Think On These Things

When the Sun Was Setting

“Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.”—Luke 4:40

 

Reading: Luke 4:33-44

It was evening and the sun was setting. But the night that was coming was to be for many like the brightness of a clear morning when the sun rises. All those who had any sick with diverse diseases brought them to Jesus, and they did not bring them in vain. They brought them to a compassionate and mighty Lord, to Him who is the dayspring from on high and the Light of the World. He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. As the hymn expresses it:

At even, when the sun was set, the sick, O Lord, around Thee lay;

O in what divers pains they met! O with what joy they went away!

That night there was really no night, for the Sun of righteousness had risen with healing in His wings.

What a glimpse this is of the time when our Lord will bring into being the new heaven and the new earth, when those who have put their trust in Him will never again experience suffering or disease. How our thoughts turn to the new Jerusalem, where there will be no night nor setting of the sun—a city that has no need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God illumines it and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Above All That We Ask or Think

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”—Ephesians 3:20-21

 

Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21

It may be that we are fearful of the problems and trials that we may have to face today. Perhaps we think that we lack the wisdom and the strength to meet them. We may be tempted to feel and act as if we are all alone, forced to struggle against dark and cheerless circumstances. Possibly we dread not only immediate testings and pain but also the heartache and loss to which we fear they may lead.

But the children of God are never alone. They do not have to face a cold and forbidding providence, which is blind, cruel, and uncontrolled. We have a covenant God, who made all things and rules all things and who never leaves nor forsakes His own. We do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but One who was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. We should be encouraged, then to come boldly in all our need to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help (Hebrews 4:16). Instead of being fearful and dismayed we should be confident and joyful, for our God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

 

Skilton, John H. Think on These Things: Bible Truths for Faith and Life. Philadelphia: Skilton House – Sowers, 1986.

Trusting While Waiting

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.”—Psalm 56:3

Reading: Psalm 56

In our lives there are trying occasions when we are obliged to wait. Perhaps a loved one is ill, and we pray fervently for recovery. But we may have to wait through long hours or days before the hoped-for signs of recovery appear. Perhaps we have applied for a job, for admission to a certain college or other institution, or for something else of great importance to us—and we have to wait and wait until the results are known. Perhaps at times we wait with suspense for the result of tests that may influence the whole course of our lives.

In the many situations in which we are required to wait, we can suffer much tension, anxiety, and agony. We can give way to dark fears and can suffer more acutely than if the feared developments had really occurred. But in the times of waiting and suspense that come to us, we do not need to be weakened or overwhelmed. Rather, by God’s grace, we can actually be strengthened. When we are tempted to give way to fear, we can put our trust in the Lord. We can find in Him our light and our salvation, the strength of our lives, and the conqueror of our fears. We can rejoice in the knowledge that our Savior cares for us and that He is with us in His love and power—as we wait.

Delight in the Lord

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” —Isaiah 58:13-14

Reading: Psalm 42

Sunday is a day when many seek their own pleasure. All sorts of pleasure-giving events and activities are being scheduled on the day appointed by God for rest and worship. Many of these functions would be quite legitimate on other days of the week, but they have no place on the holy day of the Lord. Those who violate the Sabbath day by doing their own pleasure may think that they are having a good time; but how inferior their pleasure is to the delight and joy that God gives to those who obey the fourth commandment.

The fourth commandment is not to be considered merely as negative. It does not simply forbid our doing certain things. It would also have us actually delight in God’s holy day and take real pleasure in the opportunities for worship, devotion, and service that this best day of the week provides.

If we belong to the Lord our God, and if we seek our joy in the things that please Him, and if as the deer pants after water brooks our soul longs after God, then the Lord’s Day will be to us a delight, holy to the Lord, and honorable—a day when we will truly delight ourselves in the Lord.

Resurrection Hope

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday—a time of celebration and joy for Christians all around the world. But what if you’re struggling and not feeling that joy? What if you just lost a loved one and the pain of that loss is still raw?

Many of us involved with Skilton House Ministries might be feeling that way, with the passing of our beloved Pastor Henry Cooper. He served as president of SHM and was always involved with Operation Brotherhood. But while we mourn, we still have hope. And that hope is integrally tied to Easter Sunday.

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul writes “since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep [died]” (v.14). This is the reason that we do not “grieve as others do who have no hope” (v. 13). One of the benefits of Christ’s resurrection that we enjoy is the hope we have of our own resurrection (and of our loved ones who are in Christ). May you find the following passages of Scripture encouraging as we ponder Christ’s resurrection and just one of the aspects of what it means for us.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” –John 11:25-26

“[Our faith] will be counted to us [as righteousness] who believe in Him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” –Romans 4:24-25

“If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” –Romans 8:11

“And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.” – 1Corinthians 6:14

“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. …And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.… But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” –1 Corinthians 15:13-22

“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” –1 Corinthians 15:42-44

“…that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” –Ephesians 1:18-20

“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…” –Philippians 3:10

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” –Philippians 3:20-21

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” –1 Peter 1:3

He is Faithful and Just to Forgive Us Our Sins

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9

Reading: 1 John 1:1-10

As we come to the end of another week, it is fitting for us to confess our sins. We have failed to render to God the perfect obedience which is His due, and we have not loved Him with perfect love in the days that have passed. We have not shown to our brothers in Christ the love that God’s law requires, and we have not given that testimony in word and in life to all men which our Lord desires of us. Perhaps we do not feel that we can say with Paul that we are pure from the blood of all men, for unlike him we have not borne faithful witness to all the counsel of God in the opportunities given us (Acts 20:26-27).

But if our sins accuse us and shake us and threaten to ruin our sleep tonight, we who have by grace trusted in Christ as our Savior from sin are not left without help. We have heard the joyful sound of the Gospel. We know that the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses His people from all sin. We have been given the promise that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We fail, but our Lord never fails. We may be unfaithful, but He abides faithful. Our great God and Savior loves and saves to the uttermost poor and needy sinners like us.

 

Skilton, John H. Think on These Things: Bible Truths for Faith and Life. Philadelphia: Skilton House – Sowers, 1986.

 

Operation Brotherhood 2018

2018-OB 01

Operation Brotherhood 2018 saw 1,672 families fed with bags of Thanksgiving dinner (complete with a turkey) and the Word of God (donated by the Philadelphia Bible Society). Thank you to the donors who gave canned goods and contributed to the purchase of the turkeys, and to all the volunteers who filled the church to pack the bags.