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Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #280 on: December 20, 2014, 07:24:37 PM »
Unto Us A Saviour is Born

  "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke  2:11 


Christmas is a time of the year when we may without making excuse, turn the subject of conversation to the great miracle of the birth of the Son of God into our world a helpless baby subject to the weakness of humanity. Such a topic for discussion! How the world would be blessed to have this light brought before them. Most have no clue as to the great love God has revealed in this one great act. Let us present the truth about the condescension of Christ to leave His heavenly home and come to this one dark spot in the universe that He might become our elder Brother. What does it mean? Why ought Christ have to become one with humanity in order to save us?

The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life. 
 
Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.

The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!   


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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #281 on: December 26, 2014, 08:26:35 AM »
Promises to Laodicea, God's Seventh and Last Church

  "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you." Ezekiel 36:25 


God has a church, a denominated people. That church is revealed in the Book of Revelation, chapter three.

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation 3:14-22.

 
Jesus describes the last church to be in a lost condition. It misrepresents Christ, it has profaned His name among the heathen. But, Jesus does not give up on it. Rather, after rebuking it, He tells of His love,  and counsels the church on what it may do to escape its wretched condition. Will it succeed? Yes, it will. Not all in the church will see revival and reformation, but the organized and denominated church will bring honor and glory to God. Here are promises found in the Bible that have yet to be fulfilled, but will soon be.

"I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Eze. 36:21-23, 36:25-27.

While there are personal promises involved, this portion of Scripture speaks to God's church, not just an individual experience. It is directed to the "house of Israel". Modern Israel today is the seventh church spoken of in Revelation. It is indeed in need of reformation. Are there other such promises made to God's denominated people? Yes, there are.

A blind and lost church is no more clearly described than what we find in Ezekiel chapter 37. Here we see the church of God being described not only as dead, but really dead.  Is it possible for Jesus to be able to bring to life this dead, dead, dead church? Who is it that would attempt to limit the power of God's grace? Sadly, many. But, the promises of God know no failure.

"The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, [there were] very many in the open valley; and, lo, [they were] very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but [there was] no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.  And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves." Ezekiel 37:1-13.
 

 

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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #282 on: December 31, 2014, 11:12:14 AM »

A New Year

  "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2 


A new year is about to begin. What are our thoughts about this new year? Will it bring an advance in our Christian life? If it does not, then we are going backwards. The Christian life is one of continual advance, for if we are not moving forward, we are moving backward. There is no resting place between here and heaven. Jesus is our Redeemer. He practiced self-denial, self-sacrifice, and He loves us in our weakness and offers to us His strength. He says, "I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands." He will impart His Holy Spirit to the degree that we can receive it. Nothing but the baptism of the Holy Spirit can bring up the church to its right position, and prepare the people of God for the fast approaching conflict. Why is there not individual growth in the church? Why is not every member of the church growing up into Christ?  This growth does not mean growing earthward, but heavenward; not downward, but upward.

If we are not abiding in Christ, then we are serving sin. Every day that we remain in sin, we are in Satan's ranks; and if we to get sick and die without repentance, we would be lost. No one can force you to give your heart to Jesus, no one can compel you to throw off the yoke of Satan. You may choose to do his bidding, to be children of the wicked one; you may rob God of your time, you may refuse to serve Him, because of the love of sin, the service of Satan, is acceptable to you. But can you afford this? Can you afford to rob God by withholding that which He has purchased at great expense? Would you choose to please the Lord's worst enemy and deny Christ His reward? Would you have Him make all that sacrifice on Calvary's cross for you in vain? Jesus has given every evidence that He loves you, in that He suffered and died that you might be given power to overcome sin.

We need not wait for a special revival effort to be made; even today we may become workers in the vineyard of Christ. If we would be children of God, we must come to Jesus just as we are, and tell Him we want to be His. Tell him that we want to love and obey Him, and no longer do those things which are not pleasing in His sight. We are not to wait for any special feeling to know that we are accepted of Him. Jesus bids us to come to Him, to look to Him, to believe in Him. He will accept us just as we are; for He can take away our sin, and give us strength to do those things which are pleasing in His sight. He loves us although we are sinful, and it is because He loves us that He is grieved with our wrong-doing. We cannot be happy while living in sin. We can be at peace only by choosing the right way. The psalmist says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. In seeking the Lord you may make a degree of progress that will surprise you, if you only enter upon it sincerely, humbling your hearts before God. We have no time to devote to self-serving and unimportant matters. There are only two kinds of persons who can properly be styled reasonable: those who serve God with all the heart because they know him, and those who seek him with all the heart because they know him not. The truth must be planted in your hearts, and become an abiding principle that controls your life. God is at work. He requires Christians to be active and earnest, that the souls of those dearest to them may be saved. Those who work for the souls of their own household, will feel a deep interest for their neighbors and for the youth and children about them. There is plenty of work to be done that involves eternal interests. While the powers of darkness are active, plotting for the suppression of God's truth, and making more dense the darkness that surrounds those who are already in darkness, that they may be zealous and determined in their own evil way, shall not those who know the truth for this time be zealous advocates of it? Shall they not awaken to their God given privileges? Shall those who are enlightened, who are made the depositaries of heavenly treasures, be cold and indifferent? Why, I ask, do not the works of those who claim to know the truth, correspond to the far-reaching principles of the truth? If death is the wages of sin, as we know it to be, then why not cease to sin? Why not come into sacred nearness to God, and by His grace, repress sin in your life?

Members of the church must awake, and do their part, and God will work mightily in behalf of his commandment-keeping people. Will every family in church think seriously, prayerfully, before the old year closes? Have you old grudges? Have you difficulties, jealousies, evil thoughts? Let Jesus come in and cleanse your heart. Where difficulties exist among brethren, let them carry out the injunction of the apostle: "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed."  If not today, then when? Time is running out, so Jesus is anxious that we make today the day of our salvation. Make the coming new year one in which God will be glorified.
   

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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #283 on: January 08, 2015, 09:20:08 AM »
Grace, For Me or Thee?

  "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet." John 13:14


A profession of faith and the possession of truth in the soul are two different things. The mere knowledge of truth is not enough. We may possess this, but the tenor of our thoughts may not be changed. The heart must be converted and sanctified. The man who attempts to keep the commandments of God from a sense of obligation merely because he is required to do so, will never enter into the joy of obedience. He does not obey. When the requirements of God are accounted a burden because they cut across human inclination, we may know that the life is not a Christian life. True obedience is the outworking of a principle within. It springs from the love of righteousness, the love of the law of God. The essence of all righteousness is loyalty to our Redeemer. This will lead us to do right because it is right--because right doing is pleasing to God. 

