Saturday, June 21, 2008

The purpose of spiritual riches

“But, then, fourthly and mainly, consider, that spiritual riches will enable you to live up to your principles.
That man that hath but so much grace as will keep hell and his soul asunder, will never live up to his principles. Souls weak in grace are too apt to deny, and in their practices to contradict, their own principle; and oh that this age could not furnish with too many instances of this nature! Oh! What is that, that is the reproach of religion and the dishonor of God and the gospel but this, that professors live below their principles, that they live not up to his own principles, but will upon every occasion and temptation be ready to wound two at once; the honor of God and his own soul. Yea, men that are not rich in grace, will be ready to deny their own principles…….”

“The young philosophers were very forward to get the precepts of their sect and the rules of severity, that they might discourse with kings and nobles, not that they reform their own manners. Many professors in this age are like those philosophers; they are very industrious to get knowledge, that they may be able to discourse, and that they may be eyed, owned, and honored among others, for their knowledge and understanding. But now souls that are rich in grace, they labor after greater measures of grace, out of love to grace, and because of an excellency that they see in grace. Grace is a very sparkling jewel, and he that loves it, and pursues after it for its own native beauty, hath much of it within him.”
Thomas Brooks

In the Christian life much is said about the wonder, glory, and joy given by the Holy Spirit. But what must never be lost is that this is a means to an end in God’s economy. We are saved by this glorious grace to become God’s workmanship created to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph. 2:8-10

We know that in us there is no good thing, but when God captures the heart with His grace, he sets the heart on fire, and this fire will go to the most remote parts of the world to labor and suffer for the good of others; Mother Teresa would be the perfect example of this. Another will travel night and day for years spreading the hope of God’s message through all manner of obstacles; John Wesley would be an example of this. Others empowered by this gift of grace will sacrifice there wants so they may send money and aid clear across the world to people they have never met because this love for mankind boils, burns and bursts into acts of charity motivated by this Great Grace God gives. Grace in the heart translates into compassion for others. The more grace, the more motivation, love and action.
Schools are erected, hospitals built, orphans cared for, widows supported, hope for the hopeless, oppression resisted, purity and innocence protected and defended.

Oh this matchless grace that works in the heart of man to love one another as He loves us.

I’ll leave off with two passages that clarify this heart changing, soul moving, compassion compelling grace.
Job, a man filled with grace, called by God blameless and upright speaks of the out-workings of grace in chapter 29 –

“…I rescued the poor who cried for help and the fatherless who had none to assist him. The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing.
I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. I broke the jaws of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth.”

And lastly Isaiah 58:6- thru
Is not this the purpose of grace – “…to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and bread every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

Amazing Grace, to minister to the practical and the spiritual needs of the entire world thereby glorifying God, saving souls, and enjoying Him forever.


Mel said...

Words are soooo inadequate to describe the light and joy that floods my soul after reading this post (for the second time now). Oh, God, that He may set fire to our hearts in this way, and that we may be continually strengthened to be the hands and feet and love of Christ to everyone God places in our lives.

FCB said...

Amen Mel, these two passages are so inspiring. Reading of the blessings that come with service in Isaiah is also a great blessing.