Those First Dangerous Steps
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. Hebrews 3:12.
When the Redeemer of the world walked among men, many who identified themselves with Him as His disciples afterward forsook Him and became His bitterest enemies. The Saviour tested their faith and developed the real characters of the most ardent believers by applying spiritual truths to their hearts. . . .
They must be Christlike, meek and lowly of heart, self-denying, self-sacrificing; they must walk in the narrow path trodden by the Man of Calvary if they would share in the gift of life and the glory of heaven. But the test was too great. They walked no more with Him. They could not hear the saying nor comprehend the nature of the truth He taught. . . .
The work of apostasy begins in some secret rebellion of the heart against the requirements of God’s law. Unholy desires, unlawful ambitions, are cherished and indulged, and unbelief and darkness separate the soul from God. If we do not overcome these evils, they will overcome us. Men who have long been advancing in the path of truth will be tested with trial and temptation. Those who listen to the suggestions of Satan and swerve from their integrity begin the downward path, and some masterful temptation hastens them on in the way of apostasy, till their descent is marked and rapid. . . .
We need to be constantly on our guard, to watch and pray lest we enter into temptation. The indulgence of spiritual pride, of unholy desires, of evil thoughts, of anything that separates us from an intimate and sacred association with Jesus imperils our souls. . . . If the thought of apostasy is grievous to you, and you do not desire to become the enemies of the truth, the accusers of the brethren, then “abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Romans 12:9), and believe in Him who is “able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).
That I May Know Him p. 254
—– Fred is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon-semi-retired, teaches at _____ two days each week. Fred hasn’t felt well for a couple of weeks-never did we think that ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease was even a remote possibility. A pre-diagnosis of ALS has been made and Fred will be seen at _____ this coming Friday. We have all been praying and asking for God’s divine direction with this subject. Fred has a wonderful attitude and very strong faith. Last evening I visited with he and Bev and feel confident that their faith is in-tact. Can I ask that each of you remember Fred, specifically for this coming Friday and his appointment? His brother, Tom
—– Have to break some news to people that I don’t want to deliver. Not looking forward to the negativity I will receive from them. But I gotta do what is best for me and my family. Please send a prayer up that when the news is broken they will understand and not make me feel stupid for the choice I have made. Kim
—–Baby Grace is doing well and was able to be off from oxygen for four hours yesterday. Praise God for this miracle! Please continue to pray for complete healing. Sheri
——Please pray for wisdom for a family member who is dealing with a no-win situation. BU
Just before my tenth birthday, my mother married a man who was an alcoholic. He drank up most of the money that he earned. Worse than that, he was mean and cruel. Life became unbearable. After nearly four years, I had had enough. I determined that I would run away the next day. (I could not go back to live with my grandparents because they had moved to Florida.) That night, in the middle of the night, he left taking everything of value in the house except my mother’s guitar and amplifier.
Things did not get any better for us financially, but it was a big relief to have him gone.. My mother had to sell her guitar and amp just so we could have food. Our landlord would not wait for the rent until my mother found a job, so we had to move. She took what little money she had and rented a very cheap apartment downtown over a music store. Life was very difficult.
Even though we were far from Jesus, He was near to us. I had been taught to pray the “Now I lay me down to sleep….” prayer and as I got older, I added my own words, and had a sort of shaky faith in Him. He accepted the tiny spark of faith as the best I knew. There were many times that God protected us in that run-down apartment. He helped my mother find work, even though she did not recognize it as a blessing from Him.
After months of frugal living, we could move to a one-room apartment in a better part of town. Life was still a struggle. There were many times when there was nothing to eat in the apartment except a little flour and sugar. Yet, through all of life’s difficulties, God was there protecting us and yearning for us to recognize His love and love Him in return.
Jesus, speaking of His Heavenly Father said, “for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matt 5:45 God loves each person in this world whether they love Him back or not. His Spirit draws them, Over and over, He leads them into circumstances that will give them an opportunity to choose His way. He showers His blessings upon them even though they don’t know the Source of all blessings. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3 How loving and kind He is to us. He not only makes us His well-beloved children, but as we behold Him through His Holy Word, He changes us into His image.
May we, in all circumstances, “love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 May we open our heart’s door and allow Him to change us into His likeness. (Rev 3:18-20) May we share His love with others that they, too, may accept His great provision for salvation is my prayer.