faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
In Hebrews 11:1 God tells us what Bible faith is. Moffatt's
translation of this verse reads, "Now faith means that we are confident
of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see." Another
translation says, "Faith is giving substance to things hoped for."
Still another translation reads, "Faith is the warranty deed, the thing
for which we have finally hoped is at last ours."
There are a number of kinds of faith. Everyone, saved or unsaved, has
a natural, human faith. But here God is talking about a scriptural
faith. He is talking about Bible faith, about believing with your
heart. And there is a vast difference between believing with your
heart and just believing what your physical senses tell you!
Faith is grasping the unrealities of hope and bringing them into the realm
For example, you hope for finances to meet the obligations that you have to
pay. Faith gives you the assurance that you will have the money when
you need it. "Faith is the evidence of things not seen." You
hope for physical strength to do the work that you must do. Faith
says, "The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be
afraid" (Psalm 27:1). Faith will say about itself everything that
the Word says, for faith in God is simply faith in His Word.
to your faith be it unto you.-MATTHEW 9:29
If you eat natural food regularly and don't get any exercise, you'll grow
fat and flabby. Likewise, if you don't exercise your faith, your
"faith muscles" will be flabby.
Exercise your faith on the level where you are. Some Christians are
beyond others in development of their faith. As you feed and exercise
your faith, it will grow. Remember, nobody climbs the ladder by
starting at the top rung.
Some people have become defeated because they tried to believe beyond their
level of faith. They heard faith taught, and they tried to start at
the top of the ladder. Because their faith wasn't at that level, faith
didn't work for them, and they said, "That faith message doesn't work.
I tried it, but it doesn't work."
Faith will work for you as you exercise it. After a while you'll be
able to believe God for things you never dreamed you could. According
to your faith be it unto you. If you request is based on God's Word,
and you believe God to do it, God will do it.
Wherever you are in faith, keep your attitude right. Keep a positive
attitude - and keep the switch of faith turned on. Keep believing God
and using your faith
I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as
thy soul prospereth. 3 John 2
As our last devotional dealt with 5 as the number of grace lets
look at the five crucial activities that are involved in this divine
monetary flow. Two are His as the Supplier. Three are yours as
the receiver. Jesus will open the very windows of heaven if these
activities are respected and done. They are in His Word.
1. God wills that we prosper.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be
in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 2
This is not that we will be prosperous in a stationary condition, but that
He will make our way prosperous, implying action. The God of heaven
will prosper us; therefore, as His servants we will arise and build.
Angels are involved in prosperity. "The Lord, before whom I walk, will
send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way" (Gen. 24:40).
2. We begin to claim prosperity.
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire
and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. Psalm
If you are going through fire and water in your financial situation, know
that God promises you a wealthy place. Take this Word and stand on it.
It is His intention for you to mature in faith!
Riches come many times in the days of famine and persecution. "They
shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall
be satisfied" (Ps. 37:19).
You may feel that you can't prosper in a time of recession, but did God say
that? No. God's Word says, "Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon
them that fear him...to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them
alive in famine" (Ps. 33:18,19).
We are not to be hung up on money, only on the Supplier of money.
"...give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient
for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I
be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain" (Prov.
3. When we keep His Word, God will
Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye
may prosper in all that ye do. Deuteronomy 29:9
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return
unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall
prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which
is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which
are sanctified. Acts 20:32
Keeping God's Word is an essential activity that will cause the very windows
of heaven to gush forth with His prosperity.
4. As we seek Him, God prospers us.
...as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. 2
Normally, I don't think we become desperate about seeking the Lord. Perhaps
at night we pray, "Now I lay me down to sleep...." Then we wake
saying, "Now I'm awake; take care of me today." We say we have
done well during a day if we have read one psalm. That is not seeking the
Lord!...who hath hardened himself against him (God), and hath prospered? Job
You cannot hide from God and prosper for very long; but if you seek Him, He
will make your way continually prosperous. If ye abide in me, and my words
abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John
He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Seek God and spend time in His presence. Make your hunger known to Him.
5. The lips of the righteous feed many.
Your prosperity depends on what you say with your mouth. We have seen
that it depends on our activities, such as seeking God and keeping His Word.
Now God's Word is saying, "Claim the Word" A man's belly
shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his
lips shall he be filled. Proverbs 18:20
God's Word says that what you are saying with your mouth is feeding your
stomach. The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked
is little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many. Proverbs 10:20,21
By confessing prosperity Scriptures for other people and other families, you
can stand in proxy faith for others and receive blessings for them.
in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who
prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to
pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any
wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait
upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth..
WITHIN THE TEXT WE ARE GIVEN FIVE COMMANDS.
The first is rest. Rest does
not automatically fall on someone. A person doesn’t just wake up in
the morning with an attitude of rest suddenly falling on him or her.
Rest is a choice. Rest is a decision.
The second command given in these verses is to wait
patiently. Patience does not suddenly engulf an individual.
It too, is a decision. Once a person chooses to rest, patience is the
next choice because God’s promises may not manifest immediately, but they
will manifest! Overnight answers are the exception, not the rule in
the Christian life. If a farmer planted seed today and reaped a
harvest immediately the next day, he would probably tell you, “This is not
normal. It is out of the ordinary order of things.” Farmers who
plant seed know the harvest will eventually come in due season. It will take
time for the harvest to manifest, but it will manifest—first the blade,
then the ear, then the full corn in the ear!
The third command given in Psalm 37:7‐9 is fret
not. In other words, do not allow yourself to get upset.
Do not worry about any situation. Fretting is probably one of the
greatest areas Christians struggle with today. But we are commanded
not to fret.
Fourth, we are commanded to cease from
anger. Notice what this verse does not say. It does
not say to taper off of anger. We are commanded to “cease” from
anger. Cease means to stop. God does not ask us to do what we
cannot do. If He commands us to cease from anger, we can cease!
Finally, we are commanded to forsake
wrath. Wrath is an explosion of anger. People use
excuses about anger. They will say things like, “I explode so
easily. My dad exploded, my grandparents exploded, and it’s just a
part of who I am—it’s in my genes!” Verse 8 says “forsake
be ye all of one mind, having compassion (sympathy) one of another, love as
brethren, be pitiful (tender hearted), be courteous: Not rendering evil for
evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are
thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love
life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips
that they speak no guile. 1 Peter 3:8-10:
9 literally says we are not to repay evil for evil or return insults for
insults. Instead, we are to bless others knowing we have been called
to inherit blessings.
Peter is quoting from Psalm 34:12-13 which says, “Keep thy tongue from
evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.”
Our text is teaching us we can actually live life loving every day!
That is how God designed it for His children. But how does this
happen? We are to refrain our tongue from evil and our lips from
speaking guile. We refrain our tongue from speaking evil and our lips
from speaking guile by changing what is in our heart with the Word of God.
Contained within these verses of Scripture we are given eight
commands. First, we are commanded to be
of one mind. The only way it is possible for us to be of
one mind is for us to think the Word of God. The Word is the mind of
Christ. If we are to be of one mind, we are to think in line with the
Next, we are commanded to have compassion.
Compassion is not a feeling although it can manifest as a feeling.
Just as other areas in our Christian life, compassion is a choice. One
of the first things our flesh likes to do when we see others making mistakes
is to judge them. We think “How could they have been so stupid?”
We may look at a situation and be tempted to be angry, condescending, or
blame someone for the situation rather than having compassion. But if
we honestly think about it, we have probably done similar things and worse!
Yet God has had compassion on us, even in our stupidity!
The third command given is love.
We are commanded to love others and love is also a choice. Many
married couples having marriage problems will say, “Well, I just don’t
love her anymore” or “I no longer have feelings for him.” But
love is not a feeling—it is a decision and a choice.
The fourth command is to be tender
hearted. Being tender hearted is again, a choice.
Fifth, we are commanded to be courteous.
This means to submit ourselves to one another. Courtesy says, “You go
ahead of me. I’ll wait.” It is preferring others over yourself.
The sixth command is not repaying insults.
At one time or followers of Jesus, we are not to repay insults for insults.
Seventh, we are commanded to refrain our
tongue from evil. And the eighth command is to
speak no guile. Repeatedly we are given choices. But
what is the purpose of making the right choices? The purpose is that
we will live long and see good days!
brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; James 1:2
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”
Notice, joy does not ignore temptations. Instead,
joy faces temptations. Rather than meeting your problems with anger,
frustration, or rage, we are to meet them with joy. We have a choice
and that choice is to rejoice in the Lord! This verse tells us two
times that we are to rejoice. I believe it is mentioned twice because
it is so easy to forget to rejoice. The world does not know how to
rejoice but every child of God can choose to rejoice regardless of the
circumstances they may be facing.
First Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice ever more.” You
may say, “Well, I haven’t done too well in the past when it comes to
rejoicing.” But you can make a choice to rejoice ever more from this
Charles Duncomb had a small Bible school in
. He was British and traveled with Smith Wigglesworth for many years.
When Brother Duncomb traveled with Smith Wigglesworth, they would stay in
the homes of families from the churches in which Smith was ministering.
Smith would always request to have a room by himself. Often Smith
would be in a place for two or three weeks while he was holding meetings.
One family Brother Duncomb and Smith stayed with were quite wealthy and gave
Brother Duncomb and Smith each their own separate rooms. In this
particular home, Brother Duncomb’s room was directly under Smith’s room.
In Brother Duncomb’s room hung a beautiful crystal chandelier. The
first morning Brother Duncomb was awakened at six in the morning by what
seemed to be an earthquake. The crystal chandelier was shaking and
swinging back and forth. He ran into the hallway to discover nothing
else in the house was shaking except in his bedroom. He ran upstairs
and peeked into Smith’s room and discovered Smith dancing and leaping
around the room. Brother Duncomb entered Smith’s room and asked
“Do you do this every morning?” Smith replied, “Yes, I have communion
with the Lord and dance before Him.” Smith had made a decision to
rejoice in the Lord. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always:
and again I say, Rejoice.” Rejoicing is a choice!
in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4
Joy is a choice. Rather than waking in the morning and
complaining about everything that is ahead—dreading the paper work piled
on your desk or how many units need to be completed on the assembly line
before the end of the day—choose joy! Joy is a choice to act on earth as
heaven is acting at this moment with joy! Not only will joy bring
spiritual healing; it will bring physical healing. When you allow joy to
rise in your heart, that joy will overflow into your body and set you free!
17:22: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken
spirit drieth the in health. JOY
WILL HEAL YOUR BODY!
Merry Heart is Like a Medicine Proverbs 15:13: A merry heart
maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is
You cannot have joy in your heart without it appearing on your face.
When joy is in your heart, you do not even need to think about whether or
not it shows up on your face—it just does. When joy in your heart,
you do not need to force a smile. You do not need to pretend to by
happy. When joy is in your heart, you will be genuinely happy in life.
18:14: The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a
wounded spirit who can bear?
This verse is saying the spirit and attitude inside you will heal your
infirmities. By contrast, if you are wounded inside and carry
bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness, your body cannot sustain what you are
carrying inside. Anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness will actually
break down and bring deterioration to you body, usually in the form of
sickness and disease. One of the greatest ways to manifest divine
health in your body is walking in the joy of the Lord.
he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send
portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto
our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Joy
produces spiritual strength.
Another translations reads,
“Go your way and eat fat things and drink sweet drinks, and then send
portions of them unto those who don’t have anything prepared for this day
is holy unto the Lord. Neither be sorrowful for the joy of the Lord is
your strength. Nehemiah 8:10:
This verse is telling us to focus on the joy of the Lord and not on the
food. The main thing that produces health is not the foods we eat; it
is the joy of the Lord! Many people eat perfectly healthy and yet,
they are not walking in health because they are not walking in the joy of
Awhile back there was an article in Reader’s Digest talking about the
benefits of laughter. The article recounted a story about a man who
was dying of cancer. He was not a Christian and had been given up by
the doctors to die. One of the requests he made to his wife was to
rent some Three Stooges movies for him to watch. His wife rented
stacks of Three Stooges movies. People in the hospital could hear him
laughing and laughing as he watched these movies. The article told of
how this man laughed himself to health. The cancer in his body
completely disappeared! He was not even a Christian and yet, the power
of joy brought healing!
I am advocating allowing the joy of the Lord to manifest in your life.
There are certain spiritual principles that work even when applied by the
world. Giving brings fruit and joy often brings long life, even when
an unbeliever is applying spiritual principles ignorantly! Often
Christians put so much emphasis on external things but Jesus taught it is
not what goes in the mouth that defiles a man or woman but what comes out of
the mouth—what we speak. Allow the joy of the Lord to manifest in
your life. It is healing and medicine to your flesh.
the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called
Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus:
for, behold, he prayeth, Acts 9:11
who does not pray is a contradiction in terms. The word of God is food
for us but prayer is the breath of God. A believer can no more survive
in this world without food of Spirit and breath of Spirit than my physical
body can live without the essentials of all life.
Paul had prayed many times in the ritual of the Pharisee but now he for the
first time upon his conversion breathed the true breath of pray and was
alive unto his life in Christ. Even as the newborn draws his first
breath upon entering this new world so Paul found the secret to fulfillment
We separate hypocrisy and reality in prayer when God sends us our answer on
the breath (the Holy Spirit of God.) For God knows when we draw the
breath of the Holy Spirit or when we stand in tradition and formality.
Acts 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after
him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being;
on the morrow all the congregation of the children of
murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people
of the Lord. Numbers 16:42-43
Imagine the people murmuring, “Moses, you killed them!
Aaron, you killed them! You’re the reason they are dead! We know how
you operate! If someone comes against you, you just have God kill
them!” In coming against Moses and Aaron, the people were actually
coming against God Himself.
Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the Lord and interceded on behalf
of those remaining who had witnessed Korah’s rebellion. God extended
mercy upon the people and gave them one day to have a change of heart.
But instead of getting their hearts right with the Lord, they became angry
at Moses and Aaron. They blamed them for the deaths of those who had
rebelled the day before.
Numbers 16:41: And it came to pass, when
the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they
looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud
covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. And Moses and Aaron come
before the tabernacle of the congregation.
The glory of God appeared representing grace before judgment. God gave
them one last opportunity to realize in their rebellion they weren’t
coming against Moses and Aaron; they were coming against the presence of the
Lord. To come against God’s leadership is to come against God.
This doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with leadership, but to actually
revolt against their position of leadership is to revolt against God.
For anyone to read about Abraham, Joseph, Paul or any others God placed in
positions of leadership mentioned in the Bible and say, “God didn’t
choose you! You chose yourself and put yourself in the position you
hold,” would be ludicrous and yet, that is what these people were saying
to Moses and Aaron.
Numbers 16:44-45 And the Lord spake unto
Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume
them as in a moment. And they fell (Moses and Aaron) upon their faces.
Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the
altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an
atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is
When Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the Lord, it was because
they wanted to know the ways of God. Moses sought after God’s ways
but the people sought after His acts. A true worshiper wants to know
the ways of God. A true worshiper wants to know God’s heartbeat.
A true worshiper wants to know the thoughts, intents, and motives of God
more than they want to see the acts of God—the miracles. The people
were always looking for miracles. Moses witnessed the same miracles
the people had witnessed, but far past the miracles, he saw the heart of
God. Moses was a worshiper. Aaron was a worshiper. They
knew the heart of God.
The day before the children of
had seen false worship. On this day, they were going to see true
worship. The word atonement is the same word used in reference to
Jesus going to the cross. The plague has begun. Even thought
Moses hadn’t seen it, he knew it because He knew God’s heart and His
Numbers 16:47: And Aaron took as Moses
commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and behold, the
plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an
atonement for the people.
Once again, the word atonement is used.
Numbers 16:48: And he stood between the
dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.
Because of the atonement made in behalf of the people, the plague
Numbers 16:49-50: Now they that died in
the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died
about the matter of Korah. And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door
of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.
14:4: Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the
strength of the ox.
People often ask, “Why do churches have problems?
Can’t we just all worship the Lord without there being problems?
Isn’t there some way to get problems out of the church altogether?”
Actually, there is a way to get rid of the problems in the church—get rid
of the people! Just as this verse is saying, if there are no oxen, the
crib is clean. However, the more oxen you have, the greater the mess!
As long as there are people, there will be problems. But God has given
us ways to work through our problems! One way is through worship.
It would have been easy for Aaron to say to Moses, “Well Moses, I really
don’t want to leave God’s presence and make an atonement for the people.
I would rather stay here in God’s presence and avoid that whole mess out
Worship Needs to be Taken Before the
It was never intended for
worship to be confined to four walls. Worship must be before God.
That is where we get our strength. It is true that we should worship
God in church, in our homes, and in our cars but worship needs to be taken
outside where the people are. I am not talking about doing the act of
worship before the world—lifting our hands, praying in tongues, and
singing. God is looking for worshipers. A true worshiper is a
worshiper at all times, regardless if they are actually participating in the
act of worship. Often we mistake the word worship to mean, “to be
In this story, Aaron took worship to where the people were. We don’t
need to go out before the world and try to be like them. You need to
go out and be like God. When Aaron went out, worship became an
atonement for the people. The lifestyle of a worshiper can stop the
attacks of Satan and the influence of the world.
the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the
Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
The daily lifestyle of a worshiper becomes an atonement for the people that
will stop the plague. You may come home from work frustrated and
upset. You may get into strife with your spouse because you have
brought the “plague” of the world home with you. But worship can
stop it. Centering your thoughts and attitudes on the Lord becomes a
type of atonement.
Aaron didn’t live in the holy place. The holy place is where he went
to worship the Lord. He lived with the rest of the children of
. He had a tent to return to after leaving the holy place. He
had a family to return to after leaving the holy place. We don’t
live in church. We come to Sunday and mid-week services but then we
leave to go home or to our jobs. We live in the world.
Our lifestyle as a worshiper should speak to the world. We shouldn’t
be cussing like the world or gossiping like the world, or only working when
the boss is looking like the world often does. Our life should
demonstrate the fact that we are worshipers.
are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith
shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast
out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Matthew 5:13
God calls us the salt of the earth. The salt of the earth
is a worshiper. God is looking for those who will worship Him in
spirit and in truth. Truth is the Word of God. Jesus said, “Ye
are the salt of the earth.”
The salt of the earth must keep its savor. To keep our savor we must
be filled with the Word of God. Salt basically does three things.
First, it is a preserver. In the ancient world where there was no
refrigeration, they rubbed meat down with salt. It served to preserve
the meat. Believers are the preserver of the land in which they live.
is blessed because of the salt—Word filled believers who remain strong in
the Word and strong in prayer.
1 Timothy 2:1-2: I exhort
therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and
giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in
authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and
Quietness and peace are a result of the salt of the earth. A worshiper
is not a fanatic who speaks out loud in tongues with his hands lifted all
day long. A true worshiper goes to work and influences everything
around him. A worshiper knows God and fellowships and communes with
Not only does salt preserve, it also gives flavor. Your employer
should be blessed in his business just because or your presence.
Potiphar’s household was blessed because of Joseph’s presence.
Potiphar had increase because of Joseph’s presence.
As worshipers, our presence becomes an atonement—something that stops the
plague. Aaron didn’t walk out in the midst of the people and say,
“Hey guys, let me give you some advice here.” Aaron walked out and
just stood in the midst of the people. He stood between the living and
the dead and while he stood, the plague stopped. Believers need to
walk in this world knowing who they are in Christ!
Not only does salt preserve and flavor, it is also a hindrance. In the
ancient world, when one nation would conquer another nation, they would
destroy everything in sight. They would destroy all of the buildings
and then plow them under. To ensure nothing would grow on the land,
they would completely cover the ground with salt. As believers, not
only do we preserve and flavor situations around us, we also hinder
Jesus said, “I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail
against it.” We become an atonement against the plague.
Worship is a lifestyle. Again, we are to take that lifestyle into the
world and be the salt of the earth.
ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar
people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out
of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
We are to show forth the praises of God. Praise and
worship of the heart is not to be kept hidden in where no one can see it.
The praise and the worship we have in our heart toward God is to be
expressed outwardly. That expression may be the lifting of hands or it
may be dancing before the Lord. Keeping praise and worship in our
heart with no outward expression is not found in the Bible. Even
nature praises the Lord. The Bible says the trees will clap their
hands and the rocks will praise Him. Praise is to be demonstrated.
Worship is to be demonstrated.
As a family, let us remember how the Lord has favored us in his grace, and
also let each saved one among us remember his calling. We believers
are chosen, royal, priestly, peculiar, and beloved of heaven. What
manner of persons ought we to be? We ought to live far better
than others, for the Lord has dealt so much better with us. May rich
grace rest upon us, and cause us to show forth the praises of our God.
wealth of his people." --Esther 10:3
Mordecai was a true patriot, and therefore, being exalted to the highest
position under Ahasuerus, he used his prominence to promote the prosperity
In this he was a type of Jesus, who, upon His throne of glory, seeks not His
own, but spends His power for His people. It would be well if every
Christian would be a Mordecai to the church, striving according to his
ability for its prosperity. Some are placed in stations of affluence
and influence, let them honor their Lord in the high places of the earth,
and testify for Jesus before great men.
Others have what is far better, namely, close fellowship with the King of
kings, let them be sure to intercede daily for the weak of the Lord's
people, the doubting, the tempted, and the comfortless. It will bring
the consequence of honor if they make intercession for those who are in
darkness and dare not draw nigh unto the mercy seat.
Instructed believers may serve Jesus if they lay out their talents for the
general good, and impart their wealth of heavenly learning to others, by
teaching them the things of God. The very least in our
may at least seek the welfare of his people; and his desire, if he can give
no more, shall be acceptable.
It is at once the most Christ-like and the most happy course for a believer
to cease from living to himself. He who blesses others cannot fail to
be blessed himself. On the other hand, to seek our own personal
greatness is a wicked and unhappy plan of life, its way will be seriously
hindered and its end will be fatal.
Here is the place to ask you whether you are to the best of your power
seeking the wealth of your local church? I trust you art not doing it
mischief by bitterness and scandal, nor weakening it by your neglect. Friend,
unite with the Lord's poor, bear their cross, do them all the good you can,
and you shall not miss your reward.
shall see His seed; He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord
shall prosper in His hand. Isaiah 53:10
Stand in faith receiving the speedy fulfillment of this promise, all you who
love the Lord. It is easy work to pray when we are rooted and
grounded, as to our desires and needs, upon God's own promise. How can
He that gave the word refuse to keep it? Immutable veracity cannot
demean itself by a lie, and eternal faithfulness cannot degrade itself by
neglect. God must bless His Son; His covenant binds Him to it. That
which the Spirit prompts us to ask for Jesus, is that which God decrees to
There is a growing process that brings abundant blessing. It could not
be described as a get rich quick scheme because it requires change of heart
and action. The devil came to steal kill and destroy. Jesus came
to reverse that process. There must always be a pressure in our lives
driving us to serve the Lord and lead us to godliness. This very
presence of God also presses against the curse. The power that upholds
us is the same power that drives away the works of the devil. We are
then left as God purposed to prosper and see the pleasure of the Lord.
