The True Standard of Character
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:20.
There is divine grace for all who will accept it, yet there is something for us to do…. There is a work for us to do to fit ourselves for the society of angels. We must be like Jesus, free from the defilement of sin. He was all that He requires us to be; He was a perfect pattern for childhood, for youth, for manhood. We must study the Pattern more closely.
Jesus was the Majesty of heaven, yet He condescended to take little children in His arms and bless them. He whom angels adore listened with tenderest love to their lisping, prattling praise. We must be like Him in noble dignity, while our hearts are softened and subdued by the divine love that dwelt in the heart of Christ. . . .
We have a work to do to fashion the character after the divine Model. All wrong habits must be given up. The impure must become pure in heart, the selfish man must put away his selfishness, the proud man must get rid of his pride, the self-sufficient man must overcome his self-confidence and realize that he is nothing without Christ. . . .
We need to be anchored in Christ, rooted and grounded in the faith. Satan works through agents. He selects those who have not been drinking of the living waters, whose souls are athirst for something new and strange, and who are ever ready to drink at any fountain that may present itself. Voices will be heard, saying, “Lo, here is Christ,” or “Lo there,” but we must believe them not. We have unmistakable evidence of the voice of the True Shepherd, and He is calling upon us to follow Him. He says, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” He leads His sheep in the path of humble obedience to the law of God, but He never encourages them in the transgression of that law. . . .
None need be deceived. The law of God is as sacred as His throne, and by it every man who cometh into the world is to be judged. There is no other standard by which to test character.
That I May Know Him p. 300
—–We have lost our health insurance we had through our employer. Please pray that we can find one that we can afford. A
Many years ago, my mother worked with a lady from Germany. As they worked together, they became friends. One Thanksgiving this lady invited my mother and I to her house to celebrate the holiday.
When we arrived, she and her husband gave us a tour of their home. It was on a large, wooded lot out in the country. The first story was made of cement block and was a large open area with a kitchen which was used in the summer. There was plenty of space for storage. The husband explained to us that when they had come to this country, they had lived very frugally. Every paycheck they would save as much as they could. Finally when they had enough money, they found just the land they desired and paid cash for it.
Then they were ready to begin the second step of their plan. Every time they got paid, they bought building materials, took them out to their lot, and covered them with a tarp. (In those days, there was not as much crime as there is today, so no one bothered it.) As soon as they had enough materials, the two of them built their first story, a cement block structure. They covered it with a flat roof that could be used for the foundation of the second story of the house which they would build when they had enough materials. Then they moved in. They lived in this basement-like structure for a year or two. It lacked a lot of the comforts they wanted, but it was sufficient.
Now that they did not have rent to pay, their ability to buy more building materials for the second story that would be their living area progressed rapidly. Week by week the stack of building materials grew. Finally, they had enough to put up the outside walls and the roof. They then began buying what they needed to furnish their comfortable place. A few years later, they added a deck off from the livingroom. By paying cash as they went along, they had a lovely home that was completely debt free.
Just as my mother’s friends gathered together building materials a little at a time, so we are instructed to study Scripture in the same way. “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isa 28:9,10 As we study God’s Word we will find many familiar passages, but we will also find new ones as the Holy Spirit guides us: things we have not seen before but have been there all the time. Jesus said, “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” Matt 13:27 How do we get that treasure? By reading the Word of God, studying what it says upon any given subject, by meditating upon it, and memorizing the main points of Scripture. David asks, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.” Ps 119:9-12
May we spend time each day studying God’s Holy Word. May we meditate upon that passage until it becomes a part of our very being. May we, as did Jesus, meet the temptations of the evil one with a firm “It is written” for we have the promise that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. (Matt 4:4, 7, 10; James 4:7)