I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged…. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not do die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. Acts 25:10, 11.
Once more, because of hatred born of bigotry and self-righteousness, a servant of God was driven to turn for protection to the heathen. It was this same hatred that forced the prophet Elijah to flee for succor to the widow of Sarepta; and that forced the heralds of the gospel to turn from the Jews to proclaim their message to the Gentiles. And this hatred the people of God living in this age have yet to meet. Among many of the professing followers of Christ there is the same pride, formalism, and selfishness, the same spirit of oppression, that held so large a place in the Jewish heart…. In the great crisis through which they are soon to pass, the faithful servants of God will encounter the same hardness of heart, the same cruel determination, the same unyielding hatred.
All who in that evil day would fearlessly serve God according to the dictates of conscience, will need courage, firmness, and a knowledge of God and His word; for those who are true to God will be persecuted, their motives will be impugned, their best efforts misinterpreted, and their names cast out as evil. Satan will work with all his deceptive power to influence the heart and becloud the understanding, to make evil appear good, and good evil….
God desires His people to prepare for the soon-coming crisis…. Those only who have brought their lives into conformity to the divine standard, will stand firm at that time of test and trial. When secular rulers unite with ministers of religion to dictate in matters of conscience, then it will be seen who really fear and serve God. When the darkness is deepest, the light of a godlike character will shine the brightest…. And while the enemies of truth are on every side, watching the Lord’s servants for evil, God will watch over them for good. He will be to them as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Conflict and Courage p. 354
—–Need prayer for issue at work. John
When Eileen and Esther Marie were little they had to share a bedroom. It
was very small, and they did not enjoy being together at all. Eileen, being ten years older, chafed under the thought of having to share her room with her baby sister. Their interests were much different and difficulties naturally arose over some of the smallest things. I thought
that I would never see the day when the two of them would get along.
Finally that day arrived. Circumstances came about where they had to again room together. This time they enjoyed spending time together. They had similar interests so there was less tension between them. Eventually they both married and moved away but saw each other as much as possible. Now that they live in the same town, they enjoy visiting back and forth and are very close—something I had hoped for when they were young but doubted would ever come to pass.
Just as my two daughters have grown near and dear to one another, so our
Dear Saviour longs to be near and dear to us. He wants above all things
to share all our sorrows, all our joys, every part of our day. “God is
faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus
Christ our Lord.” 1 Cor 1:9 Think of it! We are called to have
fellowship with Jesus. We are called to be so close to Him, to spend so
much time with Him, that we begin to think like Him and respond as He
would respond in any given situation. And as we become close to Him, we
will draw nearer to one another. This is His great desire. He prayed,
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou
hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that
they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that
they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou
hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. John 17:21-23
The loving disciple, John, in his first epistle, writes, “truly our
fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these
things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:3,4
Truly this is the key to joy unmatched by anything that the world can
offer. The world offers no lasting happiness, but having Jesus dwelling
within gives everlasting joy.
How can we have this fellowship and joy? The apostle Paul gives us the
answer, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15
David adds, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander
from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might
not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.”
Ps 119:10-12 Jeremiah also gives the key, “And ye shall seek me, and
find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jer 29:13
Let us spend time with our Saviour each day. Let us seek Him with our
whole heart and soul and being. Let us follow Paul’s admonition when he
wrote, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give
thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
. . .I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thes 5:16-23