Monday, February 27, 2023

The slothful . . .

 "The slothful man says, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets" but the Christian says, "The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force". 

If you have tasted the goodness of God, be careful not to become slothful in what God has required of you and commanded you to do. 

"The slothful hides his hand in his bosom; it grieves him to bring it again to his mouth" (Proverbs 26:15).

The slothful has lost sight of JESUS CHRIST. The will of God which ought to inspire him, pains him, for he finds himself unwilling to overcome difficulties. 

"The desire of the slothful kills him; for his hands refuse to labour" (Proverbs 21:25). 

The slothful man desires the kingdom of God with all of his heart but will never attain to it, unless he awakes to righteousness. 

If a lion stood between you and the kingdom of God what would you do? 

If you had to bear in your body "the marks of the Lord Jesus" as the apostle Paul, what would you do? 

If you had to work 60 hours a week for a foreign government who subdued your country and made you a slave, feeding you only with the "water and bread of affliction", and your only way out was to compromise what would you do?

If you had to love your neighbor as yourself, regardless of their origin, color, race or religion, and irrespective of how they treated you, what would you do?

If you truly had to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind and all of your strength, what would you do? 

If you had to watch and pray, stand fast, hold on, be sober, walk circumspectly, redeem the time, seek first the Kingdom of God, lay up treasure in heaven, run the race before you, guard your heart with all diligence, lift up your eyes to the harvest, walk by faith and not by sight, labor night and day, and follow hard after Jesus Christ, what would you do?

The slothful says, "There is a lion in the way" that is, "I can't tackle that", but the Christian says "If God is for me, who can be against me" "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me" "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him". 

The slothful man looks at the things which are seen and is governed by such. The Christian man looks not at the things which are seen, but the things which are unseen. 

In the face of certain danger, conflict, fear and even the devil himself, the Christian is not slothful in business and can boldly say (For the righteous are as bold as lions) "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. 

Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:34-39).

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“Reason dictates that persons who are truly noble and who love wisdom will honor and love only what is true. They will refuse to follow traditional viewpoints if those viewpoints are worthless...Instead, a person who genuinely loves truth must choose to do and speak what is true, even if he is threatened with death...I have not come to flatter you by this written petition, nor to impress you by my words. I have come to simply beg that you do not pass judgment until you have made an accurate and thorough investigation. Your investigation must be free of prejudice, hearsay, and any desire to please the superstitious crowds. As for us, we are convinced that you can inflict no lasting evil on us. We can only do it to ourselves by proving to be wicked people. You can kill us—but you cannot harm us.” From Justin Martyr's first apology 150 A.D. Martyred A.D. 160