How often do we see these two words, “THE END”? Maybe at the conclusion of a book we are reading or something that we are watching or somewhere we are going.
Here we are at the end of another year, and it has made me think of several verses that have these two words in them:
“Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth” (Romans 10:4).
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:5).
“The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7).
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13).
As we come to THE END of 2014, how good that we can continue to count on the Lord who has brought us through, and who has promised, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:1).
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Here’s something that I find very difficult. Stopping our wandering thoughts to steer them in Scriptural directions requires diligence. How our minds race away with unprofitable thoughts. Today let’s try stopping our thoughts when they go off at an angle and get them to circle back to the things that are profitable and for our blessing—the things that center on, the Lord Jesus Christ. Like Paul said to the Christians at Philippi: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Make sure your thought process is governed by the Word of God and obedience to His will.
Where has the year gone? They say time flies, but we’re the ones that really fly. Time keeps the same steady beat that it always has, while we rush about in this fast-paced society that seems to demand so much of us. Yes, I’m sure that for most of us, 2014 has quickly slipped by, and has been full to the brim with action and activity.
As we look back and recount the past year, hopefully we can say there has been something for the Lord amidst all the other necessary tasks. If there has been time and effort for Him and His service, then there will be fruit and blessing resulting. The Bible declares, “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Ecclesiastes 11:6). Be assured that, although you may not see it now, any time or energy spent for the Lord is not lost or wasted. Eternity will show the full results, if we don’t see it here in this life.
When a former Queen of the Belgians died, her last words were: “My people no longer remember me; it is time to go.” What a tragedy!
Before the Lord Jesus died on the cross, he told His disciples, “I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more” (John 16:10). He also said, “This do in Remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). He knew what the hearts of His own would be like in His absence, and so He established a memorial so that His people would not forget Him.
The Apostle Paul confirms it later on, when he writes, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come” (1 Corinthians 11:26). Not only did the Lord know we would need a reminder, but He knew we would need it “often.” Today, is another opportunity to be reminded and to remember the Lord Jesus in the breaking of bread. Like the early Christians in the city of Troas, of whom we read, “Upon the first day of the week…the disciples came together to break bread” (Acts 20:7).
Here is an interesting story that shows the fruit of Sunday School work.
In the American Civil War, the Honorable George Henry Stuart, passing through the camp, was challenged by the sentry, because he gave the wrong password. The sentry said: “Mr Stuart, it is my duty to shoot you dead, but I know you; go to the General and get the right word.” Mr Stuart did so, came again, gave the word, and was allowed to pass.
As he was leaving he turned to the soldier and said, “You were very properly anxious about my having the right password; may I ask, have you the right password for eternity?
The soldier answered: “Yes I have, sir.”
“What is it,” Mr. Stuart asked?
“1 John 1:7, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ You gave it to me in Sunday School twenty years ago.”
Many of our readers have no doubt had godly Sunday School teachers. Have they seen the fruit of the many hours they spent with you in class, and the hours they spent in prayer for you in private?
Q. In Hebrews 9:4 we have the contents of the ark. “The golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.” But in 1 Kings 8:9, we read: “There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone.” What do we learn from this?
A. The manna and rod were provided especially for the wilderness journey. The manna was the sustenance of the children of Israel, and is a type of Christ, as He explained in John 6:48-58. The rod was for their support and comfort, as we have in Psalm 23:4. These two items are eliminated in 1 Kings because they will no longer be needed in the millennial reign of Christ, which is the picture we have in the ark coming to rest in Solomon’s temple.
However, the tables of stone remain, because God’s standard remains unchanged, although He can act in grace just as He did in the wilderness because all His holy requirements are met in Christ, of which the ark is a type. The blood was on the mercy seat and as a result God could bless His people without compromise.
“He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded” (1 Peter 2:6).
Simply put, the above verse tells us that although God often tests our faith, He will never disappoint our faith.
Abraham had many tests in the path of faith from the time he left Ur of the Chaldees in Genesis 12, until his death in the 25th chapter. Many of them were hard tests, such as the test of taking his son Isaac and offering him on Mount Moriah. But while some of the tests seemed beyond what anyone could be expected to bear, yet God was faithful, and Abraham received wonderful promises and blessings as a result of his faith.
Sometimes our faith wavers and we are not always as faithful as we should be. When that happens, there is a verse that I find to be a great comfort and encouragement. It is the promise of God’s faithfulness, and declares, “If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). As the tests come, remember the words of Jesus when He said to Peter, “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).
“Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord” (Genesis 18:27).
An English businessman was returning from a European trip before World War I. He got into the Pullman car at Basle, and found that the only other occupant of the car was a pleasant-looking gentleman in the opposite corner. He thought it would be nice to get into conversation, but being reserved and shy by nature he did not do so. As the train drew up to the terminal in Brussels a roll of red carpet was brought to the carriage door and as the gentleman stepped out there were shouts of “Vive le Roi” (Long live the king). It was King Albert of Belgium!
The Englishman telling his friends, said, “I could have kicked myself. I had been for hours in the train with a king who would have been quite ready to talk with me, but I missed the opportunity.”
“Don’t miss the opportunities to speak with the King of Kings in prayer today. He has invited us to, “Come boldly unto the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16). We can talk to Him anytime of the day and night.
“Make your plans with pencil so that the Lord can rub them out and change them.”
This would be a good motto to keep in mind as you start another week. Often I have had my weekly plans disrupted and changed, and then looked back with thankfulness, realizing that His plans are really the very best.
King Solomon was a wise man, perhaps the wisest man who ever lived, apart from the Lord Jesus Himself. He wrote, “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33). This is a good lesson for us all to remember. It will help us not to be frustrated when things don’t go the way we had planned and hoped. It will also help us to accept whatever twists and turns and changes He allows this week.
Perhaps Solomon learned the lesson from his father David, who said, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5)?