Sunday, December 8, 2013

Luke Day #8

From J.C. Ryle's Expository Thoughts on The Gospel of Luke
Let us awake to a sense of our individual responsibility. Souls are perishing, and time is flying! Let us resolve, by God's grace, to do something for God's glory before we die. Once more let us remember our Lord's example, and, like Him, be diligent and "redeem the time."
The four kinds of hearts it describes are to be found in every assembly which hears the word. These circumstances should make us always read the parable with a deep sense of its importance. We should say to ourselves, as we read it — "This concerns me. My heart is to be seen in this parable. I, too, am here."
But nowhere perhaps is the devil so active as in a congregation of Gospel-hearers. Nowhere does he labor so hard to stop the progress of that which is good, and to prevent men and women being saved. From him come wandering thoughts and roving imaginations — listless minds and dull memories — sleepy eyes and fidgety nerves, weary ears and distracted attention. In all these things Satan has a great hand. People wonder where they come from, and marvel how it is that they find sermons so dull, and remember them so badly! They forget the parable of the sower. They forget the devil.
The Gospel which we possess was not given us only to be admired, talked of, and professed — but to be practiced. It was not meant merely to reside in our intellect, and memories, and tongues — but to be seen is our lives. Christianity is a talent committed to our charge, and one which brings with it great responsibility. We are not in darkness like the heathen. A glorious light is put before us. Let us take heed that we use it. While we have the light let us walk in the light. (John 12:35.)
The highest form of selfishness is that of the man who is content to go to heaven alone. The truest charity is to endeavor to share with others every spark of religious light we possess ourselves, and so to hold up our own candle that it may give light to everyone around us. Happy is that soul, which, as soon as it receives light from heaven, begins to think of others as well as itself! No candle which God lights was ever meant to burn alone.
Reading the BIBLE is essential to the attainment of sound Christian knowledge; yet the mere formal reading of so many chapters as a task and duty, without a humble desire to be taught of God, is little better than a waste of time.
To be weary of working for God is sinful, but to be wearied and worn in doing God's work is no sin at all. Jesus himself was weary, and Jesus slept.
The Gadarenes loved the world, and the things of the world, and were determined not to give them up. They felt convinced, in their own consciences, that they could not receive Christ among them and keep their sins, and their sins they were resolved to keep. They saw, at a glance, that there was something about Jesus with which their habits of life would never agree, and having to choose between the new ways and their own old ones, they refused the new and chose the old.
Forever let it be engraved on our hearts that faith in Christ is the grand secret of peace with God. Without it we shall never find inward rest, whatever we may do in religion. Without it we may go to services daily and receive the Lord's Supper every week — we may give our goods to the poor, and our bodies to be burned, we may fast and wear sackcloth, and live the lives of hermits — all this we may do, and be miserable after all. One true believing touch of Christ is worth all these things put together.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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