The Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. Ezekiel 9:4.
Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church.
The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. . . .
Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed. There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master’s will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works. . . .
Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples. . . .
What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth–these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity.
Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God–candidates for heaven.
Maranatha p. 240
—–update—The doctor thinks that Ed had a small stroke and sent him home. Please pray for his complete healing.
—–A may lose his job today. Please pray that God will lead. L
—–Please pray for Connie who is having a hard time dealing with the death of her mother.
—–Please pray for Janet that her blind eyes will be healed. S
There are times when we become overwhelmed and discouraged because of the problems in life. We all have them at one time or another. One time some years ago, I was going through one such perplexing time. God, in His mercy does not leave us without encouragement then, and, remembering this incident helps me to realize that He is in control of all.
One time, during one of these discouraging times, Eileen and I were doing our weekly grocery shopping. As we were going into the store we felt a few sprinkles of rain. While shopping, we could hear loud claps of thunder even over the store’s music. We remarked about how wet we were going to be getting in a few minutes and neither of us were too excited at the thought.
As I paid for the groceries, Eileen volunteered to drive the van to the entrance of the store. She did not want me to have to walk in the storm. When she went outside, she was surprised that it was only sprinkling lightly. There was about an inch of water on the parking lot giving evidence that it had rained very hard only moments before. We quickly loaded the groceries into the van and started to drive out of the parking lot,. Suddenly, the rain began coming down again in torrents. This time there were a few tiny pieces of hail mixed in. We commented on how glad we were that the rain had subsided long enough for us to get from the store to the car.
All the way home, which is only five miles, it rained very hard. When we got about half a mile away, Eileen phoned Ronnie Jay and Esther to get on their coats and shoes and be ready to run out and help carry the groceries inside. We wanted to unload the van quickly so we would not get too wet.
Suddenly the rain stopped! We quickly brought the groceries into the house! As soon as we got inside, the rain came down hard again, and we commented on the unusual way the rain was behaving. Soon, my discouragement returned, but the next morning I remembered this happening as I was waking up Suddenly, I realized that God, in His mercy, had shown me His love and tender care by controlling the elements. He did not want me to stay discouraged. He was saying through this incident, “I am here. I love and care for you. Put away those thoughts that only make you sad. Cast all of your care on Me. Let Me take control.”
When He, Who upholds “all things by the word of His power” was upon this earth, He gave His disciples encouragement in a similar way. “And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:35-40
Wonderful Saviour! Sometimes He works out situations by sending direct evidence of His power. Sometimes He sends someone to help us through our problems, but always He is there guiding, directing, protecting, encouraging.
Let us “praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men.” Ps 107:8 Let us share our encouraging times with those who are walking in the dark valley. (Ps 23) Let us “serve the Lord with gladness, come into His presence with thanksgiving” for His great love and care.