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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jesus Calls Us

To the multitude, however, it seemed impossible that the One designated by John should be associated with their lofty anticipations.  That many were disappointed, and greatly perplexed.

The words which the priests and rabbis so much desired to hear thatJesus would now restore the kingdom to Israel, had not been spoken.  For such a king they had been waiting and watching; such a king they were ready to receive. But one who sought to establish in their hearts a kingdom of righteousness and peace, they would not accept.

On the following day, while two disciples were standing near, John again saw Jesus among the people. Again the face of the prophet was lighted up with glory from the Unseen, as he cried, "Behold the Lamb of God!"  The words thrilled the hearts of the disciples.  They did not fully understand them. What meant the name that John had given Him,--"the Lamb of God"? John himself had not explained it.  Leaving John, they went to seek Jesus.  One of the two was Andrew, the brother of Simon:  the other was John the evangelist.  These were Christ's first disciples, moved by an irresistible impulse, they followed Jesus,--anxious to speak with Him, yet awed and silent, lost in the overwhelming significance of the thought, "Is this the Messiah?"

Jesus knew that the disciples were following Him.  They were the first fruits of His ministry, and there was joy in the heart of the divineTeacher as these souls responded to His grace.  Yet turning, He asked only, "What seek ye?"  He would leave them free to turn back or to speak of their desire.

Of one purpose only were they conscious.  One presence filled their thought.  They exclaimed,"Rabbi,. where dwellest Thou?"  In a brief interview by the wayside they could not receive that for which they longed  They desired to be alone with Jesus to sit at His feet, and hear His words.

"He saith unto them, Come and see.  They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day."

If John and Andrew had possessed the unbelieving spirit of the priests and rulers, they would not have been found as learners at the feet of Jesus.  They would have come to Him as critics, to judge His words  Many thus close the door to the most precious opportunities.  But not so did these first disciples.  They had responded to the Holy Spirit's call in the preaching of John the Baptist.  Now they recognized the voice of the heavenly Teacher.  To them the words of Jesus were full of freshness and truth and beauty.  A divine illumination was shed upon the teaching of the Old Testament Scriptures.  The many-sided themes of truth stood out in new light. 

It is contrition (repentance) and faith and love that enable the soul to receive wisdom from heaven.  Faith working by love is the key of knowledge, and everyone the loveth "Knoweth God." 1 John 4:7.

(Do you think Jesus is calling us to have a deeper and fuller relationship with Him.  I believe He is and I want to respond to that love and grace so freely given by Him.  Just like the disciples responded so many years ago.  Tomorrow we will learn how some of the other disciples responded to His call.  He is calling you and calling me, what will our answer be?  Grandma Joan.)  Taken from chapter 14 of the Desire of Ages.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Are You Tempted?

Mark 14:38  "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."  Meditation and prayer would keep us from rushing unbidden into the way of danger, and thus we should be saved from many a defeat.  Yet we should not lose courage when assailed by temptation.  Often when placed in a trying situation we doubt that the Spirit of God has been leading us.  But it was the Spirit's leading that brought Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan.  When God brings us into trial, He has a purpose to accomplish for our good.  Jesus did not presume on God's promises by going unbidden into temptation, neither did He give up to despondency when temptation came upon Him.  "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  He says, "Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: and call upon Me in the day of trouble:  I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." 1 Corinthians 10:13.  Psalm 50"14,15.

Jesus was victor in the second temptation, and now Satan manifests himself in his true character.  But he does not appear as a hideous monster, with cloven feet and bat's wings.  He is a mighty angel, though fallen.  He avows himself the leader of rebellion and the god of this world.

Placing Jesus o a high mountain, Satan caused the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, to pass in panoramic view before Him.  The sunlight lay on templed cities, marble palaces, fertile fields, and fruit laden vineyards.  The traces of evil were hidden.  The eyes of Jesus, so lately greeted by gloom and desolation, now gazed upon a scene of unsurpassed loveliness and prosperity.  Then the tempter's voice was heard:  "All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.  If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine."

Christ's mission could be fulfilled only through suffering.  Before him was a life of sorrow, hardship, and conflict, and an ignominious death.  He must bear the sins of the whole world.  He must endure
separation from His Father's love.  now the tempter offered to yield up the power he had usurped.  Christ might deliver Himself from the dreadful future by acknowledging the supremacy of Satan.  But to do this was to yield the victory in the great controversy.  It was in seeking to exalt himself above the Son of God that Satan had sinned in heaven.  Should he prevail now, it would be the triumph of rebellion.

When Satan offered all the kingdoms of the world to Christ if He would just worship him, Christ's answer was, "Get thee behind Me, Satan; for it is written, Thous shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve."

To men he offers the kingdom of this world on condition that they will acknowledge his supremacy.  He requires that they sacrifice integrity, disregard conscience, indulge selfishness.  Christ bids them seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; but Satan walks by their side and says:  Whatever may be true in regard to life eternal, it order to make a success in this world you must serve
me.

Satan had questioned whether Jesus was the Son of God.  In his summary dismissal he had proof that the could not gainsay.  Divinity flashed through suffering humanity.  Satan had no power to resist the command.  Writhing with humiliation and rage, he was forced to withdraw from the presence of the world's Redeemer.  Christ's victory was as complete as had been the failure of Adam.

So we may resist temptation, and force Satan to depart from us.  Jesus gained the victory through submission and faith in God and by the apostle He says to us, "Submit yourselves therefore to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you."  James 4:7,8.  We cannot save ourselves from the tempter's power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but "the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous  runneth into it, and is safe."  Proverbs 18: 10.  Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name.

(We can find refuge in that mighty name too.  We can also use the verses in the scriptures and tell him It is Written and he will flee from us.  So we have no excuse to fall before the tempter, do we?  Let's be faithful to all God's requirements and we will come off victorious.  Grandma Joan.)  Taken fro Desire of Ages, chapter 13.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

This Victory is Ours.

Just a quick synopsis of the second temptation.  Satan took Him to the pinnacle of the temple and quoted scripture to Him.  Satan said, "If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written--"He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee:  And in their hands they shall bear Thee up, Lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone."  First, he uses the word, 'IF' which was an expression of doubt that Jesus was the Son of God and Jesus knew by this little word that it was not an angel of light and He did not succumb to Satan's insinuations.

The tempter thought to take advantage of Christ's humanity, and urge Him to presumption.  But while Satan can solicit, he cannot compel to sin.  He can never compel us to do evil.  He cannot control minds unless they are yielded to his control.  The will must consent, faith must let go its hold upon Christ, before Satan can exercise his power upon us.  But every sinful desire we cherish affords him a foothold.  Every point in which we fail o meeting the divine standard is an open door by which he can enter to tempt and destroy us.  And every failure or defeat on our part gives occasion for him to reproach Christ.

When Satan quoted the promise, "He shall give His angels charge over Thee," he omitted the words, "to keep Thee in all Thy ways;"  that is, in all the ways of God's choosing.  Jesus refused to go outside the path of obedience.  While manifesting perfect trust in His Father, He would not place Himself, unbidden, in a position that would necessitate the interposition of His Father to save Him from death.  He would not force Providence to come to His rescue, and thus fail of giving man an example of trust and submission.

Jesus declared to Satan, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." These words were spoken by Moses to the children of Israel when they thirsted in the desert, and demanded that Moses should give them water, exclaiming, "Is the Lord among us, or not?"  Exodus 17:7.  God had wrought marvelously for them; yet in trouble  they doubted him and demanded evidence that He was with them.  In their unbelief they sought to put Him to the test.  And Satan was urging Christ to do the same thing.  God had already testified that Jesus was His Son; and now to ask for proof that He was the Son of God would be putting God's word to the test,--tempting Him.  And the same would be true of asking for that which God had not promised. It manifest distrust, and be really proving, or tempting, Him.  We should not present our petitions to God to prove whether He will fulfill His word, but because He will fulfill it; not to prove that He loves us, but because He loves us.   "Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."  Hebrews11:6

But faith is in no sense allied to presumption.  Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption.  For presumption is Satan's counterfeit.  Presumption also claims the promises, but used them as Satan did, to excuse transgression.  Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God, and to obey His commands.  Presumption led them to transgress His law, believing that His great love would save them from the consequence of their sin.  It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is to be granted.  Genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures.

