Jan 30, 2020
I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us – Romans 8:18
There are many things we do not know about the end of this life or the end of the world. But God has given us all the assurance we need in order to look joyfully, expectantly forward.
Paul knew enough about what was coming to say, I reckon — an accounting term, meaning he had taken a careful inventory, done the calculations, and come to a careful and reliable conclusion. And what Paul was comparing was the sufferings of this time (with which he was intimately and personally acquainted) and the glory to come for every believer in Jesus Christ.
As Paul added up the multiple trials, heartaches, losses, and sorrows of this world and carefully considered this sum in relation to the glory afterwards, he came to this stunning realization: the two should not even be compared, because the amount of the one is so far greater than the mass of the other.
Anyone who has experienced even a fraction of the pain that this world holds will find this hard to imagine. We cannot conceive of a happiness so deep, a pleasure so complete, a glory so glorious that our grief here is swallowed up by it. But God does not ask us to fathom such a claim; he simply requires that by faith we believe it.
Are you living by faith in the enormity of glory, in the expansive joy that is found in the presence of Jesus?
A FAITHFUL SERVANT – PAIN AND SUFFERING ASIDE
1754 – Caleb Blood, born in Charlton, Massachusetts, while attending a dance at 20 years old was struck with his sinfulness and gloriously converted. Because he progressed so rapidly in his knowledge and understanding of the Word of God, within a year and a half he was licensed to preach by the Baptist church in Charlton in 1776 and became an itinerant preacher. In 1777 he was ordained and served a newly formed Baptist church for four years in Marlow, New Hampshire. In 1781 he accepted a call to Pastor in Newton, Mass., where he served for seven years. During this time he was active with the Warren Association combating the doctrines of Universalism. In 1788 he accepted the Pastorate of the Fourth Baptist Church of Shaftsbury, Vermont where he served with great blessings for twenty years. During 1798-99 a great revival broke out where Blood saw great numbers added to his church. He always discouraged an excess of mere feelings and knew well the difference between the genuine operation of the Holy Spirit and mere human excitement. During this time he also traveled in missionary expansion into the northwest sections of New York and Canada. From 1791 to 1807 he also served as a Trustee for the University of Vermont. In 1807 he assumed the pastorate of the Third Baptist Church of Boston, Mass. Tragedy struck when Blood suffered a blow to his face. It looked small at first, but he suffered great physical pain the rest of his life, as well as being depressed in spirit. But he never stopped preaching even accepting his last pastorate at the First Baptist Church in Portland, Maine. He died on March 6, 1814. He had perfect peace and expressed one great desire that ministers might be faithful, souls saved, and his Master glorified. He was one of the leading Baptist ministers in Massachusetts and Vermont. He authored several tracts on the differences between Baptists and pedobaptists, another one for youth and another on marriage. During his ministry Baptists were debating the propriety of their members being allied with secret societies, such as Freemasons. Blood was one of the first early Baptists to speak out against the participation of Baptists with any secret societies.
Barbara Ketay from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 92-93.
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“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man,” Hebrews 2:9.
The idea that Jesus has already paid for the sins of every human being that would ever exist on earth is an amazing concept. Even stubborn, prideful people who reject God’s gift and go to hell, go there with their sins paid for.
God says our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. There is no way we could be a perfect sacrifice. Therefore, God sent His Son, born of a woman, to be that perfect sacrifice. When Jesus went to the cross, He was receiving punishment from the Father and transferring it to the mind of God inside that body. Therefore, God, once for all time, for all people, paid for all our sin. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; . . . For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified (Heb. 10:10, 12, 14).
Since God paid for all sin, He certainly has the right to dictate the terms by which we can receive that gift. All we have to do is believe that Jesus died for our sins, confess that we are sinners, repent and ask God to forgive and give us His gift. He is standing there with outstretched arms offering free salvation to everybody. It cost man nothing, but it cost God the supreme sacrifice, His only begotten Son.
It is so amazing, how deep His love is for mankind. Are you thankful?
She was truly a “Gift of God”
1798 – Dr. Caleb Evans, two years after the death of Anne Steele, published her memoir, who wrote under the pen name of Theodosia (Gift of God). She had been confined to her “chamber” for some two years before her death suffering with the most excruciating pain imaginable, yet with a Christian dignity, joy, and peace beyond human understanding. When her time to depart came, she uttered not a murmuring word, but took the most affectionate leave of her weeping friends around her, and with these words on her lips, “I know that my Redeemer liveth,” fell gently asleep into the arms of the Lord Jesus. She founded no church, built no chapels, went to no mission fields…she only wrote a few of the sweetest hymns, but her usefulness has far distanced her fame. She exerts an influence where history is unknown; she ministers by many a sickbed; she furnishes a song in many a night of affliction. Every Sunday hears her hymns in thousands of sanctuaries and her poems that were written in times of pain have been sung for two centuries in thousands of closets. Her body lies in a cemetery in the quiet village of Broughton in England. Besides her physical suffering, she also suffered emotionally from the tragic accidental drowning of her fiancé, Robert Elscourt, on the eve of their wedding. Many of her hymns reflect the Blessed Hope of the coming of her Lord. Her life was greatly influenced by her great-uncle, Henry Steele, who was the pastor of the Baptist church in Broughton for forty years, and then his nephew William Steele, who succeeded him, who was likewise a man of deep piety and ministerial ability. [Freda West, Great Baptist Women, ed. A. S. Clement (London: Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1955), pp. 30-31. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 615-18.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon