There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; the conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; the locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; the spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.Proverbs 30:24-28
If a man who is desperately sick, knew that when he awoke tomorrow he would be completely well, would he be afraid to go to bed? If a man who is poverty stricken, hungry and ragged knew that when he awoke tomorrow he would be a rich prince, would he be afraid to go to sleep? Then why should a believer, tired of sin, weary of the tears and suffering of this world, knowing that tomorrow he shall arise in the image of Christ – pure, holy and a prince in eternal glory – fear to die? Paul longed for that blessed release which he described as “far better” and “gain.” We do not honor the promise of our Lord or the power of His blood when we cling to this life with fear and trembling. Austin doubted whether to call it, “A dying life” or a, “Living death.” Either way it is all vanity at best.
Pastor Maurice Montgomery (1939-2015)
All of Grace
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
The more we are able to look away from our works, the law, and religious duties, the stronger will be our faith. Every person is married to the law as a covenant; and, while there is any fleshly nature left in us, we will find a strong motion in our hearts which tries to turn us back to the works of the law as a ground of acceptance before God! Oh, how easily and foolishly we fall into the error of the Galatians, imagining that we are more secure or more spiritual because of our good deeds or because of our dedication to religious duties (Gal. 3:1-3; 5:1-4).
Now, I say that the more we are able to suppress this direction of thought, the stronger will be our faith and the greater will be our assurance of a saving interest in Christ. A strong believer will cast out the bond-woman and her son, owning himself only a son of free grace, an heir of God through the Lord Jesus and His perfect, righteousness imputed (Rom. 4:6-8).
The strong believer overlooks all duties, works, experiences, and even graces as a ground of acceptance with God and finds his confidence ONLY IN CHRIST! Like Paul, he counts all as loss and rubbish that he may win Christ and be found in Him (Phil. 3:7-9). He will not allow so much as one thread of personal righteousness in his covering. It shall be all of grace from top to bottom! He knows that grace reigns through righteousness imputed alone (Rom. 5:21).
Pastor Henry Mahan (bulletin article 1984)
Lord, let me live this day as if it were my last day on earth, and let my words be so seasoned with grace that they would be fitting “last words.” Pastor Scott Richardson
Our Testimony Before The Lord
“And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go” (Luke 14:2-4).
Our testimony before the Lord is not what we have done for Him but rather what the Lord has done for us in infinite love, sovereign mercy and in saving grace (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5-7). Every believer can identify with this diseased and dying man, the Lord in amazing grace took us to Himself, chose us in the eternal covenant of grace and made us His own (John 6:37; Eph. 1:3-6; 2 Thes. 2:13).
Not only is that true, but the Lord Jesus Christ also healed us, by taking all our spiritual diseases of our sin to Himself (Psalm 40:12; Matt. 8:16-17)), bearing our sin in His own body upon the tree (Isa. 53:4-6; 1 Peter 2:24) and “With His stripes we are healed”(Isa. 53:4-6). Christ put away our sin by the sacrifice of His blood (Heb. 9:26; 1 John 4:10).
And then one day the Lord found us in our dying condition lost, ruined in sin and as sheep going astray, without God without Christ and without hope (Eph. 2:12). He crossed our path and told us what He had already accomplished for us by His sacrifice (1 Peter 1:18-20) and by His mighty power set us free from the bondage of sin and the holy law of God (John 8:32; Gal. 3:13; Gal. 5:1-4). Christ Jesus our Lord has made us new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-21) and set us free to serve Him out of love and gratitude (2 Cor. 5:14).
This is our testimony before God and men what Christ has done for us and in us. We say with the Apostle Paul, “I am what I am by His grace.” (1 Cor. 15:10). I pray and hope that this is your testimony too!
“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3).
Tom Harding is pastor of Zebulon Grace Church located at 6088 Zebulon Highway, Pikeville, Kentucky 41501. You may also contact him by telephone at (606)...