A Life of Gratitude

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The burden of despair rolls from the sick man’s soul; the peace of forgiveness rests upon his spirit, and shines out upon his countenance. His physical pain is gone, and his whole being is transformed. The helpless paralytic is healed! the guilty sinner is pardoned! {DA 268.3}

In simple faith he accepted the words of Jesus as the boon of new life. He urged no further request, but lay in blissful silence, too happy for words. {DA 268.4}

Are you able to appreciate this experience? What does it mean to you? Thy sins be forgiven thee. Therefore be of good cheer. This study is called A Life of Gratitude. With such a subject I could tell you a story of a man on death row, or I could tell you of a story of a man who was in the war and somebody else took his place and died in his stead. But I’m not going to.

Those whose hearts are filled with the love of Jesus, with the precious truths of his word, will be able to draw from the treasure-house of God things new and old. They will not find time to relate anecdotes; they will not strain to become orators, soaring so high that they cannot carry the people with them; but in simple language, with touching earnestness, they will present the truth as it is in Jesus. {RH, February 22, 1887 par. 12}

Why would I want to tell you a story about a man on death row saved at the 11th hour? Or a man in the war? Your hearts might be touched for a moment or you may shed a tear but you will soon forget it as it’s not your experience. I would rather like to tell you a personal story. I would like to tell you a story about you and me.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

That is your story, that is my story.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

That is you and me on death row.

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

You and Me

The wages of sin is death. Have you sinned? You must die. The law demands it. There is no excuse for sin. You should never ever have sinned. You had no right to do what you did. This is a reality. We have no excuse for sin. We have no right to sin. We should have done things right in the first place but you did sin and the wages of sin is death. There are many who have those wages to pay but they don’t’ know it. There are many who need a physician.

Only he who sees his own sinfulness can discern the preciousness of the Saviour. {DA 494.4}

How are you going listening to the testimonies and studies? Are you listening to the preciousness of Jesus? Do you think what are they going on about? You have not seen your own sinfulness. You have not realised you are dead. Only he who realises he is dead in trespass and sins can appreciate the message of 1888.  It is a sad fact that in 1888 the church members did not see their own sinfulness hence the message was rejected. Who wants to see their own sinfulness? What is it to see your own sinfulness, not just see it but really see it? What is the consequence of sinfulness? It is death? What kind of a death is that? it is an eternal death. To see your sinfulness is to come to a realisation of eternal damnation. Only then can you appreciate Jesus Christ.  There is in humanity a very sad fact. There is a sad fact in humanity that we do not appreciate something till it’s gone. If you hold your breath and you hold and hold it and after a while you breathe, how good does that first breath feel? Especially when someone won’t let you breathe. That first gasp of air, praise the Lord for air. How many times do you breathe a minute? Do you thank him for every breath you breathe? What if you feel your pulse? There are some who know what it feels like for it to stop. How did you feel? Terrified. How much more now do you appreciate life? While something is there we take it for granted. While something is there we do not appreciate it as it should be. But then would we not have a sense of its loss, how dearly do we cling to it? Thus it is only those who have awoken to a realisation of eternal death can a realisation of eternal can be offered in Jesus Christ. Do you know what it is to die an eternal death? Do you know what it is like to have a sense of the loss of eternity? If you don’t, you cannot appreciate eternal life or the gift of Jesus Christ because in Jesus Christ is eternal life. Our minds need to be able to grasp the sense of the experience related in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

When the harvest is truly past and the summer is ended, do you think they will sense a loss and appreciate it then? Yes, yes. This must be our experience now. We must experience within ourselves the close of probation and a sense of the loss of eternity.

Come With Me On A Journey, A Journey To The Gates Of Hell.

