"Grace & Peace" is an e-periodical for spiritual enlightenment,
edification and encouragement.
Issue No.089 December, 2011
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In this issue:-

Opportunity: seized or skipped?

     Once again we have reached the end of another year. It’s time again to remember the wonderful works of God in the past to praise Him. Also it gives us an opportunity to evaluate our life and activities to correct and commit ourselves before the Lord.

     We should not forget that the Lord in His grace and mercy has extended our life. Each day, even every moment is His gift. When we consider the number of death taking place around us through many ways, yet we continued to see the end of this year, it’s purely God’s providence and we should seriously consider the purposes behind it.

Extended time
There are many such Christians, sincere and serious they are, go through such mental agony. They only find mistakes and abnormalities in others. This kind of mind-set is not good for our health both spiritually as well as physically. Even our friends and the family members will be affected negatively by such approach to life.

     In Luke Chapter 13, through the parable of a master who sought to cut down the fruitless tree, the Lord Jesus Christ poignantly presents the truth that every extension of life and opportunity is His kindness and with a definite purpose. He wants us to realize that He expects fruits from us and continue to give us opportunity and needed resources to be fruitful. Do not forget, it’s for ‘one more year’!

     So, as we have come to the end of another year, take a look at the way we used the God-given occasions, so that we may be more careful in the days ahead.

     In the New Testament we see certain people who missed their chances and lamented later. At this juncture it would be good to consider their failures to examine ourselves.

1. Failed to make sure of eternity. Luke 16: 25.
We believe it’s a true story. The rich man who ended up in Hades laments now. Father Abraham reminds him of the good things he enjoyed while living on earth and the impossibility of any help now. He miserably failed to consider the condition of his soul. Millions today make this mistake, simply going on day after day enjoying the pleasures of this world.

     More than any thing else let it be our priority today, may be even now to examine the true state of our life our death. Even if we do nothing else, we ought to make sure that our sins have been forgiven and we belong to Christ for eternity.

2. Failed to be watchful. Matthew 25:10 – 13.
The parable of the foolish virgins who failed to be ready while waiting for the bridegroom teaches of the importance of watchfulness and readiness. Do not just assume that everything is prepared. The Lord wants us to be ready always to receive Him. We are not supposed to be entangled in the things of the earth and slumber spiritually.

3. Failed to use Master’s resources wisely. Matthew 25:26, 27.
The two men who got talents from the master traded with it and made it double. But one of them simply kept it. Did not seize the opportunity to do business for his master by the resources he had entrusted. What was master reply? “You wicked and lazy servant”!
    •  Consider all the good things we have enjoyed past one year, how much have we utilized for the purposes of God. Our time, energy, riches and all that we possess have been graciously provided to us by God so that we may use those things for His glory.

     Sad, many believers are selfish like the people of the world, thinking all what is mine is for me and my children alone. During the past one year, how many hours have we used for the things of God, how much money we spent for the service of God?

4. Failed to serve the Lord. Matthew 25: 43 --45.
Here we see a group people who will argue at the time of judgment for their failure to serve the Lord. Their argument is that they never saw Christ hungry, thirsty or naked. That means they never found an opportunity to serve Him. The Lord’s response is noteworthy. “In as much as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it Me.”

     Now, some one would try to find it in the dispensational point of view and try to escape from their responsibility! Let us not neglect the valuable truth implied here. The Lord in glory takes note of our services for His people. During the last one year what have we done for the fellow believers who were in need?

5. Failed to pray. Matthew 26: 40. 41.
The apostles failed to make use of the time to pray. Even after the Lord commanded repeatedly, they simply slept. And the result is found later, Peter takes the sword which he was not supposed to do. Matt 26:51. Even earlier also they failed to pray and became powerless in their service. Cf. Luke 9:28, 32, 40.

     It’s a fact, more than anything else we find it difficult to pray! The reason may be because, our enemy knows the effectiveness of prayer and hinders us from true, serious prayer life. Oh, can we just blame the wicked one for our failures and continue our prayerless and powerless life.

     Yes, we do pray, that’s for name sake. Apart from the normal daily prayers at home or assembly, how much time do we spend at the feet of Christ, praising Him and pleading for various matters. It’s time to examine our personal prayer life. Do not forget, in the past one year God gave us enough opportunity and even special occasions to sit and pray. Have done that faithfully and satisfactorily?

Passing time
Beloved brethren, shall we lot consider these matters and make necessary corrections before too late. Our time is running fast, and there is no meaning in regretting later. Now is the God-given occasion to fulfil our various responsibilities. Skipping or neglecting it will only lead us to untold difficulties, confusion and even loss in future.

     So, while praising God for the New Year in which we are going to enter very shortly, examine the past sincerely to see if we too have failed in the above mentioned area and ask the Lord to help us to live a better life ahead.

     Do not forget, even as we examine ourselves, we may feel that every thing is right. Cf. Proverbs 16:2, 25; 14:12. Our knowledge is limited. We need God’s own help to see the real state. So, let us pray with the psalmist,
“Search me O God and know my heart; Try me and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalm 139: 23, 24.

Related topics: - Time to examine ourselves // A New Beginning

To all our esteemed readers, well wishers and prayer partners, we prayerfully and sincerely wish a very happy and Christ-centred New Year 2012.

Out line:-

Time (2Cori 6:2)

1. Time for repentance. Act 17:30.

3. Time for humiliation. James 4:5 – 10

4. Time for confession. Romans 10:9

5. Time for asking. Matthew 7:7

6. Time for receiving. Hebrews 3:7.

Anecdote: -

Lost Rope

     On the English cost there are men who climb the cliffs for eggs. They are let down by ropes and fill their baskets as they stand on projecting ledges. One man as he began to collect happened to let the rope slip, and there he stood helpless as the rope swung out – a hundred feet from the top of the cliff, and many more from the angry sea below him.
     Instinctively he knew that he must catch that rope as it swung back the first time, because it then swung nearer to him than it would again, and lose it meant starvation and dizziness and a plunge into the sea below.
     So watching intently, he calculated its speed where it would swing in and as it came he jumped for it, and – caught it. If he had not done it then he would never have done it.

Worthy Quotes:-


“I recommend you to take care of the minutes: for hours will take care of themselves.

_____________________  Chesterfield.

“Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the only cash you have, so invest it wisely.”

_____________________  Unknown.

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