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Sunday, January 16, 2011

God spared not the angels that sinned

THEN, is it not wonderful that he should spare us ? They were more noble in their nature, and more exalted in their station; yet when they sinned God did not spare them, but cast them down to hell. Nor would he have spared us, but for the method of his grace; by which his Son became our substitute, took our responsibility, came into our world, and acted as our surety. And when he appeared in this character, he was dealt with accordingly, he was not spared, therefore we read, "He spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." Was not this wonderful, God would not spare his Son, that he might spare us; us who were his enemies, and who would have remained so for ever if he had not changed our hearts by his grace? Let us this day reflect upon the facts, " God spared not the angels that sinned," " He spared not his own Son," but he says of us, " I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." O mystery of mercy! What depths of love, what heights of grace are here! My soul, adore the sovereignty, and eternally praise the distinguishing grace displayed !
  Amazing work of sovereign grace
That could distinguish rebels no I

    Our guilty treasons call'd aloud
b'or everlasting fetters too.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I will look for him

THE Lord often conceals himself from his people. He leaves them, that they may learn the value of his presence, their dependence upon him, and their impotence without him. When he withdraws their comfort declines, their prospects are beclouded, then- enemies are lively, and their fears are often strong. They feel desolate, depressed, and alone. And except Satan beguile them, or the things of time entangle them, they begin at once to go in search of him. They look for him in the works of his hands; in the dispensations of providence; in the ordinances of his house; in the pages of his word; and especially in the closet, where they pour out their hearts. They go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but they cannot perceive him; on the left hand where he doth work, but they cannot behold him; he hideth himself on the right hand, that they cannot see him. Then they passionately cry, " Oh that I knew where I might find him!" Disappointed, and dispirited, they fear, fret, and perhaps complain; but they cannot give up, still they cry, " I will look for Mm."

   Disconsolate, forsook,
    Jesus, for thee I look:
Only thou my heart canst cheer,

    Comfort with thyself restore;
Show thyself the Comforter,

    Come, and never leave me more.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let us hold fast our profession

WE have a great, a glorious High Priest; he has made a full atonement for our sins; he is gone to present his blood before his Father in the holiest of all; he has a tender heart; he ever liveth to make intercession for us. We have professed to be the true circumcision, to trust in his finished work alone for acceptance with God, and to devote ourselves entirely to his service. But there are many temptations to draw us aside, to lead us to trust in something of our own, to doubt either his power or his pity, and to withdraw ourselves from his service. But, let us be steadfast. Let us be steady. Let us hold fast our profession, and prove that we do so by coming boldly to the throne of grace in his name, by looking only to him and his perfect work for our justification and complete salvation, and by devoting our time, talents, and influence, to the promotion of his glory, and the extension of his kingdom. Many have given way to temptation, many have made shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience, let us therefore watch and be sober. Let us be jealous of ourselves.

    Jesus ever lives to plead
    His suffering people's cause,
Let us then pursue our Head,

    And bear his daily cross,-
Faithful unto death remain,
And in the crown of life resound.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On whom dost thou trust?

THIS is a very important question. Much depends on it. Let vis therefore apply it to ourselves, and to each other. On whom dost thou trust? On thyself? Then hear God's testimony, " He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool." He knows not its weakness, its depravity, or its deceitfulness; or he would never trust it. On whom dost thou trust? On thy fellow-men? Then hear God's threatening, " Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord: for he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited." Do you say, "But they are wise men, great men, exalted in station, excellent in character." " Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." But on whom dost thou trust? On Jehovah? Jehovah as revealed in Jesus? Then take the comfort of God's promise, " Blessed is the man that trusteth 'in Jehovah, and whose hope the Lord is.

