Sunday, July 12, 2015

As You Leave

There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.
—Isaiah 57:21
I'll hear what God the Lord will say;
peace to his people he'll convey;
to godly ones he's promised this,
if they refrain from foolishness.
—Psalm 85:8
Suggested tune (Sharon):
As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.
—Matthew 10:12-14
Is someone still unconverted and unsaved? You have been dealing with them faithfully and affectionately; pleading with them for Christ, and with Christ for them. You have had much patience, and have persevered long. Nor has it been mere taskwork with you, but a work of love. You have felt a real concern for their soul, a real longing for their salvation. But somehow the case is not very hopeful; it was not very hopeful at first, and it is becoming less so, or at least not more so. You are getting reconciled to the idea of failure and disappointment. You are not at first conscious of a diminished regard for your poor brother or sister; but you are becoming less sanguine, and gradually less earnest. The work of love becomes more like taskwork now. You will do your duty; you will continue to be kind to them, to warn and exhort them, to set Christ before them, and urge them to believe and live. But there is less cordiality in what you do and say; you bestow less of your heart upon them.

This may be natural, in a sense and measure perhaps unavoidable, and not altogether unreasonable. There may be a limit to your earnest striving, in love, with an obdurate sinner, as there is a limit to the striving, in love, of God's own Spirit with them. But beware. It is not because God ceases to love that the Spirit ceases to strive. See that it be not otherwise with you; that it be not your ceasing to love that makes you cease to strive.
—John Robert Candish, alt.
Help me to love the unlovable, God. And if they don't love me back, deliver me from rancor; in Jesus' Name. Amen.

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