The Williams household dates all the way back to 1896 (it’s an old Victorian terraced) and take it from me, there are one or two loose floorboards that without fail, every time you walk over them, you’re greeted by the voices of Mr. and Mrs. Creak! Now please don’t misunderstand me; these defects are not foundational — Mr. and Mrs. Creak aren’t threatening to undermine the structural integrity of my house, they just like to talk a lot (and I can live with that!). But you see, that’s probably why I never take the trouble to nail them down! Who wants to be bothered with taking up the carpet to nail a single plank, then have to put it all back down again? Thus, I choose to live at peace with the Creaks and let them get on with their creaking!
My dear soul, there’s a spiritual lesson to all of this. Could it be that some of us have adopted the same nonchalant attitude when it comes to nailing down the loose planks in our lives (bad attitudes, a loose tongue, a heated temper)! Rather than going through all the trouble of fetching up the carpet to address the matter and nail things for good, we instead choose to live with it. You may well choose to tolerate it, but God does not and He’s asking us to take proactive steps to nail those loose planks so as to come on to the ground of perfection.
Idioms in the English language abound and our everyday conversation is littered with them. One such saying is, “Once bitten, twice shy”. If anyone has ever been bitten by a dog, you’ll know full well the sentiments being expressed. Simply put, if someone has a bad experience and is hurt doing a particular thing, the second time around, they’re much weary and less inclined to do the same again! Dogs are one thing and people are another. The royal command of love instructs us as Christians, to never lose the love of God towards all mankind. Loving our friends is easy, but loving those who’ve hurt us much, can at times be incredibly difficult.
May the Lord speak to each heart as the call to not grow weary in well-doing goes forth.
It could appear at first sight that the title of this sermon is a contradiction in terms. What has grace to do with doing? I thought grace and works were diametrically opposed as light is to darkness and darkness is to light? In terms of salvation, this most certainly is the case; but when it comes to the call of grace to Christian ministry, there is a labouring on the part of man under the grace which God supplies.
This sermon is a challenge and call to faithfulness in the sphere of Christian service. May God be pleased to take this sermon and speak into your heart in this most vital matter.
Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 6)
As one opens the New Testament, one is immediately confronted in succession by four books that each bear the title “The Gospel According to…”. The Gospel According to Matthew, The Gospel According to Mark, The Gospel According to Luke, and The Gospel According to John. Though these books comprise only four of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, they make up just under half of the New Testament (46%) due to their word content. God could have given us just one Gospel, but instead, He chose in His wisdom to give us four, which tells us that what is contained in these accounts is of tremendous significance.
In this first part of our studies in the Gospels, we seek to bridge the gap of distance that sometimes separates the reader from being able to rightly understand and interpret the accounts. The first two matters that we shall explore in this teaching is that of the historical and cultural separation and the Law.
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As the days wind on and the seasons become increasingly more difficult, we are going to need ever more to rely upon the succouring aid of the Holy Spirit! God didn’t mean for us to struggle through limping and hobbling in our own depleted strength, He provided supernatural means by which we might get through with a power that is not our own and a strength that has been given us by Him.
The true Church of Jesus Christ shall find encouragement and strength to stand in the hour of her persecution and shall speak as witnesses with words given her by the Holy Spirit. May we have the privilege of knowing this precious truth not only in word but experience also.