righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us" (Rom. viii. 4).
do you know the mistake some of you are making? Some of you say: "It is not
possible for me to be good; no man ever was perfect, and it is no use for me
to try." That is the mistake many of you are making. I agree with the first
sentence, "No man ever was perfect"; but I don't agree with the second,
"There is no use trying." There is a divine righteousness that we may have.
I don't mean merely that which pardons your sins--I believe that, too--but I
mean far more; I mean that which comes into your soul and unites itself with
the fibers of your being; I mean Christ; your life, your purity, making you
feel as Christ feels; think as Christ thinks, love as Christ loves, hate as
Christ hates, and be "partakers of the divine nature." That is God's
righteousness; "that the righteousness of the law might be fulfiled in us,"
not by us, but in us; not our hands and feet merely, but our very instincts,
our very desires, our very nature springing up in harmony with His own. Have
you got Him, dear friends? He will come and fulfil all right things in you
if to-day you will open your heart.
"As ye have
therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk ye in Him" (Col. ii. 6).
Here is the very
core of spiritual life. It is not a subjective state so much as a life in
the heart. Christ for us is the ground of our salvation and the source of
our justification; Christ in us of our sanctification. When this becomes
real, "Ye are dead"; your own condition, states and resources are no longer
counted upon any more than a dead man's, but "your life is hid with Christ
in God." It is not even always manifest to you. It is hid and so wrapped up
and enfolded in Him that only as you abide in Him does it appear and abide.
Nay, "Christ who is your life," must Himself ever maintain it, and be made
unto you of God all you need. Therefore, Christian life is not to come to
Christ to save you, and then go on and work out your sanctification
yourself, but "as ye have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, so to walk in
Him," just as dependent and as simply trusting as for your pardon and
Ah friends, how
much it would ease our tasks
the day that's just begun,
live our life a step at a time
our moments one by one.
"Ye shall receive
the power of the Holy Ghost" (Acts i. 8).
There is power for
us if we have the Holy Ghost. God wants us to speak to men so that they will
feel it, so that they will never forget it. God means every Christian to be
effective, to count in the actual records and results of Christian work.
Dear friends, God sent you here to be a power yourself. There is not one of
you but is an essential wheel of the machinery, and can accomplish all that
God calls you to. I solemnly believe that there is not a thing that God
expects of man but that God will give the man power to do. There is not a
claim God makes on you or me but God will stand up to, and will give what He
commands. I believe when Christ Jesus lived and died and sent down the Holy
Ghost, He sent resources for all our need, and that there is no place for
failure in Christian life if we will take God's resources. Jesus, the
ascended One, and the Holy Ghost, the indwelling energy, life and efficiency
of God, are sufficient for all possible emergencies. Do you believe this? If
you believe it, let Him into your heart, without reserve and allow Him to
control and work through you to-day by His power.
Jesus" (Heb. xii. 2).
There must be a
constant looking unto Jesus, or, as the German Bible gives it, an
off-looking upon Jesus; that is, looking off from the evil, refusing to see
it, not letting the mind dwell upon it for a second. We should have mental
eyelashes as well as physical ones, which can be used like shields, and let
no evil thing in; or, like a stockade camp in the woods, which repels the
first assault of the enemy. This is the use of the fringes to our eyes, and
so it should be with the soul. Many do not seem to know that they have
spiritual eyes. They go through the world as if somebody had cut off their
eyelashes, and they stare away on the good and evil alike. The devil comes
along with his evil pictures and bids them look. We cannot look upon evil
without being defiled. Sometimes, in going down the street, the sight of
some of the pictures on the way will cast their filth upon the soul so that
we shall feel the need of being bathed in Jesus' blood for hours for
cleansing. There has been no consent unto sin, but the sight of it has
defiled. There is no help for it but in the resolute, steady, inner view of
"My heart is
fixed, O God" (Ps. lvii. 7).
We do not always
feel joyful, but we are always to count it joy. This word reckon is one of
the keywords of Scripture. It is the same word used about our being dead. We
are painfully conscious of something which would gladly return to life. But
we are to treat ourselves as dead, and neither fear nor obey the old nature.
So we are to reckon the thing that comes a blessing; we are determined to
rejoice, to say, "My heart is fixed, Lord; I will sing and give praises."
This rejoicing by faith will soon become a habit, and will ever bring
speedily the spirit of gladness and the spontaneous overflow of praise.
Then, although the
fig tree may wither and no fruit appear in the vines, the labor of the olive
fail, and the field yield no increase, the herd be cut off from the stall,
and the cattle from the field, yet will we rejoice in the Lord and joy in
the God of our salvation.
the earth itself remove,
can change His loving kindness
His everlasting love.
Himself" (Phil. ii. 8, R. V.).
The first step to
the righteousness of the kingdom is "poor in spirit." Then the next is a
little deeper, "they that mourn." Because now you must get plastic, you must
get broken, you must get like the metal in the fire, which the Master can
mould; and so, it is not enough to see your unrighteousness, but deeply to
feel it, deeply to regret it, deeply to mourn over it, to own it not a
little thing that sin has come into your life. And so God leads a soul unto
His righteousness. He usually leads it through some testings and trials.
This generally comes after conversion. I do not think it necessary for a
soul to have deep and great suffering before it is saved. I think He will
put it into the fire when He knows it is saved; when it realizes it is
accepted; when it is not afraid of the discipline; when it is not the hand
of wrath, but the hand of love. Oh, then, God, takes you down and makes you
poor in spirit, and makes you mourn until you get to the third step, which
is to be meek, broken, yielded, submissive, willing, surrendered, and laid
low at His feet, crying: "What wilt Thou have me to do?"
"When ye go; ye
shall not go empty" (Ex. iii. 21).
When we are really
emptied He would have us filled with Himself and the Holy Spirit. It is very
precious to be conscious of nothing good in ourselves; but, oh, are we also
conscious of His great goodness? We may be ready to admit our own
disability, but are we as ready to admit His ability? There are many
Christians who can say, "We are not sufficient of ourselves to think
anything as of ourselves"; but the number I fear is very small who can say,
"Our sufficiency is of God."
Are you sure that
He is able to provide every want in you, or do you feel that you must supply
it yourself? Are you believing that God does now supply every lack in your
heart and your life, so that all stumbling is taken away, and you are
endowed with power for His service, as Elisha took the empty vessels and
filled them before they were set aside to be used? Our Saviour, at Cana,
ordered the water-pots to be filled to the brim. Then the water was made
into wine, but not until the vessels were full. God wants His children to
have always a full heart.
"Bread corn is
bruised" (Isa. xxviii. 28).
The farmer does
not gather timothy and blue grass, and break it with a heavy machine. But he
takes great pains with the wheat. So God takes great pains with those who
are to be of much use to Him. There is a nature in them that needs this
discipline. Don't wonder if the bread corn is treated with the wise,
discriminating care that will fit it for food. He knows the way He is
taking, and there is infinite tenderness in the oversight He gives. He is
watching the furnace you are in lest the heat should be too intense. He
wants it great enough to purify, and then it is withdrawn. He knoweth our
frame. He will not let any temptation take us but such as is common to man,
and He will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may be
able to bear it. Do you believe in this disciplining love of the Husbandman,
and are you trusting Him with the leading and government of your life? Oh,
that you would cease to envy or be disturbed by the people around you! Some
day you will be glad for the training and blessing they have brought you.
"Ye are the light
of the world" (Matt. v. 14).
We are called the
lights of the world, light-bearers, reflectors, candle-sticks, lamps. We are
to be kindled ourselves, and then we will burn and give light to others. We
are the only light the world has. The Lord might come down Himself and give
light to the world, but He has chosen differently. He wants to send it
through us, and if we don't give it the world will not have it. We should be
giving light all the time to our neighbors. God does not put a meteor in the
sky to tell us when to shine. We are to be giving light all the time
wherever we are, at home, or in the social circle, or in our place in the
church. We should feel always we may never have another opportunity for it,
and so we should always be burning and shining for Him. Let our lamps be
trimmed and burning and full of the oil of the Spirit. Above all, let us be
a steady light to the lost ones.
Let me dwell in
the sun forever shines,
the night and darkness come not,
the day no more declines.
Father knoweth ye have need" (Matt. vi. 32).
Christ makes no
less of our trust for temporal things than He does for spiritual things. He
places a good deal of emphasis upon it. Why? Simply because it is harder to
trust God for them. In spiritual matters we can fool ourselves, and think
that we are trusting when we are not; but we cannot do so about rent and
food, and the needs of our body. They must come or our faith fails. It is
easy to say that we trust Him in things that are a long way off, but there
can be no trifling about it in things where the faith must bring practical
answers. It is easy to have faith for our needs, and to trust Him when the
sun is shining. But let some things arise which irritate and rasp and fret
us, and we soon find whether we have real trust or not. And so the things of
everyday life are tests of our real faith in God, and He often puts us where
we have to trust for tangible matters--for money and rent, and food and
clothes. If you are not trusting here wholly, when you are placed in such
tests you will break down. Are you trusting God for everything through the
six ordinary days of the week?
"Thou hast the dew
of thy youth" (Ps. cx. 3).
Oh, that you might
get such a view of Him as would make it impossible for little things ever to
fret you again! The petty cares and silly trifles that have troubled you so
much ought rather to fill you with wonder that you can think so much about
them. Oh, if you had the dew of His youth you should go forth as the morning
and fulfil the promise of a glorious day! What a difference it has made in
life since we have seen it was possible to do this! How easy it seems now
when the little troubles come, to draw a little closer to Christ, to drink
in a little more of that fountain of life, to get a little nearer to that
loving heart, and to draw in great draughts of refreshing and strength from
it. How clear it makes the brain for work! Coming to Him thus, heavy and
dull and tired, how rested you become and able to spring forth ready for
work. How inspiring to think that our living Head never grows weary. He is
as fresh as He ever was; He is a glorious conqueror; He is ever the
victorious Christ. Let Him take you to-day, and He will cause you to see in
Him the invincible Leader!
"We would see
Jesus" (John xii. 21).
Glory to Him for
all the things laid up for us in the days to come. Glory to Him for all the
visions of service in the future; the opportunities of doing good that are
far away as well as close at hand. Our Saviour was able to despise the cross
for the joy that was before Him. Let us look up to Him, and rise up to Him
till we get on high and are able to look out from the mount of vision over
all the land of far distances. There shall not a single thing come to us in
all the future in which we may not be able to see the King in His beauty.
Let us be very sure that we do not see anything else. Our pupils will become
impressed as they look at this vision, so that they will not be able to
reflect anything else. My little child came to me once and said: "Papa, look
at that golden sign across the street a good while; now look at that brick
wall and tell me what you see." "Why, I see the golden sign on the brick
wall." And he laughed merrily over it. So, if we look a long time upon Jesus
we cannot look at anything else without seeing a reflection of Him.
Everything which we behold will become a part of Him.
"The sweetness of
the lips increaseth learning" (Prov. xvi. 21).
Life is very
largely made up of words. They are not so emphatic, perhaps, as deeds. Deeds
are more deliberate expressions of thought. One of the most remarkable
authors of the New Testament has said, "If any man offend not in word, the
same is a perfect man." It is very often a test of victory in Christian
life. Our triumph in this often depends on what we say, or what we do not
say. It is said by James of the tongue, "It is set on fire of hell." The
true Christian, therefore, is righteous in his ways and upright in his
words. His deeds appeal to men; but in speech he is looking up, for God is
listening. His words are sent upward and recorded for the judgment. I
believe that this is an actual fact, and I can almost fancy that the skies
above, which seem so transparent, the beautiful blue ether over our heads,
is like a waxen tablet with a finely sensitive surface, and receives an
impression of every word we speak, and that then these tablets are hardened
and preserved for the eternal judgment. So we should speak, dear friends,
with our eyes ever upward, never forgetting that we shall some day meet the
words that we have spoken.
"The secret of the
Lord is with them that fear Him" (Ps. xxv. 14).
There are secrets
of Providence which God's dear children may learn. His dealing with them
often seems, to the outward eye, dark and terrible. Faith looks deeper and
says, "This is God's secret. You look only on the outside; I can look deeper
and see the hidden meaning." Sometimes diamonds are done up in rough
packages, so that their value cannot be seen. When the tabernacle was built
in the wilderness there was nothing rich in its outside appearance. The
costly things were all within, and its outward covering of rough badger skin
gave no hint of the valuable things which it contained. God may send you,
dear friends, some costly packages. Do not worry if they are done up in
rough wrappings. You may be sure there are treasures of love, and kindness
and wisdom hidden within. Do not be so foolish as to throw away a nugget of
gold because there is some quartz in it. If we take what He sends, and trust
Him for the goodness in it, even in the dark, we shall learn the meaning of
the secrets of His providence.
"Grow up into Him
in all things" (Eph. iv. 15).
Harvest is a time
of ripeness. Then the fruit and grain are fully developed, both in size and
weight. Time has tempered the acid of the green fruit. It has been mellowed
and softened by the rains and the heat of summer. The sun has tinted it into
rich colors, and at last it is ready and ripe to fall into the hand. So
Christian life ought to be. There are many things in life that need to be
mellowed and ripened. Many Christians have orchards full of fruit, but they
are all green and sharp to the taste. There is a great deal in them that is
good, but it is incomplete, and very sharp and sour. Perhaps something goes
wrong in your domestic life, and you get flurried and cross and lose your
confidence in God, and then, of course, your Christian joy. These things
produce regret and all kinds of misery. There are many things day after day
you are sorry for. You know you are not ripe and mellow and you cannot
become so by trying. You cannot bring the sweetness in. It must be wrought
out from within.
"Ye cannot serve
God and Mammon" (Matt. vi. 24).
He does not say ye
cannot very well serve God and mammon, but ye cannot serve two masters at
all. Ye shall be sure to end by serving one. The man who thinks he is
serving God a little is deceived; he is not serving God. God will not have
his service. The devil will monopolize him before he gets through. A divided
heart loses both worlds. Saul tried it. Balaam tried it. Judas tried it, and
they all made a desperate failure. Mary had but one choice. Paul said: "This
one thing I do." "For me to live is Christ." Of such a life God says:
"Because he hath set his love upon Me therefore will I deliver him. I will
set him on high because he hath known My name." God takes a peculiar pride
in showing His love to the heart that wholly chooses Him. Heaven and earth
will fade away before its trust can be disappointed. Have we chosen Him only
and given Him all our heart?
Say is it all for
you so often sing?
He your Royal Master?
He your heart's dear King?
"The glory of the
Lord shall be thy reward" (Isa. lviii. 8).
He comes by our
side as our helper; nay, more. He comes to dwell within us; to be the life
in our blood, the fire in our thought, the faith within us, both in
inception and consummation. Thus He becomes not only the recompense of the
victor, but the resources of the victory. He is the Captain and the
Overcomer in our lives. If we have caught any help that has relieved us of a
troubled morning, it has been of Him. He lifts our eyes up unto Himself and
delivers us from apathy, from discontent and from fears. He is always the
helper in this heavenly competition, and will be the great reward in all the
ages to come. If our life is hidden with Him we shall have to go through the
same trials that He went through, but we shall not find them too hard. If
once we take Him fully as the strength of our life, and our all in all, we
shall be able to lay aside all the hindering things that press upon us day
I have overcome,
shalt overcome, overcome,
"I am doing a
great work, so that I cannot come down" (Neh. vi. 3).
When work is
pressing there are many little things that will come and seem to need
attention. Then it is a very blessed thing to be quiet and still, and work
on, and trust the little things with God. He answers such trust in a
wonderful way. If the soul has no time to fret and worry and harbor care, it
has learned the secret of faith in God. A desperate desire to get some
difficulty right takes the eye off of God and His glory. Some dear ones have
been so anxious to get well, and have spent so much time in trying to claim
it, that they have lost their spiritual blessing. God sometimes has to teach
such souls that there must be a willingness to be sick before they are so
thoroughly yielded as to receive His fullest blessing.
The enemy often
keeps at this work. Sanballat came four times to Nehemiah and received
always the same answer. It is best to stick to a good answer. How many fears
we have stopped to fight which have proved to be nothing at last. Nehemiah
recognized that fear was sin, and did not dare to yield to it.
"Who hath first
given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again" (Rom. xi. 35).
women of the world have it in their power, by a very little sacrifice, to
add millions to the treasury of the Lord. Beloved sisters, have you found
the joy of sacrifice for Jesus? Have you given up something that you might
give it to Him? Are you giving your substance to Jesus? He will take it, and
He will give you a thousandfold more. I should rather be connected with a
work founded on great sacrifice than on enormous endowments. The reason God
loved the place where His ancient temple rose in majesty was because there
Abraham offered his son and David his treasure. The reason redemption is so
dear to the Father and the heavenly world is because its foundation-stone is
the Cross of Calvary. And the Christian life that is dearest to the heart of
God, and will rise to the highest glory and usefulness, is the one whose
foundation principle is sacrifice and self-renunciation. This is why the
Master teaches us to give, because giving means loving, and love is but
another name for life.
"Let every man
abide in the same calling wherein he was called" (I. Cor. vii. 20).
O ye who complain
about your calling or fret about the changes and trials of life, how do you
know but that these very changes are the divine methods by which God's
purposes of blessing and usefulness concerning you be fulfilled? Had Aquila
not been compelled to leave Rome and break up his home and business, he
would probably have never met with Paul, and been called to the knowledge
and service of Christ through this providential meeting. Had he not been a
working man, and pursuing his ordinary avocation he would not have been
brought into contact with the apostle. It was in the line of their calling,
their common duties, and the providential changes of their life that God
called them. And so He meets us. Do not try hard to run away from it, but,
as the apostle has so finely put it, "Let every man abide in the same
calling wherein he is called, let him therein abide with God." Make the most
of your incidental opportunities.
"God hath set some
in the church ... helps" (I. Cor. xii. 28).
In the apostle's
lists of officers in the church the "helps" are mentioned before the
"governments." By the ministry of prayer, by the ministry of giving, by the
ministry of encouragement, by the shining face and mute pressure of the
hand, and a little word of cheer, and by the countless ways in which we can
help, or at least can keep from hindering, we can all find still the
footprints of Aquila and Priscilla, if we want to follow them. It is a great
grace to be able to rejoice in another's work and pour our lives, like
affluent rivers, into great streams. But God knows whence every drop has
come, and in the greater day of recompense many of the helps shall have the
chief reward. Beloved, are you helping? Are you helping your pastor, your
brother, your husband, your mother, your fellow-worker, and when the harvest
comes shall he that soweth and he that reapeth rejoice together?
You can help by
love and joyful song,
the burdens you may bear,
the sorrows you may share,
the crowns you yet may wear,
you help along.
"This is that
bread which came down from heaven" (John vi. 58).
