BELIEVERS DAILY BUSINESS
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Luke 9:23-24
We each have our own responsibility that the Lord gives the members of His body. “But let every man prove his own work, then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” Gal. 6:4-5. It is good that each individual count it a privilege to be faithful in his personal task. Those that will not deny themselves, will find self occupation too heavy a load to also bear another’s weight. The weight of a dead man is far too much to carry, daily.
Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” Paul said I count the things gain to me, loss for Christ. When Jesus said, “Follow me” He was on His way to the cross and death, but praise God, from death unto life everlasting he passed and we follow him there. What a wonderful and comforting promise we find in Deut. 33:25 – “as thy days so shall thy strength be.” However many or long our days may be, whatever each day may contain in events, circumstances, trying situations, daily vexing detours or exceeding joys, we are to find in Him sufficient strength.
Paul said, “I die daily” – I Cor. 15:30-31. He also said that he carried a daily care of the churches – II Cor. 11:28. He spoke of the life of Christ being manifest in our mortal bodies, and “to live is Christ, and die is gain.” As a living sacrifice Paul’s life was poured out unto the Lord, and flowed out in service unto the people.
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah” Psalm 68:19. From other translations we get the thought of blessing the Lord for daily sustaining us, bearing our burdens and winning for us the victory. Who can tell all the benefits, or number them every day? He has indeed a special load ready for us to pick up daily. What shall we say? Oh, well, I’ll just skip what the Lord has for me today. I’ll pick it up tomorrow. Who can guarantee that there will be the same availability tomorrow or that we will have the same need? It doesn’t seem that He would have us satisfied with leftovers or go on yesterdays load. Of course on occasion He could give us a meal like He fed Elijah, once.
“Give us day by day our daily bread” Luke 11:3. We may live from hand to mouth, His hand to our mouth. Whether we need natural or spiritual nourishment, He would have us ask, look to him, and expect from him, daily. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God”– Luke 4:4. Oh, I thank God more and more for His beneficial words of life.
What does it seem that people are most likely to complain or murmur about? Is it food and drink? I am afraid that God’s people are far more consistent in murmuring than in gathering divine provisions. There were problems in Israel’s history, Exodus 16, and also in the early church that they had to deal with, when complaints were made about the service– Acts 6:1. Israel, having come out of Egyptian bondage it seems that some of them still hand an appetite for Egyptian cuisine, Leeks and garlic. “And the children of Israel said unto them, would to God we had died at the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full, for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger” – Ex. 16:3.
Well, God heard their complaints, opened the windows of heaven, and poured out for them their daily victuals morning and evening, manna and quail. The supply was absolutely sufficient for the multitude of that nation. The one main stipulation was that they were to go out and gather daily each day’s supply, every man according to His eating. On the sixth day they were to gather two day’s supply, and rest on the Sabbath. They could take what they would want or need, but, like we tell our children, eat what you take.
The bread from heaven typified our precious Lord Jesus Christ in His wondrous condescension. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world”– Jn. 6:47-52. As the true bread from heaven Jesus has given us not just to hold to as a theory, but we are to assimilate all that we receive of him for practical use. He wants to meet the whole need we have for Him, every day. It is our sweet privilege to enter into the preciousness of Christ as the bread of life, day after day.
BUSINESS OF NOBILITY
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”– Acts 17:11. It is so very important how receptive we are to the word of life, written or spoken. To be attentive to God’s precious Word is to experience marvelous changes of it’s effectual working in all those who truly believe- I Thess. 2:13. David said, O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him– Psa. 34:8. Peter said, “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious”– I Pet. 2:3.
Elihu told Job and his comforters, “Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that hath knowledge. For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat”– Job 34:2-3. Job said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food”– Job 23:12. An important attitude was manifested in those at Berea. They not only had a readiness of mind, but were studious, searching the scripture, daily. Paul told the saints at Thessolonica, “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good” – I Thess. 5:20-21. As we feed on the whole counsel of God, daily we will develop a healthy appetite for the rightly divided word of truth. We then will know better than to try to satisfy ourselves with religious junk food, or hog’s husks.
We do well to gather all we can during this Age of Grace. It will soon be over. Let us now appropriate and share what we take in daily while it is alive in us and to us. The Hebrews were told, But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” – Heb. 3:13. Let us urge, encourage, admonish each other every day, reminding ourselves of the imminence of that glorious event upon us, as protection, and prevention against hardness in both the exhorted and the exhorter. GOOD DAILY BUSINESS.