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Morning, June 4       

 

"The kindness and love of God our Saviour."

-Titus 3:4

 

How sweet it is to behold the Saviour communing with his own beloved people! There can be nothing more delightful than, by the Divine Spirit, to be led into this fertile field of delight. Let the mind for an instant consider the history of the Redeemer's love, and a thousand enchanting acts of affection will suggest themselves, all of which have had for their design the weaving of the heart into Christ, and the intertwisting of the thoughts and emotions of the renewed soul with the mind of Jesus. When we meditate upon this amazing love, and behold the all-glorious Kinsman of the Church endowing her with all his ancient wealth, our souls may well faint for joy. Who is he that can endure such a weight of love? That partial sense of it which the Holy Spirit is sometimes pleased to afford, is more than the soul can contain; how transporting must be a complete view of it! When the soul shall have understanding to discern all the Saviour's gifts, wisdom wherewith to estimate them, and time in which to meditate upon them, such as the world to come will afford us, we shall then commune with Jesus in a nearer manner than at present. But who can imagine the sweetness of such fellowship? It must be one of the things which have not entered into the heart of man, but which God hath prepared for them that love him. Oh, to burst open the door of our Joseph's granaries, and see the plenty which he hath stored up for us! This will overwhelm us with love. By faith we see, as in a glass darkly, the reflected image of his unbounded treasures, but when we shall actually see the heavenly things themselves, with our own eyes, how deep will be the stream of fellowship in which our soul shall bathe itself! Till then our loudest sonnets shall be reserved for our loving benefactor, Jesus Christ our Lord, whose love to us is wonderful, passing the love of women.[1]

 

Evening, June 4

 

"Received up into glory."

-1 Timothy 3:16

 

We have seen our well-beloved Lord in the days of his flesh, humiliated and sore vexed; for he was "despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." He whose brightness is as the morning, wore the sackcloth of sorrow as his daily dress: shame was his mantle, and reproach was his vesture. Yet now, inasmuch as he has triumphed over all the powers of darkness upon the bloody tree, our faith beholds our King returning with dyed garments from Edom, robed in the splendour of victory. How glorious must he have been in the eyes of seraphs, when a cloud received him out of mortal sight, and he ascended up to heaven! Now he wears the glory which he had with God or ever the earth was, and yet another glory above all-that which he has well earned in the fight against sin, death, and hell. As victor he wears the illustrious crown. Hark how the song swells high! It is a new and sweeter song: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, for he hath redeemed us unto God by his blood!" He wears the glory of an Intercessor who can never fail, of a Prince who can never be defeated, of a Conqueror who has vanquished every foe, of a Lord who has the heart's allegiance of every subject. Jesus wears all the glory which the pomp of heaven can bestow upon him, which ten thousand times ten thousand angels can minister to him. You cannot with your utmost stretch of imagination conceive his exceeding greatness; yet there will be a further revelation of it when he shall descend from heaven in great power, with all the holy angels-"Then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." Oh, the splendour of that glory! It will ravish his people's hearts. Nor is this the close, for eternity shall sound his praise, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever!" Reader, if you would joy in Christ's glory hereafter, he must be glorious in your sight now. Is he so?[2]

 

June 4th

The never-failing God

For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5.

What line does my thought take? Does it turn to what God says or to what I fear? Am I learning to say not what God says, but to say something after I have heard what He says? "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."

"I will in no wise fail thee"-not for all my sin and selfishness and stubbornness and waywardness. Have I really let God say to me that He will never fail me? If I have listened to this say-so of God's, then let me listen again.

"Neither will I in any wise forsake thee." Sometimes it is not difficulty that makes me think God will forsake me, but drudgery. There is no Hill Difficulty to climb, no vision given, nothing wonderful or beautiful, just the commonplace day in and day out-can I hear God's say-so in these things?

We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing, that He is preparing and fitting us for some extraordinary thing by and by, but as we go on in grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, in the present minute. If we have God's say-so behind us, the most amazing strength comes, and we learn to sing in the ordinary days and ways.[3]

 

June 4

David enquired of the Lord

      2 Sam. 5:19

Christian, if thou wouldst know the path of duty, take God for thy compass; if thou wouldst steer thy ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the hand of the Almighty. Many a rock might be escaped if we would let our Father take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid if we would leave it to His sovereign will to choose and to command. The Puritan said, "As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself he'll cut his own fingers." "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go" is God's promise to His people. Let us, then, take all our perplexities to Him and say, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Leave not thy chamber this morning without inquiring of the Lord.