We had the
sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves, but in
God which raiseth the dead; who delivereth us from so great a death, who
doth deliver; in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us. This was the
supernatural secret of Paul's life; he drew continually in his body from the
strength of Christ, his Risen Head. The body which rose from Joseph's tomb
was to him a physical reality and the inexhaustible fountain of his vital
forces. More than any other he has imparted to us the secret of His
strength; "We are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones"; "The
Lord is for the body and the body is for the Lord." Marvelous truth! Divine
Elixir of Life and Fountain of Perpetual Youth! Earnest of the Resurrection!
Fulfilment of the ancient psalms and songs of faith! "The Lord is the
strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? My flesh and my heart faint
and fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Beloved, have we learned this secret, and are we living the life of the
Incarnate One in our flesh?
"Now we are the
sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be" (I. John iii. 2).
We are the sons of
God. We are not merely called and even legally declared, but actually are
sons of God by receiving the life and nature of God; and so we are the very
brethren of our Lord; not only in His human nature, but still more in His
divine relationship. "Therefore, He is not ashamed to call us brethren." He
gives us that which entitles us to that right, and makes us worthy of it. He
does not introduce us into a position for which we are uneducated and
unfitted, but He gives us a nature worthy of our glorious standing; and as
He shall look upon us in our complete and glorious exaltation reflecting His
own likeness and shining in His Father's glory, He shall have no cause to be
ashamed of us. Even now He is pleased to acknowledge us before the universe
and call us brethren in the sight of all earth and heaven. Oh, how this
dignifies the humblest saint of God! How little we need mind the
misunderstanding of the world if He "is not ashamed to call us brethren."
So let us go out
to-day to represent His royal family.
"I will clothe
thee with change of raiment" (Zech. iii. 4).
For Paul every
exercise of the Christian life was simply the grace of Jesus Christ imparted
to him and lived out by him, so that holiness was to put on the Lord Jesus
and all the robes of His perfect righteousness which he loves to describe so
often in his beautiful epistles. "Put on therefore, as the elect of God,
holy and beloved," he says to the Colossians, "bowels of mercies, kindness,
humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering"; and, "above all these things,
put on love which is the bond of perfectness." None of these things are
regarded as intrinsic qualities in us, but as imparted graces from the hand
of Jesus. And even in the later years of his life, and after the mature
experience of a quarter of a century we find him exclaiming, "I count all
things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my
Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but
refuse, that I might win Christ and be found in Him."
Lord, enable us
to-day to go out, clothed in Thy robes of perfect rightness and with our
hearts in adjustment with Thy perfect love.
"Who leadeth us in triumph" (II. Cor. ii. 14).
Every victor must
first be a self-conqueror. But the method of Joshua's victory was the
uplifted arm of Moses on the Mount. As he held up his hands Joshua
prevailed, as he lowered them Amalek prevailed. It was to be a battle of
faith and not of human strength, and the banner that was to wave over the
discomfited foe, "Jehovah-nissi." This, too, is the secret of our spiritual
triumph. "If we are led of the Spirit we shall not fulfil the lusts of the
flesh." "Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law
but under grace."
Have we thus begun
the battle and in the strength of Christ planted our feet on our own necks,
and thus victorious over the enemy in the citadel of the heart been set at
liberty for the battle of the Lord and the service of others? It was the
lack of this that hindered the life of Saul and it has wrecked many a
promising career. One enemy in the heart is stronger than ten thousand in
the field. May the Lord lead us all into Joshua's first triumph, and show us
the secret of self-crucifixion through the greater Joshua, who alone can
lead us on to holiness and victory!
"When He saw the
multitudes He was moved" (Matt. ix. 36).
He is able to be
"touched with the feeling of our infirmities." The word "touched" expresses
a great deal. It means that our troubles are His troubles, and that in all
our afflictions He is afflicted. It is not a sympathy of sentiment, but a
sympathy of suffering.
There is much help
in this for the tired heart. It is the foundation of His Priesthood, and God
meant that it should be to us a source of unceasing consolation. Let us
realize, more fully, our oneness with our Great High Priest, and cast all
our burdens on His great heart of love. If we know what it is to ache in
every nerve with the responsive pain of our suffering child, we can form
some idea of how our sorrows touch His heart, and thrill His exalted frame.
