For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Hebrews 12:6.
The Lord can bring victory out of that which may seem to us discomfiture and defeat. We are in danger of forgetting God, of looking at the things which are seen, instead of beholding by the eye of faith the things which are unseen. When misfortune or calamity comes, we are ready to charge God with neglect or cruelty. If He sees fit to cut off our usefulness in some line, we mourn, not stopping to think that thus God may be working for our good. We need to learn that chastisement is a part of His great plan, and that under the rod of affliction the Christian may sometimes do more for the Master than when engaged in active service….
The work of gaining salvation is one of co-partnership, a joint operation. There is to be co-operation between God and the repentant sinner. This is necessary for the formation of right principles in the character. Man is to make earnest efforts to overcome that which hinders him from attaining to perfection. But he is wholly dependent upon God for success. Human effort of itself is not sufficient. Without the aid of divine power it avails nothing. God works and man works. Resistance of temptation must come from man, who must draw his power from God. On the one side there is infinite wisdom, compassion, and power; on the other, weakness, sinfulness, absolute helplessness.
God wishes us to have the mastery over ourselves. But He cannot help us without our consent and co-operation. The divine Spirit works through the powers and faculties given to man.—The Acts of the Apostles, 481, 482.
With God at Dawn p. 311
—-Urgent Prayer request for a dear friend of ours from church he was taken to a hospital out of town because of his aorta the Lord knows who he is. M
—-Please keep my brother Edward in your prayers. He is in critical condition at the moment. Last I heard he was in a doctor induced coma. He had contracted covid and was starting to get better until the hospital gave him some type of antibiotic. After having received said antibiotic his heart rate went up to 160 and his oxygen levels dropped. They intubated him and put him in a coma in an attempt to stabilize him. We think he must have had some kind of allergic reaction to whatever they gave him. James
—-My daughter Jeri really needs prayers right now as she is in extreme pain near her ear and jaw! The doctor wouldn’t let her come to the office .So now she is waiting for a tele-call. Nila
—-Pray for my friend whose cousin passed away today from Cancer. Wanda
When I worked for the court system some years ago, we used to enjoy looking at the mug shots of the defendants who came into our office. Most of the time, they would look and act far different than what they were normally. Their lawyers would tell them to cut their hair, take a bath, and put on clean and neat clothing. Often they would seem friendly and as nice as anyone you would want to meet. The person who seemed clean and friendly in our office, however, looked surly, dirty, and unkempt with wild, matted hair when arrested. Often, they would look so different, they were barely recognizable. The look on their face was hard and cruel and their record of crimes were lengthy.
How often we pretend to be something that we are not, just as those defendants put on a suit and tie, cut their hair, and washed themselves before they went to court. How many times we look like a genuine Christian to those around us, but it is as much a pretense as those defendants who were pretending to be a “good guy” when they stood before the judge. No matter how they appeared on the outside, their heart was unchanged.
Are we the same? No matter how much we clean up the outward appearance, we can not make ourselves righteous. Jeremiah asks, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer 13:23; 17:9 The Righteous Judge answers, “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.” verse 10 “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
We cannot change our heart ourselves, no matter how much we might try, but, praise God! there is Someone Who is able “to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Eph 3:20 We have a Saviour Who has promised, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” “I will put my laws into [your] hearts, and in [your] minds will I write them; And [your] sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Eze 36:26 Precious promises! May we claim them today is my prayer.