Judgement According to Works - Romans 2:6-11 (Transcript)

by Sinclair Ferguson

Romans Series by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Text: Romans 2:6-11

Preached on 9/28/2008

Original Audio


Gracious God and Heavenly Father, thank You that does we got our Lord's day by Lord's day, we taste that future glory that will fill the earth. And our hearts are stirred to long for the day when this earth will be full of your righteousness and peace. When the lion will lie down with the lamb, and every knee will bow to you and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ your Son, is Lord. We come to bow before you long before that great day, and to pray as we study your Word together, as we come to the throne room of your grace, and listen afresh to your voice in the scriptures you have given to us, speak oh Lord. And grant that we may have yours, so to hear your voice insistently, powerfully, searchingly. And yet always graciously, and savingly, that by the end of this service, as we worship you together in song, we may be bowed down, humbled under your mighty hand, and yet at the same time, lifted up and exhilarated in the ecstasy and joy of knowing you, and finding your grace sufficient for all of our needs. So, teach us we pray, and speak to us as we wait upon you. In Jesus Christ, our Savior's name, Amen. Please be seated.


Now, we are continuing our studies and Paul's letter to the Romans. And we come this evening to Romans chapter two. You'll find the passage in the pew Bible page 940. And it's particularly verses six through 11, that we are going to consider together this evening. But it will be helpful for us, I think, to read in from chapter two, verse one. Paul's great thesis statement is in Romans chapter one, verses 16 and 17. The Gospel is the power of God for salvation. And he is taking fully two chapters in order to explain to us why this gospel is so vitally necessary for us. He has spoken in chapter one, verse 18, about God's wrath being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. He has spoken about the sin, essentially of the Gentile world. And now at the beginning of chapter two, he turns to those who might have agreed with every single word that he has spoken.

Therefore, he says, you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who do such things. Do you suppose, O man — you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself — that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your heart and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.


If we were to move back into history this evening, perhaps even into this building in history, and listen to preachers from a bygone age, we would notice something strikingly different between their sermons and the sermons we characteristically hear at the beginning of the 21st century. It would not be unusual in their sermons for the congregation to be asked many questions. Those of you who have ever turned, for example, to some of the great sermons of Jonathan Edwards, undoubtedly one of the most influential preachers and thinkers that this country has ever known, you would discover that sometimes for five minutes, sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes stretching into 15 minutes, he would do nothing but ask the congregation question. And I imagine that if you were in the congregation, in those days, if you could imagine it happening in the congregation this evening, the whole congregation would slowly be moved back to the final corner of the building, seeking some way to escape from these penetrating question. Nowadays, the only people we expect to ask those questions are the psychoanalysts and the therapists. Apparently, we are safe with them asking the questions. Whereas in the 21st century, man, woman has become absolutely terrified of God asking those questions. And so we have moved from a culture in which the Word of God transforms us, and actually makes us good. To what nowadays people call the therapeutic culture. In which the goal is not to transform us and make us good. The only goal is that we should begin to feel good. Or at least feel better about ourselves. And that transformation that has taken place in the culture that is round about us, is a culture that has also infected the world of the church. When more and more people say to us, but I go to church, in order that I may feel good. And the Apostle Paul is really saying to us in these verses, my dear friend, unless first of all, you feel bad, you will never discover the gospel that will first of all transform you -- then make you good. And then by God's grace, as your life is restored, to fellowship with God, the knowledge of Christ, and you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to say to yourself and to others, I feel surprisingly good about being a child of God.

And that is the reason, that is the reason, not because he is a pessimist, not because he is a negative character. But because he has a tremendous passion that men and women in darkness and ignorance should be brought to know God. That the apostle clearly understands that at the heart of the gospel is this great lesson, that we are far worse than we ever imagined. That we are much more under the judgment of God than any of us ever would tolerate. And yet, in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are infinitely more loved than we could ever deserve. And may by God's grace be infinitely and eternally happy. Because we've discovered that the Gospel is the power of God for salvation.

