When Infirmities Come, Trust in God

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The Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:2, 3.

Now when you can no longer be active, and infirmities press upon you, all that God requires of you is to trust Him. Commit the keeping of your soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator. His mercies are sure, His covenant is everlasting. Happy is the man whose hope is in the Lord his God, who keepeth truth forever. Let your mind grasp the promises and hold to them. If you cannot call to mind readily the rich assurance contained in the precious promises, listen to them from the lips of another. What fullness, what love and assurance are found in these words from the lips of God Himself, proclaiming His Love, His pity and interest in the children of His care:

“The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin” (Exodus 34:6, 7).

The Lord is full of compassion for His suffering ones. What sins are too great for His pardon? He is merciful, and as such is infinitely more ready and more pleased to pardon than to condemn. He is gracious, not looking for wrong in us; He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are but dust. In His boundless compassion and mercy, He heals all our backslidings, loving us freely while we are yet sinners, withdrawing not His light, but shining on us for Christ’s sake.

Will you … always trust in Jesus, who is your righteousness? The love of God is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost, which is graciously given unto you. You are one with Christ. He will give you the grace to be patient, He will give you the grace to be trustful, He will give you the grace to overcome restlessness, He will warm your heart with His own sweet Spirit, He will revive your soul in its weakness. Only a few days more to be as pilgrims and strangers in this world, seeking for a better country, even a heavenly. Our home is in heaven. Then stay your soul in confidence upon God. Roll all your burdens upon Him.

Oh, how many times has your heart been touched with the beauty of the Saviour’s countenance, charmed with the loveliness of His character, and subdued with the thought of His suffering? Now He wants you to lean your whole weight upon Him… “And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid” (Isaiah 12:1, 2).

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Jesus Willed Us Peace

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

Before our Lord went to His agony on the cross, He made His will. He had no silver or gold or houses to leave to His disciples. He was a poor man, as far as earthly possessions were concerned. Few in Jerusalem were so poor as He. But He left His disciples a richer gift than any earthly monarch could bestow on his subjects. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you,” He said; “not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

He left them the peace which had been His during His life on the earth, which had been with Him amidst poverty, buffeting, and persecution, and which was to be with Him during His agony in Gethsemane and on the cruel cross.

The Saviour’s life on this earth, though lived in the midst of conflict, was a life of peace. While angry enemies were constantly pursuing Him, He said, “He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” No storm of satanic wrath could disturb the calm of that perfect communion with God. And He says to us, “My peace I give unto you.”

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.”…

Every man’s experience testifies to the truth of the words of Scripture: “The wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest.”… Sin has destroyed our peace… 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, which 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… So he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”…

The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence all around. The spirit of peace will rest like dew upon hearts weary and troubled with worldly strife.

Christ Eases the Burdens of Parents

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; … and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:28, 29.

No work can equal that of the Christian mother. She takes up her work with a sense of what it is to bring up her children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. How often will she feel her burden’s weight heavier than she can bear; and then how precious the privilege of taking it all to her sympathizing Saviour in prayer. She may lay her burden at His feet, and find in His presence a strength that will sustain her, and give her cheerfulness, hope, courage, and wisdom in the most trying hours. How sweet to the care-worn mother is the consciousness of such a Friend in all her difficulties? If mothers would go to Christ more frequently and trust Him more fully, their burdens would be easier, and they would find rest to their souls.

Jesus is a lover of children. The important responsibility of training her children should not rest alone upon the mother… The father should encourage and sustain the mother in her work of care by his cheerful looks and kind words… Her children must have her time and attention… This training of children to meet the Bible standard will require time, perseverance, and prayer. This should be attended to if some things about the house are neglected.

Many times in the day is the cry of Mother, Mother, heard, first from one little-troubled voice and then another. In answer to the cry, a mother must turn here and there to attend to their demands… A word of approval will bring sunshine to the heart for hours. Many precious beams of light and gladness can the mother shed here and there among her precious little ones. How closely can she bind those dear ones to her heart, that her presence will be to them the sunniest place in the world.

But frequently the patience of the mother is taxed with these numerous little trials, that seem scarcely worth attention… She almost forgets herself time and again, but a silent prayer to her pitying Redeemer calms her nerves, and she is enabled to hold the reins of self-control with quiet dignity. She speaks with a calm voice, but it has cost her an effort to restrain harsh words and subdue angry feelings, which, if expressed, would have destroyed her influence, which it would have taken time to regain… As the parents wish God to deal with them, so should they deal with their children.

