Thursday, December 31, 2015

   To a Servant of the Lord

With our souls filled with love
unto our God above,
we pledge our hearts to you;
we promise to be true,
dear servant of the Lord,
our glory and our joy.

With faith in Christ our Lord
in whom our hearts adore,
we pledge our souls to pray;
may Jesus be your stay,
dear servant of the Lord,
our glory and our joy.

With total trust in Him
whose guidance never dims,
we pledge our hands to give              
our funds to help you live,
dear servant of the Lord,
our glory and our joy.

With glory and with joy
we pledge our hearts to you;
with glory and with joy,
dear servant of the Lord,
we pledge our love to you -
our glory and our joy.
                           M. Robbins

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?  Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?  For ye are our glory and joy.  1 Thes 2:19-20

     Paul was a man sent by God to preach where the Gospel had not been preached and by the Holy Spirit to write many of the New Testament books.  Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to have lived in those times and had been able to send Paul a monthly financial gift?
     Now, let us use our imagination for just a few seconds. 
     Let’s imagine that next Sunday a missionary will make an entrance to your church and will present an appeal for help in going to the field.  Of course you know that he is no Paul, but he is going to a country you have been interested in for months and he is going to be involved in an area of ministry you also have been drawn to.  What will you do?  What are your options?          
     You can and should make a needful commitment to pray for him and his family.
     And you can also make a commitment to give a monthly financial gift.
     But before you make a financial commitment, let me warn are facing a commitment which should never be taken are taking on a responsibility which may very well continue until the missionary and his wife dies.   
     And through the 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years of your monthly support you probably will have to deny yourself many things in order to maintain that pledge.
     Tears of frustration also may come when you are forced to tighten your budget in order to give. 
     The re-evaluation of priorities.....the constant determination of holding onto your commitment of support.....the weariness of juggling living expenses and the occasional feeling of “I’ve done enough - time now for an easing of giving” will enter your very soul. 
     Like I said, your missionary will never be a Paul, but he, as a servant of God, will go through times of hardships and times of exaltations.  And you, with your prayers and your gifts, will follow him through all his trials and joys.
     The apostle Paul knew very well what he, himself, had gone through and came to a conclusion which he expressed in I Thes 2:19-20:  “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?  Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?  For ye are our glory and joy.”
     Of course this was written to people who had been saved under Paul’s ministry. 
     But you will find out that when you consistently pray and give to a missionary, somehow that missionary will be more than just a person. 
     You will have found that he has truly become your glory and your joy!             
                                                                                                                                              M. Robbins

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness....Ps 17:7

     When we give our hearts with our alms, we give well, but we must often plead to a failure in this respect.  Not so our Master and our Lord.  His favors are always performed with the love of His heart.  He does not send to us the cold meat and the broken pieces from the table of His luxury, but He dips our morsel in His own dish, and seasons our provisions with the spices of His fragrant affections.  When He puts the golden tokens of His grace into our palms, He accompanies the gift with such a warm pressure of our hand, that the manner of His giving is as precious as the boon itself.  He will come into our houses upon His errands of kindness, and He will not act as some austere visitors do in the poor man's cottage, but He sits by our side, not despising our poverty, nor blaming our weakness.  Beloved, with what smiles does He speak!  What golden sentences drop from His gracious lips!  What embraces of affection does He bestow upon us!  If He had but given us farthings, the way of His giving would have gilded them; but as it is, the costly alms are set in a golden basket by His pleasant carriage.  It is impossible to doubt the sincerity of His charity, for there is a bleeding heart stamped upon the face of all His benefactions.  He giveth liberally, and upbraideth not.  Not one hint that we are burdensome to Him; not one cold look for His poor pensioners; but He rejoices in His mercy, and presses us to His bosom while He is pouring out His life for us.  There is a fragrance in His spikenard which nothing but His heart could produce; there is a sweetness in His honeycomb which could not be in it unless the very essence of His soul's affection had been mingled with it.  Oh! the rare communion which such singular heartiness effecteth!  May we continually taste and know the blessedness of it!                   
                                                                                                                                           C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

     If such be the union which subsists between our souls and the person of our Lord, how deep and broad is the channel of our communion!  This is no narrow pipe through which a thread-like stream may wind its way; it is a channel of amazing depth and breadth, along whose glorious length a ponderous volume of living water may roll its floods.  Behold He hath set before us an open door; let us not be slow to enter.  This city of communion hath many pearly gates; every several gate is of one pearl, and each gate is thrown open to the uttermost, that we may enter, assured of welcome.  If there were but one small loophole through which to talk with Jesus, it would be a high privilege to thrust a word of fellowship through the narrow door; how much we are blessed in having so large an entrance!  Had the Lord Jesus been far away from us, with many a stormy sea between, we should have longed to send a messenger to Him to carry Him our loves, and bring us tidings from His Father's house; but see His kindness; He has built His house next door to ours, nay, more, He takes lodging with us, and tabernacles in poor humble hearts, that so He may have perpetual intercourse with us.  O, how foolish must we be, if we do not live in habitual communion with Him!  When the road is long, and dangerous, and difficult, we need not wonder that friends seldom meet each other but when they live together, shall Jonathan forget his David?  A wife may, when her husband is upon a journey, abide many days without holding converse with him, but she could never endure to be separated from him if she knew him to be in one of the chambers of her own house.  Why, believer, dost not thou sit at His banquet of wine?  Seek thy Lord, for He is near; embrace Him, for He is thy Brother.  Hold Him fast, for He is thine Husband; and press Him to thine heart, for He is of thine own flesh.                                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                    C. H. Spurgeon

Monday, December 28, 2015

Blessed Bible! how I love it!
How it doth my spirit cheer!
What on earth like this to covet?
Oh! what stores of wealth are here!
Man was lost, and doomed to sorrow,
Not one ray of light or bliss
Could he from earth’s treasures borrow,
Till his way was cheered by this.

Yes, I’ll to my bosom press thee;
Precious word, I’ll hide thee here;
Sure my very heart will bless thee,
For thou ever say’st “Good cheer!”
Speak, poor heart, and tell thy ponderings,
Tell how far thy rovings led,
When this book bro’t back thy wanderings
Speaking life as from the dead.

