Scriptural meditations on God's Word (5650 posted here) sent daily for 18 years -- njhiebert@sympatico.ca

Monday, October 01, 2018

Gems from October 2018

October 1

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
(Ephesians 5:19)

One lovely June morning I went out to work in the yard just at the break of day when the sun began to rise. A little mountain canary lighted on a branch of the tree next to where I was standing and began his morning song of praise. 

At first I was so intent upon the work before me, and quite accustomed to the sounds of the mountain folk both day and night, that I hardly noticed his singing.  Determined that there was to be an appreciative audience for his melodious performance, he hopped down to a branch within arm’s reach and warbled more resoundingly. This time I stopped, gazed and listened.

This little yellow creature put his whole soul into his ethereal song; and I sensed deep within me that he was a choralist sent from God to brighten my whole day with his aria.  

Someone has said that a song at the right time and in the right place will outlive any sermon. Perhaps it may be that a song really comes from the melody in the heart. Down through the ages singing has been the mode of expression of all people.

Song has immortalized national events, has cemented relationships, has endeared experiences.  To those who are parted, a certain song can fuse their breach.

That feathered messenger caused me to avow that I was to keep the spirit of song in my life; to be useful to others, and become an inspiration to those within the sound of my voice.
  
(M. Taylor)

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“In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.”
(Psalms 30:6)

Beware of the smooth places of the way; if you’re treading them, or if the way be rough, 
thank God for it.  

If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dangled on the knees of fortune; 
if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life,  we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream “we stand”; and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy.

We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank Him for our changes;
we extol His name for losses of property; for we feel that had He 
 not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure.

Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial.
(C. H. Spurgeon)

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October 2

“Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly."
(Jonah 2:1)

When Jonah was in the belly of the great fish, his tongue overflowed with the thoughts of his heart.
And what was in his heart?

There are echoes of psalms in his prayer—he mentions fleeing from God’s presence crying for help from the depths of Sheol, being cast into the depths of the sea.

He ends his prayer in psalmist fashion as well, 
I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving” (Psalm 116:17). 

The result? 

The Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land” (Jonah 2:10).

Let me like Jonah know my Bible well enough to speak truth to my own soul when I am overwhelmed with darkness or the disciplining hand of God’s waves and billows.
(Marilyn MacMullen)

Holy Bible, book divine, precious treasure, Thou art mine;
Mine to comfort in distress, suffering in this wilderness
(J. Burton  Sr.

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October 3

“Who is he that overcometh the world,
but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
(1 John 5:5)

The cross shows that man’s nature is utterly incapable of being acted on by any motive whatever which could set it right.

This is very humbling, yet very blessed.
Heaven will not do.  Earth will do.  The law will not do.

I have yet one thing in heaven—My beloved Son; I will send Him.
It may be that they will reverence Him when they see Him.”
(Matthew 21:33-39)

But no.  The determination of man’s will is to have the world without God. This is what man wants.  He will not have God in any sense.

Here it is brought to a climax; 
and the very worst display of Christianity will be just this.
(J. N. Darby)  

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October 4

“This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will,
He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask,
we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”
(1 John 5:14-15)

I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought;
But leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own,
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more blest.
(Eliza M. Hickok)

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October 5

“Lord Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or even thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” (Psalm 90:1-2) 

The Christian knows no change with regard to God. 

He himself may be rich today--and poor tomorrow, he may be sickly today--and well tomorrow, he may be in happiness today--tomorrow he may be distressed; but there is never any change with regard to his relationship to God.

If He loved me yesterday--then He loves me today. 
My unmoving mansion of rest, 
is my blessed Lord.

Let prospects be ruined,  let hopes be blasted,  let joy be withered, let mildews destroy everything — I have lost nothing of what I have in God.
  
He is "my strong habitation where unto I can continually resort.”  I am a pilgrim in the world, but at home in my God. In the earth I wander, but in God I dwell in a quiet habitation.
(Charles Spurgeon)

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength. (Habakkuk 3:17-19) 

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October 6

Draw me, we will run after Thee . . .”
(Song of Solomon 1:4)

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee.

~~~~~~~~~~

“I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I,
but the grace of God which was with me."
(1 Corinthians 15:10)  

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, by the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope, and my will be lost in Thine.

~~~~~~~~~~

“And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, 
as a man speaketh unto his friend.”
(Exodus 33:11)

O the pure delight of a single hour that before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God I commune as friend with friend!
(The Treasures of Fanny Crosby)

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October 7

"There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.”
(Proverbs 19:21)

To true happiness here, as well as for a guard against the dangers of it, 
some strain of sorrow seems of necessity to mingle with it,
something wherein the soul has to submit itself 
to God—to say:  “It is the Lord” (John 21:7).
~~~~~
You may be sure of this, that God never sent a trial so bitter that a Christ-filled Christian could not draw some honey out of it.  God does not expect us to be callous under trial, or ask us to make merry at a funeral.  But away down, deep under the tempest of trial He gives us a serene sense that whatever
 He does is right.  "Jesus wept” (John 11:35)
~~~~~
Oh! the power and the joy of being nothing, having nothing, and knowing nothing but a glorified Christ up there in heaven; and of being “Careful for nothing” (Philippians 4:6) but the honour of His precious Name down here on earth.
(Comforted of God - A. J. Pollock)

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October 8

“. . . ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19)

Our fair morning is at hand, the day-star is near the rising, and we are not many miles from home; what matters the ill entertainment in the smoky inns of this miserable life? We are not to stay here, and we will be dearly welcome to Him whom we go to.

Be patient; Christ went to Heaven with many  a wrong. His visage and countenance was all marred more than the sons of men. You may not be above your Master; many a black stroke received innocent Jesus, and He received no mends, but referred them all to the great court-day, when all things shall be righted. 
(Samuel Rutherford - 1600 - 1661)

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October 9

“Can the fig tree . . . bear olive berries? either a vine, figs?
so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”
(James 3:12)

The Three Sieves   
Is it True?  Is it Kind?  Is it Necessary?

All of us who have tried to remember these three sieves, and have used them, know what a help they are. We are sorry when we ever forget them, and we are very grateful when we are reminded of them in time to keep us from saying something untrue, unkind, or unnecessary.

Sometimes when I listen to hymn-singing I think of the words about the fig tree and the vine and the fountain.   (Note James 3:12 quoted above).
Can the lips which have sung these beautiful 
loving words speak those other words?
But they sometimes do.

Perhaps these three sieves will help to keep some words from being spoken that would grieve the Spirit of love and hurt someone whom our Lord loves.

Is it true?  Is it kind?  Is it necessary?
 (Amy Carmichael)

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October 10

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
(Isaiah 1:18)

One day I went out to walk alone in the silence that follows heavy snowfall.  I climbed a remote ridge that stood sentinel above a broad upland basin of rolling hills.  The whole world was wrapped in white, pensive, pure, and still unmarked by man or his machines.

It was a morning to think long thoughts—as far-reaching as the distant views that stretched fifty miles to the far horizons of the sky edge.  There were precious moments to muse over the meaning of life.  They provided a gentle interlude in which I could be open and receptive to the soft, still impulses of God’s gracious, Holy Spirit.

It came home to me with intense clarity, equal to the brightness all about me, that just as the earth needed this great snowfall to make it utterly lovely, so, too, my life needed the unfolding purity of Christ’s life to cover all my deficiencies.  The ancient prophet of old, Isaiah, spoke of this in eloquent and moving language when he declared on God’s behalf:

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow”  (Isaiah 1:18)

“The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanseth us from all sin” 
(1 John 1:7). 
(Phillip Keller - Songs of My Soul) 

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October 11

“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of man.”
(Matthew 4:19)

We are not all called, as Peter was here, to abandon an earthly calling to follow the Lord, but the principle is the same.

When grace is known, and peace and joy fill the heart, as the fruit of hearing the divine words, “Fear not”— which always come to the soul after honest confession,— then to follow the Lord fully is the only safe and right path, for the new-born soul.

We must make a clean break with the world if we are going to have 
the enjoyment of the Lord’s favour.

Out-and-out decision for Christ is of the utmost importance.
(W. T. P. Wolston)

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October 12

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”
(2 Corinthians 8:9)

“O Master, make me not to seek so much to be consoled—as to console; to be understood—as to understand; to be loved—as to love; for, it is in giving—that one receives; it is in self-forgetingness— that one finds; it is in dying—that one wakes to life eternal.”

When we cease to hold the balance between communion with God and loving ministry to our fellow-men, we become a prey to the wild beasts of morbidity and depression.

“Gloom and despondency; undue and unwholesome introspection; unnatural craving after spiritual emotions and inward frames instead of the daily doing of the will of God for our lives; beclouding of assurance and the in swarming of hosts of doubts and questionings which the normal faith-life and love-life fling off with ease and quickness—all these wild beast foes possess our inward selves and harass our inward souls. 

And then when men come to drink at our wellsprings they find the fountains dry, transformed into a den of spiritual foes; and they turn away disappointed and unrefreshed.  Yea, verily, child of God, there is nothing that will keep your life so well-balanced, so symmetrical, so free from morbidness, so happy in the Lord, as for you to incarnate in your daily, everyday life this simple yet sweeping teaching of our Lord about going in and going out.

Try it, and see what a wondrous far-reaching cure it is for all your inner doubt and darkness.”
(Heaven’s Cure for Earth’s Care - George Henderson)

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October 13

“The Lord will command His loving-kindness in the day time, and in the night His song shall be with me.” (Psalm 42:8)

As we travel through life’s shadowed valley, fresh springs of His love ever rise, And we learn that our sorrows and losses are blessings just sent in disguise.

So we’ll follow wherever He leadeth, though pathways be dreary or bright, For we’ve proof that our God can give comfort; our God can give songs in the night.

