On Judging Ourselves
By Lois J. Stucky
In this issue of Herald of His Coming there is sounded a clear call to Christians to be "real" with God and with manóno coverups, not a "hope so" or a "think so." How important it is, first of all, that the one who bears the name Christian be genuinely born from above. It is, in fact, essential if he expects to make heaven his eternal home (John 3:1-16). If you have not the blessed assurance that you have been born again of the Spirit of God, seek Him until you have that witness in your heart. Write us if we can be of help to you along this line.
And how important it is that the one who has been born again live like a biblical Christian should. Printed elsewhere on this page is an excerpt from William Penn (1644-1718). In his day he detected an unreality in the lives of too many professing Christians. Please read it and see if your heart echoes the same cry for our generation.
Does your life, does my life, testify to the transforming power of God at work in us? On page five of this issue, we encourage readers to write for Herald Newsletter #17 which presents the commandments of Jesus, in order that we might examine our life in the light of Jesusí words. Jesus said, "If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:47-48). Surely Jesusí words merit careful study.
Many Herald readers have been long on the Christian pathway, and to such, self-examination may seem unnecessary. Recently in our Herald of His Coming devotions we were moved as we read again of the earnestness, the sincerity, the single-mindedness of the Apostle Paul. Mighty man of God, esteemed preacher and teacher that he was, even he did not count himself as having attained. He said, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." He exhorts, "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus mindedÖ" (Phil. 3:14,15). He was eager to lay hold of, to enter into the fullness of the overcoming life the Lord had provided for him. That required of him serious and sincere effort.
That involved laying aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us (Heb. 12:1). He was not satisfied with just avoiding the harmful, nor even with doing the good that accomplished only a little or nothing. He was after the prize, after all that which God had for him in Christ Jesus. What an example he sets for us!
The ending of one year and the beginning of another is a good time to take stock of our life in the light of GodĎs Word, and to get His forgiveness for our sins and failures, and His help for victory in the new year. Might we kneel afresh at Calvary. How thankful we are for a God who forgives, and for the blood of Jesus our Savior which cleanses, and for renewed fellowship with the Holy Spirit, which restores the sweetness and warmth that may have faded from our hearts. Letís begin the year aright!
The Sincerity of Your Love
The Apostle Paul wrote that one proof of our sincere love is our giving. Some we know have no monetary gifts to give. This we hear again and again from Herald readers, especially those overseas. You express how much you would like to help the source that has blessed you richly, but you have not the means. Dear ones, you have much to give. When you receive a Herald paper, give an offering of thanks to the Lord. It is His grace that brings to you messages that feed and nourish you, or instruct and teach, or perhaps rebuke and chasten. It is His love working for you, to enrich your spiritual life, to fit you for your home on high. Rejoice in His loving thoughts of you. Thank Him. Take His Word to heart. Obey it. Share it with others. Pray for those whose gifts have brought you the helpful Word. Pray that funds will come to Herald of His Coming so the mailings can continue.
And you who have sent your monetary gifts have good cause to rejoice and thank God as well. Your desire to give is evidence of His grace at work in your hearts. It is He who has made it possible for you to have the gift you hold in your hand. He is giving you the opportunity and the means to manifest your love to Him, and also to abound to the blessing of others. You could well have used the money in other ways. But God has fostered in your heart a cheerful willingness to give it to Him that others might receive eternal benefits. How precious to God is your response, and to us here at headquarters, as we help convert your gift into the papers that carry the messages from Godís Word to eager readers. God is giving you a vital part in His work, for there is constant and urgent need of your financial gifts to carry forward the Herald of His Coming ministry. How precious it is to sense God at work in our lives, conforming us to the image of our blessed Lord Jesus who gave His very life for us! Greater love has no man than this! Work on, O Lord, work on to make us like Jesus!
Will you be willing also to give time for prayer for this ministry of the Lord? Prayer is so foundational to the ongoing of Godís work here on earth. Following are some requests we wish to share with you, and we thank you for the gift of your prayers!
* For the good response from readers overseas whom we needed to hear from, many letting us know Herald of His Coming is a great spiritual help to them and they want to continue receiving.
* For friends who receive a package of papers monthly to share in their locality, thus helping the messages to reach farther than we could send from home base.
* For all joined together under God to enable Herald of His Coming to enter its 62nd year of ministry!
* That Godís anointing will rest upon this issue of Herald of His Coming, so it will do a good work in the hearts of readers.
* That adequate funds will come in monthly to maintain mailings. Thank God that for the past few months, income has covered expenses! Pray we will yet be able to restore the cuts we made in order to not exceed income.
* For health and safety for the Herald staff, now that winter is here, and some days streets and roads will be slick. Pray we will all keep in good health. Pray we will ever serve the Lord with gladness, even if weary due to overloads and tried with breakdowns and disruptions. Ask God to help us to keep an attitude of "in everything give thanks."
* For us to discern Godís will for the messages to be printed each month.
* For leaders of nations. Pray they will so govern that the Gospel will have much freedom in their nation. Pray for God-honoring leaders to be put into office in countries where elections are scheduled.
* For quantities of Herald of His Coming papers being mailed to two separate ministries which have opportunity to distribute them in southern Sudan. There is much suffering for the faith in Sudan and the Gospel is much restricted. Ask God to greatly bless this brave venture and grant much fruit.
* That the saints throughout the world will continue to look to God for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, purifying the Church and preparing her for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ!