O Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Use for 《Evening by Evening》Aug 1
Use for 《Evening by Evening》Aug 1
《Morning By Morning》August 1
“And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.”— Ruth 2:2
Downcast and troubled Christian, come and glean today in the broad field of promise. Here are abundance of precious promises, which exactly meet thy wants. Take this one: “He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax.”
Doth not that suit thy case? A reed, helpless, insignificant, and weak, a bruised reed, out of which no music can come; weaker than weakness itself; a reed, and that reed bruised, yet, he will not break thee; but on the contrary, will restore and strengthen thee.
Thou art like the smoking flax: no light, no warmth, can come from thee; but he will not quench thee; he will blow with his sweet breath of mercy till he fans thee to a flame. Wouldst thou glean another ear?
“Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What soft words! Thy heart is tender, and the Master knows it, and therefore he speaketh so gently to thee. Wilt thou not obey him, and come to him even now?
Take another ear of corn: “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, I will help thee, saith the Lord and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” How canst thou fear with such a wonderful assurance as this? Thou mayest gather ten thousand such golden ears as these!
“I have blotted out thy sins like a cloud, and like a thick cloud thy transgressions.” Or this, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Or this, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come, and let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.” Our Master’s field is very rich; behold the handfuls. See, there they lie before thee, poor timid believer! Gather them up, make them thine own, for Jesus bids thee take them.
Be not afraid, only believe! Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation and feed on them with joy.
《Evening by Evening》August 1
“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.”— Psalm 65:11
All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake his mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave us a legacy of darkness, but our God never ceases to shine upon his children with beams of love.
Like a river, his lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fulness inexhaustible as his own nature. Like the atmosphere which constantly surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all his creatures; in it, as in their element, they live, and move, and have their being.
Yet as the sun on summer days gladdens us with beams more warm and bright than at other times, and as rivers are at certain seasons swollen by the rain, and as the atmosphere itself is sometimes fraught with more fresh, more bracing, or more balmy influences than heretofore, so is it with the mercy of God; it hath its golden hours; its days of overflow, when the Lord magnifieth his grace before the sons of men.
Amongst the blessings of the nether springs, the joyous days of harvest are a special season of excessive favour. It is the glory of autumn that the ripe gifts of providence are then abundantly bestowed; it is the mellow season of realization, whereas all before was but hope and expectation.
Great is the joy of harvest. Happy are the reapers who fill their arms with the liberality of heaven. The Psalmist tells us that the harvest is the crowning of the year. Surely these crowning mercies call for crowning thanksgiving! Let us render it by the inward emotions of gratitude.
Let our hearts be warmed; let our spirits remember, meditate, and think upon this goodness of the Lord. Then let us praise him with our lips, and laud and magnify his name from whose bounty all this goodness flows. Let us glorify God by yielding our gifts to his cause. A practical proof of our gratitude is a special thank-offering to the Lord of the harvest.
《My Utmost for His Highest》August 1
Something More About His Ways
When Jesus had made an end of commanding his disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. — Matthew 11:1
He comes where He commands us to leave. If when God said “Go,” you stayed because you were so concerned about your people at home, you robbed them of the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ Himself. When you obeyed and left all consequences to God, the Lord went into your city to teach; as long as you would not obey, you were in the way. Watch where you begin to debate and to put what you call duty in competition with your Lord’s commands. “I know He told me to go, but then my duty was here;” that means you do not believe that Jesus means what He says.
He teaches where He instructs us not to. “Master, . . . let us make three tabernacles.” Are we playing the spiritual amateur providence in other lives? Are we so noisy in our instruction of others that God cannot get anywhere near them? We have to keep our mouths shut and our spirits alert. God wants to instruct us in regard to His Son, He wants to turn our times of prayer into mounts of transfiguration, and we will not let Him. When we are certain of the way God is going to work, He will never work in that way any more.
He works where He sends us to wait. “Tarry ye . . . until . . .” Wait on God and He will work, but don’t wait in spiritual sulks because you cannot see an inch in front of you! Are we detached enough from our own spiritual hysterics to wait on God? To wait is not to sit with folded hands, but to learn to do what we are told.
These are phases of His ways we rarely recognize.
《Faith's check book》August 1
Covenant Reaches Children
I will confirm my covenant as a perpetual covenant between me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you. — Gen 17:7
O Lord, Thou hast made a covenant with me, Thy servant, in Christ Jesus my Lord; and now, I beseech Thee, let my children be included in its gracious provisions. Permit me to believe this promise as made to me as well as to Abraham. I know that my children are born in sin and shapen in iniquity, even as those of other men; therefore, I ask nothing on the ground of their birth, for well l know that “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” and nothing more. Lord, make them to be born under Thy covenant of grace by Thy Holy Spirit!
I pray for my descendants throughout all generations. Be Thou their God as Thou art mine. My highest honor is that Thou hast permitted me to serve Thee; may my offspring serve Thee in all years to come. O God of Abraham, be the God of his Isaac! O God of Hannah, accept her Samuel!
If, Lord, Thou hast favored me in my family, I pray Thee remember other households of Thy people which remain unblest. Be the God of all the families of Israel. Let not one of those who fear Thy name be tried with a godless and wicked household, for Thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》August 1
Believer Forewarned of Sorrow
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage – I have conquered the world.” — John 16:33
The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown.
No traveller e’er reached that bless’d abode,
Who found not thorns and briars in his road.
《Streams In The Desert》August 1
You Can Trust
and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness.—Rom 6:13
I went one night to hear an address on consecration. No special message came to me from it, but as the speaker kneeled to pray, he dropped this sentence: “O Lord, Thou knowest we can trust the Man that died for us.” And that was my message. I rose and walked down the street to the train; and as I walked, I pondered deeply all that consecration might mean to my life and—I was afraid. And then, above the noise and clatter of the street traffic came to me the message: “You can trust the Man that died for you.”
I got into the train to ride homeward; and as I rode, I thought of the changes, the sacrifices, the disappointments which consecration might mean to me and—I was afraid.
I reached home and sought my room, and there upon my knees I saw my past life. I had been a Christian, an officer in the church, a Sunday-school superintendent, but had never definitely yielded my life to God.
Yet as I thought of the darling plans which might be baffled, of the cherished hopes to be surrendered, and the chosen profession which I might be called upon to abandon—I was afraid.
I did not see the better things God had for me, so my soul was shrinking back; and then for the last time, with a swift rush of convicting power, came to my innermost heart that searching message:
“My child, you can trust the Man that died for you. If you cannot trust Him whom can you trust?”
That settled it for me, for in a flash I saw that the Man who so loved me as to die for me could be absolutely trusted with all the concerns of the life He had saved.
Friend, you can trust the Man that died for you. You can trust Him to baffle no plan which is not best to be foiled, and to carry out every one which is for God’s glory and your highest good. You can trust Him to lead you in the path which is the very best in this world for you.—J H. McC
“Just as I am, thy love unknown,
Has broken every barrier down,
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine ALONE,
O Lamb of God, I come!”
“Life is not salvage to be saved out of the world, but an investment to be used in the world.”
《Daily Prayer Guide》August 1
Always rejoice, — 1 Thess 5:16
Flame-like, the long midday,
With not so much of sweet air as hath stirred
The down upon the spray,
Where nests the panting bird,
Dozing away the hot and tedious noon,
With fitful twitter, sadly out of tune.
Pleasantly comest thou,
Dew of the evening, to the crisped-up grass;
And the curled corn-blades bow,
As the light breezes pass,
That their parched lips may feel thee, and expand,
Thou sweet reviver of the fevered land.
So, to the thirsting soul,
Cometh the dew of the Almighty’s love;
And the scathed heart, made whole,
Turneth in joy above,
To where the spirit freely may expand,
And rove, untrammeled, in that “better land.”
— William D. Gallagher.
