April 28

“When the Israelites cried out for help to the Lord, he raised up a deliverer for the Israelites who rescued them. His name was Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The Lord’s spirit empowered him and he led Israel. When he went to do battle, the Lord handed over to him King Cushan-Rishathaim of Aram and he overpowered him.”  Judges 3:9-10

God is preparing His heroes; and when opportunity comes, He can fit them into their place in a moment, and the world will wonder where they came from. Let the Holy Ghost prepare you, dear friend, by the discipline of life; and when the last finishing touch has been given to the marble, it will be easy for God to put it on the pedestal, and fit it into its niche.

There is a day coming when, like Othniel, we, too, shall judge the nations, and rule and reign with Christ on the millennial earth. But ere that glorious day can be we must let God prepare us, as He did Othniel at Kirjath-sepher, amid the trials of our present life, and the little victories, the significance of which, perhaps, we little dream. At least, let us be sure of this, and if the Holy Ghost has an Othniel ready, the Lord of Heaven and earth has a throne prepared for him. (Streams in the Desert)

It is easy to lose eternity in the daily grind. I am certain Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. meant well when he said, “Some people are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good,” but problem is just the opposite. I tend to forget Heaven, or at the very least, ignore it. Absorbed with the press of work demands and financial responsibility, I muddle through a string of disconnected moments with no sense of what went before or what lies ahead. In the worst of ways, I whittle away my life treading water. I fall victim to garden-variety myopia when I refuse to see the Father at work in the mundane, and when I fail to recognize His voice midst the incessant racket that vies for my attention. Heaven is but a breath away, and God is even nearer than that. When we see this moment through the lens of eternity, both come into clearer focus.

“A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is.

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven.

It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.” (C. S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity)

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