The great truth of the conversion of the heart by the Holy Spirit is presented in Christ's words to Nicodemus: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from above, he can not see the kingdom of God. . . . That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." John 3:3,6,7,8. 

The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, says, "God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:4-8.

The leaven hidden in the flour works invisibly to bring the whole mass under its leavening process; so the leaven of truth works secretly, silently, steadily, to transform the soul. The natural inclinations are softened and subdued. New thoughts, new feelings, new motives, are implanted. A new standard of character is set up--the life of Christ. The mind is changed; the faculties are roused to action in new lines. Man is not endowed with new faculties, but the faculties he has are sanctified. The conscience is awakened. We are endowed with traits of character that enable us to do service for God.   

Why are there so many, claiming to believe God's word, in whom there is not seen a reformation in words, in spirit, and in character? Why are there so many who cannot bear opposition to their purposes and plans, who manifest an unholy temper, and whose words are harsh, overbearing, and passionate? There is seen in their lives the same love of self, the same selfish indulgence, the same temper and hasty speech, that is seen in the life of the unbeliever. There is the same sensitive pride, the same yielding to natural inclination, the same perversity of character, as if the truth were wholly unknown to them. The reason is that they are not converted. They have not hidden the leaven of truth in the heart. It has not had opportunity to do its work. Their natural and cultivated tendencies to evil have not been submitted to its transforming power. Their lives reveal the absence of the grace of Christ, an unbelief in His power to transform the character.

"Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character. Christ prayed, "Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth." John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.

Received into the heart, the leaven of truth will regulate the desires, purify the thoughts, and sweeten the disposition. It quickens the faculties of the mind and the energies of the soul. It enlarges the capacity for feeling, for loving.  It is by grace that we are thus transformed. Then, is this grace for me, or for thee? Where is it to come from? On the night of our Lord's last supper, every one of His disciples were alive to self. Not one of them was in a converted state. There was "strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest." Luke 22:24. They were all vying for the highest place. Jesus was saddened by this. He had much to tell them, that if they had listened, it would have saved them much anguish and pain in the following hours and days as Jesus was to suffer and die paying the price for the sins of the whole world.

He loved His disciples unto the end. He knew that He would be deserted in the hour of His betrayal. He knew that by the most humiliating process to which criminals were subjected He would be put to death. He knew the ingratitude and cruelty of those He had come to save. He knew how great the sacrifice that He must make, and for how many it would be in vain. Knowing all that was before Him, He might naturally have been overwhelmed with the thought of His own humiliation and suffering. But He looked upon His disciples, who had been with Him as His own, and who, after His shame and sorrow were over, would be left to struggle in the world. His thoughts of what He Himself must suffer were ever connected with His disciples. He did not think of Himself. His care for them was uppermost in His mind. 

In these last hours before His capture, trial, torture, and death, what could Jesus do to help His disciples? How could He show that a mere profession of discipleship did not make them disciples, or insure them a place in His kingdom? How was He to kindle love in their hearts, and enable them to comprehend what He longed to tell them? 
 
"After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded." This action opened the eyes of the disciples. Bitter shame and humiliation filled their hearts. They understood the unspoken rebuke, and saw themselves in altogether a new light. Christ expressed His love for His disciples and their selfish spirit filled Him with sorrow. He gave them an example they would never forget. His love for them was not easily disturbed or quenched. One of the last acts of His life on earth was to gird Himself as a servant, and reveal grace to those who needed to have their hearts cleansed from sin and selfishness.

How is it with us today? Do we need this grace? Absolutely, it is what keeps us connected to Christ. How about those around us? Do they need grace also? Whether abiding in Christ or outside of Him, they all need grace if they are to be transformed in nature. Do we act the part of Christ, or do we follow the example of the disciples when they entered the room for the last supper? Are we servants of grace or slaves to sin? The choice is ours to make.
   

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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #284 on: January 20, 2015, 02:26:15 PM »
The Power of Love

  "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Romans 6:22

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not.

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.  For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 
   

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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #285 on: March 13, 2015, 10:50:15 AM »
The Power of Love to Transform the Life

  “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew  22:37


The testimony of the Word of God is against the ensnaring doctrine of faith without works. It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions upon which mercy is to be granted. It is presumption; for genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Bible. 

Let none deceive themselves with the belief that they can become holy while willfully violating one of God's requirements. The commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit, and separates the soul from God. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” And “whosoever sinneth (transgresseth the law) hath not seen him, neither known him.” 1 John 3:6. Though John in his epistles dwells so fully upon love, yet he does not hesitate to reveal the true character of that class who claim to be sanctified while living in transgression of the law of God. “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.” 1 John 2:4, 5. Here is the test of every man's profession. We cannot attribute holiness to any man without bringing him to the measurement of God's only standard of holiness in Heaven and in earth. If men feel no weight of the moral law, if they belittle and make light of God's precepts, if they break one of the least of these commandments, and teach men so, they shall be of no esteem in the sight of Heaven, and we may know that their claims are without foundation. 

And the claim to be without sin is, in itself, evidence that he who makes this claim is far from holy. It is because he has no true conception of the infinite purity and holiness of God, or of what they must become who shall be in harmony with his character; because he has no true conception of the purity and exalted loveliness of Jesus, and the malignity and evil of sin, that man can regard himself as holy. The greater the distance between himself and Christ, and the more inadequate his conceptions of the divine character and requirements, the more righteous he appears in his own eyes. 
 
The sanctification set forth in the Scriptures embraces the entire being,—spirit, soul, and body. Paul prayed for the Thessalonians, that their “whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Again he writes to believers, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” Romans 12:1. In the time of ancient Israel, every offering brought as a sacrifice to God was carefully examined. If any defect was discovered in the animal presented, it was refused; for God had commanded that the offering be “without blemish.” So Christians are bidden to present their bodies, “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” In order to do this, all their powers must be preserved in the best possible condition. Every practice that weakens physical or mental strength unfits man for the service of his Creator. And will God be pleased with anything less than the best we can offer? Said Christ, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.” Those who do love God with all the heart, will desire to give him the best service of their life, and they will be constantly seeking to bring every power of their being into harmony with the laws that will promote their ability to do his will. They will not, by the indulgence of appetite or passion, enfeeble or defile the offering which they present to their heavenly Father. 

Says Peter, “Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” 1 Peter 2:11. Every sinful gratification tends to benumb the faculties and deaden the mental and spiritual perceptions, and the Word or the Spirit of God can make but a feeble impression upon the heart. Paul writes to the Corinthians, “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1. And with the fruits of the Spirit,—“love, joy, peace,  long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,” —he classes temperance. Galatians 5:22, 23.

