I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5.
Wonderful opportunities are opened before the human agent to understand the unsearchable riches of the wisdom of God. In this work, which nothing less than divine power can accomplish, nothing can be perfected without the cooperation of the human agent. Then the divine and the human are blended, as in the life of the Son of God….
The sincere Christian, in his [acceptance] of grace, feels that his success is wholly dependent upon Christ. Here is the Source of divine energy. He urges no claim founded on his own merit; he has no faithfulness to present to heaven. He feels his own weakness and inefficiency, and is convinced that he must be transformed in character. Self-abasement, and self-renunciation reveal that the soul has beheld Jesus. The heart made penitent by the Spirit of Christ will act from principle. He is a partaker of the divine nature…. In his daily walk and conversation he represents the character of Christ….
What will it profit [us] to cherish pride of spirit, and pray for humility? What will it profit to seek eagerly the friendship and applause of the world, and pray for heavenly affections? What will it profit to indulge in passionate temper and un-Christlike words, and then ask for the meekness of Christ? This is not watching unto prayer. In the lack of that faith that works by love and purifies the soul lies the secret of unanswered prayer…. I tell you in the name of the Lord: if the church will arise in the strength of God to meet her responsibilities, consecrating to God every power, the Spirit of the Lord will be poured out in rich abundance….
Some who profess to be Christians need a genuine conversion. They desire to be accepted of God; they pray in a casual way that they may be accepted, and yet through their desire for gain, their worldliness and selfishness, their robbery of God, they shut themselves away from Him. His curse is hanging over them for their selfishness and worldly lusts. Their prayers will be wholly in vain unless they comply with the condition specified in the Word of God….
The uncertain experience of many professed Christians—sinning and repenting and continuing in the same dwarfed spiritual condition—is the result of worldliness and unholiness of life. The saving grace of Christ is designed for everyday life. Christ came not to save man in his sins, but from his sins. The principles of truth, abiding in the heart, will sanctify the life.—Manuscript 35, January 8, 1893, “Publishing Work.”
The Upward Look p. 22
—-My dear mother is in so much pain in her back and neck that she is crying out over and over even though she is on pain meds. Please pray that God will take her pain away and that my mom can come home with me instead of a convalescent home! She will get very good care with me and my daughter in law . Connie
—-Desi is in the ER very sick, and will be having emergency surgery. Please keep son Johnathan and her in prayers. It is life threatening. Ann
Soon after Ron and I got married, we moved to Alpena, Michigan. We really liked that church. The members there were friendly and made us feel at home. After we had attended for awhile, however, we noticed that there were some problems. The church seemed to be stagnant and the only growth that it saw was when someone moved into the area.
In addition, there were some hard feelings among many of the members. The pastor felt that this was the reason for the lack of growth and made an announcement that we were going to have a revival weekend. He made a chart of 24 hours. All were asked to volunteer to come to the church and pray for these upcoming meetings during a certain block of time. Most of us signed up for a block of time and God heard and answered our prayer.
The preaching was powerful and went straight to the heart. Time was given for the members to ask the forgiveness of the ones they had wronged. Some made confession of a private nature between them and God alone. Others sought out those they had wronged and asked forgiveness. Some sins were publicly confessed. Forgiveness seemed to flow like water and mingle with tears of sincerity.
Something changed after that revival. The church became the center of our lives. There was genuine love and concern for one another. The members worked together in harmony and things began to happen. We began to have true fellowship, not only when at church, but socially as well. We loved each other. We enjoyed being together and often visited one another. The church began to reach out to others. The church began to grow. New members were incorporated into the church family and true fellowship and love were the result. Even the husbands of ladies who had gone to church alone for many years, seeing the change in some of the members, began to attend. Those ladies’ joy knew no bounds.
The followers of our Dear Saviour needed just such a revival as we had had. They continuously “disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.” Mark 9:34 How this grieved their Master’s Great Heart of Love. He greatly desired to prepare them for the sacrifice that He was about to make. “And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.” Mark 10:32-34 They weren’t listening. They could not believe His words. They stubbornly held on to a false hope of a temporal kingdom. “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.” vs 35-41 Jealousy and anger festered within these men who followed Jesus wherever He went. They followed Him, but their hearts were not in tune with His. Outwardly, they walked together, but inwardly they were far apart.
“Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” vs 42-45 How slow they were to learn this lesson! How much they needed the strength that their Redeemer wanted to give them to prepare them for the great trial that they were about to experience—a trial that would shake them to the very depths of their being.
How often we are like those disciples. How often their is a lack of love in the church and in the home. Solomon observed, “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” Prov 13:10 How much we need the admonition of Paul, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” “Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” Phil 2:3; James 5:9
May we also “confess [our] faults one to another, and pray one for another,” that we may receive the promised outpouring of the Latter Rain. May we be “kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Eph 4:32 May we get ready for the events that will soon come upon this world as an overwhelming surprise is my prayer.