Am I wrong to be always so happy? This world is full of grief; Yet there is laughter of sunshine, to see the crisp green on the leaf, Daylight is ringing with song-birds, and brooklets are crooning at night; And why should I make a shadow when God makes all so bright? Earth may be wicked and weary, yet cannot I help being glad! There is sunshine without and within me, and how should I mope or be sad? God would not flood me with blessings, meaning me only to pine Amid all the bounties and beauties he pours upon me and mine; Therefore I will be grateful, and therefore will I rejoice; My heart is singing within me; sing on, O heart and voice.
— Walter C. Smith.
Gracious Father, my soul floods with joy for the blessings of life. May it be my privilege to be happy in them. Help me not to ask thee for anything which will cause loss to another; may I not delight in a lonely view, but as I see thy glory bring others to the vision also. Amen.
《Morning By Morning》August 2
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”— Ephesians 1:11
Our belief in God’s wisdom supposes and necessitates that he has a settled purpose and plan in the work of salvation. What would creation have been without his design? Is there a fish in the sea, or a fowl in the air, which was left to chance for its formation?
Nay, in every bone, joint, and muscle, sinew, gland and blood-vessel, you mark the presence of a God working everything according to the design of infinite wisdom. And shall God be present in creation, ruling over all, and not in grace?
Shall the new creation have the fickle genius of free will to preside over it when divine counsel rules the old creation? Look at Providence! Who knoweth not that not a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father?
Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. God weighs the mountains of our grief in scales, and the hills of our tribulation in balances. And shall there be a God in providence and not in grace? Shall the shell be ordained by wisdom and the kernel be left to blind chance?
No; he knows the end from the beginning. He sees in its appointed place, not merely the corner-stone which he has laid in fair colours, in the blood of his dear Son, but he beholds in their ordained position each of the chosen stones taken out of the quarry of nature, and polished by his grace; he sees the whole from corner to cornice, from base to roof, from foundation to pinnacle.
He hath in his mind a clear knowledge of every stone which shall be laid in its prepared space, and how vast the edifice shall be, and when the top-stone shall be brought forth with shoutings of “Grace! Grace! unto it.”
At the last it shall be clearly seen that in every chosen vessel of mercy, Jehovah did as he willed with his own; and that in every part of the work of grace he accomplished his purpose, and glorified his own name.
《Evening by Evening》August 2
“So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.”— Ruth 2:17
Let me learn from Ruth, the gleaner. As she went out to gather the ears of corn, so must I go forth into the fields of prayer, meditation, the ordinances and hearing the word to gather spiritual food.
The gleaner gathers her portion ear by ear; her gains are little by little: so must I be content to search for single truths, if there be no greater plenty of them. Every ear helps to make a bundle, and every gospel lesson assists in making us wise unto salvation.
The gleaner keeps her eyes open: if she stumbled among the stubble in a dream, she would have no load to carry home rejoicingly at eventide. I must be watchful in religious exercises lest they become unprofitable to me; I fear I have lost much already—O that I may rightly estimate my opportunities, and glean with greater diligence.
The gleaner stoops for all she finds, and so must I. High spirits criticize and object, but lowly minds glean and receive benefit. A humble heart is a great help towards profitably hearing the gospel. The engrafted soul-saving word is not received except with meekness.
A stiff back makes a bad gleaner; down, master pride, thou art a vile robber, not to be endured for a moment. What the gleaner gathers she holds: if she dropped one ear to find another, the result of her day’s work would be but scant; she is as careful to retain as to obtain, and so at last her gains are great.
How often do I forget all that I hear; the second truth pushes the first out of my head, and so my reading and hearing end in much ado about nothing! Do I feel duly the importance of storing up the truth?
A hungry belly makes the gleaner wise; if there be no corn in her hand, there will be no bread on her table; she labours under the sense of necessity, and hence her tread is nimble and her grasp is firm; I have even a greater necessity, Lord, help me to feel it, that it may urge me onward to glean in fields which yield so plenteous a reward to diligence.
《My Utmost for His Highest》August 2
The Discipline Of Difficulty
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. — John 16:33
An average view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble. It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High . . . there shall no evil befall thee" – no plague can come nigh the place where you are at one with God.
If you are a child of God, there certainly will be troubles to meet, but Jesus says do not be surprised when they come. "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world, there is nothing for you to fear." Men who before they were saved would scorn to talk about troubles, often become "fushionless" after being born again because they have a wrong idea of a saint.
God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for to-morrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute. The temptation is to face difficulties from a common-sense standpoint. The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God.
《Faith's check book》August 2
Speak What He Teaches
So now go, and I will be with your mouth and will teach you what you must say.” — Exod 4:12
Many a true servant of the Lord is slow of speech, and when called upon to plead for his Lord, he is in great confusion lest he should spoil a good cause by his bad advocacy. In such a case it is well to remember that the Lord made the tongue which is so slow, and we must take care that we do not blame our maker. It may be that a slow tongue is not so great an evil as a fast one, and fewness of words may be more of a blessing than floods of verbiage. It is also quite certain that real saving power does not lie in human rhetoric, with its tropes, and pretty phrases, and grand displays. Lack of fluency is not so great a lack as it looks.
If God be with our mouth, and with our mind, we shall have something better than the sounding brass of eloquence or the tinkling cymbal of persuasion. God’s teaching is wisdom; His presence is power. Pharaoh had more reason to be afraid of stammering Moses than of the most fluent talker in Egypt; for what he said had power in it; he spoke plagues and deaths. If the Lord be with us in our natural weakness we shall be girt with supernatural power. Therefore, let us speak for Jesus boldly, as we ought to speak.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》August 2
Sources of Sorrow -- Loss of Divine Favour
Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance! Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey! — Ps 51:12
Ah! why, by passing clouds oppress’d,
Should vexing thoughts distract thy breast?
Turn, turn to Him, in every pain,
Whom never suppliant sought in vain.
《Streams In The Desert》August 2
Make a Way
I will make all my mountains into a road; I will construct my roadways.”—Isa 49:11
God will make obstacles serve His purpose. We all have mountains in our lives. There are people and things that threaten to bar our progress in the Divine life. Those heavy claims, that uncongenial occupation, that thorn in the flesh, that daily cross—we think that if only these were removed we might live purer, tenderer, holier lives; and often we pray for their removal.
“Oh, fools, and slow of heart!” These are the very conditions of achievement; they have been put into our lives as the means to the very graces and virtues for which we have been praying so long. Thou hast prayed for patience through long years, but there is something that tries thee beyond endurance; thou hast fled from it, evaded it, accounted it an unsurmountable obstacle to the desired attainment, and supposed that its removal would secure thy immediate deliverance and victory.
Not so! Thou wouldest gain only the cessation of temptations to impatience. But this would not be patience. Patience can be acquired only through just such trials as now seem unbearable. Go back; submit thyself. Claim to be a partaker in the patience of Jesus. Meet thy trials in Him. There is nothing in life which harasses and annoys that may not become subservient to the highest ends. They are His mountains. He puts them there. We know that God will not fail to keep His promise. “God understandeth the way thereof and knoweth the place thereof. For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven”; and when we come to the foot of the mountains, we shall find the way.—Christ in Isaiah, by Meyer
Daily Prayer Guide》August 2
so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move about and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ — Acts 17:27-28
The Holy Supper is kept, indeed,
In whatso we share with another’s need;
Not what we give, but what we share,
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.
— James Russell Lowell.
And when o’er storm and jar I climb,
Beyond life’s atmosphere,
I shall behold the lord of time
And space—of world and year.
O vain, far quest! not thus my heart
Shall ever find its goal!
I turn me home—and there thou art,
My Father, in my soul.
— George Macdonald.
O Lord, my gracious Father, may I not be so eager for more, that I feel I have nothing to spare. Help me to realize that if I may be on the mountain-top, or at the level of the sea, thy spirit may dwell in my soul. May I rejoice that I can always receive and share thy grace and love. Amen.
