“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
$10 spent on ice cream cones lasts a few minutes.
$10 spent on lunch lasts for 4 or 5 hours.
$10 spent for gas lasts for a few miles.
$10 spent on a hair cut lasts a few days.
$10 spent on a pair of socks lasts a few weeks.
$10 spent for a hat lasts a season or two.
$10 spent on a vehicle lasts a few years.
$10 spent for a home lasts for generations…
But $10 spent for Christian service will last for eternity.
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name” (Hebrews 6:10).
“There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother” (Proverbs 30:11).
This is a serious statement! Stop, young person, and consider whether this applies to you! There is a special blessing promised to those who honour their parents, and we are told, “Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3).
Parents aren’t perfect, and they certainly make lots of mistakes, but that does not change the fact that they are in a place of God-given authority, and that they are to be honored and respected in spite of their failures and shortcomings.
For those of you who have godly parents the Bible gives further exhortation through the writing of King Solomon: “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother” (Proverbs 1:8). He also wrote, “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother” (Proverbs 10:1).
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).
In these calendar pages I often emphasize the need to read the Bible, but I feel I cannot emphasize it enough. Make it the constant habit of your daily routine, and you will experience spiritual growth and become rooted and grounded in the truth of Scripture. You will never grow, you will never make progress, you will never develop as a Christian, if you neglect your Bible. With purpose of heart cleave to the Lord, and let one evidence of your cleaving be that from now on you will never permit a day to go by, that you do not spend some time reading the Word of God; and as you open it, lift your eyes to Him who wrote it, and ask God to reveal His mind and will to you in it. Then seek grace to walk in obedience to His will. There is no other way of blessing. I recently asked someone what they thought Christian young people needed today. They replied: “They need to read their Bible.”
We often think about, and enjoy the love of God the Father for us who are His children. But how often do we consider the love of the Father for His only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ? This is the Son of whom we read, “I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him” (Proverbs 8:30). This is the Son of whom the Father declared from heaven, “Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).
Wonder of wonders, this is also the Son, that the Father sent into this world to go to the cross, bear our sins, lay down His life, and shed His precious blood. And this is the Son, who could say to His Father, “I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do” (John 17:4).
How much do these precious facts grip our hearts today? The Son of God is loved by His Father, and the Son of God is the joy and delight of His Father. May He be our joy and delight as well, and may our love for Him deepen as we consider the Father and the Son today.
“The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God…Repent ye, and believe the gospel…For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them…For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance…But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts…But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you…What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (Mark 1:1, 15; Romans 1:16; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Peter 1:25; 1 Peter 4:17).
Have you believed and obeyed the gospel? If not, it is our prayer that the above verses, by the power of the Spirt, would convict you, and that you would be saved right now.
We don’t normally have poetry, other than the 1st Tuesday of the month. However, I came across a piece, written some years ago by a poetess by the name of Elisabeth Byland, and thought it was worth passing on:
That little sin you’ve sought to hide,
And thought nobody knew it,
May grow to such a monstrous size,
You’ll wish at first you slew it!
So when you find an egg of sin,
Left temptingly around,
Smash the awful thing at once,
Lest with it you are found!
For if you hold it close to you,
The thing may incubate,
And when you want to turn it loose,
Then it may be too late!
“Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15).
“The fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build” (Nehemiah 3:3).
This gate reminds us of when the Lord called Peter and Andrew from mending their nets by the sea of Galilee: “And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Every believer can have a part in the work of spreading the gospel. Timothy was told, “Do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5). We read of another incident in Peter’s life, when after the Lord rose from the dead some of the disciples followed him back to their old job of fishing. Catching nothing all night they finally, under the Lord’s direction, have a great haul. “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken” (John 21:11). We often refer to this as the “gospel net” and the number of fish is significant. One hundred is the number of complete salvation (like in the parable in Luke 15:3-7). Fifty denotes Pentecost, and three reminds us of death and resurrection. Are we building the fish gate by spreading the gospel as fishers of men? How much fishing will you do today?
A friend of Hudson Taylor once told of some counsel that the missionary gave from his long experience in China, to some young recruits who were just entering the missionary field:
Taylor poured out a glass of water and filled it to the brim. Then while speaking, he struck the table with a hard blow. As the water spilled out, he said, “Here in China you get many a nasty knock. You will come up against much criticism and doubt. But remember that when you do, whatever you are full of will spill out.”
How true this is of us all, whether we are at home, at school, at work, with the world, or with other believers. What spilled out of you the last time somebody said an unkind thing or performed an uncharitable act against you? Was it self? Or was it Christ? Remember the words of the Lord Jesus Himself, when He said: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45).
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900), was an Irish writer and poet. He became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. There are many memorable quotes from his writings, but the other day one especially caught my attention. Here is what it said:
“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”
We smile at a statement like this that seems so elementary and obvious, but it got me thinking of how every child of God is an individual in His vast family, and how we each have a unique place to fill in our service for Christ. We are told, “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Galatians 6:4). When we try to be someone or something we are not is when we get into trouble. There is no power or blessing in pretence. God has made you, YOU! Be who you are and don’t try to be somebody else. Paul said to the Corinthians, “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called” (1 Corinthians 7:20). That’s where the blessing and fruit will result in your life.