Monthly Archives: August 2011

God At Work

All true believers long to see God at work in them.  How do we see this work manifesting itself?

From Pastor Winslow’s ‘Morning Thoughts”, Aug. 24.

Beloved, mistake not the nature and the evidence of growth in sanctification. In all your self-denial in this great work, be cautious of grace-denial. You will need much holy wisdom here, lest you overlook the work of the Spirit within you. You have thought, it may be, of the glory that Christ receives from brilliant genius and profound talent, from splendid gifts and glowing zeal, from costly sacrifices, and even extensive usefulness. But have you ever thought of the glory, the far greater, richer glory, that flows to Him from a contrite spirit, a broken heart, a lowly mind, a humble walk; from the tear of godly repentance that falls when seen by no human eye, and the sigh of godly sorrow that is breathed when heard by no human ear; from the sin-abhorrence and self-loathing, the deep sense of vileness, poverty, and infirmity that takes you to Jesus with the prayer- “Lord, here I am; I have brought to You my rebellious will, my wandering heart, my worldly affections, my peculiar infirmity, my besetting and constantly overpowering sin. Receive me graciously; put forth the mighty power of Your grace in my soul, subdue all, rule all, and subjugate all to Yourself. Will it not be for Your glory, the glory of Your great name, if this strong corruption were subdued by Your grace, if this powerful sin were nailed to Your cross, if this temper so sensitive, this heart so impure, these affections so truant, this mind so dark, these desires so earthly, these pursuits so carnal, and these aims so selfish, were all entirely renewed by Your Spirit, sanctified by Your grace, and made each to reflect Your image? Yes, Lord, it would be for Your glory, through time and through eternity.”

 

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“You Will Participate….”

Some years ago I took my wife and a couple of friends on a white water rafting trip.   The Upper Gauley is especially exciting during the Fall as the Army Corps of Engineers opens a nearby dam to raise the level of the river.   Before launching onto the river we received instructions from our guides.  One of them, a burly gentleman named Derek, spoke words which have long rung in my ears.   “In case you fall out of the raft or we all overturn, you will participate in your own rescue!”    He was seeking to assure us that he or another guide would be there to help you, they would hold out an oar, they would reach out to grab your hand or your life jacket and you will help them.  You will help them to save your life. 

I see an awful lot of passivity among those who profess faith.  They know that Jesus is a great Savior and that He will ever have mercy on them and forgive them their sins.  They also know how He wants them to live. They know something of the labor that will be involved in holiness and they shrink back.  It’s hard.  It takes lots of effort.   I know that if  I obey and if I labor God will bless it, but I just don’t feel like it.  I have heard many saints ask that I would pray that they would get alone with God and His word. They ask me to pray that God would overcome a certain sin in their lives.  The Bible speaks of  men determining to meet with God.  “You will hear my voice in the morning!  I will go the house of  the Lord!  I will forsake my sin, I will cut off this hand or gouge out this eye!”  That is the language of faith.  That is the language of one who is determined to participate in their own rescue!


The Throne of Merit?

From Octavius Winslow’s Morning Thoughts:

Do not stay away from the throne of grace because of an unfavorable frame of mind. If God is ready to receive you just as you are; if no questions are asked, and no examination is instituted, and no exceptions are made on account of the badness of the state; then count it your mercy to go to God with your worst feelings. To linger away from the throne of grace because of unfitness and unpreparedness to approach it, is to alter its character from a throne of grace to a throne of merit.


Some counsel to aid those in grief

This past summer I began a ministry through the book of  Job.   Job is the quintessential book on suffering.  The majority of the book deals with the discussions between Job and his three friends.  The initial compassion of Job’s friends is truly commendable.   They first of all desire to be with Job.  They secondly desire to enter into his sorrows and to mingle their tears with his.  They thirdly determine to comfort Job.  They desire that truth will be a blotter to Job’s tears.  In these desires they do well.  Where they derail is in their making dogmatic assertions without all the evidence.  In dealing with this section my mind ran to some counsel I offered years ago to aiding others in dealing with grief.  This was born out of  being on the receiving end of  those who sought to minister to me and my wife in the loss of a child.   The counsel I gave then involved having swift feet to come to be in the presence of those who are grieving.    Secondly to have long arms to embrace the one who is grieving.  Thirdly to have busy hands to meet the practical needs of the one who is grieving.  Fourthly to have bent knees to interceed for the one who is grieving.   Fifthly to have large ears to listen to the one who is grieving.  Finally to have a small and well guarded mouth to speak to the one who is grieving.  The temptation to ‘explain’ what God is doing and to quickly end the pain of the suffering can cause us to derail as quickly as Job’s well intentioned friends did.  May God help us to fulfill the true meaning of the body of Christ unto the end that when one member suffers all the members suffer with him.