“Ye are come unto the City of the living God … to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant.” [Heb 12:22-24]
WE ARE far from being perfect. When in our deepest moments, we ascend into the Holiest, on the wings of faith and prayer, we pass through a vast host of sympathetic spirits, all of whom are devoted to the same Lord and Master, and are joining in the same act of worship. Many of them have known and helped us in our earthly life, and they have been sent forth to minister to us, and to help us on our way. “Ye are come to the spirits of just men made perfect.”
We are also come unto God, the Judge of all. When Moses stood before God on the Mount, he said: “I exceedingly fear and quake.” But we may come with boldness to the footstool of the Eternal Throne, though our God is a consuming fire, for in Christ Jesus we stand accepted. He is the Mediator of the New Covenant, and His Blood speaks better things than that of Abel. That blood cried against Cain. But the Blood of Jesus cries on our behalf; it has opened the way into the Holiest; has cleansed us from our sins; has ratified the New Covenant, and is the Pledge of our redemption.
Therefore, although we realise our sinfulness and imperfection, let us arise into the unseen, and join with the One Church of the Redeemed in heaven and on earth. We are come to it in the purpose of God, and by the all-sufficing work of Christ our Lord, but let us see to it that we come also in our spiritual realization, communion, and fellowship.
We are members of the Church Universal, citizens of the Heavenly City. Heirs of that precious Redemption, which has severed us from things that are seen, and made us part of that blessed throng that no man can number—”the general Assembly and Church of the First-born, which are written in heaven.” Neither life, nor death, nor rite, nor church-order, can divide those who are for ever one with each other because they are one with Christ. Nothing but sin and obtuseness of soul can exclude us from living fellowship with saints of all communions and sects, denominations and ages.
Accept our thanks, O God, for this foretaste of the bliss of Paradise. To Thee we would pour forth our tribute of adoring love, and join with angels and the spirits of the Redeemed in worship. Unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb, be blessing and honour, glory and dominion, for ever.
~ F.B. Meyer ~
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. [Hebrews 12:15]
It's always so difficult to see bitterness when you are feeling it, yet so easy to see in other people. Bitterness truly is a root that grows deep if you allow and the poison seeps everywhere. It even spills out to others around you, if you aren't careful. Search your heart earnestly. When you identify a thorny root, pray for the person who is the source of bitterness and allow God to do His work. It's not fun being consumed by poison.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. [2 Thess 3:16]
Peace to you from “he who is,” and who was, and who is still to come. The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you;… Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.”
“The Advocate… the Spirit of truth.” The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And Moses said to him, “If your presence does not go with us, do not take us up from here. For how will it be known then that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not by your going with us, so that we will be distinguished, I and your people, from all the people who are on the face of the earth?”
Rev 1:4, Phil 4:7, Luke 24:36, John 14:27, John 15:26, Gal 5:22,
Rom 8:16, Exod 33:14-16
~ Samuel Bagster ~
“I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord,”
Today, my thoughts started out pure, and my steps were ordered by You, but then I left home. Now that I am out here in the world, things could change. Help me to stay the course today and not over react or stress out over the little stuff.
“He who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Life is a dangerous endeavor. We pass our days in the shadows of ominous realities. The power to annihilate humanity has, it seems, been placed in the hands of people who are happy to do so… If the global temperature rises a few more degrees … if classified information falls into sinister hands … if the wrong person pushes the wrong red button … What if things only get worse?
Christ tells us that they will. He predicts spiritual bailouts, ecological turmoil, and worldwide persecution. Yet in the midst of it all, he contends bravery is still an option. “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed” (Matthew 24:46).
Things are going to get bad, really bad, before they get better. And when conditions worsen, “See to it that you are not alarmed”. Jesus chose a stout term for alarmed that he used on no other occasion. It means “to wail, to cry aloud,” as if Jesus counseled the disciples, “Don’t freak out when bad stuff happens.” …
Don’t freak out at the heresy, calamity, and apostasy. Don’t give in or give up, for you’ll soon witness the victory.
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Jesus equipped his followers with farsighted courage. He listed the typhoons of life and then pointed them “to the end.” Trust in ultimate victory gives ultimate courage.
Some days, holy Father, it seems that the world is spinning out of control. Worldwide turmoil increases, and we are alarmed. It is easy to lose courage. But this is not what you want for your children. You have given us ample warning that these things will happen. May we remember that they are preparations for the end of time. When we forget, remind us that ultimate victory belongs to you. Help us face the future with courage and confidence, amen.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
But the Lord your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.
[2 Kings 17:39]
He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power known.
~ Max Lucado ~