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Study => Bread of Life => Topic started by: Richard Myers on January 23, 2010, 08:05:07 AM

Title: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 23, 2010, 08:05:07 AM
Titus Chapter 3

3:1   Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,  
3:2   To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men.  
3:3   For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  
3:4   But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  
3:5   Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  
3:6   Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  
3:7   That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  

3:8   This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.  
3:9   But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.  
3:10   A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;  
3:11   Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.  
3:12   When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.  
3:13   Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.  
3:14   And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.  
3:15   All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on January 23, 2010, 08:14:01 AM
Amen and timely.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on February 08, 2010, 01:06:42 PM
His Grace is Exhaustless!

Those in the darkness of error are the purchase of the blood of Christ. They are the fruit of his suffering, and they are to be labored for. Let our canvassers know that it is for the advancement of Christ's kingdom that they are laboring. He will teach them as they go forth to their God-appointed work, to warn the world of a soon-coming judgment. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, the evangelist's work will not, can not, be without fruit. Think of the interest that the Father and the Son have in this work. As the Father loves the Son, so the Son loves those that are his—those who work as he worked to saved perishing souls. None need feel that they are powerless: for Christ declares, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” He has promised that he will give this power to his workers. His power is to become their power. They are to link their souls with God. Christ desires all to enjoy the wealth of his grace, which is beyond all computation. It is limitless, exhaustless. It is ours by eternal covenant, if we will be workers together with God. It is ours if we will unite with him to bring many sons and daughters to God.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 13, 2010, 12:39:18 PM
Heaven

There the redeemed shall know, even as also they are known. The loves and sympathies which God Himself has planted in the soul shall there find truest and sweetest exercise. The pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels and with the faithful ones of all ages who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, the sacred ties that bind together "the whole family in heaven and earth" (Ephesians 3:15)--these help to constitute the happiness of the redeemed.  

There, immortal minds will contemplate with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love. There will be no cruel, deceiving foe to tempt to forgetfulness of God. Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and soul and body.

All the treasures of the universe will be open to the study of God's redeemed. Unfettered by mortality, they wing their tireless flight to worlds afar--worlds that thrilled with sorrow at the spectacle of human woe and rang with songs of gladness at the tidings of a ransomed soul. With unutterable delight the children of earth enter into the joy and the wisdom of unfallen beings. They share the treasures of knowledge and understanding gained through ages upon ages in contemplation of God's handiwork. With undimmed vision they gaze upon the glory of creation--suns and stars and systems, all in their appointed order circling the throne of Deity. Upon all things, from the least to the greatest, the Creator's name is written, and in all are the riches of His power displayed.

And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise.

"And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." Revelation 5:13.  

Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 19, 2010, 12:20:09 PM
Duty


"The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant. In reviewing our past history, having travelled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment and with confidence in Christ as Leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and his teaching in our past history. We are now a strong people, if we will put our trust in the Lord; for we are handling the mighty truths of the word of God. We have everything to be thankful for. If we walk in the light as it shines upon us from the living oracles of God, we shall have large responsibilities, corresponding to the great light given us of God. We have many duties to perform, because we have been made the depositories of sacred truth to be given to the world in all its beauty and glory. We are debtors to God to use every advantage he has entrusted to us to beautify the truth of holiness of character, and to send the message of warning, and of comfort, of hope and love, to those who are in the darkness of error and sin."
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 22, 2010, 08:45:00 AM
Truth Entrusted to Those Plotting to Kill Christ

"Believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews." John 4:22. Jesus had shown that He was free from Jewish prejudice against the Samaritans. Now He sought to break down the prejudice of this Samaritan against the Jews. While referring to the fact that the faith of the Samaritans was corrupted with idolatry, He declared that the great truths of redemption had been committed to the Jews, and that from among them the Messiah was to appear. In the Sacred Writings they had a clear presentation of the character of God and the principles of His government. Jesus classed Himself with the Jews as those to whom God had given a knowledge of Himself.

The Samaritan woman did  not let the corruption of the Jews stop her from accepting the truths entrusted to them. She had seen Jesus.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 23, 2010, 11:22:07 AM
Have Heavy Burdens and Great Trials?

Our hearts must be melted into tenderness and love for one another. We may criticise ourselves just as severely as we please. The one who criticises another gives evidence that he is the very one who needs to criticise himself. Let us pray to God to show you what we must remove from ourselves in order that we may see the kingdom of God. I want to see Jesus. I love him, and I want to behold his matchless charms. So do you. Let us show to the world that there is joy in believing in Christ that his joy is in us, and our joy is full. When we consider Jesus, the propitiation for our sins, shall we let him plead with us in vain? Shall we refuse to deny self. We should preserve every power of mind and body, to work to his name's glory. There is a crown for the overcomer. We want it! Do we want to run the race with patience? Then let us behold His purity, and we will be charmed and will reflect His likeness. That is what God wants us to do.  

So many are weighed down with the cares and disappointments and troubles of this life. Carry these troubles to Jesus, He says, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," Rest.-- this is what we want. It is found only in Jesus. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." He says, "I will give you rest...." but there is something more for us. We have a lesson to learn. "Learn of me," how to find rest. It is in our meekness and lowliness, it is in denying self and following Christ, that we find rest. Do you think it is a terrible burden to follow Christ? He says, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." What makes the burden light? -- Because you are yoked up with Christ. What makes the yoke easy? -- Because he lifts with you, and you are co-operating with him.  

Let us behold Jesus and be changed into His image from glory to glory. Then our great burdens and trials will be light. Jesus promises!!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 27, 2010, 07:48:15 AM
It is Time to Awake!  

The Lord desires that we should become intelligent in divine things, that we may offer up prayers of faith. He desires us to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of his will, that there may be unity with his people. And what an influence there is for good when brethren are in harmony; and what an influence it has for evil when there are strife and dissension among those who profess to believe the truth of God! We should have self-control. We should be disciplined. Parents should educate their children to self-control, that there may be harmony in the home. It is from your conduct at your home that we shall be able to judge in a large measure whether or not you are in a real Christian. Does the peace of Christ abide in your home? Are you educating yourselves and your children for the heavenly courts? Are you, as a household, knit together in love? If we have unity in the church, we must first have it in the home; for it is from the home that the church is formed, and the tempers and dispositions displayed in the family circle are the tempers and dispositions found in the church. A well-ordered family is a powerful influence for good in the world. If we walk in the light, and train our children in the fear of the Lord, we shall reflect the light of the glory of God which shines in the face of Jesus Christ. You may never know on earth how many have responded to the light that you shed by your godly example and influence, but it will be made plain in the day of reward.

Joseph was sold into Egypt. He was put into prison. The enemy strove to overwhelm him in darkness. It seemed as though every ray of hope was extinguished; but his faith took hold on God, and it was rewarded. God brought him out of his dungeon, and made him a light to the world. Our faith is too weak; it does not reach out, and take hold of the promises of God in times of darkness. We need more sympathy and love. There is too much Phariseeism among us. We must cultivate love. We must talk of Jesus and his love, and our hearts will be softened, and subdued under divine influences. There is too much of the spirit that feels, "I am holier than thou." Many are like the Pharisee that stood praying in the temple, and said, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are." The publican who smote upon his breast, and would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but cried, "God be merciful to me a sinner," stood higher before God than did the self-righteous Pharisee. We should seek to understand our own need. We must have the righteousness of Christ to cover us. If we have left the snow of Lebanon, and forsaken the living streams, let us return, and drink at the fountain of life.  

When we are filled with enmity toward the law of God, we may know that there is something wrong with us; and we should examine our hearts, and prove ourselves whether we are in the faith. We must keep the law of God as the apple of our eye; for his law governs the whole universe. I am thankful that we have a standard with which to compare our character. How shall I know that I am following in the light of Heaven? I may know because God has given us a test for doctrine. Says the prophet, "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." It is our privilege to know what is truth, and that no error is of the truth.

There are many who set up a standard of their own, and they trample upon the law of Jehovah. What we believe, influences our life and molds our character; and every one carries with him an atmosphere that is either a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. We are not safe a moment without that living faith that grasps the promises of God.

There will be those who will come in at the eleventh hour, and they will receive an equal reward with those who have long known the truth. And why is this?--It is because they used all their talents to the utmost of their ability, and brought all their powers to bear on the work of advancing the light of the truth. When the truth was brought to their attention, they accepted it with joy, and God could trust them with a large measure of light and power. A great work is to be done in the earth, and while men sleep, Satan sows his tares. We must awake! Jesus is ready to work mightily in our behalf.    
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on April 27, 2010, 08:04:52 AM
Amen! Thank you, Richard, for posting these. I read each one you share.

Quote
Are you educating yourselves and your children for the heavenly courts? Are you, as a household, knit together in love? If we have unity in the church, we must first have it in the home; for it is from the home that the church is formed, and the tempers and dispositions displayed in the family circle are the tempers and dispositions found in the church.

When we as a people realize the natural flow of dispositions into the church, we can readily see our need to reform our homes. We call for it in the church, but it must first begin around the family altar.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 27, 2010, 08:35:11 AM
"Come let us reason together" says our God. What you are looking at here is so important. Many want to disconnect "character" from religion. Character is religion. If our religion does not change our character, then what good is it? The alcoholic knows of the power of the gospel when he accepts Jesus Christ into his heart. How about the "common" sinner? Is God's grace of no avail for the "little" sins? How absurd the thought!  That grace only goes to others and is not for me and my "little" sins, is a false gospel. The truth will set us free indeed! From our "little" sins of unkindness and pride. Selfishness is sin. Christ suffered and died that we might die to self and live unto Him. Baptism is a representation of this death to self and a new birth of a new creature. That new creature does not reveal selfishness (sin). As we see this sin in us, we know that we are not connected to Christ. But, we ought not despair. Where is He? He stands at the door of the heart, knocking, wanting back in. Shall we open the door today and invite Him in? Yes! We do not want to deny Jesus His reward for all He has done for us. Reflecting His character is His reward! You and I have this power to bless our Saviour today!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 02, 2010, 09:23:41 AM
A Promise for Laodicea

Ezekiel
  36:22   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.  
  36:23   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.  
  36:24   For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.  
  36:25   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.  
  36:26   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.  
  36:27   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.  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 23, 2010, 08:58:07 PM

A Parents Charge


Well-ordered and well-disciplined families are an example that God gives to our world. You want a well-ordered house. God wants the light of His love to rise upon you. He wants that His ministers should search for the careless ones--His heritage bought with His own blood. The children are God's property that you have in charge. It is no light matter to know how you shall deal with God's heritage--that you may have that wisdom that is from above, that at last you may be able to say, Here, Lord, are the children Thou hast committed to my charge. 

What is your practice? Are you injuring your understanding through using narcotics, tobacco, wine, and liquor? I warn you of that path because God warns you all from it. You must give a good example to your children. It was sin that brought the agony upon the Son of the infinite God, taking the wrath of God upon His own divine soul. What hereditary trusts have you gathered? Have you gathered them up from Abel, Noah, Abraham? God says of Abraham, "I know him that he will command his children and his household after him." 

You want to train your children not only for this life but for the future, immortal life as well. You want to have a hold upon God. God will inquire in the judgment, What have you done with My possession? There is a judgment to come and everyone [is] to be judged according to the deeds done in the body. God knows that we cannot cleanse the soul from a sin; He knows that there is no power with us. 
 
Just as soon as Abraham pitched his tent he erected his altar, where he offered his morning and evening sacrifices to God. Today God wants you to offer up your morning and evening petitions to Him. Are you weak in moral power? Man, a partaker of the divine nature, may overcome what? The corruptions that are in the world through lust. That man may do justice in everything, and teach his children to do justice in everything, not by being idle, but that God had given them hands [that do] not hang useless. He wants everyone to exercise the talents that God has given them, waiting, watching, praying, and working.       
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 28, 2010, 08:41:18 PM
Grace That Transforms the Life

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.  

Often the question arises, Why, then, 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 worldling. 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.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on May 29, 2010, 05:01:25 AM
Quite to the point! Excellent descriptions of grace. Thank you, Richard.

John Newton knew the power of grace. A few of the lyrics we know so well from his abiding song:

 Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 30, 2010, 11:07:09 AM
Amen! Grace is more than a word, it is the power that transforms!!  It is seen in Christ suffering on the cross for us while we were yet sinners!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 31, 2010, 11:11:22 AM
Lord, Save Me!

"Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. And He said, Come." 

Looking unto Jesus, Peter walks securely; but as in self-satisfaction he glances back toward his companions in the boat, his eyes are turned from the Saviour. The wind is boisterous. The waves roll high, and come directly between him and the Master; and he is afraid. For a moment Christ is hidden from his view, and his faith gives way. He begins to sink. But while the billows talk with death, Peter lifts his eyes from the angry waters, and fixing them upon Jesus, cries, "Lord, save me." Immediately Jesus grasps the outstretched hand, saying, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" 

Walking side by side, Peter's hand in that of his Master, they stepped into the boat together. But Peter was now subdued and silent. He had no reason to boast over his fellows, for through unbelief and self-exaltation he had very nearly lost his life. When he turned his eyes from Jesus, his footing was lost, and he sank amid the waves. 

When trouble comes upon us, how often we are like Peter! We look upon the waves, instead of keeping our eyes fixed upon the Saviour. Our footsteps slide, and the proud waters go over our souls. Jesus did not bid Peter come to Him that he should perish; He does not call us to follow Him, and then forsake us. "Fear not," He says; "for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour." Isaiah 43:1-3.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on May 31, 2010, 12:37:35 PM
Quote
"Fear not," He says; "for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour." Isaiah 43:1-3.

I dare say, this is one of the most endearing texts ever written. "Thou art Mine" - then the promises that come with being called a son and daughter of God. Oh, what a Father!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 08, 2010, 06:48:08 AM
Are We Ready?


God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan's constant resort—to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce—is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself. To accomplish this, he works through both religious and secular authorities, moving them to the enforcement of human laws in defiance of the law of God.
 
Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government. Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives.

As the Protestant churches reject the clear, Scriptural arguments in defense of God's law, they will long to silence those whose faith they cannot overthrow by the Bible. Though they blind their own eyes to the fact, they are now adopting a course which will lead to the persecution of those who conscientiously refuse to do what the rest of the Christian world are doing, and acknowledge the claims of the papal sabbath.

The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet's words: "The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:17.

With so many voices in the world today, where can we turn to find truth? How can we know God’s will and guard against Satan’s deceptions? Does it really matter what we believe?

"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20. The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible; for its plain utterances reveal his deceptions. At every revival of God's work the prince of evil is aroused to more intense activity; he is now putting forth his utmost efforts for a final struggle against Christ and His followers. The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.

Those who endeavor to obey all the commandments of God will be opposed and derided. They can stand only in God. In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His word; they can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them. None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand. Are our feet planted on the rock of God's immutable word? Are we prepared to stand firm in defense of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus?
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 09, 2010, 12:01:02 PM
There Are More Like Timothy and Titus

The Apostle Paul did not forget the churches that he had established. After making a missionary tour, he and Barnabas retraced their steps and visited the churches they had raised up, choosing from them men whom they could train to unite in proclaiming the gospel.

This feature of Paul's work contains an important lesson for ministers today. The apostle made it a part of his work to educate young men for the office of the ministry. He took them with him on his missionary journeys, and thus they gained an experience that later enabled them to fill positions of responsibility. When separated from them, he still kept in touch with their work, and his letters to Timothy and to Titus are evidences of how deep was his desire for their success.  

Experienced workers today do a noble work when, instead of trying to carry all the burdens themselves, they train younger workers and place burdens on their shoulders.  Paul never forgot the responsibility resting on him as a minister of Christ, or that if souls were lost through unfaithfulness on his part, God would hold him accountable. "Whereof I am made a minister," he declared of the gospel, "according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily." Colossians 1:25-29.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 11, 2010, 09:59:10 AM
Good Fruit Cannot Come From a Bad Tree

To know God is, in the scriptural sense of the term, to be one with Him in heart and mind, having an experimental knowledge of Him, holding reverential communion with Him as the Redeemer. Only through sincere obedience can this communion be obtained. Where this communion is lacking, the heart is not in any sense a temple of God, but is controlled by the foe, who is working out his own purposes through the human agency. Such a man, whatever his profession or claims, is not a temple of the Holy Spirit.

The experience is perfected by fruit bearing. He who does not bear good fruit in words and deeds, in the strength of elevated, ennobling principle, is a bad tree. The fruit that he bears is unpalatable to God. His professed knowledge of Christ is a falsehood, a deception. In the light of the love of Christ, the gospel is an open book. This is the true light, which Christ came to bring to the world. The Saviour’s true disciples have received this love.

Following Christ’s example of unselfish service, trusting like little children in His merits, and obeying His commands, we shall receive the approval of God.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 12, 2010, 09:56:42 PM
The Faith of Caleb

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

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

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

The adversary of souls is constantly seeking to divert our minds by bringing in side-issues. Let us not be deceived. Let enemies handle your name and mine as they please. Let them distort, misrepresent our words and deeds. Let them fabricate falsehoods as best pleases them. We cannot afford to allow our minds to be diverted from Jesus and the preparation of soul which we must have in order to meet him in peace.  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 13, 2010, 08:14:55 AM

The Merits of Christ and Our Work


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is not one thing we can do to merit salvation, it is a free gift. Christ paid the price and offers us eternal life. But, it is upon condition. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way. We must work with God to accept that gift. We must come to Jesus just as we are and He will indeed change us as we cling to His hand. We must guard the avenues of our mind and by beholding Him we shall be changed into His image from glory to glory. It is His power, but we must make the effort to come to Him and to cling to Him.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 14, 2010, 02:51:18 PM
Perfection of a Christian Character

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

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

As an example, if your wife is not converted and you want her to be, then give her an example of Christ. Love her in the "little things" of life. Be kind and courteous, pick her a rose, and treat her the way you did before you were married.  As you do so, your character will be refined in the process. She may not deserve the grace offered, but then neither do you nor I.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on June 14, 2010, 02:53:44 PM
Amen and amen!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 16, 2010, 10:57:51 AM
Creation of the Earth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God is the foundation of everything. All true science is in harmony with his works; all true education leads to obedience to his government. Science opens new wonders to our view; she soars high, and explores new depths; but she brings nothing from her research that conflicts with divine revelation. Ignorance may seek to support false views of God by appeals to science; but the book of nature and the written word shed light upon each other. We are thus led to adore the Creator, and to have an intelligent trust in his word.  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 20, 2010, 04:03:27 PM

Fathers

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

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

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 12, 2010, 06:05:09 AM

Uncovering the Enemy's Devices




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


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

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

We profess to be Bible Christians, and we are not left in the dark to take step after step in uncertainty. We are to know where we are going. We cannot be in darkness if we are following Christ as our leader; for He says, "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). When the way seems beset with difficulty, and clouded with darkness, we must believe that there is light ahead, and not turn to the right or left, but press forward, notwithstanding all our trials and temptations.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on July 12, 2010, 06:40:19 AM
Excellent & Amen!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 15, 2010, 01:02:49 PM

Breaking Satan's Hold




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


There is a work before us to subdue the pride and vanity that seek a place in our hearts, and through penitence and faith to bring ourselves into familiar and holy converse with Christ. We must deny self, and fight continually against pride. We must hide self in Jesus, and let Him appear in our character and conversation. While we look constantly to Him whom our sins have pierced and our sorrows have burdened, we shall acquire strength to be like Him. Our lives, our deportment, will testify how highly we prize our Redeemer, and the salvation He has wrought out for us at such a cost to Himself. And our peace will be as a river while we bind ourselves in willing, happy captivity to Jesus. 
 
Through the plan of salvation, Jesus is breaking Satan's hold upon the human family and rescuing souls from his power. All the hatred and malignity of the archrebel is stirred as he beholds the evidence of Christ's supremacy, and with fiendish power and cunning he works to wrest from Him the remnant of the children of men who have accepted His salvation. 
 
He leads men into skepticism, causing them to lose confidence in God and to separate from His love; he tempts them to break His law, and then he claims them as his captives and contests the right of Christ to take them from him. He knows that those who seek God earnestly for pardon and grace will obtain it; therefore he presents their sins before them to discourage them. He is constantly seeking occasion against those who are trying to obey God. Even their best and most acceptable services he seeks to make appear corrupt. By countless devices, the most subtle and the most cruel, he endeavors to secure their condemnation. Man cannot meet these charges himself. In his sin-stained garments, confessing his guilt, he stands before God. But Jesus our Advocate presents an effectual plea in behalf of all who by repentance and faith have committed the keeping of their souls to Him. He pleads their cause and vanquishes their accuser by the mighty arguments of Calvary. His perfect obedience to God's law, even unto the death of the cross, has given Him all power in heaven and in earth, and He claims of His Father mercy and reconciliation for guilty man. To the accuser of His people He declares: "'The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.' These are the purchase of My blood, brands plucked from the burning." Those who rely upon Him in faith receive the comforting assurance: "Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." All that have put on the robe of Christ's righteousness will stand before Him as chosen and faithful and true. Satan has no power to pluck them out of the hand of Christ. Not one soul that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. His word is pledged: "Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me." The promise given to Joshua is made to all: "If thou wilt keep my charge, . . . I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." Angels of God will walk on either side of them, even in this world, and they will stand at last among the angels that surround the throne of God. We cannot answer the charges of Satan against us. Christ alone can make an effectual plea in our behalf. He is able to silence the accuser with arguments founded not upon our merits, but on His own.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 17, 2010, 06:12:37 PM

A Fearful Responsibility to Warn




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



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

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

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

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

He who serves under the bloodstained banner of Immanuel will have that to do which will call for heroic effort and patient endurance. But the soldier of the cross stands unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle. As the enemy presses the attack against him, he turns to the stronghold for aid, and as he brings to the Lord the promises of the word, he is strengthened for the duties of the hour. He realizes his need of strength from above. The victories that he gains do not lead to self exaltation, but cause him to lean more and more heavily on the Mighty One. Relying upon that Power, he is enabled to present the message of salvation so forcibly that it vibrates in other minds.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on July 17, 2010, 07:22:59 PM
Amen! This is very similar to the Testimony reading a few days ago:

Unless we exert to the utmost the powers which He has given us, we shall ever remain weak and inefficient. Much prayer and the most vigorous exercise of the mind are necessary if we would be prepared to do the work which God would entrust to us. Many never attain to the position which they might occupy, because they wait for God to do for them that which He has given them power to do for themselves. All who are fitted for usefulness in this life must be trained by the severest mental and moral discipline, and then God will assist them by combining divine power with human effort.  {4T 611.2} 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 17, 2010, 09:48:30 PM
It seems that man has a part to play not only in his own salvation, but the salvation of others. In other words, there are many battles to fight with self and then we must stand up with and for Christ. In love we must give the warning message. If we do not, then the blood of those lost will be on our heads.

In case some are not familiar with this message, it is important enough for Ezekiel to repeat it another two times. It would be good to read where he repeated the message. It is almost exactly the same, but there is one small modification that addresses self righteousness. A blessing will attend all who take the time to find and read the two additional repeated warnings.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 22, 2010, 11:57:19 AM

The Day of the Lord is Near!




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



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

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

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

All the righteous are untouched by the flames. They can walk through the fire, as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked in the midst of the furnace heated seven times hotter than it was wont to be heated. The Hebrew worthies could not be consumed, because the form of the fourth, the Son of God, was with them. So in the day of the coming of the Lord, smoke and flame will be powerless to harm the righteous. Those who are united with the Lord will escape unscathed. Earthquakes, hurricanes, flame, and flood cannot injure those who are prepared to meet their Saviour in peace. But those who rejected our Saviour, and scourged and crucified Him, will be among those who will be raised from the dead to behold His coming in the clouds of heaven, attended by the heavenly host--ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 28, 2010, 09:08:22 AM
The posts on "diversity" have been moved to the existing topic "Unity Amid Diversity" in the Worship Forum.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Donna H on July 28, 2010, 09:34:48 AM
It seems that man has a part to play not only in his own salvation, but the salvation of others. In other words, there are many battles to fight with self and then (and while we fight?)  we must stand up with and for Christ. In love  we must give the warning message. If we do not, then the blood of those lost will be on our heads.


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

God bless, Donna
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 28, 2010, 09:56:18 AM

Professing Christian or True Christian?




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



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

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

So it is today. There are still the two classes. Is ours only a profession of faith, or do we live our faith?
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 30, 2010, 04:38:12 PM

By Beholding Christ Become Changed




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

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

There is a great work to be done, and the nearer we live to Jesus, the better fitted we shall be for fulfilling our mission in the world. We are to gather sheaves for the Master. We cannot afford to live simply to please ourselves, and to seek our own will. "Even Christ pleased not himself."He lived  a life of self-denial and sacrifice. He passed through every pathway of human suffering and temptation. He gave his life that he might reach to the very depth of human misery, and lift up a fallen race. What an infinite price he gave for the life of this rebellious world! He bought us with his own precious blood, and we are not our own. Our thoughts and affections belong to him. There are many who profess to love Jesus, but they seek nothing but the gratification of their own selfish desires. They are not seeking to gather with Christ; but, by example and influence, they are scattering abroad. It is only in proportion to the devotion and consecration to Christ, that the Christian exerts an influence for the blessing and uplifting of mankind. If there is no actual service, no genuine love, no reality of experience, there is no power to help, no connection with Heaven, no savor of Christ in the life. The church can reflect light to the world only by the manifestation of sincere piety and devotion.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 06, 2010, 05:38:07 AM

Obedience to God's Commandments


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

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 07, 2010, 06:12:39 AM

No Enmity Towards Sin or Satan Until Converted

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



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

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

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

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

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 18, 2010, 07:06:06 PM
The Flesh and the Spirit

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



There is but little moral power in the professed Christian world. Wrong habits have been indulged, and physical and moral laws have been disregarded, until the general standard of virtue and piety is exceedingly low. Habits which lower the standard of physical health, enfeeble mental and moral strength. The indulgence of unnatural appetites and passions has a controlling influence upon the nerves of the brain. The animal organs are strengthened, while the moral are depressed. It is impossible for an intemperate man to be a Christian, for his higher powers are brought into slavery to the passions.
  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 24, 2010, 01:52:17 PM
Afflictions are God's Workmen, Especially in These Last Days


When he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 2 Chronicles 33:12.



"In the world ye shall have tribulation" (John 16:33), says Christ; but in Me ye shall have peace. The trials to which Christians are subjected in sorrow, adversity, and reproach are the means appointed of God to separate the chaff from the wheat. Our pride, selfishness, evil passions, and love of worldly pleasure must all be overcome; therefore God sends us afflictions to test and prove us, and show us that these evils exist in our characters. We must overcome through His strength and grace, that we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. "For our light affliction," says Paul, "which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:17, 18). Afflictions, crosses, temptations, adversity, and our varied trials are God's workmen to refine us, sanctify us, and fit us for the heavenly garner.

Many of your afflictions have been visited upon you, in the wisdom of God, to bring you closer to the throne of grace. He softens and subdues His children by sorrows and trials. This world is God's workshop, where He fashions us for the courts of heaven. He uses the planing knife upon our quivering hearts until the roughness and irregularities are removed and we are fitted for our proper places in the heavenly building. Through tribulation and distress the Christian becomes purified and strengthened, and develops a character after the model that Christ has given.
 
Let the afflictions which pain us so grievously become instructive lessons, teaching us to press forward toward the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ. Let us be encouraged by the thought that the Lord is soon to come. Let this hope gladden our hearts.    

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 28, 2010, 06:57:59 AM
Justified by Faith



Satan will come in many ways to tempt the soul away from Christ. He will first tell you that you are good enough of yourself; that you do not need a work of reformation wrought for you. He will suggest to you that you have made but few mistakes in your life, and that these will be overbalanced by the good you have done. If you have lived such a life as he would make you believe you have, it would be like a chain with unsound links in it, wholly worthless. One sin unrepented of is enough to close the gates of heaven against you. It was because man could not be saved with one stain of sin upon him, that Jesus came to die on Calvary's cross. Your only hope is to look to Christ and live. He came to save to the uttermost all who came unto him; and he is fully able to do all that he has undertaken to do for you. He will lift us up from the degradation into which we have fallen because of sin. 

We should exercise living faith in Christ. When our hopes of life seem to be slipping away, Jesus is ready to put his everlasting arms beneath us, and to draw us to his heart, and to comfort, encourage, and bless us. As soon as you surrender wholly to Christ, he will accept you. Christ has said that it was his will that your joy should be full. Why should you not have fullness of joy, when through Christ you have the prospect of eternal life at his coming? Why should we not every day show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light? "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? He wants us to grow better in his love every day. As we follow on to know the Lord, we shall know that his goings forth are prepared as the morning. The sun rises in dimness; but as it begins to climb the heavens, its rays become more and more bright. Thus it is with the Christian in his life. He catches the bright beams of light from Christ, and by trusting in him he becomes better acquainted with his Saviour. It is a difficult matter for human nature to have perfect confidence in divine power, but the Lord will strengthen our faith, and we may have a precious experience in the knowledge of Jesus. We do not have the simplicity we should have in coming to our heavenly Father. We are sinners, but Christ has died for us, and it is our privilege to place ourselves upon the platform of his promises. If we have the love of Jesus in our hearts, we shall express it in our actions toward others. We shall proclaim to those who are out of Christ the beauty of faith and religion. It is not our place to inquire whether we shall have trials if we walk in the path of obedience; we are to search for the truth as for hidden treasures, and to accept it whatever may be its cost.
 
Christ prayed that his disciples might be sanctified through the truth. It is not error but the truth of God that sanctifies the soul. When we follow in the humble path of obedience, we leave a bright track heavenward for others to walk in. It is our privilege to have a deeper experience in the things of God. Will you review your past life, will you see where your defects and mistakes have been, and when you see that they are many, will you remember that Jesus lives to make intercession for you, and not sink down in discouragement? Jesus pleads his blood before the Father, and says, "I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions as a thick cloud." Let this be the language of your heart: "Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." Do not even for a moment distrust your Saviour's power to save you. Fall in your helplessness at the foot of the cross; today believe the promise of God. Jesus loves us with a love that is infinite. Oh, what love, what matchless love, he has shown for the children of men! Jesus does not desire you to wait to make yourself better; he desires you to take him today as your Saviour. This very day say: "He is mine, and I am his. I will give my soul into his keeping, and he will keep that which I have committed to his trust against that day. Through faith he will give me victory over the temptations of the enemy."   

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on August 28, 2010, 07:37:06 AM
Quote
Afflictions are God's Workmen, Especially in These Last Days


When he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 2 Chronicles 33:12.

As they increase in manifold intensity, God gives us the strength to endure them. He will NEVER place upon us greater trials than we can possibly pass through, coming out of them brighter and more refined than we were before they were given.

A little testimony: Two days ago there was a trial of such magnitude that I was sure was created to test me to the very limits of endurance and maybe a little bit beyond. Just as it was building to its full manifestation, a brother "in Christ, indeed," called and we ended that conversation in prayer. Providence? Oh, yes! God sent me the voice of one who helped me see beyond the immediate situation. The trial lasted a full night and into the morning. Without the spiritual preparation to meet it head-on, my hope could have been crushed and failure of that test, assured. Instead, Jesus heard all and implanted within my soul  peace and a calm assurance, coupled with a sense to remain silent, letting a fiendish evil fully expose itself. When all was over the voice of a child filled the room with love and wisdom beyond its years. It was something to behold and the question was asked: "Where did that come from?"

The answer: God alone.

Although sleep deprived and mentally exhausted, I left home to work a full day of hard physical labor, leaving the trial just passed through with our Eternal Father. Peace was mine because of Him. What wondrous love that He watches over us through the very trials presented to refine, purify - sanctify!      
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 28, 2010, 07:53:34 AM
Amen!  This is the Christian experience and is so far different from the nominal Christian's experience. Many professing Christians believe that Romans 7 is all that they can hope for. But, your testimony, dear sister, is that God will allow great trials and at the same time will so fill us with His Spirit that we shall not be overcome, but rather He will manifest Himself through the one who is fully surrendered to Him.

God did not tell us it would be easy. He said He would give us grace to endure. He would make us partakers of His divine nature and not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. When we look at the story of Job, we see that God is in control and that He allows great trials. They are for our good and for His glory. There is nothing good in man unless we have Christ. Paul was thankful for the thorn in his side. He tells us why. It kept him dependent upon the Lord. If Paul needed a thorn in his side, how much more I.

Thank you for sharing, Sybil. This is the experience we all are to go through as we prepare to receive Jesus at His soon coming. We are His witnesses and we are to tell of His goodness. We are to sing praises to His holy name as we go through the fires of affliction.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Donna H on August 29, 2010, 07:48:34 PM
Do not even for a moment distrust your Saviour's power to save you.  

Sigh. That lets me breathe.
Amen.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 30, 2010, 11:17:10 AM
Yes, we all can sigh and breathe.   If we question His power to save us, we should be undone. We know ourselves better than anyone else, except God and Satan. And we know our sinfulness after the Holy Spirit has shown us.  We cannot save ourselves and are at the mercy of Christ. He longs to save us. He is continually calling to us, speaking to us, drawing us, revealing His love to us!

The Sabbath Day was given to us that we might know of His creative power. Such power! He spoke and it was!!!  And, He has that same power at work to re-create us!!! The promise He makes is that He will finish what He has begun in us!  Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.  Phillipians 1:6. Our part is to feed upon Jesus, to drink His blood and eat His flesh, to behold Jesus! By beholding Him we shall be changed into the same image from glory to glory. (See 1 Cor. 3:18).
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 05, 2010, 07:16:23 AM

Reflecting Christ



Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. Daniel 12:10.


The world is a theater. The actors, the inhabitants of the world, are preparing to act their part in the last great drama. God is lost sight of. There is no unity of purpose, except as parties of people confederate to gain their ends. God is looking on. His purposes in regard to His rebellious subjects will be fulfilled. The world has not been given into human hands, though God is permitting the elements of confusion and disorder to bear sway for a season. A power from beneath is working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are binding themselves together in secret societies. Those who are yielding to the passion for confederation are working out the plans of the enemy. The cause will be followed by the effect.

Transgression has almost reached its limit. Confusion fills the world, and a great terror is soon to come upon human beings. The end is very near. We who know the truth should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise.
 
The wicked have chosen Satan as their leader. Under his control, the wonderful faculties of the mind are used to construct agencies of destruction. God has given the human mind great power, power to show that the Creator has endowed human beings with ability to do a great work against the enemy of all righteousness, power to show what victories may be gained in the conflict against evil.
 
But when those to whom God has entrusted capabilities give themselves into the hands of the enemy, they become a power to destroy. When people do not make God first and last and best in everything, when they do not give themselves to Him for the carrying out of His purposes, Satan comes in and uses in his service the minds that, given to God, could achieve great good. Under his direction they do an evil work with great and masterly power. God designed them to work on a high plane of action, to enter into His mind, and thus acquire an education that would enable them to work the works of righteousness. But they know nothing of this education. They are helpless. Their powers do not guide them aright, for they are under the enemy’s control.

The way to holiness and heaven is found in the path of obedience. "“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on September 06, 2010, 01:51:59 AM
What a solemn warning. It reminds me of a sermon I heard many years ago - "Whose Side Are You On?"
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 17, 2010, 12:08:10 PM
Liberty (of conscience)



"Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that from evil maketh himself a prey." Isaiah 59:14, 15.

Christ was loyal to God's commandments, setting aside the human traditions and requirements which had been exalted in their place. Because of this He was hated and persecuted. This history is repeated. The laws and traditions of men are exalted above the law of God, and those who are true to God's commandments suffer reproach and persecution. Christ, because of His faithfulness to God, was accused as a Sabbathbreaker and blasphemer. He was declared to be possessed of a devil, and was denounced as Beelzebub. In like manner His followers are accused and misrepresented. Thus Satan hopes to lead them to sin, and cast dishonor upon God.

Today, the Orange Order in Ireland has called on its members to protest the Pope's current visit to England. It says that anyone welcoming Pope Benedict XVI should be warned that they are acknowledging "his primacy and universal supremacy as Vicar of Christ on earth."  While some in England protest the papal visit, they forget that England followed in the path of Rome. Almost every century furnishes examples of what bigotry and malice can do under a plea of serving God by protecting the rights of Church and State. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. In the seventeenth century thousands of non-conformist ministers suffered under the rule of the Church of England. Persecution always follows religious favoritism on the part of secular governments.

We also see other religions that do not covet religious liberty, but rather by their religion are set to enforce their beliefs on others. This is not without success when the church uses the arms of the state to enforce her dogma. Praise God for America and her Constitution that protects her citizens from such abominations as the world has witnessed through long centuries.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 21, 2010, 08:35:25 AM
Liberty Removed



"Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that from evil maketh himself a prey." Isaiah 59:14, 15.

As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavorable positions. For their own sake, they should, while they have the opportunity, become intelligent in regard to disease, its causes, prevention, and cure. All those who do this will find a field of labor anywhere. There will be suffering ones, plenty of them, who will need help, not only among those of our own faith, but largely among those who know not the truth. The shortness of time demands an energy that has not been aroused among those who claim to believe the present truth.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 04, 2010, 05:00:48 PM
Behold, What Manner of Love



"God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.


Only as we contemplate the great plan of redemption can we have a just appreciation of the character of God. The work of creation was a manifestation of His love; but the gift of God to save a guilty and ruined race alone reveals the infinite depths of divine tenderness and compassion. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." While the law of God is upheld, and its justice vindicated, the sinner can be pardoned. The dearest gift that Heaven itself had to bestow has been poured out, that God "might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."  

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." What love, what matchless love, that, sinners and aliens tho we are, we may be brought back to God, and adopted into His family! We may address Him by the endearing name, "Our Father," which is a sign of our affection for Him, and a pledge of His tender regard for us. And the Son of God, beholding the heirs of grace, is not ashamed to call them brethren. They have even a more sacred relationship to God than have the angels who have never fallen.  

Human love may change, but God's love knows no change. "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Circumstances may separate friends; the broad waters of the ocean may roll between them; but no circumstance, no distance, can separate us from the love of God. "I am persuaded," Paul declares, "that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 19, 2010, 08:17:30 AM
Jesus, Our Example



Satan represents God's law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience. For this He took upon Himself our nature, and passed through our experiences. "In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren." Hebrews 2:17. If we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure, then upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us. Therefore Jesus was "in all points tempted like as we are." Hebrews 4:15. He endured every trial to which we are subject. And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us. As man, He met temptation, and overcame in the strength given Him from God. He says, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Psalm 40:8. As He went about doing good, and healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God's law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God. 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 04, 2010, 05:31:33 AM
The "Lamb" Without Blemish



"This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." John 17:3


Jesus came to plant the cross between heaven and earth, between divinity and humanity. There he offered himself to God as a lamb without blemish, a spotless sacrifice for the sins of men. What means it that the divine Victim hangs there in dying agony?--It means that not one jot or tittle of the law could be set aside to save the transgressor of law, for whom Christ became substitute and surety. Christ consented to become man's sacrifice on Calvary's cross, and in him divine justice and mercy met together, so that God could pardon the transgressor, and vindicate his justice, and uphold his throne in righteousness.  
  
It is by beholding the innocent "Lamb of God" upon the cross of Calvary that the sinner is drawn to his Saviour; and as he realizes that Christ has died for him, his heart is melted into contrition and tenderness. He repents toward God because he has transgressed the divine law, and he has faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ as his substitute and surety.  

Jesus was the "Lamb without blemish and without spot." 1 Peter 1:19.  His physical body was without defect. Spiritually He was without sin. He was the only Sinless One. But, He was an example of what we all may become spiritually through Him. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. 


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on November 04, 2010, 02:09:02 PM
Quote
Jesus was the "Lamb without blemish and without spot." 1 Peter 1:19.  His physical body was without defect. Spiritually He was without sin. He was the only Sinless One. But, He was an example of what we all may become spiritually through Him. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. 

Glory! and Hallelujah! 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Tim2 on November 04, 2010, 03:18:59 PM
His human nature was without sin, also.  Inspiration tells us that His human nature was created -- made like us "except for the sin."  We are born in need of a Savior -- He was born "God with us" -- the Lamb without spot or blemish or any such thing.  As a divine being He could not die, it was His sinless humanity that died for us that day, but His divinity experience everything that His humanity was going through.  That is how He can not only be our sinless Substitute, but our sympathetic elder Brother -- our Redeemer and our example.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on November 04, 2010, 09:44:15 PM
I'll tell you, Tim, it is an amazement to consider God in human form upon this earth with one purpose. I cannot comprehend that kind of love. It will forever baffle my imperfect mind that He should love us so. This afternoon that thought became almost overwhelming and all I could do was weep while considering, "Do I love Him enough, do I consider Him enough?" Will we ever comprehend the cost of the death of God on our behalf? I'm not sure we can.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 05, 2010, 06:13:29 AM
The closer we get to Him, the better our vision of who we are and how far removed we are from the perfection of character we see in Him. But, He does not require some mighty work we cannot attain to. He wants the evil heart. And then He will cleanse it.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7,9.

By faith we believe this. We do not doubt His Word nor His power to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He says Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.  Isaiah  1:18-20.

Today is the day of salvation. If we will come to Jesus, if we will learn of Him, He will change our lives. His Spirit will live within each of us......now!  :) Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but today!! Why would we wait? What must we give up? An evil sin polluted heart!  God loves us just as we are!! But, He will not leave us just as we are. He will pick us up and sit us down with Him on His throne!!!

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.  Rev. 3:20, 21.  What a friend we have in Jesus!!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 11, 2010, 09:25:43 AM

Be Ready for the Soon Appearing of Jesus!



For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Tim  6:10-14  


Jesus is soon coming, and our position should be that of waiting and watching for his appearing. We should not allow anything to come in between us and Jesus. We must learn here to sing the song of heaven, so that when our warfare is over we can join in the song of the heavenly angels in the city of God. What is that song? It is praise, and honor, and glory unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. We shall meet opposition; we shall be hated of all men for Christ's sake, and by Satan, because he knows that there is with the followers of Christ a divine power, which will undermine his influence. We cannot escape reproach. It will come; but we should be very careful that we are not reproached for our own sins and follies, but for Christ's sake.  

We should not allow our time to be so occupied with things of a temporal nature, or even with matters pertaining to the cause of God, that we shall pass on day after day without pressing close to the bleeding side of Jesus. We want to commune with him daily. We are exhorted to fight the good fight of faith. It will be a hard battle to maintain a life of earnest faith; but if we cast ourselves wholly upon Christ, with a settled determination to cleave only to him, we shall be able to repulse the enemy, and gain a glorious victory. The apostle Paul exhorts us, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” Again he says, “Now the just shall live by faith.”  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on November 11, 2010, 10:01:10 AM
Amen! especially this part:

Quote
... if we cast ourselves wholly upon Christ, with a settled determination to cleave only to him, we shall be able to repulse the enemy, and gain a glorious victory. The apostle Paul exhorts us, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” Again he says, “Now the just shall live by faith.” 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 11, 2010, 01:41:10 PM
Amen!!  I think that we are to learn this lesson daily until we figure it out!  :)   And then we are to keep learning more about the God who created us and His love that is past our ability to know fully! It is by beholding this great love that our trust (faith) in Him will grow. His promises are sure and will not fail us as  we submit and trust in Him.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on November 11, 2010, 02:12:57 PM
Amen!!  I think that we are to learn this lesson daily until we figure it out!  :)  

Yes, "going over the same ground again" until we figure it out. A tremendous lesson I learned in this most recent unpleasantness with my body is that I thought I had already cast myself wholly upon Christ, with all my heart relying upon Him but I guess not. Every door representing possible medical treatment was quickly closed and that prompted me to go to yet another in search of anything that could be done, even comfort at that point. But nothing - no one to do anything, so there I was "working, working, working" instead of being still, patient and waiting, relying wholly upon Him. How many times has that happened? I don't know.

It has spawned a deeper experience. Thank you, Lord.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 11, 2010, 06:14:56 PM
Amen!! Tribulation worketh patience and patience, experience!!  We need this experience that we may be His witnesses!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 19, 2010, 06:24:19 PM
Whatsoever We Ask, We Receive


"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Luke 11:9.


As Christ lived the law in humanity, so we may do if we will take hold of the Strong for strength. But we are not to place the responsibility of our duty upon others, and wait for them to tell us what to do. We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. The Lord will teach us our duty just as willingly as He will teach somebody else. If we come to Him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Our hearts will often burn within us as One draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as Christ has promised. Whatever was given to Christ--the "all things" to supply the need of fallen men--was given to Him as the head and representative of humanity. And "whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight." 1 John 3:22.      


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 24, 2010, 08:10:36 PM
Thanksgiving Day in America (tomorrow)


Abraham Lincoln Proclaims a National Thanksgiving Day



October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.  To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.  In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.  Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.  Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.  They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people.  I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.   And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

A. Lincoln

  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 27, 2010, 09:36:54 PM
False Teachers in the Church


To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.  Issiah 8:20



Christ had foretold that deceivers would arise, through whose influence "iniquity" should "abound," and "the love of many" should "wax cold." Matthew 24:12. He had warned the disciples that the church would be in more danger from this evil than from the persecution of her enemies. Again and again Paul warned the believers against these false teachers. This peril, above all others, they must guard against; for by receiving false teachers, they would open the door to errors by which the enemy would dim the spiritual perceptions and shake the confidence of those newly come to the faith of the gospel. Christ was the standard by which they were to test the doctrines presented. All that was not in harmony with His teachings they were to reject. Christ crucified for sin, Christ risen from the dead, Christ ascended on high--this was the science of salvation that they were to learn and teach. 
 
The warnings of the word of God regarding the perils surrounding the Christian church belong to us today. As in the days of the apostles men tried by tradition and philosophy to destroy faith in the Scriptures, so today, by the pleasing sentiments of higher criticism, evolution, spiritualism, theosophy, and pantheism, the enemy of righteousness is seeking to lead souls into forbidden paths. To many the Bible is as a lamp without oil, because they have turned their minds into channels of speculative belief that bring misunderstanding and confusion. The work of higher criticism, in dissecting, conjecturing, reconstructing, is destroying faith in the Bible as a divine revelation. It is robbing God's word of power to control, uplift, and inspire human lives. By spiritualism, multitudes are taught to believe that desire is the highest law, that license is liberty, and that man is accountable only to himself. 
 
The follower of Christ will meet with the "enticing words" against which the apostle warned the Colossian believers. He will meet with spiritualistic interpretations of the Scriptures, but he is not to accept them. His voice is to be heard in clear affirmation of the eternal truths of the Scriptures. Keeping his eyes fixed on Christ, he is to move steadily forward in the path marked out, discarding all ideas that are not in harmony with His teaching. The truth of God is to be the subject for his contemplation and meditation. He is to regard the Bible as the voice of God speaking directly to him. Thus he will find the wisdom which is divine.

The knowledge of God as revealed in Christ is the knowledge that all who are saved must have. This is the knowledge that works transformation of character. Received into the life, it will re-create the soul in the image of Christ. This is the knowledge that God invites His children to receive, beside which all else is vanity and nothingness.

  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 03, 2010, 12:14:07 PM
Implanting Righteousness in Man


Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Cor. 7:1



God wants to give man something that he does not possess, to make him something that he is not. Man's way is to get an easy place, and indulge appetite and selfish ambition. God's plan is to set man at work in reformatory lines, then he will learn by experience how long he has tampered with fleshly appetites, and ministered to his own temperament, bringing weakness upon himself. God works with great power. He gives grace if the sick man realizes that he needs it. God proposes to purify and refine the defiled soul, then he will implant in the heart his own righteousness and peace and health, and man will become complete in him. This is the kingdom of God within you. Day by day men are revealing whether the kingdom of God is within them. If Christ rules in their hearts, they are gaining strength of principle, with power and ability to stand as faithful sentinels, true reformers. Then, like Daniel, they make impressions upon other hearts that will never be effaced, and their influence will be carried to all parts of the world.

It is the duty of those who have received light upon this important subject to manifest a greater interest for those who are still suffering for want of knowledge. Those who are looking for the soon appearing of their Saviour should be the last to manifest a lack of interest in the great work of reform.  "Perfecting holiness in the fear of God" is our work as Christians. We are to cleanse our robes of character from every spot. The spirit must be in harmony with the Spirit of Christ; the habits must be in conformity to his will, in obedience to his requirements. When we are filled with His Spirit, then we will manifest all of the fruits of His Spirit, not one will be missing. This is the righteousness of Christ implanted in man. It is revealed in the character of the man.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 08, 2010, 10:27:56 AM
Human Wisdom is Foolishness


"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:12.  


God has given men no liberty to depart from His requirements. The Lord had declared to Israel, "Ye shall not do . . . every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes;" but ye shall "observe and hear all these words which I command thee." Deuteronomy 12:8, 28. In deciding upon any course of action we are not to ask whether we can see that harm will result from it, but whether it is in keeping with the will of God.

He who justifies himself in sin is led on step by step in deception, till at length he sins with impunity. Often the professed followers of Christ are found with hearts hardened and eyes blinded, because they do not obey the truth. Selfish motives and purposes take possession of the mind. In their self-confidence they suppose that their way is the way of wisdom. They are not particular to follow the path that God has marked out. They declare that circumstances alter cases, and when Satan tempts them to follow worldly principles, they yield, and, making crooked paths for their feet, they lead others astray. The inexperienced follow where they go, supposing that the judgment of Christians so experienced must be wise.  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 12, 2010, 09:10:17 AM
Educating Our Youth


"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.   John 14:26, 27.  


Strong temptations will come to many who place their children in our church schools because they desire the youth to secure what the world regards as the most essential education. Who knows what the most essential education is unless it is the education to be attained from that Book which is the foundation of all true knowledge. Those who regard as essential the knowledge to be gained along the line of worldly education, are making a great mistake, --one which will cause them to be swayed by individual opinions that are human and erring. Many who feel that their children must have what the world calls the essential education,  need to bring their children to the simplicity of the Word of God, and they will be safe. Jesus is coming soon and there is little time to prepare our children for what is coming upon the world.

Those who seek the education that the world esteems so highly, are gradually drifting farther and farther from the principles of truth until they become educated worldlings. At what price have, they gained their education! They have parted with the Holy Spirit of God. They have chosen to accept what the world calls knowledge in the place of the truths which God has committed to men through his ministers and prophets and apostles. And there are some who, having secured this worldly education, think that they can introduce it into church schools. Most of the schools of higher education which began as Christian schools are far from it today. It has been a very successful tool in the hand of Satan to pervert many Christian schools. This must not be done to those schools that remain faithful to Bible truth.

If we will look to him, the Lord will help us to understand what is true higher education. It is not to be gained by oneself through a long course of continual study. In such a course there will be some things that are valuable, and many things that are not. The Lord would have us become laborers together with him. He is our helper. He would have us come close to him and learn of him with all humility of mind. Do not regard as most essential the education that the world considers "higher education".  

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 18, 2010, 07:48:54 AM
Drink of the Pure Water of Life


"For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.    Jeremiah 2:13  

 Christ has said: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." John 7:37. Have you exhausted the fountain? -- No; for it is inexhaustible. Just as soon as you feel your need, you may drink, and drink again. The fountain is always full. And when you have once drunk of that fountain, you will not be seeking to quench your thirst from the broken cisterns of this world; you will not be studying how you can find the most pleasure, amusement, fun, and frolic. No; because you have been drinking from the stream which makes glad the city of God. Then your joy will be full.

Why should not the religion of Christ be represented as it really is, as full of attractiveness and power? Why should we not present before the world the loveliness of Christ? Why do we not show that we have a living Saviour, one who can walk with us in the darkness as well as in the light, and that we can trust in Him?

We have seen clouds interpose between us and the sun, but we did not mourn and clothe ourselves in sackcloth for fear that we should never see the sun again. We manifested no anxiety about it, but waited as cheerfully as possible until the cloud passed away and revealed the sun. Just so in our trials and temptations. Clouds may seem to shut from us the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness; but we know that the face of our Redeemer is not forever hidden. He is looking upon us with love and tender compassion. Let us not cast away our confidence, which hath great recompense of reward, but when clouds hang over the soul, let us keep our eyes fixed where we can see the Sun of Righteousness, and rejoice that we have a living Saviour. Think how beautiful was the light which we enjoyed, keep the mind stayed on Jesus, and the light will again shine upon us, and dismal thoughts will flee. We shall have joy in Christ, and shall go singing on our way to Mount Zion.
xxxx

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 23, 2010, 08:45:36 AM
The Birth of Christ


And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21.  


What matchless love Jesus has manifested for a fallen world! If angels sung because the Saviour was born in Bethlehem, shall not our hearts echo the glad strain, Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will to men? Although we do not know the exact day of Christ's birth, we would honor the sacred event. May the Lord forbid that any one should be so narrow-minded as to over-look the event because there is an uncertainty in regard to the exact time. Let us do what we can to fasten the minds of the children upon those things which are precious to every one who loves Jesus. Let us teach them how Jesus came into the world to bring hope, comfort, peace, and happiness to all. The angels explained the reason of their great joy, saying, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Then, children and youth, as you celebrate the coming Christmas, will you not count up the many things for which you are to be grateful, and will you not present a gratitude offering to Christ, and so reveal that you do appreciate the heavenly Gift?  

By the world the holidays are spent in frivolity and extravagance, gluttony and display.  Thousands of dollars will be worse than thrown away upon the coming Christmas and New Year's in needless indulgences. But it is our privilege to depart from the customs and practices of this degenerate age; and instead of expending means merely for the gratification of the appetite or for needless ornaments, we may make the coming holidays an occasion in which to honor and glorify God.  

Christ should be the supreme object; but as Christmas has been observed, the glory is turned from Him to mortal man, whose sinful, defective character made it necessary for Him to come to our world. Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, the royal King of heaven, laid aside His royalty, left His throne of glory, His high command, and came into our world to bring to fallen man, weakened in moral power and corrupted by sin, divine aid.

Parents should keep these things before their children. Teach them that Jesus is their best Friend and that He longs to take possession of their hearts. He is an ever present Friend whom they can talk to with all of their cares and needs. And, we too ought to consider this great love that gives evidence that we are of great value to our creator God. That our heavenly Father would allow His innocent Son to come to our dark world, a helpless baby. 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!


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 27, 2010, 09:38:12 AM
A New Year, What Does it Mean?


In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death. Proverbs 12:28
 



A new year is here, yet before we greet its coming, we pause to ask, What has been the history of the year that with its burden of records has now passed into eternity? The admonition of the apostle comes down the lines to every one of us,"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." God forbid that at this important hour we should be so engrossed with other matters as to give no time to serious, candid, critical self-examination! Let things of minor consequence be put in the background, and let us now bring to the front the things which concern our eternal interests.

No one of us can in our own strength represent the character of Christ; but if Jesus lives in the heart, the spirit dwelling in Him will be revealed in us; all our lack will be supplied. Who will seek at the beginning of this new year to obtain a new and genuine experience in the things of God? Make your wrongs right as far as possible. Confess your errors and sins one to another. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be put away; let patience, long-suffering, kindness, and love become a part of your very being; then whatsoever things are pure and lovely and of good report will mature in your experience.

What fruit have we borne during the year that is now past? What has been our influence upon others? Whom have we gathered to the fold of Christ? The eyes of the world are upon us. Are we living epistles of Christ, known and read of all men? Do we follow the example of Jesus in self-denial, in meekness, in humility, in forbearance, in cross-bearing, in devotion? Will the world be compelled to acknowledge us to be the servants of Christ?

Shall we not in this new year seek to correct the errors of the past? It behooves us individually to cultivate the grace of Christ, to be meek and lowly of heart, to be firm, unwavering, steadfast in the truth; for thus only can we advance in holiness, and be made fit for the inheritance of the saints in light. Let us begin the year with an entire renunciation of self; let us pray for clear discernment, that we may understand our Saviour's claims upon us, and that we may always and everywhere be witnesses for Christ.

Lift up Jesus, you that teach the people. Lift Him up in exhortations, in sermons, in songs, in prayer. Let all your efforts be directed to pointing souls, confused, bewildered, and lost, to "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Bid them look and live.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on December 31, 2010, 03:16:25 PM
Amen. I posted this elsewhere yet it can stand to be repeated, time and again!

For Christ's sake, my brethren and sisters, make the most of the hours of the new year to place the precious light of present truth before the people. Colporteur Evangelist, page 41.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 02, 2011, 08:02:48 AM
Christian, a Reflection of Christ


 This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Philippians 3:13-15.
 


  
The new year has begun. Shall not our gifts be turned to a better account than in the past? Shall not confession be made and shall we not avail ourselves of the blood of Christ, who is able and willing to cleanse from all sin? For our sakes Christ became poor.

In the last great day we shall be judged in accordance with what we have done. Christ will say, "I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?"  Christ will then say, "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me". And Christ will say, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels".  
 
Christ came and set the example in sacrificing, and if we are Christ's, then we will do the works of Christ. Instead of pleasing ourselves, we will be seeking to do others good, and to impart benefits to suffering humanity. And unless this is done, we cannot expect to have a part with Christ.  

There are souls to be saved all around us, and each has a work to do to be reconciled to Christ. This is the work to take hold of in the new year. We are living for time and eternity, and we want the light to flash upon our pathway and in return we want to extend its blessings to others.
  
Let each strive to have a better record for the coming year, and live so near to God that you may be surrounded with the atmosphere of heaven, and thus be a representative of Christ. His grace is sufficient.


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 07, 2011, 10:52:35 AM

The United States of America in Prophecy


 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”  Revelation 13:11
 


  
Lamb-like horns indicate youth, innocence, and gentleness. They fitly represent the character of the United States when presented to the prophet. The Christian exiles who first fled to America, sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance, and they determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. The Declaration of Independence sets forth the great truth that “all men are created equal,” and endowed with the inalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And the Constitution guarantees to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and down-trodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth. 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 17, 2011, 03:16:17 PM
Our Heavenly Father Did Suffer


 “"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad." John 8:56
 


Upon the altar of sacrifice, Abraham laid his son of promise, the son in whom his hopes were centered. Then as he waited beside the altar with knife upraised to obey God, he heard a voice from heaven saying, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me." Genesis 22:12. This terrible ordeal was imposed upon Abraham that he might see the day of Christ, and realize the great love of God for the world, so great that to raise it from its degradation, He gave His only-begotten Son to a most shameful death.  

Abraham learned of God the greatest lesson ever given to mortal. His prayer that he might see Christ before he should die was answered. He saw Christ; he saw all that mortal can see, and live. By making an entire surrender, he was able to understand the vision of Christ, which had been given him. He was shown that in giving His only-begotten Son to save sinners from eternal ruin, God was making a greater and more wonderful sacrifice than ever man could make.

Abraham's experience answered the question: "Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" Micah 6:6, 7. In the words of Abraham, "My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering," Genesis 22:8  and in God's provision of a sacrifice instead of Isaac, it was declared that no man could make expiation for himself. The pagan system of sacrifice was wholly unacceptable to God. No father was to offer up his son or his daughter for a sin offering. The Son of God alone can bear the guilt of the world.  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 27, 2011, 05:21:35 PM
How Can We Bless Jesus?


 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27
 


Many a father who has died in the faith, resting upon the eternal promise of God, has left his loved ones in full trust that the Lord would care for them. And how does the Lord provide for these bereaved ones? He does not work a miracle in sending manna from heaven; He does not send ravens to bring them food; but He works a miracle upon human hearts, expelling selfishness from the soul and unsealing the fountains of benevolence. He tests the love of His professed followers by committing to their tender mercies the afflicted and bereaved ones.

Let those who have the love of God open their hearts and homes to take in these children. There is a wide field of usefulness before all who will work for the Master in caring for these children and youth who have been deprived of the watchful guidance of parents and the subduing influence of a Christian home. Many of them have inherited evil traits of character; and if left to grow up in ignorance, they will drift into associations that lead to a life of crime. These unpromising children need to be placed in a position favorable for the formation of a right character, that they may become children of God. 
 
Fatherless and motherless children are thrown into the arms of the church, and Christ says to His followers: Take these destitute children, bring them up for Me, and ye shall receive your wages. Often, unless there is some special evidence that they themselves are to be benefited by adopting into their family those who need homes, some turn away from these needy children. They do not seem to know or care whether such are saved or lost. That, they think, is not their business. With Cain they say: "Am I my brother's keeper?" They are not willing to be put to inconvenience or to make any sacrifice for the orphans, and they indifferently thrust such ones into the arms of the world, who are sometimes more willing to receive them than are these professed Christians. In the day of God inquiry will be made for those whom Heaven gave them the opportunity of saving. But they wished to be excused, and would not engage in the good work unless they could make it a matter of profit to them. I have been shown that those who refuse these opportunities for doing good will hear from Jesus: "As ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me."

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on February 01, 2011, 05:12:00 AM

The Remnant


"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17
 


From the very beginning of the controversy in heaven it has been Satan's purpose to overthrow the law of God. It was to accomplish this that he entered upon his rebellion against the Creator, and though he was cast out of heaven he has continued the same warfare upon the earth. To deceive men, and thus lead them to transgress God's law, is the object which he has steadfastly pursued. Whether this be accomplished by casting aside the law altogether, or by rejecting one of its precepts, the result will be ultimately the same. He that offends "in one point," manifests contempt for the whole law; his influence and example are on the side of transgression; he becomes "guilty of all." James 2:10. 

In seeking to cast contempt upon the divine statutes, Satan has perverted the doctrines of the Bible, and errors have thus become incorporated into the faith of thousands who profess to believe the Scriptures. The last great conflict between truth and error is but the final struggle of the long-standing controversy concerning the law of God. Upon this battle we are now entering--a battle between the laws of men and the precepts of Jehovah, between the religion of the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition. 

The agencies which will unite against truth and righteousness in this contest are now actively at work. God's holy word, which has been handed down to us at such a cost of suffering and blood, is but little valued. The Bible is within the reach of all, but there are few who really accept it as the guide of life. Infidelity prevails to an alarming extent, not in the world merely, but in the church. Many have come to deny doctrines which are the very pillars of the Christian faith. The great facts of creation as presented by the inspired writers, the fall of man, the atonement, and the perpetuity of the law of God, are practically rejected, either wholly or in part, by a large share of the professedly Christian world. Thousands who pride themselves upon their wisdom and independence regard it as an evidence of weakness to place implicit confidence in the Bible; they think it a proof of superior talent and learning to cavil at the Scriptures and to spiritualize and explain away their most important truths. Many ministers are teaching their people, and many professors and teachers are instructing their students, that the law of God has been changed or abrogated; and those who regard its requirements as still valid, to be literally obeyed, are thought to be deserving only of ridicule or contempt.

In rejecting the truth, men reject its Author. In trampling upon the law of God, they deny the authority of the Law-giver. It is as easy to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as to fashion an idol of wood or stone. By misrepresenting the attributes of God, Satan leads men to conceive of Him in a false character. With many, a philosophical idol is enthroned in the place of Jehovah; while the living God, as He is revealed in His word, in Christ, and in the works of creation, is worshiped by but few. Thousands deify nature while they deny the God of nature. Though in a different form, idolatry exists in the Christian world today as verily as it existed among ancient Israel in the days of Elijah. The god of many professedly wise men, of philosophers, poets, politicians, journalists--the god of polished fashionable circles, of many colleges and universities, even of some theological institutions--is little better than Baal, the sun-god of Phoenicia.

No error accepted by the Christian world strikes more boldly against the authority of Heaven, none is more directly opposed to the dictates of reason, none is more pernicious in its results, than the modern doctrine, so rapidly gaining ground, that God's law is no longer binding upon men. Every nation has its laws, which command respect and obedience; no government could exist without them; and can it be conceived that the Creator of the heavens and the earth has no law to govern the beings He has made? Suppose that prominent ministers were publicly to teach that the statutes which govern their land and protect the rights of its citizens were not obligatory--that they restricted the liberties of the people, and therefore ought not to be obeyed; how long would such men be tolerated in the pulpit? But is it a graver offense to disregard the laws of states and nations than to trample upon those divine precepts which are the foundation of all government?


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on February 20, 2011, 11:07:03 AM
Parental Responsibility


"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
 


God has given parents their work, to form the characters of their children after the divine Pattern. By His grace they can accomplish the task; but it will require patient, painstaking effort, no less than firmness and decision, to guide the will and restrain the passions. A field left to itself produces only thorns and briers. He who would secure a harvest for usefulness or beauty must first prepare the soil and sow the seed, then dig about the young shoots, removing the weeds and softening the earth, and the precious plants will flourish and richly repay his care and labor.
  
Character building is the most important work ever entrusted to human beings, and never before was its diligent study so important as now. Never was any previous generation called to meet issues so momentous; never before were young men and young women confronted by perils so great as confront them today.  

The work of parents is to develop the characters of their children in harmony with the precepts of the Word of God. This work should come first, for eternal interests are here involved. The character building of children is of more importance than the cultivation of farms, more essential than the building of houses to live in, or of prosecuting any manner of business or trade.



Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 02, 2011, 05:46:56 PM
Prepare ye the Way of the Lord!  


"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh."
 


The Lord is coming. The warning has been given, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord," and it is to be given until every one who professes to be a follower of Christ shall be called upon to sound the note of warning and invitation. The half-hearted Christian needs to awake, and put the armor on. But while we are to let our light shine before men, we are not to erect false lights to mislead the soul. All are to be sound in the faith, not vacillating and uncertain, not allowing their imaginations to lead them into forbidden paths until their own faith is unsettled and others are confused by their spasmodic experiences; for those who follow their imagination, are first in the fire and then in the water; but make your movements with deliberation, with candor, considering the subject from all sides, lest you be led into some inconsistency, and souls be turned from the truth in consequence.  

Let every one now do his duty, laboring actively with Jesus Christ. Represent Jesus by your example of Christian behavior, that the grace of Christ may appear as it is,--beautiful, attractive, harmonious, and always consistent. A life beautified with holiness is not a life of idle contemplation; but a life filled up with earnest work for the Master, whose light shineth more and more unto the perfect day. As Seventh-day Adventists, we have a work to do in witnessing for Christ. If indeed the Lord is coming, it is time to sell what you have and give alms. It is time to put out your money to the exchangers, time to place every dollar you can spare, into the treasury of the Lord, that institutions may be erected for the education of workers, who shall be instructed as were those who attended the school of the prophets. If the Lord comes and finds you doing this kind of work, he will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant; . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." The spell that captivates minds, and makes them the bond-servants of Satan, must be broken. Christ's lessons must be enforced, they must be impressed upon the mind and heart. On young and old should come a realization of the great love wherewith he hath loved us. We have none too many institutions. Let your means be used to create, rather than have your influence used to diminish these agencies for good. Let no one yield to the suggestions of the enemy of all righteousness, and think that because we are near the end of all things, we can have faith, and have all our infirmities removed, and that there is no need for institutions for the recovery of health. Faith and works are both important. If the Lord is soon to come, begin to act decidedly and determinedly, and with intense interest to increase the facilities, that a great work may be done in a short time.  
 
Those who have been allied to the world should heed the invitation of the Lord. He says: "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." For "though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold." The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness are to shine upon you, that you may be beautified with holiness.
                                                                    



Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on March 02, 2011, 06:27:19 PM
Quote
The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness are to shine upon you, that you may be beautified with holiness.

Beautiful!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 02, 2011, 08:35:47 PM
Amen!!! Some don't believe it, but we can truly reflect our Lord. His character can shine or be reflected in us. I am reminded of that great secret that Satan tries very hard to hide from professing Christians.  2 Corinthians 3:18.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 

By beholding we become changed into His image, His character. Some don't want to admit it. I do not know why. It is Christ, not I. He is pleased when we allow Him to sit on the throne of the heart.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 12, 2011, 03:45:54 PM
Great Sorrow in the World   


""Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3"
 


The time is at hand when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another,-- earthquake, tsunami, fire, and flood, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent.

Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man; but in them all, God's purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.

God's messengers in the great cities are not to become discouraged over the wickedness, the injustice, the depravity, which they are called upon to face while endeavoring to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation.  In every city, filled though it may be with violence and crime, there are many who with proper teaching may learn to become followers of Jesus. God's message for the inhabitants of earth today is, "Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" Matthew 24:44.

The storm of God's wrath is gathering; and those only will stand who respond to the invitations of mercy, as did the inhabitants of Nineveh under the preaching of Jonah, and become sanctified through obedience to the laws of the divine Ruler. The righteous alone shall be hid with Christ in God till the desolation be overpast. 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on March 12, 2011, 04:14:53 PM
Amen - unspeakable sorrow. Jesus notes every single case. What love!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 12, 2011, 05:18:16 PM
Amen!

Some will misunderstand God's character in these disasters. Some will blame God for them, and some will not see that mercy is still mingled with judgment.  There are indeed cases where God intervenes in the world where He directly causes destruction. The world-wide flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah are good examples. But, there is another who seeks to wreak havoc in the world. He seeks to cause God to be seen as harsh and uncaring. Not so.  When God removes His Spirit from the world, that does not mean He causes destruction. It means that the restraint He caused to be upon men is removed. Thus, Satan and evil men are allowed to have their way.

By these disasters, He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger. The end is rushing upon us and He allows Satan to manifest his character more and more. Our only safety is to flee to Christ.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 25, 2011, 09:19:42 AM
There are many signs of the times today that reveal the soon coming of Jesus. There is no peace in the world, except that given by Christ. Most of the "thoughts for today" have been short, but today we are sharing a longer one. It is past time to get ready for heaven. Many are in a deep deception about what is required to enter heaven. It is sad that many in professing Christian churches believe they are "rich and increased with goods" when in fact they are wretched, poor, blind,  and naked. Without having truly experienced the new birth, they shall be denied entrance into heaven. It is important that we study for ourselves or we shall be lost, forever lost.

The parables of Jesus are truth. Here we present the parable of The Wedding Garment. It is not a short thought, but a complete presentation of what is required for heaven. We pray that the great deception that has come upon many will be lifted for some.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 25, 2011, 09:21:41 AM
The Wedding Garment 


"And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:11-14
 


The parable of the wedding garment opens before us a lesson of the highest consequence. By the marriage is represented the union of humanity with divinity; the wedding garment represents the character which all must possess who shall be accounted fit guests for the wedding.  

When the king came in to view the guests, the real character of all was revealed. For every guest at the feast there had been provided a wedding garment. This garment was a gift from the king. By wearing it the guests showed their respect for the giver of the feast. But one man was clothed in his common citizen dress. He had refused to make the preparation required by the king. The garment provided for him at great cost he disdained to wear. Thus he insulted his lord. To the king's demand, "How camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?" he could answer nothing. He was self-condemned. Then the king said, "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness."

By the king's examination of the guests at the feast is represented a work of judgment. The guests at the gospel feast are those who profess to serve God, those whose names are written in the book of life. But not all who profess to be Christians are true disciples. Before the final reward is given, it must be decided who are fitted to share the inheritance of the righteous. This decision must be made prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven; for when He comes, His reward is with Him, "to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12. Before His coming, then, the character of every man's work will have been determined, and to every one of Christ's followers the reward will have been apportioned according to his deeds.  

It is while men are still dwelling upon the earth that the work of investigative judgment takes place in the courts of heaven. The lives of all His professed followers pass in review before God. All are examined according to the record of the books of heaven, and according to his deeds the destiny of each is forever fixed.

By the wedding garment in the parable is represented the pure, spotless character which Christ's true followers will possess. To the church it is given "that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white," "not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." Revelation 19:8; Ephesians 5:27. The fine linen, says the Scripture, "is the righteousness of saints." Revelation 19:8. It is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as their personal Saviour.  

The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. They lived in perfect conformity to the will of God. All the strength of their affections was given to their heavenly Father. A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair. This robe of light was a symbol of their spiritual garments of heavenly innocence. Had they remained true to God it would ever have continued to enshroud them. But when sin entered, they severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering.  
  
This is what the transgressors of God's law have done ever since the day of Adam and Eve's disobedience. They have sewed together fig leaves to cover the nakedness caused by transgression. They have worn the garments of their own devising, by works of their own they have tried to cover their sins, and make themselves acceptable with God.  

But this they can never do. Nothing can man devise to supply the place of his lost robe of innocence. No fig-leaf garment, no worldly citizen dress, can be worn by those who sit down with Christ and angels at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Only the covering which Christ Himself has provided can make us meet to appear in God's presence. This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul. "I counsel thee," He says, "to buy of Me . . . white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." Revelation 3:18.

This robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising. Christ in His humanity wrought out a perfect character, and this character He offers to impart to us. "All our righteousness are as filthy rags." Isaiah 64:6. Everything that we of ourselves can do is defiled by sin. But the Son of God "was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin." Sin is defined to be "the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:5, 4. But Christ was obedient to every requirement of the law. He said of Himself, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God; yea, Thy law is within My heart." Psalm 40:8. When on earth, He said to His disciples, "I have kept My Father's commandments." John 15:10. By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God's commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness. Then as the Lord looks upon us He sees, not the fig-leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah.  

The guests at the marriage feast were inspected by the king. Only those were accepted who had obeyed his requirements and put on the wedding garment. So it is with the guests at the gospel feast. All must pass the scrutiny of the great King, and only those are received who have put on the robe of Christ's righteousness.

Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged. Our characters are revealed by what we do. The works show whether the faith is genuine.  

It is not enough for us to believe that Jesus is not an impostor, and that the religion of the Bible is no cunningly devised fable. We may believe that the name of Jesus is the only name under heaven whereby man may be saved, and yet we may not through faith make Him our personal Saviour. It is not enough to believe the theory of truth. It is not enough to make a profession of faith in Christ and have our names registered on the church roll. "He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us." "Hereby we do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments." 1 John 3:24;  2:3. This is the genuine evidence of conversion. Whatever our profession, it amounts to nothing unless Christ is revealed in works of righteousness. The truth is to be planted in the heart. It is to control the mind and regulate the affections. The whole character must be stamped with the divine utterances. Every jot and tittle of the word of God is to be brought into the daily practice.  

He who becomes a partaker of the divine nature will be in harmony with God's great standard of righteousness, His holy law. This is the rule by which God measures the actions of men. This will be the test of character in the judgment.  

There are many who claim that by the death of Christ the law was abrogated; but in this they contradict Christ's own words, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. . . . Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law." Matthew 5:17, 18. It was to atone for man's transgression of the law that Christ laid down His life. Could the law have been changed or set aside, then Christ need not have died. By His life on earth He honored the law of God. By His death He established it. He gave His life as a sacrifice, not to destroy God's law, not to create a lower standard, but that justice might be maintained, that the law might be shown to be immutable, that it might stand fast forever.  

Satan had claimed that it was impossible for man to obey God's commandments; and in our own strength it is true that we cannot obey them. But Christ came in the form of humanity, and by His perfect obedience He proved that humanity and divinity combined can obey every one of God's precepts.  
  
"As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." John 1:12. This power is not in the human agent. It is the power of God. When a soul receives Christ, he receives power to live the life of Christ.

God requires perfection of His children. His law is a transcript of His own character, and it is the standard of all character. This infinite standard is presented to all that there may be no mistake in regard to the kind of people whom God will have to compose His kingdom. The life of Christ on earth was a perfect expression of God's law, and when those who claim to be children of God become Christlike in character, they will be obedient to God's commandments. Then the Lord can trust them to be of the number who shall compose the family of heaven. Clothed in the glorious apparel of Christ's righteousness, they have a place at the King's feast. They have a right to join the blood-washed throng.

The man who came to the feast without a wedding garment represents the condition of many in our world today. They profess to be Christians, and lay claim to the blessings and privileges of the gospel; yet they feel no need of a transformation of character. They have never felt true repentance for sin. They do not realize their need of Christ or exercise faith in Him. They have not overcome their hereditary or cultivated tendencies to wrongdoing. Yet they think that they are good enough in themselves, and they rest upon their own merits instead of trusting in Christ. Hearers of the word, they come to the banquet, but they have not put on the robe of Christ's righteousness.

Many who call themselves Christians are mere human moralists. They have refused the gift which alone could enable them to honor Christ by representing Him to the world. The work of the Holy Spirit is to them a strange work. They are not doers of the word. The heavenly principles that distinguish those who are one with Christ from those who are one with the world have become almost indistinguishable. The professed followers of Christ are no longer a separate and peculiar people. The line of demarcation is indistinct. The people are subordinating themselves to the world, to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. The church has gone over to the world in transgression of the law, when the world should have come over to the church in obedience to the law. Daily the church is being converted to the world.  

All these expect to be saved by Christ's death, while they refuse to live His self-sacrificing life. They extol the riches of free grace, and attempt to cover themselves with an appearance of righteousness, hoping to screen their defects of character; but their efforts will be of no avail in the day of God.

The righteousness of Christ will not cover one cherished sin. A man may be a law-breaker in heart; yet if he commits no outward act of transgression, he may be regarded by the world as possessing great integrity. But God's law looks into the secrets of the heart. Every act is judged by the motives that prompt it. Only that which is in accord with the principles of God's law will stand in the judgment.

God is love. He has shown that love in the gift of Christ. When "He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life," He withheld nothing from His purchased possession. John 3:16.  He gave all heaven, from which we may draw strength and efficiency, that we be not repulsed or overcome by our great adversary. But the love of God does not lead Him to excuse sin. He did not excuse it in Satan; He did not excuse it in Adam or in Cain; nor will He excuse it in any other of the children of men. He will not connive at our sins or overlook our defects of character. He expects us to overcome in His name.  

Those who reject the gift of Christ's righteousness are rejecting the attributes of character which would constitute them the sons and daughters of God. They are rejecting that which alone could give them a fitness for a place at the marriage feast.

In the parable, when the king inquired, "How camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?" the man was speechless. So it will be in the great judgment day. Men may now excuse their defects of character, but in that day they will offer no excuse.   

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Sister Dee on March 25, 2011, 10:10:17 AM
Thank you, Brother Richard.  We need to hear these truths over and over again in order to strengthen ourselves to face the deceptions that have come and will come. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 25, 2011, 11:28:56 AM
Amen! The Bible is truth. All may understand for themselves instead of depending upon weak and fallible humans that twist and pervert the teachings of our Lord. Jesus taught in a manner that all may understand. We need Him so very much. If we have not His Spirit, we are none of His. If we have Him, we can do all things that He asks of us. If we are fully surrendered to Jesus, then we have His Spirit and the fruits all come with Him. That is why they are called the "fruits of the Spirit".  He gives the new Christian each one of these fruits, not one is missing. Many may appear to have some of the fruits, but if any are missing, it is because Christ is no in the heart and the fruits that appear to be of the Spirit are not. They are inculcated with self.

Today, we may possess the "wedding garment" of His righteousness. But, first self must die. It must be laid on the cross of Calvary. All sins must be confessed and forsaken, then Jesus will cloth us with His character. What a promise!!!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 27, 2011, 09:52:19 AM

Heavenly Music 


"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ..." Galatians  2:20
 


Elder John Thurber has been presenting The Principles of Heavenly Music. (http://remnant-online.com/smf/index.php?topic=11090.0)


I have 27 Principles that help me to choose “The Music of Heaven.”
 
One of the great sins that will keep us from heaven is Pride, Self-centeredness. This is one I struggle with in my own life. Could it be true in choosing music?

Principle No. 1 - “Not I but Christ, be honored loved exalted...”
Pride is one of the seven sins God hates. We were not created for personal stardom, but to glorify Him. When our human hearts are tempted to seek star status, we should remember the terrible fall of Lucifer, the very first “star.” We would also do well to consider the words of this old but timeless hymn:
 
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Prov.8:13
 
God's servants should have so great respect for the sacred work they are handling that they will not bring into it one vestige of selfishness.

“Praise no man; flatter no man; and permit no man to praise or flatter you. Satan will do enough of this work. Lose sight of the instrument, and think of Jesus. Praise the Lord. Give glory to God. Make melody to God in your hearts. Talk of the truth. Talk of the Christian's hope, the Christian's heaven.” (Evangelism page 630)

How does pride get started in one’s life?
 
Could it be from childhood?

What is the difference between self esteem and pride?

Maybe showering children with gifts (birthdays - Christmas - and other events) makes them feel self importance self-centered - spoiled. I have seen children with so many gifts that they tear off the wrapping so fast that they set it aside with just a glance and grab another to repeat the same thing.

We are born selfish.

Here is what inspiration says: The Adventist Home, page 473, paragraph 3

Chapter Title: Holidays and Anniversaries
On birthday occasions the children should be taught that they have reason for gratitude to God for His loving-kindness in preserving their lives for another year. Precious lessons might thus be given. For life, health, food, and clothing, no less than for the hope of eternal life, we are indebted to the Giver of all mercies; and it is due to God to recognize His gifts and to present our offerings of gratitude to our greatest benefactor. These birthday gifts are recognized of Heaven.
 
Birthday Offerings:
Under the Jewish economy, on the birth of children an offering was made to God, by His own appointment. Now we see parents taking special pains to present gifts to their children upon their birthdays; they make this an occasion of honoring the child, as though honor were due to the human being. Satan has had his own way in these things; he has diverted the minds and the gifts to human beings; thus the thoughts of the children are turned to themselves, as if they were to be made the objects of special favor. That which should flow back to God in offerings to bless the needy and carry the light of truth to the world, is turned from the right channel, and frequently does more harm than good, encouraging vanity, pride, and self-importance. On birthday occasions the children should be taught that they have reason for gratitude to God for His loving-kindness in preserving their lives for another year. Precious lessons might thus be given. For life, health, food, and clothing, no less than for the hope of eternal life, we are indebted to the Giver of all mercies; and it is due to God to recognize His gifts, and to present our offerings of gratitude to our greatest benefactor. These birthday gifts are recognized of Heaven.-- Review and Herald, Dec. 9, 1890.

What do you think? 


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 01, 2011, 09:32:17 PM
The Righteousness of Christ


"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1  
 

When we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we shall have no relish for sin; for Christ will be working with us. We may make mistakes, but we will hate the sin that caused the suffering of the Son of God.  

If one who daily communes with God errs from the path, if he turns a moment from looking steadfastly unto Jesus, it is not because he sins willfully; for when he sees his mistake, he turns again, and fastens his eyes upon Jesus, and the fact that he has erred does not make him less dear to the heart of God. He knows that he has communion with the Saviour; and when reproved for his mistake in some matter of judgment, he does not walk sullenly, and complain of God, but turns the mistake into a victory.

There are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ, and who really desire to be children of God, yet they realize that their character is imperfect, their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit. To such I would say, Do not draw back in despair. We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes; but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Said the beloved John, "These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." And do not forget the words of Christ, "The Father himself loveth you." John 16:27. He desires to restore you to Himself, to see His own purity and holiness reflected in you. And if you will but yield yourself to Him, He that hath begun a good work in you will carry it forward to the day of Jesus Christ.  

All sin may be overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit.




Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 03, 2011, 11:06:52 AM
Perfection of Christian Character


"First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear."  Mark 4:28  
 


The wheat develops "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." The object of the farmer in the sowing of the seed and the culture of the growing plant is the production of grain. He desires bread for the hungry, and seed for future harvests. So the divine Farmer looks for a harvest as the reward of His labor and sacrifice. Christ is seeking to reproduce Himself in the hearts of men; and He does this through those who believe in Him. The object of the Christian life is fruit bearing--the reproduction of Christ's character in the believer, that it may be reproduced in others.  
  
The plant does not germinate, grow, or bring forth fruit for itself, but to "give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater." Isaiah 55:10. So no man is to live unto himself. The Christian is in the world as a representative of Christ, for the salvation of other souls.

There can be no growth or fruitfulness in the life that is centered in self. If you have accepted Christ as a personal Saviour, you are to forget yourself, and try to help others. Talk of the love of Christ, tell of His goodness. Do every duty that presents itself. Carry the burden of souls upon your heart, and by every means in your power seek to save the lost. As you receive the Spirit of Christ--the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others--you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely.  

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." Galatians 5:22, 23. This fruit can never perish, but will produce after its kind a harvest unto eternal life. When a sinner is born of the Spirit, he is filled with the Spirit. Every one of these fruits are present in the life, not one is missing.

The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is an object lesson of the development of character. There can be no life without growth. The plant must either grow or die. As its growth is silent and imperceptible, but continuous, so is the growth of character. At every stage of development our life may be perfect; yet if God's purpose for us is fulfilled, there will be constant advancement.

To some this is a great contradiction. How can a Christian be perfect at each stage and yet experience constant growth? Purity of heart comes with conversion, but the Christian life will mature as more knowledge and experience is gained. As in the garden, so in the spiritual life. The fruit will become more abundant as the plant matures.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 23, 2011, 07:48:18 AM
A New Heart is a Pure Heart


"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" 1 John 3:3
 


The gospel is to be proclaimed and personally received. A general assent is not enough. There must be an intelligent heart reception of the truth wherein the receiver must stand and perseveringly communicate to others the knowledge received. The truth must be practiced in every respect, holding fast the word of life, "by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain". 1 Corinthians 15:2.

There is a declaration of the faith that is so diluted by man's natural traits of character that it has lost its saving virtue by losing its distinctive characteristic of Christlikeness. Although saying we are rich, we will find ourselves in the end wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. When there is a haphazard belief and practice that is not after the lessons of Christ, then we have a faith that is vain. the heart must either contain the treasures of goodness or the treasures of that which is evil. Out of the good treasure of the heart the receiver of truth brings forth good things. The one who claims to believe, and does not practice, brings forth evil things which wound, discourage, and destroy.  

Christ says, "Why call ye Me Master and Lord, and do not the things which I say?" The consistency of our conduct in words, in patience, in meekness, will reveal Christ in the heart. Sin is not to be perpetuated by practice by the one who is born of God. He must become just what God designed he should be--a free soul in Christ Jesus; not free to continue in sin, but free to practice virtue and holiness. "Ye are free." Therefore use your liberty not to oppress or to speak bitterness, but as the servants of God, as under the rule of Christ.

Wherever the man is who is a child of God, he must live no idle life. There are passions seeking for demonstration. Satan lives; Satan works. We must be in an attitude of prayer continually, we must cling to Christ. If we do, He will make us as white as snow, though our sins be as scarlet. "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure".

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 30, 2011, 08:26:10 AM

The Purification of the Heart and the Church


"Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Daniel 8:14
 


What is the cleansing of the sanctuary? That there was such a service in connection with the earthly sanctuary is stated in the Old Testament Scriptures. But can there be anything in heaven to be cleansed? In Hebrews 9 the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary is plainly taught. "Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [the blood of animals]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these" (Hebrews 9:22, 23), even the precious blood of Christ.

The cleansing, both in the typical and in the real service, must be accomplished with blood: in the former, with the blood of animals; in the latter, with the blood of Christ. Paul states, as the reason why this cleansing must be performed with blood, that without shedding of blood is no remission. Remission, or putting away of sin, is the work to be accomplished. But how could there be sin connected with the sanctuary, either in heaven or upon the earth? This may be learned by reference to the symbolic service; for the priests who officiated on earth, served "unto the example and shadow of heavenly things." Hebrews 8:5.
 
The ministration of the earthly sanctuary consisted of two divisions; the priests ministered daily in the holy place, while once a year the high priest performed a special work of atonement in the most holy, for the cleansing of the sanctuary. Day by day the repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle and, placing his hand upon the victim's head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the innocent sacrifice. The animal was then slain. "Without shedding of blood," says the apostle, there is no remission of sin. "The life of the flesh is in the blood." Leviticus 17:11. The broken law of God demanded the life of the transgressor. The blood, representing the forfeited life of the sinner, whose guilt the victim bore, was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary. In some cases the blood was not taken into the holy place; but the flesh was then to be eaten by the priest, as Moses directed the sons of Aaron, saying: "God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation." Leviticus 10:17. Both ceremonies alike symbolized the transfer of the sin from the penitent to the sanctuary.

Such was the work that went on, day by day, throughout the year. The sins of Israel were thus transferred to the sanctuary, and a special work became necessary for their removal. God commanded that an atonement be made for each of the sacred apartments. "He shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness." An atonement was also to be made for the altar, to "cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel." Leviticus 16:16, 19.

Both the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed," and the first angel's message, "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come," points to Christ's ministration in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. The 2300 days ended over 150 years ago. We are living in the anti-typical Day of Atonement. Jesus is cleansing a people, a church, as His witness to a world soon to perish.


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 09, 2011, 07:50:47 AM
Mothers


"Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised." Proverbs  31:30   
 


There is a God above, and the light and glory from His throne rests upon the faithful mother as she tries to educate her children to resist the influence of evil. No other work can equal hers in importance. She has not, like the artist, to paint a form of beauty upon canvas; nor, like the sculptor, to chisel it from marble. She has not, like the author, to embody a noble thought in words of power; nor, like the musician, to express a beautiful sentiment in melody. It is hers, with the help of God, to develop in a human soul the likeness of the divine.

The mother who appreciates this will regard her opportunities as priceless. Earnestly will she seek, in her own character and by her methods of training, to present before her children the highest ideal. Earnestly, patiently, courageously, she will endeavor to improve her own abilities, that she may use aright the highest powers of the mind in the training of her children. Earnestly will she inquire at every step, "What hath God spoken?" Diligently she will study His word. She will keep her eyes fixed upon Christ, that her own daily experience, in the lowly round of care and duty, may be a true reflection of the one true Life.

The whole future life of Moses, the great mission which he fulfilled as the leader of Israel, testifies to the importance of the work of the Christian mother. There is no other work that can equal this. Parents should direct the instruction and training of their children while very young, to the end that they may be Christians. They are placed in our care to be trained, not as heirs to the throne of an earthly empire, but as kings unto God, to reign through unending ages.

Let every mother feel that her moments are priceless; her work will be tested in the solemn day of accounts. Then it will be found that many of the failures and crimes of men and women have resulted from the ignorance and neglect of those whose duty it was to guide their childish feet in the right way. Then it will be found that many who have blessed the world with the light of genius and truth and holiness owe the principles that were the mainspring of their influence and success to a praying, Christian mother.  


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 14, 2011, 08:38:34 AM
Christian Character


"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  "  Philippians 2:12, 13.
 
  
The work of gaining salvation is one of copartnership, a joint operation. There is to be co-operation between God and the repentant sinner. This is necessary for the formation of right principles in the character. Man is to make earnest efforts to overcome that which hinders him from attaining to perfection. But he is wholly dependent upon God for success. Human effort of itself is not sufficient. Without the aid of divine power it avails nothing. God works and man works. Resistance of temptation must come from man, who must draw his power from God. On the one side there is infinite wisdom, compassion, and power; on the other, weakness, sinfulness, absolute helplessness.

God wishes us to have the mastery over ourselves. But He cannot help us without our consent and co-operation. The divine Spirit works through the powers and faculties given to man. Of ourselves, we are not able to bring the purposes and desires and inclinations into harmony with the will of God; but if we are "willing to be made willing," the Saviour will accomplish this for us, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5.

He who would build up a strong, symmetrical character, he who would be a well-balanced Christian, must give all and do all for Christ; for the Redeemer will not accept divided service. Daily he must learn the meaning of  self-surrender. He must study the word of God, learning its meaning and obeying its precepts. Thus he may reach the standard of Christian excellence. Day by day God works with him, perfecting the character that is to stand in the time of final test. And day by day the believer is working out before men and angels a sublime experiment, showing what the gospel can do for fallen human beings.  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 18, 2011, 09:54:02 AM
The End of the World

"Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad” “before the Lord; for he cometh,  for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” Psalm 96:11, 13.
 
  
Harold Camping and Family radio believe Jesus is coming on May 21. They are wrong, but they have one thing right, Jesus is coming very soon! We look forward to that day! One of the most solemn and yet most glorious truths revealed in the Bible is that of Christ's second coming, to complete the great work of redemption. To God's pilgrim people, so long left to wander in the “region and shadow of death,” a precious, joy-inspiring hope is given in the promise of His appearing, who is “the resurrection and the life,” to “bring home again his banished.” The doctrine of the second advent is the very key-note of the sacred Scriptures. From the day when the first pair turned their sorrowing steps from Eden, the children of faith have waited the coming of the Promised One to break the destroyer's power and bring them again to the lost Paradise. Holy men of old looked forward to the advent of the Messiah in glory, as the consummation of their hope. Enoch, only the seventh in descent from them that dwelt in Eden, he who for three centuries on earth walked with his God, was permitted to behold from afar the coming of the Deliverer. “Behold,the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all.” Jude 14, 15. The patriarch Job in the night of his affliction exclaimed with unshaken trust: “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; . . . in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.” Job 19:25-27.

The coming of Christ to usher in the reign of righteousness, has inspired the most sublime and impassioned utterances of the sacred writers. The poets and prophets of the Bible have dwelt upon it in words glowing with celestial fire. The psalmist sung of the power and majesty of Israel's King: “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence. . . . He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.” Psalm 50:2-4. “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad” “before the Lord; for he cometh,  for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” Psalm 96:11, 13.
 
Said the  prophet Isaiah:
 “Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.” “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 26:19; 25:8, 9.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on May 18, 2011, 09:58:51 AM
Amen!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 20, 2011, 10:57:43 AM
"Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen"

"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."  Revelation 18:1-4.
 
  
God's work is to be carried forward with power. We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We need to understand that God will add to the ranks of His people men of ability and influence who are to act their part in warning the world. All in the world are not lawless and sinful. God has many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. There are God-fearing men and women in the fallen churches. If this were not so, we would not be given the message to bear: "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. . . . Come out of her, My people." Revelation 18:2-4. Many of the honest in heart are gasping for a breath of life from heaven. They will recognize the gospel when it is brought to them in the beauty and simplicity with which it is presented in God's word.

A profession of religion has become popular with the world. Rulers, politicians, lawyers, doctors, businessmen, join the church as a means of securing the respect and confidence of society, and advancing their own worldly interests. Thus they seek to cover all their unrighteous transactions under a profession of Christianity. The various religious bodies, re-enforced by the wealth and influence of these baptized worldlings, make a still higher bid for popularity and patronage. Splendid churches, embellished in the most extravagant manner are more and more common. The worshipers array themselves in costly and fashionable attire. A high salary is paid for a talented minister to entertain and attract the people. His sermons must not touch popular sins, but be made smooth and pleasing for fashionable ears. Thus fashionable sinners are enrolled on the church records, and fashionable sins are concealed under a pretense of godliness. 

Let us present the truth in the love of Christ. No extravagance or display should attend the work. It is to be done after Christ's order. It is to be carried forward in humility, in the simplicity of the gospel. Let not the workers be intimidated by outward appearances, however forbidding. Teach the Word, and the Lord by His Holy Spirit will send conviction to the hearts of many.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 28, 2011, 07:39:51 AM
Time is Almost Over

"Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." Daniel 5:27
 
  
When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. Christ in the Revelation, looking forward to that time, declares: "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:11, 12.

The righteous and the wicked will still be living upon the earth in their mortal state--men will be planting and building, eating and drinking, all unconscious that the final, irrevocable decision has been pronounced in the sanctuary above. Before the Flood, after Noah entered the ark, God shut him in and shut the ungodly out; but for seven days the people, knowing not that their doom was fixed, continued their careless, pleasure-loving life and mocked the warnings of impending judgment. "So," says the Saviour, "shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:39. Silently, unnoticed as the midnight thief, will come the decisive hour which marks the fixing of every man's destiny, the final withdrawal of mercy's offer to guilty men.

"Watch ye therefore: . . . lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping." Mark 13:35, 36. Perilous is the condition of those who, growing weary of their watch, turn to the attractions of the world. While the man of business is absorbed in the pursuit of gain, while the pleasure lover is seeking indulgence, while the daughter of fashion is arranging her adornments--it may be in that hour the Judge of all the earth will pronounce the sentence: "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting."       
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 30, 2011, 11:41:48 AM
The Greatest Love

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  John 15:13  

In the United States, it is Memorial Day. A day to remember that freedom has a great cost. America was a Protestant nation, a nation of freedom. Her people were given liberty of conscience and liberty of religion at great expense.  Today, those freedoms are vanishing. America is fast losing her Protestant heritage. "Give me liberty or give me death" is a statement from a history long ago.

Today as we contemplate the great sacrifices made to preserve liberty in the world, let us think on this: If it were not for the great sacrifice made by our heavenly Father, there would be no freedom of any kind. It is only through His willingness to allow His Son to come to this dark world where Satan claims dominion that we have temporal life. To each of us is granted a period of time to learn of our God, of His great love for us while we were yet sinners. He has proved His love by giving us His only Son. "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. John 3:16.

And what of the Son? Does He love us also? How much does He love us? "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep."  John 10:16,15    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  

Many have died for those who love them, but Christ died for a world in rebellion against Him. Our freedom to choose was secured at a very high price. How many will squander the invitation to have eternal life with Jesus? Too many. The price paid is beyond anything we can count. Heaven was emptied that we might understand what love is. Christ calls us His "friends". Wonder o heavens and be astonished o earth!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 07, 2011, 07:07:20 AM
Sanctification a Living Principle

"Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" 1 Peter 2:11 

We should consider the words of the apostle Paul, in which he appeals to his brethren, by the mercies of God, to present their bodies "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." ... Sanctification is not merely a theory, an emotion, or a form of words, but a living, active principle, entering into the everyday life. It requires that our habits of eating, drinking, and dressing be such as to secure the preservation of physical, mental, and moral health, that we may present to the Lord our bodies--not an offering corrupted by wrong habits but--"a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." Romans 12:1.
 
Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature. The standard of virtue is elevated or degraded by the physical habits. Excessive eating of the best of food will produce a morbid condition of the moral feelings. And if the food is not the most healthful, the effects will be still more injurious. Any habit which does not promote healthful action in the human system degrades the higher and nobler faculties. Wrong habits of eating and drinking lead to errors in thought and action. Indulgence of appetite strengthens the animal propensities, giving them the ascendancy over the mental and spiritual powers. 

"Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul", 1 Peter 2:11, is the language of the apostle Peter. Many regard this warning as applicable only to the licentious; but it has a broader meaning. It guards against every injurious gratification of appetite or passion. It is a most forcible warning against the use of such stimulants and narcotics as tea, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and morphine. These indulgences may well be classed among the lusts that exert a pernicious influence upon moral character. The earlier these hurtful habits are formed, the more firmly will they hold their victims in slavery to lust, and the more certainly will they lower the standard of spirituality. 

Bible teaching will make but a feeble impression upon those whose faculties are benumbed by indulgence of appetite. Thousands will sacrifice not only health and life, but their hope of heaven, before they will wage war against their own perverted appetites. One lady, who for many years claimed to be sanctified, made the statement that if she must give up her cigarettes or heaven she would say, "Farewell, heaven; I cannot overcome my love for cigarettes." This idol had been enshrined in the soul, leaving to Jesus a subordinate place. Yet this woman claimed to be wholly the Lord's!

Wherever they may be, those who are truly sanctified will elevate the moral standard by preserving correct physical habits, and, like Daniel, presenting to others an example of temperance and self-denial. Every depraved appetite becomes a warring lust. Everything that conflicts with natural law creates a diseased condition of the soul. The indulgence of appetite produces a ruined stomach, a torpid liver, a clouded brain, and thus perverts the temper and the spirit of the man. And these enfeebled powers are offered to God, who refused to accept the victims for sacrifice unless they were without a blemish. It is our duty to bring our appetite and our habits of life into conformity to natural law. If the bodies offered upon Christ's altar were examined with the close scrutiny to which the Jewish sacrifices were subjected, who with our present habits would be accepted? 
 
With what care should Christians regulate their habits, that they may preserve the full vigor of every faculty to give to the service of Christ. If we would be sanctified in soul, body, and spirit, we must live in conformity to the divine law. The heart cannot preserve consecration to God while the appetites and passions are indulged at the expense of health and life.

Paul's inspired warnings against self-indulgence are sounding along the line down to our time. He presents for our encouragement the freedom enjoyed by the truly sanctified. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1. He charges the Galatians to "walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh." Galatians 5:16, 17. He names some of the forms of fleshly lusts--idolatry, drunkenness, and such like. After mentioning the fruits of the Spirit, among which is temperance, he adds, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Verse 24.  
 
There are many among professed Christians today who would decide that Daniel was too particular and would pronounce him narrow and bigoted. They consider the matter of eating and drinking of too little consequence to require such a decided stand--one involving the probable sacrifice of every earthly advantage. But those who reason thus will find in the day of judgment that they turned from God's express requirements and set up their own opinion as a standard of right and wrong. They will find that what seemed to them unimportant was not so regarded of God. His requirements should be sacredly obeyed. Those who accept and obey one of His precepts because it is convenient to do so, while they reject another because its observance would require a sacrifice, lower the standard of right, and by their example lead others to lightly regard the holy law of God. "Thus saith the Lord" is to be our rule in all things.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 10, 2011, 10:52:07 AM
Eternal Life, the Truth

"The soul that sinneth, it shall die" Ezekiel 18:20

Only through Christ can immortality be obtained. Said Jesus: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life." John 3:36. Every man may come into possession of this priceless blessing if he will comply with the conditions. All "who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality,"  will receive "eternal life." Romans 2:7.

The only one who promised Adam life in disobedience was the great deceiver. And the declaration of the serpent to Eve in Eden--"Ye shall not surely die"--was the first sermon ever preached upon the lie that one may possess eternal life while sinning. Yet this declaration, resting solely upon the authority of Satan, is echoed from the pulpits of Christendom and is received by the majority of mankind as readily as it was received by our first parents. The divine sentence, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:20), is made to mean: The soul that sinneth, it shall not die, "just believe". We cannot but wonder at the strange infatuation which renders men so credulous concerning the words of Satan and so unbelieving in regard to the words of God.  

Had man after his fall been allowed free access to the tree of life, he would have lived forever, and thus sin would have been immortalized. But cherubim and a flaming sword kept "the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24), and not one of the family of Adam has been permitted to pass that barrier and partake of the life-giving fruit. Therefore there is not an immortal sinner. Before we enter heaven to live with Christ forever, we must first become saints upon this earth. What does this mean? It means that we are filled with His Spirit and we then love God with the whole heart and our neighbor as ourselves. That is easily seen by the keeping of the commandments. If we do not keep the law of God, then we do not love God supremely, nor our neighbor as ourselves.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 15, 2011, 07:22:37 PM
God Versus Self, the Greatest Battle Ever Fought

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 29:13, 14

For some time I have been contemplating the words of an unbeliever. "But the reality of it is that we have to look inward for salvation, not upward. True Salvation lies within ourselves, and we are the masters of our own destinies. To believe otherwise, is to accept that we have no control over anything, and I can never ever accept that."

If it were only unbelievers that professed such thinking, it would not be so troubling. But, there are within the ranks of professing Christian churches similar teachings. Today, new age spiritualism has gotten a foothold in the church. The mantra is "the battle can be won if we will just choose to do right and not do evil. "Look for the goodness and strength from within yourself." Ask Oprah, she will tell you so.  How far has this teaching gotten? How subtle is the lie? Very, very subtle. So much so that many who profess to be teaching victory over sin, have to make excuses for their sins because looking within has not worked. We must cease thinking that there is any good thing in fallen man and look to Jesus as our only hope.

By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are sick and rotten. The sense of sin has poisoned the springs of life. By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: "Dead in trespasses and sins;" "the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint"; "no soundness in it." We are held fast in the snare of Satan; "taken captive by him at his will." Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:26. God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him.

The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness. Many realize their helplessness; they are longing for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God, and are striving to obtain it, but in vain.  Let those desponding, struggling ones look up. When sin struggles for the mastery look to the Saviour. His grace is sufficient to subdue sin. Let your grateful heart, trembling with uncertainty, turn to Him. Lay hold on the hope set before you. His strength will help your weakness; He will lead you step by step. Place your hand in His, and let Him guide you. Man has no compass within to guide himself. He must look to Jesus for his guidance.

He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin. He is always near. His loving presence surrounds you. Seek Him as One who desires to be found of you.  God's promise is, "Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 29, 2011, 11:42:10 AM
Jesus said "Spare it This Year."

"And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." Luke 13:9

 Christ in His teaching linked with the warning of judgment the invitation of mercy. "The Son of man is not come," He said, "to destroy men's lives, but to save them." Luke 9:56. "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:17. His mission of mercy in its relation to God's justice and judgment is illustrated in the parable of the barren fig tree. 
 
Christ had been warning the people of the coming of the kingdom of God, and He had sharply rebuked their ignorance and indifference. For a little time the day of probation lingered for them. There was still time for them to know the things that belonged to their peace.

Jesus warned them with this parable: "A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?"

Christ's hearers could not misunderstand the application of His words. David had sung of Israel as the vine brought out of Egypt. Isaiah had written, "The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant." Isaiah 5:7. The generation to whom the Saviour had come were represented by the fig tree in the Lord's vineyard--within the circle of His special care and blessing. 

God's purpose toward His people, and the glorious possibilities before them, had been set forth in the beautiful words, "That they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified," Isaiah 61:3.  And Isaiah 5:2 "And He looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes." God in His Son had been seeking fruit, and had found none. Israel was a cumberer of the ground. Its very existence was a curse; for it filled the place in the vineyard that a fruitful tree might fill. It robbed the world of the blessings that God designed to give. The Israelites had misrepresented God among the nations. They were not merely useless, but a decided hindrance. To a great degree their religion was misleading, and wrought ruin instead of salvation. 
 
n the parable the dresser of the vineyard does not question the sentence that the tree, if it remained fruitless, should be cut down; but he knows and shares the owner's interest in that barren tree. Nothing could give him greater joy than to see its growth and fruitfulness. He responds to the desire of the owner, saying, "Let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it and dung it; and if it bear fruit, well." 

The gardener does not refuse to minister to so unpromising a plant. He stands ready to give it still greater care. He will make its surroundings most favorable, and will lavish upon it every attention.  The owner and the dresser of the vineyard are one in their interest in the fig tree. So the Father and the Son were one in their love for the chosen people. Christ was saying to His hearers that increased opportunities would be given them. Every means that the love of God could devise would be put in operation that they might become trees of righteousness, bringing forth fruit for the blessing of the world. 

Jesus did not in the parable tell the result of the gardener's work. At that point His story was cut short. Its conclusion rested with the generation that heard His words. To them the solemn warning was given. "If not, then after that thou shalt cut it down." Upon them it depended whether the irrevocable words should be spoken. The day of wrath was near. In the calamities that had already befallen Israel, the owner of the vineyard was mercifully forewarning them of the destruction of the unfruitful tree.

The warning sounds down along the line to us in this generation. How often has the tender gospel message thrilled our hearts! We have taken the name of Christ, and are outwardly members of the church which is His body, but have we produced fruit? Is His character, "the fruits of the Spirit," seen in our lives?
 
Are we cumberers of the ground? God in His great mercy has not cut us down. He loves us and gave His Son for us. Looking upon us He cries, as He cried so many centuries ago concerning Israel, "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? How shall I deliver thee, Israel? . . . I will not execute the fierceness of Mine anger. I will not return to destroy Ephraim; for I am God, and not man." Hosea 11:8, 9. The pitying Saviour is saying concerning us, Spare it this year also, till I shall dig about it and dress it. 

With what unwearied love did Christ minister to Israel during the period of added probation. Upon the cross He prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:24. After His ascension the gospel was preached first at Jerusalem. There the Holy Spirit was poured out. There the first gospel church revealed the power of the risen Saviour. There Stephen--"his face as it had been the face of an angel" (Acts 6:15)--bore his testimony and laid down his life. All that heaven itself could give was bestowed. "What could have been done more to My vineyard," Christ said, "that I have not done in it?" Isaiah 5:4. So His care and labor for you are not lessened, but increased. Still He says, "I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day." Isaiah 27:3.  "If it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that"-- 
 
The heart that does not respond to divine agencies becomes hardened until it is no longer susceptible to the influence of the Holy Spirit. Then it is that the word is spoken, "Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?"

Today He invites you: "O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God. . . . I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely. . . . I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. . . . They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine. . . . From Me is thy fruit found." Hosea 14:1-8.
 
Title: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 04, 2011, 03:00:46 PM
God Blessed America!

"Why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?"1 Cor. 10:29

In the seventeenth century the English reformers, while renouncing the doctrines of Romanism, had retained many of its forms. Thus though the authority and the creed of Rome were rejected, not a few of her customs and ceremonies were incorporated into the worship of the Church of England. It was claimed that these things were not matters of conscience; that though they were not commanded in Scripture, and hence were non-essential, yet not being forbidden, they were not intrinsically evil. Their observance tended to narrow the gulf which separated the reformed churches from Rome, and it was urged that they would promote the acceptance of the Protestant faith by Romanists. 
 
Many earnestly desired to return to the purity and simplicity which characterized the primitive church. They regarded many of the established customs of the English church as monuments of idolatry, and they could not in conscience unite in her worship. But the church, being supported by the civil authority, would permit no dissent from her forms. Attendance upon her service was required by law, and unauthorized assemblies for religious worship were prohibited, under penalty of imprisonment, exile, and death. 

When first constrained to separate from the English church, the Puritans had joined themselves together by a solemn covenant, as the Lord's free people, “to walk in all his ways, made known or to be made known to them.” Here was the true spirit of reform, the vital principle of Protestantism. It was with this purpose that the Pilgrims departed from Holland to find a home in the New World. It was the desire for liberty of conscience that inspired the Pilgrims to brave the perils of the long journey across the sea, to endure the hardships and dangers of the wilderness, and with God's blessing to lay, on the shores of America, the foundation of a mighty nation.

The Bible was held as the foundation of faith, the source of wisdom, and the charter of liberty. Its principles were diligently taught in the home, in the school, and in the church, and its fruits were manifest in thrift, intelligence, purity, and temperance. One might be for years a dweller in the Puritan settlements, and not see a drunkard, nor hear swearing, nor meet a beggar. It was demonstrated that the principles of the Bible are the surest safeguards of national greatness. The feeble and isolated colonies grew to a confederation of powerful States, and the world marked with wonder the peace and prosperity of “a church without a pope, and a State without a king.” 

Eleven years after the planting of the first colony, Roger Williams came to the New World. Like the early Pilgrims, he came to enjoy religious freedom; but unlike them, he saw—what so few in his time had yet seen—that this freedom was the inalienable right of all, whatever might be their creed. He was an earnest seeker for truth, with Robinson holding it impossible that all the light from God's Word had yet been received. Williams “was the first person in modern Christendom to assert, in its plenitude, the doctrine of the liberty of conscience, the equality of opinions before the law.” He declared it to be the duty of the magistrate to restrain crime, but never to control the conscience. “The public or the magistrates may decide,” he said, “what is due from men to men, but when they attempt to prescribe a man's duty to God, they are out of place.

In that grand old document which our forefathers set forth as their bill of rights—the Declaration of Independence— they declared: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And the Constitution guarantees, in the most explicit terms, the inviolability of conscience: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office of public trust under the United States.” “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” 

“The framers of the Constitution recognized the eternal principle that man's relation to his God is above human legislation, and his right of conscience inalienable. Reasoning was not necessary to establish this truth; we are conscious of it in our own bosom. It is this consciousness, which, in defiance of human laws, has sustained so many martyrs in tortures and flames. They felt that their duty to God was superior to human enactments, and that man could exercise no authority over their consciences. It is an inborn principle which nothing can eradicate.” 

God blessed America the land that I love, He stood beside her and guided her when she would follow. But, that has ended. America is no longer that once great Protestant nation she used to be. She has now embarked upon that path revealed in Scripture. The Bible is no longer held as the foundation of faith. She is leading the nations of the world.


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 19, 2011, 07:08:08 AM
The End for Those Who Twist the Truth

"A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD."  Jeremiah 25:31 


The minister who has sacrificed truth to gain the favor of men will soon discern the character and influence of his teachings. It will be apparent that the omniscient eye was following him as he preached from the pulpit, as he walked the streets, as he mingled with men in the various scenes of life. Every emotion of the soul, every line written, every word uttered, every act that led men to rest in a refuge of falsehood, has been scattering seed; and then, in the wretched, lost souls around him, he will behold the harvest. 

Saith the Lord: "They have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace." "With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life." Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:22.  

"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! . . . Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings." "Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for your days for slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; . . . and the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape." Jeremiah 23:1, 2;  25:34, 35.  

Ministers and people will soon see that they have not sustained the right relation to God. They will see that they have rebelled against the Author of all just and righteous law. The setting aside of the divine precepts gave rise to thousands of springs of evil, discord, hatred, iniquity, until the earth became one vast field of strife, one sink of corruption. This is the view that will appear to those who reject truth and choose to cherish error. No language can express the longing which the disobedient and disloyal will feel for that which they have lost forever--eternal life. Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence will now see these things in their true light. They will realize what they have forfeited by transgression.

Very soon the people will see that they have been deluded. They will accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all will unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Then, in their despair, these teachers will confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes will be filled with fury. "We are lost!" they cry, "and you are the cause of our ruin;" and they will turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God's people will be employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there will be strife and bloodshed. 
 
"A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked to the sword." Jeremiah 25:31. For six thousand years the great controversy has been in progress; the Son of God and His heavenly messengers have been in conflict with the power of the evil one, to warn, enlighten, and save the children of men. Soon, very soon, all will have made their decisions; the wicked will have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God. The time will soon come for God to vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. The controversy is not alone with Satan, but with men. "The Lord hath a controversy with the nations;" "He will give them that are wicked to the sword."
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Vicki on July 19, 2011, 09:20:24 AM
That is difficult to read. I wanted to place my hands over my face and cry, "Woe, woe!" for these lost souls who are turning their back on the truth so as not to offend anyone. Yet by doing so the offenses abound! These are our friends, relatives, neighbors! Yet they allow ministers and others to deceive them by not studying for themselves. Lord, open their eyes before it is forever too late! He calls but many refuse to hear. Woe!   :'(
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 19, 2011, 09:33:33 AM
It is a sad truth to contemplate, but we must not turn our eyes from the reality. Today, many are in the "valley of decision".  Today, all may turn to Christ with the whole heart.  The message for the churches today is very pointed and very easy to understand. None need err, if only they will stop and pray about it.

Revelation
  3:14   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; 
  3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
  3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
  3:17   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: 
  3:18   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. 
  3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
  3:20   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. 
  3:21   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. 
  3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 
 

All need to study for themselves in the light of this message from Christ. It is applicable to the churches today. The truth is poured forth both for condemnation and for encouragement. Millions have been deceived and promised life when there is no life while sinning. The wages of sin is death. All sin, not just the great sins.  To those who know to do good and doeth it not, to them it is sin.  Unless there is true heartfelt repentance, there is no salvation.  Life is in Christ. If we are not abiding in Christ and He in us, then there is no life in us.  Temporal life, but not eternal life. It only comes with Jesus. 

The message to the false teachers is clear. It is much needed today that all may understand what is going to happen very soon. It is not a pretty picture. There is no eternal torment, but it will seem like an eternity for those who have misled so many.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on July 19, 2011, 10:50:07 AM
I was reading about it yesterday and here our brother posted it today. It is a horrible scene!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 28, 2011, 06:51:59 AM
Law, the Reality of Life

"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."  1 Corinthians 9:27 


If one throws a rock into the air, he ought not stand underneath it. It will come down. If one removes the air filter from his car, drives on a gravel road for months, the engine will suffer. There is a close relation between the moral law and the laws that God has established in the physical world. If men would be obedient to the law of God, carrying out in their lives the principles of its ten precepts, the principles of righteousness that it teaches would be a safeguard against wrong habits. But as, through the indulgence of perverted appetite, they have declined in virtue, so they have become weakened through their own immoral practices and their violation of physical laws. The suffering and anguish that we see everywhere, the deformity and disease now flooding the world, need not be, if God's moral law and the physical laws of our being were obeyed. By his own persistent violation of these laws, man has greatly aggravated the evils resulting from the transgression in Eden. How dishonoring to God is all this! How opposed to His design that men should glorify Him in their body and spirit, which are His! How destructive, too, to the health and happiness of mankind!

Against every transgression of the laws of life, nature utters her protest. She bears abuse as long as she can; but finally retribution comes, and the mental as well as the physical powers suffer. Nor does the punishment fall on the transgressor alone; the effects of his indulgence are seen in his offspring, and thus the evil is passed on from generation to generation.

Many complain of providence when their friends suffer, or are removed by death; but it is not in the order of God that men and women should lead lives of suffering, and die prematurely, leaving their work unfinished. God would have us live out the full measure of our days, with every organ in health, doing its appointed work. It is unjust to charge Him with a result which, in many cases, is due to the individual's own transgression of natural law.

Because mankind have, by the transgression of these laws, departed so far from God's purpose in their creation, and have brought upon themselves such untold woe, a reform in habits relating to health has become an important branch of the great work of God in the earth. The soul temple has been polluted, and men are called upon to awake, and win back their God-given manhood.

There is an intimate relation between the mind and the body; they react upon each other. In order, then, to reach a high standard of moral and intellectual attainment and to secure a strong, well-balanced character, the laws that control our physical being must be heeded; both the mental and the physical powers must be developed. Such a training will produce men of strength and solidity of character, of keen perception and sound judgment,--men who will be an honor to God and a blessing to the world.

In the providence of God, the laws that govern our physical being, with the penalties for their violation, have been made so clear that intelligent beings can understand them, and all are under the most solemn obligation to study this subject, and to live in harmony with natural law. Health principles must be agitated, and the public mind deeply stirred to investigation.

As in everything else, the Bible is the standard on this subject. The teaching of the Bible has a vital bearing upon men's prosperity in all the relations of life. Compliance with its requirements will be a blessing to both soul and body. When we make a full surrender to Christ, He sits on the throne of the heart. The Holy Spirit indwells sinful man and gives power to the mind to control the flesh. It is kept under, as the Apostle Paul tells us.  We are partakers of the divine nature and  manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is not only love, joy, and peace, but temperance also, which is self-control. It is God's desire that we possess health of body as well as health of mind.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 08, 2011, 09:00:50 AM
Fear God and Give Glory to Him!

"Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:12 


We have been looking with joyful expectation for the soon coming of our Lord in the clouds of heaven. We have not dared to be among those who say, even in their hearts, "My Lord delayeth his coming;" for upon such, a fearful woe is pronounced. Enoch walked with God, and held communion with him, and God instructed his servant in regard to the second advent of our Lord. Says the inspired word, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." The doctrine of Christ's coming was made known at this early date, to the man who walked with God in continual communion. The godly character of this prophet is to represent the state of holiness to which the people of God must attain, who expect to be translated to heaven.  How few understand!
 
The doctrine of the coming of Jesus was to have a marked effect and influence upon the lives and characters of men, and one of the great teachers, one of the purest examples among men, proclaimed it to the inhabitants of the old world, prior to the flood, and prior to his own translation to heaven. This great event,--the advent of our Lord in all the glory of heaven,--must be brought to the attention of men, and all should live with reference to this, the day of God that is soon to dawn upon us. The expectation of Christ's coming was to make men fear the Lord, and fear his judgments upon the transgressors of his law. It was to awaken them to a realization of the great sin of rejecting the offers of his mercy. 

We are on the verge of the eternal world. The judgments of God are already begun to fall upon the inhabitants of the land. God sends these judgments to bring men and women to their senses. He has a purpose in everything that He permits to take place in our world, and He desires us to be so spiritually-minded that we shall be able to perceive His work in the events so unusual in the past, but now of almost daily occurrence. 

We have before us a great work, the closing work of giving God's last warning message to a sinful world. But what have we done to give this message? Look at the many, many places that have never yet been even entered. Look at our workers treading over and over the same ground, while around them is a neglected world, lying in wickedness and corruption,--a world as yet unwarned. San Francisco would have long ago seen devastation, except the warning message has not yet been fully given to them.

We may filled with hope, courage, and joy as we contemplate the things which God has prepared for us that love him. "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming, for ye are our glory and joy"? "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet the hope of salvation." "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."

Almost two thousand years have passed since John heard this great truth, and the Lord has not yet come to reign. But shall we give up looking for his appearance? Shall we say, "My Lord delayeth his coming"? See how the specifications of the prophecies have been and are fulfilling right before our very eyes. Let us lift up our heads and rejoice; for our redemption draweth nigh. It is nearer than when we first believed. Shall we not wait patiently, filled with courage and faith? Shall we not make ready a people, to stand in the day of final judgment? Let us go forth proclaiming   "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Revelation 14:7  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on August 08, 2011, 09:30:41 AM
Amen! Yes, to stand as did Enoch amidst wickedness second only to that which we see around us today. Notice what enabled him to stand. He took periods of solitary rest, communing with God. That gave him strength to go back among the people and give the warning. His example was given to us for a time such as this.

Quote
Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
... said the man who walked with God in continual communion. We will not obtain such boldness without the experience of Enoch. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 08, 2011, 11:05:32 AM
It is past time for the sleeping church to awaken to her opportunities and responsibilities. To us is granted the privilege of hastening the soon coming of Jesus!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 18, 2011, 03:14:05 PM
Unity in Doctrine and Spirit

"that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Ephesians 3:19


After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the Jews, the priests, and the rulers of this world expected to see the disciples of Christ cast down and discouraged, because their Lord had been put to death. The disciples might have reasoned that they were in danger, and that they would better go out of Jerusalem; some might have said, "Do not stay there, but if you do stay, do not mention the name of Christ; for he is regarded as an impostor." But Christ had said, "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye are endued with power from on high." After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, they were to begin their work in Jerusalem, and let it extend from this city to the uttermost parts of the earth. Did any one lose his life in exalting Jesus before the people? Was any one killed?--Yes, Stephen was killed. Their enemies expected that terror would come upon the disciples, and that they would be afraid to speak the message of God. But hear what Peter says: "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by wonders and miracles and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you as ye yourselves also know: him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it." 

God wants his witnesses to present the genuine in contrast to that which is false. There were many converted under Peter's preaching, and it greatly disturbed the people; and as they spake to the people, the Sadducees came upon them. The disciples remembered the falsehood which these great, and supposedly good men had so zealously circulated,--that the disciples had stolen him away by night while the Roman guard slept. Can you be surprised that the Sadducees were grieved because those who believed, preached the resurrection of the man they had murdered, when the number of those who believed was about five thousand? The seed that Christ had been sowing while he was on earth, sprang up. Many were waiting for this God-given testimony to come from the disciples in reference to Christ and his resurrection, and they believed when they heard it; for it revived the testimony they had heard from the lips of Jesus, and they took their stand in the ranks of those who believed the gospel of Christ.

We have on record another testimony that proves the boldness of the disciples. When Peter and John had bidden the paralytic arise in the name of Jesus, and he had been healed, the people were amazed; and the Scripture says, "And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you: and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled." 

"And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, and Annas the high-priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high-priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole." The disciples were not afraid to proclaim the truth. They expected that they would be persecuted. "Whom ye crucified." Why did they not keep that back?--Because it was a testimony that they were to bear before the great men of the earth. "This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." Then they asked in this council, "What shall we do to these men?" I expect that this question will be asked many times in reference to those who keep the commandments of  God in these days of peril as time is about to close. The priests acknowledged that a notable miracle had been wrought, but they said, "That it spread no further among the people, let us straightly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people; for all men glorified God, for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is." They said, "Lord, thou art God," and we shall have to say the same thing. 

When the authorities come between us and God, we shall receive help if we only trust in him as did the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, and with them we shall be able to say, "Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is." But while we trust in God, no one should be presumptuous; and that we may not take an unwise course, we should pray constantly. We should not rush into danger unless God sends us there; nor should we call our brethren cowards because they are cautious in their plans that they may not unnecessarily provoke the rulers and powers of the earth. What was the strength of those who in the past have suffered imprisonment and death for Christ's sake?--It was union with God, union with the Holy Spirit, union with Christ. They had fellowship with God and with his Son, and the multitude that believed were of one mind and one soul. We may safely seek to be of one accord in doctrine and spirit, and if this were done, we would be in harmony with God's will. If selfishness and pride and vanity and evil surmising were put away, we would become strong in God, and the door of our heart would be open for the entrance of Christ; the baptism of the Holy Ghost would fall upon us, and we should be filled with all the fullness of God. Then we should know what is the length and depth and breadth and height of the love of God which passeth knowledge,--we should know something of the mystery of godliness. We would be able to speak, as did Peter and John, of the things which we had seen and heard. What we need is a living experience in the things of God. We need the transforming grace of Christ to bring into subjection every thought of the mind, every power of the intellect. The physical, mental, and spiritual powers should be under the control of the God of heaven who gives us life, who gives us food, who gives us every blessing. He is the God of Israel, therefore we will accept him, and him alone will we serve.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 30, 2011, 08:58:49 PM
Faith That Truly Believes in The Word of God

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, ." Romans 8:28   


The fact that we are called upon to endure trial shows that the Lord Jesus sees in us something precious which He desires to develop. If He saw in us nothing whereby He might glorify His name, He would not spend time in refining us. He does not cast worthless stones into His furnace. It is valuable ore that He refines. 

God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. 
 
All that has perplexed us in the providences of God will in the world to come be made plain. The things hard to be understood will then find explanation. The mysteries of grace will unfold before us. Where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken promises, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. We shall know that infinite love ordered the experiences that seemed most trying. 

He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. The blow that is aimed at him falls upon the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. Whatever comes to him comes from Christ. He has no need to resist evil, for Christ is his defense. Nothing can touch him except by our Lord's permission, and "all things" that are permitted "work together for good to them that love God."

Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme, will find perplexities vanish and a plain path before their feet.  As a little child, trust to the guidance of Him who will "keep the feet of his saints." 1 Samuel 2:9.  As we commit our ways to Him, He will direct our steps.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on August 31, 2011, 05:28:15 AM
Amen! Priceless counsel.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 04, 2011, 07:56:08 AM
Simple Trust

""By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; . . . for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Hebrews 11:5.   


When we learn to walk by faith and not by feeling, we shall have help from God just when we need it, and His peace will come into our hearts. It was this simple life of obedience and trust that Enoch lived. If we learn this lesson of simple trust, ours may be the testimony that he received, that he pleased God.  In every phase of our character building we are to please God. This we may do; for Enoch pleased Him though living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this our day. 
 
For three hundred years Enoch had been seeking purity of heart, that he might be in harmony with heaven. For three centuries he had walked with God. Day by day he had longed for a closer union; nearer and nearer had grown the communion, until God took him to Himself. He had stood at the threshold of the eternal world, only a step between him and the land of the blest; and now the portals opened, the walk with God, so long pursued on earth, continued, and he passed through the gates of the holy city,--the first from among men to enter there. 
 
With the word of God in his hands, every human being, wherever his lot in life may be cast, may have such companionship as he shall choose. In its pages he may hold converse with the noblest and best of the human race, and may listen to the voice of the Eternal as He speaks with men.  He may dwell in this world in the atmosphere of heaven, imparting to earth's sorrowing and tempted ones thoughts of hope and longings for holiness;  like him of old who walked with God, drawing nearer and nearer the threshold of the eternal world, until the portals shall open, and he shall enter there. He will find himself no stranger. The voices that will greet him are the voices of the holy ones, who, unseen, were on earth his companions--voices that here he learned to distinguish and to love. He who through the word of God has lived in fellowship with heaven, will find himself at home in heaven's companionship.     
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 16, 2011, 10:03:14 AM
Faith and Works

"By grace are ye saved through faith." Ephesians 2:8


"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Since we can be saved only through the grace of God, which is a free gift, why is it that man will to his own hurt, lift himself up in pride and take glory to himself for his supposed good works? The divine favor, the grace of God bestowed upon us through Jesus Christ, is too precious to be given in exchange for any supposed meritorious work on the part of finite, erring man. Man has nothing in himself. The most exalted does not originate from man, but is the endowment of his Creator, and can purchase nothing from God. Gold and silver cannot buy the favor of God; for the wealth of the world is the intrusted talent of the Lord. Let no one think that costly offerings to benevolent enterprises will elevate him in the sight of God, or purchase for him the favor of Heaven, or procure for him a place in the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare for those who love him. The precious blood of Christ is wholly efficacious. "Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." "Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price."     

The sinner's only hope is to rely wholly upon Jesus Christ. "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Our acceptance with God is sure only through his beloved Son, and good works are but the result of the working of his sin-pardoning love. They are no credit to us, and we have nothing accorded to us for our good works by which we may claim a part in the salvation of our souls. Salvation is God's free gift to the believer, given to him for Christ's sake alone. The troubled soul may find peace through faith in Christ, and his peace will be in proportion to his faith and trust. He cannot present his good works as a plea for the salvation of his soul.

From the testimony of Christ we can see that we are regarded by the Lord according to the kind of fruit we bring forth, the kind of works we perform; for they are an index of the way in which we regard Christ. "If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." These were Christ's words during the last interviews he had with his disciples before his death. The fruits of the life testify to the state of the heart. Jesus said, "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever." "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." 

Christians are to be the representatives of Jesus Christ; they are not to be pretenders. Shall the world form its conceptions of God by the course of those who only take the name of Christ, and do not his works? Shall they point to those who claim to be believers, but who are not believers at heart, who betray sacred trusts, and work the works of the enemy, and say, "O these are Christians, and they will cheat and lie, and they cannot be trusted"? These are not the ones who truly represent God. But God will not leave the world to be deceived. The Lord has a peculiar people on the earth, and he is not ashamed to call them brethren; for they do the works of Christ. They make it manifest that they love God, because they keep his commandments. They bear the divine image. They are a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. They co-operate with heavenly intelligences, and the Lord is most honored and glorified by those who do the most good works.

True piety of heart is made manifest by good words and good works, and men see the works of those who love God, and they are led thereby to glorify God. The true Christian abounds in good works; he brings forth much fruit. He feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, visits the sick, and ministers to the afflicted. Christians take a heart-felt interest in the children that are about them, who, through the subtle temptations of the enemy, are ready to perish. Fathers and mothers, if you have guarded your own children from the wiles of the foe, look about you to save the souls of the children who have not such care. Have an interest in the souls of those for whom Christ died. There are youth all around us to whom the members of the church owe a duty; for Christ has died for them upon the cross of Calvary to purchase for them the gift of salvation. They are precious in the sight of God, and he desires their eternal happiness. The saving work of Christ is complete only when the members of the church do their part, arising and shining because their light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon them. Christ calls for voluntary co-operation on the part of his agents in doing earnest, consistent work for the salvation of souls.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 23, 2011, 12:45:05 PM
Martin Luther

The Bible and the Bible Only


With his mind stayed upon God, Luther prepared for the struggle before him. He thought upon the plan of his answer, examined passages in his own writings, and drew from the Holy Scriptures suitable proofs to sustain his positions. Then, laying his left hand on the Sacred Volume, which was open before him, he lifted his right hand to heaven and vowed "to remain faithful to the gospel, and freely to confess his faith, even should he seal his testimony with his blood."
 
When he was again ushered into the presence of the Diet, his countenance bore no trace of fear or embarrassment. Calm and peaceful, yet grandly brave and noble, he stood as God's witness among the great ones of the earth. The imperial officer now demanded his decision as to whether he desired to retract his doctrines. Luther made his answer in a subdued and humble tone, without violence or passion. His demeanor was diffident and respectful; yet he manifested a confidence and joy that surprised the assembly.

"Most serene emperor, illustrious princes, gracious lords," said Luther, "I appear before you this day, in conformity with the order given me yesterday, and by God's mercies I conjure your majesty and your august highnesses to listen graciously to the defense of a cause which I am assured is just and true. If, through ignorance, I should transgress the usages and proprieties of courts, I entreat you to pardon me; for I was not brought up in the palaces of kings, but in the seclusion of a convent."

Then, proceeding to the question, he stated that his published works were not all of the same character. In some he had treated of faith and good works, and even his enemies declared them not only harmless but profitable. To retract these would be to condemn truths which all parties confessed. The second class consisted of writings exposing the corruptions and abuses of the papacy. To revoke these works would strengthen the tyranny of Rome and open a wider door to many and great impieties. In the third class of his books he had attacked individuals who had defended existing evils. Concerning these he freely confessed that he had been more violent than was becoming. He did not claim to be free from fault; but even these books he could not revoke, for such a course would embolden the enemies of truth, and they would then take occasion to crush God's people with still greater cruelty.
 
"Yet I am but a mere man, and not God," he continued; "I shall therefore defend myself as Christ did: 'If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil.' . . . By the mercy of God, I conjure you, most serene emperor, and you, most illustrious princes, and all men of every degree, to prove from the writings of the prophets and apostles that I have erred. As soon as I am convinced of this, I will retract every error, and be the first to lay hold of my books and throw them into the fire. 

"What I have just said plainly shows, I hope, that I have carefully weighed and considered the dangers to which I expose myself; but far from being dismayed, I rejoice to see that the gospel is now, as in former times, a cause of trouble and dissension. This is the character, this is the destiny, of the word of God. 'I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword,' said Jesus Christ. God is wonderful and terrible in His counsels; beware lest, by presuming to quench dissensions, you should persecute the holy word of God, and draw down upon yourselves a frightful deluge of insurmountable dangers, of present disasters, and eternal desolation. . . . I might quote many examples from the oracles of God. I might speak of the Pharaohs, the kings of Babylon, and those of Israel, whose labors never more effectually contributed to their own destruction than when they sought by counsels, to all appearance most wise, to strengthen their dominion. 'God removeth mountains, and they know it not.'"
 
Luther had spoken in German; he was now requested to repeat the same words in Latin. Though exhausted by the previous effort, he complied, and again delivered his speech, with the same clearness and energy as at the first. God's providence directed in this matter. The minds of many of the princes were so blinded by error and superstition that at the first delivery they did not see the force of Luther's reasoning; but the repetition enabled them to perceive clearly the points presented.

Those who stubbornly closed their eyes to the light, and determined not to be convinced of the truth, were enraged at the power of Luther's words. As he ceased speaking, the spokesman of the Diet said angrily: "You have not answered the question put to you. . . . You are required to give a clear and precise answer. . . . Will you, or will you not, retract?"

The Reformer answered: "Since your most serene majesty and your high mightinesses require from me a clear, simple, and precise answer, I will give you one, and it is this: I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the councils, because it is clear as the day that they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the word of God, I cannot and I will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me. Amen."

Thus stood this righteous man upon the sure foundation of the word of God. The light of heaven illuminated his countenance. His greatness and purity of character, his peace and joy of heart, were manifest to all as he testified against the power of error and witnessed to the superiority of that faith that overcomes the world.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on September 27, 2011, 08:45:13 AM
"Come let us reason together" says our God. What you are looking at here is so important. Many want to disconnect "character" from religion. Character is religion. If our religion does not change our character, then what good is it? The alcoholic knows of the power of the gospel when he accepts Jesus Christ into his heart. How about the "common" sinner? Is God's grace of no avail for the "little" sins? How absurd the thought!  That grace only goes to others and is not for me and my "little" sins, is a false gospel. The truth will set us free indeed! From our "little" sins of unkindness and pride. Selfishness is sin. Christ suffered and died that we might die to self and live unto Him. Baptism is a representation of this death to self and a new birth of a new creature. That new creature does not reveal selfishness (sin). As we see this sin in us, we know that we are not connected to Christ. But, we ought not despair. Where is He? He stands at the door of the heart, knocking, wanting back in. Shall we open the door today and invite Him in? Yes! We do not want to deny Jesus His reward for all He has done for us. Reflecting His character is His reward! You and I have this power to bless our Saviour today!

A few weeks ago I prayed "that prayer" asking God to reveal to me anything in my life, the unknown sins, needing to be repented of, those things I am blind to. It was not long before a stark revelation was given. It was crystal clear. It came somewhat by surprise but not a complete surprise, for a specific instruction given as a child by a well-meaning grandmother was at its core. It took root and consequently bore fruit all these years. That was the revelation - its origins and prolonged practice. The thoroughness of the instruction was something that laid as a small thorn embedded in my mind. That, in itself, should have raised a red flag and a need to investigate. The Holy Spirit was consistently making me uncomfortable all those years.

The revelation had to do with an element of pride that I silently suspected might exist but fought against because my grandmother would never knowingly instill error. She was a Christian and as a child, I trusted her.

God was not slow to answer my prayer. He showed me it did exist! How grateful I am to have had that so clearly revealed. Now it is the object of my study. Thank you, Lord Jesus.       
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 27, 2011, 01:17:59 PM
"There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."  Sadly, there are a lot of thorns, "weeds" that have been planted in our minds. Some have more than others.  For me, since I was not in a Bible teaching church as a child, I did not have so many.  I learned the ten commandments and the golden rule. The rest was ceremony and boring to a child.

Today, these seeds of error planted by those we trust and the "religious" ones in the church make it very hard to see Bible verses in their right meaning. But, God will get through to us IF we want to do the truth. "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  John 8:31, 32. "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." John 7:17.  

It often takes time to get to the bottom of a matter. For 6,000 long years the Great Controversy between good and evil has been raging. If it could have been ended 5,000 years ago, God would have done it. We need to see the result of sin and we need to learn of the character of our God. Then, we understand that there is only one good choice to make with our lives. We must die and Christ must live within us. It is our only hope! What a blessing to understand!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on September 27, 2011, 01:35:55 PM
Amen! Such a blessing!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 08, 2011, 03:42:05 PM
How Much is Eternal Life Worth?

"...go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor..." Mark 10:21


Jesus saw in a rich young ruler just the help He needed if the young man would become a colaborer with Him in the work of salvation. If he would place himself under Christ's guidance, he would be a power for good. In a marked degree the ruler could have represented Christ; for he possessed qualifications, which, if he were united with the Saviour, would enable him to become a divine force among men. Christ, seeing into his character, loved him. Love for Christ was awakening in the ruler's heart; for love begets love. Jesus longed to see him a co-worker with Him. He longed to make him like Himself, a mirror in which the likeness of God would be reflected. He longed to develop the excellence of his character, and sanctify it to the Master's use. If the ruler had then given himself to Christ, he would have grown in the atmosphere of His presence. If he had made this choice, how different would have been his future!   

"One thing thou lackest," Jesus said. "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me." Christ read the ruler's heart. Only one thing he lacked, but that was a vital principle. He needed the love of God in the soul. This lack, unless supplied, would prove fatal to him; his whole nature would become corrupted. By indulgence, selfishness would strengthen. That he might receive the love of God, his supreme love of self must be surrendered. 

Christ gave this man a test. He called upon him to choose between the heavenly treasure and worldly greatness. The heavenly treasure was assured him if he would follow Christ. But self must yield; his will must be given into Christ's control. The very holiness of God was offered to the young ruler. He had the privilege of becoming a son of God, and a coheir with Christ to the heavenly treasure. But he must take up the cross, and follow the Saviour in the path of self-denial. 

Christ's words were verily to the ruler the invitation, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." Joshua 24:15. The choice was left with him. Jesus was yearning for his conversion. He had shown him the plague spot in his character, and with what deep interest He watched the issue as the young man weighed the question! If he decided to follow Christ, he must obey His words in everything. He must turn from his ambitious projects. With what earnest, anxious longing, what soul hunger, did the Saviour look at the young man, hoping that he would yield to the invitation of the Spirit of God! 

Christ made the only terms which could place the ruler where he would perfect a Christian character. His words were words of wisdom, though they appeared severe and exacting. In accepting and obeying them was the ruler's only hope of salvation. His exalted position and his possessions were exerting a subtle influence for evil upon his character. If cherished, they would supplant God in his affections. To keep back little or much from God was to retain that which would lessen his moral strength and efficiency; for if the things of this world are cherished, however uncertain and unworthy they may be, they will become all-absorbing.

The ruler was quick to discern all that Christ's words involved, and he became sad. If he had realized the value of the offered gift, quickly would he have enrolled himself as one of Christ's followers. He was a member of the honored council of the Jews, and Satan was tempting him with flattering prospects of the future. He wanted the heavenly treasure, but he wanted also the temporal advantages his riches would bring him. He was sorry that such conditions existed; he desired eternal life, but he was not willing to make the sacrifice. The cost of eternal life seemed too great, and he went away sorrowful; "for he had great possessions." 
 
His claim that he had kept the law of God was a deception. He showed that riches were his idol. He could not keep the commandments of God while the world was first in his affections. He loved the gifts of God more than he loved the Giver. Christ had offered the young man fellowship with Himself. "Follow Me," He said. But the Saviour was not so much to him as his own name among men or his possessions. To give up his earthly treasure, that was seen, for the heavenly treasure, that was unseen, was too great a risk. He refused the offer of eternal life, and went away, and ever after the world was to receive his worship.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on October 08, 2011, 07:00:53 PM
It is quite a horrifying picture, isn't it? "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Romans 6:16.

Salvation is a free gift but to the selfish at heart, the price is too high.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 09, 2011, 07:51:49 AM
"A free gift" that costs everything.  Share with us how this can be.  If it cost all that one has, how can it be a free gift? Maybe this is one of the "difficult Bible questions"?
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on October 09, 2011, 09:09:38 AM
Maybe I am naive, simple-minded enough to declare it requires no real theological unraveling or "unpacking," to use current vernacular.

Jesus says, "Here is the free gift of salvation for the taking." His requirement? Death to self and everything that follows in its wake. 

My part? Accept it through total and complete surrender to His will. The transaction is exceedingly simplistic, yet the most difficult thing the fallen nature would be asked to do: conform to the will of the Father. We cannot do it of our own power. Only Grace working in and through us can accomplish it. Sanctification. Romans 7 describes the inward struggle. The transitional period can be described as a living hell to one kicking against the pricks. We are born selfish. It is a natural state for us in a fallen world. But there is hope! Romans 8 describes the victorious life of walking in the Spirit. In Christ, we live, not bound to our own desires and love of possessions over that of God. It is a renewing of the mind that frees us from the bondage of selfishness. 

 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 09, 2011, 10:49:11 AM
What seems rather easy for some to understand is not so easy for others.  Your explanation of the process is very good, Sybil. It got me thinking again about my question. Salvation is free. Where did that wording come from? It is from Scripture, so we are on solid ground. "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."   Romans 5:18. When we look at this closer, we find that the gift is righteousness. And having righteousness is required for salvation.  "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  Romans 5:15-17.

The term we can use to help us better understand this is "righteousness by faith".  When we surrender to Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into the heart. Then, it is Christ, not I. He abides in us and takes possession of the heart. We are then born of the Spirit. We then possess all of the fruits of the Spirit. Jesus imparts and imputes His righteousness to us.

So, again, we ask, what is the cost of salvation? It is a free gift, but it costs something.  The inquiry of many a proud heart is, "Why need I go in penitence and humiliation before I can have the assurance of my acceptance with God?" Christ was sinless, and, more than this, He was the Prince of heaven; but in man's behalf He became sin for the race. "He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Isaiah 53:12.  But what do we give up, when we give all? A sin-polluted heart, for Jesus to purify, to cleanse by His own blood, and to save by His matchless love. And yet men think it hard to give up all! It is hard only because of man's rebellion and ignorance.  When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, then like the Apostle Paul, we gladly surrender our sin polluted heart to our Lord and Savior.  What an exchange!! How dare we say it costs something!!!  It cost more than we can comprehend for our Savior and our heavenly Father, but how could we ever say it cost something for us!!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 09, 2011, 10:57:45 AM
I can't stop there. A picture came to mind as I posted.  The world is having financial problems today. The word billions has been exchanged for the word trillions.  What if a bank offered to give me 100 trillion dollars if I would give them the garbage in my garbage can? That is as close as I can get in answering the question. Yes, it does cost something less valuable than my garbage in exchange for something infinitely more valuable than 100 trillion dollars.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on October 09, 2011, 11:21:33 AM
Good analogy.

Quote
...men think it hard to give up all! It is hard only because of man's rebellion and ignorance.

Absolutely yet it seems to be the experience of many. We are wicked beyond our knowledge. The Holy Spirit woos over a long protracted time and then at some point, something happens, a life event: a death, a marriage, the birth of a child, the loss of every material thing, disasters or even a revelation that was hidden heretofore that causes the soul to look upward and surrender. We find God was there all along.

Quote
When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, then like the Apostle Paul, we gladly surrender our sin polluted heart to our Lord and Savior.

Yes - when we know God. Happy, happy is that day! 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 10, 2011, 09:12:46 AM
Amen!!

Satan lived in the glory of the knowledge of God, but we have not. There was nothing more God  could show him, but with man, we have been deceived about who God is. His character has been maligned. Through of knowledge of God, we can be reconciled to Him. It is our only hope. What a blessed hope!

A promise for us from Ephesians:
 3:17   That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 
 3:18   May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 
 3:19   And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 
 3:20   Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 
 3:21   Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 21, 2011, 10:53:33 PM
Justification by Faith

"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." Galatians 3:11 


As penitent sinners, contrite before God, discern Christ’s atonement in their behalf, and accept this atonement as their only hope in this life and the future life, their sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his or her will entirely to God’s will, and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer, and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory. Pardon and justification are one and the same thing.

Justification is the opposite of condemnation. God’s boundless mercy is exercised toward those who are wholly undeserving. He forgives transgressions and sins for the sake of Jesus, who has become the propitiation for our sins. Through faith in Christ the guilty transgressor is brought into favor with God.

It is the righteousness of Christ that makes the penitent sinner acceptable to God and works his justification. However sinful has been his life, if he believes in Jesus as his personal Saviour, he stands before God in the spotless robes of Christ's imputed righteousness.

The apostle James saw that dangers would arise in presenting the subject of justification by faith, and he labored to show that genuine faith cannot exist without corresponding works. The experience of Abraham is presented. "Seest thou," he says, "how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Thus genuine faith does a genuine work in the believer. Faith and obedience bring a solid, valuable experience.

There is a belief that is not a saving faith. The Word declares that the devils believe and tremble. The so-called faith that does not work by love and purify the soul will not justify any man. Abraham believed God. How do we know that he believed? His works testified to the character of his faith, and his faith was accounted to him for righteousness. Justification by faith in Christ will be made manifest in transformation of character.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 28, 2011, 09:50:44 PM

Righteousness by Faith

"For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Galatians 5:5
     


And what is it to believe? It is to fully accept that Jesus Christ died as our sacrifice; that He became the curse for us, took our sins upon Himself, and imputed unto us His own righteousness. Therefore we claim this righteousness of Christ, we believe it, and it is our righteousness. He is our Saviour. He saves us because He said He would. Are we going to go into all the explanations as to how He can save us? Do we have the goodness in ourselves that will make us better and cleanse us from the spots and stains of sin, enabling us then to come to God? We simply cannot do it.

Don't you know that when the young man came to Christ and asked Him what he should do that he might have life, Christ told him to keep the commandments. Said he, "I have done it." Now the Lord wanted to bring this lesson right home. "What lack I yet? I am perfectly whole" (Matthew 19:20). He did not see that there was a thing the matter with him or why he should not have eternal life. "I have done it," he said. Now Christ touches the plague spot of his heart. He says, "Come, follow Me, and ye shall have life."  What did he do? He turned away very sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 

Now he had not kept the commandments at all. He should have accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and taken hold of His righteousness. Then, as he had the righteousness of Christ, he could keep the law of God. The young ruler could not trample that law under his feet. He must respect it; he must love it. Then Christ would bring divine power to combine with man's efforts. 

Christ took upon Himself humanity for us. He clothed His divinity, and divinity and humanity were combined. He showed that that law which Satan declared could not be kept, could be kept. Christ took humanity to stand here in our world, to show that Satan had lied. He took humanity upon Himself to demonstrate that with divinity and humanity combined, man could keep the law of Jehovah. Separate humanity from divinity, and you can try to work out your own righteousness from now till Christ comes, and it will be nothing but a failure. 

By living faith, by earnest prayer to God, and depending upon Jesus' merits, we are clothed with His righteousness, and we are saved. "Oh, yes," some say, "we are saved in doing nothing. In fact, I am saved. I need not keep the law of God. I am saved by the righteousness of Jesus Christ." Christ came to our world to bring all men back to allegiance to God. To take the position that you can break God's law, for Christ has done it all, is a position of death, for you are as verily a transgressor as anyone. 

Then what is it? It is to hear and to see that with the righteousness of Christ which you hold by faith, righteousness supplied by His efforts and His divine power, you can keep the commandments of God. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 04, 2011, 02:19:35 PM

Conversion

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6    
     


Since hearing Jesus, Nicodemus had anxiously studied the prophecies relating to the Messiah; and the more he searched, the stronger was his conviction that this was the One who was to come. With many others in Israel he had been greatly distressed by the profanation of the temple. He was a witness of the scene when Jesus drove out the buyers and the sellers; he beheld the wonderful manifestation of divine power; he saw the Saviour receiving the poor and healing the sick; he saw their looks of joy, and heard their words of praise; and he could not doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was the Sent of God.
 
He greatly desired an interview with Jesus, but shrank from seeking Him openly. It would be too humiliating for a ruler of the Jews to acknowledge himself in sympathy with a teacher as yet so little known. And should his visit come to the knowledge of the Sanhedrin, it would draw upon him their scorn and denunciation. He resolved upon a secret interview, excusing this on the ground that if he were to go openly, others might follow his example. Learning by special inquiry the Saviour's place of retirement in the Mount of Olives, he waited until the city was hushed in slumber, and then sought Him.
 
In the presence of Christ, Nicodemus felt a strange timidity, which he endeavored to conceal under an air of composure and dignity. "Rabbi," he said, "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." By speaking of Christ's rare gifts as a teacher, and also of His wonderful power to perform miracles, he hoped to pave the way for his interview. His words were designed to express and to invite confidence; but they really expressed unbelief. He did not acknowledge Jesus to be the Messiah, but only a teacher sent from God. 
 
Instead of recognizing this salutation, Jesus bent His eyes upon the speaker, as if reading his very soul. In His infinite wisdom He saw before Him a seeker after truth. He knew the object of this visit, and with a desire to deepen the conviction already resting upon His listener's mind, He came directly to the point, saying solemnly, yet kindly, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3, margin. 

Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things. Until this change takes place, making all things new, it will result in no saving good for you to discuss with Me My authority or My mission. 

Nicodemus had heard the preaching of John the Baptist concerning repentance and baptism, and pointing the people to One who should baptize with the Holy Spirit. He himself had felt that there was a lack of spirituality among the Jews, that, to a great degree, they were controlled by bigotry and worldly ambition. He had hoped for a better state of things at the Messiah's coming. Yet the heart-searching message of the Baptist had failed to work in him conviction of sin. He was a strict Pharisee, and prided himself on his good works. He was widely esteemed for his benevolence and his liberality in sustaining the temple service, and he felt secure of the favor of God. He was startled at the thought of a kingdom too pure for him to see in his present state.

The figure of the new birth, which Jesus had used, was not wholly unfamiliar to Nicodemus. Converts from heathenism to the faith of Israel were often compared to children just born. Therefore he must have perceived that the words of Christ were not to be taken in a literal sense. But by virtue of his birth as an Israelite he regarded himself as sure of a place in the kingdom of God. He felt that he needed no change. Hence his surprise at the Saviour's words. He was irritated by their close application to himself. The pride of the Pharisee was struggling against the honest desire of the seeker after truth. He wondered that Christ should speak to him as He did, not respecting his position as ruler in Israel.
 
Surprised out of his self-possession, he answered Christ in words full of irony, "How can a man be born when he is old?" Like many others when cutting truth is brought home to the conscience, he revealed the fact that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God. There is in him nothing that responds to spiritual things; for spiritual things are spiritually discerned. 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 20, 2011, 11:00:26 PM
Judged by Our Works

"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"  James 2:20
     


"We are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, . . . of what sort it is."  Let us study these words carefully and prayerfully. In order to be understood, the Bible requires much thought. Let us not neglect our part. We are to labor together with God, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. If we are faithful in doing our part, in co-operating with Him, God will work through us the good pleasure of His will. But God cannot work through us if we make no effort. If we gain eternal life, we must work, and work earnestly. If we lack in spiritual strength, we may know that we have failed of doing our part.  Our will must be in harmony with His will. 

The characters we form here will decide our eternal destiny. What kind of material are we using in our character building? We must guard well every point, seeking to gain that purity which will make our lives harmonize with the saving truth we profess to believe. Our part is to put away sin, to seek with determination for perfection of character. As we thus work, God co-operates with us, fitting us for a place in His kingdom. 

If we constantly receive grace from God, we shall be vessels unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master's use. Daily receiving blessings, we shall daily impart blessings to those around us. But in order to be successful in this work, we must deny self. We cannot at the same time please self and serve Christ. We are not to follow our own inclinations, but look to Jesus, waiting to receive orders from our Captain. 

The doing of God's will is essential if we would have an increased knowledge of Him. Let us not be deceived by the oft-repeated assertion, "All you have to do is to believe." Faith and works are two oars which we must use equally if we press our way up the stream against the current of unbelief. "Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." The Christian is a man of thought and practice. His faith fixes its roots firmly in Christ. By faith and good works he keeps his spirituality strong and healthy, and his spiritual strength increases as he strives to work the works of God. 
 
There is a crown of eternal life to win, a heaven of bliss to gain. The way is rough, and there is much climbing to do. But those who endure the toil, urging their way through all obstacles, will receive the overcomer's reward. 

Christ has a right to our entire obedience. "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." "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." 

When we claim to accept Christ as our Saviour, and yet continue to cherish sinful practices, we misrepresent Him and put Him to open shame. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Naja on December 04, 2011, 01:30:12 PM
 :)Thanks, Richard.
    I appreciated this...
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on December 04, 2011, 02:12:45 PM
Naja, how are you? We have missed you.

Sybil
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 04, 2011, 04:39:57 PM
Naja, it is good to see your post!! We have been and are praying for you!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 24, 2011, 04:10:13 PM
A Christmas Message

"Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself,"  Mark 8:34
     


The Lord Jesus Christ came to our world as a helpless babe. He was born in Bethlehem, and the angel announced to the shepherds as they watched over their flocks by night, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
 
The Redeemer of the world might have come attended by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels; but instead of this He clothed his divinity with humanity, made Himself of no reputation, took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. For it became Him for whom are all things, and by whom all things consist, in bringing many sons and daughters unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

Jesus, the world's Redeemer, submitted to humiliation that we might have hope. For our sake He became poor, that through his merits we might be entitled to imperishable riches. Shall not the story of Christ's self-denial and self-sacrifice for our sakes, lead us to pour contempt on all our pride and selfishness? The Son of God could make nothing of the human family, save as He submitted to humiliation, and through suffering came in contact with suffering humanity. It was through unutterable woe that Jesus came to reach lost man where he is plunged in sin and degradation. Let us contemplate the life, nature, and purpose of the King of glory. Let us look upon the Majesty of heaven as He shrouded his glory in the form of a child, and was cradled in a manger. But though He was so lowly born, so humbly circumstanced, angels bowed in adoration before the Babe of Bethlehem, without forfeiting their place in the courts of God or marring their allegiance to the Deity. 
 
The Babe of Bethlehem, though the King of glory, was not entrusted to wealthy parents. His was a lowly lot. When presented in the temple, his parents could not offer anything but the offering of the poor,--a pair of turtle doves or young pigeons. This offering was made in behalf of the child Jesus; yet when Simeon took Him in his arms, the Holy Spirit fell upon him, and he knew the Lord's Anointed, and he blessed God, and said, "Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." 

The wise men from the East had not the blazing glory of the cross set before them as we have, but even so, they have left us an example of what we should do at Christmas. Jesus should be the object of our adoration, the recipient of our gifts. It is not man, but our Redeemer, that should be honored. To Him we should offer our praise and gifts and treasures; but instead of this, the world sets its treasures flowing in the channel of self-gratification, and to the honor of men. Christmas gifts are bestowed on our children, on our friends and relatives, and few think of what they can do to show their love and gratitude to God for his great love and compassion upon them. 
 
In celebrating Christmas, fathers, mothers, children, and friends are diverted from the great object to which the custom is attributed. They give their whole attention to the bestowal of gifts upon one another, and their minds are turned away from the contemplation of the Source of all their blessings both spiritual and temporal. In their attention to gifts and honors bestowed upon themselves or their friends, Jesus is unhonored and forgotten. Parents should seek to teach their children to honor Jesus. They should be instructed how He came to the world to bring light, to shine amid the moral darkness of the world. They should be impressed with the fact that "God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

We are dependent upon Christ for both spiritual and temporal blessings, we should especially remember the world's Redeemer, on those days in which others forget Him in pleasing one another, in games parties. We should show special honor to Him in whom our hope of eternal life is centered. Through all the year parents should be educating their children as to how they may honor Jesus in their gifts. They should instruct them that Christ came to the world to save perishing sinners, and that instead of spending money for needless ornaments, for candies and sweets to gratify the taste, they should deny themselves for Christ's sake, that they may offer to Him an expression of their love. The theme of Christ's amazing love can be so presented to your children that the little ones will be lost in wonder and love, and their hearts will be melted at the story of Calvary. Tell the children and youth that Jesus died to save them, that He wants them to give to Him their young lives that they may be his obedient children, and be saved from ruin. 

Christ will be pleased to see that the children and the youth, whom He loves, also love Him, and He will accept their gifts and offerings to be used in his cause. From the denial of self in children and youth, many little streams may flow into the treasury of the Lord, and missionaries may be sent out through their gifts to bring light to the heathen, who bow down to gods of wood and stone. Home missionaries also may be assisted, and there are poor who are suffering and needy, who may be blessed with the gifts of the children. Christ identifies his interest with that of his children. He says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me." 

Brothers and sisters, what are you going to bring to Jesus as an offering of love? What will you render unto the Lord for all his benefits? Will you show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, or will you devote your time and money to self and to pleasure seeking, as though self were the great object of attraction? O, may the coming Christmas be the best one you have ever enjoyed, because you have brought gifts to Jesus, and given yourselves and your all without reservation to Him who has given all for you. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on December 24, 2011, 04:18:06 PM
Beautiful message! Amen!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 24, 2011, 04:31:17 PM
What an opportunity we  have to not only talk about our Lord, but to reflect Him!! May we be faithful servants. He is coming soon to take us home!!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 31, 2011, 06:47:24 PM
A New Year

"Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword." Isaiah 1:18-20.
     



Although in one sense the first day of a new year is no more to God than any other day, yet he often puts into the heart of his children at that time a desire to begin the new year with good resolves,--perhaps with plans to carry out some worthy enterprise,--and with purposes to depart from the wrongs of the old year, and to live the new year with new determinations. 

In God's plan for his ancient people, he gave the command, "On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle." We have no tabernacle to set up as had the children of Israel, but we have a work of building to do, the importance of which all need to understand. "Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building," said the apostle. If we will work with God in the building of this tabernacle, establishing it firmly on the broad principles of heaven, then it can truly be said of us, "We are laborers together with God."   

We are yet in the early part of the new year. Let this work of consecration and progression be begun without delay. Let this first part of the new year be given to the work of pruning away the branches of selfishness. Let the mind turn with clear discernment to the work of examining critically our individual course of action. It is not our privilege to measure the actions of others or criticize their failings. God has not made us the bearers of others' sins. It is with our own selves we have to do. The more thorough the work of repentance and reform in our own lives, the less we shall see to criticize in others. 

We do wrong when we measure ourselves by the defects we see in others. God does not do so. He understands the circumstances of every life, and he measures the human being by the advantages that each one has had for perfecting a Christian character. He takes into consideration the opportunities the human agent has had for obtaining a knowledge of God and his truth. 

He who has a true estimation of the law of God will not compare his character with the character of others, or be led into having a pharisaical opinion of himself. He will judge his life by the holy law of God. When a certain lawyer came to Christ with the question, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Christ said to him, "What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." The lawyer recognized the two great principles which underlie the law of God. Jesus said to him, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live." 
 
It is for our own benefit and safety that God asks us to abandon the selfish and questionable projects, and make thorough work in cleansing the soul temple of sin. In his instruction to his disciples the Saviour shows how complete must be the work of eradication of evil. "If thy right eye offend thee," he declares, "pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." 

The fourth chapter of Ephesians contains precious instruction for the children of God at this time. We are to make continual advancement in the perfecting of Christian character, that we may be no more "children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up unto him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."
                                                               
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 10, 2012, 10:47:12 PM

Look Up!

"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. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. Isaiah 55:7, 8.


Is it your thought that your mistakes and transgressions have been so grievous that the Lord will not have respect unto your prayers, and will not bless and save you?  The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes; for your vision will be clearer, and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to His perfect nature. But do not be discouraged. This is evidence that Satan's delusions have lost their power; that the vivifying influence of the Spirit of God is arousing you, and your indifference and unconcern are passing away. 

No deep-seated love for Jesus can dwell in the heart that does not see and realize its own sinfulness. The soul that is transformed by grace will admire His divine character; but if we do not see our own moral deformity, it is unmistakable evidence that we have not had a view of the beauty and excellence of Christ. The less we see to esteem in ourselves, the more we shall see to esteem in the infinite purity and loveliness of our Saviour. A view of our own sinfulness drives us to Him who can pardon.

God does not deal with us as finite men deal with one another. His thoughts are thoughts of mercy, love, and tenderest compassion. "He will abundantly pardon." Look up, you who are tried, tempted, and discouraged, look up. It is ever safe to look up; it is fatal to look down. If you look down, the earth reels and sways beneath you; nothing is sure. But heaven above you is calm and steady, and there is divine aid for every climber. The hand of the Infinite is reaching over the battlements of heaven to grasp yours in its strong embrace. The mighty Helper is nigh to bless, lift up, and encourage the most erring, the most sinful, if they will look to Him by faith. But the sinner must look up.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on January 13, 2012, 06:47:01 AM
What a beautiful message of love and mercy. How can we comprehend it? Daily, our gratitude should widen and deepen when contemplating the cost of our redemption and the love that drove God's dear Son to the cross for every one of us. I weep at the thought.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 13, 2012, 10:49:28 AM
Amen! If we would take time to behold this great love, would we not all be drawn to the foot of the cross? That is the promise Christ made to our world. "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me."
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 13, 2012, 10:54:22 AM

"A New Heart Will I Give You"

"No servant can serve two masters."  Luke 16:13 


When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. But unless we do yield ourselves to the control of Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one. We must inevitably be under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world. It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 27, 2012, 09:48:39 PM

"Ye shall not surely die!"

  "The wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23


The only one who promised Adam life in disobedience was the great deceiver. And the declaration of the serpent to Eve in Eden—“Ye shall not surely die”—was the first sermon ever preached saying the soul that sinneth shall live. Yet this declaration, resting solely upon the authority of Satan, is echoed from the pulpits of Christendom and is received by the majority of mankind as readily as it was received by our first parents. The divine sentence, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:20, is made to mean: The soul that sinneth, it shall not die, but live eternally. We cannot but wonder at the strange infatuation which renders men so credulous concerning the words of Satan and so unbelieving in regard to the words of God.

Man was originally endowed with noble powers and a well-balanced mind. He was perfect in his being, and in harmony with God. His thoughts were pure, his aims holy. But through disobedience, his powers were perverted, and selfishness took the place of love. His nature became so weakened through transgression that it was impossible for him, in his own strength, to resist the power of evil. He was made captive by Satan, and would have remained so forever had not God specially interposed. It was the tempter's purpose to thwart the divine plan in man's creation, and fill the earth with woe and desolation. 

By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: "Dead in trespasses and sins;" "the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;" "no soundness in it." Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6. We are held fast in the snare of Satan, "taken captive by him at his will." 2 Timothy 2:26. God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him.

Said Jesus: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life." John 3:36. Every man may come into possession of this priceless blessing if he will comply with the conditions. All "who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality," will receive "eternal life." Romans 2:7.

Let faith lay hold on the promises of God. Jesus is mighty to save His people from their sins. Light from Heaven has illumined our pathway. Sin has been revealed to us by the Word and the Spirit of truth, that we may not be found transgressors of the divine precepts, and there is no opportunity to plead the excuse of ignorance. The command is "Depart from iniquity." 2 Timothy 2:19.

 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on February 17, 2012, 05:52:33 PM
"For the husband is the head of the wife"

  "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church" Ephesians 5:25


The world is at variance with Scripture. Two who unite in life will have distinct characteristics and individual responsibilities. Each one will have his or her work, but women are not to be valued by the amount of work they can do as are beasts of burden. The wife is to grace the family as a wife and companion to a wise husband. At every step she should inquire, "Is this the standard of true womanhood?" and, "How shall I make my influence Christlike in my home?" The husband should let his wife know that he appreciates her work. 

The wife is to respect her husband. The husband is to love and cherish his wife; and as their marriage vow unites them as one, so their belief in Christ should make them one in Him. What can be more pleasing to God than to see those who enter into marriage seek together to learn of Jesus and to become more and more imbued with His Spirit?
 
"Put on therefore, . . . kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering." "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us." Give careful study to the following instruction: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. . . . Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it." 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 10, 2012, 08:27:44 PM
The Most Important Work Ever Entrusted to Humanity

  "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6


In a day when the women of the world are forcing their way into the role of man, we have an encouragement for the faithful mother, who in times past presented the world with men such as Moses and Daniel.

There is a God above, and the light and glory from His throne rests upon the faithful mother as she tries to educate her children to resist the influence of evil. No other work can equal hers in importance. She has not, like the artist, to paint a form of beauty upon canvas; nor, like the sculptor, to chisel it from marble. She has not, like the author, to embody a noble thought in words of power; nor, like the musician, to express a beautiful sentiment in melody. It is hers, with the help of God, to develop in a human soul the likeness of the divine.

The mother who appreciates this will regard her opportunities as priceless. Earnestly will she seek, in her own character and by her methods of training, to present before her children the highest ideal. Earnestly, patiently, courageously, she will endeavor to improve her own abilities, that she may use aright the highest powers of the mind in the training of her children. Earnestly will she inquire at every step, "What hath God spoken?" Diligently she will study His word. She will keep her eyes fixed upon Christ, that her own daily experience, in the lowly round of care and duty, may be a true reflection of the one true Life.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on March 20, 2012, 03:27:21 AM
Quote
Earnestly will she inquire at every step, "What hath God spoken?" Diligently she will study His word. She will keep her eyes fixed upon Christ, that her own daily experience, in the lowly round of care and duty, may be a true reflection of the one true Life.   

Amen! She is never alone in this task while Christ Jesus is her Guide!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 24, 2012, 09:00:21 AM
Unity is Found on the Platform of Truth

  "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." John 17:17


God is leading out a people to stand in perfect unity upon the platform of eternal truth. Christ gave himself for the world, that he might "purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." This refining process is designed to purge his people from all unrighteousness and the spirit of discord and contention, that they may build up instead of tearing down, and consecrate their energies to the great work before them. God designs that his people shall come into the unity of the faith. In his prayer for his followers Christ said: "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth."

God's children will not be at variance, one believing one thing, and another having faith and views entirely opposite; each moving independently of the body. Through the diversity of the gifts and governments that He has placed in the church, they will all come to the unity of the faith. If one man takes his views of Bible truth without regard to the opinion of his brethren, and justifies his course, alleging that he has a right to his own peculiar views, and then presses them upon others, how can he be fulfilling the prayer of Christ? And if another and still another arises, each asserting his right to believe and talk what he pleases, without reference to the faith of the body, where will be that harmony which existed between Christ and His Father, and which Christ prayed might exist among His brethren?

Honest souls will see the straight chain of present truth. They will see its harmonious connections, link after link uniting into a great whole, and will lay hold upon it. The present truth is not difficult to be understood, and the people whom God is leading will be united upon this broad, firm platform. He will not use individuals of different faith, opinions, and views, to scatter and divide. Heaven and holy angels are working to unite, to bring into the unity of the faith, into the one body. Satan opposes this, and is determined to scatter, and divide, and bring in different sentiments.

False teachers may appear to be very zealous for the work of God, and may expend means to bring their theories before the world and the church; but as they mingle error with truth, their message is one of deception, and will lead souls into false paths. They are to be met, and opposed, not because they are bad men, but because they are teachers of falsehood, and are endeavoring to put upon falsehood the stamp of truth. What a pity it is that men will go to such pains to discover some theory of error, when there is a whole storehouse of precious gems of truth by which the people might be enriched in the most holy faith. Instead of teaching truth, they let their imagination dwell upon that which is new and strange, and throw themselves out of harmony with those whom God is using to bring the people up upon the platform of truth. They cast aside all that has been said in regard to unity, and trample upon the prayer of Christ as though the unity for which he prayed was unessential, that there is no necessity for his followers to be one, even as he is one with the Father. They go off on a tangent, and Jehu- like, call to their brethren to follow their example of zeal for the Lord. If their zeal led them to work in the same lines in which their brethren who have carried the burden are working; if they were as persevering to overcome discouragements and obstacles as their brethren have been, they might well be imitated, and God would accept them. But men are to be condemned who start out with a proclamation of wonderful light, and yet draw away from the men whom God is leading. This was the way in which Korah, Dathan, and Abiram did, and their action is recorded as a warning to all others. We are not to do as they have done.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 30, 2012, 10:17:53 AM
That Ye May Be Counted Worthy

  "And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;  (Of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. " Hebrews 11:36-38. 


Elisha was a man of God who drew close to the people in faithful ministry, and in times of crisis stood by the side of kings as a wise counselor. The long years of idolatrous backsliding on the part of rulers and people had wrought their baleful work; the dark shadow of apostasy was everywhere apparent, yet here and there were those who had steadfastly refused to bow the knee to Baal. As Elisha continued his work of reform, many were reclaimed from heathenism, and these learned to rejoice in the service of the true God. The prophet was cheered by these miracles of divine grace, and he was inspired with a great longing to reach all who were honest in heart. Wherever he was he endeavored to be a teacher of righteousness.

From a human point of view the outlook for the spiritual regeneration of Israel was as hopeless as is the outlook today before God's servants who are laboring in the dark places of the earth. But the church of Christ is God's agency for the proclamation of truth; she is empowered by Him to do a special work; and if she is loyal to God, obedient to His commandments, there will dwell within her the excellency of divine power. If she will be true to her allegiance, there is no power that can stand against her. The forces of the enemy will be no more able to overwhelm her than is the chaff to resist the whirlwind. 

There is before the church the dawn of a bright, glorious day, if she will put on the robe of Christ's righteousness, withdrawing from all allegiance to the world. God calls upon His faithful ones, who believe in Him, to talk courage to those who are unbelieving and hopeless. Turn to the Lord, ye prisoners of hope. Seek strength from God, the living God. Show an unwavering, humble faith in His power and His willingness to save. When in faith we take hold of His strength, He will change, wonderfully change, the most hopeless, discouraging outlook. He will do this for the glory of His name.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on March 30, 2012, 10:22:43 AM
How very timely. Amen.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 08, 2012, 09:43:56 AM

Calvary

"And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him."  Hebrews 11:36-38. 


Christ did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do, and with His parting breath He exclaimed, "It is finished." John 19:30. The battle had been won. His right hand and His holy arm had gotten Him the victory. As a Conqueror He planted His banner on the eternal heights. Was there not joy among the angels? All heaven triumphed in the Saviour's victory. Satan was defeated, and knew that his kingdom was lost.

To the angels and the unfallen worlds the cry, "It is finished," had a deep significance. It was for them as well as for us that the great work of redemption had been accomplished. They with us share the fruits of Christ's victory. Not until the death of Christ was the character of Satan clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds. Satan had so clothed himself with deception that even holy beings had not understood his principles. They had not clearly seen the nature of his rebellion.  Satan led men into sin, and the plan of redemption was put in operation. For four thousand years, Christ was working for man's uplifting, and Satan for his ruin and degradation. And the heavenly universe beheld it all. 

Heaven viewed with grief and amazement Christ hanging upon the cross, blood flowing from His wounded temples, and sweat tinged with blood standing upon His brow. From His hands and feet the blood fell, drop by drop, upon the rock drilled for the foot of the cross. The wounds made by the nails gaped as the weight of His body dragged upon His hands. His labored breath grew quick and deep, as His soul panted under the burden of the sins of the world. All heaven was filled with wonder when the prayer of Christ was offered in the midst of His terrible suffering,--"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34. Yet there stood men, formed in the image of God, joining to crush out the life of His only-begotten Son. What a sight for the heavenly universe! 

The warfare against God's law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion.

Then the end will come. God will vindicate His law and deliver His people. Satan and all who have joined him in rebellion will be cut off. Sin and sinners will perish, root and branch, (Malachi 4:1),--Satan the root, and his followers the branches. The word will be fulfilled to the prince of evil, "Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; . . . I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. . . . Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Then "the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be;" "they shall be as though they had not been." Ezekiel 28:6-19; Psalm 37:10; Obadiah 16.

This is not an act of arbitrary power on the part of God. The rejecters of His mercy reap that which they have sown. God is the fountain of life; and when one chooses the service of sin, he separates from God, and thus cuts himself off from life. He is "alienated from the life of God." Christ says, "All they that hate Me love death." Ephesians 4:18; Proverbs 8:36. God gives them existence for a time that they may develop their character and reveal their principles. This accomplished, they receive the results of their own choice. By a life of rebellion, Satan and all who unite with him place themselves so out of harmony with God that His very presence is to them a consuming fire. The glory of Him who is love will destroy them.

At the beginning of the great controversy, the angels did not understand this. Had Satan and his host then been left to reap the full result of their sin, they would have perished; but it would not have been apparent to heavenly beings that this was the inevitable result of sin. A doubt of God's goodness would have remained in their minds as evil seed, to produce its deadly fruit of sin and woe.
 
But not so when the great controversy shall be ended. Then, the plan of redemption having been completed, the character of God is revealed to all created intelligences. The precepts of His law are seen to be perfect and immutable. Then sin has made manifest its nature, Satan his character. Then the extermination of sin will vindicate God's love and establish His honor before a universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law.

Well, then, might the angels rejoice as they looked upon the Saviour's cross; for though they did not then understand all, they knew that the destruction of sin and Satan was forever made certain, that the redemption of man was assured, and that the universe was made eternally secure. Christ Himself fully comprehended the results of the sacrifice made upon Calvary. To all these He looked forward when upon the cross He cried out, "It is finished."

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 13, 2012, 08:41:34 AM
They That Trust in the Lord

"Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27 


Shortly before His crucifixion Christ had bequeathed to His disciples a legacy of peace. "Peace I leave with you," He said, "My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27. This peace is not the peace that comes through conformity to the world. Christ never purchased peace by compromise with evil. The peace that Christ left His disciples is internal rather than external and was ever to remain with His witnesses through strife and contention. 

Christ said of Himself, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34. The Prince of Peace, He was yet the cause of division. He who came to proclaim glad tidings and to create hope and joy in the hearts of the children of men, opened a controversy that burns deep and arouses intense passion in the human heart. And He warns His followers, "In the world ye shall have tribulation." "They shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake." "Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death." John 16:33; Luke 21:12, 16. 
 
This prophecy has been fulfilled in a marked manner. Every indignity, reproach, and cruelty that Satan could instigate human hearts to devise, has been visited upon the followers of Jesus. And it will be again fulfilled in a marked manner; for the carnal heart is still at enmity with the law of God, and will not be subject to its commands. The world is no more in harmony with the principles of Christ today than it was in the days of the apostles. The same hatred that prompted the cry, "Crucify Him! crucify Him!" the same hatred that led to the persecution of the disciples, still works in the children of disobedience. The same spirit which in the Dark Ages consigned men and women to prison, to exile, and to death, which conceived the exquisite torture of the Inquisition, which planned and executed the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, and which kindled the fires of Smithfield, is still at work with malignant energy in unregenerate hearts. The history of truth has ever been the record of a struggle between right and wrong. The proclamation of the gospel has ever been carried forward in this world in the face of opposition, peril, loss, and suffering. 

What was the strength of those who in the past have suffered persecution for Christ's sake? It was union with God, union with the Holy Spirit, union with Christ. Reproach and persecution have separated many from earthly friends, but never from the love of Christ. Never is the tempest-tried soul more dearly loved by His Saviour than when he is suffering reproach for the truth's sake. "I will love him," Christ said, "and will manifest Myself to him." John 14:21. When for the truth's sake the believer stands at the bar of earthly tribunals, Christ stands by his side. When he is confined within prison walls, Christ manifests Himself to him and cheers his heart with His love. When he suffers death for Christ's sake, the Saviour says to him, They may kill the body, but they cannot hurt the soul. "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." John 16:33; Isaiah 41:10.

"They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even forever." "He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in His sight." Psalm 125:1-3; 72:14. "The Lord of hosts shall defend them; . . . the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of His people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land." Zechariah 9:15, 16.



Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 11, 2012, 01:56:03 PM
First the Blade, Then the Ear, Perfect at Each Stage

"So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void."  Isaiah 55:11 

One of the most precious lessons taught is conveyed in the Saviour's parable of the growing seed. It has lessons for old and young.  "So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:26-28. 
 
The seed has in itself a germinating principle, a principle that God Himself has implanted; yet if left to itself the seed would have no power to spring up. Man has his part to act in promoting the growth of the grain; but there is a point beyond which he can accomplish nothing. He must depend upon One who has connected the sowing and the reaping by wonderful links of His own omnipotent power. 

There is life in the seed, there is power in the soil; but unless infinite power is exercised day and night, the seed will yield no return. The showers of rain must refresh the thirsty fields; the sun must impart warmth; electricity must be conveyed to the buried seed. The life which the Creator has implanted, He alone can call forth. Every seed grows, every plant develops, by the power of God. 
 
"The seed is the word of God." "As the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth." Luke 8:11; Isaiah 61:11. As in the natural, so in the spiritual sowing; the power that alone can produce life is from God.

The work of the sower is a work of faith. The mystery of the germination and growth of the seed he cannot understand; but he has confidence in the agencies by which God causes vegetation to flourish. He casts away the seed, expecting to gather it manyfold in an abundant harvest. So parents and teachers are to labor, expecting a harvest from the seed they sow.

For a time the good seed may lie unnoticed in the heart, giving no evidence that it has taken root; but afterward, as the Spirit of God breathes on the soul, the hidden seed springs up, and at last brings forth fruit. In our lifework we know not which shall prosper, this or that. This question it is not for us to settle. "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand." Ecclesiastes 11:6. God's great covenant declares that "while the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest . . . shall not cease." Genesis 8:22. In the confidence of this promise the husbandman tills and sows. Not less confidently are we, in the spiritual sowing, to labor, trusting His assurance: "So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Isaiah 55:11; Psalm 126:6. 

The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is a figure of the development of character. There can be no life without growth. The plant must either grow or die. As its growth is silent and imperceptible, but continuous, so is the growth of character. At every stage of development our life may be perfect; yet if God's purpose for us is fulfilled, there will be constant advancement. 

The plant grows by receiving that which God has provided to sustain its life. So spiritual growth is attained through co-operation with divine agencies. As the plant takes root in the soil, so we are to take root in Christ. As the plant receives the sunshine, the dew, and the rain, so are we to receive the Holy Spirit. If our hearts are stayed upon Christ, He will come unto us "as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." As the Sun of Righteousness, He will arise upon us "with healing in His wings." We shall "grow as the lily." We "shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine." Hosea 6:3; Malachi 4:2; Hosea 14:5, 7. 

The wheat develops, "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:28. The object of the husbandman in the sowing of the seed and the culture of the plant, is the production of grain--bread for the hungry, and seed for future harvests. So the divine Husbandman looks for a harvest. He is seeking to reproduce Himself in the hearts and lives of His followers, that through them He may be reproduced in other hearts and lives. 

The gradual development of the plant from the seed is an object lesson in child training. He who gave this parable created the tiny seed, gave it its vital properties, and ordained the laws that govern its growth. And the truths taught by the parable were made a reality in His own life. He, the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, became a babe in Bethlehem, and for a time represented the helpless infant in its mother's care. In childhood He spoke and acted as a child, honoring His parents, and carrying out their wishes in helpful ways. But from the first dawning of intelligence He was constantly growing in grace and in a knowledge of truth. So may we, by God's grace.



Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on May 15, 2012, 04:58:52 AM
Amen! I love this parable. It appears very simplistic yet its depth is unsearchable.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 26, 2012, 06:24:38 PM
"And This is Life Eternal"

  "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" Romans 10:10 

A bare assent to the truth is not of saving value to any soul. The submission that arises from conviction will be revealed by the self-surrender of the will. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."  While the understanding consents to the truth, the receiver trembles at the word of the Lord. Preparation may be made only at the throne of grace. Our tapers can be kindled alone at the altar of God by the holy fire. As we approach His altar He puts us under the guardianship of the Holy Spirit, who leads us in paths of holiness and peace, who takes the things of Christ, the precious words falling from His lips, and conveys them in living power into the obedient heart. The molding process of the Word of God places upon us the perfect image of its Author. 

God has given us knowledge, light, opportunities, and privileges. Shall the knowledge of God, which Jesus Christ came from heaven to impart, remain in our possession through our life as a dead letter? Shall we trifle with the letter from heaven which shows us the prescribed condition of salvation? "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." John 17:13
 
We must serve God with true devotedness and Jesus will be found of us to be a whole Saviour, saving to the uttermost all who come unto Him--complete in Christ! Praise the Lord! Praise His holy name. The truth will make us free and free indeed."

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 09, 2012, 11:01:08 AM
The Righteousness of Christ

  "I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem."  Job 29:14 

There is clothing which every one of us may innocently seek to obtain. It is the righteousness of the saints. If we will only be as willing and persevering in obtaining this as many are in fashioning their garments after the standard of worldly fashion, we will very soon be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and our names will not be blotted out of the book of life. We need to pray, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10. This purity of heart and loveliness of Spirit are more precious than gold, both for time and for eternity. Only the pure in heart shall see God.

We understand that line upon line and precept upon precept, the righteousness of Christ is the only dress in which we can be admitted into heaven, and that if we are robed in this apparel we will be constantly doing works in this life which will glorify God.


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on June 09, 2012, 11:04:20 AM
Amen and amen!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 09, 2012, 02:33:51 PM
The gospel of grace has been greatly perverted in so many different ways. There are those who think that the righteousness of Christ is going to cover their unconfessed and unforsaken sins. They believe that Jesus has saved them and that when they go to heaven, He will change their character. Such a deception. On the other hand, there are many who believe they must obey God's commands while living on this earth in order to enter heaven. It is true that we must first become saints here before we shall be  saints in heaven. Then where is the great deception with this "conservative" group?  They fail to understand that it is Christ's righteousness that we need, not our own. For our own righteousness is as filthy rags. Unless we die to self and allow Christ to empower us through His Spirit, we are none of His and all of our good works are really selfishness.

When we disobey God, when we do that which we know is wrong, then it is sin and it reveals we are separated from God.  In His mercy, He extends our period of probation that we might choose to let Him rule the life. The day will soon come when there will be no more opportunity to choose, for we will have made the final choice and our characters will be fixed. It is very sad there are so many false teachers leading so many away from the truth of the power of God's grace to transform the character. They use much truth to deceive that if it were possible they would deceive the very elect, but they cannot. For the very elect are looking to God, not to the broken cisterns of man.

We are witnessing today the results of the false teachers. One day, if they do not turn and repent, they shall better understand when it is too late what they have done to themselves, their families, and the church. The gospel message is very simple. Beware of those who come bearing the Greek and the Hebrew in an effort to explain it. The simple truth is found in the Words and life of Christ. His teaching was simple, so simple a child could understand. The day is soon coming when we shall be surrounded by danger, danger that we can see. Not that we are not surrounded by Satan today. It is a spiritual battle and He has his snares set all around us. But, I am speaking of the dangers that are visible, the dangers the Bible speaks of in these last days. All around us we see one disaster after another.  And, it is getting worse.  God has revealed to us the future and as long as we abide in Jesus, we shall make it through to the end.

Let us press together as that day approaches. By God's grace, today, we can be clothed in the wedding garment, the righteousness of Christ. Don't put it off until probation closes. Then it will be too late.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 22, 2012, 10:05:37 PM
A Whited Sepulcher

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."  Matthew 23:27
     


In Jesus' day the requirements for the Jews had become so complicated that it was impossible for them to be fulfilled. None knew when their obligations were met. As God gave it, the system was just and reasonable; but the priests and rabbis had made it a wearisome burden. 

All that God commands is of consequence. Christ recognized the payment of tithes as a duty; but He showed that this could not excuse the neglect of other duties. The Pharisees were very exact in tithing garden herbs, such as mint, anise, and rue; this cost them little, and it gave them a reputation for exactness and sanctity. At the same time their useless restrictions oppressed the people and destroyed respect for the sacred system of God's own appointing. They occupied men's minds with trifling distinctions, and turned their attention from essential truths. The weightier matters of the law, justice, mercy, and truth, were neglected. "These," Christ said, "ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." 
 
Other laws had been perverted by the rabbis in like manner. In the directions given through Moses it was forbidden to eat any unclean thing. The use of swine's flesh, and the flesh of certain other animals, was prohibited, as likely to fill the blood with impurities, and to shorten life. But the Pharisees did not leave these restrictions as God had given them. They went to unwarranted extremes. Among other things the people were required to strain all the water used, lest it should contain the smallest insect, which might be classed with the unclean animals. Jesus, contrasting these trivial exactions with the magnitude of their actual sins, said to the Pharisees, "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." 

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness." As the whited and beautifully decorated tomb concealed the putrefying remains within, so the outward holiness of the priests and rulers concealed iniquity. Jesus continued: 
 
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets." To show their esteem for the dead prophets, the Jews were very zealous in beautifying their tombs; but they did not profit by their teachings, nor give heed to their reproofs. 

In the days of Christ a superstitious regard was cherished for the resting places of the dead, and vast sums of money were lavished upon their decoration. In the sight of God this was idolatry. In their undue regard for the dead, men showed that they did not love God supremely, nor their neighbor as themselves. The same idolatry is carried to great lengths today. Many are guilty of neglecting the widow and the fatherless, the sick and the poor, in order to build expensive monuments for the dead. Time, money, and labor are freely spent for this purpose, while duties to the living--duties which Christ has plainly enjoined--are left undone.

The Pharisees built the tombs of the prophets, and adorned their sepulchers, and said one to another, If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have united with them in shedding the blood of God's servants. At the same time they were planning to take the life of His Son. This should be a lesson to us. It should open our eyes to the power of Satan to deceive the mind that turns from the light of truth. Many follow in the track of the Pharisees. They revere those who have died for their faith. They wonder at the blindness of the Jews in rejecting Christ. Had we lived in His day, they declare, we would gladly have received His teaching; we would never have been partakers in the guilt of those who rejected the Saviour. But when obedience to God requires self-denial and humiliation, these very persons stifle their convictions, and refuse obedience. Thus they manifest the same spirit as did the Pharisees whom Christ condemned. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 18, 2012, 11:31:49 AM
Can One Be Clean While Living in Fallen Flesh?

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus..."  Romans 8:1.
     


There is no evidence of true humility in going with the head bowed down and the heart filled with thoughts of self. We may go to Jesus and be cleansed, and stand before the law without shame and remorse. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.

Through Jesus the fallen sons of Adam become “sons of God.” “Both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Hebrews 2:11. The Christian's life should be one of faith, of victory, and joy in God. “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4. Truly spake God's servant Nehemiah, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10. And says Paul: “Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice.” “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
 
Such are the fruits of Bible conversion and sanctification; and it is because the great principles of righteousness set forth in the law of God are so indifferently regarded by the Christian world, that these fruits are so rarely witnessed. This is why there is manifest so little of that deep, abiding work of the Spirit of God which marked revivals in former years. 

It is by beholding that we become changed. And as those sacred precepts in which God has opened to men the perfection and holiness of his character are neglected, and the minds of the people are attracted to human teachings and theories, what marvel that there has followed a decline of living piety in the church. Saith the Lord, “They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:3.
 
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly. . . . But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3. It is only as the law of God is restored to its rightful position that there can be a revival of primitive faith and godliness among his professed people. “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 20, 2012, 12:13:47 PM
Obey Not, Teach Not, Human Wisdom

“Observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you."  Matthew 28:20
     


In the commission to His disciples, Christ not only outlined their work, but gave them their message. Teach the people, He said, "to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken, not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament, is here included. Human teaching is shut out. There is no place for tradition, for man's theories and conclusions, or for church legislation. No laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority are included in the commission. None of these are Christ's servants to teach. "The law and the prophets," with the record of His own words and deeds, are the treasure committed to the disciples to be given to the world. Christ's name is their watchword, their badge of distinction, their bond of union, the authority for their course of action, and the source of their success. Nothing that does not bear His superscription is to be recognized in His kingdom. 

The gospel is to be presented, not as a lifeless theory, but as a living force to change the life. God desires that the receivers of His grace shall be witnesses to its power. Those whose course has been most offensive to Him He freely accepts; when they repent, He imparts to them His divine Spirit, places them in the highest positions of trust, and sends them forth into the camp of the disloyal to proclaim His boundless mercy. He would have His servants bear testimony to the fact that through His grace men may possess Christlikeness of character, and may rejoice in the assurance of His great love. He would have us bear testimony to the fact that He cannot be satisfied until the human race are reclaimed and reinstated in their holy privileges as His sons and daughters. 
 
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 26, 2012, 11:40:46 AM

Jesus, a Revelation of God's Love

"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2 Corinthians 5:19
     


As a sinner, man is in a different position from that of Satan. Lucifer in heaven had sinned in the light of God's glory. To him as to no other created being was given a revelation of God's love. Understanding the character of God, knowing His goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him. But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God. 

Through Jesus, God's mercy was manifested to men; but mercy does not set aside justice. The law reveals the attributes of God's character, and not a jot or tittle of it could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. God did not change His law, but He sacrificed Himself, in Christ, for man's redemption. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2 Corinthians 5:19.   
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 27, 2012, 09:56:14 PM

A Solemn Responsibility

"Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come." Revelation 14:7     


God has made men channels through which His gifts are to flow to sustain the work that He would have carried in the world. He has given them property to be wisely used, not selfishly hoarded, or extravagantly expended. He has entrusted them with means with which to support His servants in their labours as missionaries, and to sustain the institutions He has established among us. Those who rejoice in the pure light of truth should feel an intense desire to send this truth everywhere. 
 
The burden of giving to the world the truth for this time is not to rest upon a few men and women. Upon every church member in every place rests the responsibility of acting a part in the closing work of this earth's history. Believers everywhere are to pray earnestly and work diligently for the advancement of the third angel's message in the earth. 

We are living in the time of the end, when the judgments of God are in the land. Signs on every hand show that the agencies of evil are strengthening. Lucifer and his servants are working with unceasing activity. In this time of peril the people who keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment are to be awake to the situation, prepared to resist the attacks of the enemy. While wickedness abounds on every hand, God's people are to be fully controlled by the Holy Spirit. Greater solemnity and earnestness should be brought into the work. All light and trifling words should be left unspoken. Believers should speak and act as a people who realize the solemn meaning of the events taking place.

Precious light, clear evidence regarding the testing truths for this time, is to go forth from those to whom the Lord has given a knowledge of the third angel's message. Every church should awake to its responsibilities, and work wisely in co-operation with heavenly agencies, for the extension of Christ's kingdom in the earth. There is no time to lose.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 30, 2012, 09:43:58 AM

Rebellion

"Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." 1 Samuel 15:23     


"Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." Rebellion originated with Satan, and all rebellion against God is directly due to satanic influence. Those who set themselves against the government of God have entered into an alliance with the archapostate, and he will exercise his power and cunning to captivate the senses and mislead the understanding. He will cause everything to appear in a false light. Like our first parents, those who are under his bewitching spell see only the great benefits to be received by transgression. 

No stronger evidence can be given of Satan's delusive power than that many who are thus led by him deceive themselves with the belief that they are in the service of God. When Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rebelled against the authority of Moses, they thought they were opposing only a human leader, a man like themselves; and they came to believe that they were verily doing God service. But in rejecting God's chosen instrument they rejected Christ; they insulted the Spirit of God. So, in the days of Christ, the Jewish scribes and elders, who professed great zeal for the honor of God, crucified His Son. The same spirit still exists in the hearts of those who set themselves to follow their own will in opposition to the will of God. 

Saul had had the most ample proof that Samuel was divinely inspired. His venturing to disregard the command of God through the prophet was against the dictates of reason and sound judgment. His fatal presumption must be attributed to satanic sorcery. Saul had manifested great zeal in suppressing idolatry and witchcraft; yet in his disobedience to the divine command he had been actuated by the same spirit of opposition to God and had been as really inspired by Satan as are those who practice sorcery; and when reproved, he had added stubbornness to rebellion. He could have offered no greater insult to the Spirit of God had he openly united with idolaters.

It is a perilous step to slight the reproofs and warnings of God's word or of His Spirit. Many, like Saul, yield to temptation until they become blind to the true character of sin. They flatter themselves that they have had some good object in view, and have done no wrong in departing from the Lord's requirements. Thus they do despite to the Spirit of grace, until its voice is no longer heard, and they are left to the delusions which they have chosen.                 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on July 30, 2012, 10:08:58 AM
Quote
Thus they do despite to the Spirit of grace, until its voice is no longer heard, and they are left to the delusions which they have chosen.                 

That last sentence ... whew!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 31, 2012, 11:30:36 AM

Look and Live

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." 1 John 3:1


Look, O look to Jesus and live! You cannot but be moved by the matchless love of the Son of God. Christ was God manifest in the flesh, the mystery hidden for ages, and in our acceptance or rejection of the Saviour of the world are involved eternal interests. 

To save the transgressor of God's law, Christ, the one equal with the Father, came to live heaven before men, that they might learn to know what it is to have heaven in the heart. He illustrated what man must be to be worthy of the precious boon of the life that measures with the life of God. 
 
The life of Christ was a life charged with a divine message of the love of God, and he longed intensely to impart this love to others in rich measure. Compassion beamed from his countenance, and his conduct was characterized by grace, humility, truth, and love. Every member of his church militant must manifest the same qualities, if he would join the church triumphant. The love of Christ is so broad, so full of glory, that in comparison to it, everything that men esteem as great, dwindles into insignificance. When we obtain a view of it, we exclaim, O the depth of the riches of the love that God bestowed upon men in the gift of his only begotten Son! 
 
When we seek for appropriate language in which to describe the love of God, we find words too tame, too weak, too far beneath the theme, and we lay down our pen and say, "No, it cannot be described." We can only do as did the beloved disciple, and say, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." 1 John 3:1. In attempting any description of this love, we feel that we are as infants lisping their first words. Silently we may adore; for silence in this matter is the only eloquence. This love is past all language to describe. It is the mystery of God in the flesh, God in Christ, and divinity in humanity. Christ bowed down in unparalleled humility, that in his exaltation to the throne of God, he might also exalt those who believe in him, to a seat with him upon his throne. All who look upon Jesus in faith that the wounds and bruises that sin has made will be healed in him, shall be made whole.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 04, 2012, 09:17:56 AM
The Character of The Remnant

"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book." Daniel 12:1.
 


When this time of trouble comes, every case is decided; there is no longer probation, no longer mercy for the impenitent. The seal of the living God is upon His people.
   
This small remnant, unable to defend themselves in the deadly conflict with the powers of earth that are marshaled by the dragon host, make God their defense. The decree has been passed by the highest earthly authority that they shall worship the beast and receive his mark under pain of persecution and death. May God help His people now, for what can they then do in such a fearful conflict without His assistance!

Courage, fortitude, faith, and implicit trust in God's power to save, do not come in a moment. These heavenly graces are acquired by the experience of years. By a life of holy endeavor and firm adherence to the right, the children of God were sealing their destiny. Beset with temptations without number, they knew they must resist firmly or be conquered. They felt that they had a great work to do, and at any hour they might be called to lay off their armor; and should they come to the close of life with their work undone, it would be an eternal loss. They eagerly accepted the light from Heaven, as did the first disciples from the lips of Jesus. When those early Christians were exiled to mountains and deserts, when left in dungeons to die with hunger, cold, and torture, when martyrdom seemed the only way out of their distress, they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ, who was crucified for them. Their worthy example will be a comfort and encouragement to the people of God who will be brought into the time of trouble such as never was.

Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed. There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master's will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works. These who were so familiar with prophecy and the treasures of divine wisdom, should have acted their faith. They should have commanded their households after them, that by a well-ordered family they might present to the world the influence of the truth upon the human heart.

Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul-temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost.
   
We are too easily satisfied with our attainments. We feel rich and increased with goods, and know not that we are "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Revelation 3:17. Now is the time to heed the admonition of the True Witness: "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." Verse 18.
 
In this life we must meet fiery trials and make costly sacrifices, but the peace of Christ is the reward. There has been so little self-denial, so little suffering for Christ's sake, that the cross is almost entirely forgotten. We must be partakers with Christ of His sufferings, if we would sit down in triumph with Him on His throne. So long as we choose the easy path of self-indulgence, and are frightened at self-denial, our faith will never become firm, and we cannot know the peace of Jesus, nor the joy that comes through conscious victory. The most exalted of the redeemed host that stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, clad in white, know the conflict of overcoming, for they have come up through great tribulation. Those who have yielded to circumstances rather than engage in this conflict, will not know how to stand in that day when anguish will be upon every soul, when, though Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land, they could save neither son nor daughter, for everyone must deliver his soul by his own righteousness.

No one need say that his case is hopeless, that he cannot live the life of a Christian. Ample provision is made by the death of Christ for every soul. Jesus is our ever-present help in time of need. Only call upon Him in faith, and He has promised to hear and answer your petitions.

Oh, for living, active, faith! We need it; we must have it, or we shall faint and fail in the day of trial. The darkness that will then rest upon our path must not discourage us, or drive us to despair. It is the veil with which God covers His glory when He comes to impart rich blessings. We should know this by our past experience. In that day when God has a controversy with His people, this experience will be a source of comfort and hope.

It is now that we must keep ourselves and our children unspotted from the world. It is now that we must wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is now that we must overcome pride, passion, and spiritual slothfulness. It is now that we must awake, and make determined effort for symmetry of character. "Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." Hebrews 4:7. We are in a most trying position, waiting, watching for our Lord's appearing. The world is in darkness. "But ye, brethren," says Paul, "are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." 1 Thessalonians 5:4. It is ever God's purpose to bring light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, and rest out of weariness, for the waiting, longing soul.

What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world, are receiving the worldly mold, and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth,--these are receiving the heavenly mold, and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth, and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity.

Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God,--candidates for heaven. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour.

The eye of God, looking down the ages, is fixed upon the crisis which His people are to meet, when earthly powers shall be arrayed against them. Like the captive exile, they will be in fear of death by starvation or by violence. But the Holy One who divided the Red Sea before Israel, will manifest His mighty power and turn their captivity. "They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." Malachi 3:17. If the blood of Christ's faithful witnesses were shed at this time, it would not, like the blood of the martyrs, be as seed sown to yield a harvest for God. Their fidelity would not be a testimony to convince others of the truth; for the obdurate heart has beaten back the waves of mercy until they return no more. If the righteous were now left to fall a prey to their enemies, it would be a triumph for the prince of darkness. Says the psalmist: "In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me." Psalm 27:5. Christ has spoken: "Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity." Isaiah 26:20, 21. Glorious will be the deliverance of those who have patiently waited for His coming and whose names are written in the book of life.
   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 11, 2012, 10:26:07 AM
Rejoice and Give Thanks

"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." Isaiah 49:15,16   


(http://remnant-online.com/Images/lily)

Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist discontented thoughts and feelings, as much a duty as it is to pray. If we are heaven-bound, how can we go as a band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the way to our Father's house? 

Those professed Christians who are constantly complaining, and who seem to think cheerfulness and happiness a sin, have not genuine religion. Those who take a mournful pleasure in all that is melancholy in the natural world, who choose to look upon dead leaves rather than to gather the beautiful living flowers, who see no beauty in grand mountain heights and in valleys clothed with living green, who close their senses to the joyful voice which speaks to them in nature, and which is sweet and musical to the listening ear--these are not in Christ. They are gathering to themselves gloom and darkness, when they might have brightness, even the Sun of Righteousness arising in their hearts with healing in His beams. 

Often your mind may be clouded because of pain. Then do not try to think. You know that Jesus loves you. He understands your weakness. You may do His will by simply resting in His arms.  It is a law of nature that our thoughts and feelings are encouraged and strengthened as we give them utterance. While words express thoughts, it is also true that thoughts follow words. If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have,--the great mercy and love of God,--we should have more faith and greater joy. No tongue can express, no finite mind can conceive, the blessing that results from appreciating the goodness and love of God. Even on earth we may have joy as a wellspring, never failing, because fed by the streams that flow from the throne of God. 

Then let us educate our hearts and lips to speak the praise of God for His matchless love. Let us educate our souls to be hopeful and to abide in the light shining from the cross of Calvary. Never should we forget that we are children of the heavenly King, sons and daughters of the Lord of hosts. It is our privilege to maintain a calm repose in God.

"Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; . . . and be ye thankful." Colossians 3:15. Forgetting our own difficulties and troubles, let us praise God for an opportunity to live for the glory of His name. Let the fresh blessings of each new day awaken praise in our hearts for these tokens of His loving care. When you open your eyes in the morning, thank God that He has kept you through the night. Thank Him for His peace in your heart. Morning, noon, and night, let gratitude as a sweet perfume ascend to heaven. 

When someone asks how you are feeling, do not try to think of something mournful to tell in order to gain sympathy. Do not talk of your lack of faith and your sorrows and sufferings. The tempter delights to hear such words. When talking on gloomy subjects, you are glorifying him. We are not to dwell on the great power of Satan to overcome us. Often we give ourselves into his hands by talking of his power. Let us talk instead of the great power of God to bind up all our interests with His own. Tell of the matchless power of Christ, and speak of His glory. All heaven is interested in our salvation. The angels of God, thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, are  commissioned to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. They guard us against evil and press back the powers of darkness that are seeking our destruction. Have we not reason to be thankful every moment, thankful even when there are apparent difficulties in our pathway?     

   
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee:
      Be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
      I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
      Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My
      righteousness." Isaiah 41:10.
 

 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 24, 2012, 11:00:07 AM
Prepare to Meet the Lord

"Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." Daniel 5:27   


We should not put off the coming of the Lord. We need to prepare for what is coming upon the earth. Let our works correspond with our faith. The mind must be stayed upon God, that our influence should tell for Him and His truth. We cannot honor the Lord when we are careless and indifferent. We cannot glorify Him when we are desponding. We must be in earnest to secure our own soul's salvation, and to save others. All importance should be attached to this, and everything besides should come in secondary.

Jesus was wounded, smitten, and bruised; He was stretched on Calvary's cross and suffered the most agonizing death to save us from death, that we might be washed in His blood and be raised up to live with Him in the mansions He is preparing for us, to enjoy the light and glory of heaven, to hear the angels sing, and to sing with them.

All heaven is interested in our salvation; shall we be indifferent? Shall we be careless, as though it were a small matter whether we are saved or lost? Shall we slight the sacrifice that has been made for us? Some have done this. They have trifled with offered mercy, and the frown of God is upon them. God's Spirit will not always be grieved. It will depart if grieved a little longer. After all has been done that God could do to save men, if they show by their lives that they slight Jesus' offered mercy, death will be their portion, and it will be dearly purchased. It will be a dreadful death; for they will have to feel the agony that Christ felt upon the cross to purchase for them the redemption which they have refused. And they will then realize what they have lost—eternal life and the immortal inheritance. The great sacrifice that has been made to save souls shows us their worth. When the precious soul is once lost, it is lost forever.

An angel is standing with scales in his hands weighing the thoughts and interest of the people of God. In one scale are the thoughts and interest tending heavenward; in the other are the thoughts and interest tending to earth. And in this scale are thrown all the reading of storybooks, thoughts of dress and show, vanity, pride, etc. Oh, what a solemn moment! The angels of God standing with scales, weighing the thoughts of His professed children—those who claim to be dead to the world and alive to God.

A form of godliness will not save any. All must have a deep and living experience. This alone will save them in the time of trouble. Then their work will be tried of what sort it is; and if it is gold, silver, and precious stones, they will be hid as in the secret of the Lord's pavilion. But if their work is wood, hay, and stubble, nothing can shield them from the fierceness of Jehovah's wrath.

Many measure themselves among themselves, and compare their lives with the lives of others. This should not be. No one but Christ is given us as an example. He is our true Pattern, and each should strive to excel in imitating Him. We are co-workers with Christ, or co-workers with the enemy. We either gather with Christ or scatter abroad. We are decided, wholehearted Christians, or none at all. Says Christ: "I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth."

Some hardly know as yet what self-denial or sacrifice is, or what it is to suffer for the truth's sake. But none will enter heaven without making a sacrifice. A spirit of self-denial and sacrifice should be cherished. Some have not sacrificed themselves, their own bodies, on the altar of God. They indulge in hasty, fitful temper, gratify their appetites, and attend to their own self-interest, regardless of the cause of God. Those who are willing to make any sacrifice for eternal life, will have it; and it will be worth suffering for, worth crucifying self for, and sacrificing every idol for. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory swallows up everything and eclipses every earthly pleasure.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 02, 2012, 05:22:19 PM
An Eye Single to the Glory of God

"We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18   


We expect too little from the inherent power of the gospel. We would rejoice to see a revival of the true missionary spirit. Let everyone consider and enter the field as home missionaries, as missionaries in foreign fields. The Lord has given every man his work. Can we have any doubt, if we enter this field to give Bible readings to hold forth the Word of life in humble reliance upon the Holy Spirit's power? His grace will be given to every self-denying one, earnest to do God service. 

God would have all of our idols abolished. We are to sow beside all waters. Illumination must be given; religious inculcation of ideas is essential through our schools, through our publications, through radio, television, and the internet. God has provided multitudes of avenues to take the gospel to the world. He will open the way and bless every effort. Press the work, urge it forward. Let self die. We must let Christ live in us in every effort we make. 

To have an eye single to the glory of God means to have singleness of purpose, to show forth the work that has been wrought in our hearts, that subdues our will to the will of God, and brings into captivity every thought to the glory of God. The world has been looking upon us to see if we live what we teach. What testimony have we revealed in our daily lives and character? God expects us all to do our very best, not to please, amuse, and glorify ourselves, but to honor Him in all our ways, returning unto him according to the light and privileges that he had given us through the endowment of His grace. He expects us to testify before heavenly angels, and to be living witnesses to the world, of the power of the grace of Christ.

It is not to be a mystery to God's church as to how it is that we are to become like Jesus, how it is that we may reflect His character. "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 07, 2012, 11:12:45 AM
Joy, Not Bitterness

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18.


Our verse today comes from this week's Sabbath School lesson. There is much needless worrying, much trouble of mind, over things that cannot be helped. The Lord would have His children put their trust fully in Him. Our Lord is a just and righteous God. His children should acknowledge His goodness and His justice in the large and the small things of life. Those who cherish the spirit of worry and complaint are refusing to recognize His guiding hand. Needless anxiety is a foolish thing; and it hinders us from standing in a true position before God.
 
When the Holy Spirit comes into the soul, there will be no desire to complain and murmur because we do not have everything we want; rather, we will thank God from a full heart for the blessings that we have. There is great need of more thankfulness among our workers today; and until they have this spirit they will be unprepared for a place in the kingdom of heaven. There is a mighty work to be done for every one of us. We comprehend but little of what God desires to work out through us. We should seek to realize the breadth of His plans, and profit by every lesson that He has tried to teach us.   

A great deal of mischief is wrought in the imagination of our own hearts and minds when we seek to carry our own way contrary to the law of kindness. Here is where many fail. We do not cultivate a disposition to kindness; we want everything to come in an easy way to ourselves. But the question of greatest importance to each one of us should be not how we can carry our own plans against the plans of others, but how we can have the power to live for Christ every day. Christ came to earth and gave His life that we might have eternal salvation. He wants to encircle each of us with the atmosphere of heaven, that we may give to the world an example that will honor Christ. Let all bitterness of heart disappear from your life.
 
The Holy Spirit will work with all who are consecrated. God has opened a door between heaven and earth, which no power can close. He calls upon every human being to be pure, holy, sanctified, in order that the work for this time may be accomplished. When God's people place themselves in proper relation to Him and to one another, there will be a full impartation of the Holy Spirit for the harmonious combination of the whole body.
   
Nothing so weakens a church as disunion and strife. Nothing so wars against Christ and the truth as this spirit. "By their fruits ye shall know them" Matthew 7:20. "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom" James 3:11-13.   

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 15, 2012, 08:09:32 AM

Ye Shall Receive Power

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20 


The people of God are called "the light of the world, a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid." "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God." "God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved." The Sun of Righteousness has risen upon the church, and it is the duty of the church to shine. Those who are connected with Christ will grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, to the full stature of men and women. It is the privilege of every soul to make advancement. No one is to be slothful in the vineyard. If all who claim to believe the truth had made the most of their opportunities and ability to learn all that they were privileged to learn, they would have become strong in Christ. No matter what may have been their occupation, if farmers, mechanics, teachers, or pastors, if they had wholly consecrated themselves to God, they would have been efficient agents to work for the heavenly Master. They would have fulfilled the injunction of the apostle: "Finally, my brethren be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

If Christ is not abiding in the soul, another spirit rules and controls; but Christ, the precious Saviour, is to be the Christian's all in all. Every holy thought, every pure desire, every godlike purpose is from him who is the light, the truth, and the way. Christ is to live in his representatives by the spirit of truth. Jesus said, "Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come." The events of the future will be discerned by prophecy, and will be understood. "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you." Christ is to live in the human instrument. Paul says, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." 

The privileges, the blessings of the child of God are represented by the apostle in the following language: "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." When we realize that our hope of glory is Christ, that we are complete in him, we shall rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. The apostle further says, that he ceased not to pray "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." 

If we as a people had improved our opportunities to gain a knowledge of the word, to obtain a vital experience in the things of God, we would have fulfilled the word, "Ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life. We can impart only that which we first receive. Those who are united to the church should be living, working agents to impart light to those who are in darkness. They should declare the truth of God, revealing his love and faithfulness. When men use their powers as God directs them to, their talents will increase, their ability will enlarge, and they will have heavenly wisdom in seeking to save those who are lost. But while the church-members are listless, and neglectful of their God-given responsibility, how can they expect to receive the treasure of heaven to impart to others? When professed Christians feel no burden to enlighten the minds of those who are in darkness; when they fail to make use of the rich grace of Christ, and cease to impart the knowledge they have received, they become selfish, narrow, bigoted, and their capacity to receive more and more heavenly illumination decreases rather than increases. They become less discerning, lose their appreciation of the richness of the heavenly endowment, and failing to value it themselves, they fail to present it to others. It is only as God sees his professed people eager to be laborers together with him, that he can impart to them light and grace; for then they will make every interest secondary to the interest of his work and cause. With such workers the heavenly intelligences will co-operate. Jesus says, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me." It is the union of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of the living witness that is to warn the world. The worker for God is the agent through which the heavenly communication is given, and the Holy Spirit gives divine authority to the word of truth.


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on September 15, 2012, 09:32:05 AM
How many years have we been in the Lord's garden? and what profit have we brought to the Master? How are we meeting the inspecting eye of God? Are we increasing in reverence, love, humility, confidence in God? Do we cherish gratitude for all his mercies? Are we seeking to bless those around us? Do we manifest the spirit of Jesus in our families? Are we teaching his word to our children, and making known to them the wonderful works of God? The Christian must represent Jesus by both being good and doing good. Then there will be a fragrance about the life, a loveliness of character, which will reveal the fact that he is a child of God, an heir of heaven.
 
     Brethren, be no longer slothful servants. Every soul must battle against inclination. Christ came not to save men in their sins, but from their sins. He has made it possible for us to possess a holy character; do not, then, be content with defects and deformities. But while we are to seek earnestly for perfection of character, we must remember that sanctification is not the work of a moment, but of a lifetime. Said Paul, “I die daily.” Day by day the work of overcoming must go forward. Every day we are to resist temptation, and gain the victory over selfishness in all its forms. Day by day we should cherish love and humility, and cultivate in ourselves all those excellencies of character which will please God and fit us for the blessed society of heaven. To all who are seeking to accomplish this work, the promise is very precious, “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.” 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 26, 2012, 02:01:46 PM

Christ in Us

"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27


"Ye are God's husbandry." 1 Corinthians 3:9. The heart is to be worked, subdued, plowed, harrowed, seeded, to bring forth its harvest to God in good works. "Ye are God's building." We cannot build ourselves. There is a Power outside of us that must do the building of the church, putting brick upon brick, always cooperating with the faculties and powers given of God to man. The Redeemer must find a home in His building. God works and man works. There needs to be a continual taking in of the gifts of God, in order that there may be as free a giving out of these gifts. It is a continual receiving and then restoring. The Lord has provided that the soul shall receive nourishment from Him, to be given out again in the working out of His purposes. In order that there be an outflowing, there must be an income of divinity to humanity. "I will dwell in them, and walk in them." 2 Corinthians 6:16. 

The soul temple is to be sacred, holy, pure, and undefiled. There must be a copartnership in which all the power is of God and all the glory belongs to God. The responsibility rests with us. We must receive in thoughts and in feelings, to give in expression. The law of the human and the divine action makes the receiver a laborer together with God. It brings man where he can, united with divinity, work the works of God. Humanity touches humanity. Divine power and the human agency combined will be a complete success, for Christ's righteousness accomplishes everything.
 
The reason so many fail to be successful laborers is that they act as though God depended on them, and they are to suggest to God what He chooses to do with them, in the place of their depending on God. They lay aside the supernatural power and fail to do the supernatural work. They are all the time depending on their own and their brethren's human powers. They are narrow in themselves and are always judging after their finite human comprehension. They need uplifting, for they have no power from on high. God gives us bodies, strength of brain, time and opportunity in which to work. It is required that all be put to the tax. With humanity and divinity combined we can accomplish a work as enduring as eternity. When men think the Lord has made a mistake in their individual cases, and they appoint their own work, they will meet with disappointment.
 
"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8. Here is truth that will unfold the subject to your mind if you do not close it to the rays of light. Eternal life is an infinite gift. This places it outside the possibility of our earning it, because it is infinite. It must necessarily be a gift. As a gift it must be received by faith, and gratitude and praise be offered to God. Solid faith will not lead anyone away into fanaticism or into acting the slothful servant. It is the bewitching power of Satan that leads men to look to themselves in the place of looking to Jesus. The righteousness of Christ must go before us if the glory of the Lord becomes our rereward. If we do God's will, we may accept large blessings as God's free gift, but not because of any merit in us; this is of no value. Do the work of Christ, and you will honor God and come off more than conquerors through Him that has loved us and given His life for us, that we should have life and salvation in Jesus Christ.

Today is the day of salvation. Today, ask Jesus to come into your heart that ye may be a partaker of His divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world. Then the Holy Spirit will take possession of your heart and you will manifest the fruits of His Spirit,  not one will be missing.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 27, 2012, 08:22:35 AM
Conversion

"Without Me ye can do nothing." John 15: 5


The change of heart by which we become children of God is in the Bible spoken of as birth. Again, it is compared to the germination of the good seed sown by the husbandman. In like manner those who are just converted to Christ are, "as new-born babes," to "grow up" to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. 1 Peter 2:2; Ephesians 4:15. Or like the good seed sown in the field, they are to grow up and bring forth fruit. Isaiah says that they shall "be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified." Isaiah 61:3. So from natural life, illustrations are drawn, to help us better to understand the mysterious truths of spiritual life.

Not all the wisdom and skill of man can produce life in the smallest object in nature. It is only through the life which God Himself has imparted, that either plant or animal can live. So it is only through the life from God that spiritual life is begotten in the hearts of men. Unless a man is "born of the Spirit" he cannot become a partaker of the life which Christ came to give. John 3:3. 

As with life, so it is with growth. It is God who brings the bud to bloom and the flower to fruit. It is by His power that the seed develops, "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:28. And the prophet Hosea says of Israel, that "he shall grow as the lily." "They shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine." Hosea 14:5, 7. And Jesus bids us "consider the lilies how they grow." Luke 12:27. The plants and flowers grow not by their own care or anxiety or effort, but by receiving that which God has furnished to minister to their life. The child cannot, by any anxiety or power of its own, add to its stature. No more can you, by anxiety or effort of yourself, secure spiritual growth. The plant, the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life --air, sunshine, and food. What these gifts of nature are to animal and plant, such is Christ to those who trust in Him. He is their "everlasting light," "a sun and shield." Isaiah 60:19; Psalm 84:11. He shall be as "the dew unto Israel." "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass." Hosea 14:5; Psalm 72:6. He is the living water, "the Bread of God . . . which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world." John 6:33. 

In the matchless gift of His Son, God has encircled the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who choose to breathe this life-giving atmosphere will live and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.
 
As the flower turns to the sun, that the bright beams may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should we turn to the Sun of Righteousness, that heaven's light may shine upon us, that our character may be developed into the likeness of Christ. 

Jesus teaches the same thing when He says, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. . . . Without Me ye can do nothing." John 15:4, 5. You are just as dependent upon Christ, in order to live a holy life, as is the branch upon the parent stock for growth and fruitfulness. Apart from Him you have no life. You have no power to resist temptation or to grow in grace and holiness. Abiding in Him, you may flourish. Drawing your life from Him, you will not wither nor be fruitless. You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 29, 2012, 08:52:07 AM

A Most Sure Promise For You, Today!

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  1 Corinthians 10:13


Those who are satisfied in having merely a form of religion, who do not carry out the lessons of Christ in their practical life, make manifest the weakness of their character when trial and temptation come upon them, and they prove that they were not Christians. Every duty that is performed in love to Jesus, in simplicity and humility, divested of all selfishness, has its effect on the character and shapes it after the divine Model. Through faithfulness in the Christian life the soul is braced to withstand sudden assaults of temptation; for the true Christian learns to depend upon Christ for strength and grace. When the first temptation is met and resisted, the second is more easily met and resisted. We may be able to resist every temptation that assails the heart by calling upon our mighty Deliverer. 
 
It is not in the power of Satan to force anyone to sin. Sin is the sinner's individual act. Before sin exists in the heart, the consent of the will must be given, and as soon as it is given, sin is triumphant, and hell rejoices. But there is no excuse for sin, either great or little. Christ has been provided as the tempted one's refuge. "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted." 

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." 
 
Temptation is not sin, and is no indication that God is displeased with us. The Lord suffers us to be tempted, but he measures every temptation, and apportions it according to our power to resist and overcome evil. It is in time of trial and temptation that we are enabled to measure the degree of our faith and trust in God, and to estimate the stability of our Christian character. If we are easily jostled and overcome, we should be alarmed; for our strength is small. Let us consider the words of comfort that have been left on record for our instruction: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." God has apportioned the temptation in proportion to the strength he can supply, and he never permits us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist or to endure. "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation." "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." Through prayer and the word of God we shall be enabled to overcome temptation.
                                                                -


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 20, 2012, 02:29:10 PM

Who are the Sons of God?

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14


We are to present the truth as it is in Jesus, made fragrant and attractive by the grace and the courtesy that characterized the life of Christ. Godliness is to be an ornament to the life, as well as the saving salt of character. Why do those who claim to be advanced in knowledge, make themselves objectionable, and bring the truth into disrepute? It is because the truth has not been permitted to sanctify their unholy dispositions. Those who misrepresent the truth are harsh, unsympathetic, and denunciatory. They climb upon the judgment seat, as though they had been ordained to measure character, and lord it over God's heritage. In their uncourteous ways, they make it manifest that love is not in their hearts, and they do not know the plague spot of their own souls. They do not keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, nor value the soul as Christ's purchased possession, although they are charged with treating Christ as they treat the least of his little ones. What is it that constitutes the loveliness of the soul?--It is the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Jesus said , "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." If the things of nature are so clothed in loveliness by our Heavenly Father, shall not the soul be clothed in more desirable beauty? Through the merits and virtues of Jesus Christ, the soul may wear the image of Him who created man in His own likeness. It is holiness of life and Christlikeness of character that constitute the beauty of the soul. Through sin the divine image in man has been marred, and Satan has placed upon the soul the stamp of his own image and character; for it has been Satan's purpose to obliterate the image of God in man, so that man should not occupy the mansions that Jesus has gone to prepare for those who love him. Through apostasy Satan lost heaven, and he is determined that the human race, whom he has led to transgress the law of God, shall not enjoy the pure and inexpressible glory from which he is shut out. 

The Lord Jesus came to earth that he might recreate the image of God in man. He says to the repenting sinner, "A new heart will I give you." "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." He who abides in Christ, and has Christ abiding in his heart by faith, cannot retain the same unlovely traits of character as were made manifest in his life before he had a connection with Christ. Christ came to save men from their sins, not in their sins. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation" "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." "We then as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain." "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." 

Christ came to the world that we might become new creatures, created after the similitude of his own character; that we might have purity like the purity of God, have perfection like his perfection. In the work of regeneration, the original loveliness begins to be restored. The attributes of the character of Christ are imparted to the soul, and the image of the divine begins to shine forth. "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." It is plainly declared that a change takes place in the character of the human agent. 

In the Christian life we are not assured that we shall be freed from trials, but that grace will be given us to bear them. We are individually called to go through temptations and trials, but the object for which they are permitted to come upon us is that we may be perfected in grace and love, that the image of selfishness may disappear, and the image of Christ appear in our characters, as we advance from glory to glory, from character to character, following on to know the Lord. The soul polluted by sin, through divine power is recreated after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on October 20, 2012, 07:18:43 PM
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14

In the Christian life we are not assured that we shall be freed from trials, but that grace will be given us to bear them. We are individually called to go through temptations and trials, but the object for which they are permitted to come upon us is that we may be perfected in grace and love, that the image of selfishness may disappear, and the image of Christ appear in our characters, as we advance from glory to glory, from character to character, following on to know the Lord. The soul polluted by sin, through divine power is recreated after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness.  

