Title: Devotional Readings
Description: Varioius Public Domain Authors
Shiloh357 - July 19, 2008 11:37 AM (GMT)
Morning, July 19
“The Lord our God hath shewed us his glory.”
— Deuteronomy 5:24
God’s great design in all his works is the manifestation of his own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of himself. But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man’s eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why he bringeth his people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when he comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the God of tempests; but they who “do business in great waters,” these see his “wonders in the deep.” Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man. Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God’s greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as he did his servant Moses, that you might behold his glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of his glory in his wonderful dealings with you.
Spurgeon, Charles H.: Morning and Evening : Daily Readings. Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. Peabody, MA : Hendrickson Publishers, 2006, S. July 19 AM
Evening, July 19
“A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench.”
— Matthew 12:20
What is weaker than the bruised reed or the smoking flax? A reed that groweth in the fen or marsh, let but the wild duck light upon it, and it snaps; let but the foot of man brush against it, and it is bruised and broken; every wind that flits across the river moves it to and fro. You can conceive of nothing more frail or brittle, or whose existence is more in jeopardy, than a bruised reed. Then look at the smoking flax—what is it? It has a spark within it, it is true, but it is almost smothered; an infant’s breath might blow it out; nothing has a more precarious existence than its flame. Weak things are here described, yet Jesus says of them, “The smoking flax I will not quench; the bruised reed I will not break.” Some of God’s children are made strong to do mighty works for him; God has his Samsons here and there who can pull up Gaza’s gates, and carry them to the top of the hill; he has a few mighties who are lion-like men, but the majority of his people are a timid, trembling race. They are like starlings, frightened at every passer by; a little fearful flock. If temptation comes, they are taken like birds in a snare; if trial threatens, they are ready to faint; their frail skiff is tossed up and down by every wave, they are drifted along like a sea bird on the crest of the billows—weak things, without strength, without wisdom, without foresight. Yet, weak as they are, and because they are so weak, they have this promise made specially to them. Herein is grace and graciousness! Herein is love and lovingkindness! How it opens to us the compassion of Jesus—so gentle, tender, considerate! We need never shrink back from his touch. We need never fear a harsh word from him; though he might well chide us for our weakness, he rebuketh not. Bruised reeds shall have no blows from him, and the smoking flax no damping frowns.
Spurgeon, Charles H.: Morning and Evening : Daily Readings. Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. Peabody, MA : Hendrickson Publishers, 2006, S. July 19 PM
Ladypeartree - July 19, 2008 12:01 PM (GMT)
appemote appemote appemote appemote appemote
all too often you find those who have had the " smooth ride " fall to pieces when great troubles come , yet the frail and world beaten of the community continue to hold up their heads and praise God through all times ::01:: ::01:: ::01:: ::01::
Shiloh357 - July 20, 2008 10:01 AM (GMT)
Answered Prayer Promised in Jesus Name
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (Joh_14:13-14)
We who belong to the Lord have a great invitation to thoroughly express our hearts to Him in humble, dependent prayer. "Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him" (Psa_62:8). We also have a great need to be speaking to Him. "Without Me you can do nothing" (Joh_15:5). We also have great promises of answered prayer. "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do . . . If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
When the people of God are prayerless, they do not receive from the Lord all that He wants to give to them. "You do not have because you do not ask" (Jam_4:2). At times, God's children pray, but they still do not receive from the Lord. "You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures" (Jam_4:3). Their prayers are anchored in their own will and interests. True praying is to be anchored in the will of God. "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him" (1Jo_5:14-15).
At this juncture, the scriptures are vital in our daily prayer life. God's word directs us in praying according to the will of God. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you" (Joh_15:7). As we are abiding in (depending upon) Christ, we will be wanting His word to have full sway in our lives. As we are consistently getting into His word, the scriptures are shaping our thinking and our desiring. Consequently, we ask what the Lord is teaching us to desire. In that beautiful biblical setting, He promises to give us whatever we ask.
All of this describes the essence of praying in the name of Jesus. Praying in Jesus name is not merely a formula of words with which to conclude our prayers. Whether we verbalize that phrase or not, it is about praying as Jesus would pray (always concerned about the will of His Father). It is about praying based on all that the word teaches about the person and work of the Lord Jesus on our behalf. Those who pray this way enjoy the certainty of these great promises of answered prayer, and they see much glory brought to God. "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
Lord Jesus, thank You for these great promises of answered prayer. Teach me to pray in Your name. Please shape my praying by all that Your word reveals concerning Your will and Your work on my behalf. In Your precious name, I pray, Amen. ~ Hoekstra
Shiloh357 - July 22, 2008 07:52 AM (GMT)
“I am married unto you.”
Christ Jesus is joined unto his people in marriage-union. In love he espoused his Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection he toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid, and now, having sought her by his Spirit, and brought her to know and love him, he awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Not yet hath the glorious Bridegroom presented his betrothed, perfected and complete, before the Majesty of heaven; not yet hath she actually entered upon the enjoyment of her dignities as his wife and queen: she is as yet a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents of Kedar; but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus, dear to his heart, precious in his sight, written on his hands, and united with his person. On earth he exercises towards her all the affectionate offices of Husband. He makes rich provision for her wants, pays all her debts, allows her to assume his name, and to share in all his wealth. Nor will he ever act otherwise to her. The word divorce he will never mention, for “He hateth putting away.” Death must sever the conjugal tie between the most loving mortals, but it cannot divide the links of this immortal marriage. In heaven they marry not, but are as the angels of God; yet there is this one marvellous exception to the rule, for in Heaven Christ and his Church shall celebrate their joyous nuptials. This affinity as it is more lasting, so is it more near than earthly wedlock. Let the love of husband be never so pure and fervent, it is but a faint picture of the flame which burns in the heart of Jesus. Passing all human union is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left his Father, and became one flesh with her.~ Spurgeon
“Behold the man!”
