Author Topic: A Thought For Today  (Read 46386 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2010, 09:56:42 PM »
The Faith of Caleb

Take courage, then, when the burden is heavy, when the work moves slowly, and temptations, strong and fierce, surge in upon you. Cease not your effort so long as there is one soul to be warned by your words, one soul to be benefited by your example.  

Depend less upon your own efforts, and trust more to the power of Christ. Cultivate fortitude, firmness, patience, humility, and self-control. The God whom we serve will arm us with courage in every emergency; but we must abase self, and let God be all in all. It was true faith that gave Caleb courage to bear his decided testimony for God, even when fellow-workers stood ready to take his life. God wants brave men in his cause today,--men who in his strength are not afraid to do and dare.

The time is short. How will our cases appear in the Judgment? What is now our standing before God? Are we closely examining our own hearts? Are we by repentance and confession sending our sins beforehand to Judgment, that they may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come? This is an individual work,--a work which we cannot safely delay. We should take hold of it earnestly; our salvation depends upon our sincerity and zeal. Let the cry be awakened in every heart, "What must I do to be saved?"  

The adversary of souls is constantly seeking to divert our minds by bringing in side-issues. Let us not be deceived. Let enemies handle your name and mine as they please. Let them distort, misrepresent our words and deeds. Let them fabricate falsehoods as best pleases them. We cannot afford to allow our minds to be diverted from Jesus and the preparation of soul which we must have in order to meet him in peace.  
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2010, 08:14:55 AM »

The Merits of Christ and Our Work


Often we hear that God does it all or that Christ's sacrifice covers our sins and we have nothing to give. Do our good works avail nothing with God? Is it all God and we will be saved doing nothing, not one thing? Such a deception!

We are to do all that we can do on our part to fight the good fight of faith. We are to wrestle, to labor, to strive, to agonize to enter in at the strait gate. We are to set the Lord ever before us. With clean hands, with pure hearts, we are to seek to honor God in all our ways. Help has been provided for us in Him who is mighty to save. The spirit of truth and light will quicken and renew us by its mysterious workings; for all our spiritual improvement comes from God, not from ourselves. The true worker will have divine power to aid him, but the idler will not be sustained by the Spirit of God.

In one way we are thrown upon our own energies; we are to strive earnestly to be zealous and to repent, to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts from every defilement; we are to reach the highest standard, believing that God will help us in our efforts. We must seek if we would find, and seek in faith; we must knock, that the door may be opened unto us. The Bible teaches that everything regarding our salvation depends upon our own course of action. If we perish, the responsibility will rest wholly upon ourselves. If provision has been made, and if we accept God's terms, we may lay hold on eternal life. We must come to Christ in faith, we must be diligent to make our calling and election sure. 

The forgiveness of sin is promised to him who repents and believes; the crown of life will be the reward of him who is faithful to the end. We may grow in grace by improving through the grace we already have. We are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world if we would be found blameless in the day of God. Faith and works go hand in hand; they act harmoniously in the work of overcoming. Works without faith are dead, and faith without works is dead. Works will never save us; it is the merit of Christ that will avail in our behalf. Through faith in Him, Christ will make all our imperfect efforts acceptable to God. The faith we are required to have is not a do-nothing faith; saving faith is that which works by love and purifies the soul. He who will lift up holy hands to God without wrath and doubting will walk intelligently in the way of God's commandments. 

If we are to have pardon for our sins, we must first have a realization of what sin is, that we may repent and bring forth fruits meet for repentance. We must have a solid foundation for our faith; it must be founded on the Word of God, and its results will be seen in obedience to God's expressed will. Says the apostle, "Without . . . holiness no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). 

Faith and works will keep us evenly balanced and make us successful in the work of perfecting Christian character. Jesus says, "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter in the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). Speaking of temporal food, the apostle said, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The same rule applies to our spiritual nourishment; if any would have the bread of eternal life, let him make efforts to obtain it.

We are living in an important and interesting period of this earth's history. We need more faith than we have yet had; we need a firmer hold from above. Satan is working with all power to obtain the victory over us, for he knows that he has but a short time in which to work. Paul had fear and trembling in working out his salvation; and should not we fear lest a promise being left us, we should any of us seem to come short of it, and prove ourselves unworthy of eternal life? We should watch unto prayer, strive with agonizing effort to enter in at the strait gate.


There is not one thing we can do to merit salvation, it is a free gift. Christ paid the price and offers us eternal life. But, it is upon condition. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way. We must work with God to accept that gift. We must come to Jesus just as we are and He will indeed change us as we cling to His hand. We must guard the avenues of our mind and by beholding Him we shall be changed into His image from glory to glory. It is His power, but we must make the effort to come to Him and to cling to Him.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2010, 02:51:18 PM »
Perfection of a Christian Character

In this world we have temporal duties to perform, and in the  performance of these duties we are forming characters that will either stand the test of the judgment or be weighed in the balances and found wanting. We may do the smallest duties nobly, firmly, faithfully, as if seeing the whole heavenly host looking upon us. Take a lesson from the gardener. If he wishes a plant to grow he cultivates and trims it; he gives water, he digs about its roots, plants it where the sunshine will fall upon it, and day by day he works about it; and not by violent efforts, but by acts constantly repeated, he trains the shrub until its form is perfect and its bloom is full.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ works upon the heart and mind as an educator. The continued influence of His Spirit upon the soul trains and molds and fashions the character after the divine model. Let the youth bear in mind that a repetition of acts, forms habits, and habit, character. . . . Is the love of Christ a living, active agent in your soul, correcting, reforming, refining you, and purifying you from your wrong practices? There is need of cultivating every grace that Jesus through His suffering and death has brought within your reach. You are to manifest the grace that has been so richly provided for you, in the small as well as in the large concerns of life. . . . Great truths can be brought into little things, and religion can be carried into the little as well as into the large concerns of life.

As an example, if your wife is not converted and you want her to be, then give her an example of Christ. Love her in the "little things" of life. Be kind and courteous, pick her a rose, and treat her the way you did before you were married.  As you do so, your character will be refined in the process. She may not deserve the grace offered, but then neither do you nor I.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2010, 02:53:44 PM »
Amen and amen!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2010, 10:57:51 AM »
Creation of the Earth

"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." "For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast." Psalm 33:6, 9. The Bible recognizes no long ages in which the earth was evolved from chaos. Of each successive day of creation, the sacred record declares that it consisted of the evening and the morning, like all other days that have followed. At the close of each day is given the result of the Creator's work. The statement is made at the close of the first week's record, "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created." Genesis 2:4. But this does not convey the idea that the days of creation were other than literal days. Each day was called a generation, because that in it God generated, or produced, some new portion of his work.  

Geologists claim to find evidence from the earth itself that it is very much older than the Mosaic record teaches. Bones of men and animals, as well as instruments of warfare, petrified trees, etc., much larger than any that now exist, or that have existed for thousands of years, have been discovered, and from this it is inferred that the earth was populated long before the time brought to view in the record of creation, and by a race of beings vastly superior in size to any men now living. Such reasoning has led many professed Bible believers to adopt the position that the days of creation were vast, indefinite periods.  

But apart from Bible history, geology can prove nothing. Those who reason so confidently upon its discoveries, have no adequate conception of the size of men, animals, and trees before the flood, or of the great changes which then took place. Relics found in the earth do give evidence of conditions differing in many respects from the present; but the time when these conditions existed can be learned only from the Inspired Record. In the history of the flood, inspiration has explained that which geology alone could never fathom. In the days of Noah, men, animals, and trees, many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history; but men, with their vain reasoning, fall into the same error as did the people before the flood,--the things which God gave them as a benefit, they turn into a curse by making a wrong use of them.  

It is one of Satan's devices to lead the people to accept the fables of infidelity; for he can thus obscure the law of God, in itself very plain, and embolden men to rebel against the divine government. His efforts are especially directed against the fourth commandment, because it so clearly points to the living God, the Maker of the heavens and the earth.  