Often when Satan has failed of exciting distrust, he succeeds in leading us to presumption. If he can cause us to place ourselves unnecessarily in the way of temptation, he knows that the victory is his. God will preserve all who walk in the path of obedience; but to depart from it is to venture on Satan's ground.  There we are are sure to fall.  The Savior has bidden us, "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."  Mark 14:38.  Meditation and prayer would keep us from rushing unbidden into the way of danger, and thus we should be saved from many a defeat.

(Do you see how to have victory over Satan?  By the word of God.  Memorize and use the promises of God to defeat Him.  It really does work.  God does give us the victories that we need, just when we need them.  Grandma Joan) Taken from chapter 13 of Desire of Ages.

By the Word of God

"The prince of this world cometh," said Jesus, "and hath nothing in Me."  John 14:30  There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan's sophistry.  He did not consent to sin.  Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation.  So it may be with us.  Christ's humanity was united with divinity;  He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature.  So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us.  God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection character.

And how is this accomplished, Christ has show us.  By what means did He overcome in the conflict with Satan?  By the word of God.  Only by the word could He resist temptation.  "It is written," He said.  And unto us are given "exceeding great and precious promises" that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."  2 Peter 1:4.  Every promise in God's word is ours.  "By every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" are we to live.  When assailed by temptation, look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self, but to the power of the word.  All its strength is yours.  "Thy word," says the psalmist, "have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee."  "By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer."  Psalm 119:11; 17:4.

(This was short but the message is so powerful that I am willing to shorten it.  We need to contemplate this message and memorize the promises in scripture and then we will have the same means of overcoming Satan as Jesus had in the wilderness.  I believe it's time to be an overcomer, how about you?  I'm tired of being overcome and want to be victorious over each temptation that Satan puts in my way.  I am memorizing scripture that I can throw in Satan's face when he tries to cause me to stumble.  It really does work.  Try it, it just might be the means of a new life for you.  Grandma Joan)  Thoughts were at the end of chapter 12, of the Desire of Ages.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How We Live

When Christ said to the tempter, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," He repeated the words that, more than fourteen hundred years before, He had spoken to Israel: "The Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness.  And He humbled thee and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord  doth man live."  Deuteronomy 8:2,3.  In the wilderness, when all means of sustenance failed, God sent His people manna from heaven; and a sufficient and constant supply was given.  This provision was to teach them that while they trusted in God and walked in His ways He would not forsake them.  The Savior now practiced the lesson He had taught to Israel.  By the word of God succor had been given to the Hebrew host, and by the same word it would be given to Jesus.  He awaited God's time to bring relief.  He was in the wilderness in obedience to God, and He would not obtain food by following the suggestions of Satan.  In the presence of the witnessing universe, He testified that it is a less calamity to suffer whatever may befall than to depart in any manner from the will of God.

Man shall not live by bread alone, but y every word of God."  Often the follower of Christ is brought where he cannot serve God and carry forward his worldly enterprises.  Perhaps it appears that obedience to some plain requirement of God will cut off his means of support.  Satan would make him believe that he must sacrifice his conscientious convictions.  But the only thing in our world upon which we can rely is the word of God.  "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness' and all these thing shall be added unto you."  Matthew 6:33  Even in this life it is not for our good to depart from the will of our Father in heaven.  When we learn the power of His word, we shall not follow the suggestions of Satan in order to obtain food or to save our lives.  Our only questions will be, What is God's command?  and what His promise?  Knowing these, we shall obey the one and trust the other.

Of all the lessons to be learned from our Lord's first temptation none is more important than that bearing upon the control of appetite and passions.  In all ages, temptations appealing to the physical nature have been most in effectual in corrupting and degrading mankind.  Through intemperance, Satan works to destroy the mental and moral powers God gave to man at a priceless endowment.  Thus it becomes impossible for men to appreciate things of eternal worth.  Through sensual indulgence, Satan seeks to blot from the soul every trace of likeness to God.

In our own strength it is impossible for us to deny the clamors of our fallen nature.  Through this channel Satan will bring temptation upon us.  Christ knew that the enemy would come to every human being, to take advantage of hereditary weakness, and by his false insinuations to ensnare all whose trust is not in God.  And by passing over the ground which man must travel our Lord has prepared the way for us to overcome.  It is not His will that we should be placed at a disadvantage in the conflict with Satan.  He would not have us intimidated and discouraged by the assaults of the serpent.  "Be of good cheer," He says; "I have overcome the world."  John 16:33.

Let him who is struggling against the power of appetite look to the Savior in the wilderness of temptation.  See Him in His agony upon the cross, as He exclaimed, "I thirst,"  He has endured all that it is possible for us to bear.  His victory is ours.

(Satan is working full time to destroy us and we must know what God's will is in our life and we must trust His promises.  Read the scriptures to know His will and read the scriptures to know His promises.  It's all there for us if we will but read and believe what we read.  Let's live for God regardless of what our friends, relatives or whoever might try to influence us away from trusting God's word.  It is so important, it's a matter of life and death. To live for God is life.  Remember the texts Philippians 1:6 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24. Read these daily, they are promises for you as you struggle to let God lead in your life. Grandma Joan.)  Thoughts taken from Desire of Ages chapter 12.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Victory in the Balance

Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation.  Then He could not have been placed in Adam's position; He could not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain.  If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then He would not be able to succor us.  But our Savior took humanity, with all it liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation.  We have nothing to bear which He has not endured.

With Christ, as with the holy pair in Eden, appetite was the ground of the first great temptation.  Just where the ruin began, the work of our redemption must begin.  As by the indulgence of appetite Adam fell, so by denial of appetite Christ must overcome.  "And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stoned be made bread.  But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

From the time of Adam to the time of Christ self-indulgence had increased the power of the appetites and passions, until they had almost unlimited control.  Thus men had become debased and diseased, and of themselves it was impossible for them to overcome.  In man's behalf, Christ conquered by enduring the severest test.  For our sake He exercised a self-control stronger than hunger or death.  And in this first victory were involved other issues that enter into all our conflicts with the powers of darkness.

When Jesus entered the wilderness, He was shut in by the Father's glory.  Absorbed in communion with God, He was lifted above human weakness.  But the glory departed, and He was left to battle with temptation.  It was pressing upon Him every moment.  His human nature shrank from the conflict that awaited Him.  For forty days He fasted and prayed.  Weak and emaciated from hunger, worn and haggard with mental agony, "His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men."  Isaiah 52; 14.  Now was Satan's opportunity.  Now he supposed that he could overcome Christ.

There came to the Savior, as if in answer to His prayers, one in the guise of an angel from heaven.  He claimed to have a commission from God to declare that Christ's fast was at an end.  As God had sent and angel to stay the hand of Abraham from offering Isaac, so, satisfied with Christ's willingness to enter the bloodstained path, the Father had sent an angel to deliver Him; this was the message brought to Jesus. The Savior was faint from hunger He was craving for food, when Satan came suddenly upon Him.  Pointing to the stones which strewed the desert, and which had the appearance of loaves the tempter said, 'If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread'.

Though he appears as an angel of light, these first words betray his character.  "If Thou be the Son of God."  Here is the insinuation of distrust.  Should Jesus do what Satan suggests, it would be an acceptance of the doubt. Satan plans to overthrow Christ by the same method that was so successful with the human race in the beginning.  How artfully had Satan approached Eve in Eden!  "Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Genesis 3:1. Thus far the tempter's words were truth; but in his manner of speaking them there was a doubt of the divine truthfulness.  Satan sought to instill into the mind of Eve the thought that God would not do as He had said; that the withholding of such beautiful fruit was a contradiction of His love and compassion for man.  So now the tempter seeks to inspire Christ with his own sentiments.   "If Thou be the Son of God."  The words rankle with bitterness in his mind.  In the tones of his voice is an expression of utter incredulity.  Would God treat His own Son thus?  Would He leave Him in the desert with wild beast, without food, without companions, without comfort?  He insinuates that God never meant His Son to be in such a state as this.  "If Thou be the Son of God," show Thy power in relieving Thyself of this pressing hunger.  Command that this stone be made bread.

