For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Isaiah 43:3.
We may rejoice in hope. Our Advocate is in the heavenly sanctuary, pleading in our behalf. Through His merits we have pardon and peace. He died that He might wash away our sins, clothe us with His righteousness, and fit us for the society of Heaven, where we may dwell in light forever…. You cannot save yourself from the tempter’s power; but he trembles and flees when the merits of that precious blood are urged. Then will you not gratefully accept the blessings Jesus bestows? … Do not for a moment pain the heart of the pitying Saviour by your unbelief. He watches with the most intense interest your progress in the heavenly way; He sees your earnest efforts; He notes your declensions and your recoveries, your hopes and your fears, your conflicts and your victories.—Testimonies for the Church 5:316.
The Saviour longs to manifest His grace and stamp His character on the whole world. It is His purchased possession, and He desires to make men free, and pure, and holy. Though Satan works to hinder this purpose, yet through the blood shed for the world there are triumphs to be achieved that will bring glory to God and the Lamb.—The Desire of Ages, 827.
In order to secure man to Himself, and insure his eternal salvation, Christ left the royal courts of heaven, and came to this earth, endured the agonies of sin and shame in man’s stead, and died to make him free.—Testimonies for the Church 5:614.
With God at Dawn p. 308
—-David’s anger outbursts are getting worse and more frequent. Please pray for his deliverance and for his family who are suffering because of this. Buck
—-My niece, Jennifer, is sick and has tested positive for Covid-19. Please send up some prayers for her. Martha
—Please be in prayer for my dad. The house he was going to buy fell through and his current house is under contract. He is looking for something away from the city and basically a place for a new start. He’s still a bit heartbroken about his last relationship ending, and his hometown just reminds him of his mother, who passed away in 2017. Nothing left there to tie him down, but he needs the right house and the right location. I’m not looking for suggestions, just some people to pray with me about this. Jennifer
—- I’m asking for preyer, I have a ulcer in my left leg by my ankle and it hurts too much. I cant sleep at night. Please keep me in your prayers. SR
—-Please be in prayer for my cousin who is missing and very sick and has limited mental abilities. Rhonda
—-Please intercede to God for me, for healing with my ears. They are hurting, and my hearing is limited. ED
—-Please pray that Elizabeth as she recovers from knee replacement surgery. Rose
It is an unfortunate fact, that being wronged and hurt by fellow church members is a rather common occurrence. More than likely, you too, have suffered hurt from those who should have been a help along the path to Heaven. Because of this, I would like to share with you a letter that I received from my youngest daughter some years ago. One morning, in her private devotions, the Holy Spirit, through a very familiar passage of Scripture, gave her peace regarding all the hurtful things that fellow church members had done to her over the years.
“My dearest family,
I was reading through the book of Matthew today. When I reached the 13th chapter I found something that made me understand what has happened in _____. I am sure there are question marks written all over your faces right about now. And rightly so, but please pray for the Holy Spirit to open your hearts. Read and listen to what I have learned from this.
Many times I have questioned in my heart as to why God would allow people without God’s love to remain in leadership roles in His church—especially when they are hurting so many people…….. I thought that this couldn’t possibly be God’s plan because God is loving and kind. I have struggled with this for years. I know that struggle is shared with each of you.
I have found peace this morning! It is my prayer that by the end of this letter you will also find that peace and forgiveness flowing through you!
Yes, chapter 13 is the parable of the sower—the wheat and the tares. It wasn’t the beginning that struck me but the end: “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. . . .Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
I know that you have read this story many times, but more can still be found! I realize that just as the weeds could not be removed for fear of pulling up some wheat in the process, the unloving, cruel people are allowed to remain for fear of losing some of the loving. God knows that if He removed the bad people in the church, some of the sincere might—no, would—become discouraged, turn away, and lose their salvation.
Like it or not, the people who have hurt us are helping others in one way or another. It is better that they remain for those few souls. Perish the thought that they could be lost.
Our trials have not been in vain and the Lord did not allow us to weaken and die. Instead, these experiences strengthen us! Praise the Lord!!! “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matt 6:14, 15 This is a very strong warning to us. Our eternal life and forgiveness is at stake! Please accept God’s power to forgive those who have hurt us, for we fail too. Who is to say that they are worse than we are?
God says, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:44, 45
I pray that you will find forgiveness, so you will find peace. I love each of you with my whole heart!
Your loving daughter / sister,
It is my hope that you will apply this principle to any hurts you have received at the hands of fellow believers and freely forgive that you, in turn, may be forgiven. “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation [conduct] in Christ.” 1 Peter 3:8-16