NOT TO RECEIVE GOD'S GRACE IN VAIN: "If our
appreciation of the Gospel rises no higher than the comfort of being saved, we
receive the grace of God in vain. Our heart must be filled with an appreciation
of the greatness, and goodness, and worthiness, and unspeakable excellence of
Him by whom all things have been made. The first feature of a true son is that
he knows, loves, and glories in his father. The love of his father's property
would not be accepted as an equivalent for personal love. Our love of eternal
life and the kingdom of God will not stand instead of the 'loving of the Lord
our God with all our hearts', which is 'the first and great commandment' "
Citing Isa 49:8 (where in context Christ is a light to the
Gentiles!): God's help and assistance -- given to the suffering Servant -- are
still available to the multitudinous servant.
NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION: "Take just one day at a
time, and enjoy it to the very limit. When you get up in the morning, make up
your mind you are going to enjoy the day to the fullest -- every moment of it:
not a moment wasted in non-enjoyment, just as if it were the only day you ever
had or ever will have. Determine that it will be the only day of your life: in
joy and in service. Do not confuse enjoyment with entertainment. Entertainment
-- self-pleasing, selfish 'pleasure' -- is but pitiful dancing on the deck of
the Titanic: stupidity: wicked, criminal waste of precious time that could
profitably be devoted to true enjoyment. Enjoyment is keeping God -- goodness,
love, holiness, wisdom, power -- continually before the mind's eye: and doing --
at every moment -- the best thing to be done at that moment, to the very best of
the ability: every effort: nothing held back: all the care, all the attention.
Sometimes the 'best' thing for the present moment is a most common and mundane
thing, like shining shoes or taking out the garbage. But if it is a necessary
part of a life totally devoted to God, then it is done unto God, just as much as
is the highest and noblest activity possible, and thereby it is glorified,
gilded with eternal beauty and meaning. That is true living. All else is death,
in various degrees and percentages" (GVG).
Vv 4,5: 7-fold passive sufferings.
Vv 5,6: 7-fold active self-denial (beginning with "hard
Vv 6-8: 7-fold means to endure labor (beginning with by A holy
SINCERE: Gr "anupokritos" = lit, without hypocrisy.
Used Rom 12:9; 2Co 6:6; 1Ti 1:5; 2Ti 1:5; Jam 3:17; 1Pe 1:22.
Vv 8-10: 7-fold result, a series of contrasts (beginning with
DO NOT BE YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS: Unequal
yoking -- the principle: What God has joined, we must not separate. What God has
separated, we must not join. Unequal yoking is (a) unfitting -- because of
differences in size, temperament, strength. The ox is clean, and the ass unclean
(Deu 22:10). Unequal yoking is (b) unfair -- because both would suffer pain,
discomfort. Thus unequal yoking leads to a poor working combination.
Marriage with unbelievers causes many problems: Gen 27:46; Deu
7:1-4; Exo 34:14-16; 1Ki 11:1-4; 1Co 7:39; 2Co 6:14-17. See Lesson,
Marriage "only in the Lord".
"Our Father in heaven" (Mat 6:9); "Father of glory" or
"glorious Father" (Eph 1:17); "Father of compassion" (2Co 1:3); "Father of
spirits" (Heb 12:9); "Father of the heavenly lights" (Jam 1:17); "a Father to
you" (2Co 6:18); "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 15:6).