CCXXI. Things Before.

PHIL. iii. 13. “Things which are before.”

I. THERE are certain things before every Christian. There
is no growth before a self-deceiver, there is no growth in
imitations; but before every real tree and every real flower,
until they come to perfection, there is growth.
There are things before every Christian, as one endowed
with talents which may be ceaselessly used.
Before every Christian is continuance to the end, victory
before death, and an entry into the everlasting kingdom.
II. There are certain things before every Church. The
human body has not one member but many. Before every
Church, therefore, is the conscious manifested unity of its
members.
Before every Church is continued and ever-improving
mutual service. Before every Church is the increase of
itself. Before every Church is the increasing manifestation
of the holy body of Christ. Before every Church is the
preaching of the Gospel to every creature.
III. While certain things are before every Christian
and every Church, particular things are before particular
Christians and particular Churches. Every mineral is not
a diamond destined to shine in a crown, every plant is not
a medicinal destined to be a specific for some dire disease,
every tree is not an oak. So there are particular demands
upon individual Christians and individual Churches. All
that is individual about the Christian, and all that is local
and particular about the Church, point to special things
before that Christian, and to special things before that
Church.
Brethren, count not yourselves to have apprehended.
Paul, after years of labour, said: “I count not myself to
have apprehended.” What does that heart of thine say to
God?
Bless God there are things before us worth running for
and running to, things worth a struggle, things deserving
an effort.
Samuel Martin

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