Most people are looking for all they can get in this world. They will accept the pleasures, riches, honors, or anything which will add to their enjoyment here. But when it comes to accepting true riches from God, pleasures for evermore, and a place with Christ in glory, they are not so ready or willing. Salvation, forgiveness of sins, eternal life and an everlasting inheritance in glory are freely offered by God to every needy sinner. We either accept these gifts or we reject them and spend eternity in hell. The same God who created us in the beginning also has something much better for us in the end. All that is required is our acceptance.
Yet how few there are who are willing to receive these priceless blessings! How freely God, in His Word, offers His gifts to every believing sinner! “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). No matter what your past life has been, if you will just bow to God in true repentance, and put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, then this blessing and many more will be God’s free gift to you.
The following incident illustrates in a simple yet beautiful way the fact that we do not have to try to be a Christian, it is all the work of grace in us and for us:
A visitor to the nursing home asked an elderly, bed-ridden woman who said she was trying to be a Christian: “Are you trying to be Mrs. Whyte?
“No,” was the reply, “I am Mrs. Whyte.”
“How long have you been Mrs. Whyte?” the visitor questioned.
“Ever since this ring was placed on my hand.”
“That is how it is with me. I do not try to be a Christian. I have been one ever since I put out my empty hand and received Christ as my Savior.”
The Word of God declares: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:4-5).
We also read: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
Though some folks become tired before doing anything, the usual order is well doing before weariness. Weariness does not mean physical weakness, but has the idea of losing courage, fainting, relaxing one’s strength, or perhaps even becoming despondent in the task. Weariness may be caused by lack of results as one teaches week after week without apparent impact; by monotony; by lack of cooperation from those we labour with.
How easily the Apostle Paul could have become discouraged in his long, arduous travels and persecutions; beaten, shipwrecked, weak, ill, rejected by his brethren, and facing martyrdom constantly. Yet he knew the secret of an unwearied life. He also knew that in the end eternity would yield the fruit and results of his work for the Lord. He could say: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
In light of these meditations let’s, Keep on Keeping on! It is, and will be worth it all!
“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).
A dying soldier asked a hospital chaplain to send a message to his Sunday school teacher. “Tell her I die a Christian and that I never forgot her teaching.”
A few weeks later, after the teacher received the message, the chaplain received this reply:
“May God have mercy on me! Only last month I resigned my Sunday school class for I felt that my teaching had done no good through the years. I am going back at once and will try again in Christ’s name to be steadfast to the end.”
We should learn the lesson from the farmer. He plants…waits…waits, and waits some more. And though discouragements abound, the reaping finally comes.
Just as the farmer is supported by the hope of a sure harvest, so every Christian worker should sow, weep, pray, and work in every hope of reaping fruit in God’s appointed time.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men” (Galatians 6:9-10).
This text suggests three ideas:
Waiting for the harvest
A man gave out gospel tracts for years on a certain street corner. Because there seemed to be no results from his labour, he eventually gave it up. Returning to the same corner about two years later he saw another man giving out tracts on the same spot. Striking up a conversation he learned that the man had become a Christian through a tract given out there just two years previous. He added, “Many a time I’ve come back here to find the man and thank him, but he never came back. So I decided he must have died and gone to his reward. That’s why I’ve taken his place.
Yes, it is easy to become discouraged and give up. Someone has well said, “We not only need to have initiative, but we also need finish-iative.”
I recently noticed a short article in an old periodical for young people, but still with a relevant message for today. I will pass it along at the beginning of this week for your encouragement:
Don’t be a coward. If you show the devil a bold front he will flee from you. The unconverted friends you fear are much more afraid of you than you are of them. Tell them boldly that you are Christ’s, and they will frighten you no more. It is astonishing how timid unconverted people are in the presence of a downright, hearty, earnest Christian. If we, in dependence, pray, “O my God, I trust in Thee: let me not be ashamed”(Psalm 25:2), He will enable us boldly to say, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16).
Maybe this article will give us courage this week to stand up and be counted with those who are on the Lord’s side.
“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).
It is an absolutely certain fact that every human being ever born will, some day, bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ. Some will be forced to bow, before they are sent to a lost eternity, because of their rejection of God’s offer of salvation through the One they are forced to bow to.
Thank God, there are many who will, and do, gladly bow in true adoration and worship because He is their Lord and Savior. What a wonderful thing it is to be able to bow in worship to Jesus, the Lord of life and glory, today and thank Him for dying on Calvary’s cross.
Worship is what the Godhead desires most from redeemed hearts. The Lord said to the woman at Sychar’s well, “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).
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“Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
In Myanmar there are shrines to Buddha inside every household. It is the most religious Buddhist country in the world with 89% of its population practising Buddhism. Choe was one of many devout Buddhists in Myanmar. Three times a day, she knelt in front of the large Buddha shrine in her living room and prayed. As she knelt, she often found her eyes wandering to the clay statue. She would notice faint signs of cracking appearing in its crevices. At those moments, Choe often found herself doubting if the crumbling statue could really free her soul. One day, in an attempt to rid herself of her doubting thoughts, Choe turned on the radio. A Christian was sharing the Gospel in her language. As Choe heard about the Almighty God, the cracking statue in her living room began to look weaker and weaker. The Christian asked anyone who wanted to accept Christ to pray with him. Choe fell to her knees, not in front of a deteriorating statue, but in front of an invisible and much mightier True God. Tears slid down her cheeks as she prayed for God to save her soul.
The Christian is not promised that it is going to be easy to follow the Lord and live for His glory here in this world. No, in fact, just the contrary. The Lord Jesus said these words to His disciples before leaving them to go to the cross: “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33).
But the Lord Jesus has also provided everything needed so that we can press on and persist in the walk of faith, even in these dark, difficult times, referred to as the “last days” (2 Timothy 3:1). It is never in our own strength, but in His, and His alone we go on. “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
Consider this question: “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges?” (1 Corinthians 9:7) No one! But we have the “Lord of Hosts,” who goes before, and the battle is indeed His! Remember, it may seem easier to give up in the face of conflict, but this is never of God. Keep on…it is well worthwhile!
Persist, persist, ye Christian, The Lord is on Thy side,
It is His strength that keeps thee, In Him we can abide:
Persistence is a word we hear all through life. Our parents encourage us to be persistent when things don’t seem to go right and we want to throw up our hands and give up trying. Our teachers tell us to persist when it came to learning and studying. “Nothing comes easy,” they say. Employers like employees that will persevere in their business and seek to overcome obstacles as they present themselves. But what about our Christian life? Here are some things that the Holy Scriptures admonish us to persist in: