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Humble Hero

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    Temptations Are Not Excuses

    We should not think that Satan’s temptations are an excuse for one wrong act. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is within reach of every repenting, believing child of God.HH 139.1

    As the Son of man was perfect in His life, so His followers are to be perfect in their lives. In all things Jesus was made like His brethren. He became flesh, the same as we are. He shared the condition of mankind, yet He was the blameless Son of God. He was God in the flesh. His character is to be ours.HH 139.2

    Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, with its base resting on the earth and the topmost rung reaching heaven. If that ladder had failed to reach the earth by even a single step, we would have been lost. But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, so that we, through taking His nature, may overcome. Made “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), He lived a sinless life. Now He asks us by faith in Him to come up to the glory of God’s character.HH 139.3

    We are to be perfect, even as our “Father in heaven is perfect.”HH 139.4

    Jesus had shown what righteousness consists of and had pointed to God as its source. Now He turned to practical duties. “Do nothing to attract attention or win praise to self. Give in sincerity, to benefit the suffering poor. In prayer, talk with God. In fasting, do not let the heart be filled with thoughts of self.”HH 139.5

    Service given with a sincere heart has great rewards. “Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” By the life we live through the grace of Christ, we form our character. Christ gives us the attributes of His character, and the divine image begins to shine out. Men and women who walk and work with God are surrounded with the atmosphere of heaven. For these souls the kingdom of God has begun.HH 139.6

    “No one can serve two masters.” Bible religion is not one influence among many others. It is to saturate the whole life.HH 139.7

    “If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” Whoever wants to know the truth must be willing to accept all that it reveals. If we waver and are halfhearted in allegiance to truth, we are choosing error and Satan’s delusions.HH 139.8

    Worldly schemes and the principles of righteousness do not blend into each other, like the colors of the rainbow. God draws a clear line between the two. The likeness of Christ stands out distinctly from that of Satan, like noontime contrasts with midnight. And only those who live the life of Christ are His coworkers.HH 139.9

    All who have chosen God’s service are to rest in His care. Christ pointed to the birds flying in the heavens and to the flowers of the field, and He asked, “Are you not of more value than they?” God watches over the little brown sparrow. The flowers and the grass share the notice of our heavenly Father. The great Master Artist has taken thought for the lilies, making them outshine Solomon’s glory. How much more does He care for His human creatures, who are the image and glory of God! As the sunbeam gives the flowers their delicate tints, so God gives us the beauty of His own character.HH 139.10

    In the book of God’s divine guidance, the volume of life, we are each given a page. That page contains every particular of our history. God’s children are never absent from His mind. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow.” God does not give His children all the directions for their life journey at once. He tells them just as much as they can remember and perform. The strength and wisdom He gives are for the present emergency.HH 140.1

    “Judge not, that you be not judged.” “Do not think yourself better than others and set yourself up as their judge. You cannot see the motives. In criticizing another, you are passing sentence on yourself, because you show that you are a participant with Satan, the accuser of the brethren.” See 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Corinthians 11:31.HH 140.2

    The good tree will produce good fruit. So the fruit of our lives testifies about our character. Good works can never purchase salvation, but they are an evidence of the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The reward we receive is not because of our merit, yet it will be in proportion to the work we have done through grace.HH 140.3

    In this way, Christ laid out the principles of His kingdom. To impress the lesson, He added an illustration. “It is not enough,” He said, “to hear My words. By obedience, you must make them the foundation of your character. If you build on human theories, your house will fall. It will be swept away by the winds of temptation and trial. But these principles that I have given will endure. Receive Me; build on My words.”HH 140.4

    “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”HH 140.5

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