Devotional

Behold, thou art fair, my Beloved.
~ Song 1:16

From every point, our Well-beloved is most beautiful. Our various experiences are meant to furnish fresh viewpoints from which we may consider the loveliness of Jesus!

How amiable are our trials when they carry us aloft where we may gain clearer views of Jesus, than ordinary life could afford us! We have seen Him from the languishing of a sick bed, from the borders of the grave we have turned our eyes to our soul’s spouse, and He has never been otherwise than “all beauteous.” Many of His saints have looked upon Him from the gloom of dungeons, and from the red flames of the stake yet they have never uttered a bad word about Him but have died extolling His surpassing charms! Oh, noble and pleasant employment to be forever gazing at our sweet Lord Jesus!

Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Savior in all His offices, and to perceive Him matchless in each, to shift the kaleidoscope, as it were and to find fresh combinations of His peerless graces?

In the manger and in eternity; on the cross and on His throne; in the garden and in His kingdom; among thieves or in the midst of cherubim He is everywhere altogether lovely!

Examine carefully every little act of His life, and every trait of His character, and He is as lovely in the minute as in the majestic. Judge Him as you will—you cannot censure! Weigh Him as you please and He will not be found lacking. Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot in our Beloved! But rather, as countless ages revolve, His hidden glories shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendor!

Morning Devotional

And will manifest myself to him.
~ John 14:21

The Lord Jesus gives special revelations of Himself to His people. Even if Scripture did not declare this, there are many of the children of God who could testify the truth of it from their own experience. They have had manifestations of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in a special manner, such as no mere reading or hearing could afford. In the biographies of eminent saints, you will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has been pleased, in a very special manner to speak to their souls, and to unfold the wonders of His person; yes, so have their souls been steeped in happiness that they have thought themselves to be in heaven, whereas they were not there, though they were well near on the threshold of it. For when Jesus manifests Himself to His people it is heaven on earth; it is paradise in embryo; it is bliss begun!

These special manifestations of Christ, exercise a holy influence on the believer’s heart.

One effect will be humility. If a man says, “I have had such-and-such spiritual communications, therefore I am a great man,” he has never had any communion with Jesus at all; for “God has respect unto the lowly but the proud He knows afar off.” He does not need to come near them to know them, and will never give them any visits of love.

Another effect will be happiness; for in God’s presence there are pleasures for evermore.

Holiness will be sure to follow. A man who has no holiness has never had this manifestation. Some men profess a great deal; but we must not believe anyone—unless we see that his deeds answer to what he says. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked.” He will not bestow His favors upon the wicked for while He will not cast away a godly man, neither will He respect an evil doer. Thus there will be three effects of nearness to Jesus humility, happiness, and holiness. May God give them to you, Christian!

Eternal Perspectives

When Christ’s followers rise, they shall leave the old Adam behind them. Blessed day! One of the happiest aspects of Heaven will be freedom from the tendency to sin, a total death to that old nature which has been our plague and woe.

~ Charles Spurgeon, [“The First Resurrection,” Sermon 391]

Faith’s Checkbook

God Finished His Work

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.
~ Ps 138:8

He who has begun will carry on the work which is being wrought within my soul. The Lord is concerned about everything that concerns me. All that is now good, but not perfect, the Lord will watch over, preserve, and carry out to completion. This is a great comfort. I could not perfect the work of grace myself. Of that I am quite sure, for I fail every day and have only held on so long as I have because the Lord has helped me. If the Lord were to leave me, all my past experience would go for nothing, and I should perish from the way. But the Lord will continue to bless me. He will perfect my faith, my love, my character, my lifework. He will do this because He has begun a work in me. He gave me the concern I feel, and, in a measure, He has fulfilled my gracious aspirations, He never leaves a work unfinished; this would not be for His glory, nor would it be like Him. He knows how to accomplish His gracious design, and though my own evil nature and the world and the devil all conspire to hinder Him, I do not doubt His promise. He will perfect that which concerneth me, and I will praise Him forever. Lord, let Thy gracious work make some advance this day!

Faith’s Checkbook

An Expert Searcher

For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

~ Ezek 34:11

This He does at the first when His elect are like wandering sheep that know not the Shepherd or the fold. How wonderfully doth the Lord find out His chosen! Jesus is great as a seeking Shepherd as well as a saving Shepherd. Though many of those His Father gave Him have gone as near to hell-gate as they well can, yet the Lord by searching and seeking discovers them and draws nigh to them in grace. He has sought out us: let us have good hope for those who are laid upon our hearts in prayer, for He will find them out also.

The Lord repeats this process when any of His flock stray from the pastures of truth and holiness. They may fall into gross error, sad sin, and grievous hardness; but yet the Lord, who has become a surety for them to His Father, will not suffer one of them to go so far as to perish. He will by providence and grace pursue them into foreign lands, into abodes of poverty, into dens of obscurity, into depths of despair; He will not lose one of all that the Father has given Him. It is a point of honor with Jesus to seek and to save all the flock, without a single exception. What a promise to plead, if at this hour I am compelled to cry, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep!”

Turning Point

Well Ordered

Divine coincidence is an economic theory referring “to the property of New Keynesian models that there is no trade-off between the stabilization of inflation and of the welfare-relevant output gap … for central banks.”

Don’t worry if you don’t understand that; economists don’t either!

Nor can we talk about “divine coincidence” in a biblical sense. The word coincidence implies randomness and chance. But there are no coincidences for God’s children.

Instead, let’s talk about divine ordering. God personally orders and arranges our steps. Nothing happens to us by accident. Even adverse incidents become part of His long-term strategy for our good. The God of the universe is keenly involved in our lives.

According to 2 Chronicles 8:16, Solomon built the temple of the Lord according to a master blueprint: “Now all the work of Solomon was well-ordered from the day of the foundation of the house of the Lord until it was finished.”

You are God’s temple, and His blueprint for your life leaves nothing to chance.

How comprehensive is the love of Jesus! There is no part of His people’s interests which He does not consider, and there is nothing which concerns their welfare which is not important to Him.

[Charles H. Spurgeon]

Faith’s Checkbook

This Body Fashioned Anew

Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.

~ Phil 3:21

Often when we are racked with pain and unable to think or worship, we feel that this indeed is “the body of our humiliation,” and when we are tempted by the passions which rise from the flesh we do not think the word vile at all too vigorous a translation. Our bodies humble us; and that is about the best thing they do for us. Oh, that we were duly lowly, because our bodies ally us with animals and even link us with the dust!

But our Savior, the Lord Jesus, shall change all this. We shall be fashioned like His own body of glory. This will take place in all who believe in Jesus. By faith their souls have been transformed, and their bodies will undergo such a renewal as shall fit them for their regenerated spirits. How soon this grand transformation will happen we cannot tell; but the thought of it should help us to bear the trials of today and all the woes of the flesh. In a little while we shall be as Jesus now is. No more aching brows, no more swollen limbs, no more dim eyes, no more fainting hearts. The old man shall be no more a bundle of infirmities, nor the sick man a mass of agony. “Like unto his glorious body.” What an expression! Even our flesh shall rest in hope of such a resurrection!