Blessed Bible!  I will hide thee
Deep, yes deeper in my heart;
Thou thro’ all my life wilt guide me,
And in death we will not part:
Part in death? no, never, never!
Thro’ death’s vale I’ll lean on thee;
Then, in worlds above for ever,
Sweeter still thy truths shall be.
                              Mrs. Phoebe Palmer

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  John 5:39

The Greek word here rendered search signifies a strict, close, diligent, curious search, such as men make when they are seeking gold, or hunters when they are in earnest after game.  We must not rest content with having given a superficial reading to a chapter or two, but with the candle of the Spirit we must deliberately seek out the hidden meaning of the word.  Holy Scripture  requires searching-much of it can only be learned by careful study.  There is milk for babes, but also meat for strong men.  The rabbis wisely say that a mountain of matter hangs upon every word, yea, upon every tittle of Scripture.  Tertullian exclaims, “I adore the fulness of the Scriptures.”  No man who merely skims the book of God can profit thereby; we must dig and mine until we obtain the hid treasure.  The door of the word only opens to the key of diligence.  The Scriptures claim searching.  They are the writings of God, bearing the divine stamp and imprimatur-who shall dare to treat them with levity?  He who despises them despises the God who wrote them.  God forbid that any of us should leave our Bibles to become swift witnesses against us in the great day of account.  The word of God will repay searching.  God does not bid us sift a mountain of chaff with here and there a grain of wheat in it, but the Bible is winnowed corn-we have but to open the granary door and find it.  Scripture grows upon the student.  It is full of surprises.  Under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to the searching eye it glows with splendor of revelation, like a vast temple paved with wrought gold, and roofed with rubies, emeralds, and all manner of gems.  No merchandise like the merchandise of Scripture truth.  Lastly, the Scriptures reveal Jesus:  “They are they which testify of Me.”  No more powerful motive can be urged upon Bible readers than this:  He who finds Jesus finds life, heaven, all things.  Happy he who, searching his Bible, discovers his Saviour.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                         C. H. Spurgeon

Sunday, December 27, 2015

        Precious Bible! what a treasure
        Does the Word of God afford!
        All I want for life or pleasure,
        Food and Med'cine, Shield and Sword:
        Let the world account me poor,
        Having this I need no more.

        Food, to which the world's a stranger,
        Here my hungry soul enjoys;
        Of excess there is no danger,
        Though it fills, it never cloys:
        On a dying Christ I feed,
        He is meat and drink indeed!

        When my faith is faint and sickly,
        Or when Satan wounds my mind,
        Cordials to revive me quickly,
        Healing med’cines here I find:
        To the promises I flee,
        Each affords a remedy.

        In the hour of dark temptation,
        Satan cannot make me yield;
        For the Word of consolation
        Is to me a mighty Shield:
        While the Scripture truths are sure,
        From his malice I'm secure.

        Vain his threats to overcome me,
        When I take the Spirit's Sword;
        Then with ease I drive him from me,
        Satan trembles at the Word:
        'Tis a Sword for conquest made,
        Keen the edge, and strong the blade.

        Shall I envy then the miser,
        Doating on his golden store?
        Sure I am, or should be, wiser,
        I am rich, 'tis he is poor:
        Jesus gives me in His Word,   
        Food and Med'cine, Shield and Sword.
                                                                  John Newton

     If God so willed it we could live without bread, even as Jesus did for forty days; but we could not live without his Word.  By that Word we were created, and by it alone can we be kept in being, for he sustaineth all things by the Word of his power.  Bread is a second cause; the Lord himself is the first source of our sustenance.  He can work without the second cause as well as with it; and we must not tie him down to one mode of operation.  Let us not be too eager after the visible, but let us look to the invisible God.  We have heard believers say that in deep poverty, when bread ran short, their appetites became short too; and to others, when common supplies failed, the Lord has sent in unexpected help.
     But we must have the Word of the Lord......Our souls need food, and there is none for them outside of the Word of the Lord.  All the books and all the preachers in the world cannot furnish us a single meal: it is only the Word from the mouth of God that can fill the mouth of a believer.  Lord, evermore give us this bread.  We prize it above royal dainties......                                       
                                                                                                                                          C. H. Spurgeon

Saturday, December 26, 2015

I heard You in the desert,
saw the plagues in Egypt’s midst,
felt the tug of good and evil
from within the Pharaoh’s heart;
yet I who witnessed all these things,
cannot comprehend Your deeds.

I saw pursuing warriors,
heard their cries of utter hate,
then safely crossed the dry Red Sea
which brought but death to Egypt’s proud;
yet I who witnessed all these things,
cannot comprehend Your acts.

I tasted manna rained from heaven,
implemented Your great laws,
drank flowing water from a rock
which represented Christ;
yet I who witnessed all these things,
cannot comprehend Your ways.

I, who through these many years
have seen Your wondrous deeds,
am overwhelmed by Your great acts,
am amazed by who You art;
Almighty God, You’ve just begun
to show me Your great self!
                               M. Robbins

     When you think of Moses, your spirit probably is struck with great wonderment upon all he saw, did and accomplished as a prophet of God.
     In fact under the Egyptian law, Moses shouldn’t have even lived past birth, because any Hebrew baby boy was to have been put to death by the attending midwife.  Exod 1:17 states - “But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.”
     So as we look back upon the life of Moses, we see a man who escaped death at birth, was considered a “son” of the Pharaoh’s daughter and was raised in court luxury.  We know that when Moses was 40 he killed an Egyptian who was hitting a fellow Hebrew and shortly afterward Moses fled for his life from the wrath of Pharaoh.  He lived away from court for 40 years.
     But hundreds of years earlier God had made a covenant to Abram as recorded in Gen 15:13-14 - “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;  And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.”
     And since Moses was the man God had chosen to fulfill His covenant.....when the time came, God finally spoke to Moses and sent him back to Egypt.  Exod 12:40-41 states - “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.  And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.”
     Today, we would say that Moses was THE MAN FOR THE OCCASION.  But for Moses and for all the other Hebrews, everything had just begun.
     All.......all that Moses went through the next 40 years was a time of testing, trials, endurance, joys, and triumphs and the Bible records some of those experiences.
     But everything.......yes, everything that Moses experienced in the workings of God, he summed up in a few brief words of amazement, awe and anticipation of God, Himself.  In Deut 3:24, towards the end of his life, Moses wrote - “O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?”
     So whenever you consider the life of Moses, go ahead and be in awe of all he experienced and accomplished as a prophet of God.  But be sure to put things in their proper place.
     Though mighty and great, Moses was still just a servant of God.
     And God?  Well, the great I AM, the God of whom nothing is impossible, the God who blots out our transgressions, the God who inhabits eternity......this same God had just begun to show Moses His greatness and His might!
     And this God in 1 Cor 12:6 - “is the same God which worketh all in all.”
     May you know His greatness and His might for all eternity!     
                                                                                                                                                M. Robbins 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Oh, scatter seeds of loving deeds,
Along the fertile field,
For grain will grow from what you sow,
And fruitful harvest yield.