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October 14

VICTORY OVER DISCOURAGEMENT

"Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feetlest that which is lame be turned out of the way.”
(Hebrews 12:12-13)

Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down.”  Discouragement in serving: You lament that the ground is barren; that there is no fruit on the trees. Whether serving the Lord in a foreign land; or a stay-at-home mother; or serving in the local assembly; inevitably discouragement will come.

Our encouragement then must be the Lord and His word who said of His own labours: "I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely My judgment is with the Lord, and My work with My God” (Isaiah 49:4).

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye . . . always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

And the feeble knees.”  Discouragement in praying:  You have been praying for the salvation of a loved one; for healing of a broken relationship; about a situation that is beyond your power to change.

Like Elijah, you have cast yourself down upon the earth, and put your face between your knees, and you have looked, but there is nothing.  But you must “Go again seven times,” for “men ought always to pray and not to faint” (1 Kings 18:42-46; Luke 18:1).  By and by you will see “a little cloud” which shall turn to showers of blessing.

And make straight paths for your feet.” Discouragement q2`xxsxssin walking: We are called to walk worthy of our vocation. However, a besetting sin has dogged our pathway, and defeated us time and again, until we are ready to give up.

This is what Satan wants, for he knows that to give up renders us useless to God; but we must pick ourselves up and press on, for the path, no matter how daunting, will end in glory.
(Richard A. Barnett)

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October 15

"I HAVE NO MAN . . ."

“Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.”
(John 5:7)

This poor man had been waiting for his chance to get into the healing waters for a long, long time. Today a crippled and infirm world crowds the pools of Bethesda.

But how many never quite make it to healing and release!  Whatever they seek, somebody else beats them to it.

In the presence of the Son of God this man was bemoaning the fact that he had no one to help him: “Sir, I have no man . . .“ Are you waiting for human help to get you to your heart’s desire? Better than all angel-troubled waters, better than the vain help of man, there stands One saying, "Wilt thou be made whole?”  

Never were earth’s pools of Bethesda as crowded as today.  But you do not have to wait for an angel—some strange unearthly intervention—nor for a man—mere human assistance.

Greater than angels or men, Jesus is at hand. Put your case in His hands and do His bidding. Men turn today to the supernatural in unguided mysticism and to the human in unspiritual psychiatry.  All that you need is Jesus.
(Day by Day with Vance Havner)

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October 16

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
(1 Peter 1:16)

God’s ultimate plan for each believer is absolute holiness. 
In the meantime He asks that we daily pursue practical holiness.
- Knowing He is holy, we yearn to be like Him. 
- Knowing He is God, we choose to obey Him.
- Knowing this delights Him, we strive to please Him.

We have the resources: the Scriptures to enlighten us, the Holy Spirit to comfort, convict, and encourage us and Christ our faithful High Priest. 

May we daily be a pleasing reminder to Him of His beloved Son.
(George Ferrier)

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
(William D. Longstaff)

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October 17

“. . . stand fast in the Lord . . . “
(Philippians 4:1)

“In Christ it is we stand.”
He is our righteousness.  He Himself, the crucified, risen, exalted, glorified Christ.

Yes; He is our righteousness.
To be found in Him is proper Christian standing.

It is not Judaism, Catholicism, nor any other ism
It is not the being a member of this church, that church, or the other church.

It is to be in Christ. 
This is the great foundation of true practical Christianity.
In a word, this is the standing of the Christian.
(C. H. Mackintosh)

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October 18

“. . . if thou canst believe, 
all things are possible to him that believeth.”
(Mark 9:23)

Seldom have we heard a better definition of faith than was given once in one of our meetings by a dear old woman as she answered the question of a young man, how to take the Lord for needed help.

In her characteristic way, pointing her finger toward him, she said with great emphasis: “You’ve just got to believe that He’s done it, and it’s done.”

The great danger with  most of us is that, after we ask Him to do it, we do not believe that it is done, but we keep on “helping Him,” and getting others to help Him; and waiting to see how He is going to do it.

Faith adds its “Amen” to God’s “Yea,” and then takes its hands off, and leaves God to finish His work. Its language is “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." (Psalm 37:5).  

"I simply take Him at His word, I praise Him that my prayer is heard,
And claim my answer from the Lord; I take,  He undertakes.
(Mountain Trailways for Youth)

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October 19

REST ASSURED

"For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.”
(Hebrews 4:10)

After forgiveness there comes a thought of great comfort in our freshly felt helplessness, rising out of the very thing that makes us realize this helplessness.

Just because our influence is to such a great extent involuntary and unconscious, we may rest assured that if we ourselves are truly kept for Jesus, this will be, as a quite natural result, kept for Him also.

It cannot be otherwise, for as is the fountain, so will be the flow; as the spring, so the action; as the impulse, so the communicated motion.

Thus there may be, and in simple trust there will be, a quiet rest about it, a relief from all sense of strain and effort, a fulfilling of the words, “For he that is entered into His rest he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.” 

It will not be a matter of trying to have good influence, but just of having it, as naturally and constantly as the magnetized bar.

Resting on the faithfulness of Christ our Lord,
Resting on the fullness of His own sure word;
Resting on His power on His love untold;
Resting on His covenant secured of old.
Resting and believing, let us onward press, 
Resting in Himself, the Lord our Righteousness;
Resting and rejoicing, let His saved ones sing,
Glory, glory, glory be to Christ our king!
(Opened Treasures - F. R. Havergal)

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October 20

ALL THE WAY MY SAVIOUR LEADS ME  

"For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death” (Psalm 48:14).

Often we become discouraged because we cannot see God’s long-range plan of guidance for our lives. We need to remember that God has promised to guide our steps, not the miles ahead.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in His way” (Psalm 37:23). This beloved hymn came from the grateful heart of FANNY J. CROSBY after she had received a direct answer to her prayer. 

One day when she desperately needed five dollars and had no idea where she could obtain it, Fanny followed her usual custom and began to pray about the matter.  A few minutes later a stranger appeared at her door with the exact amount. "I have no way of accounting for this,” she said, "except to believe that God put it in the heart of this good man to bring the money.  My first thought was that it is so wonderful the way the Lord leads me, I immediately wrote the poem".  The hymn was first published in 1875.

No one knows the importance of guided steps as much as a blind person like Fanny Crosby, who lost her sight at six weeks of age through improper medical treatment.  A sightless person is keenly aware that there will be stumbling and uncertainty as she continues on her way.  As Fanny wrote, “cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for every trial,” she has reminded us that God has never promised to keep us from hard places or obstacles in life.  He has assured us, however, that He will go with us, guide each step, and give the necessary grace.

All the way my Saviour leads me-what have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy, who thru life has been my guide? Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell!  for I know what’er befall me, 
Jesus doeth all things well . . .

All the way my Savour leads me-cheers each winding path I tread, gives me grace for ev’ry trial, feeds me with the living bread.  Though my weary steps may falter and my soul athirst may be, gushing from the Rock 
before me, Lo! a spring of joy I see . . . 

All the way my Saviour leads me-oh the fullness of His love!  Perfect rest to me is promised in my Father’s house above.  When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings its flight to realms of day, this my song thru endless ages: Jesus led me all the way . . .      
(Kenneth W. Osbeck)


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October 21

October 22

October 23

October 24

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Gems from September 2018

August 31


“Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been showed me, 
all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law
since the death of thine husband.”
(Ruth 2:11)

There is no record that Ruth had said a word concerning her treatment of Naomi,
but to her great surprise Boaz knew.

Our heavenly Boaz misses nothing.  He not only observes but 
rewards—sometimes in this life, 
but always in the next.

Ours will be an even richer experience than that of a Moabitess
marrying a Jewish prince.
(Brian Russell)

With eternity’s values in view, Lord, with eternity’s values in view;
May I do each day’s work for Jesus, with eternity"s values in view.
(Alfred B. Smith)

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September 1


“If ye shall ask . . . I will do.”
(John 14:14)

Who is it here who offers to do for us if we will only ask? It is God Himself
It is the mightiest doer in the universe who says 
I will do, if you ask.”

Think a moment who it is that promises: the God who holds the sea in the hollow of His hand; the God who swings this ponderous globe of earth in its orbit; the God who marshals the stars and guides the planets in their blazing paths with undeviating accuracy; the heaven-creating, devil-conquering, dead-raising God.

It is this very God who says: “If ye ask, I will do!”    

Unrivalled wisdom, boundless skill, limitless power, infinite resources are His.

Wouldest thou not rather call forth Mine omnipotent doing by thine asking, if to this I have called thee, than even to be busy with thine own doing?
(James H. McConkey)

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September 2


SALVATION

“For by grace are ye saved through faith . . . it is the gift of God.”
(Ephesians 2:8)

The word “salvation” is used in the New Testament in three senses.

(a)  It is used to describe our deliverance from the penalty of sin, which is spoken of as an accomplished fact. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

(b)  It is used to describe our emancipation from the tyranny of sin, which it speaks of as going on now -
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
(Philippians 2:12-13). 

(c)  It is used to indicate what will take place when our Lord shall return to remove us from this world, when salvation will be complete.
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed"  (Romans 13:11).

It is the last-named sense of the word that the apostle has in mind when he says:  “Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” The words for these three aspects of salvation are:

Justification, which is something which we possess;  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

Sanctification, which is something that we experience. “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth" (John 17:17).

Glorification, which is something that we anticipate.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory” 
(Colossians 3:4)
(The Wonderfull Word)

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September 3


“He knoweth our frame;  He remembereth that we are dust.”
(Psalm 103:14)

He knoweth the need of my life for shelter and raiment and food;
In each trifling care of the day the word of His promise is good;
He knoweth my thought from afar, the wish that I never have told,
And every unspoken desire His wisdom doth grant or withhold.

He knoweth me—yet He can love, can wait with love’s patience divine,
My stubborn and arrogant heart its will to His own to resign;
He knoweth my frame is but dust; He knoweth how much it can bear;
I rest in that knowledge supreme; I trust in His power and care.
(Flint’s Best-Loved Poems)

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September 4


“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”
(Romans 11:29)

God never repents of His call or His gift; and hence, though an unbelieving generation should murmur and rebel ten thousand times over, He will make good all that He has promised.

