PRAYER OF AN ANONYMOUS AGING PERSON
(reportedly 17th century)
Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.
Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.
Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains – they increase with increasing years, and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.
I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint – it is so hard to live with some of them – but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.
Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so. Amen. (An article worth repeating.)
“Nothing worse can happen to a church, than to be conformed to this world! Those who would be transfigured by Jesus, must not be disfigured by conformity to this world.” Charles Spurgeon
A GENERATION UNDER THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD
When must it be declared that a generation is under the judgment of the Almighty? Such an awesome declaration must not be made hastily. Yet, God’s servant must not fail to faithfully warn men of his judgment and instruct them in times of spiritual famine.
The single greatest cause of Divine judgment is idolatry (Rom. 1:25-26). When those who are supposed to be speaking for God “change the truth of God into a lie and worship and serve the creature more than the Creator,” leading men away from God, they lead them to destruction. Idolatry is not just the worship of images. It is the worship of any god other than the true and living God. Any religion that makes man great and God small, makes salvation the work of man rather than the work of God, and makes any way of access to God other than, or in conjunction with Christ, is idolatry. In a word, all free will, works religion is idolatry! It is the worship of the creature, not the Creator! What is the result of idolatry? Judgment! This judgment is manifest in three particular areas.
1. Spiritual Blindness (II Thess. 2:10-11) – When God gives people over to a reprobate mind he sends them spiritual blindness so that they cannot believe the gospel. Free grace, sovereign election, substitutionary redemption, effectual calling and infallible preservation are stumbling blocks to them. A generation under the judgment of God is a generation that loves religion, but hates God.
2. Moral Perversion (Rom. 1:27-28) – Nothing more evidently manifests the wrath of God upon a people than the reversal of roles between men and women. Effeminate men and domineering women are destructive, never beneficial to society. Those two things always lead to homosexuality and lesbianism. These are not alternative life styles. They are reprobate life styles.
3. Self-serving Chaos and Rebellion (Rom. 1:29-32) – A generation under the judgment of God is one filled with rebels, people who despise every form of God ordained authority and live only to fulfill their own lusts, sensual and material. Consequently, deceit, fornication, murder, and barbaric cruelty become common place. These things are the result of religion which debases the character of God and exalts the dignity of man!
—By Don Fortner
I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. Ezek. 34:16
He Shall Glorify Me
“He shall glorify me; for He shall receive of mine, and show it unto you.” John 16:14
The Holy Spirit does not reach after something novel, new, or
spectacular in order to glorify Christ or to preach Christ to men. He does not need tongues, fleshly emotion, bodily healings, and creature fame and importance in order to bring glory to Christ and call out His sheep. He finds Christ’s glory IN CHRIST HIMSELF! If we want to honor Christ, glorify Christ, and preach Christ, we must not look for something outside of Christ; but we must honor Him by preaching that which is His already – His deity, His person, His man-hood, His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, His intercession, His return! Strange as it may seem, there is today very little preaching OF CHRIST HIMSELF. Men preach about those who knew Him, who served Him, and who wrote of Him. They preach about His church, His doctrines, and His commandments. They preach series of messages on those who used to preach Christ, on the conduct and conversation of those who profess to know Christ, and on the duties and responsibilities of believers in Christ, but very few messages ON THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST HIMSELF. They read papers and conduct discussions on ways and means to serve Christ, and how to honor Christ; and they seldom get around to doing that which God has ordained and commissioned us to do AND THAT IS TO PREACH CHRIST!
Jesus Christ is most glorified, His sheep most edified, His will and purpose accomplished, and His church perfected in faith, hope, and love WHEN WE PREACH CHRIST HIMSELF. The work of the Spirit of God is to reveal to us the beauties of Jesus Christ, AND THEY ARE ALL FOUND IN CHRIST HIMSELF.
– Henry Mahan