“Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” How sad it is that Jesus has to stretch out his hands pleading with his people to come unto him, and they refuse to hear, refuse to believe, refuse to receive the comfort of the fulness that God designed should be theirs. Jesus wept over the impenitent city of Jerusalem, and cried with brokenness of heart, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”
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What a work might have been done for us as individuals, if our proud and stubborn wills had been wholly submerged in the will of God, and our souls lifted up from earthliness to a higher, purer atmosphere! O that those who claim to be children of God, would invest every talent that God has intrusted to them for his glory! All should educate themselves to exercise faith in the promises of God, in order that faith may grow into perfect trust. Have you human love for the few with whom you are associated? You must have a deeper love than this. You must have the love of Jesus, which is an abiding, increasing love, that can be cultivated by bestowing it upon those for whom Christ died.
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When the little children were brought to Jesus, he took the lambs of the flock in his arms, and blessed them. What are those who believe in Jesus doing for the children and youth? Are you one with the great Worker in every effort? Do you put forth your every power to gather the children into little groups, trying to draw them to Jesus, trying to tell them of him, and trying to bring them to the throne of grace in earnest prayer for their salvation? Children are the heritage of the Lord. Gather them into the fold, and place them before Jesus, where the bright beams of his righteousness shall shine upon them.
Christ came to the world to represent the true and living God, who is revealed in the fourth commandment as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. He is distinguished in the fourth precept from the idols of the nations; in his hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all men. He is “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” The Lord exercises loving, pitying tenderness to those who believe in him, to those who keep his commandments.
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“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” He wants us to discern his love in bestowing upon us his only begotten Son, Heaven’s best gift. Jesus revealed to the world, in his character, that “God is love.” The beloved apostle exclaims, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
The Jews as a nation had lost their knowledge of the character of God when Jesus came to this earth. While they claimed to be the most exalted of all people, they did not perceive or practise the commandments of God. They did not reflect love, which is the character of God. No one can be truly righteous unless his soul reflects the image of God, and manifests love for all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people; for “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Simply to have your name enrolled in the church books, and to perform the outward ceremonies of religion, will not make you a child of God; for form alone is of no value. It is the pure in heart who shall see God in his true character, as a God of love. He who has the love of God shed abroad in his heart, will reflect the purity and love which exist in Jehovah, and which Christ represented in our world. He who has the love of God in his heart has no enmity against the law of God, but renders willing obedience to all his commandments, and this constitutes Christianity. He who has supreme love to God will reveal love to his fellow-men, who belong to God both by creation and by redemption. Love is the fulfilling of the law; and it is the duty of every child of God to render obedience to his commandments.
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Everyone is accountable to God according to the ability and talent which he has received. Those who are on probation to see whether or not they are to be subjects of the kingdom of God, must be tried and proved now. Those who love God in spirit and in truth, will be pronounced fit subjects of the heavenly kingdom. The law of God, which is perfect holiness, is the only true standard of character. Love is expressed in obedience, and perfect love casteth out all fear. Those who love God, have the seal of God in their foreheads, and work the works of God. Would that all who profess Christianity knew what it means to love God practically. Then they would ever bear with them a sense of the sacredness of the name and character of Jesus Christ, and would be one with Christ, as he is one with the Father. They would then better appreciate their responsibilities, and would adorn the doctrine of Christ, our Saviour. They would have some realization of the infinite holiness of God, knowing that he is high and lifted up, and the train of his glory fills the temple. They would have a powerful influence upon the life and character of those around them, which would work as leaven amid the mass of humanity, transforming others through the power of Jesus Christ. Connected with the source of power, they would never lose their vital influence, but would ever increase in efficiency, always abounding in the work of the Lord.