Psalm of the Day: Psalm 81:1-16
Wisdom of the Day: Job 7:12-21
Scripture Reading: Luke 7:11-17
We learn from these verses what sorrow SIN has brought into the world. We are told of a funeral at Nain. All funerals are mournful things, but it is difficult to imagine a funeral more mournful than the one here described. It was the funeral of a young man, the only son of a widow. There is not an item in the whole story, which is not full of misery. And all this misery, be it remembered, was brought into the world by sin. God did not create sin at the beginning, when He made all things "very good." Sin is the cause of it all. "Sin entered into the world" when Adam fell "and death by sin" (Romans 5:12).
The world around us is full of sorrow from one end of the world to the other. And whence does it all come? There would neither have been tears, nor tares, nor illness, nor deaths, nor funerals in the earth if there had been no sin. Sin is the great murderer, and thief, and pestilence, and nuisance of this world! Learn from these verses that there is only one satisfactory test of a man's religious character: A true Christian must hate sin.
The words of our Lord on this subject, are clear and unmistakable. "Every tree is known by its fruit...Of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks." Both of these sayings are deeply important. Both should be stored up among the leading maxims of our practical Christianity.
When a man brings forth no fruits of the Spirit he does not have the Holy Spirit within him. Let us resist as a deadly error the common idea that all people who call themselves "Christians" are born again. What fruit does a man bring forth? Does he repent? Does he believe with the heart on Jesus? Does he live a holy life? Does he overcome the world? Habits like these are what Scripture calls "fruit." When these "fruits" are lacking, it is profane to talk of a man having the Spirit of God within him. Let it be a settled principle that when a man's general lifestyle is ungodly, his heart is graceless and unconverted.
Let us close this passage with solemn self-inquiry, and use it for the trial of our own state before God. There is no evading the doctrine laid down by our Lord in this passage. Conduct is the grand test of character. Words are one great evidence of the condition of the heart.
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, help my light to shine so that others may see my good works and glorify you.
Action Plan: Good works are not a way of salvation, but are the proof of salvation. What Fruits of the Spirit are you exhibiting from Galatian 5:22-23? Which ones are you missing? How many does God want you to have?
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.