For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations. Isaiah 61:11.
The living oracles of God, “It is written,” are the leaves of the tree of life, which human beings are to eat in order to gain spiritual life. As we eat the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, they become unto us eternal life. “The words that I speak unto you,” He said, “they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). The restoring, vital current from Christ heals the wounds that sin has made.
“What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear; What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer.”
Whatever course others pursue, we are individually to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Why?–Because it is God that worketh in us, to will and to do of His good pleasure. Yes, for His own name’s glory, He works upon the minds and hearts of human beings, who are of great value in His sight, if they will allow Him to work.
When man fell, God commenced to work to defeat the plans of Satan. God works in man. “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). In the beginning the Lord enjoined upon man the cultivation of the earth. This work was made much harder because of the transgression of the law of God. By transgressing, man worked against his own present and eternal good. The earth was cursed because through disobedience man gave Satan opportunity to sow in the human heart the seeds of evil. The ground that in the beginning produced only good began to produce tares, and their growth called for continual warfare.
The cultivation of the soil is a school in which man may learn spiritual lessons. As he cultivates the soil, man is to see reflected as in a mirror the work of God upon the human soul. Divine culture brings perfection. If in connection with God the work is carried forward, the human agent, through Christ, will day by day gain victory and honor in the battle. Through the grace given, he will overcome, and will be placed on vantage ground.–Letter 5, Jan. 4, 1900, to Brother Colcord.
This Day With God p. 12
—–update— JD is presently in the recovery room following a two-hour surgery done by a radiologist/urologist assisted by ultrasound/ct scan capabilities. This surgery was to insert a tube (catheter) into his kidney. They had a hard time putting the tube in as the big stone was blocking. They succeeded in doing it at an angle and positioned to have a better blasting ability for the next procedure (not yet scheduled). So the surgery was successful. Praise God! JD should be discharged by early evening and will return home until he has to return for the next surgery/procedure. Obviously it won’t be fun dealing with a “bag” in the days to come but the next surgery should be scheduled soon. . . . Thanks for your continued prayers. JD is doing a magnificent job handling all this. We know it is only due to the caring prayers on his behalf. Harryette
—–update—I certainly have prayed over each Dr.appt and all the decisions ever since I found this new breast lump….not surewhy so much delay, but seems as if God has led each step of the way and am very happy with my Dr. Yesterday spent the day seeing Drs. having more tests, and making final decisions with my Dr. who is booked so far ahead, that March 31 is the soonest we can go ahead with the surgery. With a special Scan yesterday they found a Satellite tumor and a lymph gland that is probably involved. God is on the throne, and I am still depending on him. I know no other way. Praying to get thru this and able to get back to __ by May 1 to take care of Brooke while Doreen goes with her mom to _____, for her mom’s sister who also has cancer. Please also keep her in prayer. Thanks for all your prayers, Carol
—– Surgery #1 this morning at 7:00 am — thank you for the prayers. Yolande
—– My brother-in-law, Joe, got to come home from the hospital today. His pneumonia is better enough to be home but still needs prayers to get clear of it and for his stage 4 cancer still giving him grief, although he has a pretty positive attitude. Prayers do help a lot so if you would like to, please keep him in your prayers. Carol
When my mother and her sister, Joyce, were young, they loved to ride the bus across town to visit their Auntie Blanche. After her husband died, her daughter and son-in-law made an upstairs apartment for her in the old Victorian style house where they lived. Auntie Blanche always had some special treat for them to enjoy.
One particular day, when they were teenagers, they accompanied their mother when she went to visit her sister. After visiting for awhile and eating many of Auntie Blanche’s delicious cookies that she always had in her cookie jar, my mother grew restless. It seemed to her that her mother was going to talk forever. She wandered over to the front window and looked outside. She was very careful to avoid the cactus plants that were lined up on the window sill. A few houses away, she saw the postman delivering the mail. My mother thought he was so cute. She wanted to meet him so badly. Maybe she could just happen to be standing in the doorway as he brought letters to her aunt. Maybe he would smile at her or even say “Hi”. Maybe….
Then my mother went over to Joyce and whispered about the postman in her ear. Joyce jumped up and ran to the window. She couldn’t see him as he was on someone’s porch putting letters in the mailbox. Joyce asked, “Where?” a little too loudly, knelt down, and leaned over to get a better look. She was so excited, that she forgot all about those cactus plants on the window sill. Suddenly she let out such a cry of shock and pain that the postman looked up at the two girls. Poor Joyce had accidently touched her upper lip on one of those cactus plants and received a very prickery moustache. Seeing what had happened, he smiled a little too knowingly.
My mother was given the job of pulling out all of those little cactus prickers with a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass. For the next hour or two she pulled out those offending stickers out of her howling sister. Every time she thought that she had them all, she would find another one. It was an experience that neither girl would ever forget.
Just as Joyce, in a moment of carelessness, was “stung” by the spines of the cactus, so we, in a moment of weakness, let down our guard and fall into sin and soon find that we are “stung” by our sins, caught in the devil’s trap. We struggle but cannot get free. The evil one, who “walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” has us in his grasp. 1 Peter 5:8 Before we realize it, we are in the condition that Isaiah describes. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” Isa 64:6;1:5,6
How much we need a Strong Deliverer! How much we need His cleansing power! How much we need Him to pull out those cactus spines of sin. Our Great Creator longs to do just that, but He will not force His help upon us. He is “Mighty to save, but we must ask Him to save us.” Isa 63:1 He will recreate us into His image if we will allow Him to take control of our life. He pleads with us as He did Israel of old, “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 “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
John tells us, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 Our Dear Saviour assures us, “I will forgive [your] iniquity, and I will remember [your] sin no more.” “And I will cleanse [you] from all [your] iniquity, whereby [you] have sinned against me; and I will pardon all [your] iniquities, whereby [you] have sinned, and whereby [you] have transgressed against me.” Jer 31:34; 34:8 Wonderful Saviour! Precious are His promises!
May we pray as did David, “Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.” Ps 86:5-7 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” 51:10-12