Philip Rockey, Windsor Locks, CT
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness (Psalms 29:2).
Witnessing the baptism of young believers brings great joy to the Lord's people and takes us back in our minds to the time that we were baptized. Though we did not know all that was involved in assembly fellowship, over the years we have come in some measure to appreciate the "gathering to His Name." LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth (Psalms 26:8).
The question often asked of the unsaved is also necessary for the Christian; "What is my purpose in life and why am I here?" At what point in our experience do we take our Christianity seriously and realize that God does have a real purpose and plan for each one of us? Do young people wait until they are comfortable in their career and life has quieted down and then decide to give God their lives? Do we wait until retirement when careers are behind us? The call of Romans 12:1 is without age distinction... it is now.
We are creatures of eternity and soon our lives will be over. The homecall of many loved ones should stir our hearts to realize that our opportunity for service is now. All that is invested in this world will be the chaff that is burned up. Now is the opportunity to invest in eternal things and give unto the Lord the glory that is due His name. "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven..." (Mt. 6:20).
Whoso offereth praise glorifleth me (Psa. 50:23). What a marvel of God's infinite grace that poor creatures of the dust are able to give to God anything. Romans 3 reminds us of all that we were and that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. But John 3:16 tells us of the love of God that reached down to where we were in all our sin and need and that we have been made "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17). Once we had nothing that we could give to God; now there is glory brought to His name in our worship. I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs (Psalms 69:30-31).
It is a great privilege to be able to gather in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and give Him the worship of our hearts. It is refreshing to hear newly gathered believers rise to their feet and thank God for sending His Son to die on the cross. Too often our worship becomes matter-of-fact and empty because the week has slipped by with little time for God's Word or meditation and our baskets are empty. Joseph said to his brethren ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, (Gen. 45:13) and so it is that as we come to remember the Lord Jesus, we bring what we have appreciated of Himself and give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name.
Through all the years that David was pursued by his enemies, his song was I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalms 34:1). No matter what the circumstances, the great truth of our redemption from the slavery of sin by precious blood should fill our hearts with worship and thanksgiving.
Oh, help me understand it,
help me to take it in
What it meant for Thee the Holy One, to take away my sin.
Waiting on God - Prayer and Obedience
My soul, wait thou only upon God,- for my expectation is from him (Psalms 62:5). As we bow our hearts in prayer there is the acknowledgment that we are wholly dependent upon God for all that we are and have. In Ephesians 6:18 Paul reminded the saints of the great need for prayer one for another. In a day when there is so much departure from God and neglect of the Word of God, how much more do we need to pray one for another that we might be preserved. How many lives that have been shipwrecked might have been preserved if we had only agonized in prayer.
Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are and he prayed and God answered. It is easy to think that somehow Elijah was vastly different than us and we could never accomplish what he did. Could I encourage you to read James 5 again. It does not say that he did great things. It says that "he prayed." There are many young people among us with energy and zeal for God. Could I encourage you to spend time in prayer, not only for your daily needs but for the preservation of God's people. There are many elderly saints that are feeling the weight of years and not able to labor as they once did. Could I encourage you to keep on praying. Only eternity will reveal the glory that has been brought to the Name of the Lord Jesus as a result of your prayers.
Waiting on God not only involves prayer but obedience to His Word. It grieves us to see young people turn away from the truths that they once professed. The truths that our forefathers paid dearly for are being lightly esteemed and set aside so easily as if the One who bought us with His blood has no claim upon them. The Lord said if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed (John 8:31). Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. His eye was on eternity. The apostle Paul who had suffered the loss of all things could say that he counted them but refuse that he might win Christ (Phil. 3:8). The broken cisterns of this world's pleasures or business can never satisfy the heart that has tasted of His love. What are we investing in for eternity? Ye did run well, who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (Galatians 5:7).
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, 0 LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:14). James reminds us that the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison ... Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing (James 3:8,10). Our words can be a great blessing and encouragement to saved and unsaved or they can tear down all that is of God. The Proverb reminds us that a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Prov. 25:11). May the Lord help us in our words and conversation to seek to strengthen the things that remain that we might give glory to His Name. Conversation that is not guided by the Holy Spirit of God will only be a detriment to the people of God.
The language and words of the world should never be a part of our conversation. Too often the words that we so easily take on our lips are just slightly disguised profanity and dishonoring to God. It may be that you will suffer reproach for a holy life and conversation. Let us ever keep in mind that there is a crown that awaits the overcomer. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18). Keep thyself pure.
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men (Titus 3:8). Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation (I Peter 2:12).
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6: 10). God does not ask us to do great things. He asks us to do what He commands and be faithful to His word. The stewards of Luke 19 were not rewarded for being important or doing that which was great in the eyes of the world. They were rewarded for being faithful with what the master had put in their hand. The mother caring for the family, the student at school or any of us in our daily work can bring honor and glory to the Name of the Lord Jesus by living a godly, separated life before the world.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). It is interesting to notice in gospel meetings that the strangers that come in are the ones that the Christians know or have contacted personally, while mailed invitations usually go unheeded. We have a tremendous opportunity to live Christ before a dying world as a testimony to His saving grace, but they are not fooled by hypocrisy. Peter was denying the Lord while he warmed himself at the world's fires and there cannot be anything for God when we become like them, when we talk like them or become associated with their ways.
There is a tremendous need for men and women of God who are willing to be broken vessels so that our light will shine out to the world. The Lord did not mince any words when He said whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:27).
God has not saved us so that we might spend our days living for self and pleasure and then expect a glorious entrance into His presence. 'Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name.' Our service here is the least that we can give to Him in gratitude for all that He has done for us.
What a marvel that we have been delivered from our sin and coming judgment. Let us live the days that God so graciously gives us as vessels unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use (2 Tim. 2:21). Let us be Christians willing to stand for Scriptural convictions and live Christ in a Godless, evil world.
Must I be carried to the
skies in flowery beds of ease
While others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas?