There is a wounded soldier bleeding out his life upon the battlefield and here comes a friend, merciful and tender, who has brought him a refreshing draught which will help to bring him back to consciousness and open his half-glazed eyes again. He is covered with a clammy sweat, but there is cold water with which to wipe his fevered brow.
His wounds are gaping wide and his very life is oozing forth from him, but his friend has brought the salve and bandages with which to strap up every wound. Is this all that he has provided for the wounded warrior? No, for there is a stretcher, carried by men who choose their steps with care, so that they do not jolt the poor invalid. Where will they carry him?
The hospital is prepared. The bed—so soft, just fit to bear such a mass of weakness and pain—is waiting for him and the nurse stands there in readiness to render such service as may be required. The man soon sleeps the sleep that brings with it restoration—and when he opens his eyes, what does he see? Just such food as is suited to his circumstances and needs! A bunch of flowers is also placed near him, to gladden and cheer him with their beauty and fragrance. And a friend comes stepping softly up, and asks whether he has a wife, or a mother, or any friend to whom a letter may be written for him.
Before he thinks of anything that he needs, it is there beside him and, almost before he can express a wish, it is supplied! This is one instance of the tenderness of human sympathy, but infinitely greater is the tenderness of God towards guilty sinners! He has thought of all that a sinner can possibly need and he has provided in abundance all that the guilty soul can require to bring him safe into Heaven itself!
For every individual case, God, in the Covenant of His Grace, seems to have prepared some separate good thing. For great sinners, whose iniquities are many and gross, there are gracious words like these, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” If the man has not fallen into such depths of open sin, the Lord says to him, as the tender-hearted Savior said to one who was in that condition, “One thing you lack”—and that one thing the Grace of God is prepared to supply!
There is as much in the Word of God to encourage the moral to come to Christ as there is to woo the immoral to forsake their sins and accept “the tender mercy of our God.” If there are children or young people who desire to find the Lord, there is this special promise for them, “Those that seek Me early shall find Me.” Yes, even for the little ones there are such tender words as these, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God.”
Then, if the sinner is an aged man, he is reminded that some were brought to labor in the vineyard even at the 11th hour! And if he is actually dying, there is encouragement for him in the narrative of the dying thief who trusted in the dying Savior and who, when he closed his eyes on earth, opened them with Christ in Paradise! So again I say that in the Covenant of His Grace, God has seemed to meet the peculiar case of every sinner who really desires to be saved.
If you are very sad and depressed, desponding and almost dismayed, there are Divine declarations and promises that are exactly suited to your case! Here are a few of them—“He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” “The Lord takes pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy.” “A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench.” Everything seems to be done on purpose that into whatever condition a man may have fallen through the grievous malady of sin, God may come to him, not roughly, but most tenderly, and give to him just what he most needs!
I rejoice to be able to say that all that a sinner can need between here and Heaven is provided in the Gospel of Christ—all for pardon, all for the new nature, all for preservation, all for perfecting and all for glorifying is treasured up in Christ Jesus, in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell! Let us, then, before we go any further, bless that tender thoughtfulness of God which, foreseeing the greatness of our sins and our sorrows, our needs and our weaknesses, has provided for our vast necessities a boundless store of Grace and mercy!1