Sabbath Oct 3, 2009 8:26 PM

“God has shown me that he gave his people a bitter cup to drink to purify and cleanse them. It is a bitter draught, and they can make it still more bitter by murmuring, complaining, and repining. But those who receive it thus, must have another draught, for the first does not have its designed effect upon the heart. And if the second does not effect the work, then they must have another and another, until it does have its designed effect, or they will be left filthy and impure in heart. I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance and prayer, and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus received it, and God will be honored and glorified. It is no small thing to be a Christian, and to be owned and approved of God. The Lord has shown me some who profess the present truth, whose lives do not correspond with their profession. They have got the standard of piety altogether too low, and they come far short of Bible holiness. Some engage in vain and unbecoming conversation, and others give way to the risings of self. We must not expect to please ourselves, live and act like the world, have its pleasures, and enjoy the company of those who are of the world, and reign with Christ in glory. p. 13, Para. 4, [CEV].

We must be partakers of Christ’s sufferings here, if we would share in his glory hereafter. If we seek our own interest, how we can best please ourselves, instead of seeking to please God and advance his precious suffering cause, we shall dishonor God and the holy cause we profess to love. p. 13, Para. 5, [CEV].

We have but a little space of time left to work for God. Nothing should be too dear to sacrifice for the salvation of the scattered and torn flock of Jesus. Those who make a covenant with God by sacrifice now, will soon be gathered home to share a rich reward, and possess the new kingdom forever and ever. p. 14, Para. 1, [CEV].

O, let us live wholly for the Lord, and show by a well ordered life and godly conversation that we have been with Jesus, and are his meek and lowly followers. We must work while the day lasts, for when the dark night of trouble and anguish comes, it will be too late to work for God. Jesus is in his Holy Temple, and will now accept our sacrifices, our prayers, and our confessions of faults and sins, and will now pardon all the transgressions of Israel, that they may be blotted out before he leaves the Sanctuary. When Jesus leaves the Sanctuary, then he that is holy and righteous, will be holy and righteous still; for all their sins will then be blotted out, and they will be sealed with the seal of the living God. But those that are unjust and filthy, will be unjust and filthy still; for then there will be no Priest in the Sanctuary to offer their sacrifices, their confessions, and their prayers before the Father’s throne. Therefore, what is done to rescue souls from the coming storm of wrath must be done before Jesus leaves the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary.” p. 14, Para. 2, [CEV].

The Bitter Cup

What will it be for you?

I’ll tell you what it is for me. And yes, that is present tense.
I’ve been in the construction industry all my life. It has it’s up’s and down’s and I have learned to be prudent and lay something by, in store for the lean times. I have known for almost 4 years that this lean time was coming, not because I’m smart, but because I listen to those who are. So plans were made to make it through to the other side of this lean time.

Now those things are good to do. Those things are prudent. But God wanted me to learn to trust in him alone. Not in all the plans I made. Not in all the stuff I had in store. God wanted me to trust in him alone.

That was one of the lessons I needed to learn.

Not being rich enough to afford a nice new truck I planned, carefully planned out how to navigate the future by buying an old truck and rebuilding it with a new, modern frame and axles, wheels, engine, only keeping the body for the VIN No. which afforded me a smog regulation free vehicle. One that I could work on. No plastic. All steel. No computers or controllers. Low tech. Cheap, and reliable.
That was part of the plan. At just the right time, in Gods providence, the other vehicle I was using broke down. That, with other providences, wiped out a chunk of my plan. It is a very bitter experience. I murmured and complained. I did not see the cup in the hand of the Lord. I saw circumstance, time and chance. But it was the hand of God. Then last week our group read a large portion of No. 14, the last half. And the Holy Spirit just totally convicted me of my sin in not following on to trust the Lord for all those things.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Sufficient unto the day is the work, the bread, the plan. God’s ways are not the ways of man. God seeth not as man seeth. So for Art, for me, it is this way.

Because it is so for me, shall I declare that that is how the world works? and you should do it my way in order to get the same results that I get? No, a thousand times NO!
It’s up to you to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling in the sight of a Holy God. You go to him for yourself. You must have your own experience. You must tell your own story. Then it will be a story to the glory of God.

Now God probably will lead you in a totally different direction. He may give you worldly wealth and glory for all your honest hard work. Praise God!
But herein lies, in part, the real value of fellowshipping with like believers, our brothers and sisters in the faith, and each one giving testimony as to the work of God in their lives. We need to see God’s hand in your life and in mine.

All God’s people will have a drink from the bitter cup. Want to see who is on the list? It starts out with Christ. He drank the bitter cup to the dregs! Hanna Moore, in No. 14, had to drink the bitter cup to her death. Where will your name appear?

We need to understand that God has his way in the whirlwind, and in the storms, [ of life ] {Nah. 1:3} and in judgment, {Psalm 25:9} and in the bitter cup, {see above} and his way is perfect, {Psalm 18:30, 2 Sam. 22:31} and none can question what he does. {Job 36:23}

When we gather at the river, each one of the saved will sing the song of deliverance from the heart. You will sing from your heart the song of your personal experience, I will do the same, and the harmony we will make as we sing praises to our God will fill Heaven’s halls!

May God help you to see the cup in his hand sooner than I did, is my prayer for you.
Amen.

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