But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Luke 21: 12-13
It Shall Turn To You For a Testimony
The Testimony of Life
THE PREDICTION here implied, that the apostles should not fail of adversaries to oppose them. This, indeed, was to be no small argument of their apostolic mission. For such as engage themselves in the service of that grating, displeasing thing to the world, called “truth,” must expect the natural issue and consequent of truth, which is a mortal hatred of those who speak it. The next thing offering itself to our consideration is, how this enmity (especially in the apostles’ time, which the words chiefly point at) was to exert itself. And so we find the apostles frequently and fiercely encountered by adversaries of very different persuasions, by Jews and Gentiles, and the several sects belonging to both. They were perpetually railed at as deceivers and impostors, even while they were endeavoring to undeceive the world from those wretched impostures and delusions which had so long and so miserably bewitched it: in a word, they were like physicians exchanging cures for curses; and reviled and abused by their forward patients, while they were doing all they could for their health and recovery.
The tale of it shall live on. The light of their lives shall shine through their forms and reveal the inner glory in eternity. This is the eternal recompense—revelation. The revelation of the Christlike spirit in a world where to be Christlike is to be glorious and blessed; where the scars of battle are marks of honour, and the martyr’s brow is anointed like Christ’s with the oil of joy and gladness through eternity. And now what are we doing which shall turn to us for a testimony at that day? A testimony of what? What is the record that shall be read out about us? What hidden things shall the book of remembrance reveal? How much is said and done daily because we love God and must do His will at whatever cost? Many a clever stroke of business is done, no doubt; many a happy speculation; or perhaps a brilliant trick, or next door to it. Quite right, quite fair, no doubt, as business goes in these days, but not the kind of thing which will turn to you for a testimony when it is read out on high. Realize it. Set it before your mind’s eye. Beings of angelic truth, purity, charity, all round you, circle beyond circle; and Christ, who lived that life which it makes us blush to read about, in the midst. And what is there in your life in tune with it; which you will hear read out with joy in that great company; which makes you the blessed freeman of that world in which “the Lamb who was slain” is King? What deeds do we leave for recompense at the resurrection of the just? No matter what the world thinks about it, the real question is, What do we think of it ourselves? In the quiet hours when the world is shut out, and its babbling is silent, what do we think of it? There is a sterner, surer Judge within than any that the world can set to weigh us. How stand we before that tribunal? It will prophesy to us how we shall stand before the bar of Christ at last. (J. B. Brown, B. A.)
Patient self-possession in times of trial
Be collected, that you may be strong; stand still, and stand firmly, if you can do nothing else; do not slip back, or step aside, or attempt anything wrong or questionable. Patience is not merely a passive submission to evil, a dull, stupid, unfeeling indifference, like the insensibility of wood or stone; it is the result of thought; it implies effort; it is a sort of active bearing up of oneself under the pressure of calamity, which at once indicates self-possession and secures it; it reacts upon that from which it proceeds, and causes it to become stronger and stronger. (W. Binnie, D. D.)
When standing before the enemies of Christ, we are given clear instruction-and encouragement on how to stand in faith:
Luk 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
A Martyr’s Beautiful Reply
That was a beautiful reply of Margaret Maitland, Scotland’s maiden martyr, to her persecutors. They had bound an aged Christian to a stake far out between low and high tide, and Margaret herself to another stake nearer the shore. They hoped that, seeing the struggles and painful death of her companion, she would be terrified and would recant. She gazed on the awful scene with deep sympathy, but without any manifestation of fear. When they asked her, “Margaret, what do you see yonder?” she replied, “I see Christ suffering in the person of one of His saints.” She knew that when her turn came to be suffocated by the rising tide Christ would be with her also; that He would share in her sufferings; that He would sustain her in the terrible ordeal. This is the kind of faith we need for ourselves and for the Church.
Life is a steep climb, and it does the heart good to have somebody "call back" and cheerily beckon us on up the high hill. We are all climbers together, and we must help one another. This mountain climbing is serious business, but glorious. It takes strength and steady step to find the summits. The outlook widens with the altitude. If anyone among us has found anything worth while, we ought to "call back."
If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back--
’twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith’s light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.
Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest’s roots were torn;
That, when the heavens thunder and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.
Oh, friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face,
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.
But if you’ll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you’ll say He saw you through the night’s sin-darkened sky
If you have gone a little way ahead, oh, friend, call back--
’twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.
In this page there will be devotions/poems
music and inspirational material
The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
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Brother LAWRENCE (1614 - 1691)-