Category Archives: Morning

Morning, January 22nd, 2022

“Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest?”— Ezekiel 15:2

These words are for the humbling of God’s people; they are called God’s vine, but what are they by nature more than others?

They, by God’s goodness, have become fruitful, having been planted in a good soil; the Lord hath trained them upon the walls of the sanctuary, and they bring forth fruit to his glory; but what are they without their God?

What are they without the continual influence of the Spirit, begetting fruitfulness in them? O believer, learn to reject pride, seeing that thou hast no ground for it. Whatever thou art, thou hast nothing to make thee proud.

The more thou hast, the more thou art in debt to God; and thou shouldst not be proud of that which renders thee a debtor. Consider thine origin; look back to what thou wast. Consider what thou wouldst have been but for divine grace.

Look upon thyself as thou art now. Doth not thy conscience reproach thee? Do not thy thousand wanderings stand before thee, and tell thee that thou art unworthy to be called his son? And if he hath made thee anything, art thou not taught thereby that it is grace which hath made thee to differ?

Great believer, thou wouldst have been a great sinner if God had not made thee to differ. O thou who art valiant for truth, thou wouldst have been as valiant for error if grace had not laid hold upon thee.

Therefore, be not proud, though thou hast a large estate—a wide domain of grace, thou hadst not once a single thing to call thine own except thy sin and misery.

Oh! strange infatuation, that thou, who hast borrowed everything, shouldst think of exalting thyself; a poor dependent pensioner upon the bounty of thy Saviour, one who hath a life which dies without fresh streams of life from Jesus, and yet proud! Fie on thee, O silly heart!

Morning, January 21st, 2022

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:”— Romans 11:26

When Moses sang at the Red Sea, it was his joy to know that all Israel were safe. Not a drop of spray fell from that solid wall until the last of God’s Israel had safely planted his foot on the other side the flood.

That done, immediately the floods dissolved into their proper place again, but not till then. Part of that song was, “Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed.”

In the last time, when the elect shall sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and of the Lamb, it shall be the boast of Jesus, “Of all whom thou hast given me, I have lost none.” In heaven there shall not be a vacant throne.

     “For all the chosen race
       Shall meet around the throne,
     Shall bless the conduct of his grace,
       And make his glories known.”

As many as God hath chosen, as many as Christ hath redeemed, as many as the Spirit hath called, as many as believe in Jesus, shall safely cross the dividing sea. We are not all safely landed yet:

     “Part of the host have crossed the flood,
       And part are crossing now.”

The vanguard of the army has already reached the shore. We are marching through the depths; we are at this day following hard after our Leader into the heart of the sea.

Let us be of good cheer: the rear-guard shall soon be where the vanguard already is; the last of the chosen ones shall soon have crossed the sea, and then shall be heard the song of triumph, when all are secure.

But oh! if one were absent—oh! if one of his chosen family should be cast away—it would make an everlasting discord in the song of the redeemed, and cut the strings of the harps of paradise, so that music could never be extorted from them.

Morning, January 20th, 2022

“And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”— Genesis 4:2

As a shepherd Abel sanctified his work to the glory of God, and offered a sacrifice of blood upon his altar, and the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. This early type of our Lord is exceedingly clear and distinct.

Like the first streak of light which tinges the east at sunrise, it does not reveal everything, but it clearly manifests the great fact that the sun is coming. As we see Abel, a shepherd and yet a priest, offering a sacrifice of sweet smell unto God, we discern our Lord, who brings before his Father a sacrifice to which Jehovah ever hath respect.

Abel was hated by his brother—hated without a cause; and even so was the Saviour: the natural and carnal man hated the accepted man in whom the Spirit of grace was found, and rested not until his blood had been shed.

Abel fell, and sprinkled his altar and sacrifice with his own blood, and therein sets forth the Lord Jesus slain by the enmity of man while serving as a priest before the Lord. “The good Shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep.”

Let us weep over him as we view him slain by the hatred of mankind, staining the horns of his altar with his own blood. Abel’s blood speaketh. “The Lord said unto Cain, The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.'”

The blood of Jesus hath a mighty tongue, and the import of its prevailing cry is not vengeance but mercy. It is precious beyond all preciousness to stand at the altar of our good Shepherd! to see him bleeding there as the slaughtered priest, and then to hear his blood speaking peace to all his flock, peace in our conscience, peace between Jew and Gentile, peace between man and his offended Maker, peace all down the ages of eternity for blood-washed men.

Abel is the first shepherd in order of time, but our hearts shall ever place Jesus first in order of excellence. Thou great Keeper of the sheep, we the people of thy pasture bless thee with our whole hearts when we see thee slain for us.

