Thursday, March 31, 2016

Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my salvation,
Nor riches of earth could have saved my poor soul;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Saviour now maketh me whole

Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption,
The guilt on my conscience too heavy had grown;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Saviour could only atone.

Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption,
The holy commandment forbade me draw near;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Saviour removeth my fear.

Nor silver nor gold hath obtained my redemption,
The way into heaven could not thus be bought;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Saviour redemption hath wrought.

I am redeemed, but not with silver,
I am bought, but not with gold;
Bought with a price-the blood of Jesus,
Precious price of love untold!
                             James M. Gray were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold......But with the precious blood of Christ.....1 Pet 1:18-19

     Redemption—complete Redemption, will be our song in heaven.  It is a sweeter song than the cherubim sing.....the angelic hosts surround the throne of God.  Day and night their chanting ceases not.  "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come!"  But behold there comes up one, toil worn from earthly labors, foot-sore with earthly wanderings, timid from earthly strugglings, but there is a bright crown upon his head, and a shining robe around him, and a golden harp in his hand; and he presses near the throne; and the shining ranks open to admit him; and the Father smiles on him, and then such a strain of melody bursts from his harp, as Heaven never heard before, and its rich chorus swells through the heavenly arches, "Worthy the Lamb that was slain, for he redeemed me with his own blood."  It is the song of Redemption, sung by a redeemed and glorified sinner; our song, dear readers, which we begin in the stammering language of earth, but which we shall sing forever in the nobler dialect of the skies, and the burden of that song shall ever be, ''Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us, Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification and Redemption."
     Remember, dear readers, what this Redemption cost.  "For ye were not redeemed with corruptible things," such as silver and gold, "but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot."  Redeemed ones! bought back from sin, and death, and hell, behold the price of your Redemption.  Can you compute its vast amount?  Place the work of Jesus in one scale, and the treasures and crowns of ten thousand times ten thousand worlds in the other, and what are they, but the small dust of the balance; one drop of the Redeemer's blood will far outweigh them all.
                                                                                                                                      E. P. Rogers, D.D. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

If God Himself be for me,
I may a host defy;
For when I pray, before me
My foes, confounded, fly.
If Christ, the Head befriend me,
If God be my support,
The mischief they intend me
Shall quickly come to naught.

I build on this foundation:
That Jesus and His Blood
Alone are my salvation,
The true eternal good;
Without Him all that pleases
Is valueless on earth;
The gifts I owe to Jesus
Alone my love are worth.

His Holy Spirit dwelleth
Within my willing heart,
Tames it when it rebelleth,
And soothes the keenest smart.
He crowns His work with blessing,
And helpeth me to cry
“My Father!” without ceasing,
To Him Who reigns on high.

To mine His Spirit speaketh
Sweet words of soothing power;
How God for him that seeketh
For rest, hath rest in store-
How God Himself prepareth
My heritage and lot,
And, though my body weareth,
My heaven shall fail me not.
         Paul Gerhardt 
         Tr Richard Massie

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say  Psalms 124:1

Jehovah is on the side of his people in a spiritual sense, or otherwise it would be bad for them.  God the Father is on their side; his love and relation to them engage him to be so; hence all those good things that are provided for them and bestowed on them; nor will he suffer any to do them hurt, they being as dear to him as the apple of his eye; hence he grants them his gracious presence, supports them under all their trials and exercises, supplies all their wants, and keeps them by his power, and preserves them from all their enemies; so that they have nothing to fear from any quarter.  Christ is on their side; he is the Surety for them, the Saviour of them; has taken their part against all their spiritual enemies, sin, Satan, the world, and death; has engaged with them and conquered them; he is the Captain of their salvation, their King at the head of them, that protects and defends them here, and is their friend in the court of heaven; their Advocate and interceding High-priest there, who pleads their cause against Satan, and obtains every blessing for them.  The Spirit of Jehovah is on their side, to carry on his work in them; to assist them in their prayers and supplications; to secure them from Satan’s temptations; to set up a standard for them when the enemy comes in like a flood upon them; and to comfort them in all their castings down; and to work them up for, and bring them safe to heaven: but were this not the case, what would become of them?           
                                                                                                                                                   John Gill

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.  Psalms 103:11-13

".....Though in all sincerity I do believe in Jesus, yet, alas, I can scarcely think I am one of his true disciples, called and chosen and faithful!  I fear that after all he will disown me."  Ah, beloved, that he never will.  If you really are trusting to him, and hanging upon him, or even touching the hem of his garment, he cannot and he will not leave or forsake you.  True, it would be likely enough if his ways were like our ways, for it will cause him no little care to get you safe home.  He has laid down his life for you, and he is prepared to exercise all his divine power and wisdom to bring you home to his Father's house.  If he were to desert you, there would be no eye to pity, no hand to lead you; but there is no fear of his changing the purpose of his heart.  Having loved his own he loveth them to the end.  Were the good Shepherd ever to neglect one of the flock, it would not be a lamb or a lame sheep.  Were the dear Saviour to leave any one of his disciples, it would not be one of the little ones.  I have heard say--I do not know how true it is--that when one of her family is a little weak-headed, the mother is sure to love that one best and show it the most attention.  Her tenderest thoughts will always turn toward her helpless babe, and her keenest anxieties will hover over the child who is ill.  She may forget awhile the strong and hale, but those who need her succour most are quite certain to be never out of her mind.  Be of good cheer, then.  As one whom his mother comforteth, so will the Lord comfort you.  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.  Thou mayest say, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want."  Thou mayest gratefully sing, "He shall gather the lambs with his arm and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."  In the divine economy the more care you require the more care you shall have.  Besides, you know somewhat of our blessed Redeemer's covenant engagements.  Did our Lord Jesus Christ fail to bring his weak ones home it would be much to his dishonour.  "Those that thou gavest me I have kept," he says, "and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled."  So Satan only had his own.  How the wolf would howl over one sheep branded with the Saviour's name were he to fall a prey to his teeth!  What malignant hilarity and derision there would be among the infernal spirits if the good Shepherd failed to bring home one lost sheep whom he had rescued!  The joy among the angels of God, they would say, was premature.  The Son of Man, they would say, had sought, found, but failed to save the lost.  Then the weaker the victim the keener would the satire be.  Ribald lips might shout forth the taunt, "He saved the healthy, the halt he could not save."  It would thus be more discredit to Christ to lose a weak one than a strong one, or for one lame sheep to be lost than if some of the healthier of them should perish; but there is no danger of such a calamity.  The oversight of the Shepherd secures the flock.  They are all numbered, and each one in particular is known to him.  Our Lord is a shepherd who loves his sheep so well, that were one of them taken and held between the jaws of a lion he would run to the rescue, and rend the lion as David did of old.  He would slay the lion and the bear to get his poor little one saved from the teeth of the devourer.  You shall not die, but live.  "Oh," say you, "but I can hardly think it.  How can I preserve myself?"  No, you cannot.  In your weakness lies your great strength.  Jesus Christ will be sure to cover you with his power, so than when you are utterly defenseless you shall be most efficiently defended.  "Ah," say another, "I have had a weary life of it hitherto."  Yes, but you have brighter days to come.                                                        
                                                                                                                         C. H. Spurgeon

Monday, March 28, 2016

My heavenly home is bright and fair;
Nor pain nor death can enter there;
Its glittering towers the sun outshine;
That heavenly mansion shall be mine.

