My Tuesday evening life group is reading the book Holiness! by J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) The book is available free online because it’s in the public domain. At the bottom of the Table of Contents is this note: (This volume is considered the best book on the Christian life that has EVER been written.) What a statement! I agree with it, wholeheartedly! Ryle does not mince words. He lays out the Christian life and what it should look like. Then, he backs it all up with Scripture.
Last night’s reading was full of excellent stories and information that I would like to quote over the next few days.
From the Chapter titled Thirst Relieved!
“I knew a family, consisting of a father, mother and ten children, in which true religion began with one of the daughters, and when it began she stood alone, and all the rest of the family were in the world. And yet, before she died, she saw both her parents and all her brothers and sisters converted to God, and all this, humanly speaking, began from her influence! Surely, in the face of this, we need not doubt that a believer may be to others a river of living water. Conversions may not be in your time, and you may die without seeing them. But never doubt that conversion generally leads to conversions, and that few go to Heaven alone. When Grimshaw of Haworth, the apostle of the north, died, he left his son graceless and godless. Afterwards the son was converted, never having forgotten his father’s advice and example. And his last words were, ‘What will my old father say when he sees me in Heaven?’ Let us take courage and hope on, believing Christ’s promise.”
Holiness! J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)
Many Members, One Body
We may never know the influence we have on the lives of those around us. Until we all meet in Heaven, we may not know of the souls we save during our time here on earth. That’s why it’s so important to use our spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Ephesians 4:11-16)and do the work God calls us to do. That’s why it’s also so important to remember we are image-bearers. We’re the first glimpse of Christ and His characteristics that non-believers see. Christ had all of the spiritual gifts and He divided them up among His sheep so we could go out into the world separately, but collectively show Him to the world. We are all members of one body of Christ (Romans 12:4-5).
The fingers work with the hands, and the hands work with the arms and shoulders to lift up those who are broken. Just like one who serves works with one who teaches who works with one who preaches to spread the gospel to every nation and every tribe (Revelation 7:9). Pray. Ask God what He wants you to do today. Be mindful as you go through your day to be the light of Christ in your mission field.
Bible Verse of the Day
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8:28-30 ESV
Father, we are so thankful for You, for Your presence in our everyday lives. We are thankful for Your love and mercy. Father, we are thankful that You sent Your Son into the world to show us how we’re to live. We’re thankful for Your word that gives us instruction, inspiration, and encouragement. Father, we thank You for Your many blessings and provisions. Lord, we ask that You show us how, when, and where to use our spiritual gifts. We ask in order to best serve You and Your purpose for our lives.
Father, we come before You this day to ask for protection for the young family heading out to the mission field this week. We pray for all of the missionaries who are spread out all over the world. We pray for those who You’ve not yet called to be missionaries. May they hear the calling and prepare their minds and hearts for the work ahead.
Father, we pray for the people of Ukraine and for the refugees who’ve fled that country and are now living in tents. The temperatures there are frigid, and the living conditions are rough. Please take care of them, Lord. Please protect them and encourage them, Father. We know that everything happens for a reason, according to Your perfect plan and in Your perfect timing. We trust in You, Father. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen.