9 In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out and arranged many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly. 11 The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. 13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. ~ Ecclesiastes 12:9-14
Those words are really speaking to me this morning. The words given by one Shepherd to this preacher have been many. In recent years, together with Aaron Hermann, we've been blessed to bring forth a prodigious volume. Now, in this closing season, the time for reflection has arrived, for the bringing of refinement and clarity of focus and a greater sense of context and purpose.
13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. ~ Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
That has been in my mind since I first read it, probably in 1980, and very specially today as the Lord brings forth a chronicling.
This is what the Lord highlighted to Aaron this morning, and the Spirit of the Lord is very profoundly bearing witness to me as well!
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you. 13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~ II Corinthians 4
Aaron and I rejoice in this season, confident that the Lord will have a holy people, a crop that ripens in the appointed season. We have this confidence because we are wholly convinced that it is His work, which He is performing according to His good pleasure, according to promises that He made according to His good pleasure; and we are finding assurance of this daily with His fit provision.
Since Aaron and I began giving attention to the matter of chronicling, we've been pretty overwhelmed. I don't know how else to say it. Just, overwhelmed. We're been very excited and eager about this effort because, beyond any expectation, we're still "here," with the ability to post freely to the blog in this twilight season, and it just seems so perfectly fitting to bring closure to these seasons of preparation. At the outset, coming upon the Lord's new direction, we enthusiastically plunged into the project, curious to discover what the Lord would prosper, where He would lead. It really is kind of a sea change. What we discovered is that this chronicling was a journey itself. This ministering is yet another round of adventure as the Lord works to get our minds wrapped around it.
Here's what I know so far. These chronicles are for the marking of milestones of various kinds with insights into the seasons surrounding them. There will be some reflection on seasons of trial and victory and lessons learned. The point of this is to help you “keep it real.” This is for you in your life, in your relationship with the Lord, to keep it real in the midst of this seasons insane disconnectedness, to bind us together in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
This is for those who are still Bride candidates, who are truly awake and watching, not for the posers and wannabees who still linger among us, whose faith has already failed. All the posturing and false humility will soon be laid bare.
1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. ~ Ephesians 4:1-7