Days of Heaven Upon Earth

A Year Book of Scripture Texts And Living Truths

By A. B. Simpson

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Day 1

"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.


Day 2

"Bringing into 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.


Day 3

"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.


Day 4

"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.

Many a 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 self-respect.

When we ask God for any blessing, we must allow Him to direct the steps which are to bring the answer.


Day 5

"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?"


Day 6

"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 praise.


Day 7

"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."


Day 8

"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 healing.

There is a word that saves the soul,
"I will trust";
It makes the sick and suffering whole.
"I will trust."


Day 9

"Because I live ye shall live also" (John xiv. 19).

After having 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.


Day 10

"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 victory.

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 prayer!


Day 11

"Reckon yourselves 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."

Further His 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.


Day 12

"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,
And a truth so divine and deep,
With a message clear and a work so glorious,
And a charge--such a charge--to keep.
Let it be your greatest joy, my brother,
That the Lord can count on you;
And if all besides should fail and falter,
To your trust be always true.


Day 13

"Delight thyself 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!
Think Thou, Thyself, in me,
Then shall I only always think
Thine own thoughts after Thee.
Teach me Thy thoughts, O God!
Show me Thy plan divine:
Save me from all my plans and works,
And lead me into Thine.


Day 14

"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 choose.


Day 15

"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 holy desire.


Day 16

"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day" (Matt. xxv. 13).

Jesus illustrates 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.


Day 17

"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 himself.

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.


Day 18

"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 transaction's done."

For the living Vine is Jesus,
In whose fulness we may hide;
And find our life and fruitfulness
As we in Him abide.


Day 19

"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,
I have seen Jesus, and my wants are all, in Him, supplied.
I have seen Jesus, and my heart, at last, is satisfied,
Since I've seen Jesus.


Day 20

"The disciple whom Jesus loved leaned on His breast" (John xxi. 20).

An American 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 exchanged.

"O blessed fellowship, divine,
O joy, supremely sweet,
Companionship with Jesus here,
Makes life with joy replete;
O wondrous grace, O joy sublime,
I've Jesus with me all the time."


Day 21

"Consider the 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 man."

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."

Well, Harry's 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."

Our sweetest 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 imparted life.


Day 22

"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 lovelessness.

"Give me a heart like Thine,
Give me a heart like Thine,
By Thy wonderful power,
By Thy grace every hour,
Give me a heart like Thine."


Day 23

"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.


Day 24

"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.


Day 25

"Judge nothing 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."


Day 26

"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 Everlasting.

Breathe Thine own breath through all my mortal frame,
Help me Thy resurrection life to claim,
Which, 'mid all changes, still abides the same,
And lead me in the way Everlasting.
Give me the heavenly foretaste here, I pray;
Let faith foredate the everlasting day,
And walking in its glory all the way,
O, lead me in the way Everlasting!


Day 27

"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.

The former 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 illimitable fulness.

Have we received "the rest oil"? Are we filled with the Spirit, and letting the overflow bless others?


Day 28

"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.

Oh, blessed 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,
Spotless and free from blame.


Day 29

"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.


Day 30

"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 thorough foundation.

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.

The beatitudes 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 "highly exalted."