Tho’ sown in tears thro’ weary years,
The seed will surely live;
Tho’ great the cost it is not lost,
For God will fruitage give.

The harvest-home of God will come,
And after toil and care;
With joy untold your sheaves of gold,
Will all be garnered there.

Then day by day along your way,
The seeds of promise cast,
That ripened grain from hill and plain,
Be gathered home at last.
                                  Jessie H. Brown

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.  But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  I Corinthians 3:6-11 

.....While Dr. Coke was journeying in America, he once attempted to ford a river, but his horse lost its foothold, and he was carried down the stream.  The doctor narrowly escaped drowning by clinging to a bough which overhung the river side.  A lady in the vicinity gave him entertainment in his distress; sent messengers after his horse, and did him much kindness:  when he left her roof he gave her a tract.  For five years the good doctor toiled on in the cause of Christ in England and in America.  Whether his tract had been destroyed, or had pierced a human heart, he knew not—nay, had forgotten its gift.  But one day, on his way to a conference of ministers, a young man approached him and requested the favour of a few minutes' conversation.
     "Do you remember, sir, being nearly drowned in this river some five years ago?"
     "I remember it quite well," replied the doctor.
     "Do you remember the widow lady at whose house you were entertained after escaping from the river?"
     "I do; and shall never forget the kindness she showed me."
     "And do you also remember giving her a tract when you bade her farewell?"
     "I do not; but it is very possible I did so."
     "Yes, sir, you did leave a tract.  That lady read it, and was converted.  She lent it to her neighbours, and many of them were converted too.  Several of her children were also saved; a society was formed, which flourishes to this day."
     This statement moved the doctor to tears.  But the young man, after a brief pause, resumed, saying, "I have not quite told you all.  I am her son.  That tract led me to Christ.  And now, sir, I am on my way to conference to be ordained to the work of the ministry."
.....Courage, therefore, drooping friend!  Weep not over any apparent want of success.  But as you have learned to labour, so learn also to wait.  Only see to it that you toil on in faith, and wait in hope.
                                                                                                                                                by Arvine

Thursday, December 24, 2015

         When times of trouble come my way,
         When darkness never turns to day,
         God’s love will guide my soul to say,
         “It’s time to be remembering.”

         When times of stress besiege my way,
         When pain and strife both come to stay,
         God’s love will guide my soul to say,
         “It’s time to be remembering.”

         When trials storm upon my way,
         When living right seems not to pay,
         God’s love will guide my soul to say,
         “It’s time to be remembering.”

         Remembering Your love is best,
         Remembering Your love brings rest,
         Remembering that I am Thine,
         How great the blessings, Lord, are mine!
                                              M. Robbins

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.  The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.  It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.  Lam 3:21-26

....As a general principle, if we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a match which would instantaneously kindle the lamp of comfort.  There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the earth in order to restore believers to joy; if they would prayerfully rake the ashes of the past, they would find light for the present; and if they would turn to the book of truth and the throne of grace, their candle would soon shine as aforetime.  Be it ours to remember the loving-kindnesses of the Lord, and to rehearse His deeds of grace.  Let us open the volume of recollection which is so richly illuminated with memorials of mercy, and we shall soon be happy.....                                                                                                                                                                                     C. H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holy Bible, book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine;
Mine to tell me whence I came,
Mine to tell me what I am;

Mine to chide me when I rove,
Mine to show a Savior’s love;
Mine thou art to guide and guard,
Mine to punish or reward;

Mine to comfort in distress,
Suff’ring in this wilderness;
Mine to show, by living faith,
Man can triumph over death;

Mine to tell of joys to come,
And the rebel sinner’s doom;
O thou holy book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine.

Mine, mine, book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine;
O thou holy book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine.
                              John Burton

     We may trust Scripture without a single shade of misgiving.  Go to it when we will, we shall always find what we want.  Are we in sorrow?  Is the poor heart bereaved, crushed, and desolate?  What can soothe and comfort us like the balmy words which the Holy Spirit has penned for us?  One sentence of holy Scripture can do more, in the way of comfort and consolation, than all the letters of condolence that ever were penned by human hand.  Are we discouraged, faint-hearted, and cast down?  The Word of God meets us with its bright and soul-stirring assurances.  Are we pressed by pinching poverty?  The Holy Ghost brings home to our hearts some golden promise from the page of inspiration, recalling us to Him who is "the Possessor of heaven and earth," and who, in His infinite grace, has pledged Himself to "supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  Are we perplexed and harassed by the conflicting opinions of men, by the dogmas of conflicting schools of divinity, by religious and theological difficulties?  A few sentences of holy Scripture will pour in a flood of divine light upon the heart and conscience, and set us at perfect rest, answering every question, solving every difficulty, removing every doubt, chasing away every cloud, giving us to know the mind of God, putting an end to conflicting opinions by the one divinely competent authority.
     What a boon, therefore, is holy Scripture!  What a precious treasure we possess in the Word of God!  How we should bless His holy name for having given it to us!  Yes; and bless Him, too, for every thing that tends to make us more fully acquainted with the depth, fullness, and power of those words of our chapter, "Man shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live."
                                                                                                                                   C. H. Mackintosh    

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

“He will guide me with His counsel!”
When the shadows cloud my way;
I will bring to Him my trials,
He can turn my night to day.

