Like millions of other boys, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Brock had just been called overseas to face the dark, dangerous days of war. The hearts of the family were heavy. Shortly after, the father of the soldier-son noticed a motto on the wall of his minister’s study. It read, “Keep Looking Up!” It was like a message from heaven. Returning home, he and his wife wrote this lovely gospel song.
Life has its joys and sorrows, too,
Sometimes the mists will hide our view;
If we would hope and strength renew,
There’s just one thing to do:
Keep looking up, thy God is still the same today,
Keep looking up, He will not fail thee, come what may;
Keep looking up, the darkest cloud will roll away,
So do not doubt, but keep looking up!
When darkened clouds have filled your sky,
And faithless friends have passed you by;
When prone to doubt or reason why,
There’s just one thing to do:
So when your faith is sorely tried,
And earnest prayers have been denied;
Whene’er you need a faithful guide,
There’s just one thing to do:
LEADER THE WORLD NEEDS MOST
DURING the last world war, when Hitler’s troops were over-running Europe, a young German lad is reported to have said: “Hitler has become so big, and Jesus Christ so small.” But Hitlers come and go, and Christ goes on forever.
He alone of all the sons of men has been able to cross the bounds of nationality, caste, and society. Men have not forgotten His visit to the world nearly 2,000 years ago. He is still adored by great and small, rich and poor, throughout the world. Songs of love and fidelity honour His name. In scores of languages, daily prayers ascend to Him from the lips of millions who would rather die than dishonour His holy name. Shortly before His death on the cross, He prophesied that His name would be preached in all the world. (Matthew 24:14). Today we witness the fulfillment of this prophecy.
He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous and uninfluential, yet in infancy He startled a king. In childhood He puzzled theologians. In manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if they were pavements, and hushed the sea to sleep.
He healed the multitudes without medicine and without money.
He never wrote a book, yet all the libraries in the world contain numberless books that have been written about Him.
He never wrote a song, yet He furnished the theme for countless hymns and sublime oratories.
He never founded a collage, but all the schools in the world cannot boast of having as many students.
He never marshalled an army, drafted a soldier, or fired a gun, yet no leader ever had more volunteers.
Every seventh day multitudes wend their way to houses of worship to pay Him homage and respect. The names of great statesmen are soon forgotten, but the name of this Man is known in every land on earth. Though nineteen hundred years separate this generation from His crucifixion, He still lives. Herod could not kill Him. Death could not destroy Him. The grave could not hold Him. As another has said, “He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils, as the living, personal Christ, our Lord and Saviour.”
The name of Jesus fits into every language of the earth. It needs no translation. It seems as if His name were meant to be on every man’s lips.
“Jesus,” oh, how sweet the name!
“Jesus,” every day the same;
“Jesus,” let all saints proclaim
Its worthy praise for ever.
— W. C. MARTIN.
Dr. Gordon tells how he at one time gave his little boy a jig-saw puzzle-map of the United States to put together. Surprised at how quickly the little fellow accomplished this task, he asked him how he had done it. Smiling, the boy turned the map over and showed his father a large picture of Uncle Sam on the opposite side. He had just put the man together, and in so doing had quickly solved the puzzle. Likewise, the best way to understand the Bible and piece together those portions that are difficult to understand, is to study them in the light of Christ and His experience.
No one can find a satisfactory answer to the puzzle of life without Christ. Without Him life is meaningless. With Him everything fits into a pattern that can be readily discerned.
Jesus said to His followers in the long ago, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1. These words were spoken to men who were saddened at the thought of His impending departure. They had seen Him provide food for the hungry. They had witnessed His miracles of healing. They had seen Him raise people from the dead. They loved Him dearly, and were deeply distressed at the thought of being parted from Him.
No one is happy at the thought of partings. A brief visit to an airport, a railway station, or a wharf is proof of that. Nothing stirs the emotions more then the realization that someone whom we dearly love is slipping from us into the unknown.
Jesus brought peace to the disciples’ troubled hearts by revealing something to them about the afterlife. He made it real. He spoke of a real heaven and a prepared place. “In My Father’s house are many mansions,” He assured them. “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye mat be also.” John 14:2, 3. The thought of a reunion with loved ones, of real homes and eternal happiness, is thrilling indeed.
How do we get there? “Follow Me,” He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He is the way from doubt to certainty. He is the way from earth to heaven, and He is the way from man to God. He can show us the way through the dark tunnel of the tomb, clear through till we emerge on the other side, out under the blue skies of eternity.
I like to think of Lazarus. The Scriptures record that when Jesus reached the village of Bethany, Lazarus had already lain in the tomb four days and his body had begun to decompose. Jesus stood before that tomb and uttered just three words, “Lazarus, come forth!” and Lazarus answered the call of the Life-giver. What He did for Lazarus and others He will do for you and me if we have faith in Him.
Jesus was no ordinary man. He was God in the flesh. He demonstrated this by His miracles, His works, His wonderful sayings, and by the things He didn’t do. He never uttered a word that He had to take back. He never showed any personal fear. He never made a mistake, and He never confessed a sin. Why? Because the Scriptures declare: “In Him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5. “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.
This wonderful man assures His followers that He will answer their prayers. (John 14:12-14). Furthermore, He reminds us of our need of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives to convict us of sin, to guide us in the way of eternal life, and to remind us of the precious promises He has made to all who do His will. He has made it possible for the Holy Spirit to be with His people in all the world, comforting and guiding and blessing them in the Christian way.
Finally His promise to all who believe in Him is, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” John 14:19. What a glorious assurance to poor, dying humanity! What a soothing balm for broken hearts!
We must all face the question asked by the Lord Himself in the long ago, “What think ye of Christ?” Matthew 22:42.
Are you just an admirer of Him? If His life is to mean anything to us, we must learn to know Him as our personal Friend and Saviour. Apart from Him we have little hope for the future. There is nothing outside of Christ to satisfy the deep longings of the human heart. When we are face to face with the great unknown, His smile of assurance will certainly carry us through into the land of glad reunion. Like the Psalmist of old we can say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4.
The Lord offers to us all today forgiveness of sins, peace of mind, hope for the future, and life everlasting. If you have not as yet done so, will you accept Him today as your Saviour and live for His glory till He comes? Will you look into the face of God right now and say:
FATHER, I love You and I love Jesus, and I wish to thank You both for all You have done for me. Take my life and make it wholly Thine. Keep me from sin, and help me to live in harmony with Thy divine will till Jesus comes. Amen.