Our children are only the younger members of the Lord’s family, entrusted to us to educate wisely, to patiently discipline, that they may form Christian characters, and be qualified to bless others in this life and enjoy the life to come

 

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Parents to Teach Obedience

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Ephesians 6:1.

The children are to be taught that their capabilities were given to them for the honor and glory of God. To this end they must learn the lesson of obedience; for only through lives of willing obedience can they render to God the service He requires. Before the child is old enough to reason, he must be taught to obey. By gentle, persistent effort, the habit should be established…

Let children be shown that true reverence is revealed by obedience. God has commanded nothing that is unessential, and there is no other way of manifesting reverence so pleasing to Him as by obedience to that which He has spoken.

The mother is the queen of the home, and the children are her subjects. She is to rule her household wisely, in the dignity of her motherhood… Tell your children exactly what you require of them. Then let them understand that your word must be obeyed. Thus you are training them to respect the commandments of God, which plainly declare, “Thou shalt,” and “Thou shalt not.”

Few parents begin early enough to teach their children to obey. The child is usually allowed to get two or three years the start of its parents, who forbear to discipline it, thinking it too young to learn to obey. But all this time self is growing strong in the little being, and every day makes harder the parent’s task of gaining control. At a very early age children can comprehend what is plainly and simply told them, and by kind and judicious management can be taught to obey. Never should they be allowed to show their parents disrespect. Self-will should never be permitted to go unrebuked. The future well-being of the child requires kindly, loving, but firm discipline…

Wise parents will not say to their children, “Follow your own choice; go where you will, and do what you will”; but, “Listen to the instruction of the Lord.” Wise rules and regulations must be made and enforced, that the beauty of the home life may not be spoiled…

Children will be happier, far happier, under proper discipline than if left to do as their unrestrained impulses suggest. A child’s truest graces consist in modesty and obedience—inattentive ears to hear the words of direction, in willing feet and hands to walk and work in the path of duty…

Above all things, parents should surround their children with an atmosphere of cheerfulness, courtesy, and love. A home where love dwells and where it finds expression in looks, in words, in acts, is a place where angels delight to dwell

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Christ, the Wife and Mother’s Strength

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Proverbs 31:28.

It is true that the wheels of domestic machinery will not always run smoothly; there is much to try the patience and tax the strength. But while mothers are not responsible for circumstances over which they have no control, it is useless to deny that circumstances make a great difference with mothers in their lifework. But their condemnation is when circumstances are allowed to rule and to subvert their principle, when they grow tired and unfaithful to their high trust, and neglect their known duty.

The wife and mother who nobly overcomes difficulties, under which others sink for want of patience and fortitude to persevere, not only becomes strong herself in doing her duty, but her experience in overcoming temptations and obstacles qualifies her to be an effective help to others, both by words and example. Many who do well under favorable circumstances seem to undergo a transformation of character under adversity and trial; they deteriorate in proportion to their troubles. God never designed that we should be the sport of circumstances…

[The true wife and mother] will perform her duties with dignity and cheerfulness, not considering that it is degrading to do with her own hands whatever is necessary for her to do in a well-ordered household. If she looks to God for her strength and comfort, and in His wisdom and fear seeks to do her daily duty, she will bind her husband to her heart, and see her children coming to maturity, honorable men and women, having moral stamina to follow the example of their mother.

There is no chance to work in this life; the harvest will determine the character of the seed that has been sown…

Mothers, you are developing character. Your compassionate Redeemer is watching you in love and sympathy, ready to hear your prayers, and render you the assistance which you need in your lifework. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, faith, and charity are the elements of the Christlike character. These precious graces are the fruits of the Spirit. They are the Christian’s crown and shield. The highest daydreaming and most exalted aspirations can aim at nothing higher. Nothing can give more perfect content and satisfaction.

These heavenly attainments are not dependent upon circumstances, nor the will or imperfect judgment of man. The precious Saviour, who understands our heart struggles and the weaknesses of our natures, pities, and forgives us our errors, and bestows upon us the graces which we earnestly desire.

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Fathers to Spend Time with Children

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4.

