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Friday, December 31, 2010

I have prayed for thee

JESUS prayed for Peter in the prospect of his fall. He knew the designs of Satan, he knew that enemy had desired to have him that he might sift him as wheat, hut as the great Intercessor he pleaded with his Father for him: and what he did for Peter, he does for us. Sweet thought this, Jesus knows all Satan's designs and movements, and he prays for us that our faith may not fail! He watches that foe, and he watches over us. Whenever he pleads he prevails, for the Father always hears him. This is our comfort when our hearts are cold, straitened, and prayerless; we have one in heaven who pleads for us. We may lose the prayers of a godly father, or a fondly attached mother; but the prayers of Jesus can never be lost. There are prayers filed in heaven for us this morning, which are to be answered this day; nor shall we get beyond the prayers of Jesus, until we are with him where he is to behold his glory. Let us comfort ourselves with this, under all our sorrows, in all our trials, in the midst of all our bereavements, Jesus has prayed for me.
 Jesus my Advocate hath been,
    And by the fiery darts assailed
Of Satan, and the world, and sin,

    My faith hath never wholly failed:
Jesus, on whom I still depend.
Shall keep mc faithful to the end.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

He giveth grace unto the lowly

SIN destroyed humility and made us proud-i but grace restores it and makes us lowly. Whatever a man may be, if he is not humble, he is not a Christian. Humility is always lovely, and is highly esteemed of God. Nothing will make us so happy, or fit us for usefulness, like humility. The humble may have any thing he desires, for God will withhold nothing from him. But his humility will preserve him from desiring what would be injurious to himself, or unbecoming in God to bestow. Beloved, let us seek grace to make us humble—let us cultivate a lowly disposition; and if we have right views of ourselves, right feelings toward God, and a correct estimate of the things of time, we shall be humble. Then the Lord will visit us, dwell with us, and revive us. When the Lord comes to visit us, he brings abundance of grace with him; if he dwell with us, he will give grace plentifully unto us; and if he give grace thus plentifully unto us, we shall be graceful, happy, and useful. The humble man is God's temple. The humble heart is God's throne. The humble saint is God's delight. May we be clothed with humility, and walk in love.

    Lord, for ever at thy side
May my place, my portion be;
Strip me of the robe of pride;
Clothe me with humility

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I am he which searcheth the reins and the hearts

JESUS must be the Omniscient God, or he could not do so; and he must desire truth in the inward parts, or he would not do so. His eye is always upon us, not only on our path, and our outward actions, but upon our hearts. He is perfectly acquainted with every motive, with every purpose, and with every plan : all is known unto him. This should make us serious, for it is a solemn thing for the eye of Jesus to be penetrating through all the folds of our hearts. It should make us honest, for he must hate all mere pretence, or outward show, with which the heart does not correspond. It should make us watchful over our hearts, for if we neglect to examine or keep them, he does not withdraw his eye from them. Let us then endeavour to pass through this day, realizing the fact, that Jesus is searching our reins and our hearts; and let us learn to abhor all hypocrisy, or mere outside show, as he abhors it. Beloved, he sees all the good that his Spirit produces in our hearts, as well as all the evil which is naturally there.

    Jesus, thou Omniscient Saviour,
    Known to thee is all I do:
All my thoughts, and words, and actions.

    Lie before thy piercing view:
Let thy blood for me avail,
Let thy grace over sin prevail.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Glory ye in his holy name

THE Lord's name reveals his nature. It is written out partly on the works of nature ; but its full revelation is in the person and work of Jesus. Here we learn what God is. What are his thoughts respecting us. What he is willing to do for us, or confer upon us. God is in Christ. "No man hath seen God at anytime ; but the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." John i. 18. If we would know God's name, we must study Christ. Our minds must dwell upon what he wrought, what he taught, and the graces which shone forth in his conduct. Except we know the Lord's name, we shall never trust in him; except we trust in him, we shall never love him; and except we love him, we shall never glory in his holy name. But if we do know his name, we shall reverence it, and glory in it. We shall commend it to others, and exhort them to learn it, love it, and enjoy it.: We shall praise it, celebrating its excellencies in our songs of thanksgiving. Beloved, let us not glory in our health, or wealth, or attainments, or standing in society, or any thing that pertains to this world; but let us glory in the Lord.

