《Morning By Morning》April 1
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”— Song of Solomon 1:2
For several days we have been dwelling upon the Saviour’s passion, and for some little time to come we shall linger there.
In beginning a new month, let us seek the same desires after our Lord as those which glowed in the heart of the elect spouse. See how she leaps at once to him; there are no prefatory words; she does not even mention his name; she is in the heart of her theme at once, for she speaks of him who was the only him in the world to her.
How bold is her love! It was much condescension which permitted the weeping penitent to anoint his feet with spikenard–it was rich love which allowed the gentle Mary to sit at his feet and learn of him–but here, love, strong, fervent love, aspires to higher tokens of regard, and closer signs of fellowship.
Esther trembled in the presence of Ahasuerus, but the spouse in joyful liberty of perfect love knows no fear.
If we have received the same free spirit, we also may ask the like. By kisses we suppose to be intended those varied manifestations of affection by which the believer is made to enjoy the love of Jesus.
The kiss of reconciliation we enjoyed at our conversion, and it was sweet as honey dropping from the comb.
The kiss of acceptance is still warm on our brow, as we know that he hath accepted our persons and our works through rich grace.
The kiss of daily, present communion is that which we pant after to be repeated day after day, till it is changed into the kiss of reception, which removes the soul from earth, and the kiss of consummation which fills it with the joy of heaven.
Faith is our walk, but fellowship sensibly felt is our rest. Faith is the road, but communion with Jesus is the well from which the pilgrim drinks.
O lover of our souls, be not strange to us; let the lips of thy blessing meet the lips of our asking; let the lips of thy fulness touch the lips of our need, and straightway the kiss will be effected.
《Evening by Evening》April 1
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”— Hosea 10:12
This month of April is said to derive its name from the Latin verb aperio, which signifies to open, because all the buds and blossoms are now opening, and we have arrived at the gates of the flowery year.
Reader, if you are yet unsaved, may your heart, in accord with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns you that it is time to seek the Lord; be not out of tune with nature, but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires.
Do you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins? then, I entreat you, give your vigour to the Lord.
It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I could fain praise the Lord every day for it. Salvation is priceless, let it come when it may, but oh! an early salvation has a double value in it.
Young men and maidens, since you may perish ere you reach your prime, “It is time to seek the Lord.” Ye who feel the first signs of decay, quicken your pace: that hollow cough, that hectic flush, are warnings which you must not trifle with; with you it is indeed time to seek the Lord.
Did I observe a little grey mingled with your once luxurious tresses? Years are stealing on apace, and death is drawing nearer by hasty marches, let each return of spring arouse you to set your house in order.
Dear reader, if you are now advanced in life, let me entreat and implore you to delay no longer. There is a day of grace for you now–be thankful for that, but it is a limited season and grows shorter every time that clock ticks.
Here in this silent chamber, on this first night of another month, I speak to you as best I can by paper and ink, and from my inmost soul, as God’s servant, I lay before you this warning, “It is time to seek the Lord.”
Slight not that work, it may be your last call from destruction, the final syllable from the lip of grace.
《My Utmost for His Highest》April 1
Heartiness V. Heartlessness Towards Others
It is Christ . . . who also maketh intercession for us. "The Spirit . . . maketh intercession for the saints." — Romans 8:34,27
Do we need any more argument than this to become intercessors – that Christ "ever liveth to make intercession;" that the Holy Spirit "maketh intercession for the saints"? Are we living in such a vital relationship to our fellow men that we do the work of intercession as the Spirit-taught children of God? Begin with the circumstances we are in – our homes, our business, our country, the present crisis as it touches us and others – are these things crushing us? Are they badgering us out of the presence of God and leaving us no time for worship? Then let us call a halt, and get into such living relationship with God that our relationship to others may be maintained on the line of intercession whereby God works His marvels.
Beware of outstripping God by your very longing to do His will. We run ahead of Him in a thousand and one activities, consequently we get so burdened with persons and with difficulties that we do not worship God, we do not intercede. If once the burden and the pressure come upon us and we are not in the worshipping attitude, it will produce not only hardness toward God but despair in our own souls. God continually introduces us to people for whom we have no affinity, and unless we are worshipping God, the most natural thing to do is to treat them heartlessly, to give them a text like the jab of a spear, or leave them with a rapped-out counsel of God and go. A heartless Christian must be a terrible grief to Our Lord.
Are we in the direct line of the intercession of our Lord and of the Holy Spirit?
Use for《Faith's check book》April 1
Use for《Faith's check book》April 1
《Faith's check book》April 1
The King's Highway
A thoroughfare will be there – it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it; it is reserved for those authorized to use it – fools will not stray into it. — Isa 35:8
The way of holiness is so straight and plain that the simplest minds cannot go astray if they constantly follow it. The worldly wise have many twists and turns, and yet they make terrible blunders and generally miss their end. Worldly policy is a poor, shortsighted thing, and when men choose it as their road, it leads them over dark mountains. Gracious minds know no better than to do as the Lord bids them; but this keeps them in the King’s highway and under royal protection.
Let the reader never for a moment attempt to help himself out of a difficulty by a falsehood or by a questionable act; but let him keep in the middle of the high road of truth and integrity, and he will be following the best possible course. In our lives we must never practice circular sailing nor dream of shuffling. Be just and fear not, Follow Jesus and heed no evil consequences. If the worst of ills could be avoided by wrongdoing, we should, in the very attempt, have fallen into an evil worse than any other ill could be. God’s way must be the very best way. Follow it though men think you a fool, and you will be truly wise.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》April 1
Good Works to Be Done
This saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on such truths, so that those who have placed their faith in God may be intent on engaging in good works. These things are good and beneficial for all people. — Titus 3:8
Whate’er is noble, pure, refined,
Just, generous, amiable, and kind,
That may my constant thoughts pursue,
That may I love and practise too.
《Streams In The Desert》April 1
Hold Fast and Trust
Even if he slays me, I will hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face!—Job 13:15
Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day.—2 Tim 1:12
“I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails;
I will believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
‘I trust in Thee.’
“I will not doubt, though all my prayers return
Unanswered from the still, white realm above;
I will believe it is an all-wise love
Which has refused these things for which I yearn;
And though at times I cannot keep from grieving,
Yet the pure ardor of my fixed believing
Undimmed shall burn.
“I will not doubt, though sorrows fall like rain,
And troubles swarm like bees about a hive.
I will believe the heights for which I strive
Are only reached by anguish and by pain;
And though I groan and writhe beneath my crosses.
I yet shall see through my severest losses
The greater gain.
“I will not doubt. Well anchored is this faith,
Like some staunch ship, my soul braves every gale;
So strong its courage that it will not quail
To breast the mighty unknown sea of death.
Oh, may I cry, though body parts with spirit,
‘I do not doubt,’ so listening worlds may hear it,
With my last breath.”
“In fierce storms,” said an old seaman, “we must do one thing; there is only one way: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.”
This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way.
Reason cannot help you; past experiences give you no light. Even prayer fetches no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there.
You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may—winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers—no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God’s faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love in Christ Jesus. —Richard Fuller
《Daily Prayer Guide》April 1
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. — Prov 26:12
God’s April is coming up the hill, and the noisy winds are quieting down, subdued by the fragrance of the wild flowers on the way. Lest we miss the richness of life, while pursuing the world, God continues to pour out precious fragrance from his storehouse, and unconsciously, our souls are lulled to peace through the sweetness of April days.
It is a peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others, and to forget his own.
A man may be as much a fool from the want of sensibility as the want of sense. — Mrs.
Jameson.He that knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool: shun him.
— Arabian Maxim.
Almighty God, grant that I may be spared the allurements of deceptive happiness which leaves weary days. I ask for wisdom that I may not speak foolishly, think foolishly, or act foolishly; and may I not be detained by the foolishness of others, but pursue my work, whether it be far or near. Amen.
