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Morning, May 13      

 

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

-Psalm 30:5

 

Christian! If thou art in a night of trial, think of the morrow; cheer up thy heart with the thought of the coming of thy Lord. Be patient, for

 

"Lo! He comes with clouds descending."

 

Be patient! The Husbandman waits until he reaps his harvest. Be patient; for you know who has said, "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be." If you are never so wretched now, remember

 

"A few more rolling suns, at most,

Will land thee on fair Canaan's coast."

 

Thy head may be crowned with thorny troubles now, but it shall wear a starry crown ere long; thy hand may be filled with cares-it shall sweep the strings of the harp of heaven soon. Thy garments may be soiled with dust now; they shall be white by-and-by. Wait a little longer. Ah! how despicable our troubles and trials will seem when we look back upon them! Looking at them here in the prospect, they seem immense; but when we get to heaven we shall then

 

"With transporting joys recount,

The labours of our feet."

 

Our trials will then seem light and momentary afflictions. Let us go on boldly; if the night be never so dark, the morning cometh, which is more than they can say who are shut up in the darkness of hell. Do you know what it is thus to live on the future-to live on expectation-to antedate heaven? Happy believer, to have so sure, so comforting a hope. It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness. What matters it though "weeping may endure for a night," when "joy cometh in the morning?"[1]

 

Evening, May 13

 

"Thou art my portion, O Lord."

-Psalm 119:57

 

Look at thy possessions, O believer, and compare thy portion with the lot of thy fellowmen. Some of them have their portion in the field; they are rich, and their harvests yield them a golden increase; but what are harvests compared with thy God, who is the God of harvests? What are bursting granaries compared with him, who is the Husbandman, and feeds thee with the bread of heaven? Some have their portion in the city; their wealth is abundant, and flows to them in constant streams, until they become a very reservoir of gold; but what is gold compared with thy God? Thou couldst not live on it; thy spiritual life could not be sustained by it. Put it on a troubled conscience, and could it allay its pangs? Apply it to a desponding heart, and see if it could stay a solitary groan, or give one grief the less? But thou hast God, and in him thou hast more than gold or riches ever could buy. Some have their portion in that which most men love-applause and fame; but ask thyself, is not thy God more to thee than that? What if a myriad clarions should be loud in thine applause, would this prepare thee to pass the Jordan, or cheer thee in prospect of judgment? No, there are griefs in life which wealth cannot alleviate; and there is the deep need of a dying hour, for which no riches can provide. But when thou hast God for thy portion, thou hast more than all else put together. In him every want is met, whether in life or in death. With God for thy portion thou art rich indeed, for he will supply thy need, comfort thy heart, assuage thy grief, guide thy steps, be with thee in the dark valley, and then take thee home, to enjoy him as thy portion for ever. "I have enough," said Esau; this is the best thing a worldly man can say, but Jacob replies, "I have all things," which is a note too high for carnal minds.[2]

 

May 13th

The habit of a good conscience

A conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Acts 24:16.

God's commands are given to the life of His Son in us, consequently to the human nature in which His Son has been formed, His commands are difficult, but immediately we obey they become divinely easy.

Conscience is that faculty in me which attaches itself to the highest that I know, and tells me what the highest I know demands that I do. It is the eye of the soul which looks out either towards God or towards what it regards as the highest, and therefore conscience records differently in different people. If I am in the habit of steadily facing myself with God, my conscience will always introduce God's perfect law and indicate what I should do. The point is, will I obey? I have to make an effort to keep my conscience so sensitive that I walk without offence. I should be living in such perfect sympathy with God's Son, that in every circumstance the spirit of my mind is renewed, and I ‘make out' at once "what is that good, and acceptable and perfect, will of God."