There is a constant effort made to explain the work of creation as the result of natural causes; and human reasoning is accepted even by professed Christians, in opposition to plain Scripture facts. There are many who oppose the investigation of the prophecies, especially those of Daniel and the Revelation, declaring them to be so obscure that we cannot understand  them; yet these very persons eagerly receive the suppositions of geologists, in contradiction of the Mosaic record. But if that which God has revealed is so difficult to understand, how inconsistent it is to accept mere suppositions in regard to that which he has not revealed!  

"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever." Deuteronomy 29:29. Just how God accomplished the work of creation, he has never revealed to men; human science cannot search out the secrets of the Most High. His creative power is as incomprehensible as his existence.  

God has permitted a flood of light to be poured upon the world, in both science and art; but when professedly scientific men treat upon these subjects from a merely human point of view, they will assuredly come to wrong conclusions. It may be innocent to speculate beyond what God's word has revealed, if our theories do not contradict facts found in the Scriptures; but those who leave the word of God, and seek to account for his created works upon scientific principles, are drifting, without chart or compass, upon an unknown ocean. The greatest minds, if not guided by the word of God in their research, become bewildered in their attempts to trace the relations of science and revelation. Because the Creator and his works are so far beyond their comprehension that they are unable to explain them by natural laws, they regard Bible history as unreliable. Those who doubt the reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments, will be led to go a step farther, and doubt the existence of God; and then, having lost their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity.  

These persons have lost the simplicity of faith. There should be a settled belief in the divine authority of God's holy word. The Bible is not to be tested by men's ideas of science. Human knowledge is an unreliable guide. Skeptics who read the Bible for the sake of caviling, may, through an imperfect comprehension of either science or revelation, claim to find contradictions between them; but rightly understood, they are in perfect harmony. Moses wrote under the guidance of the Spirit of God; and a correct theory of geology will never claim discoveries that cannot be reconciled with his statements. All truth, whether in nature or in revelation, is consistent with itself in all its manifestations.

Men of science think that they can comprehend the wisdom of God, that which he has done or can do. The idea largely prevails that he is restricted by his own laws. Men either deny or ignore his existence, or think to explain everything, even the operation of his Spirit upon the human heart; and they no longer reverence his name, or fear his power. They do not believe in the supernatural, not understanding God's laws, or his infinite power to work his will through them. As commonly used, the term "laws of nature" comprises what men have been able to discover with regard to the laws that govern the physical world; but how limited is their knowledge, and how vast the field in which the Creator can work in harmony with his own laws, and yet wholly beyond the comprehension of finite beings!  

Many teach that matter possesses vital power,-- that certain properties are imparted to matter, and it is then left to act through its own inherent energy; and that the operations of nature are conducted in harmony with fixed laws, with which God himself cannot interfere. This is false science, and is not sustained by the word of God. Nature is the servant of her Creator. God does not annul his laws, or work contrary to them; but he is continually using them as his instruments. Nature testifies of an intelligence, a presence, an active energy, that works in and through her laws. There is in nature the continual working of the Father and the Son. Christ says, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." John 5:17.

The Levites, in their hymn recorded by Nehemiah, sung, "Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things therein, . . . and thou preservest them all." Nehemiah 9:6. As regards this world, God's work of creation is completed. For "the works were finished from the foundation of the world." Hebrews 4:3. But his energy is still exerted in upholding the objects of his creation. It is not because the mechanism that has once been set in motion continues to act by its own inherent energy, that the pulse beats, and breath follows breath; but every breath, every pulsation of the heart is an evidence of the all-pervading care of Him in whom "we live, and move, and have our being." Acts 17:28. It is not because of inherent power that year by year the earth produces her bounties, and continues her motion around the sun. The hand of God guides the planets, and keeps them in position in their orderly march through the heavens. He "bringeth out their host by number; he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth." Isaiah 40:26. It is through his power that vegetation flourishes, that the leaves appear, and the flowers bloom. He "maketh grass to grow upon the mountains," and by him the valleys are made fruitful. All the beasts of the field seek their meat from God, (Psalm 147:8; 104:20, 21) and every living creature, from the smallest insect up to man, is daily dependent upon his providential care. In the beautiful words of the psalmist, "These wait all upon thee. . . . That thou givest them they gather; thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good." Psalm 104:27, 28. His word controls the elements, he covers the heavens with clouds, and prepares rain for the earth. "He giveth snow like wool; he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes." "When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures." Psalm 147:16; Jeremiah 10:13.