I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help
us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king,
saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him; but His
power and His wrath is against all them that forsake Him." --Ezra 8:22
A convoy would have been desirable for this journey, but a holy shame would
not allow Ezra to seek one. He feared lest the heathen king should
think his professions of faith in God to be mere hypocrisy, or imagine that
the God of Israel was not able to preserve His own worshippers. He
could not bring his mind to lean on an arm of flesh in a matter so evidently
of the Lord, and therefore the caravan set out with no visible protection,
guarded by Him who is the sword and shield of His people.
It is unfortunate that few believers feel this holy jealousy for God; even
those who in a measure walk by faith, occasionally spoil the special Jesus
shine of their life by craving aid from man. It is a most blessed
thing to have no props and no walls of protection, but to stand upright on
the Rock of Ages, upheld by the Lord alone.
Would any believers seek state endowments for their Church, if they
remembered that the Lord is dishonored by their asking Caesar's aid? Is
it as if the Lord could not supply the needs of His own cause! Should
we run so hastily to friends and relations for assistance, if we remembered
that the Lord is magnified by our implicit reliance upon His solitary arm?
My soul, wait only upon God. One may say, "But are these things
not means to be used?" Assuredly they are; but our fault seldom
lies in their neglect: far more frequently it springs out of foolishly
believing in them instead of believing in God. Few run too far in
neglecting the man’s arm; but many sin greatly in making too much of it.
Learn to glorify the Lord by leaving such means untried, if in using
them you may dishonor the name of the Lord. God can afford to take
care of His own.
the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land,
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of
the LORD: Amos 8:11
Famine of the words of God; a time in which there is no prophet, no
spiritual counselor, no faithful reprover, none any longer who would point
out the way of salvation, or would assure them of the mercy of God on their
repentance and return to him. Their beauty stained and their honor
fallen in the dust. No instruction, no comfort. Endlessly
wandering searching for God’s word yet never sure if it is found.
We live in a great time where God’s word covers the earth. In
fatness we receive the word picking and choosing on the choicest of meat and
we throw to the dogs the bits that seem unseemly for our consumption.
Revival depends on hearts hungry yet even more starving for one morsel.
Christ only can give gifts to men. Let us value our advantages, seek
to profit by them, and fear forgetting them away.
Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the
feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very
drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning
light. But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out
of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within
him, and he became as a stone. 1Sam 25:36, 37
My goodness what extremes one can span in just twenty-four hours.
Ecstasy and excess to dumbfounded and confused fear. Then only ten
days later death. Nabal owed his wealth to King Saul and would have
nothing to do with David for fear of risking even a penny of it.
David the head of a band of 600 seemed freeloaders to the powers that be.
David and his army needed to be employed and it was common for these bands
of warriors to watch the flocks of the rich sheep-masters whom Nabal was
one. They drove away enemies and marauders. It was common to
receive remuneration for those services. Nabal refusal struck David in
Nabal was high on himself, yet it is not wise to cheat the anointed of God
who have risked their lives in your service. The scripture describes
the loss of thought and feeling. His heart became as stone.
Nabal was given grace through the excellent intercession of his wife Abigail
who recognized the powerful and anointed man of God. David withdrew
his army. Keeping all carnal possession yet Nabal’s house was an
empty heap of ruin.
Life has no meaning without that touch of grace which only God can deliver;
creating hope, love and joy in our hearts. What a difference
repentance makes when we receive Gods free gift of forgiveness and offer
ourselves to His service. Joy eternal springs from our hearts as we
grow and are blessed to the uttermost.
said some of them of
, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, he speaketh boldly,
and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the
very Christ? John 7:25,26
There were various opinions and conjectures. All those who had come up
to the feast were interested in him. Jesus always creates a stir, thus
men cannot remain indifferent, but must take one side or the other in
reference to him. The confident manner in which our Lord faced the
crowd led many to ask whether, after all, the rulers were not afraid of him.
Maybe because they said nothing he was the Christ.
We ought not to allow ourselves to be swayed by prejudice and influenced by
superficial appearances. Good men and good things are often despised.
Truth and holiness have been always relentlessly tested of mankind.
All is not gold that glitters, and there is much true gold which never
glitters at all. May we be taught by the Holy Spirit not to be moved
by the outward which claims right by self justification. Yet let us
side with our Savior and may he always be found.
Healing seldom shines brightly yet is fundamental to our victory of faith.
There are still many who are offended by the stance of our Savior against
all critics who still object to this simple hope. Could it be they are
moved so adamantly to healing by faith because it is Christ?
Faith requires a difference. Where will you stand this day. Will
you receive or will you bow your head in sadness and walk away from the Lord
because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own
proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God,
over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, 1Chronicles 29:3
In addition to the immense amount of gold and silver treasure which David
had already bequeathed for various uses in the service of the temple, he now
made an additional contribution destined to a specific purpose--that of
overlaying the walls of the house. This voluntary gift was from the
private fortune of the royal donor, and had been selected with the greatest
care. The gold was "the gold of Ophir," then esteemed the
purest and finest in the world.
He had thought upon the matter, and provided many things, and provided many
things, and these were all of the best. It would be a praise to God if
we all served God in this fashion, with thought and with sacrifice.
we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to
them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Laughter should be considered more of an attitude rather than an audible,
physical expression. Webster's dictionary defines attitude as “a bodily
posture showing a mental state, emotion, or mood.'” From the spiritual
viewpoint, the attitude engages first, and the physical reaction follows.
Attitudes are formed by conviction. Conviction is not formed by attitude.
Christians who have developed strong convictions as to who they are, where
they are headed, and their knowledge of who God is, have healthier attitudes
toward life than those without such deep-seated convictions.
Laughter is joy flowing and a countenance glowing. An attitude of trust,
faith, hope, and love will find expression in delight. Many adults have
healthy attitudes and a flow of joy in their lives, carried over from a
positive attitude established as a child.
Even as a child reared in an atmosphere of broken pledges often becomes
insecure and usually feels threatened by the future, so are Christians
without a strong conviction of faith in God’s promises.
thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of
heart, for the abundance of all things;
Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies.... Deuteronomy 28:47,48a:
Many times the Scriptures teach us that those who seek the Lord are to
rejoice. Probably no place in Scripture is as emphatic of God's attitude
toward joy as is expressed in our text.
I have never seen anyone become lukewarm or go back on their spiritual
commitment if they kept the joy of their salvation. This is why God gave
such a solemn warning to
. The days when the offerings were taken to the
were of great joy, singing, and dancing in the streets as they brought their
first fruits to offer to the Lord. As time passed and the ritual became
routine, the original joy was no longer there and the act became ceremonial.
There is a parallel in the new Christian going to church, tithing, and
witnessing with great joy. Then gradually, perhaps because of church gossip
or contention, the joy begins to ebb away. How wonderful it would be if we
were able to immunize all baby Christians against this. Anything that takes
our joy is not of God. When we lose our joy, we are in danger of serving the
enemy and spiritual want.
There are four common denominators to personal and church revival: a spirit
of fellowship, a spirit of worship, a spirit of joy, and a spirit of faith.
Congregations respond with joyful laughter, and how their faces beam as they
listen to the Word, and how quick they are to hug one another with pure joy.
This joy flowing is a quick, ready laugh and the joyful presence of our
Lord. He is in their midst. People, who all their lives felt rejected, now
feel accepted by their new brothers and sisters. Drug addiction and other
vices have been replaced by the satisfying portion of grace. Marriages that
were shipwrecked are now being healed and sailing on a sea of happiness. The
body of Christ is coming together in joyful worship. Miracles happen and
God's love flows in the joy of the Lord.
We will always face many tests, but the Lord is our strength. We can be
joyful or miserable. It is our attitude that shows. If you are having
difficulty showing a good, positive, happy attitude, then learn how to
express good, solid, Scripture-based convictions. Let them flow. Speak them
"I can do all things through Christ." (Phil. 4:13.)
"Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world." (1
Then expect that attitude to change. Turn the corners of your mouth up
instead of down and laugh.
a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of
wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man
therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel of honor,
sanctified, and useful for the master’s use, and prepared for every good
work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, love,
peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart ” 2 Timothy
gave Timothy instruction about ministering to his congregation. The “great
house” is the local church. It is not great because it has a large
congregation, meets in a nice location or because the people own the
building. It is a great house because royalty attends every time the doors
are opened. Royalty includes the people attending as well as the King of
kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus walks through our churches to examine them (Revelation 2:1). Some
vessels are found of wood and earth and others were of silver and gold. Some
vessels bring God honor (those of silver and gold), while others bring Him
dishonor (those of earth and wood). When we carry sin in our life and
don’t deal with it, we dishonor God. We also dishonor God when we don’t
pursue a righteous life. God wants us to turn from sin to pursue a godly
lifestyle. He wants us to be sold out to Jesus! We cannot pray for God to
make us a sanctified vessel. This is something we must do ourselves.
God has given us all the material and tools needed. He has given us His Word
and all the power of the Holy Spirit. He is waiting on us to open our lives
to Him. We are to follow righteousness in our everyday life, words, and
actions. We are also to follow after faith in God’s Word and should be
living that faith out before the world. Next, we are to follow divine love
in our walk. Finally, we are to follow peace. Strife has no place in our
lives nor should we ever allow it a place.
Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? The Lord shall trouble thee this
day. And all
stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned
them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this
day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name
of that place was called, The
, unto this day. Joshua 7:25-26:
Most of the promises of God pertaining to our daily walk are conditional.
Don’t’ walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Don’t fellowship in
darkness or stand around with sinners. Don’t sit in the seat of the
scornful. If you follow these conditions then whatever you do will prosper.
Often, we like to pull out the part about prosperity and all of God’s
loving promises for us and ignore the preceding verses that are conditional.
Mark 11:23 and 24 work, but Mark 11:25 follows, “And when you stand
Partaking of the communion elements can bring healing but there is a
condition—a man is to examine himself first. If an individual doesn’t
examine his heart, the result is stated in 1Corinthians 11:30, “For this
cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” Disobedience to
the Word is sin; sin and the promises don’t mix. Whatever is not faith is
The first battle at Ai Joshua chapter 7, represents the flesh; it was a
failure. The second was a success. Carnality cuts off God’s power in the
believer’s life. Whenever Achan committed a sin, the children of
were powerless. They went into battle and were chased out by a heathen army.
They were defeated because of the sin in the camp. But the moment they were
rid of the sin, God’s power returned. It works the same way in our
personal lives. When we walk free of sin in obedience to the word and being
led by the Holy Spirit, we walk in God’s power and anointing.
1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up
his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. Genesis 24:63
Isaac went out to take the advantage of a silent evening, and a
solitary field, for mediation and prayer. Our walks in the field are
then truly pleasant, when in them we connect ourselves to our deepest
fellowship with God in meditation and prayer. We have a free and open
vision of the heavens above us, and the earth around us, and the hosts and
riches of both.
We can then be led to the contemplation of the Creator and Owner of all.
Merciful divine intervention are then doubly comforting, when they find us
in the way of our obligation. Isaac certainly had to be thinking on
his new future and was now praying for good success in this affair, and
meditating upon that which was proper to encourage his hope in God
concerning it. Now when he sets himself, as it were, upon his
watch-tower, to see what God would answer him, he sees the camels coming.
His vision of God’s plan now is made ready for his exercise of faith.
be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of
your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect,
will of God. Romans 12:2
When the battle seems endless and you think you'll never make it, remember
that you’re reprogramming a "worldly" mind to think as God
thinks. In the same way that computers are programmed, our minds are
programmed. From the time we’re born, our minds are like computers that
have had a lifetime of garbage programmed into them. But God, who’s the
best "computer programmer" around, is working on us every day to
reprogram our minds as we cooperate with Him.
Learning to change our thinking works the same way. There will be
days when we don't do everything right—days when our thinking is negative.
But never stop trying. God is gradually bringing us around to His way of
thinking. Just don't give up!
we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a
sound mind! II Timothy 1:7
Do battle with the devil’s lies and confusion. Declare out loud that
you will not allow any outside force to do your thinking. Your power
is in the Name of Jesus, the Blood of Jesus, and the Word of God. Ask
God to give you discernment of the lies of the devil. Think about what you
are thinking about. As you recognize a lie to your mind, always defend
yourself out loud. When you catch a lie to your mind, use this
prescription regularly–and you will regain peace, your memory, restful
nights, and the ability to concentrate and comprehend.
You are in a battle–you are not alone–for all of God’s people fight
this same fight. Make up your mind not to give up! As you begin
this battle, it will seem worse than ever. The reason is that the
demonic powers are fighting to keep their place in your mind (and in your
thinking). Call upon God’s grace in the Name of Jesus, and He will
give you the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome every evil tendency fully.
Remember, regaining your mind is a process. God knows our weakness;
that is why He gave us I John 1:9. Just ask for forgiveness and
see the Blood of Jesus washing away your sin. Don’t give up!
Continue claiming what belongs to you (your mind and your thinking belong to
you), and Jesus will help you overcome.
love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Every minute of every day brings new opportunities to learn something
we’ve never known before. One of the most important facets I’ve
learned about love is unselfishness, which is characterized in the Bible as a
willingness to sacrifice one’s own wishes for those of others.
I’ve learned that true love will always adapt and adjust to the needs and
desires of other people.
Selfish people have hard hearts. They expect everyone else to adjust
to them and their needs. They simply don’t know how to adjust to
others without becoming angry or upset. God gives compassion—the
heartfelt desire to meet the needs of others first before our own. Walk in
love and learn to adapt your own needs and desires in order to help meet the
needs of others. Learn how to show love in different ways to different
people. Not all people need the same thing from us.
Do I ever feel too needed? Of course! We all feel overwhelmed
from time to time. But I remind self that God gives grace for whatever
He places in our life, and I’m fortunate to be loved and needed by so
many. Just telling people “I love you” is not enough. We
need to go beyond the words and actually do something to help meet their
Once you’ve found God’s love, you’ll have no trouble establishing and
maintaining good, healthy relationships with others. Your primary goal in
life will be to put the wishes of others before your own. You’ll
learn that true love is all about sacrifice, and selfishness will be a thing
of the past.
the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that
reproached thee are fallen upon me. Psalm 69:9
Love is the energy of life. It is what motivates people each day to
keep going. Everywhere you look, you see people searching for love.
God is love, and
they will never find what they're looking for until they find Him. The
only true fulfillment which we so desperately seek is to choose to walk in
love—to actually put love into action by reaching out and loving others.
I wanted to walk in love, but I just couldn't. I had the urge...but no power
to follow through. I always made elaborate plans, but couldn't carry them
out. Unfulfilled desire is often frustrating. One cannot love
others until one receives God's love. God loves us because He wants
to—it pleases Him. God loves us because it's His nature to love, and
He always will love us. God's love is unconditional. God's love
is the power that forgives our sins, heals our emotional wounds, and mends
our broken hearts.
Everyone in the world wants to be loved and accepted, and the love of
God—that wonderful gift He freely gives us—satisfies that need.
His love flows to us, and then it should flow through
us to other people. See yourself as a container full of
blessings. You will find that you are always happier when choosing to make
God expects us to "season" the lives of those around us. All
of life is tasteless without love. Love is the salt, the energy of
life, and the reason to get up every morning. We know that because we
are deeply loved by God, we can never run out of love, no matter how much we
faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not
found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had
this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to
please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him". (Hebrews 11:1, 5-6)
In churches today there are many who don't believe in the catching away of
the Church before the Tribulation, as Paul taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8. It has become popular in some circles to scoff
and make fun of the Rapture. Yet it is the way of escape that God has
prepared for the righteous, much the same as He did in Noah's day.
A number of people who profess to be Christians and believe they are going
through seven years of Tribulation. Some of them will almost fight you for
the right to "tribulate".
I believe some of it stems from the fact they have forced the wrong pieces
of the prophetic puzzle into the wrong place in the Scriptures. They
confuse the Second Advent with the Rapture of the Church. Matthew 24:29-31,
which clearly describes the Second Advent, not the Rapture.
Some are confused concerning the elect mentioned in Matthew 24:22. This
scripture refers to the elect of
and not the Church. But some have forced parts of the prophetic word into
places where it does not fit, and this has caused much confusion concerning
the sequence and timing of end-time events.
Hebrews give us what I call the faith-and Rapture connection: (Hebrews
10:34-37) "For ye had compassion on me in my bonds, and took joyfully
the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a
better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence,
which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that,
after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a
little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry".
And out text.
ye had compassion on me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your
goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring
substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great
recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done
the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and
he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. (Hebrews 10:34-37)
faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not
found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had
this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to
please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:1, 5-6)
There is a faith connection that links us to that blessed event called the
Rapture. Will those who don't believe in the promised Rapture be partakers
of that which God has provided?
We know Enoch was translated by faith, and the Scripture states without
faith it is impossible to please God. The Rapture is God's plan for the
righteous to escape the seven years of Tribulation destined to come upon the
wicked of the earth. Then, knowing the very principles of faith causes more
concern about this matter. Jesus said to the centurion... "As thou hast
believed, so be it done unto thee (Matthew 8:13)... Whosoever shall say...
not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith
shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith"(Mark 11:23)
Those who say they are going through the Tribulation may be, because of what
they say and believe. To say the least, that seems to be a possibility.
However, the answer to this whole matter may be in the fact that the
revelation concerning the Rapture will become so clear and irrefutable to
everyone whose heart is right before God before it takes place.
Daniel said: "...none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise
shall understand". We are coming to the close of 6000 years of
human history and the Church Age will soon come to an end. The Apostle Paul
taught that the Body of Christ will be raptured before the seven years of
Tribulation begin and the seventh millennium will usher in 1000 years of
peace on earth (Daniel 12:1-10).
God has released to this generation the revelation of the end time as never
before in any generation. It seems that God has held this revelation in a
time-lock code until the generation appeared on the scene that would
experience these events. There is no question that this generation will
experience the fulfillment of the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our
Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
Some call it "millennium fever". They state that every new
millennium has brought the flakes out of the woodwork calling doomsday
destruction for planet earth. Why is this new millennium any different?
It is different because the Scriptures reveal it to be the seventh and last
millennium before eternity. Beyond any doubt, the prophetic Word reveals
6000 years of human history will finish God's dealing with man under the
Earth-lease established in Genesis 1:26-28 (see Mark 12:1-9). Then there
will be one more 1000 year period in which the righteous of the earth will
rule and reign with Christ here on earth before eternity. (Revelation 5: 10
Every prophetic time line from Genesis to Revelation points to 6,000 years
of human history before the seven years of Tribulation, and then one more
1000 years of peace before eternity. That's what makes this millennium
different from any other millennium in all of human history. The seven years
of Tribulation seems to be a transitional period that fits between the sixth
and the seventh millennium as far as God's calendar is concerned. This
transitional period will include the Endtime
Harvest, the Rapture of the Church, and
the seven years of Tribulation.
As the Tribulation ends we find in Revelation 19, Jesus descends from Heaven
with the saints that have been with Him there for seven years being taught
how to rule and reign with Him. They descend on the Mount of Olives, destroy
the armies of the anti-Christ, then satan is bound and cast into the
bottomless pit and there will be a thousand years of peace and righteous
rule on planet earth.
The Earth-lease is about to expire and planet earth is about to face the
most traumatic change in 6,000 years of human history. To use the words of
the Apostle Paul: "You (The Body of
Christ) are children of light, and not of darkness... And God has not
appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation and deliverance by our Lord
Jesus Christ". The Body of Christ above all others should
have a good understanding of this matter so we can proclaim the truth
concerning this glorious event called the Rapture that is about to take
place on planet earth.
thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good
minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good
doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained". (I Tim. 4:6)
In John 9:1-2 there are some who say:
"This man was born blind so God would get glory out of this
healing." There are four ways that Jesus could have answered the
question asked of him: (1) It was the man's sin; (2) It was the parent's
sin; (3) Both; or (4) Neither. With any one of those statements, He would
have provided an answer to their question. In verse 3, He answers their
question by saying, "Neither".
Jesus provided a sufficient answer to their question. God’s Word reveals
that His will is that it be on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). Ask
yourself, "Is it God's will that this man be able to see when he is in
heaven"? The answer is obvious. Of course not!
In John 9:4 Jesus reveals the intent when He said: "I must work the
works of Him that sent me...". Verse 6: "When He had thus spoken,
He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the
eyes of the blind man with the clay". Now get this picture. Jesus, who
at that point was not popular among the religious leaders anyway, spits on
the ground, makes mud and puts it in the blind mans eyes. Verse 7:
"And he said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by
interpretation, Sent). He went his way therefore, and washed, and came
This reveals that the blindness was not from God. Yet there are some who
believe that God makes some people blind, gives some cancer and makes some
crippled. If our Heavenly Father did these things, even the wicked would
call it child abuse. We know from the scriptures God is the giver of all
good and perfect gifts. James said: "Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from
the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of
turning". (James 1:16-17)
thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come
that they might have life, and that they might have life, and that they
might have it more abundantly" John 10:10
Don't blame God for the problems and tragedies that happen here on earth
because they are curses released in the earth through the fall of man. But
Jesus came and redeemed us from the curse and made provision for us to have
abundant life. God wants you well; for that is the will of God for you on
the earth. People can be crippled in their prayer life if they don't know
and understand the will of God. It is imperative that we know God's will
before we pray. It is impossible to pray the prayer of faith if you don't
know God's will, because faith comes from knowing His will and being fully
persuaded of it.
John 10:10 is the dividing line of contrast revealed by Jesus. This gives us
insight into who is behind so many of the problems we face in life and also
give us the revelation that Jesus wants you to have abundant life until it
overflows. "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and
destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance
(to the full, till it overflows)". (John 10:10 Amplified)
Search the scriptures until you know the intentions of your Heavenly Father.
Find the will of God concerning the circumstances you face. When you know
God's will and are fully persuaded of that truth, you can pray in faith!
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall
receive" (Matthew 21:22). This verse reveals that you are only limited
by what you can believe based on the authority of His Word. So don't be
discouraged by what others believe or don't believe. Never base your faith
on past experiences but rather on the Word. Allow God's Word to live big
within you. You can do and be what His Word says. God's Word is healing to
all your flesh.
the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship
with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ephesians
No one asks for disappointment
and we certainly don’t want to be lied to. Disappointment is an
avenue for the devil to produce lies and this is true of us all; we are all
taken unawares. We are ambushed by disappointment’s lies
The pattern works itself
stealthily into our consciousness.
accept the lie.
hide what we now think is wrong in us.
limit our desires.
turn to false comforters.
No we have not so learned
Christ! We must fight back! We must speak to the lies and prove
to ourselves these lies are not true of you. We must learn God’s word so
we can prove His perfect will in our lives.
¶ THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has
anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek,
the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the
brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the <physical and spiritual>
captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord <the year of His favor>
and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
To grant <consolation and joy> to those who mourn in Zion—to give
them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil
of joy instead of mourning, the garment <expressive> of praise instead
of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of
righteousness <lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for
uprightness, justice, and right standing with God>, the planting of the
Lord, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3
We've all been wounded deeply by he lies that come to us in our
disappointment. Ultimate healing won't occur until we get to heaven (Rev.
21:4). Then "there will be no more death or mourning or crying or
pain." But for now, healing occurs when we realize how we've been
deceived in our disappointment and allow God to show us what is true.
Finding the truth heals by freeing us from the prison of deception and
releasing us to be the people God intended us to be. God wants to heal and
set us free from the power of the evil one's lies, both past and present. He
doesn't save us from our sins, give us a new nature in Christ, and then just
leave us at the mercy of Satan's deception.
"The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's
work" (1 John. 3:8).
Remember, one of the devil's primary works is to mislead us with deception.
That is how he causes the greatest harm. The good news is that Jesus came to
put a stop to it—in a deeply personal way. He wants to meet with us in our
hurting and deceived hearts and speak truth that brings healing and freedom.
He says to all of us who have accepted Him as our Savior, "Here I am! I
stand at the door and knock" (Rev. 3:20). We first invited Him in when
we trusted Him to save us from the penalty of our sins. Now the Lord wants
further access into those places inside of us that are disappointed and
misled. But He won't come in unless we invite Him as we did the first time
He met us in our hearts.
Inviting our Loving Father into the disappointed and deceived regions of our
hearts is a deeply personal and unique process. Sometimes it occurs alone in
our private moments of prayer and reflection. At other times it happens in
the presence of a caring friend or spiritual advisor. Some of us experience
healing suddenly, while most of us come to know it gradually.
always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching
thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians
The way of healing and freedom does not spare us from further
disappointment. Nor does it protect us from being lied to again. We are
still in a war—a spiritual war—the war between good and evil. We don't
choose this war. The war chooses us. Like it or not, we are born into it.
We, the ones who bear the glory and image of God, are what the forces are
fighting over. And we can't afford to ignore that we are in it. We
must remember who our deadliest enemy is and stay alert.
We need to avoid falling into another one of Satan's traps by obsessing
about him. But we don't want to ignore him either, because all of the lies
we've been taught in our disappointment ultimately come from the devil not
God. We must recognize him for the fierce enemy he is, for without him we
wouldn't be in a war. Remember, Jesus said that satan is the one who is
determined "to steal and kill and destroy" (John. 10:10).
Our greatest enemy is not disappointment. The apostle Paul made it clear
that our real fight is with satan and his forces of evil and darkness: Our
struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the
authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual
forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians. 6:12).
Stay Alert. Paul said, With this in mind, be alert. Be prepared. Watch for
it. We will still continue to experience disappointment and we should expect
more attacks. The world will continue to seduce us away from God with
half-truths. The ringleader, satan, will keep trying to deceive us with more
lies about ourselves, life, and God.
Some lies will sound so familiar. Remember that many of our negative,
bitter, or self-defeating thoughts are not
just coming from within us. And with the power Jesus gave to us
we can "resist the devil" and he will "flee from us"
Knowing that we have been lied to before, and will be lied to again, doesn't
take away the pain of disappointment. But it reminds us to combat the lies
in the power of our risen Lord (1 John. 4:4) so the devil doesn't gain a
foothold in our lives (Ephesians. 4:28).
a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor,
sanctified, and meet for the master's use... (2 Timothy 2:21).
Can a person ever recover and come back to a place of usefulness with God,
having experienced some failure or loss of position, whether in ministry or
life? The answers often given seem to take two extremes. On one side there
are those who pass sentence and decree an absolute no to any prospect of
restoration. On the other side there are those who desire to sweep the issue
under the rug and give a quick restoration to the fallen after a simple
Both extremes are wrong. We see in the New Testament, believers and Church
leaders were restored, but only after a considerable period of time and
Paul believed in restoration for believers, including ministers. The key
word in this scripture is "meet." It is the Greek word euchrestos,
and it means "useful." This means, if they would eventually become
"useful," they must have been "unuseful" at the time.
Usefulness is also a proven condition with clear benchmarks and clear deeds
of attrition and restitution. The root Greek word for meet (useful)
would mean to supply what is needed.
Some things, either in action or good thing, or both, are exchanged to
ensure that a change of heart and faithfulness can consistently be acted
upon. Patience and dedication to service are the perfect mark of a changed
We find an example of restoration to the ministry in the life of John Mark.
In Acts 13:13, John Mark deserted Paul and Barnabas on their first
missionary trip. Later, Barnabas wanted John Mark to join them again (Acts
15:37), but Paul disagreed. The Bible says, "And the contention was so
sharp between them, that they departed asunder..." (verse 39).
Restoration of John Mark was such an issue it caused Paul and Barnabas to
part from each other and go their separate ways.
However, over a period of many years, Paul watched Mark purge himself and
become a vessel of honor. In 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul describes Mark as
"profitable to me for the ministry." This is the same word
euchrestos. Paul now calls Mark "useful" to the Lord's work. Also
The examples of restoration make the scriptural position clear. If a Gospel
deserter and a thief can become useful to God after public failure, there is
hope for all of us! God has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit to enable
us to become "useful" to the ministry once again. We, too, can
cleanse ourselves and become vessels of honor, "meet for the master's
Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord,
dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her
therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her,
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one
thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be
taken away from her. Luke 10:40-42
It is not a question of contrasting the activist life to the contemplative
life. It's a matter of priorities.
The harder Martha worked the more worked up she became.
Martha’s problem was one of balance and holding the right
tension to each part of her life.
Make sure the necessary doesn’t get out of proportion and
distort our lives.
Martha’s work is necessary—in the church and in the home
But, Mary gets the halo
Martha wanted Jesus to lighten her load
that day. He did exactly that, but not the way she thought it should be
done. He knew that our relationship with God does not develop in the midst
of fretting busyness. The one thing needful is to hear God speak
to us. Mary chose to put time
into that primary relationship and not to be distracted by trivia.
"Martha must be a Mary," wrote one commentator, "and the true
Mary must also be a Martha; both are sisters."
The balance of Martha and Mary
must both be properly upholding one another if we are to have any stability
or security in life at all. The balance between the two has to be finely
adjusted if the resulting effect is to be strong and usable.
We live in this world. This means we concern ourselves with food and clothes
and homes and family and jobs and studies. But we also live in the world of
the spirit. We concern ourselves with our relationship to God. That was
Martha's real problem. She was working without strength. To get our
service right we get our priorities right.
We must let Jesus minister to us
before we go out to minister for Him. That is God's order: we first love the
Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and then we are
prepared to go out and love our neighbor as ourselves. When we turn that
upside down, we may end up feeling overworked and unappreciated.
When we have the right priorities, God will enable us to do what
needs to be done— with joy and satisfaction.
foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have
spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into
His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them
in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself Luke 24:25-27
It must have been
devastating for Jesus' followers to have their hopes and dreams crushed
right in front of their eyes. They believed him to be the deliver who
would free all of
. He was killed, and then his body missing from the grave, and this
talk of angels?
We humans are problem solvers by nature and we seldom do this alone.
Unfortunately we can only look at life through a keyhole and our lack of
information distorts our judgment. But when Christ, on the road to
Emmaus, was allowed to illuminate their understanding of the Word of God in
their experience, they began to get a fresh outlook on their circumstances.
Our Lord's response sounds abrupt. Yet in reality, this situation is a case
study in education. Look at the wording. "Foolish ones" is a
compound word that literally means "without knowledge." The
disciples on the road were handicapped by having only part of the
information. "Slow of heart to believe" is a rebuke of their
slowness in trusting God for what He had promised.
Jesus then provided the only remedy for spiritual ignorance—more
information. The Teacher focused their attention on key passages of the Old
Testament that explained that the Messiah must suffer before being
Our lesson is that though we may sometimes struggle with disappointment, we
often lack all the information to make sense of it at the time. The Lord
will certainly and eventually provide means or the necessary information to
bring closure to our problem. In some cases, we won't get clear
understanding until we meet Christ face-to-face in eternity. But because
life on earth is a spiritual bootcamp of sorts, it's essential to be
teachable and in regular contact with our Teacher. Then our faith and
knowledge can grow. He promised in James he would answer all questions
if asked in faith and not foolishly slow of heart.
call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before
you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both
thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19
What are the toughest decisions you have to make? We decide whether to
get up in the morning. Then we decide when to get up—early, late,
somewhere in between. Then we decide how to get up—both literally and
figuratively on the right or the wrong side of the bed. Thereafter we really
get into decision-making—what to wear, what to put on first, whether to
brush our teeth or brush our hair first, what to eat for breakfast, whether
or not to wash the dishes or possibly what route to take to work, and on and
A lot of those decisions don't rank high as earth-shaking choices. Often
they add up, however, to a good or bad start for our days.
And of course there are the most important decisions you've made in your
lifetime, choosing your marriage partner, your first date with Mr. or Miss.
Right: What should you wear? Wear should you take them to impress them
adequately? Perhaps you've struggled with whether to marry at all—or
to remarry after a bad marriage and a heart-ripping divorce. Or maybe you
are married and can't decide whether to have children.
DECISIONS! We make
them. Then they turn around and make us. And sometimes they break us.
Eve awoke one day and was deciding what to eat? Here we have the
beloved of Adam, the indispensable addition to the life of man on earth
making decisions. And yet the paradox of being created in the image of
God is our free will can be placed above God’s will. How great was
the anguish felt by Adam and Eve moving from
to alienation all because of breakfast.
Our choices must be filtered by God’s word. The word of God is
Spirit and it is life. To obey God’s word today will make it a good
day. Not that there will not be the same challenges but it is because
we search the heart of God to find what is acceptable.
faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she
had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? for the
time would fail me to tell… Hebrews 11:31-32a
Rahab stands as a tribute to the possibilities within every one of us.
She stood between two choices; follow the choice of patriotism to her
earthly king or follow God’s promise of life. She had only a second
to decide to hide the spies or give them up.
It is the same for us. Our past is irrelevant. Our future alone matters to
God. Faith can blossom in any environment. Roses can grow in
manure piles. Whatever lies behind us is not nearly as important as
what lies before us. The choices we have made in the past have brought
us where we are today. The choices we make today, tomorrow, next week,
or next year will determine our destiny.
Some of those choices will be split-second decisions. They will come
out of who we are and what we believe about ourselves, our world, and God.
Those decisions will determine the actions we take.
Rahab heard about
's God. She responded to what she heard by faith. She made a
split-second decision to go with God by saving the two spies. Her
faith gained her life in the midst of destruction. It gained her the
salvation of her entire family. It gained her a place in
and marriage to Salmon, who, tradition tells us, was one of the two spies.
It also gained her a place in the genealogy of
's greatest king and a place in the genealogy of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
What she had been was irrelevant. What she became through active faith
was all that mattered.
What resources do you fall back on when you have to make split-second
decisions in your life? Are your decisions grounded in your faith in a
loving, compassionate God whose hand is on you for good? Do your
actions show your faith as you go with God and with His people? Look
up to Rahab. Look at this prostitute who modeled vibrant faith for
and for us today.
findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
Literally one finds favor and additional
grace. We can all use all the help we can get.
Paul found a city built on pleasure; a
so to speak. Sex for pleasure with temples of sensuality.
Priestesses and priest were prostitution tools for gratification.
Homosexuality and incest were common place. Marriages were arranged at
birth and the only reason to have a relationship between husband and wife
were to have children. Judo-Christian values did not exist.
When a husband or wife became born again they had to change their entire
life style. Paul had to instruct in the basics of marriage. If
the man were to receive Jesus as savior and his wife was still going to the
temple every night or involved homosexual relationships he had to make hard
choices. He also had to stop engrained patterns of behavior in his own
life. The same was true if a women or child were to become born again.
Nothing is impossible for God.
There were occasions for divorce. God hates divorce but he loves the
divorcee. Divorce is a sin. Paul listed three reasons for a
divorce. Abuse, desertion, and adultery were the biblical reasons for
divorce. He also said it was not a sin to remarry. I know there
are some who treat divorce and remarriage as an unpardonable sin but the
bible is clear on these matters. It is also clear that if you divorce
and one of the couple remarries it would be a sin to remarry.
If you say, “But pastor I have sinned and had a divorce what am I to
do?” The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and
just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Yet incompatibility is not a biblical reason for divorce. If you and
your spouse are born again you are compatible. If God can heal your
body, and your mind, then God can heal your marriage. Do not give up.
You may have to get spiritual counseling to help you but do not give up and
do not let the devil convince you that it would be too embarrassing to seek
help from your pastor or spiritual counselor.
I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you
receive them, and you will have them Mark 11:24,
Peter was arrested, Herod the king put him in prison and had him guarded by
sixteen soldiers. Not only did he have him guarded by sixteen
soldiers, but he had him bound with two chains between two soldiers and had
him placed behind a locked door with guards guarding the door.
None of this was done secretly. The rest of the Christians in
knew what had happened. The Bible tells us in Acts chapter 12 that the
church was in constant prayer for Peter. They were gathering together
in rooms and praying that Peter would get out of prison.
Then something unexpected occurred. The day before Herod was going to
display his captive Christian to the Jews, an angel of the Lord appeared
beside Peter. He was sleeping, still in chains between two guards. Light
began to shine in the prison and the angel struck Peter on the side and
raised him up. Then the angel said, “Arise quickly!” and chains
fell off Peter’s hands. Then Peter was told to get his clothes and
sandals together and get dressed. The angel and Peter walked past the
guard the iron gate opened by itself and they went down the street.
Peter didn’t really think it was happening. He thought it was a
vision. When Peter came to his senses and realized that it was really
happening, he decided to go to Mary’s house, the mother of John Mark.
Mary’s house was full of Christians, all praying for Peter’s release.
Peter knocked on the door. A girl named Rhoda went to the door but
didn’t open it. She recognized Peter’s voice and in her excitement
forgot to open the door and let him in. Instead, she ran in where they
were praying and announced that Peter was at the door. They thought
she had lost her mind. How could Peter be at the door anyway?
After all, he had to be in prison. That’s why they were praying.
Well, Peter kept knocking and when the door was finally opened, those in the
room were astonished.
Nineteen hundred years later, things haven’t changed much. We pray
and when our prayers are answered we are astonished.
When we pray, we are to pray in faith. What is faith?
Faith is simply believing that God has done what He said He would do and
acting on it.
are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew
What did Jesus mean when He referred to "peacemakers"? The most
basic Bible definition of a peacemaker is one who witnesses for the Lord
Jesus. A peacemaker is one who shares his faith with others and brings them
to eternal life.
Peace is the message the angels announced at the birth of Jesus. Jesus came
to bring a peace, which the world could not offer. There is a supernatural
peace that only comes through faith in Jesus. Romans 5:1 tells us when we
are justified by faith we then have peace with God. The world is searching
for peace today not realizing true peace is only available through faith in
God's Son. God gives a supernatural peace that will last through the best
and worst times. Paul described God's peace as that which passes all
understanding. This is a divine peace that the mind cannot comprehend or
explain, but when you have it, you know it!
Peace is the title of the message we preach to others. Paul described those
who witness for the Lord as having beautiful feet, preaching the gospel of
peace (Romans 10:15). He also explained that we have been given the same
ministry as that of the Lord Jesus--the word of reconciliation.
Reconciliation means to bring peace to warring parties. A peacemaker
announces that the war is over between God and man. Jesus brought peace to
us through the cross and to have His peace we only need to accept it!
Witnessing does not make us a child of God. It announces that we are
children of God. Witnessing is the outward expression of our personal
relationship with God. Mature believers make the best witnesses.
hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see
with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I
should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and
spake of him. John 12:40-41
Pleading the blood of Jesus is a heaven-given resource that grants us a
license to stand in dominion over the works of hell. We can use it in the
same sense that an attorney stands before the court and makes a “plea”
on legal grounds, based upon a body of evidence.
1. The Blood Provides Protection
2. The Blood Provides a Means of Deliverance
3. The Blood Provides the Promise of a New Day
4. The Blood Provides a Witness
“Even the word of God oftentimes proves a means of hardening sinners. The
evangelical prophet himself makes the heart of this people fat, not only as
he foretells it, passing this sentence upon them in God's name, and seals
them under it, but as his preaching had a tendency to it, rocking some
asleep in security (to whom it was a lovely song), and making others more
outrageous, to whom it was such a reproach that they were not able to bear
it. Some looked upon the word as a privilege, and their convictions were
smothered by it (Jeremiah 7:4); others looked upon it as a provocation, and
their corruptions were exasperated by it.” Matthew
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath
anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the
brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of
sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
What a great healing of heart for those who hear and see the presence of the
Lord. Pray today that your eyes be opened and your ears will hear so
your heart may be redeemed from the pit and comforted by our loving and
gentle savior Jesus.
is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he
may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy
house, even of thy holy temple. Psalm 65:4
Acceptance leads to abiding: God does not make a temporary choice, or give
and take; his gifts and calling are without repentance. He who is once
admitted to God's courts shall inhabit them for ever; he shall be John
15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of
itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
"No more a stranger or a guest, But like a child at home."
We cannot and will not come to God of ourselves He works graciously in us,
and attracts us powerfully. He subdues our unwillingness, and removes
our inability by the almighty workings of his transforming grace.
Permanence gives preciousness. Terminating blessings are only half
blessings. To briefly touch his garment is blessed but this is only
part of what our Lord desires for you. To dwell in the courts of the
Great King is to be honored; to dwell there for ever is to be in a paradise
like state; to be made supremely happy. Wonderfully this can be the
portion of every man whom God has chosen and caused to approach unto him,
even though once his hardheartedness and sin prevailed against him
with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the
same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of
low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Romans 12:15, 16
Take an energetic interest in the prosperity of others. Let it be a
matter of rejoicing when you hear of the health, prosperity, or happiness of
any brother or sister in Christ. Rejoice firstly in the power of the
word that is working in all believers. Let this be first in your mind
and in the Greek continually moving
forward or upward. Yet on the converse make an effort to
obtain a compassionate or sympathizing mind. Let your heart feel for
the distressed; enter into their sorrows, and bear a part of their burdens.
Do not become the burden, but relate to is with clear objective
We can and are moved by the weakness and infirmity of our beloved in the
Lord. It is a fact, attested to by universal experience, that by
sympathy a man may receive into his own warm feelings a measure of the
distress of his friend. And, his friend does indeed find himself relieved in
the same proportion as the other has entered into his griefs.
"But how do you account for
this?" I do not account for it at all. It
actually depends upon certain laws of nature, the principles of which have
not been duly developed by God’s word. The word on the converse
instructs us to bring the healing word that they may be healed, freed, and
comforted. We are compelled to provoke those we love to join in our
love and faith and to disconnect from the curse and be reconnected to the
blessing. The Lord has taught us we do great favor to those we love
and join with, by lifting up our brother and not just staying in that natural
To be of the same mind means we deal with our natural
thoughts and emotions. If the nature to lower ourselves is a tool of
the natural harmony then we use it to gain access to death, sickness, and
sorrow so as to directly infuse this with the blessings of God’s word.
We do this then in the most compassionate and appropriate way possible with
tenderness and genuine caring for our minds (intellect and emotion.)
We are in fact linked; we are the same. We all have the same
possibility of falling and then being blessed.
It is far better to be healed than to be consoled only. Yet to
console, brings the heart to awe-inspiring moments of compassion and
understanding. God has worked in us this incredible ability to
understand and do good. But good alone without the blood to cleanse
protect and heal is of no matter, and cannot restore the lost, sick or
fallen. If I can lower, I can also influence the low to arise.
We can join minds to encourage in the power of the word which changes minds.
When two agree they can have whatsoever they ask!
called his name Ben-oni (son of sorrow), but his father called him Benjamin
(son of my right hand). Genesis 35:18
In every situation there is a bright side as well as a dark side.
Rachel was overwhelmed with the sorrow of her own travail and death, yet
Jacob, though weeping this great loss of love, set his eyes forward to see
the mercy of the child's birth. It will go well for us if, while the
flesh mourns over trials, our faith triumphs in God’s promise and
Samson's lion yielded honey, and so will our adversities, if faithfully
considered. The stormy sea feeds multitudes with its fishes; the dark
foreboding woods bloom with beautiful flowers. The stormy wind sweeps
away the pestilence, and the biting frost loosens the soil. Dark
clouds sanitize bright drops of heaven’s refreshing, and black earth grows
God prepares for us only good, though every evil trial would distract us
from our purpose. In the dark hard rock there is gold to be found.
Sad hearts have peculiar skill of discovering the most unfavorable point of
view to see in our trial; if there were only one mudding pit of destruction
in the world, they would soon be up to their necks in it, and if there were
only one lion in the desert they would only hear its roar. There is a
tinge in us all of this dejected thinking, and we are apt to cry like Jacob,
"All these things are against me."
Faith's way of walking is to cast all care upon the Lord, and then to
anticipate good results from the worst outrages of misfortune.
Like Gideon's men, faith does not worry over the broken pitcher, but
rejoices that the lamp blazes forth even more. When faith’s tide of
prosperity flows away, she finds treasures hidden in the sands. When
faith’s sun of gladness goes down, she turns her telescope of hope to the
starry wondrous promises of heaven, thus making our dying Benoni to be our
we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of
The Spirit of God is calling for unity. We must lay down disagreements
and come together for the true purpose of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.
Winds of doctrine, according to Ephesians 4:14, are childish. The
apostle compares their condition then to a state of childhood, in describing
the perfect man. The perfect man here refers to the man grown up--the
man of mature life. Christ had appointed pastors and teachers that the
infant church might be trained to maturity, or become strong--like a man.
He refers to the state of manhood as compared with that of childhood---a
state of strength, vigor, wisdom, when the full growth should be attained.
This is similar to 1Co 14:20 Brethren,
be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in
understanding be men.
Unto the measure of the stature
or, age. The word stature expresses the idea. It refers to
the growth of a man. The measure to be reached is Christ; or we are to
grow till we become like him. The phrase, "the measure of the
fullness,” means full measure -- in the Hebrew, where two nouns are so
used one is to be rendered as an adjective-- as trees of greatness--meaning
great trees. Here it means, that they should so advance in
faithfulness and knowledge as to become completely like Jesus.
We consider than Jesus. His faith, his vision, his actions, and his
words. We can behave in the manner as he has set the measure. We
look forward and upward always imitating our Lord.
God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a
sound mind! b II Timothy 1:7
Claim your mind back from the enemy; he will not want to give it back as he
has gained a foothold. You will
have to do battle with his lies and confusion.
Your first step is to declare out
loud that you will not allow any outside force to do your thinking–no
man and no spirit. There are
spiritual laws that demons must obey. They
cannot stay where a man wills
them not to stay. Your power is
in the Name of Jesus, the Blood of Jesus, and the Word of God.
Ask God to give you discernment of the lies of the devil.
Recognize a lie in your mind, always defend yourself out
loud. When you catch a lie
to your mind, use this prescription regularly–and you will regain peace,
your memory, restful nights, and the ability to concentrate and comprehend.
You are in a battle–you are not alone–for all of God’s people fight
this same fight (Ephesians 6:12).
Make up your mind not to
give up! According to Colossians
3:2, set your mind on things above and keep it set!
Call upon God’s grace in the Name of Jesus, and He will give you
the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome every
evil tendency fully.
Remember, regaining your mind is a process.
God knows our weakness; that is why He gave us I John 1:9.
Just ask for forgiveness and see
the Blood of Jesus washing away your sin.
Don’t give up! Continue
claiming what belongs to you (your mind and your thinking belong to you),
and Jesus will help you overcome.
thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first
commandment. Mark 12:30
This commands the utmost of all our energies: Put intensity into your
affection--Do it with all your might.
But this is not all that the Lord demands. God will have all these qualities
in their most perfect effort.
You must the Lord thy God with all your powers--with a sincere, a
passionate, an intelligent, an energetic love.
Taking these four things together, the command of the Law is:
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," says the Law, "with all
thy heart," or, with perfect sincerity;
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul," or, with the
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind," or, in the
fullest exercise of an enlightened reason; and
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy strength," or, with
the whole energy of our being!
had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the
land of the living. Wait on the
LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say,
on the LORD. Psalm 27:13, 14
Faintness of heart is a common infirmity; even David who slew Goliath was
subject to its attacks. Faith
puts words to the lips of our soul, and so prevents fainting.
Hope is heaven's salve for the present sorrow.
In this land of the curse, it is our blessedness to be looking and
longing for our fair portion in the land of the living.
We must believe to see, not see to believe; we must wait the appointed time,
and satisfy our soul's hunger with foretastes of the Lord's eternal goodness
which shall soon be our feast and our song.
Even in this life we can expect to see God bless us exceedingly above
all we could ever ask.
thee the fatherless findeth mercy #Hos 14:3
This is an excellent reason for casting away all
other confidences and relying upon the Lord alone. When a child is left
without its natural protector, our God steps in and becomes his guardian: so
also when a man has lost every object of dependence, he may cast himself
upon the living God and find in Him all that he needs. Orphans are cast upon
the fatherhood of God, and He provides for them.
We know what it is to hang onto the bare arm of God, and he bears witness in
our hearts that no trust is so well warranted by facts, or so sure to be
rewarded by results, as trust in the invisible but ever living God.
Some children who have fathers are not much better off because of them, but
the fatherless with God are rich. It is better to have God and no other
friend than all the fathers on the earth and no God. To be bereaved of the
natural father is painful, but so long as the Lord remains the fountain of
mercy to us, we are not truly orphaned.
Let the fatherless children confess this gracious word, and let all who
have been stripped of visible support do the same. Lord, let me find mercy
in you! The more needy and helpless I am, the more confidently I do appeal
to your loving heart and your perfect provision.
Lord looseth the prisoners" Psalm 146:7
He has done it. Remember
, Manasseh, Jeremiah, Peter, and many others. He can do it still. He breaks
the bars of brass with a word, and snaps the fetters of iron with a look. He
is doing it. In a thousand places troubled ones are coming forth to light
Jesus still proclaims the opening of the prison to them that are bound. At
this moment doors are flying back and fetters are dropping to the ground.
He will delight to set you free if at this time you are mourning because of
sorrow, doubt, sin, sickness, poverty and fear. Jesus will enjoy giving you
liberty. It will give Him as great a pleasure to loose you as it will be a
pleasure to you to be loosed.
No, you do not have to snap the iron chains: the Lord Himself will do it.
Only trust Him, and He will be your Emancipator. Believe in Him in spite of
the stone walls, or the handcuffs of iron.
Satan cannot hold you, sin cannot chain you, even despair cannot bind you,
if you will now believe in the Lord Jesus, and in the freeness of His grace,
and the fullness of His power to save.
Defy the enemy, and let your words now be your song of deliverance: "Lord
Jesus loose the prisoners!"
seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away
captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye
have peace. Jer 29:7
The principle involved
in this text would suggest to all of us who are the Lord’s strangers and
foreigners that we should be desirous to promote the peace and prosperity of
the people among whom we dwell. Specially should
our nation and our city be blest by our constant intercession. An earnest
prayer for your country and other countries is well becoming in the mouth of
Eagerly let us pray for
the great boon of peace, both at home and abroad. If strife should cause
bloodshed in our streets, or if foreign battle should slay our brave
soldiers, we should all bewail the calamity; let us therefore pray for
peace, and diligently promote those principles by which the classes at home
and the races abroad may be bound together in bonds of amity.
We ourselves are
promised quiet in connection with the peace of the nation, and this most
desirable; for thus we can bring up our families in the fear of the Lord,
and also preach the gospel without let or hindrance. Today let us be much in
prayer for our country, confessing national sins, and asking for national
pardon and blessing, for Jesus’ sake.
all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear:
for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands 1Sam
Let this point be settled, that the battle is the
Lord’s, and we may be quite sure of the victory, and of the victory in
such a way as will best of all display the power of God.
Men have forgotten the Lord too much, yes, even in this text by the
. When there is an opportunity to make men see that the Great First Cause
can achieve His purposes without the power of man, it is a priceless
occasion which should be used well. Even
depends too much on sword and spear. It was a great thing not to have a
sword in the hand of David, and yet David to knew that his God would
overthrow all the army of enemies.
If we indeed are contending for truth and righteousness, let’s not tarry
till we have talent, or wealth, or any other form of visible power at our
disposal; but with such stones as we find in the brook, and with our own
usual sling, let us run to meet the enemy.
If it were our own battle we might not be confident; but if we are standing
up for Jesus, and warring in His strength alone, who can withstand us?
Without a trace of hesitancy let us face the Philistines; for the Lord of
Hosts is with us, and who can be against us?
shall be thy basket and thy store Deut 28:5
Obedience brings a blessing on all the
provisions which our diligence sets before us.
That which comes in and goes out directly, like fruit in the basket which is
for immediate use, shall be blest; and that which is laid by with us for a
longer season shall equally receive a blessing. Perhaps ours is a hand
basket portion. We have a little for breakfast,
and a bite for lunch in a sack when we go out to do our work in the morning.
This is well, for the blessing of God is promised to the basket. If we live
from hand to mouth, getting each day’s supply in the day, we are as well
; for when the Lord provided for His favored people He only gave them a
day’s manna at a time. What more did they need? What more do we need?
But if we have a store, how much we need the Lord to bless it! For there is
the care of getting, the care of keeping, the care of managing, the care of
using; and, unless the Lord bless it, these cares will eat into our hearts,
till our goods become our gods, and our cares prove heavy weights.
O Lord, bless our substance. Enable us to use it for thy glory. Help us to
keep worldly things in their proper places, and never may our savings
endanger the saving of our souls. Bless
us in your abundance as we are now free to walk in your complete blessing.
am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not
abide in darkness John 12:46
This world is dark as midnight; Jesus has come that by faith we may have
light, and may no longer sit in the gloom which covers all the rest of
Whosoever means you and I. If we trust in Jesus we shall not sit in the dark
shadow of death anymore, but shall rest in the warm light of a day which
shall never end. Why not come out of the dark and into the light now?
A cloud may sometimes hover over us, but we will not abide in darkness if we
believe in Jesus. He has come to give us the brightest daylight. Shall He
come in vain? If we have faith we have the privilege of sunlight: let us
From the night of natural depravity, of ignorance, of doubt, of despair, of
sin, of dread, of sickness, of poverty Jesus has come to set us free; and
all believers shall know that He does not come in vain.
Shake off depression, beloved of the Lord. Do not abide in the dark, but
abide in the light. In Jesus is your hope, your joy, your Heaven and all
blessings. Look to Him, to Him only, and you shall rejoice as the birds
rejoice at sunrise, and as the angels rejoice before the throne.
birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend
and shouting and pecking the mother bird hastens
up to the protection of her young. She wastes no time in her journey when
coming to supply them with food, or guard them from danger. Thus as on eagle’s
wings will the Lord come for the defense of His chosen; yes, He will ride
upon the wings of the wind.
outspread wing the mother covers her little ones in the nest. She hides them
away by interposing her own body. The hen yields her own warmth to her
chicks, and makes her wings a house, in which they dwell safely. Thus does
Jehovah Himself become the protection of His elect.
He Himself is their refuge, their abode, their all.
birds flying, and birds covering (for the word means both), so will the Lord
be unto us: and this He will do repeatedly and successfully. We shall be
defended and preserved from all evil: the Lord who likens Himself to birds
is not like them in their feebleness, for He is Jehovah of hosts. Let this
be our comfort, that almighty love will be swift
to relieve, and sure to cover. The wing of God is quicker and more
tender than the wing of a bird, and we will put our trust under its
shadow henceforth and for ever.
shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though
they be strong Joshua 17:18
It is a great encouragement to the warrior to be assured of victory, for
then a man goes forth to war in confidence, and ventures where he had been
afraid to go else where. Our warfare is with evil within us and around us,
and we ought to be persuaded that we are able to get the victory, and that
we shall do so in the name of the Lord Jesus. We are not riding for a fall,
but to win; and win we shall. The grace of God in its Omnipotence is put
forth for the overthrow of evil in every form: hence the certainty of
Certain of our sins find chariots of iron in our constitution, our former
habits, our associations, and our occupations. Nevertheless we must overcome
them. They are very strong, and in reference to them we are very weak; yet
in the name of our Lord Jesus we must master them, and we will. If one sin
has dominion of us we are not the Lord’s free men. A man who is held by
only one chain is still a captive, for of the saints it is said, "Sin
shall not have dominion over you." Rise, then, and slay every
Canaanite, and break to pieces every chariot of iron! The Lord of hosts is
with us, and who shall resist His sin-destroying power?
he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new
Glory to God!
All things need to be made new, for they are sadly battered and worn
by sin. It is time that the old
vesture was rolled up and laid aside, and that creation put on her Sunday
suit. But no one else can make
all things new except the Lord who made them at the first; for it needs as
much power to make out of evil as to make something out of nothing.
Our Lord Jesus has undertaken the task, and He is fully competent in the
performance of it. Already He
has commenced His labor, and for centuries He has persevered in making the
hearts of men new, and bring order to society.
By-and-by He will make the whole constitution of human government
new, and human nature shall be changed by His grace; and there shall come a
day when the body shall be made new, and raised like unto His glorious body.
What a joy to belong to a kingdom in which everything is being made new by
the power of our King! We are
not dying out: we are hurrying on to a more glorious life.
Despite the opposition of the powers of evil, our glorious Lord Jesus
is accomplishing His purpose, and making us, and all things about us,
"new," and as full of beauty as when they first came from the hand
of the Lord.
shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
It is a surprise that it could be so; for everything threatens that at
evening time it shall be dark. God
wants to work in a way so much above our fears and beyond our hopes,
that we are greatly amazed, and are led to praise His sovereign
grace. No, it shall not be as
some hearts are prophesying: the dark will not deepen into midnight, but it
will all of a sudden brighten into day.
Never despair. In the worst
times let us trust in the Lord who turns the darkness of the shadow of death
into the morning. When the
count of bricks is doubled Moses appears, and when tribulation abounds it is
nearest its end.
This promise should assist our patience.
The light may not fully come until our hopes are weary in waiting all
day to no purpose. To the
wicked the sun goes down while it is yet day: to the righteous the sun rises
when it is almost night.
With patience wait for that heavenly light, which may seem a long
time in coming, but is sure to prove itself well worth waiting for.
Come, my soul, take up thy parable and sing unto Him who will bless you in
life and in death, in a manner surpassing all that nature has ever seen when
at its best.
they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into
pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more
Happy times are coming!
At present the nations are heavily armed, and are inventing weapons
more and more terrible, as if the chief end of man could only be answered by
destroying myriads of his fellows. Yet
peace will prevail one day; yes, and so prevail that the instruments of
destruction shall be beaten into other shapes and used for better purposes.
How will this come about? By
arbitration? We do not
believe it. Past experience
forbids our trusting to means so feeble.
Peace will be established only by the reign of the Prince of Peace.
He must teach the people by His Spirit, renew their
hears by His grace, and reign over them by His supreme power, and
then will they cease to wound and kill.
Man is a monster when once his blood is up, and only the Lord Jesus can turn
this lion into a lamb. By
changing man’s heart, his blood-thirsty passions are removed.
Let every reader of His book of promises offer special prayer today
to the Lord and Giver of Peace, that He would speedily put an end to war,
and establish harmony over the whole world.
answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of
thee, yet will I never be offended
One may say, "this is no promise
of God." Just
so, but it was a promise of man, and therefore it came to nothing.
Peter thought that he was saying what he should assuredly carry out;
but a promise which has no better foundation than a human resolve will fall
to the ground. No sooner did
temptations arise than Peter denied his Master, and used oaths to confirm
What is man’s word? An
earthen pot broken so easily. What
is your own resolve? A blossom,
which, with God’s care, may come to fruit, but which, left to itself, will
fall to the ground with the first wind that challenges the branch that
Only hang on man’s word what it will bear.
On your own resolve do not depend at all.
On the promise of your God hang time and eternity, this
world and the next, your all and the all of all your beloved ones.
Rely upon Jesus without limit. Trust not yourself
nor any born of woman, beyond what is necessary; but trust only and
wholly in the Lord.
enemies shall be found liars unto thee
That arch-enemy, the devil, is a liar from the beginning; but he is so
plausible that, like mother Eve, we are in the natural man disposed to
believe him. Yet in our
experience we shall prove him a liar.
He says that we shall fall from grace, dishonor our profession, and perish
with the doom of apostates. But,
trusting in the Lord Jesus, we shall hold onto our profession of faith and
prove that Jesus loses none whom His Father gave Him.
He tells us that our food stores will fail, and we shall starve with
our children. Yet,
the Feeder of the ravens has not forgotten us yet, and He will never do so,
but will prepare us a table in the presence of our enemies.
He whispers that the Lord will not deliver us out of the trial which is
looming in the distance, and he threatens that the last ounce will break the
camel’s back. What a liar he
is! For the Lord will never
leave us, nor forsake us. "Let him deliver him now!" cries the
false fiend: but the Lord will silence him by coming to our rescue.
He takes great delight in telling us that death will prove too much for us.
"How will you do in the swelling of
?" But there also he shall
be revealed a liar to us, and we shall pass through the river singing psalms
of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things
of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath Deut 33:13
We may be rich in such things as Joseph
obtained, and we may have them in a higher sense.
Oh, for "the precious things of heaven"!
Power with God, and the manifestation of power
from God, are most precious. We
enjoy the peace of God, the joy of the Lord, the glory of our God.
The blessing of the three divine Persons in love, and grace, and
fellowship we prize beyond the most fine gold.
The things of earth are as nothing in preciousness compared with the
things of Heaven.
How precious is this! How
we pray and praise, when we have the dew!
What refreshing, what growth, what life is in us when the dew is
about! Above all things else,
as plants of the Lord’s own right hand planting, we need the dew of His
"The deep that coucheth beneath."
Surely this refers to that unseen ocean underground which supplies
all the fresh springs which satisfies the earth.
Imagine, for anyone even you or I, to tap
the eternal fountains! This is
an unspeakable godsend; let no believer rest till he possesses it.
The all-sufficiency of Jesus is ours for ever.
Let us take full advantage of it now.
is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
A help that is not present when we need
it is of little or no value. The
anchor which is left at home is of no use in the midst of the storm.
The money, which one used to have, is of no worth when the bills are
Very few earthly helps could be called "very
present". They are
usually far away when searching, far away when needed to use, and farther
still when once used. But as
for the Lord our God, He is present when we seek Him, present when we need
Him, and present when we have already enjoyed His aid.
He is more than "present," He is very present.
More present than the nearest friend can be, for He is within us in
our trouble. He is more present
than we are to ourselves, for sometimes we lack presence of mind.
He is always present, effectually present, sympathetically present, altogether
present. He is present now if
this is a gloomy time in our life. We
must rest ourselves upon Him.
He is our refuge, so let us hide in Him.
He is our strength, so let us group ourselves with Him.
He is our help, so let us lean upon Him.
He is our very present help, so then let us relax in Him now.
We do not need to have a moment’s care, or an instant of fear.
"The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our
same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like
manner as ye have seen him go into heaven
Let us turn our thoughts to the promise of our Lord’s His second coming.
This is as sure as the first advent, and derives a great measure of
its certainty from it. He who
came as a lowly man to serve will assuredly come to take the reward of His
service. He who came to suffer
will not be slow in coming to reign.
This is our glorious hope, for we shall share His joy.
Today we are in our time of humble hearts and gracious testimonies,
even as He was while here below; but when He comes it will be our
manifestation, even as it will be His revelation.
Dead saints shall live at His appearing.
The slandered and despised shall shine forth as the sun in the
kingdom of their Father. Then
shall the saints appear as kings and priests, and the days of their mourning
shall be ended. The long rest
and inconceivable splendor of the millennial reign will be an abundant
recompense for the ages of witnessing and warring
He is coming! He is on the road
and traveling quickly. The
sound of His approach should be as music to our hearts!
Ring out, the bells of triumph!
will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our
iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea
God never turns from His love, but He
soon turns from His wrath. His
love to His chosen is according to His nature, His anger is only according
to His office: He loves because He is love, He
frowns because it is necessary for our good.
He will come back to the place in which His heart rests, namely, His
love to His own, and then He will take pity upon our griefs and end them.
He will press us to grow and accomplish our ministry but finding His love
will make all the trials worth it. What
a choice promise this is—"He will subdue our iniquities"!
He will conquer them. They
cry to enslave us, but the Lord will give us victory over them by His own
right hand. Like the
Canaanites, they shall be beaten, put under the yoke, and ultimately slain.
As for the guilt of our sins and our doubts, how wonderfully are they
removed! "All their
sins," —yes, the whole host of them; "thou wilt cast"
—only an almighty arm of great strength could perform such a wonder;
‘into the depths of the sea” -where Pharaoh and his chariots went down.
Not into the shallows where they might return again but washed out by
the tide into the "depths"; our sins and failures shall forever be
lost. They are all gone. They
sank into the bottom like a stone. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken Psalm 34:20
This promise by the context is referred to the much afflicted righteous man:
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him
out of them all." He may suffer skin-wounds and
flesh-wounds, but no great harm shall be done, "not a bone of him shall
This is great comfort to a tried child of God, and comfort which I willing
accept; for up to this hour I have suffered no real damage from my many
afflictions. I have neither lost faith, nor hope, nor love. No,
I am a long way form losing these bones of character, they have gained in
strength and energy. I have more knowledge, more experience, more
patience, more stability than I had before the trials began.
Not even my joy has been destroyed. There have been many bruises by
sickness, bereavement, depression, slander, and opposition; but the bruise
has healed, and there has been no compound fracture of a bone, not even a
simple one. It is not difficult to find the reason. If we trust
in the Lord, He keeps all our bones; and if He keeps them, we may be sure
that not one of them is broken. We will certainly remain as we have
been recreated in Christ.
Come, my heart, do not sorrow. You are feeling the sting, but there
are no bones broken. Endure hardness, and bid defiance to fear.
Stand and see the salvation of the Lord.
same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like
manner as ye have seen him go into heaven #Acts 1:11
Let us turn our thoughts to the promise of our Lord’s His second coming.
This is as sure as the first advent, and derives a great measure of its
certainty from it. He who came as a lowly man to serve will assuredly
come to take the reward of His service. He who came to suffer will not
be slow in coming to reign.
This is our glorious hope, for we shall share His joy. Today we are in
our time of humble hearts and gracious testimonies, even as He was while
here below; but when He comes it will be our manifestation, even as it will
be His revelation. Dead saints shall live at His appearing. The
slandered and despised shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their
Father. Then shall the saints appear as kings and priests, and the
days of their mourning shall be ended. The long rest and inconceivable
splendor of the millennial reign will be an abundant recompense for the ages
of witnessing and warring
He is coming! He is on the road and traveling quickly. The sound
of His approach should be as music to our hearts! Ring out, the bells
even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be
afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as
grass; and forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the
heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually
every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to
destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? Isaiah 51:12, 13
This is our portion for today. There is no need to enlarge upon it.
Read it, receive it, believe it, feed on it, and pray it before the Lord.
He whom you fear is after all only a man; while He who promises to comfort
you is God, your Maker, and the Creator of Heaven and earth.
more than covers a very limited danger.
"Where is the fury of the oppressor?" It is in the Lord’s
hand. It is only the fury of a dying creature; fury which will end as
soon as the breath is gone from them. Why, then, should we stand in
awe of one who is as frail as ourselves? Do not dishonor our God by
making a god of insignificant men. We can make an idol of a man by
rendering to him excessive fear as well as by paying him inordinate love.
Let us treat men as men, and God as God; and then we shall go calmly on in
the path of duty, fearing the Lord, and fearing no one else.
said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that
believeth Mark 9:23
Our unbelief is the greatest hindrance in our way; in fact, there is no
other real difficulty as to our spiritual progress and prosperity. The
Lord can do everything; but when He makes a rule that according to our faith
so shall it be unto us, our unbelief ties the hands of His Omnipotence.
Yes, the confederacies of evil are certainly scattered if we can but
believe. Truth shall lift its head if we but have confidence in the
God of truth. We can bear our load of trouble, or pass uninjured
through distress, if we gird our loins with the girdle of peace, that girdle
which is buckled by the hands of trust.
What is it we cannot believe? Is everything possible except believing
in God? Yet He is always true; why would we not believe Him? He
is always faithful to His word; why then would we not trust Him? When
we are in a right state of heart faith costs no effort; it is then as
natural for us to rely upon God as for a child to trust its father.
The worst of it is that we can believe God about everything except the
present pressing trial. This is recklessness. Come, my soul,
shake off such sinfulness, and trust in your God with the load, the labor,
the longing of this present. This done, all is done. Man is a
monster once his blood is boiling, and only the Lord Jesus can turn this
lion into a lamb. By changing a man’s heart, his blood-thirsty
passions are removed. Let every one offer special prayer today to the
Lord and Giver of Peace, that He would speedily put an end to hostilities,
and establish agreement in the church and in this world.
any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my
servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor John 12:26
The highest service is imitation. If we would be Christ’s servant we
must be His follower. To do as Jesus did is the surest way of bringing
honor to His name. Let us follow this guide every day.
If I imitate Jesus I will have His company: if I am like Him I shall be with
Him. To seek His presence bestows upon us power through favor.
The issue of our Lord’s life shall be the issue of ours: if we are with
Him in His humiliation we shall be with Him in His glory. Find the
courage, and put your feet in the blood-marked footprints which our Lord has
left us. For in not too many days you too shall be lifted up in
Let me not fail to note that the Father will honor those who follow His Son.
If He sees each of us true to Jesus He will favor and honor us for His
Son’s sake. No honor can be like this. Princes and emperors
bestow the mere shadows of honor; the substance of glory comes from the
Father. Therefore cling to the Lord Jesus more closely than ever.
Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with
peace. Psalm 29:11
David had just heard the voice of the Lord in a thunderstorm, and had seen
His power in the hurricane whose path he had described; and now, in the cool
calm after the storm, that overwhelming power by which Heaven and earth are
shaken is promised to be the strength of the chosen. He who flies on
the bolt of lightning will give to His redeemed the wings of eagles.
He who shakes the earth with His voice will terrify the enemies of His
saints, and give His children peace.
Why are we weak when we have divine strength to flee to? Why are we
troubled when the Lord’s own peace is ours? Jesus, the mighty God,
is our strength; let us put Him on and continue in our service. Jesus,
our blessed Lord, is also our peace; let us relax in Him this day, and end
our fears. What a blessing to have Him for our strength and peace both
now and forever!
That same God who rides upon the storm in days of tempest will also rule the
hurricane of our tribulation, and send us long days of peace. We shall
have strength for storms, and songs for fair weather. Let us sing unto
God our strength and our peace.
Go away, dark
thoughts! Rise up, faith and hope!
is he that calleth you, who also will do it 1Thes 5:24
What will He do? He will sanctify us wholly. See the previous
verse. He will carry on the work of purification till we are perfect in
every part. He will preserve our whole spirit, and soul, and body, blameless
unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." He will not allow us to fall
from grace, nor come under the dominion of sin. What great favors are these!
Well may we adore the giver of such unspeakable gifts
Who will do this? The Lord who has called us out of darkness
into His marvelous light, out of death in sin into eternal life in Christ
Jesus. Only He can do this: such perfection and preservation can only come
from the God of all grace.
Why will He do it? Because He is "faithful"
—faithful to His own promise which is pledged to save the believer;
faithful to His Son, whose reward it is that His people shall be presented
to Him faultless; faithful to the work which He has commenced in us by our
effectual calling. It is not their own faithfulness, but the Lord’s own
faithfulness, on which the saints rely.
Come, my soul, here is a grand feast to begin a dull month
with. There may be fogs without, but there should be sunshine within.
good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly Ps
There could be some things we believe would be pleasing things the Lord may
withhold, but no good thing. He is the best judge of what is good for
us. Some things are assuredly good, and these we may have for the
asking through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Holiness is a good thing, and this He will work in us freely. Victory
over evil tendencies, strong tempers, and evil habits, He will gladly grant,
and we ought not remain without it.
He will bestow full assurance, and a close communion with Himself, and
access into all truth, and boldness with great frequency at the mercy seat.
If we do not have these, it is from want of faith to receive, and not from
any unwillingness of God to give. A calm, a heavenly frame, great
patience, and fervent love—all these will He give to holy diligence.
But note well that we must "walk uprightly." There must be
no cross purposes and crooked dealings; no hypocrisy nor deceit. If we
walk foully God cannot give us favors, for that would be a premium upon sin.
The way of uprightness is the way of heavenly wealth—wealth so large as to
include every good thing. God wants us to prosper in all areas of our
live spirit, soul, and body.
What a promise to plead in prayer! Let us bow to our knees now.
the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and
not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; be. cause it will surely come, it
will not tarry Hab 2:3
Mercy may seem slow, but it is always sure. The Lord in
unfailing wisdom has appointed a time for the manifestation of His gracious
power, and God’s time is the best time. We may be in a hurry; the
vision of the blessing excites our desire, and hastens our longings; but the
Lord will keep His appointments. He never is before His time; He never
God’s word is a living thing which will speak, and will come.
It is never a dead letter, as we are tempted to fear when we have
watched for its fulfillment. The living word is on the way from the
living God, and though it may seem to linger, it is not in reality doing so.
It is only a matter of patience, and we shall soon see for ourselves
the faithfulness of the Lord.
No promise of His shall fail; "it will not lie." No promise
of His will be lost in silence; "it shall speak." In comfort
it will speak to the believing ear! No promise of His has the need to
be renewed like a bill which could not be paid on the day in which it fell
due—"it will not tarry."
Come now, impatient soul, can you not wait for your God? Rest
in Him and be still in blissful peacefulness.
will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wrath: for the spirit
should fail before me, and the souls which I have made Isaiah 57:16
Our heavenly Father seeks to give
instruction for maturity, not our destruction. His contention with us
has a kind intention toward us. He will not be always in arms against
us. We think the Lord is long in His chastisements, but that is
because we are short in our patience. His compassion endures forever,
but not His contention. The night may drag its weary length along, but
it must in the end give place to cheerful day. As contention is only
for a season, so the wrath which leads to it is only for a small moment.
The Lord loves His chosen too well to be always put out with them.
If He were to deal with us always as He does sometimes we should faint
outright, and go down hopelessly to the gates of despair. Courage,
dear one! The Lord will end His reprimands soon. Bear up, for
the Lord will bear you up, and bear you through. He who made you knows
how frail you are, and how little you can accept. He will handle
tenderly that which He has fashioned so delicately. Therefore, be not
afraid because of the painful present, for it hastens to a happy future.
He that smote you will heal you; His slight wrath shall be followed by great
thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart
Delighting in our Lord has a
transforming power, and lifts a man above the less than admirable desires of
our fallen nature. Delight in the Lord is not only sweet in itself,
but it sweetens the whole person, until the longings of the heart become
right so the Lord can safely promise to fulfill them. It is especially
a splendid delight which molds our desires till they are like the desires of
God? We struggle so with our faith, or lack thereof, when in truth joy
has more to do with a right heart than how much one knows.
Our foolish way is to desire, and then set to work to accomplish what we
desire. We too often do not go to work in God’s way, which is to
seek Him first, and then expect all things to be added unto us. If we
will let our heart be filled with God till it runs over with delight, then
the Lord Himself will take care that we shall not want for any good thing.
Instead of going searching the world and its pleasures for joys lets stay at
home with God, and drink waters out of our own fountain. We can expect
too much from our friends, our pastor, or teachers which in fact they do not
have the power to deliver. Our Lord Jesus can do far more for us than
all our friends.
It is better to be content with God alone than to go about fretting and
pining for the trivial inessentials of time and sense. For a while we
may have disappointments; but if these bring us nearer to the Lord, they are
things to be prized exceedingly, for they will in the end secure for us the
fulfillment of all our right desires. If it brings us closer to the
Lord than in fact we will have the desires of our heart that God has placed
deeply in our hearts. God does not intend for us to go without but
rather to accomplish our goals by demonstration of His greatness and
that humbleth himself shall be exalted Luke 18:14
It should not to be difficult to humble
ourselves, for what do we have we to be proud of? We ought to take the
lowest place without being told to do so. If we are sensible and
honest we should be little in our own eyes. This is especially true
before the Lord in prayer. There we cannot speak of merit, for we have
none: our one and only appeal must be to mercy based on God’s promise.
Our only right was earned not by us but our Lord Jesus.
Here is a cheering word from the throne. We shall be exalted by the
Lord if we humble ourselves. For us the way upward is downhill.
When we are stripped of self we are clothed with humility, and this is the
best we can wear. The Lord will exalt us in peace and happiness of
mind; He will exalt us into knowledge of His Word and fellowship with
Himself; He will exalt us in the enjoyment of sure pardon and justification.
He will provide all He has promised both spiritual and physical. He
will give us favor with God and man.
The Lord puts His honors upon those who can wear them to the honor of the
Giver. He gives usefulness, acceptance, and influence to those who
will not be puffed up by them, but will be abased by a sense of greater
responsibility. Neither God nor man will care to lift up a man who
lifts up himself; but both God and good men unite to honor those of humble
worth. Yet remember, humble is not stupid or weak, but truly the
greater mind of understanding and strength of courage.
O Lord, lift me that I may rise in your greatness.
grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness
Our weakness should be prized as it makes room for divine strength. We
might never have known the power of grace if we had not felt the weakness of
carnal nature. Blessed be the Lord for tests of faith when they drive
us to the strength of God.
This is a precious word from our Lord’s own lip. It makes the heart
laugh for joy. God’s grace enough for me! Shouldn’t we think
this? Is the sky not enough for a bird, and the ocean enough for the
fish? The All-Sufficient is sufficient for my largest want. He
who is sufficient for earth and Heaven is certainly able to meet the case of
one simple person of faith like me.
Fall back upon our God and His grace. He will enable us to bear grief
through to its end, with great joy of heart. His strength shall be
poured into us till we little ones shall harvest the mountains to its true
promise of God’s perfect provision; the fruit of God’s word. His
mighty ones of humility’s valor shall have victory over all.
It is better for us to have God’s strength than our own; for if we were a
thousand times as strong as we are, it would all amount to nothing in the
face of the enemy; and if we could be weaker than we are, which is scarcely
possible, yet we could do all things through Christ.
shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they,
even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God
To be the Lord’s own people is a choice blessing, but to know that we
are such is a comfortable blessing. It is one thing to hope that God
is with us, and another thing to know that He is so. Faith saves us,
but assurance satisfies us. We take God to be our God when we
believe in Him; but we get the joy of Him when we know that He is ours,
and that we are His. No believer should be content with hoping and
trusting, he should ask the Lord to lead him on to full assurance, so that
matters of hope may become matters of certainty.
It is when we enjoy covenant blessings, and see our Lord Jesus raised up
for us as a fact of prominence, that we come to a clear knowledge of the
favor of God toward us. We learn not by law, but by grace, that we
are the Lord’s people. Let us always turn our eyes to free grace.
Assurance of faith can never come by the works of the law. It is an
evangelical virtue, and can only reach us in a gospel way. Do not
look within. Look to the Lord alone. As we see Jesus we shall
see our salvation.
Lord, send us a flood of love that we shall be washed beyond the mire of
doubt and fear.
will not suffer thy foot to be moved Ps 121:3
If the Lord will not suffer it, neither men nor devils can do it.
They would greatly rejoice if they could cause us to disgracefully fall,
drive us from our position, and bury us out of memory! If it not for
one hindrance, they could do this to their heart’s content, and Only
one: the Lord will not suffer it; and if He does not suffer it, we shall
not suffer it.
The way of life is like traveling among the mountains. Along
mountain paths one is constantly in danger of the foot slipping.
Where the way is high the head is apt to swim, and then the feet soon
slide: there are spots which are smooth as glass, and others that are
rough with loose stones, and in either of these a fall is hard to avoid.
Anyone who throughout life is enabled to keep himself upright and to walk
without stumbling has the best of reasons for gratitude. With
pitfalls and snares, weak knees, weary feet, and subtle enemies, no child
of God would stand strong for an hour were it not for the faithful love
which will not suffer his foot to be moved.
Amidst a thousand snares I stand
Upheld and guarded by thy hand;
That hand unseen shall hold me still,
And lead me to thy holy hill.
sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but
under grace Rom 6:14
Sin will reign if it can: it cannot be satisfied any place less than the
throne of the heart. We sometimes fear that it will conquer us, and
then we cry unto the Lord, "Let not any iniquity have dominion over
me. This is His comforting answer, "Sin shall not have dominion
over you. It may assail you, and even wound you; but it shall never
establish sovereignty over you.
If we were under the law, our sin would gather strength and hold us under
its power; for it is the punishment of sin that a man comes under the
power of sin. As we are under the covenant of grace, we are secured
against departing from the living God by the sure declaration of the
covenant. Grace is promised to us, by which we are restored from our
wanderings, cleansed from our impurities, and set free from the chains of
We may lay down in despair and be "content to serve the
Egyptians" if we were still as slaves working for eternal life; but
since we are the Lord’s free men, we take courage to fight with our
corruptions and temptations, being assured that sin shall never bring us
under its sway again. God Himself gives us the victory through our
Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord…
Note the "my" which comes
twice: "My people shall be satisfied with my goodness."
The kind of people who are satisfied with God are marked out of as God’s
own. He is pleased with them, for they are pleased with Him.
They call Him their God, and He calls them His people; He is satisfied to
take them for a portion, and they are satisfied with Him for their
portion. There is a mutual communion of delight between God’s
people and people’s God.
These folks are satisfied. This is a
great thing!. Very few of the sons of men are ever
satisfied, their lot be what it may; they have swallowed the poison, and
it continually cries, "Give! give!" Only sanctified souls
are satisfied souls. God Himself must both convert us and cause us
to be content.
It is no wonder that the Lord’s people should be satisfied with the
goodness of their Lord. Here is goodness without complication,
reward without negotiation, mercy without scolding, love without change,
favor without reserve. If God’s goodness does not satisfy us, what
will? Are we still groaning? Surely there is a wrong desire
within if it be one which God’s goodness does not satisfy.
Lord, I am satisfied. Blessed be thy name.
ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it" John 14:14
What a wide promise! Anything! Whether large or
small, all my needs are covered by that word "anything." Come,
my mind, be free at the mercy seat, and hear thy Lord saying to you,
"Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it."
What a wise promise! We are always to ask in the name
of Jesus. While this encourages us, it also honors Him. This
is a constant plea. Occasionally every other plea is darkened,
especially such as when we are walking outside of God’s will for us, or
our ability to receive His grace. But, in these times the name of
Jesus is as mighty as ever, and we may plead it with full assurance.
What an instructive prayer! I may not ask for anything
to which I cannot put Christ’s hand and seal. I dare not use my
Lord’s name to a selfish, presumptuous or willful petition. I may
only use the Lord’s name to prayers which He would Himself pray if He
were in my situation. It is a high privilege to be authorized to ask
in the name of Jesus as if Jesus Himself asked; but our love to Him will
never allow us to set that name where He would not use it. Study
God’s word and His promises so we may confidently use His word as our
guide in prayer, for “all the promises are yes and amen in Christ.”
Am I asking for that which Jesus approves? When I find
the courage of faith produced by the knowledge of God’s word I put His
seal to my prayer? Then I have that which I seek of the Father.
God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ
Jesus Philippians 4:19
God is our God, and will supply all our need. Paul felt sure of this
in reference to the Philippians, and we are certain of this for ourselves.
God will do it, for it is like Him: He loves us, He delights to
bless us, and it will glorify Him to do so. His pity, His power, His
love, and His faithfulness, all work together that we may not be lacking.
What an incredible measure does the Lord use: "According to his
riches in glory by Christ Jesus." The riches of His grace are
large, but what shall we say of the riches of His glory? His
"riches of glory by Christ Jesus," who can estimate this? According
to this immeasurable measure God will fill up the immense chasm of our
necessities. He makes the Lord Jesus the receptacle and the channel
of His fullness, and then He imparts to us His wealth of love and supply
in its highest form. Hallelujah!
I personally know what it is to be tried in the work of the Lord. Faithfulness
has been recompensed with anger, and liberal givers have stopped their
offerings; but he whom they sought to oppress has not been the least
poorer, no, rather he has been the richer; for this promise has been true,
"My God shall supply all our need." God’s supplies are surer
than any bank.
weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that
shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn Isa 54:17
There is great clatter in the forges and smithies of the enemy. They are
making weapons wherewith to smite the saints. They could not even do as
much as this if the Lord of saints did not allow them; for He has created
the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire. But see how busily they
labor! How many swords and spears they fashion! It matters nothing, for on
the blade of every weapon you may read this inscription: It shall not
But now listen to another noise: it is the strife of tongues.
Tongues are more terrible instruments than can be made with hammers and
anvils, and the evil which they inflict cuts deeper and spreads wider.
What will become of us now? Slander, falsehood, insinuation,
ridicule—these are poisoned arrows; how can we meet them? The Lord God
promises us that, if we cannot silence them, we shall, at least, escape
from being ruined by them. They condemn us for the moment, but we shall
condemn them at last, and for ever. The mouth of them that speak lies
shall be stopped, and their falsehoods shall be turned to the honor of
those good men who suffered by them.
the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his
inheritance Psalm 94:
He will not cast even one of them.
Man has his cast-offs, but God has none; for His choice is unchangeable,
and His love is everlasting. None can find a single person who God
has forsaken after having revealed Himself as personal Savior to him.
This greatest truth is mentioned in the psalm to cheer the heart of the
afflicted. The Lord chastens His own; but He never forsakes them.
This results in a double work of the law and the rod is our instruction.
The fruit of that instruction is a quieting of spirit, a sobriety of mind,
out of which comes rest.
The ungodly are let alone untill they finish digging their pit into which
they will fall and be taken; but the godly are sent to school to be
prepared for their glorious and victorious destiny in this life and the
life to come.
Judgment will return and finish its work upon the rebels, but it will
equally return to vindicate the sincere and godly. Hence calm
submission to correction; does not come as anger, but love.
hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his
covenant Psalm 111:5
Those who fear God need not fear
want. Through all the long years our Lord has always found meat for
His own children, whether they have been in the wilderness, or by the
brook Cherith, or in captivity, or in the midst of famine. Even
today the Lord gives us our daily bread day by day, and we do not doubt
that He will continue to feed us until we want no more.
As to the higher and greater blessings of our covenant of grace, He will
never cease to supply them as our case demands. He is mindful that
He made the covenant, and never acts as if He regretted it. He is
mindful of it when we provoke Him to destroy us. He is mindful to
love us, keep us, and comfort us, even as He guaranteed to do. He is
mindful of every jot and tittle of His promises, never letting one of His
words to fall to the ground.
We are sometimes sadly unmindful of our God, but He is graciously always
mindful of us. He cannot forget His Son who is the Surety of the
Covenant, nor His Holy Spirit who actively carries out the covenant, nor
His own honor, which is bound up with the covenant. Hence the
foundation of God stands sure, and no believer shall lose his divine
inheritance, which is his by a covenant of salt.
Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and
bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to
Isaac, and to Jacob Gen 50:24 |
had been an incarnate outside influence to his family. All our
Josephs die, and a thousand comforts die with them.
was never the same to
after Joseph was dead, nor can the world again be what it was when our
beloved ones were alive to some of us.
But see how the pain of that sad death was alleviated! They had a
promise that the living God would visit them. A visit from Jehovah!
What a favor! What a consolation! What a Heaven below!
O Lord, visit us this day
It was certainly promised: the Lord would bring them out. They found
a cold welcome when Joseph was dead; even more than that, it would become
a house of bondage to them. But not forever. They would come
out of it by a divine deliverance, and march to the land of promise.
We shall not weep here forever. Dreams may die but the Lord will
deliver. Things may turn for the worse but the Lord will deliver.
People may turn their backs on you but the Lord will deliver. We
shall be called home to the glory-land of freedom and provision.
Wherefore, "comfort one another with these words."
for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied,
when I awake, with thy likeness Psalm 17:15
The portion of other men fills their
bodies, and enriches their children, but the portion of the believer is of
another sort. Men of the world have their treasure in this world and
fail to see beyond this world whether in denial of ignorance, but men of
the world to come look higher and further.
Our possession is twofold. We have God’s presence and provision
here and His likeness hereafter. Here we behold the face of the Lord
in righteousness, for we are justified in Christ Jesus. Oh, the
ecstasy of beholding the face of a reconciled God! The glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ yields us great peace in this earth, and it is
no different than Heaven to come.
But seeing does not end it: we are to be changed into that which we gaze
upon. We shall sleep a moment and then wake up to find ourselves as
mirrors which reflect the beauties of our Lord. Faith sees God with
a transforming look. The heart receives the image of Jesus into its
own depths, till the character of Jesus is imprinted on the soul. This
is satisfaction. To see God and to be like Him—what more can I
desire? David’s assured confidence is here performed by the Holy
Ghost now given as the Lord’s promise. I believe it. I
expect it. Lord, make it so. Amen.
the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from
the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor
waiteth for the sons of men. Micah 5:7
this is true of the literal
, much more is it true of the spiritual
, the believing people of God. When saints are what they should be,
they are an incalculable blessing to those among whom they are scattered
They are as the dew; for in a quiet, unobtrusive manner they refresh those
around them. Silently but effectually they minister to the life,
growth, and joy of those who dwell with them. Coming fresh from
Heaven, shining like diamonds in the sun, gracious men and women attend to
the feeble and insignificant till each blade of grass has its own drop of
dew. They appear little as individuals, though when united, they are
all-sufficient for the purposes of love which the Lord fulfills through
them. Dewdrops accomplish the refreshing of broad acres. Lord, make
us like the dew!
Godly people are as showers which come at God’s bidding without man’s
permission. They work for God whether men desire it or not. Dew
does not require human permission anymore than the rain does. Lord,
make us thus prompt and bold, and free for your service wherever we find
when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth
Truth is like a vast cavern which we
desire to enter, but we are not able to navigate it alone. At the
entrance it is clear and bright; but if we would go further and explore
its innermost recesses, we must have a guide, or we will lose ourselves.
The Holy Spirit, who knows all truth perfectly, is the appointed guide of
all true believers, and He leads them as they are able to bear it, from
one inner chamber to another, so that they have revealed the deep things
of God, and He makes His secret plain to them.
This is such a wonderful promise for the humble inquiring mind! We
desire to know the truth, and to enter into it. We are conscious of
our own aptness to err, and we feel the urgent need of a guide. We
rejoice that the Holy Spirit is come and abides among us. He
condescends to act as a guide to us, and we gladly accept His leadership.
We wish to learn "All truth” that we may not be one-sided and out
of balance. We do not want to be willingly ignorant of any part of
revelation lest thereby we should miss blessing, or incur sin. The
Spirit of God has come that He may guide us into all truth: let us with
obedient hearts hearken to His words and follow His lead.
goeth before you into
; there shall ye see him, as he said unto you Mark 16:7
He was in due time where He had an appointment to meet His disciples.
Jesus keeps His appointments. If He promises to meet us at the
mercy-seat, or in public worship, or during the communion sacraments, we
may depend upon Him that He will be there. We may shamefully stay
away from the appointed meeting-place, but He never does. He says,
"Where two or three are met together in my name, there am I"; he
does not say "There will I be," but, "I am there
Jesus is always first in fellowship: “He goeth before you.” His
heart is with His people, His delight is in them and He is never slow to
meet them. In all fellowship He goes before us.
But he reveals Himself to those who come after Him: “There shall ye see
him.” Joyful sight! We do not care to see the greatest of mere
men, but to see HIM is to be filled with joy and peace. And we shall
see Him, for He promises to come to those who believe in Him, and to
manifest Himself to them. Rest assured that it will be so, for He
does everything according to His word of promise: "As he said unto
Catch at those last words, and be assured that to the end He will do for
you "as he said unto you."
shalt no more be termed Forsaken Isa 62:4
is a dreary word. It sounds like a sentence of death. It is
the record of the sharpest sorrows, and the prophecy of the most dreadful
ills. An abyss of misery drops its mouth wide open in that word
Forsaken by one who pledged his honor! Forsaken by a friend so long
tried and trusted! Forsaken by a dear relative! Forsaken by
father and mother! Forsaken by all! This is despair indeed,
and yet it may be patiently borne if the Lord will take us up.