If there be one place where our Lord Jesus most fully becomes the joy and comfort of his people, it is where he plunged deepest into the depths of woe. Come hither, gracious souls, and behold the man in the garden of Gethsemane; behold his heart so brimming with love that he cannot hold it in-so full of sorrow that it must find a vent. Behold the bloody sweat as it distils from every pore of his body, and falls upon the ground. Behold the man as they drive the nails into his hands and feet. Look up, repenting sinners, and see the sorrowful image of your suffering Lord. Mark him, as the ruby drops stand on the thorn-crown, and adorn with priceless gems the diadem of the King of Misery. Behold the man when all his bones are out of joint, and he is poured out like water and brought into the dust of death; God hath forsaken him, and hell compasseth him about. Behold and see, was there ever sorrow like unto his sorrow that is done unto him? All ye that pass by draw near and look upon this spectacle of grief, unique, unparalleled, a wonder to men and angels, a prodigy unmatched. Behold the Emperor of Woe who had no equal or rival in his agonies! Gaze upon him, ye mourners, for if there be not consolation in a crucified Christ there is no joy in earth or heaven. If in the ransom price of his blood there be not hope, ye harps of heaven, there is no joy in you, and the right hand of God shall know no pleasures for evermore. We have only to sit more continually at the cross foot to be less troubled with our doubts and woes. We have but to see his sorrows, and our sorrows we shall be ashamed to mention. We have but to gaze into his wounds and heal our own. If we would live aright it must be by the contemplation of his death; if we would rise to dignity, it must be by considering his humiliation and his sorrow. ~ Spurgeon
Ladypeartree - July 22, 2008 09:50 AM (GMT)
Shiloh357 - July 23, 2008 09:36 AM (GMT)
God's Faithfulness and His Promises
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Heb_10:23)
Previously, we reflected upon God's ability in conjunction with His promises. When promises are made, the capability of the one making promises is strategic. When relating God's ability to His promises, we have full assurance that He can fulfill what He has promised to do. "Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You . . . Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jer_32:17, Jer_32:27). Our Lord created all the universe, and He is ruler over all of humanity. Surely, He is able to fulfill all of His promises.
Now, we have another issue to consider: faithfulness. When promises are made, faithfulness is just as important as ability. It is vital to know that the one promising is not only able, but is also reliable. In our present verse, we are given reason to exercise unwavering confidence in God, based upon His faithfulness. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."
In the book of Hebrews, we are given a recurring call to stand firm in the hope of the Lord. To increasingly participate in the reality of being God's spiritual household here on earth, we are to confidently embrace throughout our pilgrimage the hope that is available in our Lord: "whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end" (Heb_3:6). To fully partake of all that is ours in Christ, we are to persistently cling to Him by faith right up to our last days on earth. "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end" (Heb_3:14).
Our present verse also stresses persistent faith in the hope of the Lord. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering." Additionally, this persistence of trust in God is related to His promises and His faithfulness. "For He who promised is faithful." We can cling tightly to the promises of God. We can confidently hope in God fulfilling His promises to us. We do not need to waver in doubt, because God is reliable. He is trustworthy. He is faithful.
Dear God of faithfulness, how delightful to realize that my persistence of faith in You hinges on Your faithfulness toward me. I see that I can continue to depend upon You, because you are fully faithful to me. What expectation this gives me as I consider Your great promises! You will be faithful to fulfill every one of them, as I place my trust in You!
Shiloh357 - July 24, 2008 04:06 AM (GMT)
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment" (Revelation 3:5).
Warrior of the cross, fight on! Never rest till thy victory is complete, for thine eternal reward will prove worthy of a life of warfare.
See, here is perfect purity for thee! A few in Sardis kept their garments undefiled, and their recompense is to be spotless. Perfect holiness is the prize of our high calling; let us not miss it.
See, here is joy! Thou shalt wear holiday robes, such as men put on at wedding feasts; thou shalt be clothed with gladness and be made bright with rejoicing. Painful struggles shall end in peace of conscience and joy in the LORD.
See, here is victory! Thou shalt have thy triumph. Palm, and crown, and white robe shall be thy guerdon; thou shalt be treated as a conqueror and owned as such by the LORD Himself.
See, here is priestly array! Thou shalt stand before the LORD in such raiment as the sons of Aaron wore; thou shalt offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving and draw near unto the LORD with the incense of praise.
Who would not fight for a LORD who gives such large honors to the very least of His faithful servants? Who would not be clothed in a fool's coat for Christ's sake, seeing He will robe us with glory? ~ C.H. Spurgen
Scarletprayers - July 24, 2008 10:31 AM (GMT)
For this I pray!
Ladypeartree - July 24, 2008 01:18 PM (GMT)
Marcie - July 24, 2008 02:35 PM (GMT)
Shiloh357 - July 25, 2008 11:14 AM (GMT)
Even More on God's Faithfulness and His Promises
The Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. (2Th_3:3)
Perhaps, a word of reflection upon our context would be helpful. In our daily studies on growing in the grace of God, we have been looking at the promises of God. Living by God's promises is akin to living by His grace. In both perspectives, the critical matter is having God at work in our lives, doing what He alone can do, doing what we could never deserve or never produce on our own. In considering God's promises, we have allowed the Lord to increase our confidence in His promises by focusing first on His ability, and now on His faithfulness. Our present verse proclaims God's faithfulness, while adding a two-fold promise concerning high priority issues of Christian living.
The faithfulness of God is one of the grand themes of scripture. "The Lord is faithful." Our God is reliable, so we can rely upon Him and His abundant promises. "God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (1Co_1:9). The true and eternal God, who has invited us into an intimate relationship with His Son, is trustworthy, so we can trust in Him and His bountiful promises.
For example, we can trust in His promise to bring spiritual stability to our lives. "The Lord is faithful, who will establish you." This is one of the major needs in people's lives. On our own, we can easily be unstable and inconsistent. The Lord wants to turn us into responsible and steadfast servants of God. He will be faithful to do this, if we humbly open our hearts to the work of His word and His Spirit.
Another example of how God wants to demonstrate His faithfulness is in protecting us from the evil one. "The Lord is faithful, who will . . . guard you from the evil one." We are God's sheep. "Know that the LORD, He is God . . . We are His people and the sheep of His pasture" (Psa_100:3). Our enemy is like a lion, who wants to consume us. "Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1Pe_5:8). Sheep do not do well against lions. However, we have a wonderful shepherd, who will not flee when the attack comes. "The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own" (Joh_10:13-14). He wants us to know that we can count on Him to be faithful to keep His promises to guard us.
Dear Lord, my good shepherd, on my own I am as vulnerable as a sheep and as unsteady as water. In light of Your faithfulness, I rely upon Your promises to protect me from the enemy and to build into my life spiritual stability.
Ladypeartree - July 25, 2008 11:41 AM (GMT)
Honeybee88 - July 25, 2008 11:26 PM (GMT)
1 Peter 5:10: "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
Shiloh357 - July 26, 2008 11:03 AM (GMT)
“Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge, etc.”
- 2Pe_1:5, 2Pe_1:6
If thou wouldest enjoy the eminent grace of the full assurance of faith, under the blessed Spirit’s influence, and assistance, do what the Scripture tells thee, “Give diligence.” Take care that thy faith is of the right kind-that it is not a mere belief of doctrine, but a simple faith, depending on Christ, and on Christ alone. Give diligent heed to thy courage. Plead with God that he would give thee the face of a lion, that thou mayest, with a consciousness of right, go on boldly. Study well the Scriptures, and get knowledge; for a knowledge of doctrine will tend very much to confirm faith. Try to understand God’s Word; let it dwell in thy heart richly.
When thou hast done this, “Add to thy knowledge temperance.” Take heed to thy body: be temperate without. Take heed to thy soul: be temperate within. Get temperance of lip, life, heart, and thought. Add to this, by God’s Holy Spirit, patience; ask him to give thee that patience which endureth affliction, which, when it is tried, shall come forth as gold. Array yourself with patience, that you may not murmur nor be depressed in your afflictions. When that grace is won look to godliness. Godliness is something more than religion. Make God’s glory your object in life; live in his sight; dwell close to him; seek for fellowship with him; and thou hast “godliness”; and to that add brotherly love. Have a love to all the saints: and add to that a charity, which openeth its arms to all men, and loves their souls. When you are adorned with these jewels, and just in proportion as you practise these heavenly virtues, will you come to know by clearest evidence “your calling and election.” “Give diligence,” if you would get assurance, for lukewarmness and doubting very naturally go hand in hand.
“That he may set him with princes.”- Psa_113:8
Our spiritual privileges are of the highest order. “Among princes” is the place of select society. “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” Speak of select society, there is none like this! “We are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood.” “We are come unto the general assembly and church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven.” The saints have courtly audience: princes have admittance to royalty when common people must stand afar off. The child of God has free access to the inner courts of heaven. “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” “Let us come boldly,” says the apostle, “to the throne of the heavenly grace.” Among princes there is abundant wealth, but what is the abundance of princes compared with the riches of believers? for “all things are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Princes have peculiar power. A prince of heaven’s empire has great influence: he wields a sceptre in his own domain; he sits upon Jesus’ throne, for “He hath made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign for ever and ever.” We reign over the united kingdom of time and eternity. Princes, again, have special honour. We may look down upon all earth-born dignity from the eminence upon which grace has placed us. For what is human grandeur to this, “He hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”? We share the honour of Christ, and compared with this, earthly splendours are not worth a thought. Communion with Jesus is a richer gem than ever glittered in imperial diadem. Union with the Lord is a coronet of beauty outshining all the blaze of imperial pomp.
Ladypeartree - July 26, 2008 07:59 PM (GMT)
Shiloh357 - July 27, 2008 10:39 AM (GMT)
How We are to Respond to God's Promises
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." (Rom_1:16-17)
How are we to respond to the promises of God? His promises are not automatically at work in every life that hears them. Some respond correctly, while others respond improperly. Some enjoy the benefits of God's promises, whereas others do not. In these two verses, we are given the fundamental response to all that pertains to the gospel of grace. That response is faith. This would certainly include living by the promises of God.
Paul was unashamed of the gospel due to its effective character. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation." The good news about Jesus Christ is essentially the grace of God proclaimed to man: "the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God" (Act_20:24). This grace is God's power poured out unto the saving of souls. This power is experienced by all who place their faith in the gospel, whether Jew or Gentile: "for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." The gospel is effective, because it holds forth God's righteousness to sinful man, if he is willing to trust in the Lord. "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith."
The gospel is referred to in the scriptures as a promise. "And this is the promise that He has promised us - - eternal life" (1Jo_2:25). The gospel is often stated in the form of promises: "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved . . . whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Act_15:11 and Rom_10:13). These gospel promises are partaken of by faith. "The just shall live by faith."
In addition to initial salvation, the good news of God's grace includes many other promises from God. "I will build My church . . . You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free . . . When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth" (Mat_16:18; Joh_8:32; and Joh_16:13). All of these promises are experienced by faith as well, because "the just shall live by faith" - - continually, as well as initially.
O Lord God, I want to respond to Your promises properly. How gracious that You only ask me to trust in what You have promised to do. I do not want to ignore Your promises or doubt them. I want to live by relying upon every promise You have ever made. In Your faithful name I pray, Amen.
Ladypeartree - July 27, 2008 02:42 PM (GMT)
Northern Lass - July 27, 2008 08:06 PM (GMT)
Shiloh357 - July 28, 2008 10:42 AM (GMT)
God's Children by God's Promises
For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise . . . Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. (Gal_4:22-23, Gal_4:28)
Our God is a God of promises. He characteristically works by making and fulfilling promises. We are His children. We are children of promise. We were birthed spiritually into God's family through faith in His promises. Two sons of Abraham (Ishmael and Isaac) provide a vivid contrast that attests our sonship by promise.
God had promised to make Abraham a mighty nation, through which would come the Messianic seed that would bless all nations. "I will make you a great nation . . . and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen_12:1-2). Yet, the years passed by, and Abraham was still without a son. Eventually, he implied to God that his servant would have to be the beginning of this promised seed. "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house (Eliezer, his servant) is my heir! " (Gen_15:3). However, the Lord clarified His promise to give Abraham a true son, sired from his own body. "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir" (Gen_15:4). As time passed, the aging couple decided that they would have to come up with another alternative for God. "Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children . . . So Sarai said to Abram, 'See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.' And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived" (Gen_16:1-2, Gen_16:4). Thus, Ishmael was born as the result of Abraham's and Sarah's ingenuity: "he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh."
Thereafter, the Lord reiterated His promise of a son. "My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year" (Gen_17:21). As God promised, so He did. "And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken" (Gen_21:1). Thus, Isaac was birthed as a result of God's promises. This is a picture of the only possible way that we could ever have become God's children, by His fulfilling of His promises. "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise."
Dear Father, the God of promises, I praise You for promising salvation to all who would believe. I rejoice in being a child of promise. Lord, no effort or ingenuity of my flesh could have ever given me a place in Your family. Please teach me to live by Your promises, Amen.
Scarletprayers - July 28, 2008 10:47 AM (GMT)
Ladypeartree - July 28, 2008 01:52 PM (GMT)
and it just shows how we cause so much trouble when we try to rush God to do things in our time and not in His ::02:: ::01:: ::01:: ::01::
Northern Lass - July 28, 2008 06:16 PM (GMT)
It's so easy to take something to God in prayer and then try and work out how WE are going to find a solution! I have done it so many times and this story is such a powerful reminder not to!
Shiloh357 - July 29, 2008 11:10 AM (GMT)
“Nevertheless I am continually with thee.”
“Nevertheless,”-As if, notwithstanding all the foolishness and ignorance which David had just been confessing to God, not one atom the less was it true and certain that David was saved and accepted, and that the blessing of being constantly in God’s presence was undoubtedly his. Fully conscious of his own lost estate, and of the deceitfulness and vileness of his nature, yet, by a glorious outburst of faith, he sings “nevertheless I am continually with thee.” Believer, you are forced to enter into Asaph’s confession and acknowledgment, endeavour in like spirit to say “nevertheless, since I belong to Christ I am continually with God!” By this is meant continually upon his mind, he is always thinking of me for my good. Continually before his eye;-the eye of the Lord never sleepeth, but is perpetually watching over my welfare. Continually in his hand, so that none shall be able to pluck me thence. Continually on his heart, worn there as a memorial, even as the high priest bore the names of the twelve tribes upon his heart for ever. Thou always thinkest of me, O God. The bowels of thy love continually yearn towards me. Thou art always making providence work for my good. Thou hast set me as a signet upon thine arm; thy love is strong as death, many waters cannot quench it; neither can the floods drown it. Surprising grace! Thou seest me in Christ, and though in myself abhorred, thou beholdest me as wearing Christ’s garments, and washed in his blood, and thus I stand accepted in thy presence. I am thus continually in thy favour-”continually with thee.” Here is comfort for the tried and afflicted soul; vexed with the tempest within-look at the calm without. “Nevertheless”-O say it in thy heart, and take the peace it gives. “Nevertheless I am continually with thee.”
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.”
This declaration involves the doctrine of election: there are some whom the Father gave to Christ. It involves the doctrine of effectual calling: these who are given must and shall come; however stoutly they may set themselves against it, yet they shall be brought out of darkness into God’s marvellous light. It teaches us the indispensable necessity of faith; for even those who are given to Christ are not saved except they come to Jesus. Even they must come, for there is no other way to heaven but by the door, Christ Jesus. All that the Father gives to our Redeemer must come to him, therefore none can come to heaven except they come to Christ.
Oh! the power and majesty which rest in the words “shall come.” He does not say they have power to come, nor they may come if they will, but they “shall come.” The Lord Jesus doth by his messengers, his word, and his Spirit, sweetly and graciously compel men to come in that they may eat of his marriage supper; and this he does, not by any violation of the free agency of man, but by the power of his grace. I may exercise power over another man’s will, and yet that other man’s will may be perfectly free, because the constraint is exercised in a manner accordant with the laws of the human mind. Jehovah Jesus knows how, by irresistible arguments addressed to the understanding, by mighty reasons appealing to the affections, and by the mysterious influence of his Holy Spirit operating upon all the powers and passions of the soul, so to subdue the whole man, that whereas he was once rebellious, he yields cheerfully to his government, subdued by sovereign love. But how shall those be known whom God hath chosen? By this result: that they do willingly and joyfully accept Christ, and come to him with simple and unfeigned faith, resting upon him as all their salvation and all their desire. Reader, have you thus come to Jesus? ~ Spurgeon
Honeybee88 - July 29, 2008 11:11 PM (GMT)
Thank you for these, Shiloh. I really appreciate them! ::321::
Shiloh357 - July 30, 2008 11:33 AM (GMT)
The Gentiles Included as Children of Promise
That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel . . . that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Eph_3:6 and Gal_3:14)
The implications of becoming children of promise through faith in the promises of God are monumental. One of the consequences that holds outstanding significance is highlighted in our present verses. It involves the Gentiles.
It is quite obvious in the Old Testament that God had great plans for the Jews (for Israel, His chosen people). " 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel" (Exo_19:6). God's plans ultimately included the Gentiles (the nations of the world). "Oh, praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! . . . The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (Psa_117:1 and Isa_60:3). Nevertheless, the Jewish people would have a special place in God's purposes. "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth" (Deu_14:2).
In light of these Old Testament truths regarding Israel, it was an astounding revelation when the Holy Spirit began to unfold through the Apostle Paul the full participation that the Gentiles would have in the promises of God: "That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs." By believing in the promises of God, the Gentiles would have full partnership shares ("fellow heirs" ) in the inheritance of God for His people. The Gentiles would also be "of the same body." This body that included Gentiles and Jews was the church of Jesus Christ. "And He is the head of the body, the church" (Col_1:18). Jew and Gentile would comprise one new unit, the church. There is no longer a separation. Also, the Gentiles would be "partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel." Through the promises of the gospel of grace, Gentiles would share fully in eternal life, daily blessing, and intimate access to the Lord. By faith in the God of Abraham, the Gentiles would also enjoy (along with any Jew who believed in Jesus as Messiah) the promise of the Spirit: "that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Yes, now the Holy Spirit would dwell in the lives of all who would believe - - not only the Jew, but also the Gentile!
Lord God of Israel, I praise You for being the God of believing Gentiles as well. How glorious is Your grace - - how mighty are Your promises! Jews and Gentiles now share in common the realities of God that are freely given to all who believe in Jesus Christ!
FresnoJoe - July 30, 2008 04:21 PM (GMT)
Shiloh357 - July 31, 2008 11:32 AM (GMT)
“I in them.”
If such be the union which subsists between our souls and the person of our Lord, how deep and broad is the channel of our communion! This is no narrow pipe through which a thread-like stream may wind its way, it is a channel of amazing depth and breadth, along whose glorious length a ponderous volume of living water may roll its floods. Behold he hath set before us an open door, let us not be slow to enter. This city of communion hath many pearly gates, every several gate is of one pearl, and each gate is thrown open to the uttermost that we may enter, assured of welcome. If there were but one small loophole through which to talk with Jesus, it would be a high privilege to thrust a word of fellowship through the narrow door; how much we are blessed in having so large an entrance! Had the Lord Jesus been far away from us, with many a stormy sea between, we should have longed to send a messenger to him to carry him our loves, and bring us tidings from his Father’s house; but see his kindness, he has built his house next door to ours, nay, more, he takes lodging with us, and tabernacles in poor humble hearts, that so he may have perpetual intercourse with us. O how foolish must we be, if we do not live in habitual communion with him. When the road is long, and dangerous, and difficult, we need not wonder that friends seldom meet each other, but when they live together, shall Jonathan forget his David? A wife may when her husband is upon a journey, abide many days without holding converse with him, but she could never endure to be separated from him if she knew him to be in one of the chambers of her own house. Why, believer, dost not thou sit at his banquet of wine? Seek thy Lord, for he is near; embrace him, for he is thy Brother. Hold Him fast, for he is thine Husband; and press him to thine heart, for he is of thine own flesh.
“And these are the singers ... they were employed in that work day and night.”
Well was it so ordered in the temple that the sacred chant never ceased: for evermore did the singers praise the Lord, whose mercy endureth for ever. As mercy did not cease to rule either by day or by night, so neither did music hush its holy ministry. My heart, there is a lesson sweetly taught to thee in the ceaseless song of Zion’s temple, thou too art a constant debtor, and see thou to it that thy gratitude, like charity, never faileth. God’s praise is constant in heaven, which is to be thy final dwelling-place, learn thou to practise the eternal hallelujah. Around the earth as the sun scatters his light, his beams awaken grateful believers to tune their morning hymn, so that by the priesthood of the saints perpetual praise is kept up at all hours, they swathe our globe in a mantle of thanksgiving, and girdle it with a golden belt of song.
The Lord always deserves to be praised for what he is in himself, for his works of creation and providence, for his goodness towards his creatures, and especially for the transcendent act of redemption, and all the marvellous blessing flowing therefrom. It is always beneficial to praise the Lord; it cheers the day and brightens the night; it lightens toil and softens sorrow; and over earthly gladness it sheds a sanctifying radiance which makes it less liable to blind us with its glare. Have we not something to sing about at this moment? Can we not weave a song out of our present joys, or our past deliverances, or our future hopes? Earth yields her summer fruits: the hay is housed, the golden grain invites the sickle, and the sun tarrying long to shine upon a fruitful earth, shortens the interval of shade that we may lengthen the hours of devout worship. By the love of Jesus, let us be stirred up to close the day with a psalm of sanctified gladness. ~ Spurgeon
Marcie - July 31, 2008 12:52 PM (GMT)
Ps 28:7 -
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Shiloh357 - August 1, 2008 09:23 AM (GMT)
“Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn.”
Downcast and troubled Christian, come and glean to-day in the broad field of promise. Here are abundance of precious promises, which exactly meet thy wants. Take this one: “He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax.” Doth not that suit thy case? A reed, helpless, insignificant, and weak, a bruised reed, out of which no music can come; weaker than weakness itself; a reed, and that reed bruised, yet, he will not break thee; but on the contrary, will restore and strengthen thee. Thou art like the smoking flax: no light, no warmth, can come from thee; but he will not quench thee; he will blow with his sweet breath of mercy till he fans thee to a flame. Wouldst thou glean another ear? “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What soft words! Thy heart is tender, and the Master knows it, and therefore he speaketh so gently to thee. Wilt thou not obey him, and come to him even now? Take another ear of corn: “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, I will help thee, saith the Lord and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” How canst thou fear with such a wonderful assurance as this? Thou mayest gather ten thousand such golden ears as these! “I have blotted out thy sins like a cloud, and like a thick cloud thy transgressions.” Or this, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Or this, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come, and let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.” Our Master’s field is very rich; behold the handfuls. See, there they lie before thee, poor timid believer! Gather them up, make them thine own, for Jesus bids thee take them. Be not afraid, only believe! Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation and feed on them with joy.
“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness.”
All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake his mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave us a legacy of darkness, but our God never ceases to shine upon his children with beams of love. Like a river, his lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fulness inexhaustible as his own nature. Like the atmosphere which constantly surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all his creatures; in it, as in their element, they live, and move, and have their being. Yet as the sun on summer days gladdens us with beams more warm and bright than at other times, and as rivers are at certain seasons swollen by the rain, and as the atmosphere itself is sometimes fraught with more fresh, more bracing, or more balmy influences than heretofore, so is it with the mercy of God; it hath its golden hours; its days of overflow, when the Lord magnifieth his grace before the sons of men. Amongst the blessings of the nether springs, the joyous days of harvest are a special season of excessive favour. It is the glory of autumn that the ripe gifts of providence are then abundantly bestowed; it is the mellow season of realization, whereas all before was but hope and expectation. Great is the joy of harvest. Happy are the reapers who fill their arms with the liberality of heaven. The Psalmist tells us that the harvest is the crowning of the year. Surely these crowning mercies call for crowning thanksgiving! Let us render it by the inward emotions of gratitude. Let our hearts be warmed; let our spirits remember, meditate, and think upon this goodness of the Lord. Then let us praise him with our lips, and laud and magnify his name from whose bounty all this goodness flows. Let us glorify God by yielding our gifts to his cause. A practical proof of our gratitude is a special thank-offering to the Lord of the harvest.
Shiloh357 - August 3, 2008 12:27 PM (GMT)
“The Lamb is the light thereof.”
Quietly contemplate the Lamb as the light of heaven. Light in Scripture is the emblem of joy. The joy of the saints in heaven is comprised in this: Jesus chose us, loved us, bought us, cleansed us, robed us, kept us, glorified us: we are here entirely through the Lord Jesus. Each one of these thoughts shall be to them like a cluster of the grapes of Eshcol. Light is also the cause of beauty. Nought of beauty is left when light is gone. Without light no radiance flashes from the sapphire, no peaceful ray proceedeth from the pearl; and thus all the beauty of the saints above comes from Jesus. As planets, they reflect the light of the Sun of Righteousness; they live as beams proceeding from the central orb. If he withdrew, they must die; if his glory were veiled, their glory must expire. Light is also the emblem of knowledge. In heaven our knowledge will be perfect, but the Lord Jesus himself will be the fountain of it. Dark providences, never understood before, will then be clearly seen, and all that puzzles us now will become plain to us in the light of the Lamb. Oh! what unfoldings there will be and what glorifying of the God of love! Light also means manifestation. Light manifests. In this world it doth not yet appear what we shall be. God’s people are a hidden people, but when Christ receives his people into heaven, he will touch them with the wand of his own love, and change them into the image of his manifested glory. They were poor and wretched, but what a transformation! They were stained with sin, but one touch of his finger, and they are bright as the sun, and clear as crystal. Oh! what a manifestation! All this proceeds from the exalted Lamb. Whatever there may be of effulgent splendour, Jesus shall be the centre and soul of it all. Oh! to be present and to see him in his own light, the King of kings, and Lord of lords!
“But as he went.”
Jesus is passing through the throng to the house of Jairus, to raise the ruler’s dead daughter; but he is so profuse in goodness that he works another miracle while upon the road. While yet this rod of Aaron bears the blossom of an unaccomplished wonder, it yields the ripe almonds of a perfect work of mercy. It is enough for us, if we have some one purpose, straightway to go and accomplish it; it were imprudent to expend our energies by the way. Hastening to the rescue of a drowning friend, we cannot afford to exhaust our strength upon another in like danger. It is enough for a tree to yield one sort of fruit, and for a man to fulfil his own peculiar calling. But our Master knows no limit of power or boundary of mission. He is so prolific of grace, that like the sun which shines as it rolls onward in its orbit, his path is radiant with lovingkindness. He is a swift arrow of love, which not only reaches its ordained target, but perfumes the air through which it flies. Virtue is evermore going out of Jesus, as sweet odours exhale from flowers; and it always will be emanating from him, as water from a sparkling fountain. What delightful encouragement this truth affords us! If our Lord is so ready to heal the sick and bless the needy, then, my soul, be not thou slow to put thyself in his way, that he may smile on thee. Be not slack in asking, if he be so abundant in bestowing. Give earnest heed to his word now, and at all times, that Jesus may speak through it to thy heart. Where he is to be found there make thy resort, that thou mayst obtain his blessing. When he is present to heal, may he not heal thee? But surely he is present even now, for he always comes to hearts which need him. And dost not thou need him? Ah, he knows how much! Thou Son of David, turn thine eye and look upon the distress which is now before thee, and make thy suppliant whole.
Shiloh357 - August 4, 2008 10:24 AM (GMT)
UNDERSTANDING GOD'S LOVINGKINDNESS
"Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord."-- Psa_107:43.
THERE ARE many ways of understanding the lovingkindness or mercy of the Lord. We may know it as a matter of doctrine. The best way of increasing our knowledge of God's infinite nature, is by the reverent study of His Word. It is a flimsy religion which discounts doctrine. What the bones are to the body, doctrine is to our moral and spiritual life. What law is to the material universe, doctrine is to the spiritual. The doctrines of grace are the jewelled foundations of a holy life. Seek the ministry that builds on them; read the books that acknowledge them! We may know it by meditation. Would that we yielded more silent hearts to the Holy Spirit, that He might fix our vagrant thoughts on the love of Christ that passeth knowledge! The love that loved us in Eternity, that has never let us go in Time, and that has shown its uttermost intensity by the wounds of Calvary! We may also know it sympathetically. Kepler, the great astronomer, exclaimed one day: "I have been thinking over again the earliest thoughts of God"; and surely every time we sacrifice ourselves for others, or carry another's cross, in the glow of a warm heart, we are feeling a tiny pulsation of His love.
Do we sufficiently praise God for His lovingkindness and truth? We are keen to pray, to cry out for help, but do we stop to enumerate the mercies and to render praise for them? "Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psa_107:8, Psa_107:15, Psa_107:21, Psa_107:31). How often I have awoke tired and out-of-heart, the harp on the willows, the soul like a lark beaten down by an east wind; and when the usual Bible-study has failed to grip, or prayer has seemed cold and mechanical, the disconsolate heart has started to praise, to give thanks for mercies received, and to adore the majesty and glory of God. As one has thus continued, the soul has thawed, the spirit has found wings, the horizon has cleared, and the angel-song has broken in with its Hallelujah! We are thus transported into the Divine Presence-Chamber; we have obtained joy and gladness, our night is gone, and "sorrow and sighing have fled away."
Father, Thou hast loved us; Thou dost love us; Thou wilt love us for evermore. Thy love passes knowledge. It is like a warm, sunlit ocean enwrapping the tiny islet of my life. I bathe in it, but can never reach its limits. I thank Thee for its depths and lengths. AMEN.
Ladypeartree - August 4, 2008 03:08 PM (GMT)
Shiloh357 - August 5, 2008 10:32 AM (GMT)
God's Promises and God's Rest
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest. (Heb_4:1-3)
Through the promises of God, spiritual rest can be experienced by all who believe. Initially, those who believe enjoy rest from the guilt and condemnation of sin. Additionally, those whose faith embraces more of the promises of God can enjoy rest from carnal striving and worldly indulgence.
When the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt, they had rest from the bondage they had known there. This pictures our rest from sin and guilt. Yet, the Lord had more rest to share with His people. He wanted to give them rest from the barrenness of wilderness striving that lay between Egypt and the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. This pictures our rest from fleshly striving in doubt and disobedience by drawing upon the riches that are ours in Christ.
The Israelites wandered through the wilderness in hardness of heart for forty years. All of that generation (except Joshua and Caleb) missed the additional rest that God wanted them to experience. "Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.' So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest' " (Heb_3:10-11). They were out of Egypt, but they would not enter into the Promised Land.
Are we entering into the additional rest that God has for us? "Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it." The Promised Land is a picture of the abundant spiritual life (not a picture of heaven - - no battles or failures in heaven). This additional rest is what Jesus offers to all who believe in Him. "I have come that they may have life (eternal life, forgiven of sin), and that they may have it more abundantly (richness of life, growing in practical righteousness)" (Joh_10:10). This abundant life is enjoyed by faith in the word of God, as it describes the riches that are ours in Christ. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph_1:3). Will we take the Lord at His word and believe that we might enter in? "For we who have believed do enter that rest." Israel did not believe, so they did not enter in. "The word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it."
Dear Lord, I thank You for giving me rest from sin and guilt, simply by trusting in Your promises. Now, I ask for new measures of additional rest from barrenness and striving, simply by trusting in Your promises of abundant life, in Jesus name, Amen.
Ladypeartree - August 5, 2008 11:57 AM (GMT)
..oohh thank you ..just what I need at this time ::01:: ::01::
Shiloh357 - August 6, 2008 12:06 PM (GMT)
“Watchman, what of the night?”
What enemies are abroad? Errors are a numerous horde, and new ones appear every hour: against what heresy am I to be on my guard? Sins creep from their lurking places when the darkness reigns; I must myself mount the watch-tower, and watch unto prayer. Our heavenly Protector foresees all the attacks which are about to be made upon us, and when as yet the evil designed us is but in the desire of Satan, he prays for us that our faith fail not, when we are sifted as wheat. Continue O gracious Watchman, to forewarn us of our foes, and for Zion’s sake hold not thy peace.
“Watchman, what of the night?” What weather is coming for the Church? Are the clouds lowering, or is it all clear and fair overhead? We must care for the Church of God with anxious love; and now that Popery and infidelity are both threatening, let us observe the signs of the times and prepare for conflict.
“Watchman, what of the night?” What stars are visible? What precious promises suit our present case? You sound the alarm, give us the consolation also. Christ, the polestar, is ever fixed in his place, and all the stars are secure in the right hand of their Lord.
But watchman, when comes the morning? The Bridegroom tarries. Are there no signs of his coming forth as the Sun of Righteousness? Has not the morning star arisen as the pledge of day? When will the day dawn, and the shadows flee away? O Jesus, if thou come not in person to thy waiting Church this day, yet come in Spirit to my sighing heart, and make it sing for joy.
“Now all the earth is bright and glad
With the fresh morn;
But all my heart is cold, and dark and sad:
Sun of the soul, let me behold thy dawn!
Come, Jesus, Lord,
O quickly come, according to thy word.”
“Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.”
This is a large petition. To intercede for a whole city needs a stretch of faith, and there are times when a prayer for one man is enough to stagger us. But how far-reaching was the psalmist’s dying intercession! How comprehensive! How sublime! “Let the whole earth be filled with his glory.” It doth not exempt a single country however crushed by the foot of superstition; it doth not exclude a single nation however barbarous. For the cannibal as well as for the civilized, for all climes and races this prayer is uttered: the whole circle of the earth it encompasses, and omits no son of Adam. We must be up and doing for our Master, or we cannot honestly offer such a prayer. The petition is not asked with a sincere heart unless we endeavour, as God shall help us, to extend the kingdom of our Master. Are there not some who neglect both to plead and to labour? Reader, is it your prayer? Turn your eyes to Calvary. Behold the Lord of Life nailed to a cross, with the thorn-crown about his brow, with bleeding head, and hands, and feet. What! can you look upon this miracle of miracles, the death of the Son of God, without feeling within your bosom a marvellous adoration that language never can express? And when you feel the blood applied to your conscience, and know that he has blotted out your sins, you are not a man unless you start from your knees and cry, “Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.” Can you bow before the Crucified in loving homage, and not wish to see your Monarch master of the world? Out on you if you can pretend to love your Prince, and desire not to see him the universal ruler. Your piety is worthless unless it leads you to wish that the same mercy which has been extended to you may bless the whole world. Lord, it is harvest-time, put in thy sickle and reap.
Shiloh357 - August 8, 2008 08:51 AM (GMT)
“They weave the spider’s web.”
See the spider’s web, and behold in it a most suggestive picture of the hypocrite’s religion. It is meant to catch his prey: the spider fattens himself on flies, and the Pharisee has his reward. Foolish persons are easily entrapped by the loud professions of pretenders, and even the more judicious cannot always escape. Philip baptized Simon Magus, whose guileful declaration of faith was so soon exploded by the stern rebuke of Peter. Custom, reputation, praise, advancement, and other flies, are the small game which hypocrites take in their nets. A spider’s web is a marvel of skill: look at it and admire the cunning hunter’s wiles. Is not a deceiver’s religion equally wonderful? How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth? How can he make his tinsel answer so well the purpose of gold? A spider’s web comes all from the creature’s own bowels. The bee gathers her wax from flowers, the spider sucks no flowers, and yet she spins out her material to any length. Even so hypocrites find their trust and hope within themselves; their anchor was forged on their own anvil, and their cable twisted by their own hands. They lay their own foundation, and hew out the pillars of their own house, disdaining to be debtors to the sovereign grace of God. But a spider’s web is very frail. It is curiously wrought, but not enduringly manufactured. It is no match for the servant’s broom, or the traveller’s staff. The hypocrite needs no battery of Armstrongs to blow his hope to pieces, a mere puff of wind will do it. Hypocritical cobwebs will soon come down when the besom of destruction begins its purifying work. Which reminds us of one more thought, viz., that such cobwebs are not to be endured in the Lord’s house: he will see to it that they and those who spin them shall be destroyed for ever. O my soul, be thou resting on something better than a spider’s web. Be the Lord Jesus thine eternal hiding-place.
“All things are possible to him that believeth.”
Many professed Christians are always doubting and fearing, and they forlornly think that this is the necessary state of believers. This is a mistake, for “all things are possible to him that believeth”; and it is possible for us to mount into a state in which a doubt or a fear shall be but as a bird of passage flitting across the soul, but never lingering there. When you read of the high and sweet communions enjoyed by favoured saints, you sigh and murmur in the chamber of your heart, “Alas! these are not for me.” O climber, if thou hast but faith, thou shalt yet stand upon the sunny pinnacle of the temple, for “all things are possible to him that believeth.” You hear of exploits which holy men have done for Jesus; what they have enjoyed of him; how much they have been like him; how they have been able to endure great persecutions for his sake; and you say, “Ah! as for me, I am but a worm; I can never attain to this.” But there is nothing which one saint was, that you may not be. There is no elevation of grace, no attainment of spirituality, no clearness of assurance, no post of duty, which is not open to you if you have but the power to believe. Lay aside your sackcloth and ashes, and rise to the dignity of your true position; you are little in Israel because you will be so, not because there is any necessity for it. It is not meet that thou shouldst grovel in the dust, O child of a King. Ascend! The golden throne of assurance is waiting for you! The crown of communion with Jesus is ready to bedeck your brow. Wrap yourself in scarlet and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day; for if thou believest, thou mayst eat the fat of kidneys of wheat; thy land shall flow with milk and honey, and thy soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. Gather golden sheaves of grace, for they await thee in the fields of faith. “All things are possible to him that believeth.”
Shiloh357 - August 11, 2008 11:14 AM (GMT)
“Oh that I were as in months past.”
Numbers of Christians can view the past with pleasure, but regard the present with dissatisfaction; they look back upon the days which they have passed in communing with the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever known, but as to the present, it is clad in a sable garb of gloom and dreariness. Once they lived near to Jesus, but now they feel that they have wandered from him, and they say, “O that I were as in months past!” They complain that they have lost their evidences, or that they have not present peace of mind, or that they have no enjoyment in the means of grace, or that conscience is not so tender, or that they have not so much zeal for God’s glory. The causes of this mournful state of things are manifold. It may arise through a comparative neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline. Or it may be the result of idolatry. The heart has been occupied with something else, more than with God; the affections have been set on the things of earth, instead of the things of heaven. A jealous God will not be content with a divided heart; he must be loved first and best. He will withdraw the sunshine of his presence from a cold, wandering heart. Or the cause may be found in self-confidence and self-righteousness. Pride is busy in the heart, and self is exalted instead of lying low at the foot of the cross. Christian, if you are not now as you “were in months past,” do not rest satisfied with wishing for a return of former happiness, but go at once to seek your Master, and tell him your sad state. Ask his grace and strength to help you to walk more closely with him; humble yourself before him, and he will lift you up, and give you yet again to enjoy the light of his countenance. Do not sit down to sigh and lament; while the beloved Physician lives there is hope, nay there is a certainty of recovery for the worst cases.
“Consolation.” There is music in the word: like David’s harp, it charms away the evil spirit of melancholy. It was a distinguished honour to Barnabas to be called “the son of consolation”; nay, it is one of the illustrious names of a greater than Barnabas, for the Lord Jesus is “the consolation of Israel.” “Everlasting consolation”-here is the cream of all, for the eternity of comfort is the crown and glory of it. What is this “everlasting consolation”? It includes a sense of pardoned sin. A Christian man has received in his heart the witness of the Spirit that his iniquities are put away like a cloud, and his transgressions like a thick cloud. If sin be pardoned, is not that an everlasting consolation? Next, the Lord gives his people an abiding sense of acceptance in Christ. The Christian knows that God looks upon him as standing in union with Jesus. Union to the risen Lord is a consolation of the most abiding order; it is, in fact, everlasting. Let sickness prostrate us, have we not seen hundreds of believers as happy in the weakness of disease as they would have been in the strength of hale and blooming health? Let death’s arrows pierce us to the heart, our comfort dies not, for have not our ears full often heard the songs of saints as they have rejoiced because the living love of God was shed abroad in their hearts in dying moments? Yes, a sense of acceptance in the Beloved is an everlasting consolation. Moreover, the Christian has a conviction of his security. God has promised to save those who trust in Christ: the Christian does trust in Christ, and he believes that God will be as good as his word, and will save him. He feels that he is safe by virtue of his being bound up with the person and work of Jesus.
Scarletprayers - August 11, 2008 11:19 AM (GMT)
Thanks David, really enjoyed and needed these this morning!
Honeybee88 - August 11, 2008 07:00 PM (GMT)
Thank you Shiloh! I have been blessed lately with the joy of my salvation. Though we can't expect it all the time, feelings are lovely to have! Yet perhaps it comes when you choose to recall how much you really do have to be thankful for.
Shiloh357 - August 12, 2008 12:19 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Scarletprayers @ Aug 11 2008, 06:19 AM)|
| Thanks David, really enjoyed and needed these this morning! |
I am glad they were a blessing to you!!