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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Do We *Really* Want God to Treat Us As His Friends? (Pastoral letter from the 2020-02-14 Hopewell Herald)


Dear Congregation,

If you’re using Pastor M’Cheyne’s reading plan this year, then hopefully you’re on or around Job 13 today.

Job is defending himself against his “friends’” accusations that all of this has come upon him because he’s covering up some sins from which he’s refusing to repent—a good caution against jumping to conclusions about what someone else’s secret sins are, since their guesses are exactly opposite God's own testimony about Job.

For Job’s part, he just wants these so-called friends to stop talking (Job 13:5) and for God to speak up—whether God wants to go first, or have Job go first, either is fine as long as God will speak (Job 13:22).

What amazed me, while meditating upon this today, was what it is that Job wants to hear about: his iniquities, and transgressions and sins (Job 13:23)!

We know from chapter one that repentance is very important to Job, and even forgiveness from sins that we have committed only in our hearts (Job 1:5). Now in chapter thirteen, we see him recognizing that bringing our sins to our attention is something that God does for those whom He is not treating as an enemy (Job 13:24).

It made me wonder where I’m at in this aspect of maturing in grace. Do I really want God to treat me as His friend? Can I really sing and pray Psalm 19:12 and Psalm 139:23-24 with all my heart?

Having God treat us as His friends is one of the great blessings of His gathering us to Himself in worship, and bringing us under the knife of His Word. 
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12–13.

Thankfully, when we come, we are able to endure this Scripture-surgery—even to embrace it—because we are coming through Christ, our Mediator Who intercedes for us and our Sacrifice Whose blood speaks better than Abel’s. Hallelujah!

May our Lord grant unto us hearts that desire to be treated as His friends, and may He treat us so!

Pastor

2 comments:

  1. This is very helpful- thanks Pastor James!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, brother! It is the Lord's own commendation upon His owning your ministry that members/associates of the congregation at Faith have been soft-hearted under the Word in pulpit and private. Do not grow weary or faint in that well-doing!

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