Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Isaiah 2:3.
The Old Testament Scriptures were the lesson book of Israel. When the lawyer came to Christ with the question “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” … the Saviour said, “What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Christ said, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:25-28)….
If there were not another text in the Bible, this statement carries sufficient light and knowledge and assurance for every soul. The lawyer had answered his own question, but willing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” (verse 29). Then by the parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ showed who is our neighbor, and gives us an example of the love we should manifest toward those suffering and in need. The priest and Levite, whose duty it was to minister to the needs of the stranger, passed by on the other side.
At the conclusion of the narrative Christ asked the lawyer, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise” (verses 36, 37).
There are practical lessons in the Word of God…. That Word teaches living, holy principles, which prompt men to do unto others as they would have others do unto them, principles which they are to bring into the daily life here, and carry with them into the school above…. The altar and the plough are the experiences for all who seek eternal life. We know altogether too little of the greatness of the love and compassion of God. Let students put to the stretch the faculties of their mind, that they may comprehend such chapters as the forty-fifth of Isaiah, which should be placed in form, and brought into our schools as valuable studies. They will be better than romance or fable. Why have our schools been so dependent upon books which tell so little of the city we claim to be seeking, whose Builder and Maker is God? … Heaven is our home. Our citizenship is above, and our lives must not be devoted to a world which is soon to be destroyed. We need the Word of God revealed in living characters. What pure, excellent language is found in the Word of God! What elevating, ennobling principles!—Manuscript 96, July 20, 1899. “The Bible as Our Study Book.”
The Upward Look p. 215
—-Mike and Eileen had car trouble along the way and had to come back here. Please pray that their car can be fixed so that they can travel by Monday. Please pray also that if Larry, who is in a lot of pain, should go back into the hospital that he will be willing to go. Rose
—- my cousin (40) is in critical condition, seizures and has arrested twice. Please pray for her to be healed that she may be saved. Please pray for her brain function to be normal! Rachelle
—-Please pray for my husband. He is still grieving the loss of his parents and we just had to put our dog down and he is not dealing well with that. He was sobbing last night and is so sad. Please pray that God will comfort him and give him peace. Kathy
—-Please pray for me. I have been told that we now have mandatory Sabbath work. Please pray that they will allow me to work Sundays instead. RJ
When I worked at the courthouse, I was daily reminded of the effects of sin upon a person’s life. Usually, it is a person’s face that shows this effect, but sometimes it is their actions. One day, a pleasant-looking, polite, young man came in and said that he was to meet his lawyer in order to fill out paperwork. On the side of his hand was tattooed the word “Forgiven.” When I saw that, I assumed that he was a Christian young man who had made an error in judgment and would probably not drive drunk again. He asked if he could get started on the paperwork right away as he had to get to work. I let him. All was going well until it came time for me to schedule him for an alcohol evaluation. Suddenly, his demeanor changed. He became argumentative and cocky. He accused me of singling him out and picking on him. I was shocked! After explaining that all people who are convicted of driving while drunk have to have this evaluation. I had expected that he would calm down, but he did not. When his lawyer came in, he complained of my “unfairness” to him. Of course, it got him nowhere. His attorney sided with me.
How many Christians there are who are as this young man. They appear to be Christians until their will is crossed. Jesus speaks of them, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt 7:21-23 Paul’s list of mankind’s condition just before Jesus comes is so true. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Tim 3:1-5
Truly this list shows the cause of all the crimes that are committed, all the heartache in this world, all the strained relationships within or without the family circle. Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, there have always been some people who have committed these sins, but never before have these character traits been so strong or so widespread. Of all this list, however, the most dangerous is “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” Sadly, there are many people claiming to be Christians but do not do the works of Christ.
A powerless Christian does more to turn others away from our Dear Saviour, than does the worst profligate. They are no better than the Scribes and Pharisees who persecuted Jesus. These men had an outward appearance of being righteous, but on the inside they were full of pride and selfishness. He, Who weighs the thoughts of the heart pronounced a woe upon them. “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. . . . Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.” Luke 11:13-31 Tears must have been in His voice as He uttered those scathing rebukes. How His Great Heart of Love was breaking at their spiritual conditon. How His Great Heart of Love breaks when we are as they were.
May we stay so close to our Loving Redeemer, that others will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus is my prayer. (Acts 4:13)