Golden Stones, Silver Ripples

by Thom Mollohan

Imagine for a moment smooth, placid waters perfectly mirroring sapphire blue skies. Cottony white tufts of cloud emanate a faint golden glow as the sun shines down in full spring glory. Sounds like a picture fit for a calendar, doesn’t it? Yet, we don’t know that there aren’t dangerous poisons or other terrors beneath the glass-like surface of the waters which could quickly transform this serene scene into a nightmare, do we? Hollywood has a long history of making this type of eerie potential profitable by telling tales of giant alligators, schools of scientifically modified piranha or other genetically-altered wildlife which become terrifying monsters preying on hapless campers, ecologists or forest rangers.

But in spite of such fanciful storytelling, our hearts seem still drawn to the peaceful setting of still waters. We are glad indeed that our God will lead us to the water’s edge so that our souls may be refreshed. How we hate it then when folks come along and throw stones into our waters! Just when we feel that we’ve reached a peaceful spot and purpose in our hearts and begin to linger, a stone is thrown. It disturbs our lives by plunking us with ripples of confusion and upsetting our delicate sense of security. Those of us who have had our boats rocked and the waters of our lives distressed by unexpected circumstances have an obvious distaste for the experience and can be very reluctant to upset the waters of other people’s lives.

Whereas we are right in dropping the proverbial stones of condemnation, malice, anger and selfishness, there are other stones—precious stones—and tossing them is actually an act of mercy.

If you are a man or woman who has placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, then you have acknowledged that He is the Way, the Truth the Life (see John 14:6). If He is then all those things, you have a treasure house with which you may richly bless the lives of others. What stones can you toss into the lives of others in order to bring them blessing?

There are three which come readily to my mind. The first is the golden stone of love. It is the stone without which the other golden stones could not be received. It paves the way for others to hear and receive the news that God gave His Son for them. It opens minds and pierces hearts that have grown cold and calloused. As we allow love to motivate our hands and feet to the speedy aid of those who are in need, we lob a rock into the sea of complacency causing waves to break against walls of indifference so that God may more easily find a heart that receptive of His promised salvation.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18).

The second stone is holiness. Called to be a people who have come out from the world, we think differently, act differently and live life differently than do those who do not yet know Jesus as Lord. One of the great fundamental principles on which we build our lives as Christians is that God’s people must leave behind the selfish and sinful compulsions that once enslaved us, moving toward holy lives that may be offered up to our God through Jesus’ forgiveness without condemnation. We therefore strive to not compromise our callings by dabbling in things that we know clearly are offensive to our God and Savior.

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:13-15).

The third stone of gold is truth. In an age of innovation, I’ve little complaint in regard to applying such innovation to serving others in love to styles of music or even to modes of worship—as long as there isn’t any compromise on godly principles. Where I would have a major complaint, however, is in the matter of a correct understanding of God’s truth. Innovation is all right—and and even beneficial as God steers us on to deeper understandings of Himself and His purposes—but one cannot be innovative with truth. Man’s creativity is not acceptable in any way, shape or form when it encroaches on God’s sovereignty. If, for example, introducing another way to heaven causes us to face a lurking menace stirring beneath the surface of what appears to be a pleasing scene of universality. It is good for God’s people to throw the golden stone of truth at such bottom-feeding lies. We should heed the warning, “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 3)

People don’t like their calm waters disturbed. This is true. But when they realize the waves were made by golden nuggets of love, holiness and truth, they are set free from the bondage of sin and death. The silver ripples unleashed by these golden stones create a current that draws people to the only hope that the world can ever know: God’s Son.

“…to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” (Jude 25).

Thom Mollohan and his family have ministered in southern Ohio the past 16 ½ years and is the author of The Fairy Tale Parables and Crimson Harvest. He is the pastor of Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at pastorthom@pathwaygallipolis.com.
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