Amen

The moment the eye of faith is turned away from Christ, and there is a seeking after the world in conforming to health-and-life-destroying fashions, that moment the soul begins a course that will lose for it the favor of God. Ye cannot serve God and Baal. The Lord Jesus died in order that we might have tender consciences through committing ourselves to God, and having our mind and will in harmony with God's mind and will. The reason why so many have a crippled experience in the things of God, is that they do not commit themselves, soul and body, to do God's will, to be conformed to God's way. The world is permitted to creep into the heart, and is there cherished as a welcome guest. When the world holds control over us, the atmosphere we breath is of a dark, murky character, and body and soul deteriorate. The soul becomes diseased, and spiritual life is infected with spiritual consumption. The world steals the thought, and self is served and indulged, and views of the purity, goodness, and matchless love of Jesus, are eclipsed and dimmed. Peace is gone, and the soul is no longer committed to Christ in simple trust, and the whole Christian life becomes wavering and uncertain. The Holy Spirit of God is not welcomed into the soul as a reprover and comforter. The eye is no longer fixed steadfastly upon Jesus, but turned upon self, and thus contemplates the spiritual weakness of the natural character separated from God. The time that should be spent in communion with God, is spent in looking at the feelings. The moment the eye is turned from Jesus, darkness is seen, darkness is felt; for Jesus only is light and life and peace and assurance forever. "If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"  The Youth's Instructor 9-14-93.08

It is essential to live by every word of God, else our old nature will constantly reassert itself. It is the Holy Spirit, the redeeming grace of truth in the soul, that makes the followers of Christ one with one another, and one with God.  Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 10-12-97.07

The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. Christian Service 254.04

....the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 12 ....this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. 1 Peter 5:10

The Word lights everyone that comes into the world; though more efficiently are those affected who receive Him as Saviour and Lord of their daily life.
....the Word was God. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. John 1:9

He who can not resist temptation, when every facility for overcoming has been placed within his reach, is not registered in the books of heaven as a man.
The Youth Instructor July 16, 1903, par. 5

The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. “The truth shall make you free;” and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one’s self,—to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is “the law of liberty.” James 2:12. The Desire of Ages 466.05

Dare to be a Daniel. Dare to stand alone. Have courage to do the right. A cowardly and silent reserve before evil associates, while you listen to their devices, makes you one with them. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean things; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.” The Youth Instructor July 16, 1903, par. 6

What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God. God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, that man might bear the image of the invisible God. He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God. Divinity flashed through humanity in softening, subduing light. He was the embodiment of the law of God, which is the transcript of His character (Manuscript 77, 1899).

....When we individually rest upon Christ, with full assurance of faith, trusting alone to the efficacy of his blood to cleanse from all sin, we shall have peace in believing that what God has promised he is able to perform. As Christ represented the Father, so we are to represent Christ to the world. We cannot transfer our obligation to others. God desires to make known to you what is the richness of his glory, that you may preach the mystery of salvation to those around you,—Christ in you the hope of glory. RH March 5, 1889, par. 6

 …It is by receiving the life for us poured out on Calvary's cross, that we can live the life of holiness. And this life we receive by receiving His word, by doing those things which He has commanded. Thus we become one with Him.  The Desire of Ages 660.04

....Christ must dwell in your hearts, as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power. Testimonies for the Church Volume 7 189.02

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.... Colossians 3:16

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 20, 2012, 09:46:16 PM
There is much truth in your message, dear brother!  It points to our need of Jesus. It reveals that the "new heart" is indeed a new heart. It is no longer the carnal heart that many insist is in the converts body. No, when we become partakers of God's divine nature, it is the heart that is made new, not the flesh. We retain the evil fallen flesh, but it is kept under as Paul stated. We possess the mind of Christ and it has power to control the flesh. As soon as we let go of Christ, the flesh takes control over the mind, because we then have the carnal mind back. It may seem strange to those who have been educated to believe they may sin and be saved, but when they begin to see the lie, they will study for themselves what the Bible says. Then they will believe that God's promise that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear is a conditional promise. It is only a promise to those who abide in Jesus and have the Holy Spirit in their hearts. 2 + 2=4.  Soon, we shall see that harvest field that is white come into the church. But, first we need to get the gospel message right. We need to be His witnesses so that we do not bring reproach upon Christ and His Word. When converted, we have pure motives and power to obey. When we sin, it is because are not partakers of God's divine nature. We have separated from God and are walking in the flesh. We then have no power to resist the smallest temptation, not from the heart.  The carnal heart is wicked. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9. That is why we need a new heart. Here is the promise of a new heart. "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." Ezekiel 36:25-27. This is a radical change in nature when we are in a converted state.  It is Christ, not I when He has possession of the heart.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on October 21, 2012, 06:21:12 AM
God's promise that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear is a conditional promise.

Amen Richard! Could we say that: The "us" and "we" of the above thought, is Christ in you, the hope of glory?

To be genuinely "balanced" while wholeheartedly on the side of the Lord; if anything, is to appear to the Unbelieving professing SDA, and to the world in general, as fanatical.  ....after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: Acts 24:14 -Because we know that we know, and are happy doing them. (See John 13:17)

As kings and priests in training (Revelations 1:6; Revelations 5:10), a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that (we) should shew forth the praises of him who hath called (us) out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 1:29), we, as with Christ dwelling within,  Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that (we ourselves) also (are) compassed with infirmity. Hebrews 5:2
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 21, 2012, 08:25:24 AM
Amen! Jesus wants to live on our hearts, all of the time. It is up to us to invite Him in and then to continue to ask Him to stay. He will not stay if we do not hold on to Him. If we allow our minds to wander away, He will not stay. He will call us back to Him. But, we must open the door and ask Him to come in. It is a continual matter. We do not believe in once saved always saved or any version of it. We need to be connected with Jesus continually by our active participation. We need to be in an  attitude of prayer continually. This is a strange thought to many professing Christians.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on October 21, 2012, 10:06:08 PM
....We do not believe in once saved always saved or any version of it. We need to be connected with Jesus continually by our active participation. We need to be in an  attitude of prayer continually...

To "die daily" is to choose moment by moment to keep the Light on.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

Jesus did not convey the idea that merely one drink of the water of life would be enough. All who taste the love of Christ will continually long for more, but they seek for nothing else. Humble Hero 78.03

Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted and the health of the soul be preserved. Prayer brings the heart into immediate contact with the Wellspring of life, and strengthens the sinew and muscle of the religious experience. Prayer 182.1

The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ.... God's Amazing Grace 212.03

In every respect you are to honor God by being partakers of His divine nature that you may have the assurance of sins pardoned which would testify of the love of God. But there is not in our experience that pleasantness and joyousness that there should be. Christ says that if He is in us, our joy will be full. Let us then be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Let us not, by living inconsistent, earthly, sensual lives, heap reproach upon Christ. Let us rise above the malarious atmosphere that pervades the world, and breathe the breath of God. Let us feed upon the bread of life. Lift Him Up 109. 04

Christ declares that if we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we shall have eternal life. His word will be to us as the leaves of the tree of life if we will believe in Christ as our personal Saviour. If we eat the bread that came down from heaven, we shall have a live connection with God. We shall bring eternity into our reckoning. We shall live as in the presence of the whole heavenly host. Lift Him Up 109. 05

Heaven begins in the soul, and as heavenly-mindedness increases, Christ is more and more appreciated, and finally becomes the Chiefest among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely....

If we would see heaven, we must have heaven below. We must have a heaven to go to heaven in. We must have heaven in our families, through Christ continually approaching unto God. Christ is the great center of attraction, and the child of God hid in Christ, meets with God, and is lost in the divine being. Prayer is the life of the soul; it is feeding on Christ; it is turning our faces fully toward the Sun of Righteousness. As we turn our faces toward Him, He turns His face toward us. He longs to give us divine grace; and as we draw nigh to God with full assurance of faith, our spiritual conceptions are quickened. We do not then walk in blindness, bemoaning our spiritual barrenness; for by diligent, prayerful searching of the Word of God, we (Who? Christ in us) apply His rich promises unto our souls. Angels draw close to our side, and the enemy with his manifold devices is driven back.—The Signs of the Times, July 31, 1893.

The fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality.Heaven 172.02

We need to understand these words of Christ, “The flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”—the Holy Word accepted and brought into the practical life. Spiritual life consists in Christ’s being the light and life of the soul temple, as the blood is the life of the body. All who study the word are represented as eating the word, feeding on Christ.... Even as the bodily necessities must be supplied daily, so the word of God must be daily studied—eaten, and digested, and practiced. This sustains the nourishment, to keep the soul in health. The neglect of the word means starvation to the soul. The word describes the blessed man as one meditating day and night upon the truths of God’s word. We all are to feast upon the word of God. The relation of the word to the believer is a vital matter. Appropriating the word to our spiritual necessities is the eating of the leaves of the tree of life that are for the healing of the nations. Study the word, and practice the word, for it is your life.
—Ellen G. White Letter 4, 1902.

I understand that those sealed with the seal of the Living God will sin no more; -that is, I perceive, the summation of God's purpose for mankind, the ideal that the Godhead desires. This, too, finally becomes the burning desire of the Believer at End-Time. The sooner the Wise Virgins comprehend this, the sooner will they have their supply of oil at the ready; they, who have received the Mind of Christ. thus; desire the final eradication of Sin(s) -They've accepted the prayer of Christ in John 17, they've sought for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.... Romans 2:7 and have found it in receiving joyfully the indwelling of Jesus Christ through the impartation of His life as they received that heavenly oil, the Spirit of God. "Oh, what a day that will be"! Saved forever; yet, "lost in the divine being." To become one with Christ is the genuine article that the idea of "once saved always saved" attempts to counterfeit. Those who let the Word of God dwell in them richly, will have the Word of God dwell in them richly; thus, Paul could say,I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

The plea of the fully Penitent, in union with the Saviour through His Holy Spirit, with humble violence (Matthew 11:12) seizes the moment, every fiber of the being inflamed (See Isaiah 4:4), with rapt attention, fixed focus, to receive the will of God (John 1:13).

I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
Luke 12:49, 50

....Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 07, 2012, 07:58:23 AM
The Great Sin of Pluralism

"The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."  Matthew 13:33

   
Among the Jews leaven was sometimes used as an emblem of sin. At the time of the Passover the people were directed to remove all the leaven from their houses as they were to put away sin from their hearts. Christ warned His disciples, "Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." Luke 12:1. And the apostle Paul speaks of the "leaven of malice and wickedness." 1 Corinthians 5:8. But in the Saviour's parable, leaven is used to represent the kingdom of heaven. It illustrates the quickening, assimilating power of the grace of God. 

None are so vile, none have fallen so low, as to be beyond the working of this power. In all who will submit themselves to the Holy Spirit a new principle of life is to be implanted; the lost image of God is to be restored in humanity.
 
But man cannot transform himself by the exercise of his will. He possesses no power by which this change can be effected. The leaven--something wholly from without--must be put into the meal before the desired change can be wrought in it. So the grace of God must be received by the sinner before he can be fitted for the kingdom of glory. All the culture and education which the world can give will fail of making a degraded child of sin a child of heaven. The renewing energy must come from God. The change can be made only by the Holy Spirit. All who would be saved, high or low, rich or poor, must submit to the working of this power. 
 
As the leaven, when mingled with the meal, works from within outward, so it is by the renewing of the heart that the grace of God works to transform the life. No mere external change is sufficient to bring us into harmony with God. There are many who try to reform by correcting this or that bad habit, and they hope in this way to become Christians, but they are beginning in the wrong place. Our first work is with the heart.

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 3:3-8, margin.

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. 

Often the question arises, Why, then, 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 worldling. 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. 

The truths of the word of God meet man's great practical necessity--the conversion of the soul through faith. These grand principles are not to be thought too pure and holy to be brought into the daily life. They are truths which reach to heaven and compass eternity, yet their vital influence is to be woven into human experience. They are to permeate all the great things and all the little things of life. 

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. 

The world regards as a mystery the man who is imbued with this principle. The selfish, money-loving man lives only to secure for himself the riches, honors, and pleasures of this world. He loses the eternal world from his reckoning. But with the follower of Christ these things will not be all-absorbing. For Christ's sake he will labor and deny self, that he may aid in the great work of saving souls who are without Christ and without hope in the world. Such a man the world cannot understand; for he is keeping in view eternal realities. The love of Christ with its redeeming power has come into the heart. This love masters every other motive, and raises its possessor above the corrupting influence of the world.

The word of God is to have a sanctifying effect on our association with every member of the human family. The leaven of truth will not produce the spirit of rivalry, the love of ambition, the desire to be first. True, heaven-born love is not selfish and changeable. It is not dependent on human praise. The heart of him who receives the grace of God overflows with love for God and for those for whom Christ died. Self is not struggling for recognition. He does not love others because they love and please him, because they appreciate his merits, but because they are Christ's purchased possession. If his motives, words, or actions are misunderstood or misrepresented, he takes no offense, but pursues the even tenor of his way. He is kind and thoughtful, humble in his opinion of himself, yet full of hope, always trusting in the mercy and love of God.

The apostle exhorts us, "As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:15, 16. The grace of Christ is to control the temper and the voice. Its working will be seen in politeness and tender regard shown by brother for brother, in kind, encouraging words. An angel presence is in the home. The life breathes a sweet perfume, which ascends to God as holy incense. Love is manifested in kindness, gentleness, forbearance, and long-suffering. 

The countenance is changed. Christ abiding in the heart shines out in the faces of those who love Him and keep His commandments. Truth is written there. The sweet peace of heaven is revealed. There is expressed a habitual gentleness, a more than human love. 
 
The leaven of truth works a change in the whole man, making the coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous. By it the impure are cleansed, washed in the blood of the Lamb. Through its life-giving power it brings all there is of mind and soul and strength into harmony with the divine life. Man with his human nature becomes a partaker of divinity. Christ is honored in excellence and perfection of character. As these changes are effected, angels break forth in rapturous song, and God and Christ rejoice over souls fashioned after the divine similitude.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 09, 2012, 07:45:53 AM

God's Strength is to be Our Strength

"Yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and My God shall be My strength." Isaiah 49:12

   
In the last meeting with His disciples, the great desire which Christ expressed for them was that they might love one another as He had loved them. Again and again He spoke of this. "These things I command you, that ye love one another." His very first injunction when alone with them in the upper chamber was, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." To the disciples this commandment was new; for they had not loved one another as Christ had loved them. He saw that new ideas and impulses must control them; that new principles must be practiced by them; through His life and death they were to receive a new conception of love. The command to love one another had a new meaning in the light of His self-sacrifice. The whole work of grace is one continual service of love, of self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. During every hour of Christ's sojourn upon the earth, the love of God was flowing from Him in irrepressible streams. All who are imbued with His Spirit will love as He loved. The very principle that actuated Christ will actuate them in all their dealing one with another.

This love is the evidence of their discipleship. "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples," said Jesus, "if ye have love one to another." When men are bound together, not by force or self-interest, but by love, they show the working of an influence that is above every human influence. Where this oneness exists, it is evidence that the image of God is being restored in humanity, that a new principle of life has been implanted. It shows that there is power in the divine nature to withstand the supernatural agencies of evil, and that the grace of God subdues the selfishness inherent in the natural heart. 
 
This love, manifested in the church, will surely stir the wrath of Satan. Christ did not mark out for His disciples an easy path. "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me." The gospel is to be carried forward by aggressive warfare, in the midst of opposition, peril, loss, and suffering. But those who do this work are only following in their Master's steps. 
 
As the world's Redeemer, Christ was constantly confronted with apparent failure. He, the messenger of mercy to our world, seemed to do little of the work He longed to do in uplifting and saving. Satanic influences were constantly working to oppose His way. But He would not be discouraged. Through the prophecy of Isaiah He declares, "I have labored in vain, I have spent My strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely My judgment is with the Lord, and My work with My God. . . . Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and My God shall be My strength." It is to Christ that the promise is given, "Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him whom man despiseth, to Him whom the nation abhorreth; . . . thus saith the Lord: . . . I will preserve Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that Thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. . . . They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them." Isaiah 49:4, 5, 7-10. 


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 12, 2012, 09:48:23 PM

God, Our Teacher

"Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils..."  Isaiah 2:22

   
Do we want to understand the time in which we live? The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, are an illustration of our position today. How the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews. Likewise, he is seeking to blind the minds of God's servants today, that we may not be able to discern what is truth.
 
When Christ came to our world, Satan was on the ground, and disputed every inch of advance in his path from the manger to Calvary. We cannot conceive of the humiliation Jesus endured in taking our nature upon himself. He was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, and He humbled Himself to become a human baby and suffer the wants and woes of mortals. He humbled himself not to the highest position, to be a man of riches and power, but though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.

Christ had given precious truth, but men had bound it up in the rubbish of superstition and error. He had imparted to them the words of life, but they did not live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. He saw that the world could not find the word of God, for it was hidden by the traditions of men. He came to place before the world the relative importance of heaven and earth, and put truth in its own place. Jesus alone could reveal the truth which it was necessary men should know in order that they might obtain salvation. He only could place it in the frame-work of truth, and it was his work to free it from error and to set it before men in its heavenly light. 

In Christ, divinity and humanity were combined. Divinity was not degraded to humanity; divinity held its place, but humanity by being united to divinity, withstood the fiercest test of temptation in the wilderness. The prince of this world came to Christ after his long fast, when he was hungered, and suggested to him to command the stones to become bread. But the plan of God, devised for the salvation of man, provided that Christ should know hunger, and poverty, and every phase of man's experience. He withstood the temptation, through the power that man may command. He laid hold on the throne of God, and there is not a man or woman who may not have access to the same help through faith in God. Man may become a partaker of the divine nature. Christ came to reveal the Source of his power, that man might never rely on his unaided human capabilities.

Those who would overcome must put to the tax every power of their being. They must agonize on their knees before God for divine power. Christ came to be our example, and to make known to us that we may be partakers of the divine nature. How? By having escaped the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Satan did not gain the victory over Christ. He did not put his foot upon the soul of the Redeemer. He did not touch the head though he bruised the heel. Christ, by his own example, made it evident that man may stand in integrity. Men may have a power to resist evil, a power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master; a power that will place them where they may overcome as Christ overcame. Divinity and humanity may be combined in them. 

There are many who cannot distinguish between the work of God and that of man. Jesus said to his disciples, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." They were not in a condition to appreciate sacred and eternal things. Are we? Or have we placed our dependence in man? "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?"  We must hang our helpless souls upon Jesus. If there is a point of truth that you do not understand, upon which you do not agree, investigate, compare scripture with scripture. We must lay ourselves and our opinions on the altar of God, put away our preconceived ideas, and let the Spirit of Heaven guide us into all truth. 

God wants us to depend upon him, and not upon man. He desires us to have a new heart. We do not go deep enough in our search for truth. Every soul who believes present truth will be brought where he will be required to give a reason of the hope that is in him. The people of God will be called upon to stand before kings, princes, rulers, and great men of the earth, and they must know that they do know what is truth. They must be converted men and women. God can teach you more in one moment by His Holy Spirit than you could learn from the great men of the earth in a lifetime. God has provided for every man an opportunity to know that which will make him wise unto salvation. We are to be one with Christ as he is one with the Father, and the Father will love us as he loves His Son. We may have the same help that Christ had, we may have strength for every emergency. Now may God help us to come to the feet of Jesus and learn of him, before we seek to become teachers of others. 
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on November 13, 2012, 03:38:59 AM
A solemn Amen! The messages contained in virtually every single sentence of that piece should so resonate in our minds as to cause a serious self reexamination. Only through humility of heart are we in a condition to learn of God.

Today, I especially appreciate this message.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 25, 2012, 05:56:44 AM

Practical Godliness

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Revelaton 20:12

   
The world watches to see what fruit is borne by professed Christians. It has a right to look for self-denial and self-sacrifice from those who claim to believe the Bible and profess to be followers of Jesus.
                                             
There have been, and will continue to be, among us those who do not feel their need of Jesus at every step. They think they cannot take time to pray and attend religious meetings. They have so much to do that they cannot find time to keep their souls in the love of God. When this is the case, Satan is there to fill their minds with thoughts of self and the world. There is no peace in the life.

Church members who are not diligent and faithful do incalculable harm. They set a wrong example for others. Jesus warned the church that leaven will affect others in the church. When men claiming to be representatives of Christ reveal that they are unconverted, their characters gross, selfish, impure, they should be separated from leadership positions in the church.

Workers need to realize the sacredness of the trust with which the Lord has honored them. Impulsive motives, fitful actions, must be put aside. Those who cannot distinguish between the sacred and the common are not safe stewards of high responsibilities. When tempted, they will betray their trust. Those who do not appreciate the privileges and opportunities of a connection with the work of God will not stand when the enemy presents his temptations. They are easily misled by selfish, ambitious projects. If, after the light has been presented to them, they still fail of distinguishing right from wrong, the sooner they are disconnected from their position in the church or her institutions, the purer and more elevated will be the character of the work in God's church.

A neglect to conform in every particular to God's requirements means certain failure and loss to the wrongdoer. Failing to keep the way of the Lord, he robs his Maker of the service that is His due. This reacts upon himself; he fails of gaining that grace, that power, that force of character, which it is the privilege of each to receive who surrenders all to God. Living apart from Christ, he is exposed to temptation. He makes mistakes in his work for the Master. Untrue to principle in little things, he fails of doing God's will in things greater. He acts on the principles to which he has accustomed himself. His character has been formed in the wrong direction.

By choosing to make a full surrender to Jesus the direction in life may be reversed. It is the greatest miracle that God can perform, but it is impossible without our help. We must choose to flee to Christ, to eat His flesh and drink His blood. If we refuse, then we are left to ourselves. 

Our power is not in our talents of education or means, neither is it in our popularity; it is in self-sacrifice, our willing obedience to Jesus Christ. Those who truly surrender all to Him, will carry a weight of influence, and will carry others along with them, because they walk in the light. Intelligence will be inefficient, wealth of little account with God; but heart power, thorough godliness, humble fidelity, will bear a weight of influence that will be irresistible. 

Shall we not consecrate ourselves to God without reserve? Christ, the King of glory, gave Himself a ransom for us. Can we withhold anything from Him? Shall we think our poor, unworthy selves too precious, our time or property too valuable, to give to Jesus?  Our crucified Lord is pleading for us in the presence of the Father at the throne of grace. His atoning sacrifice we may plead for our pardon, our justification, and our sanctification. The lamb slain is our only hope that our names may be written in "the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 26, 2012, 08:33:51 AM

The Need for Revival

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not." Lamentations 3:22

God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation in His church. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children. Many who call themselves Christians are mere human moralists. They have refused the gift which alone could enable them to honor Christ by representing Him to the world. The work of the Holy Spirit is to them a strange work. They are not doers of the word. The heavenly principles that distinguish those who are one with Christ from those who are one with the world have become almost indistinguishable. The professed followers of Christ are no longer a separate and peculiar people. The line of demarcation is indistinct. The people are subordinating themselves to the world, to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. The church has gone over to the world in transgression of the law, when the world should have come over to the church in obedience to the law. Daily the church is being converted to the world.

In the past history of Israel we find a similar situation. Among those who had hoped for a permanent spiritual revival as the result of the reformation under Josiah was Jeremiah, called of God to the prophetic office while still a youth. In the youthful Jeremiah, God saw one who would be true to his trust and who would stand for the right against great opposition.  "Say not, I am a child," the Lord bade His chosen messenger; "for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee."

For forty years Jeremiah was to stand before the nation as a witness for truth and righteousness. In a time of unparalleled apostasy he was to exemplify in life and character the worship of the only true God. Naturally of a timid and shrinking disposition, Jeremiah longed for the peace and quite of a life of retirement, where he need not witness the continued impenitence of his beloved nation. His heart was wrung with anguish over the ruin wrought by sin.

The experiences through which Jeremiah passed in the days of his youth and also in the later years of his ministry, taught him the lesson that "the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." He learned to pray, "O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing." Jeremiah 10:23, 24.
 
When called to drink of the cup of tribulation and sorrow, and when tempted in his misery to say, "My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord," he recalled the providences of God in his behalf and triumphantly exclaimed, "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him."

The future of the church today, as in the days of Jeremiah, depends on the efforts made by its members to understand the sinfulness of selfishness, and their willingness to take the remedy which will cure the disease from which they are suffering. Let a reformation take place, that those who accept the truth in the future shall not be contaminated by the corrupting influence of Satan.  "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." "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Christ gave His life for a fallen race, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps. To him who does this will be spoken the words of approval, "Well done, good and faithful servant; . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." 
   


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 04, 2012, 02:26:19 PM
Faith and Works

"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy."        1 Peter 1:14, 15

Those who would follow Christ must be grounded upon the principles of truth. They need to understand what the Bible teaches in regard to faith, and sanctification through the truth. They must be so established in this knowledge that they cannot be moved to take false positions on the doctrine of holiness, but will be able to illustrate in their lives the practical workings of this heaven-given principle. The people of God must be able to distinguish between the genuine and the false.

There are those who profess holiness, who declare that they are wholly the Lord's, who claim a right to the promises of God, while they do not render obedience to His commandments. It is true that there are many who have never had the light of present truth, who, through the grace given them of Christ, are keeping the law as far as they understand it. Those who are thus living up to the best light they have, are not of the class whom the apostle John condemns. His words apply to those who boast of believing in Jesus, who claim holiness, while they lightly regard the requirements of the law of God. While they talk of the love of Jesus, their love is not deep enough to lead to obedience. The fruit they bear, shows the character of the tree. It proves that their faith is not genuine. Yet this class, though entitled to nothing, though they have no right to the promises of God, boldly claim all His blessings. While they give nothing, they claim everything. They close their ears to the truth, refuse to listen to the plain "Thus saith the Lord," but by professing holiness they deceive many, leading souls away by their pretentious faith that has no foundation.

We as a people acknowledge the claims of God's law, and teach the people the duty of rendering obedience. We believe in giving everything, but we do not see that we must take as well as give. We fail to have that trust, that faith, which keeps the soul abiding in Christ. We claim little, when we might claim much; for there is no limit to the promises of God.

Through a lack of faith, many who seek to obey the commandments of God have little peace and joy; they do not correctly represent the sanctification that is to come through obedience to the truth. They are not anchored in Christ. Many feel a lack in their experience; they desire something which they have not; and thus some are led to attend meetings of those who profess to teach "victory over sin".

Let us talk faith, to present the love of Christ in connection with the claims of the law; for neither can be rightly understood without the other. In every teaching the love of God, as manifested in Christ, the sinner's only hope, should be dwelt upon until the people realize something of its power and preciousness. If this is done as it should be, it will not be said of Seventh-day Adventists that they teach the law but do not believe in repentance, faith, and conversion. We want these subjects to be blended as God has blended them; then will the truth be presented in its completeness, not as a mere theory, but as a power that will transform the character. It will then be preached in demonstration of the Spirit and with power. Then those who have accepted the doctrines of the Bible will not be unfed; they will receive the power of the Holy Spirit to do the works written in the law. "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." 1 John 2:6.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 13, 2012, 08:17:31 PM
A Still Small Voice

"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." Ezekiel 36:26, 27   

"Next time you hear a peal of thunder, stop and praise God for His awesome power that could speak nature into existence. And then praise Him for being the God that is powerful enough to speak—yes, even whisper—and create a new heart within you."  Read More (http://www.adventistreview.org/issue.php?issue=2012-1534&page=20) 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on December 15, 2012, 09:12:17 AM
Amen. Here is a bit more ...

 All who are under the training of God need the quiet hour for communion with their own hearts, with nature, and with God. In them is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and they need to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, "Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. This is the effectual preparation for all labor for God. Amidst the hurrying throng, and the strain of life's intense activities, he who is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. He will receive a new endowment of both physical and mental strength. His life will breathe out a fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men's hearts.  {MH 58.3}
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 15, 2012, 09:24:50 AM
Amen!!   "In them is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world..."  In light of the events transpiring around us, the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School yesterday among others, we certainly need to be transformed. We need to be born again so that we may be delivered from the fallen nature that bears sway in all who have not been filled with the Spirit of God. We need that "divine power" without which we will neither reach others, nor be saved ourselves. The world is sinking deeper and deeper into sin.  America, which has been a bright shining light in the world is now rejecting her Protestant heritage and is reflecting the immorality so rampant in the world. Jesus is coming very soon. He is even at the doors.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 15, 2012, 09:27:09 AM
"The Light of Life"

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5

The Bible, and the Bible only, gives a correct view history and coming events. Here are revealed the great final scenes in the history of our world, events that already are casting their shadows beforehand. The sound of their approach will cause the earth to tremble and men's hearts to fail them for fear.   

"Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. . . . They have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate. . . . The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth." Isaiah 24:1-18.

Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His Word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief.

 Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise, and this preparation they should make by diligently studying the word of God and striving to conform their lives to its precepts.

The Lord Jesus took upon Him the form of sinful man, clothing His divinity with humanity. But He was holy, even as God is holy. If He had not been without spot or stain of sin, He could not have been the Saviour of mankind. He was a Sinbearer, needing no atonement. One with God in purity and holiness of character, He could make a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Christ is the light of the world. Through Him light is shining amid the moral darkness. If He were not light, the darkness would not be apparent, because light reveals darkness. The clearer the light, the more manifest the contrast between light and darkness. Let the light be removed, and there is nought but darkness.
 
Christ has declared our position. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. He is Himself the bright and morning Star. He is the Sun of Righteousness, the brightness of His Father’s glory. He is the “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1:9. A Physician, a Healer, He came to restore the moral image of God that was lost by transgression. When Christ abides in the soul by faith, He makes the one who loves Him a light in the Lord. It is true that many who say they believe the truth have only a nominal faith. They are not doers of the Word. They profess to believe, but their profession will not convert them.
 
When Christ dwells in the heart, His presence is apparent. Good and pleasant words and actions reveal the Spirit of Christ. Sweetness of temper is manifested. There is no angry passion, no obstinacy, no evil-surmising. There is no hatred in the heart, because ideas and methods are not accepted and appreciated by others. When the truth controls the life, there is purity and freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The light of truth irradiates the soul temple when the Spirit of God has possession of the heart and mind. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5.  
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 23, 2012, 07:38:49 AM
Christmas

"Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child" Luke 2:15-17


What matchless love Jesus has manifested for a fallen world! If angels sang because the Saviour was born in Bethlehem, shall not our hearts echo the same joy, Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will to men? Although we do not know the exact day of Christ's birth, we would honor the sacred event. Let us not overlook the event because there is an uncertainty in regard to the exact time. Let us do what we can to fasten the minds of the children upon those things which are precious to everyone who loves Jesus. Let us teach them how Jesus came into the world to bring hope, comfort, peace, and happiness to all. Let the hearts of all respond with exceeding joy for the priceless gift of the Son of God.

Christmas used to celebrate the birth of the world's Redeemer. Today, it is generally spent in feasting. Appetite and pleasure are indulged at the expense of physical, mental, and moral power. This has become a habit. Often, Christmas is spent in glorifying self rather than God. Jesus would be glorified by His children should we enjoy a plain, simple diet, and use the means intrusted to us in bringing to His work offerings, small and great, to be used in sending the light of truth to souls that are still in darkness. The hearts of the widow and fatherless may be made to rejoice because of gifts which will add to their comfort and satisfy their hunger. There are indeed many in the world who are in great need. There are missionaries to be sent into new fields, and others to be supported in their labor for Jesus. These missionaries have to practice the strictest economy, even denying themselves the very things we enjoy daily, and which we consider the necessities of life. They enjoy few of these luxuries.

Satan has sought to place temporal things above spiritual Many families who have but little to spare for God's cause, will spend money freely to purchase expensive cars, furniture, fashionable clothing, and sporting goods. How much is spent for holiday feasts, and often for that which is injurious to health. How much more pleasing to God it would be if all this money were invested in publications which would direct souls to Christ. The money wasted on needless things would supply many souls with reading material on present truth, which would be a great blessing to many who are seeking an understanding of religious matters. Satan's suggestions are carried out in many, many things. Our birthday anniversaries, Christmas, and Thanksgiving celebrations are too often devoted to selfish gratification, when the mind should be directed to the mercy and loving kindness of God. Jesus is not happy that His goodness, His constant care, His unceasing love, are not brought to mind on these occasions.  If all the money that is used extravagantly, for needless things, were used for evangelism, we would see men, women, and youth converted. The richest blessing of God would come into our churches. 

What does a wrong approach to Christmas and holidays do to our children who we are attempting to lead to Jesus, to His way of life? If we encourage them to think of themselves and what they are going to receive on Christmas Day, have we not worked contrary to that which is most important to us, the salvation of our children? The character of a child is formed by the habits created mainly in the home and church. We ought to ever keep before them their obligation to obey the word of God and to live for the purpose of serving Jesus and others, not self.

We are teaching them "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart; . . . and thy neighbor as thyself." Then let us do so when the world is doing the opposite. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. This ought not change at Christmas. Many parents have not taught their children the precepts of the law as God has commanded them. They have educated them in selfish habits. They have taught them to regard Christmas as an occasion when they expect to receive gifts, and to follow the habits and customs of the world, when we should use Christmas as an opportunity to increase their knowledge of God and to awaken thankfulness in their hearts for His mercy in letting His only Son come into our sin cursed world, a helpless little baby. What an opportunity that many squander.

If children and youth are properly instructed, what honor, what praise and thanksgiving, would flow from their lips to God! God would be remembered instead of forgotten. Christmas ought to be a pleasant and happy day for our children. And we can help to make it also a pleasant day for the poor and the afflicted. Do not let the day pass without bringing thanksgiving and thank offerings to Jesus. Let parents and children now make earnest effort to redeem the time, and to remedy past neglect. Let us follow a different course of action from that which the world follows, else when children leave home, they may continue doing as they were taught, living a life for self.   

There are many things which can be devised with taste and cost far less than the unnecessary presents that are so frequently bestowed upon our children and relatives, and thus courtesy can be shown, and happiness brought into the home. You can teach your children a lesson while you explain to them the reason why you have made a change in the value of their presents, telling them that you are convinced that you have in the past considered their pleasure more than the glory of God. Tell them that you have thought more of your own pleasure and of their gratification and of keeping in harmony with the customs and traditions of the world, in making presents to those who did not need them, than you have of advancing the cause of God.   God will richly bless all who will make Jesus, whom Christmas was to celebrate, the center of their thoughts and their lives.

Have a blessed Christmas Day!
Title: A Christmas Blessing for Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 25, 2012, 07:20:47 PM
Who am I that a king would bleed and die for?  Precious Jesus will lead me, even unworthy me, and will bring me to the haven of rest at last, if I humbly follow where he leads. If Satan tempts you to believe you are unworthy, tell him he is right, but that you have a Saviour that died for you while you were a great sinner! Tell him that Christ came into the world to save sinners. We have nothing to recommend us to God; but the plea that we may urge now and ever is our utterly helpless condition that makes His redeeming power a necessity. Renouncing all self-dependence, we may look to the cross of Calvary and say,-- "In my hand no price I bring; Simply to Thy cross I cling."   


From our Heavenly Music Forum (http://remnant-online.com/smf/index.php?board=87.0)


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 31, 2012, 05:37:22 AM
A New Year!

"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8


Tonight a new year will begin; yet before we greet its coming, we pause to ask, What has been the history of the year that with its burden of records has now passed into eternity? The admonition of the apostle comes to every one of us,"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." God forbid that at this important hour we should be so engrossed with other matters as to give no time to serious, candid, critical self-examination! Let things of minor consequence be put in the background, and let us now bring to the front the things which concern our eternal interests.

No one of us can in our own strength represent the character of Christ; but if Jesus lives in the heart, the spirit dwelling in Him will be revealed in us; all our lack will be supplied. Who will seek at the beginning of this new year to obtain a new and genuine experience in the things of God? Let us make our wrongs right as far as possible. Let us confess our errors and sins one to another. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be put away; let patience, long-suffering, kindness, and love become a part of our very being; then whatsoever things are pure and lovely and of good report will mature in our experience. 

What fruit have we borne during the year that is now past? What has been our influence upon others? Whom have we gathered to the fold of Christ? The eyes of the world are upon us. Are we living epistles of Christ, known and read of all men? Do we follow the example of Jesus in self-denial, in meekness, in humility, in forbearance, in cross-bearing, in devotion? Will the world be compelled to acknowledge us to be the servants of Christ?

Shall we not in this new year seek to correct the errors of the past? It behooves us individually to cultivate the grace of Christ, to be meek and lowly of heart, to be firm, unwavering, steadfast in the truth; for thus only can we advance in holiness, and be made fit for the inheritance of the saints in light. Let us begin the year with an entire renunciation of self; let us pray for clear discernment, that we may understand our Saviour's claims upon us, and that we may always and everywhere be witnesses for Christ.

Let us lift up Jesus. Lift Him up in sermons, in songs, in prayer. Let all  of our efforts be directed to pointing souls, confused, bewildered, and lost, to "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Bid them look and live. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up," that all might look upon Jesus hanging upon the cross and live. 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on December 31, 2012, 08:42:59 AM
Amen! In our calendar, we have many events that can be taken advantage of to examine ourselves; a new year, a high Sabbath, a holy convocation, the prayer meeting. Yet it is every single day at its beginning and end that we should mark as the day to again make a thorough examination.

"Search me O God!"

"Today is the day of salvation!" Not yesterday or tomorrow, but today!

As I view this spent year, it is as clear as a bright and shining day that God's steady hand has guided my path as He would have it be. My plans were not His plans. They had to be set aside as I waited on Him. I pled for His intervention in a very personal matter and He heard my cry. Hallelujah and amen! What a Friend, what a God that He would notice one such as me, a sinner, saved by grace. And why do I love Him so? Because He first loved me!

Amen and amen! 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 31, 2012, 11:06:47 AM
Amen!!  It takes some experience to realize that we need Jesus all the time.  When we let go of Him, we will find much to repent of. The carnal heart (before conversion) is wicked. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"  Jeremiah 17:9. But, we have been promised new hearts that will be cleansed from all wickedness. "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." Ezekiel 36:25-27. If I remember right, these verses were shared in our Sabbath School lesson today.  :) Also, this morning I read in the Book of James "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." verses 22-24.

How many times have we seen who we are and then instead of clinging to Jesus we forget what we saw and continue on in our sinful ways? It helps to realize that when we see sin in our lives, it is because we are in need of a new heart, in  need of the cleansing grace of Christ. Where is Jesus at this point? He has not forsake us. Neither is He in us. He stands at the door knocking, seeking an entrance. Let us unbar the door to the heart and let Him in! 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on January 02, 2013, 07:07:23 AM
....For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." verses 22-24.

How many times have we seen who we are and then instead of clinging to Jesus we forget what we saw and continue on in our sinful ways? It helps to realize that when we see sin in our lives, it is because we are in need of a new heart, in  need of the cleansing grace of Christ. Where is Jesus at this point? He has not forsake us. Neither is He in us. He stands at the door knocking, seeking an entrance. Let us unbar the door to the heart and let Him in!

Jesus is the true "reality check". Those who "have the mind of Christ" (Philippians 2:5), have His life (Romans 8:9), "that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in (their) body." 2 Corinthians 4:10. Those who don't have His mind, DON'T manifest His life; thus, do not manifest His Spirit.

...The love of Jesus in the heart will be expressed in the life. Bible truth is of heavenly origin, and sanctifies the receiver. It refines the taste, improves the judgment, and ennobles the character. Yet the world does not discern our relationship to the divine, nor know the source of our strength.
Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 10-07-84

...through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:2-11

Jesus saith...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

Inhabited by divinity because Christ resides in the soul-temple, those who believe and worship God "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24), by faith speak and act as if God "hath delivered (them) from the power of darkness, and hath translated (them) into the kingdom of his dear Son: (Colossians 1:13)

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:25

The Holy Spirit is the breath of life in the soul. The breathing of Christ upon his disciples was the breath of true spiritual life. The disciples were to interpret this as imbuing them with the attributes of their Saviour, that in purity, faith, and obedience, they might exalt the law, and make it honorable. God’s law is the expression of his character. By obedience to its requirements we meet God’s standard of character. Thus the disciples were to witness for Christ. RH June 13, 1899, Art. A, par. 6

The impartation of the Spirit was the impartation of the very life of Christ, which was to qualify the disciples for their mission. Without this qualification their work could not be accomplished... RH June 13, 1899, Art. A, par. 7

The Believer becomes one with God in Christ, fearing not perfection:
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. James 1:3-6

God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:3

The Christian need not feel that God is "way up there, somewhere", but realize that:

...the WORD is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. Deuteronomy 30:14

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?  4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psalm 24:3-5

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 05, 2013, 07:54:11 AM
True Revival and Reformation

"Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16


In many of the revivals which have occurred during the last half century, the same influences have been at work, to a greater or less degree, that will be manifest in the more extensive movements of the future. There is an emotional excitement, a mingling of the true with the false, that is well adapted to mislead. Yet none need be deceived. In the light of God's Word it is not difficult to determine the nature of these movements. Wherever men neglect the testimony of the Bible, turning away from those plain, soul-testing truths which require self-denial and renunciation of the world, there we may be sure that God's blessing is not bestowed. And by the rule which Christ himself has given, “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” [Matthew 7:16.] it is evident that these movements are not the work of the Spirit of God. 

In the truths of his Word, God has given to men a revelation of himself; and to all who accept them they are a shield against the deceptions of Satan. It is a neglect of these truths that has opened the door to the evils which are now becoming so widespread in the religious world. The nature and the importance of the law of God have been, to a great extent, lost sight of. A wrong conception of the character, the perpetuity, and obligation of the divine law has led to errors in relation to conversion and sanctification, and has resulted in lowering the standard of piety in the church. Here is to be found the secret of the lack of the Spirit and power of God in the revivals of our time. 

There are, in the various denominations, men eminent for their piety, by whom this fact is acknowledged and deplored. Prof. Edward Park, in setting forth the current religious perils, ably says: “One source of danger is the neglect of the pulpit to enforce the divine law. In former days the pulpit was an echo of the voice of conscience. . . Our most illustrious preachers gave a wonderful majesty to their discourses by following the example of the Master, and giving prominence to the law, its precepts, and its threatenings. They repeated the two great maxims, that the law is a transcript of the divine perfections, and that a man who does not love the law does not love the gospel; for the law, as well as the gospel, is a mirror reflecting the true character of God. This peril leads to another, that of underrating the evil of sin, the extent of it, the demerit of it. In proportion to the rightfulness of the commandment is the wrongfulness of disobeying it.”

“Affiliated to the dangers already named is the danger of underestimating the justice of God. The tendency of the modern pulpit is to strain out the divine justice from the divine benevolence, to sink benevolence into a sentiment rather than exalt it into a principle. The new theological prism puts asunder what God has joined together. Is the divine law a good or an evil? It is a good. Then justice is good; for it is a disposition to execute the law. From the habit of underrating the divine law and justice, the extent and demerit of human disobedience, men easily slide into the habit of underestimating the grace which has provided an atonement for sin.”  Thus the gospel loses its value and importance in the minds of men, and soon they are ready to practically cast aside the Bible itself. 

Many religious teachers assert that Christ by his death abolished the law, and men are henceforth free from its requirements. There are some who represent it as a grievous yoke, and in contrast to the bondage of the law, they present the liberty to be enjoyed under the gospel.

But not so did prophets and apostles regard the holy law of God. Said David, “I will walk at liberty; for I seek thy precepts.” [Psalm 119:45.] The apostle James, who wrote after the death of Christ, refers to the decalogue as the “royal law,” and the “perfect law of liberty.” [James 2:8; 1:25.] And the Revelator, half a century after the crucifixion, pronounces a blessing upon them “that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” [Revelation 22:14.] 

The claim that Christ by his death abolished his Father's law, is without foundation. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or set aside, then Christ need not have died to save man from the penalty of sin. The death of Christ, so far from abolishing the law, proves that it is immutable. The Son of God came to “magnify the law, and make it honorable.” [Isaiah 42:21.] He said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law;” “till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law.” [Matthew 5:17, 18.] And concerning himself he declares, “I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.” [Psalm 40:8.] 

The law of God, from its very nature, is unchangeable. It is a revelation of the will and the character of its Author. God is love, and his law is love. Its two great principles are love to God and man. “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” [Romans 13:10.] The character of God is righteousness and truth; such is the nature of his law. Says the psalmist, “Thy law is the truth;” “all thy commandments are righteousness.” [Psalm 119:142, 172.] And the apostle Paul declares, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” [Romans 7:12.] Such a law, being an expression of the mind and will of God, must be as enduring as its Author. 

It is the work of conversion and sanctification to reconcile men to God, by bringing them into accord with the principles of his law. In the beginning, man was created in the image of God. He was in perfect harmony with the nature and the law of God; the principles of righteousness were written upon his heart. But sin alienated him from his Maker. He no longer reflected the divine image. His heart was at war with the principles of God's law. “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” [Romans 8:7.] But “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” that man might be reconciled to God. Through the merits of Christ he can be restored to harmony with his Maker. His heart must be renewed by divine grace, he must have a new life from above. This change is the new birth, without which, says Jesus, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.”   

The first step in reconciliation to God, is the conviction of sin. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” [1 John 3:4; Romans 3:20.] In order to see his guilt, the sinner must test his character by God's great standard of righteousness. It is a mirror which shows the perfection of a righteous character, and enables him to discern the defects in his own. 

The law reveals to man his sins, but it provides no remedy. While it promises life to the obedient, it declares that death is the portion of the transgressor. The gospel of Christ alone can free him from the condemnation or the defilement of sin. He must exercise repentance toward God, whose law has been transgressed, and faith in Christ, his atoning sacrifice. Thus he obtains “remission of sins that are past,” and becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is a child of God, having received the spirit of adoption, whereby he cries, “Abba, Father!”

Is he now free to transgress God's law? Says Paul: “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” And John declares, “This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.” [Romans 3:31; 6:2; 1 John 5:3.] In the new birth the heart is brought into harmony with God, as it is brought into accord with his law. When this mighty change has taken place in the sinner, he has passed from death unto life, from sin unto holiness, from transgression and rebellion to obedience and loyalty. The old life of alienation from God has ended; the new life of reconciliation, of faith and love, has begun. Then “the righteousness of the law” will “be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” [Romans 8:4.] And the language of the soul will be, “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” [Psalm 119:97.] 

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” [Psalm 19:7.] Without the law, men have no just conception of the purity and holiness of God, or of their own guilt and uncleanness. They have no true conviction of sin, and feel no need of repentance. Not seeing their lost condition as violators of God's law, they do not realize their need of the atoning blood of Christ. The hope of salvation is accepted without a radical change of heart or reformation of life. Thus superficial conversions abound, and multitudes are joined to the church who have never been united to Christ.

Erroneous theories of sanctification, also, springing from neglect or rejection of the divine law, have a prominent place in the religious movements of the day. These theories are both false in doctrine, and dangerous in practical results; and the fact that they are so generally finding favor renders it doubly essential that all have a clear understanding of what the Scriptures teach upon this point. 

True sanctification is a Bible doctrine. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonian church, declares, “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” And he prays, “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly.” [1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:23.] The Bible clearly teaches what sanctification is, and how it is to be attained. The Saviour prayed for his disciples, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy Word is truth.” [John 17:17, 19.] And Paul teaches that believers are to be “sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” [Romans 15:16.] What is the work of the Holy Spirit? Jesus told his disciples, “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” [John 16:13.] And the psalmist says, “Thy law is the truth.” By the Word and the Spirit of God are opened to men the great principles of righteousness embodied in his law. And since the law of God is “holy, and just, and good,” a transcript of the divine perfection, it follows that a character formed by obedience to that law will be holy. Christ is a perfect example of such a character. He says, “I have kept my Father's commandments.” “I do always those things that please him.” [John 15:10; 8:29.] The followers of Christ are to become like him,—by the grace of God, to form characters in harmony with the principles of his holy law. This is Bible sanctification. 

This work can be accomplished only through faith in Christ, by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. Paul admonishes believers, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:12, 13.] The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, but he will maintain a constant warfare against it. Here is where Christ's help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1 Corinthians 15:57.] 

The Scriptures plainly show that the work of sanctification is progressive. When in conversion the sinner finds peace with God through the blood of the atonement, the Christian life has but just begun. Now he is to “go on unto perfection;” to grow up “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Says the apostle Paul: “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 3:13, 14.] And Peter sets before us the steps by which Bible sanctification is to be attained: “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. . . . If ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” [2 Peter 1:5-10.] 

Those who experience the sanctification of the Bible will manifest a spirit of humility. Like Moses, they have had a view of the awful majesty of holiness, and they see their own unworthiness, in contrast with the purity and exalted perfection of the Infinite One. 

The prophet Daniel was an example of true sanctification. His long life was filled up with noble service for his Master. He was a man “greatly beloved” [Daniel 10:11.] of Heaven. Yet instead of claiming to be pure and holy, this honored prophet identified himself with the really sinful of Israel, as he pleaded before God in behalf of his people: “We do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.” “We have sinned, we have done wickedly.” He declares, “I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people.” And when at a later time the Son of God appeared, to give him instruction, he declares, “My comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.” [Daniel 9:18, 15, 20; 10:8.]

When Job heard the voice of the Lord out of the whirlwind, he exclaimed, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” [Job 42:6.] It was when Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord, and heard the cherubim crying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts,” that he cried out, “Woe is me! for I am undone.” [Isaiah 6:3, 5.] Paul, after he was caught up into the third heaven, and heard things which it was not possible for a man to utter, speaks of himself as “less than the least of all saints.” [2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (MARGIN); Ephesians 3:8.] It was the beloved John, that leaned on Jesus’ breast, and beheld his glory, who fell as one dead before the feet of the angel. [Revelation 22:8.] 

There can be no self-exaltation, no boastful claim to freedom from sin, on the part of those who walk in the shadow of Calvary's cross. They feel that it was their sin which caused the agony that broke the heart of the Son of God, and this thought will lead them to self-abasement. Those who live nearest to Jesus discern most clearly the frailty and sinfulness of humanity, and their only hope is in the merit of a crucified and risen Saviour.

The sanctification now gaining prominence in the religious world, carries with it a spirit of self-exaltation, and a disregard for the law of God, that mark it as foreign to the religion of the Bible. Its advocates teach that sanctification is an instantaneous work, by which, through faith alone, they attain to perfect holiness. “Only believe,” say they, “and the blessing is yours.” No further effort on the part of the receiver is supposed to be required. At the same time they deny the authority of the law of God, urging that they are released from obligation to keep the commandments. But is it possible for men to be holy, in accord with the will and character of God, without coming into harmony with the principles which are an expression of his nature and will, and which show what is well-pleasing to him? 

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 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? . . .  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? . . . Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” [James 2:14-24.]

The testimony of the Word of God is against this 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 Scriptures. 

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 accord 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.] 

Notwithstanding these inspired declarations, how many professed Christians are enfeebling their powers in the pursuit of gain or the worship of fashion; how many are debasing their godlike manhood by gluttony, by wine-drinking, by forbidden pleasure. And the church, instead of rebuking, too often encourages the evil by appealing to appetite, to desire for gain, or love of pleasure, to replenish her treasury, which love for Christ is too feeble to supply. Were Jesus to enter the churches of today, and behold the feasting and unholy traffic there conducted in the name of religion, would he not drive out those desecrators, as he banished the money-changers from the temple?

The apostle James declares that the wisdom from above is “first pure.” Had he encountered those who take the precious name of Jesus upon lips defiled by tobacco, those whose breath and person are contaminated by its foul odor, and who pollute the air of heaven, and force all about them to inhale the poison,—had the apostle come in contact with a practice so opposed to the purity of the gospel, would he not have denounced it as “earthly, sensual, devilish”? Slaves of tobacco, claiming the blessing of entire sanctification, talk of their hope of Heaven; but God's Word plainly declares that “there shall in nowise enter into it anything that defileth.” [Revelation 21:27.] 

“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.” [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] He whose body is the temple of the Holy Spirit will not be enslaved by a pernicious habit. His powers belong to Christ, who has bought him with the price of blood. His property is the Lord's. How could he be guiltless in squandering this intrusted capital? Professed Christians yearly expend an immense sum upon useless and pernicious indulgences, while souls are perishing for the word of life. God is robbed in tithes and offerings, while they consume upon the altar of destroying lust more than they give to relieve the poor or for the support of the gospel. If all who profess to be followers of Christ were truly sanctified, their means, instead of being spent for needless and even hurtful indulgences, would be turned into the Lord's treasury, and Christians would set an example of temperance, self-denial, and self-sacrifice. Then they would be the light of the world. 
 
The world is given up to self-indulgence. “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life,” control the masses of the people. But Christ's followers have a holier calling. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean.” In the light of God's Word we are justified in declaring that sanctification cannot be genuine which does not work this utter renunciation of the sinful pursuits and gratifications of the world. 

To those who comply with the conditions, Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean, God's promise is, “I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.] It is the privilege and the duty of every Christian to have a rich and abundant experience in the things of God. “I am the light of the world,” said Jesus. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” [Proverbs 4:18.] Every step of faith and obedience brings the soul into closer connection with the Light of the world, in whom “there is no darkness at all.” The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon the servants of God, and they are to reflect his rays. As the stars tell us that there is a great light in Heaven with whose glory they are made bright, so Christians are to make it manifest that there is a God on the throne of the universe whose character is worthy of praise and imitation. The graces of his Spirit, the purity and holiness of his character, will be manifest in his witnesses. 

Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, sets forth the rich blessings granted to the children of God. He says: We “do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” [Colossians 1:9-11.]

Again he writes of his desire that the brethren at Ephesus might come to understand the height of the Christian's privilege. He opens before them, in the most comprehensive language, the marvelous power and knowledge that they might possess as sons and daughters of the Most High. It was theirs “to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man,” to be “rooted and grounded in love,” to “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” But the prayer of the apostle reaches the climax of privilege when he prays that “ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” [Ephesians 3:16-19.]   The Great Controversy
   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 16, 2013, 10:38:38 PM
Justification by Faith

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 5:1


Those who have been privileged to have the truth brought before them, should, irrespective of circumstances, receive the truth into good and honest hearts, and go to work as faithful stewards of the grace of Christ. 

They should impart to their fellowmen the rich gift that heaven has bestowed upon them. Those who are nigh, and those who are afar off, need the same light and knowledge that you have received, that they all as workers together with God may be sharers of the triumphs of the truth.

There must be no compromise in which principle is sacrificed for policy. Every sincere hearer and believer of the truth is required of God to make manifest the principles of truth before the world and before the angels. The believers must manifest an intense solicitude in order that the principles of his faith may be set forth clean and pure before all men. Christians are to reveal the fact that the truth has wrought for the purification of their characters, and the elevation of their minds. He who has heard the truth, who has realized that the light of heaven has shone upon his soul, and who has not walked in the light, has hid his talent in the earth. There must be stirring testimonies given, that will lead men to take hold of the truth, in order that the transforming power of the truth may be seen upon their lives and character. 

If the truth is received in the heart, and valued as a heavenly gift, it will be a working element, that will work from the heart, and its workings will be apparent in the outward life. The ministers who have had the privilege of attending ministerial institutes one upon another and have not used the grand principles of truth set before them, in not letting their light shine forth in steady rays to others, will lose the light they already have because they have not diffused it to others. 

The Bible truths of justification and righteousness by faith have been set before large numbers of people. Some have been delighted with the truth for a short time, but they do not appropriate the truth, and their minds and hearts are not purified from their sins. They do not cultivate an abiding faith, nor drink the rich and living draught placed to their lips, and they soon lose the impression made upon their hearts.   

