Gleanings 165

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Happy the person who has an empty vessel and God ever ready to fill. Unhappy they who have no empty vessel. The oil flowed still, when the woman lacked vessels. The Lord sees plenty of empty channels to be filled, and oh, it is a blessed thing to take up all our needs to God, and go before Him as those who know His character as a giver.
I doubt whether many know the sweetness of going into the presence of God as a channel or pipe to be filled in order to bring out what is wanted for others-saying, " I have got the ear and heart of Christ." He let the apostle Paul pour out all his thoughts and met them with His grace, far above all that He was asked. Blessing is not measured merely by the wants of the individual, but by all that is in the heart of God towards those who are in Christ.
You may not think there is much brightness in the furnace whilst in it, but when come out of it, its light will be in your soul. Something put there by the Son of God who walked with you through it, which will shine out to His praise and glory when He shall appear.
Suppose the Lord were to say in the case of two of His children, " I shall shelter and take home that one; but as for the other, I shall make him go through all the closing days, carrying the testimony which would certainly be the last;" such an one will find perilous times and plenty of sorrow, but which will look brightest up there?
The extent of Christ's love for those given Him by the Father, the Father alone can understand. Look at the prodigal-what a pitiable object! and yet there he is in the father's arms, all the expression of the father's love put on him, all the joy of the house flowing out in response to the gladness of the father's heart. What did the prodigal bring? Nothing save the marks of misery. Starvation and rags. The angels did not understand God's mercy till then. They could not know it till Christ became man. When they saw the Babe lying in the manger, they knew that Babe to be the eternal God from off the throne. And it was only by the church that: they learned the manifold wisdom of God.
We understand that mercy in the heart of God, because we have tasted it.
It is a secret between my soul and God. God looked upon me and picked me up, and brought to my soul individually the taste of pardoning love through the Son of His love washing me in His own blood. Oh! the sweetness of the thought of this Son of God having given Himself for me, and having occupied Himself with me in all my misery. The most precious thought in connection with redemption is that of being a poor prodigal in the Father's house. The bringing in of the prodigal was to prove the delight of God in showing out all the riches of His love to poor ruined sinners:
Does any scene on earth now tell of the power of God without a mark of Satan? As we pass along, we have to see the marks of feebleness and sin in one another; and we stand out as witnesses of some strange thing having come in through Satan.
What is the rest of my soul for eternity? The fact that He, the Just One, took my place, the un- just one, on the cross And then another thing comes out-the essential glory of Him who died there. We see in Him the power of One whose springs are in Himself. The way in which He bears the wrath of God, tells, if there were nothing else, of divine glory; there is one there whose springs are in Himself.
When I come to the cross, it is impossible for me ever to understand what He suffered there. He had a heart full of affection-the volume of it, no heart of ours can understand He had a mind that grasped everything; we can only say of ours how very little they can hold, like a shelf that can, hold a certain number of things, and if we try to put any more, they will roll off.
As a creature, I can get no idea of what the mind of Christ was, because it was the mind of God. When I see what the cross presents, it is not possible for me to form to myself the full idea either of the sufferings or the glory of the One who was put there to open shame.
Not a single spring of gladness in the heart of God, but was found in this perfect One, entirely God as well as man. Oh the thought of God having sent this Son down from His own eternal glory, this Son of His love, all His bosom's ineffable delight, sent down to the cross for me! It puts me in the dust. What am I that He should not only have brought me salvation, but have sent that Son of His love to bear all for me-as man essentially perfect, divine in every way, yet made sin for us. I believe that in the present day, it is a matter of deep moment for the Christian to look again and again into the place of the Son of God on the cross, and to study all the divine attributes of that divine One who hung there
" Smite the Shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered The Lord did not quote the latter part of this verse nor the beginning of it. "Awake 0 sword, against my Shepherd, against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts." That is God's estimate of Him whom man valued at thirty pieces of silver. (Zech. 13:77Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. (Zechariah 13:7).) The last part of the verse is exceedingly sweet: " And I will turn mine hand upon the little ones." What a sweet thought must that have been to the Lord's heart, that if He was smitten, God would turn His hand upon the little ones. If wrath came on Him and the sheep were scattered, there was that drop of sweetness in the bottom of the cup. Oh I cannot tell you what that word has been to me, in hours of trial and difficulty. God's hand being turned on the little ones-not one of them ever lost. Where were Mary, John, Peter? God knew they were where they would all turn up, unharmed; they were given by God to this Shop-herd, and God kept them for Him, and no one could pluck them out of God's hand.
The blessed Lord's heart could enter into all human feelings-there lies in that fact the very thing that gave such a poignancy to His sufferings. Our minds are so little, they cannot hold more than a certain measure of great sorrow or joy. If in great sorrow we cannot feel little things. The Lord had all great things in connection with suffering, and yet the shooting out of a lip, the shaking of a head, all was felt by Him in detail at the same moment.
You cannot see the breast-wave roll over your and let it come up, and up, till the last moment,, giving up your life in obedience. He did this. He walked on calmly through His whole course of obedience.
The cross sheaved out what was man's hatred of God, but there was in it a woe such as man and Satan could not give: He was forsaken by God.
When we shall see Him with all the brightness of God's glory about Him, we shall say, "But He became Son of man, and He came down to die; He became a man of sorrows in the midst of His brethren. None ever went so low, or tasted sorrow as He tasted it." When we come to the Father's house, that home of joy and glory, what a thought it will be for our hearts, that He should have left it, and come down here to be initiated in the way of sorrow.
Am I only to see Him as the man of sorrows? No, I can go on to the Solomon glory, and rejoice in His joy whom God hath anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. Never was sorrow like unto His sorrow, but there is nothing dew of the man of sorrow. Has any human heart ever felt what the Lord Jesus now feels? The oil of gladness poured over Him above His fellows.
I do not know what you feel, but joy opens the heart, and it is joy to see every poor sinner rejoicing. Soon we shall see His thee radiant with joy, and be rejoicing forever in His joy.