Be not faithless, but believing—John 20: 27.
It is impossible for us to come near to the Lord except as we shall exercise faith and trust in Him, in His goodness, in His power, in His wisdom, in His love. Faith is a matter of cultivation, of development. The same Apostles who cried out in terror when the storm was upon the Sea of Galilee gradually grew stronger and stronger in faith until, as the records show, they could and did trust the Lord in His absence and where they could not trace Him. Similarly it should be a part of our daily lesson to cultivate trust in the Lord, and to think of the experiences in the past in our lives and all these lessons in His Word, that thus our faith in Him may become rooted and grounded.
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To be faithless implies that one does not exercise a mental appreciation of, and heart's reliance upon, God and Christ with respect to Their persons, characters, words and works, while to be believing implies that one exercises a mental appreciation of, and heart's reliance upon, God and Christ in respect to Their persons, characters, words and works. They do not deserve unbelief, and no child of God should insult Them therewith; for unbelief in act tells God and Christ that They are unreliable. On the contrary, we should be very zealous to prove to Them in acts that we rely implicitly upon Them as dependable in Their persons, characters, words and works. Thus we will be pleasing to Them.
Parallel passages: Ex. 4: 1; Num. 20: 12; Psa. 78: 19, 21, 22, 32; 95: 8-11; 106: 7, 24; Isa. 7: 9; 53: 1-3; Matt. 17: 17, 19, 20; Mark 6: 2-6; 9: 24; Mark 16: 14, 16; Luke 8: 12, 18; 24: 11, 21, 25, 26; John 16: 8, 9; Rom. 3: 3; 10: 6, 7, 14.
Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? In what did they result?
IT may not come to us as we have thought,
The blessed consciousness of sins forgiven;
We may not hear a voice that shall proclaim
Our title clear to the sweet rest of heaven.
We may not see a light upon the path
Above the brightness of the noonday sun,
Whose radiance shall reveal our names enrolled
As ransomed by the Lord's Anointed One.
Not thus may the sweet knowledge come to us,
That all is well with us forevermore;
Not with a flash of glory on the soul
Do all pass into life through Christ the door.
But like the winter merging into spring,
Or gently as the trees put forth their leaves,
May come to us the impulse of that life
Which God bestows on those sin truly grieves.
If we are conscious of a firm resolve
To follow Jesus as our constant guide;
If, in prosperity or in distress,
Our hearts cling closely to the Crucified;
If we are not ashamed to have it known
That in His service is our chief delight;
Though we may never feel the ecstasy
Which those attain who reach the mountain height;
Yet, if the hour of secret prayer be sweet,
When we hold converse with the Friend Divine,
And dear the time when with His "own" we meet,
For us the promise stands, "They shall be Mine."
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