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Thursday, October 13, 2005 

Look up brother! Look up sister!

Last Sunday at our church (www.gfcto.com) our Pastor encouraged each of us to always look to Christ for all things. We must be reminded to Look Christward each day and to look to Him for satisfaction rather than to the things of this earth. To encourage each other to look to Christ. To that end, we offer the following thoughts to encourage you...so look up brother, look up sister!!! Look unto Christ!! The first quote is from the Diary of David Brainerd, dated August 26. On this date David speaks of God moving amongst the indian people and how they were looking unto Christ and desiring God:

Aug. 26. - "Preached to my people from John, 6:51-55. After I had discoursed some time, I addressed them in particular who entertained hopes that they were passed from death unto life. Opened to them the persevering nature of those consolations which Christ gives his people, and which I trusted he had bestowed upon some in that assembly; showed them that such have already the beginnings of eternal life, and that their heaven shall speedily be completed. "I no sooner began to discourse in this strain than the dear Christians in the congregation began to be melted with affection to, and desire of the enjoyment of Christ, and of a state of perfect purity. They wept affectionately, yet joyfully; and their tears and sobs discovered brokenness of heart, and yet were attended with al comfort and and appeared to sweetness. It was a tender, affectionate, humble and delightful meetingre be the genuine effect of a spirit of adoption, and very far from that spirit of bondage under which they not long since labored. The influence seemed to spread from these through the whole assembly; and there quickly appeared a wonderful concern among them. Many, who had not yet found Christ as an all-sufficient Savior, were surprisingly engaged in seeking after him. It was indeed a lovely and very interesting assembly. Their number was now about ninety-five persons, old and young, and almost all affected with joy in Christ Jesus, or with the utmost concern to obtain an interest in him. "Being now convinced that it was my duty to take a journey far back to the Indians on the Susquehanna, it being now a proper season of the year to find them generally at home; after having spent some hours in public and private discourse with my people, I told them that I must now leave them for the present, and go to their brethren far remote, and preach to them; that I wanted the Spirit of God should go with me, without whom nothing could be done to any good purpose among the Indians - as they themselves had opportunity to see and observe by the barrenness of our meetings at some times, when there was much pains taken to affect and awaken sinners, and yet to little or nor purpose; and asked them if they could not be willing to spend the remainder of the day in prayer for me, that God would go with me, and succeed my endeavors for the conversion of these poor souls. They cheerfully complied with the motion, and soon after I left them, the sun being about an hour and a half high, they began and continued praying till break of day, or very near; never mistrusting, as they tell me, till they went out and viewed the stars, and saw the morning star a considerable height, that it was later than bed time. Thus eager and unwearied were they in their devotions! A remarkable night it was; attended, as my interpreter tells me, with a powerful influence upon those who were yet under concern, as well as those who had received comfort. There were, I trust, this day, two distressed souls brought to the enjoyment of solid comfort in Him in whom the weary find rest. It was likewise remarkable, that this day an old Indian, who had all his days been an idolater, was brought to give up his rattles, which they use for music in the idolatrous feasts and dances, to the other Indians, who quickly destroyed them. This was done without any interference of mine, I having not spoken to him about it, so that it seemed to be nothing but the power of God's word, without any particular application to this sin, that produced this effect. Thus God has begun; thus he has hitherto surprisingly carried on a work of grace among these Indians. May the glory be ascribed to Him who is the sole author of it."
Diary of David Brainerd

"In following Him, you will look onward; for He set His face stedfastly to go up to Jerusalem; and when Peter would have hindered His going to the cross, He answered, 'Get thee behind me, Satan' (Matt 16:23). You will look upward too; for He 'lifted up His eyes to heaven'; and your posture must be 'looking upwards,' with your affection set on things above (Col 3:1). You must bear the contradiction of sinners as He did (Heb 12:3); you must count the reproach of Christ greater riches than all earthly treasures (Heb 11:26); you must keep before your eyes Him who was 'despised and rejected of men,' yet who was 'meek and lowly in heart,' whose 'heart was not haughty nor His eyes lofty, who did not exercise Himself in great matters or in things too high for Him, who behaved and quieted Himself as a child that is weaned of his mother, whose soul was as a weaned child' (Psa 131:1,2). You began with turning your back upon the world, and 'looking to Jesus'; keep ever thus. Looking to Him brought rest to you at first, and healed your soul; so, looking to Him daily will maintain your rest and perfect your spiritual health. 'Looking to Jesus' will give you light in hours of darkness, will strengthen you in weakness, will comfort you in trouble, will cheer you in the day of weariness. Should your eye ever be withdrawn from the cross, you will be sure to go back, to grow cold, and to forget that you were purged from your old sins (2 Peter 1:9). That cross is life, health, holiness, consolation, strength, joy; let nothing come between it and you. In the light of that cross go upon your way stedfastly; for to him on whose path that cross is shining, there can be no abiding darkness. Clouds there may be and eclipses; but that light can never be quenched; that sun can never go down."
Horatius Bonar, Follow the Lamb.

Arise, the kingdom is at hand,
The King is drawing nigh;
Arise with joy, thou faithful band,
To meet the Lord most high!
Look up, ye souls, weighed down with care,
The Sovereign is not far;
Look up, faint hearts, from your despair,
Behold the Morning Star!

Look up, ye drooping hearts, today,
The King is very near;
O cast your griefs and fears away,
For, lo, your help is here!
Hope on, ye broken hearts, at last
The King comes in His might;
He loved us in the ages past
When we lay wrapped in night.

Look up, ye souls weighed down with care,
The Sovereign is not far!
Look up, faint hearts, from your despair,
Behold the Morning Star!
The Lord is with us now,
Who shallThe sinking spirit feed
With strength and comfort at its need
To Whom e’en death shall bow.

Hope, O ye broken hearts, at last!
The King comes on in might,
He loved us in the ages past
When we sat wrapped in night;
Now are our sorrows o’er, and fear
And wrath to joy give place,
Since God hath made us in His grace
His children evermore.

O rich the gifts Thou bringest us,
Thyself made poor and weak;
O love beyond compare that thus
Can foes and sinners seek!
For this we raise a gladsome voice
On high to Thee alone,
And evermore with thanks rejoice
Before Thy glorious throne.
Johann Rist. ARISE, THE KINGDOM IS AT HAND. Lün­e­burg: 1651