Just Endure To The Endure

“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.


The Rewards of Christian Meditation

Psalm 51:1-14

Yesterday we looked at three blessings that are derived through spending time with the Lord and meditating upon His Word. Now, let’s look at two additional rewards.

First, meditation brings a genuine personal closeness with God. Think about a family member or one of your good friends. The warmth and depth you share with him or her did not simply appear out of nowhere. Rather, the relationship is the result of long-standing, close-knit interaction that has been built on a foundation of love and trust. And we must ask, How is it possible to get close to someone without spending precious time together? Likewise, we cannot grow close to the Lord unless we make it a point to spend time with Him.

Second, our meditation enables us to develop a pure heart. As we spend time in the Lord’s presence, He will bring to the surface those things in our heart that do not belong there. We see this clearly in the repentance of King David, as described in Psalm 51. This passage was written after David’s sorrowful realization of his sin with Bathsheba. Because of his close relationship with God, David could not hide from his own sin. In verse 3, he cries, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.”

David’s painful self-awareness led him into reconciliation with God. In the same way, when we allow our relationship with the Lord to permeate the darkest places of our heart, we, too, can find the strength to accept our Father’s amazing love and forgiveness.

Setting Up an Ebenezer

“Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12)

Many Christians have joined in the singing of a familiar verse in an old hymn without knowing its great meaning: “Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’ve come.” When the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, the old priest Eli and his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, all died the same day, as did Phinehas’ wife in childbirth. It was a tragic day for Israel.

But then the people returned to God, under Samuel, and 20 years later the Lord gave them a miraculous victory over the superior armies of the Philistines. In commemoration of this deliverance, Samuel set up a stone monument in the same place where the Philistines had captured the Ark 20 years before, calling the stone “Ebenezer,” a name which was always associated thereafter with the site (1 Samuel 4:1; 5:1).

Now “Ebenezer” means “Stone of Help,” and seeing it would always remind the people, whenever they might later come to fear the circumstances around them, that God had been their “help in ages past,” and thus could be trusted as their “hope for years to come.” Only God is truly able to help in times of great need, but He is able! “From whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).

It is well to remember those times in our own lives when God has helped us in some special way. We forget so easily, and the sin of ingratitude is cited by God as one of the first harbingers of imminent apostasy (note especially Romans 1:21). A physical token can help us remember, but whatever it takes—remember! God will hear and answer our prayers for future help, too, but “with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). HMM

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.—John 3:16.

LET your love be wide as His,
With the whole world round His knees;
Gather into your warm heart
All His creatures,—not a part;
So your love shall be like His.

GOD hath made all that is made, and God loveth all that He hath made; and he that loveth all his fellow-Christians, for God’s sake, he loveth all that is. JULIANA.

Your God is love; love Him and in Him all men, as His children in Christ. Your Lord is a fire; do not let your heart be cold, but burn with faith and love. Your Lord is light; do not walk in darkness. Your Lord is a God of mercy and bountifulness; be also a source of mercy and bountifulness to your neighbors. FATHER JOHN.

“Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thysel,” and then go on thy way. The way in which God shall lead thee may be over rocks and deserts, over mountains and oceans, amid things perilous to the sight and the touch but still go on thy way rejoicing. THOMAS C. UPHAM.

O my God, my soul is cast down within me

O my God, my soul is cast down within me. Psalm 42:6

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee. — He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

— Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. — Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? — Be not faithless, but believing. — Lo, I am with you alway.

Isaiah 26:3,4. Psalm 55:22. Psalm 22:24. James 5:13. John 14:27. Matthew 6:25,26. John 20:27. Matthew 28:20.

There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus

There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5

Forasmuch … as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. — In Christ Jesus, ye who sometime were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace. — By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. — He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 2:14. Isaiah 45:22. 1 John 2:1. Ephesians 2:13,14. Hebrews 9:12,15. Hebrews 7:25.