Christian Charity is our Duty. But….

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I love this quote from the book I am using to teach in our Ladies’ Bible Study, and thought that maybe you will find it useful too.

“The exercise of Christian charity is an essential duty, yet it is not to override everything else- God has not exercised love at the expense of righteousness. The exercising of love does not mean that the Christian himself is to become a nonentity; a mere straw blown hither and tither by every current of wind he encounters. He is never to please his brethren at the expense of displeasing God. Love is not to oust liberty. The exercise of love does not require the Christian to yield principle, to wound his own conscience, or to become the slave of every fanatic he meets. Love does enjoin curbing of his own desires and seeking the good, the profit, the edification of his brethren; but it does not call for subscribing to their errors and depriving himself of the right of personal judgment. There is a balance to be preserved here: a happy medium between cultivating unselfishness and becoming the victim of the selfishness of others.”  A.W. Pink, The Prayers of the Apostle (p.26) (emphasis mine).

My Pastor says it well, “Grace has a backbone.”

Under His sun and by His grace,

Becky

Refusing the Temptation of Take Matters into Our Own Hands

This is not the first time that I buy a book on Kindle, start reading it and end up buying a “real” copy to be able to underline it and write my notes -with real pens-, and truly make it my own. The book I am now talking about is by A.W. Pink and it is entitled Gleanings from Paul: The Prayers of the Apostle.

I plan to share some portions of it with you as I read through.

In Romans 1:8-12 we read one of the prayers of Paul, and among other things he asks the Lord to make it possible for him to visit the Christians in Rome  (v.10). Pink comments on this passage,

Let it be duly noted that he refused to take matters into his own hands and act upon an inward urge. Instead, he subordinated his own longings and impulses to the will of Him whom he served. This is very striking and blessed. Paul did not consider what many would regard as ‘the Spirit’s prompting’ a sufficient warrant. He must first be assured, by His providences, that this journey was ordered by His Master. Accordingly he spread his case before God, committing the matter to His decision and pleasure.”  (emphasis mine)

I don’t know about you, but for me the temptation to take matters into my own hands is real, which means that reading these words was convicting.

However, as with all temptations, there is way out; and we the effectual remedy against the temptation of taking things into our own hands is Prayer.

I read once that dependency is the heartbeat of prayer; and now think about this, when we decide to take things into our own hands -instead of praying and trusting in God and in His Providence- we are in a sense saying, “God, I don’t think you can handle this. I know which things need to be  done and I will start doing those few things that must be done right now -before it is too late-.” Sisters, as we start acting in urgency, responding to our own longings, impulses, and feelings we are in reality denying our dependency on God.  And that, we all know, is a sin from which we need to repent.

 

Really, Sisters, if we keep insisting into taking all the difficult circumstances into our hands instead of bringing them in prayer to God we will only going to make up messes. A.W. Pink reminds us, “Unless we ‘rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him’ (Psa. 37:7) only confusion and trouble will ensue.”

Prayer is the only way to resist and overcome the temptation of taking things into our own matters because in prayer we say, “God, I cannot handle this on my own. I need you. Give me patience to wait in you, in your Providence; draw me to your Word, Oh Lord. Grant me a humble heart to seek advice, and a quiet heart to trust in your timing. I am wholly dependent on you, my sovereign Lord.

Praying with you as we learn to be wholly dependent on Him at all times,

Becky

A Way Out of Sin

back view of a person carrying a backpack looking into the ocean

Photo by Kristina Nor on Pexels.com

There is a vast ocean before us. Each of the doctrines taught in the Scriptures, is like a drop of water in the ocean. Each one is precious. Each one is a gem. Each one has brought life to me.

Today, however, I want to give thanks to my God for one specific doctrine, one that gives God’s children a way out of sin. I am grateful because God has given his children the possibility to mortify sin every day.

This is a doctrine that reaches down into my heart and pierces my soul, and enables me to walk in holiness in my home, in my kitchen, in the city, in the farm, in the office, in the school, wherever I go.

We are saved by grace, our justification is a decree from God. He makes us righteous without any merit on our part. He saves us by grace through faith. I didn’t choose God; I couldn’t have chosen Him simply because I was dead in my sins. But when He came and by His infinite grace He called my name, and gave me life, He set me free from the terrible and cruel hands of the Devil, the father of all sinners. Now I am free.Free, free indeed. Free from sin

Isn’t this wonderful news? Isn’t this something that sets your feet on dancing and makes you raise your hands toward God, the great Deliverer of His people? I am so grateful, grateful for this wondrous miracle!

