Heavenly Father, Hallow be Thy Name. Thank You for the grace to honour the man through whom You brought me into this world. Thank You for the worthy virtues and integrity he displayed to us his children, wife and associates. Thank You for the pains of the moment, for I believe Your are cuddling us with Your Mighty Right hand. Thank You Father.
Thank You for the last moment of my father, like the Saints of old, You gave him grace to put his house in-order before bowing out to come up to You. Thank You for all the moment I had with Him and shared his deep thoughts and struggles in life. Thank You for the victory You granted him to overcome the first death and the hope that he will rest in Your bosom when the final trumpet will sound on that great day.
O! What a few days the days of men are here on earth! Just like yesterday, I played with you, father. You called to check on me and I do same to know how you are doing. The days roll by and roll into years and suddenly you can no longer speak to your dear daughter, you appeared very weak to return my calls because you careful not to let me know that the end is near. But dad, I want you to know that I cherish every moment I had the opportunity to call you, “father”.
You thought me what love, the pure love of God and hard-work is. You install in me the fear and worship of God and to hold Holy things in high esteem.
Though you are gone in the physical to be with God, I will always remember your principles in life that leads to my salvation and hold on to it so as to see you again when my turn comes.
Dearly beloved, I want you to share with me some Special Moment that must be in every man’s life and by His grace you will bless. Come, read alone with me as we consider the brevity of life and the values we shall bequeath to our beloved one:
Where is your boast?
“In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved.” Psalm 30:6
“Moab settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel.” Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty deep; let his lands yield abundantly: let the weather be propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him; let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye to march through the world, and live happily; give him the buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips; let his eye be ever sparkling with joy—and the natural consequence of such an easy state to any man, let him be the best Christian who ever breathed, will be presumption; even David said, “I shall never be moved;” and we are not better than David, nor half so good.
Brother, beware of the smooth places of the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank God for it. If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune; if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream “we stand;” and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy.
We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank Him for our changes; we extol His name for losses of property; for we feel that had He not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial.
“Afflictions, though they seem severe,
In mercy oft are sent.”
Your days are numbered?
“Man… is of few days, and full of trouble.” Job 14:1
It may be of great service to us, before we fall asleep, to remember this mournful fact, for it may lead us to set loose by earthly things. There is nothing very pleasant in the recollection that we are not above the shafts of adversity, but it may humble us and prevent our boasting like the Psalmist in our morning’s portion. “My mountain standeth firm: I shall never be moved.” It may stay us from taking too deep root in this soil from which we are so soon to be transplanted into the heavenly garden.
Let us recollect the frail tenure upon which we hold our temporal mercies. If we would remember that all the trees of earth are marked for the woodman’s axe, we should not be so ready to build our nests in them. We should love, but we should love with the love which expects death, and which reckons upon separations. Our dear relations are but loaned to us, and the hour when we must return them to the lender’s hand may be even at the door. The like is certainly true of our worldly goods. Do not riches take to themselves wings and fly away? Our health is equally precarious. Frail flowers of the field, we must not reckon upon blooming for ever.
There is a time appointed for weakness and sickness, when we shall have to glorify God by suffering, and not by earnest activity. There is no single point in which we can hope to escape from the sharp arrows of affliction; out of our few days there is not one secure from sorrow.
Man’s life is a cask full of bitter wine; he who looks for joy in it had better seek for honey in an ocean of brine. Beloved reader, set not your affections upon things of earth: but seek those things which are above, for here the moth devoureth, and the thief breaketh through, but there all joys are perpetual and eternal. The path of trouble is the way home.
Lord, make this thought a pillow for many a weary head!
Victory Through the Cross.
“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” John 17:24
O death! why dost thou touch the tree beneath whose spreading branches weariness hath rest? Why dost thou snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all our delight? If thou must use thine axe, use it upon the trees which yield no fruit; thou mightest be thanked then. But why wilt thou fell the goodly cedars of Lebanon?
O stay thine axe, and spare the righteous. But no, it must not be; death smites the goodliest of our friends; the most generous, the most prayerful, the most holy, the most devoted must die. And why? It is through Jesus’ prevailing prayer—”Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” It is that which bears them on eagle’s wings to heaven.
Every time a believer mounts from this earth to paradise, it is an answer to Christ’s prayer. A good old divine remarks, “Many times Jesus and His people pull against one another in prayer. You bend your knee in prayer and say ‘Father, I will that Thy saints be with me where I am’; Christ says, ‘Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.'” Thus the disciple is at cross-purposes with his Lord. The soul cannot be in both places: the beloved one cannot be with Christ and with you too.
Now, which pleader shall win the day? If you had your choice; if the King should step from His throne, and say, “Here are two supplicants praying in opposition to one another, which shall be answered?” Oh! I am sure, though it were agony, you would start from your feet, and say, “Jesus, not my will, but Thine be done.” You would give up your prayer for your loved one’s life, if you could realize the thoughts that Christ is praying in the opposite direction—”Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” Lord, Thou shalt have them. By faith we let them go. (Dad, I let you go and be in the peace of Your Maker, Our Father).
