I consider that the sufferings of this
present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory which shall be revealed"
- Rom. 8:18
It seems there are two kinds of people in this world: those
who have an eternal perspective and those who are preoccupied
with the present.
One is absorbed with the permanent; the other with the
passing. One stores up treasure in heaven; the other accumulates
it here on earth. One stays with a challenging marriage because
this isn't all there is; another looks for happiness in another
mate, believing this life is all there is. One is willing to
suffer poverty, hunger, indignity, and shame because of "the
glory which shall be revealed in us. Another believes that
happiness is being rich and famous. It's all a matter of
Abraham had an "other world" perspective. That's what
enabled him to give up a piece of well-watered land by the Jordan
(Gen.13). He knew that God had something better for him later on.
The Lord told him to look in every direction as far as he could
see and then said that his family would someday have it all. What
a land grant! And God promised that his descendants would be as
numerous "as the dust" (v.16).
That's an outlook many people can't understand. They go for
all the gusto right now. But God's people have another point of
view. They know that God has something better later on! - David
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I'd rather be His than
have riches untold; I'd rather have Jesus than anything This
world affords today. Miller
LIVE FOR JESUS, AND YOU'LL LIVE FOR ETERNITY
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you,
and say all kinds of evil against you falsely fot My sake ...
Great is your reward in heaven.
- Matthew 5:11-12
When I was growing up, I often spent a week each summer with
my grandparents. Many afternoons I would lie in the backyard
hammock and read books I found in Grandpa's bookcase. One was
Foxe's Book of Martyrs. It was heavy reading for a young girl,
but I was absorbed by the detailed accounts of Christian martyrs,
who were told to deny their faith in Christ but refused - thus
suffering horrific deaths.
Hebrews 11 tells similar stories. After listing the familiar
names of those who demonstrated immense faith in God, the chapter
tells of the torture and death of people referred to
simply as "others" (vv.35-36). While their names are not
mentioned, verse 38 pays them this tribute: "The world was not
worthy" of them. They died boldly for their faith in Jesus.
Today, we hear of persecuted Christians around the world,
yet many of us have not been tested to that extent. When I
examine my own faith, I wonder how I would respond to the
prospect of martyrdom. I hope I would have the attitude of Paul,
who said that although "chains and tribulations" awaited him
(Acts 20:23), he looked forward to finishing life's race "with
joy" (v.24). Are we facing life with that kind of trusting
attitude? -- Cindy Hess Kasper
When pressures mount because we walk, The path of truth and
right, We can rejoice to know that we, Are pleasing in God's
sight. - D. De Haan
THE WAY TO HAVE JOY IN PERSECUTION IS TO FIND YOUR JOY IN JESUS.
Read: Matthew 6:24-34
No one can serve two masters.
- Mattheew 6:24
A gripping photograph of an old woman sitting in a pile of
garbage made me ponder. She was smiling as she ate a packet of
food she had foraged from the garbage dump. It took so little for
the woman to be satisfied.
There is much talk about a strugling economy and the cost of
living going higher. And many are getting two increasingly
anxious about their livelihood. Is it possible to heed our Lord
Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6:25, "Do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body,
what you will put on"?
Our Lord was not saying that we don't need to work, that we
don't need to eat, or that we shouldn't bother about how we
dress. He was warning against those things becoming so important
that we become slaves of money instead of trusting Him. "No one
can serve two masters," He said (v.24).
Seeking first "the kingdom of God and His righteousness"
(v.33) is recognizing that no matter how much effort we expend to
make a better life for ourselves and our families, ultimately it
is the Lord who takes care of our needs. And since God is our
heavenly Father, we will have enough. - C. P. Hia
Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand, Never foe can follow,
never traitor stand; Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there. -- Havergal
MONEY SERVES US WELL IF WE RECEIVE IT AS GOD'S PROVISION.
THE TEACHER AS A MIDWIFE
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again
until Christ is formed in you.
- Galatians 4:19
The mother of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was a
midwife. So Socrates grew up observing that she assisted women in
bringing new life into the world. This experience later
influenced his teaching method. Socrates said, "My art of
midwifery is in general like theirs; the only difference is that
my patients are men, not women, and my concern is not with the
body but with the soul for that is in travail of birth."
Instead of just passing information on to his students,
Socrates used the sometimes painful process of asking probing
questions to help them arrive at their own conclusions. Teaching
them to think seemed at times like the travail of childbirth.
