This morning in Sunday School, we are going to view a video from the Desiring God National Conference held in Minneapolis, September 29, 2007. The following are a brief set of notes to capture the essence of what she said. God took Helen through a series of extremely difficult tests as a missionary, including being raped as a young lady. Her message does not come from some sheltered “ivory tower,” but from the trenches of warfare. I invite you to view this online if you are not a part of our adult Sunday School! May the Lord bless each of us as we tackle the certain warfare we are bound to endure IF we are to go on in grace unto glory.
“A Call for the Perseverance of the Saints”
Just as Jesus endured until his "It is finished," so too we can endure if we keep our eyes on him. We can endure if we accept his loving discipline and endure, without giving up or getting bitter, the hardships that he gives.
It is utterly essential to persevere to the end. To start a race is fine; but it's much more important that we finish, that we hit the tape.
Three biblical "one things" pertain to this:
"One thing I know" (John 9:25). Past tense. It's the gospel. We come to know it at conversion, when we go from a state of blindness to seeing. This is the foundation of our joy and hope.
"One thing I do" (Philippians 3:13-14). Present tense and active. Our present activity is to tell others about Jesus, with earnestness, and to remain faithful to him in all that he has called us to do. We must continue daily in this, in order to please him, in choices big and small. There's a temptation to slack off, tone down, seek greener pastures, but we must remain committed. This means that we must be willing to go down into the valleys. And in our hardships we must trust that God is accomplishing his greater purposes for us.
"One thing I seek after" (Psalm 27:4). Future orientation. We must make it our priority at all times to seek to love him above all things, dwelling and gazing upon his beauty. Have you let Jesus Christ into your life in a way that you are withholding nothing from his influence? Do you treasure your early morning hour with him? Do you guard the sanctity of the Sabbath? Do you love him more than the things that keep you from fellowshipping with his people? Do you long to gaze upon his face in order that you might be like him?
2 Kings 3. The Lord is calling us to trust him to fill our valleys with the perfectly-timed waters of his grace. Press on. God is faithful.