Study The Word Of God Daily! - The Vision Whitens The Garments.

The Vision Whitens The Garments

A terrible message was sent to the church in Sardis long ago, the message that, in God's sight, she was "dead."  But even in Sardis, a few saints were found who had not defiled their garments, and to them the King gave a gracious promise : "They shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment." What would we not give for that assurance? Surely the desire for purity-perfect stainlessness-lies deep in every human heart. How does the sight of the one absolutely spotless Life affect us? It can hardly fail to sweep away pride and vanity; for our best actions and our holiest hours are too often stained and disfigured by low motives. We do not love God with all our heart and mind and soul and strength-even the bare remembrance of His Presence is too often crowded out by the trifling cares and pleasures which absorb us each day. As for the command to love our neighbors as ourselves, I think we generally find that a very small pain of our own seems far more important than the great sorrows of others. And absolute purity of motive is like a mountain peak with slippery sides. We want to consecrate ourselves, with our time, money and opportunities, seeking no reward but the Master's "Well done!" but how often the searching words of the Sermon  on the Mount reveal low motives at the root of our best actions?
Yes, if we are to "walk with Christ in white,"we need not only the one bath which cleanses a soul from sin, but also the daily washing of the feet to purify us from the defilements of the way. The pure in heart have their eyes opened to see the Vision of God, and in the glory of that Vision they grow daily more pure. They keep their garments white, or continually come to Christ to have the stains of sin washed away. It has been beautifully said that "as the garment whitens in sunlight, so the spirit must whiten before the Sun of Righteousness." One day we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. In this life of probation we are ever struggling upward, and surely we shall not cease to struggle after perfection when we see our dear Lord face to face. Shall we not rather bound forward after Him with new energy, drinking in more and more of His Spirit, striving still after the infinite perfection of God? Glorious indeed is a Gospel which proclaims the "forgiveness of sins!" A story is told of a dying robber who had done nothing good in his whole life, but his repentance was deep and true. Evil spirits declared that his soul belonged to them, and the black record of his evil life seemed to support their claim. The angels could not produce one good deed to bear witness in his favor, but one angel took up a handkerchief which was heavy with his tears and cast it into the scales. It weighed down all his sins. Surely, in God's sight, a repentance strong enough to result in a thoroughly reformed life, if it were given the opportunity,is accepted. But a repentance which is weak enough to fade away when the danger of death is averted, is not sorrow for sin at all, but only fear of consequences. Such so-called penitence is simply selfish cowardice, though the sight of one's sins blackness may startle an awakened soul into horror of them, and open the way to repentance and God's healing. 
The Good Physician really heals the leprocy of sin. He does not only salve the wound, but the flesh is restored as the flesh of a little child. The prodigal son hopes for a servant's place in his Father's household; and finds, to his astonishment, that he is clothed with the "best robe" and given a royal welcome. "The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."
It is useless to make a show of giving to the poor, or to "make long prayers" in the attempt to appear religious. Christ's blessings are poured out on the meek, the merciful, the pure-hearted; not necessarily on those who do great deeds which call forth the praise of the world. It is useless to ask forgiveness and plead for righteousness, unless we really hate our sins and desire to be holy with a real heart-hunger. Don't let us rest in easy satisfaction if the outside conduct is fair and apparently virtuous, without troubling ourselves to go below the surface. God looks at the heart, and it is a small matter in His sight if the outside is clean and respectable, when sin is allowed to reign unchecked in the temple of the soul. 
And the rule holds good the other way, too. Our Lord's Divine Clear-sightedness showed Him treasures of the soul, sometimes, hidden beneath an outside that was far from fair. He saw the germs of a saint in the sinful woman who washed His feet with her tears, in the publican who sat, driving his worldly business, and in the other who climbed a tree to see Him pass. He saw grand possibilities of glorious manhood in the persecuter who was making ".havoc of the Church, entering into every house, and haling men and women... breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord." What an irreparable loss the Church would have sustained if Christ had judged by outside appearance only, and had not put out His hand to change Saul of Tarsus into Paul the Apostle. We do not have the Divine power of looking at the heart, or of seeing invisible beginnings of sainthood, so, perhaps, we had better try to be more careful than we usually are in passing judgment on our fellow-servants. 
It may be that they are, in His sight, far ahead of us, even though their outside behavior may as yet show few signs of saintliness. But, though there may be a big heart hidden beneath a rough exterior, our business id to keep both outside and inside fair and beautiful. Holy thoughts must infallibly-sooner or later-blossom out into righteous acts and courteous speech. And unholy thoughts cannot long be hidden, either, "for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things." He cannot help himself. We are continually telling our friends and neighbors the thoughts and desires of our hearts. They generally know pretty well whether we are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, or whether our highest ambitions are bounded by the horizon of the world. Only-they can't see either the evil or the good within a heart when it is only in the embryo state. God can! And with wonderful tenderness He cares for each flower and insect and bird; surely we can trust Him to senfd just the training needed to develop the precious soul of each of His own dear children, for we are of infinitely more value in His sight than many sparrows.
The Bible is a Book bringing the glad tidings that sin can be blotted out, (only wicked men think otherwise, and keep rubbing it in!) that it may be removed as far as the east is from the west. But let no one imagine that, because forgiveness is full and free, sin is a matter of small consequence. Christ, on the Cross, shows us the awfulness of a disease which required so tremendous a remedy-God did not find it easy to cure the leprosy of sin. And we cannot fail to see for ourselves that transgression of God's law brings punishment on the offender. David's confession: "I have sinned against the Lord," was instantly answered by God's full absolution: "The LORD also hath put away thy sin." David was forgiven, his lost purity was restored, and yet he would have given everything he possessed if only the awful stain on his life and character had never been. I also, though forgiven, wished what is past before my conversion to Christ had never been.We, who work amongst  prisoners keeps in mind all of the above, in the believe that prison inmates can be changed drastically, and become good citizens if given a chance. We are extending our love towards them, and, let God do the work in and through His Word the Bible. Do you have a loving heart?
- Rev. Daniel N. Dhaene Sr.

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