Everything goes to pieces in man’s hands, but God in Christ remains.

Let man be set up in business again and again, under the most favourable circumstances, and he is sure to become a bankrupt, but God has set up Christ in resurrection, and all who believe in Him are placed on a new footing altogether, they are taken into partnership with the risen and glorified Head, and there they stand forever. 
(Food for the desert)

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September 5


“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.   All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:15-17)

Set a high value upon the Word of God. All that is necessary to make you wise to salvation is there—and there alone.  

In this precious Book, you may find . . . a direction for every doubt, a solution of every difficulty, and a promise suited to every circumstance you can be in. 

There you may be informed of your disease caused by sin—and the remedy provided by grace.

In the Scriptures, you may be instructed to know . . . yourselves, Jesus Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, the wonders of redeeming love, the glories of the Redeemer’s person, the happiness of the redeemed people, the power of faith, and the beauty of holiness.  
All are here fully and clearly represented.
(John Newton - R.L. thanks)
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September 6


“When I consider Thy heavens, the works of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the Son of Man, that Thou visitest him?
(Psalm 8:3-4)  


This text was placed on the moon by the first U.S. astronauts. One of them, Jim Irwin, gave his testimony later at a little church in Florida where He had been saved. 

He was a man of small stature and very humble spirit.

Irwin’s words were to this affect: 

“More wonderful than me going to the moon for my country was God’s Son coming to the earth for me.”

(E. MacLelland)

Was it for me, for me alone, the Saviour left His glorious throne; The dazzling splendours of the sky, was it for me He came to die?

(J.M. White)

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September 7

WINGS

“O that I had wings like a dove; then would I fly away and be at rest.” (Psalm 55:6)

“They that wait upon the Lord . . . shall mount up with wings as eagles.” (Isaiah 40:31)

I fain would fly and leave my cares behind,
But how or where to flee I cannot find.
Seems then a voice to say — ’Tis better so:
Learn thou to soar and leave thy cares below!” 
(Bells & Pomegranates - James M. S. Tait)

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September 8

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and He that believeth on Me shall never thirst . . .  All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me: and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.  For came down from heaven, not to do mine own will,  but the will of Him that sent me.”
(John 6:35-38)

CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT (1789-1871) seemed to have everything going for her as a young woman.  
She was gifted as a portrait artist and also as a writer of humorous verse. 
Then in her early thirties she suffered a serious illness that left her weak and depressed. 
During her illness a minister, Dr. Caesar Malan of Switzerland, came to visit her.
Noticing her depression, he asked if she had peace with God.  She resented 
the question and said she did not want to talk about it. 

But a few days later she went to apologize to Dr. Malan.  She said that she wanted to clean up some 
things in her life before becoming a Christian.  Malan looked at her and answered,
Come just as you are.” That was enough for Charlotte Elliott,
and she yielded herself to the Lord that day.

Fourteen years later, remembering those words spoken to her by Caesar Malan in Brighton, England,
she wrote this simple hymn that has been used to touch the hearts of millions who 
have also responded to Christ’s invitation to come just as they are.

Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, tho’ tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings within, and fears without, O Lamb of God I come! I come!

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind, sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God I come! I come!  
(First 4 of 7 verses
(Compiled & Edited by R. K. Brown & M. R. Norton
  
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September 9

“Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, this is an hard saying; who can hear it?  It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
(John 6:60,63)
  
“Today there is such a deluge of words written to be read that if the citizens of North America had to read all that the papers printed, they would have time for nothing else. 

All the minutes of all the hours would not suffice to devour a tenth of this refuse that is being dumped in the language of our people.  Words pour out daily like water when a dam gives way.

This is the generation of words.  Words over the air the people cannot listen to; words in the newspapers that the people cannot read.

These words are like the insects of the summer time; or the passing bloom on the flowers of the field; they die as soon as they live.

Hero lovers use all the arts of their training to embalm the words of their admired heroes; but a year or two suffices to leave these words buried in the oblivion of a forgotten past. But not the words of Christ.  His words are still: 

More to be desired . . . than gold; yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey comb” 
(Psalm 19:10). 
(Our Lord Jesus Christ a Plant of Renown - L. Sheldrake)

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September 10

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 2:5)

Let us remember:

"We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

We are to "learn of Me [Christ]" (Matthew 11:29).

We “have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).

We are to "follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

 Christ is to "dwell in your hearts”  (Ephesians 3:17).
(Christopher Willis)

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September 11

"Simeon . . . was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. . . . Then took he Him up in His arms, and blessed God, and said . . . mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people."
(Luke 2:25-31)

“Anna . . . departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day . . . gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:36-38)

God’s provision for collective failure is individual faithfulness.
Consider what was the spiritual, moral and political state of Israel when Christ was born.

