David Livingstone In 1873, the Apostle to Africa, was found dead in the jungle, on his knees, as if in prayer. For 33 years in Africa he had walked, crawled, climbed, waded, canoed, had ridden and been carried some 40,000 miles through the “white man’s grave.” He took notes and made maps every step of the way. He told every African he saw the good news about Jesus Christ.
It took natives 9 months to carry his body to the coast, where it could be prepared for shipment to England. When his body arrived, it was examined by pathologists; they found scars and bone damage where he had at one time been mauled by a lion. His heart and internal organs lie buried in Africa under an mvula tree. His body was buried in Westminster Abbey, among the legends of Britain.
When a teenager, he wrote this prayer in his journal: “Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me; Lay any burden upon me, only sustain me; Sever any tie, but the tie that binds me to Thy service and Thy side!”
Livingstone said he was sustained by the promise of a gentleman of sacred character who said, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
When I consider the life of David Livingstone, I am convicted of being a spiritual failure – a pigmy, as compared to this Giant of the Faith. Perhaps it might be my privilege, when in the New Heaven on the New Earth, to be assigned as one of the gardeners, working among the flowers in the garden that surrounds his estate throughout eternity. What an honor that would be!
I wonder if we see the Celestial City, as David Livingstone saw it!
“You too now have sorrow; but I will see you again; and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you. And in that day you will ask Me no question. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name. Until now, you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.”
It had been a three-year struggle following the Master. In these hours before His arrest, trial, betrayal, and crucifixion, Jesus endeavors to encourage His disciples. They were alone with Him now. It would not be long before He would be taken from them. I wonder if they understood His encouraging words. I wonder if we understand them now.
There are three things that sort of leap out to me, as I read these words. They are stark realities about which we should be enlightened and encouraged.
The reality of sorrow: Whether personally or in relation to those around us, we find ourselves perpetually in a struggle with “the world, the flesh, and the devil.” We see loved ones struggling with health issues, financial setbacks, family dysfunction, and work-related challenges. We ask ourselves, “Will life ever be free from trials and troubles?” Somehow we know the answer is NO. After all, didn’t Jesus say, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Like it or not, from waking in the morning to dropping off to sleep at night, we live in a world of personal, filial, and whole-world experiences that sometimes overwhelm us with sorrow. Christ’s disciples would soon experience this, when they observed their Master hanging on a gibbet on Golgotha. [Read more…]
“For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”
God ordained and planned your life before He spoke the Universe into existence. He ordained the day of your conception, the day of your birth, and the day of your death. God is the author of life, the sustainer of life, and the consummator of all earthly life by His providence.
Abortion is premeditated murder. Murder is the killing of a human being with intent to kill (malice aforethought). It is condemned by God and worthy of damnation in hell. In our post-Christian culture, the murder of the unborn is subjected to the choice of the mother bearing the child. It is culturally accepted as pre-birth, partial birth, and of post birth, as seen in the damnable practice of removing a child to harvest its organs for sale. Culture willfully accepts abortion as normal solution to an unwanted pregnancy, particularly in cases of rape, incest, or the health of the mother. [Read more…]
“For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him,
but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict
which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.”
The mission of Jesus Christ in His incarnation was to bear witness to the truth of the Triune God, bear the penalty of the sins of many, to die in their place, to rise from the dead and ascend to His Father’s throne in Heaven. He came to redeem His people. As He suffered, so did His disciples. With the exception of John, Christ’s main followers all died as martyrs.
In a recent interview on NRB network, Ravi Zacharias was asked, “Is suffering necessary for Christians?” He provided an answer that bears repeating. He referred to suffering as “the fine tuning of one’s own life” and gave four truths we would do well to embrace: [Read more…]