What Saith the Scripture?
The Beauty of Holiness
Or, Beautiful Holiness: The Fruit of Loving Obedience
[Read "The Beauty of Holiness" (Part 2)
-- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/The.Beauty.of.Holiness.2.html --
by Tom Stewart]
"O worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness"
by Katie Stewart
When obedience comes hard, as "heavy burdens and grievous to be borne" (Matthew 23:4), we either don't stop to think of Holiness at all, or else only in a sarcastic reference to the strictness of the Law. This is not love. This is not obedience. This is not Holiness. Love obeys, and does so readily and joyfully. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous" (1John 5:3). Holiness is beautiful because it is the fruit of your love to Him. Our love union with the LORD is beautiful because it yields our obedience to Him, which yields to Him great joy. "He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth Them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:21). What can you offer God Who has everything? You can choose Him. Be called by His Name. Agree with Him. Please Him. "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my LORD" (Philippians 3:8). Give Him the love and worship of an obedient heart to His every Word. "Thy Words were found, and I did eat Them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy Name, O LORD God of hosts" (Jeremiah 15:16).
Obedience Yields Holiness
Holiness means "to be set apart or consecrated, sanctified". Holiness is the state in which a true Christian lives his life. Holiness is the state of moral being in which absolutely no sin can exist, and in which love is absolutely foundational. Obedience, committed by the motive of Divine Love, yields Holiness. "God is love" (1John 4:8). God is Holy. "Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His Holy Hill; for the LORD our God is Holy" (Psalm 99:9). "Holy is His Name" (Luke 1:49). God is the Standard for Holiness. "There is none Holy as the LORD: for there is none beside Thee" (1Samuel 2:2). God "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). God has never sinned, does not sin, and will never sin.
God expects His people to be like Him.
We are to use the free will that God has given us to recognize
His worth. We are to want to be like Him. We are to want what He wants. We are to
want Him. "Whom have I in Heaven but Thee? and there is none upon Earth
that I desire beside Thee" (Psalm 73:25). Esteem Him by valuing His opinions, His desires, and His requirements
with loving obedience. "I have esteemed the Words of His mouth more than
my necessary food" (Job 23:12). "How sweet are Thy Words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than
honey to my mouth!" (Psalm 119:103). Only then will you know the true Beauty of that sweet Holiness
that binds you and the Godhead together in blessed love. "Jesus answered
and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love
him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him" (John 14:23).
Love works obedience in us and is the motive of our obedience. You cannot love God in disobedience. You can claim to, but it's a lie. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the Truth: but if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1John 1:6-7). Love always produces obedience. You cannot have love without obedience. It's just NOT possible! (Please read the articles listed in "Topical Links On Sound Doctrine" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Topical.Links.On.Doctrine.html -- for more help with this concept.)
"Come now, and let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18). Holy living is built on love.
When you live "in the Beauty of Holiness" to and
for the LORD, the fruit of your life will be a magnification of Him, for truly He
is "Altogether Lovely". (Please visit
the website, "Altogether
Lovely" -- http://wallpaper.pair.com/
-- for desktop wallpapers that tries to magnify His beauty and His Word.)
Holiness Beautifies the LORD and His People
Beauty: "splendor, majesty, Godly in appearance" --from "Strong's Concordance"
From Baal to Buddha, the gods of this world have been tools
of the Devil to lead men into "the blackness of darkness for ever" (Jude 1:13). It is only the
Almighty God, Creator and "Possessor of Heaven and Earth" (Genesis 14:19), that leads
men into an Everlasting Covenant of splendor and majesty. "LORD God of Israel,
there is no God like Thee, in Heaven above, or on Earth beneath, Who keepest covenant
and mercy with Thy servants that walk before Thee with ALL their heart" (1Kings 8:23). These Three
In One: Jehovah Father and Jesus Christ, magnified by Their Holy Spirit, are Singularly
worthy of Glory and Honour. "Who is like unto Thee, O LORD, among the gods?
who is like Thee, Glorious in Holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?"
The Holiness that unites us with the LORD is a Transforming Power that comes from only Him.
Our "willing" is by His Transforming Power, making
us "a living sacrifice, Holy, acceptable unto God" (Romans 12:1), but it is our "reasonable
to "present [our] bodies" (12:1), "and be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God" (12:2).