   Nature and time, and earth and skies,
    Thy heavenly skill proclaim:
What shall we do to make us wise,

    But learn to read in his name.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Neither give place to the devil

SATAN is pleased to see us angry, and endeavours to render us implacable. But when betrayed into a passion, we should realize its sinfulness, confess it before God, and be ready to forgive those who have provoked us. To indulge iu a passionate, or a sulky temper, is to give place to the devil. He is sure to tempt us to do so, but he should be firmly and constantly resisted. If we give place to Satan, we shall become revengeful, unforgiving, and hardened; and if we yield to him in one point, he will soon try us upon another, and will never cease until he lead us to apostacy or backsliding. He is always watching us, plotting against us, and seeking to draw us into sin. We should therefore be very concerned to maintain a tender conscience, to be humble before God, and to walk in close and intimate fellowship with the Lord Jesus, who overcame him for us, and will overcome him by us. Satan will often try to harden and mislead us, by suggesting that we should maintain our dignity, and refuse to humble ourselves.

    Give me, Lord, a humble mind,
Make me courteous, meek, and Mind;
Cure my temper, keep my heart.
Let me never from thee depart;
Help me to overcome my foe,
And in me thy mercy sow.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

His secret is with the righteous

SECRETS are kept for friends. A wise man will not open his mind to a stranger. So there are secrets in God's word, and secrets in God's ways, which are only made known unto his people. This is a proof of his love to them, as Jesus said to his disciples, " I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you." John iv. 15. There is secret communion carried on between God and the Christian, to which mere professors are strangers. There are secret communications made, which none know but he that receiveth them. A secret blessing attends the reading of the word, and the ordinances of divine appointment. The love of God is secretly shed abroad in the heart, producing peace, joy, and assurance of interest in his favour. A secret power is exerted, by which duties are performed, privileges are enjoyed, trials are borne, enemies subdued, and all things made to work together for good. Many professors of religion perform duties, talk of divine things, and pass for Christians; but they are not in the secret. All is formal. There is no secret union to

Christ, or intercourse with Christ.

 Though affliction's dreary train,
Flutter round my trembling soul.
Sorrow, anguish, grief, and pain.
A secret something sweetens still.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Of whom shall I be afraid?

IF you are in Christ - if you are following that which is good - if you are living and walking by faith - if you are aiming at God's glory in all you do - you need not be afraid of any one. For in Christ, you are safe from dangerwhile you follow that which is good, nothing can harm you - living and walking by faith, you will overcome every difficulty and conquer every foe - and while aiming at God's glory, he will support, supply, and defend you. David could say, " The Lord is my light and my salvation; the Lord is the strength of my life," and therefore he fearlessly asks, " Of whom shall I be afraid." The guilty may fear, but you are pardoned. The friendless may fear, but God is your friend. The defenceless may fear, but the Lord is your defence, and the Holy One of Israel is your King. The idle may fear, but you are employed in the Lord's service to his praise. Whom should you fear? Satan? he is a conquered foe. The world ? Jesus has overcome the world. Death? It is abolished; it is dedestroyed.

    O love divine! to thee I owe,
Ten thousand praises here below,

    And everlasting songs:
Take thou my body, spirit, soul,
Claim, and possess, and use the whole

    To thee the whole belongs.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Saviour of the world. John

JESUS is the Saviour of sinners, of sinners of every nation under heaven. The Jews fancied that salvation was to he confined to them, but it is sent unto the Gentiles. There is now no difference between the Jew and the Greek, all have sinned, all need salvation, Jesus is able to save all, and all are welcome to seek and find salvation in him. The gospel excludes no one. There is no sinner but what Christ can save. There is no sinner but he is willing to save, if that sinner is willing to be saved by him. But how does he save ? He fulfilled the precepts of the law in his life, and he paid its penalty in his death. His one sacrifice made an infinite atonement for sin. It met and satisfied all the claims of divine justice. In his life and death he did all that was necessary to procure the pardon, justification, and eternal life of poor sinners. His resurrection and ascension to heaven prove this. And now he places to the account of every sinner that believes on him, the merit of what he did and suffered. Thus," as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous "

    Come to Christ, your sins confessing;
    Grace and glory he can give;
Pardon, peace, with every blessing
    All are yours if you believe.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Babes in Christ