“He will guide me with His counsel;”
All the way to Him is known;
He will give me strength and wisdom,
For He careth for His own.

“He will guide me with His counsel”-
Wondrous Counselor is He!
Rest my soul, upon His promise
To make known His will to me.

“He will guide me with His counsel”
While I lean upon His arm;
He has promised grace sufficient,
Nothing, therefore, need alarm.

“He will guide me with His counsel,”
Till this earthly life shall end;
Then to glory will receive me;
What a Saviour!  What a Friend!
                  Miriam E. Arnold

     Anybody born into a family of distinction needs plenty of guiding counsel.
     “But I’m not a part of this world’s ‘social elite,’” you might say.  “Surely, I don’t need a lot of counsel.”
     But, child of God, if you think that, remember what you’re forgetting.
     You’re forgetting to’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb.
     You’re forgetting to’re a child of God.
     You’re forgetting to’re His heir.
     And then remember what you’re’re a joint-heir with Christ.
     And then on occasion, dear child of God, when the prosperity and lifestyle of others cause you to despair about your own humble earthly life, you’re forgetting to remember about heaven.....the glories ahead.....and the heavenly city which is to come.   
     Dear child of God, that is who you are:  you’re a child of God destined for God’s heaven and God’s glory.
     But here on earth you have crucial spiritual decisions to make.
     You also face moral, ethical and righteous situations which require spiritual action.      
     Then there are the daily situations which confront you requiring a Christian response.
     Oh sure, there will be times you may need the counsel of a lawyer, a medical doctor, a building expert, an interior decorator, an investment expert, etc.    
     But child of God, can’t you see that as a child of God you have need of counsel infinitely more than any of this world’s non-Christian rich and famous people?     
     And you cannot look within yourself for the type of counsel a Christian needs in order to live as a Christian.  You must look to God.....for only God can counsel your mind and spirit in the ways of His Spirit.  
     So, feed deeply upon His precious word, the Bible. 
     Let His word be sweet unto your spirit, your mind, and your heart. 
     And may you, with a prayerful spirit, always lean on, seek for and wait for His never failing counsel.   
     And be at peace.  For He, whose counsel standeth forever, will surely guide you with His counsel and afterward.....oh, glorious afterward.....He will receive you into glory!                                                                                                                                                                                                           M. Robbins

Monday, December 21, 2015


                THE BRIDE - John 14:3
                 by Frances Bevan

‘Midst the darkness, storm, and sorrow,
One bright gleam I see;
Well I know the blessed morrow
Christ will come for me.

‘Midst the light, and peace, and glory
Of the Father’s home,
Christ for me is watching, waiting,
Waiting till I come.

Long the blessed Guide has led me
By the desert road;
Now I see the golden towers,
City of my God.

There, amidst the love and glory,
He is waiting yet;
On His hands a name is graven
He can ne’er forget.

There, amidst the songs of heaven,
Sweeter to His ear
Is the footfall through the desert,
Ever drawing near.

There, made ready are the mansions,
Radiant, still, and fair;
But the Bride the Father gave Him
Yet is wanting there.

Who is this who comes to meet me
On the desert way,
As the Morning Star foretelling
God’s unclouded day?

He it is who came to win me
On the Cross of shame;
In His glory well I know Him
Evermore the same.

Oh the blessed joy of meeting,
All the desert past!
Oh the wondrous words of greeting
He shall speak at last!

He and I together entering
Those fair courts above--
He and I together sharing
All the Father’s love.

Where no shade nor stain can enter,
Nor the gold be dim,
In that holiness unsullied,
I shall walk with Him.

Meet companion then for Jesus,
From Him, for Him, made--
Glory of God’s grace for ever
There in me displayed.

He who in His hour of sorrow
Bore the curse alone;
I who through the lonely desert   
Trod where He had gone;

He and I, in that bright glory,
One deep joy shall share--
Mine, to be for ever with Him;
His, that I am there.

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  John 14:2-3 

     When Jesus spoke of coming again “for you,” He wasn’t casually speaking.  He was deeply, passionately, earnestly, and with an everlasting love speaking of your future with Him.
     And though He was speaking from the upper room where the disciples were gathered for the passover, Christ was looking past His death on the cross and was looking into eternity.
     And you were there.
     Yes, even from that furnished room in Jerusalem, Christ saw you free at last from the things of earth:  tears, sorrow, pain, sin, and the fear of death.  
     And He rejoiced in your garment of salvation, your robe of righteousness, your Heavenly glory and your having “put on immortality.” 
     And Christ, the omnipotent one, knowing that neither your eye nor ear nor heart had any knowledge of the things that had been prepared for you, knew you would be forever satisfied with His goodness.
     Yes, dear one of Christ, Jesus spoke concerning His coming again before He left the upper room for the cross.
     But you were in His His very soul.....and you were beholding His glory.
     So, dear loved one of Christ, as you journey through this barren earth, do not distrust His love.    
     For it was because of His great love for you that He suffered all for you.
     And it will be because of His great love for you that He’ll not leave you behind....away from glory.....away from Him.                                       
                                                                                                                                             M. Robbins 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

We have a strong tie upon God, because he giveth us the promise, which is our ground of hope.  Surely we may put his bonds in suit, and say, ‘Thy handwriting is placed before thee, O Lord.’”

     We say among men—we have it in black and white, and there is no getting over it: a man’s handwriting binds him.  Now, we may be sure that the Lord will never deny his own writing, nor run back from a bond given under his own hand and seal.  Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God, which may be pleaded before him with this reasonable request, “Do as thou hast said.”  The Creator will not cheat his creature who depends upon his truth; and, far more, the heavenly Father will not break his word to his own child.  “Remember the word unto thy servant, on which thou hast caused me to hope,” is most prevalent pleading.  It is a double argument: it is thy word, wilt thou not keep it?  Why hast thou spoken it if thou wilt not make it good?  Thou hast caused me to hope in it, wilt thou disappoint the hope which thou hast thyself begotten in me?

