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Be Thankful for Good Works

Let us be on our guard against this feeling. it is only too near the surface of all our hearts. Let us study to realize that liberal tolerant spirit which Jesus here recommends and be thankful for good works wheresoever and by whomsoever done. Let us beware of the slightest inclination to stop and check others merely because they do not choose to adopt our plans or work by our side. We may think our fellow-Christians mistaken in some points. We may fancy that more would be done for Christ if they would join us and if all worked in the same way. We may see many evils arising from religious dissensions and divisions. But all this must not prevent us rejoicing if the works of the devil are destroyed and souls saved. Is our neighbor warring against Satan? Is he really trying to labor for Christ? This is the grand question. Better a thousand times that the work should be done by other hands than not done at all. Happy is he who knows something of the spirit of Moses, when he said, “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets,” and of Paul, when he says, “If Christ is preached, I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice” (Numb. 11:29; Phil. 1:18).

J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, St. Mark, Cambridge: James Clarke, 1973, pp. 190-91

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