Sunday, June 08, 2014

Thought for the Lord's Day - #57

Let Christians rejoice that, if a subtle, cruel, active, and powerful enemy is continually prowling about, the eye of infinite wisdom and love rests ever on them, the arm of never-tiring omnipotence is ever around them to protect and defend them.  The lion of hell is a chained lion, a muzzled lion, to Christians.  He may alarm, but he shall never devour them.  His chain is in the hand of his conqueror and their Lord.  It was very natural for Peter to put his brethren in mind of their great enemy.  He must have often thought of the words of our Lord Jesus, 'Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.' His experience is full of warning and encouragement.  It proves that if Christians are not cautious, though the lion of hell shall not be permitted to devour them, he may inflict wounds of which they will bear the marks till the close of life; and it finely illustrates our Lord's declaration,--'I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.' Neither their own heedlessness, nor the malignity of their infernal foe, shall be able to accomplish their destruction.  Let him, then, that is born of God, 'keep himself, that the wicked one touch him not,' and let his joy, that he has a better keeper than himself, even the keeper of Israel, who never slumbers nor sleeps, not produce security, but encourage vigilance.  God keeps his people, not without but through their own watchfulness.
- John Brown (1784-1858)
The Christian's Great Enemy:
A Practical Exposition of 1 Peter 5:8-11