Sunday Scriptures — The Last Battle

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis’ final book in The Chronicles of Narnia series, Lewis paints his vision of what it might be like when Jesus leads his people to Paradise. A vision that had me in tears.

As the title suggests, this is the last and final battle in Narnia where good and evil have fought through the ages. With that said, if you haven’t read the book, and I suggest you do, and don’t want any “spoilers” perhaps you should skip down to the maroon quote.

As those of Narnia who stand for what is good and right battle against what is evil and unjust, their final battle cry becomes, “Further up and further in.”

When they reach a great golden gate, they aren’t sure what to do until they hear a voice say, “Welcome in the Lion’s name. Come further up and further in.”

At one point as those who have gone further in gather around Aslan he says, “You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be.” Lucy explains they are afraid he’ll send them back, as has often been the case, but Aslan assures her he won’t. He tells her, “No fear of that. Have you not guessed?”

He tells those around him they are no longer in the Shadow-Lands—as they called death. He tells them the (school) term is over. The holidays have begun.

Lewis finishes his chronicles of Narnia with these words.

And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning for the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great story … in which every chapter is better than the one before.

You and I are living the cover and title page of our stories. When we enter the Shadow-Lands and go further on and further in to stand before the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ our LORD and Savior, that’s when our story REALLY begins.

That will be the beginning of our Great Story. The one God planned for us before time began. It will be a story in which EVERY chapter is better than the one before.

Can you imagine it? I’m not really sure I can, but I know it will be beyond anything I could ever dream, hope, or imagine.

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And the one sitting on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true: It is finished! I am the A and the Z—the Beginning and the End. I will give to the thirsty the springs of the Water of Life—as a gift! Everyone who conquers will inherit all these blessings, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But cowards who turn back from following me, and those who are unfaithful to me, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those conversing with demons, and idol worshipers and all liars—their doom is in the Lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This is the Second Death.” Revelation 21:5-8 (TLB)

I wish you well.


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Why We Celebrate Jesus’ Birth

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Once again Christmas has come and gone.

As we put Christmas 2016 behind us for another year, here are a few quotes to remind us why we celebrated the birth of our Savior two days ago, in the hope we remember the reason for the holiday everyday throughout 2017.

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

“Christmas is that moment in time when God, in His unconditional love, stepped out of heaven onto earth, in order that we might one day step out of earth into heaven.” ~ Charles F. Stanley

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” ~ C.S. Lewis

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!” ~ John F. MacArthur, Jr.

“The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that he might offer up his life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas.” ~ Rev. Billy Graham

“The Christ child in the manger is forever an indication of the great lengths God will go to reconcile his creation, a savior willing to descend that we might be able to ascend with him…” ~ Ravi Zacharia

“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.” ~ J.I. Packer

Which of these quotes is your favorite?

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 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:10-14 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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