《Morning By Morning》August 3
“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”— Revelation 21:23
Quietly contemplate the Lamb as the light of heaven. Light in Scripture is the emblem of joy. The joy of the saints in heaven is comprised in this: Jesus chose us, loved us, bought us, cleansed us, robed us, kept us, glorified us: we are here entirely through the Lord Jesus.
Each one of these thoughts shall be to them like a cluster of the grapes of Eshcol. Light is also the cause of beauty. Nought of beauty is left when light is gone. Without light no radiance flashes from the sapphire, no peaceful ray proceedeth from the pearl; and thus all the beauty of the saints above comes from Jesus.
As planets, they reflect the light of the Sun of Righteousness; they live as beams proceeding from the central orb. If he withdrew, they must die; if his glory were veiled, their glory must expire. Light is also the emblem of knowledge.
In heaven our knowledge will be perfect, but the Lord Jesus himself will be the fountain of it. Dark providences, never understood before, will then be clearly seen, and all that puzzles us now will become plain to us in the light of the Lamb.
Oh! what unfoldings there will be and what glorifying of the God of love! Light also means manifestation. Light manifests. In this world it doth not yet appear what we shall be. God’s people are a hidden people, but when Christ receives his people into heaven, he will touch them with the wand of his own love, and change them into the image of his manifested glory.
They were poor and wretched, but what a transformation! They were stained with sin, but one touch of his finger, and they are bright as the sun, and clear as crystal. Oh! what a manifestation! All this proceeds from the exalted Lamb.
Whatever there may be of effulgent splendour, Jesus shall be the centre and soul of it all. Oh! to be present and to see him in his own light, the King of kings, and Lord of lords!
《Evening by Evening》August 3
“For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.”— Luke 8:42
Jesus is passing through the throng to the house of Jairus, to raise the ruler’s dead daughter; but he is so profuse in goodness that he works another miracle while upon the road.
While yet this rod of Aaron bears the blossom of an unaccomplished wonder, it yields the ripe almonds of a perfect work of mercy. It is enough for us, if we have some one purpose, straightway to go and accomplish it; it were imprudent to expend our energies by the way.
Hastening to the rescue of a drowning friend, we cannot afford to exhaust our strength upon another in like danger. It is enough for a tree to yield one sort of fruit, and for a man to fulfil his own peculiar calling.
But our Master knows no limit of power or boundary of mission. He is so prolific of grace, that like the sun which shines as it rolls onward in its orbit, his path is radiant with lovingkindness. He is a swift arrow of love, which not only reaches its ordained target, but perfumes the air through which it flies.
Virtue is evermore going out of Jesus, as sweet odours exhale from flowers; and it always will be emanating from him, as water from a sparkling fountain. What delightful encouragement this truth affords us!
If our Lord is so ready to heal the sick and bless the needy, then, my soul, be not thou slow to put thyself in his way, that he may smile on thee. Be not slack in asking, if he be so abundant in bestowing.
Give earnest heed to his word now, and at all times, that Jesus may speak through it to thy heart. Where he is to be found there make thy resort, that thou mayst obtain his blessing. When he is present to heal, may he not heal thee?
But surely he is present even now, for he always comes to hearts which need him. And dost not thou need him? Ah, he knows how much! Thou Son of David, turn thine eye and look upon the distress which is now before thee, and make thy suppliant whole.
《My Utmost for His Highest》August 3
The Big Compelling Of God
Behold, we go up to Jerusalem. — Luke 18:31
Jerusalem stands in the life of Our Lord as the place where He reached the climax of His Father’s will. "I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me." That was the one dominating interest all through our Lord’s life, and the things He met with on the way, joy or sorrow, success or failure, never deterred Him from His purpose. "He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem."
The great thing to remember is that we go up to Jerusalem to fulfil God’s purpose, not our own. Naturally, our ambitions are our own; in the Christian life we have no aim of our own. There is so much said to-day about our decisions for Christ, our determination to be Christians, our decisions for this and that, but in the New Testament it is the aspect of God’s compelling that is brought out. "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you." We are not taken up into conscious agreement with God’s purpose, we are taken up into God’s purpose without any consciousness at all. We have no conception of what God is aiming at, and as we go on it gets more and more vague. God’s aim looks like missing the mark because we are too short sighted to see what He is aiming at. At the beginning of the Christian life we have our own ideas as to what God’s purpose is – ‘I am meant to go here or there,’ ‘God has called me to do this special work’; and we go and do the thing, and still the big compelling of God remains. The work we do is of no account, it is so much scaffolding compared with the big compelling of God. "He took unto Him the twelve," He takes us all the time. There is more than we have got at as yet.
《Faith's check book》August 3
The Right to Holy Things
but if a priest buys a person with his own money, that person may eat the holy offerings, and those born in the priest’s own house may eat his food. — Lev 22:11
Strangers, sojourners, and servants upon hire were not to eat of holy things. It is so in spiritual matters still. But two classes were free at the sacred table, those who were bought with the priest’s money and those who were born into the priest’s house. Bought and born, these were the two indisputable proofs of a right to holy things.
Bought. Our great High Priest has bought with a price all those who put their trust in Him. They are His absolute property — altogether the Lord’s. Not for what they are in themselves, but for their owner’s sake they are admitted into the same privileges which He Himself enjoys, and “they shall eat of his meat.” He has meat to eat which worldlings know not of. “Because ye belong to Christ,” therefore shall ye share with your Lord.
Born. This is an equally sure way to privilege. If born in the Priest’s house we take our place with the rest of the family. Regeneration makes us fellow-heirs and of the same body, and, therefore, the peace, the joy, the glory, which the Father has given to Christ, Christ has given to us. Redemption and regeneration have given us a double claim to the divine permit of this promise.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》August 3
Sources of Sorrow -- Indwelling Sin
But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. — Rom 7:23
Nature may raise her fleshly strife,
Reluctant to the heavenly life:
But grace omnipotent at length
Shall arm the saint with saving strength,
Through the sharp war with aids attend,
And his last conflict sweetly end.
《Streams In The Desert》August 3
Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong.—1 Cor 16:13 NET
Do not pray for easy lives! Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. —Phillips Brooks.
We must remember that it is not in any easy or self-indulgent life that Christ will lead us to greatness. The easy life leads not upward, but downward. Heaven always is above us, and we must ever be looking up toward it. There are some people who always avoid things that are costly, that require self-denial, or self-restraint and sacrifice, but toil and hardship show us the only way to nobleness. Greatness comes not by having a mossy path made for you through the meadow, but by being sent to hew out a roadway by your own hands. Are you going to reach the mountain splendors?—Selected.
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.
Shun not the struggle; face it. ’Tis God’s gift.
Say not the days are evil—Who’s to blame?
And fold the hands and acquiesece—O shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravely, In God’s name.
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long,
Faint not, fight on! Tomorrow comes the song.
—Maltbie D. Babcock
《Daily Prayer Guide》August 3
How blessed are those who observe his rules, and seek him with all their heart, — Ps 119:2
Set out in the very morning of your lives with a frank and manly determination to look simply for what is right and true in all things…. This is the only way to know God’s will and do it. You may not find it at once, but you have set your face in the true direction to find it.
— Jeremy Taylor.
The important thing in life is to have a great aim, and to possess the aptitude and perseverance to attain it.
Lord God, forbid that I should lose the opportunities of making my life by waiting for sudden developments. Cause me to notice that the tree that bears fruit must first grow the blossom before it may be perfected by the sun: whether thou hast made me greater or less, may I be ashamed to live in untruth and wait in idleness. Amen.
More, More About Jesus
Use for 《Morning By Morning》Aug 4
Use for 《Morning By Morning》Aug 4
《Morning By Morning》August 4
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”— Daniel 11:32
Every believer understands that to know God is the highest and best form of knowledge; and this spiritual knowledge is a source of strength to the Christian. It strengthens his faith.
