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Living Well To God in Our Callings – William Perkins

February 16, 2012 Comments off

William Perkins, How to Live Well, and That Well: In All Estates and Times. Specially When Helps and Comforts Fail. (some modernized spelling):

In the labour and work of our calling, there is required a double action of faith. The first is, to order our labours, that they be done in a good manner, that is, in obedience and to good ends, that is, to God’s glory, and to the good of men, with whom we live. In this respect is Noah said to build an Ark by faith [Heb. 11.7], and good Princes to order their commonwealths, and in way of protection to make war with their enemies: and thus must every man of every office, calling, trade, occuption, do his duty by faith. The second action of faith is in our daily labours to restrain and moderate our care. Men commonly take upon them a double care: one is to do the works and labours of their callings; the other is to procure a blessing and good success to their aforesaid labours. But faith in God’s word where it reigns, it stirs up the hearts of men only to the first care, which is in the performance of their painful labours and duties, and it restrains them from the second, causing them to leave it to God. For when men have done the duty that appertains unto them, then faith makes them without any more ado, to wait for a blessing on God. To this purpose the holy Ghost says, Psal. 55.22. Cast thy burden on the Lord, and he shall nourish thee. Again, Be nothing careful, but in all things let your requests be showed unto God, in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving; [Phil. 4] and, Cast your care on God. [1 Pet. 5] Now this faith, whereby we depend on God for the success of our labours; hath an infallible ground, namely, that God best knows our wants, and he will give unto us all things which he in his wisdom knows to be necessary. Christ says, Mat. 6.31. Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of these things, that is, food and raiment. Again, He cares for you: [1 Pet. 4] and, Nothing shall be wanting unto them that fear God. [Psal. 34] If men would by faith build on these promises, they should not need like drudges of the world to toil and spend themselves, and the best part of their days in worldly cares, as they do: for they should have a greater blessing of God with less care, if they would trust him: and they should have far more time then they have, to care for heaven and heavenly.

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Sanctification does not consist in retirement from our place in life – JC Ryle

May 25, 2010 Comments off

Sanctification does not consist in retirement from our place in life, and the renunciation of our social duties. In every age it has been a snare with many to take up this line in the pursuit of holiness. Hundreds of hermits have buried themselves in some wilderness, and thousands of men and women have shut themselves up within the walls of monasteries and convents, under the vain idea that by so doing they would escape sin and become eminently holy. They have forgotten that no bolts and bars can keep out the devil, and that, wherever we go, we carry that root of all evil, our own hearts. To become a monk, or a nun, or to join a House of of Mercy, is not the high road to sanctification. True holiness does not make a Christian evade difficulties, but face and overcome them. Christ would have His people show that His grace is not a mere hot-house plant, which can only thrive under shelter, but a strong, hardy thing which can flourish in every relation of life. It is doing our duty in that state to which God has called us—like salt in the midst of corruption, and light in the midst of darkness—which is a primary element in sanctification. It is not the man who hides himself in a cave, but the man who glorifies God as master or servant, parent or child, in the family and in the street, in business and in trade, who is the Scriptural type of a sanctified man.
Our Master Himself said in His last prayer, “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” (John xvii. 15.)

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Sanctification does not consist in retirement from our place in life

God and Mammon: Matthew 6:24 commentary

November 25, 2009 Comments off

Matthew Henry commentary

Mat 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

III. We must take heed of hypocrisy and worldly-mindedness in choosing the master we serve, Mat_6:24. No man can serve two masters. Serving two masters is contrary to the single eye; for the eye will be to the master’s hand, Psa_123:1, Psa_123:2. Our Lord Jesus here exposes the cheat which those put upon their own souls, who think to divide between God and the world, to have a treasure on earth, and a treasure in heaven too, to please God and please men too. Why not? says the hypocrite; it is good to have two strings to one’s bow. They hope to make their religion serve their secular interest, and so turn to account both ways. The pretending mother was for dividing the child; the Samaritans will compound between God and idols. No, says Christ, this will not do; it is but a supposition that gain is godliness, 1Ti_6:5. Here is,
1. A general maxim laid down; it is likely it was a proverb among the Jews, No man can serve two masters, much less two gods; for their commands will some time or other cross or contradict one another, and their occasions interfere. While two masters go together, a servant may follow them both; but when they part, you will see to which he belongs; he cannot love, and observe, and cleave to both as he should. If to the one, not to the other; either this or that must be comparatively hated and despised. This truth is plain enough in common cases.
2. The application of it to the business in hand. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. Mammon is a Syriac word, that signifies gain; so that whatever in this world is, or is accounted by us to be, gain (Phi_3:7), is mammon. Whatever is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is mammon. To some their belly is their mammon, and they serve that (Phi_3:19); to others their ease, their sleep, their sports and pastimes, are their mammon (Pro_6:9); to others worldly riches (Jam_4:13); to others honours and preferments; the praise and applause of men was the Pharisees’ mammon; in a word, self, the unity in which the world’s trinity centres, sensual, secular self, is the mammon which cannot be served in conjunction with God; for if it be served, it is in competition with him and in contradiction to him. He does not say, We must not or we should not, but we cannot serve God and Mammon; we cannot love both (1Jo_2:15; Jam_4:4); or hold to both, or hold by both in observance, obedience, attendance, trust, and dependence, for they are contrary the one to the other. God says, “My son, give me thy heart.” Mammon says, “No, give it me.” God says, “Be content with such things as ye have.” Mammon says, “Grasp at all that ever thou canst. Rem, rem, quocunque modo rem – Money, money; by fair means or by foul, money.” God says, “Defraud not, never lie, be honest and just in all thy dealings.” Mammon says “Cheat thine own Father, if thou canst gain by it.” God says, “Be charitable.” Mammon says, “Hold thy own: this giving undoes us all.” God says, “Be careful for nothing.” Mammon says, “Be careful for every thing.” God says, “Keep holy thy sabbath-day.” Mammon says, “Make use of that day as well as any other for the world.” Thus inconsistent are the commands of God and Mammon, so that we cannot serve both. Let us not then halt between God and Baal, but choose ye this day whom ye will serve, and abide by our choice.

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