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Sunday, October 31, 2010

I will water it every moment

THE Lord compares his church to a vineyard, to a vineyard of the choicest vines. He promises to watch over, protect, and preserve it: to guard it night and day. But as it will need not only protection, but supply, he says, " I will water it every moment." Precious promise this! It belongs to every one of the Lord's people. It warrants us to expect constant communications from our God. He is never weary of giving. His resources are inexhaustible. Ho will therefore supply all our needs, however great, or however numerous they may be. Everything good in us comes from him. Every holy desire, every fervent prayer, every grateful emotion, is the effect of his watering: for so barren and unfruitful are our hearts by nature, there is not in them one good thing. Beloved, let us expect divine communications, let us expect our God to impart his sanctifying and preserving grace. He assures us that he will do so regularly, gently, silently, imperceptibly, softly, and gradually, as the dew descends on the vineyards in the east. He says, " I will be as the dew unto Israel." We do not expect enough from God, we do not ask enough of God.

            Upon my leaf when parch'd with heat,
Refreshing dew shall drop:

            The plant which God's right hand hath set.
Shall ne'er be rooted up.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

In many things we offend all

THERE is none righteous, no not one. We were all guilty of death; and though we have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and are sanctified by the good Spirit of God, yet still we often offend God. There is much in our tempers, habits, motives, and pursuits, which must be offensive to him. He wishes us to be holy. He commands us to be holy. We really desire to be holy. But there is so much corruption in our hearts, and the power of corruption is so great, that we are often betrayed into that which is wrong. What a mercy for us that the blood of Jesus is still efficacious, that the fountain is still open, that we can repair to it whenever we feel guilt on our own consciences, and that it cleanses from all sin. But for the precious blood of Jesus, we must often sink into despair. Let us prize that invaluable remedy for human guilt. But if we all offend, we all ought to be humble, for we all need pardon. If we all offend, we ought not to be severe in our censures, for in judging others we may condemn ourselves.

    Slain in the guilty sinner's stead,
Jesus, thy righteousness I plead,

    And thy atoning blood;
Thy perfect work my robe shall be,
Thy merit shall atone for me,

    And bring me near to God.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Behold, God himself is with us

SO said the children of Judah when they went out to war with Jeroboam, and in the strength of this they conquered. Believer, the Lord not only gives his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways, but he is himself with thee. Never lose sight of this precious truth, for it is at once most holy and most comforting. If God himself is with thee, then every Bin is committed in his presence, and under his eye. How this aggravates the guilt of our sins. We think, we speak, we act, as if God was at an infinite distance from us, and paid little or no regard to what we say or do. Instead of this, no one is so near to us as God; no one is so attentive to us as he. If God himself is with thee, how unwise, how inconsistent are thy fears! If God himself is with us, will he allow us to want, or permit us to be injured? Can any enemy be too subtle, or too powerful for him? Impossible! Behold, then, God himself is with thee 1 He will be with thee this day. In every place, every moment. He will hear every word you speak, witness every sin you commit, and listen to every prayer you put up.
The beams of noon, the midnight hour,
    Are both alike to thee;

O may I never provoke that Power

    From which I cannot flee!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Before they call I will answer

ALL true prayer begins with God. He convinces us of the need of blessings, awakens a desire in our souls to enjoy them, and then stirs us up to seek them. Before the Lord bestows his favours upon us, he generally disposes us to seek them at his hands. He is ever ready to bless us, and is more ready to hear than we are to pray: therefore he says, "Before they call I will answer." Prayer shall be anticipated; and the answer shall be on the road sometimes before the petition ascends from our hearts. How great must be the Lord's love to his people ! How much he must delight in our prayers! Greater encouragement he could not give us, and less he would not. Let us therefore make our requests known unto him. Let us this day open our whole hearts to him, and seek from him those things that we need. Let us not doubt his readiness to hear us for one moment; for if before we call he promises to answer, surely when we call he will hear and bless us. He is the prayer-hearing God, and he is always " nigh unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him; he also will hear their cry and will save them."
Wrestling prayer can wonders do,
    Bring relief in deepest straits;
Prayer can force a passage through

    Iron bars and brazen gates.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Teach me to do thy will

THE will of God is the rule of rectitude. His will is revealed in his precepts. Those precepts are to be the rule of our life. We should study them, esteem them, store them up in our memories, and daily endeavour to square our conduct by them. But as they run directly contrary to our selfish principles, corrupt affections, and fleshly lusts, it is difficult to walk exactly by them. Hence the conflict, the flesh lusting againsUhe Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, so that we cannot do the things that we would. What then is to be done ? Are we willing to do the will of God ? Do we heartily desire to walk by his holy precepts ? Then let us adopt the Psalmist's prayer, " Teach me to do thy will." In answer to this, the Lord will give us wisdom, so that we shall see our way through difficulties; and he will give us strength, so that we shall be able to do what he requires, and do it with pleasure too. We can only do the Lord's .will, in the Lord's strength: as we can only discover the Lord's meaning, in his own light. W e must therefore go to him, to know what he would have us do; and then go to him again, that he may teach us how to do it.

