“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked: Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Luke10:40
Let us observe what a snare to our souls the cares of this world may be–if allowed to take up too much attention. It is plain from the tone of the passage before us, that Martha allowed her anxiety to provide a suitable entertainment for the Lord, to carry her away. Her excessive zeal for temporal provisions–made her forget, for a time, the things of her soul.
She brought down on herself a solemn rebuke, and had to learn a lesson which probably made a lasting impression. Alas! how great a matter is kindled by a little fire! The beginning of all this, was a little over-anxiety about the innocent household affairs of this world!
The fault of Martha should be a perpetual warning to all Christians. If we desire to grow in grace, and to enjoy soul-prosperity–then we must beware of the cares of this world. Unless we watch and pray, they will insensibly eat up our spirituality, and bring leanness on our souls.
It is not open sin, or flagrant breaches of God’s commandments alone, which lead men to eternal ruin. It is far more frequently an excessive attention to things which are in themselves lawful. It seems so right to provide for our own! It seems so proper to attend to the duties of our station! It is just here that our danger lies! Our families, our business, our daily callings, our household affairs, our interaction with society–all, all may become snares to our hearts, and may draw us away from God.We may go down to the pit of Hell from the very midst of lawful things!
Let us take heed to ourselves in this matter. Let us watch our habits of mind jealously, lest we fall into sin unawares. If we love life–then we must hold the things of this world with a very loose hand, and beware of allowing anything to have the first place in our hearts, excepting God. Let us mentally write “Poison!” on all temporal good things. Used in moderation they are blessings, for which we ought to be thankful. But permitted to fill our minds, and trample upon holy things–they become an inevitable curse. Profits and pleasures are dearly purchased–if in order to obtain them we thrust aside eternity from our thoughts, abridge our Bible-reading, become careless hearers of the Gospel, and shorten our prayers.
A little earth upon the fire within us–will soon make that fire burn low.
“Like many other Scriptures, [Psalm 108] calls us to the study of providence. It is God that gives peace, wholesome air, a good climate, seasonable showers; and that for their sins sends on men sore calamities. His kingdom ruleth over all. Not chance, but the Almighty governs the world. Blessed is he who see God in history and in nature as well as in revelation. Let us hold fast the truth on this doctrine so fundamental to right thinking, sound theology, solid peace, a holy life and a happy death.”–William S. Plumer “Psalms” p. 962
“He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” 1 Corinthians 4:17
We should so live, that those who know us shall recognize the unmistakable lineaments of Christ in us.
Retzsch, a German sculptor, made a wonderful statue of the Redeemer. For eight years it was his dream by night, and his thought by day. He set it before a child of five or six years old. There were none of the usual emblematic marks designating the Savior about the figure–no cross, no crown of thorns, nothing by which to identify it. Yet when the child was asked who it was–she replied that it was the Lord Jesus.
This was a wonderful triumph of art, this putting so much divinity into the face of the model, that even a little child recognized the artist’s thought.
Just so, we should exhibit in our life and character such a reproduction of the holiness and beauty of Christ, that everyone who looks upon us and sees our life may instinctively recognize the features of the Master, and say, “Behold the image of the Lord Jesus!” There is no other way of magnifying the Lord, which so witnesses to the world.
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ!” 1 Corinthians 11:1
Let us bear this in mind, and take comfort in it!
“When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep!’ Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise!'” Luke 7:13-14
We learn from these verses–how deep is the compassion of our Lord’s heart. We see this beautifully brought out in His behavior at this funeral in Nain. He meets the mournful procession accompanying the young man to his grave, and is moved with compassion at the sight. He does not wait to be requested to help. His help appears to have been neither asked for, nor expected. He saw the weeping mother, and knew well what her feelings must have been, for He had been born of a woman Himself.
At once He addressed her with words alike startling and touching. He said unto her, “Do not weep!” A few more seconds–and the meaning of His words became plain. The widow’s son was restored to her alive. Her darkness was turned into light–and her sorrow into joy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His heart is still as compassionate as when He was upon earth. His sympathy with sufferers is still as strong. Let us bear this in mind, and take comfort in it.
There is no friend or comforter who can be compared to Christ. In all our days of darkness, which must needs be many–let us first turn for consolation to Jesus, the Son of God. He will never fail us, never disappoint us, and never refuse to take interest in our sorrows.
He still lives–who made the widow’s heart sing for joy in the gate of Nain.
He still lives–to receive all laboring and heavy-laden ones, if they will only come to Him by faith.
He still lives–to heal the broken-hearted, and be a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
And He lives to do greater things than these one day. He soon will come again for His people–that they may never weep again, and that all tears may be wiped forever from their eyes!
“He told them: Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town.” Luke 9:3-4
Let us observe that our Lord charges His apostles, when He sends them forth–to study simplicity of habits, and contentment with such things as they have.
These instructions contain a lesson for all time. The spirit of these verses is meant to be remembered by all ministers of the Gospel. The leading idea which the words convey–is a warning against worldliness and luxurious habits.
Well would it be for the world and the Church, if the warning had been more carefully heeded! From no quarter has Christianity received such damage–as it has from the hands of its own ministers! On no point have its ministers erred so much, and so often–as in the matter of personal worldliness, and luxury of life. They have often destroyed, by their daily lives–the whole work of their lips! They have given occasion to the enemies of religion to say that they love ease, and money, and earthly things–far more than souls.
From such ministers, may we pray daily that the Church may be delivered! They are a living stumbling-block in the way to Heaven. They are helpers to the cause of the devil–and not of God. The preacher whose affections are set on money, and finery and feasting, and pleasure-seeking–has clearly mistaken his vocation. He has forgotten his Master’s instructions. He is not an apostolic man!
There is not a hierarchical structure in the Godhead, just a circle of unity.
The Bible says that Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. This doesn’t mean that one Person is higher or better than the other; just unique. Jesus said, “I came to do the will of Him who sent me. I am here to obey my Father.” Jesus also said, “I will send you the Holy Spirit” (John 4:34, 6:44, 14:26, 15:26).
God submits to human wishes and choices.
Far from God submitting to us, Jesus said, “Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.” We are to submit to Him in all things, for His glory and because of what He has accomplished for us (Matthew 7:13-15; Romans 9, Isa. 45).
Justice will never take place because of love.
The Bible teaches that when God’s love is rejected, and when the offer of salvation and forgiveness is rejected, justice must take place or God has sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for nothing (Matthew 12:20; Romans 3:25-26).
There is no such a thing as eternal judgment or torment in hell.
Jesus’ own description of hell is vivid … it cannot be denied (Luke 12:5, 16:23).
Jesus is walking with all people in their different journeys to God, and it doesn’t matter which way you get to Him.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one will come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).
Jesus is constantly being transformed along with us.
Jesus, who dwells in the splendor of heaven, sits at the right hand of God, reigning and ruling the universe. The Bible says, “In Him there is no change, for He is yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 11:12, 13:8; James 1:17).
There is no need for faith or reconciliation with God because everyone will make it to heaven.
Jesus said, “Only those who believe in me will have eternal life” (John 3:15, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40).
The Bible is not true because it reduces God to paper.
The Bible is God-breathed. Sure, there were many men through 1,800 years who put pen to paper (so to speak), each from different professions and different backgrounds, but the Holy Spirit infused their work with God’s words. These men were writing the same message from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible has been scrutinized, torn apart, persecuted and burned for centuries, and every critic has eventually died, and the Bible lives on.