Love of God; Mercy & Voice of Cross
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Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” Eph 3:17
Beyond measure it is desirable that we, as believers,
should have the person of Jesus constantly before us, to
inflame our love towards him, and to increase our knowledge of
him. I would to God that my readers were all entered as
diligent scholars in Jesus’ college, students of Corpus
Christi, or the body of Christ, resolved to attain unto a good
degree in the learning of the cross. But to have Jesus ever
near, the heart must be full of him, welling up with his love,
even to overrunning; hence the apostle prays “that Christ may
dwell in your hearts.” See how near he would have Jesus to be!
You cannot get a subject closer to you than to have it in the
heart itself. “That he may dwell”; not that he may call upon
you sometimes, as a casual visitor enters into a house and
tarries for a night, but that he may dwell; that Jesus may
become the Lord and Tenant of your inmost being, never more to
Observe the words-that he may dwell in your heart, that best
room of the house of manhood; not in your thoughts alone, but
in your affections; not merely in the mind’s meditations, but
in the heart’s emotions. We should pant after love to Christ
of a most abiding character, not a love that flames up and
then dies out into the darkness of a few embers, but a
constant flame, fed by sacred fuel, like the fire upon the
altar which never went out. This cannot be accomplished except
by faith. Faith must be strong, or love will not be fervent;
the root of the flower must be healthy, or we cannot expect
the bloom to be sweet. Faith is the lily’s root, and love is
the lily’s bloom. Now, reader, Jesus cannot be in your heart’s
love except you have a firm hold of him by your heart’s faith;
and, therefore, pray that you may always trust Christ in order
that you may always love him. If love be cold, be sure that
faith is drooping.
Do not be deceived, God is
not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to
the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Gal_6:7-8)
We now revisit the category of "unpopular" promises. This set of promises concerns the
absolute certainties of the reaping and sowing process. "Whatever a man sows, that he
will also reap." In a world that often rejects accountability, these promises are very
Many people are deceived on this matter. They wrongly assume that they will not have
to face the consequences of the "daily seeds" they are planting. To hold such an
inaccurate perspective is actually a mockery against God, who established this
principle. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked." The pattern of planting and
harvesting is clearly demonstrated in the case of physical seeds. Whenever a farmer
sows corn, he always reaps corn. He never reaps wheat. This pattern is just as certain
in the realm of spiritual seeds. Every person is sowing spiritual seeds every day of
their lives: either, seeds of "his flesh" or seeds of "the Spirit." The harvest for
each person is thereby determined: either, "corruption" or "everlasting life."
Throughout the world (and, sadly, in many instances within the church world) seeds of
flesh are sown day by day. In word, deed, attitude, or relationship, people are
planting seeds that are characterized by this fleshly list in Gal_5:19-21. "Now the
works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of
wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness,
revelries, and the like." These seeds bring forth a harvest of destruction. "For he
who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption." Such seeds diminish and
destroy every life that engages in them. Such seeds bring multiplied condemnation and
judgment for unbelievers. When believers are caught in such carnal indulgences for a
season, these seeds bring forth spiritual dryness, fruitlessness, and lack of appetite
for communion with the Lord.
On the other hand, far different seeds are available for sowing, and they produce a
distinctly different crop. "He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap
everlasting life." The seeds that are planted by dependence upon the Spirit of God
bring fruit as described in Gal_5:22-23. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."
Heavenly Father, I deeply regret the fleshly seeds that I
have sown. They always diminish my life and dishonor You. I desire to sow seeds of the
Spirit. They always enrich my life and bring glory to You. I long to please You, not
mock You, Amen.
THE VALUE OF FRIENDSHIP
"Two are better than one.., for if they fall, the one
will lift up his fellow."-- Ecc_4:9-10.
WE CANNOT have many inner friends, but sad is the life that has not its other
self. The friendship of David and Jonathan, of Damon and Pythias, has passed into the
current talk of the world. It is especially good for the Christian disciple to travel
to heaven with a comrade, Hopeful with Christian, and Mercy with Christiana.
A friend is invaluable if we stumble or fall on the path of life. "Woe to him that is
alone when he falleth." "Brethren," says the Apostle, "if a man be overtaken in a
fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness,
considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.'" Let us watch for each other's souls;
if any is falling away from the truth, or into some insidious trap, let us lift him
up. Let us exercise the brotherly solicitude that Barnabas did for Paul.
Friendship ought to make our spirits glow. "How can one be warm alone?" Of course, in
a spiritual sense there are divine sources of caloric. The love of Christ kindleth to
vehement heat. But it is certainly easier to keep up the temperature when we have a
kindred heart beside us. Perhaps this was one reason why our Lord sent forth His
disciples by two and two (Mar_6:7).