My Father’s house is built on high,
Far, far above the starry sky.
When from this earthly prison free,
That heavenly mansion mine shall be.

While here, a stranger far from home,
Affliction’s waves may round me foam;
Although, like Lazarus, sick and poor,
My heavenly mansion is secure.

Let others seek a home below,
Which flames devour, or waves o’erflow,
Be mine the happier lot to own
A heavenly mansion near the throne.

Then fail the earth, let stars decline,
And sun and moon refuse to shine,
All nature sink and cease to be,
That heavenly mansion stands for me.

I’m going home, I’m going home,
I’m going home to die no more;
To die no more, to die no more,
I’m going home to die no more.
                         William Hunter

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.  Col 3:1-4 

.....It has sometimes looked strange to me, that men should be ever brought to such exceeding happiness as that of heaven seems to be, because we find that here Providence will not suffer any great degree of happiness: when men have something in which they hope to find very great joy, there will be something to spoil it.  Providence seems watchfully to take care they should have no exceeding joy and satisfaction in this world.  But indeed this, instead of being one argument against the greatness of heaven's happiness, seems to argue for it; for we cannot suppose that the reason why Providence will not suffer men to enjoy great happiness here is, that he is averse to the creature's happiness, but because this is not a time for it.  To every thing there is an appointed season and time, and this agreeable to God's method of dispensation, that a thing should be sought in vain out of its appointed time.  God reserves happiness to be bestowed hereafter that is the appointed time for it, and that is the reason he does not give it now.  No man, let him be never so strong or wise, shall alter this divine establishment by anticipating happiness before his appointed time.  It is so in all things: sometimes there is an appointed time for man's prosperity upon earth, and then nothing can hinder their prosperity; and then when that time is past, then comes an appointed time for his adversity, and then all things conspire for his ruin, and all his strength and skill shall not help him.  History verifies this with respect to many kings, generals and great men; one while they conquer all, and nothing can stand before them; all things conspire for their advancement, and all that oppose it are confounded, and after a while it is right the reverse.  So has it been with respect to the kingdoms and monarchies of the world; one while is their time to flourish, and then God will give all into their hands, and will destroy those that oppose their flourishing, and then after that comes the time of their decay and ruin, and then every thing runs backward, and all helpers are vain.   Jer. xxvii.....
                                                                                                                                   Jonathan Edwards 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.  Rev 7:9-10

.....“And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech.  And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there------And they said, ‘Go to, let us build us a city, and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’”  The human heart ever seeks a name, a portion, and a centre in the earth.  It knows nothing of aspirations after heaven, heaven’s God, or heaven’s glory.  Left to itself, it will ever find its objects in this lower world, it will ever “build beneath the skies.”  It needs God’s call, God’s revelation, and God’s power, to lift the heart of man above this present world, for man is a groveling creature alienated from heaven, and allied to earth.  In the scene now before us, there is no acknowledgment of God, no looking up to, or waiting on, Him; nor was it the thought of the human heart to set up a place in which God might dwell to gather materials for the purpose of building a habitation for Him alas! no; His name is never once mentioned.
.....In looking down along the stream of human history, we may easily perceive a marked tendency to confederacy, or association.....Man seeks, for the most part, to compass his great ends in this way.  Whether it be in the way of philanthropy, religion, or politics, nothing can be done without an association of men regularly organized.  But, in the judgment of faith, there is one grand defect, namely, God is shut out; and to attempt to exalt man without God, is to exalt him to a dizzy height, only that he may be dashed down into hopeless confusion and irretrievable ruin......
.....“And the Lord said, ‘Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language....Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language that they may not understand one another’s speech.’  So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city.”.....How different it is when God associates men!  In the second chapter of Acts, we see the blessed One coming down, in infinite grace, to meet man, in the very circumstances in which his sin had set him.  The Holy Ghost enabled the messengers of grace to deliver their message in the very tongue wherein each was born.  Precious proof this, that God desired to reach man’s heart with the sweet story of grace!  The law from the fiery mount was not thus promulgated.  When God was telling what man ought to be, He spoke in one tongue; but when He was telling what He Himself was, He spoke in many.  Grace broke through the barrier which man’s pride and folly had caused to be erected, in order that every man might hear and understand the glad tidings of salvation “the wonderful works of God.”  And to what end was this?  Just to associate men on God’s ground, round God’s centre, and on God’s principles.  It was to give them, in reality, one language, one centre, one object, one hope, one life.  It was to gather them in such a way as that they never should be scattered or confounded again; to give them a name and a place which should endure forever; to build for them a tower and a city which should not only have their top reaching to heaven, but their imperishable foundation laid in heaven by the omnipotent hand of God Himself.  It was to gather them around the glorious Person of a risen and highly exalted Christ, and unite them all in one grand design of magnifying and adoring Him.
.....In Genesis 11, God gives various tongues as an expression of His judgment; in Acts 2, He gives various tongues as an expression of grace; and in Rev. 7, we see all those tongues gathered round the Lamb in glory.  How much better it is, therefore, to find our place in God’s association than in man’s!  The former ends in glory, the latter in confusion; the former is carried forward by the energy of the Holy Ghost, the latter by the unhallowed energy of fallen man; the former has for its object the exaltation of Christ, the latter has for its object the exaltation of man, in some way or other.  
                                                                                                                                    C. H. Mackintosh

Saturday, March 26, 2016

At the King's table the kindness of God
Has made rich provision for me;
Costly the banquet - the purchase of blood -
Yet, large as its price, it is free.
Pardon and peace are the meats of his board,
And grace in abundance is there;
Glorious the feast that is spread by the Lord
For all his saved people to share.

At the King's table in gladness I sit,
Made pure from the sin that defiled;
Robed in the garments of righteousness, fit
For one whom he owns as his child;
There in his beauty the king I behold;
Ah! matchless is he in his grace,
Charms that by mortals can never be told
Adorn both his speech and his face.

