Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matthew 5:23, 24.
When our duty is so plainly marked out, why do so many church members go contrary to a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” and speak of their difficulties to those who know nothing in regard to them or in regard to those whom these difficulties concern? Jesus the great Teacher, has told us what our duty is. Our gifts, our prayers are not acceptable to God while we leave this duty undone, and let the poison of envy, evil-surmising, and jealousy, take possession of our souls, and spoil our union and happiness. Oh, how much unhappiness would be spared, and how many evil thoughts would be quenched, if believers would take up the work that Christ has said must be done to prevent evil thinking and evil speaking.
A few words of explanation might change entirely the views of those who have been at variance, cherishing bitter feelings. We cannot be obedient to the law of God until we put out of the mind all differences, until we allow our hearts to be softened and subdued by the Spirit of Christ. Our prayers are hindered by our pride of heart, by our refusal to confess faults and to remove wrong impressions.
We are to make every effort in our power to remove every stumbling block from before the feet of our neighbor or our brother. My son, make every concession that it is possible for you to make. Do not leave on a suffering mind a misconception that an advance in humiliation and tenderhearted interest would remove. Satan will be sure to come to that mind with the temptation to misconstrue and to make a mountain out of a molehill. A mind that easily stumbles over hurt feelings will conjure up mistaken ideas of all kinds.
The Lord Jesus has given special directions as to what each of His “little children” is to do. When we pray, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us,” do we do our part to answer this prayer? . . . If our brother has ought against us, we are to leave on the altar the gift we have brought to God, and be reconciled to our brother. Then we are to come and offer our gift. This is the only way in which we can keep in our hearts the peace of God.–Letter 12, Jan. 11, 1903, to Edson White.
This Day With God p. 19
—— I would appreciate your prayers as I will be going the Hospital in _______., for Major Back Surgery on Monday April 14th @ 6:00am (operation @ 8:00am)….I’m praying that this will relieve the constant pain that I have been having for the last 2 yrs and 9 months…..Pray that I will be a witness for Christ to all that I come in contact with in these next few days and that Christ will be glorified through my testimony and if it’s His will, that I will be healed…….regardless of how it comes out “To God be the Glory” !!! Larry
—–Please pray for Jan. She is at her sisters trying to take care of her. She says it is like 3 people in the house and all seperate islands. She is trying to clean the house a little and keep her sanity. Please keep her in your prayers. John
—–We are requesting prayers of praise and continued healing of Wilbur’s health issues. He has been in the hospital 5 weeks with bleeding/hemorrhaging. Received many units of blood and plasma. Helicopter flights from one hospital to another for specialist to take care of him. God brought Wilbur through the valley of death at one point. Lab results and tests were grim. This is why, the request for prayers of praise to God for saving Wilbur. . . . A rare bacteria has attacked the tissue around his mechanical heart valve and they are trying to kill it with very strong antibiotics. With God’s healing hands Wilbur & Janice are looking forward to his returning home soon. While in the present hospital he was reading Desire of Ages on his kindle and the nurse taking care of him ask where she could get that book. He answered Amazon. As they exchanged thoughts of what he was reading. The staff and physicians cannot understand his great attitude and outlook on life with everything he has been through. Carol
My great-great-aunt, Aletha Phillips-Spoor wrote a poem called Making a Garden. I’d like to share it with you this morning.
Father plowed the garden
And Mother sowed the seeds,
Twas Johnnyʼs work to tend it
And keep out all the weeds.
Each side the garden path
Some white-washed stones were laidʼ
Now Johnny was kept busy
With his hoe and rake and spade.
Nearly half the garden
Was planted with potatoes,
And next to these grew carrots,
Cucumbers and tomatoes.
Ten peas and beans and radishes
Grew up in long, straight rows,
Spinach and beets were plentiful,
These were favorites, I suppose.
I most forgot the melon patch,
A splendid one they had;
ʽTwas this part of the garden
That made Johnnyʼs heart so glad.
For when the luscious fruit was ripe,
He really felt repaid
For tending to the garden
That Dad and Mother made.
Our Dear Saviour used farming many times as an illustration of spreading the gospel. “Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. . . .Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. . . .He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matt 13:3-43
Paul also speaks of gardening with the seed of the gospel. “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God.” 1 Cor 3:6-9 Isaiah also exclaims, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” ” How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation.” Amen! Isa 55:10, 11; 61:11; 52:7
May we do our part in gardening for the Lord. May we work diligently to sow the gospel seed. May we reap a harvest of souls for the Kingdom is my prayer.