"Search Me, O God"
The changeover into a new year is the appropriate time for wise businessmen to take inventory and to figure gain or loss. Is it not an appropriate time for us Christians as well to spend time with the Lord to "take stock," to examine ourselves on how we are doing spiritually? Like the psalmist, we need to make it our sincere and serious prayer: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psa. 139:23-24). How personal this is, with six uses of "me" or "my." God speaks also through Jeremiah of His attention to every one of us individually: "I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings" (Jer. 17:10).
Scripture lets me know I have responsiblity, along with trusting for God’s almighty help, to "examine" myself and to "keep" myself. "Let a man examine himself…" at the time the Lord’s Supper is taken, instructed the Apostle Paul, lest anyone partake unworthily (1 Cor. 11:28). The Apostle John tells us, "…he that is begotten of God keepth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (1 John 5:18). Again John said, "…keep yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:21), from anything that is put ahead of God. Jude exhorts us to "keep yourselves in the love of God..." (v. 21).
Perhaps God used some article we have been reading in this issue of Herald of His Coming to bring conviction of our need to seek higher ground spiritually. "Someday I need to give attention to that," we think. Beware of not giving priority to that inner urge! Putting it off to a more convenient time may mean we neglect it too long and perhaps forget it altogether. God’s character and ways are perfect. He is wonderfully longsuffering, but He tells us His Spirit will not always strive with man (Gen. 6:3). We dare not take lightly whatever God is dealing with us about, lest we pass a deadline known only to Him. NOW is the time to humbly and honestly open our hearts and give heed to the voice of God.
Remember the parable in Matthew 25:1-13, in which Jesus Himself tells the story of the ten virgins, calling five wise and five foolish. Let us seek ever to have our lamps burning and to have oil in our vessels with our lamps. We classify ourselves: wise or foolish. Which am I?
Pray One for the Other
Might we diligently seek God in faith for our own needs, repenting of any sin shown us, and become more fully "…a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work" (2 Tim. 2:21). Please then pray in brotherly love for our fellow Christians to likewise move onward in God.
With joyful expectation of the soon coming marriage of the Lamb, please pray that we as members of the church will individually and as a united body ever keep in view the necessity of making ready, as we read in Revelation 19:7-8: "…the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife [the church] hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
And please pray always for the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the messages in Herald of His Coming, that they will impact readers and contribute significantly to what is on Christ’s heart at this time, as we read in Ephesians 5:25-27: "…Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."