As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:19.
Because man fallen could not overcome Satan with his human strength, Christ came from the royal courts of heaven to help him with His human and divine strength combined. Christ knew that Adam in Eden, with his superior advantages, might have withstood the temptations of Satan, and conquered him. He also knew that it was not possible for man, out of Eden, separated from the light and love of God since the Fall, to resist the temptations of Satan in his own strength. In order to bring hope to man, and save him from complete ruin, He humbled Himself to take man’s nature, that, with His divine power combined with the human, He might reach man where he is. He obtains for the fallen sons and daughters of Adam that strength which it is impossible for them to gain for themselves, that in His name they may overcome the temptations of Satan. . . .
Adam and Eve in Eden were placed under most favorable circumstances. . . . They were without the condemnation of sin. . . . The Author of their existence was their teacher. But they fell beneath the power and temptations of the artful foe. Four thousand years had Satan been at work against the government of God, and he had obtained strength and experience from determined practice. Fallen men had not the advantages of Adam in Eden. They had been separating from God for four thousand years. The wisdom to understand, and power to resist, the temptations of Satan had become less and less, until Satan seemed to reign triumphant in the earth. Appetite and passion, the love of the world and presumptuous sins, were the great branches of evil out of which every species of . . . corruption grew.
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–character–of Christ, will be received into the Paradise of God.
Everyone who by faith obeys God’s commandments, will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression.
Maranatha p. 224
——D has a big decision to make. Please pray that God will lead. L
Mrs. Caswell lived next door to my grandparents. My grandmother avoided the woman and called her a recluse because she rarely ventured out of her house and was quite antisocial. Her house looked deserted, but sometimes I would see her face in the window watching me play on our side porch. I would smile and wave and she would wave back solemnly. She rarely came out of her house unless the boys, that played baseball in the large vacant lot behind my grandparents’ house, accidentally hit the ball into her yard. She would pop out of her house and yell at them, pick up the ball, and keep it. They all hated her and made fun of her, but I thought she was nice.
For some reason, Mrs. Caswell liked me. She let my friend Janie and me play in her large yard. Sometimes she would even come outside and talk to us. She had a beautiful flower garden along the back fence and she would tell interesting stories about the flowers and smile and laugh. In the winter, she would show us how we could eat the inside of the hollyhock stems and the three of us would munch away on the dry pithy center that tasted like unbuttered, unsalted popcorn. I don’t think she was reclusive at all. She was just lonely.
She had two houses, one behind the other. She lived in the small, black stucco house by the street, but in the back of her double lot was a large white wooden house with a wide porch across the front. That house fascinated me. She let me play on that beautiful porch, but never let me go inside that vacant house. Often I would peer into the dirty windows and see the array of furniture that was stuffed inside that empty house. I would wonder why she kept it and who these antiques had belonged to. Had they been hers when she was young and had a large family? Had they been her mother’s and she could not bring herself to part with any of it? I never knew. However, even as a child, it seemed a shame for her to have two houses stuffed full of things that were not being used, when there were so many people all around who did not have even the bare necessities. Both houses are gone now along with the contents, so what good did it do to keep them to herself?
The One Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps 50:10) once told a parable illustrating our natural tendency to hoard blessings rather than be a channel of blessings to others. “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-20
How easy it is to place our affections upon the things of this world. How often we wish that we could be rich, so we could do what we want when we want, buy whatever we want, live in a beautiful home in the mountains or at the beach. Our affections are not to be placed on worldly riches. Our desires are not to be wrapped up on enjoying our short existence on this sinful sinful planet. We, as did Abraham, are to sojourn here as if we were “in a strange country,” looking “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Heb 11:9, 10 That is where our real treasure is. That is where our heart should be. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matt 6:19-21 John advises, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:15-17
How important that we daily dedicate ourselves and all that we possess to our Dear Saviour. How vital to our present and future happiness that we allow Him to use us in any way that He sees fit— going where He leads, sharing His love with those around us, speaking His words, being a channel of blessing to others in every way. Jesus promises, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” Matt 25:31-40 Their motives were right. They did these kindnesses without thought of reward. They lived a life of service because they had let the love of Jesus flow through them.
May we, too, share with others both the material and spiritual blessings that we daily receive from our Great Creator. May we look away from the pleasures and possessions of this world and keep our eyes focused on the One Who left all the glories of Heaven and gave His life for us that we might be with Him in His Heavenly Home. (John 3:16; 14:1-3)