So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
KJV Romans 10:17
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For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Titus 2:11-14 KJV
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 KJV
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-18
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
1 Peter 5:4 KJV
~ excerpt from ‘Bible Readings for the Home Circle’ 1908; ch. The Millenium
“We are saved by hope.”
The fallen must be led to feel that it is not too late for them to be men. Christ honored man with His confidence and thus placed him on his honor. Even those who had fallen the lowest He treated with respect. It was a continual pain to Christ to be brought into contact with enmity, depravity, and impurity; but never did He utter one expression to show that His sensibilities were shocked or His refined tastes offended. Whatever the evil habits, the strong prejudices, or the overbearing passions of human beings, He met them all with pitying tenderness. As we partake of His Spirit, we shall regard all men as brethren, with similar temptations and trials, often falling and struggling to rise again, battling with discouragements and difficulties, craving sympathy and help. Then we shall meet them in such a way as not to discourage or repel them, but to awaken hope in their hearts. As they are thus encouraged, they can say with confidence, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” He will “plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness.” Micah 7:8,9
God “looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
He fashioneth their hearts alike.”
Psalm 33:14, 15.
He bids us, in dealing with the tempted and the erring, consider “thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1. With a sense of our own infirmities, we shall have compassion for the infirmities of others.
“Who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?” “One is your Master; ... and all ye are brethren.” “Why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother?” “Let us not therefore judge one another: ... but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.” 1 Corinthians 4:7; Matthew 23:8; Romans 14:10, 13.
It is always humiliating to have one's errors pointed out. None should make the experience more bitter by needless censure. No one was ever reclaimed by reproach; but many have thus been repelled and have been led to steel their hearts against conviction. A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment, may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins.
The apostle Paul found it necessary to reprove wrong, but how carefully he sought to show that he was a friend to the erring! How anxiously he explained to them the reason of his action! He made them understand that it cost him pain to give them pain. He showed his confidence and sympathy toward the ones who were struggling to overcome.
“Out of much affliction and anguish of heart,” he said, “I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.” 2 Corinthians 2:4. “For though I made you sorry with my epistle, I do not regret it: though I did regret it, ... I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance.... For behold, this selfsame thing, that ye were made sorry after a godly sort, what earnest care it wrought in you, yea what clearing of yourselves, yea what indignation, yea what fear, yea what longing, yea what zeal, yea what avenging! In everything ye approved yourselves to be pure in the matter.... Therefore we have been comforted.” 2 Corinthians 7:8-13, A.R.V.
“I rejoice that in everything I am of good courage concerning you.” “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;” “being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all, because I have you in my heart.” “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” “Now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” Verse 16, A.R.V.; Philippians 1:3-5; 1:6, 7, A.R.V.; 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:8.
Paul wrote to these brethren as “saints in Christ Jesus;” but he was not writing to those who were perfect in character. He wrote to them as men and women who were striving against temptation and who were in danger of falling. He pointed them to “the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep.” He assured them that “through the blood of the everlasting covenant” He will “make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 13:20, 21.
When one at fault becomes conscious of his error, be careful not to destroy his self-respect. Do not discourage him by indifference or distrust. Do not say, “Before giving him my confidence, I will wait to see whether he will hold out.” Often this very distrust causes the tempted one to stumble.
We should strive to understand the weakness of others. We know little of the heart trials of those who have been bound in chains of darkness and who lack resolution and moral power. Most pitiable is the condition of him who is suffering under remorse; he is as one stunned, staggering, sinking into the dust. He can see nothing clearly. The mind is beclouded, he knows not what steps to take. Many a poor soul is misunderstood, unappreciated, full of distress and agony—a lost, straying sheep. He cannot find God, yet he has an intense longing for pardon and peace.
Oh, let no word be spoken to cause deeper pain! To the soul weary of a life of sin, but knowing not where to find relief, present the compassionate Saviour. Take him by the hand, lift him up, speak to him words of courage and hope. Help him to grasp the hand of the Saviour.
We become too easily discouraged over the souls who do not at once respond to our efforts. Never should we cease to labor for a soul while there is one gleam of hope. Precious souls cost our self-sacrificing Redeemer too dear a price to be lightly given up to the tempter's power.