While we have dwelt upon the importance of the mother’s work and mission, we would not lightly pass over the duty and responsibility of the husband and father in the training of his children. His efforts should be in harmony with those of the God-fearing mother. He should manifest his love and respect for her as the woman he has chosen and the mother of his children…

Fathers should … mingle with the children, sympathizing with them in their little troubles, binding them to their hearts by the strong bonds of love, and establishing such an influence over their expanding minds that their counsel will be regarded as sacred…

Upon returning home from his business he should find it a pleasant change to spend some time with his children. He may take them into the garden, and show them the opening buds, and the varied tints of the blooming flowers. Through such mediums, he may give them the most important lessons concerning the Creator, by opening before them the great book of nature, where the love of God is expressed in every tree, and flower, and blade of grass. He may impress upon their minds the fact that if God cares so much about the trees and flowers, He will care much more about the creatures formed in His image. He may lead them early to understand that God wants children to be lovely, not with artificial adornment, but with the beauty of character, the charms of kindness and affection, which will make their hearts bound with joy and happiness.

Parents may do much to connect their children with God by encouraging them to love the things of nature which He has given them and to recognize the hand of the Giver in all they receive. The soil of the heart may thus early be prepared for casting in the precious seeds of truth, which in due time will spring up and bear a rich harvest. Fathers, the golden hours which you might spend in getting a thorough knowledge of the temperament and character of your children, and the best methods of dealing with their young minds, are … precious.—The Signs of the Times, December 6, 1877.

The father’s duty to his children should be one of his first interests. It should not be set aside for the sake of acquiring a fortune, or of gaining a high position in the world. In fact, those very conditions of affluence and honor frequently separate a man from his family and cut off his influence from them more than anything else. If the father would have his children develop harmonious characters, and be an honor to him and a blessing to the world, he has a special work to do.

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Children to Develop Well-Balanced Characters

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The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high… He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure. Isaiah 33:5, 6, N.I.V.

Guard your children against every objectionable influence possible; for in childhood they are more ready to receive impressions, either of moral dignity, purity, and loveliness of character, or of selfishness, impurity, and disobedience. Once let them become influenced by the spirit of murmuring, pride, vanity, and impurity, and the taint may be as indelible as life itself.

“It is because the home training is defective that the youth are so unwilling to submit to proper authority. I am a mother; I know whereof I speak when I say that youth and children are not only safer but happier under wholesome restraint than when following their own inclination.”—The Adventist Home, 469, 470.

It should be the object of every parent to secure to his child a well-balanced, symmetrical character. This is a work of no small magnitude and importance—a work requiring earnest thought and prayer no less than patient, persevering effort. A right foundation must be laid, a framework, strong and firm, erected, and then day by day the work of building, polishing, perfecting must go forward.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 107.

The physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities should be developed in order to form a properly balanced character. Children should be watched, guarded, and disciplined in order to successfully accomplish this. It requires skill and patient effort to mold the young in the right manner. Certain evil tendencies are to be carefully restrained and tenderly rebuked; the mind is to be stimulated in favor of the right. The child should be encouraged in attempting to govern self, and all this is to be done judiciously, or the purpose desired is frustrated.

Parents may well inquire: “Who is sufficient for these things?” God alone is their sufficiency, and if they leave Him out of the question, seeking not His aid and counsel, hopeless indeed is their task. But by prayer, by a study of the Bible, and by earnest zeal on their part they may succeed nobly in this important duty and be repaid a hundredfold for all their time and care…

The Bible, a volume rich in instruction, should be their textbook… Impressions made upon the minds of the young are hard to efface. How important, then, that these impressions should be of the right sort, bending the elastic faculties of youth in the right direction

The Work of Both Parents is Important

[The Lord] blesses the home of the righteous. Proverbs 3:33, N.I.V.

The Word of God should be judiciously brought to bear upon … youthful minds, and be their standard of rectitude, correcting their errors, enlightening and guiding their minds, which will be far more effectual in restraining and controlling the impulsive temperament than harsh words, which will provoke to wrath…

A sunny countenance and cheerful, encouraging words will brighten the poorest home, and be as a talisman to guard the father and the children from the many temptations that allure them from the love of home…

But the work of making home happy does not rest upon the mother alone. Fathers have an important part to act. The husband is the house-band of the home treasures, binding by his strong, earnest, devoted affection the members of the household, mother and children, together in the strongest bonds of union. It is for him to encourage, with cheerful words, the efforts of the mother in rearing her children.

The mother seldom appreciates her own work, and frequently sets so low an estimate upon her labor that she regards it as domestic drudgery. She goes through the same round day after day, week after week, with no special marked results. She cannot tell, at the close of the day, the many little things she has accomplished. Placed beside her husband’s achievement, she feels that she has done nothing worth mentioning.

