We Choose Not a Favored Few, But Many Friends

One of favorite songs in Sabbath School was, sharing with others . . “I have two dolly’s and I am glad you have no dolly and that’s too bad, I’ll share my dolly cause I love you and Now you have a nice dolly too.” You might say I have a watermelon and I wish to share some with you.

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17.

Sympathy is good, wisely give, but it must be judiciously imparted, with a knolwledge that the subject is deserving sympathy. What shall be said of receiving advice and counsel? Proverbs 25:9-12. “Debate thy cause with thy neighbor; and discover not a secret to another: lest he that heareth it put thee to shame. . . .A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As a an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so it is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.” When we can associate together to help one another heavenward, when the conversation is upon divine and heavenly things, then it amounts to something to talk; but when the conversation centers upon self and upon earthly and unimportant matters, SILENCE IS GOLDEN. The obedient ear will receive reproof with humility, patience, and teachableness. Then only do our communications with each other prove beneficial, and fulfill all that God would have them. When both sides of the divine instruction are fulfilled, the wise reprover does his duty, and the obedient ear hears to a purpose and is benefitted.

“Every association we form, however limited, exerts some influence upon us. The extent to which we yield to that influence will be determined by the degree of intimacy, and constancy of the intercourse, and our love and veneration of the one with whom we associate.

“Your good will, your unselfish acts, will not be to a favored few, but to all with whom you associate. Thus you will form friends and attachments that are dear and lasting; your own deeds will be reflected back on yourself.

“Through the social relations, Christianity comes in contact with the world. Every one who has received the divine illumination is to brighten the pahtway of those who know not the Light of Life.”

Sons and Daugthers of God, by Ellen White, p. 166.

Deuteronomy 32:31  “For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.”

We Do Not Conset to Enticement of Sinners

“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. . . . For their feet run to evil, and make battle to shed blood.” Proverbs 1:10, 16.

“It is not safe for the professed follower of Christ to associate with the careless and reckless; for it is an easy matter to come to view things as they do . . . . and to lose all sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Guard yourself on this one point in particular, do not be influenced and led astray by those you have reason to know, by their words and works, are not in connection with God.

“Hear the voice of God: “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” Those who are controlled by the Spirit of God are to keep their perceptive faculties awake; for the time has come when their integrity and loyalty to God and to one another will be tested. Do not commit the least injustice in order to gain an advantage for yourselves. Do unto others, in small matters as well as in great, as you would that others should do unto you. God says, “Ye are my witnesses.” You are to act in My place. Could the curtain be rolled back, you would see the heavenly universe looking with intese interest upon the one who is tempted. If you do not yield to the enemy, there is JOY IN HEAVEN. When the first suggestion of wrong is heard, dart a prayer to heaven, and then firmly resist the temptation to tamper with the principles condemned in God’s Word. The first time the tempation comes, meet it in such a decided manner that it will never be repeated. Turn from the one who has ventured to present wrong practices to you. Resolutely turn from the temper, saying, I must separate from your influence; for I know you are not walking in the footsteps of our Saviour.

“Even though you may not feel able to speak a word to those who are working on wrong principles, leave them. Your withdrawal and silence may do more than words. . . . Have courage to do right.”

Sons and Daughters of God, by Ellen White, p. 164

We Choose Our Associates Carefully

“Put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:27. (Before the great EXODUS of slaves in Egypt, the sign needed was the blood of the lamb, on the doorpost)

“God’s Word places great stress upon the influence of association, even upon men and women. How much greater is its power on the developing mind and character of children and youth. The company they keep, the principles they adopt, the habits they form, will decide the question of their usefulness here, and of their future, eternal interest. . . .

“Throught contact with the irreligious, the pleasure-loving, and the corrupt, many, many youth lose the simiplicity and purity, the faith in God, and the spirit of self-sacrifice that Christian fathers and mothers have cherished and guarded by careful instruction and earnest prayer. . .

“As a rule, men and women who have broad ideas, unselfish purposes, noble aspirations, are those in whom these charactericitcs were developed by their associations in early years. In all His dealings with Israel, God urged upon them the importance of guarding the associations of their children. All the arrangements of civil, religous, and social life were made with a view to preserving the children from harmful companionship, and making them, from their earliest years, familiar with the precepts and principles of the law of God. The object-lesson given at the birth of the nation was of a nature deeply to impress all hearts. Before the last terrible judgment came upon the Egyptians in the death of their first-born, God commanded his people to gather their children into their own homes. The door-post of every house was marked with blood, and within the protection assured by this token all were to abide. So to-day parents who love and fear God are to keep their chldren under “the bond of the covenant,”–within the protection of those sacred influences made possible through Christ’s redeeming blood.”

Sons and Daughters of God, by Ellen White, p. 163.

My first thought was of my sons. And I know their aspirations have been to be covered by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Their noble hearts, have been softened by the love of their Heavenly Father, who knew, we could never achieve perfection, in our own eyes. . . . we would all know in our hearts, of our need of being saved by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ. In all humility, we come as sheep to His pasture, to drink the living water of life, eternal life, purchased by His blood.

