Do we have faith? – Let us commit ourselves to a life of holiness.
What blessings are given to those who draw near to God - ‘Your God... will come and save you’ (Isaiah 35:4).
The Good News of Christ comes to us as a call to faith - ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’ (Acts 16:31).
We have been saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot remain the same. We are called to live a new life. We must travel on the Lord’s ‘highway’- ‘the Way of Holiness’ (Isaiah 35:8). This is ‘the Way’ which leads to ‘everlasting joy’ (Isaiah 35:10).
This ‘Way’ is so different from the world’s way. The world has no time for those who seek to live a holy life. This is what Jesus says about the world’s way of life: ‘the gate is wide and the way is wide that leads to destruction’ (Matthew 7:13).
Whatever the world may say, we must never forget this: ‘Without holiness, no-one will see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14).
Do we have faith? – Let us commit ourselves to a life of worship.
‘I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live’ (Psalm 146:2).
Praising the Lord our God: This is a lifelong commitment. We cannot maintain this lifelong commitment in our own strength.
We need the Lord’s help. We must never forget this: ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain’ (Psalm 127:1). We are not expected to maintain this lifelong commitment in our own strength.
We have the Lord’s help. We must always remember this: ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth’ (Psalm 124:8).
‘Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, the Lord who remains faithful for ever’(Psalm 146:5-6).
Let us join with Mary in saying, ‘My soul praises the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour’ (Luke 1:46-47).
Do we have faith? – Let us commit ourselves to a life of listening to God’s Word.
Much is said about John the Baptist here, yet the whole purpose is to draw attention to Jesus the Saviour. Jesus is superior to John. He is the One to whom John pointed. There are two responses to Jesus.
- We can take offence at Him: ‘Blessed is he who takes no offence at Me’(Matthew 11:6).
- We can hear what He says, receiving Him with faith: ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear’ (Matthew 11:15).
In His time, Jesus asked the question, ‘To whom shall I compare this generation?’, giving the answer, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn’ (Matthew 11:16-17).
The promise of the Gospel is preached, yet many will not rejoice. The warning of the Gospel is preached, yet many will not repent. This is the story of our generation.
May God help us to lead people of this generation to Christ, the ‘Friend of sinners’ (Matthew 11:19).
Do we have faith? – Let us commit ourselves to a life of obeying God’s Word.
Don’t worry about ‘what will happen tomorrow’. It’s in the Lord’s hands (James 4:14-15).
We must not lose sight of ‘the purpose of the Lord’. We must remember that ‘the Lord is full of compassion and mercy’(James 5:11).
We look forward to ‘the Lord’s Coming’ as the great Day of our salvation (James 5:7-8).
We must not, however, forget God’s words of warning: ‘The Judge is standing at the door’. God speaks to us concerning ‘the misery that is coming upon you’. What is He saying to us here? - He is warning us: Be careful how you live - Don’t trust in riches. ‘Don’t grumble against each other’(James 5:1-3, 9).
The warning and the promise belong together. Those who are facing judgment can be brought to the Saviour. May God help us to speak His Word - the warning as well as the promise - , always praying that sinners will be saved (James 5:16, 19-20).