As the mother feels her babe's pain, as the heart of friendship echoes every
cry from another's woe, so in heaven, our exalted Saviour, even amid the
raptures of that happy world, is suffering in His Spirit and even in His
flesh with all His children bear. "Seeing then we have such a great high
Priest, let us come boldly to the throne of grace," and let us come to our
great High Priest.
"Be filled with
the Spirit" (Eph. v. 18).
Some of the
effects of being filled with the Spirit are:
Holiness of heart
and life. This is not the perfection of the human nature, but the holiness
of the divine nature dwelling within.
Fulness of joy so
that the heart is constantly radiant. This does not depend on circumstances,
but fills the spirit with holy laughter in the midst of the most trying
Fulness of wisdom,
light and knowledge, causing us to see things as He sees them.
improvement and quickening of the mind by an ability to receive the
fulfilment of the promise, "We have the mind of Christ."
quickening of the physical life. The body was made for the Holy Ghost, as
well as the mind and soul.
An ability to pray
the prayer of the Holy Ghost. If He is in us there will be a strange
accordance with God's working in the world around us. There is a divine
harmony between the Spirit and Providence.
"Leaning upon her
beloved" (Songs of Solomon viii. 5).
Shall you make the
claim most practical and real and lean like John your full weight on the
Lord's breast? That is the way He would have us prove our love. "If you love
me lean hard," said a heathen woman to her missionary, as she was timidly
leaning her tired body upon her stalwart breast. She felt slighted by the
timorous reserve, and asked the confidence that would lay all its weight
upon the one she trusted. And He says to us, "Casting all your care upon Him
for He careth for you." He would have us prove our love by a perfect trust
that makes no reserve. He is able to carry all our care, to manage all our
interests, to satisfy all our needs. Let us go forth leaning on His breast
and feeding on His life. For John not only leaned but also fed. It was at
supper that he leaned. This is the secret of feeding on Him, to rest upon
His bosom. This is the need of the fevered heart of man. Let us cry to Him,
"Tell me whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy
flock to rest at noon."
"He dwelleth with
you and shall be in you" (John xiv. 17).
Do not fail to
mark these two stages in Christian life. The one is the Spirit's work in us,
the other is the Spirit's personal coming to abide within us. All true
Christians know the first, but few, it is to be feared, understand and
receive the second. There is a great difference between my building a house
and my going to reside in that house and make it my home. And there is a
great difference between the Holy Spirit's work in regenerating a soul--the
building of a house, and His coming to reside, abide and control in our
innermost spirit and our whole life and being.
Have we received
Him Himself not as our Guest, but as the Owner, Proprietor and Keeper of the
temple He has built to be "an habitation of God through the Spirit"?
This is my
to my heart has come,
the King of glory,
in my heart a home.
I am so glad I
my heart's dear King,
who so often have grieved Him,
to His feet would bring.
choose" (Deut. xxx. 19).
Men are choosing
every day the spiritual or earthly. And as we choose we are taking our place
unconsciously with the friends of Christ, or the world. It is not merely
what ye say, it is what we prefer.
When Solomon made
his great choice at Gibeon, God said to him, "Because this was in thine
heart to ask wisdom, therefore will I give it unto thee, and all else
besides that thou didst not choose." It was not merely that he said it
because it was right to say, and would please God if he said it. But it was
the thing his heart preferred, and God saw it in his heart and gave it to
him with all besides that he had not chosen. What are we choosing, beloved?
It is our choice that settles our destiny. It is not how we feel, but how we
purpose. Have we chosen the good part? Have we said, "Whatever else I am or
have, let me be God's child, let me have His favor and blessing, let me
please Him?" Or have we said, "I must have this thing, and then I will see
about religion." Alas, God has seen what was in thine heart, and perhaps He
has already said, "They have their reward."