Psalm of the Day: Psalm 56
Proverb of the Day: Proverbs 31:10-31
Scripture Reading: Luke 5:17-26
The friends of a paralyzed man desired to bring him to Jesus, that he might be cured. At first they were unable to do it because of the crowd by which our Lord was surrounded. What did they do? "When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd right in front of Jesus!"
Our Lord's attention was drawn to their sick friend, and he was healed. By pains, and labor, and perseverance, his friends succeeded in obtaining for him the mighty blessing of a complete cure.
The importance of pains and diligence is a truth which meets our eyes on every side. In every calling, and vocation, and trade, we see that great effort is one prominent secret of success. It is not by luck or accident that men prosper, but by hard working. The principle is one with which the people of this world are perfectly familiar. It is one of their favorite maxims, "There are no gains, without pains!"
Let us thoroughly understand that pains and diligence are just as essential to the well-being and prosperity of our souls as of our bodies. In all our endeavors to draw near to God, in all our approaches to Christ, there ought to be the same determined earnestness which was shown by this sick man's friends.
We must allow no difficulties to check us, and no obstacle to keep us back from anything which is really for our spiritual good. Especially must we bear this in mind, in the matter of regularly reading the Bible, hearing the Gospel, keeping the Sabbath holy, and private prayer. On all these points, we must beware of laziness and an excuse-making spirit. If we cannot find means of keeping up these habits in one way, then we must in another way. But we must settle it in our minds, that the thing shall be done. The health of our soul is at stake.
Let the crowd of difficulties be what it may. We must get through it. If the people of this world take so much pains about a corruptible crown, then we ought to take far more pains about one that is incorruptible.
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, help me work hard at being holy knowing that you expect my best.
Action Plan: Evaluate how hard I work to be holy. When am I lazy and when am I diligent? How can I improve?
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.