Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Consider A Mansion

That may not be what you’d consider a mansion, but I like the southern, open styling – the separation between activities and the main living area. Mansions are conceived as much in our own minds as they are by architects, and there are as many styles as there are thoughts. Yours may run more to the Biltmore Estate:
Ira Stanphill’s ran more to silver and gold:
I'm satisfied with just a cottage below
A little silver and a little gold
But in that city, where the ransomed will shine
I want a gold one, that's silver lined.

You see, he believed Jesus’ words:

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:1-2 KJV)

My father did, too. And, so do I.

By the way, I’m not the least bit concerned about Ira Stanphill being a minister in an entirely different denomination of Christianity. I am not the least bit concerned about issues of doctrine in which we might not agree. I’m enjoying the words and music he provided for our edification and our praise of our Lord during worship.

I will not ignore his music simply because of differences – the man wrote of a gospel message, and I do look forward to a mansion just over the hilltop, in that bright land where we’ll never grow old. Like Ira felt when he wrote the song, I’m heaven bound.

Oh, not because of anything either one of us has done. I believe others are there and I’m headed that way because of God’s promises, not our actions. Because of His plans, ordained before the creation of this world:

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:7-8 KJV)

Jesus knew that He was born to die, and why:

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. (Matthew 16:21 KJV)

His disciples refused to accept this, as many of us do today:

Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:22-23 KJV)

Peter saw – and we see – His death as unnecessary. God knows that it was necessary, why it was necessary and why we must accept this plan, for there is no other. Jesus said so, back in that 14th chapter of John:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

So, when someone asks you – or you ask yourself - the jailer’s question, be certain there is but one answer. The same one Paul and Silas gave:

Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:29-31 KJV)

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