Our Reasonable Response
"God Asks All." In the article by this title on page six is summed up a lifetime of surrender to God. What joy there must be in heaven when the response to Him is, "Yes, Lord. ĎEver, only, all for Thee,í" in the words of Frances Ridley Havergal.
The Apostle Paul says that giving our all to God is our "reasonable" response (Rom. 12:1). When you seriously consider it from Godís perspective, is it not indeed reasonable? Is not the fact that we are even alive the gift of life from God, and does He not sustain us moment by moment? "Öin Him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Most of us go about our daily living much too unaware of how dependent we are on God and how rightfully His are our lives. Oh yes, we feel thankful to Him for life and sustenance, but do we do so to the extent that we offer up our lives day by day to do His will and not our own pleasure?
Much is added to our indebtedness to God by considering all He does in our spiritual lives. Has He not enlightened our spiritual darkness and drawn us to Himself and delivered us from the kingdom of darkness into the heavenly kingdom through His own dear Son? Where would we be without the grace, mercy, forgiveness and salvation He freely bestows upon us? And what of the crowning gift of eternal life, almost too precious and vast for most of us to comprehend? Yes, we are grateful for these unmerited blessings, but what care we must take not to squander Godís mercy and favor on ourselves and those near and dear to us. We must instead seek God to fit into His appointed place in His plan that the Gospel might be carried or sent into all the world. Might we never forget that we "are bought with a price" (1 Cor. 7:23), even the precious blood of Jesus. How much we owe!
If we have made the decision to offer our lives to God, if it seems to us our reasonable service to do so, God would have it be more than an intellectual decision, more than feeling duty bound or obligated. He is most honored when it is love and gratitude to Him that motivates and sustains us in our decision. And ever must we guard against slipping from that "first love" as Jesus warns in Revelation 2:4. What delight to God are those who love Him fervently, even more than any being or any thing on earth. He would have our affections fixed on Him above all else, including ourselves. Then will we be willing to give up all that we hold dear at His command, even be willing to die for Him if He asks it.
In his article beginning on page 1, Sammy Tippit encourages our hope concerning revival by reporting a moving of the Holy Spirit among young people, especially on college campuses. A recent missionsí report tells that several mission boards are stating that an increased number of young people are applying for missionary service. Last fall several of us attending a missionary convention were in a small workshop in which a report was given by three men who had been working for God in "creative access" nations, where usual missionary work is not allowed by the government. The speakers shared briefly some of the restrictions and the stresses under which they work. When a show of hands was asked of those in attendance who among them planned to work for God in such a setting, it was heart touching to see six or eight hands raised by enthusiastic young people who had counted the cost and were taking up the challenge.
As a whole, the youth of this day seem tragically plagued with such as drugs and alcohol, gang violence, immorality, over absorption in sports and rock music, dropping out of Sunday school and church, etc. But what encouragement to know there are jewels among them, those tender of heart, of warm devotion to God, eager to find and obey the Lordís will. Yet quietly there may also be a struggle going on within over what must be left behind or what must be faced in the future.
Search out young people in your church, pray for them, encourage them to go all the way for Jesus, who wearily trudged all the way to Calvary for them. Your loving concern might be the decisive factor in their choosing to go Godís way, whatever the cost. Parents, seek grace to release them to the Lord for His good and perfect will in their lives, and back them unselfishly. Might we all cherish our young people as of great price in the sight of the Lord and a very possible key to revival.
Please Unite in Prayer with Us Ė
*That God will pour out afresh of His Spirit upon the Herald ministry and workers, and that the messages will be anointed and of life-changing help to readers.
*That God will call more readers to send in finances needed to meet the great rise in postage costs. Praise Him for all who are sending in sacrificial gifts to help at this time. Ask God to work miraculously so there will be a minimum of cuts in the number of Herald papers sent forth.
*That vision and faith for revival will burn brightly in the hearts of Godís people, and that persistent prayer will go up for revival!