21th September 2021 SAY THANKS IN ALL CONDITIONS "My soul, praise the Lord, do not forget his good deeds!" Psalms 103:2NIV A fictional story is about two angels who were sent down to earth with their own baskets. One was to gather all the prayers that people send to God in his basket. In a very short time, the basket was completely full. The other angel, on the other hand, was to gather all the thanksgivings. But for the latter, it became extremely difficult to fill his basket. That's how we humans are. In need we beg God for help, but when the need is over, we often forget to say thank you. The same thing we see happening in the story of the ten lepers that Jesus healed. Only one of them returns to thank Jesus for the healing. Our ancestors put everything in God's hands when they went out to sea with their small fishing boats or they went up into the mountains, and on the way home they sang songs of thanksgiving. But people today in our advanced society seem to take everything more or less for granted, modesty is a rarity but demands are not. Living in a peaceful society is certainly something to be grateful for, and this ought to be the reason why more was put into the thank you basket. If we think about how good we really are, then there should be enough reason to sing many thanksgiving songs and as Paul writes to the Christians in Ephesus: “... always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ” Eph.5:20NIV
THAT WE ALL MAY BE ONE “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ” John 13:34-35NIV One day with glorious weather, I was standing on a mountain, looking down on a village. There was a good view. You could see streams and lakes and the beautiful carpet of grass around the village and the island on the other side of the strait. Up there, from the top of the mountain and high above the village, the church and one of the Christian parish houses that stood just behind the church seemed to be merged into one. I thought to myself that God may see us a little like that? With Him there is only one people, one congregation, one ordinary church, the community of the saints. We can come together in different houses, whatever they may be called, and in different forms. We may have different attitudes about different matters, but we must not forget that in the eyes of God we are one people and we are all on the path toward the same goal. In his High Priestly Prayer (John 17:21NIV), Jesus prays: “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. ” In heaven, we will all - no matter how different we may be - sing along to the eternal song of praise, the song of the Lamb, and the song of Moses. May God help us to support and help each other and to have deep love for
one another, all while we are still on the journey home and not slandering
and condemning each other.
SOUL WINNERS ”I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. ” Luke 15:7NIV A shepherd who owned a large flock of sheep one evening discovered that three sheep were missing when he counted them. He turned to the dog lying with the puppies and said, "Three sheep are missing, go out and find them." The dog got up and ran away. After a while, the dog came back with one sheep, and the shepherd noticed that the dog had had a hard fight against the wolf in order to save the sheep. He said again: "There are still two missing, run away and find them." The dog ran out again and brought the next sheep home again; but this time the dog was so exhausted and bruised and it was bleeding from several wounds. It passed over to its puppies; but again the shepherd said, "There is still a sheep left, run and find it!" The dog looked at him pleadingly and questioningly. Did the master really mean this? But he pointed to the door and said, "Run!" The dog obeyed and came back again at midnight with the last sheep; but it came back again tattered and ragged, lay down by its puppies, licked them and died ... If a dog obeys its master in this way right up to death, what do you say when your Lord points out the whole earth and says, “There are not only three still missing, but innumerable crowds of lost men and women. Go out and find them! ” How then do you win souls for Jesus in a world that is hostile to the gospel. The answer is that we must be filled with a zeal and passion to lead souls out of perdition and to the one and only Savior, well, so that we can actually not live without seeing saved souls, and thus bring the Savior the joy that is mentioned in Luke 15:7-10. When nothing happens for several weeks, then we must walk the path of prayer until the Spirit of God makes the message so convincing that people are drawn to salvation. When the fire burns in our own hearts, it ignites others too, but if we do everything just because we believe that we ougt to, or it is our duty, well then it does not ignite a fire. And whether it is about one human being or it is for a meeting with hundreds of people, it is people on the brink of the abyss who must be saved before it is too late. And when we ourselves have a part in the life of God and know that we are entering into the eternal joy, well, then it is worth living for others to come there too. "Church bell". Effie Campbell translated
GOD'S PROMISES HOLD “They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” Psalms 20:8NIV They saw the enemy approaching and could escape nowhere. They were in a trap. There were no opportunities to escape, and even they stood with their backs to the sea. But then God opened a way for them - through the sea! He had 32,000 men. In fact, it was far too little when the enemy had 135,000. yet he was told he had too many. He then reduced the army down to 10,000 men. But the message was still the same: "You have too much with you." Eventually he was left with just 300 soldiers against the enemy's 135,000 large army. The following two passages are from the Bible. They are about Moses and Gideon. And you can read more about these events in chapter 14 in Exodus and in chapter 7 in Judges. In both cases, the Israeli people found themselves in a hopeless situation. Their only option was to put all his trust in the Lord and he did not fail. Often we have had to admit that in our greatest need, the Lord was near us. David sings in chapter 130: “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;” And in the same psalm: “Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. ” This is also what Paul mentions in 2 Corinthians 12: “For when I am weak, then I am strong. ” God then teaches us fully and completely in faith to entrust us into His hands.
OUT OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION “I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” "I said to him, 'My lord, you know it.' ” Rev.7:14NIV The blessed have been in great tribulation here on earth. What is this tribulation? John is not thinking here of a particularly great unchristian tribulation, but of a tribulation that anyone who wants to be saved on the other side must go through. It is the tribulation that exists when the Christian spirit and the truth fights against the evil in our own hearts and lives. The tribulation is the struggle described in a song: The battle is fought in silence, the harder the battle, the more serious it is. Violent wounds often occur, because often we do not fight well. The tribulation is also the resistance from outside. He who puts all his strength and all his efforts into becoming saved and blessed always encounters resistance. If you truly live as a Christian, then you will be met with resistance and many people do not like you. Otherwise, it is a dubious characteristic of modern Christian people that we are most often allowed to live in peace and quiet. We meet only little resistance. If we know the tribulation, then it is good to know that we have Jesus by our side - he who met such a tribulation as no one else on earth has met. If hardships are laid on us, everyone goes against us, our own became a disappointment so great - then Jesus stands by our side. TDH translated
JESUS HAS EACH INDIVIDUAL PERSON IN THOUGHT ““Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” ” John 4:29NIV A host on a Christian TV station said he once had a long and good talk about spiritual matters with a woman who called in after a TV show. She had a lot on her mind - both good and bad. But towards the end of the conversation, she said: "... next time you're in the air, then wink at me and show that you listened to me." Out of all the thousands of people who watched the show next time, only this woman knew why the host was blinking; but for her it was a clear sign. He had listened - to her. In chapter 6 in the Gospel of John, we read about the time Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in Sychar. The woman hardly ever forgot the conversation. From that very moment, her life was completely changed and she told to everybody about what had happened. Jesus not only saw her, he also saw what her soul first and foremost thirsted for and needed. Remember that Jesus knows each and every one of us. He knows your voice among all the voices of the world, and there are not two people in the whole world who have identical fingerprints. Pray to the Lord, trust in him, for he knows who you are.
OUT OF THE DARK, INTO THE LIGHT ”But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” ” Joshua 24:15NIV God alone is the one who sets people free from the power of darkness. He sets them wonderfully free from a life of lesser value, where they feel insufficient, out of humiliation, fear, depression, out of a life where they are bound to various substances, out of loneliness, rejection, well, much more and to a life of faith, hope, future, goals, meaning, recognition, security, community, indeed, far more. It is a reality that a day will come when we will no longer be allowed to choose. A day where my deeds alone tell the life I have lived. Of the fruits, the tree is known. One day I will stand before God and there I will no longer be allowed to choose. None of us know when the night is coming for the individual. Sometimes it comes faster than we anticipated and expected. Sometimes it comes very close to us, and the pain of losing our loved ones and those we love, it stands so brightly clear to us. God has always wanted us as human beings to live in peace and harmony with him and our fellow human beings. But man himself wanted to govern and turned his back on God, and this led to so much pain entering human life. But God gives you and me the opportunity to choose him today. Shortly before Joshua's death, he delivered a farewell speech to the people of Israel. He turned to them and asked them to choose God and his presence, hope, peace and joy in life. (Read Joshua 24:14 and onwards). We are all going to die, nothing is as certain as that. But I have an influence on how my life is to be today, and also how it is to be when death occurs. - If we die on this side, then we are alive on the other side, which is why it is so crucial that we choose Jesus already today while we are still capable of it. "... But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” "Joshua 24:15NIV Church bell. Effie Campbell translated
THE FOOTPRINTS “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. ” Matt.6:20NIV One Sunday I took a long walk along the wet, soft sand just above the water's edge until I turned around and walked the same way back. Much of the hiking route I was able to see my own footprints. But not all the way, for somewhere the waves had washed them away. In relation to eternity, our time in this world is so immeasurably short, and sooner or later our traces begin to fade and are erased and then disappear completely. The Bible advises us to "store up for ourselves treasures in heaven." Not only because our traces here are weakened, obliterated and disappear, but because the life offered to us there is far more glorious than what we know in this world. And besides, the second option is far, far worse. In everyday life, it is worth considering what tracks we leave behind. It is told of a man who one morning with freshly fallen snow was on his way over to the pub. All of a sudden he turns around and sees his little son coming after him as he follows in his father's footsteps. This gave the father something to think about, and he turned around and went back to his own home. In many ways and with many images, Jesus has shown us the way home to the Father's house. Blessed is he who chooses that path.
IS THERE OIL ON YOUR LAMP? ”“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. ” Matt.25:13NIV Not long ago, I experienced an incident that made me think of the ten virgins who set off to meet the groom. The parable is in Matt.25. We were in a travel company in Israel and stood at the "Lion Gate", which leads into the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem, waiting for our bus to arrive. We waited for ages but the bus did not show up. Now the uncertainty began to spread: “Why is the bus not coming? Has something happened? How long are we going to wait here? ” Then someone asks: "Do any of us have a mobile?" Yes, at least there was one with a mobile. Then it might be possible to sort this out or hear something about it. The mood immediately improved until the person in question could see that the mobile was dead for power. So there we were with a nice mobile of a good brand that could do this and that. But without power it was useless and could do nothing. Then I came to mind the 5 foolish bridesmaids. They had lamps but no oil. We had a mobile but no power. We can easily have big words in our mouths and we can witness with swinging and gesturing arms and yet be without life and victory when we are in distress. That is why Jesus ends by saying, "Therefore keep watch!" It can only be done in one way, and that is to have daily, personal, and intimate connection with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit through the Word. It is there and only there that we get oil for our lamp so that it can constantly shine. Talking about having oil on the lamp can for some people seem an incomprehensible, over-the-top formulation with one's head in the clouds. So let’s try to get it down to earth and into our daily lives. Does oil have anything to do with many emotions, getting goosebumps, seeing angels hovering over problems and more of the same kind. No, not in the least! Life with God is a walk of faith, where you may occasionally sense the emotions but it is not necessary with the emotions, and the most common is that you feel nothing. So let's turn back to the little cell phone that did not do any good because the batteries ran out of power. How are the batteries charged? Simply by plugging the cord into the socket from which the power comes. So it is with us. How can we constantly make sure we have oil on our lamp? By constantly staying close to the source from which the oil flows. It is not the same as being on your knees 7 hours a day or reading 30 chapters in Scriptures a day. But that means your thoughts throughout the day circulate about God's characteristics, mindset and words as you do the day's deeds and the housework. We must constantly practice this. But it is a lifestyle worth pursuing. Because then your battery will never be drained of the "heavenly power", and your lamp will always have the oil of the Holy Spirit. Then you are a wise virgin.
THE HARVEST “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. ” 2 Cor.9:6NIV Lord, autumn is already at the door. The days get shorter, the nights get longer and it gets cooler! There is something melancholic about autumn. What used to bloom so adorable now fades and dies. The green and fresh leaves on the trees now sing their "postlude" - a beautiful spectacle of wonderful autumn colors that you never get tired of looking at. But suddenly this is gone too. The leaves hang there brown and wrinkled until the autumn storms have swept them away. And one day, the migratory birds also set off for warmer and distant skies. But the harvest is necessary for us. The crop must be secured and brought to the barn, and we are preparing for winter - the season that is already reaching its icy hands against us and we see it turn white on the mountain sides. But we reap according to what we sowed - “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly” is written in Scriptures, Lord. And I don’t mean that you only think about grains and potatoes, but about how we live the life you gave us. What can I expect to reap from the life I have lived? Is it good semen that gives results when the harvest day is approaching? A harvest is in progress. I see that in the people around me. They are aging and are characterized by the fact that summer has passed and is laid behind us. And I do not look at myself in the mirror for long either, because the wrinkles have now become bigger and more numerous.
The migratory birds have moved towards warmer countries. Thank you,
Lord, that I too can prepare to move. Help me to lighten my wings when
my time has come to take me home to you. This hope is a glimmer of light
in the autumn darkness and gives courage and faith in the future.
THE DREAM “for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.” Job 28:24NIV A man was speaking in the parish hall. Among other things, he told about a piece of text that he had read many years ago in the magazin Dansk Missionsblad. Despite the many years that had passed since then, he remembered the text down to the smallest detail, as the text had spoken so strongly to him. The text was about a man who had a dream. We often dream, and when we wake up again we say: "It was just a dream!" But it may happen that when we wake up, we know with certainty that this time it was more than just a dream. The man who wrote in the Danish magazine tells something like this: “I dream that I go down to the baker to buy crusty rolls. On the way back I meet Jesus who says he is coming to visit me today. When we get home to ourselves I offer Jesus the very best chair in the house and we sit around the breakfast table with the crusty rolls and coffee. What I particularly notice was that no one says a word. There was utter silence, and a wonderful, blessed peace reigned. Peace is truly in short supply these days - words, words and more words wash over us day in and day out. Radio and TV are on and song and music fill the space everywhere. Indeed, noise and unrest we have plenty of. Finally I say: “Jesus, now I have to go to work. Please sit and rest and make yourself comfortable here. When I come back tonight, the two of us will have a wonderful evening together. ” But Jesus said he came with me to work. As we step inside the workplace, I offer Jesus a good chair to sit on, but he says he would like to sit right inside the door on a stool. Soon the first customer shows up. He speaks loudly, is boastful and mouth-watering. "Now, let me tell you something. I have come up with some tricks that we can both win big bucks on. And then he set out to tell about his scams with big words and gestures. The man became more and more distressed by the whole situation as Jesus sat there and heard it all. Eventually, the man threw the customer out. "What's wrong with you today, you do not usually act like that. Have you become holy? ” he shouted furiously while stroking out the door. Then came the next customer. This man had a terribly ugly mouth. The oaths poured out of him and the talk was raw. The man also had to throw this man out, and the customer mockingly asked him if he had now become holy. When evening came, the man went over to Jesus and said to him, “Lord, it was unfortunate that you were to experience all this today. I am with you every single day, 24 hours a day. I hear and see everything you say and do, ”Jesus replied. And then the man woke up. It is no exaggeration to say that he was shaken. Of course, he was aware that Jesus is always with us and hears and sees everything. He had read that in the Bible. But this knowledge had not completely taken hold in his mind and brain, so he had not given himself time to consider and think more carefully about what it really meant before now. Now he had experienced Jesus' visit, and he did not want to be ashamed as he had experienced here again. How are you and I? Do we think of our invisible guest who is by our side. Effie Campbell translated
THERE IS STILL ROOM ““ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ ” Luke 14:22NIV A young Christian man had come into spiritual distress, for he had come into doubt as to whether he was still a child of God. He talked to his older friend about it. The friend looked for a while in the Bible and then he found Luke 14:22: ““ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ ” The elder tried to explain to him clearly and distinctly that there is still room with Jesus, even for him who doubts. But this helped very little. For others, there may have been room with God, but not for a sinner like him. Then the elder told of a memory from his childhood: “I remember my mother saying that we were to have a riddle night at home. I had to first of all recite my riddles. Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. I did not think mother was particularly good at guessing them. But then it was Mom's turn to tell her riddles. "What is the first thing a human being needs to get?" "Food," I shouted. "Good care" shouted one of my siblings. But mom just shook her head and smiled. "The very first thing a human being has for need," she said, "is a residence." And then she added: “None of us have asked for this residence. Before you even thought about it, and before you were told about it, Jesus had prepared for you a residence in his kingdom. Soon he will bring you there again. ” The young doubting man thought carefully for a while, and then he beamed happily: "Well, I already possessed that residence before I even began doubting and therefore I still own it!" Well, thank God there is still room. TDH translated
MIGRATORY BIRDS ”But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, ” Philip 3:20NIV We sat in front of the kitchen window this beautiful autumn day. It was Sunday so we had plenty of time. The little birds outside the window fought each other to get the breadcrumbs we had thrown out for them. It was autumn and the birds were now getting ready for the long journey. If you looked up into the air from time to time, you saw them in flocks and they all flew in the same direction - towards warmer skies in the south. This amazes me, Lord. What is it that makes them all decide to leave at the same time? What kind of "revival meeting" have they attended that makes them all fly away? Who is it that tells them that now is the time? Is it you, Lord, who gives the command? or have you put it in their little heads that now is the right time? Or do they just sense that now is the time for leaving? Whatever the reason, they leave, and we can just stand and wave goodbye and wish them a good trip. Lord, something of the same I feel in my own bosom. An inner unrest - and joy at the same time. With us, there is also a journey ahead - not towards warm and sunny beaches in the south, but home to you! You say you will come when the time is right - when the trumpet sounds - and will take us home to you! Lord, do not forget that I have given you my heart.
