Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. . . . You must be born anew. John 3:5-7, R.S.V.
He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. . . .
A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. . . . Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion; but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God,–a patient, protracted process.
While the wind is itself invisible, it produces effects that are seen and felt. So the work of the Spirit upon the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven. No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God.
It is impossible for finite minds to comprehend the work of redemption. Its mystery exceeds human knowledge; yet he who passes from death to life realizes that it is a divine reality. The beginning of redemption we may know here through a personal experience. Its results reach through the eternal ages.
Maranatha p. 70
—– I have been asked to send out a special prayer request for the Mission to the cities program planned for Iceland. There are always problems around God’s work. Please pray! Unnur
—–Jodie will be seeing a specialist as her doctor is very concerned about her blood test results. Jodie is in her mid 20s and a number of other health challenges, including depression, so prayers are needed! Marilene
—– Nancy is in the ICU of _____ Medical Center. They put her in an induced coma to intubate her. Her lungs are full of fluid, and she can’t breathe on her own. Charissa is already down there. The other kids are on their way. Michelle lives in NewYork. Don’t know she will do. Please pray for her. Marilyn
—–Please pray for John who was bitten on the hand by a cat and now has a really bad infection in both the skin and joints of his wrist. Rose
—–Please pray for D who has a very important test today. L
Even before Ron and I had children, we determined that if at all possible, we would not take them to a babysitter. We were very serious about bringing “them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Eph 6:4 Throughout the years, we found that there were times when we had to let someone else watch our children, but for the most part, we “juggled” our schedules in such a way that one of us was home to train up our children in the way that they should go. (Prov 22:6)
Sometimes the jobs I had to do were not to my liking, but I was determined to do what was best for my children. One such job was at a fast food restaurant where I worked from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM. Working nights was hard for me. The only sleep I got was when they took a nap or after Ron got home in the evening but felt it was worth being home with my children during the day.
At work, I did all of the baking, sliced the vegetables, and had various other duties some of which I found most unpleasant. One of the least favorite part of my job was using the large slicing machine. I was afraid of the whirling blade. I have never been very coordinated, and I was afraid that my fingers as well and the food might get sliced. The onions posed the greatest danger. They were very strong and would always sting my eyes so badly, that tears would course down my cheeks and I could not keep my eyes open no matter how hard I tried. Running a slicing machine with closed eyes is very dangerous.
When I told Ron about my problem, he suggested that I take his skin diving mask to work and use it when slicing those strong onions. That worked very well! I looked ridiculous, and if I walked by the kitchen door, the customers stared, but I didn’t care. At least the fumes from the onions didn’t bother me any more and I could keep my fingers intact.
Just as that mask protected my eyes from the fumes of those strong smelling onions, so our Loving Redeemer has provided us with a protection from the onslaughts of the enemy. He provides us with “the whole armour of God, that [we] 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 armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph 6:11-17
Let us reach out and put on that armour. Let us “be sober [and] vigilant; because [our] adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8,9 Let us diligently resist the evil one; for we have the promise that if we do, he will flee from us. (James 4:7)