The Eypgtians today, have painted bloody hand prints on their doorposts. . . which is a reminder of how the children were saved. . .whose parents obeyed the law given to protect and save the children from slavery to an unknown god.

Seek the Company of The Wise

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20.

“The youth should seriously consider what shall be their purpose and life work, and lay the foundation in such a way that their habits shall be free from all taint of corruption. If they would stand in a position where they shall influence others, they must be self-reliant. . . .

“We may learn a lesson from the lily, and although surrounded with influences that would tend to corrupt the morals, and bring ruin upon the soul, we may refuse to be corrupted, and place ourselves where evil association shall not corrupt our hearts. Individually the youth should seek for association with those who are toiiling upward with unfaltering steps.

“Examine your own hearts, judge your own course. Consider what associates you are choosing. Do you seek the company of the wise, or are you willing to choose worldly associates, companions who fear not God, and obey not the gospel.?

“The only safe-guard for children and youth, is the love and fear of God. Let them choose for their companions those who give evidence that they will encourage good purposes, orderly habits, and uprighteness of character. Let them choose for companions those who practice the Bible truth, and walk according to the light that shines upon their pathway.

“If you would have broad views, noble thoughts and aspirations, choose associations that will strengthen right principles. Let every thought and the purpose of every action bend to the securing of the future life, with eternal happiness.”

Sons and Daughters of God, by Ellen White, p. 162.

With perfection a goal, and juding our own souls, who can compare themselves with Jesus? Humbling it is to walk with Him, trying to see through His eyes. . . with love and tenderness towards all mankind!

Counsel of a True Friend Rejoices the Heart

“Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; as doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” Proverbs 27:9.

“Things will go wrong with every one; sadness and discouragment press every soul; then a personal presence, a friend who will comfort and impart strength, will turn back the darts of the enmy that are aimed to destroy. Christian friends are not half as plentiful as they should be. In hours of temptation, in a crisis, what a value is a true friend! Satan as such times sends along his agents to cause the trembling limbs to stumble; but the true friends who will counsel, who will impart magnetic hopefulness, the calming faith that uplifts the soul, –oh, such help is worth more than precious pearls.

“The life of Samuel from early childhood had been a life of piety and devotion. He had been placed under the care of Eli in his youth, and character drew forth the warm affection of the aged priest. He was kind, generous, diligent, obedienct, and respectful. . . . It was singular thing that between Eli, the chief magistrate of the naiton, and the simple child so warm a friendship should exist. Samuel was helpful and affectionate, and no father ever loved his cild more tenderly than did Eli this youth . . .

“How touching to see the youth, and old age relying one upon the other, the youth looking up to the aged for counsel and wisdom, the aged looking up to the youth for help and sympathy. This is at it should be. God would have the young posses such qualification of character that they shall find delight in the friendship of the old, who are approaching the border of the grave.

“A strong, helpful grasp of the hand of true friend is worth more than gold and silver.”

Sons and Daughters of God, by Ellen White, p. 161. for June 3.

Choose Christ as Our Captain

Photo by Samet Korkmaz on Pexels.com

“And he said . . . as captian of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the erath, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servants? Joshua 5:14

“When Joshua went forth in the morning before the taking of Jericho, there appeared before him a warrior fully equpted for battle. And Joshua asked, “Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” and He answered, “As Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.” If the eyes of Joshua had been opened . . . and he could have endured the sight, he would have seen the angels of the Lord encamped about the children of Israel; for the trained army of heaven had come to fight for the people of God, and the Captain of the Lord’s host was there to command . . . It was not Israel, but the Captin of the Lord’s host that took Jericho. But Israel their part to act to show their faith in the Captain of their salvation.

“Battles are to be fought everyday. A great warefar is going on over every soul, between the prince of darkness and the Prince of life. There is a great battle to be fought,. . . . but you are not to do the main fighting here. As God’s agent you are to yield yourselves to Him, that He may plan and direct and fight the battle for you, with your co-operation. The Prince of life is at the head of His work. He is to be with you in your daily battle with self, that you may be true to principle; that passion, when warring for the matery, may be subdued by the grace of Christ; that you come off more than conqueror through Him that hath loved us. Jesus has been over the ground. He knows the power of every temptation. He knows just how to meet every emergency, and how to guide you through every path of danger.

“He who has given His precious life because He loved you, and wanted you to be happpy, will be a Captain who will always be mindful of your interest.”

Sons and Daughters of God, by Ellen White p. 160.

The Best Comforters

Photo by THIS IS ZUN on Pexels.com

Friends, forget the nail color, we need them!

The best comforters are those who have bonre the greatest sorrows. They are frequently the ones who carry the greatest comfort to others, bringing sunshine wherever they go. Such ones have been chastedned and sweetened by their afflictions; they did not lose confidence in God when trouble assailed them, but clung closer to His protecting love. Such ones are a living proof of the tender care of god, who makes the darkness as well as the light, and chastens us for our good. Christ is the light of the world; in Him is no darkenss. Precious light! Let us live in that light! Bid adieu to sadness and repining, Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.”

Healthy Reformer, vol. 12, No. 10, Octover, 1877.

