Monday, September 01, 2008

Subject - The earnest and unfeigned desires and careful endeavors of the soul to abandon all sin, to forsake all sin, to be rid of all sin; - "Now where God sees this frame of spirit, there he will certainly pardon the failings, and pass by the imperfections of his people; and he 'will spare them as a man spareth his son that serveth him,' Mal. 3:17.
Now you know, when a prudent, tender, indulgent father sees his child to fail and come short in that which he enjoins him to do, yet knowing that his desires and endeavors are to please him and serve him, he will not be harsh, rigid, sour, or severe towards him, but will spare him, and exercise much tenderness and indulgence towards him; and will God, whose mercies reach above the heavens, and whose compassion's are infinite, and whose love is like himself, carry it worse towards his children than men do carry it towards theirs? Surely no. God's fatherly indulgence accepts of the will for the work, Heb.13:18, 2Cor. 8:12, as a father will accept in his child the desire for the deed, and if there be a blemish in his child, he will pity it, and cast a mantle of love over it.
A sick man is not more desirous to be rid of all his diseases, nor a prisoner to be freed from all his bolts and chains, than the true penitent is desirous to be rid of all his sins." Thomas Brooks

Until of late, I hadn't underlined 2Cor. 8:12, but I wonder how I haven't? Such an important verse in Christian societies where legalism prevails.

Thomas Brooks - Photo by Morteza Khorrami

3 comments:

HAINAngel2000 said...

what a breathtaking picture!!! I love the post too of course ..hugs Mary

Mel said...

I agree, it's an amazing picture!

Praise God for His mercy as we (I) struggle along, making far more mistakes than not. You're right. 2 Cor 8:12 is a very comforting verse.

I do have a question, though. What does one do when the will to do right dies, or hides, or is weakened? What do they do when they don't even have the desire to seek God to give them the will? They're still His children, even if they are disobedient, stubborn, deceived and rebellious. I think the glory of God's mercy shines even more brilliantly in these situations.

Bless you, Fred! I've caught up on reading all of your posts through today, and they're all incredible, as always. Mind-expanding, soul-enriching food for meditation. :)

FCB said...

I'm glad you both like this picture, when I first saw it I was spell-bound. Such a tender care and such a look of trust in the child.

Now, to the question you posed Mel; I think I will answer this in two parts, one here and the other as a post.
I thought about this for a long time and with the little I have to go on it will doubtless miss the mark but maybe at least hit the target. The first scripture that I came to was 2 Thess. 3:3, "But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one." What I see in this is a very important principle; our salvation is in His hands not ours. We will have winters of the soul and we lose all signs of life during these times, but if you look to Song of Songs 2:9 My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the lattice."
God is here represented as a young stag, not bringing second hand gifts or tired phrases, but something new and full of life, but also see where he was; behind a wall, looking through the lattice. Although you may not see him, or desire him, or feel him, he is there, just behind the lattice. Then notice what new promise he brings, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone." A new season will begin, a season he brings, blessings he graces us with, not of our doing, but while we are in our deepest winter. Read on to see how he describes the blessings.

So, I'll wrap up this part with this simple encouragement, He may allow winters to come, but when His time is right, when the frosts and snows have killed what needs be, He will raise us. He is in control of those whose heart has been pledged to Him. Watch and see.