    Happy the man, securely blest,
    Who finds in Jacob's God his rest
    Whose hope, when threatening changes rise,
    Finn on Jehovah's power relies

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ye are sanctified

THE Corinthians were by nature dreadfully depraved, but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. They were created anew in Christ Jesus, they were sanctified by the power of the Holy Ghost. To be sanctified is to be separated from sinners; to be delivered from the power of sin, and to be set apart for God. Sanctification begins in regeneration. There is no holiness in any one of God's fallen creatures, until regenerated by the Holy Spirit. We may separate ourselves from others, but we shall not be truly sanctified to God, unless we are renewed in the spirit of our minds. Every truly sanctified person loves holiness, prays for holiness, and strives for holiness. In vain do we boast of a sound creed, rejoice in church privileges, or expect heaven at death, except we really desire and seek to be holy. But, if we mourn over sin, fly to the fountain of a Saviour's blood, and strive for conformity to the Lord Jesus Christ, unquestionably we are sanctified,as the Corinthians were, "in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." Beloved, are you sanctified ? Your God says, " Be ye holy, for I am holy."

 Lord, let thy grace with sweet control,
Bind all the feelings of my soul;
Bid all its vanities depart,
And ever sway my wayward heart.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No lie will swallow up death in victory

DEATH is the fruit of sin. It is God's standing testimony against it. It is man's enemy. It is the object of the sinners dread. It has filled many saints with fear and alarm. Some are all their life time subject to bondage through the fear of death. It is a solemn event. The consequences are momentous. We must die. No one can escape it. No one will, except those who are alive when Jesus comes. But though it is a foe, and a terrible one too, it cannot really hurt a Christian. It is not now a curse, but often a blessing. As a penal evil it is abolished. It will be swallowed up in victory. The monster has lost its sting, and it will lose its existence. The victory of Jesus over it will be complete, manifest, and eternal. There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." Rev. xxi. 4. It will be as perfectly done away, as completely lost sight of, as the stone that is cast and swallowed up in the depths of the sea.
Ah, grant me. Lord, in death to find.
That death is swallowed up in thee,

    While on thy loving breast 

I gasp for Immortality!

    Purchased by thine lasting grace,
    And in my heart forever known.

Monday, January 10, 2011

They have not all obeyed the gospel

AND does the gospel require obedience? Yes : it commands us to repent of sin; to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; to pray always and not to faint; to confess Christ before men; to glorify God in our bodies and spirits which are God's ; and to consecrate ourselves and all we have to the Lord's glory. But comparatively few obey the gospel. Reader, do you? Are you daily sorrowing for sin ? Are you placing your entire confidence in Jesus, and resting on his finished work alone for acceptance with God ? Do you pray as naturally as you breathe, and pray for all you need or desire ? Have you confessed Jesus before your fellow-men, and taken up the apostle's determination to glory only in his cross ? Do you aim at God's glory in every purpose you form, in every plan you draw, in every work you execute ? Have you consecrated your person, property, and talents, to the Lord; and do the ministering angels see written upon all you have," This is the Lord's ? " Solemn inquiries these! Let them sink down into your heart. Take them, and search your heart with them.
Turn and claim me as thine own,
Be my potion, Lord, alone;
In me all thy grace display,
A in thy gospel I'll obey.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fear not: for I have redeemed thee

ISRAEL needed redemption both from Egypt and Babylon, and the Lord redeemed themWe needed to be redeemed from sin, Satan, and the present evil world, and Jesus has become our Redeemer. The price of our redemption was his precious blood; the power that effects our deliverance is the power of his Holy Spirit. The legal difficulties were all removed when he died in our stead, but we were as really enthralled and held in bondage as if no price had been paid for our release; therefore it was necessary that power should be exerted, and this has been done, and we are now the redeemed of the Lord. He redeemed us because he loved ns; because he had set his heart upon us; because he intended to glorify himself in us, before angels, devils, and men. Having redeemed us he bids us not fear. For having purchased us so dearly, he will not easily part with us: having delivered us when we were his foes, he will certainly take care of us now we are his friends. Still it seems natural to fear. But he who redeemed us says, "Fear not, for I am with thee, I will keep thee."
Why shouldst thou fear, when I am thine,
    When all I am, I am for thee?
If thou art weak, my strength divine

    Is perfect in infirmity.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Whose I am