Use for《Evening by Evening》April 2
Use for《Evening by Evening》April 2
《Morning By Morning》April 2
“And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.”— Matthew 27:14
He had never been slow of speech when he could bless the sons of men, but he would not say a single word for himself. “Never man spake like this man,” and never man was silent like him.
Was this singular silence the index of his perfect self-sacrifice? Did it show that he would not utter a word to stay the slaughter of his sacred person, which he had dedicated as an offering for us?
Had he so entirely surrendered himself that he would not interfere in his own behalf, even in the minutest degree, but be bound and slain an unstruggling, uncomplaining victim? Was this silence a type of the defencelessness of sin?
Nothing can be said in palliation or excuse of human guilt; and, therefore, he who bore its whole weight stood speechless before his judge.
Is not patient silence the best reply to a gainsaying world? Calm endurance answers some questions infinitely more conclusively than the loftiest eloquence.
The best apologists for Christianity in the early days were its martyrs. The anvil breaks a host of hammers by quietly bearing their blows. Did not the silent Lamb of God furnish us with a grand example of wisdom? Where every word was occasion for new blasphemy, it was the line of duty to afford no fuel for the flame of sin.
The ambiguous and the false, the unworthy and mean, will ere long overthrow and confute themselves, and therefore the true can afford to be quiet, and finds silence to be its wisdom.
Evidently our Lord, by his silence, furnished a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy. A long defence of himself would have been contrary to Isaiah’s prediction: “He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”
By his quiet he conclusively proved himself to be the true Lamb of God. As such we salute him this morning.
Be with us, Jesus, and in the silence of our heart, let us hear the voice of thy love.
《Evening by Evening》April 2
“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”— Isaiah 53:10
Plead for the speedy fulfilment of this promise, all ye who love the Lord. It is easy work to pray when we are grounded and bottomed, as to our desires, upon God’s own promise.
How can he that gave the word refuse to keep it?
Immutable veracity cannot demean itself by a lie, and eternal faithfulness cannot degrade itself by neglect. God must bless his Son, his covenant binds him to it.
That which the Spirit prompts us to ask for Jesus, is that which God decrees to give him. Whenever you are praying for the kingdom of Christ, let your eyes behold the dawning of the blessed day which draweth near, when the Crucified shall receive his coronation in the place where men rejected him.
Courage, you that prayerfully work and toil for Christ with success of the very smallest kind, it shall not be so always; better times are before you. Your eyes cannot see the blissful future: borrow the telescope of faith; wipe the misty breath of your doubts from the glass; look through it and behold the coming glory.
Reader, let us ask, do you make this your constant prayer? Remember that the same Christ who tells us to say, “Give us this day our daily bread,” had first given us this petition, “Hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”
Let not your prayers be all concerning your own sins, your own wants, your own imperfections, your own trials, but let them climb the starry ladder, and get up to Christ himself, and then, as you draw nigh to the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, offer this prayer continually, “Lord, extend the kingdom of thy dear Son.”
Such a petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all your devotions. Mind that you prove the sincerity of your prayer by labouring to promote the Lord’s glory.
《My Utmost for His Highest》April 2
The Glory That Excels
The Lord . . . hath sent me that thou mightest receive thy sight. — Acts 9:17
When Paul received his sight, he received spiritually an insight into the Person of Jesus Christ, and the whole of his subsequent life and preaching was nothing but Jesus Christ – "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." No attraction was ever allowed to hold the mind and soul of Paul save the face of Jesus Christ.
We have to learn to maintain an unimpaired state of character up to the last notch revealed in the vision of Jesus Christ.
The abiding characteristic of a spiritual man is the interpretation of the Lord Jesus Christ to himself, and the interpretation to others of the purposes of God. The one concentrated passion of the life is Jesus Christ. Whenever you meet this note in a man, you feel he is a man after God’s own heart.
Never allow anything to deflect you from insight into Jesus Christ. It is the test of whether you are spiritual or not. To be unspiritual means that other things have a growing fascination for you.
"Since mine eyes have looked on Jesus,
I’ve lost sight of all beside,
So enchained my spirit’s vision,
Gazing on the Crucified."
Use for《Faith's check book》April 2
《Faith's check book》April 2
Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that everyone will see your progress. — 1 Tim 4:15
This is, practically, a promise that, by diligent meditation and the giving up of our whole mind to our work for the Lord we shall make a progress which all can see. Not by hasty reading but by deep meditation we profit by the Word of God. Not by doing a great deal of work in a slovenly manner, but by giving our best thought to what we attempt, we shall get real profit. “In all labor there is profit” but not in fuss and hurry without true heart-energy.
If we divide ourselves between God and mammon, or Christ and self, we shall make no progress. We must give ourselves wholly to holy things, or else we shall be poor traders in heavenly business, and at our stocktaking no profit will be shown.
Am I a minister? Let me be a minister wholly and not spend my energies upon secondary concerns. What have I to do with party politics or vain amusements? Am I a Christian? Let me make my service of Jesus my occupation, my lifework, my one pursuit. We must be in-and-in with Jesus, and then out-and-out for Jesus, or else we shall make neither progress nor profit, and neither the church nor the world will feel the forceful influence which the Lord would have us exercise.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》April 2
Good Works to Be Done to the Glory of God
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. — 1 Cor 10:31
Through Jesus Christ the Just,
My faint desires receive;
And let me in thy goodness trust,
And to thy glory live.
《Streams In The Desert》April 2
Do Not Yield to Discouragement
As Aaron spoke to the whole community of the Israelites and they looked toward the desert, there the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud,—Exod 16:10
Get into the habit of looking for the silver lining of the cloud and when you have found it, continue to look at it, rather than at the leaden gray in the middle.
Do not yield to discouragement no matter how sorely pressed or beset you may be. A discouraged soul is helpless. He can neither resist the wiles of the enemy himself, while in this state, nor can he prevail in prayer for others.
Flee from every symptom of this deadly foe as you would flee from a viper. And be not slow in turning your back on it, unless you want to bite the dust in bitter defeat.
Search out God’s promises and say aloud of each one: “This promise is mine.” If you still experience a feeling of doubt and discouragement, pour out your heart to God and ask Him to rebuke the adversary who is so mercilessly nagging you.
The very instant you whole-heartedly turn away from every symptom of distrust and discouragement, the blessed Holy Spirit will quicken your faith and inbreathe Divine strength into your soul.
At first you may not be conscious of this, still as you resolutely and uncompromisingly “snub” every tendency toward doubt and depression that assails you, you will soon be made aware that the powers of darkness are falling back.
Oh, if our eyes could only behold the solid phalanx of strength, of power, that is ever behind every turning away from the hosts of darkness, God-ward, what scant heed would be given to the effort of the wily foe to distress, depress, discourage us!
All the marvelous attributes of the Godhead are on the side of the weakest believer, who in the name of Christ, and in simple, childlike trust, yields himself to God and turns to Him for help and guidance. —Selected
On a day in the autumn, I saw a prairie eagle mortally wounded by a rifle shot. His eye still gleamed like a circle of light. Then he slowly turned his head, and gave one more searching and longing look at the sky. He had often swept those starry spaces with his wonderful wings. The beautiful sky was the home of his heart. It was the eagle’s domain. A thousand times he had exploited there his splendid strength. In those far away heights he had played with the lightnings, and raced with the winds, and now, so far away from home, the eagle lay dying, done to the death, because for once he forgot and flew too low. The soul is that eagle. This is not its home. It must not lose the skyward look. We must keep faith, we must keep hope, we must keep courage, we must keep Christ. We would better creep away from the battlefield at once if we are not going to be brave. There is no time for the soul to stampede. Keep the skyward look, my soul; keep the skyward look!
“Keep looking up—
The waves that roar around thy feet,
Jehovah-Jireh will defeat
When looking up.
