Most of our lives would profit from some serious simplification. We are over-committed and strung out. We try to do more than one person can do effectively. And the result ought to alarm us: we are at a disadvantage when it comes to the devil.
We preach the Prince of Peace, and it’s right that we emphasize the peace He wants to give us. But this Prince brought a sword (Matthew 10:34), and this sword must sever us from our self-righteous selves — a most disturbing thing indeed.
When the whole truth comes out, as it surely will eventually, are we absolutely sure that it will show us to be in the right? Self-honesty is not an easy thing for most of us, and it may turn out that we were the ones hiding from the truth.
The glory ahead will be out of all proportion to the often dull and unexciting affliction that will have produced it. We should not underestimate ourselves. The humdrum appearance of our lives often conceals the fact that something great is going on.
When we pillow our heads at night, we need to have things that give us peace. Many such things are available, but one of the best is the simple peace of knowing that we’ve done things that day that were not easy for us to do.
Sports announcer Bob Costas once said, “We are beaten only when we quit believing in what we wish we could be.” If this is true in athletic endeavor, it’s even more true in our godly endeavors. We dare not give up the godly dreams we have.
While we are busy wishing we could serve God within the framework of someone else’s circumstances, He is no doubt saying to every one of us individually: “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”
If we’re praying to be anything other than the unique package of problems and possibilities that we are, that’s a prayer that can’t be answered. The sooner we give up on that false hope, the sooner we can concentrate on God’s plan for our own lives.
We make two mistakes regarding mercy: we suppose that God extends His mercy to those who deserve it and withholds it from those who don’t, or that after receiving God’s forgiveness we are somehow more deserving in His sight than we were before.
When we have let go of our illusions, that is when God is able to redeem us from our reality. There is no other way for the gospel to save us. We must realize that we are ruined. “How else but through a broken heart may the Lord Christ enter in?”