Faith’s Checkbook

Immediate Freedom

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.

Faith’s Checkbook

Losses Overcome

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.

~ Joel 2:25

Yes, those wasted years over which we sigh shall be restored to us. God can give us such plentiful grace that we shall crowd into the remainder of our days as much of service as will be some recompense for those years of unregeneracy over which we mourn in humble penitence. The locusts of backsliding, worldliness, lukewarmness, are now viewed by us as a terrible plague. Oh, that they had never come near us! The Lord in mercy has now taken them away, and we are full of zeal to serve Him. Blessed be His name, we can raise such harvests of spiritual graces as shall make our former barrenness to disappear. Through rich grace we can turn to account our bitter experience and use it to warn others. We can become the more rooted in humility, childlike dependence, and penitent spirituality by reason of our former shortcomings. If we are the more watchful, zealous, and tender, we shall gain by our lamentable losses. The wasted years, by a miracle of love, can be restored. Does it seem too great a boon? Let us believe for it and live for it, and we may yet realize it, even as Peter became all the more useful a man after his presumption was cured by his discovered weakness. Lord, aid us by Thy grace.

Walk With Jesus

CARRYING CHRIST WITH YOU

~ Acts 11:21

The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

The disciples must have seemed out of place in the bustling commercial atmosphere of Antioch. But sensing they were there by divine appointment, they dedicated themselves to share their faith. And the result? A secular city turned upside down.

Regardless of your employment situation, the Lord has placed you where you are for a purpose: to introduce others to the Savior. Charles Spurgeon wisely challenges you to use every opportunity.

WALK WITH CHARLES SPURGEON

“Wherever you are called to go, you should make known the gospel of Jesus. Look upon this as your calling and occupation.

“You will not be scattered now by persecution, but should the demands of business carry you into different situations, use that travel for missionary purposes.

“Providence every now and then bids you move your tent; take care that wherever it is pitched you carry with you a testimony for Jesus.

“At times the necessities of health require relaxation, and this may take you to different places of public resort. Seize the opportunity to encourage the churches in such localities by your presence, and endeavor to spread the knowledge of Jesus among those to whom you may be directed.

“The position which you occupy in society is not an accidental one. You are placed where you are that you may be a preserving salt to those around you, a sweet savor of Christ to all who know you.”

WALK CLOSER TO GOD

One writer summarizes the challenge this way: “If Christ comes to rule in the hearts of men, it will be because we take him with us on the tractor, behind the desk, or when we’re making a sale to a customer.”

God knows what he is about when he guides you into a location and a vocation. All that remains is for you to seize the opportunities he has placed within your reach.

Faith’s Checkbook

Cure for Envy

Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cast off.

~ Prov 23:17-18

When we see the wicked prosper we are apt to envy them. When we hear the noise of their mirth and our own spirit is heavy, we half think that they have the best of it. This is foolish and sinful. If we knew them better, and specially if we remembered their end, we should pity them.

The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of the divine presence, worshiping God and communing with Him all the day long, however long the day may seem. True religion lifts the soul into a higher region, where the judgment becomes more clear and the desires are more elevated. The more of heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we shall covet. The fear of God casts out envy of men.

The deathblow of envy is a calm consideration of the future. The wealth and glory of the ungodly are a vain show. This pompous appearance flashes out for an hour and then is extinguished. What is the prosperous sinner the better for his prosperity when judgment overtakes him? As for the godly man, his end is peace and blessedness, and none can rob him of his joy; wherefore, let him forgo envy and be filled with sweet content.

Faith’s Checkbook

Spiritual Sowing

He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

~ Gal 6:8

Sowing looks like a losing business, for we put good corn into the ground never to see it anymore. Sowing to the Spirit seems a very fanciful, dreamy business; for we deny ourselves and apparently get nothing for it. Yet if we sow to the Spirit by studying to live unto God, seeking to obey the will of God, and laying ourselves out to promote His honor, we shall not sow in vain. Life shall be our reward, even everlasting life. This we enjoy here as we enter into the knowledge of God, communion with God, and enjoyment of God. This life flows on like an ever-deepening, ever-widening river till it bears us to the ocean of infinite felicity, where the life of God is ours forever and ever.

Let us not this day sow to our flesh, for the harvest will be corruption, since flesh always tends that way; but with holy self-conquest let us live for the highest, purest, and most spiritual ends, seeking to honor our most holy Lord by obeying His most gracious Spirit. What a harvest will that be when we reap life everlasting! What sheaves of endless bliss will be reaped! What a festival will that harvest be! Lord, make us such reapers, for thy Son’s sake.

Morning Devotional

Thou art my hope in the day of evil.~ Jer 17:17

The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God’s Word, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;” and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below—as well as bliss above. But experience tells us that if the course of the just be “As the shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day,” yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods, clouds cover the believer’s sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light.

There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the “green pastures” by the side of the “still waters.” But suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the fertile Land of Goshen—they have to tread the barren desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, “Surely, if I were a child of God—this would not happen!”

Oh! say not so, you who are walking in darkness. The best of God’s saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of His children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first—a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.

Faith’s Checkbook

Lift them up forever.

~ Ps 28:9

God’s people need lifting up. They are very heavy by nature. They have no wings, or, if they have, they are like the dove of old which lay among the pots; and they need divine grace to make them mount on wings covered with silver, and with feathers of yellow gold. By nature sparks fly upward but the sinful souls of men fall downward. O Lord, “lift them up forever!”

David himself said, “Unto You, O God, do I lift up my soul,” and he here feels the necessity that other men’s souls should be lifted up as well as his own. When you ask this blessing for yourself—do not forget to seek it for others also.

There are three ways in which God’s people require to be lifted up.

They require to be elevated in character. Lift them up, O Lord; do not allow Your people to be like the world’s people! The world lies in the wicked one—lift them out of it! The world’s people are looking after silver and gold, seeking their own pleasures, and the gratification of their lusts—but, Lord, lift Your people up above all this; keep them from being “muck-rakers,” as John Bunyan calls the man who was always scraping after gold! Set their hearts upon their risen Lord and the heavenly heritage!

Moreover, believers need to be prospered in conflict. In the battle, if they seem to fall, O Lord, be pleased to give them the victory. If the foot of the foe be upon their necks for a moment, help them to grasp the sword of the Spirit, and eventually to win the battle. Lord, lift up Your children’s spirits in the day of conflict; let them not sit in the dust, mourning forever. Do not allow the adversary to vex them sorely, and make them fret; but if they have been, like Hannah, persecuted, let them sing of the mercy of a delivering God.

We may also ask our Lord to lift them up at the last! Lift them up by taking them home, lift their bodies from the tomb, and raise their souls to Your eternal kingdom in glory!

Faith’s Checkbook

Sensitive to Warning

Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord.

~ 2 Kgs 22:19

Many despise warning and perish. Happy is he who trembles at the Word of God. Josiah did so, and he was spared the sight of the evil which the Lord determined to send upon Judah because of her great sins. Have you this tenderness? Do you practice this self-humiliation? Then you also shall be spared in the evil day. God sets a mark upon the men that sigh and cry because of the sin of the times. The destroying angel is commanded to keep his sword in its sheath till the elect of God are sheltered: these are best known by their godly fear and their trembling at the Word of the Lord. Are the times threatening? Does infidelity advance with great strides, and do you dread national chastisement upon this polluted nation? Well you may. Yet rest in this promise: “Thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace: and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which l will bring upon this place.” Better still, the Lord Himself may come, and then the days of our mourning shall be ended.