Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4.
The great apostle Paul was firm where duty and principle were at stake; but courtesy was a marked trait of his character, and this gave him access to the highest class of society. Paul never doubted the ability of God or His willingness to give him the grace he needed to live the life of a Christian…. He does not live under a cloud of doubt, groping his way in the mist and darkness of uncertainty, complaining of hardship and trials. A voice of gladness, strong with hope and courage, sounds all along the line down to our time. Paul had a healthful religious experience. The love of Christ was his grand theme, and the constraining power that governed him.
When in the most discouraging circumstances, which would have had a depressing influence upon half-way Christians, he is firm of heart, full of courage and hope and cheer…. The same hope and cheerfulness is seen when he is upon the deck of the ship, the tempest beating about him, the ship going to pieces. He gives orders to the commander of the ship and preserves the lives of all on board. Although a prisoner, he is really the master of the ship, the freest and happiest man on board….
When before kings and dignitaries of the earth, who held his life in their hands, he quailed not; for he had given his life to God, and it was hid in Christ. He softened, by his courtesy, the hearts of these men in power, men of fierce temper, wicked and corrupt though they were in heart and life…. Propriety of deportment, the grace of true politeness, marked all his conduct. When he stretched out his hand, as was his custom in speaking, the clanking chains caused him no shame or embarrassment. He looked upon them as tokens of honor, and rejoiced that he could suffer for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ…. His reasoning was so clear and convincing that it made the profligate king tremble…. Grace, like an angel of mercy, makes his voice heard sweet and clear, repeating the story of the cross, the matchless love of Jesus.
Conflict and Courage p. 352
—–My son needs God’s guidance. Pray for him. L
—–My husband has been trying to turn our son against the Adventist church. He tells
him that Ellen White is a false prophet and that our church is dead. As a result
of this, I have fallen out of love with him. I am miserable and depressed and I can’t
bear the thought of spending the next 20-40 years of my life with him. I want
out but I have no Biblical basis for divorce. I am asking for God’s mighty
intervention! I know He has a thousand ways to solve this problem of which
I know none. May God’s will be done. Anonymous
—–Please pray for Andrew who is having hip replacement surgery. Rose
—–Please pray for my friend Richard and his girlfriend Karla. Richard has been studying for baptism and they are both stopping smoking today! They need lots of prayers and support. Patti
We always like to watch nature videos. One day, some years ago, we watched an interesting program on parasitic worms. Besides being creepy and revolting, I must admit the program was interesting. As I was watching, a Bible story came to mind. “And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon : but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king’s country. And upon a set day Herod , arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” Acts 12:20-24
Herod was not ignorant of the truth but had deliberately set himself against Christianity. He had had ample opportunity to give his heart to God, but he was full of pride and sinfulness. How much he enjoyed the people’s worship as they proclaimed that he was not a mortal man, but a god. Indeed, Herod must have begun to think of himself as someone better than anyone else, someone worthy of worship. As he drew himself up to his full height in the glory of the moment, a sudden overwhelming pain coupled with a black fear swept over him. The parasitic worms, that had peacefully inhabited his body for years, suddenly became his attackers. Under the hand of the destroying angel, those tiny creatures changed their eating habits. Instead of eating whatever Herod ate, they ate Herod. What agony He felt! What a horrible death! Yet he did not turn to God in repentance. He had given the followers of God’s Son no mercy, and he expected no mercy from God.
Cherished sin is like those worms. How often we allow that “darling sin” a place within our hearts. We nourish it, enjoy it, cherish it and it continues to grow and strengthen until it takes over our lives and neutralizes any good within us. Even when we realize that we must give up that which separates us from our Loving Redeemer, we attempt to rationalize our actions. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jer 17:9,10 We become trapped by the enemy, chained by the cords of our iniquities. “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” Prov5:22,23
Paul urges us, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God.” Rom 6:12 ,13 Our Great Redeemer pleads, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die.” Eze 33:11 “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.” Isa 1:18 “Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. ” Joel 2:12,13
Our Dear Saviour loves us “with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness” He draws us to Himself. Praise God! He has provided the way of escape for us! “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.” I Cor 10:13 He is the “way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 He “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever.” Gal 1:4,5
May we open our heart’s door to our Wonderful Redeemer! May we allow Him to cleanse us from all sin, even the sin we cherish the most. May we serve the Lord Jesus Christ with our whole heart every moment of every day is my prayer.