“Keep looking up—
Though darkness seems to wrap thy soul;
The Light of Light shall fill thy soul
When looking up.
“Keep looking up—
When worn, distracted with the fight;
Your Captain gives you conquering might
When you look up.”
We can never see the sun rise by looking into the west. —Japanese Proverb
Daily Prayer Guide》April 2
They replied, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” — Matt 22:21
When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself public property. — Thomas Jefferson.
We hold these truths to be self-evident—that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
— Declaration of Independence.
Breathes there the man with soul so deadWho never to himself hath said,This is my own, my native land!Whose heart hath ne’er within him burnedAs home his footsteps he hath turnedFrom wandering on a foreign strand?
— Sir Walter Scott.
My Lord, I thank thee for the wisdom and love that is spoken through the lives of strong men and women. Grant that I may be willing to learn of them, and gladly serve where I am needed, remembering that thou art Lord of all. Amen.
《Morning By Morning》April 3
“Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.”— John 19:16
He had been all night in agony, he had spent the early morning at the hall of Caiaphas, he had been hurried from Caiaphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, and from Herod back again to Pilate; he had, therefore, but little strength left, and yet neither refreshment nor rest were permitted him.
They were eager for his blood, and therefore led him out to die, loaded with the cross. O dolorous procession! Well may Salem’s daughters weep. My soul, do thou weep also.
What learn we here as we see our blessed Lord led forth? Do we not perceive that truth which was set forth in shadow by the scapegoat? Did not the high-priest bring the scapegoat, and put both his hands upon its head, confessing the sins of the people, that thus those sins might be laid upon the goat, and cease from the people?
Then the goat was led away by a fit man into the wilderness, and it carried away the sins of the people, so that if they were sought for they could not be found. Now we see Jesus brought before the priests and rulers, who pronounce him guilty; God himself imputes our sins to him, “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all;”
“He was made sin for us;” and, as the substitute for our guilt, bearing our sin upon his shoulders, represented by the cross; we see the great Scapegoat led away by the appointed officers of justice.
Beloved, can you feel assured that he carried your sin? As you look at the cross upon his shoulders, does it represent your sin? There is one way by which you can tell whether he carried your sin or not.
Have you laid your hand upon his head, confessed your sin, and trusted in him? Then your sin lies not on you; it has all been transferred by blessed imputation to Christ, and he bears it on his shoulder as a load heavier than the cross.
Let not the picture vanish till you have rejoiced in your own deliverance, and adored the loving Redeemer upon whom your iniquities were laid.
《Evening by Evening》April 3
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”— Isaiah 53:6
Here a confession of sin common to all the elect people of God. They have all fallen, and therefore, in common chorus, they all say, from the first who entered heaven to the last who shall enter there, “All we like sheep have gone astray.”
The confession, while thus unanimous, is also special and particular: “We have turned every one to his own way.”
There is a peculiar sinfulness about every one of the individuals; all are sinful, but each one with some special aggravation not found in his fellow. It is the mark of genuine repentance that while it naturally associates itself with other penitents, it also takes up a position of loneliness.
“We have turned every one to his own way,” is a confession that each man had sinned against light peculiar to himself, or sinned with an aggravation which he could not perceive in others. This confession is unreserved; there is not a word to detract from its force, nor a syllable by way of excuse.
The confession is a giving up of all pleas of self-righteousness. It is the declaration of men who are consciously guilty–guilty with aggravations, guilty without excuse: they stand with their weapons of rebellion broken in pieces, and cry, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.”
Yet we hear no dolorous wailings attending this confession of sin; for the next sentence makes it almost a song.
“The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
It is the most grievous sentence of the three, but it overflows with comfort. Strange is it that where misery was concentrated mercy reigned; where sorrow reached her climax weary souls find rest.
The Saviour bruised is the healing of bruised hearts. See how the lowliest penitence gives place to assured confidence through simply gazing at Christ on the cross!
《My Utmost for His Highest》April 3
If Thou Hadst Known!If thou hadst known . . . in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. — Luke 19:42
Jesus had entered into Jerusalem in triumph, the city was stirred to its foundations; but a strange god was there, the pride of Pharisaism; it was religious and upright, but a "whited sepulchre."
What is it that blinds me in this "my day"? Have I a strange god – not a disgusting monster, but a disposition that rules me? More than once God has brought me face to face with the strange god and I thought I should have to yield, but I did not do it. I got through the crisis by the skin of my teeth and I find myself in the possession of the strange god still; I am blind to the things which belong to my peace. It is an appalling thing that we can be in the place where the Spirit of God should be getting at us unhinderedly, and yet increase our condemnation in God’s sight.
"If thou hadst known" – God goes direct to the heart, with the tears of Jesus behind. These words imply culpable responsibility; God holds us responsible for what we do not see. "Now they are hid from thine eyes" – because the disposition has never been yielded. The unfathomable sadness of the "might have been!" God never opens doors that have been closed. He opens other doors, but He reminds us that there are doors which we have shut, doors which need never have been shut, imaginations which need never have been sullied. Never be afraid when God brings back the past. Let memory have its way. It is a minister of God with its rebuke and chastisement and sorrow. God will turn the "might have been" into a wonderful culture for the future.
《Faith's check book》April 3
Sensitive to Warning
‘You displayed a sensitive spirit and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard how I intended to make this place and its residents into an appalling example of an accursed people. You tore your clothes and wept before me, and I have heard you,’ says the Lord. — 2 Kgs 22:19
Many despise warning and perish. Happy is he who trembles at the Word of God. Josiah did so, and he was spared the sight of the evil which the Lord determined to send upon Judah because of her great sins. Have you this tenderness? Do you practice this self-humiliation? Then you also shall be spared in the evil day. God sets a mark upon the men that sigh and cry because of the sin of the times. The destroying angel is commanded to keep his sword in its sheath till the elect of God are sheltered: these are best known by their godly fear and their trembling at the Word of the Lord. Are the times threatening? Does infidelity advance with great strides, and do you dread national chastisement upon this polluted nation? Well you may. Yet rest in this promise: “Thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace: and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which l will bring upon this place.” Better still, the Lord Himself may come, and then the days of our mourning shall be ended.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》April 3
Good Works to Be Done After the Example of Christ
If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked. — 1 John 2:6
To do his heavenly Father’s will
Was his employment and delight;
Humility and holy zeal
Shone through his life divinely bright.
《Streams In The Desert》April 3
Honor Him in the Trials
So in the east extol the Lord, along the seacoasts extol the fame of the Lord God of Israel.—Isa 24:15
Mark the little word “in”! We are to honor Him in the trial—in that which is an affliction indeed and though there have been cases where God did not let His saints feel the fire, yet, ordinarily, fire hurts.
But just here we are to glorify Him by our perfect faith in His goodness and love that has permitted all this to come upon us.
And more than that, we are to believe that out of this is coming something more for His praise than could have come but for this fiery trial.
We can only go through some fires with a large faith; little faith will fail. We must have the victory in the furnace. —Margaret Bottome
A man has as much religion as he can show in times of trouble. The men who were cast into the fiery furnace came out as they went in—except their bonds.
How often in some furnace of affliction God strikes them off! Their bodies were unhurt—their skin not even blistered. Their hair was unsinged, their garments not scorched, and even the smell of fire had not passed upon them. And that is the way Christians should come out of furnace trials—liberated from their bonds, but untouched by the flames.
“Triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15).
That is the real triumph—triumphing over sickness, in it; triumphing over death, dying; triumphing over adverse circumstances, in them. Oh, believe me, there is a power that can make us victors in the strife. There are heights to be reached where we can look down and over the way we have come, and sing our song of triumph on this side of Heaven. We can make others regard us as rich, while we are poor, and make many rich in our poverty. Our triumph is to be in it. Christ’s triumph was in His humiliation. Possibly our triumph, also, is to be made manifest in what seems to others humiliation. —Margaret Bottome
Is there not something captivating in the sight of a man or a woman burdened with many tribulations and yet carrying a heart as sound as a bell? Is there not something contagiously valorous in the vision of one who is greatly tempted, but is more than conqueror? Is it not heartening to see some pilgrim who is broken in body, but who retains the splendor of an unbroken patience? What a witness all this offers to the enduement of His grace! —J. H. Jowett
“When each earthly prop gives under,
And life seems a restless sea,
Are you then a God-kept wonder,
Satisfied and calm and free?”
《Daily Prayer Guide》April 3
I put on righteousness and it clothed me, my just dealing was like a robe and a turban; — Job 29:14
Sum up at night what thou hast done by dayAnd in the morning what thou hast to do:Dress and undress thy soul: mark the decayAnd growth of it; if with thy watch that tooBe dowl, then wind up both; since we shall beMost surely judged, make thy accounts agree.
— George Herbert.
To look up and not down,
To look forward and not back,
To look out and not in, and
To lend a hand.
— Edward E.
Hale.There is a healthy hardiness about real dignity that never dreads contact and communion with others, however humble.
— Washington Irving.
My Lord, I pray that I may always be found clothed in love and kindness. Make me worthy to minister to those who may be dependent on me, and whether they be rich or poor, high or low, may I try to help them. Amen.
Use for《Morning By Morning》April 4
Use for《Evening by Evening》April 4
《Morning By Morning》April 4
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”— 2 Corinthians 5:21
Mourning Christian! why weepest thou? Art thou mourning over thine own corruptions? Look to thy perfect Lord, and remember, thou art complete in him; thou art in God’s sight as perfect as if thou hadst never sinned; nay, more than that, the Lord our Righteousness hath put a divine garment upon thee, so that thou hast more than the righteousness of man–thou hast the righteousness of God.
O thou who art mourning by reason of inbred sin and depravity, remember, none of thy sins can condemn thee. Thou hast learned to hate sin; but thou hast learned also to know that sin is not thine–it was laid upon Christ’s head.
Thy standing is not in thyself–it is in Christ; thine acceptance is not in thyself, but in thy Lord; thou art as much accepted of God today, with all thy sinfulness, as thou wilt be when thou standest before his throne, free from all corruption.
O, I beseech thee, lay hold on this precious thought, perfection in Christ! For thou art “complete in him.”
With thy Saviour’s garment on, thou art holy as the Holy one. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
Christian, let thy heart rejoice, for thou art “accepted in the beloved”–what hast thou to fear? Let thy face ever wear a smile; live near thy Master; live in the suburbs of the Celestial City; for soon, when thy time has come, thou shalt rise up where thy Jesus sits, and reign at his right hand; and all this because the divine Lord “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
《Evening by Evening》April 4
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”— Isaiah 2:3
It is exceedingly beneficial to our souls to mount above this present evil world to something nobler and better.
The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches are apt to choke everything good within us, and we grow fretful, desponding, perhaps proud and carnal. It is well for us to cut down these thorns and briers, for heavenly seed sown among them is not likely to yield a harvest; and where shall we find a better sickle with which to cut them down than communion with God and the things of the kingdom?
In the valleys of Switzerland, many of the inhabitants are deformed, and all wear a sickly appearance, for the atmosphere is charged with miasma, and is close and stagnant; but up yonder, on the mountain, you find a hardy race, who breathe the clear fresh air as it blows from the virgin snows of the Alpine summits.
It would be well if the dwellers in the valley could frequently leave their abodes among the marshes and the fever mists, and inhale the bracing element upon the hills. It is to such an exploit of climbing that I invite you this evening.
May the Spirit of God assist us to leave the mists of fear and the fevers of anxiety, and all the ills which gather in this valley of earth, and to ascend the mountains of anticipated joy and blessedness.
May God the Holy Spirit cut the cords that keep us here below, and assist us to mount! We sit too often like chained eagles fastened to the rock, only that, unlike the eagle, we begin to love our chain, and would, perhaps, if it came really to the test, be loath to have it snapped.
May God now grant us grace, if we cannot escape from the chain as to our flesh, yet to do so as to our spirits; and leaving the body, like a servant, at the foot of the hill, may our soul, like Abraham, attain the top of the mountain, there to indulge in communion with the Most High.
《My Utmost for His Highest》April 4
Those Borders Of Distrust
Behold, the hour cometh . . . that ye shall be scattered. — John 16:32
Jesus is not rebuking the disciples, their faith was real, but it was disturbed; it was not at work in actual things. The disciples were scattered to their own interests, alive to interests that never were in Jesus Christ. After we have been perfectly related to God in sanctification, our faith has to be worked out in actualities. We shall be scattered, not into work, but into inner desolations and made to know what internal death to God’s blessings means. Are we prepared for this? It is not that we choose it, but that God engineers our circumstances so that we are brought there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is bolstered up by feelings and by blessings. When once we get there, no matter where God places us or what the inner desolations are, we can praise God that all is well. That is faith being worked out in actualities.
". . . and shall leave Me alone." Have we left Jesus alone by the scattering of His providence? Because we do not see God in our circumstances? Darkness comes by the sovereignty of God. Are we prepared to let God do as He likes with us – prepared to be separated from conscious blessings? Until Jesus Christ is Lord, we all have ends of our own to serve; our faith is real, but it is not permanent yet. God is never in a hurry; if we wait, we shall see that God is pointing out that we have not been interested in Himself but only in His blessings. The sense of God’s blessing is elemental.
"Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Spiritual grit is what we need.
Use for《My Utmost for His Highest》April 4
Use for《My Utmost for His Highest》April 4
Use for《Faith's check book》April 4
《Faith's check book》April 4
I will send hornets before you that will drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite before you. — Exod 23:28
What the hornets were we need not consider. They were God’s own army which He sent before His people to sting their enemies and render Israel’s conquest easy. Our God by His own chosen means will fight for His people and gall their foes before they come into the actual battle. Often He confounds the adversaries of truth by methods in which reformers themselves have no hand. The air is full of mysterious influences which harass Israel’s foes. We read in the Apocalypse that “the earth helped the woman.”
Let us never fear. The stars in their courses fight against the enemies of our souls. Oftentimes when we march to the conflict we find no host to contend with. “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” God’s hornets can do more than our weapons. We could never dream of the victory being won by such means as Jehovah will use. We must obey our marching orders and go forth to the conquest of the nations for Jesus, and we shall find that the Lord has gone before us and prepared the way; so that in the end we will joyfully confess, “His own right hand and his holy arm, have gotten him the victory.”
《Believer's Daily Treasure》April 4
Good Works to Be Done Through the Grace of Christ
Now may the God of peace who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us what is pleasing before him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. Amen. — Heb 13:20-21
Then shall we do, with pure delight,
Whate’er is pleasing in thy sight,
As vessels of thy richest grace;
And, having thy whole counsel done,
To thee and thy co-equal Son
Ascribe the everlasting praise.
《Streams In The Desert》April 4
Open My Eyes
Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he can see.” The Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw that the hill was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.—2 Kgs 6:17
This is the prayer we need to pray for ourselves and for one another, “Lord, open our eyes that we may see”; for the world all around us, as well as around the prophet, is full of God’s horses and chariots, waiting to carry us to places of glorious victory. And when our eyes are thus opened, we shall see in all events of life, whether great or small, whether joyful or sad, a “chariot” for our souls.
Everything that comes to us becomes a chariot the moment we treat it as such; and, on the other hand, even the smallest trial may be a Juggernaut car to crush us into misery or despair if we consider it.
It lies with each of us to choose which they shall be. It all depends, not upon what these events are, but upon how we take them. If we lie down under them, and let them roll over us and crush us, they become Juggernaut cars, but if we climb up into them, as into a car of victory, and make them carry us triumphantly onward and upward, they become the chariots of God. —Hannah Whitall Smith
The Lord cannot do much with a crushed soul, hence the adversary’s attempt to push the Lord’s people into despair and hopelessness over the condition of themselves, or of the church. It has often been said that a dispirited army goes forth to battle with the certainty of being beaten. We heard a missionary say recently that she had been invalided home purely because her spirit had fainted, with the consequence that her body sunk also. We need to understand more of these attacks of the enemy upon our spirits and how to resist them. If the enemy can dislodge us from our position, then he seeks to “wear us out” (Daniel 7:25) by a prolonged siege, so that at last we, out of sheer weakness, let go the cry of victory.
《Daily Prayer Guide》April 4
But whoever has the world’s possessions and sees his fellow Christian in need and shuts off his compassion against him, how can the love of God reside in such a person? — 1 John 3:17
“The greatest object in the universe,” said a certain philosopher, “is a good man struggling with adversity”; yet there is still a greater, which is the good man who comes to relieve it.
— Oliver Goldsmith.
Yet I believe that somewhere, soon or late,
A peace will fallUpon the angry reaches of my mind;
A peace initiateIn some heroic hour when I behold
A friend’s long-quested triumph, or unbind
The tressed gold
From a child’s laughing face. I still believe—
So much believe.
— J. Drinkwater.
Almighty God, may I have a liberal heart. Grant that I may feel the needs of thy children in all lands; and may I be willing to give of thy blessings, as I am ready to receive them. May my tribute be not only of tender thoughts and kind words, but may I give of myself, and of what I have, as thou hast through love and wisdom done for me. Amen.
Use for《Morning By Morning》April 5
《Morning By Morning》April 5
“And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.”— Luke 23:26
We see in Simon’s carrying the cross a picture of the work of the Church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer.
But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon’s, it is not our cross, but Christ’s cross which we carry. When you are molested for your piety; when your religion brings the trial of cruel mockings upon you, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ’s cross; and how delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!
You carry the cross after him. You have blessed company; your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of his blood-red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. ‘Tis his cross, and he goes before you as a shepherd goes before his sheep. Take up your cross daily, and follow him.
Do not forget, also, that you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very possible; Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end. Certainly it is so with you; you do but carry the light end of the cross, Christ bore the heavier end.
And remember, though Simon had to bear the cross for a very little while, it gave him lasting honour. Even so the cross we carry is only for a little while at most, and then we shall receive the crown, the glory. Surely we should love the cross, and, instead of shrinking from it, count it very dear, when it works out for us “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
《Evening by Evening》April 5
“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.”— Proverbs 15:33
Humiliation of soul always brings a positive blessing with it. If we empty our hearts of self, God will fill them with his love. He who desires close communion with Christ should remember the word of the Lord, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
Stoop if you would climb to heaven. Do we not say of Jesus, “He descended that he might ascend?” So must you.
You must grow downwards, that you may grow upwards; for the sweetest fellowship with heaven is to be had by humble souls, and by them alone. God will deny no blessing to a thoroughly humbled spirit.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” with all its riches and treasures. The whole exchequer of God shall be made over by deed of gift to the soul which is humble enough to be able to receive it without growing proud because of it.
God blesses us all up to the full measure and extremity of what it is safe for him to do. If you do not get a blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one.
If our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a victory in his holy war, you would pilfer the crown for yourself, and meeting with a fresh enemy you would fall a victim; so that you are kept low for your own safety.
When a man is sincerely humble, and never ventures to touch so much as a grain of the praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God will do for him. Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the God of all grace, and fits us to deal efficiently with our fellow men.
True humility is a flower which will adorn any garden. This is a sauce with which you may season every dish of life, and you will find an improvement in every case.
Whether it be prayer or praise, whether it be work or suffering, the genuine salt of humility cannot be used in excess.
《My Utmost for His Highest》April 5
His Agony And Our Fellowship
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, tarry ye here, and watch with Me. — Matthew 26:36,38
We can never fathom the agony in Gethsemane, but at least we need not misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and Man in one, face to face with sin. We know nothing about Gethsemane in personal experience. Gethsemane and Calvary stand for something unique; they are the gateway into Life for us.
It was not the death on the cross that Jesus feared in Gethsemane; He stated most emphatically that He came on purpose to die. In Gethsemane He feared lest He might not get through as Son of Man. He would get through as Son of God – Satan could not touch Him there; but Satan’s onslaught was that He would get through as an isolated Figure only; and that would mean that He could be no Saviour. Read the record of the agony in the light of the temptation: "Then the devil leaveth Him for a season." In Gethsemane Satan came back and was again overthrown. Satan’s final onslaught against our Lord as Son of Man is in Gethsemane.
The agony in Gethsemane is the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Saviour of the world. The veil is drawn aside to reveal all it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God. His agony is the basis of the simplicity of our salvation. The Cross of Christ is a triumph for the Son of Man. It was not only a sign that Our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to save the human race. Every human being can get through into the presence of God now because of what the Son of Man went through.
Use for《My Utmost for His Highest》April 5
Use for《Faith's check book》April 5
《Faith's check book》April 5
Remember these things, O Jacob, O Israel, for you are my servant. I formed you to be my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you! — Isa 44:21
Our Jehovah cannot so forget His servants as to cease to love them. He chose them not for a time but forever. He knew what they would be when He called them into the divine family. He blots out their sins like a cloud; and we may be sure that He will not turn them out of doors for iniquities which He has blotted out. It would be blasphemy to imagine such a thing.
He will not forget them so as to cease to think of them. One forgetful moment on the part of our God would be our ruin. Therefore He says, “Thou shalt not be forgotten of me,” Men forget us; those whom we have benefited turn against us. We have no abiding place in the fickle hearts of men; but God will never forget one of His true servants. He binds Himself to us not by what we do for Him but by what He has done for us. We have been loved too long and bought at too great a price to be now forgotten. Jesus sees in us His soul’s travail, and that He never can forget. The Father sees in us the spouse of His Son, and the Spirit sees in us His own effectual work. The Lord thinketh upon us. This day we shall be succored and sustained. Oh, that the Lord may never be forgotten of us!
《Believer's Daily Treasure》April 5
Good Works to Be Done in the Name of Christ
And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. — Col 3:17
Whate’er I say or do,
Thy glory be my aim;
My offerings all be offered through
His ever blessed name.
《Streams In The Desert》April 5
God's Mysterious Dealings
Go and close the door behind you and your sons. Pour the olive oil into all the containers; set aside each one when you have filled it.”—2 Kgs 4:4
They were to be alone with God, for they were not dealing with the laws of nature, nor human government, nor the church, nor the priesthood, nor even with the great prophet of God, but they must needs be isolated from all creatures, from all leaning circumstances, from all props of human reason, and swung off, as it were, into the vast blue inter-stellar space, hanging on God alone, in touch with the fountain of miracles.
Here is a part in the programme of God’s dealings, a secret chamber of isolation in prayer and faith which every soul must enter that is very fruitful.
There are times and places where God will form a mysterious wall around us, and cut away all props, and all the ordinary ways of doing things, and shut us up to something Divine, which is utterly new and unexpected, something that old circumstances do not fit into, where we do not know just what will happen, where God is cutting the cloth of our lives on a new pattern, where He makes us look to Himself.
Most religious people live in a sort of treadmill life, where they can calculate almost everything that will happen, but the souls that God leads out into immediate and special dealings, He shuts in where all they know is that God has hold of them, and is dealing with them, and their expectation is from Him alone.
Like this widow, we must be detached from outward things and attached inwardly to the Lord alone in order to see His wonders. —Soul Food
In the sorest trials God often makes the sweetest discoveries of Himself. —Gems
“God sometimes shuts the door and shuts us in,
That He may speak, perchance through grief or pain,
And softly, heart to heart, above the din,
May tell some precious thought to us again.”
