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The Glad Tidings

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    The Messenger Not Personally Affronted

    “He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God.” John 3:34. The apostle Paul was sent by God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and did not speak his own words. He was a messenger, bearing a message from God, and not from any man. The work was not his, nor any other man’s, but God’s, and he was but the humble instrument, the earthen vessel, which God had chosen as the means of carrying His glorious Gospel of grace. Therefore, Paul did not feel affronted when his message was unheeded or even rejected. “Ye have not injured me at all,” he says. He did not regret the labor that he had bestowed upon the Galatians, on his own account, as though it were so much of his time wasted; but he was fearful for them, lest his labor had been in vain as far as they were concerned. The man who from the heart can say, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake” (Psalm 115:1), can not feel personally injured if his message is not received. Whoever becomes irritated or angry when his teaching is slighted or ignored or scornfully rejected, shows either that he has forgotten that it was God’s words that he was speaking, or else that he had mingled with them or substituted for them words of his own. This is what has led to all the persecution that has disgraced the professed Christian church. Men have arisen speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves, and when their sayings and customs were not heeded, they have been offended, and have visited their vengeance on the so-called heretics. No one in all the ages has ever suffered persecution for failure to obey the commandments of God, but only for neglect of human customs and traditions. It is a grand thing always to be zealous in a good thing, but let the zeal be according to sanctified knowledge. The zealous person should frequently ask himself, Whose servant am I? If he is God’s servant, then he will be content with delivering the message that God has given him, leaving vengeance to God, to whom it belongs.GTI 178.1

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