Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. Isaiah 60:1, 2.
The church has been appointed as the medium through which divine light is to shine into the moral darkness of this world, and the peace-giving beams of the Sun of righteousness fall upon the hearts of men. Personal labor with individuals and with families constitutes a part of the work to be done in God’s moral vineyard. The meekness, the patience, the forbearance, the love of Christ must be revealed in the homes of the land. The church must arise and shine. Radiant with the Spirit and power of the truth, the people of God must go forth to a world lying in darkness, to make manifest the light of the glory of God. God has given to men noble powers of mind to be employed to His honor; and in the missionary work these powers of mind are called into active exercise. Wise improvement and development of the gifts of God will be seen in His servants. Day by day there will be growth in the knowledge of Christ.
He who once spake as never man spake, who wore the garb of humanity, is still the Great Teacher. As you follow in His footsteps, seeking the lost, angels will draw near, and through the illumination of the Spirit of God, greater knowledge will be obtained as to the best ways and means for accomplishing the work committed to your hands….
Those who should have been the light of the world have shed forth but feeble and sickly beams. What is light? It is piety, goodness, truth, mercy, love; it is the revealing of the truth in the character and life. The gospel is dependent on the personal piety of its believers for its aggressive power, and God has made provision through the death of His beloved Son, that every soul may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Every soul is to be a bright and shining light, showing forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.—The Review and Herald, March 24, 1891.
Ye Shall Receive Power p. 152
—-Please pray for a mother and daughter who both have tumors. Pray that they are benign. Buck
—-Please pray for the wife of an old friend of mine. She’s been having seizures and possibly had a stroke. She was just moved TO ICU. Her name is Theresa. Mary
Like all children do at one time or another, one day I decided to run away from home. I don’t remember why, but in my childish mind, I felt justified. I stood by the door announcing my intentions loudly to anyone who would listen. No one seemed to notice. No one seemed to care. I opened the front door, walked down the steps, walked past the tiny building where Mrs. Perry had her dry cleaning shop. As I did so, I began to think about what I was doing. Maybe running away wasn’t such a good idea, yet I stubbornly continued to walk down the sidewalk past Mrs. Caswell’s house, past Freddie’s house, past a few houses of people whom I did not know. What should I do next? Where should I go? I wasn’t allowed to cross the street by myself. Although I was walking very slowly, I soon found myself almost to the end of the long block.
I hesitated, hoping that Bonnie would come out of her house that sat back a ways from the street. Maybe she would ask her mother to take me in. Should I cross the street and walk another block to Van Avery’s Drug Store? Mrs. Van Avery was always kind to me. Maybe I could be her little girl.
As I pondered my decision, I caught a slight movement out of the corner of my eye. It was then that I got a glimpse of someone hiding behind a tree. A finger of fear crept up my spine. Was it a kidnapper? My grandfather had warned me about kidnappers. I began to be frightened. I wanted my mommy! I wanted to go home! Just then a face peered out from behind the tree. To my relief, it was my mother! All thoughts of rebellion were gone. I ran to her and hugged her. She did not scold me as we walked home together. We just talked together as if nothing had happened.
Sometimes we in our rebellion, wander far from our Heavenly Father, but we really cannot get away from His presence. Sometimes we go about our careless, self-centered way and neglect to commune with Him or to read His Word, but He does not forsake us. He is always near, yearning for our love, bringing us into situations so we may feel our need of Him and come running back to His outstretched arms. When we run away from Him, our life becomes tangled and knotted and full of trials and heartaches, disappointments and broken dreams. Those fiery trials we must endure are the result of the wrong decisions that we have made, but He does not forsake us. He is always watching, waiting, longing for us to realized our great need of Him.
Jesus told a parable that illustrates this. “A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” Luke 15:11-24 May we, if we have strayed away in any way, return to our Loving Heavenly Father that we may receive the forgiveness we so much need and bring joy to the Heart of God.