At the King's table a company grand
Is gathered - once poor and unknown -
Princes are they by the touch of his hand,
And heirs to a crown and a throne.
To the King's table the kindness of God
Invites every sinner to come;
Free its provision - the purchase of blood -
And mercy cries, "Still there is room."
                                                                Edward G. Taylor

 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.  2 Sam 9:13

Mephibosheth was no great ornament to a royal table, yet he had a continual place at David's board, because the king could see in his face the features of the beloved Jonathan.  Like Mephibosheth, we may cry unto the King of Glory,  "What is Thy servant, that Thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am?" but still the Lord indulges us with most familiar intercourse with Himself, because He sees in our countenances the remembrance of His dearly-beloved Jesus.  The Lord's people are dear for another's sake.  Such is the love which the Father bears to His only begotten, that for His sake He raises His lowly brethren from poverty and banishment to courtly companionship, noble rank, and royal provision.  Their deformity shall not rob them of their privileges.  Lameness is no bar to sonship; the cripple is as much the heir as if he could run like Asahel.  Our right does not limp, though our might may.  A king's table is a noble hiding-place for lame legs, and at the gospel feast we learn to glory in infirmities, because the power of Christ resteth upon us.  Yet grievous disability may mar the persons of the best-loved saints.  Here is one feasted by David, and yet so lame in both his feet that he could not go up with the king when he fled from the city, and was therefore maligned and injured by his servant Ziba.  Saints whose faith is weak, and whose knowledge is slender, are great losers; they are exposed to many enemies, and cannot follow the king whithersoever he goeth.  This disease frequently arises from falls.  Bad nursing in their spiritual infancy often causes converts to fall into a despondency from which they never recover, and sin in other cases brings broken bones.  Lord help the lame to leap like a hart, and satisfy all Thy people with the bread of Thy table!                                                                                                                                                         C. H. Spurgeon

Friday, March 25, 2016

A holy God?  It cannot be
That He could truly look on me!
I’ve cast His laws behind my back!
Pure righteousness is what I lack!

Unto the holy King of kings
A perfect life I cannot bring;
My righteousness is all  unclean;
Oh! who shall save me from death’s sting?

The Holy Word of God does say
That all my sins were by Christ paid;
And if by faith I would believe,
God’s righteousness would come to me.

The righteousness of God I need;
There is none other I can plead;
When I by faith on Christ believe,
God’s righteousness will come to me.
                          M. Robbins

  ...through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.  Phil 3:9

     Paul, a “free born” Roman citizen of Jewish heritage, had as a baby breathed his first breath in the home of one who was considered a Roman national and not as one from a conquered people. 
     This privileged birth gave Paul the opportunity to obtain proper schooling which helped shape his great intellect and later guided him into becoming “zealous toward God” (Acts 22:3), but this zealousness was “not according to knowledge” (Rom 10:2).
     Of course, all this left no impression upon God for in God’s sight all.....even Paul.....had sinned and had “come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
     What Paul needed was the salvation which comes only “through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 3:15) which happened shortly after Paul’s miraculous encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus. 
     In fact a few short days after that encounter, Paul, who had formerly been named “Saul,” found his heart, his mind, and his spirit had been forever changed.  He was now a “Christian” who was “an apostle of Christ,” “a servant of God,” and “a new creature in Christ.”
     Years later to the Christians in Rome, Paul wrote a phrase which would have never been written by an unsaved Roman citizen:  “but I am carnal, sold under sin” (Rom 7:14).  Of course what Paul wrote was in reference to the Mosaic law which was “spiritual” and had nothing to do about nationality and citizenship. 
     Still, Paul understood the significance of a totally “spiritual” Mosaic law:  an individual could never obtain righteousness by obeying the law.  Rather righteousness is given because it is the righteousness of God “which is by faith of Jesus Christ” and it is “unto all and upon all them that believe” (Rom 3:22).
     And it this message of “righteousness which is of faith” (Rom 9:30) that Paul tirelessly wrote and preached about while traveling thousands of miles and suffering many things.
     Eventually while visiting Jerusalem, Paul’s zeal for Christ collided with the traditional Mosaic law and because of his Roman citizenship, Paul saw Rome’s grandeur.....but with great cost.  After two different Roman imprisonments, Paul was given the sentence of death.
     Thus the earthly eyes of Paul permanently closed in death but only for a great “gain” (Phil 1:21).  Heavenly eyes replaced earthly eyes and Paul saw at last Him “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:13-14).                
                                                                                                                                               M. Robbins 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Awake, my soul, in joyful lays,
And sing thy great Redeemer’s praise;
He justly claims a song from me,
His loving-kindness is so free.

He saw me ruined in the fall,
Yet loved me notwithstanding all,
And saved me from my lost estate,
His loving-kindness is so great.

Through mighty hosts of cruel foes,
Where earth and hell my way oppose,
He safely leads my soul along,
His loving-kindness is so strong.

So when I pass death’s gloomy vale,
And life and mortal powers shall fail,
O may my last expiring breath
His loving-kindness sing in death.

Then shall I mount, and soar away
To the bright world of endless day;
There shall I sing, with sweet surprise,
His loving-kindness in the skies.
                                                     Rev. Samuel Medley

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.  Psalms 138:2

There are two beautiful thoughts brought out here; one is, “God’s condescension in thought;” the other, “his tenderness in action.”  These are both included in “lovingkindness.”  And both of these are shown by God to his own people.  He humbleth himself to behold the things of the children of men; he condescends to men of low estate.  Of the blessed Jesus it is said, that “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” 2 Cor. 8:9.  Who can tell the depths to which God condescends in loving thought?  We are told that the very hairs of our head are all numbered; and if the hairs of our head, then surely all else beside.  God, as the Heavenly Father, takes an interest in everything about his people; he takes this interest in matters which they think beneath his notice, or of which they, from their ignorance, do not know the importance.  The mother may draw whole stores of comfort from a realization of the condescending thoughtfulness of God.  He will be interested about her babe; if she commit it to him, he who made the universe will, with his infinite mind, think upon her cradle and the helpless creature that is rocked to sleep therein.  The sick man may draw whole stores of comfort from the same source, for he can believe the ONE by whom the body was fearfully and wonderfully made will think over the sufferings of that body, and alleviate them, or give strength for the endurance of them if they must be borne.  Condescension of thought marks all the dealings of God with his people.  And hard following upon it comes tenderness in action.  Now this “tenderness in action” is a great part of the lovingkindness of God; it is meet that a thoughtful mind and tender hand should go together in the perfection of love.  God is not only energetic, but tender also in action; he is the God of the dew-drops, as well as the God of the thunder showers; the God of the tender grass blade, as much as of the mountain oak.  We read of great machines, which are able to crush iron bars, and yet they can touch so gently as not to break the shell of the smallest egg; as it is with them, so is it with the hand of the Most High; he can crush a world, and yet bind up a wound.  And great need have we of tenderness in our low estate; a little thing would crush us: we have such bruised and  feeble souls, that unless we had One who would deal tenderly with us we must soon be destroyed.
                                                                                                                                 Philip Bennett Power

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

“The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.”  Oh, wonderful gift! not promised, but given; not to friends, but to enemies.  Given without condition, without reserve, without return.  Himself unknown and unloved, His gift unsought and unasked, He gave His life for thee a more than royal bounty..... Oh, grandeur of love!  “I lay down My life for the sheep!”  And we for whom He gave it have held back, and hesitated to give our lives, not even for Him (He has not asked us to do that), but to Him!                                               
                                                                                                                             Frances Ridley Havergal

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Suppose we should write out here to-night this excuse, how would it sound?  To the King of Heaven:—While sitting in the Tabernacle in the City of Chicago, January—, 1877, I received a very pressing invitation from one of your servants to be present at the marriage supper of your only-begotten Son.  I PRAY THEE HAVE ME EXCUSED."  Would you sign that, young man?  Would you, mother?  Would you come up to the reporters' table, take up a pen and put your name down to such an excuse?  You would say, "Let my right hand forget its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I sign that."   

Just let me write out another answer:  "To the King of Heaven:— While sitting in the Tabernacle, January—, 1877, I received a pressing invitation from one of your messengers to be present at the marriage supper of your only-begotten Son.  I hasten to reply:  BY THE GRACE OF GOD I WILL BE PRESENT."  Who will sign that?  Is there one who will put his name to it?  Is there no one who will say, "By the grace of God I will accept the invitation now"?
                                                                                                                                         D. L. Moody     

Monday, March 21, 2016

.....Man would fain make God a receiver instead of a giver; but this cannot be; for "it is more blessed to give than to receive"; and assuredly God must have the more blessed place.  "Without all contradiction, the less is blessed of the better."  "Who hath first given to Him?"  God can accept the smallest gift from a heart which has learnt the deep truth contained in those words--"Of Thine own have we given Thee"; but the moment a man presumes to take the place of the "first" giver, God's reply is, "If I were hungry, I would not tell thee;" for "He is not worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life and breath and all things."  The great Giver of "all things" cannot possibly "need anything."  Praise is all that we can offer to God; but this can only be offered in the full and clear intelligence that our sins are all put away; and this, again, can only be known by faith in the virtue of an accomplished atonement.
                                                                                                                                       C. H. Mackintosh

Sunday, March 20, 2016

He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.  Psalms 111:9

Praise our Triune Jehovah for his redemption.  Write it down where you may read it.  Affix it where you may see it.  Engrave it on your heart that you may understand it.  It is a word big with importance.  In it is enfolded your destinies and those of the Church, to all future ages.  There are heights in it you never can have scaled, and depths you never can have fathomed.  You have never taken the wings of the morning, and gained the utmost parts of earth, to measure the length and breadth of it.   Wear it as a seal on your arm, as a signet on your right hand, for Jesus is the author of it.  O! prize it as a precious stone, more precious than rubies. . . . Let it express your best hopes while living, and dwell on your trembling lips in the moment of dissolution; for it shall form the chorus of the song of the redeemed throughout eternity.
                                                                                                                                            Isaac Saunders

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Contrasts frequently bring out the truth vividly, and here the church sets forth the creature-confidences of carnal men in contrast with her reliance upon the Prince Immanuel and the invisible Jehovah.  “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses.”  Chariots and horses make an imposing show, and with their rattling, and dust, and fine caparisons, make so great a figure that vain man is much taken with them; yet the discerning eye of faith sees more in an invisible God than in all these.  The most dreaded war-engine of David’s day was the war-chariot, armed with scythes, which mowed down men like grass: this was the boast and glory of the neighbouring nations; but the saints considered the name of Jehovah to be a far better defense.  As the Israelites might not keep horses, it was natural for them to regard the enemy’s cavalry with more than usual dread.  It is, therefore, all the greater evidence of faith that the bold songster can here disdain even the horse of Egypt in comparison with the Lord of hosts.  Alas, how many in our day who profess to be the Lord’s are as abjectly dependent upon their fellow-men or upon an arm of flesh in some shape or other, as if they had never known the name of Jehovah at all.  Jesus, be thou alone our rock and refuge, and never may we mar the simplicity of our faith.  “We will remember the name of the Lord our God.”  “Our God” in covenant, who has chosen us and whom we have chosen; this God is our God.  The name of our God is JEHOVAH, and this should never be forgotten; the self-existent, independent, immutable, ever-present, all-filling I AM.  Let us adore that matchless name, and never dishonour it by distrust or creature-confidence.  Reader, you must know it before you can remember it.  May the blessed Spirit reveal it graciously to your soul!
                                                                                                                                      C. H. Spurgeon

Friday, March 18, 2016

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  John 1:29

     By this John means to say: I have, by my teaching, made you all sinners, having condemned your works and told you to despair of yourselves.  But in order that you may not also despair of God, I will show you how to get rid of your sins and obtain salvation.  Not that you can strip off your sins or make yourselves pious through your works; another man is needed for this; nor can I do it, I can point him out, however.  It is Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.  He, he, and no one else in heaven or on earth, takes our sins upon himself.  You yourselves could not pay for the very smallest of your sins.  He alone must take upon himself not alone your sins, but the sins of the world, and not some sins, but all the sins of the world, be they great or small, many or few.
     Now if you are able to believe that this voice of John speaks the truth, and if you are able to follow his finger and recognize the Lamb of God carrying your sins, then you have gained the victory, then you are a Christian, a master of sin, death, hell and all things.  Then your conscience will rejoice and become heartily fond of this gentle Lamb of God.  Then you will love, praise and give thanks to our heavenly Father for his infinite wealth of mercy, preached by John and given in Christ.  Finally you will become cheerful and willing to do his divine will, as best you can, with all your strength.  What lovelier and more comforting message can be heard than that our sins are not ours any more, that they no more lie on us, but on the Lamb of God.  Lying on him, sin must be vanquished and made to nothing, and likewise death and hell, being the reward of sin, must be vanquished also.  Behold what God our Father has given us in Christ.
     Take heed lest you presume to get rid of the smallest of your sins through your own merit before God, and lest you rob Christ, the Lamb of God, of his credit.  John indeed demands that each one should know himself, repent and grow better, yet not in himself, but in Jesus Christ alone.    
                                                                                                                                            Martin Luther