The father frequently comes in with a self-satisfied air, and proudly recounts what he has accomplished during the day…She has not done much except to take care of the children, cook the meals, and keep the house in order. She has not acted the merchant, bought nor sold; she has not acted the farmer, in tilling the soil; she has not acted the mechanic—therefore she has done nothing to make her weary…

Could the veil be withdrawn, and father and mother see as God sees the work of the day, and see how His infinite eye compares the work of the one with that of the other, they would be astonished at the heavenly revelation. The father would view his labors in a more modest light, while the mother would have new courage and energy to pursue her labor with wisdom, perseverance, and patience.

Now she knows its value. While the father has been dealing with the things which must perish and pass away, the mother has been dealing with developing minds and character, working, not only for the time, but for eternity. Her work, if done faithfully in God, will be immortalized.

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Father as Priest; Mother as Teacher

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and reject not your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 1:8, R.S.V.

The love that was in the heart of Christ is to be in our hearts, that we may reveal it to those around us. We need to be daily strengthened by the deep love of God, and to let this love shine forth to those around us…

Parents, you have a church in your home, and God demands that you bring into this church the grace of heaven, which is beyond computation, and the power of heaven, which is without measure. You can have this grace and this power if you will. But you must educate yourselves in accordance with your baptismal vows. When you took these vows, you pledged yourself, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that you would live unto God, and you have no right to break this pledge. The help of the three great powers is placed at your disposal.

When in the name of Christ you ask for the grace to overcome, it will be given unto you; for the promise is “Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matthew 7:7). Yes, seek God for aid. If you are in perplexity, do not go to your neighbors. Learn to carry your troubles to God. If you seek you will find; if you knock, it shall be opened unto you. But this means faith, faith, faith. Exercise living faith in Christ…

The father is the priest and the house-band of the home. The mother is the teacher of the little ones from their babyhood, and the queen of the household. Never is she to be slighted. Never are careless, indifferent words to be spoken to her before the children. She is their teacher. In thought and word and deed, the father is to reveal the religion of Christ, that his children may see plainly that he has a knowledge of what it means to be a Christian…

In our work, we are not to strive to make an appearance. We are to look upon Christ, beholding what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. And what a joy, what a power, will be with us as we do this! It will not be merely the excitement of feeling, but a deep abiding joy. We are to present the solid truths of the Word of God, that these truths may be impressed on the hearts of the people, and that men and women may be led to walk in the footsteps of the Redeemer…

I pray that your eyes may be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, that you may discern what is truth and what is error. We need to put on the white garments of Christ’s righteousness. We need to walk and talk with God.

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The Contrast Between John And Judas

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He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12.

During the years of his close association with Christ, he [John] was often warned and cautioned by the Saviour; and these reproofs he accepted. As the character of the Divine One was manifested to him, John saw his own deficiencies, and was humbled by the revelation. Day by day, in contrast with his own violent spirit, he beheld the tenderness and forbearance of Jesus, and heard His lessons of humility and patience. Day by day his heart was drawn out to Christ, until he lost sight of self in love for his Master. The power and tenderness, the majesty and meekness, the strength and patience, that he saw in the daily life of the Son of God, filled his soul with admiration. He yielded his resentful, ambitious temper to the molding power of Christ, and divine love wrought in him a transformation of character.

In striking contrast to the sanctification worked out in the life of John is the experience of his fellow disciple, Judas. Like his associate, Judas professed to be a disciple of Christ, but he possessed only a form of godliness. He was not insensible to the beauty of the character of Christ; and often, as he listened to the Saviour’s words, conviction came to him, but he would not humble his heart or confess his sins….

John warred earnestly against his faults; but Judas violated his conscience and yielded to temptation, fastening upon himself more securely his habits of evil. The practice of the truths that Christ taught was at variance with his desires and purposes, and he could not bring himself to yield his ideas in order to receive wisdom from heaven. Instead of walking in the light, he chose to walk in darkness. Evil desires, covetousness, revengeful passions, dark and sullen thoughts, were cherished until Satan gained full control of him.

John and Judas are representatives of those who profess to be Christ’s followers. Both these disciples had the same opportunities to study and follow the divine Pattern…. Each possessed serious defects of character; and each had access to the divine grace that transforms character. But while one in humility was learning of Jesus, the other revealed that he was not a doer of the word, but a hearer only. One, daily dying to self and overcoming sin, was sanctified through the truth; the other, resisting the transforming power of grace and indulging selfish desires, was brought into bondage to Satan….

There may be marked defects in the character of an individual, yet when he becomes a true disciple of Christ, the power of divine grace transforms and sanctifies him.

Love Was That Of A Repentant Sinner

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Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1 John 4:7.

The apostle John was distinguished above his brethren as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” While not in the slightest degree cowardly, weak, or vacillating in character, he possessed an amiable disposition and a warm, loving heart. He seemed to have enjoyed, in a preeminent sense, the friendship of Christ, and he received many tokens of the Saviour’s confidence and love. He was one of the three permitted to witness Christ’s glory upon the mount of transfiguration and His agony in Gethsemane; and to the care of John our Lord confided His mother in those last hours of anguish upon the cross.

The Saviour’s affection for the beloved disciple was returned with all the strength of ardent devotion. John clung to Christ as the vine clings to the stately pillar. For his Master’s sake he braved the dangers of the judgment hall and lingered about the cross; and at the tidings that Christ had risen, he hastened to the sepulcher, in his zeal outstripping even the impetuous Peter.

John’s love for his Master was not a mere human friendship, but it was the love of a repentant sinner, who felt that he had been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. He esteemed it the highest honor to work and suffer in the service of his Lord. His love for Jesus led him to love all for whom Christ died. His religion was of a practical character. He reasoned that love to God would be manifested in love to His children. “We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John 4:19, 20). The apostle’s life was in harmony with his teachings.

The love which glowed in his heart for Christ, led him to put forth the most earnest, untiring labor for his fellow men, especially for his brethren in the Christian church….

John desired to become like Jesus, and under the transforming influence of the love of Christ, he became meek and lowly of heart. Self was hid in Jesus. He was closely united to the Living Vine, and thus became a partaker of the divine nature. Such will ever be the result of communion with Christ. This is true sanctification.

The Truly Sanctified Feel Unworthy

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We do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies. Daniel 9:18.

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 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” (chap. 9:18, 15)….

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)….

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.” … 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?

In The Presence Of The Infinite

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Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Daniel 3:25.

The fiery furnace had been heated seven times more than it was wont, and into it were cast the Hebrew exiles. So furious were the flames, that the men who cast them in were burned to death.

Suddenly the countenance of the king paled with terror. His eyes were fixed upon the glowing flames, and turning to his lords, he said, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” (Daniel 3:4). The answer was, “True, O king.” And now the monarch exclaimed, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (verse 25).

When Christ manifests Himself to the children of men, an unseen power speaks to their souls. They feel themselves to be in the presence of the Infinite One. Before His majesty, kings and nobles tremble, and acknowledge that the living God is above every earthly power.

With feelings of remorse and shame, the king exclaimed, “Ye servants of the most high God, come forth” (verse 26). And they obeyed, showing themselves unhurt before that vast multitude, not even the smell of the fire being upon their garments. This miracle produced a striking change in the minds of the people. The great golden image, set up with such display, was forgotten. The king published a decree that anyone speaking against the God of these men should be put to death, “because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort” (verse 29).

These three Hebrews possessed genuine sanctification. True Christian principle will not stop to weigh the consequences. It does not ask, What will people think of me if I do this? or, How will it affect my worldly prospects if I do that? With the most intense longing the children of God desire to know what He would have them do, that their works may glorify Him. The Lord has made ample provision that the hearts and lives of all His followers may be controlled by divine grace, that they may be as burning and shining lights in the world.

These faithful Hebrews possessed great natural ability, they had enjoyed the highest intellectual culture, and now occupied a position of honor; but all this did not lead them to forget God. Their powers were yielded to the sanctifying influence of divine grace. By their steadfast integrity they showed forth the praises of Him who had called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Daniel Stands Firm Whatever The Result, An Example

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Then the king ordered Ashpenaz … to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility—young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. Daniel 1:3, 4, N.I.V.

The prophet Daniel was an illustrious character. He was a bright example of what men may become when united with the God of wisdom. A brief account of the life of this holy man of God is left on record for the encouragement of those who should afterward be called to endure trial and temptation.

When the people of Israel, their king, nobles, and priests were carried into captivity, four of their number were selected to serve in the court of the king of Babylon. One of these was Daniel, who early gave promise of the remarkable ability developed in later years. These youth were all of princely birth, and are described as “children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them” (Daniel 1:4).

Perceiving the superior talents of these youthful captives, King Nebuchadnezzar determined to prepare them to fill important positions in his kingdom. That they might be fully qualified for their life at court, according to Oriental custom, they were to be taught the language of the Chaldeans, and to be subjected for three years to a thorough course of physical and intellectual discipline.

