VIDEO Famous Last Words

I have fought the good fight.  2 Timothy 4:7

Due to modern medicine and hospice care, fewer people die now with “famous last words” on their lips. But in days past, friends would sit with pen and paper to record the final statements of dying Christians. Evangelist D. L. Moody said, “This is my coronation day! It is glorious!” John Nelson Darby, a British evangelist, said, “Beyond the grave comes heaven. Well, it will be strange to find myself in Heaven, but it won’t be a strange Christ. One I’ve known these many years. I am glad He knows me. I have a deep peace, which you know.”

Contrast those with the last words of French writer Francois Rabelais: “Bring down the curtain—the farce is played out.”

The reality is Jesus Christ gives us a merry heart in life and a contented heart in death. His grace is sufficient for every hour, and for the believer death is but the moment we pass from the land of the dying to the land of the living. Henceforth there is laid up for us the crown of righteousness.

Jesus, Himself, has swallowed up death with victory.

A life spent in the service of God and in communion with Him is the most comfortable and pleasant life that anyone can live in this present world.  Last words of commentator Matthew Henry


Preach the Word, For the Time of My Departure Has Come – John Piper

Who We Are

This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name. Acts 9:15

I’ll never forget the time I took my future wife to meet my family. With a twinkle in their eyes, my two elder siblings asked her, “What exactly do you see in this guy?” She smiled and assured them that by God’s grace I had grown to be the man she loved.

I loved that clever reply because it also reflects how, in Christ, the Lord sees more than our past. In Acts 9, He directed Ananias to heal Saul, a known persecutor of the church whom God had blinded. Ananias was incredulous at receiving this mission, stating that Saul had been rounding up believers in Jesus for persecution and even execution. God told Ananias not to focus on who Saul had been but on who he had become: an evangelist who would bring the good news to all the known world, including to the gentiles (those who weren’t Jews) and to kings (v. 15). Ananias saw Saul the Pharisee and persecutor, but God saw Paul the apostle and evangelist.

We can sometimes view ourselves only as we have been—with all of our failures and shortcomings. But God sees us as new creations, not who we were but who we are in Jesus and who we’re becoming through the power of the Holy Spirit. O God, teach us to view ourselves and others in this way!

By:  Peter Chin

Reflect & Pray

How can you begin to better view yourself and others in light of who you are in Christ today? How does it encourage you to know God isn’t through growing and refining you?

Heavenly Father, help me to find my full identity in You. Allow me to humbly see others through Your eyes of grace!

God’s Loving Outreach

John 4:1-42

The story of the Lord’s encounter with a Samaritan woman is a wonderful example of His loving response to those who hurt. Jesus is always reaching out in love, even when we do not recognize His extended hand.

Although this meeting may have appeared accidental, it was really a providential appointment with the Messiah. As the woman reached the well, Jesus initiated conversation by asking for a drink of water. His direct approach surprised her and opened the door for a dialogue that would change her life forever.

Throughout the exchange, Jesus’ goal was to help the woman recognize her greatest need so He could supply the only gift that would meet it: salvation and the forgiveness of her sins. She had spent her life trying to find love and acceptance in all the wrong places. The Lord offered her the living water of the Holy Spirit—the one thing that would quench her spiritual and emotional thirst.

Like the Samaritan woman, we can at times be so intent on getting our immediate needs met that we fail to see God’s hand reaching out to us in love, offering what will truly satisfy. Only Christ can eternally fill our empty souls and provide for our essential emotional needs now.

This world is filled with “wells” that promise to provide love, acceptance, and self-worth but never fully satisfy. When your soul is empty and the well runs dry, look for Jesus. He has a divine appointment scheduled with you, and He will quench your thirst with His Spirit—if you let Him.

Outside the Camp

“And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.” (Exodus 19:17)

This is the first of more than 30 references to events that took place outside the camp of the Israelites in the wilderness under Moses. In this first mention, it was “without the camp” that God first met with His people and gave them the Ten Commandments. The first temporary tabernacle was also “pitched . . . without the camp” (Exodus 33:7).

