Never Separated from God
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?
~ John 11:26
Yes, Lord, we believe it; we shall never die. Our soul may be separated from our body, and this is death of a kind; but our soul shall never be separated from God, which is the true death — the death which was threatened to sin — the death penalty which is the worst that can happen. We believe this most assuredly, for who shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord? We are members of the Body of Christ; will Christ lose parts of His Body? We are married to Jesus; will He be bereaved and widowed? It is not possible. There is a life within us which is not capable of being divided from God: yea, and the Holy Spirit dwells within us, and how then can we die? Jesus, Himself, is our life, and therefore there is no dying for us, for He cannot die again. In Him we died unto sin once, and the capital sentence cannot a second time be executed. Now we live, and live forever. The reward of righteousness is life everlasting, and we have nothing less than the righteousness of God, and therefore can claim the very highest reward.
Living and believing, we believe that we shall live and enjoy. Wherefore we press forward with full assurance that our life is secure in our living Head.
Forget not all His benefits.
~ Ps 103:2
It is a delightful and profitable occupation to mark the hand of God in the lives of ancient saints, and to observe His goodness in delivering them, His mercy in pardoning them, and His faithfulness in keeping His covenant with them.
But would it not be even more interesting and profitable for us to mark the hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own history as being at least as full of God, as full of His goodness and of His truth, as much a proof of His faithfulness and veracity, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before us? We do our Lord an injustice, when we suppose that He wrought all His mighty acts, and showed Himself strong for those in the earlier times but does not perform wonders or lay bare His arm for the saints who are now upon the earth.
Let us review our own lives. Surely in these, we may discover some happy incidents, refreshing to ourselves and glorifying to our God. Have you had no deliverances? Have you passed through no rivers, supported by the divine presence? Have you walked through no fires unharmed? Have you had no spiritual manifestations of Christ to your heart? Have you had no choice favors? The God who gave Solomon the desire of his heart, has He never listened to you and answered your requests? That God of lavish bounty of whom David sang, “Who satisfies your mouth with good things,” has He never satiated you with fatness? Have you never been made to lie down in green pastures? Have you never been led by the still waters?
Surely the goodness of God has been the same to us as to the saints of old. Let us, then, weave His mercies into a song. Let us take the pure gold of thankfulness, and the jewels of praise and make them into another crown for the head of Jesus. Let our souls give forth music as sweet and as exhilarating as came from David’s harp, while we praise the Lord, whose mercy endures forever!
A Woman’s War
The Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.
~ Judg 4:9
Rather an unusual text, but there may be souls in the world that may have faith enough to grasp it. Barak, the man, though called to the war, had little stomach for the fight unless Deborah would go with him, and so the Lord determined to make it a woman’s war. By this means He rebuked the slackness of the man, gained for Himself the more renown, and cast the more shame upon the enemies of His people.
The Lord can still use feeble instrumentalities. Why not me? He may use persons who are not commonly called to great public engagements. Why not you? The woman who slew the enemy of Israel was no Amazon but a wife who tarried in her tent. She was no orator but a woman who milked the cows and made butter. May not the Lord use any one of us to accomplish His purpose? Somebody may come to the house today, even as Sisera came to Jael’s tent. Be it ours not to slay him, but to save him. Let us receive him with great kindness and then bring forth the blessed truth of salvation by the Lord Jesus, our great Substitute, and press home the command “Believe and live.” Who knoweth but some stout-hearted sinner may be slain by the gospel today!
Our Field of Battle
For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
~ Deut 20:4
We have no enemies but the enemies of God. Our fights are not against men but against spiritual wickednesses. We war with the devil and the blasphemy and error and despair which he brings into the field of battle. We fight with all the armies of sin — impurity, drunkenness, oppression, infidelity, and ungodliness. With these we contend earnestly, but not with sword or spear; the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
Jehovah, our God, abhors everything which is evil, and, therefore, He goeth with us to fight for us in this crusade. He will save us, and He will give us grace to war a good warfare and win the victory. We may depend upon it that if we are on God’s side God is on our side. With such an august ally the conflict is never in the least degree doubtful. It is not that truth is mighty and must prevail but that might lies with the Father who is almighty, with Jesus who has all power in heaven and in earth, and with the Holy Spirit who worketh His will among men.
Soldiers of Christ, gird on your armor. Strike home in the name of the God of holiness, and by faith grasp His salvation. Let not this day pass without striking a blow for Jesus and holiness.
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 enquiring of the Lord.
For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.
~ Nah 1:13
The Assyrian was allowed for a season to oppress the Lord’s people, but there came a time for his power to be broken. So, many a heart is held in bondage by Satan and frets sorely under the yoke. Oh, that to such prisoners of hope the word of the Lord may come at once, according to the text, “Now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder!”
See! The Lord promises a present deliverance. “Now will I break his yoke from off thee.” Believe for immediate freedom, and according to thy faith so shall it be unto thee at this very hour. When God saith “now,” let no man say “tomorrow.”
See how complete the rescue is to be; for the yoke is not to be removed but broken; and the bonds are not to be untied but burst asunder. Here is a display of divine force which guarantees that the oppressor shall not return. His yoke is broken, we cannot again be bowed down by its weight. His bonds, are burst asunder, they can no longer hold us. Oh, to believe in Jesus for complete and everlasting emancipation! “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Come, Lord, and set free Thy captives, according to Thy Word.