But the real partakers of the life of God are tempted on every hand to renounce their hold of grace, through the power of the world, the strength of sin, the subtlety of their unwearied adversary, the unbelief, infidelity, and despondency of their wretched heart. The Apostle therefore exhorts us to hold fast that grace whereby in the first instance we came to have a saving interest in the kingdom not to be shaken; whereby we were introduced into an experimental knowledge and possession of it; and whereby alone we can maintain a firm hold of it to the end.
Whatever you do, then, however low you may sink and fall, never relinquish your firm hold of grace. It will never be more precious than when clasped by a dying hand, and clung to with expiring breath. Trust in God implies total self-renunciation. The moment that I trust in myself, I cease to trust in God. The moment I take any portion of my confidence away from the Lord and put a grain of it in myself, that moment I take away all my trust in God.
My trust in God must be all or nothing. It must be unreserved and complete, or else it is false and delusive. Is not the Lord worthy to be trusted? And if He is worthy to be trusted at all, is He not worthy to be trusted with all? What real confidence could a man have in the wife of his bosom if he could trust her with one key, but not with all?
Is that full confidence? So, if we can trust God for one thing and not for all, it shews that we have no real trust in him. A man has no real trust in his wife who cannot give her all the keys. A man has no real trust in God who cannot give Him all his heart, and put everything into His hand; family, property, body, and soul. The province and work of true faith is to put everything into the hands of God, keeping back no part of the price.
It is this secret reserve that God hates; there is hypocrisy on the very face of it. Trust in God for nothing; or trust in him for all. God will not take a divided heart. Give Him all, or none.
And is He not worthy of it? Has He ever disappointed you whenever you have really put your trust in Him? But David saw how few there were that with all their hearts did trust in God. He is blessed for time and for eternity. He has the blessing of God even now in his soul. Yet without a measure of this faith, there is no solid peace, no real and abiding rest.
And to this you must sooner or later come; for you cannot carry your own burdens without their breaking your back. But when you can cast your burden on the Lord, then you will surely find sweet relief. The Lord will hear his prayer; the Lord will bless his soul; will be with him in life, support him in death, and take him to be with Him in eternity. And who is to deliver us from all this mighty army, except the mighty God? And it is well worth our notice that the Lord puts His people purposely into circumstances where they may avail themselves, so to speak, of His omnipotent power, and thus know from living personal experience, that He is a mighty God, not in mere doctrine and theory, but a mighty God in their special and particular behalf.
Why, if you did not feelingly and experimentally know. O how this brings together the strength of God and the weakness of man! How it unites poor helpless creatures with the Majesty of heaven! How it conveys to feeble, worthless worms the very might of the Omnipotent Jehovah!
If God can raise the dead, He can surely continue to redeem and grow people within the church. He is thus not treating it as a history book at this point. We pray for our church and its members, and we treat others as we want to be treated, regardless of how they treat us. This lead to a high representation of leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the revivalist churches. While I appreciate the list our church matches 9 of 9. It is no easy task to maintain this concentration on holy matters.
This sense of. And it is in these personal dealings with God that the life of all religion consists.
Why is patience needed? The Lord sends us afflictions that He may give us the grace of patience to bear them. But O, what a rebellious heart do we carry in our bosom! What perverseness, peevishness, and self-will dwell in us! How soon our temper is stirred up, and our irritable minds roused in a moment by the smallest trifle! How little patience have we under the trials that God sees fit to lay upon us!
The lack of it makes the soul follow after it; and when the Lord does give submission to His will, and enables His children to see how profitable these trials are for their souls, and how, but for this heavy ballast, they would certainly have been carried away into the world, they can see His merciful hand in their heavy afflictions. Thus sometimes by feeling peevish and rebellious, and thus knowing their need of patience; and sometimes by feeling submissive, and enjoying the sweetness of it, they see what a blessed grace patience is. Scarcely any grace do we more daily need.
We need patience with each other, with the world, with our relations in life, and with the Church of God. We need patience when anything is said or done to hurt our minds, wound our feelings, irritate our tempers, and stir us up to revenge. It is through these very doubts that the evidence is obtained. A man without doubts is without testimonies.