ALL believers are in Christ, and have the same privileges; but all believers are not of the same stature. Some are fathers, some are young men, and some are only babes in Christ. The babe is born of God and has spiritual life, but it has little knowledge and less strength. Every babe breathes forth its desires in prayer at God's throne, but many of them cannot call God father, or enjoy boldness at his throne. The eye is opened to see something of its sinful state, in consequence of which it seeks an interest in Jesus; but the sight is not strong enough to see its title to Christ, or the smiling face of its loving father. A babe is soon alarmed, and, when alarmed, clings closer to its parent's breast; and a babe in Christ is very timid, but it cleaves closer to Jesus the more it is terrified or alarmed. Some babes are very fretful and uneasy; and some young Christians have little patience or solid comfort, on account of the workings of unbelief and unfounded fears. The babe cannot digest strong meat, but must be fed with milk; and many believers are unable to feed upon the glorious doctrines of the gospel, but must always have lighter food, as invitations and promises.

Jesus In whom the Godhead lays
Beam forth in mildest majesty,
I see thee full of truth and love,
I come for all I want to you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Take heed and be quiet

BUT they were threatened with an invasion, and appeared to he in imminent danger. Can it be wise, or prudent, to be still ? Whatever God commands is right. We ought to obey God. We are not in the power of any creature. The danger is rather apparent than real. Let us take heed to our tongues, that we do not speak unadvisedly, and so dishonour God. Let us take heed to our tempers, that we do not give way to passion, and so distress ourselves. Let us take heed to our way, that we do not go out of the right path, and so give our enemies an advantage over us. God says, " Be quiet." Let not fears agitate thee. Let not appearances appal thee. Let not doubts discourage thee. Be calm as the child in its parent's arms. Thy God rules. His hand is in every event, though you may not see it. Thy God is with thee, he was never nearer to thee than just now. Thy God is for thee, pledged by promise and by oath. He will guard thee with his invisible presence. He will keep thee by his power. He will interpose on thy behalf when it is necessary.

    When I can trust my all with God,
    In trial's fearful hour,

    Bow, all resign'd, beneath the rod,

    And bless his sparing power;
A joy springs up amid distress,

A fountain in the wilderness.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I have loved thee with an everlasting love

GOD'S love to his people, in every view of it, is wonderful. They are so mean and insignificant, so sinful and depraved, that one can but wonder that he should at all regard them. But his ways are not our ways, nor his thoughts our thoughts. He loves his people, just because he will love them; not looking for any thing in them to induce him to do so. We cannot trace his love to its beginning, for it is eternal; nor can we trace it to its close, for it is everlasting. He ever did love us, he does love us now, and he ever will love us. His love is sovereign, or freely exercised; his love is immutable, or never varies; his love is fruitful, or the source of innumerable blessings; and his love is everlasting, or will endure for ever. Beloved, if God love us, no matter who hates us. If God love us, he will not allow any thing to harm us. If God love us, he will certainly supply us. But if God love us, he will expect us to love him in return; and if his love to us is so great, he will expect us to love him above every thing beside.

    Since thy love had no beginning,
    And shall never, never cease;
Keep, O keep me, Lord from sinning

    Guide me in the way of peacel
Make me walk in

    All the paths of holiness.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The reviving of the Holy Ghost

ALL real religion flows from the indwelling, power, and operation of the Holy Spirit. He quickens us, when dead in sins ; enlightens us, when sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death ; instructs us, when alienated from God through the ignorance that is in us ; leads us to Jesus, when far from him by wicked works; subdues the enmity of our hearts, and reconciles us to God, when enemies and enmity against him. He regenerates but once, but he renews us often. If once born of the Spirit we die no more: but we often need to be revived, and quickened, and refreshed. He sometimes works upon the soul immediately, but most generally it is through the word. The word of itself has no power to revive or renew us, it is only mighty through God. It is the sword of the Spirit, by which he slays the sinner; and the healing balm, by which he heals the saint. If the word comes home, if a spirit of prayer is awakened, if a thirst for God is experienced, if the comforts of the gospel are enjoyed, if we overcome sin, it is the effect of the renewing of the Holy Ghost.