But what must it be like to feel forsaken of God? Think of that
bitterest of cries, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Have we ever in any degree tasted the bitterness and the gall of
"Forsaken," in that sense? If so, let us beseech the Lord
to save us from any repetition of so unspeakable a sorrow. Oh, that
such darkness will never return! Malicious men said of a saint,
"God hath forsaken him; persecute and take him." But it
was always false. The Lord’s loving favor shall compel our cruel
foes to eat their own words, or, at least, to hold their tongues.
The reverse of all this is that matchless word, Hephzibah—"the Lord
delighteth in thee." This turns weeping into dancing. Let those
who dreamed that they were forsaken hear the Lord say, "I will never
leave thee nor forsake thee.”
the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of
sweet incense before the Lord Lev 4:7
altar of incense is the place where saints present their prayers and
praises; and it is pleasant to think of it as sprinkled with the blood of
the great sacrifice. This makes all our worship acceptable with Jehovah:
He sees the blood of His own Son, and therefore accepts our worship
It is well for us to fix our eyes upon the blood of the one offering for
sin. Sin mingles even with our holy things, and our best repentance,
faith, prayer, and thanksgiving could not be received of God were it not
for the merit of the atoning sacrifice.
Many sneer at "the blood"; but to us it is the foundation of
comfort and hope. That which is on the horns of the altar is meant to be
prominently before our eyes when we draw near to God. The blood gives
strength to prayer, and hence it is on the altar’s horns. It is
"before the Lord," and therefore it ought to be before us. It is
on the altar before we bring the incense; it is there to sanctify our
offerings and gifts.
Come, let us pray with confidence, since the Victim is offered, the merit
has been pleaded, the blood is within the veil, and the prayers of
believers must be sweet unto the Lord.
have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it
who remain faithful to the truth of God’s Word have an open door before
them. Commit your soul to live and die by that which the Lord has
revealed in His Word, and there will stand before you this open door.
Enter in by the open door of communion with God. Who shall deny us?
Jesus has removed our sin, and given us His righteousness, therefore
we may freely enter. We may do so by the Lord’s grace.
Before us is an open door into the mysteries of the Word. We may
enter into the deep things of God. Our Calling, Union to Christ, the
Baptisms of Fire and Water, the Gifts of the Spirit, the Rapture, the
Second Advent, and on we harvest His Richness—all these are before us,
and we may enjoy them. No promise and no doctrine are now locked up
Before us is an open door of access in private, and an open door of
usefulness in public. God will hear us; God will use us. A
door is opened for the onward march to the completed church above and for
daily fellowship with saints here and now. Some may try to shut us
up or shut us out, but all in vain.
Very soon dear one we shall see an open door into Heaven: the pearl gate
will be our way of entrance, and then we shall go in unto the Lord and
King, Jesus the Son of God and be with Him eternally shut in.
I will strengthen them in the Lord: and they shall
walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord Zech 10:12
A comfort for saints being challenged by
sickness. They may have grown faint, and they may fear that they may
never rise from the bed of doubt and fear; but the great Physician can
both remove the disease, and take away the weakness which has come of it.
He will strengthen the feeble. This He will do this in best
possible way, for it shall be "in the Lord." Our strength
is far better in God than in self. In the Lord it causes fellowship,
in ourselves it would create pride. In ourselves it would be sadly
limited, but in God it knows no bound.
When strength is given, the believer uses it. He walks up and down
in the name of the Lord. What an enjoyment it is to walk abroad
challenging illness, and what a delight to be strong in the Lord after a
season of prostration! The Lord gives His people liberty to walk up
and down, and an inward leisure to exercise that liberty. He makes
gentlemen of us: we are not slaves who know no rest, and see no sights,
but we are free to travel at our ease throughout Immanuel’s land.
Come, my heart, do not be sick and sorry, Jesus bids you to be strong, and
walk with God in holy expectation. Obey His word of love.
the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed,
to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that
thou mayest live Deut 30:6
Here we read of the true circumcision.
Note the author - "The Lord thy God."
He alone can deal effectually with our heart, and take away its carnality
and pollution. To make us love God with all our heart and soul is a
miracle of grace which only the Holy Ghost can work. We must look to
the Lord alone for this and never be satisfied with anything short of it.
Note where this circumcision is fashioned.
It is not of the flesh, but of the spirit. It is the essential mark
of the Covenant of Grace. Love to God is the indelible token of the
chosen seed; by this secret seal grace is certified to the believer.
We must make sure we do not trust in no outward ritual, but are
sealed in heart by the operation of the Holy Ghost.
Note what the result is—"that thou mayest live."
To be carnally minded is death. In overcoming the flesh we find life
and peace. If we mind the things of the Spirit, we shall live.
Oh, that the Lord, our God, may complete His gracious work upon our
inner natures, that in the fullest and highest sense we may live unto the
my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from
heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land 2Chron
called by the name of the Lord, we are nevertheless transgressing men and
women. What a mercy it is that our God is ready to forgive! Whenever
we sin hasten to the mercy-seat of our God, seeking pardon.
We are to humble ourselves. We should be humbled by the fact that
after receiving so much love we yet transgress? Lord, we bow before
you in the dust, and own our grievous ingratitude. We are shamed as
we have fallen short of the honor we are so favored with!
Next, pray for mercy, for cleansing, for deliverance from the power of sin
In this prayer we are to seek the Lord’s face. Lord, look on us in
your Son Jesus, and smile upon your servants.
With this we must turn from evil, God cannot turn to us unless we turn
Then comes the triple promise of hearing, pardon, and healing. Father,
grant us these in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father:
so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me John 6:57
live by virtue of our union with the Son of God. As God-man
Mediator, the Lord Jesus lives by the self-existent Father who has sent
Him, and in the same manner we live by the Savior who has quickened us.
He who is the source of our life is also the sustenance of it.
Living is sustained by feeding. We must support the spiritual life
by spiritual food, and that spiritual food is the Lord Jesus. Not
His life, or death, or offices, or work, or word alone, but Himself, as
including all these. On Jesus, Himself, we feed.
This is set forth to us in the Lord’s Supper, but it is actually enjoyed
by us when we meditate upon our Lord, believe in Him with appropriating
faith, take Him into ourselves by love, and assimilate Him by the power of
the inner life.
We know what it is to feed on Jesus, but we cannot speak it or write it.
Our wisest course is to practice it, and to do so more and more.
We are entreated to eat abundantly, and it will be to our infinite
profit to do so when Jesus is our meat and our drink.
Lord, we thank you that this, which is a necessity of our new life, is
also its greatest delight. So,we do at this hour feed on you.
that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded Proverbs 13:13
awe of God’s Word is at a great bargain. Some men think themselves
wiser than the Word of the Lord, and sit in judgment upon it. "I
did not, because of the fear of God." We accept the inspired
Book as infallible, and prove our esteem by our obedience. We have
no terror of the Word, but we have a childlike awe of it. We are not
in fear of its penalties, because we have a fear of its commands.
This holy fear of the commandment produces the restfulness of humility,
which is far sweeter than the recklessness of pride. It becomes a
guide to us in our movements; a drag when we are going down-hill, and a
stimulus when we are climbing it. Preserved from evil and led into
righteousness by our reverence of the command, we gain a quiet conscience,
which is a well of inspiration; a sense of freedom from responsibility,
which is as life from the dead; and a confidence of pleasing God, which is
as Heaven below. The ungodly may ridicule our deep reverence for the
Word of the Lord; but what of that? The prize of our high calling is
a sufficient consolation for us. The rewards of obedience make us scorn
the scorning of the scorner.
that sow in tears shall reap in joy" #Ps 126:5
Weeping times are suitable for sowing: we
do not want the ground to be too dry. Seed steeped in the tears of
earnest anxiety will come up all the sooner. The salt of prayerful
tears will give the good seed a flavor which will preserve it from the
worm: truth spoken in earnestness has a double life. Instead of stopping
our sowing because of our weeping, let us redouble our efforts because the
season is so propitious.
Our heavenly seed could not fitly be sown laughing. Deep sorrow and
concern for the souls of others are a far more fit accompaniment of godly
teaching than anything like levity. We have heard of men who went to
war with a light heart, but they were beaten; and it is mostly so with
those who sow in the same style.
Come, then, sow on in your weeping, for you have the promise of a joyful
harvest. You shall reap. You, yourself, shall see some result
of your labor. This shall come to you in so large a measure as to give you
joy, which a poor, withered, and scanty harvest would not do. When
your eyes are dim with tears, think of the golden corn. Bear
cheerfully the present toil and disappointment; for the harvest day will
fully recompense thee.
will correct thee in measure" #Jeremiah 30:11
To be left uncorrected would be a fatal
sign: it would prove that the Lord had said, "He is given unto idols,
let him alone." God grant that such may never be our portion!
Uninterrupted prosperity is a thing to cause fear and trembling.
As many as God tenderly loves He rebukes and chastens: those for
whom He has no esteem He allows to fatten themselves without fear, like
cattle for the slaughter. It is in love that our heavenly Father
uses the rod upon His children.
Yet see, the correction is "in measure": He gives us love
without measure, but chastisement in measure." As under the old
law no Israelite could receive more than the "forty stripes save one,
which ensured careful counting and limited suffering, so is it with each
afflicted member of the household of faith -every stroke is counted.
It is the measure of wisdom, the measure of sympathy, the measure of
love, by which our chastisement is regulated. Far be it from us to
rebel against appointments so divine. Lord, as you stand by me, it
is for me to cheerfully take that cup from your hand, and drink according
to your directions, saying "Thy will be done."
shall save his people from their sins" #Mat 1:21
Lord, save me from my sins. In the
name of Jesus I am encouraged to pray this way. Save me from my past
sins, that the habit of them may not hold me captive. Save me from
my sins of my flesh, that I may not be the slave of my own weaknesses.
Save me from the sins which are continually visible to myself that I
may not lose my horror of them. Save me from secret sins; sins
unperceived by me from my want of light. Save me from sudden and
surprising sins: let me not be carried off my feet by a rush of
temptation. Save me, Lord, from every sin. Let not any
iniquity have dominion over me.
You alone Lord can do this. I cannot snap my own chains or slay my
own enemies. You know temptation, for you were tempted. You
know sin, for you carried the weight of it. You know how to nurture
me in my hour of conflict; you can save me from sinning, and save me when
I have sinned. It is promised in your very name that you will do
this, and I pray let me this day verify the prophecy. Let me not
give way to temper, or pride, or despondency, or any form of evil; but
save me unto holiness of life, that your name, Jesus, may be abundantly
glorified in me.
little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the
Lord will hasten it in his time" #Isaiah 60:22
for the Lord often begin on a small scale, and they are none the worse for
this. Feebleness educates faith, brings God near, and wins glory for
His name. Prize promises of increase! Mustard seed is the
smallest among seeds, and yet it becomes a tree-like plant, with branches
which lodge the birds of Heaven. We may begin with one, and that
"a little one,’ and yet it will "become
a thousand." The Lord is great at the multiplication
table. How often did He say to His lone servant, "I will
multiply thee!" Trust in the Lord, you ones and twos; for He
will be in the midst of you if you are gathered in His name.
"A small one."
What can be more despicable in the eyes of those who count heads and
weigh forces! Yet this is the nucleus of a great nation. Only
one star shines out at first in the evening, but soon the sky is crowded
with countless lights.
Nor do we think need the prospect of increase to be remote, for the
promise is, "I Jehovah will
hasten it in his time." There will be no premature
haste, like that which we see at excited meetings; it will be all in due
time; but yet there will be no delay. When the Lord hastens, His
speed is glorious.
O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy
servant be blessed for ever" #2Sam 7:29 2:4
This is a promise boldly litigated, and so
it offers us double instruction. Anything which the Lord God has spoken we
should receive as surely true, and then plead it at the throne.
How sweet to quote what our own God has spoken! How precious to use
which the promise suggests, as David does in this verse!
We do not pray because we doubt, but because we believe. To pray
unbelievingly is unbecoming in the children of the Lord.
No, Lord, we cannot doubt you: we are persuaded that every word of yours
is a sure foundation for our boldest expectation. We come to you and
say, "Do as you have said." Bless your servant’s house.
Heal our sick; save our hesitating ones; restore those who wander;
confirm those who live in your word. Lord, give us food and raiment
according to your word. Prosper our undertakings; especially cause
our endeavors to make known your gospel in our neighborhood successful.
Make our servants your servants, our children your children. Let
the blessing flow on to future generations, and as long as any of our race
remains on the earth may they remain true to you and your word. O
Lord God "let the house of your servant be blessed."
is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart" #Ps
is often costly to the man who walks in it despite the challenges. But,
in the end it will bear its own expenses, and return an infinite profit.
A holy life is like sowing seed: much is going out, and apparently
it is buried in the soil, never to be gathered up again.
We are mistaken when we look for an immediate harvest’; but the error is
very natural, for it seems impossible to bury light. Yet is says
“light is sown.” It lies latent: none can see it,
it is sown. We are quite sure that it must one day manifest itself.
So fully sure are we that the Lord has set a harvest for the sowers of
light, and they shall reap it, each man for himself. Then shall come
their gladness. Sheaves of joy for seeds of light. Their heart
was upright before the Lord, though men gave them no credit for it, but
even censured them: they were righteous, though those about them denounced
them as intolerant. They had to wait, as farmers wait for the
precious fruits of the earth: but the light was sown for them, and
gladness was being prepared on their behalf by the Lord of the harvest.
Courage, brothers! We do not need to be in a hurry. Let
patience possess our souls, for soon shall our souls possess light and
I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall: and they shall
fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with
thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the Lord’ #Jer 15:20
in the fear and faith of God will make a man like a wall of iron, which no
one can batter down or break. Only the Lord can make such; but we
need such men in the church, and in the world, but especially in the
Against uncompromising men of truth this age of shams will fight tooth and
nail. Nothing seems to offend Satan and his seed like decision.
They attack holy firmness even as the Assyrians besieged fenced
cities. The joy is that they cannot prevail against those whom God
has made strong in His strength. Carried about with every wind of
doctrine, others only need to be blown upon, and away they go; but those
who love the doctrines of grace, because they possess the grace of the
doctrines, stand like rocks in the midst of raging seas.
Where does this stability come from? "I
am with thee, saith the Lord": that is the true answer.
Our Lord Jesus will save and deliver faithful souls from all the
assaults of the adversary. Hosts are against us, but the Lord of
hosts is with us. We dare not budge an inch; for the Lord Himself
holds us in our place, and there we will abide for ever.
seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these
things shall be added unto you" #Mat 6:33
See how the Bible opens: "In the
beginning God." Let your life open in the same way. Seek
with your whole soul, first and foremost, the
, as the place of your citizenship, and His righteousness as the character
of your life. As for the rest, it will come from the Lord Himself
without your being anxious concerning it. All that is needful for
this life and godliness "shall be added unto you.
What a promise! Food, raiment, home, financial stability, health and so
forth, God undertakes to add to you while you seek Him. You mind His
business, and He will mind yours. If you want boxes, tape, and
string, you get them thrown in when you buy more important goods; and just
so all that we need of earthly things we shall have thrown in with the
He who is an heir of salvation shall not die of starvation; and he who
clothes his soul with the righteousness of God cannot be left abandoned of
the Lord with a naked body. Cast away burdensome care. Set all
of your mind to seeking the Lord. Covetousness is poverty, and
anxiety is misery: trust in God is an estate, and likeness to God is a
heavenly inheritance. Lord, I seek you with all my heart, allow me
to find you.
the elect’s sake those days be shortened" #Mat 24:22
For the sake of His elect the Lord
withholds many judgments, and shortens others. In great tribulations
the fire would devour all were it not that out of regard to His elect the
Lord governs the flame. Thus, while He saves His elect for the sake
of Jesus, He also preserves the race for the sake of His chosen.
This is a great honor for His saints! How diligently we ought to use
this influence with our Lord! He will hear their prayers for
sinners, the sick and the broken and bless their efforts for their
salvation. He blesses believers that they may be a blessing to those
who are in unbelief. Many a sinner lives because of the prayers of a
mother, or wife, husband, or daughter, to whom the Lord has respect.
Have we rightly used this singular power with which the Lord entrusts us?
Do we pray for our country, for other lands, and for the age? Do
we, in times of war, famine, pestilence, stand out as intercessors,
pleading that the days may be shortened? Do we lament before God the
outbursts of infidelity, error, and licentiousness? Do we beseech
our Lord Jesus to shorten the reign of sin by hastening His own glorious
appearing? Let us get to our knees, and never rest till Christ
servants shall serve him: and they shall see his face; and his name shall
be in their foreheads" #Rev 22:3, 4
Three abundant blessings remain ours in His
"His servants shall serve
him." No other lords shall oppress us, no other
service shall distress us. We shall serve Jesus always, perfectly,
without weariness, and without error. This is Heaven to a saint: in
all things to serve our Lord Christ Jesus and to be owned by Him as His
servant is our life’s high ambition for eternity.
"And they shall see his
face." This makes the service delightful: indeed, it is
the present reward of service. We shall know our Lord, for we shall
see Him as He is. To see the face of Jesus is the utmost favor that
the most faithful servant of the Lord can ask. What more could Moses
ask than—"Let me see thy
"And his name shall be in their
foreheads." We shall gaze upon our Lord till His name is
imprinted upon our brows. We are acknowledged by Him, and we
acknowledge Him. The secret mark of inward grace develops into the
public and clearly demonstrated professed relationship.
Yet in all that shall be there is a seed of it now. Whatever promise
that shall be completed there is now the substance of that power. O
Lord, give us these three things in their beginnings here, that we may
possess them in their fullness upon your return!
it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance" #Num 15:25
Because of our ignorance we are not fully
aware of our sins of ignorance. Yet we may be sure they are many, in
the form both of commission and omission. We may be doing in all
sincerity, as a service to God, that which He has never commanded, and can
The Lord knows every one of these sins of ignorance. This may alarm
us, since in justice He will require these trespasses at our hand; but on
the other hand, faith finds comfort in this fact, for the Lord will see to
it that stains unseen by us shall yet be washed away. He sees the
sin that He may cease to see, by casting it out of His view of us.
Our great comfort is that Jesus, the true priest, has made atonement for
all the congregation of His children. That atonement secures the
pardon of unknown sins. His precious blood cleanses us from all sin.
Whether our eyes have seen it and wept over it, or not, God has seen
it, Christ has atoned for it, the Spirit bears witness to the pardon of
it, and so we have a three-fold peace.
Dearest Father, I praise your divine knowledge, which not only perceives
my iniquities, but provides an atonement which delivers me from the guilt
of them, even before I know that I am guilty.
I will put a division between my people and thy people: tomorrow shall
this sign be" #Exod 8:23
Pharaoh has a people, and the Lord has a
people. These may dwell together, and seem to fare alike, but there
is a division between them, and the Lord will make it apparent. This
apparent same event shall not happen forever alike to all, but there shall
be a great difference between the men of the world and the people of Jesus
our Lord’s choice.
This may happen in the time of judgments, when the Lord becomes the
sanctuary of His saints. It is very conspicuous in the conversion of
believers when their sin is put away, while unbelievers remain under
condemnation. From that moment they become a distinct race, come
under a new discipline, and enjoy new blessings. Henceforth, their
homes are free from the grievous evils which defile and torment the
Egyptians. They are kept from the pollution of lust, the bite of
worry and care, the corruption of lying falsehoods, and the cruel torment
of hatred, which devour many families.
Rest assured, tried believer, that though you have your troubles you are
saved from swarms of worse ones, which infest the homes and hearts of the
servants of the world’s Prince, the devil. The Lord has put a
division; see to it that you keep up the division in spirit, aim,
character and company.
will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your
filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you" #Ezek 36:25
a great joy this is! He who has purified us with the blood of Jesus
will also cleanse us by the water of the Holy Spirit. God said it,
and so it must be, "Ye shall be
clean." Lord, we mourn our uncleanness, and it is
good to our heart to be assured by your own mouth that we shall be clean.
Make a speedy work of it!
Deliver us from our worst sins. The uprisings of unbelief, and the
deceitful lusts which war against the soul, the vile thoughts of pride,
and the suggestions of Satan to blaspheme the sacred name— all these
shall be so purged away as never to return. Those who read this
today who have felt untold guilt for your weakness and sin, hear these
words today. Though you have tried to hide in defeat I declare you
He will also cleanse us from all our idols, whether of gold or of clay:
our impure loves, and our excessive love of that which in itself is pure.
That which we have idolized shall be broken from us.
It is God who speaks of what He Himself will do. Therefore this word
is established and sure, and we may boldly look for that which it
guarantees to us. Cleansing is a covenant blessing, and the covenant
is ordered in all things and sure.
shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord" #Ps
is a fair assurance! It was based upon a promise, inwardly whispered
in the Psalmist’s heart, which he seized upon and enjoyed. Is my
case like David's? Am I depressed because the enemy insults
and offends me? Are there multitudes against me, and few on my side?
Does unbelief propose to me, “Lie down and die in despair”—a
defeated, dishonored person? Do my enemies begin to dig my grave?
What then? Shall I yield to the whisper of fear, and give up the
battle, and with it give up all hope? Far from it. Not while
there is still life in me: "I shall not die." Strength and
vigor will return and remove my weakness: "I shall live."
The Lord lives and I shall live also. My mouth shall again
open: "I shall declare the works of Jehovah." Yes, and I
shall speak of the present trouble as another instance a testimony of the
wonder-working faithfulness and love of the Lord my God who always
Those who would gladly measure me for my coffin had better wait a bit; for
"the Lord hath strengthen me as iron, but he will not give me over to
death." Glory to His name forever! I am immortal till my
work is done. Till I finish my course of faith no vault can close
ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love" #John 15:10
things cannot be separated—abiding in obedience, and abiding in the love
of Jesus. A life under the rule of Christ can by itself prove that
we are the objects of our Lord’s delight. We must keep our
Lord’s command if we would bask in His love. If we live in sin and
doubt we cannot live in the love of Christ. Without the holy
faithfulness which pleases God, we cannot please Jesus. He who cares
nothing for holiness knows nothing of the love of Jesus.
Conscious enjoyment of our Lord’s love is a delicate thing. When
we are tender of heart, and careful in thought, speech, and life to honor
our Lord Jesus, then we receive tokens of His love without limit. If
we desire to receive such bliss and contentment we must purposely live a
faithful, holy and honorable lifestyle.
The Lord Jesus will not hide His face from us unless we hide our face from
Him. Sin makes the cloud which darkens our Sun: if we will be
watchfully obedient and completely consecrated, we may walk in the light,
as God is in the light, and have as sure an abiding in the love of Jesus
as Jesus has in the love of the Father. Here is a sweet promise with
a solemn "if." Lord, let us each have this "if"
in our hand; for as a key it opens our lives to true freedom.
shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord” #Hosea 6:3
Not all at once, but by degrees shall we
attain holy knowledge, and our business is to persevere and learn little
by little. Do not despair, though progress may be slow, for we shall
yet know. The Lord, who has become our Teacher, will not give up on
us, however slow our understanding may be; for it is not for His honor
that any degree of human folly should confound His skill. The Lord
delights to make the simple wise.
