WALK IN LOVE

Love is the central, animating force in true religion, true Christian living. It is to the moral system what the sun is to the solar system—the warming, illuminating, motivating power for every part. In the natural world every growing tree, flowing stream, passing breeze, floating cloud, falling shower, opening bud, and tossing wave is produced by the force of the sun. So in the spiritual realm every fervent prayer, act of charity, resistance to evil, gentle word, and courageous act is a product of love. It is to the soul what blood is to the body. As the health and vigor of the body depend on the blood, so the health of the soul, the vigor of its righteousness, the bloom and color of its virtues, all depend on the quality and degree of love that pervades the spirit and prompts its movements.

The term “walk” applies to all the movements of the spirit and life; it is the ever-going, never-ceasing locomotion of the moral and mental nature. We walk in our words, attitudes, desires, plans, purposes, prayers, sermons, opinions, and business dealings. Every unfolding of the spirit in an outward act, or an intention to act, is a distinct step in the unceasing march of the soul on its journey through life. Footprints on the ocean shore may be erased by the next wave, but our souls are putting footprints into the passing hours which are indelibly preserved in our history.

To walk in love—to speak, to act, to purpose, with the love of God pervading our every movement—is the best and sublimest form of existence. To do this there must be a thorough abandonment of self-will, self-opinion, and self-desire.

It is so easy for us to indulge in a spirit contrary to Christ’s love under the guise of zeal or some other form of virtue. Let us apply walking in love to our preaching, teaching, exhortation, reproving. For, alas, in all such utterances we may be rigidly orthodox, severely truthful—forgetting that we break the truth the very moment we cease to hold the truth in love. How long it takes us to learn that the exact, strict, doctrinal truth, when separated from the proper spirit which should go with it, becomes the instrument of death. Even the doctrine of holiness may be held and taught in such a spirit as to break the law of holiness. Without love the doctrines of salvation may be presented in a way that is actually harmful; but with love even the doctrine of hell may be presented in such Scriptural unction as will save souls.

Apply this walking in love to prayer. Are not a great many prayers worse than wasted because they are uttered in a sharp, condemnatory, or peevish and ill spirit? Have we not heard prayers which sounded like judging or reprimanding others, or addressed to some individual in the company more than to God? Have we ever uttered a prayer for the gratification of self, or for the commendation or the condemnation of someone present? Let us remember that our prayers will ascend and prevail in heaven only in the same proportion as they have the spirit of heaven in them. That which comes from heaven will return thither. It is the love force in our prayers that makes them effective with God or with men.

If we pray thoughtfully, God will give us an inward light to detect any deviation from the spirit of love. We may be about to utter some word or petition which is unwise or expresses a wrong attitude, and before it escapes our lips the Spirit will lead us to utter something quite different, or to modify our tone of voice and manner of expression. As a result, what would have been wasted words is now anointed and effectual by His gentle touch and illumination. To use either flattery or accusation in our prayers may not be equally offensive to men, but it is equally offensive to God, and in either case poisons our petitions. The thoughtfulness which is needed in prayer is not that of intense intellectuality, but that tranquil kind of thoughtfulness which watches the outgoings of our heart to see that they are in harmony with the Word of God and pleasing in His sight. If this form of walking in love were observed, how many kinds of prayers it would weed out from religious services, and even from some which claim holiness.

Apply this walking in love to our feelings toward of others and our opinions of them. Forming an opinion of someone involves the activity of my moral nature. Prejudice is an opinion formed beforehand, or without knowing the facts in the case, and if my mind walks in love, it will prevent prejudice, for love forms its estimate on the basis of knowledge. In our views of other people, other cultures and customs of living, other kind of congregational meetings, other sorts of service and ministry than those of our own, if our judgments were formed under the guidance of love, how careful they would be, how free from rash denunciation. When our opinions are brought into subjection to truth and soberness in love, they will coincide with the Word of God and reflect the mind of Christ.

Apply this walking in love to matters of business. This not only implies that we transact our affairs honestly, but that such honesty and fair dealing is the outflow of a loving heart which, from its loving nature, prefers and delights in fair dealing. We hear it said that “honesty is the best policy,” but the person that is honest for that reason is, at heart, a thief, for on the same grounds he will steal, if stealing becomes the best policy. To walk in love in buying and selling, in borrowing and lending, in begging and giving, in hiring and being hired, in being masters or servants would constitute an ideal society. Though many will not accept this rule of life, we each have the privilege of building a society that does, and even if we should be the only one, it will be to us just the same as if all the world did.

The Holy Spirit has chosen to feed us with such verses as the following: “we should be holy and without blame before him in love”; “being rooted and grounded in love”; “forbearing one another in love”; “speaking the truth in love”; “the whole body… edifying itself in love”; “being knit together in love”; “esteem them very highly in love”; “walk in love.”

When we look back over our lives, and see the times and places where something other than love has governed our words and actions, they look like salt spots upon which no lovely fruit has grown. We may depend upon it that the only manner of Christian living that will succeed is that which springs from the blessed Author of life. “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God.”

G.D. WATSON

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How I Learned to Pray for the Lost

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men…. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Tim 2:1-4.

We know that believers everywhere are burdened for unsaved or backsliding loved ones. However, many are praying in a spirit of fear and worry instead of in faith.

This has caused the writer to seek for definite light on how to pray, feeling the need of praying the right prayer, also the need for a definite promise or word upon which to base our faith when praying for the unsaved. Praise God, He never fails to give such needed help.

Perhaps because the salvation of some looked to us to be an impossibility, the first Scripture that was given us was:

“With God all things are possible.” Luke 1:37

The next scripture had occupied our attention sometime before, but with new emphasis now:

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations [margin: reasonings], and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4,5.

This shows the mighty power of our spiritual weapons. We must pray that all this be accomplished in the ones for whom we pray: that is, that the works of the enemy be torn down.

Finally we were given the solid basis for our prayer—the ground of redemption. In reality, redemption purchased all mankind, so that we may say that each one is actually God’s purchased possession, although still held by the enemy. We must through the prayer of faith, claim and take for God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that which is rightfully His. This can be done only on the ground of redemption. We do not mean to imply that because all persons have been purchased by God through redemption, they are thus automatically saved. They must believe and accept the gospel for themselves: this our intercession enables them to do.

To pray in the name of the Lord Jesus is to ask for or claim the things which the blood of Christ has secured. Each individual for whom prayer is made should be claimed by name, as God’s purchased possession in the name of the Lord Jesus on the ground of His shed blood.

We should claim the tearing down of all the works of Satan, such as false doctrine, unbelief, hatred, etc., which the enemy may have built up in their thinking, and that their very thoughts shall be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

In the authority of the name of the Lord Jesus, claim their deliverance from the power and persuasion of the Evil One, and from the love of the world and the lust of the flesh. We should pray also for the quickening of their conscience, and that God might grant them repentance and hearing ears and believing hearts as they hear or read the Word of God. Pray that God’s will and purpose be accomplished in and through them.

Intercession must be persistent, not to persuade God, for redemption is of God, but because of the enemy. Our prayer and resistance are against the enemy, the awful powers and rulers of darkness (Daniel 10:2-13; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Peter 5:8-9). It is our duty before God to fight for the souls for whom Christ died. Just as some preach to them the good news of their redemption, just so others must fight back the powers of darkness on their behalf. Satan yields only what and when he must, and he renews his attacks in subtle ways; therefore, prayer must be persisted in, even long after definite results are seen. We must hold what is taken for God against the enemy until such time as that soul is firmly established in the faith.

Satan has succeeded in keeping God’s people in the dark about Christ’s finished work on Calvary — and his defeat there. He has succeeded by deception in convincing the Church that he is almost, if not quite, as powerful as God, when actually he has no power at all — that is, he has no legal standing, no rights, no authority.

The devil knows that when the Church fully realizes the utterness of his defeat, and how to use the authority which has been delegated to her, his evil reign is over.

Therefore, he seeks by every means possible to keep God’s people in the dark, to prevent their knowing about and using the authority which is theirs.

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

“Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” Rev 7:12

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A RICH MAN’S DEATH SCENE

A striking incident was communicated to the New York Press a few years ago, by a deeply humble minister. One of the leading members of his church was greatly distressed in his last sickness, on reviewing his mode of living and reflecting upon his family and the comparatively small sum he had given to the Lord’s cause. In every way the pastor endeavored to comfort him. He spoke of his having given cheerfully, and as much as others did. He reminded him that the best of us are unprofitable servants, and must look to the mercy of God in Christ as our only hope. The troubled man found no peace or comfort, but grew more and more uneasy, distressed and agonized as his end drew near. At last, taking the hand of his pastor, he said:

“Brother, I am going to the Judge unprepared to meet Him because you have been unfaithful to me. For years I lived and taught my family to live largely for this world, have denied ourselves nothing, but spent thousands on comforts. When I gave hundreds to Christ and the church, it should have been thousands. My business energy and time and money have been mostly devoted to self-pleasing and gratification, and how can I meet my Judge and give an account of my stewardship? I am beyond recovery. Do what you can to save other professors who are in the current of worldly self-indulgence and extravagance, which is sweeping them to destruction.

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SUDDEN DEATH OF AUTUMN

Autumn dazzles with her dress
(Such gorgeous hues of red and gold!)
But overnight, I must confess,
Her beauty fades, and she grows old.

November with chilly gusts of rain
Strips resplendent tree-tops bare
(Branches throw up arms in pain;
Each tree, a gesture of despair.)

Grey Winter arrives all too soon,
Worsened by Daylight Savings Time.
Days are wrapped in clouds of gloom
Devoid of candescent sunshine.

My body clock is out of gear,
Incessant drizzles seem like tears.
Autumn, slain by a savage blow,
Finds its shroud in sleet and snow.

How long can indignant souls endure
Winter’s violent depredation?
Bleak woods, ravaged of radiance pure,
Witness to Nature’s desecration.

R.D.

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How God Saved The Senguele – Part 2

(Taken from Herald of His Coming magazine, October 2018)

Arrival of the Senguele

Preparations for the tent meeting had been going on all year. Much prayer had been given by the missionaries and the native Christians. John had finished putting up the large white tent and was sitting watching the natives come from their various villages. Groups were singing as they entered the camp area. When they arrived, they dropped their heavy loads and began building their booths where they would sleep each night.

A stream of people coming slowly down a path off to his right caught John’s attention. For a while they were hidden from his sight by bushes along the edge of the camp. Suddenly people began dropping what they were doing and fleeing, yelling out a warning, “Senguele!” The group he had been watching emerged from the bushes, and at the lead was his friend Niku! Niku was calling to the other tribesmen as he walked in with the tribe saying the Senguele were there for peace and not war.

Having arrived, the weary Senguele dropped their loads and fell to the ground headlong trying to get the weight off of their swollen and bleeding feet. The other tribesmen did not know what to think of the situation, but soon one of those watching called for water to be brought. Those whom the Senguele had fought for years now ministered to them by giving them drink and then pouring water upon their wounded feet.

Food was brought to them, but it was refused. One of the Senguele explained, that as they were coming down the hill, they could see the others building booths and could hear them singing. They also could see the big white tent. Once they crossed the stream to this side, their feet told them that they were on holy ground. They decided then that no one would eat until he had found Jesus in his heart. As “The Senguele never turns back,” they could not eat yet, and the others understood.

Meeting the Friend of Sinners

The next day the Senguele had recuperated to where they could join in the meetings. On the third day, John talked about Jesus, the Friend of sinners. He then asked if there was any who wanted to come and find this Friend. No one stirred. There was not even a whisper. The camp leaders were in silent prayer. Then the Senguele stood and began to come forward. John recalls, “The moment the tribe of savage warriors started for the altar I think their Friend and Redeemer started from heaven to meet them at the altar…for as soon as the Sengueles were on their feet a deep conviction fell on the whole crowd of people such as we have witnessed nowhere. When the other tribesmen saw their old-time enemies start for the altar of prayer they broke down and wept like children.” Other unsaved people convicted of their sin came and joined the Senguele at the altar. It is estimated that close to five hundred gathered at the altar – the educated, the civilized kneeling next to savages, all praying in their own dialects to the One who could save them from their sin.

The whole group remained in prayer for two hours. John stepped aside and let the Holy Spirit deal with them. From here and there one could hear people singing or giving testimony of what Christ had done for them. One of the Senguele leaders opened his eyes and looked at John and then around the tent. His eyes got bigger and bigger. Then he jumped to his feet and shouted out, “Jesus has come, Jesus has come! Senguele is all clean now!” The whole tribe joined him jumping to their feet and shouting that the Senguele were now clean!

A New Chapter for the Senguele

As the tent meeting came to an end and people were heading back home, one could hear singing, testifying and praising God from all directions. The Senguele were the last to leave. Coming to John they shared, “Jesus has come into our hearts and we the Senguele are now clean, there is no more war in us, all hatred is gone and we belong to God. We want to thank you for sending Niku to bring the words of Life.”

John further notes in his book, “On their way home, at every path they crossed they divided and went out into the villages to tell the other tribesmen what Jesus had done for the Sengueles, and to assure them that there was no more war left in their hearts. They testified, sang and shouted their way back to their own country, telling everyone they met of the power of Christ to make a Senguele clean.”

Concluded

(Pl read more such wonderful accounts of God’s continuing miracles in the world through his devoted servants. Read the very powerful magazine ‘Herald of His Coming, which is freely distributed on request to those who seek to know the Lord more fully.)

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How God Saved The Senguele – Part 1

(Taken from The Herald of His Coming magazine of October 2018)

John C. Wengatz was a missionary to Africa for 42 years, establishing many churches and schools in Angola, Liberia and the Congo. In 1910, John and his wife Susan sailed to Angola where they began working with the Quiongua Mission in Malanie. Both taught at the mission school and John preached. In his book, Miracles in Black, John shares an account of one of their native students and an amazing work of God among a group of people that others had dared not try to reach with the Gospel.

During the time John and Susan Wengatz were stationed in Angola, there was a tribe known as the Senguele. This was a tribe of warriors and cannibals who were notorious for being hostile and vile. They were a terror to every tribe around. The government and tradesmen each in their own way had tried to engage the Senguele – one with military power and one with the lure of goods. But in every attempt those who went were overcome and never returned. The Senguele had a motto, “The Senguele never turns back” and they lived by it.

Niku

One day Niku, a young graduate from the mission school, came to see John. Niku was quiet and obviously fighting back tears. John thought he was ill, but Niku, replied, “No, teacher, I am not ill, but for two days I have not eaten anything. For two nights I have not slept, I have been wrestling with God. God has called me to go and preach the Gospel to the Senguele tribe.”

John knew the dangers to any one trying to approach the Senguele. It could very well mean that he would never see the young man again. The two went into John’s workshop where they prayed and wept together. Niku was resolved to go and felt he should set out at once. John gave him money for supplies he would need for his trip, then prayed that God would go before him and prepare Senguele hearts to hear God’s message of love.

For days Niku trekked across the rugged landscape to the region where the Senguele lived. As he walked, he grew bolder and even more determined in what God was sending him to do. He met some of the savages as he crossed into the tribe’s territory and he asked where he could find their chief. Fearlessly, he walked to the chief’s hut. Calling to the chief, Niku said he had a letter from his Friend that he wanted to read to him. The chief came out of his hut surrounded by his bodyguards who were well armed. This could have been the end of Niku. But God had answered the prayers of John Wengatz and had gone before Niku to prepare the hearts of the savages.

The chief was curious about this letter so Niku began reading to him and his bodyguards from a little Gospel of John. The chief was pleased with what he heard and wanted to hear more. After half an hour of reading and explaining the Scripture, Niku told the chief he was tired, but that he still had much to share with them. They provided him a meal and a place to sleep, and when the warriors came home that evening they asked him to share more of the letter. They liked hearing the letter, but they did not know this Friend Niku was telling them about. The Senguele had no friends. All those around feared and hated the Sengueles. Niku told them about the Friend of sinners who came to seek and save the lost, and that this Friend was able to take all the sin and unhappiness from the Senguele and make them clean.