    Eternal Spirit! Lord of light!
    Throned in the heaven of heavens above,
Descend in thy renewing might,

    Come in the glory of thy love:
Revive my soul, renew my heart,
Thy own undying life impart.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Who can understand his errors

SIN is an error. It is a wandering from the right ways of the Lord. It is an erm>which we are constantly falling into. The best regulated minds, the most consistent walkers, daily err. Our errors are so numerous, that we eannot understand or enumerate them. Every day, every hour, we do, speak, or think wrong. Every part of our lives is stained with sin. This ought to humble us, and make us walk softly before the Lord. It ought to endear to us the precious blood of Christ, which alone can remove from us the guilt of sin. If we. were denied the use of that blood for one hour, we should be eternally undone; for every hour we do that which would ruin us for ever. It ought to lead us to admire the patience and long suffering of God. How wonderful that a holy God should bear with us; and not only bear with us, but love us notwithstanding all I What errors are committed in youth, from thoughtlessness and inexperience. What errors are committed in manhood, from yielding to the cares of the world. What errors are committed in old age, from habits contracted in younger years, and from cleaving too much to the present world.

    I want so circumspect to live,
    So free from every sin,
That even the careless may perceive

    That I with Christ have been.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

That he may exalt you in due time

THE apostle is exhorting to humility. Nothing is so necessary for us, or more acceptable to God. The humble man is sure to be respected. Saints will love him, and God will do any thing for him. Pride is offensive to our fellows, and it is detestable in the sight of God. He will hold no fellowship with a proud man : he knoweth the proud afar off, and he keeps them at a distance. The Lord's people may be oppressed, and Providence may seem to take part with their oppressors. They may lie long in the dust, and be brought very low. But if they humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, he will exalt them in due time. When the trial has accomplished its work, it shall be removed. When the proud spirit is humbled, when the complaining spirit is resigned, when the conceited creature is reduced to its proper level, then the Lord will appear to exalt it. He exalteth by his power, by Ins grace, and by his providence. He exalteth sometimes in temporals, more frequently in spirituals. He raises the spirit above the circumstances, and this is true exaltation.

When, my Saviour, shall I be
Totally resign'd to thee?
Poor and vile in mine own eyes,
Only in thy wisdom wise.
Only guided by thy light,
Only mighty in thy mightl

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Lord is my strength and my shield

THE truth and value of God's word, is to be learned out in the school of experience. It is easy to read the word, assent to it, and admire it; but when we are called to trust it in the hour of temptation and trial, we find it very difficult. The grace which gave us the book must enable us to make use of it. The Lord is to his people just what they require, and all that they require. They are weak, and feci as if they daily grew weaker; their foes are many and strong, and appear to increase in numbers and courage; but the Lord is their strength. His omnipotence is pledged to them, and will be exerted for them. Faith lays hold on God's arm, and until that arm fails the believer who holds by it is safe. The Lord is not only our strength but our shield. We are in the field of battle, our enemies are numerous and mighty, and they hate us with bitter hatred. But the Lord ever comes between us and danger, and thus we escape the fiery darts of the devil. The Lord is our defence, who saveth the upright in heart.
O that my faith could firmly hold
This heavenly shield witli ardour bold,

I then could every foe repel,
Invincible to earth and hell:

Lord, be my strength as well as shield,
And help my soul to keep the field.

Ye are the temple of God

A TEMPLE is the residence of Deity. The church of Christ is the dwelling-place of Jehovah. Here he resides, is worshipped, and displays his glory. But every believer is a temple too. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost. In regeneration God takes possession of us. He enthrones himself in the affections and requires the homage and adoration of all the powers of the soul. Having once taken possession he never resigns it. The Christian is always God's consecrated dwelling-place, his living temple. Here he is known, loved, and worshipped. The heart is his altar, and prayer and praise the sacrifices he requires and accepts. But we are not sufficiently impressed with this fact. We do not live, move, work, and speak under the influence of the idea, " / am the temple of God." If we did, it would have a very sanctifying effect upon us. We could not go, where some Christians go ; nor do, what some Christians do. We should often ask ourselves, " Is this becoming in one who is the residence of God ? Ought the temple of God to be found here?" Christian, what an honour is put upon thee!
How could thy God honour thee more?
No idol god shall hold a place
Within this temple of thy grace;
Dagon before the ark shall fall.
And God in Christ be all in nil.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Godliness with contentment is great gain

T'RUE godliness is a good fortune; for every godly man, hath not only the promise of eternal life, but of all things which are necessary for life and godliness. Now if God is able to supply all his needs, if he hath promised that he will withhold no good thing, and if he is faithful to his word, ought not a godly man to be contented ? But this is exactly the case. God has provided for the body as well as for the soul; for sickness as well as health; for age as well as youth; for the whole of time as well as eternity; and he will supply us as we need, Bo as to secure our best interests and his glory. All he requires of us, is to trust him, to ask for the blessings as we feel we need them, to employ our talents in his service, and to wait his time with patience. Is this unreasonable? Is it not wise and kind, seeing he knows what foolish and wasteful creatures we are? Let us therefore seek to be satisfied with God's arrangements, and to live as we are required in his holy word. The best fortune is a contented mind.
How shall the Christian's noble mind
By grace renewed, by heaven refined
Indulge a murmuring thought ?
Shall he who claims Jehovah's strength,
Who shall be brought to heaven at length,
shall he accept God's lot?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To whom will ye flee for help ?

