Text: “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children. For the zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon me.”
Good morning, constantly pleading Christian! Not a day goes by when you and I are not found pleading before God’s throne: for the needs, ills, and Salvation of others; for Christ’s Kingdom to continue to be established upon the earth; for personal strength, leading, and direction with which to serve the risen Christ Jesus, and to bring glory to His Name and not shame. If we are genuine Bible-believing Christians at all – we are ‘constantly pleading Christians’! Fact.
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: that I may make it manifest (plain, easy to understand), as I ought to speak.” (Colossians 4:2-4)
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesying's (preaching God’s Word). Prove (test) all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-23)
If the Christ of God has suffered such open and blatant personal persecutions, then we, ‘His people’, are bound to suffer similar, if not nearly so severe, sufferings and persecutions. We are delivered from the penalties of gross sin which we deserved, in order to be Christians; LIKE CHRIST, in this vile world. We are to be witnesses for Him in all we say and do daily. Therefore, we are necessarily ‘constantly pleading Christians’ – for, to have any good standard of Christlikeness, our needs are indeed great.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:19)
Constantly pleading Christians have constantly required needs, because we are constantly seeking to actually serve the risen Lord Jesus. Our Father omnisciently knows what we need, even before we make our pleas to Him – but, like any other human father, loves to hear His children make requests to Him, that He might truly fulfil the Divine role of a generous and loving Father in Heaven. Ask!
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication (pleading with God) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
“Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring, for His grace and power are such none can ever ask too much.” (John Newton 1725-1807)
The persecuted church is always right there in the forefront of Almighty Lord God Jehovah – and He is ever listening for our requests for His Divine aid and strength.
“Call upon Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
Verse 8. “I am become a stranger unto My brethren. The Jews, His brethren in race, rejected Him; His family, His brethren by blood, were offended at Him; His disciples, His brethren in spirit, forsook Him and fled; one of them sold Him and another denied Him with oaths and cursings.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 300)
The man/woman who becomes a genuine born-again Christian today, faces, has faced, and shall face – all the alienation circumstances Christ endured from within our own unsaved families. Light and darkness just will not mix; oil and water will separate and refuse to be at one. The World and Christianity are unyielding opposites that can never bind together. Fact.
“Think not that I (Jesus Christ) am come to send peace on earth: I come not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)
Emotional heartache often occurs when once the Spirit of God quickens, makes Spiritually alive, a member of an otherwise unsaved, but close-knit, mutually loving, family circle! It is at times like these that the Christian becomes a ‘constantly pleading Christian’, for his/her personal need is indeed great.
Verse 8. “…And an alien unto my mother’s children. May none of us ever act as if we were strangers to Him (the Lord Jesus); never may we treat Him as if He were an alien to us: rather let us resolve to be crucified with him, and may grace turn the resolve into fact.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 300)
When the Spirit of God, God the Holy Spirit, quickens us, enlightens us by His written Word; fills us with Himself; and grants us a Holy zeal for Christ and the spreading of His Gospel of Eternal Salvation – we SHALL suffer persecution! Biblical Fact!
“Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me (Paul) at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:11-12)
Verse 9. “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. Zeal for God is so little understood by men of the world that it always draws down opposition upon those who are inspired with it; they are always sure to be accused of sinister motives, or of hypocrisy, or of being out of their senses. When zeal eats us up, ungodly men seek to eat us up, too, and this was preeminently the case with our Lord, because His holy jealousy was preeminent.” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 300)
“Zeal, reproaches. I remember Moulin, speaking of the French Protestants, saith, ‘When Papists hurt us for reading the Scriptures, we burn with zeal to be reading of them; but now persecution is over, our Bibles are like old almanacs.’ In times of greatest affliction and persecution for holiness sake, a Christian hath first a good Captain to lead and encourage him; secondly, a righteous cause to prompt and embolden him; thirdly, a gracious God to relieve and succour him; fourthly, a glorious Heaven to receive and reward him; and, certainly, these things cannot but mightily raise him and inflame him under the greatest oppositions and persecution.” (Thomas Brooks1608-1680)
Thought: Pleading with God for help, is ALWAYS answered in power by Him. Pray on constantly, Christian!