We need to put ourselves in the place of the tempted ones. Consider the power of heredity, the influence of evil associations and surroundings, the power of wrong habits. Can we wonder that under such influences many become degraded? Can we wonder that they should be slow to respond to efforts for their uplifting?
Often, when won to the gospel, those who appeared coarse and unpromising will be among its most loyal adherents and advocates. They are not altogether corrupt. Beneath the forbidding exterior there are good impulses that might be reached.
Without a helping hand many would never recover themselves, but by patient, persistent effort they may be uplifted. Such need tender words, kind consideration, tangible help. They need that kind of counsel which will not extinguish the faint gleam of courage in the soul. Let the workers who come in contact with them consider this.
Some will be found whose minds have been so long debased that they will never in this life become what under more favorable circumstances they might have been. But the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness may shine into the soul. It is their privilege to have the life that measures with the life of God. Plant in their minds uplifting, ennobling thoughts. Let your life make plain to them the difference between vice and purity, darkness and light. In your example let them read what it means to be a Christian. Christ is able to uplift the most sinful and place them where they will be acknowledged as children of God, joint heirs with Christ to the immortal inheritance.
By the miracle of divine grace, many may be fitted for lives of usefulness. Despised and forsaken, they have become utterly discouraged; they may appear stoical and stolid. But under the ministration of the Holy Spirit, the stupidity that makes their uplifting appear so hopeless will pass away. The dull, clouded mind will awake. The slave of sin will be set free. Vice will disappear, and ignorance will be overcome. Through the faith that works by love, the heart will be purified and the mind enlightened.
And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;
As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;
Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;
Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.
As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.
I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.
I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.
Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.
And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.
And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.
And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.
And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.
And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.
Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God.
And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.
~ To Be Like Jesus; EGW
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus:
and great grace was upon them all.
What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost? The glad tidings of a risen Savior were carried to the uttermost parts of the inhabited world. The hearts of the disciples were surcharged with a benevolence so full, so deep, so far-reaching, that it impelled them to go to the ends of the earth, testifying, God forbid that we should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. BLJ 270.2
As they proclaimed the truth as it is in Jesus, hearts yielded to the power of the message. The church beheld converts flocking to it from all directions. Believers were reconverted. Sinners united with Christians in seeking the pearl of great price. Those who had been the bitterest opponents of the gospel became its champions.... The only ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character, and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.... BLJ 270.3
Under their labors there were added to the church chosen ones, who, receiving the word of life, consecrated their lives to the work of giving to others the hope that had filled their hearts with peace and joy. Hundreds proclaimed the message “The kingdom of God is at hand.” They could not be restrained or intimidated by threatenings. The Lord spoke through them, and wherever they went, the sick were healed, and the poor had the gospel preached unto them. So mightily can God work when human beings give themselves up to the control of His Spirit. BLJ 270.4
To us today, as verily as to the first disciples, the promise of the Spirit belongs. God will today endow men and women with power from above, as He endowed those who on the day of Pentecost heard the message of salvation. At this very hour His Spirit and His grace are for all who need them and who will take Him at His word. BLJ 270.5
Notice that it was after the disciples had come into perfect unity, when they were no longer striving for the highest place, that the Spirit was poured out. They were of one accord. All differences had been put away. And the testimony borne of them after the Spirit had been given is the same. Mark the word: “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.” The Spirit of Him who died that sinners might live animated the entire company of believers.—(Australasian) Union Conference Record, June 1, 1904. BLJ 270.6
And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful,
to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Then Peter said,
Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have
give I thee:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up:
and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
And he leaping up stood, and walked,
and entered with them into the temple,
walking, and leaping, and
And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people,
Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this?
or why look ye so earnestly on us,
as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers,
hath glorified his Son Jesus;
whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate,
when he was determined to let him go.
But ye denied the Holy One and the Just,
and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead;
whereof we are witnesses.
And his name
through faith in his name hath made this man strong,
whom ye see and know:
yea, the faith which is by him
hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
And now, brethren,
I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
But those things,
which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets,
that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted,
that your sins may be blotted out,
when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
And he shall send Jesus Christ,
which before was preached unto you:
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things,
which God hath spoken
by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
For Moses truly said unto the fathers,
A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren,
like unto me;
him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
And it shall come to pass,
that every soul, which will not hear that prophet,
shall be destroyed from among the people.
Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after,
as many as have spoken,
have likewise foretold of these days.
