APRIL 6

 

If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf—1 Pet. 4: 16.

 

Sickness and discomfort of any sort, incurred by our energy in the service of the Truth, are permitted by our Father as evidences of our fidelity and love; because if not liable to such tribulations, or if relieved of them instantly by a miracle, the Lord's service would cost us no sacrifice and the test of our willingness to endure for the Truth's sake would be wanting. As it is, however, every ache or pain or wound of person or of feelings, and beheading socially or literally for the Truth's sake, becomes a witness of the Spirit, testifying to our faithfulness. And in all such tribulations we should rejoice greatly—as say our Lord and the Apostle Peter.

 

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To suffer as a Christian means to suffer from the same causes, in the same forms, in the same spirit, for the same purposes, and with similar results as Jesus. Whoever is so highly favored, far from being ashamed, should count it the greatest privilege and cause for rejoicing and thanksgiving possible for a human being to have. It gives  him fellowship with the Father, the Son and the saints, appreciation of their characters, great peace and joy in this life, preparation for the Kingdom, and eventually the prize of our calling.

 

Parallel passages: Matt. 5: 10-12; Rom. 8: 35, 36; 1Cor. 15: 31, 32; 2Cor. 1: 5, 9; 12: 10; Gal. 2: 20; 6: 17; Phil. 1: 29; 3: 10; Heb. 10: 32-34; Jas. 1: 2, 12; 1Pet. 1: 6, 7; 2: 19,­ 24; 4: 12-14; 5: 1, 10.

 

Questions: What were this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they borne? What were the results?

 

"AND SITTING DOWN, THEY WATCHED HIM THERE"

 

MATTHEW 27: 36

 

SITTING down, they watched Him there,

Watched Him, fairest of the fair,

Gazed with cold, unpitying eye,

While the jeering crowd passed by;

For His vesture cast a lot

(Seamless robe, without a spot)—

Watched the "Man of Sorrows" there,

 Who the world's great sin must bear,

Watched while darkness veiled the sun,

Watched until He cried, " 'Tis done!"

 

God of Heaven, forbid that I

Thus should gaze with pitiless eye

On a suffering child of Thine,

Watch him while his foes malign,

Watch him while his life-blood flows,

Watch until the dark day's close;

Grant me, Lord, a heart of love,

Make me like a tender dove,

Let me bring him strength and peace,

Until death shall send release!

 

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