What Hope!

The Lord hath taken you to be unto Him a people of inheritance. Deu 4:20
      
      The Apostle’ prays that we may know the riches of the glory of God’s inheritance in His saints. God is our inheritance, and we are His. We are called to possess Him; He desires to possess us. His nature will yield crops of holy helpfulness to those who diligently seek Him; and He demands crops of holy love and devotion from ours.
      
      What Sovereign Grace is here! – There was nothing in us to distinguish us from others. We were but part of the great moorland waste, when He fenced us in, and placed us under His tillage and husbandry. It is by the grace of God that we are what we are. “To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved: in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
      
      What responsibility! – Three times over in this chapter we are bidden to take heed to ourselves. It is no small thing to have been the subjects of God’s special workmanship; because He is a jealous God, very quick to mark the least symptom of declension, and very searching in His dealing and discipline. As we learn here, our God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
      
      What Hope! – We cannot derive much from ourselves, however we toil and strive. Self cannot discipline self to any advantage. The field is worked out. The Divine Husbandman must put into us what He would take out of us; He needs therefore to have almost infinite resources. But these are God’s, and if we yield ourselves to Him, He can make all grace abound toward us, that we, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound unto every good work.

F.B. Meyer

Summer Hours

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It is the year’s high noon, 
     The earth sweet incense yields, 
     And o’er the fresh, green fields 
Bends the clear sky of June. 

I leave the crowded streets, 
     The hum of busy life, 
     Its clamor and its strife, 
To breathe thy perfumed sweets. 

O rare and golden hours! 
     The bird’s melodious song, 
     Wavelike, is borne along 
Upon a strand of flowers. 

I wander far away, 
     Where, through the forest trees, 
     Sports the cool summer breeze, 
In wild and wanton play. 

A patriarchal elm 
     Its stately form uprears, 
     Which twice a hundred years 
Has ruled this woodland realm. 

I sit beneath its shade, 
     And watch, with careless eye, 
     The brook that babbles by, 
And cools the leafy glade. 

In truth I wonder not, 
     That in the ancient days 
     The temples of God’s praise 
Were grove and leafy grot. 

The noblest ever planned, 
     With quaint device and rare, 
     By man, can ill compare 
With these from God’s own hand. 

Pilgrim with way-worn feet, 
     Who, treading life’s dull round, 
     No true repose hast found, 
Come to this green retreat. 

For bird, and flower, and tree, 
     Green fields, and woodland wild, 
     Shall bear, with voices mild, 
Sweet messages to thee.

       – Horatio Alger Jr.

In The Mirror

images You know I have an idea that the Bible is like an album. I go into a man’s house, and while waiting for him, I take up an album and open it. I look at a picture. “Why, that looks like a man I know.” I turn over and look at another.

      “Well, I know that man.” By-and-by I come upon another. “Why, that man looks like my brother.” I am getting pretty near home. I keep turning over the leaves. “Well, I declare, there is a man who lives in the street I do; why, he is my next-door neighbor.” And then I come upon another, and I see myself. My friends, if you read your Bibles, you will find your own pictures there.

      It will just describe you. Now, it may be there is some Pharisee here to-night; if there is, let him turn to the third chapter of John, and see what Christ said to that Pharisee. “Except a man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus, no doubt, was one of the fairest specimens of a man in Jerusalem in those days, yet he had to be born again, else he couldn’t see the kingdom of God.

      But you may say, “I am not a Pharisee; I am a poor, miserable sinner, too bad to come to Him.” Well, turn to the woman of Samaria and see what He said to her. See what a difference there was between that publican and that Pharisee. There was as great a distance between them as between the sun and the moon. One was in the very highest station, and the other occupied the very worst.

      One had only himself and his sins to bring to God, the other was trying to bring in his position and his aristocracy. I tell you, when a man gets a true sight of himself, all his position and station and excellences drop. See this prayer, “I thank God,” “I am not,” “I fast,” “I give,” “I possess.” Why, if he had delivered a long prayer, and it had been put into the hands of printers, they would have to send out for some “I’s.” “I thank God.” “I,” “I,” “I.” When a man prays, not with himself, but to God, he does not exalt himself; he don’t pass a eulogy upon himself. He falls flat down in dust before God. In that prayer you don’t find him thanking God for what He had done for him.

      It was a heathen, prayerless prayer, merely a form. I hope the day will come when formal prayers will be a thing of the past. I think the reason why we cannot get more people out to the meetings is because we have too many formal prayers in the churches. These formal Christians get up like this Pharisee, and thank God they are not like other men; but when a man gets a look at himself in the mirror, he prays with the spirit of the publican.

D.L. Moody

Morning Prayer

Let me to-day do something that shall take
A little sadness from the world’s vast store,
And may I be so favoured as to make
Of joy’s too scanty sum a little more
Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed
Or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend;
Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need,
Or sin by silence when I should defend.
However meagre be my worldly wealth,
Let me give something that shall aid my. kind –
A word of courage, or a thought of health,
Dropped as I pass for troubled hearts to find.
Let me to-night look back across the span
‘Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say –
Because of some good act to beast or man –
“The world is better that I lived to-day.”       – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Faith We Need

Too tall our structures, and too swift our pace; 
Not so we mount, not so we gain the race. 
Too loud the voice of commerce in the land; 
Not so truth speaks, not so we understand. 
Too vast our conquests, and too large our gains; 
Not so comes peace, not so the soul attains. 

