Watching Daily At Wisdom's Gates

A Yorkshireman's take on life, death, and eternity

Month: November, 2015

Faith

“In the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “the righteous shall live by faith””
Romans 1:17

This was the verse that lead to Martin Luther’s salvation. He’d been striving as a Roman Catholic monk for salvation by his works until this verse forcefully told him that salvation was by faith in the righteousness of God.

Our righteousness, our religious deeds are like filthy rags before a holy God. But Christ’s perfect righteousness can be ours by faith in him alone.

We can either be judged as we deserve or according to the perfect righteousness of Christ. May all my readers be found in Him on the day when he returns!

“Father God, thank you for revealing a righteousness by which I may be saved. And thank you for giving me the faith to claim Christ’s righteousness for myself. In his name I pray, amen”

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The glory of the Lord

“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 40:5 ESV

This verse is fulfilled in Christ, but his glory was not in immediately establishing himself as King of kings, but of humbling himself to live among us. Ultimately his glory is seen in the cross, where God’s love and justice, his mercy and judgement shine most clearly. And then he rose again on the third day to show there is yet grace for all who believe.

But there’s another day when Christ’s glory will be seen by all the world: his return. Then we will all bow the knee to his majesty and be judged in his glorious justice.

Will you remain a sceptic till it’s too late and judgement comes, or will you gladly bow the knee for the Lamb who was slain for you?

“Heavenly Father, thank you for revealing your glory in the person of your Son. May he be all that I glory in, until he returns, amen”

Everlasting joy

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Isaiah 35:10 ESV

There are two great futures anticipated in this verse. First is the return of Israel from Babylonian exile. But there’s a greater, escatological end in sight, at the consummation of human history, where those ransomed from sin enjoy everlasting joy and say goodbye to sorrow and sadness forever.

In a sense, ransomed believers are living in exile in this world, looking forward to going home to the heavenly Zion to be with our Lord forever. This verse has echoes of Revelation 21 when God brings suffering to an end and restores his people to himself.

So what side of human history are you on? Are you still at emnity with God, facing a lost eternity without Him? Or have you been ransomed by him, looking forward to everlasting joy and gladness?

“Heavenly Redeemer, thank you that you have ransomed my life from hell and that I can look forward to everlasting joy with no more sorrow. Help me to keep trusting you throughout my earthly exile. In Jesus name, amen”

Testify to the gospel of the grace of God

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Acts 20:24

Paul epitomised single-mindedness. On the road to Damascus he had an encounter with the Lord Jesus who commissioned him to preach the gospel. In a sense we all share the great commission to make disciples, but Paul’s calling was specifically as an evangelist.

We might not all have the gift of an evangelist but we are all to do the work of an evangelist. Maybe our gifting or ministry is something else: leadership, service, prayer, giving or administration for example. But whatever our calling we are to pursue it wholeheartedly.

Paul didn’t count his life as of any value if he did not fulfil his life’s calling. How many of us are the same, or have we grown weary in the work?

“Gracious God, grant me the determination to identify and fulfil your calling on my life. May I be a witness to your gospel of grace and the Lordship of your Son in my life. For his sake I pray, amen”

A precious cornerstone

“Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who had laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste'””
Isaiah 28:16

Jerusalem was going to be destroyed by the Babylonians, but the Lord spoke to the believers with a promise that he was building something. It’s as though the Babylonians were doing the demolition to clear the way for the Lord’s work.

We hear more about the cornerstone in the New Testament. Paul says that preaching Christ crucified is a stumbling block to Jews, but that “the stone the builders have rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the church. If it was Mary, or Peter, or any other person the church would not stand. But because the church holds together by the God-man, it is strong, and will not fall, because Almighty God will sustain it.

Is this teaching too hard for you to accept? Or do you believe in the cornerstone? I pray your life is built on the right foundation.

“Almighty God, thank you that you are building your church, and the gates of hell cannot stand against it. Thank you that the cornerstone is your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave his life for me. In his name I pray, amen”