     With reference to the forgiveness of sins let me say that you will not find anything in your heart with which you can pay them off, nor raise any funds for which God might recognize you and cancel the debt in the ledger.  But if you seize Christ as the one who has become your substitute, who has taken your sin upon himself, and who has given himself with all his merit and worthiness for you, no sin can avail anything against you.  If I am a sinner, he is holy and Lord over sin, death, Satan and hell, so that no sin can harm me, because he has been given me as my righteousness and salvation.
     Through grace we have, indeed, the forgiveness of all sins, but in no way except in and through Christ alone, and in him only it must be sought and can be obtained.  Whoever will come before God with any kind of work, which God is to recognize as meritorious for obtaining grace, will be disappointed and deceived, yea, instead of grace he will heap wrath upon himself.  All other ways and means are condemned as the doctrines of devils, as when men are led and directed to their own works, or to the holiness and merits of others, as of the saints who have led ascetic lives or have suffered and expiated a great deal; or as those have done who have comforted people in the throes of death by admonishing them to suffer death willingly for their sins.  Whoever dares to offer anything else for sin or to atone for it himself does nothing less than deny the Lord Jesus Christ, disgrace and slander him, as if the blood of Christ were of no more consequence than our repentance and satisfaction, or were not sufficient to take away all the sins of the world.
      Would you, then, be freed from your sins, you need not chastise yourself with them, nor have anything to do with them, but simply creep under the wings and into the bosom of Christ, as he is the one who has taken them away and has laid them upon himself.                                                                                                                                                                                                   Martin Luther

Thursday, March 17, 2016

    1st, God, who is the author of all thy mercies and deliverances, gives you tongues for this very end, that you may bless and praise him for these mercies, James 3:9.  Hence man’s tongue is called his glory above the rest of the creatures, Psalms 47:8.  There is none in the creation so endued and qualified for praising God as man is.  Angels have reason and minds, whereby they adore and admire God’s goodness and excellency, but have no tongues to praise him; beasts have tongues, but without speech or reason to use them; but man hath both reason and speech, that he may both admire God’s goodness, and with his tongue sound forth God’s praise.  See then, O believer, that you use your tongue to answer the end of your creation.  God loseth his due rent of praise from the rest of the world, but he expects it from his children, whom he hath formed for this end, and on whom he hath bestowed many distinguishing favours.
     2ndly, The sacrifice of thanksgiving is most pleasing and acceptable to God.  He loves your tears and prayers, O believer, but much more your praises.  How well pleased was our Lord with the poor leper Samaritan, that returned and gave him thanks for curing his bodily distemper! Luke 17.  He dismissed him with a special blessing, and cured him of his soul’s diseases, as well as of his body’s.
     3rdly, Consider that thankfulness for any mercy received is a most profitable course for yourself; for it is the way to get more and better blessings bestowed upon you, according to Psalms 57:5-6. “Let the people praise thee, O God: then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.”  Thanksgiving for former mercies is a kindly way of petitioning for new favours, and God will understand it in this sense.
                                                                                                                               Reverend John Willison

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wherever there is sorrow,
Wherever there is woe,
Wherever there is trouble
On any path you go;
O wait not for another
To heed love’s great command;
Reach out, reach out a helping hand.

When stricken hearts are sorest,
Be quickest to respond;
When earthly props have broken,
Point to the Help beyond.
O speak of Him who comforts,
Who soothes the worst alarms,
Who holds beneath His loving arms.

Rejoice or weep with others,
With sympathizing heart;
Or fortify the tempted
To act the nobler part.
The weak are round you falling:
O help them strong to stand!
Reach out, reach out a helping hand.

Reach out a helping hand,
Reach out a helping hand,
Reach out a helping hand to falling ones around;
Reach out a helping hand,
Reach out a helping hand,
Reaching out a helping hand that lost ones may be found.
                                                Mrs. Frank A. Breck

Comfort ye, comfort ye  my people, saith your God.  Isaiah 40:1

....."Ye that are stronger ought to bear the infirmities of the weak;" and if that is too much to expect of you, the least that I can ask is that you will bear with them.  I do beseech you by the gentleness of Christ that ye tread lightly the sick chamber, and speak softly to such as are crushed by adversity.....Do learn to make another's case thine own.  Be kind.  Let every tone of your voice, every gesture of your limbs, every look of your face show the kindness of your heart.  God will surely requite it.  Are his children in the furnace, he watches them.  If you aggrieve them in their trouble,he will vex you in his sore displeasure.  And there are spiritual ailments which, like bodily ones, require tender care and gentle treatment.  Do not aggravate the sorrows of those who are harassed with doubts, tempted with evils, and distracted with anxious cares.  Their tale may appear simple enough to you, but it is very serious to them.  What troubles them might not give you an instant's concern.  Pass it not over, therefore, as nonsense.  Your Lord and Master knew how to condescend to men of low estate; and his condescension was always pure, never arrogant.  He is far more gentle than the tenderest among us.  Oh, how desirable to learn his way!
.....Lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.  Cheer the hearts when the limbs are weak.  Tell the doubting that God is faithful.  Tell those that feel the burden of sin that it was for sinners Christ died.  Tell the backsliders that God never does cast away his people.  Tell the desponding that the Lord delighteth in mercy.  Tell the distracted the Lord doth devise means to bring back his banished.  Covet the character of Barnabas.  He was a son of consolation.  Study the sacred art of speaking a word in season.  Apprentice yourself to the Great Master.  Learn the secrets of the trade.  Acquaint yourself with the mystery of the guild.  Let your own troubles and trials qualify you to sympathise and succour.  You will be of great value in the church of God if you acquire the art of compassion, and are able to help those that are bowed down.
    But will you please give heed to the special instruction.  We are to make straight paths because of lame people.  You cannot heal the man's bad foot, but you can pick all the stones out of the path that he has to pass over.  You cannot give him a new leg, but you can make the road as smooth as possible.  Let there be no unnecessary stumbling-blocks to cause him pain.          
                                                                                                                                         C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 soul is even as a weaned child.  Psalms 131:2

Weaned from what?  Self-sufficiency, self-will, self-seeking.  From creatures and the things of the world not, indeed, as to their use, but as to any dependence upon them for his happiness and portion.....Yet this experience is no easy attainment.  The very form of expression-“I have behaved and quieted myself,” reminds us of some risings which were with difficulty subdued......The flesh lusteth against the spirit; and when we would do good, evil is present with us; hence the warfare within.  So it is with “the child that is weaned.”  The task to the mother is trying and troublesome.  The infant cries, and seems to sob out his heart.  He thinks it very hard in her, and knows not what she means by her seeming cruelty, and the mother’s fondness renders all her firmness necessary to keep her at the process; and sometimes she also weeps at the importunity of his dear looks, and big tears, and stretched-out hands.  But it must be done, and therefore, though she pities, she perseveres; and after a while he is soothed and satisfied, forgets the breast, and no longer feels even a hankering after his former pleasure.  But how is the weaning of the child accomplished?  By embittering the member to his lips; by the removal of the object in the absence and concealment of the mother; by the substitution of other food; by the influence of time.  So it is with us.  We love the world, and it deceives us.  We depend on creatures, and they fail us, and pierce us through with many sorrows.  We enter forbidden paths, and follow after our lovers; and our way is hedged up with thorns; and we then say, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; and now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.”  The enjoyment of a greater good subdues the relish of a less.  What are indulgences of sin, or dissipations of the world to one who is abundantly satisfied with the goodness of God’s house, and is made to drink of the river of his pleasures?                       
                                                                                                                                                 William Jay