It’s raining. The door had been shut. You had plenty of time to be inside, plenty of opportunities. In fact you had 120 years to be inside that door. You heard the first blow of the hammer and ever since then it’s been ringing through the valley to where you were. You had been there. You had seen the nails driven into place. The wood fixed to its position. Day after day you had seen the massive structure like nothing else on earth slowly begins to take shape. You join in with your family and friends laughing at the builders. Superstitious fool, idiot you would cry. You even taught your children to laugh at him. You mocked them, you ridiculed them. You laughed them to scorn. You even spat on him as he walked past you one day.  Every now and then a thought came, maybe he is right but you dismissed it. It never rained. In fact, what is rain? What a fool but now it’s raining and the door is shut. You run but where to? You have to get out of the rain so somehow you find some shelter but now you are wet and cold and starting to shiver. Is that cold? What is cold? I’ve never felt cold before. Cold is the absence of heat. You are shivering. Why can’t I control myself? It’s still raining. The wind begins to howl. The trees are swept over. The branches are snapped off. Even though you are out of the rain the water starts to gather around your ankles and it’s cold. The shelter you are under falls away.  You run but where to? The water rises to your knees. You make your way up a hill to water but eh water follows you. Higher and higher, deeper and deeper the water comes pursuing you as its prey. Cold and black it seeks your life. You climb harder and faster pushing away mighty currents. You strain every nerve and muscle to make it to the summit. You’ve reached the summit and there is no higher that you can go.   The waters rise to your chest, you feel it in your heart, and it’s cold. You feel it to your neck as though it’s choking the life. Suddenly something comes floating past and you latch on to it for dear life and you float above the waters. A refuge, a safety, then to your right you see the ark. You reach its door, oh that door, that precious door. While the door was open you didn’t care but now you care but its shut. You beat it, you bash, you bash it till your knuckles bleed. You endeavour to pray it open. You kick it, you keep screaming, you howl at it, your throat is hurting. Sorry, I’m sorry. But the door remains closed and a gigantic wave comes along and sweeps you from your life boat and you sink miserably beneath the waves. One final plaintive cry comes up.

Psalms 69:1 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul.

69:2 I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

The floods overflow me be merciful to me, a sinner. There is a voice that speaks.

Revelation 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Be of good cheer thy sins be forgiven thee. Now you can appreciate those words. Now you can appreciate an open door. Can words express the experience of the soul that hears these positive words in such an hour? No words can express. The paralytic lay in blissful silence too happy for words.  Do you appreciate Jesus Christ? How are you going in life? Have you tried to live your life? Are you living your life? How have you gone? Do you have a good job of living your life? Have you done everything right or do you just see destruction and blood on your hands? Just one big mess?  Then to you in that mess comes a revelation of Jesus Christ. The revelation of Jesus Christ and him crucified. Oh what is to the one who sees what a mess they have made of their life, to God’s law and its eternal consequences. What an appreciation of his sacrifice. What an appreciation of God’s love now when once there was spitefulness and carelessness. But now that open door, that way of Jesus Christ, what does it mean to you?

Christ and Him crucified.

John 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not].

8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

8:9 And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Have you made a mess of your life? Jesus says I do not condemn you.

The woman had stood before Jesus, cowering with fear. His words, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone,” had come to her as a death sentence. She dared not lift her eyes to the Saviour’s face, but silently awaited her doom. In astonishment she saw her accusers depart speechless and confounded; then those words of hope fell upon her ear, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Her heart was melted, and she cast herself at the feet of Jesus, sobbing out her grateful love, and with bitter tears confessing her sins. {DA 462.1}

This was to her the beginning of a new life, a life of purity and peace, devoted to the service of God. In the uplifting of this fallen soul, Jesus performed a greater miracle than in healing the most grievous physical disease; He cured the spiritual malady which is unto death everlasting. This penitent woman became one of His most steadfast followers. With self-sacrificing love and devotion she repaid His forgiving mercy. {DA 462.2}

In His act of pardoning this woman and encouraging her to live a better life, the character of Jesus shines forth in the beauty of perfect righteousness. While He does not palliate sin, nor lessen the sense of guilt, He seeks not to condemn, but to save. The Sinless One pities the weakness of the sinner, and reaches to her a helping hand. While the hypocritical Pharisees denounce, Jesus bids her, “Go, and sin no more.” {DA 462.3}

When to human eyes her case appeared hopeless, Christ saw in Mary capabilities for good. He saw the better traits of her character. The plan of redemption has invested humanity with great possibilities, and in Mary these possibilities were to be realized. Through His grace she became a partaker of the divine nature. The one who had fallen, and whose mind had been a habitation of demons, was brought very near to the Saviour in fellowship and ministry. {TSB 254.2}

It was Mary who sat at His feet and learned of Him. It was Mary who poured upon His head the precious anointing oil, and bathed His feet with her tears. Mary stood beside the cross, and followed Him to the sepulcher. Mary was first at the tomb after His resurrection. It was Mary who first proclaimed a risen Saviour. {TSB 254.3}

Who are those who will give the loud cry brothers and sisters? Sinners like Mary. The character of God as there in Exodus;

Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear [the guilty];

We have a God who does not condemn. Do you err in your Christian life? Have you erred before your Christian life? You are not condemned. Is the word of God that will do it or not that will condemn you.  The character of God is mercy, graciousness, long suffering, abundance of goodness and truth, mercy keep for thousands, iniquity, transgression and sin, and he forgives them all.  You see it played out in the life of Jesus Christ. But we have a problem when we see the character of Jesus Christ and the character of the father. Christ’s attitude, I don’t condemn you. But when we sin we feel that the father is in judgement of me. It is through that father I have access. Jesus Christ lived the life of the father on earth. If the father took the place of the son not one jot or title of this word would be changed. Not a single act would be different. The Lord God is merciful. The three persons of the Godhead are merciful.

Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear [the guilty];

God is Himself the source of all mercy. His name is “merciful and gracious.” Exodus 34:6. He does not treat us according to our desert. He does not ask if we are worthy of His love, but He pours upon us the riches of His love, to make us worthy. He is not vindictive. He seeks not to punish, but to redeem. Even the severity which He manifests through His providences is manifested for the salvation of the wayward. He yearns with intense desire to relieve the woes of men and to apply His balsam to their wounds. It is true that God “will by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:7), but He would take away the guilt. {MB 22.1}

God is Love

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God so loved the world that he gave you Jesus. He wanted you so he gave you Jesus.

Galatians 1:3 Grace [be] to you and peace from God the Father, and [from] our Lord Jesus Christ,

1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

1:5 To whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Father gave his son for the world. His son gave himself for what? For your sins. Do you have sins? Then give them to Jesus. Jesus came to take away your sins. How heavy is the burden of sin? What rest is therein giving them to Jesus? I have lived my life. All I have ever done is make a mess of everything. Sin everywhere, I’m sin sick. Everything you touch falls apart. But Jesus says give me your sins. Will you not give him your sins then? He says I will take them, I will take the penalty, and I will die the death.  The sins of the whole world were laid upon him. He died for the sins of the whole world. He died for each and every one of your sins and when you sin Jesus pays the price. Repeatedly you put the knife into his heart, tearing, ripping it to pieces and yet he wraps his arms around you and he says I will take it, I love you, I will die for your sins even though it will kill me, give it to me. If you give it to him, where is it? If you give Jesus your sins, they are gone.

Then He gave Himself for our sins, and now He comes and says, there is sin. What then? “Lord, it is sin.” That is confession. The root idea of confession is to speak the same thing. The root idea of the Greek word translated confession is to speak the same thing. That is confession. The Lord said to David, “You have sinned and done this evil.” David said, “I have sinned.” That is confession. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” What does God show them for anyway? The only thing that He shows men their sins for, is that He may take them away. When He shows me sins, I say, “Lord, they are sins.” And what then? They are forgiven. They are gone. {February 26, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 405.2}

Now you folks have confessed your sins since you have been here, haven’t you? All that the Lord has shown you, have you? [Congregation: “Yes, sir.”] Everyone who has done that, his sins are forgiven. The Lord has said so. What do you say? [Congregation: “Amen.”] But Satan says, “It is not so.” He is a liar. But some folks here have been saying that Satan tells the truth upon that point. People in this house have been telling Satan that he told the truth upon that very point. Satan says, “They are not forgiven,” and they say, “No, they are not.” Let us quit that. We confess our sins that they may be forgiven, and the Lord says they are forgiven, and when they are forgiven why then in the Lord’s name, let us say so. {February 26, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 405.3}

Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Then where are they? In the depth of the sea. How do you know? Because God said so. Then you know that. How in the world will anyone bother you? How did they get into the sea? He threw his son into the depths of the sin.

Psalms  69:1 To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, [A Psalm] of David. Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul.

36:6 Thy righteousness [is] like the great mountains; thy judgments [are] a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.

The judgment of transgression engulfed soul of Jesus Christ as God laid your sins upon him and cast him into the depths of the sea.

Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, [so] far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

How far are they away? [Voice: “As far as the east is from the west.”] Why don’t you say so then? Satan comes and says, “They are not forgiven; every sin is right there before your face; don’t you see them?” Are they? [Congregation: “No.”] Says one, “I have seen them there.” It is nothing of the kind. Satan is a magician and can make things appear so that are not so. But you look at them and say, “Yes, that is so.” It is not so. The Lord says they are as far from us as the east is from the west. They are in the depths of the sea, and they are as white as snow. Thank the Lord. {February 26, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 405.6}

Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul [delivered it] from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

How many? All. Behind his back. Where are they then? If they are behind his back, who is between us and them? He is upon his throne is he not? Then when I have confessed my sins to the Lord, he and his living eternal throne stand between me and those sins and Satan can’t bring them back.

Isaiah 38:17, and that verse is the last one we need tonight. “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness; but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” How many? [Congregation: “All.”] Behind his back. Where are they, then? [Congregation: “Behind his back.”] We are before his face and the sins are behind his back; who is between us and them? [Congregation: “God.”] And He is upon His throne, isn’t He? Then when I have confessed my sins to the Lord, He and His living eternal throne stand between me and those sins, and Satan and everybody else in this universe cannot bring them back; for he has got to get the Lord and His throne out of the way before they can get those sins back to me again. And I am going to be glad of it. {February 26, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 405.7}

When God says so and we believe it that is faith.

Can we know these things? Can we know that we know them? How can we know that we know them? The Lord says so. When He says so, and we believe it, that is faith. Satan says, “They are not.” We say, “I know they are.” Satan says, “No, there they are.” We say, they are not there. They are in the depths of the sea. [Voice: “Praise the Lord.”] {February 26, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 405.8}

Ezekiel 33:16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

Here the Lord says he will not remember our sins. The Lord will never mention them. It is Satan’s work to do that. let us believe the Lord. This is the message of 1888. If we do not believe this, eternal damnation will be more than just a sense and taste, it will be a reality. If God says there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation. Are you happy about that? The world will look on and say you got away with it. No, to come an appreciation of God’s forgiveness, we had to go to the gates of hell. We had to spend nights in tears before the Lord. Nights where the only light was the faintest hope in the depths of your heart.  Praise the Lord for being who he is. Yes, Jesus says give me your sins. Would you not then give them to him? Then when you do, what joy and peace. To know that I no longer have to deal with them, to have this burden removed from your conscience.

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Oh yes you say, you can have my heart, I didn’t take care of it. You can have my sins, here have my heart, I lived my life once and all I did was make a mess of it. Here I am in an absolute mess. I see no way out. Have my sins, they created such a problem in the first place, you have them. My heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and God says give me your heart. When it comes to giving God your heart you can’t even do that right.  You can’t even give God your heart, you hate and I you don’t know how to give that to him.

But no man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work. Then the language of the soul will be, Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul. {COL 159.3}

He will take your heart. a new heart will I give you. I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you an heart of flesh. I will put my laws into your mind and I will write in your hearts and I will be to you God.  That word that is written upon your heart is the very same word that declared forgiveness. It declares righteousness. That word in the beginning brought light out of darkness. That word in your heart will bring righteousness out of your unrighteousness. Where once there was nothing but an absolute mess of your life, utter gross darkness is light, glory and righteousness.

That Word If Will Receive It

You can’t even give your heart or do anything right.

Our part is to receive God’s word and to hold it fast, yielding ourselves fully to its control, and its purpose in us will be accomplished. {COL 61.2}

We have something to be grateful of. God has declared righteousness right where was a mess and abject unrighteousness. He has declared righteousness imputed and imparted. We don’t to have to live our lives anymore. We can say I am crucified with Christ. Praise the Lord I’m gone. Nevertheless, I live, yet not I. But Christ liveth in me and

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice evermore.

Do you have something to rejoice about?

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Galatians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

We are told to pray without ceasing and in everything to give thanks. What is your prayer to be? Thank you without ceasing.  Thank you for forgiveness, sustaining of righteousness in our lives. Our prayers are to be prayers of gratitude. If we are to live our prayers then we would live a life of gratitude. A life of gratitude is a life of righteousness. Gratitude for what Jesus has done. He has died and he has taken away my sins. Gratitude for what Jesus is doing. He is upholding all things by the power of his word. As by his word my sins are forgiven so by that same word is the sun in the sky.  Gratitude that Jesus is with me in all my experiences. Gratitude that Jesus is me. Aren’t you not grateful for that? For such a high priest became me. He is touched by the feelings of my infirmities that when I am crying, he is crying. When I am hurting he is hurting. When I am sorrowing and grieving he is sorrowing and grieving. When I am in need of help with strong crying and tears he pleads for grace to help us in time of need. There is gratitude for what Jesus will do. That will cut short his work in righteousness and come soon, very soon that I may be with him forever. As I breathe I pray. As I pray I thank the Lord.

Psalms 106:48 Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

Amen.

 

Posted on January 26, 2011, in The 1888 Message. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This is great! Thank the Lord for showing me this page, when i wasn’t even searching for it, but needing it just now to help a Brother who has strayed on this issue. The two witnesses needed to condemn to death seems a very powerful way to stop this anti-godhead movement in its tracks. May our Lord and Saviour – the Lovely Jesus Christ come back soon and take us to heaven to be with him forever.

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