Bible Top 1000

All Noble Things are Difficult
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"Enter ye in at the strait gate . . because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way. . ."
(Matthew 7:13-14)

If we're going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all noble things are difficult. The Christian life's gloriously difficult, but the difficulty of it doesn't make us faint and cave in, it rouses us up to overcome. Do we so appreciate the marvellous salvation of Jesus Christ that we're our best for His glory?

God saves men by His sovereign grace through the Atonement of Jesus; He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure; but we have to work out that salvation in practical living. If once we start on the basis of His Redemption to do what He commands, we find that we can do it. If we fail, it's because we haven't practiced. The crisis will reveal whether we've been practicing or not. If we obey the Spirit of God and practice in our physical life what God has put in us by His Spirit, then when the crisis comes, we'll find that our own nature as well as the grace of God will stand by us.

Thank God He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a glad thing, but it's also a heroic, holy thing. It tests us for all we're worth. Jesus' bringing many "sons" unto glory, and God won't shield us from the requirements of a son. God's grace turns out men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not "milk sops". It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jesus in actual things. It's always necessary to make an effort to be noble.

The Christian's Hope

The hope of immortality and eternal life is as old as the history of man. The religion of every country contains elements of the hope of a life beyond this one. Job, in probably the oldest writing in the Bible, asks, "If a man die, shall he live again?" and then by inspiration answers the question, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee" (Job 14:14, 15). The great apostle Paul was writing to the Thessalonians upon the duties and responsibilities of a holy life, relative to our duty to God and our fellow man, when, in answer to their questioning concerning the future life and its possibilities, which I infer was mingled with certain doubts and fears, he leaves his subject in hand in verse 12 (1 Thessalonians 4) and in verse 13 begins a line of discussion relative to the question of meeting our loved ones beyond the grave. "But I would not have you to be ignorant, bretheren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him...For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain whall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." Genuine faith contains no element of uncertainty, and so we believe, as the great apostle has taught us, that those who have died in Christ, God will bring with him, and that we all, who are saved, shall be together forevermore.

That troublesone question of a home beyond the grave is forever settled in the words of the Master in John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." If the promise of a life beyond this present one had been a myth, or tradition, instead of a fact, Christ would have told them so; but he positively stated that their hopes were based upon truth, insomuch that he told them to give it no more anxious thought.

Becoming Mission Christians

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth."
(John 17:17-19)

From the Latin word "send", we derive the word "mission." Depending on our experience, we may get various pictures in our minds from that word.

Some people may think of the space shuttle mission; others may envision a "seek-and-destroy" mission, like the attack on our nation September 11th. In any case, "mission" brings to mind someone going out to do a task of some sort.

Jesus was the greatest Missionary because He was sent by His Father to redeem the world. He completed His task on the Cross and announced it by saying, "It's finished."

Jesus honors His children by sending them to proclaim the benefits of His divine work. We're invited to take part in His great work!

We need not all go to places far off. But we can take part in Christ's mission in many ways right here where we are! With our talents and means and opportunities, we can respond to Jesus' sending.

Remember, Jesus didn't ask His Father to take the believers out of this world, but to use them in the world. And because He sends us into the world, we should not try to escape from it, nor avoid a relationship with unbelievers. We're called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), and we are to do the work that God set before us to do.

Our Lord calls us to Himself that we may believe and be saved, and He also expects us to go out that others may be saved also. We should therefore be eager and willing to carry out the mission that His Son Jesus left us to pick up and proclaim.

May the good Lord use us today to tell someone of His redeeming love.

Let's plan our mission for this day... Revealing the love of the Lord; Let's help others seek His marvelous grace So we all will be of one accord.