We Are to Overcome as Christ Overcame

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“Satan made stronger attacks upon Christ than he will ever make upon us. There was much at stake for him, whether Christ or himself should be conqueror. If Christ resisted the his most powerful temptations, and Satan did not succeed in leading Him to sin, he knew that he must lose his power, and finally be punished with everlasting destruction. Therefore Satan worked with mighty power to lead Christ to do a wrong action, for then he would gain advantage over Him. . . . You can never be tempted in so determined and cruel a manner as was our Saviour. Satan was upon his path every moment.

“Will man make take hold of divine power, and with determination and perseverance resist Satan, as Christ has given him example in His conflict with the foe in the wilderness of temptation? God cannot save man against his will from the power, aided by the divine power of Christ, to resist and to conquer at any cost to himself. In short, man must overcome as Christ overcame. And then, through the victory that it is his priviledge to gain by the all-powerful name of Jesus, he may become an heir of God and joint-heir with Jesus Christ. This could not be the case if Christ alone did all the overcoming. Man must do his part; he must be victor on his own account, through the strength and grace that Christ gives him. Man must be a co-worker with Christ in the labor of overcoming, and then he will be partaker with Christ in His glory.

“The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the Word of God. By trusting in God’s promises, He received power to obey God’s commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage.”

Sons and Daughters of God, by Ellen White, p. 156/

My take from this admonition is, Christ example was to have an answer in the Bible. . . in His Word. Truth will out!

We Are Changed From Glory to Glory

Depiction of the Christian Holy Spirit as a dove, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, in the apse of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Angels surround the stained glass, reaching out to receive the blessings of the light, the Holy Spirit

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthinas 3:18.

“When enlightened by the Spirit of God, the believer beholds the perfection of Jesus, and beholding this perfection, he rejoices with joy unspeakable. In self he sees sin and helplessness–this is a theme upon which we may dwell with deeper and still deeper enthusiasm. Self is nothing; Jesus is everything. (When I typed this thought of my helplessness, when I see sin, the muscles in my shoulders relaxed. . . .Who alone can be perfect, certainly not me!)

“The transforming power of grace can make me a partaker of the divine nature. On Christ the glory of God has shone, and by looking upon Chirst, contemplating His self-sacrifice, remembering that in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, the believer is drawn closer and closer to the Source of power. . . .

“How essential that we have the enlightenment of the Spirit of God; for thus only can we see the glory of Chirst, and by beholding become changed! from character to character in and through faith in Christ. . . . He has grace and pardon for every soul. (May I repeat, Jesus has grace and pardon for every soul.) As by faith we look to Jesus, our faith pierces the shadow, and we adore God for His wondrous love in giving us Jesus the Comforter. . . .

“The sinner may become a child of God, an heir of heaven. He may rise from the dust, and stand forth arrayed in garments of light. . . . At ever step of advance, he sees new beauties in Christ, and becomes more like Him in character.

“The love that was manifested toward him in the death of Christ, awakens a response of thankful love, and in answer to sincere prayer, the believer is brought from grace to grace, from glory to glory until by beholding Christ, he is changed into the same image.”

Sons and Daughters of God, by Ellen White, p. 124. . . Something I needed to hear. . .as I grow closer to Jesus. . .I feel my inadequacy to represent His all loving, all caring, all charming gift of His grace. Then I remember there was only “one” perfect son of man, and they did not know what they were doing when they crucified the Son of God.

I would hate to think, we might be guilty of crucifing the Son of God anew, in our ignorance of how much He dearly loves me and you?

Christ Our Perfect Pattern in Daily Living in Forgiveness

Daily the prayers of God’s people, arrive in Heaven, with the light given to them by the Holy Spirit, He hears and answers the request for forgiveness, if we confess our sin – He is faithful and just to forgives our sins, and turn our hearts towards Him and become obedient to His Word. Leaving all, at His feet, we come, to hear His words, Well done thou good and faithful servant!

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

Christ is our example. He placed Himself at the head of the family to accomplish a work the importance of which men do not comprehend because they do not realize the privileges and possibilities before them as members of the human family of God . . . yet a power to draw to it the love of humanity. Through Christ Justice is enabled to forgive without sacrificing one jot of its exalted holiness.

“Christ taught us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” and added, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive your trespasses.”

“Will you not, if any one has done you a wrong, and is too proud and stubborn to say to you, “I repent,” go to the offender and say, “I love you for Christ’s sake, and I forgive you the injury you have done me”? Jesus will witness and approve of this deed of love; and as you do to others, it shall bedone again to you.

“We are to have a spirit of pity, of compassion toward those who have trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults. If they fail to repent and make confession, their sins will stand registered in the books above to confront them in the day of judgment; but if they say, “I repent,” then . . . we are freely to forgive from the heart their trespasses against us.

“True happiness does not consist in the possession of wealth, or position, but in the possession of a pure, clean heart, cleansed by obedience to the truth. . . . To everyone is given the opportunity to carry out the principles of heaven. The forgiving of injuries, not the avenging of them, is an exhibtion of that wisdom which is true goodness. Christlike love for the men through whom the Lord has wrought is a manifestation of real transformation of character.”