The Power Of Compassion

A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench. —Isaiah 42:3

Francis Schaeffer, author and Christian apologist, struggled to spell words correctly because of dyslexia. At the college he attended, spelling errors lowered the grade on all written assignments. During his first year, a professor told Schaeffer, “This is the best philosophy paper I’ve ever read, but it’s the worst spelling. What am I going to do? I can’t pass you.”

Francis replied, “Sir, I could never spell. Could you please just read what I’m saying and not worry about the spelling?”

After a long pause, the professor replied, “You know, Mr. Schaeffer, I think we’ll do that.” His wise, compassionate response encouraged a gifted young man who would later help many of the searching generation during the 1960s and 70s to find their way to faith in Christ. Isaiah said of the promised Messiah, “A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth” (Isa. 42:3). The image is of a gentle, yet powerful Person who sets prisoners free and encourages those who are fainthearted and tempted to despair.

Jesus came to free us from sin, not to condemn us for our condition. Today, He offers salvation and encouragement to all who turn to Him.by David C. McCasland

No condemnation now I dread,
I am my Lord’s and He is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine. —Wesley

When we come to Christ in our brokenness, He makes us whole.

A Parent’s Precious Prayers

All your children will be taught by the LORD, and they will have much peace. ISAIAH 54:13

Never underestimate the ponderings of a Christian parent. Never underestimate the power that comes when a parent pleads with God on behalf of a child. Who knows how many prayers are being answered right now because of the faithful ponderings of a parent ten or twenty years ago? God listens to thoughtful parents.

Praying for our children is a noble task. If what we are doing, in this fast-paced society, is taking us away from prayer time for our children, we’re doing too much. There is nothing more special, more precious than time that a parent spends struggling and pondering with God on behalf of a child.

Walking with the Savior

Vessels of Honor

“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21)

There are several metaphors used by the New Testament writers to help us understand aspects of God’s Kingdom. “Fowls” make a home in the mustard seed “tree” (Matthew 13:31-32). “Tares” grow up with the “wheat” (Matthew 13:25). A “house” represents the church of God (1 Timothy 3:15), in which are both honorable and dishonorable “vessels” (2 Timothy 2:20).

The first step in becoming an honorable vessel is to “purge” oneself from that which is dishonorable. The Greek term ekkathairo and its derivatives all are connected to active cleansing from falsehoods and defilements, as well as separation from those who tolerate ungodliness. “Purge out therefore the old leaven,” Paul insists, “that ye may be a new lump” (1 Corinthians 5:7). Those who are the twice-born are to “possess” their “vessel” in honor (1 Thessalonians 4:4). Some, like Paul, are “chosen vessels” (Acts 9:15).

All who would seek “honorable” service must be sanctified (set apart) for the Master’s use. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). An honorable vessel must be prepared (ready) for good works.

Honorable and effective service in the house of God requires that such vessels must be willing to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts” (1 Peter 3:15). There is no greater honor than being counted “sanctified, and meet for the master’s use.” HMM III

When he heard that he was sick he waited two days to go

“When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.” (John 11:6.)

IN the forefront of this marvelous chapter stands the affirmation, “Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus,” as if to teach us that at the very heart and foundation of all God’s dealings with us, however dark and mysterious they may be, we must dare to believe in and assert the infinite, unmerited, and unchanging love of God. Love permits pain. The sisters never doubted that He would speed at all hazards and stay their brother from death, but, “When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.”

What a startling “therefore”! He abstained from going, not because He did not love them, but because He did love them. His love alone kept Him back from hasting at once to the dear and stricken home. Anything less than infinite love must have rushed instantly to the relief of those loved and troubled hearts, to stay their grief and to have the luxury of wiping and stanching their tears and causing sorrow and sighing to flee away. Divine love could alone hold back the impetuosity of the Savior’s tender-heartedness until the Angel of Pain had done her work.

Who can estimate how much we owe to suffering and pain? But for them we should have little scope for many of the chief virtues of the Christian life. Where were faith, without trial to test it; or patience, with nothing to bear; or experience, without tribulation to develop it?—Selected.

“Loved! then the way will not be drear;
For One we know is ever near,
Proving it to our hearts so clear
That we are loved.

“Loved when our sky is clouded o’er,
And days of sorrow press us sore;
Still we will trust Him evermore,
For we are loved.

“Time, that affects all things below,
Can never change the love He’ll show;
The heart of Christ with love will flow,
And we are loved.”

The Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins

“The Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins.” Matthew 9:6

Behold one of the great Physician’s mightiest arts: He has power to forgive sin! While here He lived below, before the ransom had been paid, before the blood had been literally sprinkled on the mercyseat, He had power to forgive sin. Hath He not power to do it now that He hath died? What power must dwell in Him who to the utmost farthing has faithfully discharged the debts of His people! He has boundless power now that He has finished transgression and made an end of sin. If ye doubt it, see Him rising from the dead! behold Him in ascending splendour raised to the right hand of God!

Hear Him pleading before the eternal Father, pointing to His wounds, urging the merit of His sacred passion! What power to forgive is here! “He hath ascended on high, and received gifts for men.” “He is exalted on high to give repentance and remission of sins.” The most crimson sins are removed by the crimson of His blood. At this moment, dear reader, whatever thy sinfulness, Christ has power to pardon, power to pardon thee, and millions such as thou art. A word will speak it.

He has nothing more to do to win thy pardon; all the atoning work is done. He can, in answer to thy tears, forgive thy sins today, and make thee know it. He can breathe into thy soul at this very moment a peace with God which passeth all understanding, which shall spring from perfect remission of thy manifold iniquities. Dost thou believe that? I trust thou believest it. Mayst thou experience now the power of Jesus to forgive sin! Waste no time in applying to the Physician of souls, but hasten to Him with words like these:—

“Jesus! Master! hear my cry;
Save me, heal me with a word;
Fainting at Thy feet I lie,
Thou my whisper’d plaint hast heard.”

Christ, who is our life

“Christ, who is our life.” Colossians 3:4

Paul’s marvellously rich expression indicates, that Christ is the source of our life. “You hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.” That same voice which brought Lazarus out of the tomb raised us to newness of life. He is now the substance of our spiritual life. It is by His life that we live; He is in us, the hope of glory, the spring of our actions, the central thought which moves every other thought.

Christ is the sustenance of our life. What can the Christian feed upon but Jesus’ flesh and blood? “This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.” O wayworn pilgrims in this wilderness of sin, you never get a morsel to satisfy the hunger of your spirits, except ye find it in Him! Christ is the solace of our life. All our true joys come from Him; and in times of trouble, His presence is our consolation. There is nothing worth living for but Him; and His lovingkindness is better than life! Christ is the object of our life. As speeds the ship towards the port, so hastes the believer towards the haven of his Saviour’s bosom.

As flies the arrow to its goal, so flies the Christian towards the perfecting of his fellowship with Christ Jesus. As the soldier fights for his captain, and is crowned in his captain’s victory, so the believer contends for Christ, and gets his triumph out of the triumphs of his Master. “For him to live is Christ.” Christ is the exemplar of our life. Where there is the same life within, there will, there must be, to a great extent, the same developments without; and if we live in near fellowship with the Lord Jesus we shall grow like Him. We shall set Him before us as our Divine copy, and we shall seek to tread in His footsteps, until He shall become the crown of our life in glory. Oh! how safe, how honoured, how happy is the Christian, since Christ is our life!