Yesterday my wife and I visited Le Thoronet Abbey, in southern France. Built in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century, this monastery (now a museum), was constructed in the hills far away from civilization. Those that entered, lived, and died there, mistakenly thought that “separation” from the world also meant “isolation,” as well as a better place in the next world. But this is not what the Bible teaches. On the one hand the Lord said of His disciples, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” He then prayed to His Father, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth” (John 17:16-17). On the other hand He later instructed them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). We cannot be isolationists and be a testimony to the world around us, nor can we be an effective testimony if we do not walk in separation from the world. The monks of Le Thoronet Abbey may have lived a pious life, thinking they were doing God’s work, but they were certainly no testimony to the world.
“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you…” (1 Corinthians 11:23).
If you read the rest of verse 23 along with verses 24-26, you will see that the Lord Jesus gave Paul a special revelation concerning the Lord’s Supper, thus stressing its importance. Hence, there must be a right purpose, manner and place to observe it. The purpose is a loving memorial of our Savior who died, but is alive again. The manner is a simple loaf and cup. The loaf represents His body given and the cup represents His shed blood. The place is in accordance with the words of the Lord Himself, when He said: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).So today, as we meet in His name and consider the bread and the wine, may our hearts be filled with Him alone.
There is still the privilege of eating the Lord’s supper at the Lord’s table, and this He has asked us to do until He returns to take us home to the Father’s House. (Notice the last part of verse 26).
Does this sound like you? Many have put off or rejected Gods salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Solomon recorded these to-the-point words hundreds of years ago: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 21:1).
God’s time is NOW! It is not just “remember,” but “remember NOW.” The New Testament records: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Yesterday I was in Belgium, today I am in Spain. A week ago I was just leaving Germany for a Bible conference in the Netherlands. Two weeks ago I was in my home country of Canada, a few days before that I was in the United States, and from here my wife and I hope to fly to Nice in France. It is incredible to think how we can travel and get around the world so quickly today. Airplanes, high-speed trains, fast cars, and other means of modern transportation have made it all so easy.
One of the characteristics of the “last days” is found in the book of Daniel, where we read, “Even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro” (Daniel 12:4). It is certainly true of the times we live in. People are hurrying here and there, for business, pleasure, and sometimes I think, just for the sake of being on the go.
As believers in Christ we need to be careful that we don’t get caught up in the spirit of the age. We can avail ourselves of modern means of transportation to survive in today’s rush-rush society, and for the work of the Lord and the blessing of others. But let’s be as, “They that use this world, as not abusing it” (1 Corinthians 7:31).
“After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith’s son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner” (Nehemiah 3:31).
There are perhaps several applications that could be made concerning this gate. One meaning of the name Miphkad has to do with “review” or “census.” With this in mind we will apply it today in connection with the Judgment Seat of Christ. We are told in the New Testament, “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10, 12). This denotes a time of review for believers when we stand before the Lord Jesus and receive commendation and reward for any faithfulness to Himself while here in this life. There are other references to the Judgment Seat of Christ. Notice, (Romans 14:7-10; Corinthians 3:12-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
The question we all need to ask ourselves is, “Are we really living in view of that time when a census will be taken in heaven and a full account given?” It has nothing to do with our salvation but everything to do with pleasing Him!
“Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith” (Proverbs 15:17).
The natural man desires wealth. But let’s put this verse in today’s language:
Penned by one of the wealthiest men that ever lived on earth, it is really saying, “It is better to eat salad and have a loving home, than to eat prime rib and have a home of hatred and unhappiness. It is better to be poor with the Lord, than rich without Him.”
There are many who eat well and have everything that money can buy but are miserable on the inside. Thankfully, there are many who are happy and enjoying the Lord but have none of the luxuries that many of us have. Theirs is a rich life indeed.
Paul warns of what happens to many who set their heart on the wealth of this world. He says: “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10). Many a tear is shed behind mansion walls, and many a heartache and much strife is concealed by palace gates.
“I rejoice at Thy Word, as one that findeth great spoil” (Psalm 119:162).
There was once a young person who wanted a Bible very much, in fact, more than anything else. But he was poor and could not afford one, for he lived a good many years ago when Bibles cost more than they do now.
One day two strangers came to his house and asked his mother for something to eat. Though she only had plain food, she gladly gave them what she had. As they ate they saw that the young person was sad. They asked him what he wanted and he told them he wanted a Bible.
His mother said, “Never mind, don’t fret about that. I’ll take you to see General George Washington next week.”
“I’d rather have a Bible than see General Washington,” was the young person’s reply.
One of the gentlemen seemed much pleased with this and told him he hoped he would always be that fond of the Word of God. The very next day, the young person received a beautiful Bible, and on the flyleaf was written:
From George Washington.
The young person did not know it at the time, but he had been talking to General Washington the day before.
God is not satisfied with the outward appearance. He wants, “Truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6). That is, in the heart and mind. This is what He really desires! Many have been the falls of young believers who were admired and praised for what they appeared to be before others, but who allowed some unclean thing to hide within their heart. We should clean the temple of our body from within, with zeal, as the Lord did in the temple in Jerusalem during His earthly ministry. (Read John 2:14-17). Remember, “The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Let’s do some housecleaning this week, from the inside out. There is much that goes in through our eyes and ears, and though it may not be seen on the outside for awhile, if not judged and cleaned out, it will eventually lead to unholy actions.
What a wonderful time it must have been when the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples after His resurrection. To those terrified and troubled hearts “He shewed them His hands and His feet” (Luke 24:40). In another gospel we read, “He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord” (John 20:20). The marks of Calvary displayed the fullness of His love and warmed their cold hearts.
Then next thing He did was to bring the Scriptures before them. “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). His exposition enlightened their minds to know Him in a way they had never known Him before. Then He led them out to Bethany to see His ascension, causing their spirits to worship Him. “And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:50-52).
May our hearts, minds, and spirits be filled with Him today!
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power” (Revelation 20:6).
Returning to a village in the West Indies we asked a Christian woman, “What happened to Amos?”
She sadly replied, “Amos is dead-dead!”
We knew what she meant. During gospel meetings he would sit in the open doorway and listen, but he would never come in. Sometimes he would make noises mocking the message, or remarks that were not very nice.
Our friend told us his health had failed and he had to be taken to the Poor House, as he had no family to care for him. Several Christians visited him, but he refused to take Christ as his Savior. He was not young when he died and he had heard the gospel many times. So the fact that Amos was dead-dead told us that he had died in his sins and would suffer for eternity in the Lake of Fire. “This is the second death” (Revelation 20:6).
Yes, not only had he died physically, but spiritually as well. What an awful thing it will be to be eternally separated from God.