Proverbs 27: 1, 23-27
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 (to ‘fails’)
These scriptures came before me, beloved brethren, in view of this occasion. I read in Proverbs 27, “Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day will bring forth”. Today we see around us failure because of men’s boasting, which is not a feature we would expect to see in a Christian. Unfortunately we do; we fail, but what I had in my mind was that in the latter section that I read it says, “wealth is not for ever; and doth the crown endure from generation to generation?” Well, we know things have failed all round about us, and there is nothing that does not fail apart from what is in Christ and the work of Christ in its perfection. We have our young brother and sister before us today, and this occasion is specially set aside in view of ministry to come in and encourage. We are greatly encouraged with our young brother and sister. While we are sorry to be losing our sister from this locality we are glad that she is going to a locality where she will be able to bring into play all that she has learned. This particular verse was a word of advice that was given to me when I was first married, “Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day will bring forth”.
One of the things that is prevalent today is man’s desire for instant gratification: men are not prepared to wait for anything; but what I had before me was endurance. When you endure for something, it is not for what you get immediately but something which will come as a matter of exercise and maybe a matter of hard work, and this all enters into marriage. We see failure all in marriage around us, but this is not what I wish to concentrate on; I want to concentrate on what is said of Christ in Hebrews: “him who endured”, chap 12: 3. If we consider what the Lord endured and the basis on which we are here, everything we have is in Him. The Lord endured: “endured the cross”, Heb 12: 2. All those things the Lord endured in view of His own, maintaining and keeping His own. We can see these things as we look upon the saints, and look upon His work in them. We can see what has endured and, beloved brethren, I would like to speak to our young brother and sister to say that from today onwards they should bear in mind what we have in Corinthians, this great love chapter, which ends with. “Love never fails”.
Now I want to assure you, dear young brother and sister, if you endure, endure in the things of the Lord, endure in the pathway, endure whether it be in material or whether it be in spiritual things, there will be a result at the end of it. Because it says here, “Love has long patience, is kind; love is not emulous of others; love is not insolent and rash, is not puffed up, does not behave in an unseemly manner, does not seek what is its own, it is not quickly provoked, does not impute evil”. What a wonderful thing it is to read that and see what there is, and what there can be that is available to us. The desire when we enter into married life is to see and work out things together, and as you work out things together that bond will become strong, that bond will endure; and it is important that the bond endures. We have seen endurance so plainly and clearly in the Lord, how He endured right to the very end, and that is what He would desire that we do. We are to endure in our spiritual lives; we come up against a problem, and we are not to take the easy option but we have to endure. We have to work out things and see what is in view. And so, in life we see how things happen. I know in my own history there are things that I have had to endure, my wife has had to endure, we both have had to endure, but it says “Love … endures all things. Love never fails”. Remember that; in our lives we have love for one another, love for the Lord, love for the brethren. Our sister is going down to begin a home in the Bristol area, and what a wonderful thing it is to see homes set up for the testimony here, so that it may be maintained and kept, and so that there may be that enduring quality. That is something that has been seen in our young brother and sister, that they have endured already in their pathway. And for what is before them, I would encourage them to endure in view of the fact that, “Love never fails”. Whatever else may fail round about us, “Love never fails”. The Lord Jesus, even to His last breath, never failed His own. He could turn to that malefactor on the cross beside Him and say to him, “To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise”, Luke 23: 43. Even in His extremity He endured in view of the fact there were those He was securing for eternity. Dear young brother and sister, endure in your lives together, both spiritually and materially that there may be a way through for the testimony here, and there may be that which is maintained in Bristol and kept for the Lord’s joy and pleasure.
For His Name’s sake.
13th April 2013