    Teach me to do thy holy will,
    And lead me to thy heavenly hill;
    Let the good Spirit of thy love
    Conduct ine to thy courts above.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

He gave his only begotten Son

FOR whom did God give his Son? For sinners, for sinners as such. For those who had violated his law, despised his mercy, abused his creatures, enthroned his enemy, and worshipped the works of their own hands. For those who did not like to retain the knowledge of God, and who had done evil things as they could. What amazing love is this! Love to determined enemies ! For what did God give his Son ? To live as the sinner's representative, and to die as the sinner's substitute. In his life he obeyed the law for us, in his death he endured its curse. By living and dying he accomplished all that was necessary for our salvation, and now, whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. God cannot now do anything greater than he hath done, nor can he give anything greater than he hath given. He who gave his Son, will surely give us anything we need. He who delivered up his only begotten Son to die for us, will surely do any thing that we ask consistent with his will. Hence the apostle reasons, " He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things."    

To him who bore the sinner's shame.

       Be endless glory giv'n,
       Immortal honours crown his name,

Ruler Lord of earth and heaven!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The needy shall not always be forgotten

THE Lord's people are all needy: and the longer they live the more needy they feel. They need a pardon for all their sins, righteousness to justify their persons, grace to sanctify their natures, strength to perform their duties, courage to face their foes, patience to bear their trials, and fortitude to persevere unto the end. If supplied to day; they will be as needy as ever to-morrow. But all they need is provided for them, and is stored up in Jesus. His fulness is open to them, and out of that fulness they may receive grace to help them in every time of need. This at times they perceive, and then they make use of it to their joy and the Lord's glory. But at other times their eye is taken off it, they forget what Jesus is made to them, they go mourning, they complain and fret, and they fancy they are forgotten. The Lord does not answer their prayers, the word does not feed their souls, the ordinances do not profit them, and the enemy triumphs over them. But the Lord will turn again and have mercy upon them, "for the needy shall not always be forgotten; the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever." Jesus says, " Blessed are ye poor."


       He'll not forget your suppliant pray'r,
       Ye needy souls, awhile opprcstl
       The poor his plenteous grace shall shave,
       Nor hops deceive the afflicted breast

Sunday, October 24, 2010

That we should be holy

HOLINESS is the beauty of the divine nature, and the object that delights Jehovah's heart. The holiness of a creature stands in his conformity to the image of God, and is wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the great end which he has in view in all that he does for his people. This is the will of God even our sanctification. Are we chosen in Christ? It is that we might be holy. Are we redeemed by the precious blood of Christ? It is that we should be a holy people unto the Lord. Are we called by the power of the Holy Ghost? It is to holiness on earth, as introductory to happiness in heaven. Every ordinance we observe, every doctrine we believe, every promise we trust, every precept we perform, and every trial we endure, is intended to promote our sanctification. Beloved, let us make this our one object, and so acquiesce in the will of God. Let us ask in reference to every undertaking, will it promote my holiness? And if it will not, let us determine in the Lord's strength to renounce it. Lord, sanctify us wholly; and grant that our whole body, soul, and spirit, may be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus.
    O may my every work aud word,
    Express the temper of my Lord,
    And may the Spirit to my heart,
    The power of holiness impart.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Lord giveth Wisdom

IN entering upon a new year, all the events of which are unknown to us, we cannot but feel our need of wisdom. Many things will doubtless occur, which will perplex and trouble us; and we may be brought into circumstances in which we shall not know what to do. Wisdom will be necessary. We may need it to manage wealth, or improve poverty—to endure trials, or employ our talents—to guide our general affairs, or overcome temptations—to conquer our foes, or make a right use of God's holy word—as also to win souls for God and glory. And for such purposes the Lord giveth wisdom. But to whom win he give it ? To such as feel their need of it—who ardently desire it—who earnestly seek it, and who perseveringly expect it, because he hath promised it. But how will he give it? Freely, without price; cheerfully, without upbraiding; in the active performance of the duties of our station. Beloved, all wisdom comes from God, both natural and spiritual. It comes from God, to be used for God. We may procure it from another, though we cannot produce it ourselves. It should be sought and expected in every duty, and in every trial.

    Lord, make us wise to do thy will
And live as those -who trust in thee;

    To labour, wait, and suffer still,
'Till we thy great salvation see.