When It’s Over

When It’s Over

In the gospels, there are several accounts of Jesus leaving a group and going away. In some verses, we read that Jesus hid Himself from them.

This is, or should be, sobering. Terrifying, really.

While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” These things Jesus spoke [to the crowd], and He went away and hid Himself from them. (John 12:36)

 “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them [the Pharisees and Sadducees] and went away.” (Matthew 16:4)

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore they [unbelieving Jews] picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. (John 8:58–59)

Today is urgent. At some point, it is too late. At some point, God leaves people alone.

At some point, if a person doesn’t believe, they won’t be able to believe.

As the days get darker, we are more apt to be confronted or persecuted, but our mission doesn’t change. Respond to questioners and persecutors with truth. Keep praying. Keep speaking the truth in love. Keep telling them of the Savior. Keep inviting them to believe.

Press on.

Does It Matter?

Does It Matter?

We are commanded to pray for the lost. (1 Timothy 2:1-8)

This can seem like an overwhelming endeavor with little or no result, especially when the person, or people, or groups are personally unknown to you.

But it is a command.

And we are told that “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)

Praying is our job. Salvation is God’s.

Here is an example that encourages me:

When Stephen was killed, he prayed for those stoning him. Did it matter? One of those in the group was unconverted Saul, who became the apostle Paul. (Acts 7:58-60)

Obedience always matters. Always.

Let’s pray for the lost.

(See also: Yet More Evil, and Pray for the Lost)

Pray for the Lost!

Pray for the Lost!

I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

We are to pray for the lost. We are to pray for those in authority. We are to pray for the President, his administration, congress, and state officials, and your boss, and and and. We are to pray that people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

I confess I do not want to pray for some individuals. This is sin! Lord, forgive me, and help me pray for the lost. It is Your choice to save, but it is Your command to me—to us—to pray.

Jonah was called by God to go to Nineveh and preach; instead, Jonah ran in the opposite direction. When he did obey, and preached to Nineveh, the entire city repented. And Jonah wanted to be killed. His enemies turned to God! Oh my!

Can individual people in the Taliban, or Antifa, or a serial killer or rapist be saved? Yes, of course. God is sovereign and saves whom He wishes.

Who is saved is not our decision. Our call is to obey by praying for the lost.

Don’t forget: The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:16)

Father, I am determined to pray for the lost as You command. Please help me.

Yet More Evil

And yet more evil. I mourn about Afghanistan and the evil being done. I’m appalled at the lawless, wicked actions in the US and elsewhere. Lord! Help! Come soon!

What We Should NOT Do

Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers. (Psalm 37:1)

Do not envy the prosperous wicked. (Psalm 37:7; Psalm 73)

What We Should Do

Turn to God, the righteous judge.

When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end.  (Psalm 73:16–17)

Remember: Almighty God is in control. He has a purpose and works all things after the counsel of His will. (Ephesians 1:11)

Trust in the Lord. Delight in Him. (Psalm 37:3-4)

Pray. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Hope: Christ Jesus is our hope.  (1 Timothy 1:1)

Fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)

Press on!

The Urgency of Today

Harry Durgin Facebook

The Urgency of Today

If we’re not going to do it now, when will we?  (See If Not Now, When?)

And if we don’t do it now, might it be too late later?  (See It’s Too Late)

We know Christ is coming, but we do not know the day or hour. It might be that all the time we have is right now.  Right. Now.

You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.  (Luke 12:40)

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  (Matthew 24:42)

Sanctification and Service

Christians have been saved from the penalty of sin. We now are being sanctified, being saved from the power of sin. God is working on and in us, and we also have responsibility. We are to work out our [sanctification] with fear and trembling.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.  (Philippians 2:12)

We are to be ready for His coming. (See the parable of the virgins, Matthew 25)

We are to be faithful servants, using the gifts and opportunities He gave us. (See the parable of the talents, Matthew 25)

We are to make the most of our opportunities.

making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  (Ephesians 5:16)

Press On!