Our duty is to keep to our main topic, and follow on to know, not
necessarily this peculiar doctrine nor that, but to know the Lord Jesus
Himself. To know Father, Son, and Spirit, the Triune God, this is
life eternal. Let us keep to this way, for in this we shall gain
complete instruction. By following on to know the Lord, we learn
healing after being torn, binding up after being assaulted, and life after
death. Experience has its perfect work when the heart follows the
course of the Almighty Lord.
My soul, keep close to Jesus, follow on to know God in Jesus, and so shall
you come to the knowledge of Christ, which is the most excellent of all
the sciences. The Holy Ghost will lead you into all truth. This
is His gracious office? Rely upon Him to fulfill it.
ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my
people, and brought you up out of your graves” #Ezek 37:13
is so: those who receive life from the dead are sure to recognize the hand
of the Lord in such a resurrection. This is the greatest and most
remarkable of all changes that a man can undergo—to be brought out of
the grave of spiritual death, and made to rejoice in the light and liberty
of spiritual life. None could work this but the living God, the Lord
and giver of life.
How well do I remember when I was lying in the valley full of dry bones,
as dry as any of them! Blessed was the day when free grace sent the
man of God to prophesy upon me! Glory be to God for the stirring
which that word of faith caused among the dry bones. More blessed
still was that heavenly breath from the four winds which made me live!
Now I know the quickening Spirit of the ever-living Lord Jesus.
Truly He is the living God, for He made me live. My new life even in
its occasional sorrow is clear proof to me that the Lord can kill and make
alive. He is the only God. He is all that is great, gracious,
and glorious, and my quickened soul adores Him as the great I AM. All
glory be unto His sacred name! As long as I live I will praise Him.
I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord
their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by
horses, nor by horsemen" #Hosea 1:7
word! The Lord Jesus Himself will deliver His people in the
greatness of His mercy, but He will not do it by the ordinary means.
Men are slow to give to God the glory due His name. If they go to
battle with sword and bow, and win the victory, they ought to praise their
God; yet they do not, but begin to magnify their own right arm, and glory
in their horses and horsemen. For this reason our Lord often
determines to save His people without second means, that all the honor may
be to Himself alone.
Let your heart lean, to the Lord alone, and not to man. Expect to
see God all the more clearly when there is no one else to look to.
If I have no friend, no adviser, no one at my back, let me be none the
less confident if I can feel that the Lord Himself is on my side.
Yes, I am glad if He gives victory without battle, as the text implies.
Why do I ask for horses and horsemen if the Lord Himself has mercy upon
me, and lifts up His arm for my defense? Why do I need bow or sword
if God will save? Let me trust, and not be afraid, from this day
forth and forevermore. Amen.
Lord will be with you" #2Chron 20:17
This was a great mercy for Jehoshaphat, for
a immense multitude had come out against him; and it will be a great mercy
for me, for I have great need, and I have no might or wisdom. If the
Lord be with me, it matters little who may desert me. If the Lord be
with me, I shall conquer in the battle of life, and the greater my trials
the more glorious will be my victory. How can I be sure that the
Lord is with me?
For certain He is with me if I am with Him. If I trust in His
faithfulness, believe His word, and obey His commands, He is assuredly
with me. If I am on Satan’s side God is against me, and cannot be
otherwise; but if I live to honor God I may be sure that He will honor me.
I am quite sure that God is with me if Jesus is my sole and only Savior.
If I have placed my soul in the hands of God’s Only-begotten Son,
then I may be sure that the Father will put forth all His power to
preserve me, that we do not dishonor His Son.
Oh for faith to take hold upon the short but this sweet text! O
Lord, fulfill this word to your servants! Be with me in the house,
in the street, in the field, in the shop, in my workplace, and alone.
Be with all your people in great mercy and blessing this day.
on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord" #Ps 27:14
Wait! Let your waiting be on the
Lord! He is worth waiting for. He never disappoints the
While waiting keep up your spirits. Expect a great deliverance, and
be ready to praise God for it
The promise which should cheer you up is in the middle of the verse— "He
shall strengthen thine heart." This at once goes to the
place where you need help. If the heart is sound, all the rest of
the system will work well. The heart wants calming and cheering; and
both of these will come if it is strengthened. A forceful heart
rests and rejoices, and steadily beats force into the whole man.
No one else can get at this secret vessel of life, the heart, to pour
strength into it. God alone who made it can make it strong. God
is full of strength, and, therefore, He can impart it to those who need
it. Be brave; for the Lord will impart His strength to you, and you
shall be calm in tempest, and glad in sorrow.
"Wait, I say, on the Lord." Indeed, I do say it. I
know by long and deep experience that it is good for me to wait upon the
bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not
quench" #Isa 42:3
I expect tender treatment from my Lord.
Indeed, I feel myself to be at best as weak, and as pliant, as a
reed. Very possibly my purpose may even seem less meaningful.
Someone said, "I don’t care about you"; and the speech, though
unkind, was not untrue. There is sadness of heart! Can one
find themselves even equal to a reed that grows by the river, for that at
least can hold up its head. I am bruised, sorely, sadly bruised.
There is no music in me now; there is a rift which drains the heart.
Yet Jesus will not break me; and if he will not, then I care little
what others try to do. O sweet and compassionate Lord, I nestle down
beneath your protection, and forget my bruises.
Truly I am also fit to be likened to "the smoking flax," whose
light is gone, and only its smoke remains. I fear I am rather a
nuisance than a benefit. My fears tell me that the devil has blown
out my light, and left me an obnoxious smoke, and that my Lord will soon
put an extinguisher upon me. Yet I perceive that though there were
snuffers under the law, there were no extinguishers; and Jesus will not
quench me; therefore, I am hopeful. Lord, kindle me anew, and cause
me to shine forth to in your glory, and to the praise of your tenderness.
shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are
not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the
living God" #Hosea 1:10
grace can make strangers into sons, and the Lord declares His purpose to
deal with rebels firmly, and make them know what He has done.
Beloved, the Lord has done this in my case; has He done the like for you?
Then let us join hands and hearts in praising His adorable name!
Some of us were so decidedly ungodly that the Lord’s Word most truly
said to our conscience and heart, "Ye are not my people."
In the house of God, and in our own homes, when we read the Bible, this
was the voice of God’s Spirit in our soul, "Ye are not my
people." Truly a sad condemning voice it was. But now, in
the same places, from the same ministry and Scripture, we hear a voice,
which saith, "Ye are the sons of the living God." Can we
be grateful enough for this? Is this not too wonderful for words?
Doesn’t it give us hope for others? Who is beyond the reach of
almighty grace? How can we despair of any, since the Lord has
wrought so marvelous a change in us?
He who has kept this one great promise will keep every other; wherefore,
let us go forward with songs of adoration and confidence.
is the man that feareth alway" #Prov 28:14
fear of the Lord is the beginning and the foundation of all true religion.
Without a solemn awe and reverence of God there is no foothold for
more higher virtues. He whose soul does not worship will never live
Happy is he who feels a jealous fear of doing wrong. Holy fear looks
not only before it leaps, but even before it moves. Fear is not weak
self consciousness or feeling of intimidation yet it has a real fear
motivating a purposeful reaction to avoid the shame of error, or
neglecting duty, or even casually committing known sin. It is
suspicious and careful of ill company, loose talk, and questionable
policy. This does not make a man wretched, but it brings him happy.
The watchful guard over his soul is happier than the soldier who
sleeps at his post. He who foresees evil and escapes it is happier
than he who walks carelessly on and finds destruction.
Fear of God is a quiet grace which leads a man along a choice road, of
which it is written, "No lion shall be there, neither shall any
ravenous beast go up thereon." Fear of the very appearance of
evil is a purifying principle, which enables a man, through the power of
the Holy Spirit, to keep his garments unspotted from the world. In
both senses he that "feareth alway" is made happy. Solomon
had tried both worldliness and holy fear: in the one he found vanity, in
the other happiness. Let us not repeat his trial, but abide by his
shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when
thou goest out" #Deut 28:6
The blessings of the law are not cancelled.
Jesus confirmed the promise when He bore the penalty. If we
keep the commands of our Lord, we may appropriate this promise without
This day I will come in to my house without fear of evil tidings, and I
will come into my prayer closet expecting to hear good news from my Lord.
I will not be afraid to enter my personal temple for
self-examination, nor to examine my affairs by a diligent inspection of my
dealings. I have a good deal of work to do indoors, within my own
soul; Oh, for a blessing upon it all, the blessing of the Lord Jesus, who
has promised to abide in me and with me.
I must also go out. Timidity makes me wish that I could stay hidden
within the doors of my person, and never mingle with the world without
again. Evil, fear of rejection, uncertainty make me nervous
without. But I must go out in my calling, and I must go out that I
may be helpful to my brethren, and useful to the ungodly. I must be
a defender of the faith and an assailant of evil. Oh, for a blessing
upon my going out this day! Lord, let me go where You lead, on Your
errands, under Your command, and in the power of Your Spirit.
Lord Jesus, turn in with me and be my guest; and then walk out with me,
and cause my heart to burn while You speak with me on the way.
is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth" #Lam 3:27
is as good as a promise as one can get. It has been good, it is
good, and it will be good for me to bear the yoke.
Early in life I had to feel the weight of conviction, and ever since it
has proven to be a soul-enriching burden. Would I love the gospel as
well had I not learned by deep experience the need of salvation by grace?
Jabez was more honorable than his brethren because his mother bare
him with sorrow, and those who suffer much in being born unto God make
strong believers in the powerful gift of grace.
The yoke of criticism is an exasperating one, but it prepares a man for
future honor. He is not fit to be a leader if he has not run the
gauntlet of disapproval. Praise intoxicates if it is not preceded by
real lessons in humility. Men who rise to eminence without a
struggle usually fall into dishonor.
The yoke of affliction, disappointment, and excessive labor is by no means
to be sought for; but when the Lord lays it on us in our youth it
frequently develops a character which glorifies God and blesses the
Come now soul, bow your neck; take up your cross. It was good for you when
young, it will not harm you now. For Jesus… shoulder it
heavens shall drop down dew" #Deut 33:28
the dew is to the world of nature that is the influence of the Spirit in
the realm of grace. How greatly we need it! Without the Spirit
of God we are dry and withered. We droop, we fade, we die. How
sweetly does this dew refresh us! When once favored with it we feel
happy, alive, vigorous, elevated. We want nothing more. The
Holy Spirit brings us life, and all that life requires. All else
without the dew of the Spirit is less than nothing to me: We hear, we
read, we pray, we sing, we go to the table of communion, and there we find
no blessing until the Holy Ghost visits us. But when His dew falls
upon us, every means of grace is sweet and profitable.
What a promise this is for us! "His heavens shall drop down
dew." We may be visited with grace. We shall not be left
to our natural drought, or to the world’s burning heat, or to the hot
winds of Satanic temptation. May we feel at this very hour the
gentle, silent, saturating dew of the Lord!
Why shouldn’t we? He who made us to live as the grass in the
meadow, will treat us as He treats the grass; He will refresh from above.
Grass though cannot call for dew as we are able to do. Surely,
the Lord who visits the unpraying plant will answer His pleading child.
is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall
receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love
him" James 1:12
he is blessed while he is enduring the trial. No eye can see this
till it has been anointed with heavenly eye-salve. But he must
endure it, and not rebel against God, nor turn aside from integrity.
He is blessed who has gone through the fire, and has not been
consumed as a counterfeit.
When the test is over, then comes the prize of divine approval
—"the crown of life." As if the Lord said, "Let him
live; he has been weighed in the balances, and he is not found
wanting." Life is the reward: not mere being; but holy, happy,
true existence, the realization of the divine purpose concerning us.
Already a higher form of spiritual life and enjoyment crowns those
who have safely passed through fiercest trials of faith and love.
The Lord has promised the crown of life to those who love Him. Only
lovers of the Lord will hold out in the hour of trial; the rest will
either sink or sulk, or slink back to the world. Come, dear heart,
do you love your Lord? Truly? Deeply? Wholly? Then
that love will be tried; but will not be quenched, neither will the floods
drown it. Lord, let your love nourish us to the end.
a man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind and a covert from the
tempest." #Isa 32:2
MAN we all know well. Who could He be but the Second Man, the Lord
from Heaven, the Man of sorrows, the Son of Man? What a hiding-place
He has been to His people! He Himself bears the full force of the
wind, and shelters those who hide themselves in Him. We have thus
escaped the wrath of God, and we shall thus escape the anger of men, the
cares of this life, and the dread of death. Why do we stand in the
wind when we may so readily and so surely get out of it by hiding behind
our Lord? Let’s run to Him today, and be at peace.
Often the common wind of trouble rises in its force and becomes a tempest,
with huge gusts throwing us before it. Things which looked firm and
stable sway in the blast. Many and great are the failures among our
carnal confidences. Our Lord Jesus, the Man of Glory, is a covert
which is never blown down. In Him we acknowledge the tempest
sweeping by, but we ourselves rest in delightful serenity.
This day let us just hide away in our hiding-place, and sit and sing under
the protection of our Shelter. Blessed be the name of Jesus!
Blessed Jesus! How we love you! For we in you we trust
for truly you are to us who believe a safe shelter in the time of storm.
whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold
water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in
no wise lose his reward"
I can do as much as that . I can do a kind act toward the Lord’s
servant. The Lord knows I love them all, and would count it an honor
to wash their feet. For the sake of their Master I love the
How gracious of the Lord to mention so insignificant an action— "to
give to drink a Cup of cold water only"! This I can do, however
poor: this I may do, however lowly: this I will do very cheerfully.
This, which seems so little, the Lord notices—notices when done to
the least of His followers. Evidently it is not the cost, nor the
skill, nor the quantity, that He looks at, but the motive: that which we
do to a disciple, because he is a disciple, his Lord observes, and
recompenses. He does not reward us for the merit of what we do, but
according to the riches of His grace.
I give a cup of cold water, and He makes me to drink of living water.
I give to one of His little ones, and He treats me as one of them.
Jesus finds an apology for His liberality in that which His grace
has led me to do, and He says, "He shall in no wise lose his
righteous shall flourish like the palm tree:he shall grow like a cedar in
Lebanon" #Ps 92:12
These trees are not trained and pruned by
man: palms and cedars are "trees of the Lord," and it is by His
care that they flourish; even so it is with the saints of the Lord, they
are His own care. These trees are evergreen and are beautiful
objects at all seasons of the year. Believers are not sometimes holy
and sometimes ungodly: they stand in the beauty of the Lord under all
conditions. Everywhere these trees are noteworthy: no one can gaze
upon a landscape in which there are either palms or cedars without his
attention being fixed upon these royal growths. The followers of
Jesus are the observed of all observers: like
a city set on a hill they cannot be hid.
The child of God flourishes like a palm tree, which pushes all
its strength upward in one erect column without a single branch. It
is a pillar with a glorious capital. It has no growth to the right
or to the left, but sends all its force heavenward, and bears its fruit as
near the sky as possible. Lord, fulfill this type in me.
The cedar braves all storms, and grows near the eternal snows, the Lord
Himself filling it with a sap which keeps its heart warm and its boughs
strong. I pray Lord, let it be so with me.
of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him;
and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between
his shoulders" #Deut 33:12
there is no safety like that which comes from dwelling near to God. For
His best beloved the Lord can find no surer or safer place. O Lord,
let me always abide under your shadow, close to your wounded side. Nearer
and nearer I will come to you, my Lord; and when I am especially near to
you, I will abide there forever.
What a covering the Lord gives to His chosen! Not an ordinary roof
shall cover him, nor a bomb shelter, nor even an angel’s wing, but Jesus
our Lord Himself. Nothing can come at us when we are covered. The
Lord grants us this covering all day long, however long the day. Lord,
let me abide this day consciously beneath this shelter of love, this
covering of your power.
Does the third clause mean that the Lord in His temple would dwell among
the mountains of Benjamin, or that the Lord would be where Benjamin’s
burden should be placed, or does it mean that we are borne upon the
shoulders of the Eternal? In any case, the Lord is the support and
strength of His saints. Lord, let me ever enjoy your help and then
this will be sufficient for me.
Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice
over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with
singing" #Zeph 3:17
What a word from our
beloved Lord! The Lord God in the center of His people in all the
majesty of His power! This presence alone suffices to inspire us
with peace and hope. Treasures of boundless might are stored in our
Lord, and He dwells in His church, therefore may His people shout for joy.
We not only have His presence, but He is engaged in His choice work of
salvation. "He will save." He is always saving: He
takes His name of Jesus from it. Let us not fear any danger, for He
is mighty to save.
Nor is this all. He abides evermore the same; He loves, He finds
rest in loving, He will not cease to love. His love gives Him joy.
He even finds a theme for song in His beloved. This is
exceedingly wonderful. When God wrought creation He did not sing,
but simply said, "It is very good"; but when He came to
redemption, then the sacred Trinity felt a joy to be expressed in song.
Think of it, and be astonished! Lord Jesus sings a marriage
song dancing about His throne over His chosen bride. She is to Him
His love, His joy, His rest, His song. O Lord Jesus, by your
immeasurable love to us teach us to love you, to rejoice in you, and to
sing unto you our life-psalm.
people shall be willing in the day of thy power" #Ps 110:3
be the God of grace! He has His own children whom He has chosen from
of old to be His peculiar portion. These by nature have wills as
stubborn as the rest of the wayward sons of Adam; but when the day of His
power comes, and grace displays its omnipotence, they become willing to
repent, and to believe in Jesus. None are saved unwillingly, but the
will is made to sweetly yield itself. What a wonderful power this
is, which never violates the will, and yet rules it! God does not
break the lock, but He opens it by a master-key which He alone can handle.
Now we are willing to be, or to do as the Lord wills. If at any time
we grow rebellious He has but to come to us with power, and straightway we
run in the way of His commands with all our hearts. May this be a
day of power for us as to a noble effort for the glory of God and the good
of my fellow believers!
Lord, I am willing; may I not just hope that this is a day of your power?
I am wholly at your disposal; willing, yes, eager, to be used of you
for your holy purposes. O Lord, let me not have to cry, "To
will is present with me, but how to perform that which I would, I find
not"; but give me power as you give me will.
that tribulation worketh patience" #Rom 5:3
is a promise in essence if not in form. We have need of patience,
and here we see how we acquire it. It is only by enduring that we
learn to endure, even as by swimming men learn to swim. You could
not learn that art on dry land, nor learn patience without trouble. it
is worth it to suffer tribulation for the sake of gaining that beautiful
self-control of mind which quietly acquiesces in all the will of God?
Yet note a singular fact, which is not according to nature, but is
supernatural. Tribulation in and of itself works bad temper,
unbelief, and rebellion. It is only by the sacred infusion of grace
that it is made to work in us patience. We do not thresh the wheat
to collect the dust: yet the flail of tribulation does this upon God’s
floor. We do not toss a man about in order to give him rest, and yet
so the Lord allows this with His children. Truly this is not the
manner of man, but greatly redounds to the glory of our all-wise God.
Oh, for grace to let my trials bless me and be turned around for good!
Why should I wish to stop their gracious operation? Lord, I
ask you to remove my affliction, but I beseech you ten times more to
remove my impatience. Precious Lord Jesus, with your cross engrave
the image of your patience on my heart.
there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and
streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship
pass thereby" #Isa 33:21
Lord will be the greatest good to us without any of the drawbacks which
seem to accompany the best earthly things. If a city is favored with
broad rivers, it is liable to be attacked by galleys with oars, and other
ships of war. But when the Lord represents the abundance of His
bounty in this case, He takes particular care to shut out the fear which
the metaphor might suggest. His perfect love is blessed.
Lord, when you send wealth like broad rivers, do not let the
galley with oars come up in the shape of worldliness or pride. When
you manifest my abundant health and happy spirits, do not let "the
gallant ship" of carnality come sailing up the wide overflow. When
I have success in Your holy service, broad as the Mississippi, yet let me
never find the galley of self-conceit and self-confidence floating on the
waves of my usefulness. When you make me so supremely happy as to
enjoy the light of your countenance year after year, yet let me never
despise your feeble saints, nor allow the vain notion of my own perfection
to sail up the broad rivers of my full assurance. Lord, thank you
for that blessing which makes rich and neither adds sorrow, nor sin.
lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations,
like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon
the earth" #Amos 9:9
sifting process is going on still. Wherever we go, we are still
being winnowed and sifted. In all countries God’s people are being
tried "like as corn is sifted in a sieve." Sometimes the
devil holds the sieve, and tosses us up and down at a great rate, with the
earnest desire to get rid of us forever. Unbelief is quick to
agitate our heart and mind with its restless fears. The world lends
a willing hand in the process, and shakes us to the right and to the left
with great vigor. Worst of all, the church, so largely apostate as
it is, comes in to give a more furious force to the sifting process.
Well, well! Let it go on. Thus is the chaff severed from the
wheat. Thus is the wheat delivered from dust and chaff. And
how great is the mercy which comes to us in God’s promise, "yet
shall not the least grain fall upon the earth!" All shall be
preserved that is good, true, and gracious. Not one of the least of
believers shall be lost; neither shall any believer lose anything worth
calling a loss. We shall be blessed in the sifting that it shall be
a real gain to us through Christ Jesus.
it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth,
whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live" #Ezek 47:9
living waters, in the prophet’s vision, flowed into the
, and carried life with them, even into that stagnant lake. Where
grace goes, spiritual life is the immediate and the everlasting
consequence. Grace proceeds according to the will of God, even as a
river in all its windings follows its own sweet will; and wherever it
comes it does not wait for life to come to it, but it creates life by its
own quickening flow.
Oh, that it would pour along our streets, and flood our inner cities!
Oh, that it would now come into my house, and rise till every room
were made to swim with it! Lord, let the living water flow to my
family and my friends, and let it not pass me by. I hope I have drunk of
it already; but I desire to bathe in it, yes, to swim in it.
O my Savior, I need life more abundantly. Come to me, I pray thee,
till every part of my nature is vividly energetic and intensely active.
Living God, I pray, fill me with your own life. I am a poor,
dry stick; come, fill me, and make me to live so that, like Aaron’s rod,
I may bud and blossom and bring forth fruit unto your glory. Quicken
me, in my Lord Jesus’ name. Amen.
the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt
offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have showed us
all these things" #Judges 13:23
This is a sort of promise
deduced by logic. It is an inference fairly drawn from ascertained facts.
It was not likely that the Lord had revealed to Manoah and his wife that a
son would be born to them, and yet had it in His heart to destroy them.
The wife reasoned well, and we shall do well if we follow her line of
The Father has accepted the great sacrifice of Calvary, and has declared
Himself well pleased; how can He now be pleased to kill us? Why a
substitute if the sinner must still perish? The accepted sacrifice of
Jesus puts an end to fear.
