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May 09, 2015

The Prayer:

Father, thank-you for each and every day in which You have blessed us here on Earth.
Thank-you for Your tender mercies.
Thank-you for giving us friends and family to share joys and sorrows with.
I ask You to bless my friends, relatives, brothers and sisters in Christ, and those I care deeply for, and those who are reading ths right now.

Where there is sadness, please give them joy.
Where there is pain or sorrow, please give them peace and mercy.
Where there is self-doubt, please give them self-confidence.
Where there is lack, please fill their need.

Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings in Jesus name. Amen

May 06, 2015

The true test of character is found in the willingness to bear burdens, to take the hard place, to do the work that needs to be done, though it bring no earthly recognition or reward. God's Amazing Grace, p.. 306.


March 6, 2014

Dear Friends,

As militant atheists lambast the Bible - calling into question the morality of Scripture - it's worth pausing to explore whether God knows something about changing culture, that the sharpest tongues in our society don't. "Money, Might and Munitions" explains what we can learn about Exodus from the winding down of the Afghan War. I hope you enjoy it — and pass it on to your friends who might be wondering if God really can be counted on.

Thanks for your interest and support,

James
 
MONEY, MIGHT AND MUNITIONS
 

It’s “easier to start a war than to end one”, observed Nobel Prize winning author Gabriel García Márquez in One Hundred Years of Solitude. He could have been referring to the Afghan war. As the war weary and financially fragile nations that make up the coalition forces eye a withdrawal strategy, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Afghanistan they leave will be almost as susceptible to gross human rights violations as when they arrived.

After 11 years of war, during which up to 100,000 US and coalition troops were engaged in the Afghan effort; after the US spent over $500 billion on the Afghan war, and with Australia expecting to spend in the range of $6 billion by the time our commitment ends; after nations as diverse as New Zealand, Estonia and Jordan sacrificed towards the effort; after all of this, many analysts believe Afghanistan would revert to Taliban control if the coalition left tomorrow. 

When it is considered that the current intervention is the second major foreign effort that has attempted to fundamentally re-engineer Afghan society in recent times—the first being the nine-year long Soviet misadventure—it may be surprising that some foresee a rapid return to the past when coalition forces leave. It shouldn’t be.

Even if it doesn't revert to Taliban control, the Afghanistan of today is hardly a beacon for enlightenment. Human Rights Watch reports that Afghan police today continue to arrest women for the “moral crime” of fleeing domestic abuse, for example. And the US Commission on International Religious Freedom reports that “religious freedom conditions today are exceedingly poor” in Afghanistan, and cite as one example the arrest of Christians for the crime of “apostasy”. The new Afghanistan, it turns out, is not entirely dissimilar to the old one. 

Apparently it takes more than huge quantities of money, might and munitions to fundamentally alter the values of a culture within a generation. 

Some have suggested that the only way to transform the values of any culture within a generation is to take the path of Stalin or Mao: Pervasive cultural change requires a cold, comprehensive ruthlessness combined with total control of every societal institution, information and education, they argue. But how can respect for human rights be established by a process that systematically represses those very rights? And does repression really lead to reform?

There are no easy answers.

But maybe this helps to explain the perplexing approach God took with the brutalised group of freed slaves we know as the Israelites. 

It’s hard to imagine how degrading and dehumanising generations of slavery in the harshest of pagan cultures must have been for the Israelites. And it was not just the generations spent being treated as the lowest forms of human life within a debased and debauched society. Once free from Egypt, they settled in lands surrounded by societies engaged in the most barbaric acts. We’re told, for example, that King Ahaz of Judah emulated surrounding cultures by sacrificing his own children to pagan gods (2 Kings 16:2, 3). And he was hardly alone.

The Taliban are wicked, no doubt about that, but even they have stopped short of ritual child sacrifice.

Faced with the freed Israelites slaves, it appears the Lord had two choices. The first was to establish a regime similar to that of Stalin in order to re-engineer society—a regime so total and so cruel that it would live in infamy; a totalitarian repression that would establish as many evil practices as it sought to eliminate. The second was to institute a series of half-steps tailored to the reality of the challenge that nudged the Israelites forward, step by step, towards His ways—transforming the culture gradually. 

