Thursday, May 26, 2016

       By faith in Christ I walk with God,
       With heaven, my journey's end, in view;
       Supported by His staff and rod,
       My road is safe and pleasant too.

       I travel through a desert wide,
       Where many round me blindly stray:
       But He vouchsafes to be my guide,
       And will not let me miss my way.

       Though snares and dangers throng my path,
       And earth and hell my course withstand,
       I triumph over all by faith,
       Guarded by His almighty hand.

       The wilderness affords no food,
       But God for my support prepares;
       Provides me every needful good,
       And frees my soul from wants and cares.

       With Him sweet converse maintain,
       Great as He is, I dare be free;
       I tell Him all my grief and pain,
       And He reveals His love to me.

       Some cordial from His word He brings,
       Whene'er my feeble spirit faints;
       At once my soul revives and sings,
       And yields no more to sad complaints.

       I pity all that worldlings talk
       Of pleasures that will quickly end:
       Be this my choice, O Lord, to walk
       With Thee, my Guide, my Guard, my Friend.
                                  John Newton

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world.....Gal 1:4

.....Were the sky always without a cloud, and the ocean without a ripple, the believer would not know so well the God with whom he has to do; for, alas! we know how prone the heart is to mistake the peace of circumstances for the peace of God.  When everything is going on smoothly and pleasantly, - our property safe, our business prosperous, our children and servants carrying themselves agreeably, our residence comfortable, our health excellent, - everything, in short, just to our mind, how apt we are to mistake the peace which reposes upon such circumstances, for that peace which flows from the realized presence of Christ.  The Lord knows this; and therefore He comes in, in one way or another, and stirs up the nest, that is, if we are found nestling in circumstances, instead of in Himself...... is better to be poor with Christ, than rich without Him.....How many, in order to avoid the trial and exercise connected with God's path, have slipped aside into the current of this present evil world, and thereby brought leanness and barrenness, heaviness and gloom, into their souls!  It may be they have, to use the common expression, "made money," increased their store, obtained the world's favor, been "entreated well" by its Pharaohs, gotten a name and a position amongst men; but are these a proper equivalent for joy in God, communion, liberty of heart, a pure, uncondemning conscience, a thankful, worshiping spirit, vigorous testimony, and effectual service?  Alas! for the man that can think so.  And yet all the above comparable blessings have been often sold for a little ease, a little influence, a little money.
     Christian reader, let us watch against the tendency to slip aside from the narrow, yet safe, the sometimes-rough, yet always-pleasant, path of simple, whole-hearted obedience.  Let us keep guard - jealous, careful guard - over "faith and a pure conscience," for which nothing can compensate.  Should trial come, let us, instead of turning aside into Egypt, wait on God; and thus the trial, instead of proving an occasion of stumbling, will prove an opportunity for obedience.  Let us, when tempted to slip into the course of the world, remember Him "who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father." (Gal. 1:4.)  If such was His love for us, and such His sense of the true character of this present world, that He gave Himself in order to deliver us from it, shall we deny Him by plunging again into that from which His cross has forever delivered us?.....
                                                                                                                                 C. H. Mackintosh

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