With Him Forever!

For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. —James 4:14

In 1859, during the turbulent years prior to America’s Civil War, Abraham Lincoln had the opportunity to speak to the Agricultural Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As he spoke, he shared with them the story of an ancient monarch’s search for a sentence that was “true and appropriate in all times and situations.” His wise men, faced with this heady challenge, gave him the sentence, “And this, too, shall pass away.”

This is certainly true of our present world—it is constantly in the process of deterioration. And it’s not happening just to the world; we also face the reality in our own lives that our days are numbered. James wrote, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

Although our current life is temporary and will pass away, the God we worship and serve is eternal. He has shared that eternity with us through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. He promises us a life that will never pass away: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

When Christ returns, He will take us home to be with Him forever! By Bill Crowder

Awake, my soul and sing
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity. —Bridges/Thring

For hope today, remember the end of the story— eternity with God.

God’s Principle of Reaping and Sowing

Proverbs 12:14

Galatians 6:7-10 states, “Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life . . . [So] let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

This passage contains an important scriptural truth: Our positive actions will ultimately benefit us, whereas our negative deeds will eventually bring harmful repercussions. This principle goes hand in hand with the Golden Rule, which says we are to treat others the way we want to be treated. The Lord calls us to be kind and respectful toward other people, even when they aren’t easy to love. Admittedly, this can be difficult when an individual wrongs us continually. But if we give in to our flesh and retaliate, we are sowing seeds of corruption, and in due time, we will reap accordingly.

On the other hand, treating someone well—even after he has been unkind— will profit us. According to Scripture, we are “sow[ing] to the Spirit” and will reap rewards. Some benefits may be supernatural and unknown to us at the time. Yet we know that obedience in this situation will facilitate forgiveness, build character, and develop endurance. No matter what the other person does, we always win when we walk in obedience with the Lord.

Think of relationship challenges as a chance for others to witness God’s love in action. With His help, you can sow seeds of love, joy, and peace that will yield a rich harvest for your own life as well as for the other person.

Speaking Evil of Dignities

“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” (2 Peter 2:10)

In context here, Peter is speaking of the false teachers who would later come into the Christian community, leading many to “follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:2). Among other characteristics, these teachers would “despise government” and “speak evil of dignities.”

Again in context, it seems clear that the “government” Peter has in mind primarily is the divine government that had been established by God for the universe (the “principalities and powers in heavenly places”—Ephesians 3:10) and the “dignities” refer to the angels—even those that have rebelled and now follow Satan. Jude notes in a similar passage that even the archangel Michael spoke respectfully to Satan, the premier fallen angel (Jude 8-9).

Therefore, it is carnally arrogant and dangerous for men to insult or to ridicule such powerful beings. They are for God to judge and deal with, in His own time and way.

And the same must be true of human “dignities” and “government.” We must remember that “the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1) and that “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will,” and sometimes He even “setteth up over it the basest of men” (Daniel 4:17).

Even if we live in a republic, therefore, and can participate in the selection of our leaders, our main responsibility is to “be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men” (Titus 3:1-2). HMM

We are not compelled to follow any orders that violate God’s Law.

Ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another

Ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.—1 Thessalonians 4:9.

If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.—1 John 4:12.

THIS is the great business and meaning of our life on earth: that we should more and more yield up our hearts to God’s great grace of love; that we should let it enter ever more fully and more freely into us, so that it may even fill our whole heart and life. We must day after day be driving back, in His strength, the sin that doth so easily beset us, and the selfishness that sin has fastened in our
hearts; and then His love will day by day increase in us. Prayer will win and keep it; work will strengthen and exercise it; the Bible will teach us how to know and prize it, how to praise God for it; the Holy Eucharist will ever renew and quicken its power in our hearts. And so (blessed be God!), love and joy and peace will grow in us, beyond all that we can ask or think; and He will forgive us, for love’s sake, all the failures, all the faults in whatever work He has given us to do; and will bring us at last into the fullness of that life which even here He has suffered us to know; into that one Eternal Home, where Love is perfect, and unwearied, and unending; and where nothing ever can part us from one another or from Him. FRANCIS PAGET.

The fountain of living waters

The fountain of living waters. Jeremiah 2:13

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life.

Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty. — Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. — This spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters. — The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Psalm 36:7-9. Isaiah 65:13. John 4:14. John 7:39. Isaiah 55:1. Revelation 22:17.

As the body is one, and hath many members, … so also is Christ

As the body is one, and hath many members, … so also is Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12

He is the head of the body, the church. — The head over things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. — We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

A body hast thou prepared me. — Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Thine they were, and thou gavest them me. — He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world. —Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.

Grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth … maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Colossians 1:18. Ephesians 1:22,23. Ephesians 5:30. Hebrews 10:5. Psalm 139:16. John 17:6. Ephesians 1:4. Romans 8:29. Ephesians 4:15,16.