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Dr Tow's Letter 24 Sep 2017

My dear readers,
(Extracts from “HEAVEN – a place, a city, a home” by E M Bounds in RPG March 1992, Edited by Dr SH Tow)

1. TO HEAVENLY GRACES GIVE ALL DILIGENCE (2 Pet 1:3-10)

Faith in the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, obtains for us Heaven and God's "exceeding great and precious promises" (2 Pet 1:4). On this foundation (of faith) we are to build seven heavenly graces of the Spirit.

a) Virtue: This is the strength and courage from God, enabling us to abound and excel in good works. Be bold in speaking and living the Gospel in our lives, befitting a citizen of Heaven.

b) Knowledge: It is so needful for the child of Heaven to strive after knowledge and, by it, the wisdom of the most High God. Only thus can we perform our Christian duties, to the glory of the Father.

c) Temperance: the heavenly pilgrim must be sober and moderate in the use of the material things and enjoyments of this life, never losing sight of the invisible things of eternal value.

d) Patience: We must through much tribulation and suffering enter into our eternal inheritance. With much patience and godly submission let us bear our afflictions joyfully, for they are "but for a moment" (2 Cor 4:17).

e) Godliness: This means a filial and loving relationship to the Father by which we grow more like Him. In all our striving, let us strive to be holy, even as God is holy.

f) Brotherly kindness: This is a tender affection to all fellow-believers, for they are of like precious faith, children of the same Father, servants of the same Master, members of the same family. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35).

g) Charity: Goodwill and love are to all mankind, and not merely to those of the family of God. God has made of one blood all nations, and our goodness must extend to them too.

These heavenly graces mark us out as children of the Heavenly Kingdom. Give “all diligence, add to your faith virtue ...” (2 Pet 1:5).

QUESTION: Are you building?


2. THE CROWNING GRACE OF HEAVEN’S CHILD: “IN HONOUR PREFERRING ONE ANOTHER” (Rom 12:1-10)

It is befitting the child of God on his way to the Heavenly City to be adorned with Heaven's graces -- graces which mark him out as different from the children of the world. The Apostle Peter listed seven of those precious graces: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity (2 Pet 1:5-7).

Today the Apostle Paul adds another, which may be termed the "crowning grace" of Heaven's child: "in honour preferring one another" (Rom 12:10). It is a matter of attitude and disposition. It is a genuine affection and kindness flowing from the heart as pure water from a sparkling fountain. Such an unconstrained sincere feeling can only flow from a fully converted heart, renewed by the Spirit and divinely equipped for Heaven.

In a world of unbridled competition for position and prestige, self naturally projects itself forward at the expense of others. Not so with the child of Heaven. His sights are fixed above; his affection is set in Heaven where his Master sits at the right hand of God. With grace he acknowledges and advances others' interests above his own, "in honour preferring one another." He has One above who knows his every need and what is best for him. We quote from E M Bounds (with minimal editing):

"To put others along side is generous, but to put them before us is divine. To slow down that they may catch up is kindly, but to step aside that others may pass in a race for honour is above nature. To prefer others above ourselves seems too high. We sigh for we cannot attain to it. But faith says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ He who has learnt ‘in honour to prefer another’ is truly worthy to enter the gates of the City!"

PRAYER: Lord teach me this needful lesson: "in honour preferring one another" (Rom 12:10).


3. "Be no more children" (Eph 4:14)

(Extracts from Daily Remembrancer by John Smith, Edited by Dr SH Tow, 16 July)

Is your spiritual life growing or going? The apostle Paul is concerned, not about our physical or social status, but about our spiritual stature. We are always in the status of children, but in understanding we should be men. The Lord has made provision for the growth of His people and He exhorts them to grow. We should advance in knowledge: children are satisfied with trifles; we should not be. We should increase in strength, and become strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus. We should also become more courageous against our foes, bold in the Lord's cause, and steadfast in our love of divine things. Our faith, our hope, our love, and our zeal should grow. We should not be stagnant, but from babes we should grow up to be young men; and from young men to fathers in Christ. In order to grow we must make use of food, exercise, and devotion; we must feed upon Christ, exercise our graces, and live in fellowship with God. That we may grow, the Lord has given us His Book, His ordinances, and His Son. He has promised that we shall "grow as the vine," and "go forth and grow up as calves of the stall." Let us set our hearts upon growing and attend to this salutary caution, "That ye be no more children."

O Lord our God, forbid that we
Should always little children be;
But may our path shine more, we pray,
And more unto the perfect day.

God bless you dear readers.


Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,

Dr SH Tow