And so Paul is aware — is picking people out. He's picking the Gentiles out. And now he's turned to religious people, moral people, and probably in this chapter, Jewish people. Who have been listening to these words of searing analysis of their society around about them and tut-tutting that society. Isn't a terrible what is happening in society? And Paul has turned to them, and as it were echoing the searching teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, and said, but you, too, "who judge are under the judgment of God". And he's wanting to emphasize, isn't he in these verses, some of the principles of divine judgment, so that we may not be ignorant of those principle. So that we may not be ignorant of those principles -- when we stand before the judgment seat of God.

And so he is ripping off the mask. He is tearing our consciences to shreds. But he's doing it because he has this loving burden for men and women under the wrath of God, to bring them to the mercy of God in Jesus Christ. As he puts it in Romans chapter three, "To shut their mouths". To bring them to a place where they stop justifying themselves. And their mouths are shut. And they've nothing to say. And they've no excuses to make. Then when they've embraced Jesus Christ, they want all to say, "Oh for 1000 tongues, to sing my great Redeemers praise".

And he's continuing in this vein, and these verses six through 11, that are before us this evening. And he's teaching us about the principles by which God exercises his judgment. And there are four of them in these verses that I want us to notice as we can this evening. And the first one is obvious. Paul states it very plainly here in verse six, God judges, every human being, according to their works. God judges every human being, according to their works. Verse six, he will render he will pay back -- when payback time comes, the canon of judgment God will use will be what have you done? How have you lived? Who have you been? He will render to each one according to his works. Now the Apostle Paul is, is almost verbally simply quoting words from the Old Testament scriptures. This isn't something he is making up. He gets this, for example, in the Psalms. In Psalm 62. And in the book of Proverbs: Proverbs 24 verse 12. When God judges, well, he, "he judges rightly.” He judges, what we have been and what we have done. And you notice how he uses that language later on. He says "there'll be tribulation for every human being who does evil. And there’'ll be honor and peace for everyone who does good", verse 10. And so he's separating the whole of humanity as our Lord Jesus does, as the Old Testament does. He's separating the whole of humanity into two different categories. And he's saying at the final judgment of God, there will be men on the left hand and there will be men on the right hand. And what will determine whether we are on the left hand or right hand will be absolutely determined by what God sees in our lives. He will judge, he says, he will pay back to every one -- "render to each one according to his works". Now, how would we tell the difference? Well, they said you tell the difference, because there are two totally different motives at work. There are those, he says, do you notice, "there are those who seek for glory". Verse seven, “To those who by patience in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality”, he will give eternal life. But on the other hand, there are those who are turned in upon themselves. Who are self seeking. Who seek not the glory of God and experiencing it, but who seek only self. And all that belongs to self. And it leads, says Paul, to two radically different lifestyles. On the one hand, those who seek glory, they are characterized by patience in well-doing and in seeking good. And those who are turned in upon themselves, "seek not the truth", says Paul, but "unrighteousness." And as we'll see, those two pathways lead to two totally different destinies.

Now, I think since so many of us here this evening are Christians, we probably need to pause on this and say the Apostle Paul is not speaking merely theoretically here. He is not speaking merely theoretically here. Every single one of us in this room will be assessed by God on the basis of what we have done. Ah, but you may say, I know Romans. And Romans says later on, that we are justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. And thank God we'll come to that. But we need to understand that that principle that you are justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ does not minimize the principle that God will assess your life on the basis of what you have done. He's not just speaking here about non Christians. He says, "Those who seek the glory of God and who by patience in well-doing, seek that, will experience honor and immortality and eternal life". And the Apostle Paul is saying, God will assess my life -- on that basis. Well, you say that can't be right. Jesus didn't teach that, did he not? Don't you remember how he taught and Matthew 16, verse 27, that God will assess every individual's life on the basis of what they have done. Don't you remember how in Matthew 25, in that great picture of the sheep and the goats, he assesses every single individual on the basis of what they have done. On the basis of what they have done Jesus sees the nature of their response to him. It's the very thing the Apostle Paul teaches in second Corinthians chapter five, verse 10, that we looked at a number of weeks ago at our morning service. When he says, "We must all"... He doesn't say, You, Corinthians who have been opposed to my ministry, you must, he says, "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive what is due to us, for the things we have done, while we have been in the body." Over and over again, in many places in the New Testament scriptures this principle is underscored, and under written. You remember how it's put in first Corinthians chapter three? Now, the apostle Paul there is speaking to teachers, but the principle he uses is applicable to all of us. He says, "Every man's work is going to be tested by fire, to see what quality that work has been." Whether we have used wood and hay and stubble in our lives that will be consumed by the testing fire, or whether in our lives we have built with precious jewels, or in Paul's words here, "whether we have sought for glory and honor and immortality and eternal life."

