Hold on to That Key!

"Come!" says the Master in one of Jesus' wonderful parables, "Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!" Mt 25: 34  

What a marvelous promise this is to us all. Yes, to you too, dear faithful believer!—this promise includes you! God has prepared a Kingdom for you, from the very "foundation of the world." And your faith in Him now is the key to it all! 

I love the story of what happened to Robert Moffat, the great missionary to South Africa way back in the 1820's when so much of it was still unexplored jungle and wilderness. 

From time to time, Moffat used to leave his wife and his mission station and his printing press behind, in the city of Kuruman and travel deep into the interior to bring the Gospel to some of the Tswana tribes: a very resistant unreached people group. 

It was during one of those journeys that he and his team came to a primitive village on the banks of the Orange River. They set up camp just over a hill outside the village, but their supplies were almost completely gone! They were  hungry and thirsty and exhausted. They asked the villagers for water, and the villagers refused to provide it. Moffat offered to buy some milk from them—the Tswana were cattle herders—and again they refused to provide. Would they allow him, then, to buy some water? Absolutely not. 

They wanted nothing to do with the strangers; just wanted them to go away. "And so we had the prospect of yet another hungry and thirsty night ahead of us," Moffat so patiently wrote in his book: Missionary Labors and Scenes in South Africa. 

But that evening, as twilight drew near, they looked up and saw a remarkable sight: an old woman was coming over the hill from the direction of the village; she was carrying a bundle of firewood on her head and a pail of fresh goat's milk in her hand. When she got to the camp, she just laid it all down and turned and went back to the village. 

But, a little bit later, she came back, and this time she was carrying even more! She had seen the size of Moffat's party and decided they needed an even greater supply of firewood and milk. 

Moffat and some of his men were fluent in Setswana. They asked her name; but she just kept silent. Finally, Moffat himself begged her to explain who she was and why she was doing this at such great risk to herself: "Please give us a chance to be thankful to you, for such unexpected kindness." 

And with that, a tear appeared on the woman's cheek. She quietly answered: "Who I am is not important, but I love the One you serve! I love the One who has sent you to us! My heart is filled with joy to find you here in such an out-of-the-way place as this. I am doing this for Him." 

Oh, yes she was! 

"In as much as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."   Mt 25: 40

Moffat and his men were astonished. He asked the woman how on earth she had managed to keep her faith in Christ intact though all the lonely years with not even a single other believer beside her. She had to be dying of spiritual thirst; she had to feel lost and alone in the darkness around her. 

This is what Moffat writes in his journal: "She drew from her bosom an old tattered copy of the Dutch New Testament that she had received in a school many years before: 'This is the fountain I drink from,' she said. 'This is the oil that makes my lamp burn.'" 

How beautiful! That Word of God was the key to her Kingdom. The kingdom that waits, prepared for her! 

And it waits for you too, dear faithful believer! When you have a saving faith in Jesus Christ, you hold the key to a fabulous Kingdom: prepared for you...waiting for you since before the very dawn of time.

Hang on to that key, dear faithful believer! Heft it in your hand when the worries of life grow intense; when the perils begin to loom! Remind yourself of what it will open...someday sooner than you think...someday when the "light and momentary afflictions" are behind you! (2 Cor 4: 17) Hold on to that key and steer the straight path till you get to the gate that it opens! Because when you do—oh, my!

See you Sunday.                             RAS

 

1. Robert Moffat, Missionary Labors and Scenes in South Africa New York, Robert Carter publisher 1843. The book  is available free of charge from Kindle on Amazon.com.

 

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