Truth for Life - December 20, 2016
Payments from the Master
Call the laborers and pay them their wages. - Matthew 20:8
God is a good Master; He pays His servants while they work and also when their work is done. One of His payments is this: an easy conscience. If you have spoken faithfully of Jesus to one person, when you go to bed at night you feel happy, thinking, "I have today discharged my conscience of that man's blood."
There is a great comfort in doing something for Jesus. What a happiness to place jewels in His crown and allow Him to see of the travail of His soul! There is also great reward in watching the first buddings of conviction in a soul! To say of that girl in the class, "She has a tender heart—I do hope that the Lord is at work in her." To go home and pray over that boy who said something in the afternoon that made you think he must know more of divine truth than you had feared! Oh, the joy of hope!
But as for the joy of success—it is unspeakable! This joy, overwhelming as it is, is a hungry thing—you pine for more of it. To be a soul-winner is the happiest thing in the world. With every soul you bring to Christ, you get a new heaven on earth. But who can conceive of the bliss that awaits us above! How sweet is the sentence, "Enter into the joy of your master!"1 Do you know what the joy of Christ is over a saved sinner? This is the very joy that we are to possess in heaven. Yes, when He ascends the throne, you shall ascend with Him.
When the heavens ring with "Well done, well done," you will have a part in the reward. You have worked with Him; you have suffered with Him; you will now reign with Him. You have sown with Him; you will reap with Him. Your face was covered with sweat like His, and your soul, like His, was grieved for the sins of men; now your face will be bright with heaven's splendor as is His countenance, and now your soul will be filled with heavenly joys just as His soul is.
1 Matthew 25:21, 23
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Zechariah 7
verse 2 John 10
Child in the Manger: The True Meaning of Christmas
What is Christmas? For many it is a time for holidays, parties, family gatherings, gifts, meals together, music, and special events. For others it can mean unwanted pressure, an increased sense of loneliness, family squabbles, and crowded shops. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas takes place at the onset of winter with its cold weather and short days. There are more incidents of depression at Christmas time than at any other time of the year. It is the best of times for some, but the worst of times for others, to borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens.
The birth of Jesus divided history into two major epochs. Until the dawn of our hyper-sensitive age, even the way we dated events underscored this. From time immemorial, every day, week, month, and year has been described as either “B.C.” (“Before Christ”) or “A.D.” (Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord”). Even the modern, pluralistic style abbreviations, B.C.E. (“Before the Common Era”) and C.E. (“Common Era”) cannot obliterate the indelible impress of Jesus birth. For what makes the “Common Era” so “common”? And what explains the dividing line date? The answer is the same: the birth of Jesus. At the very center of history stands the person of Jesus Christ. And He does so because He is at the center of God’s story.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.