THIS is addressed to those who know not God. To those who love not our Lord Jesus Christ. What multitudes there are of such. Let us ask, Am I one of them ? Have I fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before me in the gospel ? Is Christ formed in my heart the hope of glory ? Is God my friend, my father, and my joy ? If not, when troubles overwhelm you—when Satan harasses you—when conscience accuses you—when the world frowns upon you—when sickness seizes you—when death stares you in the face, to whom will ye flee for help ? Who can support you in trouble ? Who can deliever you from Satan ? Who can calm and pacify a guilty conscience ? Who can comfort when the world frowns ? Who can give patience when suffering from disease? Who can raise you above the fears of death, or entitle you to a glorious immortality ? He that cannot do these things for you, will not be sufficient for you then. To whom then will ye flee ? Creatures are vain, they cannot help you. God alone can, and if you flee to him now, it will be well, for he invites you, and promises to receive you. But if you delay it may soon be too late.

Haste. sinner, haste, to Jesus flee,
    For pardon, life, and grace!
Approach his throne without delay

Monday, December 13, 2010

Being justified by his grace

THE justification of a sinner is a surprising display of the wisdom and grace of God. He is acknowledged to be guilty, and yet proclaimed just. How can this be ? He is guilty before God as a creature, because he has broken the law; he is just before God as a Christian, because he is united to Christ who obeyed the law for him. One moment he is ungodly, and has nothing to urge why judgment should not be executed upon him; the next• moment, by the exercise of faith in Christ, he is justified, and has a righteousness which meets all the requirements of the law, to plead before God's bar. But, if a sinner is justified, if the ungodly is made righteous, it must be by grace; it is impossible that it should be by works. And it is of grace from first to last. It was grace devised the plan, in the eternal councils; it was grace that brought the Son of God into our world, to work out the righteousness which justifies; it is grace which sends the gospel to reveal this righteousness unto vm, and the Holy Spirit to work faith in our hearts to embrace it.

Not for our works or righteousness,
Did God our souls from sin release,

Its guilt and power remove:
lie saved us by his grace alone.
The cause, the only cause we own,

His free spontaneous love.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Lord is great

TITE shall never rightly estimate the Lord's goodness, except we realize something of his greatness. His greatness is unsearchable. And after our most extensive and laborious investigations, we must exclaim with the patriarch, "How little a portion is heard of him!" Of the greatness of his nature, or the grandeur of his
perfections, we can have no adequate conception: heaven is his throne, and the earth is his footstool.
Behold, the nations are as the drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. All nations before him are as nothing and they are counted to him less than nothing and vanity. His thoughts, his purposes, and his plans are great. His promises are great and precious. Greatness is impressed upon every thing he does. Does he pardon sin ? He does it like himself, perfectly and for ever. Does he provide supplies ? They are vast as his resources, eternal as his existence, and varied as
our wants. Does he save hi» people? It is with a great salvation - from great sins, from great suffering, at a great price, by a great Saviour, to great happiness and glory.

And will this glorious Lord descend
To be my Father and my Friend?
Then let my songs with angeis join;
Heaven is secure if God be miue.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

We are the children of God

GOD has a family upon earth. Every believer is a child of God. He knows God, who is his Father. He loves Jesus, who is his elder Brother. He cleaves to the saints, who form the household of God. But many of the Lord's children question their adoption, and fear that they are not born again. Let all such ask themselves, Am I of the world? Am I what I was once ? Can I love sin ? Can I live in sin ? Do I despise the Saviour? Do I prefer the things of time to the things of eternity ? Thousands do, and if you do not, why is it ? Must there not be a difference, and who made that difference ? Do you think Satan would ? Could you have made it yourself? Certainly not. The soul that hates sin, forsakes the world, trusts in Jesus, loves the saints, and cannot live without prayer, is a child of God. But still, it would be well to seek the direct witness of the Holy Spirit- If we are the children of God, Satan will harass us, sin will distress us, doubts will perplex us, the world will hate us, some professors will frown on us, and our heavenly Father will at times correct us.
Send forth the Spirit of thy Son,
    0 tied into my panting heart,
That govern'd by thy love alone,

    From thee I never may depart,
But following my celestial Guide,
Be number'd with the glorified.

