Monthly Archives: April, 2018

Morning, April 23rd

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”— Romans 8:37

We go to Christ for forgiveness, and then too often look to the law for power to fight our sins. Paul thus rebukes us, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”

Take your sins to Christ’s cross, for the old man can only be crucified there: we are crucified with him.

The only weapon to fight sin with is the spear which pierced the side of Jesus. To give an illustration–you want to overcome an angry temper; how do you go to work? It is very possible you have never tried the right way of going to Jesus with it.

How did I get salvation? I came to Jesus just as I was, and I trusted him to save me. I must kill my angry temper in the same way. It is the only way in which I can ever kill it. I must go to the cross with it, and say to Jesus, “Lord, I trust thee to deliver me from it.” This is the only way to give it a death-blow.

Are you covetous? Do you feel the world entangle you? You may struggle against this evil so long as you please, but if it be your besetting sin, you will never be delivered from it in any way but by the blood of Jesus.

Take it to Christ. Tell him, “Lord, I have trusted thee, and thy name is Jesus, for thou dost save thy people from their sins: Lord, this is one of my sins; save me from it!”

Ordinances are nothing without Christ as a means of mortification. Your prayers, and your repentances, and your tears–the whole of them put together–are worth nothing apart from him. “None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good;” or helpless saints either.

You must be conquerors through him who hath loved you, if conquerors at all. Our laurels must grow among his olives in Gethsemane.

Evening, April 22nd

“Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;”— Psalm 91:5

What is this terror? It may be the cry of fire, or the noise of thieves, or fancied appearances, or the shriek of sudden sickness or death.

We live in the world of death and sorrow, we may therefore look for ills as well in the night-watches as beneath the glare of the broiling sun. Nor should this alarm us, for be the terror what it may, the promise is that the believer shall not be afraid.

Why should he? Let us put it more closely, why should we? God our Father is here, and will be here all through the lonely hours; he is an almighty Watcher, a sleepless Guardian, a faithful Friend.

Nothing can happen without his direction, for even hell itself is under his control. Darkness is not dark to him. He has promised to be a wall of fire around his people–and who can break through such a barrier?

Worldlings may well be afraid, for they have an angry God above them, a guilty conscience within them, and a yawning hell beneath them; but we who rest in Jesus are saved from all these through rich mercy.

If we give way to foolish fear we shall dishonour our profession, and lead others to doubt the reality of godliness. We ought to be afraid of being afraid, lest we should vex the Holy Spirit by foolish distrust.

Down, then, ye dismal forebodings and groundless apprehensions, God has not forgotten to be gracious, nor shut up his tender mercies; it may be night in the soul, but there need be no terror, for the God of love changes not.

Children of light may walk in darkness, but they are not therefore cast away, nay, they are now enabled to prove their adoption by trusting in their heavenly Father as hypocrites cannot do.

     “Though the night be dark and dreary,
       Darkness cannot hide from thee;
     Thou art he, who, never weary,
       Watchest where thy people be.”

Morning, April 22nd

“Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”— Acts 5:31

Jesus, our Lord, once crucified, dead and buried, now sits upon the throne of glory. The highest place that heaven affords is his by undisputed right.

It is sweet to remember that the exaltation of Christ in heaven is a representative exaltation. He is exalted at the Father’s right hand, and though as Jehovah he had eminent glories, in which finite creatures cannot share, yet as the Mediator, the honours which Jesus wears in heaven are the heritage of all the saints.

It is delightful to reflect how close is Christ’s union with his people. We are actually one with him; we are members of his body; and his exaltation is our exaltation. He will give us to sit upon his throne, even as he has overcome, and is set down with his Father on his throne; he has a crown, and he gives us crowns too; he has a throne, but he is not content with having a throne to himself, on his right hand there must be his queen, arrayed in “gold of Ophir.”

He cannot be glorified without his bride. Look up, believer, to Jesus now; let the eye of your faith behold him with many crowns upon his head; and remember that you will one day be like him, when you shall see him as he is; you shall not be so great as he is, you shall not be so divine, but still you shall, in a measure, share the same honours, and enjoy the same happiness and the same dignity which he possesses.

Be content to live unknown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through the fields of poverty, or up the hills of affliction; for by-and-by you shall reign with Christ, for he has “made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign forever and ever.”

Oh!, wonderful thought for the children of God! We have Christ for our glorious representative in heaven’s courts now, and soon he will come and receive us to himself, to be with him there, to behold his glory, and to share his joy.

Evening, April 21st

“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.”— Romans 8:34

He who was once despised and rejected of men, now occupies the honourable position of a beloved and honoured Son. The right hand of God is the place of majesty and favour.

Our Lord Jesus is his people’s representative. When he died for them, they had rest; he rose again for them, they had liberty; when he sat down at his Father’s right hand, they had favour, and honour, and dignity.

The raising and elevation of Christ is the elevation, the acceptance, and enshrinement, the glorifying of all his people, for he is their head and representative. This sitting at the right hand of God, then, is to be viewed as the acceptance of the person of the Surety, the reception of the Representative, and therefore, the acceptance of our souls.