Without companionship material things cannot satisfy. The ties of nature, friendship,
and religious communion give a zest to a poor man's life, which the miser with all his
wealth forfeits. It is all-important, not only in ordinary life, but pre-eminently in
the pilgrimage of the spirit, to have fellowship with some kindred soul.
In temptation a true friend makes us more able to withstand the devil. It is a real
help in the hour of trial to have a friend who will appropriate the words of our Lord,
saying: "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." There is no fellowship like
that of Jesus, our Faithful Friend, who lifts us when we fall, chafes us when chilled
with cold, and succours us against the Tempter. Does He not make the third in the
threefold cord--"Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in
the midst of them" (Mat_18:20).
We pray for our companions in life's pilgrimage. Help us to hearten them with our
courage, cheer them with our love, and bear their burdens so far as we may. For
ourselves may we find in Jesus the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. AMEN.
THE PROVIDENCE OF THE TRIFLE
"O Lord, the God of my Master Abraham, send me, I pray Thee, good speed this
day.., thereby shall I know that Thou hast shewed kindness to my master."---
FROM THIS beautiful incident we can learn much of God's guidance of the soul.
Evidently Eliezer, the faithful servant, had absorbed something of his master's faith
and method; so that, as we read this artless narrative, we can realize some of the
principles on which the entire camp was conducted. Four times he speaks of "the God of
my master Abraham." When he had been taken into Abraham's confidence, he entered into
the plan with as much zeal and interest as if it were his own private concern. Would
that we were equally intent on our Heavenly Master's business, and that those who are
our dependants and associates were equally impressed by the reverence and
prayerfulness of our lives!
Each step was taken in fellowship with God; but that did not prevent him from
exercising his own careful management of the successive steps for ascertaining the
disposition of this young girl who was so suddenly summoned from the obscurity of
Haran to become a link in the Messianic chain. Eliezer's faith in the Providence of a
trifle is most interesting and instructive. He held his peace as the girl drew the
water; then, in the assurance of faith that his prayer for guidance had been answered,
without further hesitation he placed the bracelets on her arms. Be on the outlook to
see God's hand in everything!
Count up the number of times in which this worthy man contrives to bring in the two
words, "My master!" We may learn from him how to speak of our Saviour, whenever we get
the opportunity--"Rabboni, which being interpreted, is, My Master!"
When asking for good speed to be sent to himself, he alleged as his plea that it would
be showing kindness to his master Abraham. So when we ask great things from God, we
can plead in the Name of Jesus and be sure that He will show kindness to us for His
sake (Joh_15:16). This old-world story is a beautiful lesson for those who call Jesus
Master and Lord.
Send me, O Lord, I humbly ask, good speed this day. May I know when to speak and when
to be silent; when to act or refrain from action. In all details of daily life may I
faithfully serve Thee, my Master and Friend. AMEN.
“Give unto the Lord the glory
due unto his name.”
God’s glory is the result of his nature and acts. He is glorious in his character, for
there is such a store of everything that is holy, and good, and lovely in God, that he
must be glorious. The actions which flow from his character are also glorious; but
while he intends that they should manifest to his creatures his goodness, and mercy,
and justice, he is equally concerned that the glory associated with them should be
given only to himself. Nor is there aught in ourselves in which we may glory; for who
maketh us to differ from another? And what have we that we did not receive from the
God of all grace? Then how careful ought we to be to walk humbly before the Lord! The
moment we glorify ourselves, since there is room for one glory only in the universe,
we set ourselves up as rivals to the Most High. Shall the insect of an hour glorify
itself against the sun which warmed it into life? Shall the potsherd exalt itself
above the man who fashioned it upon the wheel? Shall the dust of the desert strive
with the whirlwind? Or the drops of the ocean struggle with the tempest? Give unto the
Lord, all ye righteous, give unto the Lord glory and strength; give unto him the
honour that is due unto his name. Yet it is, perhaps, one of the hardest struggles of
the Christian life to learn this sentence-”Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name
be glory.” It is a lesson which God is ever teaching us, and teaching us sometimes by
most painful discipline.
Let a Christian begin to boast, “I can do all things,”
without adding “through Christ which strengtheneth me,” and before long he will have
to groan, “I can do nothing,” and bemoan himself in the dust. When we do anything for
the Lord, and he is pleased to accept of our doings, let us lay our crown at his feet,
and exclaim, “Not I, but the grace of God which was with me!”
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"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart
leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his
people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your
inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever."
"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the
LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his
temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in
the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock."
In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard
my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears."
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will
strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
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