The Lord has shown us our election, our adoption, our union to Christ, our
marriage to the Well-beloved: how can lie now destroy us? The promises are
loaded with blessings, which necessitate our being preserved unto eternal
life. It is not possible for the Lord to cast us away, and yet fulfill His
covenant. The past assures us, and the future reassures us. We shall not
die, but live; for we have seen Jesus, and in Him we have seen the Father
by the illumination of the Holy Ghost. Because of this life-giving sight
we must live for ever.
the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the
nations" #Num 23:9
Who would wish to dwell
among the nations, and to be numbered with them? Why, even the professing
church is such that to follow the Lord fully within its bounds is very
difficult. There is such a mingling and mixing that one often sighs for
"a hermits lodge in some wilderness."
It is certain that the Lord would have His people follow a separated path
as the world, and come out decidedly and distinctly from it. We are set
apart by the divine decree, purchase, and calling, and our inward
experience has made us to greatly differ from men of the world; and
therefore our place is not in their Vanity, nor in their City of
Destruction, but in the narrow way where all true pilgrims must follow
This may not only reconcile us to the world’s cold shoulder and sneers,
but even cause us to accept them with pleasure as being a part of our
covenant portion. Our names are not in the same book, we are not of the
same seed, we are not bound for the same place, neither are we trusting to
the same guide, therefore it is well that we are not of their number. Only
let us be found in the number of the redeemed, and we are content to be
odd and solitary to the end.
thou wilt light my candle" #Ps 18:28
may be that my soul sits in darkness; and if this is a spiritual kind, no
human power can bring me light. Blessed be God! He can bring light into my
darkness, and at immediately light my candle. Even though I may be
surrounded by a "darkness which is so thick it can be felt," yet
He breaks the gloom, and without delay makes it bright around me.
The great mercy is, that if He lights the candle no one can blow it out,
neither will it go out for lack of substance, nor burn out of itself
through the lapse of hours. The lights which the Lord created in the
beginning are still shining. The Lord’s lamps may need trimming, but He
does not put them out.
Let us, then sing in the dark like the nightingale. Expectation shall
furnish the music, and hope shall give us the tune. Soon we shall rejoice
in a candle of God’s lighting. We may seem dull and dreary just now.
Perhaps it is the weather, or bodily weakness, or the surprise of a sudden
trouble; but whatever has made the darkness, it is God alone who will
bring the light. Ours eyes must be upon Jesus alone. Soon the candles of
the Lord will be shining about us!
remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" #Heb 4:9
has provided a Sabbath, and some must enter into it. Those to whom it was
first preached entered not in because of unbelief; therefore, that Sabbath
remains for the people of God. David sang of it; but he had to touch the
minor key, for
refused the rest of God. Joshua Could not give it, nor
produce it: it remains for believers.
Let us labor to enter into this rest. Let us quit the weary toil of sin
and self. Let us cease from all confidence, even in those works of which
it might be said, "They are very good." Do we really have any
without God working through us that would qualify? Still, let us cease
from our own works, as God did from His. Now let us find solace in the
finished work of our Lord Jesus. Everything is fully done: justice demands
no more. Great peace is our portion in Christ Jesus.
As to our daily matters, the works of grace in our soul, and the work of
the Lord in the lives of others, let’s cast these burdens upon the Lord,
and rest in Him. Speak the word with confidence trusting God will complete
what He has begun. When the Lord gives us a yoke to bear, He does so that
by taking it up we may find
rest. By faith we labor to enter into the rest of God, and we
renounce all rest in self-satisfaction or laziness. Jesus Himself is
perfect rest and we are filled to the brim in Him.
shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto
you." #John 16:14
The Holy Ghost Himself cannot
glorify the Lord Jesus better than by showing to us Christ’s own things.
Jesus is His own best commendation. There is no adorning Him except with
His own gold.
The Comforter shows us that which He has received of our Lord Jesus. We
never see anything correctly till He reveals it. He has a way of opening
our minds, and of opening the Scriptures, and by this double process He
increases the vision of the Lord to us. There is an art in revealing a
matter, and that art belongs in the highest degree to the Spirit of truth.
He shows us the things themselves. This is a great privilege, as many know
who have enjoyed a Holy vision.
Seek the illumination of the Spirit; not to gratify our curiosity, nor
even to bring personal comfort, so much as to glorify the Lord Jesus.
Groveling notions dishonor our precious Lord. It is far greater to have a
vivid impression of His person, and work, and glory, that we may cry out
His praise with all our heart and soul! Where there is a heart enriched by
the Holy Ghost’s teaching there will be a Savior glorified beyond
expression. Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly light, show us Jesus our Lord!
thy mouth wide, and I will fill it" #Ps 81:10
an encouragement to pray! Our human notions would lead us to ask small
things because our deservings are so small; but the Lord would have us
request great blessings. Prayer should be as simple a matter as the
opening the mouth; it should be a natural, unconstrained utterance. When a
man is earnest he opens his mouth wide, and our text urges us to be
fervent in our supplications.
Yet it also means that we may be bold with God, and ask many and large
blessings at His hands. Read the whole verse, and see the argument: “I
am Jehovah, thy God, which brought thee out of the
: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Because the Lord
has given us so much He invites us to ask for more, yes, to expect more!
See how the little birds in their nests seem to be all mouth when the
mother comes to feed them. Let it be the same with us. Let us take in
grace at every door. Let us drink it in as a sponge sucks up the water.
God is ready to fill us if we are Only ready to be filled. Let our needs
make us open our mouths; let our faintness cause us to open our mouths and
pant; yes, let our fears make us open our mouths with a child’s cry. The
opened mouth shall be filled by the Lord Himself!
hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his
covenant" #Ps 111:5
who fear God need not fear want. Through all these long years our good
Lord has always found meat for His own children, whether they have been in
the wilderness, or by the brook Cherith, or in captivity, or in the midst
of famine. Always the Lord has given us day by day our daily bread, and we
do not doubt that He will continue to feed us till we want no more
As to the higher and greater blessings of the covenant of grace, He will
never cease to supply them as our case demands. He is mindful that He made
the covenant, and never acts as if He regretted it. He is mindful of it
when we provoke Him to destroy us. He is mindful to love us, keep us, and
comfort us, even as He at this very moment doing. He is mindful of every
jot and tittle of His promises, never suffering one of His words to fall
to the ground.
We are sadly unmindful of our God, but He is graciously mindful of us. He
cannot forget His Son who is the Surety of the Covenant, nor His Holy
Spirit who actively carries out the covenant, nor His own honor, which is
bound up with the covenant. Hence the foundation of God stands sure, and
no believer shall lose his divine inheritance, which is his by a covenant
I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee
in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee,
and to thy seed after thee"
Lord, you have made a covenant with me, your servant, in Christ Jesus my
Lord; and now, I pray, let my children be included in its gracious
provisions. I truly believe this promise is made to me as well as to
Abraham. I know, that my children are born in sin, and formed in iniquity,
even as those of other men; therefore, I ask nothing on the grounds of
their birth, as I well know that "that which is born of the flesh is
flesh," and nothing more. Lord, receive them to be born under your
covenant of grace by your Holy Spirit!
I pray for my descendants throughout all generations. Be their God as you
are mine. My highest honor is that you have permitted me to serve you; may
my offspring serve you in all years to come. O God of Abraham, be the God
of his Isaac! O God of Hannah, accept her Samuel!
Lord, as you have favored me and my family, I pray that you remember other
households of your people which remain unblest. Be the God of all the
. Let not one of those who fear your name be tried with a godless and
wicked household, in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt
say" #Exod 4:12
true servants of the Lord are slow of speech when called upon to plead for
the Lord and His promise. Great confusion produces inexperienced and
very poor representation of truth. However, it is well to remember that
the Lord made the tongue which can be slow, and we must take care not to
blame our Maker. It may be that a slow tongue is not so great an
evil as a fast one, and fewness of words may be more of a blessing than
floods of non productive words. It is certain that real saving power does
not lie in human rhetoric, with its figures of speech, and pretty phrases,
and grand displays. Lack of fluency is not necessarily a great
deficiency as it may look to the casual observer.
If God be with our mouth, and with our mind, we shall have something
better than the sounding brass of eloquence, or the tinkling cymbal of
persuasion. God’s teaching is wisdom; His presence is power. Pharaoh
had more reason to be afraid of stammering Moses than of the most fluent
; for what he said had power in it. He spoke of choices with real
consequences –plagues and deaths. If the Lord be with us in our
natural weakness we shall be covered with supernatural power. Therefore,
let us speak for Jesus boldly, as we ought to speak.
if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that
is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat" #Lev 22:11
and wanderers were not to eat of holy things. It is still this way today
in spiritual matters. Two classes were free at the sacred table, those who
were bought with the priest’s money, and those who were born into the
priest’s house. Bought and born, were two indisputable proofs of the
right to partake of holy things.
Bought. Our great High Priest bought all those who receive Him with their
faith; at a price. They are His absolute property—altogether the
Lord’s. Not for what they are in themselves, but only for their
owner’s sake are they admitted into the same privileges which He Himself
enjoys, and "they shall eat of
his meat." He has meat to eat which
the world knows not of. Because you belong to Christ, you share
with your Lord.
Born. This is an equally sure way to privilege; if born in the Priest’s
house we take our place with the rest of the family. Regeneration makes us
fellow-heirs, and of the same body; and, therefore, the peace, the joy,
the glory, which the Father has given to Christ, Christ has given to us.
Redemption and regeneration have given us a double divine permission in
Lord bless thee, and keep thee" #Num 6:24
This first clause of the
high-priest’s benediction is substantially a promise. That blessing
which our great High Priest pronounces upon us is sure to come, for He
speaks the mind of God.
It is a joy to abide under this divine blessing! It puts a gracious flavor
in all things. If we are blessed, then all our possessions and pleasures
are blessed; yes, our losses and crosses, and even our disappointments are
blessed. God’s blessing is deep, emphatic, and effectual. A man’s
blessing may begin and end in words; but the blessing of the Lord makes
rich and sanctifies. The best wish we can have for our dearest friend is
not "May prosperity come to you," but "The
Lord bless thee."
It is equally delightful to be kept of God; kept by Him, kept near Him,
kept in Him. They are kept indeed whom God keeps; they are preserved from
evil, they are reserved unto boundless happiness. God’s keeping goes
with His blessing, to establish it and cause it to endure.
Amazing Grace desires that the rich blessing and sure keeping pronounced
here may come upon every one of you who may at this moment be looking at
these lines. Please breath the text to God as a prayer for His servants.
law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide" #Ps
Put the law into the heart,
and the whole man is right. The heart is where the law should be; for then
it truly lies, like the tables of stone in the ark. It is then
correctly in the place appointed for it. The law puzzles when in the head,
on our backs it is too heavy a burden. When it is in the heart it has
perfect power to uphold.
What choice words the psalmist uses, "the
law of his God"! When we know the Lord personally as our
own God, His law becomes liberty to us. God with us in covenant makes us
eager to obey His will and walk in His commands. Is the precept my Father
God’s precept? Then I delight in it.
This promise guarantees that obedient-hearted man shall be sustained in
every step that he takes. He will do that which is right, and he shall
thus do that which is wise. Holy action is always the most prudent, though
at the time it may not seem to be so. We are taking narrow road of God’s
providence and grace when we keep
to the heart way of His
The Word of God has yet never misled a single soul. Its plain directions
to walk humbly, justly, lovingly, and in the fear of the Lord, are words
of wisdom. Through Wisdom the Word leads us to make our way prosperous.
This newfound freedom move us to rule in Wisdom’s dominion of Godliness
purify even as we are made pure.
He walks surely who walks in hearts faith righteously.
the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as
the Lord God of thy fathers bath said unto thee; fear not, neither be
discouraged" #Deut 1:21
ought to be bold enough to win our own possession. There is a heritage of
grace provided. All that one believer has gained is free to another. We
may be strong in faith, fervent in love, and abundant in labor; there is
nothing to prevent it; let us go up and take possession. The sweetest
experience and the brightest grace are as much for us as for any of our
brethren, Our Lord Jesus has set it before us; no one can deny our right;
let us go up and possess it in His name.
The world also lies before us to be conquered for the Lord Jesus. We are
not to leave any country or corner of it not subdued. That slum near our
house is before us, not to baffle our endeavors, but to make them yield.
We have only to summon courage enough to go forward, and we shall win dark
homes and hard hearts for Jesus. Never leave the people in a lane or alley
to die because we have not enough faith in Jesus and His gospel to go up
and possess the land. No spot is too dark, no person so profane as to be
beyond the power of grace. Cowardice, be gone! Faith marches to conquest.
be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do
according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not
from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper
whithersoever thou goest" #Josh 1:7
the Lord will be with us in our holy war, but He demands of us that we
strictly follow His rules. Our victories will very much depend upon our
obeying Him with all our heart, throwing strength and courage into the
actions of our faith. If we are halfhearted we cannot expect more than
half a blessing.
We must obey the Lord with care and thoughtfulness. The phrase "Observe
to do" is full of meaning. This is the heart of all the
promises of His divine will; we must obey with universal readiness. Our
rule of conduct is according to all
the word. We may not pick and choose, but we must take the
Lord’s commands as they come, one and all. In all this we must go on
with exactness and consistency. We are to be on a straight and forward
course, which bends neither right nor left. We are not to err by being
more rigid than the word, nor turn away from center in lightheartedness
trying for a more free and easy way. With such obedience there will come
prosperity; spirit soul and body.
O Lord, we test your promise with courage that is be not in vain.
Lord God will help me" #Isa 50:7
are the prophetic words of Messiah in the day of His obedience unto death,
when He gave His back to the tormentors, and His cheeks to them that
plucked off the hair. He was confident in the divine support, and trusted
in His Father.
Our sorrows are as so very small compared with our Lord’s! Believe that
Heavenly Father will help us too? The Lord was in a peculiar position; for
as the representative of sinful men—their substitute and sacrifice—it
was needful that the Father should leave Him, and cause Him to be as we
are; separated from God. No punishment is of necessity laid upon us who
have received Him as Lord: nor are we bound to cry, "Why hast thou
forsaken me?" Did your Savior even in such an extreme case still rely
upon God, then so can you? He died for you, and thus made it impossible
that you should not be left alone. Be of good cheer.
In this day’s labors or trials say, "The Lord God will help
me." Go forth boldly. Set your face like a flint, and resolve that no
faintness or shame shall come near you. If God helps, who can hinder? If
you are sure of omnipotent aid, what can be too heavy for you? Begin the
day joyously, and let no shade of doubt come between you and the eternal
"Every branch in me
that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth
fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit" #John 15:2
This is a precious promise to those who
lives for fruitfulness. At first it seems somewhat sharp. Must the
fruitful bough be pruned? Must the knife cut even the best and most
useful? No doubt it is so, for much of our Lord’s purging work is done
within the curse of this world by means of afflictions of one kind or
another. Though it seems harsh to cut the branch yet when one thinks of
the budding fruit on another branch trying to break forth, why not help it
with all the power in your means. Jesus looks for the budding,
seeking, faithful fruit in making that decision.
It is not the evil but the good that face tribulation in this life. It is
those who would have fruit and who challenge the curse. But, then, the end
makes more than full amends for the painful nature of the means. If we may
bring forth more fruit for our Lord, we will not mind the pruning and the
loss of leafage.
To the believer, purging is always wrought by the Word apart from trial,
and this takes away whatever appeared rough in the flavor of the promise.
By the Word we shall be made more gracious and more useful. The Lord, who
has made us, fruit-bearing, will operate upon us till we reach a far
higher degree of fertility.
Is not this a great joy? Truly there is more comfort in a promise of
fruitfulness than if we had sought the favor of worldliness.
Lord Jesus, speedily fulfill your gracious word to those who receive by
faith, and cause us to abound in fruit to your praise!
Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up"
my changes come from Him who never changes. If I had grown rich, I should
have seen His hand in it, and I should have praised Him. Let me equally
see His hand if I am abased, and let me as heartily praise Him. When we go
down in the world, it is of the Lord, and so we may work through it
patiently. When we rise in the world, it is of the Lord, so we may accept
it thankfully. In any case, the Lord has performed, and it is all well.
It seems that the Lord’s way is to lower those whom He means to raise,
and to strip those whom He intends to clothe. If it is His way, it is the
wisest and best way. If I am now enduring the low I may well rejoice,
because I see in it the preface to the lifting up. The more we are humbled
in His grace, the more we shall be exalted in His glory. That
impoverishment will be overruled for our enrichment is to be welcomed.
O Lord, I feel of late taken down, and made to feel my insignificance and
sin. It is not a pleasant experience, but I pray make it a profitable one
to me. Fit me to bear a greater weight of delight and of usefulness; and
when I am ready for it, then grant it to me, for the Glory of my Lord
thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness"
I in the light? Then you, O Lord, are my lamp. Take you away, and my joy
would be gone; but as long as you are with me, I can do without the
passing on of the torches of time and the candles of created comfort. What
a light the presence of God casts on all things! I heard of a lighthouse
which could be seen for twenty miles, but our Lord Jesus is not only a God
who is present, but is seen far off, even in the enemy’s country. O
Lord, I am happy and content when your love fills my heart. You are all I
Am I in the dark? Then you, O Lord, will lighten my darkness. Before long
things will change. Affairs may grow more and more dreary, and cloud may
be piled upon cloud; but if it grows so dark that I cannot see my own
hand, still I shall see the hand of the Lord.
When I cannot find a light within me, or among my friends, or in the whole
world, the Lord, who said "Let there be light," and there was
light, can say the same again. He will speak me into the sunshine. I shall
not die but live. The day is already breaking. This sweet word shines like
a morning star. I clap my hands for joy though many hours have passed.
shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they
are yet speaking,I will hear" #Isa 65:24
is quick work! The Lord hears us before we call; and often answers us in
the same speedy manner. Foreseeing our needs, and our prayers, He so
arranges His provision that before the need actually arises He has
supplied it, before the trial assails us He has armed us against it. This
is the promptness of omniscience, and we have often seen it exercised.
Before we dreamed of the affliction which was coming, the strong
consolation which was to sustain us had arrived. What a prayer-answering
God we have!
Though God be in Heaven and we are on the earth, yet He makes our word,
like His own word, to travel very swiftly. When we pray aright in faith we
speak into the ear of God. Our gracious Mediator presents our petitions at
once, and the great Father hears them and smiles upon them. To have
God’s faith is to have the immediacy of His ear. This kind of
praying is Great! Everyone would be much in prayer if they knew that they
had the ear of the King of kings?
This day I will pray in faith, not only believing that I shall be heard,
but that I am heard; not only that I shall be answered, but that I have
the answer already.
whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be
glorified in the Son" #John 14:13
believer has learned to pray in Christ’s name. To ask in His name, as
authorized by Him, is a high order of prayer. When the petition is
clearly right with God’s word we then may dare to set the name of Jesus
to it, as then it must be granted.
Prayer is all the more sure to succeed because it is for the Father’s
glory through the Son. It glorifies His truth, His faithfulness, His
power, His grace. The granting of prayer, when offered in the name of
Jesus, reveals the Father’s love to Him, and the honor which He has put
upon Him. The glory of Jesus and of the Father are so wrapped up together,
that the grace which magnifies the one magnifies the other.
The river is made famous through the fullness of the fountain, and the
fountain is honored through the river by which it flows. If the answering
of our prayers would dishonor our Lord, we would not pray; but since in
this thing He is glorified, we will pray without ceasing in that dear name
in which God and His people have a fellowship of delight.
he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be
with them" #2Kings 6:16
Horses and chariots, and a great host,
trapped the prophet in
. His young servant was frightened. How could they escape from such a
large body of armed men? But the prophet had eyes which his servant did
not, and he could see a greater host with far superior weapons guarding
him from all harm. Horses of fire are mightier than horses of flesh, and
chariots of fire are far preferable to chariots of iron.
Even so is it at this hour. The adversaries of truth are many,
influential, learned, and crafty; and truth is abused in their hands; and
yet the man of God has no cause for anxiety. Agents for Christ, seen and
unseen, of the most potent kind, are on the side of righteousness. God has
armies in ambush which will reveal themselves in the hour of need. The
forces which are on the side of the good and the true far outweigh the
powers of evil. Therefore, let us keep our spirits up, and walk with the
honor of Godly men who possess an encouraging secret, which has lifted
them above all fear. We are on the winning side. The battle may be sharp,
but we know how it will end. Faith, having God with her, is in a clear
majority: "They that be with us are more than they that be with
thou seek him, he will be found of thee" #1Chron 28:9
need God; we can have Him for the seeking. He will not deny Himself to any
one of us if we personally seek His face. It is not, if you deserve Him,
or purchase His favor, but merely if you "seek" Him. Those who
already know the Lord must go on seeking His face by prayer, by diligent
service, and by holy gratefulness: to such He will not refuse His favor
and fellowship. Those who, as yet, have not known Him to find their hearts
rest should begin seeking today, and never cease till they find Him as
their Savior, their Friend, their Father, and their God.
This promise is strong assurance to the seeker! "He
that seeketh findeth." You, yes you, if you seek your God
shall find Him. When you find Him you have found life, pardon,
sanctification, preservation, and glory. Seek, and seek on, you shall not
seek in vain? Here is the place, and now is the time. Bend that
stiff knee; yes, bend that stiffer neck, and cry out for God, for the
living God. In the name of Jesus seek cleansing and justification. You
shall not be refused. Here is David’s testimony to his son Solomon, and
it is my personal witness to you. Believe it and act upon it.
shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil
touch thee" #Job 5:19
spoke the truth of God. We may have as many troubles as the workdays of
the week, but the God who worked on those six days will work for us till
our deliverance is complete. We know there is a rest in Him our Sabbath.
The rapid succession of trials is one of the sorest tests of faith. Before
we have recovered from one blow, it is followed by another and another
till we stagger. Still, the equally quick succession of deliverances is
exceedingly reassuring. Our confidence is that when the Lord allows our
six trials, six there will be, and no more.
It may be that we have no day of rest, for seven troubles have come upon
us. What then? "In seven there shall be no evil touch thee."
Evil may roar at us, but it shall be kept at more than arm’s length, and
shall not touch us. Its hot breath may distress us, but its little finger
cannot be laid upon us.
With our loins gird about us we will meet the six or the seven troubles,
and leave fear to those who have no
Father, no Savior, and no Sanctifier.
his anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may
endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" #Ps 30:5
moment under the strain of difficult times seems very long, and yet it is
but a moment after all. If we grieve the Father’s Spirit we cannot look
for His smile; but He is a loving God ready to pardon, and He soon puts
aside all remembrance of our faults. When we faint and are ready to die
because of life’s humiliations, His favor puts new life into us.
Our weeping night soon turns into joyous day. Brevity is the mark of mercy
in the hour of a believer’s trials.
Come, my heart, begin your hallelujahs! Do not weep all through the night,
but wipe your eyes in anticipation of the morning. These tears mean for us
much good when the light breaks. Tears clear the eyes for the sight of God
in His grace; and make the vision of His favor more precious. A night of
sorrow supplies those shades of the pictures by which the highlights are
brought out with distinctness. All is truly well to those who love Him.