Now, that means there are two things that we need to hold together if we're Christians. Number one, as we will come to in Romans, we are not justified before God on the basis of our works. We are justified before God exclusively on the basis of somebody else's works. On the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ. There is no other way to be justified to be accepted before God, than through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. But Paul is saying that being true, God will assess every human being's life on the basis of what they have been. God will assess everyone's life on the basis of what they have been. That's a consistent teaching of the New Testament scriptures. It's the teaching of the Lord Jesus. It's the teaching of the Apostle Paul. It's the teaching of the apostle John through the book of Revelation. Do you remember how he views saints who have died and are in glory? Do you remember what he says about among many other things? He says, Yes, he says, they've washed their claws in the blood of the Lamb and they've become white. But, do ya remember what those clothes are made of? "The righteous deeds of the saints." Remember the picture he draws? He says, there's that Saint. Do you see that saint? What's behind that saint? Their works do follow them. So what the Apostle Paul is saying, really, obviously to non believers is, what serious condition you are in before you face the judgment seat of Christ if you have no Christ to appeal to. But he's also, in this teaching, as it were undermining the easy come and go-ness of our Christian lives that says, Oh, yes, I trusted Jesus. Was it 20 years ago? Or was it 40 years ago? I'm sure I trusted him some time. I'm sure I've got that card that had the prayer on it. And the Apostle Paul is saying, But are you seeking glory? Why does he ask that question? Because that's the only thing our God is interested in, in our lives -- that we should seek glory. So what he says here, while of course, very often, we read it as a terrible indictment of those who are not Christians, you know, it can be a searing indictment of those who are easy living Christians. Who actually are simply finding a way of pursuing ourselves and our own self interests with this kind of insurance policy behind us that of course, Jesus died for our sins, and we are justified on the basis of what Jesus did for us. My dear friends, it's very questionable whether we've been justified from our sins if we are not seeking God's glory. That's the point Paul's making. And it makes me think, as I often say to myself, either on my last words in this world, or my first words in that world when I see my Savior's face, and it becomes clear to me when, whenever a thing that has been unworthy of him, when everything that's been self centered, and not his glory centered, I think there will be a moment when he'll allow me to say, Lord, I'm sorry, I made such a mess of it. If only I'd known how glorious a Savior you really are. And I think you'll see I know. Now, we'll have no more mention of that. We'll have no more mention of that.

But you'll see we need to have that consideration in our lives, don't we? Because many of us, many of us are living a slap happy, easy Christian life. The idea that we should be passionate about the glory of God is something that belongs to the first question and answer of the shorter catechism. But not to the driving realities of our lives. And that's what's going to be assessed. That's the only thing that's going to be assessed in my life. God is never going to say to me, how many books did you write? How many sermons did you preach? How many pastoral visits did you make? How many weddings did you conduct? How many baptisms did you do? How many funerals did you take? The only thing he is interested in is the only thing he's interested in. And that is that my eternal happiness should be complete, because all my life I have sought for His glory.

And so Paul is saying to us with tremendous solemnity, that God assesses everyone's lives, according to their works. And according to the teaching of Jesus. This is a great mystery, but according to the teaching of Jesus, what we are there is integrally related to what we have been here. Remember his story in Luke chapter 19. Of Jesus, picturing himself as the, as the Lord of the manor who distributes his largess as he disappears for a while, and then he comes to ask his servants to give account. And here is somebody who's, who's done very well who's who's used -- the grace of Jesus Christ has given. And he's used them faithfully and wonderfully. And Jesus says, well, he says, in the new world, I think I'll make you in charge of maybe about five cities. Five Cities out of all proportion to anything that we man had ever done, you see. Amazing Grace! Ahh, but related to the way he has lived. That's what Paul is saying. So this is the first thing and in some ways, it's the most solemn thing. And it's something we all need to understand. Are you living for God's glory is the question? Can you stand up here tonight and say, I am one of those who counted my highest joy in life to live for His glory. Because that's why he saved you, if he's saved you. In order that you might have a passion for His glory.

