Daily Blessings

who announces the end from the beginning and reveals beforehand what has not yet occurred, who says, ‘My plan will be realized, I will accomplish what I desire,’

[Isa 46:10]

There is one grand idea running through the whole of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation; and this one grand idea runs through every part of the sacred page, and, like a golden band, unites the whole together. What is this one grand thought?

God has many thoughts as well as we, for he tells us that “the thoughts of his heart stand to all generations.” But we read also in the same verse of “the counsel of the Lord, which stands forever;” and elsewhere of his “working all things after the counsel of his own will” (Psalm 33:11; Ephes. 1:11). Thus in the mind of God, as well as in the mode of his subsistence, there is unity and variety. There is his one thought, and his many thoughts; for though his thoughts are many, his counsel is but one; and this counsel is the exaltation and glorification of his dear Son. It may be as well briefly to trace this unity of thought and the variety of its expression. We see it, then, first expressed in the creation of the first man, when God made him “in his own image, after his own likeness.” There was the expression of God’s one thought; for Adam the first was a type of Adam the second, and as Christ was by lineal descent “the son of Adam,” there was a foreview in the creation of the first man of the incarnation of God’s dear Son, who is the brightness of his glory and the express image of his Person.

Now next observe how all things were put under Adam’s feet, and he thus made the visible head of creation. Read this exaltation of Adam in the light of Psalm 8, and you will see how the inspired Psalmist, as interpreted by the Apostle (Heb—2:7-9), viewed Adam, in having all things put under his feet, as a type of Jesus, whom God has crowned with glory and honor, set him over the works of his hands, and put all things in subjection under his feet. Look next at the first promise given after the fall, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. There we have God’s one thought again expressed, his dominant counsel in the incarnation of his dear Son, as the seed of the woman, to bruise Satan’s head. Look at Noah preserved in the ark with his family when the rest of the world was swept away by the deluge, that from the loins of Adam might come the promised seed.

Take the case of Abraham, called by a special calling, that in him and his seed all the nations of the earth might be blessed. Here we have again God’s one thought. Take, again, the whole of the Levitical dispensation. Every rite, every sacrifice, every type, every ordinance, all still bear the same stamp of God’s one thought, and indeed every part of Scripture is but an exposition of this one thought of God’s heart, of this one counsel of his eternal will.

The word of God is a total mystery to us, and we see no beauty or harmony in the various books of either the Old Testament or the New until we see the mind of God in it, gather up God’s thoughts, and especially that grand thought which I have spoken of as binding the whole together, that is, the exaltation of his dear Son to his own right hand as the promised reward of his sufferings and death, and the glorious result of his resurrection and ascension up to the courts of bliss.

Mornings With God

So teach us to consider our mortality, so that we might live wisely.

[Ps 90:12]

The last day of a year should make us thoughtful. We cannot but ask whether we have been faithful, whether we have done all our duty, and whether we have learned the lessons set for us during the year. There is none who has not come short, and who has left no duty undone. There is none who has left no white page blotted.

One purpose of life is that we may grow, that in all the experiences of our days we may be learning new lessons and becoming better. Growth of the body is not all, nor is growth in knowledge the test of living. One may be physically stronger and yet be no better in character. One may know a great deal more and yet be no wiser. We are growing only when the peace of our heart is becoming deeper, when we love more and are gentler, sweeter, and more unselfish. We shall want to make this last day of the year very beautiful – beautiful enough to be the last of our life. We should leave no duty undone when its last hour strikes.

Faith’s Checkbook

Loved to Perfection

Just before the Passover feast, Jesus knew that his time had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now loved them to the very end.

[John 13:1]

This fact is essentially a promise; for what our Lord was He is, and what He was to those with whom He lived on earth, He will be to all His beloved so long as the moon endureth.

“Having loved”: here was the wonder! That He should ever have loved men at all is the marvel. What was there in His poor disciples that He should love them? What is there in me?

But when He has once begun to love, it is His nature to continue to do so. Love made the saints “his own”—what a choice title! He purchased them with blood, and they became His treasure. Being His own, He will not lose them. Being His beloved, He will not cease to love them. My soul, He will not cease to love thee!

The text is well as it stands: “to the end.” Even till His death the ruling passion of love to His own reigned in His sacred bosom. It means also to the uttermost. He could not love them more: He gave Himself for them. Some read it, to perfection. Truly He lavished upon them a perfect love, in which there was no flaw nor failure, no unwisdom, no unfaithfulness.

Such is the love of Jesus to each one of His people. Let us sing to our Well-beloved a song.

Evening Prayer

STRENGTHEN YOUR HEART

[Isaiah 40:29-31; 1 Thessalonians 3:13]

I pray that you will put your hope in the Lord, so that your strength will be renewed. I pray that the Lord will protect you from stumbling and falling. I pray that God will increase your power to stand up against the weight and pressures of the world. May you have the strength of heart at all times, and soar above any difficult circumstance around you. I pray that God will strengthen your heart, so that you will be blameless and holy.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.