Which In God's Sight is Very Precious
A Prayer: Lord for tomorrow and its needs I do not pray; Keep me, my God, from stain of sin, just for today. Now, set a seal upon my lips, for this I pray; Keep me from wrong or idle words, just for today. Let me be slow to do my will, prompt to obey, And keep me, guide me, use me, Lord, just for today. (Read Isaiah 58:11)
Another way of expressing this topic is The Beauty of Holiness. We wrote this letter hoping it brings us closer to our God, our family, brethren, and all men. The hymn says "So let our daily lives express the beauties of true holiness. So let the Christian graces shine, that all may know the power divine.” There is a story of a father writing to his son and he says, “Son, if I had more time I would have written you a shorter letter.” Note how wonderful one stanza of a hymn expresses the thought of true holiness. Edith Sitwell expresses the power of poetry in the following quotation: "Poetry ennobles the heart and eyes, and unveils the meaning of all things upon which the heart and the eyes dwell. It discovers and restores to us forgotten paradises.” In this writing consider the poetry and hymns as a summary of the thought expressed.
The Psalmist says in Psalms 5l:8, "Make me to hear joy and gladness; That the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice." Holiness is developed by the way we think and by the way we perceive things. Thoughts and perceptions make up our attitude. Throughout this letter, dear friends, there will be many references to the Bible.. the only source of TRUTH ... the Word of God .... 0 logos tou Theou. John 13:17: "If you know these things, blessed and happy and to be envied are you if you practice them, if you act accordingly and really do them." Let us give thought to the promise offered by God in Jeremiah 6:16, "Thus says THE LORD, stand ye in the ways, and see and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." In Matthew 11:29: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for you souls."
Consider the attitude of Abraham as told in Genesis 8 & 9 when Abraham said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left-hand, then I will go to the right or if you take the right-hand, then I will go to the left.” Let us 2 likewise make every effort to avoid contention and thereby develop a quiet and gentle spirit.
An important element to man's likeness to God and one of the grandest blessings is the freedom to choose...free will. It is however one of the most difficult blessings to control. To achieve joy, gladness, and a quiet, gentle spirit, it is important to think on things that are true, honest, pure, and lovely. Remember, our way of thinking or our attitude should be focused on doing the Lord's will and not our will. Let us consider the benefits of a Christian attitude in three common situations of life; In the home, among all men, and when we are alone.
In The Home - Ephesians 5:31-33 reads, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” A blessed marriage is truly a mystery. Marriage is the beautiful blending of two hearts and two lives. A gentle and quiet spirit can overcome many anxious hours. The blessings of a Christian home are Godliness, Order, Hospitality and Contentment. The Bible speaks to everyone in the family. Consider Ephesians 6:1-4, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), That it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth. And, fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." A Christian attitude should prevail during all our waking moments.
When Among Men - Let us be very sensitive to human frailties and respond with love and reason when provoked in our association with all people, especially brethren. I Peter 3:8-12: "Finally, be all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called, that you should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him hate evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it; For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”
Furthermore, consider and contemplate on the following thought. I Peter 2:12, 15: "Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that in case they speak against you as wrongdoers they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. For it is God's will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.'
We pause here to remember that we are desiring to achieve a quiet and gentle spirit. Let us stay focused on this goal. In Romans 12:15-18 we find beautiful words to guide and lead us along the way. "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Dear friends let us keep these words, act on them and we will be a witness by example.
When We Are Alone - When we are alone many thoughts pass through our mind. During these lone hours the Bible supplies us with Scriptures that protect us from ourselves. Remember, we are our own worst enemy. Consider Isaiah 26:3, 4, “Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Therefore, trust God! Put yourself in His hands completely without hesitation or doubt! John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.” The words of God through Paul in Phil 4:7-9: “And the peace of God, which pass all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever thinks are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Note carefully the instruction to.... think on these things....and (then) the God of peace will be with you. Put in your mind memories of beautiful places, wonderfilled sights and sounds. In our hymn we sing…
"When through the woods and forest glades I wander
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou art! How Great Thou art!
“Beautiful words, Wonderful words, Wonderful words of life!”
Dear friends let us be very aware of our attitude, A Christian attitude is very necessary in developing a quiet and gentle spirit and for maintaining unity and peace. May God give us the strength to “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God “ (Col. 1:10).