(William Secker, “The Consistent Christian” 1660)
“Lord, I believe—help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
Lord, I see—but enlighten my darkness!
Lord, I hear—but cure my deafness!
Lord, I move—but quicken my dullness!
Lord, I desire—but help my unwillingness!
Wherever sin proves hateful—it shall not prove hurtful.
What an apology does a sorrowful Savior make for His
sleeping saints! “The spirit is willing—but the flesh is weak!”
Take a carnal man, and what he can do—that he will not do.
Take a Christian man, and what he would do—that he cannot do.
God will pity impotency—but He will punish obstinacy.
It would be folly, indeed, to think that our fields have
no grain in them—because there is some chaff about
the wheat; or that the ore had no gold in it—because
there is some dross mixed among it.
In heaven, there is service alone—without any sin.
In hell, there is sin alone—without service.
But on earth, there is sin and service in the same man
—as there is light and shade in the same picture.
Above us—there is light without any darkness.
Below us—there is darkness without any light.
But in this world—it is neither all day nor all night.
Though the lowest believer is above the power of sin—
yet the highest believer is not above the presence of sin!
It is in a living Christian that sin is to be mortified—but
it is only in a dying Christian that sin is to be destroyed.
When the body and the soul—are separated by mortality
—sin and the soul—will then be separated to eternity!
Sin never ruins—but where it reigns!
Sin is not damning—where it is disturbing!
The more trouble sin receives from us
—the less trouble sin does to us.
Sin is only a murderer—where it is a governor!
Our graces are our best jewels—but they do
not yield their brightest luster in this world.
The moon, when she shines brightest—has its spots;
and the fire, when it burns the hottest—has its smoke.
Sin is an enemy at the Christian’s back
—but not a friend in his bosom.
Although believers should be mournful—because
they have infirmities; yet they should be thankful
—because they are but infirmities.
It is true, they have sin in them—and that should
make them sorrowful. But it is just as true, that
they have a Savior for them—and that should
make them joyful.
The conduct of a Christian may sometimes
be spotted with infirmity—when the heart is
sound in the love of sanctity.
Jacob halted—and yet was blessed. As his blessing
did not take away his halting—so his halting did
not keep away his blessing.
The heavenly Bridegroom will not put out a believer’s
candle—because of the dimness of its burning; nor
will He overshadow a believer’s sun—because of the
weakness of its shining.
Though that vice may be found in us—for which God
might justly damn us; yet that grace is to be found
in Him—by which He will justly save us. He does not
come with water to extinguish the fire—but with wind
to disperse the smoke!
As death leaves the body soulless
—so death leaves the soul sinless.
“You of little faith—why did you doubt?” Poor Peter
had faith enough to keep him from drowning—but
not enough faith to keep him from doubting.
As Alexander’s painter could find a finger
to conceal the scar on his master’s face—so
when Jesus Christ draws the picture of the
saint’s excellency—He can find a covering
for all the scars of his infirmities!
God will not throw away His jewels—for
every speck of dirt which may be on them!
It’s been so since long I have been here. My heart was injured but slowly healing. The past three years have been the most intense and difficult of my life. Loss and illness, sadness and frustration filled it and I needed time to process that and figure out how to keep moving. Battle weary, but not worn down I had to guard my heart for a season. I think I forgot how to do this blog thing in the process so this may be a jumbled mess. I apologize for that, but it’s at the least an exercise of opening my heart a little again.
In this season of my life I found myself pondering some strange things. Well strange to most people probably. I wondered what life would really be like if all of your comforts in life were taken away? I thought about why so many people I know are comfortable…cozy in homes with two car garages and plenty to eat, full of toys and Bluetooth and happy families. Work all week and church on Sunday if you are a Christian, or a weekend full of honey-do lists and fun, maybe a trip to a theme park or the beach. The occasional tragedy and hard times that we all face but even after life often goes back to trying to grasp that sense of comfort and normalcy again. Vanity of all vanities as the very comfortable King Solomon would say. Some people are born into abject poverty or chaos, in one way or another much less comfortable circumstances. Age old questions I guess and I don’t have any answers, but I still find myself mulling them over once in a while. This story caused me to really stop and think about riches in this earthly kingdom, and far greater things in the one to come http://www.lifenews.com/2014/06/10/meriam-ibrahims-brother-in-law-brutal-pre-execution-flogging-will-take-her-skin-off/
I think of people like Corrie Ten Boom who never really had a lot of money or luxury, but in a providence only God understands was asked to give up her comforts, most of her family and nearly her own life for the cause of Christ in the Holocaust. I am so guilty of scanning social media, comparing myself to friends and wondering why I am less comfortable than them when in fact I am rich compared to most of the planet, and spiritually rich beyond all measure. God forgive this sinner for her discontent! Comfort, ease and a false sense of security are lures to my flesh and I know so much better than to even think they might make living temporarily better. I don’t know a whole lot but in these past few years I have learned that no matter the mood or circumstance I can lift my eyes to Christ, trusting that my heart will follow soon when I read His word and believe and contentment and joy flood my soul. What a gift we have Christian Brothers and Sisters! Like Paul in his Epistle to the Philippians I can say “ for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”. God’s promises are eternal, never fading and they are available to the most comfortable of us and the least.
I am going to quit yapping….Martyn Lloyd-Jones got me started and now I will let his words finish this.
“To whom does the invitation of this cross come? It comes to the failures, the people who know they have gone wrong, the people who are filled with a sense of shame, the people who are weary and tired and forlorn in the struggle. . . .
Do you despise yourself, kick yourself metaphorically, and feel you are no good? Weary, forlorn, tired, and on top of it all, sad and miserable? Nothing can comfort you. The pleasures of the world mock you. They do not give you anything. Life has disappointed you, and you are sad, miserable and unhappy, and on top if it all, you have a sense of guilt within you. Your conscience nags at you, condemns, raises up your past and puts it before you, and you know that you are unworthy, you know that you are a failure, you know that there is no excuse, you are guilty. . . .
And then on top of all this, you are filled with a sense of fear. You are afraid of life, you are afraid of yourself and your own weakness, you are afraid of tomorrow. You are afraid of death, you know it is coming and you can do nothing about it, but you are afraid of it. . . .
This is the amazing thing about the cross. It comes to such a person, and it is to such a person above all others that it brings its gracious and its glorious invitation. What does it say to you? . . . You are not far off, and the cross speaks to you with sympathy. That man dying on that cross was known as the friend of sinners. He was reviled by the good and the religious because he sat down and ate and drank with sinners. He had sympathy. . . .
Not only that, he will tell you that he is ready to accept you.
The world picks up its skirt and passes by. It leaves you alone, it does not want to associate with you, you have gone down, you belong to the gutters, and the world is too respectable to have any interest in you. Here is one who is ready to receive you and to accept you. . . . Sit down, he says. Wait, stop, give up your activities. Just as you are, I am ready to receive you. In your rags, in your filth, in your vileness. Rest.
What else? Pardon. The cross speaks of benediction, of pardon, joy and peace with God. It tells you that God is ready to forgive you. It says, listen to me, your sin has been punished. I am here because this is the punishment of sin. Listen to me, says the blood of sprinkling. I have been shed that you might be forgiven, pardoned, at peace with God. Oh, thank God, there is also cleansing here.”
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Cross (Wheaton, 1986), pages 168-170.