Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Acts 10:34, 35.
God is no respecter of persons…. Those who have the light and do not follow it, but disregard the requirements of God, will find that their blessings will be changed into curses and their mercies into judgments.
God does not regard all sins as of equal magnitude; there are degrees of guilt in His estimation, as well as in that of man; but however trifling this or that wrong act may seem in the eyes of men, no sin is small in the sight of God. Man’s judgment is partial, imperfect; but God estimates all things as they really are. The drunkard is despised, and is told that his sin will exclude him from heaven; while pride, selfishness, and covetousness too often go unrebuked. But these are sins that are especially offensive to God; for they are contrary to the benevolence of His character, to that unselfish love which is the very atmosphere of the unfallen universe.
The exceeding sinfulness of sin can be estimated only in the light of the cross. When men urge that God is too good to cast off the sinner, let them look to Calvary. It was because there was no other way in which man could be saved, because without this sacrifice it was impossible for the human race to escape from the defiling power of sin, and be restored to communion with holy beings—impossible for them again to become partakers of spiritual life—it was because of this that Christ took upon Himself the guilt of the disobedient, and suffered in the sinner’s stead. The love and suffering and death of the Son of God all testify to the terrible enormity of sin, and declare that there is no escape from its power, no hope of the higher life, but through the submission of the soul to Christ.
Let the soul be uplifted from the lowlands of sin to contemplate the God of all goodness, mercy, and love, but who will in no wise clear the guilty.
The Faith I Live By p. 60
—–praise–Hannah (age 9) is finally out of the hospital after having a ruptured appendix and the flu. Rose
—–Please to pray for my wife she is very ill. Jervis
—–Please pray for the Philippines. One of their volcanoes is going to erupt. Last weekend it really acted up. Today Wednesday Jan. 17, 2018 they evacuated that area as it was really throwing lava all over the place from what was said. If people don’t evacuate their lives are going to end. Roberta
—–I am asking for praying to God for the help and healing of my friend Anna – she learned today that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. K
Eileen has always loved gardening whether it’s growing vegetables and flowers outside or the various houseplants she has inside. While thinking about her “green thumb,” I began thinking of her many plant-growing adventures and misadventures. Such as the time some years ago, when she saw a nice-looking arrangement of three small palm trees, a corn plant, and some snake plants that someone had thrown away. She brought it home. Two of the three palm trees and the snake plants flourished. Over the years, she had to transplant them into larger and larger pots. At times, she has tried various things with which to water her plants. Most of the time, she used water from Ronnie Jay’s fish tank. Then one day, she experimented with a different kind of “fertilizer.” I didn’t ask her what she used, but my guess is a vitamin pill. Whatever it was, it was a big mistake.
A few days after her little experiment, we began smelling a revolting odor near the computer. Wanting to get rid of that offending smell, we began smelling various items to see if they were the cause. Nothing smelled like that nasty smell. Then I noticed that the plant water in the tray under the flower pot looked a little strange, but for some reason, I did not equate the two.
A day or two later, I could barely stand to sit at the computer because the smell was so strong. Suddenly, I noticed that the plant water had become frothy. Aha! Now I knew the cause of that nauseating aroma! I told Eileen that I didn’t care how she did it, but she must get that nasty water out of that tray.
It was very difficult for a girl who is only 4’11” to handle a plant that is much taller than she and in a large, heavy flowerpot. Using all of her strength, she managed to drag it out onto the deck, where she used the garden hose to clean out the offending water. Then she scrubbed away the remaining traces of that fermenting liquid from the clay tray.
Getting that plant back into the house was nearly impossible. Getting it down the small step to the deck had not been so bad, but now she had to get it up and into the house. She tried one thing and then another for a lever. Finally, she found a sturdy board, stuck it under one side of the pot, and sat on the other end. The pot lifted. With all of her strength, she shoved the plant off from the board and into the living room. Once inside, it was only a matter of dragging it across the room to its place beside the computer once more.
How often, our life begins to “smell” because sin is fermenting within. How many times we have experimented with sin, assuring ourselves that just once won’t hurt. Sin, no matter how small it seems at the time, always hurts. Sin, once allowed inside, festers and grows until it is noticeable to ourselves and to others. We become as Isaiah observed, “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 putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” Isa 64:6, 1:5,6 Jeremiah observes, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jer 13:23 David adds, “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Ps 53:3
When we find ourselves in this condition, we need not despair. We have a Saviour who is even now calling, “Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to do evil, Learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 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 1:16-18 John assures us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 1:9-2:1
Praise God! We have a Saviour! He will cleanse us from all sin! He does not expect us to sit in a rocking chair and not resist the evil one, however. No! Paul tells us that we are to “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” 1 Tim 6:12 Just as when we realized where that obnoxious smell was coming from, Eileen got rid of it, so we are to “turn from [our] wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right.” Eze 33:19 This takes effort on our part, as Paul explains, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance” Eph 6:11-18
Let us turn from the suggestions of the evil one and cling to our Great Redeemer. Let us “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in [us] both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Phil 2:12,13 Let us “give diligence to make [our] calling and election sure: for if [we] do these things, [we] shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10,11