It appears the Lord chose the latter route. We often speak of “new light” within our community, and for good reason. The Bible is a series of revelations toward the light—with the light growing brighter as the time passes by, and culminating in the perfect life of Christ. And yet, even after Christ’s death, Paul wrote that we see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12). God’s revelation is progressive, even in this day.

When we read the laws in the Old Testament that regulate slavery or the treatment of women, we should not see these as the ultimate end of God’s revelation, but rather steps toward those ends. Slaves under Mosaic Law were treated better, women were treated better, children were treated better, men were treated better, than in other societies that populated the ancient world. But the Old Testament law is far from an end point of God’s will for human society.

This has been well understood by Christians throughout our history. It’s no coincidence that Christians were the undisputed leaders of the abolition of slavery movement, led the world in educating women, and led the US civil rights movements—they took the principles of the Bible and marched towards the light. 

Today, it's sometimes argued by leaders skeptical of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the ideas contained in the document are “Western”. They are half right. The ideas are, in truth, largely the product of 2000 years of Christian thought. Human rights are, at their core, a concept built on the status of humans that is found in our creation by, and relationship to, God. It’s no coincidence that the US Declaration of Independence—the starting point for American rights—cites people’s rights as being “endowed by their Creator . . .”

When we read the Old Testament civil laws, we may at times shake our heads. We may ask, for example, how could slavery be permitted at all? The answer appears to be that a total ban would have been ignored totally. Rather than instituting an ideal that He knew would be ignored, the Lord took the practical, if unpalatable, step of providing guidelines that had a chance of being complied with. Even then, the Old Testament could be described as a series of stories of humans ignoring God’s modest laws. 

History is full of examples of dreamers and tyrants who expected to fundamentally alter a society’s values over a short period of time. But it turns out, human society doesn’t work that way. Mao would weep if he could see the triumph of capitalism, with all of its income inequality, thriving in modern China; Stalin would rage if he could see the Orthodox Church powerfully asserting itself in Russia today. All that blood, all that effort, and at the end, coerced cultures return to their prerevolutionary roots as soon as the pressure is off. The only way to change a culture permanently, it turns out, is to authentically change individual values. And, when working with an entire society, that is a time-consuming, incremental process. 

So, who is right? Those who look at the half-steps in the Old Testament and see a God willing to legitimise human rights violations? Or those who see the working of a God of infinite wisdom who used gradual steps to lead individuals and cultures toward His ways as they were ready for it? That today we live in societies that have evolved under the pervasive influence of Christianity to the point where human rights are so ingrained in our values we have forgotten where they came from, eloquently answers the question.
 
James D. Standish, JD, MBA
Director of Communications
& Public Affairs
South Pacific Division of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church
150 Fox Valley Rd.
Wahroonga, NSW 2076
AUSTRALIA

 

I Live by God's Rules


    Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Ps. 119:35, 36 

    Youth is the time to lay up knowledge in those lines that can be put into daily practice throughout the life. Youth is the time to establish good habits, to correct wrong ones, to gain and hold the power of self-control, to accustom oneself to ordering all the acts of life with reference to the will of God and the welfare of one's fellow creatures. Youth is the sowing time that determines the harvest of this life and the life beyond the grave. The habits formed in childhood and youth, the tastes acquired, the self-control gained, are almost certain to determine the future of the man or woman. 

    One selfish thought indulged, one duty neglected, prepares the way for another. What we venture to do once, we are more apt to do again. Habits of sobriety, of self-control, of economy, of close application,
of sound, sensible conversation, of patience and true courtesy, are not gained without diligent, close watching over self. It is much easier to become demoralized and depraved than to conquer defects, keeping self in
control and cherishing true virtues. Persevering efforts will be required if the Christian graces are ever perfected in our lives. 


    Let the habit of self-control be early established. Let the youth be impressed with the thought that they are to be masters, and not slaves. Of the kingdom within them God has made them rulers, and they are to exercise their Heaven-appointed kingship. When such instruction is faithfully given, the results will extend far beyond the youth themselves. Influences will reach out that will save thousands of men and women who are on the very brink of ruin.

