SMASHED TO PIECES

I had left Birmingham for Derby, in company with a friend, and after we had travelled some distance, he gave away a few tracts. I observed an old man reading the one given to him with very marked attention. Though a working man, his wrinkled forehead and careworn face bore marks of mental anguish, of no ordinary character. I felt a strong desire to speak to the old man, but could not make a beginning. I mentally offered a short prayer; it was this, — “Lord, if it be Thy will that I should speak to this man, cause him to speak to me first.” I sat still a few minutes, when he put up his finger for me. I went and sat by him. He said, “I want to speak to you.” (If the reader does not know what prayer is, he will perhaps wonder at this.) I looked at his anxious face, as he said, “When I was a young man, I read Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and many such; and their writing suited me well then, for I liked to have my full fling in sin; and I had it, both here and far away, across the seas. I travelled both on the continent, and also in South America; and what scenes have I been in! But now” (pointing to his grey hair), “oh, this remorse! it smashes me to pieces.”

I shall never forget the look with which these words were spoken. Oh, my soul! thought I, how much like hell is the anguish of remorse.  Almost before I could speak, he went on to say, “I think the deceitful ways of professors make more infidels than all the writings that infidels themselves have written.” “Well,” I said, “if it were not for an old book I have in my pocket, which tells all about that, I should be staggered myself.” “Indeed,” said he; “what book is that?” “Oh,” said I, “it is the Bible; and there is not an evil in the professing church which was not plainly foretold. But you have looked long enough at man; there is nothing in him to heal your broken, smashed heart; I want you to look at another object and that object is God. You will find no deceit in Him; indeed all is sincere love.

“I don’t ask you to do this or that to get to God, but I want to tell you, smashed under sin and guilt as you are, what God has done to get to you. I want to tell you what He is, and what He has done, as displayed through the cross of Christ. The love that is seen there is all sincere, and it is all the work of God. Man put Christ to death, but God so loved. Yes, it is the cross of Christ alone that heals the broken heart. It has been truly said, that to heal the broken heart, Christ’s own heart must be broken first. It was broken. He died for us, ‘the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.'”

I pointed out the difference between our having to seek and to serve God, in order to be saved, and God’s having sent His Son to seek and to save that which was lost. I told him the following anecdote to illustrate this most important difference: — A man I knew, in Derbyshire, was walking in a dangerous mine, with a candle in his hand, when a drop of water from the roof fell upon his candle, and put out the light. The mine was a very dangerous place, and he, alone and without light, could not find his way out. He remained a long time in this dreary condition, until he became greatly alarmed; indeed, such was the effect on his mind, that he was in danger of losing his reason. Whilst in this state, he thought he saw the glimmering of a light. It was a light; he fixed his eyes on that light; it came nearer and nearer, until at last he saw the face of his own brother, who had come to seek him. His friends having become alarmed on account of his long absence, his brother had descended into this pit of darkness to seek and to save him that was lost.

“Mind you,” said I, “he did not stand at the pit’s mouth calling out, that if his lost brother would but come out of that pit of darkness, he would then save him, as many falsely represent Christ as doing. No; he came to the very place where that brother was, and who needed his help.” I said to the old man, “You are in the dark pit of sin and death; your candle of youth has been put out; you are beginning to feel something of the fearful solitude; alone without God. Do you catch a glimmering of the light in the face of Jesus Christ? Fix your eye there. The light will come nearer and nearer, till it shews you, in that blessed One, the face of a Saviour, who does not tell you to come out of the pit first to save yourself, and that then, when you do not need saving, He will save you. Oh, no, He knew we were too far lost for that. He descended into the very pit of sin and death; He bore sin’s curse and condemnation, that there might be none for us; and He alone can, and does, deliver from sin’s power. He comes to you in the pit; give Him your hand, He will lead you to eternal day.”

There was power in the name of Jesus; a change passed over the old man’s countenance; the raging storm was calming down; the goodness of God was leading him to repentance. He had never thus seen God manifest in the flesh, as the God of love. He had long been trying to get out of the pit, like many others, but had never before seen Jesus coming into it to save him. Our conversation was suddenly stopped — we parted at Derby. I trust we shall meet again at the great and glorious terminus — the coming of the Lord.

C.S. (Railway Tract No. 3)
(Read the entire tract which is available on http://www.stempublishing.com and surrender your life to the Jesus Christ, your Saviour and Lord.)

