Work with both your hands, by night and by day; sow beside all waters; in the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hand.
In Memoriam: Archimandrite Parten (Aptsiauri)
Let, then, the nearness of death, and the shortness of life, be to us as double spurs to stimulate our jaded spirits to fresh action. What need I say more? You who are scholars in the college of affliction, are fitter to instruct me than I am to teach you. I shall but add this one thought: surely, if it is the Lord who bringeth down to the grave, and he may do it at any day, we ought to be very watchful.
Are we not, many of us, like the virgins of the parable? We have fallen asleep; we have our lamps with us, but are not they almost out? It is the dead hour of night and all things are quiet. Do I not see you startled? Alas for you, for you will be shut out, and shut out for ever. Others of you have oil in your vessels, but you need hastily to trim your lamps or else the Bridegroom will come and find you sleeping.
The Lord grant that as he may come to-day, as you, sitting there in your seat, may die; as I, standing here, may cease to breathe ere the next word shall come from my lips, we may all be ready. Be watchful, brethren, for the Lord bringeth down to the grave, and from that grave he bringeth us not up again to work, though he will bring us up to the reward and to the rest which remain for the people of God.
I shall now leave the text as it stands naturally; and briefly, but O may the Spirit of God help me to do it earnestly, try to speak of it in a spiritual sense. Let me describe now, for the comfort of those who are passing through the same, what that state of heart is in which the Lord bringeth down to the grave. I shall speak now experimentally, for if there breathes one soul on earth that can speak experimentally here, I am that man.
The sinner is led, first of all, to hear his own sentence pronounced. He was getting careless and thoughtless before, but now he is brought to think; thinking, he perceives his sins; perceiving his sins, he fears an angry God looking down from heaven: nay, with his sword drawn, reaching down from heaven, to smite him on account of his iniquities. Well do I remember when I stood at God's bar speechless. Not a word had I to answer him with for one sin of a thousand.
AfterDark: From Death to Life, SGA student testimonies - The Chimes
It seemed to me, as though I saw the Judge open the book; not to read my indictment, for that had been already published, but to proclaim the sentence. The trial had been gone through; I myself had made confession of my crime, and now the Judge put on the black cap, and commanded me to be taken to the place from which I came to suffer eternal wrath. When that sentence was to be executed he did not tell me, but it appeared to me as if it must come the next moment; and if it did come, I knew I could not blame the justice of God, for I deserved it well.
Is that your position? God is angry with the sinner every day, I am a sinner, and deserve that anger.
Further than this: the convinced sinner is often made to feel, not only the sentence and the justice of it, but the very horror of death itself You may have read in the narrative of the old American war, of the execution of deserters. They were brought out one bright morning, while yet the dew was on the grass, and were bidden to kneel down each man upon his coffin, and then a file of soldiers stepped forth; the word was given, and each man fell upon his coffin in which he was to be buried.
Such things as the punishment of deserters are common in every war, but what must be the horror of the man who stands there, knowing that the bullet is waiting to reach his heart? In the old wars, they used to have a black heart sown on the man's breast, and all the soldiers were to take aim and fire at that. Why the man must suffer a thousand deaths while he stood waiting for the word of command.
I have stood there, spiritually; and there are hundreds here who have thus faced their eternal doom. They have felt the horrors of death get hold upon them, and the pangs of hell encompass them, and they have found trouble and sorrow. O sinners, if you know yourselves, you will soon feel this, for do you not know that if you are without Christ, you are standing in just that position now? The great guns of the law, charged to the muzzle, are all pointed at you; they do but wait the fatal moment, when the uplifted finger of justice shall bid them be discharged, and where will you be then?
Lost beyond hope! Beware, sinner, beware of this. Then there is a yet further death which the convinced sinner is made to feel, and that is the death of inability.
While we are unregenerate, we think that we can do everything. Nothing is so easy, we imagine then, as believing; it is mere child's play to pray to God; quite a trifle to turn to God and get a new heart. Ay, but when man begins to work in real earnest, he finds it a very different thing. He feels like one in a swoon. There lies a woman who has fainted. You tell her, it is but to put up her finger, to open her eyes, to move her limbs, to walk into the fresh air, to drink a draught of water, and to recover. Yes, but she cannot do any one of these things.
In one sense she can; the faculties are there, but they are all in a dormant state, and so utterly powerless, that all the woman is conscious of is her inability. Such is the state of the sinner when under a sense of guilt. He feels that deadly swoon of death into which Adam threw all his children. Now he moans most wretchedly, in words like those of good old John Newton—. He feels himself brought into a perfect state of death, as if a stupor had gone through every nerve, and frozen every muscle rigidly in its place, so that even the lifting of his little finger to help himself appears to be beyond his power.
I am glad, dear friend, you are brought here, for I know the Lord never does empty a soul thoroughly of all creature-strength strength without very soon showing what the Creator can do. If he has brought you down to this grim sepulchre of corruption, dishonour, weakness, and self-despair, he will shortly bring you up again. It is when you are strong that I am afraid of you; but when you are weak, then my hopes are high. The climax of your disease is just the dawn of my hopes; your direst poverty is the time when I expect to see you enriched, for when you are completely emptied and have nothing, then Jesus Christ will be your strength and your salvation.
Trust him to be your all-in-all all now that you are nothing at all. There must, at least in some degree, be a sense of thus being brought down to the grave before there will be a bringing up again. No doubt, the man now sees death written upon all his hopes. Therewas a door through which I had hoped to enter eternal life.
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I had spent much time in painting it, and making it comely to look upon. It seemed to me to have a golden knocker, a marble threshold, and posts and lintels of mahogany, and I thought it was the door of life for me. But now what do I see? I like to see legal hope swung up like a traitor. There let him hang to rot before the sun, more cursed than any other that was ever hanged on a tree.
O soul, have done with him, for whilst thou art so fond of him, whilst thou dost treat him with the best thou hast, and dost set him at the head of thy table, thou art ruined; but when thou dost slay him and drive him from thee, then it is that thy joy and thy hope begin. But now a word or two of comfort for any of you who are brought down to this spiritual grave. There are many precious promises for such. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of meri. Do you not know how many promises there are to the wounded ones?
Do you not remember that passage in Ezekiel, fraught with rich mercy to you, where the Lord speaks concerning Israel, that they said their bones were dry, their hope was lost, and they were cut off from their parts; but yet, nevertheless, he would raise them up, and they should live in his sight? And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall.
You will tell me that the Lord has withdrawn from you; but, oh! Others have been as low as you are now. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the resurrection of Jesus Christ who offers us life if we follow Him.
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And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Being resurrected—fully dead, buried in the tomb, and resurrected to new life, God gives us the ultimate example of bringing life from death. And when a person decides to put their trust in Christ and accept this gift of new life — a spiritual rebirth occurs. The person moves from being spiritually dead, separated from Christ, to spiritually alive with the indwelling of the Spirit of God— moving from death to life.
However, far too many people are still living in spiritual darkness; they are living spiritually dead. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them. Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.exmildedelli.tk
FROM DEATH TO LIFE
They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army. Our nation is finished. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel.