Monday, June 23, 2014

Limp Not

"Reproaches for Christ are ensigns of honour, badges of adoption (1 Peter 4:14), the high honours of accusations, says Chrysostom. Let Christians bind these as a crown about their head. Better have men reproach you for being good, than have God damn you for being wicked. Be not laughed out of your religion. If a lame man laugh at you for walking upright, will you therefore limp" (Thomas Watson, The Great Gain of Godliness, p.11).

All-Powerful Sovereign, the lifter of my head, to you be all honor, praise, and glory forever and ever. Repentance fills my heart as I read these words of the Puritan divine--repentance for the many times I have not seen the reproaches of men, saved and unsaved, as more than reproaches. Forgive me, Lord, for the times when I have feared looking at the reproaches of others as ensigns of honour and badges of adoption--fearing that my recognition of such reproaches, for what they really are, would be seen by men as arrogance, attention-seeking, and self-assigned martyrdom. Forgive me, Father, for allowing the errant thoughts of others about me to rob me of the joy of who I am in You and the ways You are choosing to complete Your work in me.

Too many times, Lord, I have limped away as the spiritually lame and lost man laughs at me for walking upright in my faith. To many times such limping was accompanied by angry words toward my lame assailant. Too many times I have felt anger toward the myriad spiritually lame and dead before me instead of pitying them for the helpless depraved that they are. O, for more of the mind and heart of Christ!

Help me, Lord, to limp not in any spiritual endeavor. Holy Spirit, please strengthen me so that I never again am "laughed out" of Christ-likeness by those who seek to malign You, by attacking me. Help me to wear ensigns of honour and badges of adoption with far greater humility than I have at this moment. Help me to see the "high honours of accusations" through the lens of your suffering and death on the Cross, Lord Jesus. Help me to always remember that I have not, nor ever will, suffer to the point of shedding blood in anguish for souls and propitiation for their sins.

Lord Jesus, I want to walk upright with the straight spine of Christ-likeness. I want to so honor and glorify You that You would count me worthy to suffer for Your name. Allow me, for Your glory alone, to bear ever reproach because of Your name as a splendid crown. May the words, "limp not" be ever-present reminders of how I should respond to ever sinful rebuke, every false accusation, every hateful scoff, every malignant smirk and jeer. For you, Lord Jesus, never limped away. You endured the cross. You defeated sin and death. And You reign victorious forever an ever. In Your most glorious and splendid name, I pray. Amen.

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