Birthdays: Kelsey Jones – June 10th – Smith Flynn- June 11th
The Sovereign Lord said to the church in Smyrna, "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer" (Revelation 2:10). Let us learn not only from what the Savior said in this verse, but also from what He did not say. He did not say to His redeemed people, "your life after conversion will be one of ease and free from suffering." No, He said just the opposite. Trials, difficulties, troubles and hardships are the common lot of all God’s children. The Lord has no sons who do not suffer and endure some kind of hardship. Hear Him say to His disciples, "In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). God has foreordained that as long as we are in this vile world we will have troubles and the Lord Jesus Christ has declared the certainty of it.
While it is true that suffering is unavoidable, here is the encouragement: "fear none of these things." Child of God, there is no need to be afraid of your difficulties and trials. They cannot harm or destroy the elect of God. As a matter of fact, far from hurting us, afflictions and tribulations are actually beneficial to us. Troubles remind us of those things which are eternally important: salvation by grace, pardon of sin by Christ’s blood, the righteousness of the Savior freely imputed to us and an eternal inheritance reserved in the heavens. Tribulations drive us to the Savior for rest and anything which drives us to Him is good. Weary pilgrim, do not be afraid of those troubles and trials you are called upon to face day by day. They cannot harm you; they cannot separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus; they cannot destroy you. They are meted out by your sovereign Lord according to His eternal purpose and will work together will all things for your good.
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
An ignorance of Christ's righteousness, and a supposed preparation for acceptance with God in a righteousness of our own, is the general creed of the present hour. The great mass of those who profess the Gospel, if engaged at all in a concern for salvation, is prosecuting the hope of acceptance, partly by the deeds of the law, and partly by the grace of Christ. But, this is neither law nor Gospel. It is not the law, for a curse is pronounced upon every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them, Ga 3:10. Neither is it the Gospel, for there we are expressly said to be saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, for it is the gift of God, and not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8)
--- Robert Hawker
What is the Criterion by Which You Judge?
And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. Ezekiel 36:19
Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matthew 7:1-2
God, speaking through the Prophet Ezekiel, noted that it was He who had scattered the Israelites among the heathen as a manifestation of just His wrath upon them. And He declared that this judgment upon them was “...according to their way and according to their doings,” having noted earlier in this same chapter how they had defiled the land “…by their own way and by their doings.” This would seem to be in keeping with Christ’s declaration in Matthew 7 that whatever criterion one uses for making his or her judgments, that the same criterion would be used in God’s judgment of them.
So when sinners insist on judging their eternal well being based upon their own doings or their own way – the fatal way that just seems right to us by nature (Prov. 16:25), then there is this sense in which God says, “So be it.” But this in no way suggests that our immutable God has changed His one perfect standard by which all the world shall be judged – the very perfect satisfaction to justice rendered by the Lord Jesus Christ, His perfect righteousness (Acts 17:31).
Do you see the implications? If you imagine God will save you because you believed something or accepted something that others would not, then know this: You will be judged on that basis. But God’s standard for making that judgment will not change. Such would be judged on whether their faith will equal the standard of Christ’s perfect, invariable, never failing faithfulness? So it is with any other criterion by which we might judge the vital issues of saved and lost. If you persist in judging your salvation based upon something that proceeds from you, the sinner, then you may have it your way but only in the sense that your criterion of choice will be applied unto you. That is, you will be judged based upon that which you are able to produce. But God’s standard has not changed. So your doing must measure up to the doing and the dying of the Lord Jesus Christ, that perfect standard of righteousness which Christ alone rendered in His obedience unto death.
What a wonderful thing it is for God to reveal His way of salvation to His people. For by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, His people will forsake their own way and their own doings and instead adopt God’s standard of judgment as their own. They must have the very merit of that which their Surety and Substitute rendered for them by His obedience unto death. And they no longer dare approach their holy God for acceptance on any other basis. Thereby, they give evidence of their very justification, of being among the blessed of God to whom He has imputed His perfect righteousness, the righteousness revealed in the Gospel of God’s grace – the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, our Savior!