Doubts are to testimonies what the lock is to the key, the enigma to the solution. Doubts of salvation are to manifestations of salvation what hunger is to food, nakedness to clothing, a thunderstorm to a shelter, a gallows to a reprieve, and death to a resurrection. The one of these things precedes, prepares, and opens a way for the other. The first is nothing without the last, nor the last without the first. Thus, next to testimonies, the best thing is spiritual doubts. To know we are right is the best thing; to fear we are wrong is the second best.
To enjoy the witness of the Spirit is the most blessed thing on this side of the grave; to pant after that enjoyment is the next greatest blessing. I am speaking, mind you, only of spiritual doubts; that is, doubts in a spiritual man, for natural doubts are as far from salvation as natural hopes. He is to make the break. Learn to say no. Learn to flee.
Learn to run. Live the holy life to which God has called us 2 Timothy Gene Cunningham - You cannot be a soldier and a civilian at the same time. Paul is saying this: At any point of time you are either in fellowship or out of fellowship; you are either in the battle or out of the battle; you are either with the cause of Christ or an enemy of the cause of Christ. No soldier has time for the occupations of the civilian. The soldier must be here at a certain time; he must be there at a certain time. He is told when to go, when to stay, what to do, and how to do it.
He is expected to do what he is told, and he does. That is—or should be—the Christian life for the individual believer under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. No soldier involved in a campaign entangles himself in the activities or the occupations of a civilian. The subjunctive mood indicates that this is based on personal response.
You make your own free-will decision to please God, to commit yourself to the service He has enlisted you for. In the ancient world, if a man wanted to be a commander, he went out and signed up however many people he could. If he signed up 50, if he signed up —those were his troops. He was the commander and he led the men he recruited into battle. The man who wanted to be a commander had to be the kind of man people could trust or else no one would volunteer to follow him.
Jesus Christ is signing up troops for His army, and He challenges you to follow Him. One of the highest motivations you could have in life is to please the One who enlisted you, to have the Lord Jesus Christ tell you that you did well in combat, you succeeded, you were victorious. Christian Warrior.
Alexander Maclaren qualifies do not be entangled and then offers practical advice about how to know you are entangled and what to do about it - Now it is to be noticed that the parallel of the soldier on service and the Christian in his warfare fails in this one respect: that the soldier had to abandon entirely all other occupation, even the most needful and praiseworthy, because he could not both do them and fight; but the abandonment of the affairs of this life is not necessary for us, because occupation with them is not incompatible with our Christian warfare.
If these are abandoned, what is left to fight about? How then can that warfare be waged, and that ennobling self-surrender achieved, but by the heroic, patient effort to deal with all the affairs of this life in a Christ-like temper, and to Christ-pleasing ends? The Christian who abandons any of these is much liker the frightened deserter who runs from his post, and may expect a stern rebuke, if nothing worse, than the faithful soldier, whose face will one day brighten beneath the smile of his chief.
It is not occupation with the things of life, but entanglement in them, that is fatal to the possibility of pleasing the King. The metaphor is plain enough, and vivid enough. As some poor struggling fish in the meshes of a net vainly beats its silver scales off, and gasps out its life, and swims no more in the free deep; or as some panting forest creature is checked in its joyous bounding, and, tangled in the half-seen snares, only tightens the cords by its wild plunging; or as some strong swimmer is caught in the long, brown seaweed which clings to his limbs till it drags him under and drowns; so men are snared and caught and strangled by these multitudinous cords and filaments of earthly things.
We are not bound to abandon the affairs of this life, but we are called upon to prevent their interfering with our warfare. Sometimes, when they cannot be so used, they must be abandoned altogether. Each must settle that for himself. Only let us make it our one great purpose in life that, whether present or absent, we may be well-pleasing to Him; and that single, lofty motive will breathe unity into our life, and giving us clear, sure insight into good and evil, will instruct us, by the instinct of hearts and wills tuned to harmony to His, to shun the evil and cleave strenuously to the good.
So living, ever looking to His face to catch His smile as our highest reward, it will not be hard to give up anything that hinders the light of His countenance shining upon us. So surrendering, we may hope to be His obedient, and therefore in highest reality, His victorious soldiers. A tremendous opportunity had come along.
Once he got this business established, he was going to have a lot of time available to minister at the church and help others.