NO ONE EVER SPOKE THE WAY THIS MAN DOES ““No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied. ” John 7:46NIV A startling and almost funny story: The high priests and Pharisees had expected the guards to seize Jesus by force and bring him to them. But instead of "apprehending" him, they became so preoccupied and fascinated by his message that they just stood and listened. When the temple guards return to the Pharisees and high priests, they say the reason they did not have Jesus with them is that "no one ever spoke the way this man does" So accurate and penetrating Jesus' words can be. And many people - even in our own time - are stopped by the Word of God. In the same way, crowds of people can testify that the Word of God in the Bible has given them new hope, new comfort, and new joy. No one ever spoke the way Jesus does. His words were and still are life- giving. And it's more than merely words. The reality behind Jesus' words cannot be distorted and is eternally unchangeable. It "creates what it mentions." May we therefore truly listen the next time we hear the Word of God preached.
7th September 2021 A JOURNEY TO THE 7 CONGREGATIONS OF THE REVELATION ”Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:” Eph.1:1NIV In the magazine "Danish European Mission" dec. In 2002, Ove Klausen writes about a journey he participated in together with "Unitas" to the 7 congregations mentioned in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation. These cities are all located in what we today call Turkey. Everything that common tourists experience today, e.g. the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia Church, a journey in Troy and up in an imitation of the Trojan horse, seeing how to weave rugs - indeed they even saw “a flying rug” - all this and much, much more they experienced. But to experience the buzz of history was the best of all. Imagine being in Ephesus and walking in the same streets and stepping on the very stones that Paul had trodden when he lived here and sitting in the great theater of Ephesus and hearing a reading from the 19th chapter of Acts, how men of Ephesus in this very place (19:29) raged like mad against Paul. And - a little further away to dwell at the tomb of the apostle John. Although the heyday of antiquity is now in ruins, it is something very special to be in these biblical places. Much has changed, but much remains to this day as in ancient times. Paul and the first Christians who have lived here in some of the big cities of that time, Smyrna, Pergamon, Sardis and whatever they were called, they have seen the same sea, the same mountains and the same landscabe that our travel team saw. In the past, cities and places were just names from the New Testament, but now they became concrete history and geography, and being able to get to know the historical conditions in which the biblical texts speak makes you suddenly understand the texts much better. It is worth considering that these places where the first Christian congregations were located, today Islam completely rules and governs. Our Turkish tour guide was a Christian. When we asked him why Islam defeated Christianity, he replies that it was because the then church stopped going out with the gospel. It did not missionize. The tour guide, called Gürkan, has a story of repentance similar to the one Paul went through. Already in his very first years of school, he was selected to examine Islam so that he could later become an imam. They are the ones in charge of the service in a mosque. He devoted himself into this with life and soul and was utterly convinced in his faith. As a young Muslim, one day he walked into a Christian bookstore in Istanbul. He intended to convert the staff there to Islam. But they made him buy a New Testament. About two years later, he began reading in it, not to become a Christian but to confirm and prove that the Christians had falsified the Bible, for that is exactly what Muslims teach. But he was hugely surprised. He had a completely different view of the Bible than the one he had learned. Deep down, he felt that the Christian hope was different from what he would ever be able to hope to achieve as a Muslim, regardless of whether he did everything a good Muslim should do. He was depressed and doubtful and did not know what to believe. In his distress he one night asked Allah the following night to reveal the answer in a dream. But as he now was praying, he hears clearly and distinctly a voice asking, "Which fruit is the best?" He immediately thought "Muhammad or Jesus", and all by himself he answers: "Jesus." The voice answers him back, "That is my way." Since becoming a Christian, he has encountered much opposition, and he has also been imprisoned for his faith, even though there is officially freedom of religion in Turkey. Gürkan is not the only Muslim who is being converted these days, as God intervenes directly, e.g. via dreams and visions. Effie Campbell translated
