I found this R.C. Ryle quote (below), and it really touched me. I’m sure it will touch you as it did me, and I have a lot more to say after you read it.
“If you desire salvation, and want to know what to do, I advise you to go this very day to the Lord Jesus Christ, in the first private place you can find, and earnestly and heartily entreat him in prayer to save your soul. Tell him that you have heard that he receives sinners, and he has said, “Him that comes unto me I will in nowise cast out.” Tell him that you are a poor vile sinner, and that you come to him on the faith of his own invitation. Tell him you put yourself wholly and entirely in his hands: that you feel vile and helpless, and hopeless in yourself: and that except he saves you, you have no hope of being saved at all. Beseech him to deliver you from guilt, the power, and the consequences of sin. Beseech him to pardon you, and wash you in his own blood. Beseech him to give you a new heart, and plant the Holy Spirit in your soul. Beseech him to give you grace and faith and will and power to be his disciple and servant from this day forever. Oh, reader, go this very day, and tell these things to the Lord Jesus Christ, if you are really in earnest about your soul.
— J.C. Ryle, evangelical Anglican clergyman and first Bishop of Liverpool, (1826-1900), A Call To Prayer (first published 1840).
Since beseech is a word that is not commonly used today, I want to define it. I always think of it as begging, and beg is listed as a synonym, BUT, the definition itself gives a much deeper and more accurate meaning to the word:
“ask (someone) urgently and fervently to do something; implore; entreat.”
I appreciate the word fervently in the definition, as there has been much emphasis of late on fervent prayer. A fervent prayer is one that is passionate, truly heartfelt.
When one is ready to seek Jesus for salvation there is a passionate urgency in the heart to seek His forgiveness, know Him, and know you are known and loved by Him. So, I will reprint that portion of the quote, starting with the first beseech, replacing beseech with “passionately seek.”
“Passionately seek” him to deliver you from guilt, the power, and the consequences of sin. “Passionately seek” him to pardon you, and wash you in his own blood. “Passionately seek” him to give you a new heart, and plant the Holy Spirit in your soul. “Passionately seek” him to give you grace and faith and will and power to be his disciple and servant from this day forever. Oh, reader, go this very day, and tell these things to the Lord Jesus Christ, if you are really in earnest about your soul.
That passionate urgency should remain within us after salvation, like a fire in our souls, to want to continue learning from Jesus and about Him. Just reading the words of this quote stirs my soul because we need to continue to “passionately seek” the Lord every day, to abide in Him (John 15), and let His grace and power enable us to walk by faith as His servant disciples forever. I am often reminded of Jeremiah:
“But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!”
Jeremiah 20:9 NLT
I, too, find it hard not to talk about Jesus or the Word of God. Sometimes even in prayer I wind up preaching to myself. God wants us to share our testimony, His Word, and Jesus with others. There are so many ways to do that. Plain ol’ conversation is the most natural way for that to happen. We want others to see the passion in us, the changes God has made in us, and the peace and joy of a life lived in Jesus; to light that burning desire in the unsaved so, they’ll seek and find Jesus in their lives.
This is my prayer, that we would keep that fervent fire burning, or if we’ve lost that fervor, the Lord would rekindle that flame to “passionately seek” Him every day, every moment of our lives. That we would seek to know Him intimately and make Him known to anyone around us that will listen to our story. Let it be so, dear Jesus, let it be so!
Life gets hard, sometimes it seems it’s all hard. But God (still my two favorite words) is always with us. He has promised He will never leave us or turn away from His children (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; John 1:12). Instead of allowing ourselves to drown in the pain of our troubles, we must learn to let go of those troubles, and the worry, and cast them upon our Lord, trust them to Him, and rest in His promises (Psalm 55:22; Matthew 6:25-34, 11:28-30; 1Peter 5:7). I know it is hard to “rest” when troubles surround us. We’ve been trained all our lives to worry. It’s hard to undo. Many feel they aren’t showing proper concern over a problem if they aren’t worrying. Worry only robs us of the peace and joy Jesus offers us despite our circumstances. We cannot say we have faith, and still worry. They are in direct conflict with each other. When we find ourselves worrying we must quickly repent and take our cares to the Lord. God has given us tools: His promises, His Holy Spirit, His salvation, His full Armor, and His yoke with which we can be assured of His presence and power at work on our behalf (2 Corinthians 1:20, John 14:25-27, John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12, Ephesians 6:10-18, Matthew 11:28-30). We can completely trust Him and see beyond what can be seen with the eye to what we can only be seen by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11:1). Our troubles will likely not be resolved in the time frame we desire or necessarily in the manner we think best, but God sees the future we cannot see. He may also have to deal with stubborn, unyielding people in the problem, which can lengthen the time to resolution. Maybe I’m (or you’re) the stubborn one, or one of them. We need to check our heart attitude and ask God to check it, too (Psalm 26:2, 139:23-24; Proverbs 17:3; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:22-25). Whatever the trouble is we can be assured God’s thoughts, ways, and timing are perfect (Psalm 27:14; Ecclesiastes 8:6; Isaiah 40:28-31, 55:8-9; Lamentations 3:25-26; Habakkuk 2:3; Micah 7:7; Galatians 6:9). He can make a way where there seems to be no way (Isaiah 43:19). Our job is to trust Him, pray and never give up (Luke 18:1).
Finally, as Paul said in his letter to the church at Philippi, our strength to endure our circumstances comes from Christ alone (Philippians 4:11-13). As we abide in Jesus, live by faith, and keep our eyes fixed on Him and not our troubles, we will know the grace that gives the strength that can only He can provide (John 15:1-5, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 12:2, Matthew 6:31-33, 2 Corinthians 12:9). Never give up passionately seeking the Lord! He is the answer in all things!
Blessings of Hope and joy,
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