God has set the feet of His own people free from bondage and has set them on a new path. A path which is not always smooth. During this journey, Satan will try to make us fall, he will try to deceive us, he will promise us the world, all the satisfactions and power, if only we would bow before him and what he has to offer. But now, we are free… now we can truly say no to his schemes.

Now, because God has called us out of darkness into His admirable light, now we can by the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body, so that we may live.

“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:12-13

Octavius Winslow said it well,”To the flesh we owe nothing but uncompromising hatred; to Jehovah we owe undivided and supreme affection.”

It is concerning this doctrine, the Mortification of our flesh, our sinful desires (Sanctification) that we are called to action.

It is here where we have no other option but to do something, to be “doers”, to act. It is here where God expects us to obey, to die to self, and carry our cross

But I am grateful, yes, I am grateful because even though this is not easy, the Lord is on our side; it is He who enables us to walk in holiness, it is He who strengthens our weary souls, and renews our strength and gives us the victory! We are indeed more than over-comers in Him who has called us! A.W. Pink reminds us that “mortification is not optional but imperative.” He continues to say:

“The imperative necessity for this work of mortification arises from the continued presence of the evil nature in the Christian. Upon his believing in Christ unto salvation he was at once delivered from the condemnation of the Divine law, and freed from the reigning power of sin; but “the flesh” was not eradicated from his being, nor were its vile propensities purged or even modified…”

“Mortification is a task to which every Christian must apply himself with prayerful diligence and resolute earnestness. The regenerate have a spiritual nature within that fits them for holy action, otherwise there would be no difference between them and the unregenerate.”

I am forever grateful that God works in me day after day, He who began the good work in me will bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that I am in the process of becoming more like Christ every day, and that it is because of Him, because of His grace that I can press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. How glorious is this truth!

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

>A Word of Forgiveness -On the Lord’s Day-

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This Lent season I am reading the book, The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross by Arthur W. Pink and on this Lord’s Day I would like to invite you consider with me what these words teach us.

“In praying for His enemies, not only did Christ set before us a perfect example of how we should treat those who wrong and hate us, but He also taught us never to regard any as beyond the reach of prayer. If Christ prayed for His murderers, then surely we have encouragement to pray now for the very chief of sinners! Christian reader, never lose hope… Learn, then, not to look on any as beyond the reach of prayer”

“That Christ should make intercession for His enemies was one of the items of the wonderful prophecy found in Isaiah 53. This chapter tells us at least ten things about the humiliation and suffering of the Redeemer. It declared that He should be despised and rejected of men; that He should be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; that He should be wounded, bruised, and chastised; that He should be led, unresistingly, to slaughter; that He should be dumb before His shearers; that He should not only suffer at the hands of man but also be bruised by the Lord; that He should pour out His soul unto death; that He should be buried in a rich man’s tomb; and then it was added, that He would be numbered with transgressors; and finally, that He should make intercession for the transgressors. Here then was the prophecy-“and made intercession for the transgressors”; there was the fulfillment of it-“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” He thought of His murderers; He pleaded for His crucifiers; He made intercession for their forgiveness.”

“Sin is always sin in the sight of God, whether we are conscious of it or not. Sins of ignorance need atonement just as truly as do conscious sins. God is Holy, and He will not lower His standard of righteousness to the level of our ignorance. Ignorance is not innocence. As a matter of fact, ignorance is more culpable now than it was in the days of Moses. We have no excuse for our ignorance. God has clearly and fully revealed His will. The Bible is in our hands, and we cannot plead ignorance of its contents except to condemn our laziness. God has spoken, and by His Word we shall be judged… And yet the fact remains that we are ignorant of many things, and the fault and blame are ours. And this does not minimize the enormity of our guilt. Sins of ignorance need the divine forgiveness as our Lord’s prayer here plainly shows. Learn, then, how high is God’s standard, how great is our need, and praise Him for an atonement of infinite sufficiency, which cleanseth from all sin.”

May God help us to forgive and pray and never lose hope.

Read over at my photography blog today about The Key to Bible Study

Over at Rebecca Writes, you will find every Sunday great hymns, sermon notes and prayers.

And some words worth reading today… Let Every Man be Slow to Tweet. (HT. Hiraeth)