Monday, March 14, 2016 a child that is weaned of his mother...Psalms 131:2

Though the weaned child has not what it would have, or what it naturally most desireth, the milk of the breast--yet it is contented with what the mother giveth--it rests upon her love and provision.  So are we to be content with what providence alloweth us:  Heb. 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have;” and Phil. 4:11, “I have learned, in whatsover state I am, therewith to be content.”  Whatever pleaseth our heavenly Father should please us.  The child that is put from the breast to a harder diet is yet contented at last.  The child doth not prescribe what it will eat, drink or put on.  Children are in no care for enlarging possessions, heaping up riches, aspiring after dignities and honours; but meekly take what is provided for them.  The child, when it has lost the food which nature provideth for it, is not solicitous, but wholly referreth itself to the mother, hangeth upon the mother.  So for everything whatsoever should we depend upon God, refer ourselves to God, and expect all things from him: Ps. 62:5, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”  With such a simplicity of submission should we rest and depend upon God.  Let us take heed of being over wise and provident for ourselves, but let us trust our Father which is in heaven, and refer ourselves to his wise and holy government.
                                                                                                                              Thomas Manton

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Shunammite, oppressed with grief,
When she had lost the son she loved,
Went to Elisha for relief,
Nor vain her application proved.

He sent his servant on before,
To lay a staff upon his head;
This he could do, but do no more,-
He left him, as he found him, dead.
But when the Lord’s almighty power
Wrought with the prophet's prayer and faith,
The mother saw a joyful hour,
She saw her child restored from death.

Thus, like the weeping Shunammite,
For many dead in sin we grieve;
Now, Lord, display Thine arm of might;
Cause them to hear Thy voice and live.

Thy preachers bear the staff in vain,
Though at Thine own command we go;
Lord, we have tried and tried again,
We find them dead, and leave them so.

Come then Thyself--to every heart
The glory of Thy name make known;
The means are our appointed part,
The power and grace are Thine alone.
                          John Newton

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint  Luke 18:1

     If men ought always to pray and not to faint, much more Christian men.  Jesus has sent His church into the world on the same errand upon which He Himself came, and this mission includes intercession.  What if I say that the church is the world's priest?  Creation is dumb, but the church is to find a mouth for it.  It is the church's high privilege to pray with acceptance.  The door of grace is always open for her petitions, and they never return empty-handed.  The veil was rent for her, the blood was sprinkled upon the altar for her, God constantly invites her to ask what she wills.  Will she refuse the privilege which angels might envy her?  Is she not the bride of Christ?  May she not go in unto her king at every hour?  Shall she allow the precious privilege to be unused?  The church always has need for prayer.  There are always some in her midst who are declining, or falling into open sin.  There are lambs to be prayed for, that they may be carried in Christ's bosom; the strong, lest they grow presumptuous, and the weak, lest they become despairing.  If we kept up prayer-meetings four-and-twenty hours in the day, all the days in the year, we might never be without a special subject for supplication.  Are we ever without the sick and the poor, the afflicted and the wavering?  Are we ever without those who seek the conversion of relatives, the reclaiming of backsliders, or the salvation of the depraved?  Nay, with congregations constantly gathering, with ministers always preaching, with millions of sinners lying dead in trespasses and sins;.....if the church doth not pray, how shall she excuse her base neglect of the commission of her loving Lord?  Let the church be constant in supplication, let every private believer cast his mite of prayer into the treasury.    
                                                                                                                                     C. H. Spurgeon     

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Arise, my soul, arise;
Shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding Sacrifice
In my behalf appears:
Before the throne my Surety stands,
My name is written on his hands.

He ever lives above,
For me to intercede;
His all redeeming love,
His precious blood to plead;
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds he bears,
Received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers,
They strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die.”

The Father hears him pray,
His dear anointed One:
He cannot turn away
The presence of his Son:
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God.

My God is reconciled;
His pardoning voice I hear:
He owns me for his child;
I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And, “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.
                                    Charles Wesley

Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  Romans 8:15

     This is a noble and comforting text, worthy of being written in letters of gold.  Because ye now through faith, he means to say, have the Holy Spirit and are led by him, ye are no longer in bondage as ye were when under the law; ye need no longer be afraid of its terrors and its demands, as if God would condemn and reject you on account of your unworthiness and the remaining infirmity of your flesh.  But ye have the consolation that, through faith, ye have the assurance of God's grace, and may consider God your Father and call upon him as his children.
     Paul speaks of the "spirit of bondage" and the “spirit of adoption" according to the customs of his times.  In those days man-servants and maid-servants were the property of the master of the house in the same sense that a cow was his property.  He bought them with his money; he did with them as he pleased, just as with his cattle.  They were afraid of their master and had to expect stripes, imprisonment and punishment even unto death.  They could only say:  Here I serve for my bread only; I have nothing to expect but stripes, and must be content to have my master cast me out or sell me to some one else whenever he chooses.  They could never have a well-grounded hope of release from such fear and bondage and coercion. 
     Such a slavish, captive, fearful and uncertain spirit ye do not have, says the apostle.  Ye are not compelled to live continually in fear of wrath and condemnation as are the followers of Moses and all who are under the law.  On the contrary, ye have a delightful, free spirit, one confident and contented, such as a child entertains toward its father, and ye need not fear that God is angry with you or will cast you off and condemn you.  For ye have the Spirit of his Son in your hearts and know that ye shall remain in his house and receive the inheritance, and that ye may comfort yourselves with it and boast of it as being your own.   
                                                                                                                              Martin Luther

Friday, March 11, 2016

When trials press against my soul,
When threat’ning doubts assail my soul,
The only thing my soul must know
Is that the Saviour died for me.

When fears bring war against my soul,
When heartaches lean upon my soul,
The only thing my soul must know
Is that the Saviour died for me.

When songs no more come to my soul,
When present joys have left my soul,
The only thing my soul must know
Is that the Saviour died for me.

When heavenward Christ brings my soul,
When homeward Jesus calls my soul,
The only thing my soul must know
Is that the Saviour died for me.