From My Life Today - Page 79


 

God's Commandments Are Sure

     The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for
ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. Psalm 111:7, 8. {FLB 80.1}


     The law of God existed before the creation of man or else Adam could not have sinned. After the
transgression of Adam the principles of the law were not changed, but were definitely arranged and expressed
to meet man in his fallen condition.  {FLB 80.2}  
     The angels were governed by it [the law]. Satan fell because he transgressed the principles of God's
government. After Adam and Eve were created, God made known to them His law. It was not then written,
but was rehearsed to them by Jehovah.  {FLB 80.3}  
     In love, with a desire to elevate and ennoble us, God provided for us a standard of obedience. In awful
majesty, amid thundering and lightning, He proclaimed rom Mount Sinai His ten holy precepts. This law reveals the whole duty of the human family; the first four precepts define our duty to God, and the last six our duty to man.  {FLB 80.4}  
     The law of God, being a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, must forever endure, "as a
faithful witness in heaven." Not one command has been annulled; not a jot or tittle has been changed. Says the
psalmist: "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven." Psalm 119:89.  {FLB 80.5}
     From the first, the great controversy had been upon the law of God. Satan had sought to prove that God was unjust, that His law was faulty, and that the good of the universe required it to be changed. In attacking the law, he aimed to overthrow the authority of its Author.  {FLB 80.6}  
     Through Satan's temptations the whole human race have become transgressors of God's law; but by the
sacrifice of His Son a way is opened whereby they may return to God. Through the grace of Christ they may be enabled to render obedience to the Father's law.  {FLB 80.7}  
     When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Saviour, we shall receive all the help that we can desire. {FLB 80.8}

 

Make Your Calling And Election Sure

     Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:10, 11

     Here a life insurance policy is offered us which insures for us eternal life in the kingdom of God. I ask you to study these words of the apostle Peter. There is understanding and intelligence in every sentence. By taking hold upon the Lifegiver, who gave His life for us, we receive eternal life.

     We are each deciding our eternal destiny, and it rests wholly with us whether we shall gain eternal life. Will we live the lessons given in the Word of God, Christ’s great lesson book? It is the grandest, and yet the most simply arranged and easily understood book ever prepared for giving an education in proper behaviour, in speech, in manners, in affection. It is the only book that will prepare human beings for the life that measures with the life of God. And those who make this Word their daily study are the only ones who are worthy of receiving a diploma entitling them to educate and train the children for entrance into the higher school, to be crowned as victorious overcomers.

     Christ Jesus is the only judge of the fitness of human agents to receive eternal life. The gates of the holy city will open to those who have been humble, meek, lowly followers of His, having learned their lessons from Him, and received from Him their life insurance policy, forming characters after the divine similitude.

     When the ransomed are redeemed from the earth, the city of God will be opened to you. . . . Then the harp will be placed in your hand, and your voice will be raised in songs of praise to God and to the Lamb, by whose great sacrifice you are made partakers of His nature and given an immortal inheritance in the kingdom of God.

From Devotional: Our Father Cares, pp. 60, 61.
 

Oil in Your Vessels

     They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. Mat_25:3; Mat_25:4.

     Many receive the truth readily, but they fail to assimilate truth, and its influence is not abiding. They are like the foolish virgins, who had no oil in their vessels with their lamps. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, which is brought into the soul through faith in Jesus Christ. Those who earnestly search the Scriptures with much prayer, who rely upon God with firm faith, who obey His commandments, will be among those who are represented as wise virgins. The teachings of the Word of God are not yea and nay, but yea and amen.  
     The requirement of the gospel is far-reaching. Says the apostle, "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him" (Col_3:17). "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1Co_10:31). Practical piety will not be attained by giving the grand truths of the Bible a place in the outer courts of the heart. The religion of the Bible must be brought into the large and the little affairs of life. It must furnish the powerful motives and principles that will regulate the Christian's character and course of action. . . .  
     The oil so much needed by those who are represented as foolish virgins, is not something to be put on the outside. They need to bring the truth into the sanctuary of the soul, that it may cleanse, refine, and sanctify. It is not theory that they need; it is the sacred teachings of the Bible, which are not uncertain, disconnected doctrines, but are living truths, that involve eternal interests that center in Christ. In Him is the complete system of divine truth. The salvation of the soul, through faith in Christ, is the ground and pillar of the truth.  

     Those who exercise true faith in Christ make it manifest by holiness of character, by obedience to the law of God. They realize that the truth as it is in Jesus reaches heaven, and compasses eternity. They understand that the Christian's character should represent the character of Christ, and be full of grace and truth. To them is imparted the oil of grace, which sustains a never-failing light. The Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer makes him complete in Christ.--Review and Herald, Sept. 17, 1895.


