Friday, June 27, 2008

Something no one can take

Stirring within....from today's devotional based on Ray Stedman's teaching.

The letters of Samuel Rutherford are a wonderful treasury of the devotional
life of the heart that is enthralled and captured by Christ. He was a great,
sturdy man. I remember reading about how when he lay dying in prison in St.
Andrews, Scotland, the king sent a messenger to summon him to appear in court in
London to answer to the charges of high heresy. When the messenger came in
before the old man and announced that the king had ordered him to appear in
court, he said to him in his Scottish fashion, "Gane and tell yere master, I
have a summons from a higher court, and ere this message reaches him, I'll be
where few kings or great folk ever come." It was a stirring rebuke to a man of
earth who thought he could summon a man of faith.

Abraham owned a burial cave in the end. That was all. It is a reminder to
us, and to all men and women of faith in all times, that all we can ever really
own down here is a burial ground in which we may lay to rest all the hopes and
expectations of this life. All we hope for and all the fine things we hope to
have someday, all the experiences we would like to live over again, all these
expectations are buried in the grave.

We are made to be creatures of eternity. The book of Ecclesiastes says that
God "also set eternity in the hearts of men" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are not
made to be creatures of time. We are not made to be satisfied with this brief
period of life and then to pass into the endless, silent realms of death. God
has set eternity in our hearts. But the great tragedy is that we can so easily
lose sight of the goal. We begin to be wrapped up in the problems of time, and
we lose the broad view of eternity.

Lord, teach me to live with the same kind of independence as Abraham, who
fixed his eyes on those things that no person could take from him.

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