To be transformed by His Power to be Holy (or, Obedient) is true Beauty. Holiness reflects the splendor, majesty and appearance that radiates from the Glory of God. "His Glory is above the Earth and Heaven" (Psalm 148:13). "For who in the Heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?" (Psalm 89:6). "Unto you therefore which believe He is Precious" (1Peter 2:7). Yet He shares Himself with us and we partake of His Godly appearance and "Beauty of Holiness".
There is coming soon, a time when we shall "make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD" (Exodus 28:36). The Millennium, a thousand years where King Jesus will reign over ALL the Earth, will be a time when men "give unto the LORD the Glory due unto His Name: [and men will] bring an offering, and come before Him: [and] worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness" (1Chronicles 16:29). The kings and priests of the Earth will be of the LORD's Own choosing, and we shall rule with Him.
And "in that day shall there be [in every place, even]
upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD" (Zechariah 14:20). The hosts of Heaven
will shout, "Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the
Earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of
it" (Isaiah 34:1),
"HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD". And Obedience will be given joyfully from the heart. The Earth will
shine with Glory in His Righteousness. In the fulness of the thousand-year-moment,
they will "sing unto the LORD a New Song, and His praise from the end
of the Earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and
the inhabitants thereof" (Isaiah 42:10). And ALL the Earth will finally see the rightness of obeying
a Righteous God. "Tremble, thou Earth, at the presence of the LORD"
The reality of it will be breathtakingly beautiful. "Let ALL the Earth fear
the LORD: let ALL the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him" (Psalm 33:8). For just such
a time as this, a time in which "Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in Earth,
as it is in Heaven" (Matthew 6:10), our earnest prayer should be, "Come, LORD Jesus" (Revelation 22:20). "O,
please, please, come!"
The world's beauty "is only skin deep". This life "is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14). But this life affords us a grand opportunity to be blessed in Heaven while still here on Earth; for "blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings in Heavenly Places in Christ... and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 1:3; 2:6). Our spirits are blessed by His Spirit when we obey "all things whatsoever [He has] commanded" (Matthew 28:20).
Holiness beautifies the LORD. Obedience magnifies His Righteousness.
The LORD's people, powerfully transformed by the Spirit of His Word, are a beautiful
reflection of His Holiness.
The Fruit of Holiness on a Loving Mind
Obedience demonstrates love, i.e., "If ye love Me, keep My Commandments" (John 14:15), and is wrought through love, i.e., "faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6). Obedience, or Holy living, is the beautiful fruit which is lovingly given to the One Who is Love. "God is Love" (1John 4:8). Whenever there is True Love for the LORD, that Divinely-authored, Life-giving, spark of Heaven-sent Love will ALWAYS be demonstrated with cheerful obedience to every, single desire or command that the LORD esteems to be for the highest good of His Kingdom, and of His children. Mr. Charles Finney spoke of the "blessedness" that love, or "benevolence," has on an obedient mind:
"Blessedness of Benevolence"
by C. G. Finney (1792-1875) -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Charles.G.Finney.html --
"What constitutes true Christian happiness.
Also, as a helpful aid in understanding Mr. Finney's, sometimes archaic, form of speech:
You CANNOT have Joy of confidence and assurance without Obedience. You CANNOT have Obedience without God's Perfect Love. And you CANNOT have the Fruits of the Spirit, which includes Love, without the Spirit, "Whom God hath given to them that Obey Him" (Acts 5:32). Circular, yes. But, it starts with the Greatest. And "the greatest of these is Charity [i.e., Love]" (1Corinthians 13:13). Love is the greatest because Love is what God is. "And we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (1John 4:16).
And again, going circular, "but whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him" (1John 2:5). So, you see that, the "Beauty" that there is in "Holiness" lies in the fact, that,
Commit just ONE sin, "for whosoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet offend in ONE point, he is guilty of ALL" (James 2:10),-- and ALL of that Beautiful Holiness is ruined forever-- "except ye repent" (Luke 13:3).
God's Laws, when received with a loving, trusting heart, are NEVER EVER hard to hear, nor hard to obey. God is NOT a hard taskmaster to His children.
