My dear readers,
(Extract from RPG, January 1987, Edited by Dr SH Tow)
1. IN CHRIST DEATH IS GAIN (Philippians 1:21-26)
What a waste, to break a beautiful vase and to spill the precious contents on someone's feet! But if Mary had held on to the bottle what remembrance would there have been? The broken vase and poured out ointment on the Lord have since become a lasting memorial, spoken of through all the world for 2000 years. Thank God for Mary's sacrifice.
Thank God for our Lord's supreme sacrifice. Had He refused the cross to save His own life, there would be no Christians today. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (Jn 12:24). Our Lord's death was to give us life. Like a seed sown in the ground, it has brought forth an abundant harvest of souls.
Our Lord has set us the example. There must first be a giving up before there can be a gathering in. One day He said to the disciples, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matt 16:25). If we hang on to our lives, pursuing our own ambitions and selfish ends, not willing to spend and be spent for the Lord, our lives will be fruitless, empty, wasted.
Ever since his conversion on the Damascus road, Paul's view and understanding of life may be summed up in Philippians 1:21: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Was the Apostle tired of life or impatient to die? Far from it! He was simply expressing his life philosophy. The greatest reason and objective for living is Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Paul's entire life was devoted to his Lord. Nothing else mattered, not even loss of "all things," not even the threat of death.
Fear of death? Groundless fear, begone! For Paul — and every Christian — absent in the body means present with the Lord? For him and us, death means release from present suffering and instant union with our Lord. In Christ "death is gain." Do you doubt? Doubt not!
KEYNOTE: Absent in the body, present with the Lord.
PRAYER: Lord, let me burn out my life for Thee!
2. WITH CHRIST FAR BETTER (Philippians 1:21-26)
Paul's service for the Lord was marked by a whole catalogue of sufferings, too long a list to enumerate. (2 Cor 11:23-28) Balanced against these are the souls won for the Lord, the churches established, the faith of believers strengthened and the Gospel cause advanced throughout the Roman world. Toward the end of his ministry he wrote, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (2 Tim 4:7). I am ready to meet my Lord, which is far better! For him, and every believer, Heaven is an ever present reality, just a short breath away.
An old saint, ill and dying, wrote this testimony: "For over 50 years I have held a clear title to a piece of property in Heaven. I did not buy it, but the Donor purchased it for me with His own blood. For more than half a century I have been sending materials with which the greatest Architect of the Universe has been building a mansion for me which will never need to be repaired or insured. In that Land, there are no termites to undermine its foundations, no fire, no floods, no robbers or thieves.
"I long daily to be in my heavenly Home, for I know it will be infinitely better than my present abode. My ticket for that last journey is signed and sealed in red by the Saviour's own hand. It is for one person —myself — and is not transferable. It gives me a one-way trip, with no baggage allowance. It is open dated. I do not know when my Saviour's call will come but I am ready and look forward to the day with all my heart. To be with Christ is far better. Dear reader, I may not be here by the time you read this, but in Christ I know we shall meet some day, up there!"
My friend, do you have that assurance! With Christ it is far better! If you have Him as your Saviour you too will have a place in Heaven. Then you may know: our Father is there (Matt: 6:9) our Saviour is there (Heb 9:24); your home is there (John 14:2); your name is there (Lk 10:20); your heart is there (Matt 6:19-21); your inheritance is there (1 Pet 1:3-5); your citizenship is there. (Phil 3:20) Praise Him, praise Him!
THOUGHT: An inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, that fadeth not away reserved in heaven — FOR YOU!
3. "Man also knoweth not his time" Eccl 9:12
(Extracts from Daily Remembrancer by John Smith, Edited by Dr SH Tow, 16 December)
“SO ARE THE SONS OF MEN SNARED IN AN EVIL TIME.” For we know not what a day may bring forth. The future is unknown, veiled by a dark cloud. We know not what lies ahead. We know not the time of trial, when our graces, our strength, and resolution shall be tried. We know not the time of temptation, when Satan may assault us and try his strength upon us. We know not the time of danger when there is but one step between us and a grievous fall, when our foes stand ready to triumph over us. We know not the time of our death which is fixed, and may be very near. This should teach us humility not to presume, but to humbly wait upon our God. It should produce caution that we be not high-minded but fear. It should impel us to duty, to work while it is day; the night cometh when our work must cease. It should lead to prayer lest we enter into temptation. Let us pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. It should prevent carelessness and self confidence, but take note, our foes are on the alert, the snares are laid at our feet, the Master is coming, and the hour of death may be just at hand.
Amidst a thousand snares I stand,
Upheld and guarded by Thy hand;
Still let Thy presence be my stay,
And guard me in this dangerous way.
God bless all readers.
Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,
Dr SH Tow, Founding Pastor