(This was just the first temptation.  Can you see what Christ went through in the wilderness just to give us the power to overcome appetite?  We can do it, but not in our own strength.  We have no power of ourselves to meet Satan on his grounds.  We must have Christ's power within us to be able to resist Satan's temptations, and believe me, he has one or more for every one of us on the grounds of appetite.  I have been through so much over this very sin.  Of ourselves we cannot overcome this hideous sin that Satan has blinded us with.  We must be filled with the fullness of God to be able to meet Satan with "It is Written".  Two good verses for this is Philippians 1:6 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24.  Also Jude 24.  There are so many promises to give us the power over Satan, we just need to put them to memory in our hearts so we have them as Christ did.  Grandma Joan)  Taken from the Desire of Ages, chapter 12.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Rescue

Not without hindrance was the Commander of heaven to win the souls of men to His kingdom.  From the time when He was a babe in Bethlehem, He was continually assailed by the evil one.  The image of God was manifest in Christ, and in the councils of Satan it was determined that He should be overcome.  No human being had come into the world and escaped the power of the deceiver.  The forces of the confederacy of evil were set upon His track to engage in warfare against Him, and if possible to prevail over Him.

At the Savior's baptism, Satan was among the witnesses.  He saw the Father's glory overshadowing His Son.  He heard the voice of Jehovah testifying to the divinity of Jesus.  Ever since Adam's sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God; the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ; but now that Jesus had come "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3) the Father Himself spoke.  He had before communicated with humanity through Christ; now he communicated with humanity in Christ.  Satan had hoped that God's abhorrence of evil would bring an eternal separation between heaven and earth.  But now it was manifest that the connection between God and man had been restored.

Satan saw that he must conquer or be conquered.  The issues of the conflict involved too much to be entrusted to his confederate angels.  He must personally conduct the warfare.  All the energies of apostasy were rallied against the Son of God.  Christ was made the mark of every weapon of hell.

Many look on this conflict between Christ and Satan as having no special bearing on their own life; and for them it has little interest.  But within the domain of very human heart this controversy is repeated.  Never does one leave the ranks of evil for the service of God without encountering the assaults of Satan. The enticements which Christ resisted were those that we find it so difficult to withstand.  They were urged upon him in as much greater degree as His character is superior to ours.  With a terrible weight of the sins of the world upon Him, Christ withstood the test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon that love of display which leads to presumption.  These were the temptations that overcame Adam and Eve, and that so readily overcome us.

Satan had pointed to Adam's sin as proof that God's law was unjust, and could not be obeyed.  In our humanity, Christ was to redeem Adam's failure.  But when Adam was assailed by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him.  He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full vigor of mind and body.  He was surrounded with the glories of Eden, and was in daily communion with heavenly beings.  It was not thus with Jesus when He entered the wilderness to cope with Satan.  For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity.  Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation.

(I am sure that if you consider your life, you will see where Satan has had many controversies with Christ over who is going to be the Lord of your life.  Christ or Satan.  I can surely see many times that Christ lost the battle and many times when He gained the battle and as the years have gone by, they are still battling for my soul and I believe Christ is the winner now, not to say that I don't succumb to Satan, but Christ is always there to lift me up.  Praise the Lord that He was the overcomer for us.  We have the assurance that because He overcame in His life, He will be the Victor in ours. Will you let Him be the Victor in yours?  I hope so.  Grandma Joan)  Thoughts taken from the Desire of Ages chapter 12.


Monday, March 23, 2015

The Deceiver

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness."  The words of Mark are still more significant.  He says, "Immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts." "And in those days He did eat nothing."

When Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted, He was led by the Spirit of God.  He did not invite temptation.  He went to the wilderness to be alone, to contemplate His mission and work.  By fasting and prayer He was to brace Himself for the bloodstained path He must travel.  But Satan knew that the Savior had gone into the wilderness and he thought this the best time to approach Him.

Mighty issues for the world were at stake in the conflict between the Prince of light and the leader of the kingdom of darkness.  After tempting man to sin, Satan claimed the earth as his, and styled himself the prince of this world.  Having conformed to his own nature the father and mother of our race, he thought to establish here his empire.  He declared that men had chosen him as their sovereign.  Through his control of men, he held dominion over the world.  Christ had come to disprove Satan's claim.  As the Son of man, Christ would stand loyal to God.  Thus it would be shown that Satan had not gained complete control of the human race, and that his claim to the world was false.  All who desired deliverance from his power would be set free.  The dominion that Adam had lost through sin would be recovered.

Since the announcement to the serpent in Eden, " I will put enmity between the and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed" (Genesis3:15), Satan had known that he did not hold absolute sway over the world.  There was seen in men the working of a power that withstood his dominion.  With intense interest he watched  the sacrifices offered by Adam and his sons.  In these ceremonies he discerned a symbol of communion between earth and heaven.  He set himself to intercept this communion.  He misrepresented God, and misinterpreted the rites that pointed to the Savior.  Men were led to fear God as one who delighted in their destruction.  The sacrifices that should have revealed His love were offered only to appeal His wrath.  Satan excited the evil passions of men, in order to fasten his rule upon them. When God's written word was given, Satan studied the prophecies of the Savior's advent.  From generation to generation he worked to blind the people to these prophecies that they might reject Christ at His coming.

At the birth of Jesus, Satan knew that One had come with a divine commission to dispute his dominion.  He trembled at the angel's message attesting the authority of the newborn King. Satan well knew the position that Christ had held in heaven as the Beloved of the Father. That the Son of God should come to this earth as a man filled him with amazement and with apprehension.  He could not fathom the mystery of this great sacrifice.  His selfish soul could not understand such love for the deceived race.  The glory and peace of heaven, and the joy of communion with God, were but dimly comprehended by men; but they were well known to Lucifer, the covering cherub.  Since he had lost heaven, he was determined to find revenge by causing others to share his fall.  This he would do by causing them to undervalue heavenly things and to set the heart upon things of earth.

(Has he done a good job with his wicked intensions?  I would say so.  But we will learn as we go on with our worships that God did a much better job of saving souls, the sad part is that Satan has ruined the image of God in millions of souls that don't understand His love and and we need to spread His love around through our love for lost souls. That's why the Bible says to love your neighbor as yourself.  Take care of your neighbors needs in any way that you can and show them the love of Christ.  The best example of a Christian is the love they have for others.  Can we do that?  I think we can and we will be furthering God's kingdom and so many, many more will be saved.  Grandma Joan)  These thoughts were taken from the Desire of Ages, chapter 12.

Jesus Prayer On the Banks of the Jordan

Yesterday we discussed Jesus Baptism, today He is bowed in prayer on the banks of the Jordan River after His baptism.

The Savior's glance seems to penetrate heaven as He pours out His soul in prayer.  Well He knows how sin has hardened the hearts of men, and how difficult it will be for them to discern His mission, and accept the gift of salvation.  He pleads with the Father for power to overcome their unbelief, to break the fetters with which Satan has enthralled them, and in their behalf to conquer the destroyer.  He asks for the witness that God accepts humanity in the person of His Son.

Never before have the angels listened to such a prayer.  They are eager to bear to their loved Commander a message of assurance and comfort.  But no; the Father Himself will answer the petition of His Son.  Direct from the throne issue the beams of His glory.  The heavens are opened, and upon the Savior's head descends a dovelike form of purest light,--fit emblem of Him, the meek and lowly One.

Of the vast throng at the Jordan, few except John discerned the heavenly vision.  Yet the solemnity of the divine Presence rested upon the assembly.  The people stood silently gazing upon Christ.  His form was bathed in the light that ever surrounds the throne of God.  His upturned face was glorified as they had never before seen the face of man.  From the open heavens a voice was heard saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

These words of confirmation were given to inspire faith in those who witnessed the scene, and to strengthen the Savior for His mission.  Notwithstanding that the sins of a guilty world were laid upon Christ, notwithstanding the humiliation of taking upon Himself our fallen nature, the voice from heaven declared Him to be the Son of the Eternal.

And the word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," embraces humanity.  God spoke to Jesus as our representative.  With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless.  "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved."  Ephesians 1:6.  The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. It tells us of the power of prayer,--how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven.  By sin, earth was cut off from heaven, and alienated from its communion; but Jesus has connected it again with the sphere of glory.  His love had encircle man, an reached the highest heaven.  The light which fell from the open portals upon the head of our Savior will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation.  The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.

"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."  1John 3:2.  Our Redeemer has opened the way so that the most sinful, the most needy, the most oppressed and despised, may find access to the Father.  All may have a home in the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare.  "These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; . . .behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it."  Revelation 3:7,8.