Well, the second principle is this that don't judge us without partiality. And of course, he's obviously directing this, in the first instance through Jews. And that the Jews are sitting there saying, you've missed something out. We are a very privileged people. God has especially privileged us. And therefore we are something of an exception. This is a, this is true Paul. That God judges according to what people have been. But we are an exception, because God has given us very special privileges. And later on in Romans, Paul will say, I know all about those privileges. I used to boast in them. I had more privileges than any Jew I knew. And I used to boast in those privileges. But he's saying, don't you know your Old Testament Scriptures fairly well? Don't you know Amos, chapter three, verse two, well? Where God says, "Because you are the only nation, that I've privileged with the knowledge of myself, for that reason, special privilege leads to special responsibility. And therefore I will judge you." Now, that must have been a solemn thing for these Jews to hear; it's certainly a solemn thing for me to hear. But I could so easily think But Lord, I've had these privileges. Been a member of the church. Privileges of being a minister of the gospel. Privilege of being a leader among God's people. Some of us have privileges of being missionaries. But you see, God is saying, You're not judged on the basis of having the privileges, you're judged on the basis of what you have done with the privilege. And I don't know about you, dear ones, but I find that so soul searching. I can't imagine there is a person in this room, who has enjoyed the privileges I've had as a Christian believer. Who has enjoyed the intimacy with godly men and women to the extent that I have. Whose had the privileges of, of rubbing shoulders with men who understand the Scripture superbly well. The privilege of being paid to study the Bible and to preach God's word. But you see, the real question is not have I had those privileges? What have I done with those privileges? I ask you this very tenderly. Because inwardly I say, "Woe unto me." But what have you done with the privileges you've had? How many bibles do you have at home? How many opportunities are there for prayer? How many sermons have you heard? How many pastors have cared for you? How many Christian friends have come around you? How many missionaries have spoken to you? Those are privileges beyond number. Dear ones we have privileges as Christian believers about which the world knows absolutely nothing, but the question is, what are we doing with our privileges? Are we holding them up as though we could keep our manna to ourselves? So that eventually rots and we become starved and emaciated as Christians. No! The way our privileges strengthen us, is when we use them for His glory. And you see what was happening with these Jews was really saying, Well, I'm one of the privileged ones. And actually God condones the way I'm living because I'm privileged. Or to put it another way, it's okay to be privileged and to live loosely towards God. And you see Paul is saying, of whom, to whom much is given, much will be expected. So he says here, not only does God judge according to works, but in that judgment, there is no partiality. There's no partiality. He'll judge what I've really been. And the thing about him as he knows what I've really been.

You know what I seem to be, and those of you who are members of the congregation here, you see what I seem to be a great deal. It's, it's all out here. It's in public. It's in this box. I can't be in this box without, as it were exposing something of myself to you. But you hardly know me at all. I actually hardly know myself at all. I feel like Augustine sometimes when he said, "I'm a complete mystery to myself." But God knows me through and through. And you see, when I'm burning for His glory, that's just the greatest comfort in all the world. But it's not comfortable when I'm not burning for His glory, because God shows no partiality.

