Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye are healed. 1 Peter 2:24.
The one thing essential for us in order that we may receive and impart the forgiving love of God is to know and believe the love that He has to us. Satan is working by every deception he can command, in order that we may not discern that love. He will lead us to think that our mistakes and transgressions have been so grievous that the Lord will not have respect unto our prayers, and will not bless and save us. In ourselves we can see nothing but weakness, nothing to recommend us to God, and Satan tells us that it is of no use; we can not remedy our defects of character. When we try to come to God, the enemy will whisper, It is of no use for you to pray; did not you do that evil thing? Have you not sinned against God, and violated your own conscience? But we may tell the enemy that “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” When we feel that we have sinned, and can not pray, it is then the time to pray. Ashamed we may be, and deeply humbled; but we must pray, and believe…. Forgiveness, reconciliation with God, comes to us, not as a reward for our works, it is not bestowed because of the merit of sinful men, but it is a gift unto us, having in the spotless righteousness of Christ its foundation for bestowal.
We should not try to lessen our guilt by excusing sin. We must accept God’s estimate of sin, and that is heavy indeed. Calvary alone can reveal the terrible enormity of sin. If we had to bear our own guilt, it would crush us. But the sinless One has taken our place, though undeserving, He has borne our iniquity.—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 115, 116.
With God at Dawn p. 147
—-Please continue to pray for Johanna. She had a pacemaker put in but her blood pressure is still very low. Rose
—-I have to say Praise the Lord! I went for an oral cancer screening today because I had two spots inside my cheek (including ulcers on the back of my throat)that didn’t look good. . . . No cancer and the ulcers are viral. So grateful for having our prayers answered. Sally
—-Please pray that Oliver can regain the use of his left side after an operation for epilepsy. Kim
—-Please pray for Buddy who had a stroke and is in rehab. Kay
—-Report is in on my shoulder. surgery is recommended. I’m dealing with some other issues too so prayers are appreciated. Connie
—-Please pray for Brian as he travels back home and also for Esther, the children, and me as we may be travelling across country to see Ronnie Jay either this week or next. Rose
Over the years, Ron and I have enjoyed canoeing. Our favorite memories seemed to center around Bad Medicine Campground which is on John Bull Lake. We liked to go there the week of my birthday because other than the campground host, we were the only campers, so all was peace and serenity. (An added bonus was the mosquitoes had not yet hatched.) Once during a canoe ride, we had a beaver swim alongside of us, slapping the water with his tail which drenched us. It seemed like he was enjoying Esther’s screams as she got very wet.
We got to see many interesting animal behaviors whenever we camped there such as osprey youngsters peeking over the edge of the nest high above us while the frantic parents were trying desperately to lead us from the nest. On one canoe ride that Ron and the children went on, an eagle and an osprey were fighting above the lake. The one was upside down with his talons pointing upwards, while the other was right-side-up with his talons bared to finish off his opponent. (Sadly, I didn’t go canoeing that time, so I missed the spectacular sight.)
On another canoe ride Ron and I had taken on that same lake, Ron spotted an animal swimming ahead of us. At first we thought it might have been the beaver again. Quietly, he sculled our craft closer to get a better look. We discovered that it was not a beaver. It was a muskrat. Because of Ron’s skill in paddling a canoe, Mr. muskrat didn’t know that we were there. We followed him as he swam to a protected spot along the shoreline. Overhanging tree branches and a dead tree lying parallel with the shoreline made a secluded cove for the muskrat family’s home. From their burrow under the bank, Mrs. Muskrat, along with four or five little ones, emerged and greeted him happily. We sat motionless and watched the proceedings.
Suddenly, another muskrat face appeared at the entrance of their den. This creature spotted us and gave a warning whistle. Instantly our muskrat family disappeared. As we looked at the spot where they had been a moment before, we spotted one baby looking at us with fear-filled eyes. In his fright, he had forgotten where the entrance to his home was and had run in the opposite direction. Realizing that he was discovered, he flattened himself against the shore under an exposed tree root and hoped for the best. We watched to see what he would do. Moments later, one of this terrorized baby’s parents came to the entrance and whistled softly. That terror-stricken youngster did not need a second invitation. Instantly, he made a dive for the burrow.
Just as that little muskrat became confused and disoriented, so we sometimes find ourselves in a similar situation. We have lost our way. Trouble is all around. We know not which way to turn. We are as a sheep who has wandered away from the flock. Our dear Saviour assures us, ”What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:4-7 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:11-15
Praise God! We have a Good Shepherd, Who left the glories of Heaven, endured all of the hatred that the evil one could heap upon Him, and gave His life for His perishing sheep. What love: what wonderful love! Just as that muskrat parent gave his child direction to his home, so our Loving Father promises, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Isa 30:21; Ps 32:8 Precious promises! We do not have to wander any longer! We do not have to stay confused, disoriented, lost! There is a Way of escape! Our Dear Saviour is the Way the Truth and the Life! John 14:6 We can safely follow His leading!
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.” Jude 24,25