Call To Worship June 3 2018

Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke, J.C. Ryle – Luke 13:10-17

“We see in these verses — a striking example of diligence in the use of means of grace. We are told of a ‘woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed down, and could not straiten up.’ We do not know who this woman was. Our Lord’s saying that she was ‘a daughter of Abraham’ — would lead us to infer that she was a true believer. But her name and history are hidden from us. This alone we know — that when Jesus was ‘teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath’ — this woman was there. Sickness was no excuse with her for staying away from God’s house. In spite of suffering and infirmity — she found her way to the place where the day and the Word of God were honored, and where the people of God met together. And truly she was blessed in her deed! She found a rich reward for all her pains. She came sorrowing — and went home rejoicing!

The conduct of this suffering Jewess may well put to shame many a strong and healthy professing Christian. How many in the full enjoyment of bodily vigor — allow the most frivolous excuses to keep them away from the house of God! How many are constantly spending the whole Sunday in idleness, pleasure-seeking, or business, and scoffing and sneering at those who ‘keep the Sabbath holy!’ How many think it a great matter if they attend the public worship of God once on Sunday, and regard a second attendance as a needless excess of zeal akin to fanaticism! How many find religious services a weariness while they attend them, and feel relieved when they are over! How few know anything of David’s spirit, when he said, ‘I was glad when they said to me: Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ ‘How lovely are your tabernacles, O Lord Almighty!’ (Psalm 122:1; Psalm 84:1.)

Now what is the explanation of all this? What is the reason why so few are like the woman of whom we read this day? The answer to these questions is short and simple. The most have no heart for God’s service. They have no delight in God’s presence or God’s day. ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God.’

The moment a man’s heart is converted — these pretended difficulties about attending public worship vanish away. The new heart finds no trouble in keeping the Sabbath holy. Where there is a will — there is always a way.

Let us never forget that our feelings about Sundays are sure tests of the state of our souls. The man who can find no pleasure in giving God one day in the week — is manifestly unfit for Heaven! Heaven itself is nothing but an eternal Sabbath. If we cannot enjoy a few hours in God’s service once a week in this world — then it is plain that we could not enjoy an eternity in His service in the world to come. Happy are those who walk in the steps of the woman of whom we read today! They shall find Christ and a blessing while they live — and Christ and glory when they die!”