Paul expressed a similar idea in discipling believers in the
faith when he said, "My little children, for whom I labor in
birth again until Christ is formed in you" (Gal.4:19). Paul was
concerned that each believer grow to spiritual maturity in
Becoming like Christ is a lifelong experience; therefore, we
need patience with others and ourselves. All of us will have
challenges and disappointments along the way. But if we put our
trust in Him, we'll grow spiritually and have character qualities
that will radiate new life. - Dennis Fisher
Lord, help us see how much we need each other, As we walk along
the Christian way; In fellowship with sister and with brother,
You will keep its growing day by day. - Hess
CONVERSION IS A MIRACLE OF A MOMENT; MATURING TAKES A LIFETIME.
LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS
1 Corinthians 13
[Love] believes all things, hopes all things.
- 1 Corinthians 13:7
It was 40 years ago or more that I observed a friend of mine
showing great affection for someone I consid unworthy of love. I
thought my friend was being taken in, and I was afraid he would
be disillusioned and saddened in the end.
When I expressed my concern, he replied, "When I stand
before my Lord, I hope He'll say of me that I've loved too many.
rather than too few." I've never forgotten his words.
Paul insists that "[love] believes all things" (1 Cor.
13:7). Love "believes" in people. It can see the potential in
them. It believes that God can take the most unattractive and
unworthy individual and turn that person into a masterpiece of
beauty and grace. If love errs, it must err in the way of
trustfulness and hopefulness. Certainly, we must be aware of
danger when we see it coming, and become "as wise as serpents"
(Matt.10:16). Tough love may be the best response to
irresponsible and foolish people, but we can be too guarded. too
wary and distrustful. It doesn't do us any real harm to be
hoodwinked and defrauded (Matt.5:38-48). It's better to believe
in someone and have your heart broken than to have no heart at
all. British poet Alfred Tennyson wrote, "'Tis better to have
loved and lost than never to have loved at all.'" I agree. -
Lord, help us to believe in people, And all that in them, You can
do, So we can say we've loved too many, Rather than too few. -
LOVE LOOKS BEYOND WHAT PEOPLE ARE TO WHAT THEY CAN BECOME.
STRUGGLING TO KNEEL
Always laboring fervently for you in prayers,
that you may stand perfect and complete in
all the will of God.
Just before John Ashcroft was being sworn in as a US
senator, he met with family and friends for prayer. As they
gathered around him, he saw his dad trying to get up from the
couch where he sat. Since his father was in frail health,
Ashcroft told him, "That's okay, Dad. You don't have to stand up
to pray for me." His father replied, "I'm not struggling to stand
up. I'm struggling to kneel."
His father's effort reminds me of the exertion it sometimes
takes to intercede for a fellow believer. In Colossians, Paul
refers to Epaphras as a bondservant who is "always laboring
fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and
complete in all the will of God" (Col.4:12). "Laboring fervently"
is the translation of a Greek word from which we get our word
"agony." It was used of wrestlers who in the Greek gymnastic
games strained to overcome an opponent.
Epaphras interceded for other believers to become mature in
their walk with the Savior. Asking God to overcome obstacles to
spiritual growth in the lives of others requires our
concentration and discipline. Are we willing to labor "fervently"
in prayer to ask God to meet the needs of our loved ones? -
There's a holy, high vocation, Needing workers everywhere;
'Tis the highest form of service, 'Tis the ministry of prayer. -
INTERCESSORY PRAYER IS LIFE'S REAL WORK.
THE MEASURE OF LOVE
Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down
one's life for his friends.
- John 15:13
On October 2, 1954, First Lieutenant James O. Conway was
taking off from Boston Logan Airport, flying a plane that carried
a load of munitions. When his plane became airborne, he suddenly
lost power over Boston's bay. In an instant, Conway faced a
brutal choice - eject from the plane and save his own life, or
crash the plane into the bay causing his own death.
If he ejected, however, the plane would crash into an East
Boston neighborhood filled with homes and families. Amazingly,
Conway chose to crash the plane into the bay giving his life for
the lives of others.
In John 15:13, Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than
this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." The
willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect others
shows a heart that cares more about the needs of others than the
needs of self. Someone once said that "the measure of love is
what one is willing to give up for it." God the Father loved so
much that He gave up His Son. Christ loved so much that He gave
up His life--even taking our sins on Himself and dying in our
The measure of God's love for you is great. Have you
accepted His love personally? - Bill Crowder
When Jesus gave His life for me, Enduring all the agony, Upon the
cross of Calvary, He showed the love of God. - Sper
NOTHING SPEAKS MORE CLEARLY OF GOD'S LOVE THAN THE CROSS OF
To be continued