- Today's verse: 1 Thessalonians 1:10, "When He comes to be glorified in His
saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, for our
testimony to you was believed.
Today's topic: Jesus Admired in Us
This is an interesting passage from Spurgeon. It has a little something for
everyone, Christian and non-Christian. I thought the section at the end, of
how those who we might shy away from because of appearance or affliction will
look when glorified in Christ, to be of particular use and interest.
"First, the text suggests that the principal subject for self-examination
with us all should be--Am I a saint? Am I holy? Am I believer in Christ? Yes
or no, for on that yea or no must hang your glorification of Christ, or your
banishment from his presence.
"The next thing is -- observe the small value of human opinion. When Christ
was here, the world reckoned him to be a nobody, and while his people are
here, they must expect to be judged in the same way. What do worldlings know
about it? How soon will their judgment be reversed! When our Lord shall appear,
even those who sneered will be compelled to admire. When they shall see the
glory of Christ in every on of his people, awe-stricken, they will have nothing
to say against us; nay, not even the false tongue of malicious slander shall
dare to hiss out a serpent word in that day. Never mind them, then; put up
with reproach which shall so soon be silenced.
"The next suggestion is a great encouragement to inquirers who are seeking
Christ; for I put it to you, you great sinner, if Jesus is to be glorified in
saved sinners, would he not be glorified indeed if he saved you? If he were
ever to save such a rebel as you have been, would it not be the astonishment of
eternity? I mean you who are known in the village as Wicked Jack, or known as
a common swearer -- what if my Master were to make a saint of you! Bad raw
material! Yet suppose he transformed you into a precious jewel, and made you to
be as holy as God is holy, what would you say of him? "Say of him," say you,
"I would praise him world without end." Yes, and you shall do so, if you
will come and trust him. Put your trust in him. The Lord help you to do so at
once, and he shall be admired, even in you, forever and ever.
Our text gives an exhortation to believers also. Will Jesus Christ be
honored and glorified in all the saints? Then let us think well of them all, and
love them all. Some dear children of God have uncomely bodies, or they are
blind or deformed, or maimed; and many of these have scanty purses, and it may be
the church knows most of them as coming for alms: moreover, they have little
knowledge, little power to please, and they are uncouth in manners, and belong
to what are called the lowest ranks of society Do not, therefore, despise
them, for one day our Lord will be glorified in them. How he will be admired in
yonder poor bedridden woman, when she rises from the workhouse to sing
hallelujah to God and the Lamb, among the brightest of the shining ones. Why,
methinks the pain, the poverty, the weakness, and the sorrow of saints below will
greatly glorify the Captain of their salvation, as they tell how grace helped
them to bear their burdens and to rejoice under their afflictions."
Soli Deo Gloria, T-
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- "God Doesn't Hear My Prayers," originally published 6-20-2009-06-20
1 Samuel 28:6, When Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by the prophets.
I have said it. Many others have said it, also, God doesn’t hear my prayers. It seems that every follower of Christ can sometimes say that we pray like the woman before the judge (Luke 18:1-8). We come often, almost wearing out God kind-of often (if that were possible), but He doesn’t answer. I suspect we have all felt it. It seems that our prayers get intercepted by a satellite and never reach Heaven. It seems that the cloud cover on a cloudy day blocks our prayers and rebounds them back down to Earth. It seems that all our pleadings and strivings with God avail to nothing.
Have you felt that way? I know that I have. There are many precious promises in Scripture that God hears prayer. I will only list a couple here from the Psalms alone: The Lord hears when I call to Him, Psalm 4:3; O Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble; Thou wilt strengthen their heart. Thou wilt incline Thine ear, Psalm 10:17. I have called upon Thee, for Thou wilt answer me, O God, Psalm 17:6. For I hope in Thee, O Lord; Thou wilt answer, O Lord my God, Psalm 38:15, and lastly a precious promise from Psalm 94:9, He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
We know that the Lord hears. We can all point to times when the Lord has heard our prayers. We must remember these times, and store them up for encouragement in our future seekings of the Lord’s mercy. The Lord hears in His time, and He answers in His perfect time. We are wrong when we say that the Lord does not hear the prayers of His children, and we know it. Let us not say this any more, because in saying these things, we deny the promises of God. We deny what He expressly says in His Word. He promises to hear. Our duty is to pray and trust Him. We come as beggars, and we ought to, as beggars, be often in coming for supplies.
So what do we do with this passage quoted above? Here it is clear that God did not hear Saul’s prayer. Why did God not answer Saul? Saul was not heard because God had rejected him. It is unwise to speculate on the condition of any soul in Scripture, unless we are expressly told, and even then, let us leave the judgment to God alone - who makes no mistakes. But we are aware that Saul was rejected of the Lord, 1 Samuel 15. Saul disobeyed the Lord, and it was His sin that blocked God’s willingness to hear Saul’s prayers. There is a lot more that we could say here, but let us draw, personally, the clear, simple application. We know that God hears the prayers of His children. We have this said plainly, over and over, in God’s Word. We have here an example of God not hearing prayer, and we are given the reason. Saul’s sin blocked his prayers. God would not hear him. We ought to examine our lives. Is there sin that is hindering our prayers? It is a
fair question to ask ourselves, and a wise one.
However, let us not chalk up all seemingly unanswered prayer to sin. That would be equally unwise. Yes, we must examine ourselves, but often God’s time is not our time. His ways are not always our ways. The reason for unanswered prayer may be that God has answered another way, or He has delayed in His answer. I am not suggesting, when we struggle in prayer, that we beat ourselves up. Looking for sin in our lives, though tough self-examination, is a fair thing for us to do, but rather I am suggesting that we seek to live faithfully before Him, trusting Him always, and often bringing our requests before Him in our prayers.
Soli Deo Gloria,
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