Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Take heed

Beware, not merely of falling, but of stumbling. 'Walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise'; like men in an enemy's country, or like travelers climbing a hill, slippery with ice, and terrible with precipices, where every step may be a fall, and every fall a plunge into a chasm. Beware of little slips, slight inconsistencies, as they are called; they are the beginning of all backsliding, and they are in themselves evil, as well as hateful to God. Keep your garments undefiled (Rev 3:4); beware of small spots as well as larger stains or rents; and the moment you discover any speck, however small, go wash in the fountain, that your 'garments may be always white,' and so pleasing in the eyes of Him, whose you are, and whom you serve. 'Crucify the flesh, with its affections and lusts' (Gal 5:24). 'Mortify your members which are upon the earth' 
Be you a Christian in little things as well as great. Dread little sins, little errors, little omissions of duty. Remember the Master's words about denying self- every part of self; be not a servant of self, or a worshiper of self, or a 'lover of self' (2 Tim 3:1,2) in any form. Take up your cross, and follow your Lord (Matt 16:24); as it is written, 'Even Christ pleased not Himself' (Rom 15:3). 

God's aim in all His doings of grace is to 'hide pride from man'; to hinder boasting; to keep the sinner humble. All 'confidence in the flesh' (Phil 3:1,3), all trust in self, all reliance on the creature, are set aside by that great work of the Divine Substitute, who did all for us, and left us nothing to do, out of which it would be possible to extract a boast (2 Cor 12:9; Gal 6:14; Isa 41:16; 45:25). Let us fling away self-esteem and high-mindedness, for it is the very essence of unbelief. Be meek, be poor in spirit, be humble; be teachable, be gentle, and easy to be entreated; putting away all high thoughts and lofty imaginations, either about what we are or what we can do; content to take the obscurest corner and the lowest seat; and this, not to indulge in a false lowliness, or in 'the pride that apes humility,' feeding our vanity with the thought that we are martyrs, and puffing up our fleshly mind with the idea of our wonderful condescension, or by brooding over our supposed wrongs and trials. Let us be truly humble, as was the Son of God: content to live unknown, and to do our work unnoticed, as a work not for the eye of man, but of God. 

Self in all its forms is a hindrance to our spiritual growth (Rom 14:7). Self-will, self-sufficiency, self-indulgence, self-importance, self-glory, self-seeking, self-brooding, -all these mar fruitfulness. Denying self is the beginning, the middle, and the end of our course here, as followers of Christ. Selfishness takes the form of covetousness, or love of money; of luxury, or love of foods and drinks, and the good things of this life. How can a man grow when he is pampering self instead of crucifying the flesh; when he is indulging and fondling the old man instead of nailing him to the cross; when he is enjoying all softness and ease and worldly comfort, instead of enduring hardness, and taking up his cross and mortifying his members which are upon the earth (Rom 8:13; Gal 5:24; Col 3:5) - Horatius Bonar

2 comments:

Darrel said...

This is yet another of the 'lost doctrines' that is seldom, if ever, taught and even much less lived. The last time I heard a preacher speak on this was fifty plus years ago as I sat in a church as a lost member thereof. But even this hireling was so narcissistic that his antics were nothing but theatrics as many would find out some years later. God help us to be obedient and deny ourselves daily.

lyn said...

The essential truths of the Bible are no longer being taught, is it any wonder Christianity in America is mostly external? There is a famine of sound biblical teaching in this nation, most have their own interests at heart and do not tremble at God's word. The wrath that awaits makes me tremble...