(I can't add anything to these thoughts except to say that Jesus is still pleading for our souls to the Father and all we have to do is consent for Him to take over our lives and live out His life in us.  How easy is that?  May God bless this reading this morning and cause us to give our lives over to Him.  Grandma Joan.)  These thoughts are from the Desire of Ages p. 112, 113.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Jesus Baptism

Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins, and closely related by the circumstances of their birth; yet they had no direct acquaintance with each other.  The life of Jesus had been spent at Nazareth in Galilee; that of John, in the wilderness of Judea.  Amid widely different surroundings they had lived in seclusion, an had had no communication with each other  Providence had ordered this.  No occasion was to be given for the charge that they had conspired together to support each other's claims.

John was acquainted with the events that had marked the birth of Jesus.  He had heard of the visit to Jerusalem in His boyhood, and of what had passed in the school of the rabbis.  He knew of His sinless life, and believed Him to be the Messiah; but of this he had no positive assurance.  The fact that Jesus had for so many years remained in obscurity, giving no special evidence of His mission, gave occasion for doubt as to whether he could be the promised One.  The Baptist however, waited in faith, believing that in God's own time all would be made plain.  It had been revealed to him the the Messiah would seek baptism at his hands, and that a sign of His divine character should then be given.  Thus he would be enabled to present Him to the people.

When Jesus came to be baptized, John recognized in Him a purity of character that he had never before perceived in any man. The very atmosphere of His presence was holy and awe-inspiring.  Among the multitudes that had gathered about him at the Jordan, John had heard dark tales of crime, and had met souls bowed down with the burden of myriad sins; but never had he come in contact with a human being from whom there breathed an influence so divine.  All this was in harmony with what had been revealed to John regarding the Messiah.  Yet he shrank from granting the request of Jesus.  How could he, a sinner baptize the Sinless One?  And why should He who needed no repentance submit to a rite that was a confession of guilt to be washed away.

As Jesus asked for baptism, John drew back, exclaiming, "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?'  With firm yet gentle authority, Jesus answered, "Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness."  And John, yielding, led the Savior down into the Jordan, and buried Him beneath the water.  "And straightway coming up out of the water," Jesus "saw the heavens opened and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him."

Jesus did not receive baptism as a confession of guilt on His own account.  He identified Himself with sinners, taking the steps that we are to take, and doing the work that we must do.  His life of suffering and patient endurance after His baptism was also an example for us.

Upon coming up out of the water, Jesus bowed in prayer on the river bank.  A new and important era was opening before Him.  He was now upon a wider stage, entering on the conflict of His life.  Though He was the Prince of Peace, His coming must be as the unsheathing of a sword.  Th kingdom He had come to establish was the opposite of that which the Jews desired.  He who was the foundation of the ritual and economy of Israel would be looked upon as its enemy and destroyer.  He who who had proclaimed the law upon Sinai would be condemned a a transgressor.  He who had come to break the power of Satan would be denounced as Beelzebub.  No one upon earth had understood Him, and during His ministry He must still walk alone. Throughout His life His mother and His brothers did not comprehend His mission.  Even His disciples did not understand Him.  He had dwelt in eternal light, as one with God but His life on earth must be spent in solitude.

As one with us, He must bear the burden of our guilt and woe.  Th Sinless One must feel the shame of sin.  The peace lover must dwell with strife, the truth must abide with falsehood, purity with vileness.  Every sin, every discord, every defiling lust that transgression had brought, was torture to His spirit.

(Can you just picture what Jesus went through?  It's an awful picture isn't it?  I don't like to read about it but I know that if I do I will understand His love better each day.  No one, absolutely, no one could go through all of what He went through for us without an unfathomable love that is beyond description.
I don't want to disappoint Him by spurning that love, do you?  Grandma Joan)  The thoughts each day are coming from the Desire of Ages these thoughts today from chapter 11.  I hope you are enjoying the reading for each day.  It make a wonderful worship time.  Lots to think about and pray about.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Choose You This Day

To a people whose hearts His law is written, the favor of God is assured.  They are one with Him.  But the Jews had separated themselves from God.  Because of their sins they were suffering under His judgements.  This was the cause of their bondage to a heathen nation.  Their minds were darkened by transgression, and because in times past the Lord had shown them so great favor, they excused their sins.  They flattered themselves that they were better than other men and entitled to His blessings.

1 Corinthians 10:11  "These things are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."  How often we misinterpret God's blessings and flatter ourselves that we are favored on account of some goodness in us.  God cannot do for us that which He longs to do.  We use His gifts to increase our self-satisfaction, and to harden our hearts in unbelief and sin.

John declared to the teachers of Israel that their pride, selfishness, and cruelty showed them to be a generation of vipers, a deadly curse to the people, rather than the children of just and obedient Abraham.  In view of the light they have received from God, they were even worse than the heathen, to whom they felt  so much superior.  They had forgotten the rock from whence they were hewn, and the hole of the pit from which they had been dug.  God was not dependent upon them for the fulfilling of His purpose  As He had called Abraham out from a heathen people, so He could call others to His service.  Their hearts might now appear as lifeless as the stones of the desert, but His Spirit could quicken them to do His will, and receive the fulfillment of His promise.

Under the heart searching words, his hearers were convicted.  They came to him with the inquiry, "What shall we do then?"  He answered, "He that hath two coats,  let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."  And he warned the publicans against injustice, and the soldiers against violence.

All who became the subjects of Christ's kingdom, he said, would give evidence of faith and repentance.  Kindness, honesty, and fidelity would be seen in their lives.  They would minister to the needy, and bring their offerings to God.  They would shield the defenseless, and give an example of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.  In the daily life, justice, mercy, and the love of God will be seen.  Otherwise they are like the chaff that is given to the fire.

(Wouldn't we have a wonderful world if we followed the Bible teachings of how we should conduct our lives?  Some day on the new earth that God is going to create for His people, this will be the way it will be.  Read Revelation 21,22.  God has plans for His people, why not make the effort to make our choice today to be one of His followers.  Our lives would be so very much happier and peaceful.  Let's try it shall we?  Grandma Joan)

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Startling Message

John did not fully understand the nature of the Messiah's kingdom.  He looked for Israel to be delivered from her national foes; but the coming of a King in righteousness, and the establishment of Israel as a holy nation, was the great object of his hope.  Thus he believed would be accomplished the prophecy give at his birth,--
                        "To remember His holy covenant;. . . .
                          That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies
                          Might serve Him without fear,
                          In holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life?

He saw his people deceived, self-satisfied, and asleep in their sins.  He longed to rouse them to a holier life.  The message that God had given him to bear was designed to startle them from their lethargy, and cause them to tremble because of their great wickedness. Before the seed of the gospel could find lodgment, the soil of the heart must be broken up.  Before they would seek healing from Jesus, they must be awakened to their danger from the wounds of sin.

God does not send messages to flatter the sinner.  He delivers no message of peace to lull the unsanctified into fatal security.  He lays heavy burdens upon the conscience of the wrong doer, and pierces the soul with arrows of conviction. The ministering angels present to him the fearful judgments of God to deepen the sense of need, and prompt the cry, 'what must I do to be saved?'  Then the hand that humbled in the dust, lifts up the penitent.  The voice that has rebuked sin, and put to shame pride and ambition, inquires with tenderest sympathy, 'What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?'

When the ministry of John began, the nation was in a state of excitement and discontent verging on revolution.  At the removal of Archelaus, Judea had been brought directly under the control of Rome.  The tyranny and extortion of the Roman governors, and their determined efforts to introduce the heathen symbols and customs, kindled revolt, which had been quenched in the blood of thousands of the bravest of Israel.  All this intensified the national hatred against Rome, and increased the longing to be freed from her power.

Amid discord and strife, a voice was heard from the wilderness, voice startling and stern, yet full of hope:  'Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,"  With a new, strange power it moved the people.  Prophets had foretold the coming of Christ as an event far in the future but here was an announcement that it was at hand.  John's singular appearance carried the minds of his hearers back to the ancient seers.  In his manner and dress he resembled the prophet Elijah.  With the spirit and power of Elijah he denounced the national corruption, and rebuked the prevailing sins.  His words were plain, pointed, and convincing.  Many believed him to be one of the prophets risen from the dead.  The whole nation was stirred.  Multitudes flocked to the wilderness.

John proclaimed the coming of the Messiah, and called the people to repentance. As a symbol of cleansing from sin, he baptized them in the waters of the Jordan.  Thus by a significant object lesson he declared that those who claimed to be the chosen people of God were defiled by sin,  and that without purification of heart and life they could have no part in the Messiah's kingdom.

