"We will come unto
him and make our abode with him" (John xiv. 23).
This idea of
trying to get a holiness of your own, and then have Christ reward you for
it, is not His teaching. Oh, no; Christ is the holiness; He will bring the
holiness, and come and dwell in the heart forever.
When one of our
millionaires purchases a lot, with an old shanty on it, he does not fix up
the old shanty, but he gets a second-hand man, if he will have it, to tear
it down, and he puts a mansion in its place. It is not fixing up the house
that you need, but to give Christ the vacant lot, and He will excavate below
our old life and build a house where He will live forever.
Now that is what
we mean when we say that Christ will be the preparation for the blessing,
and make way for His own approach. It is as when a great Assyrian king used
to set out on a march. He did not command the people to make a road, but he
sent on his own men, and they cut down the trees and filled the broken
places, and levelled the mountains. So He will, if we will let Him, be the
Coming King, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II. Cor. x. 5).
If we would abide
in Christ we must have no confidence in self. Self-repression must be ever
the prime necessity of divine fulness and efficiency. Now you know how
quickly you spring to the front when any emergency arises. When something in
which you are interested comes up, you say what you think under some sudden
impulse, and then perhaps you have weeks of taking back your thought and
taking the Lord's instead. It is only when we get out of the way of the Lord
that He can use us. So, be out of self, always suspending your will about
everything until you have looked at it and said: "Lord, what is your will?
What is your thought about it?"
Those who thus
abide in Christ have the habit of reserve and quiet; they are not rattling
and reckless talkers, they will not always have an opinion about everything,
and they will not always know what they are going to do. There will be a
deferential holding back of judgment, and walking softly with God. It is our
headlong, impulsive spirit that keeps us so constantly from hearing and
following the Lord.
"This is my
Beloved, and this is my Friend" (Song of Solomon v. 16).
He is our Friend.
"Which of you shall have a friend at night?" This has deep significance
through the experience of each one of us. Who has not had a friend, and more
of a friend in some respects than even a father?
There are some
intimacies not born of human blood that are the most intense and lasting
bonds of earthly love. One by one let us count them over and recall each act
and bond of love, and think of all that we may trust them for and all in
which they stood by us, and then as we concentrate the whole weight of
recollection and affection, let us put God in that place of confidence and
think He is all that and infinitely more.
Our Friend! The
one who is personally interested in us; who has set His heart upon us; who
has come near to us in the tender and delicate intimacy of unspeakable
fellowship; who gave us such invaluable pledges and promises; who has done
so much for us, and who is ever ready to take any trouble or go to any
expense to aid us--to Him we are coming in prayer, our Heavenly Friend.
"Hath the Lord as
great delight in burnt offerings as in obeying the voice of the Lord?" (I.
Sam. xv. 22).
Many a soul prays
for sanctification, but fails to enter into the blessing because he does not
intelligently understand and believingly accept God's appointed means by
Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Spirit. Many a prayer for the
salvation of others is hindered because the very friend takes the wrong
course to bring about the answer, and resorts to means which are wholly
fitted to defeat his worthy object.
We know many a
wife who is pleading for her husband's soul, and hoping to win him by
avoiding anything that may offend him, and yielding to all his worldly
tastes in the vain hope of attracting him to Christ. Far more effective
would be an attitude of fidelity to God and fearless testimony to Him, such
as God could bless.
congregation wonders why it is so poor and struggling. It may be found that
its financial methods are wholly unscriptural and often unworthy of ordinary
When we ask God
for any blessing, we must allow Him to direct the steps which are to bring
"I in them, and
Thou in Me" (John xvii. 23).
If we would be
enlarged to the full measure of God's purpose, let us endeavor to realize
something of our own capacities for His filling.
We little know the
size of a human soul and spirit. Never, until He renews, cleanses and enters
the heart can we have any adequate conception of the possibilities of the
being whom God made in His very image, and whom He now renews after the
pattern of the Lord Jesus Himself.
We know, however,
that God has made the human soul to be His temple and abode, and that He
knows how to make the house that can hold His infinite fulness. We know
something of this as all our nature quickens into spring tide life at the
coming of the Holy Spirit, and as from time to time new baptisms awaken the
dormant powers and susceptibilities that we did not know we possessed.
Oh, let us give
Him the right to make the best of us, and, with wonder filled, we shall some
day behold the glorious temple which He has reared, and shall say, "Lord,
what is man that Thou hast set Thine heart upon Him?"
"Bless the Lord,
O, my soul" (Ps. ciii. 1).
Bless the Lord, O
my soul; and all that is within me be stirred up to magnify His holy name.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgiveth
all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life
from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like
the eagle's." Who so well can sing this thanksgiving song as we, rejoicing
as most of us do, we trust, in this full salvation, and praising God for the
glorious health of a risen Lord and a continual youth?
This psalm and its
opening verses is in the very center of the Scriptures by an exact count of
letters and verses. So let it stand in our lives, as we look backward and
forward and upward in grateful thanksgiving as we sing in its closing
strains, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His
holy name." Lord, center my heart in Thee and in the spirit of love and
"I will strengthen
thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee" (Isa. xli. 10).
God has three ways
of helping us: First, He says, "I will strengthen thee"; that is, I will
make you a little stronger yourself. And secondly, "I will help thee"; that
is, I will add My strength to your strength, but you shall lead and I will
help you. But thirdly, when you are ready, "I will uphold thee with the
right hand of My righteousness"; that is, I will lift you up bodily and
carry you altogether, and it will neither be your strength or My help, but
My complete upholding. Hence it must be quite true, that when we come to the
end of our strength, we come to the beginning of His, and that in Him the
weakest are the strongest, and the most helpless the most helped. "He giveth
power to the faint," but to "them that have no might" at all "He gives more
strength," and His word forever is, "My grace is sufficient for thee." The
answer is a paradox of contradictions, and yet the most practical truths,
"Most gladly, therefore, will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of
Christ may rest upon me; for when I am weak, then am I strong."
"For the law of
the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free" (Rom. viii. 2).
There is a natural
law of sin and sickness, and if we just let ourselves go and sink into the
trend of circumstances we shall go down and sink under the power of the
tempter. But there is another law of spiritual life and of physical life in
Christ Jesus to which we can rise and through which we can counterpoise and
overcome the other law that bears us down. But to do this requires real
spiritual energy and fixed purpose and a settled posture and habit of faith.
It is just the same when we bind the power in our factory. We must turn the
belt on and keep it on. The power is there, but we must keep the connection
and while we do so the law of this higher power will work and all the
machinery will be in operation. There is a spiritual law of choosing,
believing, abiding and holding steady in our walk with God which is
essential to the working of the Holy Ghost either in our sanctification or
There is a word
that saves the soul,
"I will trust";
makes the sick and suffering whole.
"I will trust."
"Because I live ye
shall live also" (John xiv. 19).
become adjusted to our Living Head and the source of our life, now our
business is to abide, absorb and grow, leaning on His strength, drinking in
His life, feeding on Him as the Living Bread, and drawing all of our
resources from Him in continual dependence and communion. The Holy Spirit
will be the great Teacher and Minister in this blessed process. He will take
of the things of Christ and show them unto us, and He will impart them
through all the channels and functions of our spiritual organism. As we
yield ourselves to Him He will breathe His own prayer of communion, drawing
out our hearts in longings and hungerings, which are the pledge of their own
fulfilment, calling us apart in silent and wordless prayer and opening every
pore, organ, sense and sensibility of our spiritual being to take in His
life. As the lungs absorb the oxygen of the atmosphere, as the senses
breathe in the sweet odors of the garden, so the heart instinctively
receives and rejoices in the affection and fellowship of the beloved One by
our side. Thus we become like a tree planted by the rivers of waters.
"But prayer was
made without ceasing, of the church unto God for him" (Acts xii. 5).
But prayer is the
link that connects us with God. This is the bridge that spans every gulf and
bears us over every abyss of danger or of need. How significant the picture
of the apostolic church: Peter in prison, the Jews triumphant, Herod
supreme, the arena of martyrdom awaiting the dawning of the morning to drink
up the apostle's blood,--everything else against it. "But prayer was made
unto God without ceasing." And what the sequel? The prison open,--the
apostle free,--the Jews baffled,--the wicked king eaten of worms, a
spectacle of hideous retribution, and the Word of God rolling on in greater
Do we know the
power of our supernatural weapon? Do we dare to use it with the authority of
a faith that commands as well as asks? God baptize us with holy audacity and
Divine confidence. He is not wanting great men, but He is wanting men that
will dare to prove the greatness of their God.
But God! But
dead, indeed" (Rom. vi. 11).
Our life from the
dead is to be followed up by the habit and attitude henceforth which is the
logical outcome of all this. "Reckon yourselves dead indeed, unto sin, but
alive unto God through Jesus Christ, and yield yourselves unto God," not
to die over again every day, "but, as those who are alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
resurrection life is given to fit us for "the fellowship of His sufferings
and to be made conformable unto His death."