     How sure are thy promises, O my God.  Forgive me that I ever doubt them, and give me more faith, that I may treat them as the blessings which they guarantee, even as men pass cheques and notes from hand to hand as if they were the gold they stand for.
                                                                                                                                          C. H. Spurgeon

Saturday, December 19, 2015

From a Letter by John Newton - November 23, 1774 to a Mr. B

My Dear Sir,
.....At my first setting out, indeed, I thought to be better, and to feel
myself better from year to year; I expected by degrees to attain everything
which I then comprised in my idea of a saint.  I thought my grain of grace,
by much diligence and careful improvement, would, in time, amount to a
pound, that pound in a further space of time to a talent, and then I hoped to
increase from one talent to many; so that supposing the Lord should spare
me a competent number of years, I pleased myself with the thought of
dying rich.  But, alas! these my golden expectations have been like South Sea
dreams; I have lived hitherto a poor sinner, and I believe I shall die one. 
Have I then gained nothing by waiting upon the Lord?  Yes; I have gained that,
which I once would rather have been without—such accumulated proof of the
deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of my heart, as I hope, by the Lord's
blessing, has in some measure taught me to know what I mean when I say,
Behold, I am vile!  And in connection with this, I have gained such experience
of the wisdom, power, and compassion of my Redeemer, the need, the worth
of his blood, righteousness, attention, and intercession, the glory that he displays
in pardoning iniquity and sin, and passing by the transgression of the remnant of
his heritage, that my soul cannot but cry out, Who is a God like unto thee!  Thus,
if I have any meaner thoughts of myself, Ezek. 16:63, and any higher thoughts of
him than I had twenty years ago, I have reason to be thankful; every grain of this
experience is worth mountains of gold.  And if, by his mercy, I shall yet sink more
in my own esteem, and he will be pleased to rise still more glorious to my eyes,
and more precious to my heart, I expect it will be much in the same way.  I was
ashamed when I began to seek him; I am more ashamed now; and I expect to be
most of all ashamed when he shall appear to destroy my last enemy.  But O!
I may rejoice in him, to think that he will not be ashamed of me.

Friday, December 18, 2015

.....If Christ accepts of you, you need not fear but that you will be safe; for he is a strong lion for your defence.  And if you come, you need not fear but that you shall be accepted; for he is like a Lamb to all that come to him, and receives them with infinite grace and tenderness.  It is true he has awful majesty; he is the great God, and infinitely high above you; but there is this to encourage and embolden the poor sinner, that Christ is man as well as God; he is a creature, as well as the Creator; and he is the most humble and lowly in heart of any creature in heaven or earth.  This may well make the poor unworthy creature bold in coming to him.  You need not hesitate one moment; but may run to him, and cast yourself upon him.  You will certainly be graciously and meekly received by him.  Though he is a lion, he will only be a lion to your enemies; but he will be a lamb to you.  It could not have been conceived, had it not been so in the person of Christ, that there could have been so much in any Saviour, that is inviting, and tending to encourage sinners to trust in him.  Whatever your circumstances are, you need not be afraid to come to such a Saviour as this.  Be you never so wicked a creature, here is worthiness enough; be you never so poor, and mean, and ignorant a creature, there is no danger of being despised; for though he be so much greater than you, he is immensely more humble than you.  Any one of you that is a father or mother, will not despise one of your own children that comes to you in distress; much less danger is there of Christ despising you, if you in your heart come to him.
                                                                                                                                     Jonathan Edwards

Thursday, December 17, 2015

     As the natural life is sustained by bread, so the spiritual life is sustained by the Word of God.  It is not merely going to the Bible to find doctrines there, or to have our opinions or views confirmed; it is very much more than this; it is going to the Bible for the staple commodity of life—the life of the new man; it is going there for food, for light, for guidance, for comfort, for authority, for strength—for all, in short, that the soul can possibly need, from first to last.
     And let us specially note the force and value of the expression, "every word."  How fully it shows that we cannot afford to dispense with a single word that has proceeded out of the mouth of the Lord.  We want it all.  We cannot tell the moment in which some exigence may present itself for which Scripture has already provided.  We may not perhaps have specially noticed the scripture before, but when the difficulty arises, if we are in a right condition of soul—the true posture of heart, the Spirit of God will furnish us with the needed scripture, and we shall see a force, beauty, depth, and moral adaptation in the passage which we had never seen before.  Scripture is a divine and therefore exhaustless treasury, in which God has made ample provision for all the need of His people, and for each believer in particular, right on to the end.  Hence we should study it all, ponder it, dig deeply into it, and have it treasured up in our hearts, ready for use when the demand arises.
     There is not a single crisis occurring in the entire history of the Church of God, not a single difficulty in the entire path of any individual believer, from beginning to end, which has not been perfectly provided for in the Bible.  We have all we want in that blessed volume, and hence we should be ever seeking to make ourselves more and more acquainted with what that volume contains, so as to be "thoroughly furnished" for whatever may arise, whether it be a temptation of the devil, an allurement of the world, or a lust of the flesh; or, on the other hand, for equipment for that path of good works which God has afore prepared that we should walk in it.
                                                                                                                                     C. H. Mackintosh

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thou hast much cause for gladness in thy God, for thou canst sing with David, “God, my exceeding joy.”  Be glad that the Lord reigneth, that Jehovah is King!  Rejoice that He sits upon the throne, and ruleth all things!  Every attribute of God should become a fresh ray in the sunlight of our gladness.  That He is wise, should make us glad, knowing as we do our own foolishness.  That He is mighty, should cause us to rejoice, who tremble at our weakness.  That He is everlasting, should always be a theme of joy when we know that we wither as the grass.  That He is unchanging, should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour.  That He is full of grace, that He is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant He has given to us; that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory-all this should tend to make us glad in Him.  This gladness in God is as a deep river; we have only as yet touched its brink; we know a little of its clear, sweet, heavenly streams, but onward, the depth is greater, and the current more impetuous in its joy.  The Christian feels that he may delight himself not only in what God is, but also in all that God has done in the past.  The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were wont to think much of God’s actions, and to have a song concerning each of them.  So let God’s people now rehearse the deeds of the Lord!  Let them tell of His mighty acts, and “sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously.”  Nor let them ever cease to sing, for as new mercies flow to them day by day, so should their gladness in the Lord’s loving acts in providence and in grace show itself in continued thanksgiving.  Be glad, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God.
                                                                                                                                       C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.  Ps 121:5

