Daily Blessings

“The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.”

~ Gal 2:20

There is no way except by being spiritually baptized into Christ’s death and life, that we can ever get a victory over our besetting sins. If, on the one hand, we have a view of a suffering Christ, and thus become baptized into his sufferings and death, the feeling, while it lasts, will subdue the power of sin. Or, on the other hand, if we get a believing view of a risen Christ, and receive supplies of grace out of his fullness, that will lift us above sin’s dominion. If sin is powerfully working in us, we need one of these two things to subdue it; either we must have something come down to us to give us a victory over our sin in our strugglings against it, or we must have something to lift us up out of sin into a purer and better element.

When there is a view of the sufferings and sorrows, agonies and death of the Son of God, power comes down to the soul in its struggles against sin, and gives it a measure of holy resistance and subduing strength against it. So, when there is a coming in of the grace and love of Christ, it lifts up the soul from the love and power of sin into a purer and holier atmosphere. Sin cannot be subdued in any other way. You must either be baptized into Christ’s sufferings and death, or you must be baptized (and these follow each other) into Christ’s resurrection and life. A sight of him as a suffering God, or a view of him as a risen Jesus, must be connected with every successful attempt to get the victory over sin, death, hell, and the grave. You may strive, vow, and repent; and what does it all amount to? You sink deeper and deeper into sin than before. Pride, lust, and covetousness come in like a flood, and you are swamped and carried away almost before you are aware. But if you get a view of a suffering Christ, or of a risen Christ; if you get a taste of his dying love, a drop of his atoning blood, or any manifestation of his beauty and blessedness, there comes from this spiritual baptism into his death or his life a subduing power; and this gives a victory over temptation and sin which nothing else can or will give.

Yet I believe we are often many years learning this divine secret, striving to repent and reform, and cannot; until at last by divine teaching we come to learn a little of what the Apostle meant when he said, “The life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.” And when we can get into this life of faith, this hidden life, then our affections are set on things above.

There is no use setting people to work by legal strivings; they only plunge themselves deeper in the ditch. You must get Christ into your soul by the power of God; and then he will subdue, by his smiles, blood, love, and presence, every internal foe.

Daily Blessings

“The fear of the Lord is his treasure.”

~ Isa 33:6

“The fear of the Lord is his treasure.” And, oh, what a treasure is this fear! Treasure in ancient times was generally hidden; it was concealed from the eye of man, hoarded up, and not brought out ostentatiously to view. Wealthy men of old hid the knowledge of their treasures, lest they should be robbed of them by the hand of violence. So spiritually, the fear of the Lord is hidden in the heart, and lies deep in the soul; it is not spread out ostentatiously to view, but is buried out of sight in a man’s conscience. But though hidden from others, and sometimes even from ourselves, this “fear of the Lord” will act as circumstances draw it forth. There may be times and seasons when we seem almost hardened and conscience-seared; sin appears to have such power over us, and evil thoughts and desires so carry us away, that we cannot trace one atom of godly fear within; and the soul cries, “What will become of me! Where am I going now! What will come next on such a wretch as I feel myself to be!”

But place him in such circumstances, say, as befell Joseph, then he will find that the “fear of the Lord” is in him a fountain of life, a holy principle springing up in his soul. Thus, this fear, which is a part of the heavenly treasure, acts when most needed. And the more the life of God is felt in the soul, the more the fear of God flows forth as a fountain of life to depart from the snares of death. The more lively the grace of God is in the soul, the more lively will godly fear be in the heart; and the more the Spirit of God works with power in the conscience, the deeper will be the fear of God in the soul.

Daily Blessings

“Then those who were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, Truly, you are the Son of God.”

~ Matt 14:33

What a beauty and blessedness there is in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, when viewed by the spiritual eye! Our reasoning minds, it is true, may be deeply stumbled at the doctrine of an incarnate God. My own mind, I know, has sometimes been driven almost to its wits’ end by this great mystery of deity and humanity combined in the Person of Christ, for it so surpasses all human comprehension, and is so removed beyond the grasp of all our reasoning faculties. It is not, indeed, contrary to reason, for there is nothing in it impossible or self-contradictory; but it is beyond and above the reach of human thought and tangible apprehension. But when we are led to consider what would be the most certain and most fearful consequences unless the Lord Jesus Christ were what he declares he is, God as well as man, we are compelled, from the very necessity of the case, to cast ourselves with all the weight of our sins and sorrows upon an incarnate God, as the shipwrecked sailor gladly casts himself upon the rock in the ocean as the only refuge from the devouring sea.