(This message is for us today too.  We must repent of our sins and be converted in order to be saved.  The second coming of Jesus is at hand and we must be ready.  We are reading about the first coming when Jesus came as a babe in the manger, and John was getting the people ready to accept Him as their Lord and Savior.  Now we are looking forward to His second coming as our Lord and Savior to put an end to this wicked world and create a new earth where all is peace and safety and we will reign with Jesus forever.  Let's put away our sin and get ready to meet Him when He comes in all His glory.  Remember the text; Philippians 1:6 'Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.'  And also 1 Thessalonians 5: 23,24  'And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.'  Let's let Him do it for us by confessing and repenting of our sins and He will take care of the rest but we must be willing to serve Him with our whole heart.  Are you ready?  Am I?
Grandma Joan.)  These thoughts were taken from chapter 10 of the Desire of Ages.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

In The Wilderness

In the natural order of things, the son of Zacharias would have been educated for the priesthood.  But the training of the rabbinical schools would have unfitted him for his work.  God did not send him to the teachers of theology to learn how to interpret the Scriptures.  He called him to the desert, that he might learn of nature and nature's God.

It was a lonely region where he found his home, in the midst of barren hills, wild ravines, and rocky caves.  But it was his choice to forgo the enjoyments and luxuries of life for the stern discipline of the wilderness.  Here his surroundings were favorable to habits of simplicity and self-denial.  Uninterrupted by the clamor of the world, he could here study the lessons of nature, of revelation and of Providence.  The words of the angel to  Zacharias had been often repeated to John by his God fearing parents.  From childhood his mission had been kept before him, and he had accepted the holy trust.  To him the solitude of the desert was a welcome escape from society in which suspicion, unbelief, and impurity had become well-nigh all-pervading.  He distrusted his own power to withstand temptation, and shrank from constant contact with sin, lest he should lose the sense of its exceeding sinfulness.

Dedicated to God as a Nazarite from his birth he made the vow his own in a life-long consecration. His dress was that of the ancient prophets, a garment of camel's hair, confined by a leather girdle.  He ate the 'locusts and wild honey' found in the wilderness, and drank the pure water from the hills.

But the life of John was not spent in idleness, in ascetic gloom, or in selfish isolation.  From time to time he went forth to mingle with men; and he was ever an interested observer of what was passing in the world.  From his quiet retreat he watched the unfolding of events.  With vision illuminated by the divine Spirit he studied the character of men, that he might understand how to reach their hearts with the message of heaven.  The burden of his mission was upon him.  In solitude, by meditation and prayer, he sought to gird up his soul for the lifework before him.

John found in the wilderness his school and his sanctuary.  Like Moses amid the mountains of Midian, he was shut in by God's presence and surrounded by the evidences of His power. . . .He looked upon the King in His beauty, and self was forgotten.  He beheld the majesty of holiness, and felt himself to be inefficient and unworthy.  He was ready to go forth as Heaven's messenger, unawed by the human, because he had looked upon the Divine. He could stand erect and fearless in the presence of earthly monarchs, because he had bowed low before the King of kings.

(Do we have the same privilege that John had, in studying God's divine nature and beholding His majesty and power?  He beheld the majesty of holiness and felt inefficient and unworthy.  If we study God's word and meditate on His holiness, we too will feel our need and see our unworthiness.  Jesus is our Worthiness, of ourselves we have nothing to offer.  We need to be like John in many ways, and then we will be victorious over Satan's temptations.  He was a wonderful example of simplicity and we too can be a wonderful example of the simplicity of a Christian in this sinful world.  Let's let our light shine out in the darkness and let others see what a real Christian is.  By God's grace we can do that. Grandma Joan.)  These thoughts were taken from the Desire of Ages chapter 10.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

An Angel from the Lord

To the question of Zacharias, the angel said, "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings."  Five hundred years before, Gabriel had made known to Daniel the prophetic period which was to extend to the coming of Christ.  The knowledge that the end of this period was near had moved Zacharias to pray for the Messiah's advent.  Now the very messenger through whom the prophecy was given had come to announce its fulfillment.

The words of the angel, "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God," show that he holds a position of high honor in the heavenly courts.  When he came with a message to Daniel, he said, "There is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael (Christ) your Prince."  Daniel 10:21.  Of Gabriel the Savior speaks in the Revelation, saying that "He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John."  Revelation 1:1.  And to John the angel declared,"I am a fellow servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets."  Revelation 22:9.  Wonderful thought--that the angel who stands next in honor to the Son of God is the one chosen to open the purposes of God to sinful men.

Zacharias had expressed doubt of the angel's words.  He was not to speak again until they were fulfilled.  "Behold," said the angel, "thou shalt be dumb,...until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season." It was the duty of the priest in this service to pray for the pardon of public and national sins, and for the coming of the Messiah; but when Zacharias attempted to do this, he could not utter a word.

Coming forth to bless the people, "he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless."  They had waited long, and had begun to fear, lest he had been cut down by the judgment of God.  But as he came forth from the holy place, his face was shining with the glory of God, "and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple." Zacharias communicated to them what he had seen and heard; and "as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house."

(How many of us would be struck dumb because we disbelieve what God has said in His word.  I am afraid there wouldn't be much communication these days if this happened to us.  It is imperative that we do believe and act upon His word in our hearts and in our lives.  Zacharias was dumb until the child was born. I am sure that he learned a great lesson in faith that day.  We also, can learn from his experience that to trust in God and His promises are of great value to us today.  Let us learn this lesson of faith.  Grandma Joan.)

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Voice in the Wilderness

From among the faithful in Israel, who had long waited for the coming of the Messiah, the forerunner of Christ arose.  The aged priest Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth were "both righteous before God;" and in their quiet and holy lives the light of faith shone out like a star amid the darkness of those evil days.  To this godly pair was given the promise of a son, who should "go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways."

Zacharias dwelt in "the hill country of Judea," but he had gone up to Jerusalem to minister for on week in the temple, a service required twice a year from the priests of each course.  "And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord."

He was standing before the golden altar in the holy place of the sanctuary.  The cloud of incense with the prayers of Israel was ascending before God.  Suddenly he became conscious of a divine presence.  An angel of the Lord was "standing on the right side of the altar."  The position of the angel was an indication of favor, but Zacharias took no note of this.  For many years he had prayed for the coming of the Redeemer; now heaven had sent its messenger to announce that these prayers were about to be answered; but the mercy of God seemed too great for him to credit.  He was filled with fear and self-condemnation.

But he was greeted with the joyful assurance: "Fear not, Zacharias for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shat call his name John.  And thou shalt have joy and gladness and many shall rejoice at his birth.  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and shall be filled with the Holy Ghost....And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.  And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.  And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this?  for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

The birth of a son to Zacharias, like the birth of the child of Abraham and that of Mary, was to teach a great spiritual truth, a truth that we are slow to learn and ready to forget.  In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul.  It was through faith that the child of promise was given.  It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness.

(Through faith spiritual life is begotten, is a hard lesson to learn, it has been the downfall of many churches, many ministers and many people, even today with so much knowledge, people find it hard to believe that Christ will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  We cannot save ourselves, Christ saves us.  We cannot change our lives, but He can and He will if we but ask Him too.  He is even willing to give us counsel and direction even in the smallest things of life.  He is a loving God and we must learn to believe His promises, and be filled with His Spirit and our life will be so much easier for us then if we try to do it all on our own.  Believe me, I have spent a lifetime trying, not realizing that Christ will do for me what is required for my salvation and now that I understand this, I am leaving it in His hands to do whatever it takes to save me.  It is so much easier this way.  Wish I had understood this truth many years ago, a lot of heartache would have been avoided.  If you are young, or even middle aged, don't wait till you are old before you let Christ take control of your life.  If you have a testimony of how Christ has taken control of your life, please share it with me.  It would mean so much.  Grandma Joan}  This chapter was based upon Luke, Matthew and Mark, if you want to look up the texts.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

His Presence

At times Jesus mother wavered between Jesus and His brothers who did not believe that He was the Sent of God; but evidence was abundant that His was a divine character.  She saw Him sacrificing Himself for the good of others.  His presence brought a purer atmosphere into the home and His life was like leaven working amid the elements of society. Harmless and undefiled He walked among the thoughtless, the rude, the uncourteous, amid the unjust publicans, the reckless prodigals, the unrighteous Samaritans, the heathen soldiers, the rough peasants, and the mixed multitude.  He spoke a word of sympathy here and a word there, as He saw men weary, yet compelled to bear heavy burdens.  He shared their burdens, and repeated to them the lessons He had learned from nature of the love, the kindness, and the goodness of God.

