As touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 1 Thessalonians 4:9.
Truth, precious truth, is to sanctify, subdue, refine, elevate, and finally to exalt us to a seat at the right hand of the Majesty of heaven. Shall we grow feeble in spiritual power for want of exercise? Shall we go day after day without a marked and clear experience in the religious life because we permit our minds to be absorbed in worldly business?
Here, my dear son [Edson], is your danger. Here are the wiles of Satan entangling you. The very powers or organs that you cultivate become strong, and you are imperceptibly placing yourself where you will be in a position unfitted to engage in the work of God. The time that you should be giving yourself earnestly to the work, you are really unfitting yourself for the work God would honor you to do in His cause. One pretext after another has arisen to your mind to excuse you from taking hold of the work which you could do at once while you are waiting till this object is gained or that project is accomplished. It is not the great work you are fitted to do now. But it is the little duties connected with the work of God, the small responsibilities borne with humbleness and fidelity, that will qualify you for higher responsibilities, more important trusts. Purity of motives, unselfish interest, you must cultivate.
Press close to your younger brother, Willie. Let no emulation or strife separate your heart and affections from him. Let no selfish feelings or jealousy find a place in your heart. Empty it of all these things. Cultivate love, confidence, and trust. Live up to the Bible standard. Carry out the light God has given you. Show in kindly acts and words and unselfish acts your true interest and affection for Willie. All the advances you make will be reflected back on you. I shall never be satisfied until I see you both, firmly and strongly, lovingly, united in the closest bonds of brotherly love. God help you to work to this end. You are older than Willie and you should seek in every way to help him and bind him to your heart. Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.
Religion, my son, is not as some take it, head work, theory. It must be practically carried out in all the byways and broadways of life. It must regulate the life as well as to convince the mind. It alone must purify the heart. God requires everyone who professes His name to be good citizens and that the life of strict integrity and pure devotion should leave a bright light to the world.—Letter 35, July 30, 1876, to “Dear Children.” Edson had just turned 27; Willie was 21.
The Upward Look p. 225
—-Police officer Chuck W. is currently in a coma and fighting for his life against COVID-19. Please pray for him. Becky
—-We have a close friend from church that passed this morning from the coronavirus. Her name was Angie, her husband Rodolfo, sons Steve and Michael have survived the terrible disease. Please lift them in prayer for physical/ emotional healing during their loss . Daniel
—-Please pray for Lissa who is in a dangerous situation.
—-My friend will be having a battery of tests on her heart. Please pray she won’t have heart disease like both her parents had. Connie
—-Requesting prayers for my son please. He is 45 yrs old & has had Crohn’s disease for over 20 years. He has had multiple surgeries and today he’s having two more vertebrae fusions in his lower back. Kathy
About ten years ago, I was talking with someone who often felt too sinful to be saved. Although they had confessed their sins repeatedly, they came away from their prayer feeling no different than before they prayed. Often they would share with me their inmost thoughts and feelings. I would then remind them that we must have faith in the Word of God which tells us, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Then I told them a little parable to try to help them to understand. “Asking forgiveness, but not believing you’re forgiven is as if Ron were to take me to see a beautiful log cabin located by a mountain lake. This large cabin was exquisitely furnished even having new dishes, utensils, and linens. A baby grand piano was in one corner of the living room. Oh! How I wished I had a cabin like that. Taking me outside, he showed me a lightweight canoe with the finest paddles. Thoughts of hours of the pleasure we could have exploring every nook and cranny of that mountain lake filled my head. Then, to my amazement and joy, he told me that it was all mine. He had paid for it all. While he was away on a business trip, I was to move our personal belongings into this ideal place and enjoy it for it was to be my new home. ——Time passed. Ron’s business trip was over. With joyful anticipation, he returned to the cabin. To his distress, I was not there. Everything was the same as it had been when he had left. He panicked. What terrible thing had happened to me while he was gone? Driving as fast as he dared down the mountain road, he went to our former residence to see if he could find someone who had seen me.
“Just as he drove into the driveway of our old, dilapidated mobile home, he saw me. With disbelief and shock written all over his face, he asked me why I was still living in that old run-down trailer.
“I told him that I just couldn’t believe that beautiful cabin was mine, I couldn’t believe that I could really have anything so nice, and I felt like I wasn’t worthy of such a wonderful gift.”
Then I asked my friend, “how do you think Ron would feel at my ingratitude and lack of trust?” I explained that when we confess our sins to our Dear Saviour but refuse to believe that our sins have been washed away, we are doing just as I did in my little parable.
How it must break our Heavenly Father’s Great Heart of Love when we do not believe His promises and declare to all around by word of action, “The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.” when He assures us over and over of His great love and sacrifice for our salvation. He promises, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” Isa 49:14-16 “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.” Jer 31:34; 33:8 “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 “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, 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
Isaiah shares his experience, “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Isa 38:17 Micah adds, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity. . . and thou wilt cast all [our] sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18, 19 “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. . . . He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” Ps 103:8-19
May we believe His great promises and claim them. May we be filled with joy because of the complete forgiveness and cleansing that is ours for the asking. May we accept His free gift of salvation this very moment is my prayer.