Believers are constantly spoken of in the Scriptures as being persons who are enlightened and taught of the Lord; they are said to “have an unction from the Holy One,” and it is the Spirit’s peculiar office to lead them into all truth, and all this for the increase and the fostering of their faith.
Knowledge strengthens love, as well as faith. Knowledge opens the door, and then through that door we see our Saviour. Or, to use another similitude, knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait then we love him, we cannot love a Christ whom we do not know, at least, in some degree.
If we know but little of the excellences of Jesus, what he has done for us, and what he is doing now, we cannot love him much; but the more we know him, the more we shall love him.
Knowledge also strengthens hope. How can we hope for a thing if we do not know of its existence? Hope may be the telescope, but till we receive instruction, our ignorance stands in the front of the glass, and we can see nothing whatever; knowledge removes the interposing object, and when we look through the bright optic glass we discern the glory to be revealed, and anticipate it with joyous confidence.
Knowledge supplies us reasons for patience. How shall we have patience unless we know something of the sympathy of Christ, and understand the good which is to come out of the correction which our heavenly Father sends us?
Nor is there one single grace of the Christian which, under God, will not be fostered and brought to perfection by holy knowledge. How important, then, is it that we should grow not only in grace, but in the “knowledge” of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
《Evening by Evening》August 4
“I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD.”— Haggai 2:17
How destructive is the hail to the standing crops, beating out the precious grain upon the ground! How grateful ought we to be when the corn is spared so terrible a ruin! Let us offer unto the Lord thanksgiving.
Even more to be dreaded are those mysterious destroyers—smut, bunt, rust and mildew. These turn the ear into a mass of soot, or render it putrid, or dry up the grain, and all in a manner so beyond all human control that the farmer is compelled to cry, “This is the finger of God.”
Innumerable minute fungi cause the mischief, and were it not for the goodness of God, the rider on the black horse would soon scatter famine over the land. Infinite mercy spares the food of men, but in view of the active agents which are ready to destroy the harvest, right wisely are we taught to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
The curse is abroad; we have constant need of the blessing. When blight and mildew come they are chastisements from heaven, and men must learn to bear the rod, and him that hath appointed it.
Spiritually, mildew is no uncommon evil. When our work is most promising this blight appears. We hoped for many conversions, and lo! a general apathy, an abounding worldliness, or a cruel hardness of heart!
There may be no open sin in those for whom we are labouring, but there is a deficiency of sincerity and decision sadly disappointing our desires. We learn from this our dependence upon the Lord, and the need of prayer that no blight may fall upon our work.
Spiritual pride or sloth will soon bring upon us the dreadful evil, and only the Lord of the harvest can remove it. Mildew may even attack our own hearts, and shrivel our prayers and religious exercises.
May it please the great Husbandman to avert so serious a calamity. Shine, blessed Sun of Righteousness, and drive the blights away.
《My Utmost for His Highest》August 4
The Brave Comradeship Of God
Then He took unto Him the twelve. — Luke 18:31
The bravery of God in trusting us! You say – "But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing in me; I am not of any value." That is why He chose you. As long as you think there is something in you, He cannot choose you because you have ends of your own to serve; but if you have let Him bring you to the end of your self-sufficiency then He can choose you to go with Him to Jerusalem, and that will mean the fulfilment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.
We are apt to say that because a man has natural ability, therefore he will make a good Christian. It is not a question of our equipment but of our poverty, not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a question of natural virtues of strength of character, knowledge, and experience – all that is of no avail in this matter. The only thing that avails is that we are taken up into the big compelling of God and made His comrades (cf. 1 Cor. 1:26-30). The comradeship of God is made up out of men who know their poverty. He can do nothing with the man who thinks that he is of use to God. As Christians we are not out for our own cause at all, we are out for the cause of God, which can never be our cause. We do not know what God is after, but we have to maintain our relationship with Him whatever happens. We must never allow anything to injure our relationship with God; if it does get injured we must take time and get it put right. The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually assailed.
《Faith's check book》August 4
He Blesses and Keeps
“The Lord bless you and protect you; — Num 6:24
This first clause of the high priest’s benediction is substantially a promise. That blessing which our great High Priest pronounces upon us is sure to come, for He speaks the mind of God.
What a joy to abide under the divine blessing! This puts a gracious flavor into all things. If we are blessed, then all our possessions and enjoyments are blessed; yea, our losses and crosses and even our disappointments are blessed. God’s blessing is deep, emphatic, effectual. A man’s blessing may begin and end in words, but the blessing of the Lord makes rich and sanctifies. The best wish we can have for our dearest friend is not “may prosperity attend thee,” but “the Lord bless thee.”
It is equally a delightful thing to be kept of God; kept by Him, kept near Him, kept in Him. They are kept indeed whom God keeps; they are preserved from evil; they are reserved unto boundless happiness. God’s keeping goes with His blessing, to establish it and cause it to endure.
The author of this little book desires that the rich blessing and sure keeping here pronounced may come upon every reader who may at this moment be looking at these lines. Please breathe the text to God as a prayer for His servants.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》August 4
Sources of Sorrow -- A Deceitful Heart
The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is incurably bad. Who can understand it? — Jer 17:9
With flowing tears, Lord, I confess,
My folly and unstedfastness;
When shall this heart more stable be,
Fix’d by thy grace alone on thee?
《Streams In The Desert》August 4
When Do We Praise
So they took away the stone. Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you that you have listened to me.—John 11:41
This is a very strange and unusual order. Lazarus is still in the grave, and the thanksgiving precedes the miracle of resurrection. I thought that the thanksgiving would have risen when the great deed had been wrought, and Lazarus was restored to life again. But Jesus gives thanks for what He is about to receive. The gratitude breaks forth before the bounty has arrived, in the assurance that it is certainly on the way. The song of victory is sung before the battle has been fought. It is the sower who is singing the song of the harvest home. It is thanksgiving before the miracle!
Who thinks of announcing a victory-psalm when the crusaders are just starting out for the field? Where can we hear the grateful song for the answer which has not yet been received? And after all, there is nothing strange or forced, or unreasonable in the Master’s order. Praise is really the most vital preparatory ministry to the working of the miracles. Miracles are wrought by spiritual power. Spiritual power is always proportioned to our faith.—Dr. Jowett
PRAISE CHANGES THINGS
Nothing so pleases God in connection with our prayer as our praise, and nothing so blesses the man who prays as the praise which he offers. I got a great blessing once in China in this connection. I had received bad and sad news from home, and deep shadows had covered my soul. I prayed, but the darkness did not vanish. I summoned myself to endure, but the darkness only deepened. Just then I went to an inland station and saw on the wall of the mission home these words: “Try Thanksgiving.” I did, and in a moment every shadow was gone, not to return. Yes, the Psalmist was right, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.”—Rev. Henry W. Frost
《Daily Prayer Guide》August 4
He let no one oppress them, he disciplined kings for their sake, — 1 Chr 16:21
We look before and after,
And pine for what is not;
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
Yet if we could scorn
Hate and pride and fear,
If we were things born
Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever could come near.
— Percy Bysshe Shelley.
It becomes no man to nurse despair,
But in the teeth of clenched antagonisms
To follow up the worthiest till he die.
— Alfred Tennyson.
My Father, I bless thee for thy patience and forbearance. I pray that thou wilt forgive me for all the sorrow that I have made from rebellion and despair, and with thy forgiveness may I receive patience and cheerful courage. Amen.
Revive thy work, O Lord
Use for 《Evening by Evening》Aug 5
Use for 《Evening by Evening》Aug 5
《Morning By Morning》August 5
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”— Romans 8:28
Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world’s tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it.
That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, “It is I, be not afraid.” He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise.
He can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.”
“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”
The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing.
Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that he governs wisely, that he brings good out of evil, the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes.
The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee; never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.”
“Say not my soul, From whence can God relieve my care?’
Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.
His method is sublime, his heart profoundly kind,
God never is before his time, and never is behind.”