With boldness and urgency, press on!

Press on!

It’s Too Late

It’s Too Late

The saddest words: “It’s too late.” “It might have been.”

You wanted to do something and now you can’t. It’s too late.

You could have been reconciled with a family member, and now you can’t. It’s too late.

You could have protected your health, and now you can’t. It’s too late.

In Noah’s day, when it started raining, it was too late. (I wonder if they banged on the door!)

As Christians, we are admonished to redeem the time. We can miss spiritual responsibilities and opportunities. Let’s not be too late.

It can also be too late for salvation.

The Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 3:7)

When people harden their hearts to God’s voice, it is both easier to harden even more the next time, and also harder to hear if they do listen.

Today is the day of salvation! (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Let’s endeavor to fulfill the great commission. Let’s do our parts to tell others about Christ, to encourage them to hear, lest they hear from God: “You shall not enter My rest.” (Hebrews 3:11).

Let’s do our part to have them not hear: “It’s too late.”

(See also The Last Knock.)

If Not Now, When?

If not now, when?

A number of years ago I had trouble forgiving someone. One wretched morning, as I was sort of praying, sort of ruminating, wishing things were otherwise, I sensed the question: “If not now, when?”

That stopped me in my miserable tracks. Yes, I knew I was commanded to forgive. Yes, I knew that forgiving was in my best self-interest. I just was stuck.

But the question penetrated every barrier. If I were going to forgive someday, and I knew I would (or would have to), why not now? If I weren’t going to forgive at that moment, when would I? What would make it better to forgive at a future time rather than right that minute?

For me, that question got me over the hump. By an act of the will, I forgave right then. What release! What relief!

That powerful question applies to many things, both spiritual and secular. I’m sure you have a list of “want to” actions that you’ve put off.

There are dangers in waiting. You’ll miss opportunities in the present. You’ll miss blessings now that might not be there in the future. Doors may close.

Is there something you need to do that you haven’t done? What is holding you back? What are you waiting for? What makes it better to do it in the future? What is the problem with now?

If not now, when?

Repeated Lessons

God, over and over, has been teaching me to trust Him.

When I lost a job I loved in a company I loved, He showed me that He is sovereign and that He loves me. I learned He had a loving purpose in reassigning me to other purposes.

When I had a serious eye issue and for some weeks did not know if I would retain useful sight, He showed me He was sovereign, that He loves me, and that He had a purpose for me whether or not I could see. He had a loving purpose.

When I was losing sleep and super stressed over the turmoil in the US and the world, He reminded me that He is in charge. The world is His. He is the righteous judge. He has a plan and is working everything according to the counsel of His will. I am to trust Him.

My technological problems with my web site were trivial, but trying. I hadn’t missed a new Sunday post since I started Pressing On Together in July 2014. And then, piling on, my scanner broke. But God is sovereign; He loves me; He has a loving purpose for this.

And, then! Last night in the middle of the night, I realized that the possible problem was an issue with the interface between my browser and my website! I love learning things and getting directions in the middle of the night!

I am back!

Thank You, Lord!

And now, press on!

Technical Difficulties!

Hi Everyone! I am having technical difficulties and I do not think you’ll see a new post tomorrow. Stay tuned. I have someone who knows more than I do working on it!

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

A sacrifice costs us something. 

When times are good, when the Lord says “yes” to our prayers, thanksgiving is easy. But when times are bad or the Lord says “no,” it costs us to give Him thanks. Yet we are commanded to give thanks in everything, during good times or bad.

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High. (Psalm 50:14

Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  (Hebrews 13:15–16

There are rewards!

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.  (Psalm 50:23

But how?

Understand. Giving thanks to God is a commandment.

Decide. Resolve to give Him thanks.

Be aware. It is easy to give Him thanks when things are good. Be conscious of your determination to thank when times aren’t good or when you find yourself grumbling or bitter.

Practice. As you, over and over, give Him thanks, you build a godly habit.

Press on!