For months Niku taught them from the Gospel of John and songs about Jesus. He also told them about the white teacher (John Wengatz) who lived by the coast and once a year put up a large white tent. Many tribes would come together at the white tent to hear John read to them from a Book about their special Friend. The warriors were very interested to know that other tribes were hearing the same message.

Then there came a night when the chief woke Niku and called him out of his hut. He wanted to know straight out if what Niku was teaching them was the truth. Niku was able to look him in the eyes and tell him that there had been a day when he himself was as vile as any Senguele and this Friend of sinners had made him clean. This settled it for the chief and he wanted to immediately take his tribe down to where the white teacher was. It was not, however, time for the tent meeting. Niku told him when the new moon was over the top of the trees then it would be time to go. He encouraged the people to go back to their farms and prepare enough food for two or three weeks to take with them to the meeting.

Every night the chief would go out to check for the new moon. He was just as eager as any of them to make the journey to hear the white teacher talk about the Friend of sinners. Then one evening he saw what he had been waiting for. Calling for the official drummer, he sent out over the silence of the night the message for all Sengueles to gather at the chief’s village ready to travel to the great white tent. It took several relays from drummer to drummer to reach all of the tribe, but the next morning men, women and children carrying bags and baskets of food all met with great excitement and soon they started off.

A Difficult Journey

The journey to the camp meeting was a difficult one. A large swamp was between their village and the meeting site. For several hours they walked through water and mud, sinking all the more into the muck because of their heavy loads. But even through this battle, they sang to keep each other encouraged. The chief would call out and remind them, “The Senguele never turns back; he always accomplishes what he sets out for.” By afternoon with their feet tender from being in water so long and cut from unseen branches and rocks in the mud, they had reached the other side of the swamp.

Farther along they came to a stretch of sand that had gotten so hot from the midday sun it burned their feet when they tried to walk across it. Many cried out that they could not go further. Again the chief called out, “The Senguele never turns back” so they bravely ran out onto the hot sand. Going as far as they could tolerate, they would then stop and dig down to cooler sand for brief relief and then strike out again until they had reached the other side. By this time their feet were swollen and blistered.

Then they came to hilly country covered with sharp stones. Some of them became so discouraged they sat down and cried ready to give up. Again the call went through the ranks, “The Senguele never turns back.”

From Miracles in Black by John Wengatz, Missionary to Africa

Continue to Part 2 to read the conclusion of this great miracle among the Senguele.

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PRAYER CHANGES ME

Prayer Changes Me

Why do I pray? I pray because I am helpless. I can do nothing of myself. Everyone of God’s children is dependent on God. Our Lord Himself said, “Without Me, you can do nothing!” John 15.5. We pray because we are helpless, and every need of ours has to be met by God. “My God shall supply all your needs…” Phil 4.19. ALL your needs; whether big or small, whether vital or insignificant – every need has to be met by God. That is the state of our helplessness.

In the spiritual realm, everything operates by prayer. Pray without ceasing. Prayer operates like breathing. There is an inward cry from the heart. It is total dependence. And when we talk about dependence, what is dependence but faith? Faith without prayer is dead.

Prayer changes things, they say. That’s true. Circumstances change through prayer. Stormy seas become silent; strong winds are hushed. Be still, and know that I am God. Prayer brings us to that point of stillness, where we leave everything in the hands of God.

Prayer changes me. If I am praying, then certainly there is a change in me. We have too much knowledge in our heads, too little prayer in our hearts. Prayer is a cry from the heart. Prayer is asking, seeking, knocking, and then thanking, praising, worshipping. Prayer is interceding for loved ones, and even praying for our enemies (if we reach that spiritual stage). Prayer is essential. Prayer is the incense God seeks from us. But it is not always prayers and supplications; we need to learn to praise and worship our Lord.

J.K.

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