Friday, December 10, 2010

They despised the pleasant land

WHAT Canaan was to the Jews, that heaven is to us. It is the land of promise. The land that floweth with milk and honey. It is the pleasant land. It is the abode of peace, plenty, and variety. There all is harmony, and all is love. Holiness is the atmosphere, and joy the light of that blessed place. There God unveils his glory - the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne, leads, feeds, and delights his people - angels serve - the church is at rest - and every saint is filled with joy. Every thing that can please, satisfy, or enhance our happiness is there; and there in perfection. All is pleasant, and always pleasant. No storms ever rise, no clouds obscure the sky; the sun ever shines, the fruits are always ripe; the songs are ever new, the employment always pleasing; and God is the glory of the place. It is set before us. It is promised to every believer - to every overcomer. The way is marked out. The forerunner has gone before. The invitation to follow him is given, the assurance that every seeker shall obtain; and yet we despise the pleasant land. Beloved, let us beware of Israel's sin, lest we suffer Israel's punishment.

Lord, feed and clothe me day by day,
And guide my footsteps lest I stray;
O iruard me with a powerful hand.
And bring me to the pleasant land.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

He that believeth hath everlasting life

EVERLASTING life is the highest privilege to which we can aspire. It is not mere existence, but it is existence suited to our nature in its most perfect state, and reaching to the height of our most exalted desires. It is life in the presence, favour, and enjoyment of God. It is life with Christ, a life like the life of Christ. It is life without disease. It is life without trouble. It is life without fear. It is life without death. It is life in the possession and enjoyment of all God has promised, Christ has purchased, or the Holy Spirit has revealed in the gospel. It is life that goes beyond the highest expectation of men, or the powers of an angel to describe. And this life is promised to every believer; yea, not only promised, but the pledge, the earnest, the principle of it is possessed. Every believer is entitled to everlasting life. Every believer has the commencement of eternal life in his heart. The sentence of condemnation is repealed, he is quickened from a death in trespasses and sins, and he is united to Jesus who is the resurrection and the life.

Blest with the faith that works hy love,
Blest with eternal life thou art,
Thou hast the life of those above,

The seed of glory in thy he:irt:
Jesus in thee will ever live,
And thou shalt all his life receive.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pardon mine iniquity, for it is great

NO one can pardon sin but God. It is his sole -L' prerogative. That God may be just, and yet pardon sinners, Jesus suffered, bled, and died. No one can be pardoned but for the sake of Christ. Every pardon is written with his blood. God for Christ's sake forgives us our trespasses. He is ready to pardon. But we must be convinced of sin, and if the Holy Spirit convince us, our sins will appear numerous, aggravated, and great; so great at times, that we shall fear whether God will pardon such great sinners; but the very greatness of our sin should urge us to apply for pardon. Our God is a great God, his mercy is great, the merit of a Saviour's blood is great, and he has pardoned great sinners in every age. Let us therefore look at our sins fairly, at their nature, number, aggravation, desert: then let us look at the merit of the Saviour's blood, at the gracious promises of the word, at the invitations of the gospel, and let us confess our sins, remembering the assurance given us by the apostle, " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Take courage, look to Jesus, and say,.

Were the black list before my si^ht,
While I remember thou hast died,
Twould only urge my speedier flight

To seek salvation at thy side.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

You who are troubled rest with us

THE Thessalonians were persecuted for the sake of Christ. They were deeply tried; their tribulations were very painful; but they exercised patience, and were supported by faith in God's word. The apostles were also greatly tried; but, in their greatest trials, they looked up to their sympathising Lord for help, and looked forward to his glorious appearing for redress. They knew that when Jesus came the crooked would be made straight, and his persecuted people would be exalted to honour. They were willing to leave their cause in his hands. They cast all their cares upon him; and they enjoyed rest in trouble when they were not delivered from trouble. Paul exhorts his persecuted brethren to enjoy the same privilege. He says,—" Rest with us." Rest in God's faithful word: he will make it good, liest in the Saviour's grace: he will perfect his strength in your weakness. Rest on the promise of his coming, when he will subdue all things unto himself. Look not at trouble, but look for the coming of Jesus.