O saint, see in this thy sure freedom from condemnation. “Who is he that condemneth?” Who shall condemn the men who are in Jesus at the right hand of God?

The right hand is the place of power. Christ at the right hand of God hath all power in heaven and in earth. Who shall fight against the people who have such power vested in their Captain?

O my soul, what can destroy thee if Omnipotence be thy helper? If the aegis of the Almighty cover thee, what sword can smite thee?

Rest thou secure. If Jesus is thine all-prevailing King, and hath trodden thine enemies beneath his feet; if sin, death, and hell are all vanquished by him, and thou art represented in him, by no possibility canst thou be destroyed.

     “Jesu’s tremendous name
       Puts all our foes to flight:
     Jesus, the meek, the angry Lamb,
       A Lion is in fight.
     “By all hell’s host withstood;
       We all hell’s host o’erthrow;
     And conquering them, through Jesu’s blood
       We still to conquer go.”

Morning, April 21st

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:”— Job 19:25

The marrow of Job’s comfort lies in that little word “My”–“My Redeemer,” and in the fact that the Redeemer lives.

Oh! to get hold of a living Christ. We must get a property in him before we can enjoy him. What is gold in the mine to me? Men are beggars in Peru, and beg their bread in California. It is gold in my purse which will satisfy my necessities, by purchasing the bread I need.

So a Redeemer who does not redeem me, an avenger who will never stand up for my blood, of what avail were such?

Rest not content until by faith you can say “Yes, I cast myself upon my living Lord; and he is mine.” It may be you hold him with a feeble hand; you half think it presumption to say, “He lives as my Redeemer;” yet, remember if you have but faith as a grain of mustard seed, that little faith entitles you to say it.

But there is also another word here, expressive of Job’s strong confidence, “I know.” To say, “I hope so, I trust so” is comfortable; and there are thousands in the fold of Jesus who hardly ever get much further. But to reach the essence of consolation you must say, “I know.”

Ifs, buts and perhapses, are sure murderers of peace and comfort. Doubts are dreary things in times of sorrow. Like wasps they sting the soul! If I have any suspicion that Christ is not mine, then there is vinegar mingled with the gall of death; but if I know that Jesus lives for me, then darkness is not dark: even the night is light about me.

Surely if Job, in those ages before the coming and advent of Christ, could say, “I know,” we should not speak less positively. God forbid that our positiveness should be presumption.

Let us see that our evidences are right, lest we build upon an ungrounded hope; and then let us not be satisfied with the mere foundation, for it is from the upper rooms that we get the widest prospect. A living Redeemer, truly mine, is joy unspeakable.

Evening, April 20th

“And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD’S battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.”— 1 Samuel 18:17

The sacramental host of God’s elect is warring still on earth, Jesus Christ being the Captain of their salvation. He has said, “Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

Hark to the shouts of war! Now let the people of God stand fast in their ranks, and let no man’s heart fail him. It is true that just now in England the battle is turned against us, and unless the Lord Jesus shall lift his sword, we know not what may become of the church of God in this land; but let us be of good courage, and play the man.

There never was a day when Protestantism seemed to tremble more in the scales than now that a fierce effort is making to restore the Romish antichrist to his ancient seat. We greatly want a bold voice and a strong hand to preach and publish the old gospel for which martyrs bled and confessors died.

The Saviour is, by his Spirit, still on earth; let this cheer us. He is ever in the midst of the fight, and therefore the battle is not doubtful. And as the conflict rages, what a sweet satisfaction it is to know that the Lord Jesus, in his office as our great Intercessor, is prevalently pleading for his people!

O anxious gazer, look not so much at the battle below, for there thou shalt be enshrouded in smoke, and amazed with garments rolled in blood; but lift thine eyes yonder where the Saviour lives and pleads, for while he intercedes, the cause of God is safe.

Let us fight as if it all depended upon us, but let us look up and know that all depends upon him.

Now, by the lilies of Christian purity, and by the roses of the Saviour’s atonement, by the roes and by the hinds of the field, we charge you who are lovers of Jesus, to do valiantly in the Holy War, for truth and righteousness, for the kingdom and crown jewels of your Master.

Onward! “for the battle is not yours but God’s.”

Morning, April 20th

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”— Hebrews 2:14

O child of God, death hath lost its sting, because the devil’s power over it is destroyed. Then cease to fear dying.

Ask grace from God the Holy Ghost, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief of thy Redeemer’s death, thou mayst be strengthened for that dread hour. Living near the cross of Calvary thou mayst think of death with pleasure, and welcome it when it comes with intense delight.

It is sweet to die in the Lord: it is a covenant-blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones already dwell.

The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home–a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul is launched upon the deep. How long will be its voyage?

How many wearying winds must beat upon the sail ere it shall be reefed in the port of peace? How long shall that soul be tossed upon the waves before it comes to that sea which knows no storm?

Listen to the answer, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” Yon ship has just departed, but it is already at its haven. It did but spread its sail and it was there. Like that ship of old, upon the Lake of Galilee, a storm had tossed it, but Jesus said, “Peace, be still,” and immediately it came to land.