But Simeon and Anna had remained faithful; and they were privileged to see the Lord Jesus Christ and to witness for Him. Their individual faithfulness resulted in joyful joint witness for Him.
(Morsels for  Meditation - John Kaiser)

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September 12

“I pray . . . that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”
(John 17:15)

“Unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  Amen.”
(Jude 24-25)

Jesus, strength of our salvation, none can pluck us from Thy hand;
In the hour of dark temptation, kept by Thee we safely stand.

Though by enemies surrounded, Onward still our steps we wend;
All our foes shall be confounded, safely come our journey’s end.
(The Christian Daily Calendar)

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September 13

“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9)

The path of strength . . .  is the being made sensible of our own weakness, so that divine strength, which will never be a supplement of flesh’s strength, may come in.  

That self should feel self nothing . . . is a most divine work.

Where shall we find strength for practical separation to God, unless in God Himself? . . .

Our helplessness is our resource.
We find that God Himself must come in because we can do nothing.

We need God’s power to be little.
(Footprints for Pilgrims - J.N.D.)

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September 14

First, Jesus says, "I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.

Then Jesus declares, “I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am know of Mine.”

You see two sides of truth here.
As the Good Shepherd He went to Calvary’s cross and there laid down His life. There He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities and with His stripes we are healed.

Oh, that wonderful Shepherd!
O thou great all-gracious Shepherd, shedding for us Thy life’s blood,
Unto shame and death delivered, all to bring us nigh to God.”  

Because, you see, there was no other way. In Gethsemane He prayed, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.” That is, “If it is possible to save sinners by any other means than by My drinking of the cup of judgment, then make it manifest.” But there was no other way, and so the Good Shepherd went out to die.    

But He who died lives again.
He lives in glory, and He is the Good Shepherd still.
He is called elsewhere the Great Shepherd and the Chief Shepherd.

“Our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep . . . make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever,”  

But this Great Shepherd is the Good Shepherd still, and He knows His sheep, and He says, 
I am known of Mine.” 
(H. A. Ironside)

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September 15

“And He saw them toiling in rowing.”
(Mark 6:48)

Straining, driving effort does not accomplish the work God gives man to do. Only God Himself, who always works without strain, and who never overworks, can do the work that He assigns to His children. 

When they restfully trust Him to do it, it will be well done and completely done. The way to let Him do His work through us is to partake of Christ so fully, by faith, that He more than fills our life.

A man who had learned this secret once said:  "I came to Jesus and I drank, and I do not think that I shall ever be thirsty again. I have taken for my motto, ’Not overwork, but overflow‘; and already it has made all the difference in my life."

There is no effort in overflow.  It is quietly irresistible. It is the normal life of omnipotent and ceaseless accomplishment into which Christ invites us today and always.
(Sunday School Times)

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September 16

“I (Paul) verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.”
(Acts 26:9-11)

- A good conscience does not in the least say that there may not be evil ways in me.

“Lead me,” and “Hold me,” is the language of faith.

“Partakers of His holiness,” means, the thoughts of God realized in us.

- I could not number the sand; but the sand is not infinite—and His thoughts are.

- His Hand has got hold of me,—even in the exercises.

- It is those who come to the Son, who received what is of the Son, and in the Son.
(Hunt’s Sayings by K. M. Hammond)

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September 17

“ . . . The Lord that delivered me . . . He will deliver me. . . . “
(1 Samuel 17:37)

David had conquered fear.
That is why he could say that no man’s heart need fail him because of Goliath.

There was no panic; there was no feverish and wasteful excitement;
there was no shouting to keep the spirits up.
There was perfect calm.

For a child of God, fear is a conquered enemy.
The power of the Holy Spirit gives us victory over fear.
After Pentecost we all stand on victory ground. 
(This Day is the Lord’s - Corrie Ten Boom

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September 18

“Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
(Revelation 22:20)

There is exquisite beauty in His word, “Surely I come quickly,” being thus immediately taken up by the Spirit and the Bride, and answered in language known to faith (Revelation 22:17).

Often the very duties of the servant may be allowed to interfere with the bright burning of this hope in a heart where yet it is burning. It ever burns brightly in the heart of Christ: and as soon as the last members of His body are gathered in, that promise will be fulfilled.

If the light only burns with a flickering gleam in my heart, there is ever, in all brightness, in His, the thought of coming quickly.

The heart of the individual believer gets its power in the hope of His coming being ever present. We have to judge our ways, our whole course, in the light of it.

This (Revelation 22:17) is the only passage in which the Spirit is presented with the bride—very touching it is connected with wilderness circumstances; the Spirit in that character speaking thus: saying, “Come!”

What has the bride to do with the wilderness,
save as Rebecca passing through it?
(Gleanings - G. V. Wigram)

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September 19

SIN AND GUILT

“The way of transgressors is hard.”
(Proverbs 13:15)

The terror of sin.

