I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:29, 30.
God has not passed His people by and chosen one solitary man here and another there as the only ones worthy to be entrusted with His truth. He does not give one man new light contrary to the established faith of the body. In every reform men have arisen making this claim. . . .
One accepts some new and original idea which does not seem to conflict with the truth. He . . . dwells upon it until it seems to him to be clothed with beauty and importance, for Satan has power to give this false appearance. At last it becomes the all-absorbing theme, the one great point around which everything centers; and the truth is uprooted from the heart. . . .
I warn you to beware of these side issues, whose tendency is to divert the mind from the truth. Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. . . .
There are a thousand temptations in disguise prepared for those who have the light of truth; and the only safety for any of us is in receiving no new doctrine, no new interpretation of the Scriptures, without first submitting it to brethren of experience. Lay it before them in a humble, teachable spirit, with earnest prayer; and if they see no light in it, yield to their judgment. . . .
Satan is constantly at work; but few have any idea of his activity and subtlety. The people of God must be prepared to withstand the wily foe. It is this resistance that Satan dreads. He knows better than we do the limit of his power and how easily he can be overcome if we resist and face him. Through divine strength the weakest saint is more than a match for him and all his angels, and if brought to the test he would be able to prove his superior power. Therefore Satan’s step is noiseless, his movements stealthy, and his batteries masked. He does not venture to show himself openly, lest he arouse the Christian’s dormant energies and send him to God in prayer.
Maranatha p. 60
—– please pray with me that my dad will rest well and can breathe better. He is having breathing problems. Tina
—– Our dear friend, Nicole, fell in May, and broke both bones in her left ankle. She has had surgery, but is still unable to walk. She will have three weeks before she can even begin her Physical Therapy. Please pray for her. Ruth
—– my mom is in the hospital with pneumonia. She lives in _______ and is 96 so its hard. I talked to her nurse tonight she ate all of her supper and her white count is going down which is a good sign she’s alert and talkative. . . . Please say a prayer for my mom. Connie
When Eileen was a little girl, she did not like to go outside and play. I thought that it was so unusual for a child to feel this way. I questioned her. She had no good reason, so knowing that it was healthy for her to get fresh air and sunshine, I would force her to play outside for an hour or so despite her protests. Sometimes I would go outside with her, but some days I was just too busy.
One busy day, when she was three, I had sent her out to play and started vacuuming. Eileen decided that she would punish me for forcing her to go outside against her wishes. As I was vacuuming, a quick movement suddenly caught my eye. It startled me and I let out a gasp and a scream. Eileen got way too much pleasure from that.
As soon as I saw that it was only a large toad, I felt silly. I’m not afraid of amiphibians or reptiles or other creepy crawly things. I knew that toad could not have gotten into an upstairs bedroom without help. I called, “Eileen, you get this toad out of here right now!” In her three-year-old mind, she thought, “What fun! I punished Mommy! I have given her what she deserved.”
How often we take things into our own hands and decide to do some punishing just as Eileen did. How many times we judge someone’s motive, and later find we were so wrong. This only makes a situation worse. This is not our Dear Saviour’s way. He gently leads us as we are able to understand, as we are able to accept. He assures us, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jer 31:3 Sometimes this takes years to change us, but He feels that it is well worth the effort. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied” Isa 53:11
As David watched over his sheep so long ago, he meditated upon God’s care for His people. He sang, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Ps 23 What a beautiful description of our Dear Saviour’s care.
Jesus declares of Himself, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:11-14 He feeds us both spiritually and physically as does a shepherd. He gathers us into his Great Arms of Love and gently leads us in the way that we should go. (Isa 40:11)
Our Great Redeemer is not impatient when He does not get immediate results in His leading. No! He bears long with us. “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” Isa 48:17 So, when dealing with our fellow man, we must have the same patience and longsuffering, gently teaching, lovingly unfolding the Word of God. “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” Psa 119:130 As their understanding dawns, so their behaviour will change. As the light of God’s Holy Word takes root in their heart, it will result in a bountiful harvest.
May we deal with others as our Loving Shepherd deals with us. May we be careful not to take things in our own hands and do the punishing but gently lead others in the right way is my prayer.