Two principal points are asserted in these previous words. 
1.  Jehovah, and Jehovah alone, the omnipotent and self-existent God, is the Keeper, and Preserver of his people.  2.  The people of God are kept, at all times and in all circumstances, by his mighty power unto everlasting salvation; they are preserved even “for evermore.”  In the first particular, the divinity of the great Keeper is declared; and, in the second, the eternal security of his people through his omnipotence and faithfulness.  This was the Psalmist’s gospel.  He preached it to others, and he felt it himself.  He did not speculate upon what he did not understand; but he had a clear evidence, and a sweet perception, of these two glorious doctrines, which he delivered to the people.......This character, under the name of Jehovah, is the character of Christ.  Just such a one is Jesus, the Shepherd of Israel.  He says of himself to the Father,  “Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the Son of Perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” .....From what has been premised, it seems evident, that the keeper of the faithful is no other than Jehovah.  This the Psalmist has proved.  It appears equally evident that Christ is their Keeper and Preserver.  This he hath declared himself; and his apostles have repeatedly declared it of him.  It follows, therefore, that Christ is truly and essentially Jehovah.  All the sophistry in the world cannot elude this conclusion; nor all the heretics in the world destroy the premises.  And, if Christ be Jehovah, he is all that supreme, eternal, omnipotent being, which Arians, Socinians, and others deny him to be.
                                                                                                                                          Ambrose Serle

Monday, December 14, 2015

.....Our grand primary business is to praise the Lord.  Our every breath should be a halleluiah.  It is to this blessed and most sacred exercise the Holy Ghost exhorts us, in manifold places.  "By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name."  We should ever remember that nothing so gratifies the heart and glorifies the name of our God as a thankful, worship-ing spirit on the part of His people.  It is well to do good and communicate,—God is well pleased with such sacrifices; it is our high privilege, while we have opportunity, to do good unto all men, and especially unto them who are of the household of faith; we are called to be channels of blessing between the loving heart of our Father and every form of human need that comes before us in our daily path;—all this is most blessedly true, but we must never forget that the very highest place is assigned to praise.  It is this which shall employ our ransomed powers throughout the golden ages of eternity, when the sacrifices of active benevolence shall no longer be needed.....
.....Are we not prone to forget the Lord our God—to rest in His gifts instead of Himself?  Alas! alas! we cannot deny it.  We rest in the stream, instead of getting up to the Fountain; we turn the very mercies, blessings, and benefits which strew our path in rich profusion into an occasion of self-complacency and gratulation, instead of finding in them the blessed ground of continual praise and thanksgiving.           
                                                                                                                                       C. H. Mackintosh

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.  Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.  The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.  The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.  The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.  The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.  Ps 121:1-8

In time of need, our ruined nature is sorely inclined to seek help in those objects which can render none.  As mountains are a natural stronghold, so are God's protection and assistance our more than natural mountain and fortress.  Thou troubled child of God, dost thou doubt that thou shalt be preserved?  If God preserves the heavens and the earth which He has made, should He not also preserve thee?  God has a watchful but loving and merciful eye upon His children.  He sees from afar all misfortune, and can avert it in time.  If the soul is lost, all is lost; Satan is continually laying his snares for it: do thou then pray the more fervently; O Lord! keep my soul!  The most important changes of a man's life, are his entrance into the world and his departure from it:  in both the Divine preservation is indispensable.  Thou hast God's promise, so do thou, O fellow Christian! appropriate it believingly to thyself in every undertaking.

Saturday, December 12, 2015 the cause of religion and the word of God, there must be no respect of persons.  But in matters of policy we must have regard to the person; for, otherwise there must needs follow a contempt of all reverence and order.  In this world God will have an order, a reverence, and a difference of persons.  For else the child, the servant, the subject, would say, I am a Christian as well as my father, my schoolmaster, my master, my prince, why then should I reverence him?  Before God, then, there is no respect of persons, neither of Grecian nor of Jew, but all are one in Christ; although not so before the world.
     Thus Paul confuteth the argument of the false apostles as touching the authority of the Apostles, and saith, that it is nothing to the purpose.  For the question is not here concerning the respect of persons, but there is a far weightier matter in hand, that is to say, a divine matter concerning God and his word, and whether this word ought to be preferred before the apostleship, or no.  Whereunto Paul answereth, so that the truth of the Gospel may continue, so that the word of God, and the righteousness of faith, may be kept pure and uncorrupt, let the apostleship go, let an angel from heaven, let Peter, let Paul, all together perish......
.....Let this be then the conclusion of all together, that we will suffer our goods to be taken away, our name, our life, and all that we have; but the Gospel, our faith, Jesus Christ, we will never suffer to be wrested from us......
.....Wherefore, a Christian, as touching his faith, can never be too proud nor too stout, neither must he relent or give place, no, not the breadth of one hair; for faith maketh a man here like unto God; but God suffereth nothing, he giveth place to none, for he is immutable; so is faith immutable, and therefore may suffer nothing, give place to no man.
                                                                                                                                             Martin Luther

Friday, December 11, 2015

Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.  Psalms 143:1

It was thy righteousness that thou didst make the promise, but it is thy faithfulness that thou wilt keep thy promise: and seeing I am certain of thy making it, how can I be doubtful of thy keeping it?  If thou shouldst not answer me in thy righteousness, yet thou shouldst be righteous still; but if thou shouldst not answer me in thy faithfulness, thou shouldst not be faithful still.
                                                                                                                        Sir Richard Baker


Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am....Isa 58:9

     The nearer we come to God, the more graciously will he reveal himself to us.  When the prodigal comes to his father, his father runs to meet him.  When the wandering dove returns to the ark, Noah puts out his hand to pull her in unto him.  When the tender wife seeks her husband's society, he comes to her on wings of love.  Come then, dear friend, let us draw nigh to God who so graciously awaits us, yea, comes to meet us.
     Did you ever notice that passage in Isaiah 58:9?  There the Lord seems to put himself at the disposal of his people, saying to them, "Here I am."  As much as to say—"What have you to say to me?  What can I do for you?  I am waiting to bless you."  How can we hesitate to draw near?  God is nigh to forgive, to bless, to comfort, to help, to quicken, to deliver.  Let it be the main point with us to get near to God.  This done, all is done.  If we draw near to others, they may before long grow weary of us and leave us; but if we seek the Lord alone, no change will come over his mind, but he will continue to come nearer and yet nearer to us by fuller and more joyful fellowship.
                                                                                                                                       C. H. Spurgeon

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hear us, Lord, we plead,
Our souls do really need
Moments that we’ll treasure
Forever and forever -
Moments from You fully
Holy, holy, holy!

