He does not slander, or do harm to others, or insult his neighbor. He does not charge interest when he lends his money. He does not take bribes to testify against the innocent. The one who lives like this will never be upended.
[Ps 15:3,5 NET]
Get the truth once uttered, and ’tis like
A star newborn that drops into its place,
And which, once circling in its placid round,
Not all the tumult of the earth can shake.
~ James Russell Lowell ~
If you would be well spoken of, learn to speak well of others. And when you have learned to speak well of them, endeavor likewise to do well to them; and reap the fruit of being well spoken of by them.
~ Epictetus ~
Lord God, I bless thee for the lives of men and women who are willing to be led by the truth, and who are worthy to follow thee. I pray that thou wilt make me truthful, and keep me steadfast, that none may go astray by the uncertainty of my way. Amen.
Preservation in Temptation
Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him.
[Jas 1:12 NET]
When aught shall tempt my soul to stray
From heavenly wisdom’s narrow way,
To shun the precept’s holy light,
Or quit my hold on Jesus’ might,
May He who felt temptation’s power
Still guard me in that dangerous hour.
[John 15:15; James 4:4]
I pray that you will enter into a close, intimate relationship with Jesus. May you understand that He does not call you a servant, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, He calls you His friend, for everything He has learned from the Father, He makes known to you. I pray that you will accept Christ’s offer of friendship which He extends to you. May you remember, also, that friendship with the world is hatred toward God. I pray that you will choose to be Christ’s friend today.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
[John 15:4 NET]
The Lord did not use these words as though there were any power in the creature to abide in him. But he was pleased to use them, that they might be blessed to his people when the Holy Spirit applied them to the heart; for he adds, “And I in you.” The one is the key to the other. If we abide in Christ, Christ abides in us. It is by Christ abiding in us, that we are enabled to abide in him.
But how does Christ abide in us? By his Spirit. It is by his Spirit he makes the bodies of his saints, his temple; it is by his Spirit that he comes and dwells in them. Though it is instrumentally by faith, as we read, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;” yet it is through the communication of his Spirit in the soul, and the visits of his most gracious presence. Thus he bids us, encourages us, and influences us to abide in him by his abiding in us.
But his abiding in a child of God may be known by certain effects following. If he abides in you, he makes and keeps your conscience tender. It is sin that separates between you and him. Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ, in order that he may abide in you and make you abide in him, makes and keeps your conscience tender in his fear. And this keeps you from those sins which separate between you and him. He may be known, then, to abide in you by the secret checks he gives you when temptation comes before your eyes, and you are all but gone; as one of old said, “My feet were almost gone; my steps had well-near slipped.” He is pleased to give a secret internal check and admonition; so that your cry is, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
And if you go astray and turn from the Lord to your idols, as to our shame and sorrow we often do, he proves that he still abides in you by not giving you up to a reprobate mind, not allowing you to harden your heart against him; but by his reproofs, admonitions, and secret checks in your conscience—by the very lashings and scourgings which he inflicts upon you as a father upon his child, and his secret pleadings with you in the court of conscience—by all these things he makes it manifest that he still abides in you.
The Life-Giving Stream
Every living creature which swarms where the river flows will live; there will be many fish, for these waters flow there. It will become fresh and everything will live where the river flows.
[Ezek 47:9 NET]
The living waters, in the prophet’s vision, flowed into the Dead Sea and carried life with them, even into that stagnant lake. Where grace goes, spiritual life is the immediate and the everlasting consequence. Grace proceeds sovereignly according to the will of God, even as a river in all its windings follows its own sweet will; and wherever it comes it does not wait for life to come to it, but it creates life by its own quickening flow. Oh, that it would pour along our streets and flood our slums! Oh, that it would now come into my house and rise till every chamber were made to swim with it! Lord, let the living water flow to my family and my friends, and let it not pass me by. I hope I have drunk of it already; but I desire to bathe in it, yea, to swim in it. O my Savior, I need life more abundantly. Come to me, I pray Thee, till every part of my nature is vividly energetic and intensely active. Living God, I pray Thee, fill me with Thine own life.
I am a poor, dry stick; come and make me so to live that, like Aaron’s rod, I may bud and blossom and bring forth fruit unto Thy glory. Quicken me, for the sake of my Lord Jesus. Amen.