It is intended to
enable us to toil and suffer with rejoicing and victory. We "mount up with
wings as eagles," that we may come back to "run and not be weary, to walk
and not faint."
But let us not
mistake the sufferings. They do not mean our sufferings, but His. They are
not our struggles after holiness, our sicknesses and pains, but those higher
sufferings which, with Him, we bear for others, and for a suffering church
and a dying world. May God help us, henceforth, never to have another sorrow
for ourselves, and put us at leisure, in the power of His resurrection, to
bear His burdens and drink His cup.
"The earnest of
the Spirit in our hearts" (II. Cor. i. 22).
Life in earnest.
What a rare, what a glorious spectacle! We see it in the Son of God, we see
it in His apostle, we see it in every noble, consecrated and truly
successful life. Without it there may be a thousand good things, but they
lack the golden thread that binds them all into a chain of power and
permanence. They are like a lot of costly and beautiful beads on a broken
string, that fall into confusion, and are lost in the end for want of the
bond that alone could bind them into a life of consistent and lasting power.
O for the baptism of fire! O for "THE EARNEST, THE SPIRIT!" O for lives that
have but one thing to do or care for! O for the depth and everlasting
strength of the heart of Christ within our breast, to love, to sacrifice, to
realize, to persevere, to live and die like Him!
We are going forth
with a trust so sacred,
a truth so divine and deep,
a message clear and a work so glorious,
a charge--such a charge--to keep.
it be your greatest joy, my brother,
the Lord can count on you;
if all besides should fail and falter,
your trust be always true.
in the Lord" (Ps. xxxvii. 4).
Daniel's heart was
filled with God's love for His work and kingdom and his prayers were the
mightiest forces of his time, through which God gave to him the restoration
of Israel to their own land, and the acknowledgment by the rulers of the
world of the God of whom he testified and for whom he lived.
There is a
beautiful promise in the thirty-seventh Psalm, "Delight thyself in the Lord,
and He will give thee the desires of thine heart," which it is, perhaps,
legitimate to translate, that not only does it mean the fulfilment of our
desires, but even the inspiration of our desires, the inbreathing of His
thoughts into us, so that our prayers shall be in accord with His will and
so shall bring back to us the unfailing answer of His mighty providence.
Teach me Thy
thoughts, O God!
Thou, Thyself, in me,
shall I only always think
own thoughts after Thee.
Teach me Thy
thoughts, O God!
me Thy plan divine:
me from all my plans and works,
lead me into Thine.
"The things which
are seen are temporal" (II. Cor. iv. 18).
How strong is the
snare of the things that are seen, and how necessary for God to keep us in
the things that are unseen! If Peter is to walk on the water, he must walk;
if he is going to swim, he must swim, but he cannot do both. If the bird is
going to fly it must keep away from the fences and the trees, and trust to
its buoyant wings. But if it tries to keep within easy reach of the ground,
it will make poor work of flying.
God had to bring
Abraham to the end of his own strength, and to let him see that in his own
body he could do nothing. He had to consider his own body as good as dead,
and then take God for the whole work, and when he looked away from himself,
and trusted God alone, then He became fully persuaded that what He had
promised, He was able also to perform.
This is what God
is teaching us, and He has to keep away encouraging results until we learn
to trust without them, and then He loves to make His word real in fact as
well as faith.
Let us look only
to Him to-day to do all things as He shall choose and in the way He shall
"Oh, man of
desires" (margin) (Dan. x. 11).
This was the
divine character given to Daniel of old. It is translated in our version, "O
man, greatly beloved." But it literally means "O man of desires!" This is a
necessary element in all spiritual forces. It is one of the secrets of
effectual prayer, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that
ye receive them." The element of strong desire gives momentum to our
purposes and prayers. Indifference is an unwholesome condition; indolence
and apathy are offensive both to God and nature.
And so in our
spiritual life, God often has to wake us up by the presence of trying
circumstances, and push us into new places of trust by forces that we must
subdue, or sink beneath their power. There is no factor in prayer more
effectual than love. If we are intensely interested in an object, or an
individual, our petitions become like living forces, and not only convey
their wants to God, but in some sense convey God's help back to them.
