Word for Wednesday

As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Romans 9:33

As I went to enter the warehouse, I noticed a large sign on the door: ‘Watch Your Step’. Looking down, I noticed a bright yellow strip of paint on the threshold, and saw that the floor inside the door was a few centimeters higher than the doorstep. I did not trip over the threshold, but a man I was talking with in the warehouse told me that many people did trip over it. Neither the warning sign nor the yellow warning strip on the floor were enough for them. It was not the intention of the owner to create a hazard for people entering. But it was a hazard to some who ignored the sign, just as the One Who our text refers to as a stumblingstone becomes a hazard to those who ignore Him.

It is not God’s intention that the Lord Jesus should be a stumblingstone or a rock of offense. He freely offered His Son on the cross for our sins, and He freely extends the Gospel invitation to salvation to whosoever believeth in Him (John 3:15,16). But with the free and unconditional invitation comes a great and dire warning: ‘He that believeth not is condemned already’ – John 3:18. Jesus’ coming into the world was a great stumblingstone for the Jews, who refused to accept Him as their king. He was a rock of offense, and they accused Him of blasphemy and demanded His crucifixion. He was also a rock of offense to the Gentiles, who could not accept that anyone could rise from the dead. Nor could they accept the simplicity of faith in Christ for salvation or the Name unto which His people are to gather. Instead, they created a pretense of worshipping Him and wrapped around it an elaborate system of religion. There is coming a day when the Jews will be deeply ashamed of their mistreatment of their King. There is also a day coming when the Gentiles will be deeply ashamed of their false religion and fake worship. But there will be those who are not ashamed.

Shame will be a thing of the past when the trump of God sounds and the saints of all ages rise to meet our Lord in the air. Shame will also be non-existent in the Glory, as we explore for all eternity the riches of God’s grace. And here in this world, those whose belief is in the Lord Jesus will be glad to suffer shame for His Name. Like Moses, we ‘esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt’ – Hebrews 11:26. The world may well mock us for our faith, for our obedience, our devotion to our Lord. But their words will eventually all fall flat as they become eternally ashamed of themselves for their mistreatment of our Lord and His people.

‘For whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels’ – Luke 9:26 -Jim MacIntosh

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