And He has not forsaken me
And He has not forgotten me;
Behold the Lord has graven me
Upon His hands eternally!
                     M. Robbins

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountain: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.  Isaiah 49:13-16 

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.....Isa 49:16
     No doubt a part of the wonder which is concentrated in the word "Behold" is excited by the unbelieving lamentation of the preceding sentence.  Zion said, "The Lord hath forsaken me, and my God hath forgotten me."  How amazed the divine mind seems to be at this wicked unbelief!  What can be more astounding than the unfounded doubts and fears of God's favored people?  The Lord's loving word of rebuke should make us blush.  He cries, "How can I have forgotten thee, when I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands?  How darest thou doubt My constant remembrance, when the memorial is set upon My very flesh?"  O unbelief, how strange a marvel thou art!  We know not which most to wonder at, the faithfulness of God or the unbelief of His people.  He keeps his promise a thousand times, and yet the next trial makes us doubt Him.  He never faileth; He is never a dry well; He is never as a setting sun, a passing meteor, or a melting vapor; and yet we are as continually vexed with anxieties, molested with suspicions, and disturbed with fears, as if our God were the mirage of the desert.  "Behold" is a word intended to excite admiration.  Here, indeed, we have a theme for marvelling.  Heaven and earth may well be astonished that rebels should obtain so great a nearness to the heart of infinite love as to be written upon the palms of His hands.  "I have graven thee."  It does not say, "thy name."  The name is there, but that is not all:  "I have graven thee."  See the fulness of this!  I have graven thy person, thine image, thy case, thy circumstances, thy sins, thy temptations, thy weaknesses, thy wants, thy works; I have graven thee, everything about thee, all that concerns thee; I have put thee altogether there.  Wilt thou ever say again that thy God hath forsaken thee, when He has graven thee upon His own palms?          
                                                                                                                                      C. H. Spurgeon 


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Fight the good fight with all thy might;
Christ is thy Strength, and Christ thy Right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.

Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
Life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the Path, and Christ the Prize.

Cast care aside, upon thy Guide,
Lean, and His mercy will provide;
Lean, and the trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its Life, and Christ its Love.

Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear.
Only believe, and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.
                                     John S. B. Monsell

Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength  Isa 26:4

     “Christians, remember this, all the causes of prizing persons and things are eminently and only in Christ; therefore, set a very, very high price upon the Lord Jesus.  You prize some for their beauty; why, the Lord Jesus Christ is the fairest among the children of men. Ps. 45:1-2.  Cant. 5:10:  ‘My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest; or, the standard-bearer, among ten thousand.’  You prize others for their strength. Is. 26:4:  ‘Trust ye in the Lord forever:  for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.’  You prize others for bearing their father’s image; why, the Lord Jesus is the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person. Heb. 1:3.  You prize others for their wisdom and knowledge; such a one is a very wise man, you say, and therefore you prize him; and such a one is a very knowing man, and therefore you prize him; why, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ. Col. 2:3.  The truth is, all those perfections and excellencies that are in all angels and men, are all epitomized in Christ.  All the angels in heaven have but some of those perfections that be in Christ.  All wisdom, and all power, and all goodness, and all mercy, and all love, etc., is in no glorified creature; no, not in all glorified creatures put together.  But now in Christ all these perfections and excellencies meet, as all water meets in the sea, and as all light meets in the sun.  Others you prize for their usefulness; the more useful persons and things are, the more you prize and value them.  The Lord Jesus Christ is of universal use to his people; why, he is the right eye of his people, without which they cannot see; and the right hand of his people, without which they cannot do, etc.  He is of singular use to all his people.  He is of use to weak saints, to strengthen them; and he is of use to doubting saints, to confirm them; and he is of use to dull saints, to quicken them; and he is of use to falling saints, to support them; and he is of use to wandering saints, to recover them.  In prosperity he is of use to keep his saints humble and watchful, spotless, and fruitful; and in adversity he is of use to keep them contented and cheerful.  All which should very much engage our hearts to prize this Christ.”                          
                                                                                                       Thomas Brooks                                    

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days;
Who trusts in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that naught can move.

What can these anxious cares avail thee,
These never ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help, if thou bewail thee
O’er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.

All are alike before the Highest;
‘Tis easy for our God, we know,
To raise thee up, though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low;
True wonders still by Him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to naught.

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,-
So do thine own part faithfully,
And trust His Word;- though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee;
God never yet forsook in need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.
           Georg Neumark,
           Tr Catherine Winkworth

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  Matthew 6:34

     The world is always anxious about the future, and thinks thereby to be removed from danger and to protect and support itself.  It sees not its own vanity, and that its projects may be wrong; that it is true and experience testifies, as Christ here says, that each day brings its own misfortune and evil.  Thus it happens with such plottings and prudence of its own, with which it means to insure itself and to forestall all coming danger, the world only causes more woe and harm.  Whenever worldlings see that things do not go as they expected, or that an accident happens, they begin to despond, think of one remedy and another, and imagine they must look for help, protection and safety, wherever they can and as best they can.  They begin to patch and think to help matters by all sorts of strange craftiness and practices against God and their consciences to which they are driven by unbelief.  Hence comes so much misfortune, misery, murder, war, and all misdoings of the wicked world.  Each one means to carry out his affairs without God, to oppress and choke every one who would hinder them, and to throw all things higgledy-piggledy in a heap, rather than desist from his intent.  From this all order is destroyed and naught but evil grows in governments and all other affairs.
     Against this Christ would caution his believers that they may not waver, nor stake their affairs on that which is uncertain, vainly caring for the future, but at all times do that which is right; that they may not worry at the outcome of things, nor allow themselves to be swerved by future and uncertain good or evil.  He would rather commend care to God, and then take everything that happens to them in good part and overcome it with faith and patience.  On earth it cannot be otherwise than that each one in his daily calling meets with things other than he welcomes, which cause him trouble and labor.  Hence Christ calls this life daily evil or misfortune.  He would have us know it and be prepared for it, and not hanker after the world and become partakers in its unrighteousness and evil affairs, which lead us and others into ruin and damnation.                                   
                                                                                                                                              Martin Luther

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Though troubles assail,
And dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail,
And foes all unite:
Yet one thing secures us,
Whatever betide,
The Scripture assures us-
The Lord will provide.
The birds without barn
Or storehouse are fed;
From them let us learn
To trust for our bread:
His saints what is fitting
Shall ne'er be denied,
So long as 'tis written,
The Lord will provide.

We may, like the ships,
By tempests be tossed
On perilous deeps,
But cannot be lost:
Though Satan enrages
The wind and the tide,
The promise engages
The Lord will provide.

His call we obey,
Like Abra'm of old,
Not knowing our way,
But faith makes us bold:
For, though we are strangers,
We have a good guide,
And trust, in all dangers,
The Lord will provide.

