Tag: Pleasure

The world’s pleasures

John MacDuffby John MacDuff

“Ripples in the Twilight” 1885

“Jabez called on the God of Israel saying: ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed!’ So God granted him what he requested.” 1 Chronicles 4:10

There is much apparent good not worth calling by the name. What the world speaks of as blessings are, some of them, often worthless; and many of them are undoubtedly evil and detrimental. They are counterfeits–they do not bear upon them the coinage and currency of Heaven. Satan has disguised them–stamped them as true metal–while they are base alloy!

Let us leave our blessings, and the method of their bestowal, with the Giver of every good and perfect gift–into His hand committing our earthly all, with this prayer of intense fervor yet of simple faith, “Oh that You would bless me indeed!” I want nothing which the world calls a blessing, unless You think it proper for me. I want no shadows–no baubles. I do not ask for riches–they may be a snare to me. I do not ask for . . . the cup running over, the barns full, the fig-tree blossoming, the home-nest without the thorn. These might alienate me from Yourself, and bind me only closer to earth!

I want blessings indeed. God, I am no judge of this. Whatever YOU give, will be a true blessing to me. And even if You take it away–I will strive to believe that the dark and painful dealing, is Your kindness to me also.

Yes, we repeat, the world’s pleasures are often curses in disguise–like Cleopatra’s viper, which was hidden in a basket of flowers. There is often . . . an adder lurking in the bed of roses, a fly in the ointment, poison in the wine-cup!

But the blessings of God are blessings bearing His own divine seal and signature. They may come . . . in frowning providences, in baffling dispensations, in strokes of the chastening rod. For the present they may seem not joyous, but grievous. But I am content to be in His hands–joyful or sorrowful, in health or in sickness, living or dying. O my Father, give Your own blessing, and I shall bow my heart in submission; for I can only hear in it accents of paternal love!

by John MacDuff

 

We are not of the world

Mary Winslowby Mary Winslow

“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus!” Hebrews 3:1

How poor and unsatisfying are all things here below–even the best and the loveliest! Is it not strange that we can lose sight of Heaven and eternal glory–and grovel in the dust to gather pebbles, for the pleasure of throwing them away afterwards?

Oh, to walk more intimately with Him, to live above the world, and hold the creature with a looser hand, taking God’s Word as our guiding light and our unfailing spring of comfort. God has eternally provided such a magnificent and holy Heaven for us above, that He is jealous lest we should set our hearts too fondly and closely upon the fleeting attractions of earth. Therefore it is that He withers our gourds and breaks our cisterns–only to dislodge us from this poor world, and lead us to seek those things which are above, where Christ our treasure is.

Let us keep our eye and our hearts upon our blessed eternal home. Earth is but a stage erected as our passage to the place Jesus has gone to prepare for us. What a place must that be–which infinite power and love has engaged to provide! Oh, let us not lose sight of Heaven for a moment.

How prone are we to allow our minds and hearts (our treacherous hearts!) to become entangled with the baubles of a dying world. No wonder Christ exhorted us to watch and pray. Heaven is our home–our glorious home. We are but strangers and pilgrims here on earth. Try and realize it. Let us keep ourselves ready to enter with Him to the marriage supper of the Lamb. In a little while, and we shall see Him, not as the ‘Man of sorrows,’ but the ‘King in His beauty!’ Then let us fight against the world and all its vain attractions, for it is passing away.

The world and its ‘nothings’ are often a sad snare to God’s saints. Oh that by faith we may overcome it all, and keep close to Jesus! We are not of the world–let us try and not attend to its gewgaws!

Keep a more steadfast, unwavering eye upon Christ. He has gone a little before us, and stands beckoning us to follow!

Live for eternity! Let go of your hold upon the world!

Receive this exhortation from an aged pilgrim, who, as she nears the solemn scenes of eternity, and more realizes the inexpressible joys that await us there, is anxious that all believers who are traveling the same road might have their hearts and minds more disentangled from worthless earthly things, and themselves unreservedly given to Christ. Let us aim in all things to follow Him who, despising this world’s show, left us an example how we should walk. Have your lamp trimmed and brightly burning, for every day and every hour brings us nearer and nearer to your home!

“Dearest Jesus! help Your pilgrims to live more like pilgrims–above a poor dying world, and more in full view of the glory that awaits us when we shall see You face to face!”

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. When Christ, who is your life, appears–then you also will appear with Him in glory!” Colossians 3:1-4

by Mary Winslow