“But as for us, we must assure ourselves of the love of God, and that he is much readier to grant than we be to require, yea and that he is so pitiful and has such a respect of our miseries and necessities to relieve them, that he even prevents [goes before] us. We must be thoroughly persuaded of this when we pray. But how shall we know it? We must not bear ourselves on hand that we hold God bound unto us, and that we shall make him to grant all our desires: for what a malapertness were that? And what an honoring of God were it, if every man should say, I believe God will do whatever I command him? But we must rest upon his promises. You see then that faith is requisite in our prayers: that is to wit, that no man thrust forth himself upon his own head, but that having the promise whereby God allures us unto him, we go unto him boldly, not doubting but that he will keep touch with us.”
“God’s way of promoting revival, then, is not to increase the activity of any public and outward means only, but ‘to turn the hearts of the parents to the children.’” (from his “Parental Responsibilities”)
William Plumer’s commentary on Hebrews is out of print, and so the church unfortunately does not have ready access to this 19th century Southern Presbyterian pastor’s exegetical acumen, nor to his rich and wise piety. This long reflection on affliction will greatly benefit those who are suffering, and I commend it to you. Be forewarned, he writes in King James English, and so you may have to read slowly to comprehend fully.
I don’t exactly know what the “It’s Puzzling” treasury is, other than an assortment of puzzle-related items, but it’s pretty cool that they picked my puzzle board to highlight! Sales have dried up since the weather has become nice, so perhaps this will bring new traffic. Thanks, “It’s Puzzling!”
“All the graces of the Spirit, not excepting joy, thrive best when the waters of affliction somewhat moisten their roots.” (On Hebrews 12:1-12)
Hebrews 12:14 tells us to pursue “the holiness without which no man will see the Lord.” Do we believe that without holiness we will not see the Lord? Do we believe therefore that we ought to pursue that holiness?
Too many Christians do not pursue holiness, and one reason they do not is because they do not think it is necessary in order to see the Lord. They wrongly believe they can be justified without consequently being sanctified; that they can receive Jesus as Savior from the guilt of sin without receiving Him as Savior from the power of sin; that they can receive Him as priest without receiving Him as prophet or King. But you can’t have only half of Jesus; you either receive a whole Jesus, or no Jesus at all. We are not justified on the basis of a prior sanctification, but through faith in jesus alone. Yet all those who are justified will also be sanctified. If you are not being sanctified, if you are not pursuing holiness, then why do you think you will see the Lord? To be sure, sanctification is slow, it can be imperceptible at times; but like a garden plant, if we belong to Jesus we will be growing, slowly but surely, and we will bear fruit.