Full Impartation of the Spirit

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Act_2:2.

     When the Holy Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost, it was like a rushing, mighty wind. [The Spirit] was given in no stinted measure; for it filled all the place where the disciples were sitting. So will it be given to us when our hearts are prepared to receive it.  

     Let every church member kneel before God, and pray earnestly for the impartation of the Spirit. Cry, "Lord, increase my faith. Make me to understand Thy word; for the entrance of Thy word giveth light. Refresh me by Thy presence. Fill my heart with Thy Spirit that I may love my brethren as Christ loves me."  

     God will bless those who thus prepare themselves for His service. They will understand what it means to have the assurance of the Spirit, because they have received Christ by faith. The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means that sin is taken away, and that the vacuum is filled with the Spirit. It means that the mind is divinely illumined, that the heart is emptied of self, and filled with the presence of Christ. When this work is done for church members, the church will be a living, working church.  

     We are to seek most earnestly to be of one mind, of one purpose. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, and nothing less, can bring us to this place. Let us by self-renunciation prepare our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit that a great work may be done for us, so that we can say, not "See what I am doing," but "Behold the goodness and love of God!" . . .  

     We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, but unless we prepare ourselves for its reception, of what avail are our works? Are we striving with all our power to attain to the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for His fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us--the perfection of His character?--Review and Herald, June 10, 1902. 


Looking Into The Future

     There will be signs. . . . People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world. Luk_21:25-26, NRSV.  

     John also was a witness of the terrible scenes that will take place as signs of Christ's coming. He saw armies mustering for battle, and people's hearts failing them for fear. He saw the earth moved out of its place, the mountains carried into the midst of the sea, the waves thereof roaring and troubled. He saw the vials of wrath opened, and pestilence, famine, and death come upon the inhabitants of the earth.  

     Already the restraining Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause. People cannot discern the sentinel angels restraining the four winds, that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed. But when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.  

     We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The Lord is at the door. There is soon to open before us a period of overwhelming interest to all who are living. The controversies of the past are to be revived. New controversies will arise. The scenes to be enacted in our world are not even dreamed of. Satan is at work through human agencies.  

     But God's servants are not to trust to themselves in this great emergency. The program of coming events is in the hands of the Lord. The world is not without a ruler; the Majesty of heaven has the destiny of nations, as well as the concerns of His church, in His own hands. . . .  

     The important future is before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require great faith and perseverance. But we may triumph gloriously, for not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the devices of the enemy. All heaven is interested in our welfare and waits our demand upon its wisdom and strength. In the time of trial just before us, God's pledge of security will be placed upon those who have kept the word of His patience.-Manuscript 100, 1893. 


Removing Every Hindrance

     Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1Co_1:10.
     
     For the outpouring of the Spirit every lover of the cause of truth should pray. And as far as lies in our power, we are to remove every hindrance to His working. The Spirit can never be poured out while variance and bitterness toward one another are cherished by the members of the church. Envy, jealousy, evil surmising, and evil-speaking are of Satan, and they effectually bar the way against the Holy Spirit's working.  
     Nothing else in this world is so dear to God as His church. Nothing is guarded by Him with such jealous care. Nothing so offends God as an act that injures the influence of those who are doing His service. He will call to account all who aid Satan in his work of criticizing and discouraging.  
     Those who are destitute of sympathy, tenderness, and love cannot do Christ's work. Before the prophecy can be fulfilled, The weak shall be "as David," and the house of David "as the angel of the Lord" (Zec_12:8), the children of God must put away every thought of suspicion in regard to their brethren. Heart must beat in unison with heart. Christian benevolence and brotherly love must be far more abundantly shown. The words are ringing in my ears: "Draw together, draw together." The solemn, sacred truth for this time is to unify the people of God. The desire for preeminence must die. One subject of emulation must swallow up all others--who will most nearly resemble Christ in character? Who will most entirely hide self in Jesus?  
     "Herein is my Father glorified," Christ says, "that ye bear much fruit" (Joh_15:8). If there was ever a place where the believers should bear much fruit, it is at our camp meetings. At these meetings our acts, our words, our spirit, are marked, and our influence is as far-reaching as eternity.--Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 42.