God is the foundation of everything. All true science is in harmony with his works; all true education leads to obedience to his government. Science opens new wonders to our view; she soars high, and explores new depths; but she brings nothing from her research that conflicts with divine revelation. Ignorance may seek to support false views of God by appeals to science; but the book of nature and the written word shed light upon each other. We are thus led to adore the Creator, and to have an intelligent trust in his word.  
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2010, 04:03:27 PM »

Fathers

Children are what their parents make them, by their instruction, discipline, and example. Hence the overwhelming importance of parental faithfulness in training the young for the service of God. Children should early be taught the sacredness of religious obligations. This is a most important part of their education. Our duty to God should be performed before any other. The strict observance of God's law, from principle, should be taught and enforced. "For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children. That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God." Psalm 78:5-8.

Deal honestly and faithfully with your children. Work bravely and patiently. Fear no crosses, spare no time or labor, burden or suffering. The future of your children will testify to the character of your work. Fidelity to Christ on your part can be better expressed in the symmetrical character of your children than in any other way. They are Christ's property, bought with his own blood. If their influence is wholly on the side of Christ, they are his co-laborers, helping others to find the path of life.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2010, 06:05:09 AM »

Uncovering the Enemy's Devices




Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10.


As a people, we are looking for the coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven; and how carefully should we examine our hearts that we may know whether or not we are in the faith. There seems to be a mist before the eyes of many, for they fail to discern spiritual things, and do not recognize the workings of Satan to entrap their souls. Christians are not to be the slaves of passion; they are to be controlled by the Spirit of God. But many become the sport of the enemy, because when temptation come, they do not rest in Jesus, but worry themselves out of His arms, and in perplexity lose all their faith and courage. They do not remember that Jesus has helped them out of difficulties in the past, that His grace is sufficient for the daily trials, and that He can help in the present trouble.

We make failures in our little, daily difficulties, and allow them to irritate and vex us; we fall under them, and so make stumbling blocks for ourselves and others. But blessings of the greatest importance are to result from the patient endurance of these daily vexations; for we are to gain strength to bear greater difficulties. Satan will press upon us the most severe temptations, and we must learn to come to God in any and every emergency.

We profess to be Bible Christians, and we are not left in the dark to take step after step in uncertainty. We are to know where we are going. We cannot be in darkness if we are following Christ as our leader; for He says, "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). When the way seems beset with difficulty, and clouded with darkness, we must believe that there is light ahead, and not turn to the right or left, but press forward, notwithstanding all our trials and temptations.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2010, 06:40:19 AM »
Excellent & Amen!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2010, 01:02:49 PM »

Breaking Satan's Hold




And the Lord said unto Satan, the Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Zechariah 3:2. 


There is a work before us to subdue the pride and vanity that seek a place in our hearts, and through penitence and faith to bring ourselves into familiar and holy converse with Christ. We must deny self, and fight continually against pride. We must hide self in Jesus, and let Him appear in our character and conversation. While we look constantly to Him whom our sins have pierced and our sorrows have burdened, we shall acquire strength to be like Him. Our lives, our deportment, will testify how highly we prize our Redeemer, and the salvation He has wrought out for us at such a cost to Himself. And our peace will be as a river while we bind ourselves in willing, happy captivity to Jesus. 
 
Through the plan of salvation, Jesus is breaking Satan's hold upon the human family and rescuing souls from his power. All the hatred and malignity of the archrebel is stirred as he beholds the evidence of Christ's supremacy, and with fiendish power and cunning he works to wrest from Him the remnant of the children of men who have accepted His salvation. 
 
He leads men into skepticism, causing them to lose confidence in God and to separate from His love; he tempts them to break His law, and then he claims them as his captives and contests the right of Christ to take them from him. He knows that those who seek God earnestly for pardon and grace will obtain it; therefore he presents their sins before them to discourage them. He is constantly seeking occasion against those who are trying to obey God. Even their best and most acceptable services he seeks to make appear corrupt. By countless devices, the most subtle and the most cruel, he endeavors to secure their condemnation. Man cannot meet these charges himself. In his sin-stained garments, confessing his guilt, he stands before God. But Jesus our Advocate presents an effectual plea in behalf of all who by repentance and faith have committed the keeping of their souls to Him. He pleads their cause and vanquishes their accuser by the mighty arguments of Calvary. His perfect obedience to God's law, even unto the death of the cross, has given Him all power in heaven and in earth, and He claims of His Father mercy and reconciliation for guilty man. To the accuser of His people He declares: "'The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.' These are the purchase of My blood, brands plucked from the burning." Those who rely upon Him in faith receive the comforting assurance: "Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." All that have put on the robe of Christ's righteousness will stand before Him as chosen and faithful and true. Satan has no power to pluck them out of the hand of Christ. Not one soul that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. His word is pledged: "Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me." The promise given to Joshua is made to all: "If thou wilt keep my charge, . . . I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." Angels of God will walk on either side of them, even in this world, and they will stand at last among the angels that surround the throne of God. We cannot answer the charges of Satan against us. Christ alone can make an effectual plea in our behalf. He is able to silence the accuser with arguments founded not upon our merits, but on His own.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2010, 06:12:37 PM »

A Fearful Responsibility to Warn




I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, . . . thou hast delivered thy soul." Ezekiel 33:7-9. 



To every minister the Lord declares: "O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, . . . thou hast delivered thy soul." Ezekiel 33:7-9. 

The words of the prophet declare the solemn responsibility of those who are appointed as guardians of the church of God, stewards of the mysteries of God. They are to stand as watchmen on the walls of Zion, to sound the note of alarm at the approach of the enemy. Souls are in danger of falling under temptation, and they will perish unless God's ministers are faithful to their trust. If for any reason their spiritual senses become so benumbed that they are unable to discern danger, and through their failure to give warning the people perish, God will require at their hands the blood of those who are lost.

It is the privilege of the watchmen on the walls of Zion to live so near to God, and to be susceptible to the impressions of His Spirit, that He can work through them to tell men and women of their peril and point them to the place of safety. Faithfully are they to warn them of the sure result of transgression, and faithfully are they to safeguard the interests of the church. At no time may they relax their vigilance. Theirs is a work requiring the exercise of every faculty of the being. In trumpet tones their voices are to be lifted, and never are they to sound one wavering, uncertain note. Not for wages are they to labor, but because they cannot do otherwise, because they realize that there is a woe upon them if they fail to preach the gospel. Chosen of God, sealed with the blood of consecration, they are to rescue men and women from impending destruction. 

The minister who is a co-worker with Christ will have a deep sense of the sacredness of his work and of the toil and sacrifice required to perform it successfully. He does not study his own ease or convenience. He is forgetful of self. In his search for the lost sheep he does not realize that he himself is weary, cold, and hungry. He has but one object in view--the saving of the lost. 

He who serves under the bloodstained banner of Immanuel will have that to do which will call for heroic effort and patient endurance. But the soldier of the cross stands unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle. As the enemy presses the attack against him, he turns to the stronghold for aid, and as he brings to the Lord the promises of the word, he is strengthened for the duties of the hour. He realizes his need of strength from above. The victories that he gains do not lead to self exaltation, but cause him to lean more and more heavily on the Mighty One. Relying upon that Power, he is enabled to present the message of salvation so forcibly that it vibrates in other minds.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2010, 07:22:59 PM »
Amen! This is very similar to the Testimony reading a few days ago:

Unless we exert to the utmost the powers which He has given us, we shall ever remain weak and inefficient. Much prayer and the most vigorous exercise of the mind are necessary if we would be prepared to do the work which God would entrust to us. Many never attain to the position which they might occupy, because they wait for God to do for them that which He has given them power to do for themselves. All who are fitted for usefulness in this life must be trained by the severest mental and moral discipline, and then God will assist them by combining divine power with human effort.  {4T 611.2} 
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2010, 09:48:30 PM »
It seems that man has a part to play not only in his own salvation, but the salvation of others. In other words, there are many battles to fight with self and then we must stand up with and for Christ. In love we must give the warning message. If we do not, then the blood of those lost will be on our heads.

In case some are not familiar with this message, it is important enough for Ezekiel to repeat it another two times. It would be good to read where he repeated the message. It is almost exactly the same, but there is one small modification that addresses self righteousness. A blessing will attend all who take the time to find and read the two additional repeated warnings.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #32 on: July 22, 2010, 11:57:19 AM »

The Day of the Lord is Near!




For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. Deuteronomy 32:22.



Every satanic agency is now at work with power from beneath. The day of death is not set before us in the Word as the great constraining motive impelling us to be wide awake and determined in improving our opportunities. What motive does God present in His Word to all His workers? .  "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly" (Zephaniah 1:14). And before the coming of this last great day, we are to proclaim the last message of mercy to a fallen world, to prepare men and women for the Lord's second coming.

Everything that can be devised by the enemy to occupy the mind, and to divert attention from this message, will be devised. But we are to go forward in the proclamation of the Word of the Lord. The end of all things is at hand. The coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, is very near.

In the day of His coming, the last great trumpet is heard, and there is a terrible shaking of earth and heaven. The whole earth, from the loftiest mountains to the deepest mines, will hear. Everything will be penetrated by fire. The tainted atmosphere will be cleansed by fire. The fire having fulfilled its mission, the dead that have been laid away in the grave will come forth--some to the resurrection of life, to be caught up to meet their Lord in the air, and some to behold the coming of Him whom they have despised and whom they now recognize as the Judge of all the earth. 

All the righteous are untouched by the flames. They can walk through the fire, as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked in the midst of the furnace heated seven times hotter than it was wont to be heated. The Hebrew worthies could not be consumed, because the form of the fourth, the Son of God, was with them. So in the day of the coming of the Lord, smoke and flame will be powerless to harm the righteous. Those who are united with the Lord will escape unscathed. Earthquakes, hurricanes, flame, and flood cannot injure those who are prepared to meet their Saviour in peace. But those who rejected our Saviour, and scourged and crucified Him, will be among those who will be raised from the dead to behold His coming in the clouds of heaven, attended by the heavenly host--ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2010, 09:08:22 AM »
The posts on "diversity" have been moved to the existing topic "Unity Amid Diversity" in the Worship Forum.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Donna H

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2010, 09:34:48 AM »
It seems that man has a part to play not only in his own salvation, but the salvation of others. In other words, there are many battles to fight with self and then (and while we fight?) we must stand up with and for Christ. In love we must give the warning message. If we do not, then the blood of those lost will be on our heads.


Amen and Thank you, brother! So, so important.

God bless, Donna
Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy’s camp. 4T 163.3

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2010, 09:56:18 AM »

Professing Christian or True Christian?




"A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father?" 



The Jewish rulers immediately answered, "The first." Fixing His steady eye upon them, Jesus responded in stern and solemn tones: "Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him."
  
The priests and rulers could not but give a correct answer to Christ's question, and thus He obtained their opinion in favor of the first son. This son represented the publicans, those who were despised and hated by the Pharisees. The publicans had been grossly immoral. They had indeed been transgressors of the law of God, showing in their lives an absolute resistance to His requirements. They had been unthankful and unholy; when told to go and work in the Lord's vineyard, they had given a contemptuous refusal. But when John came, preaching repentance and baptism, the publicans received his message and were baptized.  

