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1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
In whose hands would we care to entrust a rod of iron? Is it to be marvelled at that the preparation of those who are to wield this rod of iron should be so severe?
First, we are called upon to believe God in the face of unbelief; secondly, we are called upon to honour God in the face of dishonour, for the man who serves God is looked upon as spoiled. Then there are other forms of severity, such as: Do not return evil for evil; do not avenge yourselves, wait for God; patiently take wrong, even fraud; be kind to the unthankful; seek not every man his own things.
Is any man fit to be trusted with a rod of iron who does not come up to the standard which these commands determine? The ordeal of Christ's principles acting on our daily life, that is where the thing scrapes into the bone. ...
... God puts us under restraint by giving us commandments. And do you suppose that God will give us these without giving us the chance of obeying them?
"Be kind to the unthankful." Some day the unthankful will come along, and we shall have the power to help them. What will we do? Let us not refrain from showing kindness, and say that they do not deserve it. What discipline! Those who do not cultivate self-restraint cannot be happy.
True satisfaction lies in the exercise of those parts of the brain that are universally neglected. It is nice when we can see that godliness is profitable, nevertheless we must obey God whether we can see this or not.
Bro Roberts - A London Team Meeting
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Every man who commits his way to God, has the pledge of guidance, without any information as to the shape the guidance may take. He shall direct thy steps may include any form of guidance, and the guidance is often there when you cannot discriminate it from the mass of fortuitous occurrences which constitute the bulk of human experience.
History and experience show this. Individual action and individual plans, conceived with apparently individual spontaneity, may be the very hand of God. Of course, it may be our own hand altogether. All depends upon whether God's work is concerned.
All that man can do, in the absence of express direction such as David had (Go up to Hebron), is to commit his way to God in the keeping of His commandments, in the faith that God will direct, even in the midst of the stupidest of blunders and direst of calamities.
Second Voyage to Australia
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
Peace: the more we grow in the Truth, the more we value it. This grows bigger and bigger to us, and everything else grows smaller. Godly peace, eternal peace -- PEACE WITH GOD. If we have this, we have everything. Nothing else matters: even this present life itself. It is freely available to all. It is entirely up to us whether we have it or not. External circumstances have no bearing on it. It is strictly between us and God. Like everything else in this orderly universe, it is the result of a cause.
The entire scientific, industrial, agricultural world is built on the immutable fact that certain causes ALWAYS bring certain results, from baking a loaf of bread to landing a man on the moon. A chemical formula always works exactly the same under the same conditions. Vary the conditions slightly, and you vary the result, and the variation of result is always the same for the same variation of cause.
So it is with peace. Follow the EXACT, God-given formula, and it will come. Ignore the formula, or be careless about it, and -- though you move heaven and earth -- the result will never, never come. God gives us the formula very plainly: total love, total devotion, total service, total striving against Sin in every form, aspect and manifestation. Beat your head forever against the inevitable if you wish, but for the Peace of God you will be forced to come at last to this. There is no other way