SAINT AUGUSTINE: FEEDING HIS SOUL
Kim's dramatic painting of St. Augustine captures one of history's greatest spiritual giants, as he studies and searches the Holy Scriptures. Born in North Africa, in what today is Algeria, he lived in the 4th century during one of the most spiritually turbulent periods of church history. The church at that time was plagued with theological confusion and a number of heresies. It was a sovereign God who brought Augustine to prominence, like Queen Esther in the Old Testament, ”for such a time as this”! (Esther 4:14)
Augustine had a godly mother, Monica, and a pagan father, Patricius, an influential city official, who trusted Christ for salvation on his deathbed. In his early days, Augustine sowed his wild oats and lived a very immoral and godless life. But he had a praying mother, who never gave up on her wayward son and never stopped believing that God would change his life. By the grace of God, and in answer to prayer, Augustine was gloriously converted and plucked from the slave market of sin. His commitment was real, the dramatic change in his life very evident, and he quickly became a servant of God, a student of the Scriptures, a soldier of the cross, and one of the greatest theologians in church history. At the ripe age of seventy-six he succumbed to a fatal illness and went to heaven. But, ’he being dead yet speaks’. Remarkably, Augustine still lives on today through his writings! His most famous work, ’The Confessions of Augustine’ is still a classic 17 centuries after it was first penned. He wrote this book just thirteen years after his conversion to Christ. It was the result of long hours of study.
Augustine is still revered today and will always be remembered as a great Church Father, a great theologian, and a great champion for truth. Above all, he is remembered as a great man of God, whose life was changed forever when he embraced the message of Scripture. Jesus said, ’And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Once Augustine grasped the enormity of his sin and the greatness of God's grace, he humbly and reverently bowed his knee and professed Christ as his Lord and Saviour. May Augustine's Saviour be your Saviour too! As Augustine discovered, ’But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God’ (John 1:12).
If a dog can demonstrate such affection, then surely greater is the joy, excitement, and anticipation of the Christian who daily watches for the Master’s soon return!
The apostle John was very old and ready to die. Since his first encounter with Christ in Galilee many years earlier, he never lost the thrill of watching for the Saviour. In spite of the fact that he was very old, very tired, and ready to die and go to heaven, he expressed the deepest yearning of his heart at the close of the Book of Revelation. In response to Jesus promise, “Surely I am coming quickly“, the watching servant, John, cried out in love for His Master, “Amen, come Lord Jesus” (Rev.22:20).
Are you ready for Christ’s imminent return? Are you ready and watching? Have you been born again? Have you the certainty that all your sins are forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus? It is possible to have peace with God. Now! The Bible says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found” (Isa.55:6). If you seek Him you will discover that He is gracious and merciful. Mt. 19:25 asks the question, “Who then can be saved?” Praise God the answer is simple; you can be saved! How? ”Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). Only those who ‘lean’ on Christ for salvation will be found watching for the Master when He returns in great power and great glory.
Archived: Inspirational Thoughts