Lord's Day Evening Meditations September
This verse goes well with this time of year. In
a little over a week summer will have ended and we will be into
autumn. In this part of the country most harvesting is almost,
or should be, all finished. Everyone you speak to exclaims how
quickly time is going by. Young people think back on yesterday,
last week, or last year, but as you get older you realize that
things you remember happened ten, twenty, or fifty years ago!
All that time has gone by, and as time goes by, it carries things
with it. There are three things in this verse: harvest, summer,
and salvation. All are affected by time.
Besides the farmers' harvest, there is another
harvest going on, and that is the harvest of the gospel. We are
in the time of harvest now; the Holy Spirit is here, and the gospel
is going out to the unsaved. "Whosoever will,"
can come and have their sins forgiven, receive eternal life, and
be made fit for heaven. There is a time when this "harvest"
will be over, and then it will be too late to be saved. Those
in our verse said, "And we are not saved."
It is not too late tonight, and so let me ask you, "Are
you saved?" Many people answer that question with, "I
hope so." That's not good enough. Hope will not save anyone.
To be "not saved" means that you are lost
in your sins, you do not have eternal life, and you are dead.
That is a very serious thing. We'll look at a New Testament story
that may help us to understand.
Read Luke 8:41 - 56. This is a simple story giving
an incident in the life of the Lord Jesus when He was down here.
Jairus, a ruler, and a father, came to Him with a big problem
- his twelve-year-old daughter was dying. As parents, can you
imagine what it would be like, the fear, the anxiety, the tears,
as you watched your child die, helpless to do anything about it?
Any sickness is a bad thing, a terminal sickness is worse, but
what is still worse than any bodily sickness is the sickness of
the soul. The body eventually will die, if not now, later, but
the soul will never die. A preacher looked at a little child in
its father's arms and said, "A little soul that never dies."
The soul will leave the body (that's what death is), but it does
not cease to exist; it goes to another dwelling. Some people believe
in annihilation, which means to cease to exist, but that is not
true. The soul lives on forever, and that is why the sickness
of the soul is so much more serious than that of the body.
Jairus had heard of the Lord and so he went to
Him to ask Him to heal his daughter. "But as He went
the people thronged Him." v. 42. We have no idea of
the social conditions of those days. We enjoy a high standard
of living with advanced medical knowledge and a highly efficient
medical system (greatly abused and criticized) to which we have
recourse in time of need. When it was known that the Lord could
heal, immediately crowds of sick and afflicted people flocked
to Him for help, for they had little else that they could turn
to. Those people were in need, and they knew it. If only people
would recognize their need - the need of their soul. Think of
all the people that you know. How many of them do you know to
be truly saved? Not many? All the others are unsaved, and how
many of those who are unsaved are concerned about their soul,
about their sins, and about eternity? Do you know one who is?
If they die unsaved they will go to the lake of
fire and spend an eternity "where the worm dieth not
and the fire is not quenched." They have this terrible
doom before them, and they either don't know and don't want to
be told, or they don't care! Why is it that people are so concerned
about physical illness, but they seem to have no concern about
the sickness of their soul? The answer is in 2 Cor. 4:3 - 4. "The
god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe
not." A person who is blind can stand outside in the
bright sunlight, and not see the sun. "The light of the
glorious gospel of Christ" is shining in the world
today but most people can't see it. Why? Because "the
god of this world" has blinded them to their true condition
before God and to the need of their soul.
Well, there was one woman in the crowd who knew
her need. She had been sick for twelve years; she had tried every
doctor she knew, and she had spent all her money, only to grow
worse. Have you ever heard of "quacks" - people who
pose as doctors and who claim to have a miracle cure for every
illness? They cure nothing, but they get people's money. In spiritual
matters there are also many "quacks", many soul doctors
who claim to be able to help you with your spiritual need. They
prescribe many things, and charge for it, but leave the individual
still unsaved. When it comes to the need of the soul, the need
of salvation, there is only One Who can meet that need
- only One Who can cure the sin-sick soul - the Lord Jesus
This woman came to Him in her need. Have you come
to Christ? Those in Jeremiah said, "We are not saved."
Are you saved? She had faith in Him; she believed that simply
touching "the border of His garment" would
heal her. She knew His power, but she didn't know His heart, and
so in fear she came behind Him, hoping to get the blessing and
then to steal away unnoticed. She got the blessing alright; a
touch of faith and she was healed in a moment. When it comes to
the salvation of our souls, it doesn't require a university degree,
nor take months of waiting and praying. You can be saved in a
moment, anytime, anywhere. If you are still unsaved, right now
is the best time. Faith recognizes that He can save, and faith
turns to Him Who has said, "Him that cometh to Me I will
in no wise cast out."
But the Lord was not content that the woman should
only draw on His power. He was pleased with that touch of faith
(she was afraid that He might not be); He also wanted her to know
His heart of love. That is why He asked, "Who touched
Me?" When she saw that she couldn't hide "she
came trembling" and confessed before all what she had
done. How good that open confession is! "If thou shalt
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
Not only her body was healed that day; her soul was healed as
well. The Lord called her "Daughter," thus
bringing her into relationship with Himself and let her go, not
only with a healthy body, but with comfort and peace in her soul.
What blessing resulted from that touch of faith!
Oh, touch the hem of His garment,
And thou too shalt be free!
His saving power this very hour
Shall give new life to thee!
While all this was going on, Jairus' daughter died.
Was it too late? No, it wasn't, for if we have seen sickness as
a picture of someone who is unsaved, so death is also a picture
of someone unsaved. Someone who does not have new life from God
is dead. A Christian mother who objected to her son, also a believer,
going out with an unsaved girl, said to him, " - , she's
dead!" Dear parents, if you have any unsaved children,
then they are like this girl; they are dead before God. But Christ
can give them life, and this father trusted though all hope seemed
to be gone. It still wasn't too late then, but some day soon it
will be too late, for when "the harvest is past,"
then those who will say "and we are not saved,"
will be lost for ever.
Though "they laughed Him to scorn … He
put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying,
Maid, arise." What astonishment, and what joy there
was in that home that day! What a picture this is of someone who
receives new life in Christ through His saving power! What a heart
of love it is that meets us in the needs of our souls with His
wonderful power to save! This is still going on today. There is
one more detail; the Lord commanded to give her food. Parents,
don't forget that the salvation of your children is not all; after
they are saved they need food, spiritual food for the health and
growth of their souls. S.L.