And Stingeth Like an Adder

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging;
And whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
“Who hath woe?  who hath sorrow?  who hath contentions?  who
hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause?
Who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine;
Look not thou upon the wine when it is red,
When it giveth his color in the cup,
When it moveth itself aright.
At the last it biteth like a serpent,
And stingeth like an adder.”

Never was traced by human hand a more vivid picture of the debasement and the slavery of the victim of intoxicating drink. Enthralled, degraded, even when awakened to a sense of his misery, he has no power to break from the snare; he “will seek it yet again.”

No argument is needed to show the evil effects of intoxicants on the drunkard. The bleared, besotted wrecks of humanity—souls for whom Christ died, and over whom angels weep—are everywhere. They are a blot on our boasted civilization. They are the shame and curse and peril of every land.

And who can picture the wretchedness, the agony, the despair, that are hidden in the drunkard’s home? Think of the wife, often delicately reared, sensitive, cultured, and refined, linked to one whom drink transforms into a sot or a demon. Think of the children, robbed of home comforts, education, and training, living in terror of him who should be their pride and protection, thrust into the world, bearing the brand of shame, often with the hereditary curse of the drunkard’s thirst.

Think of the frightful accidents that are every day occurring through the influence of drink. Some official on a railway train neglects to heed a signal or misinterprets an order. On goes the train; there is a collision, and many lives are lost. Or a steamer is run aground, and passengers and crew find a watery grave. When the matter is investigated, it is found that someone at an important post was under the influence of drink. To what extent can one indulge the liquor habit and be safely trusted with the lives of human beings? He can be trusted only as he totally abstains.

Ministry of Healing p. 330-331

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The Rich Treasures of the Universe

In His prayer to the Father, Christ gave to the world a lesson which should be graven on mind and soul.  ‘This is life eternal,’ He said, ‘that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.’ John 17:3. This is true education.  It imparts power.  The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, transforms man into the image of God.  It gives to man the mastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion of the lower nature under the control of the higher powers of the mind.  It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven.  It brings him into communion with the mind of the Infinite and open to him the rich treasures of the universe.

 “This is the knowledge which is obtained by searching the word of God.  And this treasure may be found by every soul who will give all to obtain it.
If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.’ Prov. 2:3-5  COL 114
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Even Solomon in All His Glory

It (dress) should have the grace, the beauty, the appropriateness of natural simplicity. Christ has warned us against the pride of life, but not against its grace and natural beauty. He pointed to the flowers of the field, to the lily unfolding in its purity, and said, “Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Thus by the things of nature Christ illustrates the beauty that Heaven values, the modest grace, the simplicity, the purity the appropriateness, that would make our attire pleasing to Him.

The most beautiful dress he bids us wear upon the soul. No outward adorning can compare in value or loveliness with that “meek and quiet spirit” which in His sight is “of great price.” To those who make the Savior’s principles their guide, how precious His words of promise:

“Why are ye anxious concerning raiment?” “If God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you?…Be not therefore anxious, saying….Wherewithal shall we be clothed? …for your heavenly Father knowth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee. ”

Ministries of Healing p. 288, 289 “

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Are You a Crowded Tree?

Nothing will so arouse a self-sacrificing zeal and broaden and strengthen the character as to engage in work for others.  Many professed Christians, in seeking church relationship, think only of themselves.  They wish to enjoy church fellowship and pastoral care.  They become members of large and prosperous churches, and are contented to do little for others.  In this way they are robbing themselves of the most precious blessings.  Many would be greatly benefited by sacrificing their pleasant, easy-conducing associations.  They need to go where their energies will be called out in Christian work, and they can learn to bear responsibilities.

Trees that are crowded closely together do not grow healthfully and sturdily.  The gardener transplants them that they many have room to develop.  A similar work would benefit many of the members of large churches.  They need to be placed where their energies will be called forth in active Christian effort.  They are losing their spiritual life, becoming dwarfed and inefficient, for want of self-sacrificing labor for others.  Transplanted to some missionary field, they would grow strong and vigorous.

But none need wait until called to some distant field before beginning to help others.  Doors of service are open everywhere.  All around us are those who need our help.  The widow, the orphan, the sick and the dying, the heart-sick, the discouraged, the ignorant, and the outcast, are on every hand.

Ministry of Healing p.  151, 152

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The Sun of Righteouness

The Sun of Righteousness did not burst upon the world in splendor, to dazzle the senses with His glory.  It is written of Christ, “His going forth is prepared as the morning.” Quietly and gently the daylight breaks upon the earth, dispelling the darkness and waking the world to life.  So did the Sun of Righteousness arise, “with healing in His wings.”

The Ministry of Healing p. 32

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Like a Spring in the Desert

Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary.  No sooner does he come to know the Saviour then he desires to make others acquainted with Him.  The saving and sanctifying truth can not be shut up in his heart.  He who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life.  The receiver becomes the giver.  The grace of Christ in the soul is like a spring in the desert, welling up to refresh all, and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the water of life.  In doing this work a greater blessing is received than if we work merely to benefit ourselves.  It is in working to spread the good news of salvation that we are brought near to the Saviour.

Ministry of Healing 102,103

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I Want It Right Now!

Rushing Ahead-We want what we want–right now!

My dog and cat have acquired a very bad habit lately:  When they want something, they step in front of me while I’m walking–and then suddenly stop!  At times they nearly trip me, especially while I am trying to get them their food in the morning.  They come up to me–purring and meowing, or whining and licking–walk just barely in front of me, and then stop.  This really doesn’t accomplish their goal.  In fact, it actually slows down the process of getting the bowls filled and put where they can enjoy their food.

Of course they don’t understand that.  All they think of is how they want their food–and they want it right now.  If I would just set the bowls down, right there, at that moment, they think they would be happy.  What they don’t realize is that there is no food in them until I fill them up–a process that takes time.

We Want It–Now!   

Some mornings I’m tempted to get annoyed by their impatient behavior.  I mean, they won’t even allow me to get to the food bag before they begin tripping me and complaining with impatient sounds!  This morning was no exception.  I woke up almost 45 minutes earlier then I wanted to because my dog jumped on my bed and licked my faces!  My cat got excited, too, and as I tried to fill his food dish, he did his trick of stopping in front of me–again.  This time I nearly landed, tired and half awake, on the ground.

The temptation to be annoyed was extra great, and I almost gave into it except for the thought that what y pets were doing is kind of like what we do to God.  He tries to care for us and give us our food–or whatever we need–but we become impatient.  Then we try to do things our own way, and in our own time.  We want it, whatever it is, right now!  We complain when we don’t have it;  we pray to beg, but not to give thanks;  and we rush ahead of God.  Then we blame Him because we’re not as fulfilled as we wish!

Perhaps the reason our bowls are empty is because we’re not patient enough to wait for Him to fill them.  Who knows what blessings and fulfillment He might have in store for us if we would just slow down and wait on Him and His timing.

God help us not to be like impatient animals, but instead, to “rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”  Psalm 37:7.  Praise Him for His patience and kindness to us–in spite of our failings!

Lyons, Sarah. “Rushing Ahead:  We want what we want–right now!”, 3ABN World Magazine, July 2011

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