Writings of Elizabeth A. Fenley – Part2

Understand me right: Salvation is not for sale. If you were the richest man in the world, you could not purchase your salvation. But Jesus through the shedding of His Blood has once for all paid the price of your salvation; but you can’t buy it, the Son of God will give it to you as a free gift. The thing that God desires of you in return for that Salvation he has for you, is that you Forsake Your Sin.

You must forsake your sin. This is the reason why so many wish they were saved, but not in reality have the will to become the Sons of God. They desire to take hold of God’s extended hand, but at the same time will not let go of the hold that Satan has upon them. Sin to them is more desirable than the pleasures of a Christian life. If you will get salvation, then you know that God desires that you bring to Him not your good reputation, but your bad habits; not your good qualifications, but your many mistakes; not your good deeds, but your terrible contamination, your sin. Those sins, which you confess, He forgives you.(1 John 1:9) Christ died to save the sinful and that whosoever comes unto Him by repentance and faith shall not be disappointed.

If only men did that which is right, and kept God’s law and walked in wisdom’s way, from how many sorrows they would spare themselves. In wrong doing sinners often violate the laws of
nature, and they suffer in consequence. Wisdom is “health to the bones.” When Jesus saw the man sick of the Palsy brought to Him, He traced the disease back to its source and reminded the man of his sins, as being the real reason of his shattered nervous system. If some sinners could only be persuaded to try the good, the virtuous, the pure life, they would soon find joy and health again.

A full trust in God and belief in his care and salvation are the best medicines imaginable for many a disordered life. Elevation of mind, joy of heart, peace of spirit, these are the prime
necessities of good health. The most skilled medical practitioner can do little to treat the deepest needs of the sinner’s soul. “Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, Pluck out from memory the rooted sorrow?”, asked a conscience stricken sinner, and the reply of a doctor so addressed was that such was beyond him. The wounds and bruises of the flesh are mere trifles compared with the pangs of conscience. What are fevers of the body to the evil lusts of the spirit? The poor flesh may be tortured by means of pain, but what of a corrupted soul, preyed upon by the diverse deathless diseases of sin! Bad hearts, guilty conscience, lost souls need
medicines which money cannot buy, but which are provided by the peace of God.

Strange indeed it would have been if there had been healing for the afflicted bodies of men, and none for their never-dying souls. Imagine, for a moment, remedies for the pains and sufferings
of mortal life, which after the lapse of a few short years perishes but none for the pangs and woes of the immortal souls! Such an absurdity is not to be thought of – the universe is planned on a
better scheme than that! Yet how few take the matter of their spiritual healing seriously? “The head is sick, the heart is faint” often, but how little anxiety is shown to find a remedy!

A crowd of patients present themselves, morning by morning, but how few at the penitent form! Looking round on the crowd of diseased in sin one is inclined to ask, “Is there no balm in
Gilead; is there no physician there? Why, then, is the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” If you are sick with the fatal sickness of sin, loose no time in applying the leaves of
healing to your necessities. However serious your spiritual ailments may be- “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, and though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool”- do not fear that your case is to far gone for a complete cure. “The blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin.” Do you really desire salvation? Then take this promise, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of contrite spirit!” Take these remedies and lay them on your sicknesses.

Jesus is the Great Physician and He is near. He is the tree of Life. You have not to believe salvations principles so much as trust a person; not to accept a scheme so much as surrender to a Savior who is able to save to the uttermost all who will come to Him.

Those inner spiritual forces that are ever urging one to progress. this period, which is often one of the most trying experiences of one’s career, and far harder to endure than any form of work he might be doing, it is often one of the most important periods of spiritual development in one’s life.

Say A Word Of Comfort.

Long th’ road of human life you see a fellow travelin’ slow,
An’ like as not you’ll find he’s some poor chap that’s stubbed his toe.
He was makin’ swimmin’ headway, but he bumped into a stone,
An’ his friends all hurried onward an’ left him here alone.
He ain’t sobin’ or ain’t sniffin’- He’s to old for tear an’ cries,
But he’s grieving just as earnest if it only comes in sighs,
An’ it does a heap of good sometimes to go a little slow,
An’ say a word of comfort to th’ man that’s stubbed his toe.

The Book Divine. An old hymn text.

God’s book of time and history’s deepest page,
given unto man for every clime and age;
The thoughts of God, forever fixed and sure,
till time shall be no more, it must endure.
Great Book, divinest light upon the way,
Shine on my path through every passing day;
Reprove each wayward thought and check each sigh;
Give sweet refreshing when life’s springs run dry.
Help me to read fresh courage in each holy line;
Breathe o’er my spirit with power divine.
a friend, companion, helper, ever be;
Sweet Book guide onward to eternity.

“When a man comes to Himself,” says: “Every thoughtful man born with a conscience must know a code of right and of pity to which he ought to conform.” Every one recognizes this “still small
voice” when it comes to his heart. Even the savage cannibal of the South Sea Islands recognizes this voice when it speaks, whether he obeys it or not. This “still small voice” is Jesus speaking to man through his conscience by the Holy Spirit. He is the Man everybody knows.Every deed of kindness, every word of comfort and cheer, every holy song, and every prayer, is prompted by the spirit of this Man, even in the hearts of those who do not acknowledge Him as their Lord and Master.

“In the name of the Lord, I am going forward to victory over these sins.” the disease of sin is incurable; there are no healing medicines. But there stands ever by our side the great Master
Physician, who has never lost a case that he has taken. He cures incurable diseases. He says, “I can restore you to health. Give me your heart; and although you are unable to conquer sin, I have conquered it, and I will give you the victory.” Jude exclaims: “Unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.”(verse214).

Then if God is able to keep us from falling and He asks us to let Him come into our lives, I ask, Is there any excuse for sin? Is there any reason why we should any longer make provision for the
weaknesses of the flesh? “But put ye on The Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:14) Christ is able to do all this; He is also willing to
do it. He gave His life that He might have the privilege of doing it. Oh, why should we not let Him do it today? Can anyone give an adequate reason why he should refuse to permit the Lord to come in and heal him and keep him from falling, and finally to present him with exceeding joy before His Father’s Throne?

Have you been struggling for a long time with sin? Have the fierce waves of temptation been rolling about you, almost engulfing you? Have you said, “I would like to walk on the top of these waves; I would like to be a conqueror over sin, but I am to weak to cope with the storm?” Have you looked at your own weaknesses and at the power of the temptations multiplying about you, and have you decided that it is impossible, and then gone down in defeat? Then hear the good news that there is yet hope. Turn your eyes away today from the weakness of the flesh, away from the failings of the past; forget all about the crooked paths you have made in past years. Turn your eyes to the Master. Act in obedience to His word: “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22) He will reach down His hand, lift you up, and plant your feet on the solid rock. He will enable you to mount all the billows of temptation and difficulty. He will bring absolute cleansing to your soul. “The spirit and the bride say, come. And let him that heareth say, come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

As sinners, we could not fulfill, the righteousness is imputed to us, and our past lives are forgiven. Moment by moment, as we dwell in Him, He imparts His righteousness to us; and we, by His indwelling presence, are able to fulfill the righteousness of the law. We do not keep the law to be saved, we keep it because we are saved. “In like manner, we are free from the condemnation of the law because the grace of Christ enables us to fulfill its righteousness. If at anytime, we give up Christ, we are at the exact place where we started – lost sinners without any hope of salvation, except through Christ, who paid the penalty and will save every one who accepts Him as a Savior.”

“It is unwise for us to try to hurry God. We ask for guidance; and because it does not come before we have ceased asking we distrust God. That is not wise. The slowness of God is the safety of men.” Then the apostle sums it all up by saying in substance. Wherefore, seeing we have the testimony of so great a company of witnesses, telling us how God accomplished impossible things through faith, I tell you that we can also accomplish the work of conquering our besetting sins in the same way. That is the message that the Lord sends to us today. “Wherefore,” Because of the mighty power of God made accessible through faith, “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,. . . looking unto Jesus.” It is impossible for us to conquer sin, but He can do impossible things; and He offers His services to us today.

But if we allow the real gospel through the indwelling of Christ, to come into our lives, there is a power transmitted to us direct from God Himself. And this power that comes from God will enable men, in their human weakness, to accomplish things that otherwise they are powerless to do. And the reason for this, as expressed in one of Paul’s other letters, is that “It is God who
worketh in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Yes, He pleads with me and for me. I come when I will; He has no office hours. At day break, noon, or when the earth is wrapped in the shadows of night, I may come and always find Him waiting. How faithful (1John 1:9), how anxious (John 17:24), how loving (John 15:13), and true (Revelation 3:7) is “Jesus, my Jesus!” He says I may some day be like Him.(1John 3:2) Blessed anticipation! I do not understand fully this promise, but gladly I accept it, and it buoys me up: My Gethsemanes lose their fears; I am not alone. My cross becomes lighter, for He bears it with me. Life becomes a new experience as I walk “down life’s valley with Jesus.”

