Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29.
John had by nature the faults and weaknesses common to humanity; but the touch of divine love had transformed him. When, after Christ’s ministry began, the disciples of John came to him with the complaint that all men were following the new Teacher, John showed how clearly he understood his relation to the Messiah, and how gladly he welcomed the One for whom he had prepared the way.
“A man can receive nothing,” he said, “except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. . . . This my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:27-30.
Looking in faith to the Redeemer, John had risen to the height of self-abnegation. He sought not to attract men to himself, but to lift their thoughts higher and still higher, until they should rest upon the Lamb of God. He himself had been only a voice, a cry in the wilderness. Now with joy he accepted silence and obscurity, that the eyes of all might be turned to the Light of life.
Those who are true to their calling as messengers for God will not seek honor for themselves. Love for self will be swallowed up in love for Christ. They will recognize that it is their work to proclaim, as did John the Baptist: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. They will lift up Jesus, and with Him humanity will be lifted up. . . .
The soul of the prophet, emptied of self, was filled with the light of the Divine. . . . He bore witness to the Saviour’s glory. . . . In this glory of Christ, all His followers are to share. . . . We can receive of heaven’s light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. We can discern the character of God, and accept Christ by faith, only as we consent to the bringing into captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. To all who do this, the Holy Spirit is given without measure. In Christ “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him.” Colossians 2:9, 10.
Maranatha p. 117
—–A has a job interview in another state today. Please pray for travelling mercies and for success. L
—– Please pray for my upcoming trip on Monday. Weather, customs, luggage and that I can get an aisle seat—that has been a challenge…Pray there will be no delays and no snow in Chicago so I can get to South Bend by 11PM…..Also pray ….I speak Friday night to a large group of youth in Cluj and on Sabbath speak 3 times for their large church….Their focus is on Missions and that God will give me the right words and thoughts to encourage them. Also Daniel sees his Dr. again today and they need to set a surgery date…may God’s will be done. Thanks, Carol
Some years ago, Ronnie Jay and Eileen went camping with the Pathfinders. Ronnie Jay was one of the counselors and asked his sister to go along. The first night and next morning they had heavy rains.
That Sunday there was a planned canoe and rafting trip down the river which was now way above flood stage. The bulging river flowed swiftly, but they were able to go anyway. Ronnie Jay went on the raft, but Eileen wanted to canoe. The other person in the canoe had never been in one before. Eileen sat in the back in order to be able to steer, and off they went.
Since the other person was inexperienced, she was not paddling correctly. Eileen had to compensate for every paddle stroke. She told me she was glad that years before when her father taught her how to canoe, he had paddled in such a way that was very frustrating to her. It seemed to her that he was really working against her: he was. She learned to overcome his odd paddling and steer a canoe correctly. That had been his purpose. She now knew that even though he had appeared to be working against her, he was really helping her to become the type of canoeist that he wanted her to be.
It is that way in life. Often it seems like everything is going wrong. We fight against our circumstances, but God is over all helping us to become the kind of person that He longs for us to be. He is using these very unpleasant circumstances to help us to become stronger Christians, to help us stay on His pathway, to help us to rely upon His strength. “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.” Deut. 8:5,6 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Heb 12:11
Yet, even in the troubles He allows to come upon us, He mingles His great mercy. He loves us with an everlasting love and draws us ever closer to Himself. “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy….He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” Ps 103:8-14
May the trials that come our way strengthen us and help us to overcome the sins that so easily beset us. May we look to our great and merciful Saviour and find grace to help in time of need. May these trials and heartaches that we experience now, keep us close to the One Who loves us so.