JULY 23

 

If any provide not for his own … he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever—1 Tim. 5: 8.

 

"The faith" includes thoughts of love, sympathy, interest and care for others, especially for them of the household of faith. How it gives us an insight into our Lord's sympathetic nature, to find Him thinking in the interest of others at the very time when He Himself is overwhelmed in trouble! His own agony did not hinder Him from thinking of His mother, and making provision for her comfort. … We note the choice of John: it was doubtless because of, first of all, his loving, tender disposition; secondly, his zeal for the Lord and the Truth; and thirdly, his courage in pressing near to be with his dying Master in His closing hours, at the risk of his own life. Let us note these characteristics, as being those which the Lord approves, that noting them we may cultivate them in ourselves, and thus be granted special opportunities for service by this same Master.

 

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Upon each one in this life some responsibility is placed, varying in nature according to his position. Those who are placed in families have special responsibilities incumbent upon them, according to their place therein. The head of a family is  duty-bound to provide for his dependents. A refusal to recognize and discharge this responsibility is a repudiation of the faith. Such a one is worse than an infidel.

 

Parallel passages: Gen. 18: 19; 30: 30; Prov. 13: 22; Isa. 58: 7; Rom. 12: 17; 2Cor. 8: 21; 12: 14; Gal. 6: 10; Eph. 6: 4; Matt. 18: 17; Titus 2: 4, 5.

 

Questions: Did I this week provide for my own? Why? How? With what results?

 

BEARING GOD'S BURDENS

 

I LONG had borne a weary load

Along life's rough and thorny road,

And oftentimes had wondered why

My friend walked burdenless, while I

Was forced to carry day by day

The cross which on my shoulders lay.

When, lo, one day the Master laid

Another cross on me! Dismayed

And faint, and trembling and distressed,

I cried, "Oh, I have longed for rest

These many days. I cannot bear

This other heavy load of care.

 I pray Thee, Lord, behold this one—

Shall I bear both while he hath none?"

No answer came. The cross was laid

On my poor back, and I was weighed

Down to the earth. And as I went

Toiling along and almost spent,

Again I cried, "Lord, have I been

Untrue to Thee? Is it for sin

That I have done, that I must still

Carry this cross against my will?"

"My child," the Master's voice returned,

"Hast thou not yet the lesson learned?

The burden thou hast borne so long

Hath only made thee grow more strong,

And fitted thee to bear for Me

This other load I lay on thee.

Thy brother is too weak as yet

To have a cross upon him set.

God's burdens rest upon the strong—

They stronger grow who bear them long,

And each new burden is a sign

That greater power to bear is thine."

So now no longer I repine,

Because a heavy cross is mine,

But struggle onward with the prayer,

Make me more worthy, Lord, to bear!

 

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