Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Charity doth not behave itself unseemly

~ 1 Cor 13:5

In the dress of a Hindu woman, her graceful robe is fastened upon her person entirely by means of a single knot. The long strip of cloth is wound around her person so as to fall in graceful folds like a made garment, and the end is fastened by a little knot, and the whole thing hangs by that single fastening. If that were loosed the robe would fall. And so in the spiritual life, our habits of grace are likened unto garments; and it is also true that the garment of love, which is the beautiful adorning of the child of God, is entirely fastened by little knots.

If you will read with care the thirteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians, you will find that most of the qualities of love are purely negative. Love envieth not, love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave herself rudely, seeketh not her own, is not provoked, thinketh no evil. Here are nots enough to hold on our spiritual wardrobe. Here are reasons enough to explain the failure of so many, and the reason why they walk naked, or with rent garments, and others see their shame. Let us look after the nots.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

I will cause you to walk in My statutes

~ Ezek 36:27

The highest spiritual condition is one where life is spontaneous and flows without effort, like the deep floods of Ezekiel’s river, where the struggles of the swimmer ceased, and he was borne by the current’s resistless force.

So God leads us into spiritual conditions and habits which become the spontaneous impulses of our being, and we live and move in the fulness of the divine life.

But these spiritual habits are not the outcome of some transitory impulse, but are often slowly acquired and established. They begin, like every true habit, in a definite act of will, and they are confirmed by the repetition of that act until it becomes a habit. The first stages always involve effort and choice. We have to take a stand and hold it steadily, and after we have done so a certain time, it becomes second nature, and carries us by its own force.

The Holy Spirit is willing to form such habits in every direction of our Christian life, and if we will but obey Him in the first steppings of faith, we will soon become established in the attitude of obedience, and duty will be delight.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

He sent forth the dove which returned not again unto him

~ Gen 8:12

First, we have the dove going forth from the ark, and finding no rest upon the wild and drifting waste of sin and judgment. This represents the Old Testament period, perhaps, when the Holy Ghost visited this sinful world, but could find no resting–place, and went back to the bosom of God.

Next, we have the dove going forth and returning with the olive leaf in her mouth, the symbol and the pledge of peace and reconciliation, the sign that judgment was passed and peace was returning. Surely this may beautifully represent the next stage of the Holy Spirit’s manifestation, as going forth in the ministry and death of Jesus Christ, to proclaim reconciliation to a sinful world.

There is a third stage, when, at length, the dove goes forth from the ark and returns no more; but it makes the world its home, and builds its nest amid the habitations of men. This is the third and present stage of the Holy Spirit’s blessed work. Let us welcome the Dove to a nest in our hearts.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Abide with us; for it is toward evening

~ Luke 24:29

In His last messages to the disciples in the 14th and 15 th chapters of John, the Lord Jesus clearly teaches us that the very essence of the highest holiness is, Abide in Me, and I in you, for without Me ye can do nothing.

The very purpose of the Holy Ghost whom He promised was to reveal Him, that at that day, ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you, and the closing echo of His intercessory prayer was embraced in these three small but infinite words, I in them.

Is it for me to be cleansed by His power

From the pollution of sin?

Is it for me to be kept every hour

By His abiding within?

Is it for me to be perfectly whole

Thro’ His anointing divine;

Claiming in body, and spirit, and soul,

All of His fulness as mine?

Wonderful promise so full and so free,

Wonderful Saviour, Oh, how can it be,

Cleansing and pardon and mercy for me?

Yes, it’s for me, for me.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves

~ Phil 2:3

When the apostle speaks of the deep things of God, he means more than deep spiritual truth. There must be something before this. There must be a deep soil and a thorough foundation.

Very much of our spiritual teaching fails, because the people to whom we give it are so shallow. Their deeper nature has never been stirred.

The beatitudes begin at the bottom of things, the poor in spirit, the mourners, and the hungry hearts. Suffering is essential to profound spiritual life. We need not go to a monastery or a leper hospital to find it. The first real opportunity for unselfishness will bring into your life the anguish of crucifixion, unless you are born of some different race from Adam’s.

It is because men and women have not faced this that they know so little of suffering and death. We must have deep convictions. Truth must be to us a necessity, and principle a part of our very being. Lord, make me poor in spirit. Lord help me to be even as Thou wert when on earth, always the lowest, and therefore highly exalted.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

We would see Jesus

~ John 12:21

When any great blessing is awaiting us, the devil is sure to try and make it so disagreeable to us that we shall miss it. It is a good thing to know him as a liar, and remember, when he is trying to prejudice us strongly against any cause, that very likely the greatest blessing of our life lies there. Spurgeon once said that the best evidence that God was on our side is the devil’s growl, and we are generally pretty safe in following a thing according to Satan’s dislike for it. Beloved, take care, lest in the very line where your prejudices are setting you off from God’s people and God’s truth, you are missing the treasures of your life. Take the treasures of heaven no matter how they come to you, even if it be as earthly treasures generally are, like the kernel inside the rough shell, or the gem in the bosom of the hard rock.

I have seen Jesus and my heart is dead to all beside,

I have seen Jesus, and my wants are all, in Him, supplied.

I have seen Jesus, and my heart, at last, is satisfied,

Since I’ve seen Jesus.

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you

~ John 16:23

Two men go to the bank cashier, both holding in their hands a piece of paper. One is dressed in expensive style, and presents a gloved and jeweled hand; the other is a rough, unwashed workman. The first is rejected with a polite sentence, and the second receives a thousand dollars over the counter. What is the difference? The one presented a worthless name; the other handed in a note endorsed by the president of the bank. And so the most virtuous moralist will be turned away from the gates of mercy, and the vilest sinner welcomed in if he presents the name of Jesus.

What shall we give to infinite purity and righteousness? Jesus! No other gift is worthy for God to receive. And He has given Him to us for this very end, to give back as our substitute and satisfaction. And He has testified of this gift what He has of no other, namely, that in Him He is well pleased and all who receive Him are accepted in the Beloved. Shall we accept the testimony that God is satisfied with His Son? Shall we be satisfied with Him?