The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. Jeremiah 8:20.
I appeal to the members of our churches not to disregard the fulfilling of the signs of the times, which say so plainly that the end is near. O, how many who have not cared for the salvation of their souls will soon make the bitter lamentation, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!”
O, that we would remember that it is court week with us, and that our cases are pending! Now is the time to watch and pray, to put away all self-indulgence, all pride, all selfishness. The precious moments that are now by many worse than wasted should be spent in meditation and prayer. Many of those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God are following inclination instead of duty. As they are now, they are unworthy of eternal life. To these careless, indifferent ones, I would say, Your vain thoughts, your unkind words, your selfish acts, are recorded in the book of heaven. The angels that were present at Belshazzar’s idolatrous revelry stand beside you as you dishonor your Redeemer. Sadly they turn away, grieved that you should thus crucify Him afresh, and put Him to open shame. . . .
On Christ’s coronation day He will not acknowledge as His any who bear spot or wrinkle or any such thing. But to His faithful ones He will give crowns of immortal glory. Those who would not that He should reign over them will see Him surrounded by the army of the redeemed, each of whom bears the sign, The Lord Our Righteousness. They will see the head once crowned with thorns crowned with a diadem of glory.
In that day the redeemed will shine forth in the glory of the Father and His Son. The angels of heaven, touching their golden harps, will welcome the King, and those who are the trophies of His victory–those who have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. A song of triumph will peal forth, filling all heaven. Christ has conquered. He enters the heavenly courts accompanied by His redeemed ones, the witnesses that His mission of suffering and self-sacrifice has not been in vain.
Maranatha p. 39
—— The next couple days are going to be tough. Keep me in your prayers. BJ
—–Please pray for D and M as next week their skyrocketing problems may be coming to a head and things could go either way for them. They need God’s guidance, blessings, and peace. L
When Ronnie Jay was just three months old, we moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. The best part of that move was that we lived less than five miles from the ocean. How we loved going to the beach! In the evenings after the majority of the people had left, we would eat our supper while sitting on the sand and gazing out over the water. It was so relaxing that it made us forget our problems for awhile.
Once Ronnie Jay learned how to walk, however, our relaxing times disappeared. He showed no fear of that immense body of water and would get away from us whenever we were not watching him. Off he would go toward the incoming waves, just as fast as his little legs would carry him. Those waves would grab him and roll him over and over and push him toward the shore by the time we were able to catch up to him. Always frightened of his little game, I would scoop him out of the water, give him a little spank on his then soggy diaper, tell him “no,” and vainly try to explain the dangers to my one-year-old boy, and carry him back to where we had been sitting. Over and over again this process was repeated much to my frustration.
One day, when he was two, he cured himself of his little game. After church a group of us often went to an area at Fort Fisher where no sunbathers went because from the parking lot to the ocean was about a mile. It was nice to walk along the winding path with our friends and view the handiwork of God. That particular day a cold wind was blowing, but we had our jackets on, so it was still pleasant. As we got to the beach, Ronnie Jay wanted out of his stroller. It was March and too cool for his little game of “let the waves tumble me about and scare Mommy half to death.” I warned my son that it was too cold to go near the water and made him hold my hand.
Soon I got involved talking to my friends and looking for shells and sharks’ teeth. Ronnie Jay saw his chance to escape. Before I realized it, he had slipped his hand out of mine and headed straight for the water. I headed after him, but he was a fast runner. Into the frigid water he plunged. Grabbing my shivering boy up into my arms with thoughts of his re-catching the pneumonia he had had three months before, I ran as fast as I could to the car. The cold March wind seemed even colder now that we were both wet. Even though I’ve never been able to run very fast, that day no one could keep up with me. Adrenaline had set in. I knew that a warm blanket was in our car and Ronnie Jay needed to be wrapped up in it to keep him from getting sick. It was not until we arrived at the car did I realize that I had forgotten the key. We had to huddle together at the back of the car where we could be as much out of the wind as possible until Ron got there. Our little boy must have gotten cold enough that day to decide that his little game was not fun any more, because that was the last time he ever played it.
How often we play with sin, just as Ronnie Jay played with the waves. Our little “sin games” seem to be harmless and fun, so we do not realize the danger we are in. Over and over we play with our “darling” sin until we one day find ourself held firmly in its grasp. Even when warned of the consequences of our sinful indulgence, we run right back into the “water” just as my son ran into the cold waves of the Atlantic. How many times we do as Peter observed, “The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:22 Jeremiah tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer 17:9 Isaiah adds, “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” Isa 64:6;1:6
How much we need a Strong Deliverer, Who will snatch us up out of the waves of sin, remove our filthy garments, and clothe us with His Own Spotless Robe of Righteousness. Praise God! We have such a Deliverer! The Lord Jesus Christ “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever.” Gal 1:4,5 Our Dear Saviour promises not only to rescue us but also to change our desires. “I will put my laws into [your heart], and in [your mind] will I write them; And [your] sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Heb 10:16, 17 Precious promises! Loving Redeemer!
Let us serve the Lord with our whole heart and strength and being! Let us no longer toy with the pleasures of sin but deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Let us “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Phil 3:14; Titus 2:14