Let us this one day confess to God our sins and plead for grace to redeem the time that we have wasted. Precious souls who have never heard the truth about a loving Saviour are entitled to hear what we have been shown. When we get to heaven, by God's grace, how many tears will be shed because we did not take advantage of the time given to us? Let us remedy the situation beginning with today.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 28, 2013, 04:39:55 PM
"A Remnant Shall be Saved."

"My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved."  Romans 10:1


Notwithstanding the awful doom pronounced upon the Jews as a nation at the time of their rejection of Jesus of Nazareth, there have lived from age to age many noble, God-fearing Jewish men and women who have suffered in silence. God has comforted their hearts in affliction and has beheld with pity their terrible situation. He has heard the agonizing prayers of those who have sought Him with all the heart for a right understanding of His word. Some have learned to see in the lowly Nazarene whom their forefathers rejected and crucified, the true Messiah of Israel. As their minds have grasped the significance of the familiar prophecies so long obscured by tradition and misinterpretation, their hearts have been filled with gratitude to God for the unspeakable gift He bestows upon every human being who chooses to accept Christ as a personal Saviour. 

It is to this class that Isaiah referred in his prophecy, "A remnant shall be saved." From Paul's day to the present time, God by His Holy Spirit has been calling after the Jew as well as the Gentile. "There is no respect of persons with God," declared Paul. The apostle regarded himself as "debtor both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians," as well as to the Jews; but he never lost sight of the decided advantages possessed by the Jews over others, "chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." "The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." It is of this gospel of Christ, equally efficacious for Jew and Gentile, that Paul in his epistle to the Romans declared he was not ashamed. 

When this gospel shall be presented in its fullness to the Jews, many will accept Christ as the Messiah. Among Christian ministers there are only a few who feel called upon to labor for the Jewish people; but to those who have been often passed by, as well as to all others, the message of mercy and hope in Christ is to come. 

In the closing proclamation of the gospel, when special work is to be done for classes of people hitherto neglected, God expects His messengers to take particular interest in the Jewish people whom they find in all parts of the earth. As the Old Testament Scriptures are blended with the New in an explanation of Jehovah's eternal purpose, this will be to many of the Jews as the dawn of a new creation, the resurrection of the soul. As they see the Christ of the gospel dispensation portrayed in the pages of the Old Testament Scriptures, and perceive how clearly the New Testament explains the Old, their slumbering faculties will be aroused, and they will recognize Christ as the Saviour of the world. Many will by faith receive Christ as their Redeemer. To them will be fulfilled the words, "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." John 1:12.

Among the Jews are some who, like Saul of Tarsus, are mighty in the Scriptures, and these will proclaim with wonderful power the immutability of the law of God. The God of Israel will bring this to pass in our day. His arm is not shortened that it cannot save. As His servants labor in faith for those who have long been neglected and despised, His salvation will be revealed.
                     
"Thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of Mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify My name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine." Isaiah 29:22-24.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on February 12, 2013, 09:21:12 PM

"The Faith of Jesus"

"Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" Revelation 14:12


The spotless Son of God hung upon the cross, His flesh lacerated with stripes; those hands so often reached out in blessing, nailed to the wooden bars; those feet so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to the tree; that royal head pierced by the crown of thorns; those quivering lips shaped to the cry of woe. And all that He endured--the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father's face--speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, It is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise. He who stilled the angry waves and walked the foam-capped billows, who made devils tremble and disease flee, who opened blind eyes and called forth the dead to life,--offers Himself upon the cross as a sacrifice, and this from love to thee. He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself.
 
In silence the beholders watched for the end of the fearful scene. The sun shone forth; but the cross was still enveloped in darkness. Priests and rulers looked toward Jerusalem; and lo, the dense cloud had settled over the city and the plains of Judea. The Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the world, was withdrawing His beams from the once favored city of Jerusalem. The fierce lightnings of God's wrath were directed against the fated city.

Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpetlike tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, "It is finished." "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died.

Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor. 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on February 13, 2013, 06:06:12 AM
The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ expressed in character is the very highest education. It is the key that opens the portals of the heavenly city. This knowledge it is God’s purpose that all who put on Christ shall possess.
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students 37.4

...shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? Hebrews 12:9

The ONLY CONDITION UPON WHICH THE FREEDOM OF MAN IS POSSIBLE is that of becoming one with Christ. "The truth shall make you free;" and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. SUBJECTION TO GOD is restoration to one's self, --to the true glory and dignity of man.
The Desire of Ages, p.466.05

The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. Beholding the life of Jesus, his self-denial and sacrifice, his matchless love, man becomes transfigured, uplifted, filled with the fullness of God. To be an enthusiast in Christ's work is to be a partaker of the divine nature. The Holy Spirit has taken possession of the soul; the Sun of righteousness has shone into the chambers of the mind and heart, and all-absorbing truths have sanctified the mind. Let none fear this, but pray for it most earnestly, and live for it perseveringly. It will make you strong as workers together with God. With such laborers, the church will arise and shine, for her light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon her.  I call upon you, my brethren, to practice self-denial, to lift the cross, and plant the standard of truth in places far and near. The Desire of Ages 805.03

When the professed followers of Christ have an indwelling Saviour, they will be found DOING as Christ did. They will have no opportunity to rust through inaction. They will have enough to DO. And the work which they do under the auspices of the church will be their greatest means of communicating light... Welfare Ministry 123.2

Christ's life represents a perfect manhood. Just that which you may be, He was in human nature.
S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5 1124.2

You are to bring Christ into your every thought and action. A defective link in a chain makes it worthless, and a defect in your character will unfit you to enter the kingdom of heaven. You must set everything in order. But you cannot do this great work without divine aid. Are you ready to accept the promises of God, and to make them your own by living faith in his immutable word? You should walk by faith, not by feeling. We do not want a sensational religion; but we want a religion founded on intelligent faith. This faith plants its feet on the eternal rock of God's word. Those who walk by faith are all the time seeking for perfection of character by constant obedience to Christ. The Captain of our salvation has given us his orders, and we are to yield implicit obedience… but if we close the Book that reveals his will, and do not inquire, or search, or seek to understand, how can we fulfill its obligation? We shall be found wanting at last, if we pursue this course. Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 04-09-89.09

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 1 John 5:18

The humility that bears fruit, filling the soul with a sense of the love of God, will speak for the one who has cherished it, in the great day when men will be rewarded according as their works have been. Happy will be the one of whom it can be said, “The Spirit of God never stirred this man’s soul in vain. He went forward and upward from strength to strength. Self was not woven into his life. 3SM 360.2

In the day of judgment, the course of the man who has retained the frailty and imperfection of humanity will not be vindicated. For him there will be no place in heaven. He could not enjoy the perfection of the saints in light. He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that he can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God. —Manuscript 161, 1897. -3SM 360.4
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on February 23, 2013, 10:19:17 AM
"Higher" Education

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth for ever." Psalms 111:10 


Being made aware of the "Harlem Shake" craze taking place today, I find that more harm than good would be done to comment on it. But, there is need for a warning in light of the reality of where so called "higher eduction" is taking our young people today. Too often, as the studies accumulate, the wisdom from above has been given a secondary place, and the farther the student advances, the less confidence he has in God. He looks upon much learning as the very essence of success in life; but if all would give due consideration to the statement of Christ, "Without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5), they would make different plans.

Without the vital principles of true religion, without the knowledge of how to serve and glorify the Redeemer, education is more harmful than beneficial. When education is pushed to such an extent that the love of God is diminished in the heart, that prayer is neglected, and there is a failure to cultivate the spiritual attributes, it is wholly disastrous. It would be far better to cease seeking to obtain an education, and to recover the soul from its languishing condition, than to gain the best of educations and to lose one's soul.

"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is everyone that retaineth her." Proverbs 3:13-18.

True higher education is gained by studying and obeying the word of God. But when God's word is laid aside for books that do not lead to God and the kingdom of heaven, the education acquired is a perversion of the name. There are wonderful truths in nature. The earth, the sea, and the sky are full of truth. They are our teachers. Nature utters her voice in lessons of heavenly wisdom and eternal truth. But fallen man will not understand. Sin has obscured his vision, and he cannot of himself interpret nature without placing it above God. Correct lessons cannot impress the minds of those who reject the word of God. The teaching of nature is by them so perverted that it turns the mind away from the Creator.

The teachings of the Word of God are opposed to the ideas of those who think that students must receive an education that is according to human ideas. Some are departing from the faith, as a result of receiving from the world what they regard as a "higher education." The word of God, just as it reads, contains the very essence of truth. The highest education is the keeping of the Law of God.

Many teachers are practicing deception by leading their students over a field of study that is comparatively useless, that takes time, study, and means that should be used to gain that higher education that Christ came to give. He took upon Him the form of humanity, that He might lift the mind from the lessons men deemed essential to lessons which involve eternal results. He saw the world wrapped in satanic deception. He saw men earnestly following their own imagination, thinking they had gained everything if they had found how they might be called great in the world. But they gained nothing but death. The day of God is coming quickly, but the supposed wise and great men are extolling "higher education,"  yet they know not the signs of Christ's coming, or of the end of the world.

Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Nothing but holiness will prepare a sinner for heaven. A heavenly character must be acquired on earth, or it can never be acquired at all. The "higher education" of today is leading our youth and the world away from God. For those who are attracted to the excitement of the "Harlem Shake", every day increases their distance from God. Today, is the day to prepare for eternity. Today our youth are to educate their minds to love Bible truth that they may receive wisdom and the true "higher education."
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 11, 2013, 02:21:20 PM
A Religion of Love

"Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10   


He who willfully breaks one commandment, does not, in spirit and truth, keep any of them. It is not the greatness of the act of disobedience that constitutes sin, but the fact of variance from God's expressed will in the least particular; for this shows that there is yet communion between the soul and sin. The heart is divided in its service. There is a virtual denial of God, a rebellion against the laws of His government. 

Were men free to depart from the Lord's requirements and to set up a standard of duty for themselves, there would be a variety of standards to suit different minds and the government would be taken out of the Lord's hands. The will of man would be made supreme, and the high and holy will of God, His purpose of love toward His creatures, would be dishonored, disrespected.

Whenever men choose their own way, they place themselves in controversy with God. They will have no place in the kingdom of heaven, for they are at war with the very principles of heaven. In disregarding the will of God, they are placing themselves on the side of Satan, the enemy of God and man. Not by one word, not by many words, but by every word that God has spoken, shall man live. We cannot disregard one word, however trifling it may seem to us, and be safe. There is not a commandment of the law that is not for the good and happiness of man, both in this life and in the life to come.

In obedience to God's law, man is surrounded as with a hedge and kept from evil. He who breaks down this divinely erected barrier at one point has destroyed its power to protect him; for he has opened a way by which the enemy can enter to waste and ruin.

By venturing to disregard the will of God upon one point, our first parents opened the floodgates of woe upon the world. And every individual who follows their example will reap a similar result. The love of God underlies every precept of His law, and he who departs from the commandment is working his own unhappiness and ruin.

The Jewish nation had claimed to be the special, loyal people who were favored of God; but Christ represented their religion as devoid of saving faith. All their pretensions of holiness, their human inventions and ceremonies, and even their boasted performance of the outward requirements of the law, could not avail to make them holy. They were not pure in heart or noble and Christlike in character. A legal religion is insufficient to bring the soul into harmony with God. The only true faith is that which "worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6) to purify the soul. It is as leaven that transforms the character bringing the whole heart into loving submission to God at conversion.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on March 14, 2013, 06:55:24 AM
Amen a thousand times! We don't keep God's commandments to "get His love", or earn a reward! ...love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:10 We receive Christ,  who IS our Reward!

Jesus Christ is imparted to our individual soul (Gods Amazing Grace 212.4; John 11:26; 1 Timothy 6:16) as we believe on Him (John 3:16). He is ...the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9 ...our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  The Upward Look 321.5 He is the fulcrum by which to remove any and all obstacles to our personal victory over every temptation.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on March 14, 2013, 07:23:19 AM
...whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 24 ...he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. 1 John 3:22, 24

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God... Romans 8:16
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 16, 2013, 08:34:42 AM

A Whited Sepulcher

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24:24   

The Lord is doing His work. All heaven is astir. The Judge of all the earth is soon to arise and vindicate His insulted authority. The mark of deliverance will be set upon the men who keep God's commandments, who revere His law, and who refuse the mark of the beast or of his image. 
 
There are those who hold their tradition higher than the Bible, yet the world wonders after them. It is prophetic, for we are told this will be the case in the very last days. There will be a great deception brought before the world. One who represents himself as high and holy will not be inwardly consecrated. The Bible will not be foundation of faith. Having not implicit faith in Scripture, the structure will be whited on the outside, but this is not an assurance that the structure is built upon the Rock, Jesus Christ.

God has revealed what is to take place in the last days, that His people may be prepared to stand against the tempest of opposition and wrath. Those who have been warned of the events before them are not to sit in calm expectation of the coming storm, comforting themselves that the Lord will shelter His faithful ones in the day of trouble. We are to be as men waiting for their Lord, not in idle expectancy, but in earnest work, with unwavering faith. It is no time now to allow our minds to be engrossed with things of minor importance. While men are sleeping, Satan is actively arranging matters so that the Lord's people may not have mercy or justice. A movement is now making its way in darkness. The leaders are concealing the true issue, and many who unite in the movement do not themselves see whither the undercurrent is tending. Its professions are mild and apparently Christian, but when it shall speak it will reveal the spirit of the dragon. It is our duty to do all in our power to avert the threatened danger. We should endeavor to disarm prejudice by placing ourselves in a proper light before the people. We should bring before them the real question at issue, thus interposing the most effectual protest against measures to restrict liberty of conscience. We should search the Scriptures and be able to give the reason for our faith. Says the prophet: "The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." 

Those who have access to God through Christ have important work before them. Now is the time to lay hold of the arm of our strength. The prayer of David should be the prayer of pastors and laymen: "It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law." Let the servants of the Lord weep between the porch and the altar, crying: "Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach." God has always wrought for His people in their greatest extremity, when there seemed the least hope that ruin could be averted. The designs of wicked men, the enemies of the church, are subject to His power and overruling providence. He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the turbulent and disaffected, the haters of God, His truth, and His people can be turned aside, even as the rivers of water are turned, if He orders it thus. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep, the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of His people if they call upon Him in faith. He will restrain the forces of darkness until the warning is given to the world and all who will heed it are prepared for the conflict.
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 07, 2013, 11:10:22 PM
A Most Precious Promise

"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
                                                                                                                 1 Corinthians 15:54   


   
How precious to those who are losing their loved of this world are their faith and hope in the promises of God which open before them the future immortal life! Their hopes may fasten upon unseen realities of the future world. Christ has risen from the dead the first fruits. Hope and faith strengthen the soul to pass through the dark shadows of the tomb, in full faith of coming forth to immortal life in the morning of the resurrection. The Paradise of God, the home of the blessed! There all tears shall be wiped from off all faces! When Christ shall come the second time, to be "admired in all them that believe" (2 Thessalonians 1:10), death shall be swallowed up in victory, and there shall be no more sickness, no more sorrow, no more death! A rich promise is given to us: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14). Is not this promise rich and comforting to those who love God? 
 
The resurrection of Jesus was a sample of the final resurrection of all who sleep in Him. The risen body of the Saviour, His deportment, the accents of His speech, were all familiar to His followers. In like manner will those who sleep in Jesus rise again. We shall know our friends even as the disciples knew Jesus. Though they may have been deformed, diseased, or disfigured in this mortal life, yet in their resurrected and glorified body their individual identity will be perfectly preserved, and we shall recognize, in the face radiant with the light shining from the face of Jesus, the lineaments of those we love. 
 
The Life-giver will call up His purchased possession in the first resurrection, and until that triumphant hour, when the last trump shall sound and the vast army shall come forth to eternal victory, every sleeping saint will be kept in safety and will be guarded as a precious jewel, who is known to God by name. 
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on April 08, 2013, 04:29:57 AM
Amen and amen!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 24, 2013, 09:45:46 AM
Much Truth Mingled With a Little Error

If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24:24   

   
Time is short. To remain quiet in the face of the dangers that face us would be fatal to many who are greatly deceived. Line upon line, precept upon precept, our children and households must be educated to keep the way of the Lord, to stand firmly for truth and righteousness. We must maintain a position against every species of sophistry that bewilders in this degenerate age, when error is glossed over, and so mingled with truth that it is almost impossible for those who are not familiar with the distinctions that the Scriptures make between the traditions of men and the word of God, to distinguish truth from error. It has been plainly stated that in this age "some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." 

As the truth is brought into practical life, the standard is to be elevated higher and higher, to meet the requirements of the Bible. This will necessitate opposition to the fashions, customs, practices, and maxims of the world. Worldly influences, like the waves of the sea, beat against the followers of Christ to sweep them away from the true principles of the meekness and grace of Christ; but they are to stand as firm as a rock to principle. It will require moral courage to do this, and those whose souls are not riveted to the eternal Rock, will be swept away by the worldly current. We can stand firm only as our life is hid with Christ in God. By conforming entirely to the will of God, we shall be placed upon vantage ground, and shall see the necessity of decided separation from the customs and practices of the world. We are not to elevate our standard just a little above the world's standard; but we are to make the line of demarcation decidedly apparent.

There are many in the church who at heart belong to the world, but God calls upon those who claim to believe the advanced truth, to rise above the present attitude of the popular churches of today. Where is the self-denial, where is the cross-bearing that Christ has said should characterize His followers? The reason we have had so little influence upon unbelieving relatives and associates is that we have manifested little decided difference in our practices from those of the world. Parents need to awake, and purify their souls by practicing the truth in their home life. When we do not, we lead our families astray. When we reach the standard that the Lord would have us reach, those in the world will regard Seventh-day Adventists as odd, singular, strait-laced extremists. "We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men." We are to be His witnesses in a world soon to perish.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on April 24, 2013, 10:45:14 AM
Quote
The reason we have had so little influence upon unbelieving relatives and associates is that we have manifested little decided difference in our practices from those of the world.

Sobering, yet we know this is the case.

Rev 3:14  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;
Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17  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:
Rev 3:18  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.
Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20  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.
Rev 3:21  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.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on April 27, 2013, 08:45:10 AM
Something for ME to read each day:
There is an eloquence far more powerful than the eloquence of words in the quiet, consistent life of a pure, true Christian. What a man is has more influence than what he says. The Ministry of Healing 469.1

The officers who were sent to Jesus came back with the report that never man spoke as He spoke. But the reason for this was that never man lived as He lived. Had His life been other than it was, He could not have spoken as He did. His words bore with them a convincing power, because they came from a heart pure and holy, full of love and sympathy, benevolence and truth. The Ministry of Healing 469.2

It is our own character and experience that determine our influence upon others. In order to convince others of the power of Christ’s grace, we must know its power in our own hearts and lives. The gospel we present for the saving of souls must be the gospel by which our own souls are saved. The Ministry of Healing 469.3
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on April 27, 2013, 12:21:51 PM
Something for ME to read each day:

Amen! And how best to fortify ourselves for that witness than The Daily Walk (http://remnant-online.com/smf/index.php?topic=14743.0) through personal prayer and personal Bible study. Nothing else and no one else can prepare us for it. It is only through time spent alone with Him and His very word, every single day, that will personally teach us and show us of the power of heaven - known as grace - to transform the heart that others may see Jesus in us.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 30, 2013, 07:50:31 AM
"Give ye Them to Eat"

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

   
When Christ fed the five thousand, there was no food available. There He was, with five thousand in the wilderness. He had not invited the large multitude to follow Him; they came without invitation or command, but He provided for their necessity. The miracle of the loaves teaches a lesson of dependence upon God.

And when we are brought into strait places, we are to depend on God. We are to exercise wisdom and judgment in every action of life, that we may not, by reckless movements, place ourselves in trial. We are not to plunge into difficulties, neglecting the means God has provided, and misusing the faculties He has given us. Christ's workers are to obey His instructions implicitly. The work is God's, and if we would bless others His plans must be followed. Self cannot be made the center; self can receive no honor. If we plan according to our own ideas, the Lord will leave us to our own mistakes. But when, after following His directions, we are brought into strait places, He will deliver us. We are not to give up in discouragement, but in every emergency we are to seek help from Him who has infinite resources at His command. Often we shall be surrounded with trying circumstances, and then, in the fullest confidence, we must depend upon God. He will keep every soul that is brought into perplexity through trying to keep the way of the Lord. 

Christ has bidden us, through the prophet, "Deal thy bread to the hungry," and "satisfy the afflicted soul;" "when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him," and "bring the poor that are cast out to thy house." Isaiah 58:7-10. He has bidden us, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15. But how often our hearts sink, and faith fails us, as we see how great is the need, and how small the means in our hands. Like Andrew looking upon the five barley loaves and the two little fishes, we exclaim, "What are they among so many?" Often we hesitate, unwilling to give all that we have, fearing to spend and to be spent for others. But Jesus has bidden us, "Give ye them to eat." His command is a promise; and behind it is the same power that fed the multitude beside the sea. 
 
In Christ's act of supplying the temporal necessities of a hungry multitude is wrapped up a deep spiritual lesson for all His workers. Christ received from the Father; He imparted to the disciples; they imparted to the multitude; and the people to one another. So all who are united to Christ will receive from Him the bread of life, the heavenly food, and impart it to others. 

In our work for God there is danger of relying too largely upon what man with his talents and ability can do. Thus we lose sight of Jesus. Too often the worker for Christ fails to realize his personal responsibility. He is in danger of shifting his burden upon organizations, instead of relying upon Him who is the source of all strength. It is a great mistake to trust in human wisdom or numbers in the work of God. Successful work for Christ depends not so much on numbers or talent as upon pureness of purpose, the true simplicity of earnest, dependent faith. Personal responsibilities must be borne, personal duties must be taken up, personal efforts must be made for those who do not know Christ. In the place of shifting your responsibility upon someone whom you think more richly endowed than you are, work according to your ability.

When the question comes home to your heart, "Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" let not your answer be the response of unbelief. When the disciples heard the Saviour's direction, "Give ye them to eat," all the difficulties arose in their minds. They questioned, Shall we go away into the villages to buy food? So now, when the people are destitute of the bread of life, the Lord's children question, Shall we send for someone from afar, to come and feed them? But what said Christ? "Make the men sit down," and He fed them there. So when you are surrounded by souls in need, know that Christ is there. Commune with Him. Bring your barley loaves to Jesus.

The means in our possession may not seem to be sufficient for the work; but if we will move forward in faith, believing in the all-sufficient power of God, abundant resources will open before us. If the work be of God, He Himself will provide the means for its accomplishment. He will reward honest, simple reliance upon Him. The little that is wisely and economically used in the service of the Lord of heaven will increase in the very act of imparting. In the hand of Christ the small supply of food remained undiminished until the famished multitude were satisfied. If we go to the Source of all strength, with our hands of faith outstretched to receive, we shall be sustained in our work, even under the most forbidding circumstances, and shall be enabled to give to others the bread of life.

The Lord says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you." "He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that soweth with blessings shall reap also with blessings. . . . And God is able to make all grace abound unto you; that ye, having always all sufficiency in everything, may abound unto every good work; as it is written, "He hath scattered abroad, he hath given to the poor: His righteousness abideth forever." "And He that supplieth seed to the sower and bread for food, shall supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness: ye being enriched in everything unto all liberality, which worketh through us thanksgiving to God." Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 03, 2013, 05:22:18 PM
"Ye Hypocrites"

  "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."   Ecclesiastes 12:14 

   
In Christ's day, the apparent zeal for God on the part of the priests and rabbis was a pretense to cover their desire for self-aggrandizement. The people were deceived by them. They were bearing heavy burdens which God had not imposed. Even the disciples of Christ were not wholly free from the yoke that had been bound upon them by inherited prejudice and rabbinical authority. Now, by revealing the true spirit of the rabbis, Jesus sought to free from the bondage of tradition all who were really desirous of serving God. 

"Ye hypocrites," He said, addressing the wily spies, "well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." The words of Christ were an arraignment of the whole system of Pharisaism. He declared that by placing their requirements above the divine precepts the rabbis were setting themselves above God.
 
The deputies from Jerusalem were filled with rage. They could not accuse Christ as a violator of the law given from Sinai, for He spoke as its defender against their traditions. The great precepts of the law, which He had presented, appeared in striking contrast to the petty rules that men had devised. 

To the multitude, and afterward more fully to His disciples, Jesus explained that defilement comes not from without, but from within. Purity and impurity pertain to the soul. It is the evil deed, the evil word, the evil thought, the transgression of the law of God, not the neglect of external, man-made ceremonies, that defiles a man. 

The disciples noted the rage of the spies as their false teaching was exposed. They saw the angry looks, and heard the half-muttered words of dissatisfaction and revenge. Forgetting how often Christ had given evidence that He read the heart as an open book, they told Him of the effect of His words. Hoping that He might conciliate the enraged officials, they said to Jesus, "Knowest Thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?

He answered, "Every plant, which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." The customs and traditions so highly valued by the rabbis were of this world, not from heaven. However great their authority with the people, they could not endure the testing of God. Every human invention that has been substituted for the commandments of God will be found worthless in that day when "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:14.    
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 18, 2013, 08:08:43 PM

Facing Life's Trials

  "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment...." 2 Corinthians 4:17   

   
At the time of his conversion, the Apostle Paul was inspired with a longing desire to help his fellow men to behold Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of the living God, mighty to transform and to save. Henceforth his life was wholly devoted to an effort to portray the love and power of the Crucified One. His great heart of sympathy took in all classes. "I am debtor," he declared, "both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise." Romans 1:14. Love for the Lord of glory, whom he had so relentlessly persecuted in the person of His saints, was the actuating principle of his conduct, his motive power. If ever his ardor in the path of duty flagged, one glance at the cross and the amazing love there revealed, was enough to cause him to gird up the loins of his mind and press forward in the path of self-denial. 

Behold the apostle preaching in the synagogue at Corinth, reasoning from the writings of Moses and the prophets, and bringing his hearers down to the advent of the promised Messiah. Listen as he makes plain the work of the Redeemer as the great high priest of mankind--the One who through the sacrifice of His own life was to make atonement for sin once for all, and was then to take up His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. Paul's hearers were made to understand that the Messiah for whose advent they had been longing, had already come; that His death was the anti-type of all the sacrificial offerings, and that His ministry in the sanctuary in heaven was the great object that cast its shadow backward and made clear the ministry of the Jewish priesthood.

Paul "testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ." From the Old Testament Scriptures he showed that according to the prophecies and the universal expectation of the Jews, the Messiah would be of the lineage of Abraham and of David; then he traced the descent of Jesus from the patriarch Abraham through the royal psalmist. He read the testimony of the prophets regarding the character and work of the promised Messiah, and His reception and treatment on the earth; then he showed that all these predictions had been fulfilled in the life, ministry, and death of Jesus of Nazareth.

Paul suffered greatly for His Saviour. But, he did not complain. His view of his sufferings was that it was so little compared to what Jesus had suffered for him. And, we too will come to the very same conclusion as we behold Jesus lifted up on account of our sins. Our sufferings are but small compared to the sufferings of our Lord. And, what is this short time compared to an eternity of bliss with Jesus! Paul had it right. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 2 Corinthians 4:17. Would you consider that to be beaten with rods, to be a night and a day in the deep, suffer with hunger, cold, nakedness, and all these things--and worst of all from false brethren--were light afflictions? Paul did. He and all truly converted Christians can "glory in tribulations" knowing it will glorify God and work for our own good.
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on May 24, 2013, 07:54:45 AM
Friend, spare a thought for  me today. Reading through the account of my saviour in the 4 gospels, His suffering and death was enlightening. The intrigues and the movements here and there. I realized for the first time that Jesus was taken to herod simply because the ruler of galilee was in town and pilate was simply)simply mending fences! But more importantly brethren I then read this verse 1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4: And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5: And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
  -- Genesis 1:1-5 (ukjv) which brings me to the question if it was even and then morning, the first day, does it not therefore mean that Sabbath is Saturday morning through saturday night. Please spare a thought today and enlighten me. Thanks. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 24, 2013, 09:52:36 PM
Wigina, there are many wiser than I, so hopefully others will add their thoughts too.  The verse you cite from Genesis, says "and the evening and the morning were the first day." Evening coming first. "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." The rest of the verses citing the creation use the same language. "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."  That is not proof positive, but it gives us a clue. The Jews reckoned their days beginning with the evening. That helps us also. Here is one verse from Scripture that reveals the 24 hour day begins with the evening which begins at sunset.  "It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath." Leviticus 23:32. 

The Passover began at sundown.  "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover." Leviticus 23:5.

Those crucified with Jesus had their legs broken so they would die before the Sabbath began at sundown. When did Mary go to the tomb? It was on the first day, the Sunday. But, Wigina, did she wait until the sun went down to go? Or did she go before the sun came up? There you will find your answer as to which comes first, the evening or the day.      "The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre." John 20:1.

Does this answer your concern?  Have a blessed Sabbath dear brother!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on May 25, 2013, 06:19:35 AM
now am enlightened brother Richard. And I am truly greatful when we reason together and learn to ask then even the hidden are brought to the fore and are hidden no more. Thank you and happy Sabbath to you too!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 25, 2013, 08:46:04 AM
Wigina, a wise man learns to ask questions so that he may learn, while those who are to shy to ask remain where they are in their understanding.  There is no shame in revealing we do not know it all. The shame is remaining wrong when one could have the knowledge of what is right. God will bless us as we learn from each other. One of my favorite ways of learning is to find someone who knows what I don't, then sit down and ask questions so that I can understand what I don't know.  I have not the least bit of shame in admitting my ignorance. In the world it may be looked down upon, but it ought not be so in the church.

In asking the question, dear brother, you have grown in your understanding of an important matter. You also have caused others to better understand from Scripture, and you have caused me go the source of our truth to find an answer. I had never been forced to do so in the past. Now, I see from Scripture how to address this question when asked by those not of our faith. Before you asked the question, I would have had a hard time answering the question if I were standing on a street corner. Thank you for helping me to better understand this important subject.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 13, 2013, 07:12:36 PM
What is Sacrifice?

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalms 51:17

Christianity when understood correctly is offensive to our fallen human nature. To become a true Christian, one must give up pride and sacrifice the things of this world. It is too much for most. "For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14. That is, few choose to accept Christ as ruler of their lives. The things of this world are deemed more valuable than the offer of eternal life with God.

Death to self is revealed in a sacrificial life. What does this mean? What happens when a sinner becomes a saint? What happens when one is truly converted? Does he have to give all he has to the poor? That is what Jesus told the rich young ruler to do.  "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." Mark 10:21. But, God does not ask that one sell all he owns. That is not the point. Sacrifice means different things to different people. If the rich young ruler were asked to sell half of what he owned, he would have probably been quite happy to do this and become a disciple. But, when Jesus told him to sell all, then it is seen that heaven was too expensive for this young man.

Sacrifice to another may mean giving up something very precious, or giving up a favorite coat so that another may stay warm. A sacrifice that pleases God is one that comes from the heart. If there is something too precious to give up for Jesus, then it is an idol. This can be anything. Adam refused to give up his wife. He took the forbidden fruit so that he would share the same fate as Eve. Yes, Adam gave up his life for Eve. Does that make him a Christian? "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:3. The love that Christs demands, is a love born of His Spirit. It only comes when self dies. We are carnal, evil by nature. "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing." Romans 7:18. We must be born again to love as Jesus loves. If we have Jesus, we have His Spirit and all of the fruits of His Spirit, not one is missing. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance which is self-control. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Romans 8:9.

We may be willing to die for our cause, or even profess to die for our God, as did the Muslims who murdered thousands when they flew into the Trade Towers, but if we have not the love of God, His love, then we do not have life. We may be willing to give much of our money to the poor, but if we are unwilling to give of our time to help others, then our time is an idol. We may be willing to die for someone we love, but if we are unwilling to spend time with Jesus, then we are not His.

Sacrifice means to pick up our cross and walk in the same bloodstained path as Jesus walked. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour." John 12:24-26. A profession of faith is nothing with God, He wants the whole heart. No whited sepulchers in heaven. How much is too much? What is too great a sacrifice for Jesus? If there is something that is too great to give up for Jesus, then you do not know Him. The law of self-sacrifice is the law of self-preservation. The life given to God and to our fellow man, is a life that will be preserved for eternity.

What must we exchange for heaven? What do we give up, when we give all? A sin-polluted heart, for Jesus to purify, to cleanse by His own blood, and to save by His matchless love. And yet men think it hard to give up all! Such utter silliness, madness. God does not require us to give up anything that it is for our best interest to retain. In all that He does, He has the well-being of His children in view. Would that all who have not chosen Christ might realize that He has something vastly better to offer them than they are seeking for themselves. Man is doing the greatest injury and injustice to his own soul when he thinks and acts contrary to the will of God. No real joy can be found in the path forbidden by Him who knows what is best and who plans for the good of His creatures. The path of transgression is the path of misery and destruction.   

When we have spent time getting to know our God, then we are able to trust Him with all that we are and all that we have. When we behold His great love for us as He hung on the cross, then the heart is broken and nothing is too great a sacrifice for the One who gave all for us.
 
Title: Re: A Thought for Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 24, 2013, 11:16:19 AM
Who am I that a king would bleed and die for?  Precious Jesus will lead me, even unworthy me, and will bring me to the haven of rest at last, if I humbly follow where he leads. If Satan tempts you to believe you are unworthy, tell him he is right, but that you have a Saviour that died for you while you were a great sinner! Tell him that Christ came into the world to save sinners. We have nothing to recommend us to God; but the plea that we may urge now and ever is our utterly helpless condition that makes His redeeming power a necessity. Renouncing all self-dependence, we may look to the cross of Calvary and say,-- "In my hand no price I bring; Simply to Thy cross I cling."   


From our Heavenly Music Forum (http://remnant-online.com/smf/index.php?board=87.0)



Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on June 27, 2013, 02:15:39 AM
amazing!
when scripture says we can can we?
satan has not yet caused fire to rain on us because we haven't attained the threshold...

Job 1:10-12,16,20-22: 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. [...] 16 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. [...] 20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on June 27, 2013, 05:17:18 AM
...satan has not yet caused fire to rain on us because we haven't attained the threshold...

Would you mind saying this in different words so I can get a better idea what you are saying? Thanks!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Ed Sutton on June 27, 2013, 05:55:13 AM
When SDA's are filled with the love that Father God implanted and imparted into the humanity of Jesus, due to their union with Father God & Christ & The Holy Ghost;  Satan will treat them worse than he did Job. 

God will give them all the honest and dishonest souls of Earth whosoever will come and freely partake of what God offers through the testifying of those SDA's, and the honest will be enlightened and filled and the willing repentant dishonest, made honest.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on June 27, 2013, 10:12:39 AM
Glen, am thinking about deceptions. That Satan has already demonstrated that he is able to cause fire to rain down from heaven. Deceiving all that were there except Job. Its gonna be tough convincing humanity that the so called public healings are not real. It will take a special effort to convince the elect. Now that will be the final battle. We will know when we are there.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on June 27, 2013, 10:14:59 AM
its amazing that Gid did not touch Job as requested but Satan took it upon himself to do evil and wonders.
Title: Re: A Thought for Today
Post by: Vicki on June 27, 2013, 01:41:06 PM
Who am I that a king would bleed and die for? 

Thank you, that's beautiful. Leave it to the younger generation to tell me to click the right corner for full screen - beautiful pictures to go with a wonderful song. Son said to tell you he is awestruck.  :)
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 19, 2013, 12:02:15 PM

True Revival

"When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." John 16:13.

Many of the revivals which have occurred recently have given no evidence of the work of the Spirit of God. The light which flames up for a time, soon dies out, leaving the darkness more dense than before. Popular revivals are too often carried by appeals to the imagination, by exciting the emotions, by pandering to the love for what is new and startling. Converts thus gained have no more desire to listen to Bible truths, no more interest in the testimony of prophets and apostles, than has the reader of love stories. Unless a religious service has something of a sensational character, it has no attractions for them. A message which appeals to unimpassioned reason, awakens no response. The plain warnings of God's word, relating directly to their eternal interests, fall as upon the ears of the dead.

The converts are not renewed in heart or changed in character. They do not renounce their pride and love of the world. They are no more willing to deny self, to take up the cross, and follow the meek and lowly Jesus, than before their conversion. In a genuine revival, when the Spirit of God convicts the conscience, the earnest, anxious inquiry will be heard, "What must I do to be saved?" And this not merely for a day. With every truly converted soul the relation to God and to eternal things will be the great topic of life. But where do we see the deep conviction of sin? Where is the spirit of consecration to God? The spirit that controls the world rules in the church. Religion has become the sport of infidels and skeptics because so many who bear its name are ignorant of its principles. The power of godliness has well-nigh departed from the churches. Heart union with Christ is a rare thing now. The majority of church-members know no tie but that which joins them to an organized body of professed Christians. Love of pleasure and thirst for excitement are everywhere prevalent. Sports, movies and television, Facebook, expensive homes, personal display, have banished thoughts of God. Investments, politics, and worldly occupations engross the mind. Things of eternal interest are lost in the desire for the things of this world.

Those living for the things of this world may have their names upon the church books, they may have a high standing in society, but they have no connection with Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul describes a class who are "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." Concerning them he says, "From such turn away." 2 Timothy 3:4, 5. Be not deceived by them, do not be led astray.

Revival and reformation is coming to Christianity. God is leading His people into the truth, as it is in Jesus. False teachers abound, but where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. God has His teachers also. And, even without teachers, the Bible is today available more than ever before. Jesus promises that "when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." John 16:13. He will do so through opening the mind to the truth that is in the Bible. We will not be left alone, but the third person of the godhead will be in our hearts, opening our minds to the truth that we need for each day. Rejoice, knowing that God will finish the work which He has begun in us! He delays His coming that none who want to be saved shall be lost. Today, is the day of salvation!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on July 19, 2013, 09:16:58 PM
Quote
Today is a day of salvation
let the Lord be praised.
As much as evil abounds, the Lord God pours out more of His grace. And we will know more about Jesus! And soon  the whole world will know toon then the last callvwill sound, ''come out of her my people'' and when they shall have come out... Then the marriage of the Lamb shall take place. The most magnificent ever! Are you ready?
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on July 25, 2013, 06:47:38 PM
Revelation 12:17: 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Just asking myself?, are we ready for this??, it is pain full that many of us are not ready for this? let's give this verse a good thought today., God bless all as we enter the preparation day.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on July 26, 2013, 06:15:53 PM
The practice of inviting men and women to relate in public the experience of their life of soon is full of danger to both speaker and hearer. To dwell upon scenes of evil is corrupting to both mind and soul. And the prominence given to the rescued ones is harm full to them. Many are led to feel that their sinful life gives them a certain distinction. Ministry of healing pg 178.
IHave seen some do this but have never known why I thought it wrong intuitively.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 27, 2013, 01:50:55 PM
Yes, dear brother. We need to hear of what God has done for sinners, not what sinners have done before conversion.  There is already enough evil influence in the world we witness. Let us behold Jesus and His character and be changed into His image from glory to glory!  The thought of such love will break our hearts. Who am I that such a King would bleed and die for me!!!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on August 01, 2013, 08:23:01 PM
Ministry of healing pg 127.4&5
...often some form of vice is the cause of feebleness of mind or body! Should these people gain the blessing of health many of them would continue to pursue the same course of heedless transgression of God's natural and spiritual laws, reasoning that if God, heals them in answer to prayer, they are at liberty to continue their ktheir unhealthful practices and to indulge perverted appetite without restraint. If God were to work a miracle in restoring these persons to health, He would be encouraging sin.
It is labour lost to teach people to look to God as a healer of their infirmities, unless they are taught also to lady aside unhealthful practices. In order to receive His blessing in answer to prayer, they must cease to do evil and learn to do well. Their surroundings must be sanitary their habits of life correct.

Now this is strong. God's messenger has laid down the rules for healing by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a powerful message and an admonition to us to enter into the solemn act of praying for healing. we must do this with proper consideration lest we pray for nought.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 03, 2013, 01:16:07 PM
In order to receive His blessing in answer to prayer, they must cease to do evil and learn to do well.
Amen, wigina. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." Psalms 66:18.  It is true that God pours out His blessings upon the good and the wicked, but that is not what was said here. We are looking at prayer. Many fail to understand this important Bible principle.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 03, 2013, 01:53:31 PM
Revival and Reformation

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 



There are sinners in Zion. They are not agonizing to enter in at the strait gate. God cannot endure the presence of sin. It is the thing that His soul hates. Even the angels that stood about His throne, whom He loved, but who kept not their first estate of loyalty, God cast out of heaven with their rebel leader. Holiness is the foundation of God's throne; sin is the opposite of holiness; sin crucified the Son of God. If men could see how hateful sin is, they would not tolerate it, nor educate themselves in it. They would reform in life and character. Secret faults would be overcome. If we are to be saints in heaven, we must first be saints upon the earth.

There is great need that we overcome secret faults. Our churches are weak. Selfishness, uncharitableness, covetousness, envy, evil-surmising, falsehood, theft, robbery, sensuality, licentiousness, and adultery, stand registered against some who claim to believe the solemn, sacred truth for this time. How can these accursed things be cleansed out of the camp, when men who claim to be Christians are practicing them constantly? They are somewhat careful of their ways before men, but they are an offense to God. His pure eyes see, a witness records, all their sins, both open and secret; and unless they repent and confess their sins before God, unless they fall on the Rock and are broken, their sins will remain charged against them in the books of record. Fearful histories will be opened to the world at the judgment--histories of sins never confessed, of sins not blotted out! Oh, that these poor souls might see that they are heaping up wrath against the day of wrath! Then the thoughts of the heart, as well as the actions, will be revealed. "Cease to do evil," but do not stop here; "learn to do well." We can glorify God only by bearing fruit to His glory.

Ministers, for Christ's sake, must begin the work for themselves. By unsanctified lives stumbling blocks are set before children and before unbelievers. Some ministers move by impulse, act from passion and prejudice, and bring impure, tainted offerings to God. For Christ's sake cleanse the camp by beginning, through the grace of Christ, the personal work of purifying the soul from moral defilement. A jovial minister in the pulpit, or one who is stretching beyond his measure to win praise, is a spectacle that
crucifies the Son of God afresh and puts Him to open shame. There must be thorough repentance, faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ, vigilant watchfulness, unceasing prayer, and diligent searching of the Scriptures. God holds us responsible for all that we might be if we would improve our talents. We shall be judged according to what we ought to have been, but were not; what we might have done, but did not accomplish because we did not use our powers to glorify God. For all knowledge that we might have gained but did not, there will be an eternal loss, even if we do not lose our souls. All our influence belongs to God. All that we acquire is to be used to His glory. All the property that the Lord has entrusted to us is to be held on the altar of God, to be returned to Him again. We are working out our own destiny. May God help us all to be wise for eternity.

We are living in a most solemn period of this earth's history. There is never a time to sin; it is always perilous to continue in transgression; but in a special sense is this true at the present time. We are now upon the very borders of the eternal world and stand in a more solemn relation to time and to eternity than ever before. Now let every person search his own heart, and plead for the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness to expel all spiritual darkness and cleanse from defilement. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Through faith, irrespective of feeling, Jesus, the Author of our salvation, the Finisher of our faith, will, by His precious grace, strengthen the moral powers, and the sinner may reckon himself "to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ." Simple faith, with the love of Christ in the soul, unites the believer to God. While toiling in battle as a faithful soldier of Christ, he has the sympathy of the whole loyal universe. The ministering angels are round about him to aid in the conflict, so that he may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper," "the Lord is my strength and my shield;" I shall not be overcome. "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."

The infinite wisdom and power of God are exerted in our behalf. The heavenly host are surely fighting our battles for us. They are always looking with intense interest upon the souls purchased by the Saviour's blood. They see, through the sacrifice of Christ, the value of the human soul. It is always safe to be on the Lord's side, not halfheartedly, but wholly. It is this halfhearted, indifferent, careless work that separates the soul from Jesus, the source of our strength. Let this be our prayer: "Take everything from me, let me lose property, worldly honor, everything, but let Thy presence be with me." It is safe to commit the keeping of the soul to God, who reigns over all heaven and earth.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on August 03, 2013, 07:17:06 PM
Amen!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on August 03, 2013, 07:24:32 PM
Although I may not always feel close to Him, I cherish the moments that I, feel closer. Worldly cares may at times cloud my judgement unbelief permeate my being yet in obedience shall I always endeavour to walk for I now truly realize that it is only in Him, Jesus my Lord Master and friend in whom my salvation lies. No matter what predicament I am in I know His will must be done and I yearn to respect it., He is all seeing and just and true! And to that shall I cling.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on August 03, 2013, 11:15:39 PM
No matter what predicament I am in I know His will must be done and I yearn to respect it., He is all seeing and just and true! And to that shall I cling.

Amen!

In the beginning when I was taking very tiny baby steps toward understanding God's will and His attitude toward sin and how He carried out justice, it left me so confounded because I was judging Him by worldly standards. At the time, that was all I knew. So when you used the word "respect" toward His will, that is where I had to leave it so many times because His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts. It took some time to gain a better understanding of His special brand of justice and mercy.

Considering God never sinned and lives and reigns on the highest possible plane of holiness, He has a thorough understanding of the sin problem. So however He decides to combat it, we must know it is for our good, respecting it when we cannot comprehend it. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on August 04, 2013, 11:04:48 AM
when Iread this, I just laughed at myself! Now are you a Christian or sister white would tell you you are not? Think about it. 'tis a great thought for today!
Ministry of healing pg 251.4
those professed Christians who are constantly complaining and who seem to think cheerfulness and happiness a sin have not true religion. Those who take a mournful pleasure in all that is melancholy in the natural world, who choose to look upon dead leaves rather than to gather the beautiful living flowers, who see no beauty in grand mountain heights and in Valleys clothed with living green, who close their senses to the joyful voice which speaks to then in nature, and which is sweet and musical to the listening ear... These are not in Christ. They are gathering to themselves gloom and darkness, when they might have brightness, even the Sun of Righteousness arising from their hearts with healing in His beams
Next time you(Wigina) start complaining, maybe you'll think again!!,
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on August 04, 2013, 03:31:18 PM
Amen! The same applies to Sister Mimi! That is a good find, my brother.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on August 08, 2013, 01:11:13 AM
Exodus 34:6-7: 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear [the guilty]; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth [generation].

The Amen, The great I AM! is manifesting! For the hour of His grace, true grace is fast approaching! Whenthe whole universe will acknowledge His long suffering! Who is willing to partake of the abundance thereof!? I am unworthy Lord, please forgive me my sins and let thy will be done!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 27, 2013, 11:48:17 AM
The "Ship" Will Make it to Port

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."  Matthew 5:14   


Jesus is to be reflected in the Christian's deportment; our characters must be beautiful with the graces of heaven. The presence of God is to be an abiding presence with us; wherever we are, we are to carry light to the world. Those around us should realize that the atmosphere of heaven surrounds us. 
 
But many say, "How can I help sinning? I have tried to overcome, but I do not make advancement." In your own strength you will fail, but help has been laid upon One who is mighty. In his strength you may be more than conqueror. Say, "Through the grace of God I will be an overcomer." Put your will on the side of God's will, and with your eye fixed upon Him who is the author and finisher of your faith, you may make straight paths for your feet. When you are tempted, say, "Jesus is my Saviour, I love him because he first loved me." Show that you trust him. As you walk the streets, as you work about your house, you can communicate with your Lord; lay hold upon him by living faith, and believe his Word to the letter. 

Now suppose you put away all murmuring and complaining, and look to the light. Let us try it, and see what kind of a life we shall have. When Satan suggests doubt and darkness, say, "I will be free, I am free," and when Satan tells you that you are a sinner, tell him, "I know it; but Jesus said, 'I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'" Ask God to help you to place your thoughts upon Jesus, and Satan cannot control your mind. Put away all commonness; determine that through Jesus you will elevate your soul above all that is low and earthly, and become lights to the world. Let your words be as choice silver, your conversation full of hope and courage in the Lord, and wherever you are those around you will realize that a precious influence goes with you. The light and love and power of God will rest upon you. 
 
Through the mercy of God we have been taken out of the quarry of the world by the mighty cleaver of truth, and we are to be hewn and polished, and fitted for the heavenly building. As pilgrims we have been brought into the highway cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in; and we should go in this way with rejoicing, instead of with complaining. This privilege has been bought for us at an infinite cost, and we ought to manifest our joy and gratitude that we are permitted to be numbered among the children of God. Should we walk from day to day with rejoicing and gladness of heart, showing forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light, what effect should we have upon the minds of those around us? They would say, "Certainly they have been with Jesus, and have learned of him." 

Our lives will not be all sunshine; there will be trials. "In the world ye shall have tribulation," says Christ; but in me ye shall have peace. But the trials are for a purpose. Pride, selfishness, evil passions, and love of worldly pleasures, must all be overcome; therefore afflictions come to test and prove us, and show that these evils exist in the character. We must overcome them through divine strength and grace, that we may become like Jesus, our perfect pattern. Afflictions, temptations, adversity,-- all our varied trials--are God's workmen to refine and sanctify us, and make us channels of light to the world. And "our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." 

Trials are also God's appointed means to separate the chaff from the wheat. Satan never sleeps. He is watching to lead souls away from Christ. He suggests worldly principles. The "good seed" is choked in many hearts, because it is overgrown with unnecessary cares and needless anxiety--with love for the worldly pleasures and honors that riches give. Meetings are neglected; the heart is not strengthened by these religious privileges, because time and energy are absorbed in money making. In other cases there is no depth and stability of character. Principle does not reach down deep, underlying the springs of action. When such persons are tested and proved by the heat of trial and temptation, when the pruning-knife of God is applied, that they may bring forth fruit unto perfection, their zeal dies, their Christian experience withers. 

The sincere believers of truth are often made sad, and their trials greatly increased, by elements among them that annoy and dishearten them in their efforts. We have many reasons to be concerned as we witness great difficulties in the church. But, there is no need of doubts and fears that the work of God will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and he will set everything in order. Let us have faith that he is going to carry the noble ship which bears his people, safely into port. There was a ship that was in great distress. Large waves crashed upon the ship. The chandeliers fell, suitcases were tossed from side to side like pillows. The passengers were frightened, and many were screaming, waiting in expectation of death. After a while the pilot came on board. The captain stood near the pilot as he took the wheel, and expressed fear about the course in which the ship was directed. "Will you take the wheel?" asked the pilot. The captain was not ready to do that, for he knew that he lacked experience. Then some of the passengers grew uneasy, and said they feared the pilot would dash them upon the rocks. "Will you take the wheel?" asked the pilot; but they knew that they could not manage the wheel. When you think that the work of God is in danger, pray, "Lord, stand at the wheel; carry us through this perplexity; bring us safely into port." Have we not reason to believe that the Lord will bring us through triumphantly? 
 
With each one it is an individual work. You are to commit the keeping of your soul unto God as unto a faithful Creator. When you do this, you will know something of the love of God; for it will abound in your heart unto his glory. When you come together for the worship of God, the meetings will be uplifting in character; for the Lord will put a new song into your mouth, even praise unto our God. You will say, "Hear what the Lord has done for my soul." Your soul will be all light in the Lord. Perhaps you have been looking on the dark side of the picture. Now, turn to the other side. Turn the dark side to the wall, and look on the beautiful pictures of the love of God. Educate your tongue to talk of God's mercy, and speak forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Let us answer to the purpose of God, and be indeed the "light of the world." 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 05, 2013, 11:47:20 AM

Good Health

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood."  Leviticus 17:11 


God has given us all something to do. In the discharge of the various duties which we are to perform, which lie in our pathway, our lives will be made useful, and we shall be blessed. Not only will the organs of the body be strengthened by exercise, but the mind also will acquire strength and knowledge through the action of those organs. The exercise of one muscle, while others are left with nothing to do, will not strengthen the inactive ones any more than the continual exercise of one of the organs of the mind will develop and strengthen the organs not brought into use. Each faculty of the mind and each muscle has its distinctive office, and all require to be exercised in order to become properly developed and retain healthful vigor. Each organ and muscle has its work to do in the living organism. Every wheel in the machinery must be a living, active, working wheel. Nature's fine and wonderful works need to be kept in active motion in order to accomplish the object for which they were designed. Each faculty has a bearing upon the others, and all need to be exercised in order to be properly developed. If one muscle of the body is exercised more than another, the one used will become much the larger, and will destroy the harmony and beauty of the development of the system. A variety of exercise will call into use all the muscles of the body. 

Those who are feeble and indolent should not yield to their inclination to be inactive, thus depriving themselves of air and sunlight, but should practice exercising out of doors in walking or working in the garden. They will become very much fatigued, but this will not injure them. Inaction weakens the organs that are not exercised. And when these organs are used, pain and weariness are experienced, because the muscles have become feeble. It is not good policy to give up the use of certain muscles because pain is felt when they are exercised. The pain is frequently caused by the effort of nature to give life and vigor to those parts that have become partially lifeless through inaction. The motion of these long-disused muscles will cause pain, because nature is awakening them to life. 
 
Walking, in all cases where it is possible, is the best remedy for diseased bodies, because in this exercise all the organs of the body are brought into use. Many who depend upon the movement cure could accomplish more for themselves by muscular exercise than the movements can do for them. In some cases want of exercise causes the bowels and muscles to become enfeebled and shrunken, and these organs that have enfeebled for want of use will be strengthened by exercise. There is no exercise that can take the place of walking. By it the circulation of the blood is greatly improved.  Perfect health requires healthy blood and good circulation of that healthy blood. Life is in our blood.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 23, 2013, 07:14:45 PM
Rooting Out the Thorns

     "And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them....He also that received seed among thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful."     Matthew 13:7,22 


In the thorns that choke the good seed, the Great Teacher would depict the dangers that are around those who hear the word of God; for there are foes on every hand to make of no effect the precious truth of God. All that draws the affections from God, all that fills the attention so that Christ has no room in the heart, must be renounced if the seed of truth is to flourish in the soul. Jesus specifies the things that are dangerous to the soul. He says the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things, choke the word, the growing spiritual seed, so that the soul does not draw nourishment from Christ, as does the branch from the vine, and the spiritual life dies from the heart. Love of the world, love of its pleasures and display, and love of other things, keep the soul away from God; for he who loves the world does not depend upon God for his courage, his hope, his joy. He knows not what it is to have the joy of Christ, for this is the joy of leading others to the Fountain of life, of winning souls from sin to righteousness. 

All that draws the affections from Christ is a detriment to the soul, and must be put away that the soul temple may be cleansed from all defilement. Unless the soul is emptied of its idols, you cannot comprehend the truth of God. Some of the precious seed may find a place in the heart, but in order to have spiritual discernment to distinguish the thorns from the pure grain, the soul must receive the word with meekness. When those who have but a partial knowledge of the truth, are called upon to study some point that cuts across their preconceived opinions, they are confused. Their preconceived opinions are as thorns that choke the word of God, and when truth is sown, and it becomes necessary to root up the thorns to give it place, they feel that everything is going from them, and they are in trouble. There are many who have but an imperfect understanding of the character of God. They think of him as stern and arbitrary, and when the fact is presented that God is love, it is a difficult matter for these souls to lay aside their false conceptions of God. But if they do not let the word of truth in, rooting out the thorns, the briers will start up afresh, and choke out the good word of God; their religious experience will be dwarfed, for the evil of their hearts will overtop the tender plant of truth, and shut away the spiritual atmosphere.

