That on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience—Luke 8: 15.
Everyone who will be a sacrificer must of necessity be meek, humble, teachable, else very shortly he will get out of the way. He must also learn to develop the grace of the Lord along the line of patience, because it certainly requires patience to deny ourselves and to submit at times to injustice where there is no proper means of avoiding it without doing injury to the Lord's cause or to some of His people. It also implies a cultivation of brotherly kindness and, in a word, the development of the whole will of God in our hearts and lives, namely, love, which must be attained in a large and overcoming measure ere we shall have completed our work of sacrificing.
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An honest and good heart is the best of all possessions, for to such hearts God gives the Truth, and in such hearts the Truth remains, and through such hearts the Truth works, bringing forth an abundant fruitage, ultimately ripening into the Divine likeness, necessary for all who would share with Christ in administering the affairs of the Kingdom.
Parallel passages: Job 23: 11, 12; Psa. 119: 11, 129; Luke 11: 28; Acts 17: 11; Matt. 13: 23; John 8: 31; 14: 21; 15: 5, 8; Jas. 1: 22, 25; Heb. 3: 14; Rom. 2: 7; Heb. 10: 36; 12: 1; 4: 2; 1Pet. 2: 1, 2; Psa. 1: 1-3; Col. 1: 6, 10.
Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they received? What did they effect?
EVEN SO, FATHER
SOMETIME, when all life's lessons have been
And sun and stars forevermore have set,
The things which our weak judgment here hath
The things o'er which we grieved with lashes wet—
Will flash before us out of life's dark night,
As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue;
And we shall see how all God's plans were right,
And how what seemed unkind was love most true.
And we shall see that while we weep and sigh
God's plans go on as best for you and me;
How, when we called, He heeded not our cry,
Because His wisdom to the end could see;
And e'en as prudent parents disallow
Too much of sweet to craving babyhood,
So God, perhaps, is keeping from us now
Life's sweetest things, because it seemeth good.
And if, sometime, commingled with life's wine,
We find the wormwood, and recoil and shrink,
Be sure a wiser hand than yours or mine
Pours out this portion for our lips to drink;
And if some friend we love is lying low,
Where human kisses cannot reach his face,
Oh! Do not blame the loving Father—no.
But bear your sorrow with obedient grace.
And you shall shortly know that lengthened breath
Is not the sweetest gift God sends His friend,
And that sometimes with sable pall of death
There also comes a boon His love doth send.
If we could push ajar the gates of Truth,
And stand within, and all God's workings see,
We could interpret all apparent strife,
And for life's mysteries could find the key.
If not to-day, be thou content, poor heart!
God's plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold;
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart;
Time will reveal the calyxes of gold.
And if, through patient toil, we reach the land
Where tired feet, with sandals loosed, may rest,
When we shall clearly know and understand,
I think that we shall say that God knew best.
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