When we feel what sinners we are, and have been, look down into the depths of the fall, and see in some feeble and faint measure what sin is in the sight of a holy and pure God, what can save us from despair unless we see the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ investing his work upon the cross and his obedience with a merit that shall suffice to justify our guilty souls, wash away our aggravated iniquities, blot out our fearful crimes, and make us fit to appear in the presence of a righteous God? Thus we are sometimes absolutely compelled to throw ourselves on the deity of Christ, as ready to perish, because in such a divine Savior, in such precious blood we see a refuge, and we see elsewhere no other.

We then feel that if the deity of Christ be taken away, the Church of God is lost. Where can you find pardon? where justification? where reconciliation to God? where atoning blood, if there is no Savior who merited as God, and suffered as man? We might as well leap into hell at once with all our sins upon our head, as a sailor might spring over the prow of a burning ship into the boiling waves, to meet death instead of waiting for it, unless we believe by a living faith in the deity of the Son of God.

But sometimes we are sweetly led into this glorious truth, not merely driven by sheer necessity, but blessedly drawn into this great mystery of godliness, when Christ is revealed to our souls by the power of God. Then, seeing light in God’s light, we view the deity of Christ investing every thought, word, and act of his suffering humanity with unspeakable merit. Then we see how this glorious fact of deity and humanity in the Person of Immanuel satisfies every need, puts away every sin, heals every wound, wipes away every tear, and sweetly brings the soul to repose on the bosom of God. Sometimes, therefore, from necessity, driven by storms of guilt and waves of temptation, and sometimes sweetly drawn by the leadings and teachings of the Holy Spirit, we lay hold of the hope set before us in the essential deity and suffering humanity of the Son of God, knowing that there is a refuge in him from sin, death, hell, and despair.

Daily Blessings

“All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will never out.” – John 6:37

Now, poor sinner, upon whose head the beams of a fiery law are darting; now, poor sinner, distressed in your mind, guilty in your conscience, plagued with a thousand temptations, beset by innumerable doubts and fears, can you not look up a little out of your gloom and sadness, and see that the eternal God is your refuge? Do you not cleave to him with the utmost of your power, as being beaten out of every other refuge? Have you not taken hold of his strength that you may make peace with him? Are you not looking to him? And does he not say, “Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth?” He bids you look at him as Moses bade the Israelites look to the bronze serpent. Poor sinner, groaning under the weight of your transgression, he bids you look to him. Has the blessed Lord, he into whose lips grace was poured, not said, “Him that comes to me I will never cast out?” Why should you not look? Why should you not come to him? Will he cast you out? Do you not feel the secret drawings of his grace, movements upon your heart which make you come often with strong crying and tears, with groans and sighs, earnest, vehement, and continual supplications? What are these but the inward teachings of God, as our Lord said, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto me.”

And do you not know that the Lord himself said, that no man can come to him except the Father who has sent him draws him? These comings, therefore, of your soul in earnest and vehement desire are, according to his own testimony, from the special teachings and gracious drawings of God in you. Having made his dear Son to be the refuge of your soul, he is now drawing you unto him that you may find pardon and peace in him.

But perhaps you will say, “I am so sinful, so guilty, I have been such a sinner, much worse than you can form any conception of; and it is this which sinks me so low.” Are you lower than brother Jonah when he was in the whale’s belly, and, in his own feelings, in the belly of hell? And yet what said he? “Yet will I look again toward your holy temple.” Can you not look again toward the holy temple? Is his mercy clean gone forever? So David felt and feared, but it was not so, for “his mercy endures forever;” and that is a long and strong word. Look and live, look and live!

Daily Blessings

“But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

– Phil 4:19

Oh! if there were no Christ Jesus, there could be no “supply.” Howling in hell would our miserable souls be, unless there were a Mediator at the right hand of the Father; a blessed Jesus, full of love, pity, and power, co-equal and co-eternal in his divine nature with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and yet the God-Man, in whom “it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell.”