《Evening by Evening》August 5
“And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?”— Numbers 32:6
Kindred has its obligations. The Reubenites and Gadites would have been unbrotherly if they had claimed the land which had been conquered, and had left the rest of the people to fight for their portions alone.
We have received much by means of the efforts and sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we do not make some return to the church of Christ by giving her our best energies, we are unworthy to be enrolled in her ranks.
Others are combating the errors of the age manfully, or excavating perishing ones from amid the ruins of the fall, and if we fold our hands in idleness we had need be warned, lest the curse of Meroz fall upon us.
The Master of the vineyard saith, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” What is the idler’s excuse? Personal service of Jesus becomes all the more the duty of all because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some.
The toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us if we sit still in indolence. Shrinking from trial is the temptation of those who are at ease in Zion: they would fain escape the cross and yet wear the crown; to them the question for this evening’s meditation is very applicable.
If the most precious are tried in the fire, are we to escape the crucible? If the diamond must be vexed upon the wheel, are we to be made perfect without suffering? Who hath commanded the wind to cease from blowing because our bark is on the deep? Why and wherefore should we be treated better than our Lord?
The firstborn felt the rod, and why not the younger brethren? It is a cowardly pride which would choose a downy pillow and a silken couch for a soldier of the cross. Wiser far is he who, being first resigned to the divine will, groweth by the energy of grace to be pleased with it, and so learns to gather lilies at the cross foot, and, like Samson, to find honey in the lion.
《My Utmost for His Highest》August 5
The Baffling Call Of God
And all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished . . . And they understood none of these things. — Luke 18:31,34
God called Jesus Christ to what seemed unmitigated disaster. Jesus Christ called His disciples to see Him put to death; He led every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken. Jesus Christ’s life was an absolute failure from every standpoint but God’s. But what seemed failure from man’s standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God’s, because God’s purpose is never man’s purpose.
There comes the baffling call of God in our lives also. The call of God can never be stated explicitly; it is implicit. The call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him. It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is to, because His call is to be in comradeship with Himself for His own purposes, and the test is to believe that God knows what He is after. The things that happen do not happen by chance, they happen entirely in the decree of God. God is working out His purposes.
If we are in communion with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, we shall no longer try to find out what His purposes are. As we go on in the Christian life it gets simpler, because we are less inclined to say – Now why did God allow this and that? Behind the whole thing lies the compelling of God. "There’s a divinity that shapes our ends." A Christian is one who trusts the wits and the wisdom of God, and not his own wits. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the leisureliness which ought to characterize the children of God.
Be Thou Supreme
Use for 《My Utmost for His Highest》Aug 5
Use for 《My Utmost for His Highest》Aug 5
《Faith's check book》August 5
Law in the Heart
The law of their God controls their thinking; their feet do not slip. — Ps 37:31 NET
Put the law into the heart, and the whole man is right. This is where the law should be; for then it lies, like the tables of stone in the ark, in the place appointed for it. In the head it puzzles, on the back it burdens, in the heart it upholds.
What a choice word is here used, “the law of his God”! When we know the Lord as our own God His law becomes liberty to us. God with us in covenant makes us eager to obey His will and walk in His commands. Is the precept my Father’s precept? Then I delight in it.
We are here guaranteed that obedient-hearted man shall be sustained in every step that he takes. He will do that which is right, and he shall therefore do that which is wise. Holy action is always the most prudent, though it may not at the time seem to be so. We are moving along the great highroad of God’s providence and grace when we keep to the way of His law. The Word of God has never misled a single soul yet; its plain directions to walk humbly, justly, lovingly, and in the fear of the Lord are as much words of wisdom to make our way prosperous as rules of holiness to keep our garments clean. He walks surely who walks righteously.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》August 5
Sources of Sorrow -- Ingratitude of the Ungodly
They repay me evil for the good I have done; though I have tried to do good to them, they hurl accusations at me. Do not abandon me, O Lord! My God, do not remain far away from me! — Ps 38:20-21
If wounded love my bosom swell,
Deceived by those I prized too well;
He shall his pitying aid bestow,
Who felt on earth severer woe:
At once betray’d, denied, or fled,
By those who shared his daily bread.
《Streams In The Desert》August 5
It Is Sufficient
But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.—2 Cor 12:9
It had pleased God to remove my youngest child under circumstances of peculiar trial and pain; and as I had just laid my little one’s body in the churchyard, on return home, I felt it my duty to preach to my people on the meaning of trial.
Finding that this text was in the lesson for the following Sabbath, I chose it as my Master’s message to them and myself; but on trying to prepare the notes, I found that in honesty I could not say that the words were true; and therefore I knelt down and asked God to let His grace be sufficient for me. While I was thus pleading, I opened my eyes and saw a framed illuminated text, which my mother had given me only a few days before, and which I had told my servant to place upon the wall during my absence at the holiday resort where my little one was taken away from us.
I did not notice the words on returning to my house; but as I looked up and wiped my eyes, the words met my gaze, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
The “is” was picked out in bright green while the “My” and the “thee” were painted in another color.
In one moment the message came straight to my soul, as a rebuke for offering such a prayer as, “Lord, let Thy grace be sufficient for me”; for the answer was almost as an audible voice, “How dare you ask that which is?” God cannot make it any more sufficient than He has made it; get up and believe it, and you will find it true, because the Lord says it in the simplest way: “My grace is (not shall be or may be) sufficient for thee.”
“My,” “is,” and “thee” were from that moment, I hope, indelibly fixed upon my heart; and I (thank God) have been trying to live in the reality of the message from that day forward to the present time.
The lesson that came to me, and which I seek to convey to others, is, Never turn God’s facts into hopes, or prayers, but simply use them as realities, and you will find them powerful as you believe them.—Prebendary H. W. Webb Peploe
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercies,
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
—Annie Johnson Flint
《Daily Prayer Guide》August 5
And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’ — Matt 25:40
To live within a cave—it is most good;
But if God made a day,
And some one come, and say,
“Lo! I have gathered faggots in the wood!”
E’en let him stay,
And light a fire, and fan a temporal mood!
So sit till morning! when the light is grown
That he the path can read,
Then bid the man Godspeed!
His morning is not thine: yet must thou own
Those ashes on the stone.
They have a cheerful warmth.
— Thomas Edward Brown.
It is given to us sometimes, even in our everyday life, to witness the saving influence of a noble nature, the divine efficacy of rescue that may lie in a self-subduing act of fellowship.
— George Eliot.
Father of mankind, may I not be a barrier to the discouraged, but help them in the ways of encouragement. May I not allow pride and prejudice to keep me from acts of love and deeds of kindness, but may I be worthy of thy trust. Amen.
《Morning By Morning》August 6
“The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?”— Isaiah 21:11
What enemies are abroad? Errors are a numerous horde, and new ones appear every hour: against what heresy am I to be on my guard? Sins creep from their lurking places when the darkness reigns; I must myself mount the watch-tower, and watch unto prayer.
Our heavenly Protector foresees all the attacks which are about to be made upon us, and when as yet the evil designed us is but in the desire of Satan, he prays for us that our faith fail not, when we are sifted as wheat. Continue O gracious Watchman, to forewarn us of our foes, and for Zion’s sake hold not thy peace.
“Watchman, what of the night?” What weather is coming for the Church? Are the clouds lowering, or is it all clear and fair overhead? We must care for the Church of God with anxious love; and now that Popery and infidelity are both threatening, let us observe the signs of the times and prepare for conflict.
“Watchman, what of the night?” What stars are visible? What precious promises suit our present case? You sound the alarm, give us the consolation also. Christ, the polestar, is ever fixed in his place, and all the stars are secure in the right hand of their Lord.
But watchman, when comes the morning? The Bridegroom tarries. Are there no signs of his coming forth as the Sun of Righteousness? Has not the morning star arisen as the pledge of day? When will the day dawn, and the shadows flee away?