How many have a dwarfed religious experience. They do not draw nourishment from Christ. They love the world and the things that the world loves. At times their hearts are touched by the love of Christ, but they are not careful to watch and pray. They do not take the path of self-denial and cross-bearing, and follow in the way which Jesus trod while upon earth. They choose to indulge self, and spend their money for that which is not bread, and their labor for that which satisfieth not. They are like those whom the prophet describes, when he says, "There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart. Therefore thus saith the Lord: Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing. Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken? because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up." Those who allow the cares of this world to crowd out the good seed, become surfeited with this world. The time that they should devote to the service of God, is devoted to the gratification of self. The work of the Lord should be their first anxiety, but Jesus and the souls he died for, are treated as matters of secondary importance. Their love of the world, their desire for riches, their anxiety to meet the world's standard, to follow the fashions of the world, to try every new thing, choke out the world, and it becomes unfruitful. 

It is necessary to be diligent, lest thorns find their way into the soil of the heart, and the precious plants of heavenly origin be crowded out; for they cannot grow in the heart together. Christ says, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Those who attempt it bring no fruit to perfection. There are those who attempt to serve two masters. They take the precious promises of God to themselves, but refuse to comply with the conditions on which the promises are given. They are not doers of the words of Christ, laboring together with God. In heart and in practice they are of the world, and yet they make a profession of godliness. Brain and muscle are devoted to the acquirement of property or position, as though the gaining of these temporal things would give them a passport into heaven. But it is not learning, position, or wealth, that commends a man to God. The psalmist says, "A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." Many who profess to be Christians know not what it is to give up their all for Christ, who paid an infinite price for the redemption of the lost. 

Self must die if we would be counted as the followers of Christ. The apostle says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. . . . For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." When a man is converted to God, a new moral taste is created; and he loves the things that God loves; for his life is bound up by the golden chain of the immutable promises, to the life of Jesus. His heart is drawn out after God. His prayer is, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." In the immutable standard he sees the character of the Redeemer, and knows that though he has sinned, he is not to be saved in his sins, but from his sins; for Jesus is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. It is through the blood of Christ that he is brought nigh unto God. As he beholds the righteousness of Christ in the divine precepts, he exclaims, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." As the sinner is pardoned for his transgression through the merits of Christ, as he is clothed with the righteousness of Christ through faith in him, he declares with the psalmist, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth." "More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." This is conversion. When the Spirit of God controls the mind and heart, it turns the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. The law of God will then be regarded as a transcript of the divine character, and a new song bursts forth from the heart that has been touched by divine grace; for he realizes that the promise of God has been fulfilled in his experience, that his transgression is forgiven, his sin covered. He has exercised repentance toward God for the violation of his law, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ who has died for his justification. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." 

"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Love is the fulfilling of the law, and those who could not understand the precepts of heaven before they experience the new birth, now see the commandments as "holy, and just, and good," and in keeping of them there is great reward. The law of God is the rule of God's government, and through eternal ages it will be the standard of his kingdom. Those who trample upon its requirements, are trampling upon the authority of heaven, upon the throne of God. If we do not yield to its requirements in this life, learning to love God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves, we shall meet with no change in character at the appearing of Jesus. Rebellion will not give place to peace and love when he comes in the clouds of heaven. Now is the time to separate the thorns from the precious seeds of truth, that the heart may be wholly occupied with the truth from heaven. 

He who knows all things, who reads the heart of man as an open book, says, "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." And Paul writes, "They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on September 25, 2013, 04:09:08 AM
This is one of the most important messages we can take to heart. It immediately takes my mind to the message to the Laodiceans in Revelation 3. Granted, the cure is given in "Rooting Out the Thorns," yet it is spelled out in mercy in Revelation 3. It is a message to us, this very day.

Amen.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: wigina on November 15, 2013, 05:51:44 PM
Holiness its not rapture, it is the result of surrendering all to God; it is doing the will of our heavenly father!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on November 16, 2013, 02:42:59 AM
Holiness its not rapture, it is the result of surrendering all to God; it is doing the will of our heavenly father!
 

Holiness is not rapture: it is an entire surrender of the will to God; it is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; it is doing the will of our heavenly Father; it is trusting God in trial, in darkness as well as in the light; it is walking by faith and not by sight; it is relying on God with unquestioning confidence, and resting in His love. The Faith I Live By, p. 140.3

Amen, Wigina; however, regarding "the Rapture" (...I speak as a man... Romans 3:5)

Ephesians 2:
4 God...
5 ...hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Hebrews 12:
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God...
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 23, 2013, 09:55:14 PM
The Converting Power of Grace

     "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."    Philippians 2:15


Do we have so strong a hold on God that our religion will not fail us in the face of strong persecution? The deep love of God alone will sustain the soul amid the trials which are just upon us. 

Self-denial and the cross are our portion. Will we accept it? None of us need expect that when the last great trials come upon us a self-sacrificing, patriotic spirit will be developed in a moment because needed. No, indeed, this spirit must be blended with our daily experience, and infused into the minds and hearts of our children, both by precept and example. Mothers in Israel may not be warriors themselves, but they may raise up warriors who shall gird on the whole armor and fight manfully the battles of the Lord. 

Ministers and people need the converting power of grace before they will be able to stand in the day of the Lord. The world is fast approaching that point in iniquity and human depravity when God's aid will become necessary. And at that time His faithful children will be seen to be obedient to the law of God. Their prayer will be as that of David: "It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law." And by their conduct they will say: "Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold." Psalms 119:126,127 The very contempt that is shown to the law of God is sufficient reason why His commandment-keeping people should come to the front and show their esteem and reverence for His downtrodden law.

"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matthew 24:12. The very atmosphere is polluted with sin. Soon God's people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. Instead of being strengthened and confirmed by opposition, threats, and abuse, they will cowardly take the side of the enemy. The promise is: "Them that honor Me I will honor." 1 Samuel 2:30.

The judgments of God are in the land, as seen in hurricanes, in floods, in tornadoes, and in earthquakes. When God's wrath is poured out upon the earth, who will then be able to stand? Now is the time for God's people to show themselves true to principle. When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our courage and firmness the most unflinching. His faithful will stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake them. They will fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few. This will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason. The nations of the world, all of them, will be arrayed against God, His law, and those who keep His commandments. But, they shall not prevail. "And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." Daniel 2:43-45.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on November 24, 2013, 09:39:59 AM
Do we have so strong a hold on God that our religion will not fail us in the face of strong persecution? The deep love of God alone will sustain the soul amid the trials which are just upon us. 

Self-denial and the cross are our portion. Will we accept it? None of us need expect that when the last great trials come upon us a self-sacrificing, patriotic spirit will be developed in a moment because needed. No, indeed, this spirit must be blended with our daily experience, and infused into the minds and hearts of our children, both by precept and example...

Amen Brother Richard!

When tempted to "fail...in the face of strong persecution, Christ alone is revealed in us:
Since Christ (who is our life Colossians 3:4) "has His hold" within us, If we have been "planted in the likeness of His death" Romans 6:5, Christ, who is our wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption... 1 Corinthians 1:30 is our glory, because He is become our life. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the Word of God (Manuscript 24, 1886). Thus; our "spirit" is "blended with our daily experience, and infused into" our "minds and hearts" by His "precept and example". Christ's assurance is:

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Revelation 3:10

...he ("Christ in you, the hope of glory"; "Not I, but Christ") that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matthew 24:13

The Spirit of God will consume sin in all who submit to His power. See Hebrews 12:29. But if any cling to sin, then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them. At the second advent of Christ, the wicked will be consumed “with the breath of His mouth” and destroyed “with the brightness of His coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8. The glory of God that gives life to the righteous will destroy the wicked. Humble Hero, p. 41.6

Christ tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, and the Comforter is the Holy Ghost, “the Spirit of truth, which the Father shall send in My name.” “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” [John 14:16, 17]. This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter. Again Jesus says, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth”
[John 16:12, 13].  Manuscript Releases Volume Fourteen [Nos. 1081-1135], p. 179.2

We are to feed the hungry, comfort the suffering, and inspire hope in the hopeless. The love of Christ, shown in unselfish ministry, will be more effective in reforming the evildoer than will the sword or court of justice. Often the heart will melt under the love of Christ. Through His servants, God wants to be a greater Comforter than the world has ever seen.
Humble Hero, p. 159.8
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 25, 2013, 08:59:36 AM
God's Gift to Us

     "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."   1 John 4:10

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!     
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on January 18, 2014, 06:53:48 AM
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.

In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” It is not physical life that is here specified, but eternal life, the life which is exclusively the property of God. The Word, who was with God, and who was God, had this life. Physical life is something which each individual received. It is not eternal or immortal; for God, the Lifegiver, takes it again. Man has no control over his life. But the life of Christ was unborrowed. No one can take this life from Him. “I lay it down of myself,” He said. In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life is not inherent in man. He can possess it only through Christ. He cannot earn it; it is given him as a free gift if he will believe in Christ as his personal Saviour. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3. This is the open fountain of life for the world (The Signs of the Times, February 13, 1912).
S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5, p. 1130.3

There is no one who can explain the mystery of the incarnation of Christ. Yet we know that He came to this earth and lived as a man among men. The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one.
S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5, p. 1129.7

We may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Receiving Christ, we are clothed with power. An indwelling Saviour makes His power our property.... Christ’s presence in the heart is a vitalizing power, strengthening the entire being.
The Faith I Live By, p. 62.7

Never feel that Christ is far away. He is always near. His loving presence surrounds you. The Faith I Live By, p. 62.8

Jacob in his distress was not overwhelmed. He had repented, he had endeavored to atone for the wrong to his brother. And when threatened with death through the wrath of Esau, he looked to God for help. “And He blessed him there.” Genesis 32:29. In the power of His might the forgiven one stood up, no longer the supplanter but a prince with God. He had gained not merely deliverance from his outraged brother, but deliverance from himself. The power of evil in his own nature was broken; his character was transformed.  True Education, p. 88.2

Adam yielded to temptation, and as we have the matter of sin and its consequences laid so distinctly before us, we can read from cause to effect and see the greatness of the act is not that which constitutes sin; but the disobedience of God’s expressed will, which is a virtual denial of God, refusing the laws of His government.... Christ Triumphant, p. 25.3

The law of self is erected, human will is made supreme, and when the high and holy will of God is presented to be obeyed, respected, and honored, the human will wants its own way, to do its own promptings, and there is a controversy between the human agent and the Divine. Christ Triumphant, p. 25.4

The fall of our first parents broke the golden chain of implicit obedience of the human will to the Divine. Obedience has no longer been deemed an absolute necessity. The human agents follow their own imaginations, which the Lord said of the inhabitants of the old world were evil and that continually. The Lord Jesus declares, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” How? As a man. “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.” To the accusations of the Jews He stood forth in His pure, virtuous, holy character and challenged them, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?”... Christ Triumphant, p. 25.5

We are...to serve God...in the nature we have, that has been redeemed by the Son of God; through the righteousness of Christ we shall stand pardoned before God, and as though we had never sinned. We will never gain strength in considering what we might do if we were angels. We are to turn in faith to Jesus Christ, and show our love to God through obedience to His commands.—Manuscript 1, 1892 (Manuscript Releases 6:337-342).  Christ Triumphant, p. 25.6

...as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. Romans 6:19

"Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin." -Christ did this ONLY that we may accept Divine Life through His Spirit, to  Be...perfect, even as...our Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48 Christ gave us such an heredity, that we may live a sinless life.

For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:19, 21
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on January 18, 2014, 07:16:28 AM


Jacob ... He had gained not merely deliverance from his outraged brother, but deliverance from himself. The power of evil in his own nature was broken; his character was transformed.  True Education, p. 88.2



That is beautiful.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 18, 2014, 08:05:36 AM
Amen! The greatest battle we shall ever fight, is with self.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 18, 2014, 09:15:25 AM
Sacrificing the Best

     "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."   John 12:24

"He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." All who would bring forth fruit as workers together with Christ must first fall into the ground and die. The life must be cast into the furrow of the world's need. Self-love, self-interest, must perish. And the law of self-sacrifice is the law of self-preservation. The husbandman preserves his grain by casting it away. So in human life. To give is to live. The life that will be preserved is the life that is freely given in service to God and man. Those who for Christ's sake sacrifice their life in this world will keep it unto life eternal.

The life spent on self is like the grain that is eaten. It disappears, but there is no increase. A man may gather all he can for self; he may live and think and plan for self; but his life passes away, and he has nothing. The law of self-serving is the law of self-destruction.

"If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor." All who have borne with Jesus the cross of sacrifice will be sharers with Him of His glory. It was the joy of Christ in His humiliation and pain that His disciples should be glorified with Him. They are the fruit of His self-sacrifice. The outworking in them of His own character and spirit is His reward, and will be His joy throughout eternity. This joy they share with Him as the fruit of their labor and sacrifice is seen in other hearts and lives. They are workers together with Christ, and the Father will honor them as He honors His Son. 

Was it not for us that Christ died first? The true result of the mission of Christ was to be achieved by way of the cross. Jesus said "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." When the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it springs up, and bears fruit. So the death of Christ would result in fruit for the kingdom of God. In accordance with agricultural laws, life was to be the result of His death.

Those who till the soil have the illustration ever before them. Year by year man preserves his supply of grain by apparently throwing away the best part. For a time it must be hidden under ground, to be watched over by the Lord. Then appears the blade, then the ear, and then the corn in the ear. But this development cannot take place unless the grain is buried out of sight, hidden, and to all appearance, lost. 

The seed buried in the ground produces fruit, and in turn this is planted. Thus the harvest is multiplied. So the death of Christ on the cross of Calvary will bear fruit unto eternal life. The contemplation of this sacrifice will be the glory of those who, as the fruit of it, will live through the eternal ages. 

The grain of wheat that preserves its own life can produce no fruit. It abides alone. Christ could, if He chose, save Himself from death. But should He do this, He must abide alone. He could bring no sons and daughters to God. Only by yielding up His life could He impart life to humanity. Only by falling into the ground to die could He become the seed of that vast harvest,--the great multitude that out of every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, are redeemed to God.
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 30, 2014, 10:25:29 AM
Strong Delusions

     "They received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: ."  2 Thessalonians 2:10,11

Satan is busy today as he attempts to hold people in darkness and impenitence till the Saviour's mediation is ended, and there is no longer a sacrifice for sin.  The great deceiver has many that are ready to present any and every kind of error to ensnare souls. He has heresies prepared to suit the varied tastes and capacities of those whom he would ruin. It is his plan to bring into the church insincere, unregenerate elements that will encourage doubt and unbelief, and hinder all who desire to see the work of God advance and to advance. Many who have no real faith in God or in His word assent to some principles of truth and pass as Christians, and thus they are enabled to introduce their errors as Scriptural doctrines.  Satan knows that the truth, received in the love of it, sanctifies the soul of the receiver; therefore he is constantly seeking to substitute false theories, fables, and another gospel. From the beginning the servants of God have contended against false teachers, not merely as vicious men, but as inculcators of falsehoods that were fatal to the soul. Elijah, Jeremiah, Paul, firmly and fearlessly opposed those who were turning men from the word of God. That liberality which regards a correct religious faith as unimportant found no favor with these holy defenders of the truth. 

The Bible was designed to be a guide to all who wish to become acquainted with the will of their Maker. God gave to men the sure word of prophecy; angels and even Christ Himself came to make known to Daniel and John the things that must shortly come to pass. Those important matters that concern our salvation were not left involved in mystery. They were not revealed in such a way as to perplex and mislead the honest seeker after truth. Said the Lord by the prophet Habakkuk: "Write the vision, and make it plain, . . . that he may run that readeth it." Habakkuk 2:2. The word of God is plain to all who study it with a prayerful heart. Every truly honest soul will come to the light of truth. "Light is sown for the righteous." Psalm 97:11. And no church can advance in holiness unless its members are earnestly seeking for truth as for hid treasure.  Men are blinded to the devices of their adversary, while he is all the time working steadily for the accomplishment of his object. As he succeeds in supplanting the Bible by human speculations, the law of God is set aside, and the churches are under the bondage of sin while they claim to be free.   

Those who are unwilling to accept the plain, cutting truths of the Bible are continually seeking for pleasing fables that will quiet the conscience. The less spiritual, self-denying, and humiliating the doctrines presented, the greater the favor with which they are received. These persons degrade the intellectual powers to serve their carnal desires. Too wise in their own conceit to search the Scriptures with contrition of soul and earnest prayer for divine guidance, they have no shield from delusion. Satan is ready to supply the heart's desire, and he palms off his deceptions in the place of truth. All who neglect the word of God, that they may not be at variance with the world, will be left to receive damnable heresy for religious truth. Every conceivable form of error will be accepted by those who willfully reject the truth. He who looks with horror upon one deception will readily receive another. The apostle Paul, speaking of a class who "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved," declares: "For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. With such a warning before us it behooves us to be on our guard as to what doctrines we receive.   

The followers of Christ know little of the plots which Satan is forming against them. But He who sitteth in the heavens will overrule all these devices for the accomplishment of His deep designs. The Lord permits His people to be subjected to the fiery ordeal of temptation, not because He takes pleasure in their distress and affliction, but because this process is essential to their final victory. He could not, consistently with His own glory, shield them from temptation; for the very object of the trial is to prepare them to resist all the allurements of evil. Neither wicked men nor devils can hinder the work of God, or shut out His presence from His people, if they will, with subdued, contrite hearts, confess and put away their sins, and in faith claim His promises. Every temptation, every opposing influence, whether open or secret, may be successfully resisted, "not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 4:6.

Satan is well aware that the weakest soul who abides in Christ is more than a match for the hosts of darkness, and that, should he reveal himself openly, he would be met and resisted. Therefore he seeks to draw away the soldiers of the cross from their strong fortification, while he lies in ambush with his forces, ready to destroy all who venture upon his ground. Only in humble reliance upon God, and obedience to all His commandments, can we be secure.  No man is safe for a day or an hour without prayer. Especially should we entreat the Lord for wisdom to understand His word. Here are revealed the wiles of the tempter and the means by which he may be successfully resisted. Satan is an expert in quoting Scripture, placing his own interpretation upon passages, by which he hopes to cause us to stumble. We should study the Bible with humility of heart, never losing sight of our dependence upon God. While we must constantly guard against the devices of Satan, we should pray in faith continually: "Lead us not into temptation."
 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 08, 2014, 12:08:08 AM
Following in the Footsteps

     "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."  Matthew 5:11, 12

"When men shall revile you, and persecute you," said Jesus, "rejoice, and be exceeding glad." And He pointed His hearers to the prophets who had spoken in the name of the Lord, as "an example of suffering affliction, and of patience." James 5:10. Abel, the very first Christian of Adam's children, died a martyr. Enoch walked with God, and the world knew him not. Noah was mocked as a fanatic and an alarmist. "Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment." "Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection." Hebrews 11:36, 35.
 
In every age God's chosen messengers have been reviled and persecuted, yet through their affliction the knowledge of God has been spread abroad. Every disciple of Christ is to step into the ranks and carry forward the same work, knowing that its foes can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. God means that truth shall be brought to the front and become the subject of examination and discussion, even through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated; every controversy, every reproach, every effort to restrict liberty of conscience, is God's means of awakening minds that otherwise might slumber. 
 
How often this result has been seen in the history of God's messengers! When the noble and eloquent Stephen was stoned to death at the instigation of the Sanhedrin council, there was no loss to the cause of the gospel. The light of heaven that glorified his face, the divine compassion breathed in his dying prayer, were as a sharp arrow of conviction to the bigoted Sanhedrist who stood by, and Saul, the persecuting Pharisee, became a chosen vessel to bear the name of Christ before Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. And long afterward Paul the aged wrote from his prison house at Rome: "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife: . . . not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds. . . . Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached." Philippians 1:15-18. Through Paul's imprisonment the gospel was spread abroad, and souls were won for Christ in the very palace of the Caesars. By the efforts of Satan to destroy it, the "incorruptible" seed of the word of God, "which liveth and abideth forever" (1 Peter 1:23), is sown in the hearts of men; through the reproach and persecution of His children the name of Christ is magnified and souls are saved.

Great is the reward in heaven of those who are witnesses for Christ through persecution and reproach. While the people are looking for earthly good, Jesus points them to a heavenly reward. But He does not place it all in the future life; it begins here. The Lord appeared of old time to Abraham and said, "I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." Genesis 15:1. This is the reward of all who follow Christ. Jehovah Immanuel--He "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," in whom dwells "all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:3, 9)--to be brought into sympathy with Him, to know Him, to possess Him, as the heart opens more and more to receive His attributes; to know His love and power, to possess the unsearchable riches of Christ, to comprehend more and more "what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:18, 19)--"this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 54:17.

It was this joy that filled the hearts of Paul and Silas when they prayed and sang praises to God at midnight in the Philippian dungeon. Christ was beside them there, and the light of His presence irradiated the gloom with the glory of the courts above. From Rome, Paul wrote, unmindful of his fetters as he saw the spread of the gospel, "I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." Philippians 1:18. And the very words of Christ upon the mount are re-echoed in Paul's message to the Philippian church, in the midst of their persecutions, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." Philippians 4:4.   
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 14, 2014, 10:18:02 PM
Rest for Your Soul

     "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

Christ gives to all the invitation, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." All who accept this invitation will bear testimony that Christ's yoke is indeed easy and His burden light. 
 
It means much to us whether we are wearing the yoke of Christ or the yoke of some man. Those who are wearing a yoke that man has placed on their necks will have to be freed from this yoke before they can act the part that God desires them to act in the proclamation of the truth. Those who receive and believe in Jesus are not to wear any man's yoke, neither are they to be non-committal in regard to where they stand. A fierce conflict is raging between two powers,--the power of light and the power of darkness. This conflict has a vital interest for the people of God. The question that is asked us is, Who will stand on the Lord's side? You can not remain neutral, and yet be Christ's followers, His faithful servants. 

"He that is not with Me is against Me," Christ declares, "and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad." God has given to every man his work. He expects every follower of His to exert an influence that will tell for the upbuilding of His kingdom. He who is not actively engaged in promoting love and unity and equity is exerting an influence that is opposed to Christ.

At this time we need to think under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and we need to pray more and talk less; for souls are hanging in the balance. The one who has exercised masterly power has not been given permission to exercise this power. He has taken this power to himself. Heaven is grieved because acts so imperious and unadvised and often so oppressive are done. Christ has looked upon the kingly dictation as to what shall be and what shall not be. Those who are true to the divine Leader will hold fast to the simplicity of the gospel, and will put away the masterly sentiments and sophistries that are coming in to deceive. Those who would be saved from the wily, deceptive influences of the foe must now break every yoke, and take their position for Christ and for truth. They must reject all fictitious sentiments, which, if accepted, will spoil their faith and their experience. Unless they obtain this freedom, they will go on step by step in the downward path, until they deny Him who has bought them with the price of His blood.

We do great harm to a speaker when we listen to false statements without making any protest or correction. None are to be silenced by influences in the world or in the church. At times, with burning earnestness and words of terrible severity, Christ denounced the abominations that He saw in the church and in the world. He would not allow the people to be deceived by false claims to righteousness and sanctity. We are to unify, but not on a platform of error. We are living amidst the perils of the last days. We are to watch unto prayer. We are to put our entire trust in God, glorifying Him. Daily we are to learn lessons from the greatest Teacher that ever trod this earth.

This is a time when Satan's deceptive power is exercised, not only upon the minds of those who are young and inexperienced, but upon the minds of men and women of mature years and of broad experience. Men in positions of responsibility are in danger of changing leaders. Our only hope is to accept the yoke of Christ. If we be connected with Him, then we shall be safe from the deceptions that abound.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 29, 2014, 07:38:42 PM

Our Strength is Found in Christ

     "He must increase, but I must decrease."  John 3:30


We need Jesus every day, every hour, every moment. We need divine enlightenment. We want every day to renew our consecration to God. Why do we not have the consciousness of sins forgiven? It is because we are unbelieving. We are not practicing the teachings of Christ and bringing His virtues into our lives. Should the joy and exaltation and hope imparted by the Lord Jesus Christ be given to many of us, it would administer to self-esteem and pride. When Jesus is abiding in the heart by faith, the lessons which Christ has given us will be practiced. We will have such exalted views of Jesus Christ that self will be abased. Our affections will center in Jesus, our thoughts will be strongly drawn heavenward. Christ will increase and I will decrease. 

The mind must be trained to dwell upon heavenly things. Humility will come as the result of discerning the loveliness of Jesus Christ. Dwelling upon Christ's excellencies of character, we shall see the offensive character of sin and will by faith grasp the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We will cultivate the virtues that dwell in Jesus, that we may reflect to others a representation of His character. When we look at the cross of Calvary, we will not exalt self, but keep constantly in view our unworthiness and how much our salvation cost heaven; we will discern Christ's matchless love. 
 
Many allow their minds to dwell upon their unworthiness as though this was a virtue. It is a hindrance to their coming to Jesus in full assurance of faith. We should feel our unworthiness, and because of this--because of our sinfulness-- should feel the necessity of coming to the Saviour, who is our worthiness and who will be our righteousness if we repent and humble ourselves. Our unworthiness is a self-evident fact. Jesus Christ's worthiness is a sure thing. Then let every doubting soul take hope and courage, because he has One who is worthy to be his Saviour. Our only hope of salvation is to lay hold by faith of a worthiness which we have not but which will be supplied by Jesus Christ our righteousness. 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: JimB on March 30, 2014, 04:57:56 AM
I hope you don't mind me adding something here but reading this, this morning reminded me something that was presented during Sabbath School yesterday. Speaking of our strength found in Christ...

We are to lift the cross, and follow the steps of Christ. Those who lift the cross will find that as they do this, the cross lifts them, giving them fortitude and courage, and pointing them to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 31, 2014, 10:53:04 AM
Amen!!  When we come to the foot of the cross, we are indeed lifted above our trials in this world.  We see the unseen world and long to  be there.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on April 05, 2014, 07:34:51 AM
As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, Come, learn of Me, and in thus coming we begin the life eternal. Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness. As we walk with Jesus in this life, we may be filled with His love, satisfied with His presence. All that human nature can bear, we may receive here.—The Desire of Ages, 331, 332.

Christ’s life represents a perfect manhood. Just that which you may be, He was in human nature. He took our infirmities. He was not only made flesh, but He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh.... (Letter 106, 1896)

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 05, 2014, 07:52:31 AM
Amen, Glen. When fully surrendered and filled with His Spirit, we will manifest all of the fruits of His Spirit. Conversion is re-creation. Such a promise!!What a God we serve!!!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 29, 2014, 08:08:19 PM
Reasonable Service

    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1


Reasonable service? Some may wonder, but the language does not afford opportunity to wonder. It is clear. Sinful indulgence defiles the body, and unfits man for spiritual worship. He who cherishes the light which God has given him upon health reform, has an important aid in the work of becoming sanctified through the truth, and fitted for immortality. But if he disregards that light, and lives in violation of natural law, he must pay the penalty; his spiritual powers are benumbed. Hecannot perfect holiness in the fear of God.

Men have polluted the soul-temple, and God calls upon them to awake, and to strive with all their might to win back their God-given manhood. Nothing but the grace of God can convict and convert the heart; from Him alone can the slaves of custom obtain power to break the shackles that bind them. It is impossible for a man to present his body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, while continuing to indulge habits that are depriving him of physical, mental, and moral vigor. Again the apostle says, “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” [Romans 12:2.]

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. 

Christ has here left us a most important lesson. He would lay before us the danger of making our eating and drinking paramount. He presents the result of unrestrained indulgence of appetite. The moral powers are enfeebled, so that sin does not appear sinful. Crime is lightly regarded, and passion controls the mind, until good principles and impulses are rooted out, and God is blasphemed. All this is the result of eating and drinking to excess. This is the very condition of things which Christ declares will exist at his second coming. 
 
The Saviour presents to us something higher to toil for than merely what we shall eat and drink, and wherewithal we shall be clothed. Eating, drinking, and dressing are carried to such excess that they become crimes. They are among the marked sins of the last days, and constitute a sign of Christ's soon coming. Time, money, and strength, which belong to the Lord, but which he has intrusted to us, are wasted on dress and luxuries for the perverted appetite, which lessen vitality, and bring suffering and death. It is impossible to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God when we continually fill them with corruption and disease by our own sinful indulgence. 

Knowledge must be gained in regard to how to eat and drink and dress so as to preserve health. Sickness is the result of violating nature's law. Our first duty, one which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellowmen, is to obey the laws of God. These include the laws of health. If we are sick, we impose a weary tax upon our friends, and unfit ourselves for doing our duty either in the family or to our neighbors. And when premature death is the result, we bring sorrow and suffering to others; we deprive our neighbors of the help we might have rendered them; we rob our families of the comfort and help which they should have received from us, and rob God of the service he claims of us to advance his glory. Then are we not, in a high sense, transgressors of God's law?   


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 24, 2014, 06:43:23 PM
The Union of the Divine and the Human

    “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." John 1:14


The Bible, with its God-given truths expressed in the language of men, presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." John 1:14. 
 
Written in different ages, by men who differed widely in rank and occupation, and in mental and spiritual endowments, the books of the Bible present a wide contrast in style, as well as a diversity in the nature of the subjects unfolded. Different forms of expression are employed by different writers; often the same truth is more strikingly presented by one than by another. And as several writers present a subject under varied aspects and relations, there may appear, to the superficial, careless, or prejudiced reader, to be discrepancy or contradiction, where the thoughtful, reverent student, with clearer insight, discerns the underlying harmony. 

As presented through different individuals, the truth is brought out in its varied aspects. One writer is more strongly impressed with one phase of the subject; he grasps those points that harmonize with his experience or with his power of perception and appreciation; another seizes upon a different phase; and each, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, presents what is most forcibly impressed upon his own mind--a different aspect of the truth in each, but a perfect harmony through all. And the truths thus revealed unite to form a perfect whole, adapted to meet the wants of men in all the circumstances and experiences of life.

God has been pleased to communicate His truth to the world by human agencies, and He Himself, by His Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do this work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write. The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, nonetheless, from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language, yet it is the testimony of God; and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and truth. 

In His word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience. "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, R.V. 
 
Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men through His word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Saviour, to open the word to His servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it was the Spirit of God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the teaching of the Spirit should ever be contrary to that of the word. 

The Spirit was not given--nor can it ever be bestowed--to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. Says the apostle John, "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1. And Isaiah declares, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.   

Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the word of God. They are governed by impressions which they regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not the Spirit of God. This following of impressions, to the neglect of the Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to further the designs of the evil one. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.   


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 14, 2014, 04:41:00 PM
Faith and Trust

    “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:29


The yoke is placed upon the oxen to aid them in drawing the load, to lighten the burden. So with the yoke of Christ. When our will is swallowed up in the will of God, and we use His gifts to bless others, we shall find life's burden light. He who walks in the way of God's commandments is walking in company with Christ, and in His love the heart is at rest. When Moses prayed, "Show me now Thy way, that I may know Thee," the Lord answered him, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." And through the prophets the message was given, "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." Exodus 33:13, 14; Jeremiah 6:16. And He says, "O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea." Isaiah 48:18. 

Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest. The Lord says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Isaiah 26:3. Our lives may seem a tangle; but as we commit ourselves to the wise Master Worker, He will bring out the pattern of life and character that will be to His own glory. And that character which expresses the glory, the character of Christ will be received into the Paradise of God. A renovated race shall walk with Him in white, for they are worthy.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 01, 2014, 03:10:02 PM
Who is My Counselor?

  "When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me." John 15:26 


God wants us to depend upon Him, and not upon man. He desires us to have a new heart; He would give us revealings of light from the throne of God. We should wrestle with every difficulty, but when some controverted point is presented, are you to go to man to find out his opinion, and then shape your conclusions from his?--No, go to God. Tell Him what you want; take your Bible and search as for hidden treasures. 

We do not go deep enough in our search for truth. Every soul who believes present truth will be brought where he will be required to give a reason of the hope that is in him. The people of God will be called upon to stand before kings, princes, rulers, and great men of the earth, and they must know that they do know what is truth. They must be converted men and women. God can teach you more in one moment by his Holy Spirit than you could learn from the great men of the earth. The universe is looking upon the controversy that is going on upon the earth. At an infinite cost, God has provided for every man an opportunity to know that which will make him wise unto salvation. How eagerly do angels look to see who will avail himself of this opportunity! When a message is presented to God's people, they should not rise up in opposition to it; they should go to the Bible, comparing it with the law and the testimony, and if it does not bear this test, it is not true. God wants our minds to expand. He desires to put his grace upon us. We may have a feast of good things every day; for God can open the whole treasure of heaven to us. We are to be one with Christ as he is one with the Father, and the Father will love us as He loves His Son. We may have the same help that Christ had, we may have strength for every emergency; for God will be our front guard and our rereward. He will shut us in on every side, and when we are brought before rulers, before the authorities of the earth, we need not meditate beforehand of what we shall say. God will teach us in the day of our need. Now may God help us to come to the feet of Jesus and learn of him, before we seek to become teachers of others. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 01, 2014, 10:26:46 PM
Independence Day

July 4, is Independence Day in the United States of America. A time to reflect on America's deliverance from England. A time to rejoice in the individual freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. As Seventh-day Adventist Christians we have something much more valuable to celebrate. One may be thankful for the liberties granted by a country, but what is that compared to the freedom promised by God to all who will come unto Jesus.

Sadly, many do not see themselves as slaves. But, all who are not truly converted remain in bondage to sin. They do not take advantage of the price paid for their freedom. Jesus speaks to those who are blind to their  condition: "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." Rev. 3:17,18.

We praise our heavenly Father for allowing His Son to come to this dark spot in the universe to suffer and die at the hands of wicked men that we might have the opportunity to experience true liberty, freedom from sin. Today can be our "independence day" when we celebrate victory over sin. But until men see their defects in the mirror of God's law, until they realize that they must reflect the character of Christ, they can not truly serve God. They will manifest a spirit that is opposed to the way of the Lord. They will not feel it essential to be free from sin. Such can not offer to God acceptable service. The Son of God came to our world in human form to show man that divinity and humanity combined can obtain the victory over sin. Through Him we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. "Whosoever abideth in Him, sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him."  "Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; . . . whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye."   
 
"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."   

God calls for complete consecration, and anything short of this He will not accept. A love for spiritual things should be encouraged, yea, must be encouraged, if we would grow in grace. Desires for goodness and true holiness are right so far as they go, but if we stop here, they will avail nothing. Good purposes are right, but they will prove of no avail unless resolutely carried out. Many professed Christians have no sense of the spiritual strength they might obtain were they as ambitious, zealous, and persevering to gain a knowledge of divine things as they are to obtain the perishable things of this life. Many are satisfied to be spiritual dwarfs. They have no disposition to make it their object to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; hence godliness is a hidden mystery to them; they can not understand it. They know not Christ by experimental knowledge. 
 
Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians. They make no earnest effort, and therefore they will be weighed in the balance and found wanting. The will must be exercised in the right direction. We must say, I will be a Christian. I will know the length and breadth, the height and depth, of perfect love. Listen to the words of Jesus: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled." Ample provision has been made by Christ to satisfy the soul that hungers and thirsts for righteousness.  "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."  Romans 8:2        
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 14, 2014, 08:10:41 AM
Unbelief Reveals Lack of Faith

  "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.  " Romans 4:20, 21   

There is no greater sin than "unbelief".  It is the privilege of every Christian to prevail with God. But, some ask, How can we believe that we shall receive the things we ask for, when we have no evidence that we shall? God's word is pledged. Is not that sufficient evidence? If we grasp the promises by living faith, trusting entirely in Jesus, the blessing will come in due time. It may not come in the way we expect; but it will come in the way that God directs, and by the means that he chooses to employ. Satan may tempt you to think that the Lord has forgotten you; but tell him that the word of the Lord standeth sure, “The Lord knoweth them that are His;” and keep on praying. 

Satan may try to tempt you by saying that God will not have pity upon you and hear your prayers, because you are such a sinner. Do not listen to his story; but throw right into his face the words of our Saviour, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” If we were not sinners, we would have no need of a Saviour. We are sick with sin from the crown of our head to the sole of our feet, and this is why we need a Physician. While we are not to approach the throne of God in self-righteousness and self-sufficiency, thinking that we have any goodness to recommend us to him; while we are not to forget our weakness and sinfulness, it is at the same time our duty to believe that Jesus will impart to us of His healing, strengthening power. Our faith must grasp the eternal. We must move from principle, looking not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen. 
 
It is difficult to exercise living faith when we are in darkness and discouragement. But this of all others is the very time when we should exercise faith. “But,” says one, “I do not feel at such times like praying in faith.” Well, then, will you allow Satan to gain the victory, simply because you do not feel like resisting him? When he sees that you have the greatest need of divine aid, he will try the hardest to beat you back from God. If he can keep you away from the Source of strength, he knows that you will walk in darkness and sin. There is no sin greater than unbelief. And when there is unbelief in the heart, there is danger that it will be expressed. By giving expression to this unbelief you not only exert an injurious influence over others, but place yourselves upon the enemy's ground. 

If we believe in God, we are armed with the righteousness of Christ; we have taken hold of his strength. The promise is, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.” We want to talk with our Saviour as though He were right by our side. We should have our minds stayed upon him. We should hold communion with Him throughout our day. If we will do this, we will not dishonor our Redeemer by talking to every one about our darkness and unworthiness. If we tell it to Jesus, He will lift up a standard against the enemy, and will cause the light of joy and gladness to come into our hearts. 
 
It is our privilege to carry with us the credentials of our faith,— love, joy, peace, and every one of the fruits of His Spirit. When we do this, we shall be able to present the mighty arguments of the cross of Christ. When we learn to walk by faith and not by feeling, we shall have help from God just when we need it, and his peace will come into our hearts. It was this simple life of obedience and trust that Enoch lived. If we learn this lesson of simple trust, ours may be the testimony that he received, that he pleased God. Then instead of mourning and bitterness, we shall have peace that passes all understanding. “In the world,” says Christ, “ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”    
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on October 24, 2014, 11:12:38 PM
A Changed Life

  "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 1 Corinthians 3:18   

When Christ took human nature upon Him, He bound humanity to Himself by a tie of love that can never be broken by any power except the choice of man himself. Satan will constantly present temptations to induce us to break this tie, to choose to separate ourselves from Christ. Here is where we need to watch, to strive, to pray, that nothing may tempt us to choose another master; for we are always free to do this. But let us keep our eyes fixed upon Christ, and He will preserve us. Looking unto Jesus, we are safe. Nothing can pluck us out of His hand. In constantly beholding Him, we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18.

It was thus that the early disciples gained their likeness to Christ. When those disciples heard the words of Jesus, they felt their need of Him. They sought, they found, they followed Him. They were with Him in the house, at the table, and in the field. They were with Him as pupils with a teacher, daily receiving from His lips lessons of holy truth. They looked to Him, as servants to their master, to learn their duty. Those disciples were men "subject to like passions as we are." James 5:17. They had the same battle with sin to fight. They needed the same grace, in order to live a holy life. 

Even John, the beloved disciple, the one who most fully reflected the likeness of the Saviour, did not naturally possess that loveliness of character. He was not only self-assertive and ambitious for honor, but impetuous, and resentful under injuries. But as the character of the Divine One was manifested to him, he saw his own deficiency and was humbled by the knowledge. The strength and patience, the power and tenderness, the majesty and meekness, that he beheld in the daily life of the Son of God, filled his soul with admiration and love. Day by day his heart was drawn out toward Christ, until he lost sight of self in love for his Master. His resentful, ambitious temper was yielded to the molding power of Christ. The regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit renewed his heart. The power of the love of Christ wrought a transformation of character. This is the sure result of union with Jesus. When Christ abides in the heart, the whole nature is transformed. Christ's Spirit, His love, softens the heart, subdues the soul, and raises the thoughts and desires toward God and heaven.   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Mimi on October 25, 2014, 07:42:12 AM
Amen.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 15, 2014, 07:34:54 AM
Obedient Unto Death

  "Watch ye therefore, and pray always." Luke 21:36   

In order to fully realize the value of salvation, it is necessary to understand what it cost. In consequence of limited ideas of the sufferings of Christ, many place a low estimate upon the great work of the atonement. The glorious plan of man's salvation was brought about through the infinite love of God the Father. In this divine plan is seen the most marvelous manifestation of the love of God to the fallen race. Such love as is manifested in the gift of God's beloved Son amazed the holy angels. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." This Saviour was the brightness of His Father's glory and the express image of His person. He possessed divine majesty, perfection, and excellence. He was equal with God. "It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell." "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

Christ consented to die in the sinner's stead, that man, by a life of obedience, might escape the penalty of the law of God. His death did not make the law of none effect; it did not slay the law, lessen its holy claims, nor detract from its sacred dignity. The death of Christ proclaimed the justice of His Father's law in punishing the transgressor, in that He consented to suffer the penalty of the law Himself in order to save fallen man from its curse. The death of God's beloved Son on the cross shows the immutability of the law of God. His death magnifies the law and makes it honorable, and gives evidence to man of its changeless character. From His own divine lips are heard the words: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." The death of Christ justified the claims of the law.

In Christ were united the human and the divine. His mission was to reconcile God and man, to unite the finite with the infinite. This was the only way in which fallen men could be exalted through the merits of the blood of Christ to be partakers of the divine nature. Taking human nature fitted Christ to understand man's trials and sorrows, and all the temptations wherewith he is beset. Angels who were unacquainted with sin could not sympathize with man in his peculiar trials. Christ condescended to take man's nature and was tempted in all points like as we, that He might know how to succor all who should be tempted. 

As the human was upon Him, He felt His need of strength from His Father. He had select places of prayer. He loved to hold communion with His Father in the solitude of the mountain. In this exercise His holy, human soul was strengthened for the duties and trials of the day. Our Saviour identifies Himself with our needs and weaknesses, in that He became a suppliant, a nightly petitioner, seeking from His Father fresh supplies of strength, to come forth invigorated and refreshed, braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, but not in possessing like passions. As the sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil. He endured struggles and torture of soul in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and privilege. He required all the stronger divine support and comfort which His Father was ready to impart to Him, to Him who had, for the benefit of man, left the joys of heaven and chosen His home in a cold and thankless world. Christ found comfort and joy in communion with His Father. Here He could unburden His heart of the sorrows that were crushing Him. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. 

Through the day He labored earnestly to do good to others, to save men from destruction. He healed the sick, comforted the mourning, and brought cheerfulness and hope to the despairing. He brought the dead to life. After His work was finished for the day, He went forth, evening after evening, away from the confusion of the city, and His form was bowed in some retired grove in supplication to His Father. At times the bright beams of the moon shone upon His bowed form. And then again the clouds and darkness shut away all light. The dew and frost of night rested upon His head and beard while in the attitude of a suppliant. He frequently continued His petitions through the entire night. He is our example. If we could remember this, and imitate Him, we would be much stronger in God. 

If the Saviour of men, with His divine strength, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of prayer--fervent, constant prayer! When Christ was the most fiercely beset by temptation, He ate nothing. He committed Himself to God and, through earnest prayer and perfect submission to the will of His Father, came off conqueror. Those who profess the truth for these last days, above every other class of professed Christians, should imitate this example given to us by Jesus. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 25, 2014, 12:12:43 PM

Thanksgiving

  "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it: and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."    Psalms 95:1-6

     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!

Even amid great trials, we surely do have much to be thankful for!!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Glen on November 30, 2014, 09:22:35 PM
The Bible, with its God-given truths expressed in the language of men, presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." John 1:14. 

God can and will do a great work for every human being who will open the heart to the word of God, and let it enter the soul-temple and expel every idol. Summoned to the effort, mind and heart take in the wonderful disclosures of the revealed will of God. The soul that is converted will be made stronger to resist evil. In the study of the Bible the converted soul eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God, which He himself interprets as the receiving and doing of His words, that are spirit and life. The Word is made flesh, and dwells among us, in those who receive the holy precepts of the word of God. The Saviour of the world has left a holy, pure example for all men. It illuminates, uplifts, and brings immortality to all who obey the divine requirements. Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 378.1

...serve Him in the nature we have, that has been redeemed by the Son of God
Selected Messages Book 3, p. 140.5

...Just that which you may be, He was in human nature... S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5, p. 1124.2 

There is no one who can explain the mystery of the incarnation of Christ. Yet we know that He came to this earth and lived as a man among men. The man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty, yet Christ and the Father are one. The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary, yet it is nonetheless true that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

In every possible way Satan sought to prevent Jesus from developing a perfect childhood, a faultless manhood, a holy ministry, and an unblemished sacrifice. But he was defeated. He could not lead Jesus into sin. He could not discourage Him, or drive Him from the work He had come to this earth to do. From the desert to Calvary the storm of Satan’s wrath beat upon Him, but the more merciless it fell, the more firmly did the Son of God cling to the hand of His Father, and press on in the bloodstained path (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary, Ellen G. White Comments, vol. 5, 1129, 1130).

The prince of this world cometh,” saith Jesus, “and hath nothing in Me.” There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character.  Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 152.4

Christ had every advantage above that of the unconverted sinner, the mere worldling; however, every genuinely penitent sinner receives, in and through the indwelling Jesus Christ through the impartation of His Spirit, which is His life, every advantage Christ had; this, is the doctrine of Christ, the Gospel; the Good News, humanity needs to comprehend through your life, my life; as, one with the Godhead, we portray to a Fallen World that Love which is the very foundation of the Kingdom of God.

Those who consecrate themselves to God, and who have the protection of his grace and the quickening influence of his Spirit, will manifest keener intellectual power than the mere worldling. They will be able to reach the highest, noblest exercise of every faculty. 
RH September 25, 1883, par. 11

...Yet the world does not discern our relationship to the divine, nor know the source of our strength.  RH October 7, 1884, par. 1

"In every possible way Satan (will seek) to prevent (Christ in you - -Colossians 1:27) from developing a perfect childhood, a faultless manhood, a holy ministry, and an unblemished sacrifice." -As we "increase in favor with God and man" as we "grow up into the Head" (Ephesians 4:15), no longer "tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14).

...Is it not time that we know the Source of our strength and the Source of our power? Shall we not, from this time forward, make a record more pleasing to the Lord?  The Upward Look, p. 181.2
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on November 30, 2014, 10:38:02 PM
Amen!  Good to see your post, Glen!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 11, 2014, 10:33:46 PM
Are You Filled With the Spirit?

  "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." John 3:6,7   


None are so vile, none have fallen so low, as to be beyond the working of the power of grace. In all who will submit themselves to the Holy Spirit a new principle of life is to be implanted; the lost image of God is to be restored in humanity.  But man cannot transform himself by the exercise of his will. He possesses no power by which this change can be effected. The grace of God must be received by the sinner before he can be fitted for the kingdom of glory. All the culture and education which the world can give will fail of making a degraded child of sin a child of heaven. The renewing energy must come from God. The change can be made only by the Holy Spirit. All who would be saved, high or low, rich or poor, must submit to the working of this power.

The renewing of the heart that the grace of God works to transform the life. No mere external change is sufficient to bring us into harmony with God. There are many who try to reform by correcting this or that bad habit, and they hope in this way to become Christians, but they are beginning in the wrong place. Our first work is with the heart.  The heart must be made new, it must be filled with the Spirit of God.

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: "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into 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 3:3-8. 

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 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. 

Often the question arises, Why, then, 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 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. 

The truths of the word of God meet man's great practical necessity--the conversion of the soul through faith. These grand principles are not to be thought too pure and holy to be brought into the daily life. They are truths which reach to heaven and compass eternity, yet their vital influence is to be woven into human experience. They are to permeate all the great things and all the little things of life. 

Received into the heart, the 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.  he world regards as a mystery the man who is imbued with this principle. The selfish, money-loving man lives only to secure for himself the riches, honors, and pleasures of this world. He loses the eternal world from his reckoning. But with the follower of Christ these things will not be all-absorbing. For Christ's sake he will labor and deny self, that he may aid in the great work of saving souls who are without Christ and without hope in the world. Such a man the world cannot understand; for he is keeping in view eternal realities. The love of Christ with its redeeming power has come into the heart. This love masters every other motive, and raises its possessor above the corrupting influence of the world. 

The word of God is to have a sanctifying effect on our association with every member of the human family. The leaven of truth will not produce the spirit of rivalry, the love of ambition, the desire to be first. True, heaven-born love is not selfish and changeable. It is not dependent on human praise. The heart of him who receives the grace of God overflows with love for God and for those for whom Christ died. Self is not struggling for recognition. He does not love others because they love and please him, because they appreciate his merits, but because they are Christ's purchased possession. If his motives, words, or actions are misunderstood or misrepresented, he takes no offense, but pursues the even tenor of his way. He is kind and thoughtful, humble in his opinion of himself, yet full of hope, always trusting in the mercy and love of God.
 
The apostle exhorts us, "As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:15, 16. The grace of Christ is to control the temper and the voice. Its working will be seen in politeness and tender regard shown by brother for brother, in kind, encouraging words. An angel presence is in the home. The life breathes a sweet perfume, which ascends to God as holy incense. Love is manifested in kindness, gentleness, forbearance, and long-suffering. 

The countenance is changed. Christ abiding in the heart shines out in the faces of those who love Him and keep His commandments. Truth is written there. The sweet peace of heaven is revealed. There is expressed a habitual gentleness, a more than human love. 
 
The leaven of truth works a change in the whole man, making the coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous. By it the impure are cleansed, washed in the blood of the Lamb. Through its life-giving power it brings all there is of mind and soul and strength into harmony with the divine life. Man with his human nature becomes a partaker of divinity. Christ is honored in excellence and perfection of character. Our heavenly Father and Christ rejoice over souls fashioned after the divine similitude.
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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!   

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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. 

 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.
   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.
   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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. 
   
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.
 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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! 



Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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."
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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"
 

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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. 
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.
 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: colporteur on January 01, 2017, 05:08:09 PM

beautiful... powerful !
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers 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.

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 07, 2017, 08:14:11 PM
A Commandment Blessing

  "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 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."   Exodus 20:8-11

During the Israelite's exodus out of Egypt, they experienced a triple miracle. On the sixth day the people gathered two omers for every person. The leaders quickly told Moses what had been done. His answer was, “This is what the Lord has said, ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath unto the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until the morning.’” They did this, and found that the manna did not spoil. And Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.”

God requires that His holy day be kept as sacredly now as in the time of Israel. We should make the day before the Sabbath a day of preparation, so that everything may be ready for its sacred hours. In no case should our own business be allowed to infringe on holy time. God has directed that the sick should be cared for. The labor required to make them comfortable is a work of mercy and not a violation of the Sabbath, but all unnecessary work should be avoided. Work that is neglected until the beginning of the Sabbath should remain undone until after sundown at its close. 

The Israelites witnessed a three-part miracle to impress their minds with the sacredness of the Sabbath: a double quantity of manna fell on the sixth day, none on the seventh, and the portion needed for the Sabbath stayed sweet and pure.

At the moment, all around the world, it is the Sabbath Day. Soon we shall be celebrating the Sabbath in heaven, by God's grace. Have a blessed Sabbath, my dear brothers and sisters!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 06, 2017, 07:23:34 AM
Like the Troubled Sea

  "The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest. . . . There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." Isaiah 57:20, 21

    The sun had set, and the blackness of night settled down upon the stormy sea. The waves, lashed into fury by the howling winds, dashed fiercely over the disciples' boat, and threatened to engulf it. Those hardy fishermen had spent their lives upon the lake, and had guided their craft safely through many a storm; but now their strength and skill availed nothing. The disciples were helpless in the grasp of the tempest, and hope failed them as they saw that their boat was filling. Absorbed in their efforts to save themselves, they had forgotten that Jesus was on board
     Their fear in the time of danger revealed their unbelief. It was only when, in despair of self-dependence, they turned to Him that He could give them help. How often the disciples' experience is ours! When the tempests of temptation gather, and the fierce lightnings flash, and the waves sweep over us, we battle with the storm alone, forgetting that there is One who can help us. We trust to our own strength till our hope is lost, and we are ready to perish. Then we remember Jesus, and if we call upon Him to save us, we shall not cry in vain. Though He sorrowfully reproves our unbelief and self-confidence, He never fails to give us the help we need. Whether on the land or on the sea, if we have the Saviour in our hearts, there is no need of fear. Living faith in the Redeemer will smooth the sea of life, and will deliver us from danger in the way that He knows to be best.   
      "The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest. . . . There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." Isaiah 57:20, 21. Sin destroys our peace. While self is unsubdued, we can find no rest. The masterful passions of the heart no human power can control. We are as helpless here as were the disciples to quiet the raging storm. But He who spoke peace to the billows of Galilee has spoken the word of peace for every soul. However fierce the tempest, those who turn to Jesus with the cry, "Lord, save us," will find deliverance. His grace, that reconciles the soul to God, quiets the strife of human passion, and in His love the heart is at rest. "He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven." Psalm 107:29, 30. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." "The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever." Romans 5:1; Isaiah 32:17.

     Jesus is like a rock amid the stormy seas. He never changes and is unmoved by the tempests that so very often trouble us.  "He is the Rock, His work is perfect." Deuteronomy 32:4. We need not lose our peace. We too may be stable and unmoved by the sin that surrounds us if we will abide in Christ. If we are living for Him, then He is "the rock of our salvation." Psalm 95:1.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on June 25, 2017, 09:13:56 AM
Where are the Young Men?

  "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35

The Lord has need of men of intense spiritual life. Every worker may receive an endowment of strength from on high, and may go forward with faith and hope in the path where God bids him walk. The word of God abides in the young, consecrated laborer. He is quick, earnest, powerful, having in the counsel of God an unfailing source of supply.
 
God has called this people to give to the world the message of Christ’s soon coming. We are to give to men the last call to the gospel feast, the last invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Thousands of places that have not heard the call are yet to hear it. Many who have not given the message are yet to proclaim it. Again I appeal to our young men. Has not God called upon to you to sound this message? How many of our young men will enter the service of God, not to be served, but to serve? In times past there were those who fastened their minds upon one soul after another, saying, “Lord, help me to save this soul.” But now such instances are rare. How many act as if they realized the peril of sinners? How many take those whom they know to be in peril, presenting them to God in prayer, and supplicating Him to save them? 

The apostle Paul could say of the early church, “They glorified God in me.” [Galatians 1:24.] Shall we not strive to live so that the same words can be said of us? The Lord will provide ways and means for those who will seek Him with the whole heart. He desires us to acknowledge the divine superintendence shown in preparing fields of labor and in preparing the way for these fields to be occupied successfully.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on July 04, 2017, 07:36:57 AM
America's Independence Day

  "The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." Isaiah 61:1

For 500 years God has delivered His children from the bondage of the Roman Church that coerced the conscience and condemned the righteous to the stake. How few appreciate the freedom given. It was to escape the kings and popes that America was founded upon the Protestant and republican principles which made her great in the past. At great cost was American self-determination gained.

Today, July 4th, America celebrates her independence from European dominance. How many recognize that it was God that provided not only for freedom of religion, but also a governmental structure that gave individual liberty including freedom of conscience. No longer were citizens to be punished when following their conscience. Here, the church is to have no authority in the public sphere. But, the Constitution of the United States which guarantees these freedoms has been under attack and the Protestant and republican heritage is being set aside.

As Jesus said it would be just before His second coming, so it today. "As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:37. God destroyed all except the eight on the ark. We see the very same moral conditions existing in the world today. It is no wonder America has lost her greatness. All nations are set against God and His faithful as Jesus prepares to return.