Hear us, Lord, we plead,
Our minds do really need
Moments of deep wonder
Of glories without number -
Moments from You fully
Holy, holy, holy!

Hear us, Lord, we plead,
Our hearts do really need
Moments of awe to kneel
With joyful tears and feel
Moments from You fully
Holy, holy, holy!

Send us, God of love,
From Your heart of love
Moments which are fully
Holy, holy, holy!
Send us moments which are fully
Holy, holy, holy!
                          M. Robbins

     The prose on the opposite page is about a very special time between a Christian and his God.  There are no specific details because God’s special dealings are very personal and I wanted the reader to perhaps reflect upon his own dealings with God.
     But for the record, God’s special dealing with me occurred after I had opened up a Bible dictionary.  (The book had originally been in my father’s hallway bookcase and then in 2006 the book had been packed away and moved approximately 55 miles.  In its new home the book had been moved around a bit and only had been opened a few times.)  
     And then on June 3, 2013, it happened.  I opened the Bible dictionary and found a sealed envelope from my father dating back to 2/23/96 and then I experienced one of those holy moments with God.  Now enough about me.
     Let’s go on to the prose which can be applied to any Christian!

     Dear Christian.......

     It might be about to happen! 
     You of those special holy moments from God.....a moment which will be treasured forever in your soul.
     And if it is about to happen.....
     It will be a moment in which the Almighty God will reveal His great faithfulness in a gentle way. 
     It will be a moment when God will show He knows how to work behind the scenes.
     It also will be a moment when God will show He knows when to make plain something which had been unseen.
     Yes, it might be about to happen!
     And if it does, it will be a moment of treasured joy, wonder and tears!
     So, go ahead and get ready, dear Christian.
     Get ready to sing forth God’s faithfulness.
     Get ready to be in awe of God’s provision.
     Get ready to worship the One who is the great I AM.
     And if God so chooses, this moment will become so holy, we will have to leave you alone for a you commune with God.....
                                                                                                                                          M. Robbins

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Commit thou all thy griefs
And ways into his hands,
To his sure truth and tender care,
Who heaven and earth commands.

Who points the clouds their course,
Whom winds and seas obey,
He shall direct thy wandering feet,
He shall prepare thy way.

Thou on the Lord rely,
So safe shalt thou go on;
Fix on his work thy steadfast eye
So shall thy work be done.

No profit canst thou gain
By self-consuming care;
To him commend thy cause, his ear
Attends the softest prayer.

Thy everlasting truth,
Father, thy ceaseless love,
Sees all thy children's wants, and knows
What best for each will prove.

Thou everywhere hast sway,
And all things serve thy might;
Thy every act pure blessing is,
Thy path unsullied light.

When thou arisest, Lord,
What shall thy work withstand?
Whate'er thy children want, thou giv'st;
And who shall stay thy hand?

Give to the winds thy fears;
Hope, and be undismayed:
God hears thy sighs, and counts thy tears,
God shall lift up thy head.

Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
He gently clears thy way:
Wait thou his time, so shall this night
Soon end in joyous day.

Still heavy is thy heart?
Still sink thy spirits down?
Cast off the weight, let fear depart,
Bid every care be gone.

What though thou rulest not?
Yet heaven, and earth, and hell
Proclaim, God sitteth on the throne,
And ruleth all things well!

Leave to his sovereign sway
To choose and to command;
So shalt thou wondering own his way,
How wise, how strong his hand.

Far, far above thy thought
His counsel shall appear,
When fully he the work hath wrought
That caused thy needless fear!

Thou seest our weakness, Lord;
Our hearts are known to thee;
O lift thou up the sinking hand,
Confirm the feeble knee!

Let us in life, in death,
Thy steadfast truth declare,
And publish with our latest breath
Thy love and guardian care.

            by Paul Gerhardt, translated
            by John Wesley (normally
            split up into two hynms)   

.....He who once bore our sins, and carried our sorrows, is seated upon a throne of glory, and exercises all power in heaven and on earth.  Thrones, principalities, and powers, bow before Him.  Every event in the kingdom of providence and of grace is under His rule.  His providence pervades and manages the whole, and is as minutely attentive to every part, as if there were only that single object in His view.  From the tallest archangel to the meanest ant or fly, all depend on Him for their being, their preservation, and their powers.  He directs the sparrows where to build their nests, and to find their food.   He overrules the rise and fall of nations, and bends, with an invincible energy and unerring wisdom, all events; so that, while many intend nothing less, in the issue, their designs all concur and coincide in the accomplishment of His holy will.  He restrains with a mighty hand the still more formidable efforts of the powers of darkness; and Satan, with all his hosts, cannot exert their malice a hair's breadth beyond the limits of His permission.  This is He who is the head and husband of His believing people.  How happy are they whom it is His good pleasure to bless!  How safe are they whom He has engaged to protect!  How honoured and privileged are they to whom He is pleased to manifest Himself, and whom He enables and warrants to claim Him as their friend and their portion!  Having redeemed them by His own blood, he sets a high value upon them; He esteems them His treasure, His jewels, and keeps them as the pupil of his eye.  They shall not want; they need not fear; His eye is upon them in every situation, His ear is open to their prayers, and His everlasting arms are under them for their sure support.  On earth He guides their steps, controls their enemies, and directs all His dispensations for their good; while in heaven, He is pleading their cause, preparing them a place, and communicating down to them reviving foretastes of the glory that shall be shortly revealed.                                                                                                                                                                                           John Newton

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

We are not told to share
with Christ our every care;
we are not told to bear
our total daily care;
but we are told our cares
must be cast on Him.