O Jesus, if thou come not in person to thy waiting Church this day, yet come in Spirit to my sighing heart, and make it sing for joy.
“Now all the earth is bright and glad
With the fresh morn;
But all my heart is cold, and dark and sad:
Sun of the soul, let me behold thy dawn!
Come, Jesus, Lord,
O quickly come, according to thy word.”
《Evening by Evening》August 6
“And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.”— Psalm 72:19
This is a large petition. To intercede for a whole city needs a stretch of faith, and there are times when a prayer for one man is enough to stagger us. But how far-reaching was the psalmist’s dying intercession! How comprehensive! How sublime!
“Let the whole earth be filled with his glory.” It doth not exempt a single country however crushed by the foot of superstition; it doth not exclude a single nation however barbarous. For the cannibal as well as for the civilized, for all climes and races this prayer is uttered: the whole circle of the earth it encompasses, and omits no son of Adam.
We must be up and doing for our Master, or we cannot honestly offer such a prayer. The petition is not asked with a sincere heart unless we endeavour, as God shall help us, to extend the kingdom of our Master.
Are there not some who neglect both to plead and to labour? Reader, is it your prayer? Turn your eyes to Calvary. Behold the Lord of Life nailed to a cross, with the thorn-crown about his brow, with bleeding head, and hands, and feet.
What! can you look upon this miracle of miracles, the death of the Son of God, without feeling within your bosom a marvellous adoration that language never can express? And when you feel the blood applied to your conscience, and know that he has blotted out your sins, you are not a man unless you start from your knees and cry, “Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.”
Can you bow before the Crucified in loving homage, and not wish to see your Monarch master of the world? Out on you if you can pretend to love your Prince, and desire not to see him the universal ruler.
Your piety is worthless unless it leads you to wish that the same mercy which has been extended to you may bless the whole world. Lord, it is harvest-time, put in thy sickle and reap.
《My Utmost for His Highest》August 6
The Cross In Prayer
At that day ye shall ask in My name. — John 16:26
We are too much given to thinking of the Cross as something we have to get through; we get through it only in order to get into it. The Cross stands for one thing only for us – a complete and entire and absolute identification with the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is nothing in which this identification is realized more than in prayer.
"Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him." Then why ask? The idea of prayer is not in order to get answers from God; prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God. If we pray because we want answers, we will get huffed with God. The answers come every time, but not always in the way we expect, and our spiritual huff shows a refusal to identify ourselves with Our Lord in prayer. We are not here to prove God answers prayer; we are here to be living monuments of God’s grace.
"I say not that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you." Have you reached such an intimacy with God that the Lord Jesus Christ’s life of prayer is the only explanation of your life of prayer? Has Our Lord’s vicarious life become your vital life? "At that day" you will be so identified with Jesus that there will be no distinction.
When prayer seems to be unanswered, beware of trying to fix the blame on someone else. That is always a snare of Satan. You will find there is a reason which is a deep instruction to you, not to anyone else.
Facing A Task Unfinished
Use for 《Faith's check book》Aug 6
Use for 《Faith's check book》Aug 6
《Faith's check book》August 6
Go; Take Your Property
Look, he has placed the land in front of you! Go up, take possession of it, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, said to do. Do not be afraid or discouraged!” — Deut 1:21
There is a heritage of grace which we ought to be bold enough to win for our possession. All that one believer has gained is free to another. We may be strong in faith, fervent in love, and abundant in labor; there is nothing to prevent it; let us go up and take possession. The sweetest experience and the brightest grace are as much for us as for any of our brethren; Jehovah has set it before us; no one can deny our right; let us go up and possess it in His name.
The world also lies before us to be conquered for the Lord Jesus. We are not to leave any country or corner of it unsubdued. That slum near our house is before us, not to baffle our endeavors, but to yield to them. We have only to summon courage enough to go forward, and we shall win dark homes and hard hearts for Jesus. Let us never leave the people in a lane or alley to die because we have not enough faith in Jesus and His gospel to go up and possess the land. No spot is too benighted, no person so profane as to be beyond the power of grace. Cowardice, begone! Faith marches to the conquest.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》August 6
Sources of Sorrow -- Reproach of the World
We must go out to him, then, outside the camp, bearing the abuse he experienced. — Heb 13:13
If on my face, for thy dear name,
Shame and reproach shall be,
I’ll hail reproach, and welcome shame,
If thou remember me.
《Streams In The Desert》August 6
Flowing From Us
Awake, O north wind; come, O south wind! Blow on my garden so that its fragrant spices may send out their sweet smell. May my beloved come into his garden and eat its delightful fruit!—Song 4:16
Look at the meaning of this prayer a moment. Its root is found in the fact that, as delicious odors may lie latent in a spice tree, so graces may lie unexercised and undeveloped in a Christian’s heart. There is many a plant of profession; but from the ground there breathes forth no fragrance of holy affections or of godly deeds. The same winds blow on the thistle bush and on the spice tree, but it is only one of them which gives out rich odors.
Sometimes God sends severe blasts of trial upon His children to develop their graces. Just as torches burn most brightly when swung to and fro; just as the juniper plant smells sweetest when flung into the flames; so the richest qualities of a Christian often come out under the north wind of suffering and adversity. Bruised hearts often emit the fragrance that God loveth to smell.
“I had a tiny box, a precious box
Of human love—my spikenard of great price;
I kept it close within my heart of hearts,
And scarce would lift the lid lest it should waste
Its perfume on the air. One day a strange
Deep sorrow came with crushing weight, and fell
Upon my costly treasure, sweet and rare,
And broke the box to atoms. All my heart
Rose in dismay and sorrow at this waste,
But as I mourned, behold a miracle
Of grace Divine. My human love was changed
To Heaven’s own, and poured in healing streams
On other broken hearts, while soft and clear
A voice above me whispered, ”Child of Mine,
With comfort wherewith thou art comforted,
From this time forth, go comfort others,
And thou shalt know blest fellowship with Me,
Whose broken heart of love hath healed the world.”
《Daily Prayer Guide》August 6
Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions that we taught you, whether by speech or by letter. — 2 Thess 2:15
O well for him whose will is strong!
He suffers, but he will not suffer long;
He suffers, but he cannot suffer wrong;
For him nor moves the loud world’s random mock,
Not all Calamity’s hugest waves confound,
Who seems a promontory rock,
That compassed round with turbulent sound,
In middle ocean meets the surging shock,
— Alfred Tennyson.
Grandeur of character lies in force of soul—that is, in the force of thought, moral principle, and love; and this may be found in the humblest condition of life.
— William Ellery Channing.
Eternal God, help me that I may not be deceived by my surroundings as I seek to have life abundantly. Instruct me that it is by the way of character that I must attain the laws of growth, and learn reverence for the spirit of divine life. Amen.
《Morning By Morning》May 7
“Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.”— Song of Solomon 1:4
Believers love Jesus with a deeper affection than they dare to give to any other being. They would sooner lose father and mother than part with Christ. They hold all earthly comforts with a loose hand, but they carry him fast locked in their bosoms.
They voluntarily deny themselves for his sake, but they are not to be driven to deny him. It is scant love which the fire of persecution can dry up; the true believer’s love is a deeper stream than this.
Men have laboured to divide the faithful from their Master, but their attempts have been fruitless in every age. Neither crowns of honour, nor frowns of anger, have untied this more than Gordian knot.
This is no every-day attachment which the world’s power may at length dissolve. Neither man nor devil have found a key which opens this lock. Never has the craft of Satan been more at fault than when he has exercised it in seeking to rend in sunder this union of two divinely welded hearts.
It is written, and nothing can blot out the sentence, “The upright love thee.” The intensity of the love of the upright, however, is not so much to be judged by what it appears as by what the upright long for.
It is our daily lament that we cannot love enough. Would that our hearts were capable of holding more, and reaching further. Like Samuel Rutherford, we sigh and cry, “Oh, for as much love as would go round about the earth, and over heaven—yea, the heaven of heavens, and ten thousand worlds—that I might let all out upon fair, fair, only fair Christ.”
