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Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Christian Walk




Image result for images of the Christian walk

The Christian walk is not causal
But I dare say it is consequential,
It is not meritorious to our salvation
But regarding the same it is evidential.

We do not walk to gain salvation
We walk because we have gained it,
It’s not by works of which we boast
But a walk that becomes the habit.

This walk is characterized by love
Not by jealousy and envy,
It does not differentiate between the brethren
But seeks to dwell in unity.

Image result for images of the Christian walk

It reflects the character of Jesus
Who indwells us through the Spirit
And together with our heavenly Father
Our lives the Trinity inhabits.

Some believers regard it as the hope
By which we gain eternal life,
The Bible posits it as the evidence
Hence no need for brotherly strife.

We are called to walk circumspectly
Redeeming the time in these evil days,
Not walking in the counsel of the ungodly
But walking in the Christ-like way.

For he walked this earth before us
Setting the pattern we should follow,
So that as saints together in the Spirit
We continually walk the straight and narrow.

Image result for images of the Christian walk

In this walk we incrementally grow,
Each believer at a different rate,
But all together emulating Jesus,
Looking towards that unknown date.

Occupy till I come, the advice to heed,
Make full proof of thy ministry,
Do the work of an evangelist
For our reward is sure in eternity.
  
Stand therefore on the word of truth
And walk as a soldier of the Lord,
Be thou an example for all around
As you witness on the basis of God’s word.

Image result for images of the Christian walk

Honour Christ with both life and lip
And never from Devil’s jar take a sip,
Whenever you stumble or even slip
Remember the Spirit is there so take a grip.

Do not be contentious regarding the word
Instead highlight its fundamental truths,
Commit to the Spirit as he speaks to you
And let your walk be the obvious proof.

Stewart Russell © June 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Peace



Image result for images for John 14:27

I decided to take a journey
 In search for lasting peace
And as you would expect
I started from the east.

Where on this earth
I asked as I passed
Might I find that kind of peace
That is sure to last?

I spoke to a gentleman
Who looked rather “well to do”,
“Where might I find peace?”
I asked, “What is your view?”

With vacant eyes
He replied to me,
“I have accumulated wealth in search of peace
But with no such luck, I guess you can see.”

I met up on a pilot
Who was oft in the air
But the reply he gave me
Left me in despair.

Image result for images of a plane in flight

“When I leave the ground,”
He pointed to the sky,
“But the moment that I land
That peace I am denied.”

I met with a ship’s captain
Who had sailed on the high seas,
“No lasting peace no part of the ocean,
Just a trifle given a light breeze.”

I spoke to a philosopher,
I figured he should know,
“I thought I had the answer,” he said,
“But found out it wasn’t so.”

Next on the list was a wise old Rabbi
With head bowed before me he stood,
I waited a bit as he ended his prayer
And then spoke when he said I could.

“Tell me sir,” I inquired of him,
Where might I find your lasting peace?”
“You assume a lot,” he replied to me,
“On such I have no lease.”

My heart really sank
For surely I had thought
Here was my answer
But he left me more distraught.

I continued my journey
While searching my list
When as fate would have it
I came on a psychologist.

“Peace is what you make it,”
He said it with a taunt.
“Just adopt the right frame of mind
And you’ll have all that you want.”

I need not tell you
That his answer offered me no hope
For my mind was so unstable
I was on a slippery slope.

On my journey I continued
With lasting peace as my quest,
Vowing only when I find it
Only then would I rest.

There was a sense of getting nearer
Hence I dare not give up
Until I receive that lasting peace
And drink from its precious cup.

Image result for images of a pilgrim

Then I came to a pilgrim
Resolute in his walk,
His determined shuffled suggested
He didn’t have much time to talk.

However I pleaded with him then
To spare me a moment of time
And tell me if he knew where
I could find lasting peace of mind.

With longing eyes he looked at me,
“That’s where I am headed now,” he said.
"I’ve been on this journey quite a while
And it’s all that’s in my head.”

Not long after I came to a church
And there I sat in a pew
Hoping that after the service
I could obtain the minister’s view.

Image result for images for a church

He met me at the door
And greeted me with a smile
And even before I could ask
Offered to share with me a while.

“I know what you need,” he said to me.
“You’re obviously searching for a church,
Join up with us and you’ll not regret
You’ve come to the end of your search.”

“Thanks, but no thanks,” I said to him,
“That’s not the extent of my search.
It’s peace I am after; it’s peace I need
And I have been to many a church.”

He seemed “put off” by my response
So I bid him a very good day
And with renewed resolve I ventured off
And continued on my way.

Image result for images for Westbury Cemetery

I happened to pass by a cemetery
And turned in through its gate
And as I walked up to the crowd
I didn’t have long to wait.

“He’s at peace,” yes, I am sure I heard,
“He’s at peace from all earth’s cares.”
It was the dead to whom he referred
And again my heart sank in despair.

“That’s easy, then," I thought to myself.
“All I have to do is die
And peace would be mine forevermore
No longer would I be denied.”

“But that’s not it,” I thought again,
“What about while I’m alive?
The peace I need is not of the dead,
That’s not the peace after which I strive."

It’s then I heard a still small voice
Piercing the tumult in my mind,
“My peace I’ll give you; my peace you can have,
Just seek me and peace you will find.”

I just marvelled at this
That in the midst of this crowd
With all its sorrow and its grief
The answer had come and it wasn’t even loud.

Image result for images for John 14:27

“My peace I give to you
Not as the world gives, give I unto you.
A peace that passes all understanding;
A peace that is lasting and true."

It’s the peace of God for which the world longs
Even though the world knows it not,
It soothes our doubts and calms our fears
And is always with us no matter what.

My search for peace had thus ended
As I took the Saviour on board,
My ship was steadied though the seas were rough
The cost of such peace I could not afford.

Image result for images for John 14:27

But Jesus purchased that peace for me
And not for me alone
But for all who penitently bow at his feet
And make him King on their throne.

Self is that seat you occupy
At the expense of the Master’s peace,
Abdicate your throne He calls today
And your search for real peace will cease.

His peace he’ll give to you
And all your issues he will resolve
And to obtain his lasting peace
There’s no journey involved.

Rather, the journey comes after
In the walk we have with him
And it’s his peace that brings us comfort
Having been rid of our sin.

Image result for images for the star over Bethlehem

There came wise men from the east
To find the Prince of Peace
The star stood over where he lay
And only then did their journey cease.

Stewart Russell © June 2017