1997-11-03 - Perseverance
Today I finish a five point outline that I stole from the 19th century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon on the demands of following Christ. I admit to stealing his outline, but the content I did not steal. I would like to make this a little interactive. His outline is finished with the devotional today. I wonder what additionally you all think the requirements of a follower of Christ are? We have covered five, (obedience, repentance, submission, trust, and now perseverance), I have some ideas, but I would be interested to hear what you think about this topic. So the ball is in your court, the question is asked.
Fight the good fight of faith, take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.. 1 Timothy 6:12
I take this as a no-brainer. As the hymn from “The Grateful Dead” says, Keep Truckin’ should be our motto. Keep up the faith is the tough demand of being part of the faith, but it is essential. And while we can not persevere with out obedience, trust, repentance, or submission to God, we also can not do any of these first four without persevering first. Times come in our lives when we struggle, push all our panic buttons, fall down on our knees and plead, “Why, why why?” This is part of following Christ, we have struggles. Sometimes the answer comes back, “Hey, cheer up, things are going to get worse.” You can not have walked with Christ long if you have not known someone who has walked away from the challenge of following Christ. We all know those who have given up. The challenge of fighting the good fight is to keep fighting. The doctrine of perseverance should encourage all those who are struggling to rest in Christ. If you gave up on your faith 4 hours ago, or 4 years ago, forgiveness is as close in either case. Christ is more willing to forgive than we are to ask for forgiveness.
Yesterday I was reading a book by William Gurnall. I came across a quote, that many have said, but yet fits the topic at hand. “None sink so far in hell as those that come nearest to heaven, because they fall from the greatest height. None will have such a sad parting from Christ as those who went half way with Him, and then left Him.” Perseverance is crucial to following Christ. To follow Christ we must follow Him. But some days are tough and on those days we must rest in Christ all the more for all our hope and reliance.
Soli Deo Gloria,