You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on your hearts, to be known and read by all men. 2 Corinthians 3:2, R.S.V.
Transformation of character is to be the testimony to the world of the indwelling love of Christ. The Lord expects His people to show that the redeeming power of grace can work upon the faulty character and cause it to develop in symmetry and abundant fruitfulness.
But in order for us to fulfill God’s purpose, there is a preparatory work to be done. The Lord bids us empty our hearts of the selfishness which is the root of alienation. He longs to pour upon us His Holy Spirit in rich measure, and He bids us clear the way by self-renunciation. When self is surrendered to God, our eyes will be opened to see the stumbling stones which our un-Christlikeness has placed in the way of others. All these God bids us remove. He says: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” James 5:16. Then we may have the assurance that David had when, after confession of his sin, he prayed: “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Psalm 51:12, 13.
When the grace of God reigns within, the soul will be surrounded with an atmosphere of faith and courage and Christlike love, an atmosphere invigorating to the spiritual life of all who inhale it. . . . Everyone who is a partaker of Christ’s pardoning love, everyone who has been enlightened by the Spirit of God and converted to the truth, will feel that for these precious blessings he owes a debt to every soul with whom he comes in contact. Those who are humble in heart the Lord will use to reach souls whom the ordained ministers cannot approach. They will be moved to speak words which reveal the saving grace of Christ.
And in blessing others they will themselves be blessed. God gives us opportunity to impart grace, that He may refill us with increased grace. Hope and faith will strengthen as the agent for God works with the talents and facilities that God has provided. He will have a divine agency to work with him.
Maranatha p. 114
——D and A are going job hunting in another state. Please pray that they get good jobs and have safe travels. L
When Eileen was six, she and her cousin, Annie, often played together. One day, as they were playing, they noticed DJ, Annie’s little brother, who was two at the time eating something. They walked over to see what he had. There he was, happily eating live, wiggling worms! Eileen and Annie thought that was “yucky” and took the worms away. DJ began to cry. After talking their problem over, they decided that they would cook the worms for him. That would dry his tears.Alabama is very hot in the summertime—hot enough that you can fry an egg on the sidewalk. So, they decided to fry the worms there. They explained to the whimpering DJ, that they were going to make the worm taste better for him. It didn’t take long before the worm was hard and stiff. They girls then picked it up and gave it to the boy. DJ ate it happily. He seemed to like fried worms much better than live ones, so they helped find him more.
A little later, I decided it was time to check on Eileen and see if she was alright. I walked around the trailer park until I found them. When I saw them putting worms on the hot sidewalk, I was shocked. As I looked around I could see many dried worms. Hating to see any animal hurt or killed, I explained that what they were doing was very wrong. Taking Eileen by the hand and leading her into the house, I told her that she could not play outside for the rest of the day. This would help her remember to be kind to animals. Eileen was not happy. She felt that she was being treated unfairly and told me so. Finally, she was able to make me understand why they had done what they did. As I listened, I could see that in their childish reasoning that they were doing what they thought was right. I had misjudged their motives.
How often we “jump to conclusions” before we really know all of the circumstances. How often we condemn someone before understanding their motives. Our Dear Saviour commands, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matt 7:1-5 He did not mean that we should allow wrongs to exist, but that we should not judge”according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24
Just as it was right to stop Eileen and Annie from feeding DJ worms, so we are told that there is a time to judge. We must not allow sin to run rampant lest others follow their example. We should, however, be very careful not to shun, not to gossip, not to discourage, not to condemn. Instead, restoration should have a part with the judgment. Since it is true that when we see a wrong, we should not keep silent, it is equally important that we should to very careful of our own motives and work with that individual in a loving way to help them see the error of their ways and place their feet firmly on the path that leads to Heaven. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Gal 6:1,2
Let us ask for wisdom, that we might not misjudge another’s motives. Let us ask for the eye salve of the Holy Spirit that we may work for the erring as Jesus did, seeking for their restoration; for if we do not approach them correctly, we will drive them further away from the right path. Let us, when corrected, study and pray to see if we, too, have strayed; and if so, step back upon the right path; but if not, stand firmly for the right.