Think not that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and the eternity of glory. When the eyes close on earth they open in heaven. The horses of fire are not an instant on the road.

Then, O child of God, what is there for thee to fear in death, seeing that through the death of thy Lord its curse and sting are destroyed? and now it is but a Jacob’s ladder whose foot is in the dark grave, but its top reaches to glory everlasting.

Evening, April 19th

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;”— Revelation 3:14

The word Amen solemnly confirms that which went before; and Jesus is the great Confirmer; immutable, forever is “the Amen” in all his promises.

Sinner, I would comfort thee with this reflection. Jesus Christ said, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” If you come to him, he will say “Amen” in your soul; his promise shall be true to you.

He said in the days of his flesh, “The bruised reed I will not break.” O thou poor, broken, bruised heart, if thou comest to him, he will say “Amen” to thee, and that shall be true in thy soul as in hundreds of cases in bygone years.

Christian, is not this very comforting to thee also, that there is not a word which has gone out of the Saviour’s lips which he has ever retracted? The words of Jesus shall stand when heaven and earth shall pass away.

If thou gettest a hold of but half a promise, thou shalt find it true. Beware of him who is called “Clip-promise,” who will destroy much of the comfort of God’s word.

Jesus is Yea and Amen in all his offices. He was a Priest to pardon and cleanse once, he is Amen as Priest still. He was a King to rule and reign for his people, and to defend them with his mighty arm, he is an Amen King, the same still.

He was a Prophet of old, to foretell good things to come, his lips are most sweet, and drop with honey still–he is an Amen Prophet. He is Amen as to the merit of his blood; he is Amen as to his righteousness.

That sacred robe shall remain most fair and glorious when nature shall decay. He is Amen in every single title which he bears; your Husband, never seeking a divorce; your Friend, sticking closer than a brother; your Shepherd, with you in death’s dark vale; your Help and your Deliverer; your Castle and your High Tower; the Horn of your strength, your confidence, your joy, your all in all, and your Yea and Amen in all.

Morning, April 19th

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”— Matthew 27:51

No mean miracle was wrought in the rending of so strong and thick a veil; but it was not intended merely as a display of power–many lessons were herein taught us.

The old law of ordinances was put away, and like a worn-out vesture, rent and laid aside. When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because all fulfilled in him, and therefore the place of their presentation was marked with an evident token of decay.

That rent also revealed all the hidden things of the old dispensation: the mercy-seat could now be seen, and the glory of God gleamed forth above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus we have a clear revelation of God, for he was “not as Moses, who put a veil over his face.”

Life and immortality are now brought to light, and things which have been hidden since the foundation of the world are manifest in him. The annual ceremony of atonement was thus abolished.

The atoning blood which was once every year sprinkled within the veil, was now offered once for all by the great High Priest, and therefore the place of the symbolical rite was broken up. No blood of bullocks or of lambs is needed now, for Jesus has entered within the veil with his own blood. Hence access to God is now permitted, and is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus.

There is no small space laid open through which we may peer at the mercy-seat, but the rent reaches from the top to the bottom. We may come with boldness to the throne of the heavenly grace.

Shall we err if we say that the opening of the Holy of Holies in this marvellous manner by our Lord’s expiring cry was the type of the opening of the gates of paradise to all the saints by virtue of the Passion?

Our bleeding Lord hath the key of heaven; he openeth and no man shutteth; let us enter in with him into the heavenly places, and sit with him there till our common enemies shall be made his footstool.

Evening, April 18th

“And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.”— Genesis 32:12

When Jacob was on the other side of the brook Jabbok, and Esau was coming with armed men, he earnestly sought God’s protection, and as a master reason he pleaded, “And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good.”

Oh, the force of that plea! He was holding God to his word–“Thou saidst.” The attribute of God’s faithfulness is a splendid horn of the altar to lay hold upon; but the promise, which has in it the attribute and something more, is a yet mightier holdfast–“Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good.” And has he said, and shall he not do it? “Let God be true, and every man a liar.”

Shall not he be true? Shall he not keep his word? Shall not every word that cometh out of his lips stand fast and be fulfilled?

Solomon, at the opening of the temple, used this same mighty plea. He pleaded with God to remember the word which he had spoken to his father David, and to bless that place.

When a man gives a promissory note, his honour is engaged; he signs his hand, and he must discharge it when the due time comes, or else he loses credit. It shall never be said that God dishonours his bills.

The credit of the Most High never was impeached, and never shall be. He is punctual to the moment: he never is before his time, but he never is behind it.

Search God’s word through, and compare it with the experience of God’s people, and you shall find the two tally from the first to the last. Many a hoary patriarch has said with Joshua, “Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass.”

If you have a divine promise, you need not plead it with an “if,” you may urge it with certainty. The Lord meant to fulfil the promise, or he would not have given it.

God does not give his words merely to quiet us, and to keep us hopeful for awhile with the intention of putting us off at last; but when he speaks, it is because he means to do as he has said.

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