Daily Wisdom

“And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.”

~ Eph 1:22-23

In the mind of God, and as chosen in Christ, the Church is a perfect body. It is, therefore, the fullness of Christ. Just as our head and members, in their union with each other, form one perfect harmonious body, so it is with Christ and the Church. As the natural head would be incomplete without the body, as the body would be incomplete without the head, so it is with Christ mystical, and his body the Church. Each needs the other, and the union of both makes the whole complete.

The Son of God, by becoming incarnate, needed a body of which he should be the Head. Without it, he would be as a bridegroom without the bride, a shepherd without the sheep, a foundation without the building, a vine without the branches. He did not need the Church as the Son of God, but he needed her as the Son of man. In her all his love is complete, his work complete, his grace complete, his glory complete; and when she is brought home to be forever with him in glory, then all the purposes of God, all his eternal counsels of wisdom and grace, will be complete. In this sense we may understand the expression, “the fullness of him that fills all in all.” What a wonderful thought it is that he who, as the Son of God, fills all in all ~ fills all places with his omnipresence ~ should yet stoop to have a relative fullness in his body the Church!

Daily Wisdom

“I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
~ Hab 3:18

If ever, as we pass through this wilderness, we feel one drop of solid joy, of true happiness, it must flow, it can flow only from one source—the manifestation of Christ to our souls. This joy may be very transient—we may have to look upon it through a vista of many years; and doubts and fears may becloud the mind whether we ever rejoiced truly in Christ, or whether our joy might not have been “the joy of the hypocrite” that perishes. And yet we are brought to this point—we can find true joy and peace in Him alone. Sin, the world, the things of time and sense, business, amusement, pleasure so called, afford now no lasting joy; there is an aching void, a feeling of dreariness and misery connected with everything short of divine communications of mercy, favor, and love. So that though we may not be enabled to say, ‘we greatly rejoice at all times, in all places, at all seasons, in the Lord;’ yet we can come to this point—we can rejoice in no other; we can take real pleasure in nothing else. One smile from the Lord, one word from his lips, one gracious breaking in of the light of his countenance does, while it lasts, communicate joy; and from no other quarter, from no other source can a moment’s true joy be drawn.

Daily Wisdom

“I will be as the dew unto Israel.”
~ Hos 14:5

Sometimes the Lord, without applying his word with any very great and distinguishing power to the heart, makes his truth to drop with a measure of sweetness into the soul. This is as rain or dew, according to his own gracious declaration, “My teaching shall drop as the rain; my speech shall distill as the dew” (Deut. 32:2). The dropping, then, of his teaching as rain, and the distilling of his gracious speech as dew, kindle in the soul a love of the truth, and wherever this is felt there is salvation, for we read of those who perish that “they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10).

There is a receiving of the truth, and a receiving of the love of the truth. These two things widely differ. To receive the truth will not necessarily save; for many receive the truth who never receive the love of the truth. Professors by thousands receive the truth into their judgment, and adopt the plan of salvation as their creed; but are neither saved nor sanctified thereby. But to receive the love of the truth by the truth as it is in Jesus being made sweet and precious to the soul, is to receive salvation itself. It is in this way that the gospel is made the power of God unto salvation; and therefore the Apostle, speaking of “the preaching of the cross,” says that “it is to those who perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” Now it is impossible that this power should be felt without its having an alluring effect upon the soul, whereby it comes out from every evil thing and cleaves to the Lord with purpose of heart.

Daily Wisdom

“The Lord loves the gates of Zion.” – Ps 87:2

What are gates for? Two purposes—entrance and exit. And Zion, also, has her gates of exit and entrance; she has her gates of access to God, entrance into the presence of the Most High; “the door of hope,” opened in “the valley of Achor.” And who has opened the door; or, rather, who has not only opened it and made it, but himself IS the Door? “I am the Door,” says Jesus. And was not “the door” opened through his rent flesh? As the Apostle speaks—“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.” Through his bleeding wounds, through his pierced side, through his mangled feet and hands, there is now access to God– “A door of hope is opened wide In Jesus’ pierced hands and side.”