The second son represented the leading men of the Jewish nation. Some of the Pharisees had repented and received the baptism of John; but the leaders would not acknowledge that he came from God. His warnings and denunciations did not lead them to reformation. They "rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him." Luke 7:30. They treated his message with disdain. Like the second son, who, when called, said, "I go, sir," but went not, the priests and rulers professed obedience, but acted disobedience. They made great professions of piety, they claimed to be obeying the law of God, but they rendered only a false obedience. The publicans were denounced and cursed by the Pharisees as infidels; but they showed by their faith and works that they were going into the kingdom of heaven before those self-righteous men who had been given great light, but whose works did not correspond to their profession of godliness.  


So it is today. There are still the two classes. Is ours only a profession of faith, or do we live our faith?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2010, 04:38:12 PM »

By Beholding Christ Become Changed




Let every one who desires to be a partaker of the divine nature, appreciate the fact that he must escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. There must be a constant, earnest struggling of the soul against the evil imaginings of the mind. There must be a steadfast resistance of temptation to sin in thought or act. The soul must be kept from every stain, through faith in Him who is able to keep you from falling. We should meditate upon the Scriptures, thinking soberly and candidly upon the things that pertain to our eternal salvation. The infinite mercy and love of Jesus, the sacrifice made in our behalf, call for most serious and solemn reflection. We should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor. We should seek to comprehend the meaning of the plan of salvation. We should meditate upon the mission of Him who came to save his people from their sins. By constantly contemplating heavenly themes, our faith and love will grow stronger. Our prayers will be more and more acceptable to God, because they will be more and more mixed with faith and love. They will be more intelligent and fervent. There will be more constant confidence in Jesus, and you will have a daily, living experience in the willingness and power of Christ to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him. 

By beholding we are to become changed, and as we meditate upon the perfections of our divine Model, we shall desire to become wholly transformed and renewed in the image of his purity. There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul to be made like Him whom we adore. The more our thoughts are upon Christ, the more we shall speak of him to others, and represent him to the world. We are called to come out and be separate from the world, that we may be the sons and daughters of the Most High; and we are under sacred obligation to glorify God, as his children upon the earth. It is essential that the mind should be stayed upon Christ, that we may hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven. The coming of the Lord draweth nigh, and it is necessary for us to keep before us this blessed hope, that we may not say in our hearts, "My Lord delayeth his coming." Unbelief in the heart will be expressed in the actions, and if you cherish it, you will soon deny the faith and become bodies of darkness. 

There is a great work to be done, and the nearer we live to Jesus, the better fitted we shall be for fulfilling our mission in the world. We are to gather sheaves for the Master. We cannot afford to live simply to please ourselves, and to seek our own will. "Even Christ pleased not himself."He lived  a life of self-denial and sacrifice. He passed through every pathway of human suffering and temptation. He gave his life that he might reach to the very depth of human misery, and lift up a fallen race. What an infinite price he gave for the life of this rebellious world! He bought us with his own precious blood, and we are not our own. Our thoughts and affections belong to him. There are many who profess to love Jesus, but they seek nothing but the gratification of their own selfish desires. They are not seeking to gather with Christ; but, by example and influence, they are scattering abroad. It is only in proportion to the devotion and consecration to Christ, that the Christian exerts an influence for the blessing and uplifting of mankind. If there is no actual service, no genuine love, no reality of experience, there is no power to help, no connection with Heaven, no savor of Christ in the life. The church can reflect light to the world only by the manifestation of sincere piety and devotion.   

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2010, 05:38:07 AM »

Obedience to God's Commandments


Just a few days before the death of Christ, the Pharisees were still attempting  to entrap Him. They prevailed upon a certain learned scribe to question Jesus as to which of the ten precepts of the law was of the greatest importance. 

The Pharisees had exalted the first four commandments, which point out the duty of man to his Maker, as of far greater consequence than the other six, which define man's duty to his fellow man. As the result, they greatly failed of practical godliness. Jesus had shown the people their great deficiency, and had taught the necessity of good works, declaring that the tree is known by its fruits. For this reason He had been charged with exalting the last six commandments above the first four.

