Quotes (45)

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Perhaps you have at this moment a beloved brother who has move to a large community, launched for the first time amide the temptations of a great city, in order to make his way in education or business. How will he turn out? How will he get on? Will you ever see him again? Do you not know that you often think about that brother? That is affection!
— J. C. Ryle

I have been reading J. C. Ryle’s classic tome Holiness for the past several months. Now, before you get all haughty please understand, Holinessis an easy read linguistically, but is a true challange spiritually. I’ll be back to this book often no doubt. Those of you who have read this book before will no doubt agree.

So… WHY am I posting THAT quote? Recently a beloved brother moved from Ephesus (code name) to Gomorrah (code name). Even more recently this beloved brother encountered a life-changing (at first life-threatening) chronic health issue. Those who know us both could see how concerned I was for his health. I found myself looking at Paul’s words in Philippians 2:27 praying for his recovery. Selfish? Perhaps… But I take comfort in knowing Paul had the same sentiment so it must not be abnormal.

Those who have read Holiness may recall the context of that quote. “Do you love me?”

I have been pondering that lately. If I have such as strong, visceral (I couldn’t eat, nor was I hungry) reaction to someone I love here on earth, how much MORE should my love for Christ be? … Ouch…

I found my last thought the night I heard of his health issue being for his well-being and the first thought the next morning the same. But where do my thoughts lie in Christ? Should not my last thought before sleep be His glory and my first thought in the morning be the same?

By that I am confronted head long with the on-going battle of flesh and spirit. Romans 7:15-24 sums it up nicely and always has. The process of sanctification is not a garden path lined with sweet smelling flowers and a bright sunny sky with a smattering of fluffy clouds that, “Hey! That one looks like a VW Bug!” Rather it is a mountain trek that makes Angel’s Landing look like Pa’rus.  The only hope myself or anyone else has in sanctification is found in Romans 7:25, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” What a blessing. Jesus Christ. The one we spurn, reject, scorn, and ignore is the one who intercedes for us (see Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25, and 1 John 2:1). Even our process of sanctification is meant to have us face down giving thanks to the Triune God.

This Thanksgiving, as you thank God for food, family, friends, and nice things, do not forget to give thanks for God himself. Give thanks for salvation, for sanctification, for struggles and trials, for victories and blessings. Praise the Lord for sickness and infirmity that draws us to Him. Glorify the Lord for times of health so we may be productive. Bless the Lord when he gives and when he takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord! (HT: Job 1:21)

May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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One Response to “Quotes (45)”

  1. Yumm… Tofurkey « Hazardous Material Says:

    […] Hazardous Material Don’t conform… Be transformed! « Quotes (45) […]

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