Once again we find ourselves beginning another year, and I am so thankful for life and the blessings which our Lord so abundantly bestows upon us, but at the same time I question how the years of this earth will fade into the ceaseless cycles of eternity. The Lord is going to finish His work; exactly how it will all happen, I am still unsure. But we know that He will for His name’s sake, and we can be part of it! One thing that I am convinced must happen more in our lives is that we must learn to truly hate sin—not just hate sin for the unpleasant consequences, but more especially because of its inherent awfulness and what it has done to our Savior. I do not think that we understand how terrible sin really is, and this constitutes one of our major problems. “Every sin, every unrighteous action, every transgression of the law of God, tells with a thousandfold more force upon the actor than the sufferer. Every time one of the glorious faculties with which God has enriched man is abused or misused, that faculty loses forever a portion of its vigor and will never be as it was before the abuse it suffered. Every abuse inflicted upon our moral nature in this life is felt not only for time but for eternity. Though God may forgive the sinner, yet eternity will not make up that voluntary loss sustained in this life. To go forth into the next, the future life, deprived of half the power which might be carried there is a terrible thought. The days of probation lost here in acquiring a fitness for heaven, is a loss which will never be recovered.” This Day with God, 350. As we enter into this new year, may it be our purpose to truly hate sin and make good use of the days of probation that the Lord has graciously given us for acquiring that fitness for the kingdom of heaven.
Last month, I had the opportunity to travel to the Caribbean island country of the Dominican Republic to see and share in the work of the faithful workers there. In the two short weeks that I was there, we were able to visit three different churches, holding mini weeks of prayer or revivals in all of them. Nelly Severino and the Easton family are working together in one of the remote mountain valleys to share the message of mercy with the people there and to train believers to go and do likewise. Both have left life and family here in the United States to shine as lights in a dark area. The Lord has laid it on Nelly’s heart to start a bakery to make whole grain products that can not only educate people into greater principles of healthful living but also open up doors to share the gospel with those who the Lord puts in their pathway, and the Lord has used it to do just that. Some of the young people from the church have learned how to bake bread and are now putting their skills into practice, and the demand continues to grow for these wholesome and tasty rolls. A portion of the income is then dedicated to be used specifically to minister to the needy in the community. Invalids have been cared for, needy families have been ministered to and many others have seen the difference that is being made. This has opened up opportunities to open the Word of God with those desiring something better. Through the Dorcas work, one of the leaders in the local women’s Catholic group has invited Nelly to share health principles with the women. Through this open door of health work, the believers are planning to share spiritual truths, as well. Nelly, a teacher by profession, is also conducting English learning classes as another way to share the message with those who are interested. I was very happy to be able to share messages of preparation for the coming crisis with the believers and also to see how the work is going forward through this multi-faceted approach. Combining medical missionary work, benevolent work, health-industry work, educational work and Bible work, an impact for the gospel is being made in this forgotten valley in Dominican Republic. If you would like to help the brethren in their work, your prayers are requested and you can also mark your donation “Dominican Republic.”
Yours for a finished work,