Singing has always been a way for the people of God to express their joy in the Lord, and appreciation of the truth. A singing Christian is a healthy, happy Christian. Sometimes younger ones don’t think it is “cool” to sing. But let’s learn to lift up our hearts and voices to praise the Lord Jesus, Who has done so much for us. Over and over again in the Bible we read of those who sang. Here are a few examples:
“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel” (Exodus 15:1).
“Then sang Deborah and Barak…Praise ye the Lord” (Judges 5:1-2).
“And there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women” (Ezra 2:65).
“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out to the mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:30).
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises” (Acts 16:25).
The world has its songs without much real meaning, but God has given us a vast heritage of good, scriptural, Christ-exalting hymns. I am thankful that when I was younger I took the time to memorize many of them.
“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis” (Colossians 4:12-13).
We are thankful for preachers, pastors, teachers and missionaries, but what we also need is men and woman of prayer, those who labor like Epaphras. Without a spirit of fervent, agonizing, persevering prayer, no spiritual work will be able to prosper.
The precious and vital labors of the prayer warrior require no special gift, peculiar talent or preeminent mental abilities. A Christian may not have the ability to preach, teach, write, or travel; but every Christian can pray. What we need among Christians is a real spirit of prayer, a spirit that enters into the current need of our fellow-believers and takes those needs up to God in persevering, fervent, believing intercession at all times and in all circumstances.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
I have note pads, memos, post-it notes, reminders, and alerts of one sort or another. I use them all the time, every day, and the older I get the more they have become an essential part of my daily life. I tend to forget the things I want to remember and often remember the things I would rather forget. That’s human weakness, and I suppose we all suffer from it to some degree.
Thankfully our God never forgets. He says plainly, “Yet will I not forget thee” (Isaiah 49:15). However, we need the reminders, such as, “Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 8:11), “and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2).
Make a point this week to remember something of the person and work of Christ every day. And make a point to remember some of the blessings and benefits we have because of Calvary. It might be good to make a list to help you “remember, and forget not.”
“So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet” (2 Samuel 9:13).
“While the King sitteth at His table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof” (Song of Solomon 1:12).
What a beautiful picture of grace the story of Mephibosheth is—Brought by King David, a type of the Lord Jesus, to not only live in the comfort and safety of the palace, but to enjoy fellowship with the king at his table. Likewise the bride in the Song of Solomon had a heart overflowing with the fragrance of worship as she sat with the king at his table.
For us today, we have the privilege of sitting down at the “Lord’s table” (1 Corinthians 10:21). Let’s remember the love and grace that has provided for us so that we can eat of the “Lord’s supper” (1 Corinthians 11:20), in fellowship with Himself and with other members of the body of Christ. He desires our company there and don’t forget, it is an invitation to the table of the King of kings and Lord of lords. What response will there be from our hearts?
As part of a wedding procession we wound our way over the hills from Georgetown, St. Vincent, to the village of Point. There was much blowing of horns and a festive mood prevailed.
However, as we made our way to the reception I was struck with the reality of life as we met a funeral coach coming the other direction. What a contrast! A young couple just starting out on the journey of life together, and someone having just ended their time on earth. So, while some celebrated others mourned. As if to punctuate the brevity of life, just a half a mile down the road there was a large text painted on a brick wall. This is what it said, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
For me it brought to mind the words of Solomon: “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh” (Ecclesiastes 1:4). Thankfully I know what is ahead as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. My eternal future is secure no matter what happens in this life. I trust all my readers have taken heed to the warning of the Lord when he said, “Be ye therefore ready also” (Luke 12:40).
Q. I have been taught that the church will not go through the tribulation. Can you give me some verses from the Bible to help in this regard? Who will go through the tribulation?
A. The first Scripture that comes to mind is in the last book of the Bible: “Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10). This was a promise to the believers at Philadelphia, and to us as well. Not a promise to be kept through the tribulation, but to be kept from the tribulation.
Here is another verse on the second question: “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7). The context is clearly the tribulation, but it is not the “church’s” trouble, but “Jacob’s” trouble. This shows that the nation of Israel will be saved out of, or literally, through this awful time, while the previous verse indicated that we, the church, are saved from it altogether.
We are to be “looking for that blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), which is the rapture, not the tribulation.
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain” (1 Corinthians 9:24).
There are so many sporting events going on in the world—regional, national and international championships are organized continually. The athletes train extremely hard and persevere with great willpower for victory! They renounce many pleasures of daily life to be fit and ready on competition day. That is the one side.
On the other side, how soon are great victories forgotten! How quickly heroes are set aside by the crowds who are always finding new ones who are quicker and stronger, in short—better—until these too are forgotten. Such is worldly, transient, short-lived glory.
Yet there is another race, we know. There is no esteem, no applause from the crowds, but something much more important: acceptance by God. This is the Christian race of faith. This exercise does not strengthen the body—it strengthens the soul, protecting against the influence of Satan and the world. “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” (Hebrews 12:1).
“O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared Thy wondrous works” (Psalm 71:17).
Many of my readers were saved when they were quite young, and what a wonderful thing that is. But how good, too, as we get older and understand more of what the Lord has done for us and who He really is, to learn to honor Him in our daily lives and with all our heart and substance. Here is a story from history that illustrates this very well:
When the Punjab came under British rule, Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India. The young Maharajah, a mere boy, sent the Koh-i-noor diamond to honor her, his new Sovereign. It was placed with the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. Some years later the Maharajah, now a young man, came to England to visit the Queen. He asked to see the diamond, and it was brought out under armed guard. He took it with great reverence and carried it to the window. Then he knelt at the Queen’s feet and said, “I gave you this jewel when I was a child, too young to know what I was doing, and now in the fulness of my strength, I give it to you again with all my heart.”
I have recently spent several days in the desert. While I would not like to live there, yet I realize that all areas of creation have a beauty all their own given to them by the Creator. Two verses of Scripture came to mind while viewing mountains that seemed like piles of rock surrounding a giant sandbox. “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). “Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).
Wherever you are today, step out of your door and look for the wonders of God’s creation. Then thank Him that you know Him as your Father and Saviour, and that He continues to give you life and the ability to enjoy what He enjoys. Mankind has marred and spoiled much of creation through sin and exploitation, but there is still beauty in every direction. How then can we doubt the hand of God in creation? The Bible clearly states, “By Him all things consist [subsist]” (Colossians 1:17).