May God fill us
to-day with the heart of Christ that we may glow with the Divine fire of
for ye know neither the day" (Matt. xxv. 13).
the unexpectedness of His coming by the figure of a thief entering a house
when the master was not there. Life, like the old Jewish night, may be
divided into three watches, youth, maturity, old age. The summons to meet
God may come to us in either of these watches. A writer tells us of his
experience with a camping party, of which he was a member, and which, he
tells us, always arranged to have watches at night. "We became especially
careful after what I am about to narrate happened. During the first night,
from sunset to sunrise, we had in turn carefully guarded our camp. But when
the next night came, so impressed were we with the orderly character of the
neighborhood, that we concluded that no guard was needed until bedtime.
Within our main tent the evening was spent in story-telling, singing and
general amusement. When the hour to retire arrived, it was discovered that
our other tents had been robbed and everything of value stolen. The work was
done before we thought a guard necessary." It is never too soon to begin
watching against sin.
"The ark of the
covenant of the Lord went before them" (Num. x. 33).
God does give us
impressions but not that we should act on them as impressions. If the
impression be from God, He will Himself give sufficient evidence to
establish it beyond the possibility of a doubt.
How beautifully we
read, in the story of Jeremiah, of the impression that came to him
respecting the purchase of the field of Anathoth, but Jeremiah did not act
upon this impression until after the following day, when his uncle's son
came to him and brought him external evidence by making a proposal for the
purchase. Then Jeremiah said: "I knew this was the word of the Lord."
He waited until
God seconded the impression by a providence, and then he acted in full view
of the open facts, which could bring conviction unto others as well as
God wants us to
act according to His mind.
We are not to
ignore the Shepherd's personal voice, but like Paul and his companions at
Troas, we are to listen to all the voices that speak, and "gather" from all
the circumstances, as they did, the full mind of the Lord.
"And He that sat
upon the throne said, It is done" (Rev. xxi. 5, 6).
Great is the
difference between action and transaction. We may be constantly acting
without accomplishing anything, but a transaction is action that passes
beyond the point of return, and becomes a permanent committal. Salvation is
a transaction between the soul and Christ in which the matter passes beyond
recall. Sanctification is a great transaction in which we are utterly
surrendered, irrevocably consecrated and wholly committed to the Holy Ghost,
and then He comes and seals the transaction and undertakes the work. Our
covenant for our Lord's healing should be just as explicit, definite and
irrevocable. And so of the covenants to which God is leading His children
from time to time in regard to other matters of obedience and service. God
grant that during this hallowed day many a consecrated life may be able to
say with new significance and permanence, "'Tis done, the great
For the living
Vine is Jesus,
whose fulness we may hide;
find our life and fruitfulness
we in Him abide.
"We would see
Jesus" (John xii. 21).
When any great
blessing is awaiting us, the devil is sure to try and make it so
disagreeable to us that we shall miss it. It is a good thing to know him as
a liar, and remember, when he is trying to prejudice us strongly against any
cause, that very likely the greatest blessing of our life lies there.
Spurgeon once said that the best evidence that God was on our side is the
devil's growl, and we are generally pretty safe in following a thing
according to Satan's dislike for it. Beloved, take care, lest in the very
line where your prejudices are setting you off from God's people and God's
truth, you are missing the treasures of your life. Take the treasures of
heaven no matter how they come to you, even if it be as earthly treasures
generally are, like the kernel inside the rough shell, or the gem in the
bosom of the hard rock.
I have seen Jesus
and my heart is dead to all beside,
have seen Jesus, and my wants are all, in Him, supplied.
have seen Jesus, and my heart, at last, is satisfied,
Since I've seen
"The disciple whom
Jesus loved leaned on His breast" (John xxi. 20).
gentleman once visited the saintly Albert Bengel. He was very desirous to
hear him pray. So one night he lingered at his door, hoping to overhear his
closing devotions. The rooms were adjoining and the doors ajar. The good man
finished his studies, closed his books, knelt down for a moment and simply
said: "Dear Lord Jesus, things are still the same between us," and then
sweetly fell asleep. So close was his communion with his Lord that labor did
not interrupt it, and prayer was not necessary to renew it. It was a
ceaseless, almost unconscious presence, like the fragrance of the summer
garden, or the presence of some dear one by our side whose presence we
somehow feel, even though the busy hours pass by and not a word is
joy, supremely sweet,
with Jesus here,
life with joy replete;
wondrous grace, O joy sublime,
Jesus with me all the time."
lilies how they grow" (Matt. vi. 28).