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GOD IS GLORIFIED IN ALL HIS WAYS

I was travelling on the Birmingham and Derby line some time ago, when a gentleman was speaking, with evident satisfaction, on the wonderful improvement and rapid progress of society. I quietly listened as he boasted of the development of man. At last I said, “You seem to have overlooked one thing.” “And what is that, sir?” he said. I replied, “Why, sir, it is this: you forget that this world has yet to answer for the murder and rejection of the Son of God. That is the end of this world’s progress.” The man appeared struck with surprise, and I thought alarm. I showed him that however man may dream of this world’s gradual improvement, God’s word speaks out without mistake. Christ distinctly foretold that He would be rejected. (Luke 22:25-30.) For eighteen hundred years this world has treated the mercy of God, in giving Christ, with contempt. I asked him if he thought God would bear this for ever? But my question was quite outside his philosophy. Finite reason knows nothing of the infinite God, but what He Himself reveals. What a revolution took place in that man’s thoughts in a moment! He said, “I never thought in that way about the death of Christ.”

This reminds me of a question a young man once asked me; it was this: “If God knew for certain that men would reject Christ, where was the use in sending the gospel?” “Well,” I said, “I will answer by an illustration. Suppose some nation — say America — were to murder the British ambassador; of course that would at once cut off all relations with England. Well, there would be one of two things for it — immediate judgment, or forbearing mercy. England would be just in demanding instant satisfaction.

But now, instead of that, though England might well know that such was the inveterate hatred of that nation which had deliberately murdered her ambassador, that the offer of pardon would be rejected with disdain; — yet would there be no meaning, no use, if, instead of demanding immediate satisfaction, she sent the most conciliatory message of reconciliation? Yes, England’s noble character would be manifest to the whole world; and when she ever did proceed to extremities, still her clemency would be acknowledged by all.”

“Oh,” said the young man, “I see the point; the character of God is manifested.” “Just so,” said I. “And, oh, think of the person of Christ, the Son of God, heaven’s ambassador! and is it not even so that men by wicked hands have murdered Him? And God did know that such was man’s hatred, that he would reject Him. Yes, and having murdered and rejected Him, talks of progress. God knew it all, and most certainly all relations with God are cut off by the murder of Jesus. It is impossible for God to talk to men about keeping His law that are murderers of His Son. No, no, the whole world stands guilty before God. Surely man cannot be more guilty than the murder and rejection of Christ proves him to be.

But, oh! the wonder of all wonders, God did not proceed at once to righteous judgment, but infinite love and grace burst through the very wounds of Christ, and God speaks peace and pardon to black vile man through the very blood of His murdered Son. Yes, He knows man will reject even this mercy; yes, all men. But out of these very rejecters God is, by the power of the Holy Ghost through the gospel, gathering His church. And is He not glorified in that very world that still rejects Him? Yes! yes! Oh, the longsuffering forbearance, the grace that still beseeches men to be reconciled to God.”

“Ah!” said the young man, “I never saw how God would be thus glorified in all His ways.”

C.S. (Railway Tracts No.8)
(Read the entire tract which is available on http://www.stempublishing.com and surrender your life to God. Believe that Jesus Christ is both your Saviour and Lord! Do it now!)

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THE TWO JUSTIFICATIONS

(Note: This has to be read very carefully, slowly and prayerfully. Many preachers and teachers of God’s Word do not know the difference between these two ‘justifications’. Luther who believed in justification by faith, could not understand James when he spoke about justification by works; and he treated the epistle of James very lightly. We are living in times where the balance between faith and works has been missed, and many think that being justified by faith is the be-all and end-all of the Christian life. When the Lord returns, He expects us to produce ‘good works’ – the fruit of our faith in Him – for we are ‘saved to serve’ Him! Not doubt we will be saved by faith (the gift of eternal life), but we will lose our reward (millenial glory)! ~J.K.)

Abraham’s Faith.