WE are all the Lord's by creation: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves. He produced us by his power, and intended us for his glory. But the generality withhold from God his right. They do not own him, worship him, or obey him. He is not in all their thoughts. But this was not the case with Paul. He had made a surrender of himself to God. He had consecrated all his powers to his service. He sought by all means to promote his cause, and advance his glory. He was the Lord's child by adoption and grace. He was the Lord's servant by solemn engagement. He had given himself to God, and he recognized God as his owner, sovereign, and master. He consulted God's will. He was employed in God's work. He expected God's protection. He was now in danger, but his God sent an angel to assure him of his safety, and to comfort him in his sorrow. The Lord always cares for his own. He never did neglect a faithful servant, or fail to bless an obedient child. Beloved, are you the Lord's ? Do you recognize his right to you ? Have you entered into engagements with him ? If so, you are in a happy state.

    If I am thine, Lord, let me be
    Entirely set apart for thee:
    If I am not thy right assert,
    Tills moment claim und win my heart.

Friday, January 7, 2011

In the Lord have I righteousness and strength

EVERY believer proves that he has neither in himself. The longer he lives, the more deeply he feels that he must look out of himself for the righteousness that is to justify him before God, and daily go to the Saviour for strength to conquer sin, overcome the world, perform duty, resist Satan, and glorify God. What an unspeakable mercy it is, that this morning the Lord whom we worship is our righteousness; that the perfect obedience of the Lord Jesus is unto all and upon all that believe without any difference. Every one of us who believe in Jesus, have a perfect righteousness; and in him shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. In the Lord also we have strength; strength is provided for us, and promised to us. Let us therefore go boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in every time of need. Our righteousness and strength being in the Lord, they are always the same; they can never be forfeited; they will never be lost. Let ns then look up and say, " He is. near that justifieth me, who will contend with me ?"
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress:
'Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed.
With joy shall I lift up my heart.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

All things that the Father hath are mine

HERE is an indirect proof of the Divinity of Jesns; for if he claims and possesses all that the Father hath, he must be God. But all things that the Father hath, belong to Jesus; that Jesus in whom we trust, to whom we are united, and with whom we shall live for ever. Jesus possesses the Divine nature equally with the Father, and is God over all, blessed for evermore. He claims all the Divine attributes and perfections; and they are all ascribed to him in the Holy Scriptures. He wears all the Divine names, and shares in the honour of all the Divine works. His are all the boundless resources of the universe. As all things were created by him, so also they were created for him. All power is given unto him in heaven and in earth; therefore we may look to him for all we need, flee to him from all we fear, and trust him with all we value. Let us this day exercise our minds on this glorious fact. Precious Lord Jesus, help me to rejoice in thee, expect from thee, and labour by all means to glorify thee !

Jesus, is there not in thee,
Grace, sufficient grace for me ?
Let me now, with thee, receive
All thou dost to sinners give:
All thou hast, and know thou art,
for ever in my heart!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up

WE are at best poor tottering creatures, never fit to be left alone for one moment. And then the road we have to travel is dangerous, and the path often slippery. One incautious step involves us in many long and severe troubles. Nor are we ever sure, but that our foot may next be placed on ice. Circumspection, therefore, is absolutely necessary; but circumspection alone is not sufficient to preserve us. The prayer of David is always suitable. Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. The moment we take our eye off the Lord, Satan redoubles his efforts to trip us up. The Psalmist felt himself going; he cried, "My foot slippeth!" and mercy stepped forward, and caught him before he was down. That mercy can uphold us. It is our friend. It is pledged to us in the promise. But it must be sought. It must be honoured with a place in our minds. It must also be trusted. We must daily feel that we need to be upheld, that we have no claim upon, God, that we can look to mercy alone to uphold; and living under these convictions, we shall trust in the mercy of the Lord for ever.
Who loves me so well, my Helper has been.
And saved me from hell, and s:ived me from sin
His gracious protection I joyfully prove,
His strength of affection, his feelings of love.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Being born again