It is said that a
little fellow was found one day by his mother, standing by a tall sunflower,
with his feet stuck in the ground. When asked by her, "What in the world are
you doing there?" he naively answered, "Why, I am trying to grow to be a
His mother laughed
heartily at the idea of his getting planted in the ground in order to grow,
like the sunflower, and then, patting him gently on the head, "Why, Harry,
that is not the way to grow. You can never grow bigger by trying. Just come
right in, and eat lots of good food, and have plenty of play, and you will
soon grow to be a man without trying so hard."
mother was right. Mrs. H. W. Smith never said a sweeter thing than when she
answered the question--"How do the lilies grow?" by simply adding, "They
grow without trying."
spiritual life is the life of self-unconsciousness through which we become
so united to Christ, and live continually on His life, nourished, fed and
constantly filled with His Spirit and presence and all the fulness of His
"Cast the beam out
of thine own eye" (Matt. vii. 5).
Greater than the
fault you condemn and criticise is the sin of criticism and condemnation.
There is no place we need such grace as in dealing with an erring one. A
lady once called on us on her way to give an erring sister a piece of her
mind. We advised her to wait until she could love her a little more. Only He
who loved sinners well enough to die for them can deal with the erring. We
never see all the heart. He does, and He can convict without condemning, and
reprove without discouraging. Oh, for more of the heart of Christ! Take
care, brother, how you speak of another's fault. Ere you know, you may be in
the same or deeper condemnation. Very significantly does the Master say that
the man that sees a mote in his brother's eye, usually has a rafter in his
own eye! One of the two unpardonable sins of the Bible is unforgiving
"Give me a heart
me a heart like Thine,
Thy wonderful power,
Thy grace every hour,
me a heart like Thine."
"It is high time
to awake out of sleep" (Rom. xiii. 11).
One of the
greatest enemies to faith is indolence. It is much easier to lie and suffer
than to rise and overcome; much easier to go to sleep on a snowbank and
never wake again, than to rouse one's self and shake off the lethargy and
overcome the stupor. Faith is an energetic art; prayer is intense labor; the
effectual working prayer of the righteous man availeth much.
Satan tries to put
us to sleep, as he did the disciples in the garden; but let us not sleep as
do others, but let us wake and be sober, continuing in prayer and watching
therein with all perseverance, stirring up ourselves to take hold of His
strength, "not slothful, but followers of them, who, through patience,
inherit the promise." It is the wind that carries the ship across the waves;
but the wind is powerless unless the hand of the boatman is held firmly upon
the rudder, and that rudder is set hard against the wind. In like manner we
hold the rudder, God fills the sails. It is not the rudder that carries the
ship; but it is the rudder which catches the wind that carries the ship, so
God keeps us in perfect peace while we are stayed upon Him.
"I can do all
things through Christ" (Phil. iv. 13).
A dear sister said
one day: "I have so much work to do that I have not time to get strength to
do it by waiting on the Lord." Surely that was making bricks without straw,
and even if it was the name of the Lord and the church, it was the devil's
bondage. God sends not His servants on their own charges; but "He is able to
make all grace abound towards us, that we, always having all sufficiency in
all things, may abound unto every good work." The old story of the
chieftain, fleeing from his foes and almost overtaken, but stopping in the
midst of his flight to get a shoe upon his horse that he might fly more
successfully is a true type and lesson for Christian workers.
The old Latin
motto festina lente, "make haste slowly," has a great lesson for us. The
more work we have to do, the more frequently we have to drop our head upon
our desk and wait a little for heavenly aid and love, and then press on with
new strength. One hour baptized in the love of the Holy Ghost is worth ten
battling against wind and tide without the heavenly life.
before the time, until the Lord come" (I. Cor. iv. 5).
Nothing will more
effectually arrest the working of the Spirit in the heart than the spirit of
criticism. At the end of a meeting a young minister came forward and told us
of the great blessing he had received that afternoon, and the baptism of the
Holy Spirit that had come into his heart and being, setting him free from
the bondage of years. And then he added, "It all came through your answer to
that question, 'Will a criticizing spirit hinder the Holy Ghost from filling
the heart?' "
As the question
was asked and answered, he said, "I was sitting in the church criticizing a
good deal that was going on, objecting to this thing and to that thing,
finding fault with the expressions, and praises and testimonies, and feeling
thoroughly unhappy. The Lord brought the answer home to my heart and
convicted me of my sin, and there and then I laid it down and began to see
the good instead of the evil. Blessing fell upon me and my soul was filled
with joy and praise, and I saw where my error lay, that for years I had been
trying to see the truth with my head instead of my heart."
