Monday, December 26, 2011

It shall not return unto Him void

The following illustration of what may be accomplished by good literature is recounted by an exchange: "I was asked to go to a public house in Nottingham to see the landlord's wife, who was dying. I found her rejoicing in Christ as her Saviour. I asked her how she found the Lord.. 'Reading that', she replied, handing me a torn piece of paper.
"I looked at it, and found that it was a piece of an American newspaper, containing an extract from one of Spurgeon's sermons, which extract had been the means of her conversion.
" 'Where did you find this newspaper?' I asked.
"She answered: 'it was wrapped around a parcel sent to me from Australia.'
"Talk about the hidden life of a good seed! Think of that! A sermon preached in London, conveyed to America, then to Australia, part of it torn off for the parcel dispatched to England, and after all its wanderings, giving the message of salvation to that womans soul! God's word shall not return unto Him void."
Taken from the Youth's Instructor, August 27, 1896

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's Natural

  My heart is drawn out for the young. The great work of overcoming is before them, and the greatest task of all is, to subdue self, and obtain victory over natural besetments, hasty temper, pride, etc.
     I have seen professed Christians act out their natural infirmities, let their evil temper get the victory over them, and after the excitement has passed, reflection and reason teaches them they have greatly erred. They excuse themselves by saying, "It's natural for me to be quick, it's my temperament." With some, pride is a besetting sin that must be subdued, but their excuse is, "It's natural."
     I have heard the most covetous and selfish, when reproved for these sins, urge the excuse, "It's natural. I was taught to be so." O, what an excuse for a Christian, "It's natural." "It's natural" to give way to a passionate temper. "It's natural" to indulge in pride. "It's natural" to be covetous and selfish.
     Let me ask you professed christian, are you going into heaven with all these "natural" infirmities unsubdued? No, never! Heaven will not be marred with the presence of any with "natural" infirmities.
     Well since these infirmities must be overcome, what shall we do? Shall we excuse ourselves by saying "It's natural?" or shall we rather go about the work earnestly to subdue self, and take the steps necessary to be taken, to accomplish the object?
     "It's natural" is the excuse that comes from a carnal heart. The axe has not been laid at the root of the tree. There has not been a thorough acquaintance with the heart, and poisonous weeds that choke every good growth have been permitted to flourish there. These evils must be rooted out, these besetments overcome, or lose heaven.
     Look to the rock that is higher than you, plead with God in secret prayer for grace. All these "natural" infirmities can be overcome by grace. But the "natural," carnal, heart is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. If the carnal mind is subdued, your will not hear so frequently, "It's natural." Satan loves to hear this. His angels rejoice that you have not grace sufficient to overcome "natural" infirmities. They triumph at these words, "It's natural." But Jesus says, "my grace is sufficient for you." Yes it is sufficient to overcome and subdue the "natural," carnal, heart.
     Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation. Earnest, fervent prayer will avail much when tempted to speak wrong. Say not a word until you first pray, then watch with all your powers. Set a watch before the door of your lips. Jesus knows just how hard you try to overcome, and his all-sufficient grace will be imparted, and with holy trust, you may rejoice in your Redeemer who giveth you the victory.
                                                           E. G. White, The Youth's Instructor, Nov. 1, 1857