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 Savior, 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.
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 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.
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.
“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.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” Our God says, “I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass?” So “cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” Then, dear blood-bought saint, “let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Then, “what shall we say to these things?” “These things” referred to in Romans 8:31 tell us that “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” and that He “did predestinate [us] to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” So “hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.” “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
The dear Lord Himself is for me, To guard and gird and guide, And Satan himself can’t harm me When I in Christ abide.
When we wholeheartedly take refuge in the Lord, with our hope and confidence in Him, then we look away from our own imagined wisdom, realizing that “it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” and that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.” But how different when we “trust in the Lord” and do not depend upon our “own understanding,” for when we “in all [our] ways acknowledge Him,” when we diligently seek His answer and His instruction, then “he shall direct thy paths,” for He has promised that “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.” “Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will He teach sinners in the way. The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.” “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness.”
Our wisdom is not sufficient For even one day below; We acknowledge our need of grace That we Thy guidance might know.
Many are the times in most of our lives when we have need to say, “Neither know we what to do.” A decision to make, a crisis to face, and the pressure of circumstances over which we have no control all cause us to realize how little is our wisdom and how small is our strength. But then we have One who “is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working,” and He tells us to be “casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” His gracious word to us is to “commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” Only let us truthfully say, when “neither know we what to do,” that “our eyes are upon Thee.” “Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look upon the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that He have mercy upon us.” Thus waiting, we shall not be disappointed. Our testimony shall be, “Blessed be the Lord, because He hath heard the voice of my supplications. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.”
“Our eyes are upon Thee,” dear Lord, To lead us on day by day; We know not what we ought to do; We trust Thee to lead our way.
What a blessed statement this is about “the house of Stephanas.” They had “addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” They were not commissioned by some church or board or committee; they had appointed “themselves” to such needed ministry. They had set themselves to watch for needs among God’s children and to seek to minister to those needs. And thus ministering to God’s children, they ministered to God Himself, “for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Our Lord Jesus said that “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me,” and “whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” “Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you shall be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” Let us “by love serve one another,” pursuing those “things wherewith one may edify another.” “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others,” and thus “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.”
Serving those that our Lord died for, Considering their tears and woes, Never seeking the praises of men, Leaving all to that One who knows.