He taught all to look upon themselves as endowed with precious talents, which if rightly employed would secure for them eternal riches.  He weeded all vanity from His life, and by His own example taught that every moment of time is fraught with eternal results; that it is to be cherished as a treasure, and to be employed for holy purposes.  He passed by no human being as worthless, but sought to apply the saving remedy to every soul. In whatever company He found Himself, He presented a lesson that was appropriate to the time and the circumstances.  Often He met those who had drifted under Satan's control, and who had no power to break from his snare.  To such a one, discouraged, sick, tempted, and fallen, Jesus would speak words of tenderest pity words that were needed and could be understood.  Others He met who were fighting a hand-to-hand battle with the adversary of souls.  These He encouraged to persevere, assuring them that they would win; for angels of God were on their side, and would give them the victory.  Those whom He thus helped were convinced that here was One in whom they could trust with perfect confidence.  He would not betray the secrets they poured into His sympathizing ear.

Jesus was the healer of the body as well as of the soul.  He was interested in every phase of suffering that came under His notice, and to every sufferer He brought relief, His kind words having a soothing healing balm.  None could say that He had worked a miracle; but virtue-the healing power of love--went out from Him to the sick and distressed.  Thus in an unobtrusive way He worked for the people from his very childhood.  And this was why, after His public ministry began, so many heard Him gladly.

Yet through childhood, youth and manhood, Jesus walked alone.  In His purity and His faithfulness, He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.  He carried the awful weight of responsibility for the salvation of men.  He knew that unless there was a decided change in the principles and purposes of the human race all would be lost.  This was the burden of His soul, and none could appreciate the weight that rested upon Him.  Filled with intense purpose He carried out the design of His life that He Himself should be the light of men.

(Jesus was and is our Savior.  To live like He lived from early childhood is not an impossibility but it is a rare thing and Jesus is our ONLY perfect example of how to live under God's guiding hand.  When we let God take full control of our life we can be assured that the problems of life will be a lot lighter and we will have the wisdom to handle each one as they come to us.  Let the Holy Spirit direct and guide you each day and you will be surprised how much better each day will go.  Have a great day with God.  Grandma Joan.  These thoughts taken from the Desire of Ages p. 91,92.)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Trials and Hardships

We learned from the previous post that Jesus was different in character than the other youth of His age.  He did not obey the rigid rules of the synagogue teachers and the priests and they were constantly after His mother to make Him listen to their teachings and follow their ways, but His answer always was, "It is written".  The forms of religion which they observed could not transform the character.  They paid "tithe of mint and anise and cumin, but omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith."  Matthew 23:23.  The example of Jesus was to them a continual irritation.  He hated but one thing and that was sin.  He could not witness a wrong act without pain which it was impossible to disguise.  Between the formalists whose sanctity of appearance concealed the love of sin and a character in which zeal for God's glory was always paramount, the contrast was unmistakable.  Because the life of Jesus condemned evil, He was opposed, both at hime and abroad.  His unselfishness and integrity were commented on with a sneer.  His forbearance and kindness was termed cowardice.

But for every temptation He had an answer, "It is written".  He rarely rebuked any wrongdoing of His brothers, but He had a word from God to speak to them.  Often He was accused of cowardice for refusing to unite with them in some forbidden act; but His answer was, "It is written, "The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."  Job 28:28

There were some who sought His society, feeling at peace in His presence; but many avoided Him, because they were rebuked by His stainless life.  Young companions urged Him to do as they did.  He was bright and cheerful; they enjoyed His presence, and welcomed His ready suggestions; but they were impatient at His scruples, and pronounced Him narrow and strait-laced.  Jesus answered, It is written, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?  by taking heed thereto according to Thy word."  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee."  Ps 119:9,11.

When questioned why He did not join in the frolics of the youth of Nazareth, He said, It is written, "I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.  I will meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways.  I will delight myself in Thy statutes:  I will not forget Thy word." Psalm 119:14-16.

(Here we see how to overcome temptation by facing the tempter with the word of God.  That's why it is so important to study the Word and to know it in our hearts so that we can rebuke Satan with God's word and we will have the victory over each temptation that comes to us if we will do that.  That's how Jesus lived a pure stainless life.  It was through the power of God's word and trusting in that Word to give Him the victory.  We can have the same power today, but the fact is that most people are like the pharisees and the teachers of the law in Christ's time and they would rather believe in the traditions of man then in the word of God.  Which would you rather believe in,  I choose the word of God, because that is where the power is for living a pure life.  There is no power in traditions and never was.  Will you join me in believing in the Word of God, rather then in traditions of men.  It's pretty simple to see where the power lies, isn't it?  Grandma Joan.  Thoughts were taken from the Desire of Ages chapter 9.)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Rigid Rules?

From its earliest years the Jewish child was surrounded with requirements of the rabbis.  Rigid rules were prescribed for every act, down to the smallest details of life.  Under the synagogue teachers the youth were instructed in the countless regulations which as orthodox Israelites they were expected to observe.  But Jesu did not interest Himself in these matters.  From childhood He acted independently of rabbinical laws.  The Scriptures of the Old Testament were His constant study, and the words. "Thus saith the Lord," were ever upon His lips.

As the condition of the people began to open to His mind, He saw that the requirements of society and the requirements of God were in constant collision.  Men were departing from the word of God, and exalting theories of their own invention.  They were observing traditional rites that had no virtue.  Their service was a mere round of ceremonies; the sacred truths it was designed to teach were hidden from the worshipers.  He saw that in their faithless services they found no peace.  They did not know the freedom of spirit that would come to them by serving God in truth..  Jesus had come to teach the meaning of the worship of God, and He could not sanction the mingling of human requirements with the divine precepts.  He did not attack the precepts or practices of the learned teachers; but when reproved for His own simple habits He presented the word of God in justification of His conduct.

In every gentle and submissive way, Jesus tried to please those with whom He came in contact.  Because He was so gentle and unobtrusive, the scribes and elders supposed that He would be easily influenced by their teaching.  They urged Him to receive the maxims and traditions that had been handed down from the ancient rabbis, but He asked for their authority in Holy Writ.  He would hear every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; but He could not obey the inventions of men.  Jesus seemed to know the Scriptures from beginning to end, and He presented them in their true import.  The rabbis were ashamed to be instructed by a child.  They claimed that it was their office to explain the Scriptures, and that it was His place to accept their interpretation.  They were indignant that He should stand in opposition to their word.

They knew that no authority could be found in Scripture for their traditions. They realized that in spiritual understanding Jesus was far in advance of them.  Yet they were angry because He did not obey their dictates.  Failing to convince Him, they sought Joseph and Mary, and set before them His course of noncompliance.  Thus He suffered rebuke and censure.

At a very early age Jesus had begun to act for Himself in the formation of His character, and not even respect and love for His parents could turn Him from obedience to God's word.  "It is written" was His reason for every act that varied from the family customs.  But the influence of the rabbis made His life a bitter one.  Even in His youth He had to learn the hard lesson of silence and patient endurance.

(Are we as faithful to the Holy Scriptures as Jesus was even as a child?  Today we see so much in the religious world that is not found in the Scriptures.  We really do need to "study to show ourselves approved unto God"  don't we?  For encouragement along this line let's read 2 Timothy 3:16,17.  "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."  So let's study the Scriptures because they really do come from God and are the only means of our salvation.  Grandma Joan.  These thoughts were taken from the Desire of Ages p. 84,85.)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Through Neglect

In our association with one another we should take heed lest we forget Jesus, and pass along unmindful that He is not with us. When we become absorbed in worldly things so that we have no thought for Him in whom our hope of eternal life is centered, we separate ourselves from Jesus and from the heavenly angels.  These holy beings cannot remain where the Savior's presence is not desired, and His absence is not marked.  This is why discouragement so often exists among the professed followers of Christ.

Many attend religious services, and are refreshed and comforted by the word of God; but through neglect of meditation, watchfulness, and prayer, they lose the blessing, and find themselves more destitute than before they received.  Often they feel that God has dealt harshly with them.  They do not see that the fault is their own.  By separating themselves from Jesus, they have shut away the light of His presence.

It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ.  We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones.  As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit.  If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.

As we associate together, we may be a blessing to one another.  If we are Christ's, our sweetest thoughts will be of Him.  We shall love to talk of Him; and as we speak to one another of His love, our hearts will be softened by divine influences.  Beholding the beauty of His character, we shall be "changed into the same image from glory to glory."  2 Corinthians 3:18.

