engineering. About the size of a fist, it pumps out blood every minute to every part of the body. This it does for a lifetime without ceasing. As we grow older, it can become diseased and weakened; hence open-heart surgeries and heart transplants are required.
The Bible uses the heart to depict the seat of man’s will and emotions. Sadly, the will of man is diseased and depraved by sin. He needs a spiritual heart transplant.
Thousands of years before the modern focus on heart surgery, the prophet Ezekiel received of God good news for even the most depraved of sinners: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” [Ezekiel 36: 26].
When the Lord saves our souls He gives us the spiritual transplant we need. This means for us a new life, eternal life. It also means a new purpose in life, for His promise to Ezekiel continues, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them.”
Here is the secret of a changed life. It is by the power of the indwelling Spirit that we are enabled to keep God’s law. It is now written on our hearts. Physical transplants do not always work, but when God gives us a new heart, it lasts for eternity.