Aiming,though often failing 'to become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some'. Join with me in these reflections,discussions, videos and even humour about how we might become truly authentic in mission:Contextual yet Biblical:Passionate, but also Compassionate:In Word, as well as in Deed.The Spirit of Jesus within is calling each of his followers to reach out and fulfil the Missio Dei in a world of pain and need.
Wednesday, 3 August 2016
The Best Friend : J.C.Ryle
I first read this tract by R.C. Ryle as a young man and it impressed me greatly. I hope you are drawn to the Lord's friendship too. Andrew
CANT. V. 16. “This is my Friend.”
Have you a friend?
A friend is one of
the greatest blessings on earth. Tell me not of money. Affection is better than
gold. Sympathy is better than lands. He is the poor man who has no
friends. Have you a friend?
This world is full
of sorrow, because it is full of sin. It is a dark place. It is a lonely place.
It is a disappointing place. The brightest sunbeam in it is a friend.
Friendship halves our troubles and doubles our joys. Have you a friend?
A real friend is
scarce and rare. There are many who will eat, and drink, and laugh with
us, in the sunshine of prosperity. There are few who will stand by us in the
days of darkness, few who will love us when we are sick, helpless, and poor,
few, above all, who will care for our souls. Have you a real friend?
Reader, do you want
a real friend? I write to recommend one to your notice this day. I know of one
“who sticketh closer than a brother.” (Prov. xviii. 24.) I know of one who is
ready to be your friend for time and for eternity, if you will receive Him.
Hear me, while I try to tell you something about Him.
The friend I want
you to know is Jesus Christ. Happy is that Christmas party in which Christ has
the foremost place!
I. Do you want a
friend in need? Such a friend is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Man is the neediest
creature on God’s earth, because he is a sinner. There is no need so great as
that of sinners. Poverty, hunger, thirst, cold, sickness, all are nothing in
comparison. Sinners need pardon, and they are utterly unable to provide it for
themselves. They need deliverance from a guilty conscience, and the fear of
death, and they have no power of their own to obtain it. This need the Lord
Jesus Christ came into the world to relieve. “He came into the world to save
sinners.” (1 Tim. i. 15.)
We are all by nature
poor dying creatures. From the king on his throne to the pauper in the
workhouse, we are all sick of a mortal disease of soul. Whether we know it or
not, whether we feel it or not, we are all dying daily. The plague of sin is in
our blood. We cannot cure ourselves, and are hourly getting worse and worse.
All this the Lord Jesus undertook to remedy. He came into the world “to bring
in health and cure.” He came to deliver us “from the second death.” He came “to
abolish death, and bring life and immortality to light through the Gospel.”
(Jer. xxxiii. 6. Rev. ii. 11. 2 Tim. i. 10.)
We were all by
nature imprisoned debtors. We owed our God ten thousand talents, and had
nothing to pay. We were wretched bankrupts, without hope of discharging
ourselves. We could never have freed ourselves from our load of liabilities,
and were daily getting deeper and deeper involved. All this the Lord Jesus saw
and undertook to remedy. He engaged to “ransom and redeem us.” He came to
“proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that
are bound.” “He came to redeem us from the curse of the law.” (Hos. xiii. 14.
Isa. lxi. 1. Gal. iii. 13.)
We were all by
nature shipwrecked and cast away. We could never have reached the harbour of
everlasting life. We were sinking in the midst of the waves, shiftless,
hopeless, helpless, and powerless; tied and bound by the chain of our sins, foundering
under the burden of our own guilt, and like to become a prey to the devil. All
this the Lord Jesus saw and undertook to remedy. He came down from heaven to be
our mighty “helper.” He came “to seek and to save that which was lost,” and to
“deliver us from going down into the pit.” (Psa. lxxxix. 19. Luke six. 10. Job
Could we have been
saved without the Lord Jesus Christ coming down from heaven? It would have been
impossible, so far as our eyes can see. The wisest men of Egypt, and Greece,
and Rome never found out the way to peace with God. Without the friendship of
Christ we should all have been lost for evermore in hell.
Was the Lord Jesus
Christ obliged to come down to save us? Oh! no! no! It was His own free love,
mercy, and pity that brought Him down. He came unsought and unasked, because He
Reader, think on
these things. Search all history from the beginning of the world. Look round
the whole circle of those you know and love. You never heard of such friendship
among the sons of men. There never was such a real friend in need as Jesus
EDITOR. Read the comment section to read the rest of this wonderful message from J.C. Ryle