"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pleasant Stone Devotional Meditation: December 31

“For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” ~ Hebrews 13:14

Our earthly life is ending with the passing of every day and every year. Another year is ending now.

Perhaps it has been a good year, as we think of “good years.” It may have been a “bad year.” Whatever it has been, in it God has given us the opportunity to learn many lessons. Some we have learned. Some we have refused to learn.

No doubt right now, as this year is actually in motion toward its ending, we are more aware than usual that “here we have no continuing city.” Christians are not at home here. Christians are at home with God.

“Here we have no continuing city,” but that does not mean we are not going to the Father. This earthly life is a school. We are learning to speak the language of heaven. We are in the process of being re-made in His image, so that we will feel “at home” when we step out of the fussiness and confusion of the earth into the glory and clarity of heaven. If we have not been good students during the year just ending, we can be in the one just beginning. With Him, life is too be one constant new beginning. Nothing changes Jesus Christ.

If we have been unteachable in the year now ending, we will find Him just as willing to repeat the lessons in the year about to begin. He is just the same today as He was yesterday and He will be just the same tomorrow. We have no “continuing city” here on this earth, but because He is the beginning and because He is the end, by His Grace we can always go on.

”… Continue ye in my love … Continue ye in my love.”

New Year's Prayer

Lord, this year I want to change,
and I've said that in the past.
but now my prayer is different
'cause I understand at last.

I wanted my own way before,
I ignored your loving plans.
But now I'm putting everything
into your nail-scarred hands.

I promise to obey you
out of gratitude and love.
I won't be giving orders
to my Father up above.

I finally realize the truth
and so I've changed my prayer.
The safest place for me to be
is in your gentle care.

Please be my shepherd, Jesus,
that's all I ask of you.
In good times and in bad this year,
Take my hand and lead me through.

--Jack Zavada

May the blessings of our Lord Jesus and God the Father guide, bless, uphold and sustain you.  Put the Word in your hearts and guard it, nurture it, and feed it brother and sister Christians.  As this year closes, I am taking a week to contemplate the direction or if I am to continue.  It has been my blessing to serve and I am grateful for what I have learned as I undertook this endeavor, my blog.  I need prayer to ask and listen to what the Lord may desire of me.  May your life continue to grow and conform to the image of His beloved son Christ Jesus, and may we all meet and rejoice together in His presence one day. 

Pleasant Stone Devotional Meditation: December 30

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death” ~ John 8:51

Jesus shared and understood our horror of death. We cannot repeat too often, that although He was God visiting this earth, He also became perfectly human.

This “many-colored stone” strikes my [Eugenia Price, the author’s] heart because it shows me in its bright depths that He longs to make peace for everyone. Even His enemies. He loved His enemies, even as they persecuted Him. We think often that He loved even those who nailed Him to a cross, but here we see that He also loved the Pharisees who plagued Him all during his earthly ministry. He spoke to His enemies too in the verse at the top of this page.

He knew that in the very next breath they would call him a devil (John 8:52), but in spite of that He offered them eternal life! A way not to die. “If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.”

Jesus, the Son of God, stood declaring the way to eternal life to those who hated Him. He offered it to them, knowing, as He did, that they would murder Him in just a few months. That very day, in fact, He knew they would take up “stones to cast at him.” But still He stood there telling them a way not to die. The year is ending. Our earthly life is ending. But we need not die.

The Saviour has come, bringing eternal life, “to as many as received him.”

“… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me … Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden … If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.”

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pleasant Stone Devotional Meditation: December 29

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:26

This is a darkly shaded “pleasant stone.” One resembling a shadowy “fire opal” to me [Eugenia Price, the author]. One I cannot fully look into. One I would not fully want to look into. But one which I cherish among my “pleasant stones” and will cherish until I have experienced it myself.

In one sense death has already been destroyed. Surely its sting is gone for those who know in their hearts that Jesus Christ is “the resurrection and the life.”

Some disagree, but I believe quite simply that I will not even lose consciousness when I die. The essential “me” will go on at once, un inhibited by my body, and my mind, into the presence of the One who has given me eternal life.

This is part of my joy in Christ. I believe it for myself and I am prepared to lose my loved ones, sustained by the same certainty that they too, will step at once into His presence. I am not arguing with you if you don’t believe this. But the Lord Himself reassures me that “whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” I believe that, and yet, whatever He does will be right. If I have a wrong conception of eternal life, then I have an inferior conception. He will handle it all perfectly. And one day dying will be all over. More than the sting of death will be gone. Death itself will be destroyed.

“I am he that liveth, and was dead, and … am alive for evermore … We shall be like him.”

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pleasant Stone Devotional Meditation: December 28

 “… He must reign, til he hath put all enemies under his feet” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:25

Here is another “opal-like” stone which shoots “fire” from its depths. What does it have to do with us today? Where do we come into it?

Is it so remote and so infinite in content that we cannot possibly know? Perhaps. Oh, I’m [Eugenia Price, the author] sure there are many who sincerely believe that they know. And there may be some who do know.

I am sharing it with you, however, because it has come to mean so much to me in a personal way. It has, more than once, turned my eyes from the world to God, and made me willing to go on when all about me as far as I could see, was nothing but confusion.

“He must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” No-one has any idea how long that will take. No-one needs to know. He knows. And now that we have shared almost an entire year of looking at “pleasant stone” verses which have given us a deeper insight into what His heart is like, don’t you think we can trust Him to know all about these “enemies”? Aren’t you convinced that our enemies are His enemies too? Don’t you see that He means us well? That when His enemies are conquered, ours will be too? We can rest. Today and when “cometh the end.”

“For he must reign, til he hath put all enemies under his feet … I am the beginning and the end.”

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pleasant Stone Devotional Meditation: December 27

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father …” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:24a

I [Eugenia Price, the author] do not pretend to know very much of what this “pleasant stone” fragment means.

It is “opal-like” in that it is filled with the water of the Spirit, as an opal is filled with water drops. Its meaning has to be flashed to us by the Spirit within it. Human understanding must fall “at his feet as dead” at any attempt to grasp its deepest meaning.

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have been delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father.” “Then cometh the end …”

What this means, I don’t need to know, because Jesus has said He is the end. “I am alpha and omega.” That is enough for me. If He is the end, it is all right. If He is the end, it will be lovely and right and perfect.

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father.” That will be lovely and right and perfect too, because Jesus also said “I and the Father are one.” Perhaps then we will see Father and Son in even more union than we now see them.

However it is, it will be the very best.

“We shall see him as he is.”

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pleasant Stone Devotional Meditation: December 26

“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child” ~ Luke 2:16-17

There is no reason at all why Christians should be “let down” on the day after Christmas. If we are, it is because we have allowed the holy day to become merely a holiday. We have centered our attention around gifts and family and d├ęcor. It is no wonder we are “let down.”

Toys are usually broken by the day after Christmas.

Gifts are on their way to be exchanged.

The tree is dropping its needles and the lights are burned out except in a few spots and somehow no-one cares any more.

Women sit in beauty shops and vow they’ll “never do it again.” Not one more year will they wait “till the last minute” to do all that shopping.

Men and women everywhere (even Christians) sigh and say they’re glad it’s all over for another year.

But it isn’t over. “Unto you is born … a Saviour.” It’s just beginning! And it will go on forever. The “Saviour which is Christ the Lord” has given you eternal life. With Him. Christmas is forever and ever because He Himself is the end.

“Glory to God in the highest … Glory to God in the highest.”