Daily Wisdom

“You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.”
~ Ps 90:8

Thus Moses the man of God testified, and so Job found it, “For you write bitter things against me, and make me to possess the iniquities of my youth” (Job 13:26). But though the Lord sets his people’s sins in the light of his countenance, and brings them to bear with weight and power upon their conscience, and thus for a time at least lets them sink and fall into distress and grief, he will support them under the heavy load, that they may not altogether be crushed by it.

I do think, that if there is one single grace more overlooked than another in the Church of God at the present day, it is the ‘grace of repentance’. Though it lies at the very threshold of vital godliness, though it was one main element in the gospel that Paul preached, for he “testified both to the Jews and also to the Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21), yet how it is passed by. Men speak of faith, hope, and love; but repentance, contrition, godly sorrow for sin, how much this part of God’s work upon the soul is passed by. But the Lord will not pass it by. Books may pass it by; men may pass it by; ministers may pass it by; but the Lord will not pass it by. He will bring out these secret sins and set them in the light of his countenance; and when he lays them upon the sinner’s conscience, he will make him feel what an evil and bitter thing it is to have sinned against the Lord.

Daily Wisdom

“Pass the time of your sojourning here in reverent fear.”
~ 1 Pet 1:17

Our life here is but a vapor. We are but pilgrims and strangers on this earthly ball, mere sojourners, without fixed or settled habitation, and passing through this world as not our home or resting-place. The Apostle, therefore, bids us pass this time, whether long or short, of our earthly sojourn, under the influence and in the exercise of godly fear. We are surrounded with enemies, all seeking, as it were, our life, and therefore we are called upon to move with great caution, knowing how soon we may slip and fall, and thus wound our own consciences, grieve our friends, gratify our enemies, and bring upon ourselves a cloud of darkness which may long hover over our souls.

Our life here below is not one of ease and quiet, but a warfare, a conflict, a race, a wrestling not with flesh and blood alone, but with principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. We have to dread OURSELVES more than anything or anybody else, and to view our flesh as our greatest enemy. This fear is not a slavish, legal fear, such as that which John speaks of, and of which he says that “it has torment,” but that holy, godly, and filial fear which is the first fruit and mark of covenant grace, and is “a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” How needful, then, is it to pass the time of our sojourning here in the exercise of this godly, reverential fear! And let no one think that this filial fear is inconsistent with faith even in its highest risings, or with love in its sweetest enjoyments.

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 Blessings

“Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
~ John 15:3

What God does, he does by the word of his grace and the influences which accompany that word; forever bear in mind that God does nothing but by his word. The sanctifying, cleansing effects therefore which attend the word of his grace under the operations of the Spirit are spoken of as “the washing of water by the word” (Eph. 5:26). “The word” is the written Scripture; the “water” is the power of the Holy Spirit; the “washing” is the cleansing effect of the application of the word. Let me ask you this question, if you doubt my words, How are we to get the burden and guilt of our sins off our conscience, the defilement of mind which sin produces, the bondage of spirit which sin creates, the fears and alarm of the soul which sin works? You will say, “By believing in Jesus Christ, for being justified by faith we have peace with God.” That is true; but how can we believe in Jesus Christ, so as to find this peace? By the word of his grace, accompanied by the special influence, unction, and dew of the Holy Spirit revealing and making known pardon and acceptance with God, which is therefore spoken of as “the washing of water by the word.” For as water washes the body, so the word of truth washes the soul, by washing away the guilt and filth and defilement of sin. As the blessed Lord said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” And again, “He that is washed needs not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.” Thus as water when applied cleanses the body from natural filth, so does the word of promise, the word of truth, the word of salvation revealing and making known the Savior’s precious blood, cleanse the conscience from the guilt, filth, and defilement of sin.

Daily Blessings

“Fools die for lack of wisdom.”