(It has been said that if we do something for 21 days it becomes a habit.  How hard is that?  We could spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplating on His great sacrifice for us for one hour each day, couldn't we?  It would be worth the effort to be changed into the same image of Him, from glory to glory.  Why don't we try this and see how it changes our lives.  It would be so worth it, I know.  Grandma Joan.  These thoughts taken from The Desire of Ages p. 83.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Lost Child

Remember, Jesus had gotten separated from His parents and that evening they missed Him and the next day they spent searching for Him.  As they mingled with the worshipers in the temple, they heard a familiar voice, they could not mistake it, not other voice was like his, so serious and earnest, yet so full of melody.

In the school of the rabbis, they found Jesus  Rejoiced as they were, they could not forget their grief and anxiety.  When He was with them again, the mother said, in words that implied reproof, "Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us?  Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing."

Jesus answer was, "How is it that ye sought Me?  Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?"  As they seemed not to understand His words, He pointed upward.  On His face was a light at which they wondered.  Divinity was flashing through humanity.  On finding Him in the temple, they had listened to what was passing between Him and the rabbis, and they were astonished at His questions and answers. His words started a train of thought that would never be forgotten.

And His question to them had a lesson too.  "Wist he not that I must be about My Father's business?"  Jesus was engaged in the work that He had come into this world to do; but Joseph and Mary had neglected theirs.  God had shown them high honor in committing to them His Son.  Holy angels had directed the course of Joseph in order to preserve the life of Jesus.  But for an entire day they had lost sight of Him whom they should not have forgotten for a moment.  And when their anxiety was relieved, they had not censured themselves, but had cast the blame upon Him.

It was natural for the parents of Jesus to look upon Him as their own child.  He was daily with them, His life in many respects was like that of other children, and it was difficult for them to realize that He was the Son of God.  They were in danger of failing to appreciate the blessing granted them in the presence of the world's Redeemer.  The grief of their separation from Him, and the gentle reproof which His words conveyed, were designed to impress them with the sacredness of their trust.

In the answer to His mother, Jesus showed for the first time that He  understood His relation to God.  Before His birth the angel had said to Mary, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever." Luke 1:32,33.

If Joseph and Mary had stayed their minds upon God by meditation and prayer, they would have realized the sacredness of their trust, and would not have lost sight of Jesus.  By one day's neglect they lost the Savior; but it cost them three days of anxious search to find Him.  So with us; by idle talk, evil speaking or neglect of prayer, we may in one day lose the Savior's presence, and it may take many days of sorrowful search to find Him, and regain the peace that we have lost.

(Have you had that experience, I have and it is a horrible feeling and takes a considerable amount of prayer and study to get back that close relationship again.  Not because He is hard to reach but because our carnal hearts are hard hearted at times and it makes it difficult for us to regain what we have lost.  I don't like that feeling and try not to enter into anything that would cause me to lose my close walk with God.  How about you?  Can you relate to that too.  I'm pretty sure that all of us have had experiences like that and would rather not go through it again.  May God help us not to lose track of His dear Son in our daily lives.  Grandma Joan.  Thoughts taken from Chapter 8 of the The Desire of Ages.  If you like the thoughts from the readings from this book, you may obtain it by clicking on the icon Amazing facts and request it from them.  It is a wonderful book on the life of Christ.




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

At The Passover

Among the Israelites, the twelfth year was the dividing line between childhood and youth.  A boy is called a son of the law, and also a son of God.  He was given special opportunities for religious instruction and was expected to participate in the feasts and observances. It was because of this custom that Jesus in His boyhood made this visit to Jerusalem. When He reached twelve years old His parents took Him with them to the feast.

For the first time Jesus looked upon the great temple and saw the white robed priests officiating, saw the slain lamb upon the altar of sacrifice.  With the worshipers He bowed in prayer while the cloud of incense ascended before God.   He witnessed the impressive rites of the Paschal Service.   Day by day He saw the meaning more clearly.  Every act seemed to be bound up in His own life  New impulses were awakening within Him.  Silent and absorbed He seemed to be working out a great problem.  The mystery of His mission was opening to the Savior.

While Jesus was obedient in every way to the word of God, His parents hoped that He would learn from the great teachers in Israel.  He did not conform rabbinical rites and usages.  Mary and Joseph hoped that He might be led to reverence the learned rabbis and give more diligent heed to their requirements.  But Jesus had been taught by God and that which He had received He began at once to impart.  In His contemplation of all these things, He had not remained with His parents and when it came time to go home, He was not with them and they thought He was with friends in the group that was traveling together.  They didn't miss Him until evening when they went to set up camp, He wasn't with them and they couldn't find Him.

In the meantime He was back at the temple and in the temple there was a a sacred room set apart for students to learn.  Jesus had gone with the other pupils into this room.  As one seeking for wisdom He questioned these learned teachers concerning the prophecies and to the event that pertained to the advent of the coming Messiah.

The rabbis spoke of the wonderful elevation which the Messiah's coming would bring to the Jewish nation; but Jesus presented the prophecy of Isaiah, and asked them the meaning of those scriptures that point to the suffering and death of the Lamb of God.  The doctors turned upon Him with questions and were amazed at His answers.  With the humility of a child, He repeated the words of Scripture, giving them a depth of meaning that the wise men had not conceived of.  If followed, the lines of truth He pointed out would have worked a reformation in the religion of the day but many were not prepared to receive Him.  The rabbis knew that Jesus had not been instructed in their schools, yet His understanding of the prophecies far exceeded theirs.  In this thoughtful Galilean boy they discerned great promise and wanted to have charge of His education, feeling that a mind so original must be brought under their training.

They could not but see that their expectations in regard to the Messiah was not sustained y prophecy; but they would not renounce the theories that flattered their ambition.  They would not admit that they had misapprehended the Scriptures they claimed to teach.  They asked each other the question, "How hath this youth knowledge, having never learned?  The light was shining in darkness but the darkness apprehended it not."  John 1:5. RV.

(Isn't that the way it is today, light is shining full and bright from the Scriptures, but people do not comprehend the light.  Let's study the word and we will learn another great lesson tomorrow that is vital to our salvation.  Grandma Joan)  Thoughts from Desire of Ages Chapter 8.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

As A Child

Jesus was raised as a child in the wicked town of Nazareth, His home was a poor home and work was required by all.  He faithfully and cheerfully did His part in bearing the burdens of the household.  He was the Commander of heaven, and angels had delighted to fulfill His word; now He was a willing servant, a loving obedient son.

Jesus did not shirk responsibility, as many who profess to be His followers.  It is because they seek to evade this discipline that so many are weak and inefficient.  They may possess precious and amiable traits, but they are nerveless and almost useless when difficulties are to be met or obstacles surmounted.  The positiveness and energy, the solidity and strength of character, manifested in Christ are to be developed in us, through the same discipline that He endured and the grace that He received is for us.

As long as our Savior lived among men, He shared the lot of the poor.  He knew by experience their cares and hardships, and He could comfort and encourage all humble workers.  Those who have a true conception of the teaching of His life will never feel that a distinction must be made between classes, that the rich are to be honored above the worthy poor.

He carried into His labor cheerfulness and tact.  It requires much patience and spirituality to bring Bible religion into the home life and into the workshop, to bear the strain of worldly business, and yet keep the eye single to the glory of God.  This is where Christ was a helper, He was never so full of worldly care as to have no time or thought for heavenly things.  Often He expressed the gladness of His heart by singing psalms and heavenly songs.  Often the dwellers in Nazareth heard His voice raised in praise and thanksgiving to God.  He held communion with heaven in song; and as His companions complained of weariness from labor, they were cheered by the sweet melody from His lips.  His praise seemed to banish the evil angels, and, like incense, fill the place with fragrance.  The minds of His hearers were carried away from their earthly exile, to the heavenly home.

He drew the sympathy of all hearts by showing Himself capable of sympathizing with all.  The atmosphere of hope and courage made Him a blessing in every home.  Jesus is our example.  There are many who dwell with interest upon the years of His ministry but it is in His home life that He is the example to all children and youth. He condescended to poverty that He might teach how closely we in a humble lot may walk with God.  He lived to please, honor, and glorify His Father in the common things of life.  He was doing God's service just as much when laboring at the carpenter's bench as when working miracles for the multitude.

