As the year 2002 is closing upon us, let us continue to bless the Lord, in the words of the Psalmist
(Psa.103) for His continuing benefits, through Christ Jesus our Lord -He forgiveth, He healeth, He redeemeth, He crowneth, He satisfieth, He reneweth, He executeth, He pitieth, He knoweth, and finally, to crown it all, He ruleth from His Throne in the heavens, -THRONE of the: unchanging King and Priest after the order of Melchlzedek (Heb. 7.24,25).
In Matthew 24:3,6, 12, 13, 14 and 21 as our Lord sat upon the Mt. of Olives, He held a private communication with His disciples, as they desired, with their questions, "What shall be the sign of thy coming...?" -a subject solemn and searching even for us, as the Church age is soon to close, and we should be found as those "ENDURING unto the END" -AND SUCH I BELIEVE, SHALL BE SAVED- "to obtain SALVATION with ETERNAL GLORY" in view of which Apostle Paul endured all things for the ELECT'S sakes as he writes in 2 Tim.2:10.
The Lord spoke of this ENDURING after mentioning about the conflict amongst nations, calamities or catastrophes that would befall this earth besides the hatred of nations against Him and His own, and the spirit of deception that would tend to permeate this globe. He added that "the love of many shall wax cold" as iniquity abounds. At such a time, the true Church, ready for rapture, should be found as ENDURING SAINTS, side by side with other spiritual features and virtues of Christ Himself, reproduced in them by the Holy Spirit, that infills them. They indeed ENDURE and 'embrace the Cross and are sustained by its liberating and livening power.
Heb.3: 6 exhorts us that if we HOLD FAST the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope FIRM unto the END, we are His House over which He is the SON. This end, which the Lord has in view for us, is attained in the measure we hold fast and ENDURE now, year by year, and press on to perfection, through the span of years the Lord is pleased to keep us in our pilgrimage. Hence it will be beneficial for us to review our past months of. the closing year, as to how far we have been enabled to ENDURE amidst the situations we had to face, and emerged victorious, or evaded the Cross to our own loss and sorrow. The degree of this ENDURING may vary with us, but let us not forget that the earnestness and intensity of it (this endurance) indeed constitutes the yardstick to measure our devotion and delight in the Lord Himself, and hence the desire for His return. For such, His comforting promise is more and more true, "...behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me..."(Rev.22: 12).
The word ENDURE has different shades of meaning, such as, "remain firm under", "bear with patience", "put up with", "withstand" and such. We may briefly consider four references in the New Testament to this word, as applicable to their particular context. It should equip us -our ability to ENDURE more and stability to SERVE more effectively.
Firstly, let us glance at James 1: 12-15. God does not want us to yield to temptation; yet, neither can He spare us from the experience of temptation. He uses them testing's and temptations to make us mature in Christian life. The word lust means any kind of desire. Normal desires are given by God for right function in our body. But when we seek to satisfy them outside the will of God, we land into trouble. Eating is normal, but gluttony is sin. Sleep is normal, but slothfulness is sin. Sex and marriage are honorable, but outside the marriage bond, defiling and deserving judgment. So our desires must be controlled and channeled, lest we be carried away by their attraction, enticed and entangled. The law of the Spirit of life must set us free.
Secondly, in Heb.12:5 -12 we read about, "ENDURING" chastening as dealt by God, for we are His sons, and are made to grow into adulthood. So the Lord uses child -training, instruction and disciplining, lest we tend to become pampered' babies. This He does through rebuke from His Word, circumstances, and even sickness, that we may grow into the likeness of His Son and be trusted with the "Father's business". It may not seem joyous now, but never1heless it will after) ward yield its fruit.
Thirdly, in 1 Pet.2: 18, we are taught to be submissive to those who are above us, par1icularly as servants to masters or a young employee to the senior officer. As a true Christian worker the unbelieving employer wrongs you and you have to take it "patiently" as a dedicated believer (Matt.5: 10-12). This is thankwor1hy, -ENDURING GRIEF wrongfully, in the steps of our Lord (1Pet.2: 19-21). Let the Lord fight the battles for us, and not we ourselves. This must be true in the) fellowship of the Church.
Fourthly, Apostle Paul, writing from the military background of Rome where he is a prisoner himself,
exhor1s young Timothy, in his last letter to him, to "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus", and
adds, "Thou therefore ENDURE hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ..." that he may please Him
Who hath chosen him to be a soldier (2 Tim.2: 1-4). Ministry is not a soft job, confined to pulpit
preaching. A disciplined, dedicated minister is in a battle that requires spiritual ENDURANCE (Eph.6:
10-12). He must be committed to the Commanding Officer, and trust Him wholly and avoid worldly
entanglements. He must think of the whole army, "the ELECT", chosen by grace and called (2 The$s.2:13,14). Suffer for the Lord as well as for His Church, the Body, as Paul exemplifies in Col.1: 24. A
soldier who thinks only of himself and his immediate circle is disloyal and undependable. The Lord help us to ENDURE all things for the elect's sake and be found wor1hy to share His Kingdom and glory at His coming.
SHE REQUIRED NOTHING—3 - BAKHT SINGH
Many people think that by eating and drinking and having expensive clothes, gold and silver, they can get pleasure. That is why their lives are a failure. Before marriage they go on making enquiries through relations, brokers and friends, as to how much dowry they will get, or how much land they can have. They will not say openly but secretly they enquire, how many children the father has and how much she will get. After making sure they will say, "Now I am satisfied". But supposing they are not satisfied they will say, "We have no peace in this alliance", because their eyes are upon worldly things, or upon the girl's complexion, qualification etc. That is why they are disappointed.
In Esther 2:7 we find that Esther's first name was Hadassah. Then her name was changed to Esther. The name Hadassah means an ordinary myrtle tree, Esther means, "bright shining star". There are many shining stars in the sky but there is a wonderful star, which is called Venus -a very bright shining star. That is the meaning of Esther. When she came to Babylon, in the beginning hardly anyone knew her. She came as a captive, or a slave, as an orphan girl, without any prominence. But because of her virtues, she became a bright shining star and her name was changed from Hadassah to Esther, as one who had received new life.
Here lies the divine secret of a happy home. The light of God must shine in the hearts of those who are going to be joined together. Many people are governed by faces. They ask, "Is she fair or dark? Is she fat or lean?" They put many questions, either through friends or neighbors. The outward appearance is no proof of inward beauty. The light of God shining within gives true beauty. That is why, as far as possible, those who are going to be joined together, should make sure that the light of God has come to shine in them. Then we are sure that they will enjoy God's favor. Then they can also enjoy God's presence with them.
What an honor we have in having the loving and living God with us! How much we lose by not knowing the secret of God's presence. God's Word says in Psa. 16: 11, "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore". It is only in the presence of God that one can have full and true joy. Without that consciousness of God's presence you cannot have true joy. The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to live in those who are born again. That is why He rose again. It was prophesied that He would die and rise again. He said in Matt.28:20, "10, I am with you always". The living God, the Holy God, the loving God, the mighty God came to live in us and among us. That experience will give you victory over every trial.
We thank God for those who are joined together in God's House, after having the experience of new birth. None of us is a born Christian.