“Enter ye in at the strait
gate . . because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way. . .” Matthew
If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we
have to remember that all noble things are difficult. The Christian life is
gloriously difficult, but the difficulty of it does not make us faint and cave
in, it rouses us up to overcome. Do we so appreciate the marvellous salvation
of Jesus Christ that we are our utmost for His highest?
God saves men by His sovereign grace through the
Atonement of Jesus; He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure; but
we have to work out that salvation in practical living. If once we start on the
basis of His Redemption to do what He commands, we find that we can do it. If
we fail, it is because we have not practised. The crisis will reveal whether we
have been practising or not. If we obey the Spirit of God and practise in our
physical life what God has put in us by His Spirit, then when the crisis comes,
we shall find that our own nature as well as the grace of God will stand by us.
Thank God He does give us difficult things to do!
His salvation is a glad thing, but it is also a heroic, holy thing. It tests us
for all we are worth. Jesus is bringing many “sons” unto glory, and God will
not shield us from the requirements of a son. God's grace turns out men and
women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not milk sops. It takes a
tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jesus
in actual things. It is always necessary to make an effort to be noble.