We Pray That The Seeds Of Truth Contained In This Blog Will Penetrate The Good Soil Of Your Heart And Bear Much Fruit.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Night of Weeping~Worldiness

We have seen that God's cure for selfishness is the setting before us of another self to absorb our own in the person of Jesus.

We have now to see that His cure for worldliness is the bringing before us of another world, more glorious than that which He calls on us to forsake.

There is no thorough cure for it but this. It is lack of faith that makes us worldlings; 

And when the believing eye gets fixed on the world to come, then we learn to set our affections on things above.

So long, however, as all here is bright, we are content with them; we allow ourselves to sink down and settle quietly among the things of earth.

But when God unroofs our dwelling, or tears up its foundation by an earthquake, then we are forced to look upward and seek a better and more enduring portion.

Many such shocks, however, are often needed before our souls are broken off from their cleaving to the dust.

The opposite of worldliness is heavenly mindedness or spiritual mindedness.

This, the new relish which the Holy Spirit imparts at conversion, in some measure produces. But it is feeble.

It easily gives way. It is not keen enough to withstand much temptation.

God's wish is to impart a keener relish for the things of God and to destroy the relish for the things of time.

This He effects by blighting all objects in which there was earthly sweetness, so that by being deprived of objects to "mind" on earth, it may of necessity be led to "mind" the things above.

He dries up all the "nether springs" of earthly joy, that we may betake ourselves to the "upper springs" which can never fail.

There is much worldliness among the saints.

There is worldliness in their motives and actions, worldliness in their domestic life and in their interaction with society...

There is worldliness in the arrangements of their households and in the education of their families;

There is worldliness in their expenditure, so much being laid out for self, so little for God;

There is worldliness in their religious schemes, and movements, and societies; there is worldliness in their reading, and in their conversation;

There is, in short, too much of the spirit of fervent worldliness about their whole deportment, and little of calm, happy superiority to the things of earth.

They are fretted, disturbed, bustled just like the world.

They grudge labor, or fatigue, or expense, or annoyance in the cause of Christ, or in serving their fellow-men.

They have much of earth, little of Heaven about them.

They are not largehearted, openhanded- willing to spend and be spent, unmoved and unruffled, as those whose eye is ever set on the incorruptible inheritance on which they so soon shall enter.

They are low and unaspiring in the things of God.

Perhaps there are few things against which we require to be more warned than against this spirit of worldliness.

The Church is very prone to forget her pilgrim character in this present evil world and to live as a citizen of earth.

Her dignity as the eternally chosen of the Father is lost sight of; her hope as the inheritor of the glory and the kingdom of the Son is obscured.

And oh, how much of sorrow she is preparing for herself by thus losing sight of her calling!

What desolation may be even now hovering over the tabernacle of many a saint, because they will not come out and be separate, because they refuse to be "strangers on the earth as all their fathers were."

Sad it is, indeed, that we should need affliction to teach us this!

Why should we whose home and treasure are above, ever again seek our home or our treasure here?

Why should we stoop from our heavenly elevation to mingle again with the company which we have forsaken?

Have we repented of our choice? 

Are we ashamed of our pilgrim staff and our pilgrim road? Surely not.

Oh, if to be a stranger on earth is to be divided from sin and sinful appetites, from the seducing vanities and worthless mockeries of the world, from the fascinating beauty and perilous splendor of this decaying scene...

If to be a stranger on earth is to be a friend of God, a member of the heavenly household, an expectant of the kingdom, an heir apparent of the crown of glory- who would not be a stranger here?

What higher honor would we seek than to share the homelessness of Jesus, the homelessness of the Church from the beginning?

Why should we seek to enter into nearer fellowship and dearer relationship with such a world as this?

If we knew of no fairer heritage, we might not be wondered at for lusting after our forsaken pleasures.

But we have the pleasures that are at God's right hand forever, and what are earth's allurements to us?

What to us are the sights and sounds of earth, who "shall see the king in his beauty," and hear His voice, into whose lips grace is poured?

What to us is the green fertility of earth, who shall enter into the possession of the new earth, when "the winter is past, the rain over and gone"?

What to us is the gay glory of a city's wealth and pomp, who shall be made citizens of the New Jerusalem, where dwells the glory of God and of the Lamb, whose foundations are of precious stones, whose walls are of jasper, whose gates are of pearl, whose streets and pavements are of transparent gold?

Let us, then, "pass the time of our sojourning here in fear."

Let our loins be girt about and our lamps burning, and let us be as men ready to go forth to meet our returning Lord.

If we watch not, if we reject the warning, our chastisement will be sharp and sore.

The present seems a time of peculiar warning to the saints. Many are lying under the rebukes of the Lord.

Judgment has begun at the house of God. God is dealing very closely and very solemnly with His own.

On many a saint at this moment is His rod lying heavily, for He would sincerely warn and arouse them before the evil day arrive.

He is dealing with them as He dealt with Lot on the night before the desolation of Sodom.

Let the saints, then, be warned.

Let them be zealous and repent and do their first works.

Come out, be separate, touch not the unclean thing!

Put off the works of darkness; put on the armor of light. 

He is calling on them to get up to a higher level in the spiritual life, to be done with wavering, indecision, and compromise.

He is calling on them to consider the apostle and High Priest of their profession and walk in His steps.

He is calling on them to look at the cloud of witnesses, and lay aside every weight, especially that sin (of unbelief) which does so easily beset them, and to run with patience the race set before them- "looking unto Jesus."

Church of the living God! Be warned. Please not yourself, even as Jesus pleased not Himself.

Live for Him, not for yourself, for Him, not for the world.

Walk worthy of your name and calling, worthy of Him who bought you as His bride, worthy of your everlasting inheritance.

Up, too, and warn the world! The chastisements that are falling so thickly on you are forerunners of the fiery shower that is preparing for the earth.

Up, then, and warn them- urge and entreat them to flee from gathering wrath.

They have no time to lose, neither have you.

The last storm is on the wing. Its dark skirts are already visible in the heavens.

Judgment has begun at the house of God, and if so, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God!

Horatius Bonar 

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