Is there any other access to God, but through the slaughtered Lamb? “Through him we have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” There is no other; for he is “the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by him.” Is not this an open way? Does not the soul through this door “walk in and out and find pasture,” and enter into the immediate presence of God? Do you, my friends, ever find access to God, a heart to pray, a sense of acceptance in prayer, an open door, and power to enter therein? What opens it? Merit? Set up merit, and we are all damned to a man. It is not merit, great or little; it is the blood of the Lamb which alone has opened a way for poor lost sinners to draw near to God.

Daily Wisdom

“Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, where you feed, where you make your flock to rest at noon—for why should I be as one that turns aside by the flocks of your companions? If you know not, O fairest among women, go your way by the footsteps of the flock, and feed your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents.”

~ Song 1:7-8

If you say that you want food and rest, to know Christ for yourself and to enjoy his presence and love, the Lord gives you two directions to attain to the enjoyment of these two blessings–

1. to tread in the footsteps of the flock, to walk in the way in which the saints of old have walked, in the path of tribulation and faith;

2. if you are favored in any way to live within reach of the shepherds’ tents, and have the privilege of hearing the gospel preached in its purity and power, to bring your young goats in your arms beside the tent, and to put them down to feed on the juicy herbage. And be assured that if you come to the shepherds’ tents with a prayerful spirit and a hungry soul, begging of God to open your heart to receive the word with power, and to crown it with his blessing, sooner or later you will find food and rest.

But these things go together. If you want food you will go where it is to be obtained; if you want rest you will go where it is to be obtained. You will get neither in the world. But as you get food and rest beside the shepherds’ tents you will find that it is really and truly Jesus himself who feeds, and Jesus himself who makes you lie down and rest. The shepherds are but servants. Christ is the Bridegroom, and he alone has the Bride. The shepherds’ joy is to bring the sheep to Christ that they may find food and rest in him; and as your heart receives the joyful sound, and you feel the power of God’s truth in your soul, there will be a doing what Christ bids as well as enjoying what Christ reveals.

Daily Wisdom

“Who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

~ Gal 2:20

Many of the saints of God may not be so highly favored as to take up into their lips Paul’s language of strong, personal assurance. They may hope, and at times may rise beyond a hope, into a sweet confidence, by the shining in of the Sun of righteousness, that the Son of God has loved them, and given himself for them. But the strength of Paul’s persuasion and the full expression of his confidence so far outstrip both their assurance and their language, that many real saints of God confess they come short both in heart and tongue. Yet their coming short of this blessed certainty as an enjoyed reality in the heart, and as a declared confidence by the mouth—for conscience and tongue must move together where God works—does not affect the fact.

Clouds and mists sometimes obscure the sun, but they do not blot him out of the sky. So the mists and fogs of unbelief may obscure the Sun of righteousness, yet they do not blot him out of the spiritual hemisphere. He still loved you and gave himself for you who believe in his name, though you may not be able to rise up to the faith of Paul, or speak with the same fullness of assurance. The bud has the same union with the vine as the branch, but not the same strength of union; the babe is as much a member of the family as the grown-up son, but has not the same knowledge of its relationship; the foot is as much a part of the body as the eye or the hand, though it has not the same nearness to the head, or the same honors and employments.

Daily Wisdom

“These all died in faith.”

~ Heb 11:13

When death came it did not rob them of their faith. They held with their believing hand in death every truth which they had held with their believing hand in life. It is in death that the gospel is such a blessing when held by a believing hand. What would we do upon a dying bed, with all our sins staring us in the face in all their dreadful magnitude, accused by Satan, condemned by conscience, terrified by a holy law, and frowned upon by an indignant God? What must be our end upon the bed of death if we had nothing to look to but a God who is a consuming fire, with nothing but the bitter recollection of past sins to agonize the mind and distress the conscience? O, if ever faith is needed, it will be needed then; if ever the gospel embraced, embraced then; if ever Christ looked to, looked to then; if ever laid hold of by the hand of faith, laid hold of then! Now if you know what faith is, and your faith has embraced the Son of God, and love has worked by that faith, and Christ in that faith has made himself precious, that faith will never give up the spirit in a dying hour. False faith will then expire; but the faith of God’s elect will not leave you in the hour of death, but support you as you pass through the dark valley, and land you safe on that happy shore where faith is turned into sight, hope into enjoyment, and love abides in its fullest manifestation.