We are not told to weep
through nights without real peace;
we are not told to keep
our souls in perfect peace;
but we are told our peace
only comes from Him.

We are not told to leap
o’er nights and have no sleep;
we are not told to keep
our minds from restful sleep;
but we are told our sleep
sweetly comes from Him.
And He, our Prince of Peace,
will give us restful sleep;
and He, our Prince of Peace,
will bid our tears to cease;  
and through eternity
He’ll care for you and me.
                  M. Robbins

     ....He had a sweet way-this blessed Lord of ours-of leaving all with God.  He takes no watch, He makes no fret; but He goes to sleep.  Whatever comes, He has left all in the hands of the great Caretaker; and what more is needful?  If a watchman were set to guard my house, I should be foolish if I also sat up for fear of thieves.  Why have a watchman if I cannot trust him to watch?  “Cast thy burden upon the Lord;” but when thou hast done so, leave it with the Lord, and do not try to carry it thyself.  That is to make a mock of God, to have the name of God, but not the reality of God.  Lay down every care, even as Jesus did when He went calmly to the hinder part of the ship, and quietly took a pillow, and went to sleep.
     But I think I hear someone say, “I could do that if mine were solely care about myself.”  Yes, perhaps you could; and yet you cannot cast upon God your burden of care about your children.  But your Lord trusted the Father with those dear to Him.  Do you not think that Christ’s disciples were as precious to Him as our children are to us?  If that ship had been wrecked, what would have become of Peter?  What would have become of “that disciple whom Jesus loved”?  Our Lord regarded with intense affection those whom He had chosen and called, and who had been with Him in His temptation, yet He was quite content to leave them all in the care of His Father, and go to sleep......................
     Having left everything with His Father, our Lord did the very wisest thing possible.  He did just what the hour demanded.  “Why,” say you, “He went to sleep!”  That was the best thing Jesus could do; and sometimes it is the best thing we can do.  Christ was weary and worn; and when anyone is exhausted, it is his duty to go to sleep if he can.  The Saviour must be up again in the morning, preaching and working miracles, and if He does not sleep, He will not be fit for His holy duty; it is incumbent upon Him to keep Himself in trim for His service.  Knowing that the time to sleep has come, the Lord sleeps, and does well in sleeping.  Often, when we have been fretting and worrying, we should have glorified God far more had we literally gone to sleep.  To glorify God by sleep is not so difficult as some might think; at least, to our Lord it was natural.  Here you are worried, sad, wearied; the doctor prescribes for you; his medicine does you no good; but oh! if you enter into full peace with God, and go to sleep, you will wake up infinitely more refreshed than by any drug.  The sleep which the Lord giveth to His beloved is balmy indeed.  Seek it as Jesus sought it.  Go to bed, brother, and you will better imitate your Lord than by putting yourself into ill humour, and worrying other people.
                                                                                                                                          C. H. Spurgeon 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Be still my heart! these anxious cares
To thee are burdens, thorns, and snares;
They cast dishonor on Thy Lord,
And contradict His gracious Word.

Brought safely by His hand thus far,
Why wilt thou now give place to fear?
How canst thou want if He provide,
Or lose thy way with such a guide?

When first before His mercy-seat
Thou didst to Him thy all commit,
He gave thee warrant, from that hour,
To trust His wisdom, love, and power

Did ever trouble yet befall,
And He refuse to hear thy call?
And has He not His promise passed,
That thou shalt overcome at last?

Like David, thou mayest comfort draw,
Saved from the bear's and lion's paw;
Goliath's rage I may defy,
For God, my Savior, still is nigh.

He who has helped me hitherto,
Will help me all my journey through,
And give me daily cause to raise
New Ebenezers to His praise.

Though rough and thorny be the road,
It leads thee home, apace to God;
Then count thy present trials small,
For heaven will make amends for all.
                                     John Newton

     The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past.  Twenty years or seventy, and yet "hitherto the Lord hath helped!"  Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honor, in dishonor, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "hitherto the Lord hath helped us!"
    We delight to look down a long avenue of trees.  It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves.   Cannot you look down the long aisles of your years, look at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of loving kindness and faithfulness which bear your joys?  Are there no birds in yonder branches singing?  And the bright sunshine and the blue sky are yonder; and if you turn round in the far distance, you may see heaven's brightness and a throne of gold.  "Hitherto! hitherto!"
     But the word also points forward.  For when a man gets up to a certain mark, and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end; there is still a distance to be traversed.  More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death.  Is it over now?  No! there is more yet — awakening in Jesus' likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fulness of eternity, the infinity of bliss.  0, be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer,"
for —
    He who hath helped thee hitherto
    Will help thee all thy journey through.
                                                    John Newton

When read in heaven's light, how glorious and marvellous a prospect will thy "hitherto” unfold to thy grateful eye!
                                                                                                                                 C. H. Spurgeon

Sunday, December 6, 2015

        What cheering words are these!
        Their sweetness who can tell!
        In time and to eternal days,
        “’Tis with the righteous well.”

        In ev’ry state secure,
        Kept by Jehovah’s eye,
        ’Tis well with them while life endure,
        And well when called to die.

        ’Tis well when joys arise;
        ’Tis well when sorrows flow;
        ’Tis well when darkness veils the skies,
        And strong temptations blow.

        ’Tis well when on the mount
        They feast on dying Love;
        And ’tis as well in God’s account,
        When they the furnace prove.

        ’Tis well when Jesus calls:
        “From earth and sin arise;
         Join with the hosts of ransomed souls,
         Made to salvation wise.”
                                                     John Kent

Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him....Isa 3:10

It is well with the righteous always.  From the beginning of the year to the end of the year, from the first gathering of evening shadows until the day-star shines, in all conditions, and under all circumstances, it shall be well with the righteous.  It is so well with him that we could not imagine it to be better, for he is well fed, he feeds upon the flesh and blood of Jesus; he is well clothed, he wears the imputed righteousness of Christ; he is well housed, he dwells in God; he is well married, his soul is knit in bonds of marriage union to Christ; he is well provided for, for the Lord is his Shepherd; he is well endowed, for heaven is his inheritance.
                                                                                                                                           C. H. Spurgeon