Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24). But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13) Being saved by the blood of the Lamb become more important to me each day! His Righteousness is superior to all mankind!
Ever feel like a salmon running upstream in your Christian life? Feel like there is a bear waiting?
“There are many who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They look upon their mistakes and errors until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. When one has to swim against the stream, there is all the force of the current driving him back. Let a helping hand then be held out to him as was the Elder Brother’s hand to the sinking Peter. Speak to him hopeful words, words that will establish confidence and awaken love.
“The brother, sick in spirit, needs you, as you your self needed a brother’s love. He needs the experience of one who had been as weak as he, one who can sympathize with him and help him. The knowledge of our own weakness should help us to help another in his bitter need. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him the comfort where with we are comforted of God.
” . . Tell the wanderer of an almighty hand that will hold him up, of an infinite humanity in Christ that pities him. It is not enough for him to believe in law and force, things that have no pity, and never hear the cry for help. He needs to clasp a hand that is warm, to trust in a heart full of tenderness. Keep his mind stayed upon the thought of a divine presence ever beside him, ever looking upon him with pitying love. Ask him to think of a Father’s heart that ever grieves over sin, of a Father’s hand stretched out still, of a Father’s voice saying, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he many make peace with Me; and he shall make peace.” (Isaiah 27:5)
“As you engage in this work, you have companions unseen by human eyes. Angels of heaven
were beside the Samaritan who cared for the wounded stranger. Angels from the heavenly courts stand by all who do God’s service in ministering to their fellow men. And you have the co-operation of Christ Himself. He is the Restorer, and as you work under His supervision, you will see great results.
“Upon your faithfulness in this work not only the well being of others but your own eternal destiny depends. Christ is seeking to uplift all who will be lifted to companionship with Himself, that we may be one with Him as He is one with the Father. He permits us to come in contact with suffering and calamity in order to call us out of selfishness; He seeks to develop in us the attributes of His character – compassion, tenderness, and love. By accepting this work of ministry we place ourselves in His school, to be fitted for the courts of God. By rejecting it we reject His instruction, and choose eternal separation from His presence.
“Further reading Zechariah 3:7, Hebrews 1:14, Matthew 20:28. In this blessed companionship we shall learn, to our eternal joy, all that is wrapped up in the question, “Who is my neighbor?” Christ’s Object Lessons, Ellen White, p. 387-389.
Comments by Connie. Searching for a salmon run, then finding a bear ready to eat the salmon, made this story more real to me. When we have no compassion for the sinner, it is likely the one struggling against all odds, like a salmon running upstream, the idea of Jesus being their with his hand out, to help us, is much more pleasant than thinking, a bear is going to get me!
When I think of the angels around our children it brings me back to seeing this picture in the nursery at church. For Mothers have to know their children have angels. Adults have to know how to hear the voice of the angel, like a Holy Spirit! My Mother taught me to listen to that still small voice. I remember very well, looking back, that still small voice was there, but the times I ignored it. I went ahead with “my plan,” but ultimately I learned, to tuck in my pride, and try to do it His way the first time. Don’t ask me how many times I had to learn by making this mistake!