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Prayer is heaven's ordained means of success in the conflict with sin and the development of Christian character. Pr 52.

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Johnís Character Reflected Christ

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:10, 11.

††††The confiding love and unselfish devotion manifested in the life and character of John present lessons of untold value to the Christian church. John did not naturally possess the loveliness of character that his later experience revealed. By nature he had serious defects. He was not only proud, self-assertive, and ambitious for honor, but impetuous, and resentful under injury. He and his brother were called ďsons of thunder.Ē Evil temper, the desire for revenge, the spirit of criticism, were all in the beloved disciple. But beneath all this the divine Teacher discerned the ardent, sincere, loving heart. Jesus rebuked his self-seeking, disappointed his ambitions, tested his faith. But He revealed to him that for which his soul longedóthe beauty of holiness, the transforming power of love....

††††The lessons of Christ, setting forth meekness and humility and love as essential to growth in grace and a fitness for His work, were of the highest value to John. He treasured every lesson and constantly sought to bring his life into harmony with the divine pattern.... His Masterís lessons were graven on his soul. When he testified of the Saviourís grace, his simple language was eloquent with the love that pervaded his whole being.

††††It was Johnís deep love for Christ which led him always to desire to be close by His side. The Saviour loved all the Twelve, but Johnís was the most receptive spirit. He was younger than the others, and with more of the childís confiding trust he opened his heart to Jesus. Thus he came more into sympathy with Christ, and through him the Saviourís deepest spiritual teaching was communicated to the people.

††††Jesus loves those who represent the Father, and John could talk of the Fatherís love as no other of the disciples could. He revealed to his fellow men that which he felt in his own soul, representing in his character the attributes of God. The glory of the Lord was expressed in his face. The beauty of holiness which had transformed him shone with a Christlike radiance from his countenance. In adoration and love he beheld the Saviour until likeness to Christ and fellowship with Him became his one desire, and in his character was reflected the character of his Master.óThe Acts of the Apostles, 539-545.

From Reflecting Christ - Page 317

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