For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Philippians 1:29.
John the Baptist had been first in heralding Christ’s kingdom, and he was also first in suffering…. He was now shut in by the walls of a dungeon cell…. As week after week passed, bringing no change, despondency and doubt crept over him. His disciples did not forsake him…. But they questioned why, if this new teacher was the Messiah, He did nothing to effect John’s release….
Like the Saviour’s disciples, John the Baptist did not understand the nature of Christ’s kingdom. He expected Jesus to take the throne of David; and as time passed, and the Saviour made no claim to kingly authority, John became perplexed and troubled…. There were hours when the whisperings of demons tortured his spirit, and the shadow of a terrible fear crept over him. Could it be that the long-hoped-for Deliverer had not yet appeared? …
But the Baptist did not surrender his faith in Christ…. He determined to send a message of inquiry to Jesus. This he entrusted to two of his disciples…. The disciples came to Jesus with their message, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” … The Saviour did not at once answer the disciples’ question. As they stood wondering at His silence, the sick and afflicted were coming to Him to be healed…. While He healed their diseases, He taught the people….
Thus the day wore away, the disciples of John seeing and hearing all. At last Jesus called them to Him, and bade them go and tell John what they had witnessed…. The evidence of His divinity was seen in its adaptation to the needs of suffering humanity….
The disciples bore the message, and it was enough…. The works of Christ not only declared Him to be the Messiah, but showed in what manner His kingdom was to be established…. Understanding more clearly now the nature of Christ’s mission, he [John] yielded himself to God for life or for death, as should best serve the interests of the cause he loved.
Conflict and Courage p. 277
—–Since he was a baby our fourth son Jeff has had poor eyesight. Now he has glaucoma and can barely see. No diabetes. He is a contract worker with no benefits and can’t afford the $8000 fee to have the correction done on his eyes. As you can see he needs a miracle to be able to pay for the needed surgery or divine healing. Thank you for praying with me for God’s healing of Jeff’s eyes or the resources for the surgery. Barbara
—–Requesting prayer for my step brother. His name is Joe. He fell down a stairwell and cracked his skull on a rock being used to hold the door opened. He is in the ICU and not doing so well. Andrea
Eileen loves to garden. Even with her back problems, she has a garden in a raised bed where it is easier for her to reach. It reminds me of when an elderly friend, who could no longer drive, that she used to take to places that she needed to go bought a hibiscus as a thank-you gift since she knew that Eileen loves to garden. The picture of a blooming hibiscus was on the package delighted Eileen. The first year that it bloomed, however, Eileen was surprised and disappointed to find that the each individual bloom only lasts a few hours. For many years, that plant bloomed faithfully and the flowers were beautiful just like the picture on the package, but they did not last. Sadly, it got pulled up a few years ago.
How much like life those blooms are. God’s Word says, “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof shall know it no more.” Ps 103:15,16 Peter tells us, “all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.” 1 Peter 1:24 James adds, “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.” James 1:9-11 “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish.” “LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him! Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.” Ps 146:3,4,144:3,4
Our life is but for a moment. Our life is full of sorrows, cares, and perplexities. We are often overwhelmed with troubles and grief. Yet, we, like Abraham, look “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Heb 11:10 Praise God, we can have “the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus!” 2 Tim 1:1 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18
Think of it! Our Great Creator did not say, “I have millions upon millions of other beings to sing My praises. Man can bear the consequences of his own sin.” No! Our Dear Saviour could not be happy in His glorious kingdom while we were perishing in sin and sorrow. He left all of the glories of the Universe, He counted as nothing the adoration of untold trillions of beings unfallen, and “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil 2:7,8 Our Loving Redeemer “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matt 20:28 What love! What wondrous love!
May we, during our brief life, which passes away as quickly as the flower of a hibiscus, love the Lord our God with every fiber of our being. May we, in faith, exclaim as did Job, ” I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me.” Job 14:25-27 May “we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13