The Day of Challenge

The Day of Challenge arrives;
Shall I ignore it?
Or drown in successive waves,
Passive before it?

Shall I leave the soul sleeping?
Shall I wake it,
To seek the Savior weeping
And let him save it?

The Challenge is mine from heaven
And I shall meet it.
Each day, each hour I’m driven
To soon complete it.

Live to win souls

Not a big Spurgeon fan, but this is good. I have slightly updated the language.

“I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” 1 Corinthians 9:22.

Paul’s great objective was not merely to instruct and to improve, but to save. Anything short of this would have disappointed him; he would have people renewed in heart, forgiven, sanctified, in fact, saved. Have our Christian labors been aimed at anything below this great point? Then let us amend our ways, for of what avail will it be at the last great day to have taught and moralized men if they appear before God unsaved?

Blood-red will our skirts be if through life we have sought inferior objects, and forgotten that men needed to be saved. Paul knew the ruin of man’s natural state, and did not try to educate him, but to save him; he saw men sinking to hell, and did not talk of refining them, but of saving from the wrath to come.

To compass their salvation, he gave himself up with untiring zeal to telling abroad the gospel, to warning and beseeching people to be reconciled to God. His prayers were importunate and his labors incessant. To save souls was his consuming passion, his ambition, his calling. He became a servant to all people, toiling for his race, feeling a woe within him if he preached not the gospel. He laid aside his preferences to prevent prejudice; he submitted his will in things indifferent, and if people would but receive the gospel, he raised no questions about forms or ceremonies: the gospel was the one all-important business with him. If he might save some he would be content. This was the crown for which he strove, the sole and sufficient reward of all his labors and self-denials.

Dear reader, have you and I lived to win souls at this noble rate? Are we possessed with the same all-absorbing desire? If not, why not? Jesus died for sinners, cannot we live for them? Where is our tenderness? Where is our love to Christ, if we seek not his honor in the salvation of others? O that the Lord would saturate us through and through with an undying zeal for the souls of men!

Strange! Bible verses until this really big point

See this page about how to know God. Every point has one or more Bible verses to substantiate it. (We have a beef with some of those points, but leave it for now.) There are Bible verses all over, until it comes down to answer the most important question that man can consider: “What must I do to accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and eternal life?”

The answer? “Pray a prayer like this:” …

And then a prayer that comes, not from the Bible, but from somebody’s imagination.

No Bible verse. No Bible proof. No Bible citation. Just somebody’s made-up prayer.

Strange, isn’t it, how people claim to tell you what the Bible is saying, and then when it comes to explaining how to be saved, they drop the Bible altogether?

Very strange, indeed.

The Bible has plenty to say about how to know God, how to accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and eternal life. But there is no prayer in the Bible like the one published on the page. The Bible never, ever tells anybody to pray a prayer in order to be saved. There are very different answers, but the authors of the webpage prefer their own version of what to do.

Nothing Christian to that.

Humility

Jesus had to humble himself to become our Savior, Phil 2.5-11. We must humble ourselves to be saved. So in the sense of a mental attitude, we must be like him.

Inventing Jesus the problem-solver

Many today are like the unbelieving Jews who rejected Jesus. They were looking for a Messiah to change their circumstances, instead of transform their lives. They wanted rescue from Rome, rather than deliverance from their sins. They wanted freedom from the oppression of foreign armies, instead of freedom from their own desires and from the destiny due to their rebellion.

Many reject what Jesus came to do, and thereby reject him. They are not willing to come to him to have eternal life, Jn 5.40, because he wants to save us all from sin, Jn 5.34.

Today, many want freedom from circumstances, problems, conflicts, illness, and financial constraints. They want to live for themselves. Jesus will not permit it. So they invent Jesus the problem-solver, Jesus the health-and-wealth magician, Jesus the bring of heaven to earth, where there is no pain, no tears, no dying, no suffering.

And because Jesus is none of these, he quickly fades from their view as they remake and remold and twist him into an idol of their own making. They adapt him to their reality and their vision. Scripture becomes a tool, religion a crutch, prayer a heavenly pull chain.

The soul that refuses to be converted converts the Savior into his own image. And it is not a pretty sight.

In every word and act

O Soul, in every word and act, offer hope. Show love. Build faith. Point the way. Promote peace. Tell the truth. Put away harshness and bitterness. Exercise patience. Avoid dead-end discussions and pointless debates. You must try the spirits, test all teachings, expose error, and stop the mouths of those who lead others astray, but at the same time you must provide a vision of the health of soul and hope of eternity that the benevolent God has revealed. Truth and love are two sides of the same divine coin of salvation. One without the other is useless. The world is sinking in its own destruction. Offer them Christ.

While on your journey

Today’s devotional uses the first phrase of Hebrews 12.15. What a great responsibility we have to each other as the family of God!

Christians are compared to a band of pilgrims. While on their journey, they must check for stragglers. Has anyone been left behind? It is easy to wander off the path. In so doing, the believer “turns away from the living God,” Hebrews 3:14-16. He “misses the grace of God,” Hebrews 12:15. Through carelessness, he loses his salvation. Hence, believers are advised to be watchful.

Focus question: How to recognize if someone is beginning to miss the grace of God?