One man (Abraham) God has chosen to be the supreme model of all justification; and one apostle (Paul) the Holy Spirit has specially selected to express justification by faith. For to Abraham, a repentant heathen idolator with his face set towards the Holy Land, God said: “He that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir” (Gen. xv. 4): then, leading him out under the countless stars, God said again: “So shall thy seed be.” Then we read, “Abraham believed in the Lord” (Gen 15:6)— that is, as Paul puts it, he believed God (Rom. iv. 3); “and God counted it [his faith] to him for righteousness.” Abraham believed God — that was all: as God dimly, but really, presented Christ to him, far down the ages — the single Seed as well as the plural seed (Gal. iii.16) — he accepted God’s Word without question or doubt; and God thereby instantly accepted him as a righteous man. No voice ratified it from Heaven; no wave of emotion (so far as we know) swept over believing Abraham: silently, mysteriously, suddenly God regenerated, and Abraham, on bare faith, was justified.

Justification by Faith.

Now the apostle asks the critical question, “We say, To Abraham his faith was reckoned for righteousness. How then was it reckoned? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision?” (Rom. iv. 9). Had Abraham earned his justification? Or obtained it by ‘sacraments?’ Or won it by long obedience and a holy life supplementing the mercy of God? Or was it by faith alone? So vital is the reply that it is couched both negatively and positively, — “not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision: that he might be the father” — the progenitor, the pattern — “of all them that believe.”

The reply of the Holy Ghost is thus perfectly explicit. Abraham was justified before he brought forth any works at all, or submitted to any ritual: therefore he must have been justified by faith: before ever he worked for God he believed God: and until he believed, Abraham was a Chaldean idolator, a lost soul. Behold, therefore, the perfect model and the unchanging example of how God saves: (Abraham) “the father of all them that believe.”

Abraham’s Works.

But there is a reverse side to the Shield of Faith. Abraham had reached the end of a radiantly holy life; God had asked of him his last great renunciation (offering up Isaac), and he had yielded it: now upon the aged patriarch, tested again and again, a second great justification falls. The moment Isaac had been (in intent) offered, the Angel of the Lord said, “Because thou hast done this thing” — that is, works — “and hast not withheld thy son, in blessing I will bless thee” (Gen. xxii. 16). Here was no regeneration, silent, mysterious, internal: it was coronation, an open and solemn approval of God unto reward.

Paul is the New Testament parallel. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” — all works; “henceforth there is laid up for me the crown” — a special revelation made to Paul, as to Abraham, at the close of life — “of righteousness” — the crown consequent on righteousness — “which the righteous Judge” — awarding a second justification — “shall give to me at that day” (2 Tim. iv. 7). From that moment Paul knew that of which he had been ignorant (I Cor. ix. 27; Phil. iii. 11-14) before.

Justification by Works.

The Holy Spirit has selected a second apostle (James) through whom to reveal the second justification with startling emphasis. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac upon the altar? By works was faith made perfect: by works a man is justified, and not only by faith” (Jas. ii. 21). James is not speaking of works before faith, that is, works of law: for “faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect”: faith was already there. The justification of James, therefore, is not justification unto eternal life. Scripture strenuously denies that works before faith could ever justify: “by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Rom. iii. 20).

But works done after faith, works done in faith, the ‘work of faith’ (2 Thess. i. 11) does justify for reward. “If any [disciple’s] work shall abide, he shall receive a reward. If any [disciple’s] work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved”(I Cor. iii. 14) — as already possessed of the justification unto life. Paul says,“I know nothing against myself; yet am I not hereby justified” (1 Cor 4.4) — with the  second justification: even a conscience void of offence in a regenerate apostle cannot ensure that: nothing can (apart from a special revelation) but the Judge upon the Bema — “but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Wherefore judge nothing before the time” (I Cor. iv. 4).

Therefore the Spirit bids us, — “So speak ye, and so do, as men that are to be judged by a law of liberty” (Jas. ii. 12) — the law, not of Moses, but of Christ. God called Abraham, and he believed; God proved Abraham, and he endured: the two justifications were then complete. For his justification by faith, Paul points to the moment of his regeneration: for his justification by works, James points to his final act of accomplished obedience. Both justifications are demanded from every human soul. First, justification by blood, then justification by obedience; first, justification by faith, then justification by works; first, justification for life, then justification for reward; first, the escape of Israel out of Egypt, then the escape of Caleb and Joshua out of the wilderness: the one is an adjudication of a transferred righteousness through the obedience of Another, the other is an adjudication of an active righteousness through obedience of our own. For blessed is “the man unto whom God reckoneth righteousness apart from works” (Rom. iv. 6): blessed also is “the man that endureth temptation [testing]; for when he hath been approved, he shall receive THE CROWN OF LIFE” (Jas. i. 12).