When Satan appears
To stop up our path,
And fill us with fears,
We triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us,
Though oft he has tried,
This heart-cheering promise,
The Lord will provide.

He tells us we're weak,
Our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek
We ne'er shall obtain;
But when such suggestions
Our spirits have plied,
This answers all questions-
The Lord will provide.

No strength of our own
Or goodness we claim;
Yet since we have known
The Savior's great name,
In this our strong tower
For safety we hide,
The Lord is our power,
The Lord will provide.

When life sinks apace,
And death is in view,
This word of His grace
Shall comfort us through:
No fearing or doubting,
With Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting,
The Lord will provide.
                       John Newton

...God will provide...Gen 22:8

.....God has not passed thee over in His providence.  He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need.  Sit not down in despair; hope on, hope ever.  Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses.  There is One who careth for you.  His eye is fixed on you, His heart beats with pity for your woe, and His hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help.  The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy.  The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning.  He, if thou art one of His family, will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart.  Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness.  What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would leave providing to the God of Providence!  With a little oil in the cruse, and a handful of meal in the barrel, Elijah outlived the famine, and you will do the same.  If God cares for you, why need you care too?  Can you trust Him for your soul, and not for your body?  If has never refused to bear your burdens, He has never fainted under their weight.  Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care, and leave all thy concerns in the hand of a gracious God.
                                                                                                                                          C. H. Spurgeon

Monday, March 7, 2016

    Only an outcast, Lord, am I;
    Only a sinner judged to die;
    Only a mourner o’er my sins;
    Yet, there’s a Voice I hear within;
    Yet, there’s a Voice I hear within.

    Only a Voice, but it is Christ’s;
    Only a Voice, but His brings Light;
    Only a Voice, but His can heal;
    Now can my soul unto Him kneel?
    Now can my soul unto Him kneel?

    “Yes,” He speaks, “you may seek My face;”
    “Yes,” He speaks, “now receive My grace;
    Yes, you’re a sinner; that’s your name;
    But, I’m the Saviour; that’s My name.
    But, I’m the Saviour, that’s My name.”

    Salvation is Christ’s gift to me;
    Salvation now has set me free;
    Salvation is the Saviour’s fame;
    And He’s my Saviour, bless His name!
    And He’s my Saviour, bless His name!

    He’s the Saviour; He took my blame!
    He’s the Saviour; yes, that’s His Name!
    He saved my soul then changed my name!
    He calls me “child!”  Oh, praise His Name!
    He calls me “child!”  Oh, praise His Name!
                                              M. Robbins

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.            
                                                                                                                                      Romans 8:8-17

     In order to help heal and save people, it takes many years of study to become a medical doctor and then additional years of training to become a “specialist.”       
     But Christ didn’t have to “study” in order to achieve His earthly objective - becoming “the Saviour.”  Rather, He “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”
     What Christ went through we’ll never know.  However, we do know that He left Heaven and all its glories to live in a conquered land with little possessions so that we might live in Heaven’s glory as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.
     We also know that as Christ was dying on the cross, He was ridiculed by the rulers, the chief priests and the soldiers.  And their words were shameful. 
     While they, themselves, were clothed in unseen wickedness, the rulers reminded Christ that He saved others.  While they, themselves, were robed in their own righteousnesses which were as filthy rags, the chief priests mocked Him and said He should save Himself and then they’d believe He was the King of Israel.  And while they, themselves, were under orders of a mere common ruler, the soldiers also mocked Christ’s divinity and likewise urged Him to save Himself.
     But Christ could not save both Himself and us. 
     So, because He was the sacrificial lamb slain as it were before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:19-20), Christ chose to save us rather than to save Himself.  And it is because Christ carried the sins and bore the penalty of death for each individual, He alone forever will be known as “the Saviour.” 
    But Christ can only save an individual who acknowledges bearing the identity of a “sinner” and in dire need of the Saviour.  Paul, himself, personally stated in 1 Tim 1:15:  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
     Enough now with the pronouns:  “we,” “they” and “us.”  Christ saves “sinners” as individuals.  So, I, myself, must be saved before I call Him mine!
     And so to Christ alone I’ve all my sinfulness.....bearing the name of “sinner”.....yet, believing He died for me.  And because He is the Saviour, by His mercy I’ve been saved!                                  
                                                                                                                                              M. Robbins


Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Manna, favour'd Israel's meat,
Was gather'd day by day;
When all the host was served, the heat
Melted the rest away.

In vain to hoard it up they tried,
Against to-morrow came;
It then bred worms and putrified,
And proved their sin and shame.

'Twas daily bread, and would not keep,
But must be still renew'd;
Faith should not want a hoard or heap,
But trust the Lord for food.

The truths by which the soul is fed
Must thus be had afresh;
For notions resting in the head,
Will only feed the flesh.

However true, they have no life
Or unction to impart;
They breed the worms of pride and strife,
But cannot cheer the heart.

Nor can the best experience past,
The life of faith maintain;
The brightest hope will faint at last,
Unless supplied again.

Dear Lord, while we in prayer are found,
Do Thou the Manna give;
Oh! let it fall on all around,
That we may eat and live.
                                            John Newton

from Exodus Chapter 16

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness..... Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.....And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man  according to his eating. And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.....some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the  rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them,.....To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.....And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.....And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.

.....Moses, when speaking of the methods the Lord took to humble Israel, mentions his feeding them with manna, as one method.  I could not understand this for a time.  I thought they were rather in danger of being proud, when they saw themselves provided for in such an extraordinary way.  But the manna would not keep, they could not hoard it up, and were therefore in a state of absolute dependence from day to day: this appointment was well suited to humble them.  Thus it is with us in spirituals.  We should be better pleased, perhaps, to be set up with a stock or sufficiency at once,-such an inherent portion of wisdom and power, as we might depend upon, at least for common occasions, without being constrained, by a sense of indigence, to have continual recourse to the Lord for every thing we want.  But his way is best.  His own glory is most displayed, and our safety best secured, by keeping us quite poor and empty in ourselves, and supplying us from one minute to another, according to our need.  This, if any thing, will prevent boasting, and keep a sense of gratitude awake in our hearts.  This is well adapted to quicken us in prayer, and furnishes us with a thousand occasions for praise, which would otherwise escape our notice. 
     But who or what are we, that the Most High should thus notice us!-should visit us every morning, and water us every moment!  It is an astonishing thought, that God should thus dwell with men!  That he, before whom the mightiest earthly potentates are less than nothing and vanity, should thus stoop and accommodate himself to the situation, wants, and capacities of the weakest, meanest, and poorest of his children!  But so it hath pleased him.  He seeth not as man seeth.                                                                
                                                                                                                                           John Newton