5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Moderation in all that pertains to the things of the present is the rule Paul gives, and it is well that he has given us that rule, for if blessed with abundance, we might think we were at liberty to please ourselves as to how we appropriated His bounty. The rich are responsible to the Master for the use of what they have. One of the Master's most continual instructions is that the rich are to share with the less favoured who may be in need, the abundance which they enjoy.
He will be their judge as to whether this is bountifully or sparingly done. The poor are exalted by the hope of the gospel, but still made stewards of their smaller things. The sense of duty performed, whether high or low, brings with it the highest satisfaction, and is about the truest pleasure we can enjoy now, apart from the contemplation of the truth in its height and depth and communion with the Deity, than which no higher enjoyment can be conceived.
Sis Jane Roberts - The Virtuous Woman
6 Be careful [anxious - RV] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Experience will teach you patience and a degree of unconcern. Things are neither so wrong nor so well as we think at first. In the impetuosity of youth, we imagine that with a little of the management which we feel prepared to prescribe, they could all be kept in regimental order "all along the line." Unless we are petrified mediocrities, we shall discover: 1, that they are beyond all management; and 2, that in the midst of the incurable chaos, God's purpose is slowly advancing to victory. The only thing in which anxiety and diligence can be profitably exercised is in the regulation of our own individual ways.
The Christadelphian, Dec 1896
Continual prayer on the part of the saints is a necessary condition of divine favour. So far as saints are concerned, God will be enquired of. Let them forsake prayer, and they will soon be forsaken by God. If in this life, and in the life to come, they would receive good from above, they must
"by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God".
Bro AT Jannaway - TC 06/1886
If we recognise our needs and the needs of others, words by which to express ourselves will soon follow. God neither requires set forms of speech, a multitude of words, nor high-sounding flowery phrases. Christ condemned the worship of certain ones who thought they would have been heard for their much speaking and vain repetitions. Be not as these, said Christ. If we would learn how to address God we cannot do better than study a few examples of prayers which have received a response. We shall find them brief, reverential statements of requirements-Gen. xxiv. 12-14; 1 Kings xviii. 36-37; 2 Kings vi. 17.
It is important to note that God will not be pleased with prayer, neither will He hear it unless we are walking humbly and faithfully before Him. It is in the prayer of the upright that God delights. Fail we doubtless shall many times and in many ways, but God will not on this account refuse to hear, provided we are doing our utmost to fulfil His pleasure.
"A just man falleth seven times and riseth up again" (Prov. xxiv. 16).
God knows that we are weak and imperfect, and because of this He has given us a High Priest who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Therefore let us do as the apostle has enjoined. Come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need.
We must be careful that we do not make God's mercy a pretext for a settled indifference to His commands. Bitterly shall we rue it if we presume upon His mercy. "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." God will only forgive those who turn from their sins-there must be fruits meet for repentance. In vain shall we ask God's forgiveness if we refuse forgiveness to those who have wronged us-
"Neither will my heavenly Father forgive you unless ye from your hearts forgive everyone his debtors."
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The commands of God are all designed to purify and beautify our characters and make our lives fuller and richer. They are the loving instructions of infinite wisdom for controlling and curing mankind's worse disease-sin-in-the-flesh.
All natural mankind are deathly sick of this disease. It has filled the world with sorrow and suffering and inequality and oppression and hatred and confusion.
Let us have the wisdom to carefully follow the instructions of the Great Physician, and enjoy the glorious spiritual health and joy that these fruits of the Spirit portray.
Paul says that Christ is our peace, and in all his salutations to his brethren he speaks of peace as a blessing from God, and prays that his brethren may receive it abundantly.
Are we sincerely concerned with the spiritual peace of our brethren? If we are, we will be very careful to do everything that will contribute to their peace, and avoid everything that will disturb it. Then we can with Paul, sincerely pray to God that His peace may be on them. It is hypocrisy to pray for their peace while willfully disturbing them.
Bro Growcott - Mortify the Deeds of the Body
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Neutrality, in regard to a definitely revealed and important Bible truth, is an attitude which a faithful brother will not countenance for a single moment. How could he, resting as he does under the sacred obligation of earnestly contending, as did Paul, for the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27; 2 Tim. 2:2; Phil. 3:17: 4:9; Jude 3)?
Neutrality is not consistent with dutiful stewardship. It savours of supineness, laxity, cowardice. God's witnesses must show themselves fearless and outspoken advocates of whatever He has been pleased to reveal-yes, and fighters, too, when the truth is in jeopardy.
But why this talk of neutrality? Is it because some cannot make up their minds in regard to a particular item of the faith? This is not a justifiable reason for brethren who are enlightened to gag their own mouths. Is it because a certain few think that the doctrine preached has not been distinctly revealed?
That is not a sufficient reason for silence on the part of brethren who know to the contrary. The class of doubter who advances the cry of "Be neutral" has ever existed, and been the cause of worry to the brethren, and clog to the dissemination of the truth.
"Not revealed" is a cry that must be passed by unheeded by those who have eyes to see, and are determined that so far as they are concerned, the truth shall flourish, and not die. But there is oft times much that is fallacious about the plea for neutrality.
It is often raised as a treacherous white flag to deceive the side that is making headway. It comes frequently from those who have very pronounced views on the side of error-from men who cannot bear to hear the truth without a vigorous protest against it, and who cannot refrain from sowing the seeds of heresy when the opportunity occurs.
No, neutrality is neither scriptural nor practicable. God asks men to write and labour on the basis of belief and conviction, not unenlightenment and doubt. Let us keep to the divine arrangement, and we shall earn the approval of our Master.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Jan 1905
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Paul did not plead weakness as an excuse for failure. He knew he was weak, and could of himself do nothing, but he knew too that adequate strength had been promised if his faith would reach out and take hold of it.
That was his secret, and that has always been the secret. The faithful men whom Paul lists in his epistle to the Hebrews were not supermen, but they knew the secret of POWER THROUGH FAITH. And so--
"Out of weakness they were made strong" (Heb. 11:34).
Isaiah records (40:29)--
"He giveth power to the faint; to them that have no might he increaseth strength."
David says (Ps. 105:4)--
"Seek the Lord, and HIS strength."
"Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee" (Psa. 84:5).
"The God of Israel is He that giveth strength unto His people" (Psa. 68:35).
"In the day when I cried Thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul" (Psa. 138:3).
This task of subduing the flesh by the power of God is the principal task of life.
Bro Growcott - BYT 4.10.