Ken Rudge, St. Austell, England
Jesus answering said unto him, ‘Simon I have somewhat to say unto thee’, Luke 7. 40.
Jesus ‘answering’ . . . but Simon had not asked any questions! He had made some judgemental remarks in his mind though, the inaccuracy of which the Lord Jesus, knowing exactly what he was thinking, is now moved to address.
It takes immense wisdom and insight to handle the distorted vision and warped values of a man like Simon. With His indisputable ability the Lord forces Simon to evaluate the true situation by an examination of the evidence in the room. Summed up it is, ‘forgiven much, loves much, forgiven little, loves little’. Simon, for all his superior knowledge over the sinner woman in things concerning God, could not match her devotedness to the Lord Jesus. Simon’s knowledge had led him to become ‘a judge of others’ but not one who would provide even the basic social niceties of the day, for His would-be Lord! The woman made use of her opportunity that day but Simon lost his forever! This is the blindness of legalism.
Knowledge and devotion always seem to hold conflict for us. Devotion out of an awareness of the immensity of the debt of sin we have been forgiven, demonstrates itself in an answering response of deep commitment to Christ. Such love reaps its own rewards for it has a power to sustain service and inspire action that knowledge never has. Paul puts it this way, ‘Knowledge puffeth up but love edifieth’, and ‘but if any man love God, the same is known of (by) him’, 1 Cor. 8. 1, 3.
This brings me to this celebratory edition of our magazine. It has been a fascinating experience to scan read so many of the past articles published over the years in order to select a few to republish for this special edition. So many superbly crafted articles, written by devoted brethren many of whom are now home in heaven, but for whom we will always thank God. Their articles were often shorter than current ones and covered just the one doctrinal point, but masterfully set out in clear precise words selected for the moment. Many of the concerns expressed are similar to ours today; issues that never seem go away. Often the articles were heavily doctrinal in content and as I write the editorial for this magazine I ponder the possibility that perhaps we have been misguided in our service over the years in the emphasis we have placed on ‘the knowledge of God’ to the detriment of that on ‘love for God’ Did we feel it was more vital to instruct our heads and less vital to stir up our hearts?
There is no way we can be certain of the right or wrong of this so let us give Him our hearts and aspire to a deeper devotion, as well as making sure that we know the truth which will set us free to serve the Lord acceptably in the years to come in His will.
Here then is our bumper issue for the 60th Anniversary of the first publication of this magazine. We thank God for the many contributors past and present to its pages, and mark our appreciation for the many editors that have given time and energy to provide such a bounty of rich ministry over the years. May we be as devoted to its purpose ‘to encourage the study of the scriptures, the practice of New Testament church principles and interest in gospel work’, as were those that have gone before. May the Lord prosper the vision we have and be the only Centre of the devotion that motivates us, until He comes.