I also thank God for these three co-workers in the service of God with me. God has given them strength to be a great example to all of us. You started serving the Lord already at a young age and in stead of a dwindling love for the Lord, your love has increased more and more as the Bible says, "as your days so shall your strength be" (Deut 33:25). Moses wrote in Ps 90 that the years of a man shall be 70 and by strength 80; but Moses started his ministry when he was 80 and he completed it when he was 120. John 15:26 - 16:4 George Campbell Morgan (1863 - 1945, see this link for a short biography) preached his first sermon when he was 13. When he was over 70 years of age, he said "it is a curse amongst Christians that they try to liberalise and broaded the way of God as much as possible. They should rather narrow the way of the Lord, for the Lord said that the way to heaven is narrow." One sees it amongst Christians, that they try to imitate the world in their fashions. We must rather imitate men of God, such as Campbell Morgan, whose life shows that he grew in God's grace until his old age. He also had four sons, all four of whom preached the Gospel. A certain Jew said to him, "if I believe what you believe I would not rest until everyone has heard the Gospel." We Christians cannot live a selfish, comfortable life while those around us are heading for hell. We must rescue them! Unless God's fire burn within you to save those that are lost you must be on your way to hell with them. There are children of Christians who cannot wait to leave home to go to the city. The world is written all over them, from head to toe. They love the world and do not love the Lord. They stretch the limits, trying to push the boarders in the way that they walk, talk and dress. If God's Holy Spirit is within you, He will teach you the way of God and our text will be true in your life. But if you are a child of hell in sheep's clothing then it is understandable that you love the world and the things of the world. 1John 2:15, "Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" and James 4:4b, "Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." “And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.” (John 16:4) It is wonderful when a person becomes a Christian and is fully immersed in Him. It is wonderful when Jesus can say of you, “you have been with Me from the beginning”. Consider whether this is true of your life, or have you backslided since meeting Jesus and visited prostititutes, got angry, been jealous and committed slander against your brethren? It is damnable when someone starts their Christian journey in the Spirit but ends in the flesh and its desires. Jesus said to Peter, "Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." But we as Christians must take up our cross daily, die to ourselves and follow Jesus, "not my will but Thine be done". "The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service." (John 16:1) When you are on fire for God, those who are lukewarm and live according to mere tradition become uncomfortable, for they do not know the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If they had known Him in the past they had left their first love. Those who desert God's way, become the fiercest critics and enemies of God's work. For they must try and justify themselves. But they will receive their reward. May the Lord forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. It is amazing that those who criticize God's work do not themselves spread the Gospel. It is as if their calling in life has become to resist God's work and do it as much damage as they can. But remember what God has spoken to you when you started with Him at your conversion. If you have lost your way, recall His Word and may it bring you to your senses. Never forget what God has told you in the past. Grab hold of it with both hands. A certain adventerous man wanted to catch an extremely beautiful and rare bird. These birds made their nests in the sides of cliffs. So he devised a plan. He went to the top of the percipice and lowered himself with a long rope. As he lowered himself he noticed that the cliff slanted inwards. Before long he was hanging some distance from the side of the cliff and 300m above the sea and rocks below. But then he saw a nest of these birds together with their young. He started to swing himself from side to side and eventually took a great leap and landed on the ledge where the nest was. The birds got a fright and flew away, but they left their young behind. Suddenly he realised that the rope had slipped out of his hands and was now dangling from side to side. With each swing it was going further away from his reach. He forgot all about the birds. He realised that he had to jump immediately or be left stranded on the ledge to die. With a great cry he leapt for the rope as it approached him the third time and he clung onto it for dear life. He pulled himself up and thanked God for saving his life. In like manner you must cling to what God had spoken to you in the past and be faithful to His Word.
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