November 11, 2013

the Everlasting Arms

Charles Spurgeon, one of the greatest and most popular preachers in the history of the Church, his words still ringing true and relevant and convicting in these times as much as when the ink was fresh upon his papers over a century ago! I have many favourites of  his morning and evening devotionals, and this morning is no different:
God—the eternal God—is himself our support at all times, and especially when we are sinking in deep trouble. There are seasons when the Christian sinks very low in humiliation. Under a deep sense of his great sinfulness, he is humbled before God till he scarcely knows how to pray, because he appears, in his own sight, so worthless. Well, child of God, remember that when thou art at thy worst and lowest, yet “underneath” thee “are everlasting arms.” Sin may drag thee ever so low, but Christ’s great atonement is still under all. You may have descended into the deeps, but you cannot have fallen so low as “the uttermost;” and to the uttermost he saves. Again, the Christian sometimes sinks very deeply in sore trial from without. Every earthly prop is cut away. What then? Still underneath him are “the everlasting arms.” He cannot fall so deep in distress and affliction but what the covenant grace of an ever-faithful God will still encircle him. The Christian may be sinking under trouble from within through fierce conflict, but even then he cannot be brought so low as to be beyond the reach of the “everlasting arms”—they are underneath him; and, while thus sustained, all Satan’s efforts to harm him avail nothing.
    This assurance of support is a comfort to any weary but earnest worker in the service of God. It implies a promise of strength for each day, grace for each need, and power for each duty. And, further, when death comes, the promise shall still hold good. When we stand in the midst of Jordan, we shall be able to say with David, “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” We shall descend into the grave, but we shall go no lower, for the eternal arms prevent our further fall. All through life, and at its close, we shall be upheld by the “everlasting arms”—arms that neither flag nor lose their strength, for “the everlasting God fainteth not, neither is weary.” 

This reminded me of the blessed hymn,

"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."

I have many a 'motto' or 'proverb' if you will which I oft repeat to myself and quote to my friends. One of these, and my favourite of all, is 'In Christ alone'. It is a reminder to me that my salvation is in Christ alone, that my hope of heaven is in Christ alone, that my life is to be lived for and in Christ alone, that my strength for each day lies in Christ alone, and that at the end of every day, when once I look back on my many failures and sins over the course of those sunlit hours then behind me, that I am still in Christ alone, and where I am weakest, He is more than sufficient; and more than that, Paul during his sufferings and afflictions heard from the Lord this:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." (from 2 Corinthians 12:9)

And Paul continues in verse 10 of the same chapter,

"Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

In Ephesians six, we are called to 'stand firm', to 'be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might',  to 'put on the full armor of God'. In 1 Timothy 6:11-12, we read,

"But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."

And finally, Colossians 1:16,

"For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him."

All for Jesus.
Assuming you are truly Saved, truly believing that Christ is God and Saviour and Lord of all, then I say, let us obey these commands in God's Word, trust in full faith that He will empower and protect us, ever upholding us in His 'everlasting arms', and praise Him every day in trial or blessing, in famine or plenty, in drought or downpour.

Let us live in Christ alone.

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