Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19.
Before the work is closed up and the sealing of God’s people is finished, we shall receive the outpouring of the Spirit of God. Angels from heaven will be in our midst.
Our heavenly Father claims not at our hands that which we cannot perform. He desires His people to labor earnestly to carry out His purpose for them. They are to pray for power, expect power, and receive power, that they may grow up into the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.
Not all members of the church are cultivating personal piety; therefore they do not understand their personal responsibility. They do not realize that it is their privilege and duty to reach the high standard of Christian perfection…. Are we looking forward to the latter rain, confidently hoping for a better day, when the church shall be endued with power from on high and thus fitted for work? The latter rain will never refresh and invigorate the indolent, who do not use the powers God has given them.
We are in great need of the pure, life-giving atmosphere that nurtures and invigorates the spiritual life. We need greater earnestness. The solemn message given us to give to the world is to be proclaimed with greater fervency, even with an intensity that will impress unbelievers, leading them to see that the Most High is working with us, that He is the source of our efficiency and strength….
Are you using all your powers in an effort to bring the lost sheep back to the fold? There are thousands upon thousands in ignorance who might be warned. Pray as you have never prayed before for the power of Christ. Pray for the inspiration of His Spirit, that you may be filled with a desire to save those who are perishing. Let the prayer ascend to heaven, “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations” (Psalm 67:1, 2).
Maranatha p. 212
—–Please pray for my friends’ daughter, Josie. Her horse rolled over her twice. She is in ICU with many severe injuries. Just got word of increased head pressure. Carol
—–Please pray for Sherlyn who is having back surgery today. Rose
One morning a few years ago, I was in my usual rush to get ready for work. After freshening up at the bathroom sink, I threw on my clothes, ran a brush through my hair, grabbed my lunch, bottled water, and purse, and hurried to the car. When I returned home last evening, I was horrified to find that when I had hurriedly dressed in my black and white polka-dotted jumper that I had made a few years ago, I had put it on wrong-side-out!
In dismay, I thought of all of the places I had been that day wearing my dress wrong-side-out. On my afternoon deliveries, I rode on crowded elevators, stop at the district court administrative office, the records department, a judge’s office, liaison office, district attorney’s office, etc. Even in our department, I had not hidden behind a desk the entire day dealing with lawyers and their clients. There was copying to do at the Xerox machine, filing, putting the paperwork I’d processed in the court service officers’ boxes, lots of things that keep me “up and around.” How many people noticed my garment? How many laughed behind my back? How many were too polite to point out my mistake? Perhaps a few thought this to be a new style and were hoping the fad would not last long. My only comfort was the fact that since I have no talent for sewing and the top just doesn’t fit quite right, I often put a shirt over it and use it as a skirt. I had done that that day. Still, I could not imagine that no one had noticed that it was wrong-side-out.
How often we walk around with our spiritual garment in the same condition by thinking that our own righteousness can save us. How many times we trust in our good works. Some give great sums of money to the church, thinking to find favor with God. Others do acts of penance for the same reason. Most feel that if we live a fine, upstanding life, God will find us worth saving. The Scriptures reveal the fallacy of such a belief. James reminds us, “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10 Since “the wages of sin is death,” that puts us in a serious situation.
Praise God! That text does not stop there. It goes on, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom 6:23 Paul tells us, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7
Does God’s grace and mercy give us a license to sin? “God forbid! How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Rom 6:2 Keeping the commandments is essential, but we must have the right motive. Our Dear Saviour declares, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 14:15; 15:10 Here is the key. If we truly love God, we will gladly keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. We are in a battle, a warfare with the enemy of God. If we love our Great Commander, we will find it joy to rightly represent Him. “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” 2 Tim 2:4, 5
James explains the balance between faith and works: “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. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:17-26
May we give diligence to make sure that we are clothed, not in the wrong-side-out garments of our unrighteousness, but clothed with the pure and spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness. (Rev 3:18-21) May we “let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works, and glorify [our] Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:16 May we keep His commandments because we love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength is my prayer.