《Daily Prayer Guide》April 5
The hope of the righteous is joy, but the expectation of the wicked will remain unfulfilled. — Prov 10:28
As morning hears before it run
The music of the mounting sun,
And laughs to watch his trophies won
From darkness, and her hosts undone,
And all the night becomes a breath,
Nor dreams that fear should hear and flee
The summer menace of the sea,
So hear our hope what life may be,
And know it not for death.
— Algernon Charles Swinburne.
I came from God, and I’m going back to God, and I won’t have any gaps of death in the middle of my life. — George MacDonald.
Lord God, teach me the way and show me the light of the eternal day; and may the vision fill my soul as I take courage and follow it. May I not be fearful of what may be provided, but remember that before the creation of life thou didst have a purpose in death. May I be trustful. Amen.
Use for《Morning By Morning》April 6
Use for《Evening by Evening》April 6
《Morning By Morning》April 6
“Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”— Hebrews 13:13
Jesus, bearing his cross, went forth to suffer without the gate. The Christian’s reason for leaving the camp of the world’s sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but because Jesus did so; and the disciple must follow his Master.
Christ was “not of the world:” his life and his testimony were a constant protest against conformity with the world. Never was such overflowing affection for men as you find in him; but still he was separate from sinners.
In like manner Christ’s people must “go forth unto him.” They must take their position “without the camp,” as witness-bearers for the truth. They must be prepared to tread the straight and narrow path. They must have bold, unflinching, lion-like hearts, loving Christ first, and his truth next, and Christ and his truth beyond all the world. Jesus would have his people “go forth without the camp” for their own sanctification.
You cannot grow in grace to any high degree while you are conformed to the world. The life of separation may be a path of sorrow, but it is the highway of safety; and though the separated life may cost you many pangs, and make every day a battle, yet it is a happy life after all.
No joy can excel that of the soldier of Christ: Jesus reveals himself so graciously, and gives such sweet refreshment, that the warrior feels more calm and peace in his daily strife than others in their hours of rest.
The highway of holiness is the highway of communion. It is thus we shall hope to win the crown if we are enabled by divine grace faithfully to follow Christ “without the camp.” The crown of glory will follow the cross of separation.
A moment’s shame will be well recompensed by eternal honour; a little while of witness-bearing will seem nothing when we are “forever with the Lord.”
《Evening by Evening》April 6
“They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.”— Psalm 118:12
Our Lord Jesus, by his death, did not purchase a right to a part of us only, but to the entire man. He contemplated in his passion the sanctification of us wholly, spirit, soul, and body; that in this triple kingdom he himself might reign supreme without a rival.
It is the business of the newborn nature which God has given to the regenerate to assert the rights of the Lord Jesus Christ. My soul, so far as thou art a child of God, thou must conquer all the rest of thyself which yet remains unblest; thou must subdue all thy powers and passions to the silver sceptre of Jesus’ gracious reign, and thou must never be satisfied till he who is King by purchase becomes also King by gracious coronation, and reigns in thee supreme.
Seeing, then, that sin has no right to any part of us, we go about a good and lawful warfare when we seek, in the name of God, to drive it out.
O my body, thou art a member of Christ: shall I tolerate thy subjection to the prince of darkness?
O my soul, Christ has suffered for thy sins, and redeemed thee with his most precious blood: shall I suffer thy memory to become a storehouse of evil, or thy passions to be firebrands of iniquity?
Shall I surrender my judgment to be perverted by error, or my will to be led in fetters of iniquity? No, my soul, thou art Christ’s, and sin hath no right to thee.
Be courageous concerning this, O Christian! be not dispirited, as though your spiritual enemies could never be destroyed. You are able to overcome them–not in your own strength–the weakest of them would be too much for you in that; but you can and shall overcome them through the blood of the Lamb.
Do not ask, “How shall I dispossess them, for they are greater and mightier than I?” but go to the strong for strength, wait humbly upon God, and the mighty God of Jacob will surely come to the rescue, and you shall sing of victory through his grace.
《My Utmost for His Highest》April 6
The Collision Of God And Sin
Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree. — 1 Peter 2:24
The Cross of Jesus is the revelation of God’s judgment on sin. Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Cross of Jesus Christ. The Cross was a superb triumph in which the foundations of hell were shaken. There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jesus Christ did on the Cross: He switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with God. He made Redemption the basis of human life, that is, He made a way for every son of man to get into communion with God.
The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross. Beware of separating God manifest in the flesh from the Son becoming sin. The Incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption. God became incarnate for the purpose of putting away sin; not for the purpose of Self-realization. The Cross is the centre of Time and of Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both.
The Cross is not the cross of a man but the Cross of God, and the Cross of God can never be realized in human experience. The Cross is the exhibition of the nature of God, the gateway whereby any individual of the human race can enter into union with God. When we get to the Cross, we do not go through it; we abide in the life to which the Cross is the gateway.
The centre of salvation is the Cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much. The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened – but the crash is on the heart of God.
Use for《My Utmost for His Highest》April 6
Use for《Faith's check book》April 6
《Faith's check book》April 6
One King, One Lord
The Lord will then be king over all the earth. In that day the Lord will be seen as one with a single name. — Zech 14:9
Blessed prospect! This is no dream of an enthusiast but the declaration of the infallible Word. Jehovah shall be known among all people, and His gracious sway shall be acknowledged by every tribe of man. Today, it is far from being so. Where do any bow before the great King? How much there is of rebellion! What lords many and gods many there are on the earth! Even among professed Christians what diversities of ideas there are about Him and His gospel! One day there shall be one King, one Jehovah, and one name for the living God. O Lord, hasten it! We daily cry, “Thy kingdom come.”
We will not discuss the question as to when this shall be lest we lose the comfort of the certainty that it shall be. So surely as the Holy Ghost spake by His prophets, so surely shall the whole earth be filled with the glory of the Lord. Jesus did not die in vain. The Spirit of God worketh not in vain. The Father’s eternal purposes shall not be frustrated. Here, where Satan triumphed, Jesus shall be crowned, and the Lord God Omnipotent shall reign. Let us go our way to our daily work and warfare made strong in faith.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》April 6
Improvement of Time
And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. — Rom 13:11
The time is short, but who can tell
How short his time below may be?
To-day on earth his soul may dwell,
To-morrow in eternity.
《Streams In The Desert》April 6
Watch For God
I will stand at my watch post; I will remain stationed on the city wall. I will keep watching, so I can see what he says to me and can know how I should answer when he counters my argument.—Hab 2:1
There is no waiting on God for help, and there is no help from God, without watchful expectation on our part. If we ever fail to receive strength and defense from Him, it is because we are not on the outlook for it. Many a proffered succour from heaven goes past us, because we are not standing on our watch-tower to catch the far-off indications of its approach, and to fling open the gates of our heart for its entrance. He whose expectation does not lead him to be on the alert for its coming will get but little. Watch for God in the events of your life.
The old homely proverb says: “They that watch for Providence will never want a providence to watch for,” and you may turn it the other way and say, “They that do not watch for providences will never have a providence to watch for.” Unless you put out your water-jars when it rains you will catch no water.
We want to be more business-like and use common sense with God in pleading promises. If you were to go to one of the banks, and see a man go in and out and lay a piece of paper on the table, and take it up again and nothing more—if he did that several times a day, I think there would soon be orders to keep the man out.
Those men who come to the bank in earnest present their checks, they wait until they receive their gold, and then they go; but not without having transacted real business.
They do not put the paper down, speak about the excellent signature, and discuss the excellent document; but they want their money for it, and they are not content without it. These are the people who are always welcome at the bank, and not triflers. Alas, a great many people play at praying. They do not expect God to give them an answer, and thus they are mere triflers. Our Heavenly Father would have us do real business with Him in our praying. —C. H. Spurgeon
“Thine expectation shall not be cut off.”