    When Satan tempts you, breathe not a word of doubt or darkness. If you choose to open the door to his suggestions, your mind will be filled with distrust and rebellious questioning. If you talk out your feelings, every doubt you express not only reacts upon yourself, but it is a seed that will germinate and bear fruit in the life of others, and it may be impossible to counteract the influence of your words. You yourself may be able to recover from the season of temptation and from the snare of Satan, but others who have been swayed by your influence may not be able to escape from the unbelief you have suggested. Steps to Christ, p. 119

A Crisis Ahead

     Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Joel 1:15.

     The prophecies which the great I AM has given in His word, uniting link after link in the chain of events, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tell us where we are today in the procession of the ages, and what may be expected in the time to come. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.
     Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Savior's prophecy of the events to precede His
coming: "Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. . . . Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."
    The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place--that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.
     The Bible, and the Bible only, gives a correct view of these things. Here are revealed the great final scenes in the history of our world, . . . the sound of their approach causing the earth to tremble and men's hearts to fail them for fear. Today men and nations are being tested by the plummet in the hand of Him who makes no mistake. All are by their own choice deciding their destiny, and God is overruling all for the accomplishment of His purposes.
     Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise, and this preparation they should make by diligently studying the word of God and striving to conform their lives to its precepts.

From Maranatha - Page 69


Merits of Christ Our Only Hope

     We must learn in the school of Christ. Nothing but His righteousness can entitle us to one of the blessings of the covenant of grace. We have long desired and tried to obtain these blessings but have not received them because we have cherished the idea that we could do something to make ourselves worthy of them. We have not looked away from ourselves, believing that Jesus is a living Saviour. We must not think that our own grace and merits will save us; the grace of Christ is our only hope of salvation. Through His prophet the Lord promises, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:7). We must believe the naked promise, and not accept feeling for faith. When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Saviour, we shall receive all the help that we can desire.  {FW 36.1}
     We look to self, as though we had power to save ourselves; but Jesus died for us because we are helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness. We should not despond and fear that we have no Saviour or that He has no thoughts of mercy toward us. At this very time He is carrying on His work in our behalf, inviting us to come to Him in our helplessness and be saved. We dishonor Him by our unbelief. It is astonishing how we treat our very best Friend, how little confidence we repose in Him who is able to save to the uttermost and who has given us every evidence of His great love.  {FW 36.2} 
     My brethren, are you expecting that your merit will recommend you to the favor of God, thinking that you must be free from sin before you trust His power to save? If this is the struggle going on in your mind, I fear you will gain no strength and will finally become discouraged.  {FW 36.3}  Faith and Works


 

This earth has been trodden by the Son of God. He came to bring men light and life, to set them free from the bondage of sin. He is coming again in power and great glory, to receive to Himself those who during this life have followed in His footsteps. Heaven pg. 15.

 

When Satan tempts you, breathe not a word of doubt or darkness. If you choose to open the door to his suggestions, your mind will be filled with distrust and rebellious questioning. If you talk out your feelings, every doubt you express not only reacts upon yourself, but it is a seed that will germinate and bear fruit in the life of others, and it may be impossible to counteract the influence of your words. You yourself may be able to recover from the season of temptation and from the snare of Satan, but others who have been swayed by your influence may not be able to escape from the unbelief you have suggested. Steps to Christ, p. 119


Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven upon earth. John Wesley August 6, 1777.


Exo 20:7  "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

There is no secret Christian.
Either your Christanity will destroy the secret or the secret will destroy your Christanity.


 
Seek God for Wisdom

From where then does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? Job 28:20, NKJV. {BLJ 104.1}
 