If there were not such a blessed Mediator at the right hand of God, not one drop of spiritual comfort, not one particle of hope, not one grace or fruit of the Spirit to distinguish us from the damned in hell, would ever be our lot or portion. Oh! we should never forget the channel through which these mercies come; we should never, for one moment, think that they could come through any other Person or in any other way, than through God’s only begotten Son, now in our nature, at his right hand, as our Advocate, Mediator, and Intercessor with the Father.

And this supply is “according to the riches of his glory;” which is, I believe, a Hebrew idiom, signifying his glorious riches—riches so great, so unlimited, so unfathomable, raising up the soul to such a height of glory, that they may well be called “glorious.” And these “in Christ Jesus;” stored up in him, locked up in him, and supplied freely out of him, just according to the needs and exercises of God’s people.

Blessings

May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!

[2 Pet 1:2 NET]

If we do not know Jesus for ourselves, by some spiritual discovery of his Person and work, what testimony have we of a saving interest in his grace? Because, there is no grace except that which flows through him, for “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” This is what we should ever labor after.

Our daily, hourly desire and prayer should be, to have spiritual discoveries of Christ; to see him by the eye of faith; to enter into his glorious Person and finished work; to realize his presence, taste his love, and know him and the power of his resurrection. This is what Paul so earnestly labored after (Phil. 3:10); and for the excellency of this knowledge he suffered the loss of all things, and counted them but dung that he might win Christ. To know him as our Surety and Sin-bearer, our Advocate and Intercessor, our Friend, Husband, and Brother; to know our saving interest in him, and our union with him; our place in his heart, our name on his breast, our memorial on the palms of his hands—what can surpass the blessedness of such a knowledge as this?

Through this spiritual, experimental knowledge of him, grace flows. As a watercourse opening upon a river brings down its irrigating stream into the parched meadow, so a knowledge of Christ opens up a channel through which the grace that is in him flows into the barren, parched soul. Thus, as through grace alone we know him, so every fresh communication of grace not only makes him better known, but flows in through that very knowledge.

The grace that comes through this knowledge of him brings also peace; for he is “our peace.” He has “broken down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of two, one new man, so making peace.” He, therefore, came and preached peace “to those who were afar off and to those who were near.” His blood speaks peace to a guilty conscience; his voice says peace to the winds and waves of the surging heart; his last legacy was, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you;” his dying promise was, “In me you shall have peace;” and, as the Prince of peace at God’s right hand, he is able to fill us with “all joy and peace in believing,” for his kingdom is “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” And thus, through a knowledge of him as our Lord, “grace and peace” are both “multiplied.”

Blessings

Proud men will be brought low, arrogant men will be humiliated; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

[Isa 2:11 NET]

How does the Lord humble? By discovering to man what he is; by opening up the depth of his fall; by making him feel what a vile and guilty wretch he is before the footstool of mercy; by breaking him to pieces; by slaughtering and laying him low; by making him abhor himself in dust and ashes. Was not that the way the Lord took with the saints of old? How did he humble Isaiah? Was it not by some discovery of his divine Majesty, to make him cry, “I am a man of unclean lips!” How did he humble Daniel? Was it not by manifesting himself in his almighty purity, and turning Daniel’s loveliness into corruption? How did he humble Hezekiah? By laying him upon a sick-bed, and laying his sins and iniquities with weight and power upon his conscience. None of these men produced humility in themselves. How did the Lord humble Job? By sifting him in Satan’s sieve, and discovering as that riddle moved to and fro in Satan’s hands the pride, peevishness, and self-righteousness of his carnal mind.

There are many who cannot bear to hear the malady touched upon. They cannot bear to hear the corruptions of the heart even hinted at. But what real humility can a man have except through a knowledge of himself? How can I be humbled except I feel that in myself which covers me with shame and confusion of face, and makes me loathe and abhor myself before the eyes of a heart-searching God? Therefore the more the glorious majesty of heaven is pleased to unfold itself in all its divine purity in my conscience, and the deeper discovery I have of what I am as a fallen wretch, a guilty sinner, the more will my heart be humbled, the more shall I be lowly and abased, the more shall I loathe myself in dust and ashes.