It seems inevitable that no two people think alike and that holds true for the Christian as well (unless you are in a cult and have to see everything the same way). So what do we do when someone doesn’t see things quite the same was that we do? This booklet follows the Christian through the thoughts and prayers that need to be made to make the best decisions. This booklet also gives practical examples. We must all be careful not to give reproach on the name of our Lord by our conduct, so we need to make sure we handle these differences as He would have us do!
We have found that it was often by bringing us into severe trials, ordeals, putting us under crucial tests, that the Lord develops more and more our faith, our love, our trust, our hope in Him. He would have us learn well our lesson, that without Him we can do nothing, but that with His blessing and favor all things are ours, because we are Christ’s and Christ is God’s. Let us, then, in all the important junctures of life, be sure that we are seeking chiefly the divine will, as expressed in the divine promise, the Oath-Bound Covenant: let us seek it patiently, earnestly, persistently—let us wrestle with the Lord that thereby we may be made the stronger, that when the proper and advantageous experiences have been enjoyed the blessing will come—at the proper moment to do us the most good and in the manner that would be most helpful.
The Psalm which constitutes our lesson is supposed to have been composed by the Prophet after his heart had returned to peace with God through assurance of divine forgiveness of his sins. Its opening sentence takes this standpoint. David was the blessed man who had experienced divine forgiveness and covering of his transgression, his sin. He was the man to whom the Lord no longer imputed iniquity and in whose heart was no deception, no secret longing for sin, with merely the restraints of fear, but who had a heart and mind fully turned away from sin and in absolute accord with divine justice and all of its righteous requirements.
Christians should not fear these troublous times, but rather rejoice that God’s kingdom is nigh, and if found faithful, the Christian will have a place in Jesus’ throne. It is hard for the Christian to rejoice if he is not properly prepared and armed. Readiness is a sign of commitment and if we are ready to honor our commitment of sacrifice to the glory of God, then God promises to keep and protect us – not our natural bodies but rather the holy Spirit that dwells within our new creature. Commitment that is unprepared to sacrifice is merely compromise in disguise. Compromise takes a steady toll and weakens our desire and ability to be committed.
This message, “Come out of her, my people,” is not to those who are still blind in Babylon; hence it is not the first message to be given out at the present time. The light, the truth, the divine plan of the ages, is to be let shine; the errors of Babylon on various points are to be shown, and how these are dishonoring to God: then it is that the voice of the truth, the voice of these facts, will cry aloud to all who are truly the Lord’s sheep, to separate themselves from such misrepresentation of the divine character and plan, in heart, in person, in purse.
ONE of the most inspiring psalms David wrote is Psalm 23, the Shepherd Psalm. There is something so comforting and reassuring about this psalm that even those who do not understand it, find, in times of danger and stress, just reading it soothes their troubled hearts and restores their courage. Although composed of the simplest words—”shepherd words”—it has a sublime quality, exalting the soul and creating a spirit of calmness, security and peace.
God’s love was not previously manifested; for over four thousand years only the severity, the justice of the divine character was manifested, though a hint was given to Abraham and subsequently through the prophets, that God had kind sentiments toward the fallen and tainted race, which in due time would bring blessings to all the families of the earth.
Upon hearing the repentant cry of Israel the Lord raised up Gideon to lead them away from their idolatry and deliver them from its consequences. At the Lord’s command Gideon destroyed the altar and grove of Baal thus demonstrating that the supposedly mighty Baal was no god, that he was powerless to prevent the desecration of his own altar, that he was powerless against the God of Gideon, the true God of their fathers. As a result there was a great conversion in Israel, a determination to return to the worship of Jehovah and to throw off the yoke of Midian. Gideon was acclaimed their leader.
To the crowd of his fellow-citizens—who had but recently awakened to the fact that Jesus was a great prophet, endued with miraculous powers—the Lord was discoursing, doubtless respecting the Kingdom of God long promised, and which he proclaimed to be nigh, even at the door, if the people were willing to receive the message and its blessing. At this juncture four men, bearing on a litter a young man paralyzed and utterly helpless, approached the house with a view to having the sick one healed. His helpless condition probably hindered the ailing one from applying to Jesus on the day when so many of the sick at Capernaum were cured. Now he had found friends and helpers and had come within sound of the Master’s voice, yet was unable to gain access to his presence because of the crowd who were unwilling to make way for him.
As we study the present lesson let us have this thought in mind, and apply each to himself the moral. If in our fallen condition envy can produce such terrible fruitage, how much on guard against it every true follower of the Lord should be. How each should realize that to permit the growth of even the smallest shoot of this root in his daily life might lead on to most disastrous consequences to him as a New Creature.