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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #286 on: May 30, 2015, 07:24:11 PM »
The Simplicity of the Gospel

  “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God” John 3:2

Christ is the minister's model. How directly to the point, how well adapted to the purpose and circumstances, are Christ's words! How clear and forcible are his illustrations! His style is characterized by simplicity and solemnity. Throughout the teachings of Christ, there is nothing to justify the minister in the relation of humorous anecdotes in the pulpit. The lessons of Christ should be carefully studied, and the subjects, manner, and form of discourses should be modeled after the divine Pattern. Oratorical display, flashy rhetoric, and fine gestures do not constitute a fine discourse. Many are deceived by these things, and call a man a good minister who does not deserve the name.

If the simplicity of the gospel of Christ is lacking in a discourse, there is great need that the minister learn lessons of the divine Teacher, that he may become truly wise. The minister must have his heart melted by the love of Christ, and his words must be full of divine power. He must lift up Jesus, making him the center of attraction, the source of all power. The truth as it is in Jesus will be efficacious in converting souls to God. The holy truth is always to be presented in its true simplicity; for in this time, when the end of all things is at hand, the way of the Lord is to be prepared, the third angel's message is to lighten the earth with its glory. 

The greatest Teacher the world ever knew, educated those who came to him, in the simplest way. Sometimes he taught them, sitting among them on the mountainside; sometimes walking with them by the sea or way, he revealed to them the mysteries of the kingdom of God. He did not sermonize as men do today. In intensely earnest tones he assured them of the truths of the life to come, of the way of salvation. 

The Jews did not expect the Messiah to come as a teacher, but as a temporal king, to sit upon the throne of David; and if they had spoken the unbelief of their hearts, they would have scoffed at the idea of his Messiahship. And yet some believed on him, even among the chiefs and rulers. Nicodemus voiced the sentiments of many when he said, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him".....

If the minister's lips are touched with a coal from off the altar, he will lift up Jesus as the sinner's only hope. When the heart of the speaker is sanctified through the truth, his words will be living realities to himself and to others; for those who hear him will know that he has been with God, and drawn near to him in fervent, effectual prayer. The Holy Spirit has fallen upon him, and his soul has felt the vital, heavenly fire, and he will be able to compare spiritual things with spiritual, and to tear down the strongholds of the enemy. Hearts will be broken by his presentation of the love of God, and many will inquire, "What must I do to be saved?"  PH089 8.

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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #287 on: July 13, 2015, 07:53:24 AM »
A Lesson for Our Time

  "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."  1 Corinthians 10:9-11

 
     In the case of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram we have a lesson of warning lest we follow their example. "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 
     We have evidence in God's word of the liability of His people to be greatly deceived. There are many instances where what may seem to be a sincere zeal for the honor of God has its origin in leaving the soul unguarded for the enemy to tempt and to impress the mind with a perverted sense of the real state of things. And we may expect just such things in these last days, for Satan is just as busy now as he was in the congregation of Israel. The cruelty and strength of prejudice are not understood. After the congregation had the evidence before their sight of the destruction of these leaders in rebellion, the power of suspicion and distrust which had been let into their souls was not removed. They saw the ground open and the leaders of rebellion go down into the bowels of the earth. This fearful exhibition surely ought to have cured them and led them to the deepest repentance for their abuse of Moses.   
     Here God gave all Israel an opportunity to see and to feel the sinfulness of their course, which should have led them to repentance and confession. He gave the deceived ones overwhelming evidence that they were sinners and that His servant Moses was right. They had an opportunity to pass one night in reflection upon the fearful visitation of Heaven which they had witnessed. But reason was perverted. Korah had instigated the rebellion, and two hundred and fifty princes had joined him in spreading the disaffection. All the congregation were, to a greater or less degree, affected with the prevailing jealousy, surmisings, and hatred against Moses, which had brought the displeasure of God in a fearfully marked manner. Yet our gracious God shows Himself a God of justice and mercy. He made a distinction between the instigators--the leaders in the rebellion--and those who had been deceived or led by them. He pitied the ignorance and folly of those who had been deceived. 
     God spoke to Moses to bid the congregation leave the tents of the men whom they had chosen in the place of Moses. The very men whose destruction they premeditated were the instruments in the hands of God of saving their lives upon that occasion. Said Moses: "Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah." They also were in alarming danger of being destroyed in their sins by the wrath of God, for they were sharers in the crimes of the men to whom they had given their sympathy and with whom they had associated. 
     If while Moses was trying the test before the congregation of Israel, those who had started the rebellion had repented and sought the forgiveness of God and of His injured servant, the vengeance of God would even then have been stayed. But there in their tents boldly stood Korah, the instigator of the rebellion, and his sympathizers, as if in defiance of God's wrath, as though God had never wrought through His servant Moses. And much less did these rebellious ones act as though they had been so recently honored of God by being brought with Moses almost directly into His presence, and beholding His unsurpassed glory. These men saw Moses come down from the mount after he had received the second tables of stone and while his face was so resplendent with the glory of God that the people would not approach him, but fled from him. He called to them, but they seemed terrified. He presented the tables of stone and said: I pleaded in your behalf and have turned the wrath of God from you. I urged that, if God must forsake and destroy His congregation, my name might also be blotted from His book. Lo, He has answered me, and these tables of stone that I hold in my hand are the pledge given me of His reconciliation with His people.   
     The people perceive that it is the voice of Moses; that, although he is transformed and glorified, he is Moses yet. They tell him that they cannot look into his face, for the radiant light in his countenance is exceedingly painful to them. His face is like the sun; they cannot look upon it. When Moses finds out the difficulty, he covers his face with a veil. He does not plead that the light and glory upon his face is the reflection of God's glory that He placed upon him, and that the people must bear it; but he covers his glory. The sinfulness of the people make it painful to behold his glorified face. So will it be when the saints of God are glorified just previous to the second appearing of our Lord. The wicked will retire and shrink away from the sight, for the glory in the countenances of the saints will pain them. But all this glory upon Moses, all this divine stamp seen upon God's humble servant, is forgotten.   
 
