DO NOT FALL ASLEEP

Morning

“Let us not sleep, as do others.”
1 Thessalonians 5:6

There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, “To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.” Christian enquired, “Brother, where shall we begin?” And Hopeful answered, “Where God began with us.” Then Christian sang this song–

“When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,

And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;

Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,

Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb’ring eyes.

Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,

Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.”

Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take “sweet counsel” with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto him; let your heart be full of him; let your lips speak of his worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open–the songs of angels waiting for thee to join them–a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.

Evening

“Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.”
Psalm 35:3

What does this sweet prayer teach me? It shall be my evening’s petition; but first let it yield me an instructive meditation. The text informs me first of all that David had his doubts; for why should he pray, “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation,” if he were not sometimes exercised with doubts and fears? Let me, then, be of good cheer, for I am not the only saint who has to complain of weakness of faith. If David doubted, I need not conclude that I am no Christian because I have doubts. The text reminds me that David was not content while he had doubts and fears, but he repaired at once to the mercy-seat to pray for assurance; for he valued it as much fine gold. I too must labour after an abiding sense of my acceptance in the Beloved, and must have no joy when his love is not shed abroad in my soul. When my Bridegroom is gone from me, my soul must and will fast. I learn also that David knew where to obtain full assurance. He went to his God in prayer, crying, “Say unto my soul I am thy salvation.” I must be much alone with God if I would have a clear sense of Jesus’ love. Let my prayers cease, and my eye of faith will grow dim. Much in prayer, much in heaven; slow in prayer, slow in progress. I notice that David would not be satisfied unless his assurance had a divine source. “Say unto my soul.” Lord, do thou say it! Nothing short of a divine testimony in the soul will ever content the true Christian. Moreover, David could not rest unless his assurance had a vivid personality about it. “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” Lord, if thou shouldst say this to all the saints, it were nothing, unless thou shouldst say it to me. Lord, I have sinned; I deserve not thy smile; I scarcely dare to ask it; but oh! say to my soul, even to my soul, “I am thy salvation.” Let me have a present, personal, infallible, indisputable sense that I am thine, and that thou art mine.

All rights belong to Charles Spurgeon collection(C)

ARE OUR HEARTS IN RIGHTEOUS STANDING WITH GOD?

God protects His people

How have our spiritual ancestors suffered?

Another beast…ordered the people of the world to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. He was permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.

Revelation 13:11, 14-15 NLT

The Great Persecution

 

When Diocletian became emperor of the Roman Empire in 284, Christians were encouraged because of rumors that his wife and daughter were believers. And, in fact, during the first nineteen years of his reign, Christians lived in relative peace and prosperity.

Gradually, life became more difficult for Christians. Deciding that religious unity would strengthen his empire, Diocletian published three edicts to guarantee the supremacy of the Roman state religion.

On February 23, 303, the day of the Roman feat Terminalia, an edict was posted that ordered all copies of Scripture to be burned, all churches destroyed, their property confiscated, and Christian worship forbidden. The Great Persecution had begun.

In early 304 another edict insisted that everyone in the Roman Empire sacrifice to the Roman gods. Every Christian was in jeopardy. Finally, the years of the Great Persecution ended with an edict of toleration by Constantine in 313. It granted religion liberty to Christians and pagans alike.

“…we decree still further in regard to the Christians, that their places, in which they were formerly accustomed to assemble…shall be restored to the said Christians, without demanding money or any other equivalent, with no delay or hesitation… For by this means… the divine favor toward us which we have already experienced in many matters will continue sure through all time.”

adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), pp 108-9

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

FORESIGHT OF GOD

 

 

God protects His people

 

Have you ever been rescued because God gave you foresight?

 

The wise look ahead to see what is coming, but fools deceive themselves.

Proverbs 14:8 NLT

 

Victorious foresight

 

Wouldn’t it be great to see into the future? To have the ability to bypass future mistakes? In a way, Christians have this ability. God has given us a precious gift — the gift of sight.

This “sight” is not like the false sight of fortune-tellers or magicians. It is the spiritual ability to see who is in the future, instead of merely what is in the future. So, we no longer blindly grope around in this life as those who are lost. Christ is our future and our hope.

Just as a successful marathon runner knows the location of the finish line before setting goals for the race, we identify Christ as our finish line. This great knowledge allows us to set daily goals for wise living. In the end each day of our lives may be lived victoriously if we remember our final outcome. The Christian’s race is already won through Christ’s victory on the cross. And when we cross the finish line of life, we will be in Christ’s presence.

WISE WAYS  The next time you feel fear or persecution regarding your faith, remember that Christ has already won the victory!

Lord, help me to look ahead to you so that I may live victoriously.

adapted from The One Year® Book of Proverbs by Neil S. Wilson, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), entry for March 4


One of life’s most painful moments comes when we must admit that we didn’t do our homework, that we are not prepared.
MERLIN OLSON

Make preparations in advance. You never have trouble if you are prepared for it.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House