The youth in this school of training were not only to be admitted to the royal palace, but it was provided that they should eat of the meat and drink of the wine which came from the king’s table….

Among the viands placed before the king were swine’s flesh and other meats which were declared unclean by the law of Moses, and which the Hebrews had been expressly forbidden to eat. Here Daniel was brought to a severe test. Should he adhere to the teachings of his fathers concerning meats and drinks, and offend the king, and probably lose not only his position but his life? or should he disregard the commandment of the Lord and retain the favor of the king, thus securing great intellectual advantages and the most flattering worldly prospects?

Daniel did not long hesitate. He decided to stand firm in his integrity, let the result be what it might. He “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank” (verse 8)…. He made God his strength, and the fear of God was continually before him in all the transactions of his life.

Sanctification Embraces The Entire Being

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And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

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.” 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.

Peter says: “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, longsuffering, 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…. 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.

Testing Time Reveals Faith And Love

The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. 2 Timothy 2:19.

Self-denial, self-sacrifice, benevolence, kindness, love, patience, fortitude, and Christian trust are the daily fruits borne by those who are truly connected with God. Their acts may not be published to the world, but they themselves are daily wrestling with evil, and gaining precious victories over temptation and wrong. Solemn vows are renewed, and kept through the strength gained by earnest prayer and constant watching thereunto.

The ardent enthusiast does not discern the struggles of these silent workers; but the eye of Him who seeth the secrets of the heart notices and regards with approval every effort put forth in lowliness and meekness. It requires the testing time to reveal the pure gold of love and faith in the character. When trials and perplexities come upon the church, then the steadfast zeal and warm affections of Christ’s true followers are developed….

The humble in heart, who have daily felt the importance of riveting their souls to the eternal Rock, will stand unmoved amid the tempests of trial, because they trusted not to themselves….

A healthy man, who is able to attend to the vocations of life and goes forth day after day to his labor with buoyant spirits and with a healthy current of blood flowing through his veins, does not call the attention of everyone he meets to his soundness of body. Health and vigor are the natural conditions of his life, and therefore he is scarcely conscious that he is in the enjoyment of so rich a boon.

Thus it is with the truly righteous man. He is unconscious of his goodness and piety. Religious principle has become the spring of his life and conduct, and it is just as natural for him to bear the fruits of the Spirit as for the fig tree to bear figs or for the rosebush to yield roses. His nature is so thoroughly imbued with love for God and his fellow men that he works the works of Christ with a willing heart.

All who come within the sphere of his influence perceive the beauty and fragrance of his Christian life, while he himself is unconscious of it, for it is in harmony with his habits and inclinations. He prays for divine light, and loves to walk in that light. It is his meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father. His life is hid with Christ in God.

More Attention To “The Faith Of Jesus”

Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16.

Many people seem to be ignorant of what constitutes faith. Many complain of darkness and discouragements. I asked, Are your faces turned toward Jesus? Are you beholding Him, the Sun of Righteousness? You need plainly to define to the churches the matter of faith and entire dependence upon the righteousness of Christ…. There has been so little dwelling upon Christ, His matchless love, His great sacrifice made in our behalf, that Satan has nearly eclipsed the views we should have and must have of Jesus Christ. We must trust less in human beings for spiritual help and more, far more, in approaching Jesus Christ as our Redeemer.

We may dwell with a determined purpose on the heavenly attributes of Jesus Christ; we may talk of His love, we may tell and sing of His mercies, we may make Him our own personal Saviour. Then we are one with Christ. We love that which Christ loved, we hate sin, that which Christ hated. These things must be talked of, dwelt upon….

We are to keep before the mind the sin-pardoning Saviour. But we are to present Him in His true position—coming to die to magnify the law of God and make it honorable, and yet to justify the sinner who shall depend wholly upon the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour….

The soul-saving message, the third angel’s message, is the message to be given to the world. The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are both important, immensely important, and must be given with equal force and power. The first part of the message has been dwelt upon mostly, the last part casually. The faith of Jesus is not comprehended. We must talk it, we must live it, we must pray it, and educate the people to bring this part of the message into their home life….

Why are our lips so silent upon the subject of Christ’s righteousness and His love for the world? Why do we not give to the people that which will revive and quicken them into a new life? The apostle Paul is filled with transport and adoration as he declares, “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”…

The character of Christ is an infinitely perfect character, and He must be lifted up, He must be brought prominently into view, for He is the power, the might, the sanctification and righteousness of all who believe in Him