Saturday, October 26, 2013

Autumn Devotional in Honor of Pastor Chuck Smith

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:12-13

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.
Revelation 21:3

Beyond these chilling winds and gloomy skies, —
Beyond death’s cloudy portal —
There is a land where beauty never dies,
Where love becomes immortal.

A land whose light is never dimmed by shade,
Whose fields are ever vernal,
Where nothing beautiful can ever fade,
But blooms for aye eternal.

The city’s shining towers we may not see,
With our dim earthly vision:
For Death, the silent warder, keeps the key
That opes these gates elysian.

But sometimes, where adown the western sky
A fiery sunset lingers,
Its golden gates swing inward noiselessly,
Unlocked by unseen fingers:

And while they stand a moment half ajar,
Gleams from the inner glory,
Stream brightly through the azure vault afar,
And half reveal the story.

O land unknown ! O land of love divine !
Father, all-wise, eternal,
Oh, guide these wandering, way-worn feet of mine
Unto those pastures vernal.

         There is an “eventide” in the year, -- a season, as we now witness, when the sun withdraws his propitious light, when the winds arise, and the leaves fall, and nature around us seems to sink into decay. It is said, in general, to be the season of melancholy; and if by this word be meant that it is the time of solemn and of serious thought, it is undoubtedly so; yet it is a melancholy so soothing, so gentle in its approach, and so prophetic in its influence, that they who have known it feel, as instinctively, that it is the doing of God, and that the heart of man is not thus finely touched but to fine issues. When we go out into the fields in the evening of the year, we regard, even in spite of ourselves, the still but steady advances of time. A different voice approaches us ... A few days ago, and the summer of the year was grateful, and every element was filled with life, and the sun of heaven seemed to glory in his ascendant.  He is now enfeebled in his power; the desert no more “blossoms like the rose;” the song of joy is no more heard among the branches; and the earth is strewed with that foliage which once bespoke the magnificence of summer…. Such also in a few years will be our own condition…. If there were no other effects, my brethren, of such appearances of nature upon our minds, they would still be valuable; they would teach us humility, and with it they would teach us charity.
  Sermon on Autumn

In Heaven God will give Himself wholly to us, even as He is One and Undivided; yet He will give Himself variously to the innumerable blessed ones around Him.  And we shall give ourselves to Him in like manner, for we shall see Him Face to face in all His Beauty, and love Him Heart to heart. 
Of the Love of God

~This Devotional is dedicated to Pastor Chuck Smith who has arrived to his true Home.

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