                      Slighted Mercy

     The Hebrews had an opportunity to reflect upon the scene that they had witnessed in the visitation of God's wrath upon the most prominent ones in this great rebellion. The goodness and mercy of God were displayed in not completely exterminating this ungrateful people when His wrath was kindled against the most responsible ones. He gave the congregation who had permitted themselves to be deceived, space for repentance. The fact that the Lord, their invisible Leader, showed so much long-suffering and mercy in this instance is distinctly recorded as evidence of His willingness to forgive the most grievous offenders when they have a sense of their sin and return unto Him with repentance and humiliation. The congregation had been arrested in their presumptuous course by the display of the Lord's vengeance; but they were not convinced that they were great sinners against Him, deserving His wrath for their rebellious course.   
     It is hardly possible for men to offer a greater insult to God than to despise and reject the instrumentalities that He has appointed to lead them. They had not only done this, but had purposed to put both Moses and Aaron to death. These men fled from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram through fear of destruction; but their rebellion was not cured. They were not in grief and despair because of their guilt. They felt not the effect of an awakened, convicted conscience because they had abused their most precious privileges and sinned against light and knowledge. We may here learn precious lessons of the long-suffering of Jesus, the Angel who went before the Hebrews in the wilderness. 
     Their invisible Leader would save them from a disgraceful destruction. Forgiveness lingers for them. It is possible for them to find pardon if they will even now repent. The vengeance of God has now come near to them and appealed to them to repent. A special, irresistible interference from heaven has arrested their presumptuous rebellion. If they now respond to the interposition of God's providence they may be saved. But the repentance and humiliation of the congregation must be proportionate to their transgression. The revelation of the signal power of God has placed them beyond uncertainty. They may have a knowledge of the true position and holy calling of Moses and Aaron if they will accept it. But their neglect to regard the evidences that God had given them was fatal. They did not realize the importance of immediate action on their part to seek pardon of God for their grievous sins.   
     That night of probation to the Hebrews was not passed by them in confessing and repenting of their sins, but in devising some way to resist the evidences which showed them to be the greatest of sinners. They still cherished their jealous hatred of the men of God's appointment and strengthened themselves in their mad course of resisting the authority of Moses and Aaron. Satan was at hand to pervert the judgment and lead them blindfolded to destruction. Their minds had been most thoroughly poisoned with disaffection, and they had the matter fixed beyond a question in their minds that Moses and Aaron were wicked men, and that they were responsible for the death of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who they thought would have been the saviors of the Hebrews by bringing in a better order of things, where praise would take the place of reproof, and peace the place of anxiety and conflict. 
     The day before, all Israel had fled in alarm at the cry of the doomed sinners who went down into the pit; for they said:  "Lest the earth swallow us up also." "But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord." In their indignation they were prepared to lay violent hands upon the men of God's appointment, who they believed had done a great wrong in killing those who were good and holy.   
     But the Lord's presence is manifested in His glory over the tabernacle, and rebellious Israel are arrested in their mad, presumptuous course. The voice of the Lord from His terrible glory now speaks to Moses and Aaron in the same words which they were the day before commanded to address to the congregation of Israel: "Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment."   
     Here we find a striking exhibition of the blindness that will compass human minds that turn from light and evidence. Here we see the strength of settled rebellion, and how difficult it is to be subdued. Surely the Hebrews had had the most convincing evidence in the destruction of the men who had deceived them; but they still stood forth boldly and defiantly, and accused Moses and Aaron of killing good and holy men. "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry."  and did not hasten away at the word of the Lord and leave the congregation to perish, as the Hebrews had fled from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram the day before. Moses lingered; for he could not consent to give up all that vast multitude to perish, although he knew that they deserved the vengeance of God for their persistent rebellion. He prostrated himself before God because the people felt no necessity for humiliation; he mediated for them because they felt no need of interceding in their own behalf.   
     Moses here typifies Christ. At this critical time Moses manifested the True Shepherd's interest for the flock of His care. He pleaded that the wrath of an offended God might not utterly destroy the people of His choice. And by his intercession he held back the arm of vengeance, that a full end was not made of disobedient, rebellious Israel. He directed Aaron what course to pursue in that terrible crisis when the wrath of God had gone forth and the plague had begun. Aaron stood with his censer, waving it before the Lord, while the intercessions of Moses ascended with the smoke of the incense. Moses dared not cease his entreaties. He took hold of the strength of the Angel, as did Jacob in his wrestling, and like Jacob he prevailed. Aaron was standing between the living and the dead when the gracious answer came: I have heard thy prayer, I will not consume utterly. The very men whom the congregation despised and would have put to death were the ones to plead in their behalf that the avenging sword of God might be sheathed and sinful Israel spared.  Vol. 3, Testimonies of for the Church; pg 358.
 

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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #288 on: March 27, 2016, 09:12:36 AM »
Why the Cross?

  “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." John 3:14-17.   


   The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.   
     Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.
     The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth! 



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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #289 on: July 04, 2016, 05:58:38 AM »
July 4th in America

  “Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4   


Today, July 4th, America celebrates its independence from England. "Give me liberty, or give me death" was the foundation of the battle for independence. No longer is this liberty being protected by the institutions charged with following the Constitution. America’s precious freedom of religious liberty is being destroyed by those who would force the conscience of the minority to conform to the wishes of the majority. America was not a democracy, but a republic that was to protect the rights of the minority. Founded as a Protestant nation, her Constitution and Bill of Rights reflected the same concern that was central to the Protestant Reformation, liberty of conscience. Soon Americans will be forced by the state to violate their conscience or be fined, then jailed, and in the end, be sentenced to death.

The prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns shall cause "the earth and them which dwell therein" to worship the papacy—there symbolized by the beast "like unto a leopard." The beast with two horns is also to say "to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;" and, furthermore, it is to command all, "both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond," to receive the mark of the beast. Revelation 13:11-16. It has been shown that the United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance, which Rome claims as the special acknowledgment of her supremacy. But in this homage to the papacy the United States will not be alone. The influence of Rome in the countries that once acknowledged her dominion is still far from being destroyed. And prophecy foretells a restoration of her power. "I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." Verse 3. The infliction of the deadly wound points to the downfall of the papacy in 1798. After this, says the prophet, "his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." Paul states plainly that the "man of sin" will continue until the second advent. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8. To the very close of time he will carry forward the work of deception. And the revelator declares, also referring to the papacy: "All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life." Revelation 13:8.

America was the last great hope of the world. When she repudiates every principle of her Constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, by enforcing a national Sunday law there will be none left to carry on the fight for personal liberty. Then the end shall come.


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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #290 on: August 06, 2016, 12:29:17 PM »
2016 CE

  “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:  And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died." Genesis 5:3-5   


It is sad, but interesting that the world does not like the dating method much of the world uses. Like many other truths, such as the creation, "wise" men have attempted to do away with any reference to God. So it is with our current year, 2016 AD. It is no longer 2016 AD, but 2016 CE. We find this occurring more and more. The BBC decided it was offensive to use AD and BC. "Why does bbc.co.uk/religion use BCE and CE instead of BC and AD? In line with modern practice bbc.co.uk/religion uses BCE/CE (Before Common Era/Common Era) as a religiously neutral alternative to BC/AD. As the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians."

