In the footer of ws harbor are numerous helpful resources and one of those is a collection of daily readings by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Below is today’s reading taken from the highly recommended Studies in the Sermon on the Mount.
Freedom from sin’s desires
[The desire for righteousness] means a desire to be free from sin, because sin separates us from God. Therefore, positively, it means a desire to be right with God … All the trouble in the world today is due to the fact that man is not right with God, for it is because he is not right with God that he has gone wrong everywhere else … The man who hungers and thirsts after righteousness is the man who sees that sin and rebellion have separated him from the face of God, and longs to get back into that old relationship …
But it also means of necessity a desire to be free from the power of sin … The man we have been looking at … is a man who has come to see that the world in which he lives is controlled by sin and Satan … He sees that ‘the god of this world’ has been blinding him … He wants to get away from this power that drags him down in spite of himself [see Romans 7]. He wants to be free from the power and the tyranny and thraldom of sin …
But it goes further still. It means a desire to be free from the very desire for sin, because we find that the man who truly examines himself in the light of the Scriptures not only discovers that he is in the bondage of sin; still more horrible is the fact that he likes it, that he wants it. Even after he has seen it is wrong, he still wants it. But now the man who hungers and thirsts after righteousness is a man who wants to get rid of that desire for sin, not only outside, but inside as well … Sin is something that pollutes the very essence of our being and of our nature. The Christian is one who desires to be free from all that … To hunger and thirst after righteousness is to desire to be free from self in all its horrible manifestations, in all its forms … the man who hungers and thirsts after righteousness … wants to be emancipated from self-concern in every shape and form.
I don’t use the term ‘must read’ when it comes to recommending books and/or authors because there is only one must read and that’s the bible. However, I do have a hand-full of writers that I would consider my favorites when it comes to extracurricular reading and one of these is A.W. Pink. Below is a short excerpt from one of his works entitled Profiting from the Word.
The Word of God may be taken up from various motives. Some read it to satisfy their literary pride. In certain circles it has become both the respectable and popular thing to obtain a general acquaintance with the contents of the Bible simply because it is regarded as an educational defect to be ignorant of them. Some read it to satisfy their sense of curiosity, as they might any other book of note. Others read it to satisfy their sectarian pride. They consider it a duty to be well versed in the particular tenets of their own denomination and so search eagerly for proof-texts in support of “our doctrines.” Yet others read it for the purpose of being able to argue successfully with those who differ from them. But in all this there is no thought of God, no yearning for spiritual edification, and therefore no real benefit to the soul.
An individual is spiritually profited when the Word convicts him of sin. This is its first office: to reveal our depravity, to expose our vileness, to make known our wickedness. A man’s moral life may be irreproachable, his dealings with his fellows faultless; but when the Holy Spirit applies the Word to his heart and conscience, opening his sin-blinded eyes to see his relation and attitude to God, he cries, “Woe is me, for I am undone.” It is in this way that each truly saved soul is brought to realize his need of Christ. “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Luke 5:31). Yet it is not until the Spirit applies the Word in Divine power that any individual is made to feel that he is sick, sick unto death.