BE GREETED, CROSS - OUR ONLY HOPE “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalms 119:105NIV One of those who has fought most fiercely against Christianity and the belief in the living God is the Swedish poet and dramatist, August Strindberg. He got a big bunch of people on his side through pretty much his entire life. But in his old age he was converted and came to firm faith in the salvation of God through Jesus Christ as crucified and resurrected for all the sins of the world. August Strindberg bitterly regretted that in his young years he had decided to leave God and, contrary to God's word and God's commandments, had written so much in a godless spirit. In 1907-1908 he wrote his "Blue Book". There he says "....... all discouragement and all the misfortunes in my life has arisen because I have lived as an atheist - indeed, as a slave." On his deathbed, he himself asked the archbishop to have the funeral speech over him based on the words in Ecclesiastes, 12:1-7. Here is the first verse: “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”—” August Strindberg died a beautiful death with the Bible in his hand. His last words were: "Everything is forgiven!" At his spot in Norre cemetery in Stockholm, there is a wooden cross with the following inscription in Latin: "Ave crux spes unica!" It means: "Be greeted, cross, our only hope" And yet his works of unbelief and godlessness are mentioned, reproduced and praised as great works in the literary world, but almost never his conversion and end of life. The cross mark should not only be our mark of victory on the grave but also in life. God's word and God's commandments should call us to repentance and they should guide us to the truth of life in faith in Christ. God's word and God's commandments should be our protection within which we live our daily lives. J.A.Naes
DEATH HAS NOT THE FINAL SAY ““Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice ” John 5:28NIV Take a walk in the cemetery and let your thoughts run free. Many thoughts pop up at such a moment as you walk back and forth among the graves, and the cemetery reminds us of what none of us can get around. Here, everyone is equal. Here they lie side by side. Some died young, others in old age. Some got an expensive tombstone, others just a poor memorial plaque. But what does it mean, death removes all differences. From earth you came and to earth you will return whoever you are. This is the unwavering truth which will never change. Our time was just a short while. We read the names of the tombstones. Many of them we knew while they were in their prime. We think it is so short since they went here among us, yet they have now been dead and buried many years ago. Such is our glory. "Merely a moment we breathe here on earth." Someday it will be your turn too. You do not like to think about it, but death will not escape anyone unless Christ has come before. Is death the last? That is the question. We can make many thoughts; but there is not much use in them when the power of death demands his. "Peace" is written on the tombstones. I wish it was always like that! But there is one thing that is at least true: "Only those are in the singing crowd, who here on earth found peace with their God." The cemetery is God's field. When our earthly remains are carried out there, God has the word. And only him. It is sown in the perishable world, but the hour is coming when all who are in the graves will hear his voice. He does no wrong, but pronounces judgment that we ourselves have pronounced through our choices. The big problem is not death, but life. How do we learn to live so that we can stand and endure death? The answer is: Belief in the resurrected one gives victory - even in death.
POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE PRAYER “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. ” Luke 18:1NIV When we read about the people who have been great in their prayer life, it makes us wish we could pray prayers that were more effective. It is very important that we are awakened so that we understand how necessary it is with this kind of prayer. Time leads us to rush along and therefore there are many who do not give themselves time to pray. But if we want the work of the Lord to prosper, then we must take time each day to pray. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ” Phil.4:6NIV Men heard John Know praying, "Give me Scotland or I'll die!" George Whitefield prayed, "Give me souls, or take mine!" Brainerd said more than once about himself, "I did not care about how I lived or what difficulties I had to go through as long as I could just win souls for Christ." When those sitting at David Stoner's deathbed thought that the spirit had gone out of his body, he sat up and said, “O Lord, save sinners! Save them in dozens! Save them in the hundreds! Save them by the thousands! ” The enthusiasm and fervor that characterized him in life was also strong in death. Are we fighting in prayer for lost souls? May the Lord help us understand the fate of the lost. May our daily prayer be, "God, give us a greater burden so that people may be saved." ”... The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. ” James 5:16NIV ”“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. ” Matt.18:19NIV "Church bell" 1.1969. Effie Campbell translated
HELP IN TEMPTATION ”Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. ” Heb.2:18NIV It is especially important in times of need to have a friend who understands me and who can stand by my side and help me. And it is in this way that Jesus Christ will be the Savior of our youth, as we sing in a song. This is not a foggy speech about a distant God who, from his throne, most graciously looks down on us when the most important questions of life rage - and only then. No, he himself has wandered around on this planet like a human in the dust. Therefore, he fully knows our conditions and difficulties, and he will help us in all circumstances, even when we are tempted. He himself was tempted in the same way as we are; but sin does not appear until we succumb to temptation and we surrender into the hands of the tempter. Then there is only one defense in the moment of heavy temptation: immediately to flee to him who is stronger than the tempter, Jesus Christ. TDH translated
FROM SINKING SAND TO THE ROCK
Margreta Palmstjerne, the daughter of the Swedish ambassador in London, was born in 1905. Already at the age of 18 she was known for her beauty, her grace and her good manners. She was one of those people flocked to and esteemed highly.
She wrote diary, both as a girl and as a married woman. The diary was published after her death in 1942. In the diary, it is clear how this highly regarded girl and woman all her time saw the emptiness of building her life on the world's riches, money and luxury and comfort and honor and praise from people.
The diary shows that Margreta reads a lot in the Bible and step by step she lets go of the world's emptiness and arrogance and instead acquires a living faith in Christ as her Savior.
In 1941 she became seriously ill and never recovered from this illness. The latest thing she wrote in her diary before she passed away in 1942 are these familiar words: “Here on earth we live like sinking sand. Thank God that He sent Christ into the world. His life is so clear to me. It is the only thing that is unwavering and fixed in life; and I ask Him to protect me from myself - and from my own weaknesses. I say as David says to God in Psalm 40: 3: “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. ”
1st September 2021
FROM SINKING SAND TO THE ROCK
Margreta Palmstjerne, the daughter of the Swedish ambassador in London,
was born in 1905. Already at the age of 18 she was known for her beauty,
her grace and her good manners. She was one of those people flocked to
and esteemed highly.
She wrote diary, both as a girl and as a married woman. The diary was
published after her death in 1942. In the diary, it is clear how this highly
regarded girl and woman all her time saw the emptiness of building life on
the world's riches, money and luxury and comfort and honor and praise
The diary shows that Margreta reads a lot in the Bible and step by step she
lets go of the world's emptiness and arrogance and instead acquires a
living faith in Christ as her Savior.
In 1941 she became seriously ill and never recovered from this illness.
The latest words she wrote in her diary before she passed away in 1942
are these familiar words: “Here on earth we live like sinking sand. Thank
God that God sent Christ into the world. His life is so clear to me. It is the
only thing that is unwavering and fixed in life; and I ask Him to protect
me from myself - and from my own weaknesses. I say as David says to
God in Psalm 40: 3: “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and
mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. ”
1st September 2021
“... he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, ”
Jesus most often prayed alone by himself. We hear about this many times in the New Testament. A prayer like his high priest prayer he has obviously prayed while other people were present, for otherwise it would not have been written down and preserved for posterity.
We can pray together, and the common prayer has many promises. We should apply this way of praying more often than we do. But - still - the closet prayer when I am alone with God is the best. The one we love we want to be alone with.
Therefore, the closet prayer is the best answer we can give Jesus when he asks:
"Do you love me?"
Do you long to be alone with God every day? Do you long for the moments when you can talk to him in peace and quiet about everything that wrestles in your heart?
"To You, Lord, belongs all the glory – To me all the shame, yet you do not drive me away from you, you, the Son of the anointed God!"
Now go into your closet with the Lord!