‘It is Well with my Soul’
‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law’.
‘Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift’
Paul reminds the Corinthian assembly of their need to come through on their promise to give to the collection for the Jerusalem saints – 2 Cor 8:10-11; 9:3-5). He uses the noun charis, ‘grace’ some ten times in chapters 8 & 9 of 2nd Corinthians. Six times it is translated as ‘grace’, twice as ‘gift’ and two other times as ‘thanks’. Paul teaches us that grace is all about giving. Clearly he is appealing to the Corinthians for the grace of practical giving so exemplified by the Macedonian churches who gave sacrificially and personally – 2 Cor 8:1-5. As well as the example of these saints Paul reminds them of the ‘grace of our Lord Jesus Christ’ which He displayed when He stooped from heaven and exchanged the riches of glory for the poverty of earth so that they, and all who believe in Him, could ‘become rich’ – 2 Cor 8:9. Moreover, there is also the grace of giving back to God in the form of thanksgiving – 2 Cor 9:11, 12 and Paul climaxes his words in that very mode as he expresses the grace of thanksgiving for the greatest grace of all, God’s indescribable gift - His only Son – ‘Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!’ – 2 Cor 9:15.
No wonder then that ‘God loves a cheerful giver – 2 Cor 9:7 for no one delights more in giving than He.
This is my Father’s World
In the midst of all the uncertainty and changes that mark life, the believer shares the assurance of ‘the sweet psalmist of Israel’, David, when he told the LORD; “My times are in Thy hand” – Psalm 31:15 and those who belong to the Father take great comfort from the words of the Lord Jesus who said to His disciples: “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” – Matt 10:29-31.
‘To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled’.
'Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!'
The Maker of the Universe
'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord'.
The clock of life is wound but once,
The Present Crisis
“Therefore be ye also ready”
The Lord, having answered the disciples’ questions concerning the “sign of [His] coming” and the “end of the age” – Matt 24:3, went on to state this: “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” – Matt 24:44. He spoke of three categories of ‘unready’ people and how they will be affected at His coming:
1. An Unconcerned World – no warnings heeded
2. An Unfaithful Servant - no expectancy shown
3. An Unwise Company – no preparation made
Whether we think of the glorious appearing of Christ when He returns to establish His kingdom or of His coming for His church the same thing is necessary – readiness.
'Thus says the LORD, The Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, To Him whom man despises, To Him whom the nation abhors, To the Servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise, Princes also shall worship, Because of the LORD who is faithful, The Holy One of Israel; And He has chosen You.”'
What Really Matters?
In the end what matters is being right with God, our Creator.
When the time comes for us to leave this world we leave it alone as a bare soul. Everything we have known and possessed including our bodies is left behind and the real me, the very essence of who and what I am, enters the next world. In that moment all speculation will cease, all uncertainty will be over. A moment on the other side of death I will face the reality of my fate or realise the joy of my hope. What I am then, I will always be. Where I am, I will remain forever. In that moment I will be utterly convinced of the truth. I will learn abruptly that hell is real, more real than I could ever have imagined or I will discover that heaven is beautiful, more beautiful than I could ever have dreamed. I may take my chances in time, in eternity I won't have any chances to take. My choice in time will be confirmed and my destiny in eternity will be fixed. Yes in the end, I will either be on the right side or the wrong side of God.
So what really matters? What absolutely matters is the salvation of my soul and the forgiveness of my sins. Only Jesus Christ can forgive and save. Why? He paid for our forgiveness on the Cross and He died and rose again to save our souls. Trust HIM today.
Monarch of the Smitten Cheek
'For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law ... in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel'.