A soul in a state of sin may possess much, but enjoys nothing.
One thought of its state of enmity to God, would drop bitterness into every cup.
(William Gurnall 1617-1679)

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal 
life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Romans 6:23)

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September 20

“And God saw their (Nineveh) works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not.”
 (Jonah 3:10)

"But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.  And he prayed unto the Lord . . . I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech Thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.” 
(Jonah  4:1-3)  

This is the only request in Jonah’s prayer, a request that he might die.  Why?  Because he could not have his own way. Self-will and disappointment made him long to give up his honourable position as prophet and servant of Jehovah, a witness to Him, even in a foreign land; and escape all his troubles in death.

It was very wrong and very cowardly—just the kind of thing we do.  When things go all wrong, and we do not get our own way, and are disappointed and discouraged; then we sigh, and hope that the Lord may soon come and take us away to heaven.

The writer has to confess that he has done just the same thing as Jonah, and very possibly the reader is little better.  If we allow it, how the sword of the Spirit cuts us, and how truly it is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12)
(G. C. Willis - Lessons From Jonah the Prophet)

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September 21

FAITHFUL IN THE LEAST

“Faithful in that which is least. . . .”
(Luke 16:10)

If we have been faithful in the little situation that seemed insignificant,
we are in line for something better.

It is easy to withhold our best from what looks unworthy of all-out effort and save our best for the big day.
But when is the big day?

It may be that on that dull drear mission, when we seemed to be wasting our time,
God did something more important than we ever dreamed.
Count not that day lost when we did our best under
most discouraging circumstances.

The deed takes its value from the spirit in which we did it.

He that is faithful over a few things shall be made ruler over many things.  
(All the Days - Vance Havner)

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September 22

“What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”
(1 Corinthians 14:15)

The Father’s boundless love we sing, the fountain whence our blessings spring; How great the depth, how high it flows, no saint can tell, no angel knows.

Its length and breadth no eye can trace, no thought explore the bounds of grace; The love that saved our souls from hell transcends the creature’s power to tell.
(Tate - The Christian Calendar)

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September 23

“And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him . . . "
(Luke 24:31)

In 1875 a young Christian, whose testimony to his faith in Christ had been met by the rejoinder that it was only phantom and sham, prayed in a meeting definitely asking the Lord that Frances Ridley Havergal might write a poem “to show what Thou art—a living bright Reality”;  and waxing bold he added, “and let her do it this very night."

On that evening Miss Havergal was at another meeting where a man in his prayer used the expression: “Father, we know the reality of Jesus Christ.”  

The expression made such a deep impression upon her that she went home and wrote a poem of nine stanzas, and dated it. 

When she recounted the incident, 
she added, "Does not this show the reality of prayer?” 

Reality, reality, Lord Jesus Christ Thou art to me;
From the spectral mists and driving clouds,
From the shifting shadows and phantom crowds,
I turn to my glorious rest in Thee,
Who art the grand reality.   

We are not left to the dim stars or to the flicker of the uncertain lanterns.
God Himself has spoken to us in the words of Jesus Christ.
(Traveling Toward Sunrise)

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September 24

“Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

He will never say to anyone in that day of judgment, “I used to know you, but I do not know you any more.” He says, “never knew you.”  But of His own He says, “I know them.” 

Now if you will keep that in mind I do not think you will have any question about the eternal security of the believer. He never knew those who, though they seemed to be workers in His own vineyard, had never heard His voice.

First, His sheep know His voice.  Second, He says, “I know them.”  The third thing, “and they follow Me.”  There is no use to profess to be a sheep of Christ’s unless you follow Him.  Christ means so much to those who are truly born again that their souls delight to follow Him. Do you follow Him?  Is His will precious to you?

We do not become sheep by following Jesus.  It is the very opposite.  We follow Him because we belong to His flock.  Having been saved, we manifest that by following Him.  There are a great many people who bear the Christian name who are not really born of God.  This accounts for so many who at one time seemed to be Christians, but because there was no reality, they never knew the Lord, they never found any satisfaction in following Him and so they fell away. 

Speaking of His own sheep, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. What kind of life?  Eternal life.  You who have questioned the eternal security of the believer, how long is “ETERNAL?”  “I give unto them eternal life.”  

Do you not see?  It is not probationary life, it is not temporal life, it is ETERNAL life.  
(Harry A. Ironside)

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September 25

THE SURE AFTERWARD

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
(Hebrews 12:11)

There are some promises which we are apt to reverse for great occasions, and thus lose the continual comfort of them.  Perhaps we read this one with a sigh and say: “How beautiful this is for those whom the Lord is really chastening! I almost think I should not mind that, if such a promise might then be mine.

But the things that try me are only little things that turn up every day to trouble and depress me. Well, now, does the Lord specify what degree of trouble, or what kind of trouble, is great enough to make up a claim to the promise? And if He does not, why should you?  He only defines it as “not joyous, but grievous”.

Perhaps there have been a dozen different things today which were “not joyous, but grievous” to you. And though you feel ashamed of feeling them so much, and hardly like to own to their having been so trying, and would not think of dignifying them as “chastening”, yet, if they come under the the Lord’s definition, He not only knows all about them, but they were, every one of them, chastenings from His hand; neither to be despised and called “just nothing” when all the while they did “grieve” you; nor to be wearied of; because they are working out blessing to you and glory to Him. 

