James Ryle

James Ryle – The Word of His Grace

James Ryle

The Word of His Grace

“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” (Act 20:32)

Let me set the scene for you. There was a gathering of some of Paul’s dearest friends on the docks of the Ephesian harbor, shortly before was to board the vessel that would take him to Jerusalem – and ultimately to a Roman prison. This would be the last time Paul would ever see these dear friends, and he knew it.

They feared it, and sought earnestly to persuade him to change his mind; to cancel his traveling plans and stay on with them. But, as we saw yesterday, their tender appeals held no power over the greater influence of the Word of the Lord placed upon his heart by the Holy Spirit.

But, surely he could effectively serve the Lord by staying there with them, for Ephesus was an epicenter city – having great influence near and far. Paul could live out his days in peace and prosperity, carried by the love and support of so many to whom he meant so much. Surely his ministry there would thrive!

Yet, Paul was unpersuaded. He leaves them, but he does not leave them empty-handed.

“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

Paul is not pontificating here; he is testifying. There is a difference. One means saying things that are right because they have been studied and learned from books. The other means saying things that are true because they have been lived and proven on the road of life.

Paul knew from firsthand experience the power of God’s grace, and he also knew it would be the only means whereby the leaders and the church in Ephesus would prevail.

the empowering presence of God enabling them to be who God created them to be, and to do what God had called them to do – they surely would fall victim to the “grievous wolves” who were poised to enter among them to ravage the flock.

And there were a few even among Paul’s dearest friends who, like Judas at the Last Supper, were waiting for him to leave so that they in his absence could “arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them’ (Act 20:29-30).

Therefore, knowing these things, Paul gave them the one thing they needed most – a blessing of the Grace of God.

He tells them of its power “to build them up, and to give them an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” And those who took his words to heart found everything he said to be true.

Those who did not heed his apostolic words did indeed fall away. They fell from grace to such a degree that the Lord Jesus personally chided them years later in John’s apocalyptic message — “You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen!” (Rev 2:4-5).

What about you and me? Will we stay the course empowered by the grace of God? Will we be all that God wants us to be, and do all that He has purposed for us to do?

Will we let the Word of His grace build us up, and give us our inheritance among all those who have been set apart for God?

Yes! By the grace of God!

James Ryle

Stephanie Quick

Stephanie Quick

Hudson Taylor

Autobiography of Hudson Taylor

We turn corners in our own lives when we decisively commit to “have this mind” in us also, much like Hudson Taylor’s transformative time on Brighton Beach in the summer of 1865. He recorded afterwards that while in a corporate worship service home in England after spending some preliminary time in China, his stomach turned and he couldn’t stay in the room:

“Unable to bear the sight of a congregation of a thousand or more Christian people rejoicing in their own security, while millions were perishing for lack of knowledge, I wandered out on the sands alone, in great spiritual agony; and there the LORD conquered my unbelief, and I surrendered myself to God for this service. I told Him that all the responsibility as to issues and consequences must rest with Him; that as His servant, it was mine to obey and follow Him – His, to direct, to care for, and to guide me and those who might labour with me. Need I say that peace at once flowed into my burdened heart?”

Stephanie Quick, To Trace A Rising Sun, p. 138-139.

“as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Charles Spurgeon – Love

If we know that Jesus is with us, every power will be developed, and every grace will be strengthened, and we shall cast ourselves into the Lord’s service with heart…

Charles Spurgeon – Love

Charles Spurgeon

“Lo, I am with you always”
Matthew 28:20

“The Lord Jesus is in the midst of his church; he walketh among the golden candlesticks; his promise is, “Lo, I am with you alway.” He is as surely with us now as he was with the disciples at the lake, when they saw coals of fire, and fish laid thereon and bread. Not carnally, but still, in real truth, Jesus is with us. And a blessed truth it is, for where Jesus is, love becomes inflamed. Of all the things in the world that can set the heart burning, there is nothing like the presence of Jesus! A glimpse of him so overcomes us, that we are ready to say, “Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” Even the smell of the aloes, and the myrrh, and the cassia, which drop from his perfumed garments, causes the sick and the faint to grow strong. Let there be but a moment’s leaning of the head upon that gracious bosom, and a reception of his divine love into our poor cold hearts, and we are cold no longer, but glow like seraphs, equal to every labour, and capable of every suffering.

If we know that Jesus is with us, every power will be developed, and every grace will be strengthened, and we shall cast ourselves into the Lord’s service with heart, and soul, and strength; therefore is the presence of Christ to be desired above all things. His presence will be most realized by those who are most like him. If you desire to see Christ, you must grow in conformity to him. Bring yourself, by the power of the Spirit, into union with Christ’s desires, and motives, and plans of action, and you are likely to be favoured with his company.

Remember his presence may be had. His promise is as true as ever. He delights to be with us. If he doth not come, it is because we hinder him by our indifference. He will reveal himself to our earnest prayers, and graciously suffer himself to be detained by our entreaties, and by our tears, for these are the golden chains which bind Jesus to his people.”
– Charles Spurgeon

Brian Troxel – The Love of God

Brian Troxel – The Love of God

love and prayer

“The simplicity of the Love of God being shed abroad in our hearts BY the Holy Spirit requires a LIFE that is LIVED IN the Holy Spirit” Brian Troxel

Ω

“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost” Romans 5:5

Bob Kauflin – Suffering

Our suffering is never purposeless, blind, unfair, or random. In the midst of adversity, he is working out his gracious plans for us (2 Cor 4:17-18).

Bob Kauflin – Suffering

the suffering one

“Our suffering is never purposeless, blind, unfair, or random. In the midst of adversity, He is working out his gracious plans for us (2 Cor 4:17-18). The Savior is the only innocent one to ever suffer”
– Bob Kauflin

%d bloggers like this: