Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13.
The standard of character which Christ has made it possible for us to reach … is a perfect standard. In trying to measure [up to] it, the senses become confused. The question is asked, “Who by searching can find out God?” (See Job 11:7.) Yet He has made it possible for us to become like Him in character. Oh, what will impress men and women with their need of that transformation which will enable them to reflect the divine image?
Many who claim to follow Christ present to the world an inferior representation of Christianity because they do not reach the standard which makes them the elect of God. He who fails to keep constantly before him the standard of God’s holy law creates a standard of his own. He becomes destitute of the life-giving principles of the gospel. He is an unprofitable servant, for he lives and works on a low plane of action. Christ’s presence does not sustain him, and his spiritual representations are deformed. His life is a farce. He does not draw the higher life from God, and is unfitted to become a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King. Spiritually he is dead, for he does not assimilate into his own life the life which Christ has provided. He does not grasp the power which heaven has provided to enable him to be an overcomer.
No one can take to heaven his natural and cultivated traits of character. He who has carried these traits with him through his period of probation has misrepresented Christ by acting upon principles which God cannot endorse. The principles of true spiritual life are not understood by those who know the truth, but fail to practice it.
The Lord calls for reforms, marked, distinct reforms. Those in whose hearts Christ dwells will reveal His presence in their dealing with their fellow men. But the principles of some have been so long perverted that they have lost their discernment, and the arrow seldom reaches its mark. How can this be cured? Only by heeding Christ’s prayer, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John 17:17-19). There is no roundabout way in which the work of sanctification can take place.—Manuscript 16, February 25, 1901, “Testimony to the Battle Creek Church.”
The Upward Look p. 70
—-Please pray that my husband will be healed of his depression or be willing to go on meds. SS
—-PLEASE PLEASE PRAY FOR MY MOM. THE DR. SAYS SHES GOING TO DIE IN THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS. Please pray that he heals her but if he won’t please pray that he won’t take her unless she is saved for eternity. Connie
—-Please pray that my visit to the Retina Specialist goes better than last time and that it won’t hurt so much. I have wet macular degeneration and require shots in my eyes. Everyone tells me they don’t feel anything when they get their shots but I experience terrible pain. Please pray for the doctor and for me to be able to relax. Kathy
When my grandfather retired at age 70, he decided that he had had enough of the cold climate of Michigan. He decided that he and my grandmother would move to Florida. This was not an easy task, as neither of them could drive a car. They had to hire professional movers and take the train the 1200 miles to the small town he had chosen.
It must have cost them a huge amount of money. What a lot of stuff they had! My grandmother saved everything—not just the important keepsakes, but buttons and thread, aluminum foil, scraps of material, string, etc. She would not part with any of it. In amazement I walked between tall barrels of completely worthless stuff that should have been thrown away years ago. My grandmother had always ridiculed her brother-in-law for having a basement full of file cabinets of all of the letters he had ever received in his life. To our surprise, we found that for decades she had been doing the same thing. She saved different things than Uncle Lloyd had, but they were just as worthless.
How often we do the same and condemn others for the very thought, word, or action that we excuse in ourselves. Paul warns us, “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. . . . And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” Rom 2:1-3
Nathan the prophet visited King David with a message that illustrates this very point. “And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” 2 Sam 12:1-6
How quick David was to condemn the rich man for his cruelty, yet David, who had a multitude of wives and concubines (in direct opposition to Deut 17:17) had intimate relation with Uriah’s only wife whom he loved and cherished, and when Bathsheba became pregnant, caused her husband to be killed in battle. There were four-fold consequnces to David’s sin, just as there are consequenses when we judge and condemn others.
Jesus commands, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Mt 7:1-5 Luke records it thus: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 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 6:37,38 Words fit to ponder.
May we be careful to “judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24 May we, when we see another doing wrong and feel we must admonish him, remember Paul’s advice, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Gal 6:1