Dear Jesus, I beg you keep ever fresh within my soul the memory of my destiny. It is so easy for me amid the press of daily work and daily pleasure to loose all thought of the years beyond when I must be at home in Heaven with You. I go to sleep with thoughts of the world and my problems in the world. I awaken and afresh the things of time surge in upon me; I go out into the busy streets and the raucous cries of men who live but for this world crowd in upon me. Do give me grace to hold fast to the memory of the eternal years, that I may travel the way of life aright and guard my precious soul until I bring it safely home to You. Just give me the grace to remember.

“If a man love Me, he will keep My words.” Keeping the commandments of our Lord is an evidence that we love Him. Believing His words of promise, we open our hearts for the indwelling of the Master; “I in you and ye in Me.” He that loveth Me not, keepeth not these sayings of Mine. He that loveth not, knoweth not God. Our faithfulness is assured by our loving the words, the works, and the personality of Christ. Without love we are nothing but doubters, deniers, aliens, and rebels. Hearts burning with responsiveness to the love of Christ in us reveal to us the truth of His sayings and Savior-hood. The person of Christ is our Christianity, our creed, our all. There is none else beside Him; He is sufficient; we love His words written down in the New Testament by His inspired penmen. We love every day to converse with Him in the Gospels, while His still, small voice whispers to us, “Come unto Me and I will give you rest.”

Our memory becomes a delightful storehouse of His beautiful words of life. Our love is shown by obedience to His gentle command. He has told us how to do to others, how to pray, to believe, to love, to sacrifice, to serve and follow Him. We will therefore follow the Lamb of God wheresoever He leadeth, trusting Him to call for us when our mansion is ready, that where He is, there may we be also. “Let no man think of himself more highly, than he ought to think, but, in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

Christ’s death upon the cross for our sins is the very heart of the gospel. “Now I make known unto you the gospel which I preach unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you first of all that which I also received; that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.”(1 Cor. 15:1-3)

Jesus is our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary today.(Heb. 8:1,2) As our High Priest he makes reconciliation for the sins of the people.(Heb. 2:17; 9:15) It takes His mediation to make His death on the cross effective to our salvation. He is able to save us, because He ever lives to intercede for us. “Wherefore he is also able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”(Heb. 7:25) When we come to Christ, confessing our sins, we must believe not only that He died for us on the cross, but that He is pleading for us in the presence of God and that He does obtain forgiveness for our sins. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye may not sin. And if any may sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1John 2:1) The fact that we have a Savior pleading for us in heaven is a sure guaranty to every soul (Heb. 7:22) that Jesus will prepare every one for heaven that comes to God by Him.

Christ means that if you will give up the lower you will gain the higher, and if you keep the lower you will lose the higher. Almost His last words to his disciples were, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” And He set that love as a mark of discipleship by declaring, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” Do you realize you lack of love? Seek for it, pray for it, and rest not until you have reached it. No other gift can equal it, and all other virtues are intensified by it; for, “Love is patient and kind, love knows neither envy nor jealousy, love is not forward and self-assertive nor boastful and conceited. She is full of trust, full of hope, full of patient endurance. Love never fails.” (1Cor. 12:4,7,8)

Love will yet plant the banner of Jesus in every stronghold of sin; it will carry the “gospel” to earth’s remotest bounds. And those who possess it will be victors over death and the grave; They will make up that number who “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth,” and they will walk in the light of God’s love to all eternity. That love has opened to us a doorway into a better Ark, where they who are not doomed to perish in the spiritual deluge, will find an ever ready and secure refuge. Why then should we be fearful? Christ’s love never grows cold, nor does the ransom He has paid lose aught of its value, because the multitude of our sins has risen above the very hairs of our head. Neither can the Father turn a deaf ear to our prayers, when, in the name of His beloved Son, we ask forgiveness for our shortcomings, grace to lead truly Christian lives, and the unspeakable gift of a holy and happy ending of our earthly pilgrimage.

Having given us His only begotten Son, and delivered Him for our sakes to so tragic a death, what is there that we may not ask of Him with supreme confidence? “How hath He not given us all things together with Him?” It is not then without abundant reason that we should cast upon our Savior our whole hope of eternal salvation, without fear or misgiving of any kind. It is not presumptuous on our part, so long as we seek to please Him in all sincerity of purpose. And on the other hand, how can we possibly pay greater homage to our Blessed Redeemer, than by surrendering to Him the whole care of that which, more than anything else, is of vital concern to us, our destiny in the world to come, casting our whole solicitude upon Him, and devoting all our energies to the task of daily growing in His love, and accomplishing ever more and more perfectly His thrice holy and adorable will?

This very moment we have new beauty to find, new hopes to nourish, friends to cheer, and clean records to keep. This only we need: Let Him who made us as we are, who has a future far beyond our plans, let Him guard the treasures of our hearts; Let Him hide the failures of yesterday.