Walking in the Light with The Word of God Himself, we ENJOY all that the LORD was, is, and shall be-- for us and to us-- "that your JOY may be full" (1John 1:4). With a Holy heart, our confidence and assurance in God's ability to "keep that which [we] have committed unto Him against that day" (2Timothy 1:12) soars to Heaven's heights, with an Eternity of width and scope. "38 For [we are] persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 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. 9:1 [We] say the Truth in Christ, [we] lie not, [our] conscience also bearing [us] witness in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 8:38-9:1). In this most Holy and Beautiful state, we most assuredly agree with our brother in the LORD, Mr. Spurgeon, when he worships the LORD with the following:
"Never Separated from God"
by C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Charles.Haddon.Spurgeon.html --
"'And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believeth thou this?' (John 11:26).
Yes, LORD, we believe it; we shall never die. Our soul may be separated from our body, and this is death of a kind; but our soul shall never be separated from God, which is the true death -- the death which was threatened to sin -- the death penalty which is the worst that can happen. We believe this most assuredly, for who shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our LORD? We are members of the Body of Christ; will Christ lose parts of His Body? We are married to Jesus; will He be bereaved and widowed? It is not possible. There is a life within us which is not capable of being divided from God: yea, and the Holy Spirit dwells within us, and how then can we die? Jesus, Himself, is our life, and therefore there is no dying for us, for He cannot die again. In Him we died unto sin once, and the capital sentence cannot a second time be executed. Now we live, and live forever. The reward of righteousness is life everlasting, and we have nothingless than the righteousness of God, and therefore can claim the very highest reward.
Living and believing, we believe that we shall live and enjoy. Wherefore we press forward with full assurance that our life is secure in our living Head." -- excerpt from "Faith's Checkbook" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Spurgeon/Faith.Checkbook/Faiths.Checkbook.Preface.html -- by C. H. Spurgeon. SEE TODAY'S ENTRY -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Home_Page/Faiths_Checkbook_Daily.html --.
"Of Whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, Who is
OVER all, God blessed for ever. Amen" (Romans
Holiness Versus Sinfulness: One or the Other, But Not Both
The Christian does "not" and "cannot" sin, as long as he trusts God to work His Will in him. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). The description of a Christian, is one who is "like Christ." He does not sin. "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth NOT; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (1John 5:18). He "keepeth himself" from sin because he depends on God's keeping him from committing sin, i.e., "His Seed remaineth in him: and he CANNOT sin." It is truly impossible to sin while wilfully trusting God not to. You cannot be holy and sinful at the exact same time.
When the Christian wilfully rejects doing right, he then removes himself from God's keeping-- and sins. And while stubbornly residing in this sinful state, God says that the sinning Christian, or, in fact, "whosoever," CANNOT know assuredly in his heart that he EVER was really a Christian, or that he EVER really did know God. "Whosoever sinneth hath NOT seen Him, neither known Him." There is no Beauty, GLORY, nor honour in a God-insulting moment of sin. That moment is ruined forever. God wants the backslider to feel the condemnation of hell-- NOT the assurance of Heaven. (Please see our article, "He Will Subdue Our Iniquities" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/He.Will.Subdue.Our.Iniquit.html --, Or, How God Makes Normal Christians to Walk Without Sinning- Or, How Anyone Can Be Ready to Meet God at Any Time.) It is for our highest good that the LORD withdraws assurance from any "whosoever sinneth". How else can He prepare us for the Place He has prepared for us-- a Place where "there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth" (Revelation 21:27).
If the backslider would "walk in the Spirit" then he would "NOT fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). But the backslider does NOT listen to the Spirit, therefore he has NO right to call himself a son of God, no matter what he has claimed in the past. "For as many as are LED by the Spirit of God, they ARE the sons of God" (Romans 8:14). The backslider could easily prove his claim to Christ by acting like a real Christian does-- and REPENT. For "if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). A real Christian IS "LED by the Spirit of God", and they DO HAVE the testimony of the Spirit and the assurance that accompanies a peaceful heart. "Because ye ARE sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Galatians 4:6). A real Christian enjoys God's assurance because John says, "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in Truth. And HEREBY WE KNOW that we are of the Truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him" (1John 3:18-19). A backslider, while stubbornly entrenched in his pride and sin, will always deceive himself, and vainly attempt to console himself, that "the Spirit Itself beareth witness with [his] spirit" that he is one of the "children of God" (Romans 8:16). But the Holy Spirit of God is the "Spirit of Truth" (John 15:26) and does not lie. He comforts as "The Comforter" (John 15:26) ONLY those to whom He has been given, and He is ONLY "given to them that obey Him" (Acts 5:32). When we sin, and "our heart condemn us" (1John 3:20), assurance is denied-- until we obey and repent. After coming out of a backslidden condition, we look at our sinful period as an all-consuming waste. King David illustrates this "clearing" of himself with Divine Inspiration.