     You will have to wrestle with difficulties, carry burdens, give advice, plan and execute, constantly looking to God for help. Pray and labor, labor and pray; as pupils in the school of Christ, learn of Jesus. {BLJ 104.2}
     The Lord has given us the promise “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). It is in the order of God that those who bear responsibilities should often meet together to counsel with one another, and to pray earnestly for that wisdom which He alone can impart. Talk less; much precious time is lost in talk that brings no light. Let church leaders unite in fasting and prayer for the wisdom that God has promised to supply liberally. Make known your troubles to God. Tell Him, as did Moses, “I cannot lead this people unless Thy presence shall go with me.” And then ask still more; pray with Moses, “Shew me thy glory” (Exodus 33:18). What is this glory? The character of God. This is what He proclaimed to Moses. {BLJ 104.3}
     Let the soul in living faith fasten upon God. Let the tongue speak His praise. When you associate together, let the mind be reverently turned to the contemplation of eternal realities. Thus you will be helping one another to be spiritually minded. When your will is in harmony with the divine will, you will be in harmony with one another; you will have Christ by your side as a counselor. {BLJ 104.4}
     Enoch walked with God. So may every laborer for Christ. You may say with the psalmist, “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved” (Psalm 16:8). While you feel that you have no sufficiency of yourself, your sufficiency will be in Jesus. If you expect all your counsel and wisdom to come from other people, mortal and finite like yourselves, you will receive only human help. If you go to God for help and wisdom, He will never disappoint your faith.—Gospel Workers, pp. 417, 418. {BLJ 104.5} To Be Like Jesus


     Nature and revelation alike testify of God's love. Our Father in heaven is the source of life, of wisdom, and of joy. Look at the wonderful and beautiful things of nature. Think of their marvelous adaptation to the needs and happiness, not only of man, but of all living creatures. The sunshine and the rain, that gladden and refresh the earth, the hills and seas and plains, all speak to us of the Creator's love. It is God who supplies the daily needs of all His creatures. In the beautiful words of the psalmist--

     "The eyes of all wait upon Thee;
     And Thou givest them their meat in due season.
     Thou openest Thine hand,
     And satisfiest the desire of every living thing."
                                    Psalm 145:15, 16.  {SC 9.1}

 

Greatest Work in the World

Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15.

     "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," is Christ's command to His followers. Not that all are called to be ministers or missionaries in the ordinary sense of the term; but all may be workers with Him in giving the "glad tidings" to their fellow men. To all, great or small, learned or ignorant, old or young, the command is given.

     Upon every one who knows the truth for this time rests the responsibility of making it known to others. The servants of Christ are in a large measure responsible for the well-being and the salvation of the world. They are to be co-laborers with God in the work of winning souls to Christ.

     The theme that attracts the heart of the sinner is Christ, and Him crucified. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus stands revealed to the world in unparalleled love. Present Him thus to the hungering multitudes, and the light of His love will win men from darkness to light, from transgression to obedience and true holiness. Beholding Jesus upon the cross of Calvary arouses the conscience to the heinous character of sin as nothing else can do.

     Will not our church members keep their eyes fixed on a crucified and risen Savior, in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered? This is our message, our argument, our doctrine, our warning to the impenitent, our encouragement for the sorrowing, the hope for every believer. If we can awaken an interest in men's minds that will cause them to fix their eyes on Christ, we may step aside, and ask them only to continue to fix their eyes upon the Lamb of God. . . . He whose eyes are fixed on Jesus will leave all. He will die to selfishness. He will believe in all the Word of God, which is so gloriously and wonderfully exalted in Christ.

     It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.

From Maranatha - Page 100
 
Principle Not to Be Sacrificed for Peace


    Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 

    There always have been and always will be two classes on the earth to the end of time--the believers in Jesus, and those who reject Him. Sinners, however wicked, abominable, and corrupt, by faith in Him will be purified, made clean, through the doing of His word. . . . Those who reject Christ and refuse to believe the truth will be filled with bitterness against those who accept Jesus as a personal Saviour. But those who receive Christ are melted and subdued by the manifestation of
His love and His humiliation, suffering, and death in their behalf. . .
.
    The peace that Christ gave to His disciples, and for which we pray, is the peace that is born of truth, a peace that is not to be quenched because of division. Without may be wars and fightings, jealousies, envies, hatred, strife; but the peace of Christ is not that which the world giveth or taketh away. It could endure amid the hunting of spies and the fiercest opposition of His enemies. . . . Christ did not for an instant seek to purchase peace by a betrayal of sacred trusts. Peace could not be made by a compromise of principles. . . . It is a grave mistake on the part of those who are children of God to seek to bridge the gulf that separates the children of light from the children of darkness by yielding principle, by compromising the truth. It would be surrendering the peace of Christ in order to make peace or fraternize with the world. The sacrifice is too costly to be made by the children of God to make peace with the world by giving up the principles of truth. . . . Then let the followers of Christ settle it in their minds that they will never compromise truth, never yield one iota of principle for the favor of the world. Let them hold to the peace of Christ.

From My Life Today - Page 77

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