If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again. . . .
A genuine conversion changes hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. The religion of God is a firm fabric, composed of innumerable threads, and woven together with tact and skill. Only the wisdom which comes from God can make this fabric complete. There are a great many kinds of cloth which at first have a fine appearance, but they cannot endure the test. They wash out. The colors are not fast. Under the heat of summer they fade away and are lost. The cloth cannot endure rough handling.
So it is with the religion of many. When the warp and woof of character will not stand the test of trial, the material of which it is composed is worthless. The efforts made to patch the old with a new piece do not better the condition of things; for the old, flimsy material breaks away from the new, leaving the rent much larger than before. Patching will not do. The only way is to discard the old garment altogether, and procure one entirely new.
Christ’s plan is the only safe one. He declares, “Behold, I make all things new.” “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” . . . The patchwork religion is not of the least value with God. He requires the whole heart.
Jesus gave His life . . . for us, and shall we not give Him our best affections, our holiest aspirations, our fullest service?
Maranatha p. 237
—–Please pray for Ed who is very confused. He was bit by a tick a couple of weeks ago, but the doctors are not checking for tick-borne diseases some of which can cause confusion. Pray that Carol will be able to convince the doctors to check that.
—–Please pray for the Bower family though the loss of their mother/grandmother.
—–Please pray that M’s wife who is due in late July can wait a little longer before the baby comes. It is in position now and she is dilating. Pray also that M can find work and sell his plane. M
—–Please pray that God will guide in my children’s lives. L
One day Ron heard a commotion that puzzled him. As he looked around for its source, he saw a hawk standing on top of the telephone pole eating something. Hovering over this hawk a small bird was screaming and crying, no doubt calling Mr. Hawk some rather uncomplimentary names. Obviously, the hawk was eating its baby or its mate. Ron was surprised to see a few feet from them a group of birds on the electric line, just sitting there totally unconcerned with what was happening around them.
How often we are like that group of birds. We are only concerned about our own needs, our own plans, our own happiness. All around us are those who are hurting, yet we do nothing to relieve their suffering. Our Dear Saviour spoke about this selfish unconcern for others: “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21
James agrees that how we treat those around us has everything to do with our faith in Christ. The two cannot be separated for they are obeying the last six of the ten commandments which are summed up in “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” James 2:8, 12-18
May we never sit by unconcerned as did those birds. May we be filled with the love and kindness that only comes from above. May we always allow the love and kindness of Jesus to flow through us is my prayer.