Would we know, for one thing, the exceeding sinfulness of sin? Let us often read these first five verses of John’s Gospel. Let us mark what kind of Being the Redeemer of mankind must needs be, in order to provide eternal redemption for sinners. If no one less than the Eternal God, the Creator and Preserver of all things, could take away the sin of the world, sin must be a far more abominable thing in the sight of God than most men suppose. The right measure of sin’s sinfulness is the dignity of Him who came into the world to save sinners. If Christ is so great, then sin must indeed be sinful!
Tag Archives: Wisdom
- “He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not put out a smoldering wick.” Matthew 12:20
A reed that grows in the marsh–let even a wild duck land upon it, and it snaps; let but the foot of man brush against it, and it is bruised and broken; every wind that flits across the river–moves it to and fro. You can conceive of nothing more frail or brittle, or whose existence is more in jeopardy, than a bruised reed.
Then look at the smoldering wick–what is it? It has a spark within it, it is true–but it is almost smothered; an infant’s breath might blow it out; nothing has a more precarious existence than its flame.
Weak things are here described–yet Jesus says of them, “I will not break a bruised reed; I will not put out a smoldering wick.” Some of God’s children are made strong to do mighty works for Him; God has His Samsons here and there–who can pull up Gaza’s gates, and carry them to the top of the hill; He has a few mighties who are lion-like men. But the majority of His people are a timid, trembling race. They are like starlings, frightened at every passer-by. They are a little fearful flock. If temptation comes–they are captured like birds in a snare. If trial threatens–they are ready to faint. Their frail skiff is tossed up and down by every wave; they drift along like a sea bird on the crest of the billows–weak things, without strength, without wisdom, without foresight.
Yet, as weak as they are–and because they are so weak–they have this promise made specially to them! Herein is grace and graciousness! Herein is love and loving-kindness! How it reveals the compassion of Jesus to us–so gentle, tender, considerate! We need never shrink back from His touch. We need never fear a harsh word from Him–though He might well chide us for our weakness. Bruised reeds shall have no blows from Him, and the smoldering wick no damping frowns!
- “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
When our mouths are empty of praise for others, it is probably because our hearts are full of love for self.
God is not given the praise he deserves when we ignore or deny the work he is doing in people.
To fail to commend the character of Christ in people is to fall into the same lackluster indifference of a person who never exclaims what a beautiful morning it is, thereby robbing the Creator of glory he deserves for making that sky, that volcano, or that character.
Good affirmations are God-centered, pointing to the image of God in a person.
God is glorified in us when we affirm the work he has done and is doing in others.
We rob God of praise by not pointing out his reflection in the people he has knit together in his image.
Before being able to affirm people well, we need to learn to affirm God, the source of everything to be affirmed in people.
- “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
God’s compassions never fail, they are indeed new every morning. He is exceedingly faithful. (Lam. 3:22) People are so committed to worry that, if they can’t find something in the present to fret about, they will focus on the potential problems of the future. Jesus tells us that tomorrow will worry for itself. Why? Because He places great faith in His Father, who holds all things together.
Because “Each day has trouble of its own,” we are to meet the temptations, trials, opportunities, and struggles of this exact moment we have been given, relying on our Father in heaven to provide and protect. Trouble will abound, whether we worry or not.
Focus on today. Tackle it head on. He promises you daily bread, not a loaf for next week.