Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

Someone deeply perturbed has written in spiritual distress. She was reared in a strict church long ago that preached high standards; she became discouraged, thinking that she could never measure up to those requirements for salvation, so she left the church.

Then in the providence of God, she discovered that the gospel is good news of what the Lord Jesus has done for us, that His love for us is active, not passive, that He will hold us by the hand rather than leave us to hang on in our own strength, in short, she found that “it is easier to be saved than it is to be lost,” that resisting the Holy Spirit is itself is hard work.

The good news of the gospel encouraged her, so she came back to church.

Then she discovered the book Ministry of Healing, page 452, where we read that “the struggle for conquest over self, for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle. Without continual effort and constant activity, there can be no advancement in the divine life, no attainment of the victor’s crown. ... The way of return can be gained only by hard fighting, inch by inch, hour by hour. We cannot be off guard even for a moment ... Should we come to the close of life with our work undone, it would be an eternal loss.”

Yes, it sounds scary, even while we know that it has to be common-sense-true that there is no “vacation” release from following Jesus and bearing His cross. Jesus “said to them all, If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). What appears “difficult” is closeness to Jesus; and His yoke is “easy.”

Then why this plunge back into the icy waters of apparent discouragement? It’s not discouragement: listen:

All this wonderfully high standard is absolutely true: but “it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). The Lord Jesus as our Savior motivates us by His love to keep His commandments. If the Preamble is joined to the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1), reminding us that Christ has delivered us from Egyptian dark bondage, then the Ten apparently difficult commandments become Ten wonderful promises.

Sister; don’t turn your back on the good news of what Christ has done for us; thank Him, cherish it. The good news is better than you think; no standards are lowered; instead, the grace of Christ is multiplied “much more” than sin has abounded (Rom. 5:21).

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.


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