D.M. PANTON

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THE USE OF FIREARMS

No one would ever have dreamed that war is Christian had it not been for the grave consequences, public and private, of a refusal to fight. In the words of the late Biship J C Ryle, “Men of the most eminent abilities and extensive erudition have never yet, nor ever will, produce arguments sufficient to prove that the profession of a soldier is consistent with the profession of Christianity.”

Force.

It is not that force is no remedy; force is an inferior remedy, but it is a remedy: but the force which is yet to establish righteousness is not ours. Our Lord Jesus said, “If my kingdom were of this world” — out of this world, its source and origin here — “then would my servants fight” — compel submission by armed revolution, to which alone Gentile Powers yield: “but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18: 36). Angels of irresistible might will subdue iniquity, “at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance” (2 Thess. 1. 7); who “shall gather out of His kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity” (Matt. 13. 41). The swords which alone are to enforce righteousness are not human swords at all; and meanwhile all men are left free to reveal their hearts, with no compulsion more severe than the moral persuasions of grace.

The Hazards of War.

Even the Sacred Person of our Lord was not to be so defended (by sword, or similar weapons); and He has Himself adjudicated on an actual case. To Peter, with a sword drawn and blooded in his hand, Jesus says, “Put up again thy sword into its place: for” — here is the first reason for refusing the sword — “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matt. 26. 52). God has withdrawn, as the God of grace, from behind the man or the movement that appeals to the sword, and remains only as the God of providence: soldiers are left to the hazards of war.

“The Reformation,” says D’Aubigne, “grasped the sword; and that very sword pierced its heart.” It was not always so: war, which is not in itself wrong, was again and again commanded, under the Law of, Moses, by ‘the God of battles,’ ‘Jehovah of hosts’; and Jehovah then guaranteed His obedient servants military victory, — “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, your enemies shall fall before you by the sword” (Lev. xxvi. 3, 8). But now all fighters are left to the hazards of war: “if any man is for captivity, into captivity he goeth: if any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Rev. 13. 10).

The Hugenots gave no quarter in battle, and God let them be wiped off the face of the earth; as, for example, Virens, one of their pastors, who shot two soldiers with his own hand, and was immediately shot dead himself. Zwingle perished as a young man on the battle field. General Gordon, after writing, — “I go to the Sudan sure of success,” fell under a rain of spears on the steps of Government House at Khartoum. Praying Boers were cut up in battalions; as, centuries earlier, whole armies of Crusaders were annihilated by the Saracens. In 1907 an American missionary in Persia led a band of fierce fighters in the defence of Tabriz, and was himself shot. The soldier who now survives the hazards of battle does not survive because he is a Christian.

Grace.

It is not that we are powerless. “Thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and He shall even now send Me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26. 53): if a single angel smote to death the whole Assyrian army (2 Kings xix. 35), what power could the armed millions of Russia and China  or the swarms of Muslim extremists bring against twelve legions? But we are now bound to the uttermost by the law of mercy. Luke 9. 54, 55. So our Lord’s second reason for refusing the sword is this: — “The cup which the Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18.11).

In the words of Luther: — “We would rather die ten times than see our Gospel cause one drop of blood to be shed: our part is to be like lambs for the slaughter.” Although from the first, individual disciples have yielded to persuasion or compulsion, nevertheless martyr after martyr under the Roman Emperors cried: — “I am a Christian; and therefore I cannot fight.” To the attack of Celcus, the Gnostic of the second century, charging the Christian Faith with forbidding arms, Origen replied admitting it, and asserting the unlawfulness of  war to a Christian. Nor is it lack of courage.

Hard though it be to confront the grapeshot, it is harder to be dragged to a prison cell under universal execration, and it is hardest to be wounded in the house of our friends, and denounced by the vast majority of modern disciples. To stand defenceless before loaded guns is a braver thing than to confront them from behind another battery. So to the persecutors of the last days, killing the righteous man, the Spirit prophesies, — “he doth not resist you” (Jas. 5. 6).

For at all costs to ourselves the Gospel must be proved a Gospel of love: “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

The Lamb and the Dove.