Alas! our longest reach is but a span of love, and our affection is but as a drop of a bucket compared with his deserts. Measure our love by our intentions, and it is high indeed; ’tis thus, we trust, our Lord doth judge of it.
Oh, that we could give all the love in all hearts in one great mass, a gathering together of all loves to him who is altogether lovely!
《Evening by Evening》August 7
“Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.”— 1 Thessalonians 2:18
Since the first hour in which goodness came into conflict with evil, it has never ceased to be true in spiritual experience, that Satan hinders us. From all points of the compass, all along the line of battle, in the vanguard and in the rear, at the dawn of day and in the midnight hour, Satan hinders us.
If we toil in the field, he seeks to break the ploughshare; if we build the wall, he labours to cast down the stones; if we would serve God in suffering or in conflict—everywhere Satan hinders us. He hinders us when we are first coming to Jesus Christ.
Fierce conflicts we had with Satan when we first looked to the cross and lived. Now that we are saved, he endeavours to hinder the completeness of our personal character. You may be congratulating yourself, “I have hitherto walked consistently; no man can challenge my integrity.”
Beware of boasting, for your virtue will yet be tried; Satan will direct his engines against that very virtue for which you are the most famous. If you have been hitherto a firm believer, your faith will ere long be attacked; if you have been meek as Moses, expect to be tempted to speak unadvisedly with your lips.
The birds will peck at your ripest fruit, and the wild boar will dash his tusks at your choicest vines. Satan is sure to hinder us when we are earnest in prayer. He checks our importunity, and weakens our faith in order that, if possible, we may miss the blessing.
Nor is Satan less vigilant in obstructing Christian effort. There was never a revival of religion without a revival of his opposition. As soon as Ezra and Nehemiah begin to labour, Sanballat and Tobiah are stirred up to hinder them.
What then? We are not alarmed because Satan hindereth us, for it is a proof that we are on the Lord’s side, and are doing the Lord’s work, and in his strength we shall win the victory, and triumph over our adversary.
《My Utmost for His Highest》August 7
Prayer In The Father’s House
Wist ye not that I must be in My Father's house? — Luke 2:49 (R.V.)
Our Lord’s childhood was not immature man-hood; our Lord’s childhood is an eternal fact. Am I a holy innocent child of God by identification with my Lord and Saviour? Do I look upon life as being in my Father’s house? Is the Son of God living in His Father’s house in me?
The abiding Reality is God, and His order comes through the moments. Am I always in contact with Reality, or do I only pray when things have gone wrong, when there is a disturbance in the moments of my life? I have to learn to identify myself with my Lord in holy communion in ways some of us have not begun to learn as yet. "I must be about My Father’s business" – live the moments in My Father’s house.
Narrow it down to your individual circumstances – are you so identified with the Lord’s life that you are simply a child of God, continually talking to Him and realizing that all things come from His hands? Is the Eternal Child in you living in the Father’s house? Are the graces of His ministering life working out through you in your home, in your business, in your domestic circle? Have you been wondering why you are going through the things you are? It is not that you have to go through them, it is because of the relation into which the Son of God has come in His Father’s providence in your particular sainthood. Let Him have His way, keep in perfect union with Him.
The vicarious life of your Lord is to become your vital simple life; the way He worked and lived among men must be the way He lives in you.
《Faith's check book》August 7
Rules for Prosperity
Make sure you are very strong and brave! Carefully obey all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful in all you do. — Josh 1:7
Yes, the Lord will be with us in our holy war, but He demands of us that we strictly follow His rules. Our victories will very much depend upon our obeying Him with all our heart, throwing strength and courage into the actions of our faith. If we are halfhearted we cannot expect more than half a blessing.
We must obey the Lord with care and thoughtfulness. “Observe to do” is the phrase used, and it is full of meaning. This is referred to every part of the divine will; we must obey with universal readiness. Our rule of conduct is “according to all the law.” We may not pick and choose, but we must take the Lord’s commands as they come, one and all. In all this we must go on with exactness and constancy. Ours is to be a straightforward course which bends neither to the right nor to the left. We are not to err by being more rigid than the law, nor turn out of levity to a more free and easy way. With such obedience there will come spiritual prosperity. O Lord, help us to see if it be not even so! We shall not test Thy promise in vain.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》August 7
Sources of Sorrow -- Persecution
Even when I must walk in the midst of danger, you revive me. You oppose my angry enemies, and your right hand delivers me. — Ps 138:7
Man may trouble and distress me,
’Twill but drive me to thy breast;
Life with trials hard may press me,
Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
《Streams In The Desert》August 7
When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God courageously. The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. With great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all.—Acts 4:31-33
Christmas Evans tells us in his diary that one Sunday afternoon he was traveling a very lonely road to attend an appointment, and he was convicted of a cold heart. He says, “I tethered my horse and went to a sequestered spot, where I walked to and fro in an agony as I reviewed my life. I waited three hours before God, broken with sorrow, until there broke over me a sweet sense of His forgiving love. I received from God a new baptism of the Holy Ghost. As the sun was westering, I went back to the road, found my horse, mounted it and went to my appointment. On the following day I preached with such new power to a vast concourse of people gathered on the hillside, that a revival broke out that day and spread through all Wales.”
The greatest question that can be asked of the “twice born” ones is, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?”
This was the password into the early Church.
“O the Spirit filled life; is it thine, is it thine?
Is thy soul wholly filled with the Spirit Divine?
O thou child of the King, has He fallen on thee?
Does He reign in thy soul, so that all men may see
The dear Savior’s blest image reflected in thee?
“Has He swept through thy soul like the waves of the sea?
Does the Spirit of God daily rest upon thee?
Does He sweeten thy life, does He keep thee from care?
Does He guide thee and bless thee in answer to prayer?
Is it joy to be led of the Lord anywhere?
“Is He near thee each hour, does He stand at thy side?
Does He gird thee with strength, has He come to abide?
Does He give thee to know that all things may be done
Through the grace and the power of the Crucified One?
Does He witness to thee of the glorified Son?
“Has He purged thee of dross with the fire from above?
Is He first in thy thoughts, has He all of thy love?
Is His service thy choice, and is sacrifice sweet?
Is the doing His will both thy drink and thy meat?
Dost thou run at His bidding with glad eager feet?
“Has He freed thee from self and from all of thy greed?
Dost thou hasten to succor thy brother in need?
As a soldier of Christ dost thou hardness endure?
Is thy hope in the Lord everlasting and sure?
Hast thou patience and meekness, art tender and pure?
“O the Spirit filled life may be thine, may be thine,
In thy soul evermore the Shekinah may shine;
It is thine to live with the tempests all stilled,
It is thine with the blessed Holy Ghost to be filled;
It is thine, even thine, for thy Lord has so willed.”
《Daily Prayer Guide》August 7
May the godly strike me in love and correct me! May my head not refuse choice oil! Indeed, my prayer is a witness against their evil deeds. — Ps 141:5
Although a friend may remain faithful in misfortune, yet none but the very best and loftiest will remain faithful to us after our errors and our sins.
— Dean Farrar.
Friendship is like a debt of honor: the moment it is talked of it loses its real name, and assumes the more ungrateful form of obligation. From hence we find that those who regularly undertake to cultivate friendship find ingratitude generally repays their endeavors.
— Oliver Goldsmith.
Lord God, may I ever continue to be thankful for the times thou hast helped me, when I have asked for thy compassion; may I recall the joy in which I received it, when it may be mine to have compassion and extend a helping hand to others. I pray that I may place my life where it will be stronger than adversity and controlled by sincerity and love. Amen.
《Morning By Morning》August 8
“They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.”— Isaiah 59:5
See the spider’s web, and behold in it a most suggestive picture of the hypocrite’s religion. It is meant to catch his prey: the spider fattens himself on flies, and the Pharisee has his reward. Foolish persons are easily entrapped by the loud professions of pretenders, and even the more judicious cannot always escape.