However, when the regular tabernacle was established, it was placed in the midst of the camp, and the camp was considered holy before the Lord. “For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp . . . therefore shall thy camp be holy” (Deuteronomy 23:14).

Accordingly, anything unclean was commanded to be banned from the camp (vv. 10-13), including even “the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp” (Hebrews 13:11).

Sad to say, however, the camp and the sanctuary did not remain holy, and God, in judgment, finally had to remove it from its place. Before its final removal, however, He whose blood had been foreshadowed by all the sacrifices did come personally to His people “to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). This sacrifice, however, could no longer be offered in the defiled sanctuary. “Wherefore Jesus also . . . suffered without the gate” (Hebrews 13:12).

Now again, as in the beginning, God must meet with His loved ones personally, outside the camp. The organized “camps” of religion generally treat His disciples as misfits, and so, like outcasts, they must seek Him outside the camp. “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach” (v. 13). HMM

Cure for Difficulties

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature: because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

—1 Samuel 16:7

Indeed it may be truthfully said that everything of lasting value in the Christian life is unseen and eternal. Things seen are of little real significance in the light of God’s presence. He pays small attention to the beauty of a woman or the strength of a man. With Him the heart is all that matters. The rest of the life comes into notice only because it represents the dwelling place of the inner eternal being.

The solution to life’s problems is spiritual because the essence of life is spiritual. It is astonishing how many difficulties clear up without any effort when the inner life gets straightened out….

Church difficulties are spiritual also and admit of a spiritual answer. Whatever may be wrong in the life of any church may be cleared up by recognizing the quality of the trouble and dealing with it at the root. Prayer, humility and a generous application of the Spirit of Christ will cure just about any disease in the body of believers. Yet this is usually the last thing we think about when difficulties arise. We often attempt to cure spiritual ills with carnal medicines, and the results are more than disappointing.   NCA082-083

Help our church to focus on “prayer, humility and a generous application of the Spirit of Christ.” Amen.

 

He that does the will of God abideth forever

He that doeth the will of God abideth forever.—1 John 2:17.

I am Thine, save me.—Psalm 119:94.

 

Take, O Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given it to me; to Thee, O Lord, I restore it; all is Thine, dispose of it according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and Thy grace, for this is enough for me.

St. Ignatius Loyola.

 

Are we willing to give ourselves entirely to God; to let Him do with us whatever He pleases; to follow anywhere at His bidding; to renounce anything at His call; asking only, in return, that He will give us Himself, with all His infinite love, to be ours from this time forever? If we are thus willing, let us kneel down this moment and tell Him so. Alone with God, let us give Him ourselves, all we have and are and shall be, to be unreservedly His.

William R. Huntington.

 

There is no stay so strong as an unreserved abandonment of self into God’s hand.

H. L. Sidney Lear.

 

An Appeal for Deliverance

“And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Ps. 50:15

This is a promise indeed!

Here is an urgent occasion — “the day of trouble.” It is dark at noon on such a day, and every hour seems blacker than the one which came before it. Then is this promise in season: it is written for the cloudy day.

Here is condescending advice, “call upon me.” We ought not to need the exhortation: it should be our constant habit all the day and every day. What a mercy to have liberty to call upon God! What wisdom to make good use of it! How foolish to go running about to men! The Lord invites us to lay our case before Him, and surely we will not hesitate to do so.

Here is reassuring encouragement: “I will deliver thee.” Whatever the trouble may be, the Lord makes no exceptions, but promises full, sure, happy deliverance. He will Himself work out our deliverance by His own hand. We believe it, and the Lord honors faith.

Here is an ultimate result: “Thou shalt glorify me. Ah! that we will do most abundantly. When He has delivered us we will loudly praise Him; and as He is sure to do it, let us begin to glorify Him at once.