The lawyer approached Jesus with a direct question, "Which is the first commandment of all?" The answer of Christ is direct and forcible: "The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." The second is like the first, said Christ; for it flows out of it, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." 

The first four of the Ten Commandments are summed up in the one great precept, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart." The last six are included in the other, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Both these commandments are an expression of the principle of love. The first cannot be kept and the second broken, nor can the second be kept while the first is broken. When God has His rightful place on the throne of the heart, the right place will be given to our neighbor. We shall love him as ourselves. And only as we love God supremely is it possible to love our neighbor impartially. 

And since all the commandments are summed up in love to God and man, it follows that not one precept can be broken without violating this principle. Thus Christ taught His hearers that the law of God is not so many separate precepts, some of which are of great importance, while others are of small importance and may with impunity be ignored. Our Lord presents the first four and the last six commandments as a divine whole, and teaches that love to God will be shown by obedience to all His commandments. 


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #38 on: August 07, 2010, 06:12:39 AM »

No Enmity Towards Sin or Satan Until Converted

"I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15.



God declares: "I will put enmity." This enmity is not naturally entertained. When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy. The apostate is never at rest, except as he obtains sympathy and support by inducing others to follow his example. For this reason fallen angels and wicked men unite in desperate companionship. Had not God specially interposed, Satan and man would have entered into an alliance against Heaven; and instead of cherishing enmity against Satan, the whole human family would have been united in opposition to God.

Satan is continually seeking to overcome the people of God by breaking down the barriers which separate them from the world. Ancient Israel were enticed into sin when they ventured into forbidden association with the heathen. In a similar manner are modern Israel led astray. "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:4. All who are not decided followers of Christ are servants of Satan. In the unregenerate heart there is love of sin and a disposition to cherish and excuse it. In the renewed heart there is hatred of sin and determined resistance against it. When Christians choose the society of the ungodly and unbelieving, they expose themselves to temptation. Satan conceals himself from view and stealthily draws his deceptive covering over their eyes. They cannot see that such company is calculated to do them harm; and while all the time assimilating to the world in character, words, and actions, they are becoming more and more blinded.

Conformity to worldly customs converts the church to the world; it never converts the world to Christ. Familiarity with sin will inevitably cause it to appear less repulsive. He who chooses to associate with the servants of Satan will soon cease to fear their master. When in the way of duty we are brought into trial, as was Daniel in the king's court, we may be sure that God will protect us; but if we place ourselves under temptation we shall fall sooner or later. 

The tempter often works most successfully through those who are least suspected of being under his control. The possessors of talent and education are admired and honored, as if these qualities could atone for the absence of the fear of God or entitle men to His favor. Talent and culture, considered in themselves, are gifts of God; but when these are made to supply the place of piety, when, instead of bringing the soul nearer to God, they lead away from Him, then they become a curse and a snare. The opinion prevails with many that all which appears like courtesy or refinement must, in some sense, pertain to Christ. Never was there a greater mistake. These qualities should grace the character of every Christian, for they would exert a powerful influence in favor of true religion; but they must be consecrated to God, or they also are a power for evil. Many a man of cultured intellect and pleasant manners, who would not stoop to what is commonly regarded as an immoral act, is but a polished instrument in the hands of Satan. The insidious, deceptive character of his influence and example renders him a more dangerous enemy to the cause of Christ than are those who are ignorant and uncultured.   


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2010, 07:06:06 PM »
The Flesh and the Spirit

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians   5:24, 25.



There is but little moral power in the professed Christian world. Wrong habits have been indulged, and physical and moral laws have been disregarded, until the general standard of virtue and piety is exceedingly low. Habits which lower the standard of physical health, enfeeble mental and moral strength. The indulgence of unnatural appetites and passions has a controlling influence upon the nerves of the brain. The animal organs are strengthened, while the moral are depressed. It is impossible for an intemperate man to be a Christian, for his higher powers are brought into slavery to the passions.
  

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.