For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14.
Whoever sees the repulsive character of sin, and in strength from above resists temptation, will assuredly arouse the wrath of Satan.
The same spirit that in ages past led men to persecute the true church, will in the future lead to the pursuance of a similar course toward those who maintain their loyalty to God….
The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews. Today the enemies of the true church see in the little company keeping the Sabbath commandment, a Mordecai at the gate….
Satan will arouse indignation against the minority who refuse to accept popular customs and traditions…. Persecuting rulers, ministers, and church members will conspire against them. With voice and pen, by boasts, threats, and ridicule, they will seek to overthrow their faith…. Not having a “Thus saith the Scriptures” to bring against the advocates of the Bible Sabbath, they will resort to oppressive enactments to supply the lack. To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for Sunday laws. But those who fear God cannot accept an institution that violates a precept of the Decalogue. On this battlefield will be fought the last great conflict in the controversy between truth and error.
The words of Mordecai to Esther may apply to the men and youth of today: “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
The Faith I Live By p. 311
—-Please pray for my little 9 year old granddaughter Emily. They just called me and I talked to her and she was crying so hard saying that there were demons in her head that were scaring her really bad. She has had a problem lately of hearing voices in her head but I thought it had quit because I put her on the worldwide prayer group several weeks ago. Please she really loves Jesus and needs help. Her mom used to play with witchcraft but I don’t know if she is still doing it or not. And it goes back to my great grandmother who was into devil worship. I think that’s why this is happening. Connie
—-Please pray for my mother, Kitty, who has cancer and is on hospice. Brian
—-Please pray for Sharon who lost her husband this morning. Rose
—-Please pray for the prayer requests from prayer meeting last evening: Brenda’s brother-in-law, Susanna’s desire for Christian education, various Bible study contacts, Ann’s foot to heal, school teacher for our church school. Rose
Because my grandparents had no telephone, visitors would stop by without notice. On one such day, my grandmother had just finished her housework and was walking over to her black, flowered rocking chair, when she saw a movement out of the corner of her eye. It was her friend, Cora, coming up the sidewalk. Cora lived on the other side of town and rarely visited. It was a long bus ride and then a two-block walk and this was a chore for Cora who was elderly and full of arthritis.
Instead of realizing the sacrifice Cora was making to visit her and being happy to see her friend, my grandmother thought only of the novel that she was looking forward to reading. She loved these storybooks that took her far away from the routine of her daily life. These books did her no good spiritually. They filled her mind with discontent and gave her a very negative attitude about everything. In fact, she rarely seemed happy unless she was immersed in one of these love stories. She imagined her life a burden and chore because her life was not exciting like the characters in those books she was reading. How much precious time was wasted that should have been spent drawing closer to Jesus or teaching me about Him.
Now, Cora was spoiling her plans. All the way to the door, she grumbled loudly, “Why did she have to come? I don’t want to see her. She always stays too long and talks too much.” Once grandma got to the door, however, the scowl on her face turned to a smile. She opened the door, saying, “Why, Cora dear, how nice of you to come. I’m so happy to see you! Come, sit down, so we can visit.”
I stared at my grandmother in disbelief. I had seen the scowl and heard her grumbling. Now she seemed to be a changed woman, but I knew how she really felt inside. Though I was no more than seven or eight, I was repulsed by her falseness. I determined that I would never be “two-faced.”
How often we greet our Heavenly Guest with the same falseness that my grandmother had for Cora. How often we cherish some little pleasure, some little sin, that takes away our desire to spend time with Him through Bible study, meditation upon His life, and prayer. We may declare that we love Him, but our heart is full of the love of this world.
God proclaimed of His people of old, “Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty.” Hosea 10:2 Jesus sadly proclaimed, “Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Mark 7:6 “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Luke16:13
Jeremiah tells us, “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 cannot hide our thoughts from our Great Creator. He knows our works, our desires, our inmost secrets. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knows if we really long to have close fellowship with Himself or if we are just putting on a false front.
Yet so often we try to hide our real self from Him. Our honoring Him with our words, while in our heart we are serving self or sin, will do us no good. Indeed, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” Prov 28:9 “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isa 59:1,2 How important then, to serve God “out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” 1 Tim 1:5 David sang, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” Ps 24:3-5 Our present and future happiness depends upon our serving our Dear Saviour without reservation, without holding back even a small portion of our heart for the fleeting pleasures of sin.
Loving to please even our family or friends more than we want to please God, will cause us only grief. It will cause us to be miserable in this life and counted unworthy to spend eternity with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom. Jesus declares, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” Matt 10:37,38 Just as “a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand,” neither can we stand before our Maker with a divided heart. Jesus urges us to get our priorities straight. He urges us, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” Matt 6:33
May we set aside anything that keeps us from fully serving the One Who gave His life for us. May we declare with David, “I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.” Ps 86:12 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” that when Jesus comes we will greet Him with joy and great happiness that comes only from an undivided heart. Phil 4:8