Monday, March 14, 2011

Christ will not quench the smoking flax

The second observation concerning the weak and small beginnings of grace is that Christ will not quench the smoking flax. This is so for two principal reasons. 

First, because this spark is from heaven: it is his own, it is kindled by his own Spirit. 

And secondly, it tends to the glory of his powerful grace in his children that he preserves light in the midst of darkness, a spark in the midst of the swelling waters of corruption.


We have no need to feel discouraged. Think of these people in the bible:

"We see how our Saviour Christ bore with Thomas in his doubting (John 20:27), and with the two disciples that went to Emmaus, who wavered as to whether he came to redeem Israel or not (Luke 24:21). He quenched not that little light in Peter, which was smothered: Peter denied him, but he denied not Peter (Luke 22:61). `If thou wilt, thou canst,' said one poor man in the Gospel (Matt. 8:2). `If thou canst do anything,' said another (Mark 9:22).

 Both were smoking flaxes. Neither of them was quenched. If Christ had stood upon his own greatness, he would have rejected him that came with his `if'."

How amazing is it that even when we doubt and stumble, Christ will never blot us out, he will never stomp on us. He kindles the flame or the small spark and never puts us out even though we mess up!!

May we shine brighter! 

Sibbes shows us the true nature of Christ... how we are so different to him because we are in a culture where we crush the weak and hold up the strong. In our evolution mindset we must strive and conquer and leave those that are weak far behind...but Christ is so different...

"Man for a little smoke will quench the light. Christ, we see, ever cherishes even the least beginnings. How he bore with the many imperfections of his poor disciples! If he did sharply check them, it was in love, and that they might shine the brighter. Can we have a better pattern to follow than this from him by whom we hope to be saved?"

Christ cherishes the weak! He cherishes us as we are low and in darkness. This is good news to us - he makes us shine brighter - even if that comes at a sharpness it is always for our good. Is this not a patter for us to follow? Will we treasure the weak and vulnerable - holding them in our arms, giving them tender love and showing great mercy. Will we be a church that never leaves anyone behind? 

Lastly a brilliant quote from Sibbes - 
"Weak Christians are like glasses which are hurt with the least violent usage, but if gently handled will continue a long time. This honor of gentle use we are to give to the weaker vessels (1 Pet. 3:7), by which we shall both preserve them and likewise make them useful to the church and ourselves." 

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