by Susan Sampson
Do I want to guard the treasure I’ve been given in my salvation by upholding God’s word in my home, being the grace of God to my husband and children? Am I willing to suffer for the gospel that my husband would SEE it? “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct” (1Peter 3:1-2).
Am I WILLing? I was so struck in my heart when Laurie read from the Valley of Vision to open the morning when I heard her read the words, “repent of my repentance.” It is so true. That is the depth of pride. It is pride that keeps me from suffering for the gospel so that my husband would see it. It is pride that keeps me from suffering the loss of all things to gain Christ. This week a friend asked if she could pray for me. She told me she would pray that God would bend my will to His will. What sweet words. What a necessary prayer. Yes Lord, I want to be willing to live the gospel, to suffer, and to die because that is what you did for me. Bend my will to yours oh Lord.
Merriam-Webster’s definition of “repentance” is to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life. We must turn and change directions. We must live differently. We can’t do this apart from the grace of God. We must humble ourselves and cry out to the Lord. We must turn from our obstinancy or stiff necked ways and humbly come to Jesus. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
So we must come to Jesus, turn to Jesus by faith, and confess our unwillingness to change, our unwillingness to repent, our pride and unbelief, our fear, our obstinancy. We must come by faith to His word which is living and active. Our Father is speaking to us in His word. He is telling us what to do. He is waiting for us with open arms. He is pursuing us. He will not give up. He has given us the greatest treasure known to mankind and is asking us to guard it with our very lives. This is what we were saved for. Night and day, not being ashamed, not turning away, not giving into fear, but fanning the flame every moment of every day, being strengthened by His grace as we fix our eyes on Christ, diligently studying His word, obediently following His word, continually confessing our sin, unceasingly praying and boldly proclaiming the gospel no matter what anyone thinks.
How will we choose to live? Trusting in our own strength and living for our youthful passions or walking in the Spirit by faith, trusting in Almighty God? What are we going to do differently? How will we do our study differently these next 5 weeks? Jesus is calling us to come to Him. Will we trust Him? Will we believe the gospel?
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David….Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as high as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-9).