"He purgeth it
that it may bring forth more fruit" (John xv. 2).
One day we passed
a garden. The gardener had finished his pruning, and the wounds of the knife
and saw were beginning to heal, while the warm April sun was gently
nourishing the stricken plant into fresh life and energy. We thought as we
looked at that plant how cruel it would be to begin next week and cut it
down again. It would bleed to death. Now, the gardener's business is to
revive and nourish into life. Its business is not to die, but to live. So,
we thought, it is with the discipline of the soul. It, too, has its dying
hour; but it must not be always dying. Rather reckon ourselves to be dead
indeed unto sin and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord
Breathe Thine own
breath through all my mortal frame,
me Thy resurrection life to claim,
'mid all changes, still abides the same,
lead me in the way Everlasting.
Give me the
heavenly foretaste here, I pray;
faith foredate the everlasting day,
walking in its glory all the way,
lead me in the way Everlasting!
"And the remnant
of the oil ... shall pour upon the head" (Lev. xiv. 18).
In the account of
the healing of the Hebrew leper there is a beautiful picture of the touching
of his ears, hands and feet, with the redeeming blood and the consecrating
oil, as a sign that his powers of understanding, service, and conduct were
set apart to God, and divinely endued for the Master's work and will.
But after all
this, we are significantly told that "the rest of the oil" was to be poured
upon his head.
anointing was from the oil in the hand of the priest, but the latter was to
be from the log, or vessel of oil itself. It was to be literally emptied
over him, until he was bathed with all its contents.
It is a figure of
the large and boundless baptism of the Holy Ghost. It speaks of something
more even than the ordinary experiences of the consecrated Christian. It
tells of the abundant and redundant supply which God has for us out of His
Have we received
"the rest oil"? Are we filled with the Spirit, and letting the overflow
"Without Me ye can
do nothing" (John xv. 5).
How much can I do
for Christ? We are accustomed to say.--As much as I can. Have we ever
thought we can do more than we can?
This thought was
lately suggested by the remarks of a Christian friend, who told how God had
laid it upon her heart to do something for His cause which was beyond her
power, and when she dared to obey Him, He gave her the assurance of His
power and resources, and so marvelously met her faith that she was enabled
to do more than she could otherwise, and accomplish her heart's desire, and
see a work fulfilled to which her resources were unequal.
The apostle says,
"I can do all things through Christ, who is my strength," and yet He says we
are not able to think anything, as of ourselves.
insufficiency! Oh, blessed All-Sufficiency! Oh, blessed nothingness, which
brings us all things! Oh, blessed faith, whose rich dowry is, "All things
are possible to him that believeth"!
O to be found of
Him in peace,
and free from blame.
"Could ye not
watch with Me one hour?" (Matt. xxvi. 40.)
A young lady whose
parents had died while she was an infant, had been kindly cared for by a
dear friend of the family. Before she was old enough to know him, he went to
Europe. Regularly he wrote to her through all his years of absence, and
never failed to send her money for all her wants. Finally word came that
during a certain week he would return and visit her. He did not fix the day
or the hour. She received several invitations to take pleasant trips with
her friends during that week. One of these was of so pleasant a nature that
she could not resist accepting it. During her trip, he came, inquired as to
her absence, and left. Returning she found this note: "My life has been a
struggle for you, might you not have waited one week for me?" More she never
heard, and her life of plenty became one of want. Jesus has not fixed the
day or hour of His return, but He has said, "Watch," and should He come
to-day, would He find us absorbed in thoughtless dissipation? May we be
found each day, in the expectant attitude of those watching for a loved one.
"In lowliness of
mind let each esteem other better than themselves" (Phil. ii. 3).
When the apostle
speaks of "the deep things of God," he means more than deep spiritual truth.
There must be something before this. There must be a deep soil and a
Very much of our
spiritual teaching fails, because the people to whom we give it are so
shallow. Their deeper nature has never been stirred.
begin at the bottom of things, the poor in spirit, the mourners, and the
hungry hearts. Suffering is essential to profound spiritual life. We need
not go to a monastery or a leper hospital to find it. The first real
opportunity for unselfishness will bring into your life the anguish of
crucifixion, unless you are born of some different race from Adam's.
It is because men
and women have not faced this that they know so little of suffering and
death. We must have deep convictions. Truth must be to us a necessity, and
principle a part of our very being. Lord, make me poor in spirit. Lord help
me to be even as Thou wert when on earth, always the lowest, and therefore