Sure Steps

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Original photo by Justin McIntosh

Daily Reformation, 1 Samuel 17:32-49

About the Reformer

The Christians of this age seem to me to be content with themselves, though there is infinite reason for the reverse. When I sit down and read the biographies of saints who have gone to heaven, I am astonished at myself, and I can only weep to think how far I am behind these men, and then how much further I must be behind my divine Master. Surely the examples of eminent saints should spur us onward. If Henry Martin could unreservedly devote his life and energies to Christ’s service, why may not we? If Martin Luther with holy boldness could face the danger, why should not we? If Calvin with clear and eagle eye could read the doctrines of the gospel amid the mists of error, why should not we? If men of more modern times have been able to endure opprobrium and disgrace for Christ’s sake, or if they in private have been able to reach to the seventh heaven of communion with God, and have lived on earth as if they were in paradise, why should not we? There is no reason why the least saint in God’s family should not outrun the greatest. Why look upon the saints of olden time as if they were so far above us that we can never equal them? Oh, dream not so! What Abraham was you may be. What the mightiest saint of that former life was, that ought you to be. You should never rest satisfied until you labour to surpass them all; yea, not even them, for you have not yet attained to the perfection which is in Christ.

—Charles H. Spurgeon, Sermons, “Weak Hands and Feeble Knees”

Pulling It Together

The brother trembled within, under the very idea that his preacher had asked him to deliver the sermon while the latter was away on vacation. At first, it seemed like a fine idea and he was only too happy to help out his pastor however he could. A few days later, however, he woke up in a sweat and said to his wife, “I can’t do it.” And he was right.

Yet God can do through us what we cannot imagine doing on our own. It takes faith that God will be your “strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psa 46:1) God is with you in difficult situations; you must depend upon him. He calls you to act outside yourself, moving in his strength instead of your feebleness. When you take those first few steps, he will be with you, being strong in your weakness. But he will not take those first, faltering steps for you.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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