“Sometime, when all lifes lessons have been learned,
And sun and stars forevermore have set,
The things which our weak judgments here have spurned,
The things o’er which we grieved with lashes wet,
Will flash before us out of lifes dark night,
As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue;
And we shall see how all God’s plans are right,
And how what seemed reproof was love most true.”

Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” (Psalm 68:13) In the days when these words were written, cooking was done out of doors over open fires. Naturally the pots thus used became very black. It was custom for one suffering great sorrow or bereavement to make a public exhibition of his distress by sitting in the ashes and among these smutty pots. David uses this as an illustration to show the terrible contaminating blackening influence of sin. As one who lay among the pots would be blackened, so is he who mingles with sin or cherishes it in his life.

All that is wrong with the world is sin. Sin is the only thing that mars and blackens the life. Sin is responsible for all the sorrow and the misery and the degradation in the world today. And so terrible is its contaminating influence and effect that it brings death to all who have to do with it. James tells us that, “when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15) Sin may not seem so harmful at first, but when it is full grown, when the ultimate conclusion has been reached, it brings death. Sin so completely ruins the individual that he is unfit to live even in this world, much less in God’s kingdom.

The days of theocracy are in the past, and the wicked are not immediately destroyed. God allows sin to go on; but by His word He warns men that if they do not forsake sin, it will not only ruin their lives and blacken their characters, but it will finally result in death. God cannot take sin into His kingdom. It is sin that has caused the separation between man and his Maker; and in order for the complete restoration of God’s kingdom, it must be eventually destroyed.

God must destroy sin, if not by a complete separation of it from the life, then it must be by the destruction of the individual with the sin from which he refuses to part. God’s ability to effect such complete separation that the individual need not perish, is set forth in the last part of our text:”Though you have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” What a striking contrast! A life blackened and ruined by sin, as though lying among the pots, so completely cleansed from defilement that it can be likened to the wings of a dove, a bird symbolical of beauty, purity, and innocence! And then, in order to make the contrast still more striking, we are given the picture of a dove whose wings are covered with silver.

This thought is in harmony with that expressed in Hebrews 7:25, where the writer declares that Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. There is no limit to what God can do for the sinner who will come to Him for cleansing. The depths into which he may have fallen, the number of times he may have fallen, matter not; Jesus can lift him up and save him to the uttermost. Such a statement does not mean that He will pardon some iniquities, leaving the life only partly blackened, but that every particle of defilement is taken away. Not only is our Savior able to cleanse the life, but He longs to do it. He gave His life that He might have the privilege of doing it. His yearning to do this is set out in the words of Isaiah:”Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6,7)

The emphasis is on the word “abundantly.” It is not uncommon for people to feel that some of their sins have been so grievous that God cannot pardon them. They do not doubt that God can and will forgive what they think are the lesser sins, but they cannot believe that He will pardon the great outstanding misdeeds of their lives. Thus many who are trying to be Christians carry a great burden needlessly, fearing that perhaps God has not forgiven something of which they have been guilty.

Notice the marginal rendering here. Where it says in the text, “He will abundantly pardon,” the margin says, “He will multiply to pardon,” God does not stint the pardon given to men and women who repent of their sins. He will not only pardon us, but He will multiply pardon, making it so full and complete and so abundant that it covers every possible sin that we have ever committed, so
that an individual that has received this pardon from the Lord can stand before Him just as pure and innocent and clean as though he
had never sinned at all.

“Now to Him who, in the exercise of His power that is at work within us, is able to do infinitely beyond our highest prayers or thoughts.” What are your prayers and thoughts, your desires regarding the forgiveness of your sins? As you kneel before God, and, in meditation, your failures rise before your mind, you think, “O that God might blot them all out so completely that I need never think of them again!” Possibly you even get the courage to ask God to do it; and yet, after all that, you are still troubled over those sins. Such an experience is unnecessary. God is able to do infinitely more than we ask or think when we seek His forgiveness.

Our heavenly Father not only forgives the sins of men and women whose lives have been so blackened with sin, so completely ruined that they are unfit to live in human society, but He so transforms these poor sinners that they can be called the sons of God. No wonder the apostle John exclaimed: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!” “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.”

“What hath God Wrought!” Men may deny the existence of God, and scoff at the thought of the Infinite One; but they cannot deny His works, or ignore the laws of nature laid down by Him who is the Creator. All nature is controlled by certain fixed laws, our very existence is dependant upon them. We are surrounded by laws. We see them in operation everywhere. An apple is broken of the tree. It does not remain suspended in midair or fly away into space; it falls to the ground. This is the law of nature. Men call it the law of gravitation. It is the mighty unseen “pull”, unexplainable by science, that stretches its arm across the abyss of space, and holds our earth in its orbit. Were it not for this law, chaos would be the result. But this “law of gravitation” is only another term used to express the power of God manifested in His word.