The third thing Paul says here is that there are eternal consequences to God's assessment. It's made according to works. It's made without partiality. Thirdly, it has eternal consequences. You see that in verse eight, don't do? For those who are self seeking, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness there will be wrath and fury. Verse nine, there will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil. You believe that? Or do you know better than the Apostle Paul? Do you know better than the Lord Jesus? Do you believe that as a Christian? Do you have some sense of the terrible things Paul is saying here? You know, our great tendency is to say, Isn't it in the 21st century, it's an awful teaching. That's a horrific teaching. I couldn't possibly have done anything that would merit that. But you see you don't ask the criminal in the dock, to assess the nature of his crime. Because he's calloused with respect to the nature of his crime. You ask the judge about the nature of the crime. And this is what Paul is saying. He's saying there are eternal consequences. My dear friends, I think if we really believed the teaching of Jesus, we would be a very different kind of Christian community in the 21st century, don't you? If we really believed that those who have no savior have no hope, and that that hopelessness will catapult them into an eternity of their own choice, without God, without relief, in which they will be separated from the grace and smile of God for all eternity, and come under His judgment, because they have sinned against an infinite God and had no savior to rescue them. Correspondingly, he says, and what an encouragement this is for the Christian believer, in verse seven, he says, "To those who by patience and while doing seek for glory, and honor and immortality", and of course, that's what happens to you when you become a believer. You begin to seek for glory and honor and immortality, it's your delight. The things that were nonsensical to you before become glorious to you. I cannot imagine anything less attractive to me before I became a Christian, albeit I was a young boy when it happened, I can't imagine anything being less attractive to me than singing my heart out on a Sunday evening with God's people. Because the whole thing was a complete mystery to me. Now you see it becomes, it becomes another pearl in that necklace of experiences of God's presence and God's goodness that prepares you for that final glory that He will reveal to us. And he is saying there's this amazing destiny for those who yes of course big because we have trusted in Christ seek for glory and honor and immortality. But are you doing that? Because that's what people who really trust in Christ do. That's what they do. They seek His glory. That's the change that's been made in their hearts, you see. They seek His glory.

Well in those far off days, we used to sing a little song. I don't know how many of these little songs I know. And I haven't thought about them for years, they occasionally come into my mind, and I think how right thinking those Sunday school and Bible class teachers were to teach me these little songs. "We are building day by day, as the moments pass away, a temple that the world cannot see. Every victory won by grace, will be sure to find a place in that building for eternity." Those of you who are old type Christians. You remember the old days when Christians would put up signs and men would stand with boards, you know, in crowded shopping streets, trying to, trying to be a Christian witness. Whether it was wise or not, is really beside the point. But one of the questions that would always appear again, again, was this: Where are you going to spend eternity? Where are you going to spend eternity? That's the most important question in all the world. And that's the question most people spend most of their lives, and alas, many of us as Christians spend a good deal of our Christian lives trying to avoid. But it's the great issue.

And that's what Paul is saying. How we live for the praise and glory of Jesus Christ, or ignore the praise and glory of Jesus Christ will have eternal consequences. Now, do you see what that means? That means that God treats your life far more seriously than you may be treating your life. Because you and I may say, my life can't be as important as that. And he is saying your life is of eternal significance, both to you and to me. So live your life in the light of eternity. Now, what that means for you, maybe -- what does it mean to be a mother with children in the light of eternity? It may mean what does it mean to be a retired person in the light of eternity? For me, it means what does it mean to be a minister of the gospel in the light of eternity? My friends, though I have often failed far more times than I could count, or you would like to know, at some point in my life, at some point in my life, by God's grace, I thought, if what I am doing is not going to last for eternity in people's lives I want to do something else. Now, you don't need to be a minister of the gospel to think that. Some of you are musicians. Some of you are physicians. Many of you are lawyers. I hope you love incidentally, if you're a lawyer, what the Apostle Paul is doing here. He is getting a guilty verdict.

But are you living for eternity? Day by day with your children? Those of you who belong to our fellowship know I can't think up 1000 different things to say at baptism, my friends, but you know, I sometimes say this child is the only thing a father and a mother create that will last for eternity. You know, we're we're worried, aren't we, sometimes as parents about, about how our children are going to get on in this world. This world is a very short world. And you see, this is what gives me focus as a mother or a father, or a physician or a teacher or a lawyer or a student. I can't tell you, dear ones, I can't tell you what a difference it makes to your not least when you are a young person to be living in this world with everything this world throws at you if you're a Christian, that your parents know almost nothing about the horrid world in which you're trying to stand for Jesus Christ. But when you're living for eternity, Oh my it makes a difference to absolutely everything. And this is by the apostle Paul when he is writing to the church and Rome, explaining my gospel, doesn't just slip over this matter of judgment quickly and say, now that people outside of the church and Rome, they are all under the judgment of God. But He patiently works his way through these principles, really in order that the Roman Christians may be refreshed and their discovery of how glorious the gospel of Jesus Christ is, and what a privilege it is to live for that glory.

