“Then were assembled unto me everyone that trembled at the words of the God of Israel. . .”

Ezra 9:4a

Because of it, we should never stray far from the Christ and the Cross.


Do you feel it this morning, Pilgrim?  Do you, like Jeremiah, feel the “burden of the Lord” (23:33-38) weighing down on you as you ponder His Greatness and agonize over your own wretchedness?

If so, run to Jesus.  And, stay there.

The Word is sharp, piercing through the veneer of pretense as it exposes everything that lies within (Heb. 4:12).  Like the priest’s sharp knife that split open a penitent worshiper’s sacrifice from the tip of its nose and down its back to the tip of its tail, so does the Holy Spirit use God’s Holy Scalpel to “search our hearts and minds” (Ps. 139:23-24).

At first, it’s for the purpose of conviction of our lost condition.  Until we know we’re lost, we feel no need of a Shepherd.  Until we know we’re sick, we feel not need of a Physician (Mt. 9:12).  But, “when the Commandment comes” (Rom. 7:9), a holy terror grips our soul as we feel the sharp piercing of the “curse of the Law” (Dt. 27:26; Gal. 3:10).

But, thankfully, in that curse there is a Cure.

And, that Cure is Jesus (Gal. 3:11-14).  Hallelujah!!

How we should thank God for the Law that helps us know our need of Him (Gal. 3:19-29).  Then, we should thank the Father for His Spirit-Word that “convicts us of sin, the need of righteousness and judgment to come” (Jn. 16:8-11). . .for such conviction will hopefully lead to heartfelt repentance and holy consecration (Rom. 12:1-2).

Likewise, the closer we get to Christ the more we’ll realize how far our world is from Him.  And, soon we’ll understand why Jeremiah was the weeping prophet and why Ezra and his repentant countrymen “trembled at the words of the God of Israel.”  We “see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25) and know we must do all we can to woo and warn our loved ones, neighbors, friends and even total strangers—for “how shall they escape if they neglect so great a salvation” (Heb. 2:3a)?

Dear Pilgrim, the hour is late.  Judgment is sure.  Countless millions of souls hang in the balances of eternity.  Who will warn them if we don’t?  How shall they know of their lost condition and the Savior Who is able “to save them to the uttermost” (Heb. 7:25) if we don’t go as we’re commanded (Mt. 28:18-20)?

Be strong and of a good courage” (Josh. 1:6a), beloved, as you go forth in the strength of the Lord to those who so desperately need Him.  As someone said, “Fear nothing but God and hate nothing but sin.”  Put on the Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18) and get in the Battle that’s raging.  This is not the time for R&R, for ours is a S.A.R. (Search-and-Rescue) Mission.  Point them to the Law that shows their sinful shortcomings (Rom. 6:23a) and then point them to the Savior Who is able to save (Rom. 6:23b; Eph. 2:8-9).  Go on, get going.  The hour is late.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated September 4, 2009

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