Morning, January 19th, 2022

“By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.”— Song of Solomon 3:1

Tell me where you lost the company of Christ, and I will tell you the most likely place to find him.

Have you lost Christ in the closet by restraining prayer? Then it is there you must seek and find him.

Did you lose Christ by sin? You will find Christ in no other way but by the giving up of the sin, and seeking by the Holy Spirit to mortify the member in which the lust doth dwell.

Did you lose Christ by neglecting the Scriptures? You must find Christ in the Scriptures.

It is a true proverb, “Look for a thing where you dropped it, it is there.” So look for Christ where you lost him, for he has not gone away. But it is hard work to go back for Christ. Bunyan tells us, the pilgrim found the piece of the road back to the Arbour of Ease, where he lost his roll, the hardest he had ever travelled. Twenty miles onward is easier than to go one mile back for the lost evidence.

Take care, then, when you find your Master, to cling close to him. But how is it you have lost him? One would have thought you would never have parted with such a precious friend, whose presence is so sweet, whose words are so comforting, and whose company is so dear to you!

How is it that you did not watch him every moment for fear of losing sight of him? Yet, since you have let him go, what a mercy that you are seeking him, even though you mournfully groan, “O that I knew where I might find him!”

Go on seeking, for it is dangerous to be without thy Lord. Without Christ you are like a sheep without its shepherd; like a tree without water at its roots; like a sere leaf in the tempest—not bound to the tree of life.

With thine whole heart seek him, and he will be found of thee: only give thyself thoroughly up to the search, and verily, thou shalt yet discover him to thy joy and gladness.

Morning, January 18th, 2022

“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”— Hebrews 4:9

How different will be the state of the believer in heaven from what it is here! Here he is born to toil and suffer weariness, but in the land of the immortal, fatigue is never known.

Anxious to serve his Master, he finds his strength unequal to his zeal: his constant cry is, “Help me to serve thee, O my God.” If he be thoroughly active, he will have much labour; not too much for his will, but more than enough for his power, so that he will cry out, “I am not wearied of the labour, but I am wearied in it.”

Ah! Christian, the hot day of weariness lasts not forever; the sun is nearing the horizon; it shall rise again with a brighter day than thou hast ever seen upon a land where they serve God day and night, and yet rest from their labours.

Here, rest is but partial, there, it is perfect. Here, the Christian is always unsettled; he feels that he has not yet attained. There, all are at rest; they have attained the summit of the mountain; they have ascended to the bosom of their God.

Higher they cannot go. Ah, toil-worn labourer, only think when thou shalt rest forever! Canst thou conceive it? It is a rest eternal; a rest that “remaineth.” Here, my best joys bear “mortal” on their brow; my fair flowers fade; my dainty cups are drained to dregs; my sweetest birds fall before Death’s arrows; my most pleasant days are shadowed into nights; and the flood-tides of my bliss subside into ebbs of sorrow; but there, everything is immortal; the harp abides unrusted, the crown unwithered, the eye undimmed, the voice unfaltering, the heart unwavering, and the immortal being is wholly absorbed in infinite delight.

Happy day! happy! when mortality shall be swallowed up of life, and the Eternal Sabbath shall begin.

Morning, January 17th, 2022

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”— Revelation 14:1

The apostle John was privileged to look within the gates of heaven, and in describing what he saw, he begins by saying, “I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!” This teaches us that the chief object of contemplation in the heavenly state is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.”

Nothing else attracted the apostle’s attention so much as the person of that Divine Being, who hath redeemed us by his blood. He is the theme of the songs of all glorified spirits and holy angels.

Christian, here is joy for thee; thou hast looked, and thou hast seen the Lamb. Through thy tears thine eyes have seen the Lamb of God taking away thy sins. Rejoice, then. In a little while, when thine eyes shall have been wiped from tears, thou wilt see the same Lamb exalted on his throne.

It is the joy of thy heart to hold daily fellowship with Jesus; thou shalt have the same joy to a higher degree in heaven; thou shalt enjoy the constant vision of his presence; thou shalt dwell with him forever.

“I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!” Why, that Lamb is heaven itself; for as good Rutherford says, “Heaven and Christ are the same thing;” to be with Christ is to be in heaven, and to be in heaven is to be with Christ.

That prisoner of the Lord very sweetly writes in one of his glowing letters—”O my Lord Jesus Christ, if I could be in heaven without thee, it would be a hell; and if I could be in hell, and have thee still, it would be a heaven to me, for thou art all the heaven I want.”

It is true, is it not, Christian? Does not thy soul say so?