God always educates us down to the scruple. Is my ear so keen to hear the tiniest whisper of the Spirit that I know what I should do? "Grieve not the Holy Spirit." He does not come with a voice like thunder; His voice is so gentle that it is easy to ignore it. The one thing that keeps the conscience sensitive to Him is the continual habit of being open to God on the inside. When there is any debate, quit. ‘Why shouldn't I do this?' You are on the wrong track. There is no debate possible when conscience speaks. At your peril, you allow one thing to obscure your inner communion with God. Drop it, whatever it is, and see that you keep your inner vision clear.[3]

 

May 13

Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted

      Luke 14:11

... If you ask the way to the crown 'tis by the cross; to the mountain-'tis by the valley; to exaltation-'tis he that humbleth himself.

J. H. Evans[4]

 

May 13

" Lust "

We all know the power of lust, which is in our flesh. Eve lusted for the fruit. David lusted for the wife of Uriah. Is there anyone among us who does not know how lust can suddenly arise in our hearts? We think, for example, that we cannot live, if we cannot satisfy our desire for the other sex, for a certain person. This lust arises from time to time in our blood. It has an overpowering force which is unwilling to be confined within the limits of the commandments of God, and through it sin upon sin is born. "Desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin" Jam_1:15 a: adultery, theft, murder.

The power of sensual desires, when people give in to them, can make them so blind that they completely disregard the commandments of God. The consequence is unbridled sexual indulgence, premarital and extramarital intercourse or sexual relations with members of the same sex. Such behaviour is almost taken for granted today. But the judgment of God is upon it, for Scripture says: "God will judge the immoral and the adulterous" Heb_13:4 b. "No immoral or impure man ... has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" Eph_5:5-6. They will weep and lament in Satan's kingdom, the kingdom of torment.

The enemy knows how to cover up the curse that lies in indulging in our lust, by trying to justify the lust in our flesh: "God, the Creator, has laid this desire in our blood; we have to satisfy it, otherwise we will not have a well-rounded personality." In reality, however, to indulge in unbridled lust leads to ruin. Certainly our sexuality belongs to the creation of God and when we practise it in the sight of His holiness, with discipline according to His commandments, we will experience His blessing. But there is scarcely any other gift of God which is so terribly misused as this one. Here the devil has found an open door. We think indulging in our desires will bring us the happiness for which we long. But apart from the Creator, and in disobedience towards Him, lust will lead us into ruin, because it brings us under Satan's dominion.

The consequences of seeking to satisfy our desires by drinking, taking drugs or indulging in sex are dreadful. If we do so, we could literally experience our bodies' decay. Many drug addicts die from overdoses, or they end up in mental institutions. People want to "enjoy" life; so they drink the cup of poison that the enemy offers them. Body and soul become poisoned; they have to suffer dreadfully and are finally destroyed-here in earthly life and then in the next world in dreadful torment.

This is a law, for sin always gives birth to death. We think we can get more out of life when we satisfy our lust, but actually we just get death. This will be revealed in a horrible way in eternity. There everyone will be able to see on our bodies just how much we have given in to our desires, and some shall awake "to shame and everlasting contempt" Dan_12:2. In hell the members of our bodies that indulged in sin (for instance, the tongue of the rich man, Luk_16:19-24 will burn, without ever being totally burned up. The desires will continue to burn in our bodies but instead of satisfaction we will experience dreadful torment.

No matter how high the price, the sinful factor in our urges, that leads us into indulgence and fornication, has to be put to death here on earth. We have to turn away from it immediately and begin to fight the battle of faith today, for we never know whether tomorrow will still come. If we are suddenly called away from this life, we may find ourselves today suffering heartache, torture and torment in the kingdom of darkness. The Word of God warns us many times about extramarital sexual relationships and sharply condemns every sexual relationship with members of the same sex. "Immorality, impurity,

licentiousness ... those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" Gal_5:19-20. "Neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals . . . will inherit the kingdom of God" 1Co_6:9-10. "Shun immorality ... the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not on your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" 1Co_6:18-20.



[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.