This reminds us of those who wish to make women rulers over men. They have attempted to do away with postman, chairman, congressman, and even fireman. But, they have not yet found a solution for woman. "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Genesis 2:23. How offensive this must  be to those who hate God and His Word.

The BBC and the "wise" men who have attempted to use BCE and CE instead of BC and AD, are not the only ones who do not like the world-wide Gregorian calendar. Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Nepal, Iran and Afghanistan will not use it. Unlike the BBC who does not mind offending God, in order to not offend those who hate Jesus, the Islamic countries do not continue to mark their years in relationship to the birth of Christ as do the BBC and others who will not use BC and AD. By merely changing the name, does not do away with the reality that the calendar is based on the birth of Jesus Christ. They seem to think that by removing AD they can make others forget our year is based on when Christ was born.

There other reasons why Satan would want to change the calendar being used by most of the world. The Gregorian calendar has seven days in the week with the first day being the sun day and the seventh day being either the Sabbath in some countries or a name changed to something else in an attempt to hide the seventh day Sabbath. But, changing the name to Saturday or something other than the Sabbath does not change the fact there is a seven day week for only one reason, for the Sabbath Day rest given at creation. "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:    But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath Day, and hallowed it."

We are seeing more and more calendars placing Monday as the first day of the week. Happenstance or premeditated? With the last great test coming upon mankind, we know the answer.

Since the Sabbath was given to man at creation, maybe there is another reason for changing the Gregorian calendar. What if by using the current calendar we could use Scripture to compute the age of the Earth? We can. We know by using our current dating method the Earth is a little more than 6,000 years old. This surely does cause consternation to all who believe in their carbon dating system that tells us the Earth is millions of years old and creatures have been on this Earth for hundreds of thousands of years. In other words when the Bible is studied and the Gregorian calendar is used, we can know those who hate God and His Word have good reason to begin moving away from such a calendar. Changing from Ad to CE is not going to do it for them.

Let's take a look at how we can date the flood which happened about 4,360 years ago. If we begin with Genesis 5:3-5 and continue on, we have our dates pretty well set. Remember those boring chapters in Scripture like Matthew, chapter one? They are there for a reason. "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram..." 1:1-3, and on and on.  "So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations." Verse 17.

We may not fully understand exactly what a "generation" is, but we can know it is not in the hundreds or thousands of years. So, if we can date Abraham, and can date the birth of Christ, then we can prove by Scripture a very young Earth, and can even date the flood. But, we can do better than that because of the detail given in Scripture as to the lineage of Christ. For those interested in this subject, we will start you off with Genesis chapter five.

"This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him." Genesis 5:1.
Notice the description of the chapter is similar to Matthew chapter one. Yes, God wants us to know how old the Earth is by giving us a detailed genealogy from Adam to Christ. It begins with just the detail we need. We can date the Flood from the creation of Adam. It is 1656 years when Noah was 600 years old. How do we know this? The Bible in Genesis five tells us exactly how many years it was from creation to the flood.

In Genesis 12 we are given enough information to know that Abraham was born 1948 years after creation. I wonder what Noah had to say to Abraham. And how about Shem who died after Abraham. Amazing that few know this, but here it is for us to understand. And, the "wise" professing Christians that have put their trust in institutions of "higher education" have surely been deceived. Quite a thought for today.

A question for our Bible scholars. Can we go further down the line past Abraham? Could it be that the Bible has given us dates past Abraham, more than Matthew 1:17? And, we as Seventh-day Adventists understand the dating of the prophecies of Daniel, do we not? That means we have it clearly revealed to us where Daniel lived in the time given in the Gregorian calendar. And, does not the Bible tell us when the temple was built in Jerusalem? "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which [is] the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD."  1 Kings 6:1.

All of those dates we are given for the reigns of kings are certainly helpful in proving when the Earth was created. God has been careful with the details of history. We may put our trust in His Word, rather than the "wise" men educated in the institutions of "higher education."
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #291 on: August 28, 2016, 08:19:15 AM »
"The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail"

  “He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He." Deuteronomy 32:4     


What is the purpose of the gospel message? Does it have power? We understand it is very good news for sinners. Why is that? Because the sinner can be not only forgiven, but transformed in character. When a man sees his true condition, it may at first appear hopeless. But, our lost condition is not hopeless. We have a Saviour who has proved His love for us while we were yet sinners. His grace is a thick around us as the air we breathe. If we will take it in, if we will behold His matchless love, we shall be changed into His image (character).

We are not to doubt His love, nor His power to save us. First we must see our evil nature, and then we must understand the character of our God. Then by faith in Him and His love, we are to rest in that love. He will bring us to a point were we will trust with all we have and all we are. This is "saving faith". It comes from beholding His character of love and justice.

We must then keep in view the battle, for it ceases not. Satan will continue to attack that we might be separated from our Lord. Let not self wax to great proportions, lest the whole man be defiled. One leak will sink a ship, and one flaw break a chain; so there may be some hereditary or cultivated trait of character that will work in the heart and develop into words that will make an impression for evil which will never be effaced. We are all building for eternity. We need to maintain our connection with Christ that the character will be revealed in pure, noble words, and in good works. Then the world will know there is a God in heaven when they see the power of grace transforming a sinner into a saint.

Let selfishness with its poisonous roots strike into the heart, and what a change is made. The heart must be kept pure and untainted with self. The great, grand structure that God is building is going up for time and for eternity. That building must stand the final inspection. Is the foundation sure? Is it built upon the Word of God? The Word of God warns us, Take heed how ye build. Make sure that the foundation is laid on the solid Rock which is Christ Jesus, then the gates of hell shall not prevail.

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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #292 on: September 06, 2016, 06:45:33 AM »
"Tormented With Fire and Brimstone"
 
   "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."        Revelation 14:9-11.     


     Jesus, seated on the Mount of Olives, gave instruction to his disciples concerning the signs which should precede his coming: “As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37-39. The same sins that brought judgments upon the world in the days of Noah, exist in our day. Men and women now carry their eating and drinking so far that it ends in gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to wide-spread corruption. Violence and sin reached to heaven. This moral pollution was finally swept from the earth by means of the flood. The same sins of gluttony and drunkenness benumbed the moral sensibilities of the inhabitants of Sodom, so that crime seemed to be the delight of the men and women of that wicked city. Christ thus warns the world:“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” Luke 17:28-30.

God is not arbitrary. He did not immediately destroy the wicked. Noah preached the gospel for 120 years while he was building the ark. All were warned. Today we see what are called "natural disasters." These are very rarely coming from God. Often Satan is at work attempting to make people believe this devastation is coming from God. It is often called and "act of God." No, God is perfectly just and does not act in such an arbitrary manner.

