“Overcoming Bad Habits” 08/09

Keep thyself pure. 1 Timothy 5:22.

To know what constitutes purity of mind, soul, and body is an important part of education.

When the character is lacking in purity, when sin has become a part of the character, it has a bewitching power that is equal to the intoxicating glass of liquor. The power of self-control and reason is overborne by practices that defile the whole being; and if these sinful practices are continued, the brain is enfeebled and diseased, and loses its balance. Such ones are a curse to themselves and to all who have any connection with them….

Bad habits are more easily formed than good habits, and the bad habits are given up with more difficulty. The natural depravity of the heart accounts for this well-known fact—that it takes far less labor to demoralize the youth, to corrupt their ideas of moral and religious character, than to engraft upon their character the enduring, pure, and uncorrupted habits of righteousness and truth. Self-indulgence, love of pleasure, enmity, pride, self-esteem, envy, jealousy, will grow spontaneously, without example and teaching. In our present fallen state all that is needed is to give up the mind and character to its natural tendencies. In the natural world, give up a field to itself and you will see it covered with briers and thorns; but if it yields precious grain or beautiful flowers, care and unremitting labor must be applied.

Now we present before you the necessity of constant resistance to evil. All heaven is interested in men and women whom God has valued so much as to give His beloved Son to die to redeem them. No other creature that God has made is capable of such improvement, such refinement, such nobility as man. Then when men become blunted by their own debasing passions, sunken in vice, what a specimen for God to look upon! Man cannot conceive what he may be and what he may become. Through the grace of Christ he is capable of constant mental progress. Let the light of truth shine into his mind and the love of God be shed abroad in his heart and he may, through the grace Christ has died to impart to him, be a man of power—a child of earth but an heir of immortality.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Preaching With Power” 04/18

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:1, 2, R.S.V.

John the Baptist in his desert life was taught of God. He studied the revelations of God in nature. Under the guiding of the Divine Spirit, he studied the scrolls of the prophets. By day and by night, Christ was his study, his meditation, until mind and heart and soul were filled with the glorious vision.

He looked upon the King in His beauty, and self was lost sight of. He beheld the majesty of holiness and knew himself to be inefficient and unworthy. It was God’s message that he was to declare. It was in God’s power and His righteousness that he was to stand. He was ready to go forth as Heaven’s messenger, unawed by the human, because he had looked upon the Divine. He could stand fearless in the presence of earthly monarchs because with trembling he had bowed before the King of kings.

With no elaborate arguments or finespun theories did John declare his message. Startling and stern, yet full of hope, his voice was heard from the wilderness: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2. With a new, strange power it moved the people. The whole nation was stirred. Multitudes flocked to the wilderness….

In this age, just prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, such a work as that of John is to be done. God calls for men who will prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord…. As a people who believe in Christ’s soon appearing, we have a message to bear—“Prepare to meet thy God.” Amos 4:12. Our message must be as direct as was the message of John. He rebuked kings for their iniquity. Notwithstanding that his life was imperiled, he did not hesitate to declare God’s word. And our work in this age must be done as faithfully.

In order to give such a message as John gave, we must have a spiritual experience like his. The same work must be wrought in us. We must behold God, and in beholding Him lose sight of self.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Karen The Lightbearer: Faith VS Doubt” Part Four

The Path seemed a lot longer than usual for Karen and Eddy. But instead of despairing they realized that the Good King purposely made it longer so that they could better prepare themselves for the new mission that was before them. They knew that the Natives Of Doubt were dangerous and would not willingly give up the Small Faith People. They wanted their faith to be strong so that they would be bold as lions in the midst of the evil giants. They didn’t want to give into fear and retreat from what the Good King wanted to do through them. With a feeling of deep need for His help they took time in their journey to pray and to gaze at His promises from their Lanterns. When they felt more strength was given to them they walked on the Path.

The Master of Darkness pursued them invisibly. He gritted his teeth at the thought of the Most High succeeding in freeing the Small Faith People from his servants. He knew that all his efforts to fight against Him were in vain. He tried to win the war in Heaven and lost; he tried to defeat the Most High’s purposes in the Ancient Times and lost; he tried his utmost to defeat the Good King when He came to the world as a human, and lost big time; he tried to destroy the church and lost; he had tried numerous times to upset the plans of Heaven for lost sinners and lost. He had lost in everything! A rational being would have surrendered but not he. He was bound and determined to prove that he was greater than the Good King and that eventually he would win.

“Hopefully, I will be permitted to kill the Lightbearers this time. Their heavenly characteristics are making me sick!” he muttered.

