Pressing On

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings. —Philippians 3:10

At a Christian men’s conference, I talked with a longtime friend who has encouraged and mentored me for many years. With him were two young men from China, new in their faith and deeply grateful for this man’s faithful friendship and spiritual help. My friend Clyde, nearing 80 years of age, glowed with enthusiasm as he said, “I’ve never been more excited about knowing and loving Christ than I am today.”

Paul’s letter to the Philippians reveals a heart and purpose that never diminished with time:“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:10). From the root of Paul’s relationship with Jesus came the fruit of his undiminished fervor that others be guided to faith in Him. He rejoiced to share the gospel and was encouraged that others became bolder because of him (1:12-14).

If our goal is merely service for the Lord, we may burn out somewhere along the line. But if our purpose, like Paul’s and Clyde’s and many others, is to know Christ and love Him, we’ll find that He will give us the strength to make Him known to others. Let us joyfully press on in the strength God gives! by David C. McCasland

Father God, I want to know You in all Your fullness and
to love You completely. I believe that relationship
with You is the basis for my service for You.
Help me not to serve out of my own strength.

Learn from Christ then make Him known.

POWER Can Be Painful

The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. 1 CORINTHIANS 3:19

[Power] comes in many forms.

It’s the husband who refuses to be kind to his wife.…

It’s the employee who places personal ambition over personal integrity.

It’s the wife who withholds sex both to punish and persuade.

It might be the taking of someone’s life, or it might be the taking of someone’s turn.…

But they are all spelled the same: P-O-W-E-R.… And all have the same goal: “I will get what I want at your expense.”

And all have the same end: futility.… Absolute power is unreachable.…When you stand at the top—if there is a top—the only way to go is down. And the descent is often painful.…

A thousand years from now, will it matter what title the world gave you? No, but it will make a literal hell of a difference whose child you are.

The Applause of Heaven

Thine, O Lord

“Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)

This is one of the great doxologies of Scripture, originally a part of King David’s prayer at the time of Solomon’s coronation as his successor. Although David and Solomon were the greatest kings of Israel, and two of the greatest kings in the world of their age, David rightly acknowledged that the Lord Himself was the true King, not only of Israel, but of all heaven and Earth. He is head, the supreme ruler, over all.

This is the first occurrence in Scripture of the great testimony of worship: “Thine is the kingdom.” In the modern world, however, there are relatively few who acknowledge Him as King of creation. Except for a small minority, most people believe that the universe has evolved and man is king.

But David’s prayer will be echoed again in the great prayer of the cherubim: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). Then, soon afterward, “the four and twenty elders” utter their prayer: “We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty . . . because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned” (Revelation 11:16-17).

Someday, every knee will bow and every tongue shall confess Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. “Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. . . . Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. . . . Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:6, 10, 12). In that day, “there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him” (Revelation 22:3). HMM

The Lord caused the sea to go back…

“The Lord caused the sea to go back… all that night.” (Exod. 14:21.)

IN this verse there is a comforting message showing how God works in the dark. The real work of God for the children of Israel, was not when they awakened and found that they could get over the Red Sea; but it was “all that night.”

So there may be a great working in your life when it all seems dark and you cannot see or trace, but yet God is working. Just as truly did He work “all that night,” as all the next day. The next day simply manifested what God had done during the night. Is there anyone reading these lines who may have gotten to a place where it seems dark? You believe to see, but you are not seeing. In your life-progress there is not constant victory; the daily, undisturbed communion is not there, and all seems dark.

“The Lord caused the sea to go back… all that night.” Do not forget that it was “all that night.” God works all the night, until the light comes. You may not see it, but all that “night” in your life, as you believe God, He works. —C. H. P.

“All that night” the Lord was working,
Working in the tempest blast,
Working with the swelling current,
Flooding, flowing, free and fast.

“All that night” God’s children waited—
Hearts, perhaps in agony—
With the enemy behind them,
And, in front, the cruel sea.

“All that night” seemed blacker darkness
Than they ever saw before,
Though the light of God’s own presence
Near them was, and sheltered o’er.

“All that night” that weary vigil
Passed; the day at last did break,
And they saw that God was working
“All that night” a path to make.

“All that night,” O child of sorrow,
Canst thou not thy heartbreak stay?
Know thy God in darkest midnight
Works, as well as in the day.
—L. S. P.

Received up into glory

“Received up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16

We have seen our well-beloved Lord in the days of His flesh, humiliated and sore vexed; for He was “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” He whose brightness is as the morning, wore the sackcloth of sorrow as His daily dress: shame was His mantle, and reproach was His vesture. Yet now, inasmuch as He has triumphed over all the powers of darkness upon the bloody tree, our faith beholds our King returning with dyed garments from Edom, robed in the splendour of victory.

How glorious must He have been in the eyes of seraphs, when a cloud received Him out of mortal sight, and He ascended up to heaven! Now He wears the glory which He had with God or ever the earth was, and yet another glory above all—that which He has well earned in the fight against sin, death, and hell. As victor He wears the illustrious crown. Hark how the song swells high! It is a new and sweeter song: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, for He hath redeemed us unto God by His blood!” He wears the glory of an Intercessor who can never fail, of a Prince who can never be defeated, of a Conqueror who has vanquished every foe, of a Lord who has the heart’s allegiance of every subject.

Jesus wears all the glory which the pomp of heaven can bestow upon Him, which ten thousand times ten thousand angels can minister to Him. You cannot with your utmost stretch of imagination conceive His exceeding greatness; yet there will be a further revelation of it when He shall descend from heaven in great power, with all the holy angels—”Then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.” Oh, the splendour of that glory! It will ravish His people’s hearts. Nor is this the close, for eternity shall sound His praise, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever!” Reader, if you would joy in Christ’s glory hereafter, He must be glorious in your sight now. Is He so?

The kindness and love of God our Saviour

“The kindness and love of God our Saviour.” Titus 3:4

How sweet it is to behold the Saviour communing with His own beloved people! There can be nothing more delightful than, by the Divine Spirit, to be led into this fertile field of delight. Let the mind for an instant consider the history of the Redeemer’s love, and a thousand enchanting acts of affection will suggest themselves, all of which have had for their design the weaving of the heart into Christ, and the intertwisting of the thoughts and emotions of the renewed soul with the mind of Jesus.

When we meditate upon this amazing love, and behold the all-glorious Kinsman of the Church endowing her with all His ancient wealth, our souls may well faint for joy. Who is he that can endure such a weight of love? That partial sense of it which the Holy Spirit is sometimes pleased to afford, is more than the soul can contain; how transporting must be a complete view of it! When the soul shall have understanding to discern all the Saviour’s gifts, wisdom wherewith to estimate them, and time in which to meditate upon them, such as the world to come will afford us, we shall then commune with Jesus in a nearer manner than at present.

But who can imagine the sweetness of such fellowship? It must be one of the things which have not entered into the heart of man, but which God hath prepared for them that love Him. Oh, to burst open the door of our Joseph’s granaries, and see the plenty which He hath stored up for us! This will overwhelm us with love. By faith we see, as in a glass darkly, the reflected image of His unbounded treasures, but when we shall actually see the heavenly things themselves, with our own eyes, how deep will be the stream of fellowship in which our soul shall bathe itself! Till then our loudest sonnets shall be reserved for our loving benefactor, Jesus Christ our Lord, whose love to us is wonderful, passing the love of women.