AUGUST 3

 

Separate yourselves from the people of the land—Ezra 10: 11.

 

Someone has well said, "The Christian in the world is like a ship in the ocean. The ship is safe in the ocean so long as the ocean is not in the ship." One of the great difficulties with Christianity today is that it has admitted the strangers, the "people of the land," and recognized them as Christians. It does injury, not only to the Christians, by lowering their standards (for the average will be considered the standard), but it also injures the "strangers," by causing many of them to believe themselves thoroughly safe and needing no conversion, because they are outwardly respectable, and perhaps frequently attendants at public worship—Z '99, 203 (R 2510).

 

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God's people are a holy nation, severed from all others unto God's service. Their faith, spirit, hopes and aims differ from those of the natural man. So dissimilar are these two classes that the attempt to fellowship one another would prove painful and disastrous. Especially would God's people be disadvantaged by such association. For the welfare of both classes separation from each other is necessary. Hence the exhortation, "Come out of her, my people." And when this separation is made, the faithful enter into closer fellowship with the Lord and with one another.

 

Parallel passages: Num. 16: 21, 26; Ezra 6: 21; Prov. 9: 6; Isa. 48: 20; 52: 11; Jer. 51: 9; Acts 2: 40; 2Cor. 6: 17, 18; 7: 1; Rev. 18: 4; 1Cor. 6: 11; Eph. 5: 25-27; 1Thes. 4: 3,  4; 2Tim 2: 21; 2Pet. 1: 4.

 

Questions: Have I this week cleansed myself from evil persons and things? How?

Why? With what results?

 

THE ROSE

 

WITHIN my hand I gently hold the Garden's

Queen, a rose,—

The softly-sighing summer wind about it faintly blows,

And wafts its wondrous fragrance out upon the

evening air.

And as I gaze upon the rose, so perfect and so fair,

In memory's halls there wakes, the while, a legend,

quaint and old,

How once upon a time, one day, a sage picked up,

we're told,

 A lump of common clay, so redolent with perfume

rare,

He marveled, and the question wondering asked,

"Whence dost thou bear

Such fragrance, O, thou lump of clay?" In tones

of deep repose

There came the sweet reply, "I have been dwelling

with the rose."

 

The while the legend stirs my soul, within my hand

still lie

The petals of the rose, and from my heart of hearts

I cry,

"Thou lovely Rose of Sharon, may I ever dwell with

Thee,

So closely that the fragrance of Thy love shall cling

to me!

Oh, fill me with the spirit of Thy sweet humility,

Then all shall see and know, dear Lord, that I have

learned of thee;

And let mine earthly pilgrimage, until its blessed close,

Each day and hour bear witness, I've been dwelling

with the Rose!

 

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