Philippians 4:8 MEV
Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.
I believe the following statement by Reverend
Calvin (1509 – 1564) is a solid definition of what true Spiritual Austerity is; “For until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings so that naught is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience; nay, unless they place their entire happiness in him, they will never yield up their whole selves to him in truth and sincerity.”
The effect of our knowledge rather ought to be, first, to teach us reverence and fear; and, secondly, to induce us, under its guidance and teaching, to ask every good thing from him, and, when it is received, ascribe it to him. For how can the idea of God enter your mind without instantly giving rise to the thought, that since you are his workmanship, you are bound, by the very law of creation, to submit to his authority?
That your life is due to him? That whatever you do ought to have reference to him? If so, it undoubtedly follows that your life is sadly corrupted, if it is not framed in obedience to him, since his will ought to be the law of our lives. On the other hand, your idea of his nature is not clear unless you acknowledge him to be the origin and fountain of all goodness.”
CLOSING COMMENTS by Robert
God needs not to be told our wants or desires; he knows them better than we do, but he will have us show that we value the mercy and feel our dependence on him. The peace of God, the comfortable sense of being reconciled to God, and having a part in his favour, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, are a greater good than can be fully expressed.
This peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; it will keep us from sinning under troubles, and from sinking under them; keep us calm and with inward satisfaction. Believers are to get and to keep a good name; a name for good things with God and good men.
We should walk in all the ways of virtue, and abide therein; then, whether our praise is of men or not, it will be of God. The apostle is an example. His doctrine and life agreed together. The way to have the God of peace with us is to keep close to our duty.
All our privileges and salvation arise in the free mercy of God, yet the enjoyment of them depends on our sincere and holy conduct. These are works of God, pertaining to God, and to him only are they to be ascribed, and to no other, neither men, words, nor deeds.
This simple dependence and earnestness of soul were not mentioned as if the apostle had gained the prize or were already made perfect in the Saviour’s likeness. He forgot the things which were behind, so as not to be content with past labours or present measures of grace.
He reached forth, stretched himself forward towards his point; expressions showing great concern to become increasingly like unto Yeshua.
He who runs a race must never stop short of the end but press forward as fast as he can; so those who have heaven in their view must still press forward to it, in holy desires and hopes, and constant endeavours. Eternal life is the gift of God, but it is in Christ Jesus; through his hand, it must come to us, as it is procured for us by him. There is no getting to heaven as our home, but by Christ as our Way.
True believers, in seeking this assurance, as well as to glorify him, will seek more to resemble his sufferings and death, by dying to sin, and by crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts.
In these things there is a great difference among real Christians, but all know something of them. Believers make Christ all in all, and set their hearts upon another world. If they differ from one another and are not of the same judgment in lesser matters, yet they must not judge one another; while they all meet now in Christ, and hope to meet shortly in heaven.
1Chronicles 29:3 Moreover because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house.
Blessings are with you all. Go in peace in our Father’s name.
God is honoured by our hope and trust in him, especially when we rejoice in that hope. He is served, not only by working for him but by sitting still quietly when he calls us to suffer.