Today’s promise: God blesses those who seek after him
Setting An Example
“In everything you do, stay away from complaining or arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them.”
William Wilberforce is remembered as the parliamentarian most responsible for ending the British slave trade. But to the people of his own generation, he was the man who changed the way the British viewed their role as parents.
Wilberforce did not marry until he was nearly 40. But as Kevin Belmonte notes in Hero for Humanity, once Wilberforce became a husband and the father of six children, he took up his new responsibilities with relish.
It was not unusual, notes Belmonte, for him to excuse himself “from important deliberations with fellow MPs to go out on the lawn and have a race with the children.”
Belmonte says it was through Wilberforce’s example that British households “increasingly…became places where parents spent more time with their children, educating them, praying with them, reading with them, and playing with them.” Wilberforce resigned his powerful seat in the House of Commons in order “to take a more active role in education and rearing his children.”
Sadly, these days, too many Christians in business or politics neglect their families. Wilberforce is a reminder of what every Christian father should be in spite of great demands on his time. For the sake of his children — and for the sake of his witness — he must be “at home, a candle set on a candlestick, as well as abroad in a city built upon a hill.”
Adapted from How Now Shall We Live? Devotional by Charles Colson (Tyndale) pp 559-60
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House
The work of the Holy Spirit
“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:3
Suggested Further Reading: John 3:1-8
It is simple enough for a man that hath the Spirit in him to believe, when he hath the written Word before him and the witness of the Spirit in him; that is easy enough. But for the poor, tried sinner, who cannot see anything in the Word of God but thunder and threatening—for him to believe—ah, my brethren, it is not such a little matter as some make it to be. It needs the fulness of the power of God’s Spirit to bring any man to such a faith as that. Well, when the sinner has thus believed, then the Holy Spirit brings all the precious things to him. There is the blood of Jesus; that can never save my soul, unless God the Spirit takes that blood, and sprinkles it upon my conscience. There is the perfect spotless righteousness of Jesus; it is a robe that will fit me and adorn me from head to foot, but it is no use to me till I have put it on; and I cannot put it on myself; God the Holy Spirit must put the robe of Jesus’ righteousness on me. There is the covenant of adoption, whereby God gives me the privileges of a son; but I cannot rejoice in my adoption until I receive the spirit of adoption whereby I may be able to cry, “Abba, Father.” So, beloved, you see that every point that is brought out in the experience of the new-born Christian, every point in that part of salvation which we call its beginning in the soul, has to do with God the Holy Spirit. There is no step that can be taken without him, there is nothing which can be accomplished aright without him.
Sermon no. 178 17 November (Preached 5 November 1857)
Charles Spurgeon (C)