It is not inanimate nature, but the Eternal One, who upholds “all things by the word of His power, “and by whom all things consist.” Wheat will not bring forth potatoes, nor will corn bring forth squash. Each plant can but bring forth after its own kind, this is the law laid down by the Creator, when He said: “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” (Gen. 1:11) the power of that word is still living and active, and all nature obeys.

There is also power in the word of God to change the lives of men. When this word is planted in the human heart, it too will bring forth fruit after its own kind. It will bring forth the fruit of the Spirit of God. We can but marvel at the change that is wrought in the hearts of men by the power of this word. We plant the seeds of truth, and the fruit of the gospel appears in all its beauty. The drunkard is changed into a sober man; the robber and the thief become honest; the brutal and the profligate become meek and pure; and the hardened sinner becomes a child of God. Everywhere in every land the story is the same. The seeds of the word are sown, and the savage is changed into the image of Christ; the heathen, steeped in superstition and darkness, is changed to a living Christian; so changed that the very expression on his face is different. God’s man is in every sense different from Buddha’s man. And we are led to exclaim, “What hath God wrought!”

The word of God is the living word, and it obeys the law of its Author – it brings forth fruit. Men may ridicule this word, but then cannot deny its fruits, which are apparent everywhere. Can we imagine a watch and no watch-maker, or a house and no house builder? Can there be laws but no law giver? Fruit produced without seed? Ah, men may deny the creator and ignore His word; but His laws are with us still! “He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered.” (Psalm 111:4) The fruit of His word remains. Yea, they may deny; but surely, He who dwells in the heavens and sees all must marvel at such stupidity!

“What things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ.” That Christian general, Sir Henry Havelock, once saw that
a great change had taken place in one of his soldiers. He had been a man wicked in word and deed, but he had become an earnest
follower of Jesus Christ. Havelock asked the man how the transformation had come about, and the soldier’s answer was simple
but illuminating. Said he: “The Lord Jesus came to me and said `Private Smith, right about face!” and I turned right about face as
He ordered.” That is all there is to conversion. It is an “about face” at the command of the captain of our salvation. It is going in the opposite direction. It is counting as gain all the things that before had been counted as loss, and counting as loss all the things that before had been counted as gain. It is changing commanders. It includes all that is absolutely an inversion of life, that wrong may be put underneath and right may come on top.

If we are afraid of that, then we are afraid of Heaven. If we refuse that, then we refuse Christ and Eternal life. If it all seems like a dead loss, then we reject the perfect gain. Prayer. Our savior, we own that we are lost, and we want to be found. We are in death and we want to be in life. It is a great change, the greatest of all changes, and we ask Thee for it. Thine instead of Satan’s, what a blessed transference! So may it be with us all. Amen. Prayer. We ask Thee for an inner power, O Christ, where with we can meet all the power of terror and of death. Thou canst bring us off more than conquerors, and Thou alone. Then dwell with us, Lord Jesus. “Cast out our sin, and enter in; be born in us today.” Amen.

The eyes of Jehovah are in every place, keeping watch upon the evil and the good. If we were to call upon some distinguished man,
we should put on our best manners. If we were presented to a king, how careful we should be to learn every point of court etiquette bearing on the ceremony! And yet, in our homes and on the street, and in the office or the shop, when we are certainly in the presence of the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, how heedless are our manners, how careless of courtesy, how boorish and crude and unloving! Few elements of true religion are more important than this, that we should be ever conscious of the divine presence. Many harsh words that we do not hesitate to speak to each other, we should not dream of uttering before the divine Majesty. Many foolish and sinful things that we do, we should not for a minute think of doing if we realized that the eyes of Jehovah were keeping watch over us. Many base thoughts that we allow to harbor in our minds, we should drive out with horror if we remembered that the pure mind of God is cognizant of every thought. Prayer. We watch Thine eyes upon us, Our Father in Heaven, our Brother on earth. They comfort us. They guide us. They inspire us. Without them we should be lonely indeed, and wholly at a loss. O that we may become more worthy of that gracious oversight! Amen. Prayer. We know the Scriptures, dear Jesus. We know that though didst rise from the dead, and art ever living, for us and with us. If we did not know this, we should not care to live. Knowing it, existence is one long song of joy, for which and with which we bless Thy holy name. Amen.

Kenneth D. Davis

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