The Contrast of Two Cousins

The apostle John said in his first letter how we may know who is of God and who is not. “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:4-6) For this reason the Lord said when speaking to Nicodemus; "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." (John 3:18-21)

During this past week the Lord brought people into my life that I haven’t seen, or heard from in a long time. Over the past week I got to talk with two different cousins, neither of whom I had talked to in over thirty plus years, and the conversations I had with these two cousins were separated by a mere one week. My family is most diffidently the byproduct of sinful people living in a fallen world. I can remember my early childhood and being visited by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. One aunt and uncle along with their children even lived in our town and we saw them often. Then suddenly without explanation, or even understanding, all of that just suddenly stopped. I was a thinking child, I didn’t talk a lot, and most people would have said that I was quiet and reserved, but a lot was going on in my head. I missed having family and didn’t understand why we didn’t see any. I knew other children in my neighborhood and school saw their families but not us, and I didn’t know why. We had one aunt and uncle that didn’t have children, who throughout my childhood would come by once a year and visit for a few days. Year after year went by and sometimes I would think about my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins then would be distracted by whatever was going on in life.

Over the past week I received the privilege of talking to not one, but two long lost cousins, one of which I had some understanding of where he was, and the other cousin I had no idea how to find her, but certain circumstances led to my finding her, it had been more than 30 years since I had heard from either. As I’ve already stated, one is a male and the other is a female, but that is not what makes them different. These cousins are as different as darkness and light. The conversation I had with one cousin left me with deep longing sorrow, and the conversation I had with the other cousin inexpressible joy. The conversation with the male cousin was one week ago, and the conversation with the female cousin was just this weekend.

“O Lord our God, other masters besides You have ruled us; But through You alone we confess Your name.” (Isaiah 26:13) Who is your master, who is your Lord? You see the difference between these two cousins is their Authority. The authority of the male cousin as was stated by him during a gospel conversation, from one week ago, is himself. My family had a reunion as requested by my father; as he is unable to travel, do to his failing health. His brother and sisters, my aunts and uncle whom I had not seen in many years all came, along with this one male cousin. As the weekend progressed and we all talked, it was not difficult to figure out that many untruths were being spouted off by this particular cousin, one outlandish tale of heroism as he saw it after another, not only unashamed of his sin, but boasting in it. I had enough and walked away for a time to recite some scripture and talk with the Lord. I got into my car and pulled out some million dollar bill gospel tracts, then proceed to hand them out to my aunts, and uncles; I then sat down by my cousin handing him a tract with the intent of sharing the gospel with him. To make a long story short, he rejected the gospel and stated that he was his own authority. This left me with a deep longing sorrow as I drove home that night, because I knew what this meant, yes I share the gospel with multitudes of people in many places, but this one was particularly hard being that he is family.

The following day I would eat lunch with the aunt and uncle who visited us once a year when I was a child. I began to inquire of them about the cousins who once lived near us, whom I had played with as a child. I had no idea where they were or how to contact them, I had learned that one of these cousins had passed away; so I was inquiring of my Aunt about the other two. Through the small amount of information that my Aunt knew and some deductive reasoning I was able to find one of these cousins on the internet. The Lord blessed me with the privilege of talking to her this weekend.

How wonderful it was to talk with her about things, and to put pieces of the puzzle together about our family, things I knew, and things she knew, to give both of us understanding of why our family is the way it is. It became very apparent early on in the conversation that I was not only talking with just a cousin, but with a beloved sister in Christ. She too had many stories, but was not boastful in her sin, and I knew that the things that she was telling me were truth, because her authority is the Word of God, Jesus Christ. One of these stories I told to my wife, then later to my brother whom I called; both of them had some trepidation about its validity, because of the extremeness of it, and its difficultness to take. Plus they had not themselves been in conversation with her, understanding the authority on which she stood, and I’m sure that the outlandish stories of the first cousin that we had talked with were still fresh on their minds. The story would then be validated by an article my wife found.

Truth! What is truth? A most excellent question, and of all people, the one who asked this question to the Lord was no other than Pilate, the one who handed the Lord over to be crucified. Jesus said to Pilate, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37) So, what is truth? Truth is that which corresponds to reality. Truth is not self contradictory and is absolute. The first cousin that I talked with, his stated authority was himself, so in his worldview; truth is whatever he wants it to be. No one can live that way within the world God has created, so therefore his truth is contradictory and always changing. So even though his stated authority is himself, he knows that he is bound to reality but suppresses his knowledge of God in unrighteousness, his desire for sin. The second cousin, her authority is the Word of God, Jesus Christ; she knows God and that God reveals to her through her senses and reasoning truth, being that her authority is God, she speaks that which conforms to reality, is not contradictory, and is absolute.  Glory to God!

Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