So God assesses our lives on the basis of what our lives really are. God assesses our lives without partiality. God's assessment of our lives leads to eternal consequences. And here's the final thing, God's assessment of my life is pronounced individually. I don't come into the world alone, really, do I? You know, I've been carried around for nine months. And incidentally, what a stroke of genius that was on God's part, if a cat may look at a king and compliment God on anything, but for those first nine months, for some a little longer, for some an amazing amount shorter these days, I have not been alone. God has created me in such a way that the very beginning of my life has, as it were, have been a kind of parable of how I can live the whole of that life surrounded by the grace of God as it were. But I do die alone. And I do stand before the judgment seat of Christ alone. And it's my life that will be assessed. Yes, God actually will take into account what family you belong to. He understands our quirks. He understands our genes. He understands the advantages and disadvantages that we've had. He understands the mental capacities that we've had, and we haven't had. His judgment is absolutely perfect, but it's also completely individual. And what a thinkg it would be if you can just fast forward to that day, which you should do far more frequently than you probably do do. If you can just imagine standing on that day, and seeing the face of Jesus welcoming you. No matter what opposition there has been outside, or even in your own heart to living for His glory, once you have momentarily said to Him, Lord Jesus I'm so sorry. The next thing you'll want to see us, Lord Jesus, I love you. And I want to be with you forever.

Because of course, and this is the good news to which the apostle is coming, it's possible for us even though we sense ourselves to be under the most true judgment of God to be able to come to Jesus Christ and say, "Nothing in my hands I bring simply to thy cross I cling. Could my tears forever flow could my zeal no respite nor all for sin could not atone, Thou must save and thou alone." And you can find a hiding place from the wrath of God in Jesus Christ.

Some of you I know love the history of the United States of America. And some of you will know the name of John Andre. He was, if I remember rightly, a British spy. And he was executed by the direct command of George Washington. Contrary to every ounce of desire in George Washington's heart. Friend and enemy could not but stand in solid admiration of John Andre. And when John Andre was hanged, and they took his body down with broken hearts because this man who had been their prisoner had as it were commanded from their affection, such admiration, that Washington himself struggled against his judgment as commander. And in John Andres's pocket, as they emptied the clothes he'd been wearing, as he was hanged for being a spy, they found a poem. It was called the hiding place. And this is it:

Hail, sovereign love, which first began
The scheme to rescue fallen man!
Hail, matchless, free, eternal grace,
That gave my soul a Hiding Place!

Against the God who built the sky
I fought with hands uplifted high,
Despised the mention of His grace,
Too proud to seek a Hiding Place.

Enwrapt in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness more than light,
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a Hiding Place.

But thus the eternal counsel ran:
“Almighty love, arrest that man!”
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found I had no hiding place.

Indignant justice stood in view.
To Sinai’s fiery mount I flew;
But justice cried, with frowning face:
“This mountain is no hiding place”.

Ere long a heavenly voice I heard,
And Mercy’s angel soon appeared;
He led me with a placid pace
To Jesus, as a Hiding Place.

On Him almighty vengeance fell,
Which must have sunk a world to hell.
He bore it for a sinful race,
And thus became their Hiding Place.

Should sevenfold storms of thunder roll,
And shake this globe from pole to pole,
No thunderbolt shall daunt my face,
For Jesus is my Hiding Place.

And then this last verse:

A few more setting suns at most,
Shall land me on fair Canaan’s coast,
Where I shall sing the song of grace,

Well, what are you seeking? As you're seeking glory and immortality? And enjoying the pursuit? Or are you seeking self and struggling with the effort to protect yourself from the searching glance of God? And are you living for eternity? Are you living for eternity? That makes all the difference to time, as well as to eternity.


Heavenly Father, what a word this is to us from your Word. Searches us, knows us, humbles us. And yet in your amazing mercy, you press us into a corner by your word and there we find our Lord Jesus holding out his loving hands in embrace. And we feel as he grips us the blood that he has shed for us, and know that that blood is just as powerful today as it was the hour he shed it on Calvary's cross. Oh, Lord Jesus, as we trust in you again and again and seek to live for your glory, shine brightly in our lives, and make us, we pray, more and more of people who live for your praise. And who live to see you in eternity. And this we pray. In Your name, Amen.



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