Evening Prayer

Abandon your foolish ways so that you may live, and proceed in the way of understanding.”
Prov 9:6 NET

Sit down, sad soul, and count
The moments flying;
Come, tell the sweet amount
That’s lost by sighing!
How many smiles?—a score?
Then laugh, and count no more;
For day is dying.

Lie down sad soul, and sleep,
And no more measure
The flight of time, nor weep
The loss of leisure;
But here by this lone stream,
Lie down with us, and dream
Of starry treasure.
– Bryan Waller Procter

The only thing grief has taught me is to know how shallow it is. Grief will not carry you one step into real nature; grief can teach me nothing.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prayer

God of love,

May I come quickly to thee, when I am in need of protection and sympathy. Guard me against sorrow that is drawn from the imagination. May I not allow grief to drag me into misery, but with strength and courage may I find happiness in thy daily will.

Amen.

Daily Light

Evening

Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before.
John 7:50 NET

But Peter was following him from a distance.—Nevertheless, even among the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they would not confess Jesus to be the Christ, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue. For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.—The fear of people becomes a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be set on high.

“The one who comes to me I will never send away.”—A crushed reed he will not break, a dim wick he will not extinguish.—“Faith the size of a mustard seed.”

For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord.—Little children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame when he comes back.—”Whoever, then, acknowledges me before people, I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven.

Matt 26:58, John 12:42-43, Prov 29:25, John 6:37, Isa 42:3, Matt 17:20, 2 Tim 1:7-8, 1 John 2:28, Matt 10:32

Future Things

The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death
Revelation 21:8

A 2007 Gallup poll found that Americans are far more likely to believe in God and Heaven than in the Devil and Hell. An earlier Gallup poll revealed that 77 percent of ever-optimistic Americans rated their odds of making heaven as “good” or “excellent.” Very few saw themselves as hell-bound.

But what is important today is not what Americans think about Jesus and judgment, but what you think about Jesus and judgment.

The fact is, we all like to talk about, and think about, Jesus and heaven more than we do Jesus and hell. But it is impossible to think biblically about heaven and Jesus without coming face to face with the reality of the judgment by Jesus, in the end.

It is Jesus who is speaking here in Revelation. And just as he constantly warned during his earthly ministry, he now declares from his throne in heaven that hell is real and that judgment is coming. For the wicked, and for the unbelieving, and for those who fear men rather than God — the end is an everlasting death, the lake of fire.

While there is complete forgiveness and unconditional love in Jesus Christ, there is also everlasting judgment for those he here describes. Which are you? Have you come to fear God, to trust in Jesus, to love his truth?

Evening Devotional

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
Joh 6:37

No limit is set to the duration of this promise. It does not merely say, “I will not cast out a sinner at his first coming,” but, “I will in no wise cast out.” The original reads, “I will not, not cast out,” or “I will never, never cast out.” The text means, that Christ will not at first reject a believer; and that as he will not do it at first, so he will not to the last.

But suppose the believer sins after coming? “If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” But suppose that believers backslide? “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.” But believers may fall under temptation! “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” But the believer may fall into sin as David did! Yes, but he will “Purge them with hyssop, and they shall be clean; he will wash them and they shall be whiter than snow”; “From all their iniquities will I cleanse them.”

“Once in Christ, in Christ for ever,
Nothing from his love can sever.”

“I give unto my sheep,” saith he, “eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” What sayest thou to this, O trembling feeble mind? Is not this a precious mercy, that coming to Christ, thou dost not come to One who will treat thee well for a little while, and then send thee about thy business, but he will receive thee and make thee his bride, and thou shalt be his for ever? Receive no longer the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby thou shalt cry, Abba, Father! Oh! the grace of these words: “I will in no wise cast out.”

~ Charles Spurgeon ~

The Discipline of Disillusionment

Jesus did not commit Himself unto them for He knew what was in man.
John 2:24-25

Disillusionment means that there are no more false judgments in life. To be undeceived by disillusionment may leave us cynical and unkindly severe in our judgment of others, but the disillusionment which comes from God brings us to the place where we see men and women as they really are, and yet there is no cynicism, we have no stinging, bitter things to say. Many of the cruel things in life spring from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts; we are true only to our ideas of one another. Everything is either delightful and fine, or mean and dastardly, according to our idea.

The refusal to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering in human life. It works in this way – if we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of him every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give. There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Why Our Lord is apparently so severe regarding every human relationship is because He knows that every relationship not based on loyalty to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no man, yet He was never suspicious, never bitter. Our Lord’s confidence in God and in what His grace could do for any man, was so perfect that He despaired of no one. If our trust is placed in human beings, we shall end in despairing of everyone.

~ Oswald Chambers ~

The Promise of Future Meeting

So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
John 16:22 NET

Surely He will come a second time, and then, when He sees us and we see Him, there will be rejoicings indeed. Oh, for that joyous return! But this promise is being dainty fulfilled in another sense. Our gracious Lord has many “agains” in His dealings with us. He gave us pardon, and He sees us again and repeats the absolving word as fresh sins cause us grief. He has revealed to us our acceptance before God, and when our faith in that blessing grows a little dim, He comes to us again and again and says, “Peace be unto you,” and our hearts are glad.

Beloved, all our past mercies are tokens of future mercies. If Jesus has been with us, He will see us again. Look upon no former favor as a dead and buried thing, to be mourned over; but regard it as a seed sown, which will grow, and push its head up from the dust, and cry, “I will see you again.” Are the times dark because Jesus is not with us as He used to be? Let us pluck up courage; for He will not be long away. His feet are as those of a roe or young hart, and they will soon bring Him to us. Wherefore let us begin to be joyous, since He saith to us even now, “I will see you again.”