For our supreme Example, and our gracious Indweller, are the Lamb and the Dove. “There ought to be no question that the spirit of meekness, which will not meet violence by violence, is the Christian spirit; and in this day of an emergence of militarism, we need more than ever to insist that the highest type is ‘the Lamb of God,’ ‘as a sheep before her shearers’ ” (A. MacLaren). What else do these Scriptures mean? “Be ye harmless as doves” (Matt. 10.16); “resist not him that is evil; but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5. 39): “the Lord’s servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all” (2 Tim. 2. 24): “ Avenge not yourselves, beloved, for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. (Rom 12.19)

Rather… “if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink.” (Rom. 12. 19).

SO WHY SHOULD WE RESORT TO FIREARMS? (Let every Christian in America ask himself/herself this question! May God speak to every follower of Christ to resist this mindless proliferation of firearms in a supposedly Christian country! ~ JK)

D.M. PANTON (with suitable alterations, for the 21st century reader)

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GINOSKO AND OIDA (Updated)

Note:
The following is Darby’s footnote to 1 Cor 8.1. I have put it up here to show the difference between objective knowledge (ginosko) and inward, intuitive knowledge (oida). When a person is born again, he has an inward, intuitive knowledge of God and Christ. A truly born-again person, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, will know others who are born-again, and will also be able to detect those who are not born-again.

Here is Darby’s footnote:

Two Greek words are used for ‘to know’ in the New Testament – ginosko and oida. The former signifies objective knowledge, what a man has learned or acquired. The English expression ‘being acquainted with’ perhaps conveys the meaning. Oida conveys the thought of what is inward, the inward consciousness in the mind, intuitive knowledge not immediately derived from what is external.

The difference between the two words is illustrated in John 8.55, ‘Ye know (ginosko) Him not, but I know (oida) Him.’ Again, in John 13.7, ‘What I do thou dost not know (oida) now, but thou shalt know (ginosko) hereafter.’ And finally in Heb 8.11, ‘They shall not teach . . . saying, Know (ginosko) the Lord; because all shall know (oida) me.’ The word oida is used of Christ as knowing the Father, and as knowing the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees, of Paul’s knowledge of ‘a man in Christ,’ and of the Christian’s knowledge that he has eternal life.

‘I know whom I have believed,’ 2 Tim 1.12 – I have the inward conscious knowledge of who the person is. Read also 1 Cor 16.15, 2 Tim 3.14, 15 – all these verses refer to inward conscious knowledge. The difference between the significance of the two words is often slight and objective knowledge may pass into conscious knowledge, but not vice versa.

My footnote:
1. Any assembly will have three kinds of people: i. Those who are truly born-again (This category includes those who are spiritual and those who are ‘babes in Christ’, still dominated by the flesh and the world – the cross needs to work in the latter deeply); ii. Those who think they are born-again, but are not. (They do not have the inward, intuitive knowledge of Christ.) (This category may also include those who are truly seeking Christ, but are not actually saved.); iii. Those few who masquerade as believers, but are in the grip of sin and Satan, and are therefore children of the devil. ~ JK

2. We call certain Christians ‘carnal’, assuming that they are ‘babes in Christ”; but the fact is, many carnal Christians are not actually born again; they know something about Christ objectively, but they live like people of the world. You can call them hypocrites.

~JK.

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PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR

1 John 4.18

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Perfect love. Who can have perfect love, but God Himself? His love is perfect. The Bible says in another place (Rom 5.5), “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit”. But do we really understand the love of God?

True, the antidote to fear is faith. But faith in what? Faith in God who is love. Calvary love. ‘He loved me and gave Himself for me,” says Paul the apostle in Gal 2.20. The LORD says in Jer 31.3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” He is speaking to Israel. But is God’s love reserved for Israel alone? John 3.16 says, “For God SO loved the world!”. And because He so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) to die on the cross of Calvary for our sins – to die in our place, so that we should not perish in our sins. He not only died for us (the whole world, 1 John 2.2), but He gave us everlasting life. 1 John 5.12 says, “He who has the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) has eternal life.”

