[popup url=”http://blb.org/devotionals/me/view.cfm?Date=05/04&body”]» Today’s reading at Blue Letter Bible[/popup]
Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods.” — Jeremiah 16:20
How does Spurgeon know me so well that he is able to write about what plagues me in such detail? The man has never met me! This morning he forces me to confront my own hypocrisy as he points out that, “I pity the poor heathen who adore a god of stone, and yet (I) worship a god of gold. Where is the vast superiority between a god of flesh and one of wood? The principle, the sin, the folly is the same in either case, only that in mine the crime is more aggravated because I have more light.”
Thankfully Spurgeon also gives us the answer as to how this issue of covetousness and pride can be overcome.
“May the Lord purge us all from this grievous iniquity!”
Our lives are not pure gold by any means. God’s desire is that we be holy as He is holy. That means there are things that need to be removed from our lives. God’s intent is not to destroy us but to purify us. Sometimes His method is akin to the intense heat of the refiner’s fire.
The good news is that the Lord will do the work within us.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.—Romans 7:24-25
Let us be honest enough with ourselves to recognize these things in our hearts. Any attempt to conquer these issues in our own strength will surely fail. We need only look to the Lord and trust that He will purge us from all this grievous iniquity.
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible.”—1 Peter 1:2
This evening Spurgeon is calling us to live a life of holiness. He exhorts us to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God and glorifies Him. Spurgeon does so by reminding us what we have as Christians.
“What is a Christian? If you compare him with a king, he adds priestly sanctity to royal dignity. The king’s royalty often lieth only in his crown, but with a Christian it is infused into his inmost nature. He is as much above his fellows through his new birth, as a man is above the beast that perisheth. Surely he ought to carry himself, in all his dealings, as one who is not of the multitude, but chosen out of the world, distinguished by sovereign grace, written among “the peculiar people” and who therefore cannot grovel in the dust as others, nor live after the manner of the world’s citizens.”
What does it mean to be holy? This may seem to be a daunting goal to aspire to but read J.C. Ryles definition of holiness and you will find that you may very well be in the zone.
A). Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture.
B). A holy man will endeavor to shun every known sin and to keep every known commandment.
C). A holy man will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. He will not only live the life of faith in Him and draw from Him all his daily peace and strength, but he will also labor to have the mind that was in Him and to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29).
Are these the desires of your heart? Notice that in his definition holiness is not perfection as it relates to these goals. Each indicates a desire on the part of the individual, “strive to be like,” and “endeavor to shun.” It is painful when we miss the mark but rest easy in that Christ fills the gap until that day that we escape these burdensome bodies.