A Random Gleaning


I have been doing a little bit of reading in early Christian non-canonical books that I do not consider to be the inspired word of God. Nonetheless there are still bits of historical and moral lessons that can help one grow in understanding. Though if there be anything contrary to the sound doctrine of the word of God, which there are pieces in these books that are contrary, which is why they were not even considered for canon, it should not be acknowledged. Please if you read non-canon books discern what is sound doctrine and not. A lot of these books are filled with gnostic type ideas. Be careful if you read them yourself.

I have been a bit anxious and lacking in my confidence and trust in God lately for no reason other than that I see the end drawing nigh and I fear God and hell and know that Judgement Day is just around the corner. These words from Hermas made me think on the matter and realize that I have nothing to be of a doubtful mind for and should have full confidence in God, if I am doing everything He has shown me He wants me to be doing and living in strict obedience unto Him. Take from it what you will.

I was reading The Shepherd of Hermas and one section really stood out to me:

"He saith to me; "Remove from thyself a doubtful mind and doubt not at all whether to ask of God, saying within thyself, "How can I ask thing of the Lord and receive it, seeing that I have committed so many sins against Him?"

Reason not thus, but turn to the Lord with thy whole heart, and ask of Him nothing wavering, and thou shalt know His exceeding compassion, that He will surely not abandon thee, but will fulfill the petition of thy soul.

For God is not as men who bear a grudge, but Himself is without malice and hath compassion on His creatures.

Do thou therefore cleanse thy heart from all the vanities of this life, and from the things mentioned before; and ask of the Lord, and thou shalt receive all things, and shalt lack nothing of all thy petitions, if thou ask of the Lord nothing wavering.

But if thou waver in thy heart, thou shalt surely receive none of thy petitions. For they that waver towards God, these are the doubtful-minded, and they never obtain any of their petitions.

But they that are complete in the faith make all their petitions trusting in the Lord, and they receive, because they ask without wavering, nothing doubting; for every doubtful-minded man, if he repent not, shall hardly be saved.

Cleanse therefore thy heart from doubtful-mindedness, and put on faith, for it is strong, and trust God that thou wilt receive all thy petitions which thou askest; and if after asking anything of the Lord, thou receive thy petition somewhat tardily, be not of doubtful mind because thou didst not receive the petition of thy soul at once. For assuredly it is by reason of some temptation or some transgression, of which thou art ignorant, that thou receivest thy petition so tardily.

Do thou therefore cease not to make thy soul's petition, and thou shalt receive it. But if thou grow weary, and doubt as thou askest, blame thyself and not Him that giveth unto thee. See to this doubtful-mindedness; for it is evil and senseless, and uprooteth many from the faith, yea, even very faithful and strong men. For indeed this doubtful-mindedness is a daughter of the devil, and worketh great wickedness against the servants of God.

Therefore despise doubtful-mindedness and gain the mastery over it in everything, clothing thyself with faith which is strong and powerful. For faith promiseth all things, accomplisheth all things; but doubtful-mindedness, as having no confidence in itself, fails in all the works which it doeth.

Thou seest then," saith he, "that faith is from above from the Lord, and hath great power; but doubtful-mindedness is an earthly spirit from the devil, and hath no power.

Do thou therefore serve that faith which hath power, and hold aloof from the doubtful-mindedness which hath no power; and thou shalt live unto God; yea, and all those shall live unto God who are so minded.'"