Every one of them has been an unrecognized token of His love and interest in you; for “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.
(Royal Bounty - Frances Ridley Havergal)

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September 26

WHY AFFLICTIONS? . . . A MEASURE OF HIS PROVIDENCE

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 
(2 Corinthians 4:17) 

One of the puzzling dilemmas we face as believers, concerns the
afflictions that befall us.  Such concerns go back as far as Job.
He encountered affliction as few have.

Through it all, Job had an encounter with God that radically changed his life.
It is difficult to understand God’s providential ways. 

We must leave these occasions in His hands and turn our heart with 
unwavering faith to His care, plan, and purpose in it all.

God’s ways are unsearchable . . . but His grace is unfailing! 
(Daily Devotions - B. L.)

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September 27

"From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
(2 Timothy 3:15-17)

Nothing is lacking in the Scriptures to make . . . life useful and comfortable, death safe and desirable, and to bring down something of heaven upon earth.

But this true wisdom can be found nowhere else.  If you wander from the Scriptures, in pursuit either of present peace, or future hope—then your search will surely end in disappointment.

This is the fountain of living waters!  If you forsake it, and give the preference to broken cisterns of your own devising—then they will fail you when you most need them.

Rejoice, therefore, that such a treasure is put into your hand—but rejoice with trembling.  Remember this is not all you need—unless God likewise gives you a heart to use the Scriptures aright—then your privilege will only aggravate your guilt and misery. 
(John Newton with thanks, Daily Devotions - B.L)

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September 28


“O God, STRENGTHEN my hands.”
(Nehemiah 6:9)

“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the STRENGTH of my heart, and my portion forever.”
(Psalms 73:26)

“O Lord God, remember me, I pray Thee, and STRENGTHEN me.”
(Judges 16:28)

"Charge Joshua, and encourage him, and STRENGTHEN him.”
(Deuteronomy 3:28)

"STRENGTHEN thy brethren.”
(Luke 22:32)

“STRENGTHEN the things which remain.”
(Revelation 3:2) 

Thy love, most gracious Lord, our joy and STRENGTH shall be; 
Till Thou shalt speak the gladdening word that bids us rise to Thee.
(The Christian Daily Calendar)

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September 29

SELF-PITY

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
(2 Timothy 3:12)

Someone has said, “Always there is a black spot in our sunshine, it is the shadow of ourselves.” This hateful thing—self—takes innumerable forms; but perhaps the form that is most productive of unhappiness and misery to the one who indulges it, is self-pity.  In the opinion of Professor Jung, one-third of the people who came to his nerve clinic were suffering from the effects of constantly being sorry for themselves.

When a person thinks only and always about himself, his likes and dislikes, and the hardness of his lot in life, he is on the way to physical and nervous disaster.  Such a thing is distressing in one who makes no profession of Christianity; it is calamitous in one who does.

The outstanding illustration in Holy Writ of a man who was sorry for himself is the elder brother in the parable of Luke 15.  By his self-centredness he banished happiness from his life, for, while all the others joyfully celebrated the return of the wanderer, “He was angry and would not go in” (Luke 15:28).

He lost all sense of values; For, while he was the real possessor of the inheritance,  he petulantly exclaims; “Thou never gavest me a kid, but gave to the prodigal the fatted calf.”
(Luke 15:29-31)

He robbed himself of the joys of fellowship; for, instead of using the endearing term, “my brother,” he uses the contemptuous one: “This thy son,” (Luke 15: 30)

Now, if we, as Christians, have been giving way to this sad complaint we will have to take ourselves in hand, and deal drastically with it.  Change of circumstances won’t cure it; what is needed is a change of disposition. “God harden me against myself,” said Christina Rosetti, whenever she became conscious of the tendency to self-pity.         
(In Pastures Green - George Henderson)

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September 30

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
(Ephesians 5:19)

One lovely June morning I went out to work in the yard just at the break of day when the sun began to rise. A little mountain canary lighted on a branch of the tree next to where I was standing and began his morning song of praise. 

At first I was so intent upon the work before me, and quite accustomed to the sounds of the mountain folk both day and night, that I hardly noticed his singing.  Determined that there was to be an appreciative audience for his melodious performance, he hopped down to a branch within arm’s reach and warbled more resoundingly. This time I stopped, gazed and listened.

This little yellow creature put his whole soul into his ethereal song; and I sensed deep within me that he was a choralist sent from God to brighten my whole day with his aria.  

Someone has said that a song at the right time and in the right place will outlive any sermon. Perhaps it may be that a song really comes from the melody in the heart. Down through the ages singing has been the 
mode of expression of all people.

Song has immortalized national events, has cemented relationships, has endeared experiences.  To those who are parted, a certain song can fuse their breach.

That feathered messenger caused me to avow that I was to keep the spirit of song in my life; to be useful to others, and become an inspiration to those within the sound of my voice.
  
(M. Taylor)

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