Making Diligent Search
By Lois J. Stucky
How it must delight the heart of our loving God today when He finds those upon whom He can place what someone has called, the "full weight of His love." Love seeks those to whom it may give. Love grieves when it meets with indifference or rebuff.
God wants us, His Blood-bought children, to abide in His love: "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Fatherís commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" (John 15:9-11).
How do we abide in His love? How do we retain His love; remain within His love; go on living in His love, as various translators term it? Jesus had already told His disciples the answer to that:
"He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:10). Obedience to Godís Word gives us the prize position of an abiding place in His love. Here is one excellent reason for carefully maintaining the morning time with God. Here we can read and meditate on the Word of God and learn how we can better obey Him. Here we can obtain strength to obey Him.
In these very uncertain days, it is wise to draw as near to God as we can while conditions are as favorable as they are. Calamities happen suddenly. Who knows what will suddenly burst on this world? Think of the dear Burnham couple, American missionaries in the Philippines, who, along with others, were suddenly routed out of the resort where they were staying overnight. The terrorists did not even give one of the captives time to put on her shoes. (At this writing our brother and sister are still struggling to survive that which is almost beyond human endurance. They are being kept on the move deep in the forests of the Philippines, he being chained to a captor. Pray unceasingly for them and their would-be rescuers as well as their captors.)
Maybe it will not be something violent that descends upon you and me to test us to the depths. It could be ease and pleasures or cares of this world that captivate us and cool our love for God. We might become like the unwise virgins, not having oil in our lamps nor in our vessels with our lamps (Matt. 25:1-13). We dare not squander our opportunities to grow spiritually and then expect suddenly to leap into a place of spiritual strength where we can weather the storms of our own life or the storms that loom on the horizon of this nation and the world, or to be ready for the coming of our Lord! Will we stand bravely on Godís side and be counted with the wise virgins with lamps trimmed and burning? This life of loving God with all our heart and soul and mind takes time and effort to develop. It is something much too vital to treat lightly. It is something Jesus says is the first and greatest commandment! (Matt. 22:37-38).
In our quest for Godís best, there are conquests that must be made, conquests of the world, the flesh and the devil. There is noble purpose behind seeking personal conquests. God is working in His people to build a devoted army of Christians to spread throughout the earth to complete His purpose that the Gospel--the glorious news of Christ Jesus--be preached in all the world. This takes heroes and heroines of faith--and of obedience. Faith without works is dead. We each have a place to fill. Are we filling it?
Among Herald readers are the elderly or those handicapped for one reason or another and seem unable to be active in the Gospel advance. I can almost hear the sigh of someone whose heart beats strong for God though the body is weak, "Oh, to be young again!" Or, "Oh, to be strong and mobile! But Iím only on the side line. Of what use can I be?" To such we say, "Take heart! You have a part!"
In Job 28:10-11 we read, "His [Godís] eye seeth every precious thing...and the thing that is hid [hidden treasure] bringeth He forth...." You who feel hidden away and of little use--your prayers, your unselfish acts of love, your gifts though of necessity small--are precious to God. Though mostly unnoticed, they count now and will be rewarded in due time. Maybe it is simply turning the other cheek when treated poorly, or a soft answer when someone speaks harshly, or a smile of goodwill when facing an angry or impatient countenance. These are a few manifestations of dying to self; they are not lost from Godís sight, nor wasted. They are precious treasures to an all-seeing Eye. Like simple cups of cold water given in Jesusí Name, they will not lose their reward.
The less there is of self in us, the more room there is for Christ. And the more of Christ, the more pleasure we are to God. How He delights to see the image of His Son in His people! The more empty of self, the more room for the love of God to possess and keep us faithfully at the bit or the big part God gives us to play. God bless you as you take your part.
Depend On Me...
"Depend on me..." began the brief letter that accompanied a generous gift received at Herald of His Coming recently. What cheering words these were! "Depend on me...." We knew they were not idle words, for the writer is a friend who sends a gift regularly. His heart is with us, and when he had seen our statement of financial need, he wanted us to know he cared and we could rely on him to help. Treasured indeed are you dependable ones!
Not only was I personally encouraged by this dependable friend, but it started me thinking--can the Lord depend on me? Am I trustworthy and reliable? Can the Lord depend on me when help is needed, or am I so preoccupied with that of my own choosing and selfishness, that I cannot be bothered, or perhaps not even see the need or hear the plea for aid? Friends, in our quest for Godís best, let us seek to be dependable. Whatever God gives us to do, let us pray and endeavor to see it through.
Oh, this blessed Christian life! It may seem dreadful in its demands at times, but we have a most admirable and excellent Captain to follow. He leads us in a glorious endeavor. He calls for a steadfast purpose of obedience, sometimes when obedience is very costly. But we will have all of Eternity in which to rejoice if we now make a gallant effort, pay a sacrificial price if necessary, and diligently seek Godís best. This is not just for our own sakes and reward, but for the blessing we may be to a world that needs to be saved. God grant us all grace to obey.
* For all who are helping to maintain the Herald ministry to
be a blessing in places near and far.
* For the fine group of volunteers who help each month in packaging the Herald papers for mailing in bulk.
* That each of us readers might willingly pay the price to
seek Godís best, that our lives will count as He desires in this crucial and
* And stand with us in faith for the increased inflow of funds to Godís work here so we will not have to reduce mailings of the Gospel.
* For all who are hazarding their lives to carry the Gospel into all the world, even when opposition is strong and the going is hard.
* That prayer groups springing up around the world will deepen in burden and increase in number, until God is able to do great and mighty works of revival and salvation throughout the earth before the end shall come!