《Daily Prayer Guide》April 6
Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. The devil is about to have some of you thrown into prison so you may be tested, and you will experience suffering for ten days. Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown that is life itself. — Rev 2:10
Even if the sacrifices which are made to duty and virtue are painful to make, they are well repaid by the sweet recollections which they leave at the bottom of the heart.
— Jean B. Rousseau.
I am the man of a thousand loves,
A thousand loves have I;
And all my loves are white-winged doves,
That into my soul would fly.
I am the man of a thousand friends
Of tuneful memory;
And each of them spends the delicate ends
Of a brilliant day with me.
And all my gifts are magical words
That sing sweet songs to me;
And the sensitive words are caroling birds
In the garden of imagery.
— Edwin Leibfreed.
Loving Father, I bless thee for thy love and ministry. May I enter into a broader conception of sharing thy gifts. May I not seek thy blessings to keep, but to use for renewed inspiration. Amen.
Use for《Morning By Morning》April 7
Use for《Morning By Morning》April 7
Use for《Evening by Evening》April 7
Use for《Evening by Evening》April 7
《Morning By Morning》April 7
“O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.”— Psalm 4:2
An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honours which the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long expected King.
1. They gave him a procession of honour, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, men and women, took a part, he himself bearing his cross. This is the triumph which the world awards to him who comes to overthrow man’s direst foes. Derisive shouts are his only acclamations, and cruel taunts his only paeans of praise.
2. They presented him with the wine of honour. Instead of a golden cup of generous wine they offered him the criminal’s stupefying death-draught, which he refused because he would preserve an uninjured taste wherewith to taste of death; and afterwards when he cried, “I thirst,” they gave him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to his mouth upon a sponge. Oh! wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King’s Son.
3. He was provided with a guard of honour, who showed their esteem of him by gambling over his garments, which they had seized as their booty. Such was the body-guard of the adored of heaven; a quaternion of brutal gamblers.
4. A throne of honour was found for him upon the bloody tree; no easier place of rest would rebel men yield to their liege Lord. The cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world’s feeling towards him; “There,” they seemed to say, “thou Son of God, this is the manner in which God himself should be treated, could we reach him.”
5. The title of honour was nominally “King of the Jews,” but that the blinded nation distinctly repudiated, and really called him “King of thieves,” by preferring Barabbas, and by placing Jesus in the place of highest shame between two thieves. His glory was thus in all things turned into shame by the sons of men, but it shall yet gladden the eyes of saints and angels, world without end.
《Evening by Evening》April 7
“Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.”— Psalm 51:14
In this solemn confession, it is pleasing to observe that David plainly names his sin. He does not call it manslaughter, nor speak of it as an imprudence by which an unfortunate accident occurred to a worthy man, but he calls it by its true name, bloodguiltiness.
He did not actually kill the husband of Bathsheba; but still it was planned in David’s heart that Uriah should be slain, and he was before the Lord his murderer.
Learn in confession to be honest with God. Do not give fair names to foul sins; call them what you will, they will smell no sweeter. What God sees them to be, that do you labour to feel them to be; and with all openness of heart acknowledge their real character.
Observe, that David was evidently oppressed with the heinousness of his sin. It is easy to use words, but it is difficult to feel their meaning. The fifty-first Psalm is the photograph of a contrite spirit. Let us seek after the like brokenness of heart; for however excellent our words may be, if our heart is not conscious of the hell-deservingness of sin, we cannot expect to find forgiveness.
Our text has in it an earnest prayer–it is addressed to the God of salvation. It is his prerogative to forgive; it is his very name and office to save those who seek his face. Better still, the text calls him the God of my salvation.
Yes, blessed be his name, while I am yet going to him through Jesus’ blood, I can rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The psalmist ends with a commendable vow: if God will deliver him he will sing–nay, more, he will “sing aloud.” Who can sing in any other style of such a mercy as this! But note the subject of the song–“Thy righteousness.”
We must sing of the finished work of a precious Saviour; and he who knows most of forgiving love will sing the loudest.
《My Utmost for His Highest》April 7
Why Are We Not Told Plainly?
He charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. — Mark 9:9
Say nothing until the Son of man is risen in you – until the life of the risen Christ so dominates you that you understand what the historic Christ taught. When you get to the right state on the inside, the word which Jesus has spoken is so plain that you are amazed you did not see it before. You could not understand it before, you were not in the place in disposition where it could be borne.
Our Lord does not hide these things; they are unbearable until we get into a fit condition of spiritual life. "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." There must be communion with His risen life before a particular word can be borne by us. Do we know anything about the impartation of the risen life of Jesus? The evidence that we do is that His word is becoming interpretable to us. God cannot reveal anything to us if we have not His Spirit. An obstinate outlook will effectually hinder God from revealing anything to us. If we have made up our minds about a doctrine, the light of God will come no more to us on that line, we cannot get it. This obtuse stage will end immediately [when] His resurrection life has its way with us.
"Tell no man . . " – so many do tell what they saw on the mount of transfiguration. They have had the vision and they testify to it, but the life does not tally with it, the Son of man is not yet risen in them. I wonder when He is going to be formed in you and in me?
《Faith's check book》April 7
Without Fear of Man
Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you belong to the Lord, and they will respect you. — Deut 28:10
Then we can have no reason to be afraid of them. This would show a mean spirit and be a token of unbelief rather than of faith. God can make us so like Himself that men shall be forced to see that we rightly bear His name and truly belong to the holy Jehovah. Oh, that we may obtain this grace which the Lord waits to bestow!
Be assured that ungodly men have a fear of true saints. They hate them, but they also fear them. Haman trembled because of Mordecai, even when he sought the good man’s destruction. In fact, their hate often arises out of a dread which they are too proud to confess. Let us pursue the path of truth and uprightness without the slightest tremor. Fear is not for us but for those who do ill and fight against the Lord of hosts. If indeed the name of the eternal God is named upon us, we are secure; for, as of old, a Roman had but to say Romanus sum, I am a Roman, and he could claim the protection of all the legions of the vast empire; so every one who is a man of God has omnipotence as his guardian, and God will sooner empty heaven of angels than leave a saint without defense. Be braver than lions for the right, for God is with you.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》April 7
Improvement of Privileges
But as for the seed that landed on good soil, these are the ones who, after hearing the word, cling to it with an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with steadfast endurance. — Luke 8:15
Father of mercies, we have need
Of thy preparing grace;
Let the same hand that gives the seed
Provide a fruitful place.
《Streams In The Desert》April 7
Egypt is totally incapable of helping. For this reason I call her ‘Proud one who is silenced.’”—Isa 30:7
In order really to know God, inward stillness is absolutely necessary. I remember when I first learned this. A time of great emergency had risen in my life, when every part of my being seemed to throb with anxiety, and when the necessity for immediate and vigorous action seemed overpowering; and yet circumstances were such that I could do nothing, and the person who could, would not stir.
For a little while it seemed as if I must fly to pieces with the inward turmoil, when suddenly the still small voice whispered in the depths of my soul, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The word was with power, and I hearkened. I composed my body to perfect stillness, and I constrained my troubled spirit into quietness, and looked up and waited; and then I did “know” that it was God, God even in the very emergency and in my helplessness to meet it; and I rested in Him. It was an experience that I would not have missed for worlds; and I may add also, that out of this stillness seemed to arise a power to deal with the emergency, that very soon brought it to a successful issue. I learned then effectually that my “strength was to sit still.” —Hannah Whitall Smith
There is a perfect passivity which is not indolence. It is a living stillness born of trust. Quiet tension is not trust. It is simply compressed anxiety.
Not in the tumult of the rending storm,
Not in the earthquake or devouring flame;
But in the hush that could all fear transform,
The still, small whisper to the prophet came.
0 Soul, keep silence on the mount of God,
Though cares and needs throb around thee like a sea;
From supplications and desires unshod,
Be still, and hear what God shall say to thee.
All fellowship hath interludes of rest,
New strength maturing in each poise of power;
The sweetest Alleluias of the blest
Are silent, for the space of half an hour.
