Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1.
What love, what matchless love, that, sinners and aliens as we are, we may be brought back to God and adopted into His family! We may address Him by the endearing name, “Our Father.” . . .
All the paternal love which has come down from generation to generation through the channel of human hearts, all the springs of tenderness which have opened in the souls of men, are but as a tiny rill to the boundless ocean when compared with the infinite, exhaustless love of God. Tongue cannot utter it; pen cannot portray it. You may meditate upon it every day of your life; you may search the Scriptures diligently in order to understand it; you may summon every power and capability that God has given you, in the endeavor to comprehend the love and compassion of the heavenly Father; and yet there is an infinity beyond. You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully comprehend the length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of the love of God in giving His Son to die for the world. Eternity itself can never fully reveal it. Yet as we study the Bible and meditate upon the life of Christ and the plan of redemption, these great themes will open to our understanding more and more.
Christ came to reveal God to the world as a God of love, full of mercy, tenderness, and compassion.
It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life. By thus contemplating His teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by Him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. If we would be saved at last we must all learn the lesson of penitence and faith at the foot of the cross. . . . Everything noble and generous in man will respond to the contemplation of Christ upon the cross.
Maranatha p. 77
—–My Prayer Requests: -Planning of three Health Evangelism courses in January -Development of a Lifestyle Center in Vitória de Conquista, Bahia. -Possible 6 month training course in Bahia. Martin
We have the privilege; we have the duty to bring the gospel to those around us. Indeed, in these trying times, God’s great last day message must go to all the world. Only then can the end come. (Rev 14:6-12; Matt 24:14) How much God desires to finish the work through us that Jesus can come to take us to fellowship face to face with Him. How our Dear Saviour longs to bestow upon us the forgiveness that He so freely offers and to restore us to His image. How He yearns to save every person. He pleads, “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
He said to Israel of old, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” Deut 11:26-28 Sadly, they did not obey. Our Great Creator’s plan of evangelizing the world was spoiled. He had purposed to bless all nations through Abraham. He had said, “in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Gen 22:17,18
That blessing was to be the knowledge of God. Our Great Redeemer placed Israel in a centralized location along the great trade routes that all of the world would know the truth and turn to their Creator. He told them. “And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever be among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; as ye do, so he shall do. One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.” Num 15:14-16 “And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover unto the LORD; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.” Num 9:14 “Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people; . . . . the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.” Isa 56:1-8
Yet, instead of following Him and evangelizing the nations about them, they wanted to be like them. They turned from His truth and became like the nations around them. With a breaking heart our Loving Creator allowed them to be oppressed by the very nations that they were trying to emulate. Moreover, the land itself changed from a “land flowing with milk and honey” to the desolate and arid land that it is today. What consequences there was to their disobedience!
We look at them and shake our head declaring that we would never be like them. Yet, we are like them. We live like the world, imitate the world, and before long think like the world. We get so caught up in our everyday life that we rarely speak to others about the Way the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) May we stop this endless round of “keeping up with the Joneses” that we will not to do as did Israel . May we allow the Light of the World to shine through us that those in darkness may find the Saviour. May we daily pray that we may be a channel of blessing to others and thus fulfill His great purpose for bringing the Truth to all the world.