In this world, there are some heartbreaking difficulties to be dealt with. God is going to be victorious in the end, of course, and all will be well. But let us not demand a premature cessation of sorrow. For now, our path is one of PATIENCE rather than perfect happiness.
We must get out of our comfort zones and take the gospel to those around us. The Lord is not going to be pleased if we simply give up, retreat to the safety of our church buildings, and settle into a routine of doing nothing more than “motivating the tribe.”
We influence others privately when we live our individual lives as we should, but it is also true that we sound forth God’s word publicly by our congregational worship and Bible study. We ought not to underestimate the power of our congregational assemblies to spread the gospel.
It is a privilege to be delivered from our sins. Whatever difficulties may be involved, those are a small price to pay for the freedom and joy that await us at the end of the journey. Our afflictions are nothing more than “light momentary affliction” (2 Cor. 4:17).
I’m getting a good bit of writing done this summer, but the past few weeks have found me “on the road” preaching in various places. Each location has provided a unique experience in the Lord’s work and given me cause for great joy.
I’d like to update you on the progress I’m making on the new book, “Obeying the Gospel.” This is not the only work I’m doing right now, but in my own mind it is the most important. I hope you will be excited about this writing as it progresses.
To a great extent, the quality of our lives is determined by this basic question: which will be our main focus from day to day, correcting our own faults or correcting those of others? Much that is important in life depends on our decision.
To make spiritual progress, we must deal decisively with anything that threatens either our desire or our training. “Meditate on these things,” said Paul. “Give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15).
If we humbly respond to God in the obedience of faith, we can rest assured that the answer to our prayers will never be anything less than good. And very often, the answer will go beyond the good to the better . . . and even to the best.
Much of Jesus’ praying was alone. Yes, it’s true that public prayer is permitted, and we have plenty of examples of Christians praying together in Acts. But let us not fail to heed Jesus’ emphasis on private prayer. That is where our greatest growth comes from.
“The ability to feel is indivisible. Repress awareness of any one feeling, and all feelings are dulled . . . The same nerve endings are required for weeping and dancing, fear and ecstasy.” So we need to hold on to the ability to feel, even when it’s painful to do so.
“Later” is a strong temptation. But avoidance of duty only makes matters worse. If an enemy has to be met, it’s much better to take the initiative and march out to meet him head-on, rather than cowering behind walls of postponement and procrastination.