1 July 2022 A.D.
the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. * * 10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.” Amos 9:9-10
The wicked of this world vehemently object to even the mention of the Name of the God, or of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Their constant denials and open hostility to any vestige of Christian faith may deaden their conscience, but not the certain knowledge of the coming End – and, believe me, the KNOW it!
Our Lord God is like the great Sculptor who fashions His chosen ones from the hard and stony hearts to be what He envisions them to be, and to more reflect that image of Himself first intended eastward in Eden. I once read that the great Michelangelo and a friend were passing by a yard in Rome in which was filled with many discarded and unfinished stones of marble. The friend commented, “Look at all those useless stones. What a waste! They are just ugly and formless clods!’
Michelangelo assessed the stones, chose one for his studio, and said to his friend, “All you see in this stone is an ugly and disproportionate mass of marble, but I see, hidden beneath its rough surface, and Angel.” And that is what Michelangelo made of the stone that all else rejected. God does the same with us. After all, His Son, too, was the Chief Cornerstone that the builders rejected. Others may see nothing of beauty or worth about us, but one day, God takes us up chips away the ugliness, fashions the appearance, and turns us into that which He knew we could be from the beginning – and even BEFORE the beginning. Though others see no goodness in us, and there truly was none, and have rejected us, God looks upon us in our crudeness and knows what we can become in His loving and caring hands.
“We need a lot of chipping “ So said a saint as we were talking together about the Lord’s gracious dealings with His people. The saying suggested to my mind the Lord Jesus as the loving Sculptor at work upon the marble of humanity. There is an angel in the marble, because the pierced hand of the Artist has it in His mind and brings it out by His skill, but there is a lot of ‘chipping’ to be done before the beautiful image of His holy character stands out, displaying the perfection of His work. The hard stone of unbelief, the rough points of his self-will, the prominences of worldly ambition, the sharp angels of pride, the ugly faults of temper, the stubborn marks of hereditary trait, and the dark veins of selfishness, are some of the things He removes.” (F. E. MARSH; Pearls, Points and Parables, Gospel Publishing House, N.Y. 1908)
Now, though we are much like an unhewn stone in many points, we are also different in a number of respects. We have feelings of pain and comfort, joy and misery. We are able to think and reason with logic (unless we are cursed to belong to the WOKE generation). The Great Sculptor of our souls must chip away in hurtful ways to make more like Himself; yet, He will never demand that we offer our own beloved firstborn as redemption for any others’ sin. His own only Begotten Son has already paid that price for our redemption. And more than the physical pain of our old garments being chipped away is that spiritual pain realized that our own sins are responsible for the Cross of Christ. The Inerrant Word of God is a purifying fire that cleanses to the uttermost. The court jester who claimed, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” did not have the slightest idea of what he was talking about. In fact, it is the Word of God that will finally condemn the wicked to the fires of Hell, or the righteous to abide with Him in His beautiful mansions beyond the Gates of splendor.
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalms 12:6-7)
The very words of the Lord, every one of them in Scripture, combine to form the Word of God and is an exact likeness of His Beloved Son expressed in literal writing dictated by the Holy Ghost.
Do not resist the power of God to bring out your hidden angel buried, perhaps, in a heart of stone