We understand God will not bring upon the Earth another flood such as destroyed all that was on the Earth. He provided a sanctuary aboard the ark for all who would enter. God will destroy the Earth with fire after the 1,000 years. Is it possible God would rain fire from heaven again as He did upon Sodom and Gomorrah prior to the destruction of the Earth? Are there Sodom and Gomorrahs in this our day? After they have been given the gospel message, if they repent not, will God destroy these wicked cities? Yes, He will. And, He will not wait until He destroys the entire Earth.

As it was with Sodom, God warned the righteous to leave, so it will be today. God will warn the city before it is destroyed. "And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." Genesis 19:12-17 

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is an example of what is coming upon the wicked cities of this Earth. But, not until they have been offered the opportunity of boarding the "ark" of our day, Jesus Christ. When a wicked city has been warned, when the occupants make their decision as to whom they will follow, let the righteous make haste to depart, for  certain destruction is coming, just as it came upon Sodom and Gomorrah of old. That destruction will not come at the hand of man, but it will come directly from God. When the first wicked city is destroyed, be warned that the other such wicked cities of the world will suffer likewise.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #293 on: November 25, 2016, 08:02:56 PM »
Mercy's Door is Yet Open

  "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:..." Revelation 3:20   
   
     Having just had a holiday in America to give thanks for all of our blessings, let us glorify God that we yet have a Saviour to make intercession for us, to speak in our behalf before the Father, and present His merits as propitiation for our sins. Time has about run out. Soon the heavenly sanctuary will be cleansed and there will be no more intercession on behalf of sinner.
     Let us praise God that although we are defective He honors us by permitting us to advocate truth and to maintain His cause. But although we make many mistakes in that which we do, although we fail of doing it in the best way, although we neglect and leave many things undone because self is not surrendered to God, although we are creatures full of vanity and selfishness and self-esteem (and all this God despises), yet notwithstanding our many imperfections He continues to teach us, and commissions us to act a part in His cause. When tried and tempted, many have virtually cast reflections upon God, yet the Lord has not cast them off forever. He has borne long with them and has given them another trial, and provided new opportunities, and has put forth every effort to draw them nigh unto Himself, in order that they might behold Jesus and become changed into His image in spirit and character. 
     Every individual must fight the good fight of faith for himself, in order to attain to the perfection of Christian character that will fit him for the society of the saints in light. In ancient times there were many who placed themselves under a process of training, when every physical power was exercised and developed in order that they might be successful in running the race and obtaining a perishable crown. To achieve this victory they spared themselves no toil, but bravely endured the training process, in order that they might be in the best condition to run the race before them, so that peradventure they might win a perishable token of honor. They entered the list and ran the race at the risk of losing their lives, not knowing whether they should gain or lose the perishable laurel that should be awarded to the winner of the race. 
     But God sets before us a much more encouraging prospect, and deals with us in a more noble, benevolent manner. He does not intend that we shall practice self-denial and endure strict discipline in spiritual things, at the hazard of losing the race at last and missing the victor's crown.  We do not run on an uncertainty. We do not fight as one who beateth the air. But looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we are changed from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. 
     "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. . . . Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown"
 


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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #294 on: December 01, 2016, 06:55:37 AM »

Jesus Loves the Lost (Laodicea)

  "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:..." Revelation 3:20   
   
The True Witness says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock." Revelation 3:20. Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God or through His messengers is a knock at the door of the heart. It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition to open becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond. Our condemnation in the judgment will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth. 
 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #295 on: December 04, 2016, 08:29:50 AM »
Faith and Works

  "....by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." James 2:24
   
     Those who spend their time studying Luther, take note. Luther was far from perfect in his understanding. He was a man for his time, but not for ours. We need to look to the Bible for our wisdom, or we shall be deceived. The law of God condemns all selfishness, all pride of heart, every species of dishonesty, every secret or open transgression. The natural heart is not inclined to love its precepts, or obey its requirements. "It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." But genuine faith in Christ converts the heart, works a change in its attitude to the law, until it delights in the law of God. The man who manifests enmity to the law has not submitted to the converting power of God. It is the keeping of the commandments that proves the sincerity of our professions of love. Says John, "This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous." God is not pleased when man darkens His counsel, as did Job (Job 38:1-3). Satan is engaged in leading men to pervert the plain meaning of God's word. He desires that the world should have no clear idea in regard to the plan of salvation. He well knows that the object of Christ's life of obedience, the object of his suffering, trial, and death upon the cross, was to magnify the divine law, to become a substitute for guilty man, that he might have remission for sins that are past, and grace for future obedience; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in him -- and he be transformed and fitted for the heavenly courts. Satan knows that no transgressor of the divine law will ever enter the kingdom of Heaven, and to rob God of the devotion and service of man, to thwart the plan of salvation, and work the ruin of those for whom Christ died, is the motive that actuates his warfare against the law of Heaven. He caused the fall of the holy pair in Eden by leading them to lightly esteem the commandment of God, to think his requirements unjust, and unreasonable, that they were not binding, and that their transgression would not be visited, as God had said, with death. 
     The law of God is the foundation of his Government in Heaven and in earth, and as long as the follower of Jesus imitates his Lord by exalting the divine precepts in word and life, Satan has no power to deceive or mislead his soul.
     The fatal deception of the religious world is the old disregard for the claims of the law of God. The desire for an easy religion that requires no striving, no self-denial, no divorce from the follies of the world, has made the doctrine of faith, and faith only, a popular doctrine; but we must sound a note of warning. What saith the word of God? Says the apostle James, "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? . . . Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness; and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." James 2:14,19-24.
 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #296 on: December 26, 2016, 09:53:41 AM »
Christmas, The Day After

  "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."    John 4:14

Christmas affords us much opportunity to speak of Jesus when ordinarily we could not. We live in a world where a vast majority want nothing to do with Jesus. But, in many countries, where the dating system is based on the birth of our Savior, Christmas is still celebrated as the birthday of Jesus.

How many yesterday offered thanks before eating? Was there an opportunity to speak of your love for Christ in front of some who you could not speak of Jesus at other times? But, on the other hand, what have we done with our children in regards to Christmas Day?

As I considered the situation, I thought of the celebrations the Jews had each year, of the pomp and excitement of those days.

