Today I invoke heaven and earth as a witness against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live! – Deut 30:19 NET
The Great Being unseen, but all-present, who in his beneficence desires only our welfare, watches the struggle between good and evil in our hearts, and waits to see whether we obey his voice, heard in the whispers of conscience, or lend an ear to the Spirit Evil, which seeks to lead us astray. Rough and steep is the path indicated by divine suggestion; mossy and declining the green way along which temptation strews flowers. Then conscience whispers, “Do what you feel is right, obey me, and I will plant for you firm footing.”
God help us do our duty, and not shrink,
And trust in heaven humbly for the rest.
My Father, as I review my life I am impressed how accurately my deeds have copied my thoughts. And though I have failed the so often, yet I pray that thou wilt accept my yearnings, to think and work for the best in every day. Amen.
What fellowship does light have with darkness? – 2 Cor 6:14 NET
“Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil.”—For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness.
The darkness has blinded his eyes.—Your word is a lamp to walk by, and a light to illumine my path.
The dark regions of the earth are full of places where violence rules.—Love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness; they do not know what causes them to stumble. But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light, growing brighter and brighter until full day.
“I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in darkness.”
For you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light –
John 3:19, 1 Thess 5:5, 1 John 2:11, Ps 119:105, Ps 74:20, 1 John 4:7-8, Prov 4:19, Prov 4:18, John 12:46, Eph 5:8
“And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.” — 2Sa 21:10
If the love of a woman to her slain sons could make her prolong her mournful vigil for so long a period, shall we weary of considering the sufferings of our blessed Lord? She drove away the birds of prey, and shall not we chase from our meditations those worldly and sinful thoughts which defile both our minds and the sacred themes upon which we are occupied? Away, ye birds of evil wing! Leave ye the sacrifice alone! She bore the heats of summer, the night dews and the rains, unsheltered and alone. Sleep was chased from her weeping eyes: her heart was too full for slumber. Behold how she loved her children! Shall Rizpah thus endure, and shall we start at the first little inconvenience or trial? Are we such cowards that we cannot bear to suffer with our Lord? She chased away even the wild beasts, with courage unusual in her sex, and will not we be ready to encounter every foe for Jesus' sake? These her children were slain by other hands than hers, and yet she wept and watched: what ought we to do who have by our sins crucified our Lord? Our obligations are boundless, our love should be fervent and our repentance thorough. To watch with Jesus should be our business, to protect his honour our occupation, to abide by his cross our solace. Those ghastly corpses might well have affrighted Rizpah, especially by night, but in our Lord, at whose cross-foot we are sitting, there is nothing revolting, but everything attractive. Never was living beauty so enchanting as a dying Saviour. Jesus, we will watch with thee yet awhile, and do thou graciously unveil thyself to us; then shall we not sit beneath sackcloth, but in a royal pavilion.
~ Charles Spurgeon ~
“With his stripes we are healed.” — Isa 53:5
Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were inter-twisted every here and there among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off the flesh from the bone. The Saviour was, no doubt, bound to the column, and thus beaten. He had been beaten before; but this of the Roman lictors was probably the most severe of his flagellations. My soul, stand here and weep over his poor stricken body.
Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon him without tears, as he stands before you the mirror of agonizing love? He is at once fair as the lily for innocence, and red as the rose with the crimson of his own blood. As we feel the sure and blessed healing which his stripes have wrought in us, does not our heart melt at once with love and grief? If ever we have loved our Lord Jesus, surely we must feel that affection glowing now within our bosoms.
“See how the patient Jesus stands,
Insulted in his lowest case!
Sinners have bound the Almighty's hands,
And spit in their Creator's face.
With thorns his temples gor'd and gash'd
Send streams of blood from every part;
His back's with knotted scourges lash'd.
But sharper scourges tear his heart.”
We would fain go to our chambers and weep; but since our business calls us away, we will first pray our Beloved to print the image of his bleeding self upon the tablets of our hearts all the day, and at nightfall we will return to commune with him, and sorrow that our sin should have cost him so dear.
~ Charles Spurgeon ~