Spurgeon[4]

 

June 4

" Touchiness "

If our bodies are sick, they are especially sensitive to cold, draught and other environmental factors. Our souls are sensitive, if our "egos" are sick. Sensitivity or touchiness is the ego's desire for attention. We expect our egos to be spoiled and pampered like a sick body. If that does not happen, if we do not receive love, attention, respect, if we are overlooked or forgotten, if we have been criticized, then we react like a person who is physically sick and make a woeful face. We are hurt, cry and rebel against our neighbours and reproach them. We imagine that people do not have our best interests at heart, that we are not getting what we deserve, that they are being unfair to us. Whenever they say anything, we think they are trying to hurt our reputations. We become unhappy, but at the same time torment and tyrannize those around us through touchiness and egoism. That is why this is not merely an "unfortunate disposition", but a sin which gives birth to many evils, which causes us to heap up guilt upon guilt through our behaviour towards our fellow men. No matter what it costs we have to become free from this sin and begin to wage a campaign against it.

What do touchy people usually do? Instead of declaring war on this sin, they "put their ego to bed", expecting someone to comfort and pamper it. Even if this does happen, it would not get better. For touchiness is an imaginary sickness. Patients with imaginary sicknesses, however, get worse the more they are spoiled. They will only be helped, if people stop making a fuss over them and confront them with the hard reality of life. The same is true for sensitive souls that suffer from the sickness of egoism. They have to be willing to submit to rough treatment.

First of all, we have to accept the diagnosis without making any excuses. It is not the others who are hurting us all the time, but we ourselves, with our egoistic demands for love and respect, are the cause of our troubles. We are the guilty ones when there are tensions. They can only be solved if we repent of our sin of egoism, which is a sin against love. For Jesus has redeemed us so that we will live no longer for ourselves, for our ego, but for Him who died for our sake 2Co_5:15, and also live for our fellow men. Egoists are always hurt easily. They destroy every harmonious situation and make the redemption of Jesus unbelievable, giving offence to others who are just beginning to follow Jesus. So without our realizing it, our egoism can make others stop believing in Jesus and thus expose them to the greatest danger. How terrible it will be on the judgment day when their accusations will pass judgment upon us.

We have to make every possible effort to get rid of our egoism. The word shows that we are slaves of our egos. Our thinking centres around our ego instead of around Jesus, and yet we have been called to have Him as the Centre of our lives. But if the most important thing in our life is satisfying our egos with attention, love, respect and other good things, we can never enter Jesus' kingdom above. There everything centres around Jesus, free from every selfish bond. Our touchiness has to be overcome, and it can be overcome, because Jesus has come to free us from our sins.

What is the way? Not to pay any attention to oneself, not to make any more demands for love, attention, respect. This has to be done in a practical way. We must make a commitment to God-a written one-believing in His redemption. Let us say to the Lord,

 

In future I no longer want to receive any attention;

I don't want to try to get love and respect and 

understanding; I want to accept criticism and reproach.

I want my ego and its demands to starve to 

death so that I can have room in my heart for You, 

Jesus, and Your love which did not seek itself, but let 

its own demands die and only sought others. Let me

tread Your path and bring fruit for You. I believe in 

Your words: "Whoever would save his life will lose 

it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

 

Yes, I want to be freed from this sin quickly. So I

will strive in faith to be able to say, "Thank You

God", for every rough treatment. You have given me 

what I have asked for. By chastening my ego, You 

want to help me be freed from my touchiness. In 

thanksgiving I take the redemption from my touchiness, 

which you leave gained for me. In spirit I

behold the new man, released and joyful, and no 

longer clouded by touchiness.

 

But because the road is long, we must not get tired or discouraged when we continually fall down. We have to endure to the end, in faith that Jesus' redemption has set us free, until we can see what we have believed. Could anything he impossible for God? Jesus' blood cleanses us from all sin, no matter how strong and persistent it might be. He is greater than everything else, even greater than the uncanny power of our egos. Still it is necessary to endure in faith and not to get tired. We must spend a long time calling upon the victorious name JESUS and praising its power over our sin. If Jesus calls Himself the Redeemer, He will not let His name be put to shame, but will put His honour at stake and prove that He can really break this bondage to sin. It is meaningless only to call upon the name Jesus and His victory without being willing to place ourselves in God's hands and let Him chasten us because of sinful traits. This chastening will cleanse us. Only if we do both, will we reach the goal.



[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1896). Morning and evening: Daily readings. London: Passmore & Alabaster.

[2] Spurgeon, C. H. (1896). Morning and evening: Daily readings. London: Passmore & Alabaster.

[3] Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

[4] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.