NO OFFENSE, NO EFFECT
God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We need men of the cross, with the message of the cross bearing the marks of the cross.
Paul was a MAN of the cross. He gloried in it. “I am crucified with Christ.” (Gal. 2:20). With him it was not a theory but an experience. His message was the cross. “I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (I Cor. 2:2). He bore the marks of the cross: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Gal. 6:17).
We are hearing a new version of Christianity that avoids all this. It is not foolishness to the world and it is without offense. It involves no crucifixion of self, it presents no bleeding Saviour, it offers medals instead of scars. But if any man or an angel preach a crossless Christ let him be accursed. For such a Christ is without offense and without effect.
LET IT SHINE!
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Some hide their light under bushel or bed (Mk. 4:21, Lk. 8:16), being busy or lazy, so that it fails to shine. Some go to the other extreme, like the Pharisees (Mt. 6:1,2,16), who wanted to impress people with their piety. It is not a glare but a glow, and we are simply to let it shine. Some saints remind us of a man with a high-powered flashlight trying to dazzle people with a blinding display. God prefers stars to comets. His figure is a candle, not a firecracker.
Between the saints who hide their light and those who display it we have hard going these days. We learn more and more to appreciate those who just let it shine. We are too aware of the “men” in our text and not aware enough of our Father. Our sole business is to glorify Him and so let our light shine that others will glorify Him too.