"The Spirit Not Striving Always"
by C. G. Finney (1792-1875) -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Charles.G.Finney.html --
"Ye professors of religion who have lived a worldly life so long, are you not ashamed of your hope? Have you not good reason to be ashamed of a hope that has no more power than yours has had? Are there not many in this house who in the honesty of their hearts must say, 'Either there is no power in the gospel, or I don't know anything about it?' For the gospel affirms as a universal fact of all those who are not under the law but under grace, 'sin shall not have dominion over you.' Now will you go before God and say, 'Lord, thou hast said, 'Sin shall not have dominion over you;' but, Lord, that is all false, for I believe the gospel and am under grace, but sin still has dominion over me!' No doubt in this case there is a mistake somewhere; and it becomes you to ask solemnly, Shall I charge this mistake and falsehood upon God, or shall I admit that it must be in myself alone? The apostle Paul has said, 'The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.' Is it so to you?
He has also said, 'Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.' Do you know this by your own experience? He adds also that we 'rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.'
Is all this in accordance with your experience, professed Christian? Is it true that your hope makes not ashamed? Does it produce such glorious fruits unto holiness as are here described? If you were to try your experience by the word of the living God, and open your heart to be searched by the Spirit, would not you be convinced that you do not embrace the gospel in reality?... It is the Spirit's work to make self-deceived men feel that they are now having their last call from the Spirit. When this impression is made, let it by all means be heeded. It is God's own voice to the soul. Out of a great multitude of cases under my observation, in which God has distinctly made sinners feel that the present was their last call, I do not recollect one in which it did not prove to be so. This is of a truth a solemn moment to the sinner, and ought to make the warning voice of God ring in his ear like the forewarning knell of the second death." --from C. G. Finney's "The Spirit Not Striving Always," Lecture 2 of the 1848 Download (for "HELP" with the Download, see "The Oberlin Evangelist" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Finney.Oberlin.Evangelist.html --, bottom of page.)
Real Christians ALWAYS repent. "It is of the LORD'S
mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not" (Lamentations 3:22). "Praise
the Beauty of Holiness... Praise the LORD; for His mercy endureth for ever"
God DOES work it in us. "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath
begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"
Real Christians taste of, and display as "ambassadors for Christ" (2Corinthians 5:20), all the
Beauty and GLORY of God's Holiness. When Christians are "partakers of the Divine
Nature" (2Peter 1:4),
they are "ensamples to the flock" (1Peter
5:3), displaying: 1.
His mercy, 2.
His compassion, 3.
His praise, 4.
His perfection, 5.
His perseverance, and 6.
Christians are living epistles "known and read
of all men" (2Corinthians 3:2). They portray the LORD in His "Beauty of Holiness".
If you are presently a backslider, one "that knoweth to do good, and doeth it NOT, to him it is SIN" [James 4:17]), and you have NOT allowed God to work repentance in you, how can you possibly know you've EVER let God even start a "good work" of grace in you? You CAN'T know. "But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him" (1John 2:5). With NO testimony of the Spirit, you have NO assurance. Our walk with Him is always in the present tense. He has Foreknowledge and Omniscience-- we do not.
Beware! You'd better start worrying if you are presently in sin, and "without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, [for] then are ye bastards, and NOT sons" (Hebrews 12:8).
If this world seems "cool" to you, and money flows, and friends come easy, then beware, because you are enjoying "the pleasures of sin" (Hebrews 11:25) and not "the Beauty of Holiness".