     As Jesus spoke in the temple court, the people were held spellbound. The very men who were the most violent against Him felt themselves powerless to do Him harm. For the time, all other interests were forgotten. 
     Day after day He taught the people, until the last, "that great day of the feast." The morning of this day found the people wearied from the long season of festivity. Suddenly Jesus lifted up His voice, in tones that rang through the courts of the temple: 
     "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The condition of the people made this appeal very forcible. They had been engaged in a continued scene of pomp and festivity, their eyes had been dazzled with light and color, and their ears regaled with the richest music; but there had been nothing in all this round of ceremonies to meet the wants of the spirit, nothing to satisfy the thirst of the soul for that which perishes not. Jesus invited them to come and drink of the fountain of life, of that which would be in them a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.
     The priest had that morning performed the ceremony which commemorated the smiting of the rock in the wilderness. That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams of salvation to flow to all who are athirst. Christ's words were the water of life. There in the presence of the assembled multitude He set Himself apart to be smitten, that the water of life might flow to the world. In smiting Christ, Satan thought to destroy the Prince of life; but from the smitten rock there flowed living water. As Jesus thus spoke to the people, their hearts thrilled with a strange awe, and many were ready to exclaim, with the woman of Samaria, "Give me this water, that I thirst not." John 4:15.
     Jesus knew the wants of the soul. Pomp, riches, and honor cannot satisfy the heart. "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me." The rich, the poor, the high, the low, are alike welcome. He promises to relieve the burdened mind, to comfort the sorrowing, and to give hope to the despondent. Many of those who heard Jesus were mourners over disappointed hopes, many were nourishing a secret grief, many were seeking to satisfy their restless longing with the things of the world and the praise of men; but when all was gained, they found that they had toiled only to reach a broken cistern, from which they could not quench their thirst. Amid the glitter of the joyous scene they stood, dissatisfied and sad. That sudden cry, "If any man thirst," startled them from their sorrowful meditation, and as they listened to the words that followed, their minds kindled with a new hope. The Holy Spirit presented the symbol before them until they saw in it the offer of the priceless gift of salvation.   


Like the Jewish feast days, Christmas Day also is very exciting for the children. And, like ancient feast days, too often we find it is the same with many the day after Christmas. Brother Ian shared the following thought in one of his posts. It reveals the heart of many children on Christmas Day.


In studying this I get a feeling akin to a young child opening his Christmas presents. They are all neatly parceled up, they are all there, each will bring joy, but they wait to be opened.
Of course we all where children, and many of us experienced the excitement of opening Christmas gifts. It is not the thought of Christ that is uppermost in many minds on Christmas Day. But, we are given opportunity not only with friends, but with our children to turn the mind to the greatness of the Gift which so many profess to be celebrating.

Jesus understands the great need we all have, and His Spirit is speaking to every one on this earth. He wants to give us something so much better than the things of this world which do not bring the peace and joy which is everlasting.


     The cry of Christ to the thirsty soul is still going forth, and it appeals to us with even greater power than to those who heard it in the temple on that last day of the feast. The fountain is open for all. The weary and exhausted ones are offered the refreshing draught of eternal life. Jesus is still crying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Revelation 22:17; John 4:14. 


Let us today, buy of Jesus this "gold tried in the fire."  This love will indeed be as a well of water which will quench the thirst of the dry and lonely soul.

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

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #297 on: January 01, 2017, 07:32:03 AM »
One More Year of Life

  "Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?"    Jeremiah 13:20   

A new year! How fast time passes! Soon Jesus will have come. But, sooner than that many are passing into history. Probations close daily. How shall we look at the start of a new year of life? For many it ought to be a sobering thought, especially for parents.