0 rest, in utter quietude of soul,
Abandon words, leave prayer and praise awhile;
Let thy whole being, hushed in His control,
Learn the full meaning of His voice and smile.
Not as an athlete wrestling for a crown,
Not taking Heaven by violence of will;
But with thy Father as a child sit down,
And know the bliss that follows His “Be Still!”
—Mary Rowles Jarvis
《Daily Prayer Guide》April 7
to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth. — Eph 4:23-24
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The child is Father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
— William Wordsworth.
A self-controlled mind is a free mind, and freedom is power. I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers. I call that mind free which resists the bondage of habit, which does not live on its old virtues, but forgets what is behind, and rejoices to pour itself forth in fresh and higher exertions.
— William Ellery Channing.
Lord God, give me the power to control my mind and heart, that I may not be a slave to habits that may keep me from eternal love and blessedness. May I have sympathy and compassion for others, and cherish thy tenderness and mercy as I hold it in my daily life. Amen.
Use for 《Morning By Morning》April 8
Use for《Morning By Morning》April 8
Use for《Evening by Evening》April 8
Use for《Evening by Evening》April 8
《Morning By Morning》April 8
“For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”— Luke 23:31
Among other interpretations of this suggestive question, the following is full of teaching: “If the innocent substitute for sinners, suffer thus, what will be done when the sinner himself–the dry tree–shall fall into the hands of an angry God?”
When God saw Jesus in the sinner’s place, he did not spare him; and when he finds the unregenerate without Christ, he will not spare them. O sinner, Jesus was led away by his enemies: so shall you be dragged away by fiends to the place appointed for you.
Jesus was deserted of God; and if he, who was only imputedly a sinner, was deserted, how much more shall you be?
“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” what an awful shriek! But what shall be your cry when you shall say, “O God! O God! why hast thou forsaken me?” and the answer shall come back, “Because ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh.”
If God spared not his own Son, how much less will he spare you! What whips of burning wire will be yours when conscience shall smite you with all its terrors. Ye richest, ye merriest, ye most self-righteous sinners–who would stand in your place when God shall say, “Awake, O sword, against the man that rejected me; smite him, and let him feel the smart forever”?
Jesus was spit upon: sinner, what shame will be yours! We cannot sum up in one word all the mass of sorrows which met upon the head of Jesus who died for us; therefore it is impossible for us to tell you what streams, what oceans of grief must roll over your spirit if you die as you now are.
You may die so, you may die now. By the agonies of Christ, by his wounds and by his blood, do not bring upon yourselves the wrath to come! Trust in the Son of God, and you shall never di
《Evening by Evening》April 8
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”— Psalm 23:4
Behold, how independent of outward circumstances the Holy Ghost can make the Christian! What a bright light may shine within us when it is all dark without! How firm, how happy, how calm, how peaceful we may be, when the world shakes to and fro, and the pillars of the earth are removed!
Even death itself, with all its terrible influences, has no power to suspend the music of a Christian’s heart, but rather makes that music become more sweet, more clear, more heavenly, till the last kind act which death can do is to let the earthly strain melt into the heavenly chorus, the temporal joy into the eternal bliss! Let us have confidence, then, in the blessed Spirit’s power to comfort us.
Dear reader, are you looking forward to poverty? Fear not; the divine Spirit can give you, in your want, a greater plenty than the rich have in their abundance. You know not what joys may be stored up for you in the cottage around which grace will plant the roses of content.
Are you conscious of a growing failure of your bodily powers? Do you expect to suffer long nights of languishing and days of pain? O be not sad! That bed may become a throne to you. You little know how every pang that shoots through your body may be a refining fire to consume your dross–a beam of glory to light up the secret parts of your soul.
Are the eyes growing dim? Jesus will be your light.
Do the ears fail you? Jesus’ name will be your soul’s best music, and his person your dear delight. Socrates used to say, “Philosophers can be happy without music;” and Christians can be happier than philosophers when all outward causes of rejoicing are withdrawn.
In thee, my God, my heart shall triumph, come what may of ills without! By thy power, O blessed Spirit, my heart shall be exceeding glad, though all things should fail me here below.
《My Utmost for His Highest》April 8
His Resurrection Destiny
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? — Luke 24:26
Our Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life: His Resurrection means that He has power now to convey His life to me. When I am born again from above, I receive from the Risen Lord His very life.
Our Lord’s Resurrection destiny is to bring "many sons unto glory." The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us sons and daughters of God. We are never in the relationship to God that the Son of God is in; but we are brought by the Son into the relation of sonship. When Our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life, to a life He did not live before He was incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before; and His resurrection means for us that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we shall have a body like unto His glorious body, but we can know now the efficacy of His resurrection and walk in newness of life. "I would know Him in the power of His resurrection."
"As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him." "Holy Spirit" is the experimental name for Eternal Life working in human beings here and now. The Holy Spirit is the Deity in proceeding power Who applies the Atonement to our experience. Thank God it is gloriously and majestically true that the Holy Ghost can work in us the very nature of Jesus if we will obey Him.
Use for《My Utmost for His Highest》April 8
Use for《Faith's check book》April 8
Use for《Faith's check book》April 8
《Faith's check book》April 8
Preserved to Work's End
The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Have courage, for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” — Acts 23:11
Are you a witness for the Lord, and are you just now in danger? Then remember that you are immortal till your work is done. If the Lord has more witness for you to bear, you will live to bear it. Who is he that can break the vessel which the Lord intends again to use?
If there is no more work for you to do for your Master, it cannot distress you that He is about to take you home and put you where you will be beyond the reach of adversaries. Your witness-bearing for Jesus is your chief concern, and you cannot be stopped in it till it is finished: therefore, be at peace. Cruel slander, wicked misrepresentation, desertion of friends, betrayal by the most trusted one, and whatever else may come cannot hinder the Lord’s purpose concerning you. The Lord stands by you in the night of your sorrow, and He says, “Thou must yet bear witness for me.” Be calm; be filled with joy in the Lord.
If you do not need this promise just now, you may very soon. Treasure it up. Remember also to pray for missionaries and all persecuted ones, that the Lord would preserve them even to the completion of their lifework.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》April 8
Improvement of Opportunities
Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might, because there is neither work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, the place where you will eventually go. — Eccl 9:10
Whate’er our hands shall find to do,
To-day may we with zeal pursue;
Seize fleeting moments as they fly,
And live as we would wish to die.
《Streams In The Desert》April 8
Thankful for the Thorns
Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.—2 Cor 12:10
The literal translation of this verse gives a startling emphasis to it, and makes it speak for itself with a force that we have probably never realized. Here It is: “Therefore I take pleasure in being without strength, in insults, in being pinched, in being chased about, in being cooped up in a corner for Christ’s sake; for when I am without strength, then am I dynamite.”
Here is the secret of Divine all-sufficiency, to come to the end of everything in ourselves and in our circumstances. When we reach this place, we will stop asking for sympathy because of our hard situation or bad treatment, for we will recognize these things as the very conditions of our blessing, and we will turn from them to God and find in them a claim upon Him. —A. B. Simpson
George Matheson, the well-known blind preacher of Scotland, who recently went to be with the Lord, said: "My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn. I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorn. I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross; but I have never thought of my cross as itself a present glory.
“Teach me the glory of my cross; teach me the value of my thorn. Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbows.”
“Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through the cypress trees.”
《Daily Prayer Guide》April 8
complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. — Phil 2:2-3
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life from aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
— Emily Dickinson.
The most solid comfort one can fall back upon is the thought that the business of one’s life is to help in some small way to reduce the sum of ignorance, degradation, and misery on the face of this beautiful earth.
— George Eliot.
My Father, take away the spirit, if I may be inclined to keep the best, and to be always seeking my portion. May I have the desire to share with those who have less, and to give to those who may have more, whether it be of bread or love. Amen.