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

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Hatred of the world

We profit from the Word when we evoke the hatred of the world. What pains are taken in the world to save appearances and keep up a seemly and good state! Its conventionalities and civilities, its courtesies and charities, are so many contrivances to give an air of respectability to it. So too its churches and cathedrals, its priests and prelates are needed to gloss over the corruption which seethes beneath the surface. And to make good weight “Christianity” is added, and the holy name of Christ is taken upon the lips of thousands of those who have never taken His “yoke” upon them (Mat 11:29). Of them God says, “This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me” (Mat 15:8). 

And what is to be the attitude of all real Christians toward such? The answer of Scripture is plain: “from such turn away” (2Ti 3:5). “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord” (2Co 6:17). And what will follow when this Divine command is obeyed? Why, then we shall prove the truth of those words of Christ’s: “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (Joh 15:19). Which “world” is specifically in view here? Let the previous verse answer: “If the world hate you, ye know it hated Me before it hated you.” What “world” hated Christ and hounded Him to death? The religious world, those who pretended to be most zealous for God’s glory. So it is now. Let the Christian turn his back upon a Christ-dishonouring Christendom, and his fiercest foes and most relentless and unscrupulous enemies will be those who claim to be Christians themselves! But “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you…for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad” (Mat 5:11,12). Ah, my brother, it is a healthy sign, a sure mark that you are profiting from the Word, when the religious world hates you. But if, on the other hand, you still have a “good standing” in the “churches” or “assemblies” [which are compromised with the world], there is grave reason to fear that you love the praise of men more than that of God!

We profit from the Word when we are elevated above the world. First, above its customs and fashions. The worldling is a slave to the prevailing habits and styles of the day. Not so the one who is walking with God: his chief concern is to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29). Second, above its cares and sorrows: of old it was said of the saints that they took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing that they had “in heaven a better and an enduring substance” (Heb 10:34). Third, above its temptations: what attraction has the glare and glitter of the world for those who are “delighting themselves in the Lord?” None whatever. Fourth, above its opinions and approvals. Have you learned to be independent of and defy the world? If your whole heart is set upon pleasing God, you will be quite unconcerned about the frowns of the godless.

 Now, my reader, do you really wish to measure yourself by the contents of this article? Then seek honest answers to the following questions. First, what are the objects before your mind in times of recreation? What do your thoughts most run upon? Second, what are the objects of your choice? When you have to decide how to spend an evening or the Sabbath afternoon, what do you select? Third, which occasions you the most sorrow, the loss of earthly things, or lack of communion with God? Which causes you greater grief (or chagrin), the spoiling of your plans or the coldness of your heart to Christ? Fourth, what is your favorite topic of conversation? Do you hanker after the news of the day, or to meet with those who talk of the “altogether lovely” One (Song 5:16)? Fifth, do your “good intentions” materialize, or are they nothing but empty dreams? Are you spending more or less time than formerly on your knees? Is the Word sweeter to your taste, or has your soul lost its relish for it?

A.W. Pink, from 'scriptures and the world'

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