But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Hebrews 1:8.
Our hope is to be constantly strengthened by the knowledge that Christ is our righteousness. Let our faith rest upon this foundation; for it will stand fast forever. Instead of dwelling upon the darkness of Satan, and fearing his power, we should open our hearts to receive light from Christ, and to let it shine forth to the world, declaring that He is above all the power of Satan; that His sustaining arm will support all who trust in Him.—Testimonies for the Church 5:742.
All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.—Testimonies to Ministers, 92.
The development of all our powers is the first duty we owe to God and to our fellow-men. No one who is not growing daily in capability and usefulness is fulfilling the purpose of life. In making a profession of faith in Christ we pledge ourselves to become all that it is possible for us to be as workers for the Master, and we should cultivate every faculty to the highest degree of perfection, that we may do the greatest amount of good of which we are capable.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 329.
Those who are seeking the righteousness of Christ will be dwelling upon the themes of the great salvation.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 341.
With God at Dawn p. 241
—-Update for the woman I asked prayer for last week the one with two young children the Dr’s told her she has a few weeks to live her children ar 8 and 5. M
—-update—My brother Russ came through the back surgery well. After he was back in his room, he initially had problems with pain and nausea. After being medicated for both, he is resting well and should be able to come home in 3-4 days. Thank you all for your prayers. ~ Martha–
—-Please pray for the father of a woman named Lindsey. He was just diagnosed with cancer and will be having surgery next week. The news has rocked this family as it was completely unexpected. I told her we would pray for him. Cora
—-update—Maya came through her surgery perfectly. She will be in a cast to support while she works on strengthening her leg. She did well under sedation, which is really good. She’s in good spirits and if her pain level in controlled she may get to come home tonight instead of tomorrow. Jennifer
I often get homesick for my grandparents’ house where I lived until I was ten. One day when I had some time on my hands, I decided that I would look on the internet at my old neighborhood on Burdick Street. I knew Lincoln school was still there, so it would be easy to find my grandparents’ house since it was right across the street. It was not as easy as I thought it would be, but eventually I was able to find it. When someone remodeled and expanded the structure, they tore down the barn and cut down the ancient apple tree. There was a pine tree where the dry cleaners had been and the giant tree by the side porch was gone. The Francisco’s house was still standing next to ours, but from our house to the corner in the other direction of that long block there were none.
I was a little sad that things had changed so much but I was not sad about that apple tree. It was a good thing that it was gone as it was a very old and neglected apple tree. The apples were small and not good for eating. I can still remember the pungent smell of those rotting apples as they fell off and lay untouched below the tree. Because of its age, unusually large size, and the neglect it suffered; it was hollow inside. Despite this, it was still alive with green leaves and was still producing small, wormy fruit.
That tree fascinated me. Often I would gaze at that tree and think about the many warnings of my grandparents to stay away from that tree as years before a large part of that apple tree had split and had come crashing down right where my mother had been standing. Even though that ancient apple tree was old and could have split again, my grandparents never cut it down. They just warned me never to play under the tree. Their warnings only made the tree fascinating to me.
How often we have old, rotten “apple trees” in our lives. We fear them but allow them to take root and grow in our heart even though they should have been gotten rid of years ago. They produce rotten, wormy fruit in our lives that lead to death. Often, we do not want it there, but we still allow that old, familiar sin to remain inside our hearts until it grows large and difficult to deal with.
Speaking of this very thing, Jesus said, “those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man.” Matt 15:18-20 Paul warns,” Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal 5:19-21 Jeremiah asks, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” He, then, gives the answer, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jer 17:9,10
How often we try the pleasures of this world to forget that growing “apple tree” within us, but “even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.” Prov 14:13 How much we need Someone to cut down that “rotten tree” that is ever growing and producing fruit to our destruction. James advises, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:6-10 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isa 57:15; 1:16-18
May we ask our Dear Saviour that He may help us to cut down the old, “rotten apple trees” that we have allowed to grow in our heart for so many years is my prayer.