Let us stand where we look not at the defects and errors of others, but at Jesus, saying, “I have an individual case pending in the heavenly courts. It means everything to me whether I shall be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found complete in him, or whether I shall be found wanting.”
Provision has been made for every one of us to be saved. Those who do not accept the provision made by the shedding of the blood of the Son of the infinite God place their minds on little items, to the neglect of the great truths essential for salvation. They are diverted from the great Pattern, diverted from the study of the character of Christ. Failing to see him, they are not changed from glory to glory, from character to character. God wants us to look to Jesus.
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“Learn of me,” says Jesus; “for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” We should all learn of Christ what it means to be a Christian. Let us learn of him how to combine firmness, justice, purity, and integrity with unselfish courtesy and kindly sympathy. Thus the character becomes lovable and attractive. The beauty of holiness will disarm scoffers.
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The Lord is looking upon men in the different spheres in which they move, and the character is tested under the different circumstances in which they are placed. The truth, pure, refined, elevating, is a continual test, to measure the man. If truth controls the conscience and is an abiding principle in the heart, it becomes an active working agent, it works by love and purifies the soul. But if the knowledge of the truth produces no beauty in the soul, if it does not subdue, soften, and recreate the man after God’s own image, it is of no benefit to the receiver; it is as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. The truth as it is in Jesus, planted in the heart by the Holy Spirit, always works from within outward, it will be revealed in our words and spirit and actions toward everyone with whom we are connected.
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We shall be subject to heavy trials, opposition, bereavement, affliction, but we know that Jesus passed through all these. These experiences are valuable to us; the advantages of varying experiences are not by any means confined to this short life; they reach into eternal ages. Through patience, faith, and hope, in all the changing scenes of earth, we are forming characters for the everlasting life. And whatever we are called upon to bear, we may be assured that all things work together for good to those that love God.
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We must battle constantly in order to fight the good fight of faith. We can keep our souls in patient trust only as we put on Christ. A general faith is not enough. We must put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness and wear it openly, bravely, decidedly, exhibiting Christ, and not expect too much of finite man, but keep looking unto Jesus, and become ravished with the perfections of his character. Then we shall individually make manifest the character of Jesus, and make it evident that we are invigorated by the truth; because it sanctifies the soul and brings into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
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All this history (story of Saul being chosen king ) is written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come. I have had presented before me again and again that the people of God in these last days could not be safe by trusting in men, and making flesh their arm. By the mighty cleaver of truth God has taken them out of the quarry of the world as rough stones, and brought them into His workshop that He might, by axe and hammer and chisel, work off their rough, unshapely edges, and fit them for a place in His building. But they must be hewed and squared by His prophets. Reproofs, warnings, admonitions, and advice must come to their hearts and make them after Christ’s pattern. They must become changed in heart and in character, and must keep the way of the Lord.
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Every one who knows Christ by experimental knowledge will copy his example. They will constantly endeavor to rise higher and still higher, not seeking the friendship of the world, but possessing a high and sanctified ambition to copy the example of Christ, in perfection of Christian character and be co-laborers together with God.
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