Daily Comfort

“Take away the stone,” Jesus said.
~ John 11:39

We find in all our Lord’s life, an economy of miracle. He never put forth supernatural power, unless it was necessary. Could not Jesus have taken away the stone himself? Certainly he could. The power that could call the dead to life, could easily have lifted back the piece of rock from the door of the tomb. But there is always something left for human hands to do.

God honors us by making us co-workers with himself, both in providence and grace. He feeds us–but ordinarily we must toil to earn and gather our own food. He saves people’s souls; but he uses men to speak the message, and then to help in winning the lost. He makes his work dependent, too, upon our fidelity in doing our part. He still wants us to take away the stones that shut our friends in their prison.

This command also exercised the faith of the friends. If they had refused to do what he bade them do, the miracle could not have been wrought. “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” Had not the unbelief given away to faith, Lazarus would not have been raised. May it not be that many times, in our own days, and in the experiences of our own lives, great works of divine power which Christ stands ready to perform, are not wrought because we do not believe?

Daily Comfort

“Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter–It is the Lord!”
~ John 21:7

One compares the character of John, in its mellow ripeness, to an ancient, extinct volcano. Where once the crater yawned–there is now a verdurous, cup-like hollow on the mountain summit. Where once the fierce fires burned–lies a still, clear pool of water, looking up like an eye to the beautiful heavens above, its banks covered with sweet flowers. “It is an apt parable,” he says, “of the apostle John. Naturally and originally volcanic, capable of profoundest passion and daring–he is new-made by grace, until in his old age he stands out in calm grandeur of character, and depth and largeness of soul, with all the gentlenesses and graces of Christ adorning him a man; as I imagine him to myself, with a face so noble that kings might do him homage, and so sweet that little children would run to him for his blessing.” This is a true and striking portrait of this disciple of love.

What was it that wrought this transformation in John, that changed the “son of thunder” into the apostle of Christly affectionateness? It was leaning upon the Master’s bosom that did it. The lump of common clay lay upon the perfumed rose, and the sweetness of the rose entered into it. John lay on Jesus’ bosom, on the bosom of the all-loving One, and the love of Jesus passed into John’s soul and transformed it. That was the secret of John’s sanctification.

Daily Comfort

“I do not practice what I want to do–but I do what I hate!”
~ Rom 7:15

Think of the brokenness, the incompleteness, the littleness, of these lives of ours! We get glimpses of beauty in character, which we are not able to attain! We have longings which seem to us too great ever to come true. We dream of things we want to do; but when we try to work them out, our clumsy hands cannot put them into realizations! We have glimmerings of a love that is very rich and tender, without a trace of selfishness, without envy or jealousy, without resentment–a love that seeks not its own, is not provoked, and bears all things. We get the vision from the life of Christ Himself. We say, “I will learn that lesson of love; I will be like that!” But we fail.

We strive to be sweet-spirited, unselfish, thoughtful, kind–but we must wet our pillow with tears at the close of our marred days, because we cannot be what we strive to be! We have glimpses of a peace which is very beautiful. We strive after it strive with intense effort–but do not reach it!

So it is in all our living. Life is ever something too large for us. We attain only fragments of living. Yet take heart, “The desire of the righteous shall be granted!” 

~ Proverbs 10:24

“We know that when He appears–we shall be like Him!”

~ 1 John 3:2

Daily Comfort

“Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him, but He disappeared from their sight!”
~ Luke 24:31

Anniversary days always bring back the memories of those who have died. Out of what home, has not some beloved face vanished? You are thinking of these departed ones. If they died in Christ–the gospel of these Easter days lifts the veil, and shows them to you away beyond death, unhurt by death, living still, the same gentle friends they were when you knew them here and clasped them in your arms.

I had a letter the other day from Rome, written by a dear friend who is journeying abroad in search of health. The letter was full of bright words which reminded me of my friend’s beautiful life. There was the same old warmth, the same eager interest in things and people, the same kindly thoughtfulness. “Just like my friend!” I said, as I read the letter. Being in Rome has made no change in his gentle spirit.

It is just so with our friends in heaven. My father and mother are there. If I were to go to my ‘long home’ today, I know I would see them unchanged. Of course the marks of care are gone, or have become transfigured, and are now marks of beauty. They have not their earthly bodies–but then, those worn and weary bodies were not my real father and mother. Death ended nothing beautiful in them. I would see them living in new and richer life, engaged, as they used to be on earth, in loving ministries.

Daily Comfort

“Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is!”
~ 1 John 3:2

Think of the possibilities of man, in the light of the revealings of Christianity. You know what the Christ says of the future of everyone who believes in him–but have you ever thought deeply about it?

Have you ever thought seriously about the word ‘eternity’, as a definition of the duration of your own life? Jesus tells us we shall have eternal life, and that means not endless existence only–but endless growth, development, progress. The New Testament tells us that we know now only in part, only little fragments of any knowledge–but that some day we shall know perfectly. It tells us also that there will be the most wondrous moral development in these lives of ours.

There is a glory in the Christian’s soul, which is not yet revealed. The Bible lifts the veil, and shows us a glimpse of our eternal state, “We shall be like Him!” I cannot explain that. It is too high for any human thought to comprehend it. But surely it tells of marvelous possibilities in men. That is the future of every one who will link his life to the life of Christ.

Comfort

“Moses made an end of speaking.”
~ Deut 32:45
So we all shall do some day. Moses knew it was the end for him; we may not know when our end is at hand. Any word of ours, spoken amid glee and merriment, may be our last!! If we always thought of this–would it not make us more careful? Would we ever say an unkind word to a friend, if we felt that we may never have an opportunity to unsay it or repent of it? Would we ever utter an angry, untrue, or unclean word–if we only remembered that it may be the last utterance our lips shall give forth?

We want to have beautiful endings to our life, to leave sweet memories behind us in the hearts of those who love us. We want our names to be fragrant in the homes on whose thresholds our footfalls are accustomed to be heard. We want the memory of our last words in our friends’ ears–to live as a tender joy with them as the days pass away. We can be sure of all this–only by making every word we speak beautiful enough to be a last word. For with any sentence–we may come to the end of our speaking.

Daily Comfort

“So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.”
~ Gen 12:4

That was faith. Obedience proved it. Abram did not know where he was going; he had simply the call of God and a promise. But he asked no questions. He did not insist on knowing how his journey would come out, how profitable it would be, just what he would get in exchange for the land he was leaving and the sacrifice he was making. Quietly, without question or hesitation, he arose, cut the ties that bound him to his old home, and departed.

That is the kind of faith all of us should have, whenever God gives us a call and a promise. Some people want to see where they are going before they will begin to follow Christ; but that is not walking by faith at all.

We should not trouble ourselves to know where we are to be led, if only we know that God is leading us. His guidance is safe; and we should be willing to trust him, do precisely what he says, and go just where he leads, without asking any questions. Abraham’s life is a picture of a true “walk with God.”