“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
Let nothing, dear Christian, come between your heart and the hope of the Lord’s imminent coming. Remember His promise that “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Pay no attention to those who say that certain prophetic events must take place before the Lord can come for His saints. We look not for events, but for Him. “Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” And heed not those who say that the tribulation, or a part of it, must first come. In speaking of that awful coming time of wrath, God’s Word assures us that “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” And refuse the legalistic teaching which says that all believers will not be raptured, but only those who have attained to superior spirituality or who are intently looking for Him, for God’s Word assures us that “we shall all be changed” at His coming. So, “now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
It may be today He shall come To take us home to glory To abide with Him forever, To sing redemption’s story.
“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
How gracious is our Lord to invite us to throw over on Him all that would distract us or make us anxious, because it matters to Him about us. Our cares are of interest and concern to Him. Therefore He bids us to “trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us.” So “cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Whatever distractions or worries might come, let us never forget that “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way.” To cast “all your care upon Him” is to recognize and rest in the fact that “He careth for you.” He has myriad ways to bring help to His people in any circumstances, for He is “the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” So “be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God,” who has said, “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Let us rejoice that it matters to Him concerning us, and “let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
It is His concern about you, Where’er you stand in this hour, So lay your burden upon Him Who delights to show His power.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:1-2).
The above questions are asked in view of the statement that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Is such abounding grace a cause for the believer in Christ to permit sin in his life? No! Rather, “the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead: and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again,” for He “gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world,” that the Christian “no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Our Saviour “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,” and “ye were … redeemed … from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers … with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot.” “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God … and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
The world, the flesh and the devil All unite to claim our life; God’s grace alone can deliver, And end our failure and strife.
“Now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometime were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13).
How very far off we were before we knew God’s grace “in Christ Jesus.” We “were dead in trespasses and sins … [and] walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation … in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” We had “no hope, and [were] without God in the world,” “and all our righteousnesses [were] as filthy rags.” But by simple faith in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, we have “passed from death unto life” and “are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” How nigh? “He hath made us accepted in the beloved,” and “as He is, so are we in this world.” “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” It is written that “both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Our great high priest prayed “that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.”
His own are loved as He is loved, For we stand before God in Him, “Accepted in the beloved,” And forgiven of all our sins.
“There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).
There is a Man in the glory, standing between God and men, who “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men,” “for verily … He took on Him the seed of Abraham.” “In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God,” and thus “we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Before He came into the world, the angel directed that “thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Jesus is His name as Man, and “we see Jesus … crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” As He ascended back to heaven, the angelic messengers said that “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven,” and we believers “wait for His Son from heaven … even Jesus.” “A man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers … in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock, in a weary land.”
There sits in the glory, At the Father’s right hand, The Son of the Father, The blest, glorified Man.
Let not the Christian ever suppose that the world, or even carnal believers, will ever understand what it is to “live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me,” for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” But just as our spiritual life started by faith, when we believed on Christ as Saviour, so does it continue by faith. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him,” for “in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” So we live not by what we see, but by faith, for “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” and “we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed.” And let us never forget that this moment-by-moment “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” So “cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.”
We live by faith, and not by sight; We trust His Word, by day and night; His Word is sure; He cannot lie; He begs us then His grace to try.
“Preserve me, O God: for in Thee do I put my trust” (Psa. 16:1).
The psalmist is praying that God will preserve him, that He will protect him, hedge him about, guard him from all people and circumstances that would hurt and destroy. How appropriate is his prayer, for the Lord does guard His own and guide His own and gird His own. Note how He guards His own, “that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ,” for “He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber. … The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. … The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul.” And see how He guides, for “the meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.” He says that “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.” “This God is our God forever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death,” and “Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” And He also girds us, “for Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle.” How very much we need this daily girding by His strength. “As for God, His way is perfect. … It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”
He keepeth and guardeth His own; He leads us in paths that are right; He girds with strength for the battle; He girdeth us with His might.
“The tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things” (James 3:5).
“The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” So “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine,” and “speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” It is written that “the lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness,” and “a talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.” On the other hand, “the heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.” Even so, it is well for us to remember that “whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles” and that “a soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” So “let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
Words are like arrows shot forth, With power to ruin and kill; There’s no way to call them back; Their pain and hurt go on still.
“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1).
God has mercifully divided our time here on earth into days, “because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” And every saved person can confidently say that “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Whether our days on earth be few or many, we are exhorted to be “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” If, like David, we can say, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple,” then we shall experience “days of heaven upon the earth,” “and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” We can confidently pray, “Give us day by day our daily bread.” Truly, “thou knowest not what a day may bring forth,” but “the Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be forever.” “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom,” for “ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Let us then “show forth His salvation from day to day.”
This day is mine to live for Him, To trust Him each step of the way; I know not what tomorrow brings; He has promised only today.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth forever.” Because “wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding,” “for the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver.” Let us ever remember that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” Therefore “cease from thine own wisdom,” and “be not wise in your own conceits,” for “the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” Laying aside our own imagined wisdom, we look to “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God,” for “of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom.” He gives us the right kind of wisdom, of which it is said, “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.” “If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.” Always, “the tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright,” “and he that winneth souls is wise.”
Wisdom, not our own, but His, Wisdom to discern His will, Wisdom to know His leading That we may trust and be still.