Just because the Longsuffering and Patient LORD gives us "space to repent" (Revelation 2:21) doesn't mean that you can depend on that "space" to be there just "whenever you get around to it". There is coming to EVERY sinner (or, any person who is presently committing sin) a "Day of Wrath and Revelation of the Righteous Judgment of God" (Romans 2:5).
Sin causes a hardening effect that deceptively worsens as the backsliddeness lingers."Exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13).
We must not take God for granted. "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off" (Romans 11:22).
If professing Christians die in an unrepentant condition, they prove only one thing. They never were what they professed to be. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (1John 2:19). There is no GLORY, no honour, no splendor, no majesty, and there is no Beauty in sin. When you walk in sin, as opposed to Holiness, you are filthy and naked.
Sin breeds fear and leaves you "naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13).
The Beauty of Holiness and the Ruin of Sinfulness
Beauty: "8597h: tipharah -- beauty, glory" --from "Strong's Concordance"
Godly parents rejoice when their children obey them. "A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother" (Proverbs 10:1). A child's obedience brings GLORY and honour to the parents, as the parents do to the LORD. "The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him" (Proverbs 23:24). Obedience shows that the child respects the parents, and that the child, in appearance, is like the parents. "Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things" (Proverbs 23:16). Everyone delights in a delightful child. "And the child grew, and the LORD blessed him" (Judges 13:24). Pleasant feelings abound. The home is filled with unity and harmony. The scene is one of Beauty. "1 Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in His Ways. 2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. 3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. 4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD" (Psalm 128:1-4). The scene is like one of Heaven. Heaven is a Home for the Godly, that is, for ones who are like God. They, like God, do not sin.
Sin is morally reprehensible because it is a willful act committed against God.
The willful acts committed in loving obedience to, and for God, yield the gloriously beautiful fruit of Holiness.
The wealth of this world is temporary, "for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away" (Proverbs 23:5). Scripture often teaches in an oxymoronic fashion. For example, take the contradictory descriptions of a monetarily rich, yet wicked man. "There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing" (Proverbs 13:7). A wicked man works this world's system to "treasure" for himself all that his heart desires. "So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21). Being poor "toward God" is to have "nothing". The LORD is the ONLY True Wealth. That's why "there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath Great Riches" (Proverbs 13:7). In this world, "we have this Treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the Power may be of God, and not of us" (2Corinthians 4:7). But the Treasure is Eternal, "that in the ages to come He [God the Father] might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:7).
Sin strips naked, but Holiness covers and "worketh for us a far more exceeding and Eternal weight of GLORY" (2Corinthians 4:17).
A Holy heart is sinless-- pure and clean. A Holy soul is at home in Heaven, "and there shall in no wise enter into [Heaven] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie" (Revelation 21:27). The "Beauty of Holiness" is that it leads us all the way Home to God. "An highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it" (Isaiah 35:8). The ruin of sinfulness stops us dead, and diverts us out of "The Way of Holiness". But, praise the Son of God, "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from ALL iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). Praise Him for His mercy, for "he that covereth his sins shall NOT prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have MERCY" (Proverbs 28:13).
Life's Heavy Burdens Are Too Grievous to Bear
Life always lays backbreaking problems on man. "Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens... And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour" (Exodus 1:11, 14). Man's labour is meant to be God's method of refining. "What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?... this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith" (Ecclesiastes 1:3,13).
Considering man was created out of mere dust, it would seem that the arduous task of living life would just be too much grief. [See our article, "What the Bible Says About Suicide" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/What.Bible.Says.Suicide.html --]
But the LORD's plan was to create man to have an "inbuilt" need of Him. God never intended that man should "bear the brunt" by himself. He wants us to trust Him. "For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14).
In the flesh, life is burdensome-- crushingly so, in fact. But Relief does come to the rescue for those ONLY who have learned to "cast" ALL their problems on the Sustainer! "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved" (Psalm 55:22).
"Burdens Cast on Him"
by C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Charles.Haddon.Spurgeon.html --
"'Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee; He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved' (Psalm 55:22).
It is a heavy burden; roll it on Omnipotence. It is thy burden now, and it crushes thee; but when the LORD takes it, He will make nothing of it. If thou art called still to bear, 'he will sustain thee.' It will be on Him and not on thee. Thou wilt be so upheld under it that the burden will be a blessing. Bring the LORD into the matter, and thou wilt stand upright under that which in itself would bow thee down.