Ye are the children of the prophets,
and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham,
And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you,
in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
KJV Acts, chapter III
Therefore I say unto you,
Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
KJV Matthew 6:25 LHU 73.1
He who has given you life knows your need of food to sustain it. He who created the body is not unmindful of your need of raiment. Will not He who has bestowed the greater gift bestow also what is needed to make it complete? LHU 73.2
Jesus pointed His hearers to the birds as they warbled their carols of praise, unencumbered with thoughts of care, for “they sow not, neither do they reap”; and yet the great Father provides for their needs. And He asks, “Are not ye of much more value than they?” LHU 73.3
“No sparrow falls without His care,
No soul bows low but Jesus knows;
For He is with us everywhere,
And marks each bitter tear that flows.
And He will never, never, never
Forsake the soul that trusts Him ever”.... LHU 73.4
God’s law is the law of love. He has surrounded you with beauty to teach you that you are not placed on earth merely to delve for self, to dig and build, to toil and spin, but to make life bright and joyous and beautiful with the love of Christ — like the flowers, to gladden other lives by the ministry of love. LHU 73.5
Fathers and mothers, let your children learn from the flowers. Take them with you into garden and field and under the leafy trees, and teach them to read in nature the message of God’s love. Let the thoughts of Him be linked with bird and flower and tree. Lead the children to see in every pleasant and beautiful thing an expression of God’s love for them. Recommend your religion to them by its pleasantness. Let the law of kindness be in your lips. LHU 73.6
Teach the children that because of God’s great love their natures may be changed and brought into harmony with His. Teach them that He would have their lives beautiful with the graces of the flowers. Teach them, as they gather the sweet blossoms, that He who made the flowers is more beautiful than they. Thus the tendrils of their hearts will be entwined about Him. He who is “altogether lovely” will become to them as a daily companion and familiar friend, and their lives will be transformed into the image of His purity (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 95-98). LHU 73.7
[God] would adorn our characters with His own rich graces. He would have our words as fragrant as the flowers of the field (The Review and Herald, May 19, 1896). LHU 73.8
“Charity [agape—love,] never faileth:
but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail;
whether there be tongues, they shall cease;
whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child,
I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child;
but when I became a man I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass darkly,
but then face to face;
now I know in part,
but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
1 Corinthians 13:8-12. 3SG 13.2
The apostle here contrasts the mortal state with the immortal;
the present imperfect, with that which will be perfect;
the cloudy present while we walk by faith, with the open glory of the life to come.
Here, we only know in part, prophesy in part; there, that which is in part will be done away.
Here, we see through a glass darkly; there, face to face.
Here, we know in part; there, we shall know, even as we are known.
Charity, or love, will never end.
Here, it is the highest Christian grace; there, it will be the crowning glory of immortals forever and forever.
In this sense, love will never fail.
But prophecies will fail, tongues will cease, and knowledge will vanish away.
The light of heaven through the dim medium of these, and the other gifts of the Holy Spirit,
is represented as being only in part,
and is to be superseded by the perfect day of glory when we may talk face to face with God, Christ, and angels,
as our first parents talked with God in Eden before sin entered.
“And let all the people say, Amen.” 3SG 14.1
And God said, Behold,
I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth,
and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;
to you it shall be for meat.
KJV Genesis 1:29
Christ never worked a miracle except to supply a genuine necessity, and every miracle was of a character to lead the people to the tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. The simple food passed round by the hands of the disciples contained a whole treasure of lessons. It was humble fare that had been provided; the fishes and barley loaves were the daily food of the fisher folk about the Sea of Galilee. Christ could have spread before the people a rich repast, but food prepared merely for the gratification of appetite would have conveyed no lesson for their good. Christ taught them in this lesson that the natural provisions of God for man had been perverted. And never did people enjoy the luxurious feasts prepared for the gratification of perverted taste as this people enjoyed the rest and the simple food which Christ provided so far from human habitations. DA 366.1
If men today were simple in their habits, living in harmony with nature’s laws, as did Adam and Eve in the beginning, there would be an abundant supply for the needs of the human family. There would be fewer imaginary wants, and more opportunities to work in God’s ways. But selfishness and the indulgence of unnatural taste have brought sin and misery into the world, from excess on the one hand, and from want on the other. DA 367.1
Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.
KJV Job 37:9-14