ARE YOU NEAR OR AFAR

The saints are a people near to God. Salvation is far from the wicked; but God is a help at hand to his people; and this is by the blood of Christ, by the merit of his sufferings and death.

Every believing sinner owes his nearness to God, and his interest in his favour, to the death and sacrifice of Christ.

The SAINTS are people near to God!

Do you not know that if you have been truly saved, truly reconciled, truly forgiven, 100% adopted into God’s Kingdom, you are by Biblical definition a saint?

This makes me both happy and sad. Happy because God loved me enough (and hopefully you) to call me out of the World, out of a life of sin, drew me by His Word, hearkened to me by His Holy Spirit, “Come ye sinner, poor and weary, broken-hearted, and I will give you rest”!

And yet, how often do I not draw near!

How often am I busy with the things of the world instead of the good works He has prepared for His saints to do! Or worse yet, waste time doing nothing in this world, or stuffing myself with stubble, chaff, things that do not spiritually feed me at all. I am filled with T.V, sports, hobbies, idolatry.

I confess these things with dry partched lips, coming to church once, maybe twice a week to draw from the waters that He promised that once I drank of, I would thirst no more, and yet, here I come again thirsty because I had not drank of His refreshing waters the other 5 days. I confess these things, but many times it is just that, a confession, many times with little to no action. So it becomes a vicious cycle of the Word and the flesh, what is one to do!

Fret not child of God, for He IS is rich in mercy and grace! He know that we are feeble, fickle, waxing and waining at times, but let those times not also be an excuse to not repent and turn back! For it is the evil one, trying to draw you back to his false promises of a false sense of security that at best lasts in this world for but a brief moment, where as the promises of God, of Christ, of the Holy Spirit are of far greater worth and eternal value!

As I close, remember the last part of Mister Henry’s writing as well, for it is such thoughts as this as we dwell on each day that keep us nigh unto Him!

Every believing sinner owes his nearness to God, and his interest in his favour, to the death and sacrifice of Christ.

Although we are by Christs by His atoning blood on the cross of Calvary, let us also not so foolishly think that we no longer sin, no dear reader, without daily focusing on the Gospel of Christ and staying under the Word of God and the armor therein, we are easily swayed by the world, some more easily than others! In today’s modern world, there are many who are yet but mere babes, and sadly have been this way for years! And as saints of old continue to be called home unto glory, fewer and fewer are being taught to stay on well worn narrow paths to that same glory and rather take the faster wider road unto to destruction!

Dear reader, I leave you with this quite simple question. Are you near and dear to Christ, or are you a wayward prodigal searching for your way to the cross, maybe for the first time. Maybe you thought you were saved in your foolish actions and have not yet humbled yourself at the foot of the cross of Calvary. Maybe you though you knew the Savior, Jesus Christ, but that is it, a brief passing glimpse, a seed once planted, but never nurtured or watered. Maybe you are fearing and trembling after reading this, knowing that if you were to die today, there would be no hope for you, and you would spend and eternity in hell! Dear reader, the beauty of the fountain of the blood of Christ is that it is never closed, never too late, until that day the trumpet sounds, for then all who are His will be called home to glory. Repent of your sins, and put your complete faith and trust in His finished works on the cross, and daily stay near to the Shepherd, the Son of God, who died for your sins, reconciled you unto God who remembers your sins no more, and one day, you too will be called home unto His glory.

Amen

#ToGodBeTheGlory

MENDING FENCES

Good fences make good neighbors.

Robert Frost

The quote above is most famously given credit to Robert Frost, but it actually comes from an old 17th century proverb. And what is the purpose of a proverb, to teach wisdom!

This weekend I watched my human daddy go it alone wrestling with my new kennel and trying to get it finished. The weekend before he got frustrated, angry, hurried and started pulling and tugging to unroll the chain link fence to my kennel and ended up damaging it and needed to repair it to keep it functioning it properly. Fences have many functions and purposes; some are low, and some are high, some are metal and some are wood, some are decorative and some keep things in or out. And when I think about fences in the Christian life, two things come to mind.

1) Those who are Christs’, He is their protection, their fence if you will, we are His sheep and He is our great shepherd. However, there is also a great enemy lurking about, looking to snatch away the weak sheep from the flock that they may be devoured, and unfortunately it happens from time to time. It is not because the shepherd did not protect the sheep, but the sheep did not eat or like to eat sheep food. Instead it settled for the things of the world which made the weak sheep lazy and lethargic, thereby making them easy pray.

2) These fences remind me of times when neighbors although separated for whatever reason, maybe like back in the days of the Old Testament, kept the property properly divided and the animals separate one flock from another, they served a purpose. Unfortunately, over time, these fences became too divisive, and the enemy has used them to make man greedy or even more secluded from his other neighbors, so again, they are easy pickings for the enemy. This is why fences need mending.

So why is this important, and how does it pertain to the Christians life? Well, first we need to define the word mend.

To mend something, means to be free from faults or defects, such as to improve in manners or morals, to be reformed. To be corrected or set right, to be put into good shape or working order, to improve or strengthened, to restore health, to be atoned for. Do these words not describe exactly the reason why Christ came to earth, to be an atonement for man, to make right and mend the broken relationship that sin caused between God the Father and Man. That Christ came to heal and cure the sickness and sin in those who repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in him.

This is the point of what James is trying to say in his epistle. Confess your sins one to another, pray for one another that you may be healed (mended). Like we discussed yesterday, when prayer is fervent, it is effectual, when prayer is meaningful, sincere, in love for God and for His truth, done in obedience and in the Holy Spirit, it avails much, and more than we know.

For to be truly healed, truly reconciled, man does not have the power to do so for himself and needs God.

We needed God to send His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to do His Father’s will, and that was to reconcile sinful man to His His Holiness and Righteousness. Christ blood shed atoned for the sinners sins, in that He was the propitiation, the perfect sacrifice acceptable by God for man to be not only reconciled, but Christs’ Righteousness imputed to us through being adopted into the Kingdom. Let us not also forget the Holy Spirit, the one who renewed us by removing the hardness and hatred towards God, the vile enmity the separated us. He who removed the heart of stone and gave us a heart of flesh, being renewed, invigorated, new eyes to see and ears to hear, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that call that tells all who are weary, to come, and He will give us rest. That reconciliation, that mending, is the best thing that could ever happen to a sinner, and that is why we too need to be fence menders. To show grace, mercy, and love to those who we have wronged and sinned against. To forgive and learn how to forgive, and in doing so, we will love our neighbors as ourselves.

So you have some fences that need mending? Do you harbor hate towards another, a grudge you have been holding on to for far too long. Is pride keeping you from being mended by God and mended to your neighbor? If so, confess these things, let them go, give them to God, for life is too short to continue heavily in these sins. Let us truly be reconciled one to another, for if we truly are is, we will be spending an eternity together in His glory, so we might was well get used to enjoying the blessing now.

#ToGodBeTheGlory