     “Not all the harps above
       Can make a heavenly place,
     If God his residence remove,
       Or but conceal his face.”

All thou needest to make thee blessed, supremely blessed, is “to be with Christ.”

Morning, January 16th, 2022

“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”— Isaiah 41:14

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I will help thee.”

“It is but a small thing for me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with my blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more.

“Before the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside my glory and became a man for thee; I gave up my life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already.

“If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. ‘Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. Help thee?’

“Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. I will help thee.'”

O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit?

Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them here—thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside?

Go forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine helper!

     “Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay’d!
       I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.”

Morning, January 14th, 2022

“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”— Isaiah 63:1

By the words “to save” we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are <em>multum in parro</em>: indeed, here is all mercy in one word.

Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent, but he is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but he is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them.

He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of his name to bend the knee before him. Nay, this is not all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen in the after-work.

The life of a believer is a series of miracles wrought by “the Mighty God.” The bush burns, but is not consumed. He is mighty to keep his people holy after he has made them so, and to preserve them in his fear and love until he consummates their spiritual existence in heaven.

Christ’s might doth not lie in making a believer and then leaving him to shift for himself; but he who begins the good work carries it on; he who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul, prolongs the divine existence, and strengthens it until it bursts asunder every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in glory.

Believer, here is encouragement. Art thou praying for some beloved one? Oh, give not up thy prayers, for Christ is “mighty to save.” You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but your Lord is Almighty. Lay hold on that mighty arm, and rouse it to put forth its strength.

Does your own case trouble you? Fear not, for his strength is sufficient for you. Whether to begin with others, or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is “mighty to save;” the best proof of which lies in the fact that he has saved you.

What a thousand mercies that you have not found him mighty to destroy!

Morning, January 13th, 2022

“Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber.”— 1 Kings 22:48

Solomon’s ships had returned in safety, but Jehoshaphat’s vessels never reached the land of gold. Providence prospers one, and frustrates the desires of another, in the same business and at the same spot, yet the Great Ruler is as good and wise at one time as another.

May we have grace today, in the remembrance of this text, to bless the Lord for ships broken at Ezion-geber, as well as for vessels freighted with temporal blessings; let us not envy the more successful, nor murmur at our losses as though we were singularly and specially tried. Like Jehoshaphat, we may be precious in the Lord’s sight, although our schemes end in disappointment.

The secret cause of Jehoshaphat’s loss is well worthy of notice, for it is the root of very much of the suffering of the Lord’s people; it was his alliance with a sinful family, his fellowship with sinners.

In 2 Ch. 20:37, we are told that the Lord sent a prophet to declare, “Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works.” This was a fatherly chastisement, which appears to have been blest to him; for in the verse which succeeds our morning’s text we find him refusing to allow his servants to sail in the same vessels with those of the wicked king.

Would to God that Jehoshaphat’s experience might be a warning to the rest of the Lord’s people, to avoid being unequally yoked together with unbelievers! A life of misery is usually the lot of those who are united in marriage, or in any other way of their own choosing, with the men of the world.

O for such love to Jesus that, like him, we may be holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners; for if it be not so with us, we may expect to hear it often said, “The Lord hath broken thy works.”

Morning, January 12th, 2022

“And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.”— 1 Corinthians 3:23

“Ye are Christ’s.”

You are his by donation, for the Father gave you to the Son; his by his bloody purchase, for he counted down the price for your redemption; his by dedication, for you have consecrated yourself to him; his by relation, for you are named by his name, and made one of his brethren and joint-heirs.

Labour practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus. When tempted to sin, reply, “I cannot do this great wickedness, for I am Christ’s.” Immortal principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin.

When wealth is before you to be won by sin, say that you are Christ’s, and touch it not.

Are you exposed to difficulties and dangers? Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are Christ’s.

Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing nothing? Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the sweat stands upon your brow, and you are tempted to loiter, cry, “No, I cannot stop, for I am Christ’s. If I were not purchased by blood, I might be like Issachar, crouching between two burdens; but I am Christ’s, and cannot loiter.”

When the siren song of pleasure would tempt you from the path of right, reply, “Thy music cannot charm me; I am Christ’s.”

When the cause of God invites thee, give thy goods and thyself away, for thou art Christ’s. Never belie thy profession.

Be thou ever one of those whose manners are Christian, whose speech is like the Nazarene, whose conduct and conversation are so redolent of heaven, that all who see you may know that you are the Saviour’s, recognizing in you his features of love and his countenance of holiness.

“I am a Roman!” was of old a reason for integrity; far more, then, let it be your argument for holiness, “I am Christ’s!”