Then we whose flesh is troubled here,
Shall plorious with our Head appear.

And find our place prepared above;
And spend on our Redeemer's breast
A whole eternity of rest,

A whole eternity of love

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance

THIS is the design of every mercy which God confers. The sinner has wrong thoughts of God, and the goodness of God is intended to change those thoughts. He has wrong feelings toward God, and it is intended to change those feelings. He walks contrary to God, and the design is to change his course. Unless the goodness of God change our thoughts, feelings, and conduct, toward God ; unless it produce sorrow for sin, hatred to sin, and departure from sin, it does not produce a proper effect upon us. Friends, look at the goodness of God to you in providence. How many mercies crown your lot. How many favours are heaped upon you. Consider his goodness toward you as the God of grace. He has given you his written word. He has appointed ministers to preach that word to you. He has instituted ordinances to instruct and impress you. He has sent you his holy gospel, in which he informs you of the gift of his Son for sinners; and of the promise of the Holy Spirit to sinners. All this is intended to lead you to repentance.
Let me, Lord, the true repentance,
Self-condemned, from thee receive;

Then reverse the fearful sentence
Bid thy pardoned rebel live.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Lord was my stay

THE Psalmist had been greatly tried. His friends forsook him, and his enemies were mad against him. His heart often misgave him, and painful fears oppressed him; but, driven from every earthly stay, he looked to the Lord. The word of God was his pilgrim staff; with this he pressed forward, notwithstanding his difficulties. He leaned on the Lord, and the Lord supported him. He always found God nearest when most needed; and proved him faithful to his word. Beloved, let us look back: we have been in trials too; earthly friends have forsaken us; our hearts for awhile sunk within us, and why did we not fall a prey to our foes ? The Lord was our stay. He always secretly sustained us. He sometimes sweetly comforted us. He occasionally appeared to deliver us, so that even foes could not but exclaim, "This is the finger of God." The Lord is still our stay; let us lean upon him to-day,—let us bear our whole weight upon his faithful word ; it will not, it cannot fail us. The Lord will be our stay through all the future stages of our journey.
Lord, preserve from Satan's wiles,
Save from dangers, free from fearr ;
May I live upon thy smiles
Till the promised hour appears,
When the sons of God shall prove
All their Father's boundless love.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

And they were afraid to ask him

JESUS had been speaking of his death. The disciples did not understand him. They wanted information, but they were afraid to ask him. Their fear w;groundless,—it was injurious. So is ours very frequently, for we often copy them in what was wrong. Jesus is with us. He is ever present as our Saviour and Friend. He is willing to hear our requests, and bids us ask for favours. He regards our petitions, and always answers us in wisdom and love. He is ever pleased to hear us, and encourages us to draw nigh unto him; but we often act as if we were afraid to ask him; especially, to explain to us the mysteries in his word; to show us the design of his dark and perplexing providences ; to reveal to us our interest in his love, and make our election sure; to give us the blessings we feel we need, the favours we desire, or the mercies which others enjoy. But why do we fear to ask him ? Lest it should be presumption, because we are so mean and unworthy ; because our unbelief is so strong, and we do not believe the love which he hath to us, in consequence of the temptations of Satan, who fears our confidence and hates our souls.

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare;
Jesus loves to answer prayer:
He himself has bid thee pray,
Therefore will not s,iy thee nay.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

He shall come to be glorified in his saints

JESUS is gone into heaven, to appear as the great High Priest before his Father for us. He is interceding for all that come unto God by him. He will soon come again: his coming will be sudden, glorious, and unexpected. He will come to be glorified in his saints: they will then be all collected together, and it will be a glory to him to have saved so vast a number, a multitude which no man can number; and to have saved such a variety of persons,—for there will be some of all ages and classes, of all climes and colours, and of all times, from the days of righteous Abel to the hour of his glorious appearing. He will be glorified in the completeness of their salvation, for all will be saved perfectly, and saved for ever. He will be glorified in their exact resemblance of himself, for they will be just like him in body and in soul: he will see his own image in every one of his beloved people. He will be glorified in the beauty and glory of the residence he has provided for them, and to which he will introduce them.

    Lord, we long to see the day!
    Come, and in thy saints display
    All the wonders of thy love,
    All our life concealed above.
    Oar celestial Head divine.
    Jesus, in thy members shine.