After one particularly productive day on the farm the old farmer came home and told his wife some good news! Their ewe had just given birth to two fine healthy young lambs. Overjoyed the couple agreed that one lamb should be the Lord’s and one lamb should be kept for themselves.
The wife asked, “But which lamb shall be the Lord’s?” to which the farmer replied “It doesn’t matter, we’ll take good care of both of them and when the time comes we’ll know which one should be the Lord’s.”
After a few short months the old farmer returned home from the field, obviously heavy of heart. The farmer’s wife asked him what was the matter to which he replied in his most somber tone, “I have some bad news, my darling; the Lord’s lamb has died!”
Isn’t this how we often treat the things that we would dedicate to the Lord? When we, by His grace alone, have more than enough, whether in the spiritual or the material realm, aren’t we are more easily generous with our thanksgiving? Yet when hard times beset us it’s often easy to forsake the things of the Lord to protect our own temporal fleshy concerns – all too often “the things of the Lord” are the first things to go!
When persecution and the cares of this world rise against those who profess Christ our singular focus should remain the same – being instant in season and out of season – we ought to focus on the cross. Let us fix our gaze upon our bleeding Savior who endured the shame of the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Let us be thankful that He didn’t place His trust in flesh and blood but placed His trust and obedience squarely in the hands of His Father in heaven. Let us, as Israel when they were bitten of the fiery serpants in the wilderness and merely needed to glance upon a brazen serpent for healing, gaze upon Him who has been lifted up that we may be drawn unto Him in all His shame and glory, His scandal and sacrifice, His passion and victory as His “called out ones” – the ecclesia, the church, the bride and very body of Christ.
Ours is an eternal hope that is apprehended by faith in the One whom our earthly eyes have never seen.
Ours is the glorious promise of the resurrection and a new life to come.
Our hope is in Him – the Name that is above every name and the One to whom one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord forever to the praise of His glory. And bowing and confessing in this life has its benefits since many will bow the knee and confess in the afterlife to the infinite justice of their own guilty standing before Him, being sentenced to eternal condemnation in hell fire and torments for their willful rejection of His offer of free grace unmerited.
May we who are called by His holy Name live like we believe this truth and share His gospel of grace with fervency as Paul Washer has well said; “as a dying man to dying men!”
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. – Romans 5:1-5
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:– Eph. 2:6