Saturday, August 19, 2006

Watch and Pray!

"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
—Luke 21:34-36

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Who is my Neighbor?

“25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

—Luke 10:25-37

I'd like to point out what kind of a man that Jesus described here... He was not very nice to look at, he wasn't clean, and he had blood and dirt oozing out all over him... It's no wonder that the priest and Levite in all their finery wanted to have no part in helping this poor Jew. They knew that there would be no monetary return from a man that had just been robbed, and he certainly wasn't famous enough to get them any reward for their efforts... “Aww,” they thought, “Let someone else get all bloody for that unfortunate fellow!” so on they went. But before we judge them, how often would we stop on the side of the road for a tramp, or some dirty, smelly person, and offer them a ride in our nice, clean car? “We're busy,” we say, as we cruise on by, “He can find help somewhere.” Are we obeying the Bible???
Another thing that hits really close to home is the place in verse 29 where the lawyer tried to justify himself, and where Jesus gently, yet firmly corrected him. He did not rub it in, or make fun of him, but let him know, without a shadow of a doubt that his neighbor was EVERYONE, and especially the down-and-outer that cannot take care of himself.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
—Matthew 25:40

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Time For God...

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.' Luke 10:38-42

...But one thing is needful... How many times do I, in the midst of all the cares and toils of life, miss out on the blessing of sitting at Jesus' feet? I wake up in the morning, and figure that by the time I complete my devotions, the day will have advanced too far. In the evenings, I glance at the clock, and realize that if I don't just head straight to bed, I won't be able to get up in time to try and have some quiet time with the Lord the next morning. And so the trend continues.

What is life? Do I remember that it is but a vapour?

"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun....I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit." Ecclesiastes 1:1-14

Dear Christian! Life is short, real, and earnest! Never lose your heavenly perspective; remember the words of our Master: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

"No time to pray!"
Oh, who so fraught with earthy care
As not to give a humble prayer
Some part of the day?

"No time to pray!"
'Mid each day's dangers, what retreat
More needful than the Mercy Seat?
Who need not pray?

"No time to pray!"
Must care or business, urgent call
So press us as to take it all
Each passing day?

What thought more drear
Then that our God His face should hide,
And say, through all life's swelling tide,
"No time to hear!"
-Author Unknown


"Blessed Bible! How I love it!
How it doth my bosom cheer!
What hath earth like this to covet?
O, What stores of wealth are here!
Man was lost to doom and sorrow;
Not one ray of light or bliss
Could he from earth's treasure borrow,
'Til his way was cheered by this!

Yes, I'll to my bosom press thee,
PRECIOUS WORD, I'll hide thee here;
Sure my very heart will bless thee,
For thou ever sayest 'good cheer':
Speak, my heart, and tell thy ponderings,
Tell how far thy rovings led,
When this book brought back thy wanderings,
Speaking life as from the dead."
-Mrs. Phoebe Palmer