“Perfection In The Human Sphere” 08/07

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48.

Our Saviour understood all about human nature, and He says to every human being. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” As God is perfect in His sphere, so man is to be perfect in his sphere. Those who receive Christ are among the number to whom the words so full of hope are spoken. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” These words declare to us that we should be content with nothing less than the best and highest character, a character formed after the divine similitude. When such a character is possessed, the life, the faith, the purity of the religion, is an instructive example to others.

But those who are waiting to behold a magical change in their characters without determined effort on their part to overcome sin, will be disappointed. We have no reason to fear while looking to Jesus, no reason to doubt but that He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto Him; but we may constantly fear lest our old nature will again obtain the supremacy, that the enemy shall devise some snare whereby we shall again become his captives. We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. With our limited powers we are to be as holy in our sphere as God is holy in His sphere. To the extent of our ability, we are to make manifest the truth and love and excellence of the divine character. As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ.

We are to grow daily in spiritual loveliness. We shall fail often in our efforts to copy the divine pattern. We shall often have to bow down to weep at the feet of Jesus, because of our shortcomings and mistakes; but we are not to be discouraged; we are to pray more fervently, believe more fully, and try again with more steadfastness to grow into the likeness of our Lord. As we distrust our own power, we shall trust the power of our Redeemer, and render praise to God, who is the health of our countenance, and our God.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“A Work For All Ages” 04/24

I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:14, R.S.V.

There are many lines in which the youth can find opportunity for helpful effort…. In this closing work of the gospel there is a vast field to be occupied; and, more than ever before, the work is to enlist helpers from the common people. Both the youth and those older in years will be called from the field, from the vineyard, and from the workshop, and sent forth by the Master to give His message. Many of these may have had little opportunity for education, but Christ sees in them qualifications that will enable them to fulfill His purpose. If they put their hearts into the work and continue to be learners, He will fit them to labor for Him….

However large, however small, your talents, remember that what you have is yours only in trust. Thus God is testing you, giving you an opportunity to prove yourself true. To Him you are indebted for all your capabilities. To Him belong your powers of body, mind, and soul, and for Him these powers are to be used. Your time, your influence, your capabilities, your skill—all must be accounted for to Him who gives all.

The youth who finds joy and happiness in reading the word of God and in the hour of prayer is constantly refreshed by drafts from the Fountain of life. He will attain a height of moral excellence and a breadth of thought of which others cannot conceive…. Those who thus connect their souls with God are acknowledged by Him as His sons and daughters. They are constantly reaching higher and still higher, obtaining clearer views of God and of eternity, until the Lord makes them channels of light and wisdom to the world.

With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come—the end of suffering and sorrow and sin!

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Climbing Peter’s Ladder” 03/17

Beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 2 Peter 1:5-7.

Point the youth to Peter’s ladder of eight rounds, and place their feet, not on the highest round, but on the lowest, and with earnest solicitation urge them to climb to the very top.

Christ … is the ladder. The base is planted firmly on the earth in His humanity; the topmost round reaches to the throne of God in His divinity. The humanity of Christ embraces fallen humanity, while His divinity lays hold upon the throne of God. We are saved by climbing round after round of the ladder, looking to Christ, clinging to Christ, mounting step by step to the height of Christ, so that He is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity are the rounds of this ladder. All these graces are to be manifested in the Christian character; and “if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

You are not to think that you must wait until you have perfected one grace before cultivating another. No; they are to grow up together…; every day that you live, you can be perfecting the blessed attributes fully revealed in the character of Christ….

Do not become overwhelmed with the great amount of work you must do in your lifetime, for you are not required to do it all at once. Let every power of your being go to each day’s work, improve each precious opportunity, appreciate the helps that God gives you, and make advancement up the ladder of progress step by step. Remember that you are to live but one day at a time, that God has given you one day, and heavenly records will show how you have valued its privileges and opportunities. May you so improve every day given you of God, that at last you may hear the Master say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

Faith’s Checkbook: Plentiful Refreshment

Watered-Garden

August 29

Plentiful Refreshment

“Their soul shall be as a watered garden.” Jeremiah 31:12

Oh, to have one’s soul under heavenly cultivation; no longer a wilderness but a garden of the LORD! Enclosed from the waste, walled around by grace, planted by instruction, visited by love, weeded by heavenly discipline, and guarded by divine power, one’s favored soul is prepared to yield fruit unto the LORD.

But a garden may become parched for want of water, and then all its herbs decline and are ready to die. O my soul, how soon would this be the case were the LORD to leave thee! In the East, a garden without water soon ceases to be a garden at all: nothing can come to perfection, grow, or even live. When irrigation is kept up, the result is charming. Oh, to have one’s soul watered by the Holy Spirit uniformly — every part of the garden having its own stream; plentifully — a sufficient refreshment coming to every tree and herb, however thirsty by nature it may be; continually — each hour bringing not only its heat, but its refreshment; wisely — each plant receiving just what it needs. In a garden you can see by the verdure where the water flows, and you can soon perceive when the Spirit of God comes.

O LORD, water me this day and cause me to yield Thee a full reward for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

 

Picture is from Google Images.