~ Prov 10:21

There is such a connection between true wisdom, which is “a knowledge of the holy” (Prov. 30:3), and the fear of the Lord; and such a connection between ignorance of the Lord and sin, that saved saints are called “wise,” and lost sinners are called “fools,” not only in the Old Testament, as continually in the Proverbs, but in the New. Many of the Lord’s people look with suspicion upon knowledge, from not seeing clearly the vast distinction between the spiritual, experimental knowledge for which we are now contending, and what is called “head knowledge.” They see that a man may have a well-furnished head and a graceless heart, that he may understand “all mysteries and all knowledge,” and yet be “nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2); and as some of these all-knowing professors are the basest characters that can infest the churches of truth, those who really fear the Lord stand not only in doubt of them, but of all the knowledge possessed by them. But put it in a different form; ask the people of God whether there is not such a divine reality, such a heavenly blessing, as being “taught of God” (John 6:45); having “an unction from the Holy One, whereby we know all things” (1 John 2:20)—knowing the truth for oneself, and finding it makes free (John 8:32); whether there is not a “counting of all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord,” and a stretching forth of the desires of the soul to “know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings;” whether there is not “a knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins” (Luke 1:77); “a knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6); a being “filled with the knowledge of his will” (Col. 1:9); an “increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10); “a growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18);—ask the living family of God whether there be not such a knowledge as this, and if this knowledge is not the very pith and marrow, the very sum and substance of vital godliness, and they will with one voice say, “It is!”

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 Blessings

But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded.
~ Romans 9:31 [NLT]

Why is it that the Israelites never succeeded in getting right with God?  It certainly isn’t because they didn’t try hard enough.  It’s because they couldn’t earn their way.  When you begin to think you can work your way in God’s favor, watch out.  We can’t go to church, give enough money, or do enough good to be right in God’s eyes.  Only faith in God’s grace is powerful enough to keep you right with Him.“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

~ Matt 5:16

To glorify God is the highest ambition of angels. The brightest seraph before the throne has no higher aim, no greater happiness, than to bring glory to his name. And yet a poor sinner on earth may glorify God as much, and in some way more, than the brightest angel in the courts of eternal bliss. What different views the eyes of God and the eyes of men take of events passing on the earth. What glory is brought to God by all the victories gained by one country over another? I have thought sometimes that a poor old man, or feeble, decrepit woman, lying on a workhouse pallet, fighting with sin, self and Satan, yet enabled amid all to look to the Lord Jesus, and by a word from his lips overcoming death and hell, though when dead thrust into an cheap coffin, to rot in a pauper’s grave, brings more glory to God than all the exploits of Nelson or Wellington, and that such victories are more glorious than those of Waterloo or Trafalgar.

It is true that the parish officers will not proclaim such a victory; nor will bells ring or cannons roar at such exploits; but the God of heaven and earth may get more glory from such a despised creature, than from all the generals and admirals who have ever drawn up armies in battle, or sunk hostile fleets beneath the wave. Truly does the Lord say, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”

It is indeed astonishing that glory should be brought to his great name by what his people do and suffer upon earth; that their feeble attempts to believe, to love, and to hope in him; to speak well of his name; and to adorn his doctrine in their life and conversation, should redound to his honor and praise. Wondrous indeed is it that a poor, insignificant worm, whom perhaps his fellow-mortal will scarcely deign to look at, or passes by with a shrug of contempt, should add glory to the great God that inhabits eternity, before whom the highest angels and brightest seraphs bow with holy adoration!

Well may we say, “What are all the glorious exploits that men are so proud of, compared with the tribute of glory rendered to God by his suffering saints?” You may feel yourself one of the poorest, vilest, neediest worms of earth; and yet if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with a living faith, hope in his mercy, love his dear name, and in your vocation adorn his doctrine by a godly, consistent life, you are privileged above princes and nobles, yes, even above crowned heads, and all the glory of man, because you are bringing glory to God.

It matters not what may be your station in life. You may be a servant, master, wife, husband, child; your rank and station may be high or low; but whatever it be, still in it you may bring glory to God. If a servant, by obedience, cleanliness, industry, and attention to the directions of your master or mistress. If a master or mistress, by kindness and liberality to your dependents, and doing all that you can to render the yoke of servitude light. There is not a single Christian who may not glorify God, though in worldly circumstances he be, or seem to be, totally insignificant. Glory is brought to God by those who live and walk in his fear, and more sometimes by the poor than by the rich. Only adorn the doctrine of God in all things, and you will bring glory to God in all things.