The Pilgrim Path (9-16-2020)
The Pilgrim Path---Psalm 116: 15
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
When I was a graduate assistant many years ago, I recall a young woman giving me a rather shocking message. A fine young man that I had written a recommendation for (transfer to LeTourneau University), had died in a combine accident on his family farm in Iowa. So gifted a soul. Yet the LORD’S wise determination was that he would be better off in glory. I often think of the Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne. It is acknowledged that no less than two or three individuals were converted at his “trial” sermon at Dundee, Scotland. When he preached there---it is estimated that on average, right at a third of the county’s population would gather to hear him. But M’Cheyne would only live to be 29 years of age. Another voice of Heaven on Earth in the Scottish Church---was Andrew Gray. All people could say when they heard him was, “God had dealt with them as never before.” Andrew Gray died at 22 years of age. As Peter Marshall would say, “you and I are not going to get a telegram---about our death.” We would say, “A TEXT is not going to tell us a few hours ahead of time.” But---it is coming. Only Jesus Christ, The Prince of Life---can prepare Us for Death---and give Us Eternal Life. Are You ready?
Here is some excellent Pastoral advice from Richard Sibbes about being “ready” for death:
---Before sickness comes, labor to make God your friend. If a man all his life has followed his own willful courses of sin, and continually blasphemed God and abused him, how can this man think to find comfort in sickness?
---Wean your affections from the earth so you will be able to endure when any cross comes. It is an easy matter for one to die who has already died in his heart and affections beforehand. Consider the uncertainty and vanity of these things, and how they are unable to help you in your greatest need.
---Make up your accounts daily. When sickness comes, you will not have the hardest work yet to do. It is folly to put off the important until later. God may call you with a sudden death or may allow your understanding and senses to be troubled.
---In health lay the foundation for comfort in sickness. A good death is prepared for in a good life…It does not matter if we die rich or great in the world, but only that we die in faith! Let us all labor for this faith. Even if a believer dies raging and in fits, they are not themselves in their sickness. They are SAFE---the covenant between God and them was made before, and it still remains. Their comfort may be reserved for heaven!
“We die not to death; we die to the LORD, to whom we live.” John Duncan
“How little is death dreaded by a believer since it will bring the soul to the full possession of its hidden life in heaven! It is a dark valley that divides between this world and the next, but it is all a region of light and blessedness beyond it. We are now on the border of the eternal world, and we know but little of that invisible country. Approaching death opens the gates to us and begins to give our holy curiosity some secret satisfaction, and yet how we shrink backward when that glorious unknown city is opening upon us!” Isaac Watts
“This water was in your way to heaven and written in your LORD’S book; ye behooved to cross it: and therefore, kiss his wise and unerring providence. Let not the censures of men, who see but the outside of things (and scarce well that), abate your courage and rejoicing in the LORD; howbeit, your faith seeth but the black side of providence, yet it hath a better side, and God shall let you see it.” Samuel Rutherford
Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee:
In life, in death O LORD, abide with me.
Henry F. Lyte, 1847
Grace and Peace in Jesus Christ Our Risen LORD, Pastor Jason