ENDURE TO THE END

“Those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved.” MARK 13:13

Are you close to quitting? Please don’t do it. Are you discouraged as a parent? Hang in there. Are you weary with doing good? Do just a little more. Are you pessimistic about your job? Roll up your sleeves and go at it again. No communication in your marriage? Give it one more shot …

Remember, a finisher is not one with no wounds or weariness. Quite to the contrary, he, like the boxer, is scarred and bloody. Mother Teresa is credited with saying, “God didn’t call us to be successful, just faithful.” The fighter, like our Master, is pierced and full of pain. He, like Paul, may even be bound and beaten. But he remains.

The Land of Promise, says Jesus, awaits those who endure. It is not just for those who make the victory laps or drink champagne. No sir. The Land of Promise is for those who simply remain to the end.

from NO WONDER THEY CALL HIM THE SAVIOR

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A Burst of Love

Seek God’s kingdom, and all the other things you need will be given to you. LUKE 12:31

Sometimes God is so touched by what he sees that he gives us what we need and not simply that for which we ask.

It’s a good thing. For who would have ever thought to ask God for what he gives? Which of us would have dared to say: “God, would you please hang yourself on a tool of torture as a substitution for every mistake I have ever committed?” And then have the audacity to add: “And after you forgive me, could you prepare me a place in your house to live forever?”

And if that wasn’t enough: “And would you please live within me and protect me and guide me and bless me with more than I could ever deserve?”

Honestly, would we have the chutzpah to ask for that? …

Jesus already knows the cost of grace. He already knows the price of forgiveness. But he offers it anyway. Love burst his heart.

He Still Moves Stones

The One Real God

“For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.” (Psalm 96:5)

As the apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians, “though there be |many| that are called gods, . . . to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).

Every person has his own “god”; even atheists order their lives by some principle of their own choosing which thus becomes in effect their “god”! There are multitudes of others who follow various other gods. For example, the Hindus have almost innumerable gods. Muslims, on the other hand, strongly argue for just one god, whom they call Allah, but it was not Allah who “made the heavens.” The truth revealed in the Bible is that it was God’s “dear Son” by whom “were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth” (Colossians 1:13, 16). Allah denies that he even has a Son, and he calls those who believe otherwise (meaning Christians) infidels. The Koran is alleged to consist of the verbally inspired words of Allah, but it (and therefore, Allah) also denies the Trinity, as well as the death and resurrection of Christ, and so also denies that the Son of God provides salvation for all who believe on Him. That is more than enough to prove that Allah is not the God of the Bible.

In our text above, the word “idols” simply means “vanities.” It is all “in vain” to put one’s faith for eternity in a false god. The Lord Jesus alone, having created all things and paid the awful price to redeem all things, alone can truly provide eternal salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). He Himself verified that “I am the way, . . . no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). HMM

Wearied out with her wanderings

“Then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.” Genesis 8:9

Wearied out with her wanderings, the dove returns at length to the ark as her only resting place. How heavily she flies—she will drop—she will never reach the ark! But she struggles on. Noah has been looking out for his dove all day long, and is ready to receive her. She has just strength to reach the edge of the ark, she can hardly alight upon it, and is ready to drop, when Noah puts forth his hand and pulls her in unto him. Mark that: “pulled her in unto him.” She did not fly right in herself, but was too fearful, or too weary to do so. She flew as far as she could, and then he put forth his hand and pulled her in unto him.

This act of mercy was shown to the wandering dove, and she was not chidden for her wanderings. Just as she was she was pulled into the ark. So you, seeking sinner, with all your sin, will be received. “Only return”—those are God’s two gracious words—”only return.” What! nothing else? No, “only return.” She had no olive branch in her mouth this time, nothing at all but just herself and her wanderings; but it is “only return,” and she does return, and Noah pulls her in. Fly, thou wanderer; fly thou fainting one, dove as thou art, though thou thinkest thyself to be black as the raven with the mire of sin, back, back to the Saviour. Every moment thou waitest does but increase thy misery; thine attempts to plume thyself and make thyself fit for Jesus are all vanity.

Come thou to Him just as thou art.

“Return, thou backsliding Israel.” He does not say, “Return, thou repenting Israel” (there is such an invitation doubtless), but “thou backsliding one,” as a backslider with all thy backslidings about thee, Return, return, return! Jesus is waiting for thee! He will stretch forth His hand and “pull thee in”—in to Himself, thy heart’s true home.

The story of the lepers

“Why sit we here until we die?” 2 Kings 7:3

Dear reader, this little book was mainly intended for the edification of believers, but if you are yet unsaved, our heart yearns over you: and we would fain say a word which may be blessed to you.

Open your Bible, and read the story of the lepers, and mark their position, which was much the same as yours. If you remain where you are you must perish; if you go to Jesus you can but die. “Nothing venture, nothing win,” is the old proverb, and in your case the venture is no great one.

If you sit still in sullen despair, no one can pity you when your ruin comes; but if you die with mercy sought, if such a thing were possible, you would be the object of universal sympathy. None escape who refuse to look to Jesus; but you know that, at any rate, some are saved who believe in Him, for certain of your own acquaintances have received mercy: then why not you?

The Ninevites said, “Who can tell?” Act upon the same hope, and try the Lord’s mercy. To perish is so awful, that if there were but a straw to catch at, the instinct of self-preservation should lead you to stretch out your hand. We have thus been talking to you on your own unbelieving ground, we would now assure you, as from the Lord, that if you seek Him He will be found of you. Jesus casts out none who come unto Him. You shall not perish if you trust Him; on the contrary, you shall find treasure far richer than the poor lepers gathered in Syria’s deserted camp.

May the Holy Spirit embolden you to go at once, and you shall not believe in vain. When you are saved yourself, publish the good news to others. Hold not your peace; tell the King’s household first, and unite with them in fellowship; let the porter of the city, the minister, be informed of your discovery, and then proclaim the good news in every place. The Lord save thee ere the sun goes down this day.