The freedom given to America came from God. So, too, the freedom and eternal life offered to all, is a gift from God. Sadly it will be rejected by most even though the price paid was beyond computation. Jesus suffered for the sins of every person who has lived or shall live. Yet, for most it will be wasted, for they will reject this priceless gift.

It is the privilege of all who are truly born again and filled with the Spirit of God to preach the "good tidings" of salvation to a lost world. We are sent "to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." Who are bound? All of humanity is in bondage to sin until they are born again of the Spirit. "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:18-24.

We have been entrusted with the answer to Saul's question. Jesus Christ is the only One who can transform sinners into saints. Until we are transformed, we remain in bondage to sin. We must be born again. Jesus explains, "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." John 3:6,7.

As Americans celebrate their independence from popes and kings, let us all celebrate the freedom we have in Christ. We are no longer in bondage to the law of sin and death. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ [be] in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Romans 8:3-14.


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on August 13, 2017, 05:28:36 AM
Real Righteousness

  "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Luke 10:27

One of Satan’s most successful deceptions is to lead men to claim salvation, while at the same time they are living in disobedience to God’s commandments. These are described by Jesus as those who will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?”

Yes, those who claim to be saved have a great deal to say about being saved by the blood of Jesus, but their sanctification is not through the truth as it is in Jesus. While claiming to believe in Him, and apparently doing wonderful works in His name, they ignore His Father’s law and serve as agents of the great adversary of souls to carry forward the work which he began in Eden, that of making plausible excuses for not obeying God implicitly. Their work of leading men to dishonor God by ignoring His law will one day be unfolded before them with its true results.

The conditions of eternal life are made so plain in God’s Word that none need err, unless they choose error rather than truth because their unsanctified souls love the darkness rather than the light.

The lawyer who came to Christ with the question, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” thought to catch Christ, but Jesus laid the burden back upon the lawyer. “What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” Then said Christ, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” ( Luke 10:25-28). These words meet the individual cases of all. Are we willing to comply with the conditions? Will we obey God and keep His commandments? Will we be doers of the Word and not hearers only? God’s law is as immutable and unchangeable as His character. Whatever men may say or do to make it void does not change its claims or release them from their obligation to obey.

We need divine enlightenment daily; we should pray as did David, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.”  Psalm 119:18. God will have a people upon the earth who will vindicate His honor by having respect to all of His commandments; and His commandments are not grievous, not a yoke of bondage. David prayed in his day, “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law.” Psalm 119:126.

Not one of us can afford to dishonor God by living in transgression of His law. To neglect the Bible and give ourselves up to the pursuit of worldly treasure is a loss which is beyond estimate. Eternity alone will reveal the great sacrifice made by many to secure worldly honor and worldly advantages, at the loss of the soul, the loss of eternal riches. They might have had that life which measures with the life of God; for Jesus died to bring the blessings and treasures of heaven within their reach, that they might not be accounted poor and wretched and miserable in the high estimate of eternity.

While we are to be in harmony with God’s law, we are not saved by the works of the law, yet we cannot be saved without obedience. The law is the standard by which character is measured. But we cannot possibly keep the commandments of God without the regenerating grace of Christ. Jesus alone can cleanse us from all sin. He does not save us by law, neither will He save us in disobedience to law.

Our love to Christ will be in proportion to the depth of our conviction of sin, and by the law is the knowledge of sin. But as we see ourselves, let us look away to Jesus, who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity. By faith take hold of the merits of Christ, and the soul-cleansing blood will be applied. The more clearly we see the evils and perils to which we have been exposed, the more grateful shall we be for deliverance through Christ. The gospel of Christ does not give men license to break the law, for it was through transgression that the floodgates of woe were opened upon our world.
 
Today sin is the same malignant thing that it was in the time of Adam. The gospel does not promise the favor of God to anyone who in impenitence breaks His law. The depravity of the human heart, the guilt of transgression, the ruin of sin, are all made plain by the cross where Christ has made for us a way of escape.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 05, 2017, 08:53:54 AM
Insanity Reins in the World and in the Church

                 "My lord delayeth his coming..." Matthew 24:48 

A crisis has arisen in the church. Enmity to God has struck its roots deep in human hearts. It has become widespread, both in the world and in the professed churches of Christ. Everywhere is seen a hatred of Biblical truth. Wherever the truth is proclaimed, it is opposed in a decided manner.

Everything has been moving on just as the Lord revealed in prophecy that it would. Something great and decisive is soon to take place, else no flesh would be saved. The character of God will not be compromised. Under the wrath of God, universal desolation will soon reach all parts of the known world. There have been hurricanes and earthquakes, fires and floods, calamities by sea and land; but who reads these warnings? What impression is made upon the world? What change in their attitude is seen? No more than was seen in the inhabitants of the world in the days of Noah. The people are just as ardent today in their sports, in their football, in their love of movies, in their love of pleasure as were those who loves just before the great flood, who “knew not until the flood came, and took them all away,” They had heaven-sent warnings, but they refused to listen. By their attitude they declared, We want not thy way, O God; we want our own way, our own will. Today the world is mad: an insanity is upon men and women, and is hurrying them on to eternal ruin. Every species of indulgence prevails, and men have become so infatuated with immorality that they will not listen to warnings or appeals.

The Lord says to the people of the earth, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” All are now deciding their eternal destiny. Men need to be aroused to realized the solemnity of the time, the nearness of the day when human probation shall be ended. God gives no man a message that it will be five years or ten years or twenty years before this earth’s history shall close. He would not give any living being an excuse for delaying the preparation for his appearing. He would have no one say, as did the unfaithful servant, “My Lord delayeth his coming;” for this leads to reckless neglect of the opportunities and privileges given to prepare us for that great day. Everyone who claims to be a servant of God is called to do his service as if each day might be the last.

The words of Christ have a direct application to this time: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.”

Let everyone to whom the Lord has given light from his word be sure that he makes a right use of that light. Let him beware that he does not presume to feed the flock of God with food which is not appropriate for the time. “Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Talk of the speedy appearing of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Put not off that day. God has given no man a right to say, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” Let the inquiry be made, Shall I stand at the right hand or at the left hand of the Judge at that day? “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?”
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on September 26, 2017, 07:40:24 AM
God Has An Organized Church

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,    That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  Ephesians 5:25-27 

After Saul was directed to go to Damascus, he was led by the men who accompanied him to help him bring the disciples bound to Jerusalem to be tried and put to death. Saul tarried with Judas at Damascus, devoting the time to fasting and prayer. Here the faith of Saul was tested. Three days he was in darkness of mind in regard to what was required of him, and three days he was without sight. He had been directed to go to Damascus, for it should there be told him what he should do. He is in uncertainty, and he cries earnestly to God. An angel is sent to Ananias, directing him to go to a certain house where Saul is praying to be instructed in what he is to do next. Saul’s pride is gone. A little before he was self-confident, thinking he was engaged in a good work for which he should receive a reward; but all is now changed. He is bowed down and humbled to the dust in penitence and shame, and his supplications are fervent for pardon. Said the Lord, through His angel, to Ananias: “Behold, he prayeth.” The angel informed the servant of God that he had revealed to Saul in vision a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him that he might receive his sight. Ananias can scarcely credit the words of the angel, and repeats what he has heard of Saul’s bitter persecution of the saints at Jerusalem. But the command to Ananias is imperative: “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.”

Ananias was obedient to the direction of the angel. He laid his hands upon the man who so recently was exercised with a spirit of the deepest hatred, breathing out threatenings against all who believed on the name of Christ. Ananias said to Saul: “Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.”
 
Jesus might have done all this work for Paul directly, but this was not His plan. Paul had something to do in the line of confession to the men whose destruction he had premeditated, and God had a responsible work for the men to do whom He had ordained to act in His stead. Paul was to take those steps necessary in conversion. He was required to unite himself to the very people whom he had persecuted for their religion. Christ here gives all His people an example of the manner of His working for the salvation of men. The Son of God identified Himself with the office and authority of His organized church. His blessings were to come through the agencies that He has ordained, thus connecting man with the channel through which His blessings come. Paul’s being strictly conscientious in his work of persecuting the saints does not make him guiltless when the knowledge of his cruel work is impressed upon him by the Spirit of God. He is to become a learner of the disciples.

He learns that Jesus, whom in his blindness he considered an impostor, is indeed the author and foundation of all the religion of God’s chosen people from Adam’s day, and the finisher of the faith, now so clear to his enlightened vision. He saw Christ as the vindicator of truth, the fulfiller of all prophecies. Christ had been regarded as making of none effect the law of God; but when his spiritual vision was touched by the finger of God, he learned of the disciples that Christ was the originator and the foundation of the entire Jewish system of sacrifices, that in the death of Christ type met antitype, and that Christ came into the world for the express purpose of vindicating His Father’s law.
 
In the light of the law, Paul sees himself a sinner. That very law which he thought he had been keeping so zealously he finds he has been transgressing. He repents and dies to sin, becomes obedient to the claims of God’s law, and has faith in Christ as his Saviour, is baptized, and preaches Jesus as earnestly and zealously as he once condemned Him. In the conversion of Paul are given us important principles which we should ever bear in mind. The Redeemer of the world does not sanction experience and exercise in religious matters independent of His organized and acknowledged church, where He has a church.

Many have the idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and experience, independent of His acknowledged followers in the world. But this is condemned by Jesus in His teachings and in the examples, the facts, which He has given for our instruction. Here was Paul, one whom Christ was to fit for a most important work, one who was to be a chosen vessel unto Him, brought directly into the presence of Christ; yet He does not teach him the lessons of truth. He arrests his course and convicts him; and when he asks, “What wilt Thou have me to do?” the Saviour does not tell him directly, but places him in connection with His church. They will tell thee what thou must do. Jesus is the sinner’s friend, His heart is ever open, ever touched with human woe; He has all power, both in heaven and upon earth; but He respects the means which He has ordained for the enlightenment and salvation of men. He directs Saul to the church, thus acknowledging the power that He has invested in it as a channel of light to the world. It is Christ’s organized body upon the earth, and respect is required to be paid to His ordinances. In the case of Saul, Ananias represents Christ, and he also represents Christ’s ministers upon the earth who are appointed to act in Christ’s stead.

Saul was a learned teacher in Israel; but while he is under the influence of blind error and prejudice, Christ reveals Himself to him, and then places him in communication with His church, who are the light of the world. They are to instruct this educated, popular orator, in the Christian religion. In Christ’s stead Ananias touches his eyes that they may receive sight; in Christ’s stead he lays his hands upon him, prays in Christ’s name, and Saul receives the Holy Ghost. All is done in the name and authority of Christ. Christ is the fountain. The church is the channel of communication. Those who boast of personal independence need to be brought into closer relation to Christ by connection with His church upon the earth.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 25, 2017, 06:05:27 AM
This Christmas Day

  "When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, . . . to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Galatians 4:4, 5. 


      Many in this world today, have no idea why Jesus came into this dark spot in the universe, a helpless babe in the likeness of sinful flesh, subject to the weakness of humanity, to fight the battle of life as each child must do. We are not left without an understanding in the Word of God.  In Bethlehem is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33 The Saviour's coming was foretold in Eden. When Adam and Eve first heard the promise, they looked for its speedy fulfillment. They joyfully welcomed their first-born son, hoping that he might be the Deliverer. But the fulfillment of the promise tarried. Those who first received it died without the sight. From the days of Enoch the promise was repeated through patriarchs and prophets, keeping alive the hope of His appearing, and yet He came not. The prophecy of Daniel revealed the time of His advent, but not all rightly interpreted the message. Century after century passed away; the voices of the prophets ceased. The hand of the oppressor was heavy upon Israel, and many were ready to exclaim, "The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth." Ezekiel 12:22.
     But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God's purposes know no haste and no delay. Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and had declared that the time of their sojourning should be four hundred years. "Afterward, "shall they come out with great substance." Genesis 15:14. Against that word, all the power of Pharaoh's proud empire battled in vain. On "the self-same day" appointed in the divine promise, "it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt." Exodus 12:41. So in heaven's council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
     "When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son." Providence had directed the movements of nations, and the tide of human impulse and influence, until the world was ripe for the coming of the Deliverer. The nations were united under one government. One language was widely spoken, and was everywhere recognized as the language of literature. From all lands the Jews of the dispersion gathered to Jerusalem to the annual feasts. As these returned to the places of their sojourn, they could spread throughout the world the tidings of the Messiah's coming.
     At this time the systems of heathenism were losing their hold upon the people. Men were weary of pageant and fable. They longed for a religion that could satisfy the heart. While the light of truth seemed to have departed from among men, there were souls who were looking for light, and who were filled with perplexity and sorrow. They were thirsting for a knowledge of the living God, for some assurance of a life beyond the grave.
     As the Jews had departed from God, faith had grown dim, and hope had well-nigh ceased to illuminate the future. The words of the prophets were uncomprehended. To the masses of the people, death was a dread mystery; beyond was uncertainty and gloom. It was not alone the wailing of the mothers of Bethlehem, but the cry from the great heart of humanity, that was borne to the prophet across the centuries,--the voice heard in Ramah, "lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." Matthew 2:18. In "the region and shadow of death," men sat unsolaced. With longing eyes they looked for the coming of the Deliverer, when the darkness should be dispelled, and the mystery of the future should be made plain.
     Outside of the Jewish nation there were men who foretold the appearance of a divine instructor. These men were seeking for truth, and to them the Spirit of Inspiration was imparted. One after another, like stars in the darkened heavens, such teachers had arisen. Their words of prophecy had kindled hope in the hearts of thousands of the Gentile world.
     For hundreds of years the Scriptures had been translated into the Greek language, then widely spoken throughout the Roman Empire. The Jews were scattered everywhere, and their expectation of the Messiah's coming was to some extent shared by the Gentiles. Among those whom the Jews styled heathen were men who had a better understanding of the Scripture prophecies concerning the Messiah than had the teachers in Israel. There were some who hoped for His coming as a deliverer from sin. Philosophers endeavored to study into the mystery of the Hebrew economy. But the bigotry of the Jews hindered the spread of the light. Intent on maintaining the separation between themselves and other nations, they were unwilling to impart the knowledge they still possessed concerning the symbolic service. The true Interpreter must come. The One whom all these types prefigured must explain their significance.
     Through nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God had spoken to the world. Lessons must be given to humanity in the language of humanity. The Messenger of the covenant must speak. His voice must be heard in His own temple. Christ must come to utter words which should be clearly and definitely understood. He, the author of truth, must separate truth from the chaff of man's utterance, which had made it of no effect. The principles of God's government and the plan of redemption must be clearly defined. The lessons of the Old Testament must be fully set before men.   
     Among the Jews there were yet steadfast souls, descendants of that holy line through whom a knowledge of God had been preserved. These still looked for the hope of the promise made unto the fathers. They strengthened their faith by dwelling upon the assurance given through Moses, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you." Acts 3:22. Again, they read how the Lord would anoint One "to preach good tidings unto the meek," "to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives," and to declare the "acceptable year of the Lord." Isaiah 61:1, 2. They read how He would "set judgment in the earth," how the isles should "wait for His law," how the Gentiles should come to His light, and kings to the brightness of His rising. Isaiah 42:4; 60:3.
     The dying words of Jacob filled them with hope: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come." Genesis 49:10. The waning power of Israel testified that the Messiah's coming was at hand. The prophecy of Daniel pictured the glory of His reign over an empire which should succeed all earthly kingdoms; and, said the prophet, "It shall stand forever." Daniel 2:44. While few understood the nature of Christ's mission, there was a widespread expectation of a mighty prince who should establish his kingdom in Israel, and who should come as a deliverer to the nations.
     The fullness of the time had come. Humanity, becoming more degraded through ages of transgression, called for the coming of the Redeemer. Satan had been working to make the gulf deep and impassable between earth and heaven. By his falsehoods he had emboldened men in sin. It was his purpose to wear out the forbearance of God, and to extinguish His love for man, so that He would abandon the world to satanic jurisdiction.
     Satan was seeking to shut out from men a knowledge of God, to turn their attention from the temple of God, and to establish his own kingdom. His strife for supremacy had seemed to be almost wholly successful. It is true that in every generation God had His agencies. Even among the heathen there were men through whom Christ was working to uplift the people from their sin and degradation. But these men were despised and hated. Many of them suffered a violent death. The dark shadow that Satan had cast over the world grew deeper and deeper.
     Through heathenism, Satan had for ages turned men away from God; but he won his great triumph in perverting the faith of Israel. By contemplating and worshiping their own conceptions, the heathen had lost a knowledge of God, and had become more and more corrupt. So it was with Israel. The principle that man can save himself by his own works lay at the foundation of every heathen religion; it had now become the principle of the Jewish religion. Satan had implanted this principle. Wherever it is held, men have no barrier against sin.
     The message of salvation is communicated to men through human agencies. But the Jews had sought to make a monopoly of the truth which is eternal life. They had hoarded the living manna, and it had turned to corruption. The religion which they tried to shut up to themselves became an offense. They robbed God of His glory, and defrauded the world by a counterfeit of the gospel. They had refused to surrender themselves to God for the salvation of the world, and they became agents of Satan for its destruction.
     The people whom God had called to be the pillar and ground of the truth had become representatives of Satan. They were doing the work that he desired them to do, taking a course to misrepresent the character of God, and cause the world to look upon Him as a tyrant. The very priests who ministered in the temple had lost sight of the significance of the service they performed. They had ceased to look beyond the symbol to the thing signified. In presenting the sacrificial offerings they were as actors in a play. The ordinances which God Himself had appointed were made the means of blinding the mind and hardening the heart. God could do no more for man through these channels. The whole system must be swept away.
     The deception of sin had reached its height. All the agencies for depraving the souls of men had been put in operation. The Son of God, looking upon the world, beheld suffering and misery. With pity He saw how men had become victims of satanic cruelty. He looked with compassion upon those who were being corrupted, murdered, and lost. They had chosen a ruler who chained them to his car as captives. Bewildered and deceived, they were moving on in gloomy procession toward eternal ruin,--to death in which is no hope of life, toward night to which comes no morning. Satanic agencies were incorporated with men. The bodies of human beings, made for the dwelling place of God, had become the habitation of demons. The senses, the nerves, the passions, the organs of men, were worked by supernatural agencies in the indulgence of the vilest lust. The very stamp of demons was impressed upon the countenances of men. Human faces reflected the expression of the legions of evil with which they were possessed. Such was the prospect upon which the world's Redeemer looked. What a spectacle for Infinite Purity to behold!
     Sin had become a science, and vice was consecrated as a part of religion. Rebellion had struck its roots deep into the heart, and the hostility of man was most violent against heaven. It was demonstrated before the universe that, apart from God, humanity could not be uplifted. A new element of life and power must be imparted by Him who made the world.
     With intense interest the unfallen worlds had watched to see Jehovah arise, and sweep away the inhabitants of the earth. And if God should do this, Satan was ready to carry out his plan for securing to himself the allegiance of heavenly beings. He had declared that the principles of God's government make forgiveness impossible. Had the world been destroyed, he would have claimed that his accusations were proved true. He was ready to cast blame upon God, and to spread his rebellion to the worlds above. But instead of destroying the world, God sent His Son to save it. Though corruption and defiance might be seen in every part of the alien province, a way for its recovery was provided. At the very crisis, when Satan seemed about to triumph, the Son of God came with the embassage of divine grace. Through every age, through every hour, the love of God had been exercised toward the fallen race. Notwithstanding the perversity of men, the signals of mercy had been continually exhibited. And when the fullness of the time had come, the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or withdrawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled.
     Satan was exulting that he had succeeded in debasing the image of God in humanity. Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his Maker. None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory. 
    Heaven and earth are no wider apart today than when shepherds listened to the angels' song. Humanity is still as much the object of heaven's solicitude as when common men of common occupations met angels at noonday, and talked with the heavenly messengers in the vineyards and the fields. To us in the common walks of life, heaven may be very near. Angels from the courts above will attend the steps of those who come and go at God's command.
    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!

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 31, 2017, 06:29:57 AM
A New Year and a New Earth

  "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless." 2 Peter 3:13,14 



We feel very sad as we contemplate the present state of the church whose members have long possessed a knowledge of the events which are a fulfillment of prophetic history. As we enter a new year, let us understand that Christ is coming very soon in power and great glory, and the dead are being “judged out of those things which are written in the books, according to their works.” The One who has stood as our intercessor; who hears all penitential prayers and confessions; who is represented with a rainbow, the symbol of grace and love, encircling his head, is soon to cease his work in the heavenly sanctuary. Grace and mercy will then descend from the throne, and justice will take their place. He for whom his people have looked will assume his right,—the office of Supreme Judge. “The Father ... hath committed all judgment unto the Son.... And he hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” It was He, says Peter, who was ordained to “judge the quick [the living] and the dead.” “He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.”

The faith and patience of those who have waited long, have been sorely tried. “Hope deferred has made the heart sick;” and the cry has come up before God, “Lord, how long?” But now the signs are fulfilling,—the papal leader has stood in the halls of Congress in America, nation rising against nation, startling calamities by land and by sea, famine, pestilence, fearful storms, sweeping floods, and great conflagrations. All these testify that we are approaching the grand consummation. The cry going up to God from the waiting ones, will not be in vain. The response will come, “It is done.” “He which is filthy, let him be filthy still; ... he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Can the church contemplate this hour with calm indifference?

The crisis is now upon us. The battle is to be waged between the Christianity of the Bible and the Christianity of human tradition. Is there not a criminal neglect in our present sleepy condition? There must be a decided advance movement among us. We must show to the world that we recognize, in the events that are now taking place in connection with the call for national Sunday laws, the fulfillment of prophecy. That which we have, for over a hundred years, proclaimed would come, is now here; and the trumpet of every watchman upon the walls of Zion should raise the alarm.

Prophecy represents Protestantism as having lamb-like horns, but speaking like a dragon. Already we are beginning to hear the voice of the dragon. There is a satanic force propelling the Sunday movement, but to a great degree it is concealed. Even the men who are engaged in the work, are themselves blinded to the results which will follow their movement. Let not the commandment-keeping people of God be silent at this time, as though we gracefully accepted the situation. There is the prospect before us, of waging a continuous war, at the risk of imprisonment, of losing property and even life itself, to defend the law of God, which is being made void by the laws of men. This Bible text will be quoted to us, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.... The powers that be are ordained of God.”

When the disciples preached Christ and him crucified, after his resurrection, the authorities commanded them not to speak any more nor to teach in the name of Jesus. “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard.” They continued to preach Jesus and him crucified, and afterward raised from the dead. The sick were healed, and thousands were added to the church. “Then the high priest rose up, and all that were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.”

But the God of heaven the mighty Ruler of the universe, took this matter into his own hands; for men were warring against his work. He showed them plainly that there is a ruler above man, whose authority must be respected. The Lord sent his angel by night to open the prison doors; and he brought forth these men whom God had commissioned to do his work. Thus we see that these rulers were not in harmony with God’s word. Had they taken him into their counsel, they would not have commanded the disciples to do contrary to his will. The rulers said, “Speak not at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus;” but the heavenly messenger sent by God, said, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”

Those who shall seek to compel men to observe an institution of the papacy, and trample upon God’s authority, are doing a work similar to that of the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees in the days of the apostles. When the laws of earthly rulers are brought into opposition to the laws of the Supreme Ruler of the universe, then those who are God’s loyal subjects will be true to him.

The Green Sabbath movement, that the world and the church have linked hands to bring about, will manifest the same oppression, haughtiness, arrogance, and intolerance which have prevailed in past ages. The powers of human councils then assumed the prerogatives of Deity, crushing under their despotic will, liberty of conscience and the right of individual responsibility; and imprisonment, exile, and death followed for all who opposed their dictates.

We now have fulfilled prophecy before our very eyes. The papal power has been revived, the deadly wound has been healed. Protestantism has given it the right hand of fellowship. If it shall be legislated into power by the concessions of time-serving men, the fires of persecution will be rekindled against those who will not sacrifice conscience and the truth for the errors of the papacy. Once let the minds of the Christian world be turned away from God; let His law be dishonored and His holy day trampled upon, and they will be ready to take any step where Satan may lead the way.

Some urge that the Catholic religion is not what it once was; that the principles to which Protestants could not concede, and indignantly rose up to war against, were held by Catholics in the days of their ignorance and barbarism. They say that the present high mental development of the people would never allow them to adopt the plan of action carried out in the past,—compelling the conscience upon religious subjects. But there is nothing in the Scriptures to assure us against the reinstatement of popery. Protestants today are a self-sufficient, world-loving people; but they must have some religion, and prefer that consisting of forms and outward display, rather than the simplicity of the true religion of Jesus Christ. They are too wise in their own conceit to seek God for counsel and direction,—to open the Guide Book which points them to the only way that leads to heaven. They close their hearts to Jesus in His humiliation, self-denial, and self-sacrifice, and open the door to the delusions of Satan.

While the Protestant world is, by her attitude, making concessions to Rome, we should arouse to comprehend the situation, and view the contest before us in its true bearings. While men have slept, Satan has been stealthily sowing the tares. Let the watchmen now lift up their voice like a trumpet, and give the message which is present truth for this time. Let them know where we are in prophetic history, that the spirit of true Protestantism may awaken all the world to a sense of the value of the privileges of religious liberty so long enjoyed.

America has been highly favored of God. It has been the great center of religious light and liberty. Do not sleep now, and in your inactivity feel that you are doing the will of God! The experience of God’s commandment-keeping people now should correspond with the events that are crowding upon us.

It should be the business of all the righteous in the land, as they see signs of the approach of peril, to arouse to action, and not sit in calm expectation of ruin, comforting themselves with the belief that this work must go on, because prophecy has foretold it, and that the Lord will shelter his people in the day of trial. Effectual, fervent prayers should be ascending to Heaven, that this calamity may be deferred; for we are not ready to meet it.

Every passing hour now is one of activity in the heavenly courts, to make ready a people upon the earth to act a part in the great scenes that are soon to open upon us. These transient moments, that seem of so little value to us, are weighty with eternal interests. They are molding the destiny of souls for everlasting life or everlasting death. The words we utter today in the ears of the people, the works we are doing, the spirit of the message we are bearing, will be to human souls the savor of life unto life or of death unto death. We must be washing our robes of character in the blood of the Lamb. If we would be saints above, we must first be saints below.

We have lost much time in inaction, because we have not realized the time in which we are living. This we deplore, and would humble our souls before God, pleading with him for pardon for sleeping at our post of duty, and allowing the enemy to gain the advantage over us. Many have chosen to do nothing, when they should have been diligent to repulse the enemy. Let your services now be dedicated to God. Gird on the armor for vigorous work, saying, “Here am I, Lord, send me.”

It is essential that we be much in prayer to God, that his voice and his power may be manifested in behalf of his people, and that the angels may hold the four winds until the truth is more fully proclaimed, and the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. God is not pleased with the attitude of His people. Satan is taking the world captive, and the sentinels for God and the truth are letting him do it. “Watch then, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” Arouse, and come to the front. Be stanch to defend your religious liberty.

Many of our people are registered in the books of heaven as slothful servants. They have buried their talents of money and capability in the world, and the work they should have done has been left undone. Some to whom the Lord has intrusted means, have been ease-lovers, and have not done their duty in the fear and love of God. Many have left the smaller churches, to unite with larger ones, where they carry no burden of responsibility, and are only in the way. Such lose their spirituality and vital force, because they do comparatively nothing for the truth. What account will these have to give to the Master when he shall say, “Give account of thy stewardship”?

We are not ready for this great issue to which the enforcement of the Sunday law will bring us. Let the members of our churches become missionaries for the Master; let them not linger in ease and indifference; but let them go forth to work for God. Their spiritual muscles have been weakened by inaction. Go without the camp, bearing the reproach for Christ and the truth. Work today in the Lord’s vineyard. Go out into the highways and hedges, and stir up the people to investigate the truth. Woe to all who profess to walk in the light, yet who are at ease in Zion. They absorb the God-given rays of righteousness, but do not diffuse the light to others. The parable of the faithless servant who hid his Lord’s money, condemns them, and they are classed among those who refuse to be co-laborers with Jesus Christ, selfishly caring for their own ease, and leaving those for whom Christ has died, to perish without the knowledge of the truth which God has graciously given to them. Those who have been the receivers of spiritual light, may become the receptacles of darkness, to whom the words of Christ are applicable, “If therefore the light which is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” May this statement be true of God’s people, to whom he has committed the sacred trust of the knowledge of his law. “Yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night; for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” Just when many who have had light and evidence are saying, “Where is the promise of his coming?” and declaring that all things continue as they were from the beginning, the terrible realities of the day of God will burst upon them. Marvelous beyond expression is the blindness of the people of this generation.

Every true child of God should now be inquiring, “What wouldst thou have me to do?" Brethren, for Christ’s sake, do something, and do it now. Satanic influences are all around us, to be met and resisted. The tares are mingled with the wheat, error with truth, coldness with zeal, darkness with light. There must be a returning to our first love. We must battle nobly with tribulation and danger, in the midst of trials, tests, and provings of God. We must be rich in faith and good works. The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to those who have been made the repository of rich truth. This church is distinguished in prophecy by its great profession of advanced light; yet it was filled with spiritual pride and lukewarmness in religion. They had a religious theory, but were greatly lacking in moral power and holiness. They are pronounced wretched, poor, blind, and naked. O that our people would realize the danger, and heed the counsel of the True Witness, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; ... and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.”

In the new year of 2018, will we who have such great light, make some sacrifice for Jesus, who for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich? We must arouse, and through piety and earnest work for the Master, partake of his spirit of love for souls, of faith in God, that He may work with us, by us, and through us.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 25, 2018, 08:47:42 AM
Accurate Church History

  “The high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses?" Matthew 26:65 


“And the chief priests and the council sought for witness to put Jesus to death, and found none. For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands. But neither did their witness agree together. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? What is it that these witness against thee? But he held his peace and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” “I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

Christ’s words cut him, the Sadducee, to the quick. He was maddened by satanic furry. Rending his robe, that the people might see his pretended horror, he demanded that without further preliminaries, the prisoner be condemned for blasphemy. “The high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye?” And they all condemned Him.

The act of the high priest in tearing his robe meant more than many can see or understand, for their eyes are blinded. Many read the record without taking in the meaning of this act, any more than did Caiaphas. The high priest was not to rend his garment. By the Levitical law, this was prohibited under penalty of death. Under no circumstances, on no occasion, was the high priest to rend his garment. Express command was given by Christ to Moses, that this should not be done.

By rending his garment, Caiaphas made of none effect the law of God to follow the tradition of men. A man-made law provided that, in case of blasphemy, a priest might rend his garments in horror at the sin, and be guiltless. Thus the law of God was made void by the laws of men.

Each action of the high priest was watched with interest by many; and Caiaphas thought for effect to whom his great outward piety. But by his very act he was committing blasphemy against God. He desired to show his great zeal and obedience; and by displaying a horror that caused him to rend his beautiful and supposedly sanctified garments, he gained a fanatical admiration. But he transgressed the law of God as virtually as did Adam when he ate of the fruit of the tree forbidden by God. It is disobedience to God’s commands that creates every phase of sin.

This pretended horror for sin has been acted out over and over again in matters connected with church history. The passions of a vile heart have been expressed by like deeds. And by exaggerated religious zeal and pretended piety men will again deceive and delude their fellow men.

When Caiaphas rent his garment, his action was significant of the place that the Jewish nation as a nation would in future occupy toward God. As a whole, the Jewish nation had apostatized. The once favored people of God had become divorced from Him. Christ came to them with His message, but it was despised. As He stood on the crest of Olivet just prior to His crucifixion, He wept over Jerusalem, and lamented the fall of her people, saying, “If thou hadst known, even thou in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace; but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and keep thee on every side. And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

The most solemn period of responsibility for the Jewish nation was when Christ was in their midst, working the works of God. It was that generation that rejected the Messiah. Christ addressed them as the most guilty, because they had the Word of God.

So it is today. We have been entrusted with the sacred oracles of God. What a responsibility rests upon this generation today! What have we learned from history? "There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly. 2 Peter 2:1-6.

Have we learned the lesson set before us?  Jesus stands at the door of the heart, calling "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." Revelation 3:20,21.


Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 25, 2018, 09:11:35 AM
God does not hide the truth from the world. As we read through the Bible, we see the sins of men and women. Adam's sin is laid bear for all to see. So, with Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, and Peter. What of God's church today? If she had been faithful, Jesus would have come long ago. We do not need to go into detail of what is happening today, all can see this clearly. But, what of the days when Jesus was pouring out light upon His church and it was rejected?

We have before us a four volume set that reveals the sad history of what happened in those years when light was shining brightly. The year was 1888 and thus the four volume set of books which record that time are entitled 1888. Today, we have another most accurate history of that time period when the Latter Rain began to fall and Jesus was trying to prepare a people for His second coming. Historian Ron Duffield has published a book entitled The Return of the Latter Rain.

While I have studied the four volume set, Brother Duffield has given us a picture of more than what is inspired. He has included letters and other material to help us better understand the history of the church in that era when the church rejected the light so graciously given to God's church. Not only has he presented what appears to me to an accurate history of the events of that day, but he from all I have read, has presented the important subjects that God would have His people better understand.

We do not point people to the wisdom of man, but to Jesus and His Word. Here we make an exception since God would have some who love Him and keep His commandments spread the light they have received from on high. This book is something we recommend all take note of. Not that it should take the place of the Bible and all of the Spirit of Prophecy that God has entrusted to His children, for in them we find spiritual food we must feed upon. Brother Duffield's work is one from my perspective like  J. H. Merle D'Aubigne writings on the Protestant Reformation. It will help us better understand how God has been working to restore His image in man, and in our case, prepare a people to receive Jesus as His soon coming.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 24, 2018, 02:30:04 PM
Take the Gospel to the World

"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35 



There never was a more solemn and important time than today. We have been given technology that can reach  around the world in a moment. Those who are using this to spread the truth may reach the people and affect their hearts. We need to attain to a greater consecration. When we desire to give presents, when we want to use our resources to gratify and please ourselves, when we want to hoard our means, fearing we will become destitute, we need to think of the eternity that is before us. There is a work we have to do before we can enter into heaven. Let us think of the Judgment before which we are to stand and render an account to God for the deeds done in the body. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Cor. 5:10. And with the Judgment before our eyes, think of the money we spend foolishly, to please the taste or for worldly gratifications, and of the souls that are perishing all around us. The truth which has been entrusted to us is for the salvation of these lost ones. "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35.

The law of God is almost entirely made void. The pope is calling for Sunday laws. God calls for every man, woman, and child to fight the good fight of faith. He calls for every talent to be employed now. It will be fatal to our souls to be indolent or slothful servants. He has not left it alone for those who minister in the word and doctrine, to bear the burdens and employ their talents. He wants every one of us to put our powers to work for the upbuilding of his kingdom.

The third angel’s message must go over the land, and awaken the people, and call their attention to the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Another angel unites his voice with the third angel, and the earth is lighted with its glory. The light increases, and it shines out to all the nations of the earth. It is to go forth as a light that burneth. It will be attended with great power, until its golden beams have fallen upon every tongue, every people, and every nation upon the face of the whole earth. What are we doing to prepare for this work? Are we building for eternity? We must sanctify ourselves by a strict obedience to the truth, placing ourselves in right relation to God and his work. As the truth goes forth, Satan intensifies his zeal to defeat its progress by presenting pleasing delusions. As we urge the truth, he urges his errors. He will stir up his agents, in view of the coming of the Lord, to go out and cry, “Lo! here is Christ, and lo! there is Christ.” And here arises this superstition, and there arises that heresy. And tell me, what are we to do about it? I will tell you: we can become familiar, with the Bible, and read what saith the Lord. Not only the ministers but all who love and fear God are to do the Master’s work; and that is to let the light that he has given us shine before all.

There are two companies; one of them is being bound in bundles to burn, the other is being bound by the cords of truth and love. Satan is binding his followers with the work of iniquity; Christ is binding together his people in love and faith in the keeping of his commandments. And this work will increase more and more, and Satan will work to divide and separate God’s people one from the other. And while he is doing this kind of work, be careful that none of you are found helping him. We want to put away our cold-heartedness, and let love, tender compassion, true courtesy, and the spirit of tenderness come into our midst. Here we are in the waiting time, in the day of God’s preparation. Here in this world we are to fit up for these great trials that are soon coming upon us. And yet some of us act as though we had a whole millennium before us in which to accomplish the work. But, says the text, “Watch and pray; for ye know not when the time is.” And what Christ said to his disciples, I say unto you, “Take ye heed, watch and pray,” that when the Master comes to reckon with his servants, you may receive from him the crown of life laid up for the overcomer, and rejoice with him in his kingdom.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 21, 2018, 03:42:47 PM
The World Will Not Appreciate Truth

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." John 15:18,19 



William Miller possessed strong mental powers, disciplined by thought and study; and he added to these the wisdom of Heaven, by connecting himself with the Source of wisdom. He was a man of sterling worth, who could not but command respect and esteem wherever integrity of character and moral excellence were valued. Uniting true kindness of heart with Christian humility and the power of self-control, he was attentive and affable to all, ready to listen to the opinions of others, and to weigh their arguments. Without passion or excitement, he tested all theories and doctrines by the Word of God; and his sound reasoning, and thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, enabled him to refute error and expose falsehood.

Yet he did not prosecute his work without bitter opposition. As with earlier reformers, the truths which he presented were not received with favor by popular religious teachers. As these could not maintain their position by the Scriptures, they were driven to resort to the sayings and doctrines of men, to the traditions of the Fathers. But the Word of God was the only testimony accepted by the preachers of the Advent truth. “The Bible, and the Bible only,” was their watchword. The lack of Scripture argument on the part of their opponents was supplied by ridicule and scoffing. Time, means, and talents were employed in maligning those whose only offense was that they looked with joy for the return of their Lord, and were striving to live holy lives, and to exhort others to prepare for his appearing.

Earnest were the efforts put forth to draw away the minds of the people from the subject of the second advent. It was made to appear a sin, something of which men should be ashamed, to study the prophecies which relate to the coming of Christ and the end of the world. Thus the popular ministry undermined faith in the Word of God. Their teaching made men infidels, and many took license to walk after their own ungodly lusts. Then the authors of the evil charged it all upon Adventists.

While drawing crowded houses of intelligent and attentive hearers, Miller’s name was seldom mentioned by the religious press except by way of ridicule or denunciation. The careless and ungodly, emboldened by the position of religious teachers, resorted to epithets, to base and blasphemous witticisms, in their efforts to heap contumely upon him and his work. The gray-headed man who had left a comfortable home to travel at his own expense from city to city, from town to town, toiling unceasingly to bear to the world the solemn warning of the Judgment near, was sneeringly denounced as a fanatic, a liar, a speculating knave.

So it is today, so it will be unto the end. 
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Sister Marie on May 08, 2018, 08:05:26 PM
This is such a sad thought that people will not want the Truth. Right not the P is setting things up that one by one everyone will feel it a good decision to unit with them. This the world seems to think is a good idea. I spoke to someone about this the other day and she asked me, "wouldn't that be a good thing?" I tried to share with her why it is not a good thing, but they can't seem to understand it.
They will hate the Truth and those who teach it, wanting to get rid of them at all cost, just as they did with Jesus. But like Jesus, we will be able to make it through by Christ's power and love. We are living so close to this time. I believe we are in some of it already.

Thank you for sharing this Richard. It is all so True.
Blessings,
Sister Marie
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on January 18, 2019, 09:47:44 PM
Reconciling Verses

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." Romans 13:1,2 




We are nearing the end of this world's history. There is a prospect before us of a continued struggle, at the risk of imprisonment, loss of property, and even of life itself, to defend the law of God, which is made void by the laws of men. In this situation worldly policy will urge an outward compliance with the laws of the land, for the sake of peace and harmony. And there are some who will even urge such a course from the Scripture: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.... The powers that be are ordained of God.”

But what has been the course of God’s servants in ages past? When the disciples preached Christ and Him crucified, after His resurrection, the authorities commanded them not to speak any more nor to teach in the name of Jesus. “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” They continued to preach the good news of salvation through Christ, and the power of God witnessed to the message. The sick were healed, and thousands were added to the church. “Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.”

But the God of heaven, the mighty Ruler of the universe, took this matter into His own hands; for men were warring against His work. He showed them plainly that there is a ruler above man, whose authority must be respected. The Lord sent His angel by night to open the prison doors, and he brought forth these men whom God had commissioned to do His work. The rulers said, Speak not “at all nor teach in the name of Jesus;” but the heavenly messenger sent by God said, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”

The papal power is at work to bring about national Sunday laws. Those who seek to compel men to observe an institution of the papacy, and trample upon God’s authority, are doing a work similar to that of the Jewish leaders in the days of the apostles. When the laws of earthly rulers are brought into opposition to the laws of the Supreme Ruler of the universe, then those who are God’s loyal subjects will be true to Him and keep His commandments rather than the laws of man.

In the very same chapter that we are told to follow man made laws, chapter 13 of Romans, we find the answer as to why we would not follow the powers of man when they are in conflict with the commands of God. "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." verses 8-10.

By presenting the commandments of God, it is thus made clear that the chapter does not mean we are to follow evil men when they make laws that are in opposition to the commands of God.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 26, 2019, 07:09:45 AM
Righteousness by Faith

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." John 3:14 

Real righteous as revealed by Nicodemus comes by beholding God's grace. That grace in its fullness is seen as His innocent Son hung on the cross. Jesus' Words to us are "If I be lifted up I will draw all unto me." The righteousness received by Nicodemus was the result of understanding the character of God as revealed by the sacrifice of Christ. If we too will look, we shall live. We all have been bitten by sin. Our only hope of eternal life is to understand it is by beholding Jesus that we are transformed from sinners into saints.


If we do not come to an understanding and acceptance of how we are saved we will never find rest and peace and most sadly a home in heaven. We may think we are serving the Lord when in reality we are self deceived. I love how Jesus interacts with Nicodemus. So patient, gentle and loving. So many lessons for us to learn from.

"After the Lord’s ascension, when the disciples were scattered by persecution, Nicodemus came boldly to the front. He employed his wealth in sustaining the infant church that the Jews had expected to be blotted out at the death of Christ. In the time of peril he who had been so cautious and questioning was firm as a rock, encouraging the faith of the disciples, and furnishing means to carry forward the work of the gospel. He was scorned and persecuted by those who had paid him reverence in other days. He became poor in this world’s goods; yet he faltered not in the faith which had its beginning in that night conference with Jesus."

Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on April 20, 2019, 02:19:02 PM
The Power That Transforms Sinners

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8 

Grace is more than a word, it is the power that transforms sinners into saints. What is grace? It is the pardoning love that God has for us while we were yet sinners.

"When we have a realization of our weakness, we learn to depend upon a power not inherent. Nothing can take so strong a hold on the heart as the abiding sense of our responsibility to God. Nothing reaches so fully down to the deepest motives of conduct as a sense of the pardoning love of Christ. We are to come in touch with God, then we shall be imbued with His Holy Spirit, that enables us to come in touch with our fellow men. Then rejoice that through Christ you have become connected with God, members of the heavenly family."

To those who have never given their hearts totally to God do not understand the truth of these words. Imagine being a member of the heavenly royal family just by surrendering our heart and life to Jesus and following in His footsteps. The best part of it all is the effect it has on our attitude towards others. We want to share the precious news to all who will listen so they too can have the opportunity to enjoy the same blessings and benefits that are promised to each one. My heart is full of praise to God this Sabbath morning for the matchless love of Christ for each of us.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 05, 2019, 08:52:38 AM
Only Eight Were Saved

“As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” Luke 17:26 

We are living in that day. Many are called, but few choose to follow Christ. Satan is working to bring pressure to bear upon all who are standing for truth while good is called evil and evil is called good.

There would be more to the immunization hype than is apparent. Society is being stirred to rally and respond urgently for a greater cause; for the common good. Society is being conditioned to jump when told to jump. To dob on a common enemy and to turn on the enemy. There are many who would view non vaccination as a criminal offense and would support strong punishment. This is not just about immunization. It is about making all citizens comply, about getting people to think and act on the same page (dare I say, not to think and not to question or reason?) The world is rapidly becoming of one mind. It is going to take courage to stand alone.

“As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” Then, the world was destroyed by a flood; in our day, it is to be destroyed by fire. The message of warning is going forth to the world, to prepare a people who will be saved out of the general ruin of earthly things. We are living in a very solemn time, and solemn thoughts should occupy the mind; the earnest inquiry should be made by every soul, “What shall I do to be saved?” The message that the coming of Christ is at hand, is not received. The thought that he is at the door, is not a welcome thought. As the message of the coming deluge was rejected, in the time of Noah, so the announcement of the final destruction of this world, is disbelieved. Thousands will reason after the same manner as did the people in the days prior to the flood. The message of truth is refused; and one turns away to his merchandise, another to his farm, another to his cattle, and another to the pleasures of life. While one is absorbed in business, and in the cares of this world, another is taken up with thoughts and plans for marriage, and he has no disposition to heed the warning of truth. He responds to the invitation of God to come, for the feast is now ready, “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”

Christ declared, “For as it was 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.” He foresaw that men would be engaged in every selfish work, living without fear of God, eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, when the day of final judgment was about to break. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false-accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” And while they are crying, “Peace and safety,” sudden destruction shall come upon them, and they shall not escape.

In the days of Noah, the earth was filled with violence. Is it not in a similar condition today? Of the vast population in the world before the flood, only eight persons were saved from the general destruction. In the days of Noah, the mass of mankind would not listen to the warning of the servant of the Lord. In our own day, the majority of men will “turn away their ears from hearing the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” In the time of Noah, the people were intensely worldly. They were without the fear of God. God was not in all their thoughts. They had no care whether he approved their course or not. They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, with no thought of their Creator, or of their responsibility to him.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on May 22, 2019, 08:10:39 AM
God's Witnesses Are in the World Today

“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18 

God has not left Himself without witness to the power of grace, and to the supernatural work that He alone can do in the soul that beholds Him and surrenders entirely to Him in order to experience conversion, or regeneration. We are in need of a revival and a reformation in our church as concerns understanding the new birth so that those who have accepted a false gospel that allows for known sin in the life while thinking one has eternal life will be seen for what it is: a fatal deception. May we realize our continual need of Jesus and rejoice that we are counted worthy to not only understand but to live the great truth of the new birth! What a miracle!

There was no excuse for the blindness of Israel in regard to the work of regeneration. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Isaiah had written, “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” David had prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” And through Ezekiel the promise had been given, “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.” Isaiah 64:6; Psalm 51:10; Ezekiel 36:26, 27.

God will give us a new heart and mind at conversion--making us partakers of the divine nature--so that the flesh will no longer dominate the higher powers of our being. We shall be enabled to overcome through abiding in Christ, and the witness that this is our experience moment-by-moment is that the Holy Spirit reveals Himself in the life with all of the fruits of His Spirit, without one missing!

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22,23.

And as we have this experience, He guides us also to live in obedience to every known statute, so that we will continue to grow in grace as we abide in Him!
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on December 25, 2019, 09:15:32 AM
Christmas

  "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise Thy head, and Thou shalt bruise his heel....O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!"  Genesis 3:15, Romans 11:33.


Humanity has a problem. Look around. Chaos everywhere! The world is as it was at the time of Noah. Man comes into this world with an evil fallen nature. It is only because God allowed His innocent Son to come to this dark spot in the universe to suffer and die that we might be transformed, and to be able to love as He loves. What a day it was when our heavenly Father allowed His Son to come to our planet a helpless baby subject to the weakness of humanity to fight the battle of all battles!

The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. 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!

Take a moment today to share this story with those you love and care for. It is why Christians are left in the world. We are to tell this magnificent story of our magnificent God who risked His Son that we might know of His greatness. Have a blessed Christmas my dear friends.
Title: Re: A Thought For Today
Post by: Richard Myers on March 19, 2020, 08:20:02 PM
Reprove or Not?

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


This morning, long before day, I received a blessing from God. Before this blessing came, I felt that my strength was leaving me. I had great suffering through my whole body. It seemed as if the entire system were being crushed. Every nerve and sinew was in pain. I thought of calling up the family, and then I said aloud, “They can not give me relief.” I prayed to the Great Physician to change the condition of things, to let me feel His healing power. And relief came.

The Lord has given me this message for our churches: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”

The whole of the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is to be regarded as a message for this time, to be given over and over again. There is a strife between the forces of good and evil, between the loyal and the disloyal angels. Christ and Satan are not at an agreement, and they never will be. In every age the true church of God has engaged in decided warfare against satanic agencies. Until the controversy is ended, the struggle will go on, between wicked angels and wicked men on the one side, and holy angels and true believers on the other.

There is not, and can not be, a natural enmity between fallen angels and fallen men. Both are evil. Through apostasy, both cherish evil sentiments. Wicked angels and wicked men are leagued in a desperate confederacy against the good. Satan knew that if he could induce men, as he had induced angels, to unite with him in his rebellion, he would have a strong force with which to carry on his rebellion.
 
In the hosts of evil there is jarring and discord, but they are all firm allies in fighting against heaven. Their one aim is to disparage God, and their great numbers lead them to entertain the hope that they will be able to dethrone Omnipotence.

When Adam and Eve were placed in the garden of Eden, they were innocent and sinless, in perfect harmony with God. Enmity had no natural existence in their hearts. But when they transgressed, their nature was no longer sinless. They became evil; for they had placed themselves on the side of the fallen foe, doing the very things that God specified they should not do. Had there been no interference on the part of God, man would have formed a firm alliance with Satan against heaven. But when the words were spoken, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel,” Satan knew that although he had succeeded in making human beings sin, although he had led them to believe his lie, and to question God, although he had succeeded in depraving human nature, some arrangement had been made whereby the beings who had fallen would be placed on vantage ground, their nature renewed in godliness. He saw that his action in tempting them would react upon himself, and that he would be placed where he could not become conqueror.

In the statement, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed,” God pledged Himself to introduce into the hearts of human beings a new principle,—a hatred of sin, of deception, of pretense, of everything that bears the marks of Satan’s guile.

In the fulness of time Christ came, and in human nature lived on this earth a life unmarred by spot or stain of sin. With His whole being He hated sin of any kind. The emissaries of darkness give Christ the credit for being the one who expelled them from heaven. They hate Him for His purity. When He came to this world, His purity was a constant reproach to the proud, sensual generation then living on the earth. They hated Him, and in the end crucified Him.

In His work on this earth, Christ saw how, by a disregard of the injunctions of God, in regard to righteousness and true doctrines, evil would be made almost indistinguishable from good. At times He looked upon the deceiving power of Satan, and saw that the wrong-doing of evil workers must be met. At one such time there fell upon the ears of the multitude the words:—“Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye can not hear My word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not.”

Explaining the parable of the tares and the wheat, He said:—“He that sowed the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil: the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

So we see that between Christ and Satan there is unceasing conflict. This conflict will be waged until the work of salvation is accomplished. And it will grow fiercer as the end approaches.

Through the transforming power of the grace of Christ, men may prevail against the evil that strives for the victory. They need not become the servants of Satan, the dupes of his lies. They need not continue to be his willing captives. They may rise against the deceiver, whose wily tissue of lies cost our first parents their Eden home. They may resist the attacks of Satan. God can give them power to distinguish between falsehood and error, between sincerity and truth. If they choose, they may stand on vantage ground. But they can continue to stand there only by placing their hand in the hand of Christ, and following where He leads the way. 
 
It is after man has received light and evidence, after he has seen the contrast between truth and error, that the struggle against sin begins in his heart. But this enmity against wrong did not exist in his heart until Christ placed it there. Those who are truly loyal will show that their mind and heart are fully with the Lord Jesus. They will discern the specious sentiments of Satan, and will refuse to endorse actions that God condemns. But he who continues to depart from the laws of Christ’s kingdom displays a spirit that is more and more decidedly at enmity against God.

The Lord calls upon the one who has been working unrighteousness to put away his sins, and be converted. Unless the transforming grace of Christ is poured into his soul, he will refuse to oppose the works of Satan. The human agent who is worked by the power of the enemy, will close the door of his heart to every appeal made by the Saviour. He will refuse to hear the words, “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.” And the God of heaven will not exercise His power to force man to practise righteousness, with the heart in determined resistance.

“There shall be enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” We pray that this enmity may be more decidedly seen, that righteousness may be exalted, and sin called by its right name.

When there are among God’s people those who have departed from the path of humble obedience, those who have exalted self, those who have united with Satan in accusing and condemning the men appointed of God to be ministers of salvation, shall we keep silence for fear of hurting their feelings? When there are men in the church who love riches more than righteousness, and who stand ready to take advantage of their fellow men by unjust dealings, shall we make no protest? And when men standing in the position of leaders and teachers work under the power of spiritualistic ideas and sophistries, shall we keep silent, for fear of injuring their influence, while souls are being beguiled? Satan will use every advantage that he can obtain to cause souls to become beclouded and perplexed in regard to the work of the church, in regard to the word of God, and in regard to the words of warning which He has given through the testimonies of His Spirit, to guard His little flock from the subtleties of the enemy.

When men stand out in defiance against the counsel of God, they are warring against God. Is it right for those connected with such ones to treat them as if they were in perfect harmony with them, making no difference between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not? Though they be ministers or medical missionaries, they have dishonored Christ before the forces of the loyal and the disloyal. Open rebuke is necessary, to prevent others from being ensnared.

To believe that evil must not be condemned because this would condemn those who practise the evil, is to act in favor of falsehood. If, after a man has been given many cautions and warnings, to save him from his hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong, he takes offense, and refuses to accept the message graciously sent him from heaven, and puts aside the reproof of the Holy Spirit, his heart and conscience become hardened, and he is in great darkness. { SpTB02 10.1 }
The enmity that God has put in our hearts against deceptive practises, must be kept alive, because these practises endanger the souls of those who do not hate them. All deceptive dealings, all untruthfulness regarding the Father and the Son, by which their characters are presented in a false light, are to be recognized as grievous sins. There are those who have become apt scholars in this deceptive work. Those who can not see the danger that is threatening the Lord’s heritage because of these things will soon feel no enmity against the arch deceiver. Those who stand in positions of trust in our institutions are to show constant vigilance, else they will be taken captive. In words and deportment, in all their business transactions, they are to show the exactitude that will win the commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

It should now be clearly understood that we are not really helping those who are determined to do evil, when we show them respect, and keep our words
of reproof for those with whom the disaffected one is at enmity. A grave mistake has been and is being made in this matter. Shall the servants of Jehovah, into whose heart He puts enmity against every evil work, be assailed as not being right when they call evil evil, and good good? Those who feel so very peaceable in regard to the works of the men who are spoiling the faith of the people of God, are guided by a delusive sentiment.

There is to be a constant conflict between good and evil. Those who are enlightened by the Holy Spirit’s power are to strive with every power of their being to snatch the prey from the seductive influences of men who refuse to obey the word of God, whether they be in high places or in low. Christ’s property is not to pass out of His control into the control of the children of darkness.

If this matter were rightly understood and closely guarded, God’s servants would feel a continual burden of responsibility to counterwork the efforts of the men who do not know what they are about, because they are enchanted by the delusive allurements of Satan. When God’s people are fully awake to the danger of the hour, and work fully on Christ’s side, there will be seen a sharp contrast between their course and that of those who are saying, “Good Lord, and good devil,” and we shall see much firmer and more decided work done to counterwork the schemes of satanic agencies.