But the need of the world is a faith that will live anywhere; 
In the still dark depths of the woods, or out in the sun’s full glare. 
A faith that can hear God’s voice, alike in the quiet glen, 
Or in the roar of the street, and over the noises of men. 

And the need of the world is a creed that is founded on joy; 
A creed with the turrets of hope and trust, no winds can destroy; 
A creed where the soul finds rest, whatever this life bestows, 
And dwells undoubting and unafraid, because it knows, it knows. 

And the need of the world is love that burns in the heart like flame; 
A love for the Giver of Life, in sorrow or joy the same; 
A love that blazes a trail to Go through the dark and the cold, 
Or keeps the pathway that leads to Him clean, through glory and gold. 

For the faith that can only thrive or grow in the solitude, 
And droops and dies in the marts of men, where sights and sounds are rude; 
That is not a faith at all, but a dream of a mystic’s heart; 
Our faith should point as the compass points, whatever be the chart. 

Our faith must find its centre of peace in a babel of noise; 
In the changing ways of the world of men it must keep its poise; 
And over the sorrowing sounds of earth it must hear God’s call; 
And the faith that cannot do all this, that is not faith at all.

       – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Angel of Charity

Angel of Charity, who, from above, 
    Comest to dwell a pilgrim here, 
Thy voice is music, thy smile is love, 
    And Pity’s soul is in thy tear. 
When on the shrine of God were laid 
    First-fruits of all most good and fair, 
That ever bloomed in Eden’s shade, 
    Thine was the holiest offering there. 

Hope and her sister, Faith, were given 
    But as our guides to yonder sky; 
Soon as they reach the verge of heaven, 
    There, lost in perfect bliss, they die. 
But, long as Love, Almighty Love, 
    Shall on his throne of thrones abide, 
Thou, Charity, shalt dwell above, 
    Smiling for ever by His side!

       – Sir Thomas Moore

Shhhhh

silenceSilence, like solitude, is an underrated treasure in this often hectic world in which we live. We spend our days filled with endless activity and can often get overwhelmed with noise at every turn.  Many of us talk when the best choice might be to just listen.

We wear headphones at our desk, televisions play constantly in our homes, and our phones ring literally off the hook. Yes, the sound of noise is everywhere. But what if we could stop to hear the melodic sounds of chirping birds, pause to feel the gentle breeze on our cheek, or watch rain as it falls to the ground.

Just for a moment pause and ask yourself when was the last time you sat down quietly and simply listened to the sweet sound of silence?

Been that long huh?

Many of us drown out the voice of God with endless activity and noise.  I recall my great-grandmother would just sit, making it a point to spend time in silence.  Whether on her porch, or in the living room sitting quietly in her chair. I knew this was her special time, and made it a point to stay quiet.

I too have found that it quiets the spirit, and allows the opportunity to hear what Father God is saying to me.

Too busy for a whole day?  Then simply take a moment.  Look out your window, take the headphones off and simply listen for His voice. You might be surprised at what He has been trying to tell you.

To everything there  is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven….a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.  Ecclesiastes 3:1,7

Core of Spiritual Life

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk ye in Him” (Col. ii. 6).

Here is the very core of spiritual life. It is not a subjective state so much as a life in the heart.

Christ for us is the ground of our salvation and the source of our justification; Christ in us of our sanctification. When this becomes real, “Ye are dead”; your own condition, states and resources are no longer counted upon any more than a dead man’s, but “your life is hid with Christ in God.” It is not even always manifest to you.

It is hid and so wrapped up and enfolded in Him that only as you abide in Him does it appear and abide. Nay, “Christ who is your life,” must Himself ever maintain it, and be made unto you of God all you need.

Therefore, Christian life is not to come to Christ to save you, and then go on and work out your sanctification yourself, but “as ye have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, so to walk in Him,” just as dependent and as simply trusting as for your pardon and salvation.

Ah friends, how much it would ease our tasks
For the day that’s just begun,
To live our life a step at a time
And our moments one by one.

A.B. Simpson

Begin Each Morning

Begin each morning with a talk to God,
And ask for your divine inheritance
Of usefulness, contentment, and success.
Resign all fear, all doubt, and all despair.
The stars doubt not, and they are undismayed,
Though whirled through space for countless centuries,
And told not why or wherefore:    and the sea
With everlasting ebb and flow obeys,
And leaves the purpose with the unseen Cause.
The star sheds radiance on a million worlds,
The sea is prodigal with waves, and yet
No lustre from the star is lost, and not
One drop is missing from the ocean tides.
Oh! brother to the star and sea, know all
God’s opulence is held in trust for those
Who wait serenely and who work in faith.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The King Of Love

The King of Love my Shepherd is 
                    Whose goodness faileth never, 
        I nothing lack if I am His 
             And He is mine for ever. 

Where streams of living waters flow, 
                    My ransomed soul He leadeth, 
        And where the verdant pastures grow 
             With food celestial feedeth

       – Frances Ridley Havergal