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“TRAVAIL”

April 26, 2007

Psalm 126:5-6  “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

II Timothy 4:8  “Henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

If there’s been one thing on my heart as of late, it’s been an increase in desire.  A desire to be with the Lord Jesus that’s so intense as to nearly bring about physical pain.  Likewise, a desire to see those whom I know and love come into the ark before time runs its course.  A desire shared by all who love the Lord Jesus in spirit and in truth.  The apostle Paul uses the word “betwixt” but in all honsety, this word hardly seems adequate in describing the intensity.  Each day that passes brings the finality of this age closer.  Each moment sees another soul somewhere enter the hereafter.  Each second that passes is another moment which will never be again.  The urgency of the hour has never been greater and it really does resemble a woman in travail.  The birth pangs growing both in their intensity and frequency as the moment approaches. 

This is a complete side paragraph, but I remember when our daughter, Megan, was born on April 19, 1993.  (This was my first as our older daughter, Morgan, has a different biological father.)  We were in the labor room for most of the morning where a television was turned to a news broadcast.  During Kimberlys labor, which began shortly after midnight and lasted until early afternoon, we found ourselves simultaneously watching the government assault on the Branch Dividian compound in Waco.  I remember the tank or bulldozer (or whatever) breaching the side of the compound.  Then, as we were anticipating a new life that would soon enter the world, we saw the beginning of flames.  Flames which quickly engulfed the entire place and one could only think of the souls for whom time had run out.  About an hour after the ordeal was complete, we were taken into the delivery room as it was time, and Megan was born.  It was a day, unlike any other, which will never be forgotten.  (Megan turned 14 twelve days ago)

Romans 8:21-23  “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

There are various aspects of travail; three areas which come to mind.  One is the creation itself.  Be it global warming (actually the entire solar system is heating up.  Luke 21:25-26 comes to mind)  drought, earthquakes in divers places, volcanoes erupting in obscure locations and a general sense that the earth is being stretched to its physical limits and then some.  Here are two sites which monitor these events; although I’m certain that there are others which are more sprcialized.

www.standeyo.com

www.stevequayle.com (click on the giant “Q” to reach news events and links)

It seems as though things are increasing at a rate as to awaken those with ears to hear while allowing the naysayers to go about proclaiming “Oh we’ve always had earthquakes and weird weather.”  Thus folks go about their business, heaping together treasure for the last days while remaining oblivious to the flashing neon signs that loudly proclaim “things are not as they have always been!” 

I Thessalonians 5:2-4  “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  But ye are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”

A second area is the travail of a redeemed body of Christ which longs to be with the Lord Jesus.  We are in a world which seems more alien by the hour and longing for the moment in which we shall put on incorruption.  This has always fascinated me.  The thought of putting on incorruption.  The different law which now works in our members will no longer be tagging along like an unwanted hitchhiker.  No more having to die daily to ourselves and having to repent while driving home from work because we allowed foolishness to carry the night.  When we love the Lord Jesus, we desire to please him and when a stumgbling takes place, we desire to get it taken care of right away.  (I John 2:1-5) Yet I much prefer to drive home praising God for deliverance in an hour of temptation. 

I John 3:2-3  “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

Currently, none of us knows what it’s like to put on incorruption, but the day is soon coming and as such we long for the conclusion of this age.  Yet as much as we long to be absent from the body and present with the Lord, we find a betwixting as we all know folks who aren’t ready for that day.   This third area of travail is for the lost.  Those who will hold to all manner of falsehoods while refusing to come to the Lord Jesus.  For many, it’s the love of this present world or the pursuit of wealth.  Others cannot understand the logic in believing in someone who’se not visible.  Some think that they can get to heaven by their good deeds or they think that they’ll come back as a different person to “have another run at it.”  Still others hardly think at all; just eat drink and be merry.  The excuses are as numerous as the folks who hold to them and yet they all have one thing.  They lead down the road to perdition.

Proverbs 16:25  “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” 

This verse, along with Matthew 7:13-14 and a host of others should cause all of us to walk humbly before God.  To lay aside any preconceived ideas and see what his word says about things.  We all know folks who are following their “instincts” or their ‘intellect” while refusing to accept Jesus Christ who paid for their sin with his own blood.  The wages of sin really is death; eternal death.  And many are hanging in the balance this very hour totally unaware of just how perilous their situation is.  For them we pray fervently and strive to be ready to preach the word in season out of season.  To be ready to give an answer to any who ask of the hope that is in us and to pray without ceasing for those with whom we come in contact with daily.  I pray that we all would be sober-minded in this area. 

One more thing before closing this runaway post.  That’s the travail that we have for the saints.  Praying for each other and desiring that we all would grow into the fulness of Christ.  We see those who are outside of the household of faith and we understand why they think as they do.  (Because we used to think the same way)  But when coming into contact with saints who should be watching but are too consumed with the spirit of this age, it really hurts.  I know all too well what can happen when we harbor a love for the things of this life.

Galatians 4:19  “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”

Pauls love for the churches is well documented.  First and formost, his love for the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is a side note here, but in recent posts on various sites, the topic of being ready to give our lives for Jesus has come up.  If we “love him” as we ought to, if the time comes, we’ll be ready.  This is not to be presumptuous, but we need to focus on loving the Lord Jesus so much that everything else falls into a “secondary place.”  This is why loving this world is so dangerous.  We all know of Peter denying Jesus three times and later Jesus asking Peter three times “do you love me?”  Three times Peter said “Yes Lord you know that I love you.”  Each time Jesus instructs peter to feed his sheep, and then he reveals something else to Peter. 

John 21:18-19  “Verily verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkest wither thou woudest:  but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee wither thou wouldest not.  This spake he, signifying by what death he would glorify God.  And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.”

From that moment on, Peter knew two things.  He knew that he would see old age and he knew that he wouldn’t die from “natural causes.”  His love for the Lord Jesus, and likewise our love for the Lord Jesus is paramount.  I need to close for now.  If we truly love the Lord Jesus and have no confidence in the chariots of Egypt, he’ll prepare us for anything that comes before us.  His grace will always be sufficient and he will never leave us nor forsake us.  I find myself quoting this a lot lately, but it really is true.  Sorry about the longer than usual post.  I’ll close with another passage which comes up ever so often.

 II Corinthians 5:1-4  “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”

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2 comments

  1. Looking forward to that glorious day. And thank you for stopping by and letting me know you prayed for me. I am feeling some better.
    Many blessings to you,
    Ronda


  2. I John 3:2-3 “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

    We shall be like Him, how awesome is that !
    I long to be with Him too, I know the ache in my heart for His presence, and yet like you there is a sense that my time is not up yet; my work not through, regardless of apparent circumstances.
    There are still so many outside the household of faith. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Lord, send forth the laborers!
    Here am I Lord, send me…

    Jesus love grace and blessings to you timbob, we are praying.
    Our Lord is forever faithful!

    Susan



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