“His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night!” Psalm 1:2
If I were to say, “Hands up, everyone who has a Bible!“–everybody’s hands here would go up, as I suppose that nobody here is without a Bible.
But if I were to ask, “How many here, as a habit and a delight, meditate upon the Scriptures?”–I wonder how many hands would be raised? Well, I will not ask you that question, but let everybody ask it for himself and judge himself concerning it in the sight of God.
Lord, give us a Bible reading, Bible loving people!
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
If we then must endure many tribulations on our way to heaven, then tribulations are vital in order to enter heaven. We enter heaven only through the completed work of Christ on the cross of course, but tribulations make us dependent, humble, broken and conformed into the image of Christ Jesus.
If you do not endure these tribulations and enjoy a life of success, prosperity and wealth, then this is a huge indicator that God does not love you and in fact you are not going to heaven.
If God is putting you through the ringer and crushing you, breaking you, stretching you and peeling everything away from you, then this is perfect evidence that He loves you and is conforming you into the image of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
This is why we are told to…count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations(trials and tests).
If you are a Christian and strive to make your life as safe, comfortable and successful as possible, then you are in serious danger. This road you are on is the broad road. The easy road. The road to hell.
Be afraid…be very afraid.
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us–so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God!” 2 Corinthians 5:21
What could be better than the divine plan of substitutionary atonement? God must punish sin–He could not be God unless He did. It is a necessity of His nature, that He should hate sin with an infinite hatred, and must punish it!
Yet, as He had loved His people with an everlasting love, how could He better show His love to them and His hatred of sin–than by giving up His well-beloved Son to die instead of them! This seems to me to be the most beautiful thing I ever heard of–and it delights my soul to preach it!
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, by becoming a curse for us!” Galatians 3:13
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For further reading: J.R. Miller’s practical two page article, “Being Christians on Weekdays“.
“Tholuck: ‘If God did help us in the time of our youth and manhood, when our strength aided us to overcome many difficulties, how much more will his strength deliver us when ours is gone, especially when the wicked challenge his mighty arm.’ …Scott: ‘As old age approaches, our strength in many respects will fail us: but God will not cast off his gray-headed servants, when they are no longer capable of laboring as they have done. And his people should imitate his example, in their kindness towards such as have spent their health and strength in their service.’ Henry: ‘He that was our Help from our birth ought to be our Hope from our youth. If we received so much mercy from God before we were capable of doing him any service, we should lose no time when we are capable’ ” — William S. Plumer “Psalms” p. 698
Ask the gardener which is the best apple tree in the garden–and he will tell you that it is not the one which has the best shape, but the one which yields the most fruit!
In the same way, he is not the best Christian who occupies the highest position, or who talks the most about divine things–but it is he whose life is most fruitful in good works to the glory of God!
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit–so you will be My disciples.” John 15:8
“He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” Psalm 1:3