Morning and Evening


They go from strength to strength. — Psalm 84:7

They go from strength to strength. There are various renderings of these words, but all of them contain the idea of progress.

Our own good translation of the authorized version is enough for us this morning. “They go from strength to strength.” That is, they grow stronger and stronger. Usually, if we are walking, we go from strength to weakness; we start fresh and in good order for our journey, but by-and-by the road is rough, and the sun is hot, we sit down by the wayside, and then again painfully pursue our weary way. But the Christian pilgrim having obtained fresh supplies of grace, is as vigorous after years of toilsome travel and struggle as when he first set out. He may not be quite so elate and buoyant, nor perhaps quite so hot and hasty in his zeal as he once was, but he is much stronger in all that constitutes real power, and travels, if more slowly, far more surely. Some gray-haired veterans have been as firm in their grasp of truth, and as zealous in diffusing it, as they were in their younger days; but, alas, it must be confessed it is often otherwise, for the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds, but this is their own sin and not the fault of the promise which still holds good: “The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” Fretful spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future. “Alas!” say they, “we go from affliction to affliction.” Very true, O thou of little faith, but then thou goest from strength to strength also. Thou shalt never find a bundle of affliction which has not bound up in the midst of it sufficient grace. God will give the strength of ripe manhood with the burden allotted to full-grown shoulders.

Evening

I am crucified with Christ. — Galatians 2:20

The Lord Jesus Christ acted in what he did as a great public representative person, and his dying upon the cross was the virtual dying of all his people. Then all his saints rendered unto justice what was due, and made an expiation to divine vengeance for all their sins. The apostle of the Gentiles delighted to think that as one of Christ’s chosen people, he died upon the cross in Christ. He did more than believe this doctrinally, he accepted it confidently, resting his hope upon it. He believed that by virtue of Christ’s death, he had satisfied divine justice, and found reconciliation with God. Beloved, what a blessed thing it is when the soul can, as it were, stretch itself upon the cross of Christ, and feel, “I am dead; the law has slain me, and I am therefore free from its power, because in my Surety I have borne the curse, and in the person of my Substitute the whole that the law could do, by way of condemnation, has been executed upon me, for I am crucified with Christ.”

But Paul meant even more than this. He not only believed in Christ’s death, and trusted in it, but he actually felt its power in himself in causing the crucifixion of his old corrupt nature. When he saw the pleasures of sin, he said, “I cannot enjoy these: I am dead to them.” Such is the experience of every true Christian. Having received Christ, he is to this world as one who is utterly dead. Yet, while conscious of death to the world, he can, at the same time, exclaim with the apostle, “Nevertheless I live.” He is fully alive unto God. The Christian’s life is a matchless riddle. No worldling can comprehend it; even the believer himself cannot understand it. Dead, yet alive! crucified with Christ, and yet at the same time risen with Christ in newness of life! Union with the suffering, bleeding Saviour, and death to the world and sin, are soul-cheering things. O for more enjoyment of them!

Spurgeon, C. H.

(emphasis added)

Suffering stretches, repose atrophies! A timeless truth is carrying one’s own cross and following Christ daily, trying times grow us and then we are most useful to the LORD. Irritating as all get out to me are those who insist it is God’s will to heal EVERYONE. Really? Kindly explain my suffering and that of millions of others (not yet unto blood in America but that sun is rising over yonder mountain. When prayer fails to deliver full physical restoration – accept it as God utilizing you as a witness for His purpose, for this sojourn is NOT about our purpose. People are watching as saints suffer and do so equipped with a peace, joy, and grace that sustains and is not found in any prescription.

May we whistle and praise through our ‘toilsome’ journey to the Glory of God!

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About ezekielcountdown

Committed to helping others discover the Lord Jesus Christ, revealed throughout both OT and NT. All saints are called to be Ambassadors of the gospel, may my labor herein result in God drawing others unto His Son that such may rejoice in the forgiveness, liberty, and peace granted by the Good Shepherd. Applied study of scripture blossoms into maturity, spiritual discernment, and replication of ourselves that new disciples go forth and proclaim the Good News! EZC shall challenge any ministers of Satan whose purpose is to attack the infallibility of Holy Writ querying, "Hath God truly said?" hoping to ensnare the immature. We must remain focused on whom the enemy is - wicked spiritual principalities sowing seeds of deception - our enemy is NOT the lost but the spirit behind their false ideologies and isms. Study the Bible praying God the Holy Spirit equip and teach you, for He has promised to do so (Jhn 16:13). Beloved brethren, until united in glory, Sola Deo Gloria!
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