Are you afraid of Death?
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; he that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Rev. 2:11
The first death we must endure unless the Lord should suddenly come to His temple. For this let us abide in readiness, awaiting it without fear, since Jesus has transformed death from a dreary cavern into a passage leading to glory.
The thing to be feared is not the first, but the second death; not the parting of the soul from the body, but the final separation of the entire man from God. This is death indeed. This death kills all peace, joy, happiness, hope. When God is gone all is gone. Such a death is far worse than ceasing to be: it is existence without the life which makes existence worth the having.
Now, if by God’s grace we fight on to the end, and conquer in the glorious war, no second death can lay its chill finger upon us. We shall have no fear of death and hell, for we shall receive a crown of life which fadeth not away. How this nerves us for the fight! Eternal life is worth a life’s battle. To escape the hurt of the second death is a thing worth struggling for throughout a lifetime.
Lord, give us faith, so that we may overcome, and then grant us grace to remain unharmed though sin and Satan dog our heels in Jesus Name! Amen!
What to Leave Children
“The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” Prov. 20:7
Anxiety about our family is natural, but we shall be wise if we turn it into care about our own character. If we walk before the Lord in integrity, we shall do more to bless our descendants than if we bequeathed them large estates. A father’s holy life is a rich legacy for his sons.
The upright man leaves his heirs his example, and this in itself will be a mine of true wealth. How many men may trace their success in life to the example of their parents!
He leaves them also his repute. Men think all the better of us as the sons of a man who could be trusted, the successors of a tradesman of excellent repute. Oh, that all young men were anxious to keep up the family name!
Above all, he leaves his children his prayers and the blessing of a prayer-hearing God, and these make our offspring to be favored among the sons of men. God will save them even after we are dead. Oh, that they might be saved at once!
Our integrity may be God’s means of saving our sons and daughters. If they see the truth of our religion proved by our lives, it may be that they will believe in Jesus for themselves. Lord, fulfill this word to my household!
“There will be silence before Thee… “(Psalm 65:1a)
Silence: A rather unfamiliar experience in today’s world.
Not much practiced.
Not much allowed in our cacophony of shrill voices, trite opinions, endless information, and the blaring of brassy music and mind-numbing media dissipation.
To be alone before God in SILENCE is either
Depending upon the condition of one’s soul.
“There will be silence before Thee… “
When, in that Day, we appear before The Consuming Presence, the righteous Lamb, slain, resurrected, and now reigning…
“There will be SILENCE.“(Revelation 8:1)
For some the silence will turn to worship, adulation, fullness of joy and eternal bliss.
For the rest it will mean weeping and gnashing of teeth: Eternal separation from all that is good, righteous and pure. (See Matthew 8:12)
Amidst the clamor and cluttering noise of our day, it behooves us to learn to live in the presence of God in SILENCE.
For it is here and only here that He will be known.
“Be still and know that I am God.“(Psalm 46:10a)
Whose Camp Are You?
“To whom belongest thou?” 1Samuel 30:13
No neutralities can exist in religion. We are either ranked under the banner of Prince Immanuel, to serve and fight His battles, or we are vassals of the black prince, Satan. “To whom belongest thou?”
Reader, let me assist you in your response. Have you been “born again”? If you have, you belong to Christ, but without the new birth you cannot be His. In whom do you trust? For those who believe in Jesus are the sons of God. Whose work are you doing? You are sure to serve your master, for he whom you serve is thereby owned to be your lord. What company do you keep? If you belong to Jesus, you will fraternize with those who wear the livery of the cross. “Birds of a feather flock together.” What is your conversation? Is it heavenly or is it earthly? What have you learned of your Master?—for servants learn much from their masters to whom they are apprenticed. If you have served your time with Jesus, it will be said of you, as it was of Peter and John, “They took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
We press the question, “To whom belongest thou?” Answer honestly before you give sleep to your eyes. If you are not Christ’s you are in a hard service—Run away from your cruel master! Enter into the service of the Lord of Love, and you shall enjoy a life of blessedness. If you are Christ’s let me advise you to do four things. You belong to Jesus—obey him; let his word be your law; let His wish be your will. You belong to the Beloved, then love Him; let your heart embrace Him; let your whole soul be filled with Him. You belong to the Son of God, then trust him; rest nowhere but on him. You belong to the King of kings, then be decided for Him.
Thus, without your being branded upon the brow, all will know to whom you belong.
I hope you are a brand new person after through this piece. Beloved, put your treasure where neither moth nor thieves have access.
Thank so much for sharing this solemn moment with me. Jesus loves you. Praise God!
I am still
Yours in Vineyard
Evang. Ifeoma Ohondu