A NEW birth is absolutely necessary. No one can possibly be saved without it. Therefore Jesus told Nicodemus twice, that he must be born again. As our first birth was necessary to bring us into this world, and fit us for its employments and enjoyments, so a second birth is necessary to bring us into the Church of Christ, and fit as for its duties and privileges. No new birth, no true happiness here. No new birth, no heaven at death. But how shall I know that I am born again? If prayer to God becomes natural, and is enjoyed; if we overcome the world, instead of being led away by its follies and its fashions; if we hate sin as sin, and strive and pray for deliverance from it; if we love our enemies, because Christ commanded it; and love the saints, because they are holy; if we trust in the finished work of Christ, and glory in his cross; if we feel a deep concern for the salvation of others, and are zealous in spreading abroad the truth, that Jesus may be honoured; then, beyond a doubt, we are born of God. Beloved, have you these evidences? Have you any of them? Let nothing satisfy you but the knowledge that you are born again.
Saints produce the fruits of grace
In the works of righteousness I
Born of God, they hate all sin :
God's pure word abides within.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Teach me thy way, O Lord

WE all need divine teaching, for our ignorance is great, and there are many evil influences operating upon us. If we have discovered our ignorance, we desire to be taught of God. If we desire to be taught of God, he has promised to teach us; he has said, " I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." This is a very suitable and a verv precious promise; a promise which we should plead until it is fulfilled. The Lord's way is that course which we should pursue; that path which he has marked out for us in his word. It leads to acceptance with him, and enables us to glorify him. There is the way of salvation, by faith in Jesus; in which way we obtain freedom, peace, and holiness. There is the way of obedience, which is a practical conformity to his precepts. In this way the Lord meets with us, cheers us, gives us more grace, and makes us honourable and useful. In this way we find many difficulties, there are many things to perplex, confuse, and try us. It is a way that requires constant self-denial, and the surrender of our wills to the will of God.

Divine Instructor, lest I stray,
O teach my erring feet thy way :
Thy truth, with ever fresh delight,
Shall guide my doubtful steps aright.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christ hath once suffered for sins

SIN is the cause of all suffering. God punishes nothing but sin. If therefore we suffer, it is a proof that we have sinned. But Jesus suffered. Had he sinned ? No; " he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." Why then did he suffer ? Because he was the substitute of sinners. He engaged to bear our sins, to suffer in our stead, to make atonement for our transgressions ; and therefore, when he appeared on earth, he was treated as if he had been guilty of our sins. " He bare our sins in his own body on the tree." He died as our Surety to pay our debt, and to obtain our honourable release; and now, when we believe on his dear name, we are treated as if we had done what he performed. Our sins were all imputed to him, and his whole righteousness is imputed to us. This is the mystery of the gospel. This is God's method of justification. If Jesus suffered for my sins, I shall never suffer for them; but if I believe in him, he did suffer for them; therefore, as a believer, God will never punish me for my iniquities.O to realize and enjoy this!

    He offered up himself entire,
And never need the death repeat;

    Justice can nothing more require.
The sacrifice is all complete;

    And, seated at his Father's side,
    He rests, for ever glorified.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Honour the Lord with thy substance

WE received it from him, and we should consecrate it to him. Upon every thing that we possess, we may write, This is from God. He gave it to us. He intended it for our good, to make us happy and to make us holy. As every mercy comes from him, it should lead us back to him. We cannot honour God by hoarding or by wasting: neither the miser nor the prodigal honour the Lord. But we may by enjoying and employing. Let us honour the Lord by acknowledging him as the author of all we have, and by praising him for all we receive. Also, by employing our property in his service, for the comfort of his poor and the spread of his truth. Let a portion be separated from the rest, a just and becoming portion, and let us write upon it, This is for God. If some professors did so, would they not feel ashamed of the quantity, or of the season when it is set apart ? No niggard, if a professor of religion, can succeed. God hates niggardliness in those who profess his name, but he " loveth a cheerful giver." If we give, let us honour God in doing so: let us see to it that our motive is good; that our object is good; and that the proportion is good.

    With my substance I will honour
    My Redeemer and my Lord;
Were ten thousand worlds my manor,

    All were nothing to his word