Philip baptized Simon Magus, whose guileful declaration of faith was so soon exploded by the stern rebuke of Peter. Custom, reputation, praise, advancement and other flies, are the small game which hypocrites take in their nets.
A spider’s web is a marvel of skill: look at it and admire the cunning hunter’s wiles. Is not a deceiver’s religion equally wonderful? How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth? How can he make his tinsel answer so well the purpose of gold?
A spider’s web comes all from the creature’s own bowels. The bee gathers her wax from flowers, the spider sucks no flowers, and yet she spins out her material to any length. Even so hypocrites find their trust and hope within themselves; their anchor was forged on their own anvil, and their cable twisted by their own hands.
They lay their own foundation, and hew out the pillars of their own house, disdaining to be debtors to the sovereign grace of God. But a spider’s web is very frail. It is curiously wrought, but not enduringly manufactured.
It is no match for the servant’s broom, or the traveller’s staff. The hypocrite needs no battery of Armstrongs to blow his hope to pieces, a mere puff of wind will do it. Hypocritical cobwebs will soon come down when the besom of destruction begins its purifying work.
Which reminds us of one more thought, viz., that such cobwebs are not to be endured in the Lord’s house: he will see to it that they and those who spin them shall be destroyed forever.
O my soul, be thou resting on something better than a spider’s web. Be the Lord Jesus thine eternal hiding-place.
《Evening by Evening》August 8
“ Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. ”— Mark 9:23
Many professed Christians are always doubting and fearing, and they forlornly think that this is the necessary state of believers. This is a mistake, for “all things are possible to him that believeth”; and it is possible for us to mount into a state in which a doubt or a fear shall be but as a bird of passage flitting across the soul, but never lingering there.
When you read of the high and sweet communions enjoyed by favoured saints, you sigh and murmur in the chamber of your heart, “Alas! these are not for me.” O climber, if thou hast but faith, thou shalt yet stand upon the sunny pinnacle of the temple, for “all things are possible to him that believeth.”
You hear of exploits which holy men have done for Jesus; what they have enjoyed of him; how much they have been like him; how they have been able to endure great persecutions for his sake; and you say, “Ah! as for me, I am but a worm; I can never attain to this.”
But there is nothing which one saint was, that you may not be. There is no elevation of grace, no attainment of spirituality, no clearness of assurance, no post of duty, which is not open to you if you have but the power to believe.
Lay aside your sackcloth and ashes, and rise to the dignity of your true position; you are little in Israel because you will be so, not because there is any necessity for it. It is not meet that thou shouldst grovel in the dust, O child of a King. Ascend!
The golden throne of assurance is waiting for you! The crown of communion with Jesus is ready to bedeck your brow. Wrap yourself in scarlet and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day; for if thou believest, thou mayst eat the fat of kidneys of wheat; thy land shall flow with milk and honey, and thy soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness.
Gather golden sheaves of grace, for they await thee in the fields of faith. “All things are possible to him that believeth.”
《My Utmost for His Highest》August 8
Prayer In The Father’s Honour
That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. — Luke 1:35
If the Son of God is born into my mortal flesh, is His holy innocence and simplicity and oneness with the Father getting a chance to manifest itself in me? What was true of the Virgin Mary in the historic introduction of God’s Son into this earth is true in every saint. The Son of God is born into me by the direct act of God; then I as a child of God have to exercise the right of a child, the right of being always face to face with my Father. Am I continually saying with amazement to my common-sense life – why do you want to turn me off here? Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business? Whatever the circumstances may be, that Holy Innocent Eternal Child must be in contact with His Father.
Am I simple enough to identify myself with my Lord in this way? Is He getting his wonderful way in me? Is God realizing that His Son is formed in me, or have I carefully put Him on one side? Oh, the clamour of these days! Everyone is clamouring – for what? For the Son of God to be put to death. There is no room here for the Son of God just now, no room for quiet holy communion with the Father.
Is the Son of God praying in me or am I dictating to Him? Is He ministering in me as He did in the days of His flesh? Is the Son of God in me going through His passion for His own purposes? The more one knows of the inner life of God’s ripest saints, the more one sees what God’s purpose is – "filling up that which is behind of the affliction of Christ." There is always something to be done in the sense of "filling up."
Moment by Moment
Use for 《My Utmost for His Highest》Aug 8
Use for 《My Utmost for His Highest》Aug 8
Use for 《Faith's check book》Aug 8
Use for 《Faith's check book》Aug 8
《Faith's check book》August 8
Confidence Not Misplaced
But the sovereign Lord helps me, so I am not humiliated. For that reason I am steadfastly resolved; I know I will not be put to shame. — Isa 50:7
These are in prophecy the words of Messiah in the day of His obedience unto death, when He gave His back to the smiters and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. He was confident in divine support and trusted in Jehovah.
O my soul, thy sorrows are as the small dust of the balance compared with thy Lord’s! Canst thou not believe that the Lord God will help thee? Thy Lord was in a peculiar position; for as the representative of sinful men — their substitute and sacrifice — it was needful that the Father should leave Him and cause Him to come under desertion of soul. No such necessity is laid upon thee: thou art not bound to cry, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” Did thy Savior even in such a case still rely upon God, and canst not thou? He died for thee and thus made it impossible that thou shouldst be left alone; wherefore, be of good cheer.
In this day’s labors or trials say, “The Lord God will help me.” Go forth boldly. Set your face like a flint and resolve that no faintness or shamefacedness shall come near you. If God helps, who can hinder? If you are sure of omnipotent aid, what can be too heavy for you? Begin the day joyously, and let no shade of doubt come between thee and the eternal sunshine.
《Believer's Daily Treasure》August 8
Sources of Sorrow -- Earthly Losses and Bereavements
He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. May the name of the Lord be blessed!” — Job 1:21
Oh! blessed be the hand that gave;
Still blessed when it takes:
Blessed be he who smites to save,
Who heals the heart he breaks
Perfect and true are all his ways
Whom heaven adores, and earth obeys.
《Streams In The Desert》August 8
You are my king, O God! Decree Jacob’s deliverance!—Ps 44:4
Here is no foe to your growth in grace, no enemy in your Christian work, which was not included in your Savior’s conquests.
You need not be afraid of them. When you touch them, they will flee before you. God has promised to deliver them up before you. Only be strong and very courageous! Fear not, nor be dismayed! The Lord is with you, O mighty men of valor—mighty because one with the Mightiest. Claim victory!
Whenever your enemies close in upon you, claim victory! Whenever heart and flesh fail, look up and claim VICTORY!
Be sure that you have a share in that triumph which Jesus won, not for Himself alone, but for us all; remember that you were in Him when He won it, and claim victory!
Reckon that it is yours, and gather spoil. Neither the Anakim nor fenced cities need daunt or abash you. You are one of the conquering legion. Claim your share in the Savior’s victory.—Joshua, by Meyer
We are children of the King. In which way do we most honor our Divine Sovereign, by failing to claim our rights and even doubting whether they belong to us, or by asserting our privilege as children of the Royal Family and demanding the rights which belong to our heirship?
《Daily Prayer Guide》August 8
I look up toward the hills. From where does my help come? — Ps 121:1
Lo! all the glory gone!
God’s masterpiece undone!
The last created and the first to fall;
The noblest, frailest, godliest of all.
Child of the humble sod,
Wed with the breath of God,
Descend! for with the lowest thou must lie—
Arise! thou hast inherited the sky.
— John B. Tabb.
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations; I cannot reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
— Louisa M. Alcott.
Heavenly Father, may I see as I raise my eyes to the mountains that without the deep shadows there would be no vision of the high-light, and still higher may I see that without the sun there would be no color to encircle the rainbow. And beyond, O Father, may I believe that without the shadow of the cross we could not have the glory of the resurrection. May I keep the vision clear. Amen.