Now I have Christ dwelling in me (Rom 8.9b); I am a born-again child of God. And yet I do not experience this love of Christ! Why? It’s all in the head; it’s Bible knowledge. But I don’t experience it in the heart. Why? I need revelation; God’s light has to shine in me. It is easy to parrot these truths, these Bible verses, without understanding them. Perfect love, unfailing love, inseparable love, everlasting love – that is the love of Christ. “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.” John 15.13. Christ laid down His life for His enemies. I was once an enemy to Christ and God; I didn’t want God to come into my life. I was living far away from God; I was lost in this perishing world. Christ came into my life when I was in my late 30s (oh, how many wasted years!) and He came in the most astonishing way. It was as if I had come out of total darkness into God’s marvellous light; I was like the blind man in John 9. I know what it is to come out of bondage into God’s glorious liberty. There was ‘first love’; there was ‘joy unspeakable and full of glory’. But then, everything faded away. Love grew cold. Many trials, many troubles followed; and often I doubted the love of Christ.

I am trying to understand 1 John 4.18. “Perfect love casts out fear”. Meditate on the love of God that passes all understanding! It’s true that He not only gave Himself for me, He has come to dwell in me through the Holy Spirit, and His love is poured out into my heart…but the question is why am I not experiencing that love? Many times I have tasted His love; and even now I know that I am in His loving hands and He will never let me go. But many times I think, ‘Lord, why are you allowing all these troubles in my life? Why should I sorrow all day long? Why are You hiding Yourself from me? Why is my heart so cold towards you?”

I have not been exercising faith. It is a ‘fight of faith’. In the midst of the darkness, the Lord should be a light to me, Micah 7.8. Not looking at the circumstances that I am passing through, not considering the feelings that I experience, but simply, firmly, standing upon the Word of God. You have given me a new heart and a new spirit; You have given me new life; I am a new creation. Yes, the old life, the old nature is still there; the old self still works in me; the flesh tries to pull me down. But by faith I lay hold of Christ, I cleave to Him, I strengthen myself in His Word, I ponder over His love, I cry out for revelation. And this is what the Lord tells me: “I have given you a heart to love me; you are a partaker of the divine nature (divine love). By faith, irrespective of your wavering and sinking feelings, hold on to the truth – that you have a heart to love Me – and though you may feel cold and indifferent, open your mouth and affirm your love for Me; worship Me! I will never let you go (Heb 13.5b). Believe in Me, in My love, a love that is deeper than a mother’s love – I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands (Isa 49.15. I am in you, and you are in Me, John 14.20. Hold on to that truth. There is no need to fear. My love is stronger than death, Songs 8.6; many waters cannot quench it. Do you believe it? Believe in My love! Get out of the confines of your Self (self-preservation, self-love, self-will) and cast yourself on to Me! Underneath are the everlasting arms! You are in My bosom, close to My heart, where there is no safer place to be! My all-conquering love (Rom 8.37) will conquer all your fears, your worries, your doubts; just rest yourself in Me! As a child cast yourself on Me!”

J.K.

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FOUR LITTLE CREATURES, EXCEEDING WISE – Part 5 (Conclusion)

Agur tells us about these four little creatures in Prov 30:24-28. He wants us to learn from them, learn divine wisdom. As children of God, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have much to learn regarding the life of faith, the life of a true Christian, from observing these four little creatures, which are exceeding wise.

What is the Christian life? Or rather, what is the life of faith? All these four creatures – the ant, the coney, the locust and the lizard – are diligent creatures, and we are to be diligent about our Christian life. The ant prepares its food for the winter; it stores up for the future. Are we whiling away our life in the present instead of thinking and preparing for the future? Are we thinking about eternity? Do we understand that the eternal future of every person on earth is either in heaven or in hell? Let us prepare for the future, by seeking the Lord and finding Him and making Him our salvation. And then after we have found Him and are saved, let us be strong in the Lord, feeding on Him and His Word.

We learn from the coney to keep close to the Rock. Our Christian life is lived day by day in the presence of the Lord. We live in a wicked world and our refuge is in Christ. We dare not wander away from Him; there is a tendency in us to drift with the current of the world and neglect our salvation, Heb 2.3

We learn the importance of coming together in fellowship with other believers by observing the locusts. Individually we are weak, but together we are strong. Fellowship with God’s children is essential for our spiritual progress.

Finally, from the lizard, we learn that our destiny is the king’s palace. We are born as children to the King; we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, 1 Pet 2.9; we are to be kings and priests to God, Rev 1.6. We should seek the spiritual heights and not live life at a low, materialistic and carnal level. We are to shine brightly for the glory of our Lord and Saviour, our God and King!

J.K.

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