“if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny
himself.” —2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV)
After the anxious heart has
accepted the doctrine of atonement, and learned the great truth that salvation
is by faith in the Lord Jesus, it is often sore troubled with a sense of
inability toward that which is good.
Many are groaning, “I can do
nothing.” They are not making this into an excuse, but they feel it as a daily
burden. They would if they could. They can each one honestly say, "To will
is present with me, but how to perform that which I would I find not."
This feeling seems to make all
the gospel null and void; for what is the use of food to a hungry man if he
cannot get at it? Of what avail is the river of the water of life if one cannot
drink? We recall the story of the doctor and the poor woman's child. The sage
practitioner told the mother that her little one would soon be better under
proper treatment, but it was absolutely needful that her boy should regularly
drink the best wine, and that he should spend a season at one of the German
spas. This, to a widow who could hardly get bread to eat!
Now, it sometimes seems to the
troubled heart that the simple gospel of "Believe and live," is not,
after all, so very simple; for it asks the poor sinner to do what he cannot do.
To the really awakened, but
half instructed, there appears to be a missing link; yonder is the salvation of
Jesus, but how is it to be reached? The soul is without strength, and knows not
what to do. It lies within sight of the city of refuge, and cannot enter its
Is this want of strength
provided for in the plan of salvation? It is. The work of the Lord is perfect.
It begins where we are, and asks nothing of us in order to its completion. When
the Good Samaritan saw the traveler lying wounded and half dead, he did not bid
him rise and come to him, and mount the ass and ride off to the inn. No, “he
came where he was,” and ministered to him, and lifted him upon the beast and
bore him to the inn.
Thus does the Lord Jesus deal with
us in our low and wretched state.
(This week’s devotion is adopted from Charles H. Spurgeon’s
“All of Grace”, chapter 11 titled “Alas! I can do Nothing!”)