Our worst fear is lest our trial should drive us from the path of duty; but this the LORD will never suffer. If we are righteous before Him, He will not endure that our affliction should move us from our standing. In Jesus He accepts us as righteous, and in Jesus He will keep us so.
What about the present moment? Art thou going forth to this day's trial alone? Are thy poor shoulders again to be galled with the oppressive load? Be not so foolish. Tell the LORD all about thy grief and leave it with Him. Don't cast your burden down and then take it up again; but roll it on the LORD and leave it there. Then shalt thou walk at large, a joyful and unburdened believer, singing the praises of thy great Burden-bearer." -- excerpt from "Faith's Checkbook" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Spurgeon/Faith.Checkbook/Faiths.Checkbook.Preface.html -- by C. H. Spurgeon. SEE TODAY'S ENTRY -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Home_Page/Faiths_Checkbook_Daily.html --.
God loves you. "Who is this King of Glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle" (Psalm 24:8). He is the Strong One Who really cares about you. "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you" (1Peter 5:7 ). Give ALL of the worry, care, and responsibility to Him. Let it be His problem!
Trusting God is the act of a loving obedience to Him and confidence in Him. Obedience works a beautiful Holiness that shines with contentment and peace.
Men lust for power over other men. No one is too low in the succession. Preying upon each other, they reveal the ugliness of greed and hate. The lowest man finds someone that he can "lord over". Men bind impossible burdens. They are truly "grievous to be borne."
But the LORD's people are not so. They imitate their God, and the fruit of it is beautiful. "O worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness: fear before Him, all the Earth" (Psalm 96:9).
"O worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness: fear before Him, all the Earth" (Psalm 96:9). What Beauty is found in Holiness? The LORD. "Let the Beauty of the LORD our God be upon us" (Psalm 90:17). And what Beauty "upon us" does He work? "Establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it" (90:17). The beautiful "work" of Holy living God will "establish... upon us".
And Love? Well, Love is the "greatest" (1Corinthians 13:13) of all spiritual assets, and without Love, we are nothing" (13:2). Love is the motive for Holy living. All Scripture hangs upon the Love demanded by the Moral Law of God. "37 Jesus said... Thou shalt LOVE the LORD thy God with ALL thy heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy mind. 38 This is the first and Great Commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two Commandments hang ALL the Law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40).
"hang v. tr. : 1. To fasten from above with no support from below; suspend. 2. To suspend or fasten so as to allow free movement" --from "American Heritage Dictionary"
Of what value is law, if it is not esteemed and obeyed? God obeys His Law, and He expects the same of us.
God's Moral Law depends on, and is supported only by Love. Mr. Finney (1792-1875) -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Fellowship/Charles.G.Finney.html -- stresses the importance of Love in our obedience and moral obligation to the Moral Law.
"Moral law invariably holds one language. It never changes the spirit of its requirement. 'Thou shalt love,' or be perfectly benevolent, is its uniform and its only demand. This demand it never varies, and never can vary. It is as immutable as God is, and for the same reason. To talk of letting down, or altering moral law, is to talk absurdly. The thing is naturally impossible. No being has the right or the power to do so... The totality of its requisitions are, both in its letter and its spirit, 'Thou shalt love, &c., with all thy heart, thy soul, thy might, thy strength.' That is, whatever there is of us, at any moment, is to be wholly consecrated to God, and the good of being, and nothing more nor less." -- excerpt from "SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Voice/Systematic.Theology.1.html -- by Charles G. Finney, Lecture II.
"Obligation is a bond, or that which binds. Moral obligation is oughtness. It is a responsibility imposed on the moral agent by his own reason, and by the authority of God." -- excerpt from "SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY" -- http://WhatSaithTheScripture.com/Voice/Systematic.Theology.1.html -- by Charles G. Finney, Lecture III.
As simply as any man needs to hear it, "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23). Holiness is the state we're in when we love God with our joyful obedience. "For this is the LOVE of God, that we KEEP His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous" (1John 5:3). Holiness is beautiful because it is the fruit of Love.
"O worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness"
Read "The Beauty of Holiness" (Part 2)
by Tom Stewart.
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