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Long for Christ, confess Christ, and believe in Christ. The Spirit will be added tot he letter, and you will be saved. If you take away the Spirit the letter kills, and then what hope will remain?

St. Augustine, Commentary

Astonishing is the stupidity of the person who fears death. Death is common to all and none can escape it. Cicero was able to comfort himself very well as a heathen in the first book of the Tuscans. How much more ought we Christians do this for we have Christ, the destroyer of death, and have eternal life and the resurrection.

Martin Luther, Table Talk, 1 August 1538

Vanity it is to wish to live long, and to be careless to live well,

Thomas á Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

Let us remember the time is short, and the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. A few more battles and the last trumpet shall sound, and the Prince of Peace shall come to reign on a renewed earth. A few more struggle and conflicts, and then we shall say an eternal good-bye to warfare, and to sin, to sorrow, and to death.

J. C. Ryle, Practical Religion, on Happiness

Remember Lot's wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.

Luke 17.32-34

With these cryptic words our Lord reminds His followers of the necessity for preparedness and their need to be ready for His return. Today, many Christians remember the words of Jesus and flock to movies like Left Behind Yet few stop to think about what this statement tells us about the way God works in our world. Jesus appeals to a story that He expects His hearers to know. The story of Lot's wife found in Genesis 19. Then He reminds His hearers of the importance of memory.

Thus once more we are reminded of the importance of memory. In 2 Timothy 3.16 we are told that "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the people of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

The loss of memory is a terrible thing. A close friend and colleague of mine, Professor Hans-Jürgen Becken has developed a mild form of Alzheimer's disease with the result that although he is still in very good health he is unable to complete his life's work as a translator of Christian materials into English from the Zulu language which he knows so well. The burden on him is unbelievable. Yet, through the grace of God he manages to live life day by day praising God for the little memory that remains.

Those of us who have good memories need to realize how fortunate we are and learn to use them for God's glory. We also need to praise God for the allowing us to enjoy His beautiful world and for those Christians in the past who left visible monuments to His glory such as those found in the great churches and cathedrals of Europe.

Day: 8 - 9 - 10

These readings are based on a) John E. Rotelle O.S.A's., excellent Augustine Day by Day, (New York, Catholic Book Publishing, 1986). Permission to use these passages has been sought, although I believe what I have used falls within a "fair use" policy; b) Various works of Martin Luther (1483-1546); c) Thomas á Kempis (1380-1471); d) Anglican Bishop J. C. Ryle's (1816-1900) Holiness (18??) or Practical Religion (1900); e) Zondervan's New International Version of the Bible.

Copyright Irving Hexham 2001