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Friday, April 11, 2014

True Bethanies # 4

His Heart's Satisfaction (continued)

In these pages certain things are being said. Now you will read them, and you will go your way, and perhaps you will remember them for a certain length of time; perhaps for a long time you will remember Bethany. The mention of Bethany will bring back something - certain things that you have read. You may speak of this message as a more or less good one, an interesting message, or something like that. What a difference between that and your going away and continuing steadfastly in the teaching! You must yourself interpret this, and say to yourself: "now what does it mean for me to continue steadfastly in that?"

The word really is "persisting". "They persisted in the apostles' teaching." There is all the difference between persisting in the teaching, and going away and saying: "Well, that was a very nice message." "Persisting" represents the practical, positive application of the heart to the truth, and that constitutes His Church: it is where that which comes from Him is received and the whole heart, the whole life, is given to it. There is abandonment to it.

And that was probably what Martha did not like. Mary was abandoned to it, she was given to it; and that is what the Lord is seeking. I wonder what would be the result if we took that attitude toward every word of Divine truth that came to us. When I think of the mountains of truth that have been built up, I cannot help asking the question: "What is the percentage of real application to that truth on the part of those who hear it?" It was because those at  the beginning took such a practical attitude toward the things which they heard, and persisted in them, that you had the effectiveness there. They did not go away and say: "What a wonderful sermon Peter preached today!" No, they persisted in the apostles' teaching.

That is what the Lord wants. That is what satisfies His heart. Mary took her seat at His feet and went on listening to His word, and that satisfied His heart when all else disappointed Him. Heart satisfaction must be a feature of the life of the Lord's people; and heart satisfaction to Him is just this, that we hang upon His word, we appraise it rightly, we regard it as the supreme thing. The assembly must be the "house of figs" for the Lord.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 5 - "Adjusted Service")

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