     Children may become missionaries for Jesus; and are there not youth who will give themselves to their Saviour before the new year comes? You need not wait for a special revival effort to be made; even today you may become soldiers of Christ. If you would be children of God, come to Jesus just as you are, and tell him you want to be his. Tell him that you want to love and obey him, and no longer do those things which are not pleasing in his sight. You are not to wait for any special feeling to know that you are accepted of him. Jesus bids you come to him, look to him, believe in him. He will accept you just as you are; for he can take away your sin, and give you strength to do those things which are pleasing in his sight. He loves you although you are sinful, and it is because he loves you that he is grieved with your wrong-doing. You cannot be happy while living in sin. You can be at peace only by choosing the right way. The psalmist says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." 
     I need not address you as children and youth who have never been instructed; for you have been taught in the Sabbath-school, you have had brought before you the manner of life that is pleasing to God. We sincerely hope that at home your parents have given you instruction in harmony with the teachings of the heavenly Master. The principles and rules taught by those parents who love and fear God, are not new principles or original rules. They are precious old rules from the Lord of heaven. The experience of parents who love Jesus will be valuable to their children, as it will enable them to apply the principles of God to the daily lives of their little ones. Let children and youth understand that the work of disciplining them is required of their parents by the Lord, and that if children become impatient under this discipline, if they are displeased when they are restrained from evil, they are displeased and impatient with Christ and his commands. 
     Jesus clothed his divinity with humanity that he might have an experience in all that pertains to human life. He did not leave plans for the welfare of youth and children in obscurity and uncertainty. He became a child, and in his life we find an example of what is the proper development of childhood. He was subject to his parents. Then why should children and youth be surprised if their God-fearing parents manifest prayerful solicitude for them, and watch with anxious interest over their course during the period when their characters are forming? Parents realize the perils to which their children are exposed, and they feel the responsibility that rests upon them to teach their children what is the right way both by precept and example. 
     Abraham is an example of what parents should be. The Lord says of him, "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment." The Lord commended Abraham because he cultivated home religion, and used his authority and influence as priest of his household, to promote the fear of the Lord. The God of heaven has spoken to parents concerning the course they should pursue in educating and training their children in the way of the Lord. Parents are not only to instruct, but to restrain and command. The wise man says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when is old, he will not depart from it."
     There are parents who, through indulgence of their children, fail to give them the discipline that the Lord designs they should have. Abraham did not betray the sacred trust committed to him, through overfondness for his children. He followed the directions of Heaven. He knew that he was answerable to God for the manner in which he instructed his children. He was to train them that they might come from the ranks of Satan, and march under the banner of Prince Emmanuel. 
     There are a few days before the old year closes and the new year begins. Will it not be most pleasing to the Lord for parents to give earnest attention to the salvation of their children? Will it not be pleasing to God for the children and youth to unite in this work with their parents, that the entire household, without further delay, may seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is nigh? Hear the important words of instruction that the Lord has given: "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." Let parents confess that they have neglected to properly instruct their children, and let children confess that they have broken the fifth commandment. Satan is working upon the minds of the children to lead them in the path of disobedience, that they may follow in evil ways. If he can obtain the control of one child's mind, he can, through that child, gain the control of others, and turn them from the instruction given in God's word, in the Sabbath-school, and from the sacred desk. 
     Children and youth, will you celebrate the new year in a way that will meet the approval of God? Will you give your hearts to Jesus, who gave his own precious life that he might take you from the enemy's ranks, and place you under this own blood-stained banners? Jesus died that you might no longer remain the property of Satan, but become his own dear children. The inspired apostle says, "What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 
     Every day that you remain in sin, you are in Satan's ranks; and should you sicken and die without repentance, you would be lost. No one can force you to give your heart to Jesus, no one can compel you to throw off the yoke of Satan. You may choose to do his bidding, to be children of the wicked one; you may rob God of your time, you may refuse to serve him, because the infatuation of sin, the service of Satan, is acceptable to you. But can you afford this? Can you afford to rob God by withholding that which he has purchased for himself? Would you choose to please the Lord's worst enemy? Would you have Christ make all that sacrifice on Calvary's cross for you in vain? Jesus has given every evidence that he loves you, in that he died to make you happy through the treasures of his grace in this life, and to make you happy in the future immortal life. 
     Will parents repent on their backslidings from God? Will they obey the laws of God? His heart of love is drawn out to the needy, to the destitute, and to the perishing. What else but blessing will follow those who are obedient? The parents who administer to their children after the example of Abraham, by the combined influence of authority and affection, will find the favor of God. God has told you, fathers and mothers, that a certain course must be pursued by those for whom Christ has died, and this is the very course you should pursue to meet the approval of God. The Holy One of Israel has laid out before you plain rules for the guidance of all within the home circle. From this high standard of the Lord there can be no departure. The first principles of holiness must be taught to the children both by precept and example. The Lord calls upon fathers and mothers in every family to take hold of this work of educating their children in the fear of the Lord. Lose no time. Sabbath-keeping parents, and even ministers, need to closely examine their children's course of action, and their own course in regard to them; for if these children are growing up without a knowledge of Christ, without conforming to the precepts of God, the parents will be held responsible. These children, by words and works, are communicating the knowledge of evil to other children. Their influence is to lead others to disregard the claims of God. Children and youth need to be daily instructed in the fear of the Lord. Their inclinations and desires are to be restrained, and turned in the right channel of the precious lessons of Jesus. Let parents find out the good way of the Lord themselves, and walk circumspectly in that way; and when perplexity comes, carry it, not to your neighbors, but to God, that you may bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 
     Children who have once given their hearts to God, and have grown indifferent and cold, unthankful and self-indulgent, disobedient to their parents, should seek the Lord anew. Let them come to Jesus just as they are, confess to their parents their sins of disrespect, their disregard of home authority; let them confess to their associates their sinful course in dishonoring their Saviour, and Jesus will receive them again to his favor. Let them acknowledge that they have been acting as children do who have never claimed to love and obey God. This is the very work to be carried on in every household; and if the parents have not encouraged their children in keeping the way of the Lord, if they have allowed temporal matters to engross their attention, and have failed to instruct their children in righteousness, leading them step by step up to God's holy standard; if they have been impatient and full of fault-finding, they cannot expect the Lord to bless them, unless they confess their own neglect of duty, not only to their children, but to those who have been injured by their unrighteous course of action.   
     We ask, Shall there be earnest work done in the few days left of the old year, in preparing our souls to begin the new year aright? Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. In seeking the Lord you may make a degree of progress that will surprise you, if you only enter upon it sincerely, humbling your hearts before God. 
     Many have discarded home religion. But we have no time to devote to self-serving and unimportant matters. One writer has said, "There are only two kinds of persons who can properly be styled reasonable: those who serve God with all the heart because they know him, and those who seek him with all the heart because they know him not." The truth must be planted in your hearts, and become an abiding principle that controls your life. God is at work. All the angels are doing his bidding in diligently working with parents, that the truth may be imprinted upon the soul. Fathers and mothers must be sanctified through the truth if they would have a sanctifying influence upon their families. God requires Christians to be active and earnest, that the souls of those dearest to them may be saved. Those who work for the souls of their own household, will feel a deep interest for their neighbors and for the youth and children about them. There is plenty of work to be done that involves eternal interests. While the powers of darkness are active, plotting for the suppression of God's truth, and making more dense the darkness that surrounds those who are already in darkness, that they may be zealous, sanguine, and determined in their own evil way, shall not those who know the truth for this time be zealous advocates of it? Shall they not awaken to their God-given privileges? Shall those who are enlightened, who are made the depositaries of heavenly treasures, be cold and indifferent? Why, I ask, do not the works of those who claim to know the truth, correspond to the far-reaching principles of the truth? If death is the wages of sin, as we know it to be, then why not cease to sin? Why not come into sacred nearness to God, and by his grace, repress sin in your family? Why not lay a firm, commanding hand upon your children? Have you the tenderness of Christ? Have you the love of Christ that you can require obedience without mingling impatience with your authority? Will you have power from God and the persuasiveness of Christ in your home rule? Then far more will be done than is now accomplished.   
     Members of the church must awake, and do their part, and God will work mightily in behalf of his commandment-keeping people. Will every family in our several churches think seriously, prayerfully, before the old year closes? Have you old grudges? have you difficulties, envyings, jealousies, heart-burnings? Let Jesus come in and cleanse the soul-temple. Let parents and children make the most of the present opportunity, and set their hearts in order. Where difficulties exist among brethren, let them carry out the injunction of the apostle: "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed."  Review and Harold, December 24, 1889.
 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #298 on: January 01, 2017, 05:08:09 PM »

beautiful... powerful !
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #299 on: March 17, 2017, 09:24:54 AM »
A Message for the Strong Ones

  "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak."    Romans 15:1

     In the fifteenth of Romans the apostle Paul declares: "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on Me." Romans 15:1-3.  
     Mark especially the words, "The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on Me." Oh, that these words might sink deep into the heart of every one of you who think you are doing God's service while finding fault with others. This is the weakness, the besetting sin, of some in God's church. The reproaches with which we reproach the servants of the Lord, fall upon Christ Himself. 
    "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Romans 15:4.
     We want to be Bible Christians. We want to come right to the Word, and to carry out this Word in every particular. Then we shall know that Jesus Christ is our healer and our strength. Then we shall have that help and that power which God alone can give to us. God desires that His commandment keeping people shall stand on vantage ground. He desires that they shall stand before Him without fault. In order to do this, they must perfect holy characters through the merits of Christ. They must look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith. As they become changed into His image, the salvation of God will be revealed through them, and unbelievers will be converted. Unbelievers will see and understand that God's Word means something to those who claim to believe it.   
     "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus" (15:5). Why? That we shall be of a great variety of minds? No. The apostle exhorts you to be "likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God" (15:5-7). 
     We are under obligation to God. These truths lead us to realize that when the Holy Spirit is abiding in our hearts and working through us, we shall love one another as Jesus loves us.

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