Bible Top 1000

Lasting Impressions
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"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."
(Revelation 14:13)

Many years ago a beautiful fern grew in a deep vale, molding in the breeze. One day it fell and sank away.

Years later a geologist went out with his hammer in the interest of his science. He struck a rock, and there in the seam lay the form of a fern~ every leaf, every fiber, the most delicate traceries of the leaves imprinted in the sides of the cleft. It was the fern that long before grew and dropped into the indistinguishable mass of vegetation. It perished, but its memorial was preserved, and today we have its legacy.

So it is with the stories of all beautiful lives that have served God and humankind and have vanished from the earth. Only a few names of the good and the useful in every age are preserved. The great multitude are forgotten.

Earth keeps scant record of its benefactors. But there is a place where every kindness, be it ever so small, done in the name of Christ, is recorded and remembered. Nothing is lost ~ nothing is forgotten. The memorials are preserved in other lives, and some day every touch and trace and influence and impression will be revealed. The acts of worthy lives are cut deep in the eternal rock, where they shall be visible forever.

Our every act will in some shape or form affect the life and manner of others. Be it ever so insignificant, it nevertheless makes a lasting impression.

Now This Explains It

"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us."
(John 17:21)

If we're going through a solitary way, let's read John 17, it'll explain exactly why we're where we are---Jesus has prayed that we may be one with the Father as He is. Are we helping God to answer that prayer, or have we some other end for our life? Since we became a disciple we can't be as independent as we used to be.

The purpose of not to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God, and this is revealed in John 17. There's one prayer God must answer, and that's the prayer of Jesus---"that they may be one, even as We are One." Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?

God's not concerned about our plans; He doesn't say---Do you want to go through this bereavement; this upset? He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we're going through are either making us sweeter, better, nobler men and women; or they're making us more captious and fault-finding, more insistent upon our own way. The things that happen either make us "fiends", or they make us "saints"; it depends entirely upon the relationship we're in to God. If we say---"Thy will be done," we get the consolation of John 17, the consolation of knowing that our Father's working according to His own wisdom. When we understand what God's after...we won't get mean and cynical. Jesus has prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself as He was one with the Father. Some of us are "far off it", and yet, God won't leave us alone until we're "one with Him", because Jesus has prayed that we may be.

Getting There

"Come unto Me."
(Matthew 11:28)

Do we want to get there? We can now. The questions that matter in life are remarkably few, and they're all answered by the words---"Come unto Me." Not---Do this, or don't do that; but--- "Come unto Me." If we'll come to Jesus our actual life will be brought into accordance with our real desires; we'll actually cease from sin, and actually find "the song of the Lord" begin. Have we ever come to Jesus? Watch the stubbornness of our heart, we'll do anything rather than the one simple childlike thing---"Come unto Me." If we want the actual experience of ceasing from sin, we must come to Jesus.

Jesus Christ makes Himself the touchstone. Let's watch how He used the word "Come." At the most unexpected moments there's the whisper of the Lord---"Come unto Me," and we're drawn immediately. Personal contact with Jesus alters everything. Let's be stupid enough to come and commit ourselves to what He says. The attitude of coming is that the will resolutely lets go of everything and deliberately commits all to Him.

". . . and I will give you rest," i.e., I'll stay you. Not---I'll put you to bed and hold your hand and sing you to sleep; but I'll get you out of bed, out of the languor and exhaustion, out of the state of being half dead while we're alive; I'll imbue you with the spirit of life, and you'll be stayed by the perfection of vital activity. We get pathetic and talk about "suffering the will of the Lord!" Where's the majestic vitality and might of the Son of God about that?