We can do the same as He did in our lowly walks in life.  We have the same Father in heaven that He had and He will give us the same strength of character that He had.  We can have a song in our heart as we go about our duties and be cheerful and loving in our simple walk of life.  I want to be like that.  God help us all to walk close to You in our daily walk and be a loving and cheerful Christian and example to all.  Grandma Joan

These thoughts were taken from 'Desire of Ages' chapter 7.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Rescued!!!

When this world had reached such a low state and sin was so prevalent and Rebellion had struck it's roots deep into the heart of man and sin was the most violent against heaven and Satan had declared that the principles of God's government had made forgiveness impossible, at this very crisis when Satan seemed about to triumph, the Son of God came with the embassage of divine grace.  Through every age, through every hour the love of God had been exercised toward the fallen race.  And when the fullness of the time had come, the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or withdrawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled.

Satan was exulting that he had succeeded in debasing the image of God in humanity.  Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his maker.  None but Christ can fashion  anew the character that has been ruined by sin,  He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will.  He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character and to make it beautiful with His own glory.

The King of glory stooped low to take humanity unto himself.  Rude and forbidding were His earthly surroundings.  His glory was veiled, that the majesty of His outward form might not become an object of attraction.  He shunned all outward display.  Riches, worldly honor, and human greatness can never save a soul from death;  Jesus purposed that no attraction of an earthly nature should call men to His side.  Only the beauty of heavenly truth must draw those who would follow Him.  The character of the Messiah had long been foretold in prophecy, and He desired men to accept Him upon the testimony of the word of God.

Will you do that today?  Just accept Jesus upon the testimony of the word of God?  It takes faith, yes, but faith is a gift from God too, just as forgiveness is.  If we believe that Jesus came to save us, then we have started on the road to the kingdom.  What He has done for us, He has done for everyone who has ever been born.  Let's put joy in His heart today by accepting His life as a pattern for our life.  I'm willing, are you.  Grandma Joan

(thoughts from the Desire of Ages p. 37-42)

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Redeemer Is Coming

A Redeemer is someone who buys back something that has been taken from Him.  That's what God did when He sent His Son to buy back a world that Satan had taken from Him.

Galatians 4:4,5  "When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son...to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."

The Savior's coming was foretold in Eden when Adam and Eve sinned and they joyfully looked forward to His coming, thinking that it might be their first born son, but the fulfillment of the promise tarried and the promise was repeated over and over again by patriarchs and prophets keeping alive the hope of His appearing but Century after Century passed and the hand of the oppressor was heavy upon Israel and many were ready to give up that a Redeemer would come.

But God's purposes know no haste or no delay, When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son.  At this time the nations were united under one government, one language was widely spoken and was everywhere recognized as the language of literature.

At this time the systems of heathenism were losing their hold on the people.  People were weary of the pageants and fables that were being taught and they were thirsting for the knowledge of the living God, for some assurance beyond the grave.  Among the Jews there were still those that believed that God would send the Redeemer to save them.  The fullness of the time had come.  Humanity becoming more degraded through ages of transgression, called for the coming of the Redeemer.  Even among the heathen there were men through whom Christ was working to uplift the people from their sin and degradation.  But these men were despised and hated.  Many of them suffered a violent death.  The dark shadow that Satan had cast over the world grew deeper and deeper.

Through heathenism, Satan had for ages turned men away from God; but he won his great triumph in perverting the faith of Israel.  By contemplating and worshiping their own conceptions, the heathen had lost a knowledge of God, and had become more and more corrupt.   So it was with Israel.  The principle that man can save himself by his own works lay at the foundation of every heathen religion; it had now become the principle of the Jewish religion.  Satan had implemented the principle.  Wherever it is held, men have no barrier against sin.

The people whom God had called to be the pillar and ground of truth had become representatives of Satan.  They were doing the work that Satan desired them to do and taking a course to misrepresent the character of God, and cause the world to look upon Him as a tyrant.  The priests in the temple had lost sight of the significance of the service they performed.  They had ceased to look beyond the symbol to the object it signified.  In presenting the sacrificial offerings they were as actors in a play.  The ordinances which God Himself had appointed were made the means of blinding the mind and hardening the heart.  God could do no more for man through these channels.  The whole system must be swept away.

The deception of sin had reached its height.  All the agencies for depraving the souls of men and been put in operation.  The Son of God looking upon the world, beheld suffering and misery.  With pity He saw how men had become victims of satanic cruelty  He looked with compassion upon those who were being corrupted, murdered, and lost.  They had chosen Satan for their ruler and were chained to his beliefs.  The were moving on in gloomy procession toward eternal ruin, to death in which is no hope of life, toward night to which comes no morning.  Such was the prospect upon which the world's Redeemer looked.  What a spectacle for Infinite Purity to behold.

Can you see a replay in the world's condition today?  It is even getting worse than it was then.  It is time for God to work, isn't it?  These thoughts were taken from the Desire of ages chapter 3.  I am sure God has a plan for His people.  Stay with me and we will learn what it is.  Grandma Joan


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rebellion is Subtle

In the time of Israel, rebellion was checked over the years and as the Jewish nation mingled with the heathen nations, they picked up on their worship traditions of idols and prayers etc.  God is a patient God and put up with Israel's rebellion and the only way He could check it was through adversity and humiliation.  They were even taken into captivity by the Babylonians and as they lived there they adjusted to the Babylonians way of life and became comfortable with their style.  Not all were subject to rebellion and let their light shine throughout the Babylonian kingdom and time after time they came in contact with kings and rulers and they were led to led to proclaim the supremacy of the God of the Hebrew captives.

After their return from Babylon much attention was given to religious instruction, synagogues were erected and schools were established but even these agencies became corrupted.  Many of the people had learned a lot of heathen ideas during their captivity and they introduced them into their religious teachings.  In many ways they conformed to the practice of heathen idolaters.  Thus they departed from God and lost sight of the teachings that had been instituted by Christ Himself.  In every part of the service that Christ Himself had instituted was full of spiritual beauty and vitality.  Instead of trusting to the Christ who had formed the services, they trusted to the forms and rituals and sacrifices and made up their own laws and rules until they became a burden to the people.  They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy.

With all their minute and burdensome requirements, it was impossible for them to keep the law.  Those who tried to keep the law and observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden and they could find no rest for their troubled conscience.  That's how Satan worked to discourage the people and to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt.  He hoped to establish the same claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven, --that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed.  Even Israel he declared, did not keep the law.

The Romans had come in and taken control of Israel and instead of seeking to find God because they loved Him, they looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror and break the Romans power and exalt Israel to universal dominion.  Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Savior when He came.

This is how subtle rebellion is, when we make friends with the world, instead of teaching them the love of God we pick up on their habits until they become part of us, thus rebellion sets in and we do not realize it until it has taken hold of us, just like in Israel's time.

This is why the world is in such a rebellious state today.  Do we want to be a part of the rebellion or come back to God and worship Him out of true love for Him and wanting to be like Him in character and life?  Personally, I want no part of rebellion, the Bible says it is the same as the sin of witchcraft. 1 Samuel 15:23.  Please consider the Israelites and their rebellion through their lifetime and see it as instruction to us to not follow the same path that they followed.  There is a cure and we will find out what it is as we study to find the true path which leads to the city of God and not to destruction.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

God With Us

I'm reading the Desire of Ages for my worship this morning and this is so good, so very good that I have to share it with you word for word.  I can't take anything from it or add anything to it.

"In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan.  But He stepped still lower in the path of humiliation.  "Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross". Philippians 2:8.  As the high priest laid aside his gorgeous pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of the common priest, so Christ took the form of a servant, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim.  "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him." Isaiah 53:5.

Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves.  He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness in which we had no share.  He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.  "With His stripes we are healed."  Isaiah 53:5.

By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan's purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen.  In taking our nature, the Savior had bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken.  Through the eternal ages He is linked with us.  "God so love the world, that He gave His only begotten Son."  John 3:16.  He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice: He gave Him to the fallen race.  To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature.  This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word.  "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder".  God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the "Son of man" whose name shall be called,"Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6.  He who is "holy, harmless, undefiled,separate from sinners," is not ashamed to call us brethren.  Hebrews 7:26; 2:11.  In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together.  Christ glorified is our brother.  Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love." DA 25,26.

If that isn't heart warming, I guess I don't know what is.  I love what we just read.  Evidently my husband loved it too as he double underlined it when he was reading it.  Read it over and over again until it becomes your thoughts, you can't go wrong believing in Jesus and that He was God with us when He came to this earth to save us.  Have a great day and lots of thoughts on the love of God.
Grandma Joan