Karen and Eddy sensed that the foe was on their tail. They knew that it would be a matter of time before he attacked them again. And as always, they would be ready for him as long as the Good King was with them. Soon a bright shining angel from Heaven appeared to them. He had a rolled up golden scroll in his hand. He came up to the Lightbearers and gave them the scroll.

“The Small Faith People need to be strong when the Good King works His deliverance. When you reach them, give this scroll to Billy. He will use it to strengthen his faith and the faith of his fellow captives. The Forces Of Evil will strive to thwart His Majesty’s plan in releasing His people but take courage, for nothing can defeat or upset His purposes.”

After the Lightbearers received the scroll the angel smiled at them and disappeared before their eyes.

Eddy then spoke to Karen. “I strongly sense in my spirit that my people need more prayers right now. I know this feeling is from the Holy Spirit. Let’s stop where we are on the Path and pray to His Majesty for them.”

Karen and Eddy both knelt down and lifted up the Small Faith People to the Good King again in prayer. They asked Him to help them hold tightly to their faith and to not let the Master of Darkness take it away from them.

The wicked demon covered his ears and fled from them. Whenever the Most High was called upon he didn’t want to stick around. He knew that the Good King was more powerful than him and when anyone prayed in His Name His presence would be with them.

Karen and Eddy prayed as long as the Holy Spirit impressed them. When they were done they arose and walked again. Seeing that their praying time was over, the Master of Darkness continued to pursue them, but this time at a safe distance. The Light that was surrounding them was blinding for him.

To Be Continued.

 

 

 

“The Breath Of The Soul” 03/18

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Prayer is the breath of the soul, the channel of all blessings. As … the repentant soul offers its prayer, God sees its struggles, watches its conflicts, and marks its sincerity. He has His finger upon its pulse, and He takes note of every throb. Not a feeling thrills it, not an emotion agitates it, not a sorrow shades it, not a sin stains it, not a thought or purpose moves it, of which He is not cognizant. That soul was purchased at an infinite cost, and is loved with a devotion that is unalterable.

Prayer to the Great Physician for the healing of the soul brings the blessing of God. Prayer unites us one to another and to God. Prayer brings Jesus to our side, and gives new strength and fresh grace to the fainting, perplexed soul….

Christ our Saviour was tempted in all points like as we are, yet He was without sin. He took human nature, being made in fashion as a man, and his necessities were the necessities of a man. He had bodily wants to be supplied, bodily weariness to be relieved. It was by prayer to His Father that He was braced for duty and for trial. Day by day He followed His round of duty, seeking to save souls…. And He spent whole nights in prayer in behalf of the tempted ones….

The night seasons of prayer which the Saviour spent in the mountain or in the desert were essential to prepare Him for the trials He must meet in the days to follow. He felt the need of the refreshing and invigorating of soul and body, that He might meet the temptations of Satan; and those who are striving to live His life will feel this same need….

He says to us, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Christ alone can make us capable of responding when He says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” This means that every day self must be denied. Christ can give us the noble resolve, the will to suffer, and to fight the battles of the Lord with persevering energy. The weakest, aided by divine grace, may have strength to be more than conqueror.

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White

“Christ The Only Saviour” 03/06

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood. Colossians 1:13, 14.

No matter who you are or what your life has been, you can be saved only in God’s appointed way. You must repent; you must fall helpless on the Rock, Christ Jesus. You must feel your need of a physician and of the only remedy for sin, the blood of Christ. This remedy can be secured only by repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ…. The blood of Christ will avail for none but those who feel their need of its cleansing power.

What surpassing love and condescension, that when we had no claim upon divine mercy, Christ was willing to undertake our redemption! But our great Physician requires of every soul unquestioning submission. We are never to prescribe for our own case. Christ must have the entire management of will and action….

We may flatter ourselves … that our moral character has been correct and we need not humble ourselves before God like the common sinner. But we must be content to enter into life in the very same way as the chief of sinners. We must renounce our own righteousness and plead for the righteousness of Christ to be imputed to us. We must depend wholly upon Christ for our strength. Self must die. We must acknowledge that all we have is from the exceeding riches of divine grace. Let this be the language of our hearts: “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”

Genuine faith is followed by love, and love by obedience. All the powers and passions of the converted man are brought under the control of Christ. His Spirit is a renewing power, transforming to the divine image all who will receive it….

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.” He feels that he is the purchase of the blood of Christ and bound by the most solemn vows to glorify God in his body and in his spirit, which are God’s. The love of sin and the love of self are subdued in him. He daily asks: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”

From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White