George is an ex-serviceman from South Holland, Ill.

We as young men and women have been raised in the sphere of God’s covenant.  From our earliest youth we have been instructed in the things pertaining to this Covenant.  We have learned to know God as He has revealed Himself in His Word, and also to know the Reward we receive when we fully trust Him and live a life that is in full accord with His law and statutes.  Also, we have come to know ourselves as we stand in relation to that Covenant, namely, that we are obligated in all that we do to serve Him perfectly for He demands perfect obedience from His own.  By faith we do this willingly.

But, oftentimes our faith and spiritual life are at a very low ebb.  We live, it would seem, in smug complacency.  We hear the same thing over and over, and we become numb to the admonitions and commands to serve Him in all that we do.  No more does the preaching quicken us or build us up.  Nor does Society life seem more than a social meeting or another intellectually pleasant gathering.  I know that we all experience this at one time or another, and so it is also in our daily living.  We have no more time for reading and meditation, but are wholly occupied with our own material or mercenary objectives.  Our mind is completely vacant of any spiritual thoughts.

Yet, by Grace we are again renewed.  Through His Word and Testimony and the working of the Spirit within us, we are brought back into that Covenant fellowship.  We feel our deep need for the Word of Life.  We long for it and through it are refreshed and can again have sweet communion with our God.  Our whole life is transformed and again peace is with us.  Then also our social life is a means whereby we become stronger and more sure of our living a true Christian life.  Our friends are those who are like-minded, and our homes become a veritable center of Christian Living, truly a bulwark amidst the unrest and strife of the world.

But often God calls us from these homes and from amongst those who likewise show forth true Christian Living.  We all know the events of the past years, when the very foundations of earth were shaken.  Wars raged in lands afar off and men were called to the colors.  The Church as well as the world had her young men taken from her midst.  They were scattered far and wide and usually no two were together leaving one alone in the center of thousands who know not of the Covenant nor have ever experienced Covenant relationships.  So he stands truly alone.  If he speaks of these relationships and his Christian life, he is often put to dismay by laughter and mockery.  They know not of what he speaks nor do they care.  In fact, they refuse to hear for then they are brought into the light and stand open before all.  If possible, they will make the Christian foolish in his own eyes and then lead him in their way.

And with them he may even go for a time, but, God will not allow him to fall far.  The Spirit must again quicken and lead and does, to a level never before reached.  And he stands as it were in heavenly places, no, he is never alone.

As most of our ex-servicemen will testify, God leads and keeps us no matter where we may be.  Though often we fail to fulfill the demands of His law, yet He is able to forgive and also lead us into new realizations of true Christian Living.

We could never advise our younger men to seek a life in the service.  To do so would, to me, be advising to leave the blessed fellowship and communion with which God has blessed us.  Nor could a child of God desire to leave the realm where God truly reveals Himself through Word and Sacraments.  There may be exceptions, but, we do not feel either that God calls men to a peace time service life.  One who has material abundance does not leave all to receive only the bare necessities of life, and much less can the child of God leave the place where Fathers hand leads and guides with spiritual abundance.

Let us then with true and contrite hearts live a life that in every respect is in gratitude for the great redemption we have from so great a degradation.  Let our “conversation be in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ who shall change our vile bodies, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.”

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

Continue reading

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

Continue reading

The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

Continue reading

Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

Continue reading

Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

Continue reading

Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

Continue reading