Mornings With God

If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit.

[Gal 5:25 NET]

The best way to get evil out of our hearts is to let good in.

We have it in Paul’s counsel: “Walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” If the Spirit leads us, it will be toward more and more of Christ; for He will kindle in our hearts more love for the Saviour, and we shall become more and more deeply interested in the work of Christ.

The result will be that we shall care less and less for the world.

Dr. Chalmers preached a sermon on these words of Paul’s, calling it “The expulsive Power of a New Affliction.” A great love for Christ in a heart will expel all other loves that are not holy and pure. The evil things that are to be expelled are named in this same chapter.

It is a terribly black list. The only way to keep them out is to get so filled with the things in the white list, that there will be no room for the evil things of the black list. Light drives out darkness. Love expels hate. Holiness displaces sin.

Today With God

For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.

[Gal 3:26 NET]

There is a great deal of struggling for honor and place in this world. Men think if they can get a few million dollars they have reached distinction. Or they think if they can get a high office they have won one of earth’s best prizes.

There are some also who spend their life in trying to get recognition in society. How pitiful all this must appear to those who look down from heaven upon this earth!

Paul shows us here what is really the highest rank to which man can attain. He says, “Ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus.” To be a son of God is immeasurably higher than being in the most aristocratic circles. To be an heir of God is to be infinitely richer than to be the owner of millions.

When the disciples asked who was greatest, they were thinking only of earthly standards. To be like a little child is to be great. To serve others is the heavenliest occupation to which anyone can out his hands. To be Christ–like is glory.

Today With God

If I must boast, I will boast about the things that show my weakness.

[2 Cor 11:30 NET]

The patriot soldier’s best credentials are his wounds and scars. They are not disfigurements of which he is ashamed, but marks of honor, of which he is proud.

An English soldier referred to his scars as his decorations. Paul speaks of his sufferings and persecutions and of the losses and trials he had endured as a minister as the credentials of his service, and as marks of honor and distinction. He even glories in them. “If I must need glory, I will glory of the things that concern my weakness.”

In another of his epistles Paul speaks of these memorials of suffering and endurance as “marks of Jesus,” which he bore branded on his body.

We are not at all accustomed to think in this way of the costs of our Christian discipleship. We are apt to complain of the things we have to suffer.

But if we suffer for Christ, we may count ourselves honoured. Jesus said, “Blessed are ye when men shall… persecute you.”

Today With God

So then whether we are alive or away, we make it our ambition to please him.

[2 Cor 5:9 NET]

The Christian should always be a worker for his Master.

“We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us.” The mission of every one who believes and is saved is to be a winner of other souls. Our life itself should be a gospel of divine grace, so full of love that every one who comes under our influence, even casually, shall hear a silent message, pleading, “Be ye reconciled to God.”

The life must always be such an ambassador, first, before we speak a word. The most eloquent pleading will have no effect in winning others to Christ unless the love of Christ be first shown in our life.

“God loves you and I love you,” is the only evangel that will reach our hearts. You cannot kindle fire with ice. A selfish man cannot preach a gospel of love to others. The love of God, which we declare, must be interpreted in human love, which we show in our own eager interest in others.

We must bear the cross in our own life, or we need not talk about the cross on Calvary.

Mornings With God

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

[1 Cor 13:13 NET]

Love is the greatest of all the Spirit’s gifts.

The power to love is the best of all the powers God has bestowed upon us. The lesson of love is taught us in this chapter in words we should memorize and never forget. “Love suffereth long, and is kind.” Love is very patient with those who may not be gentle or thoughtful.

Nothing makes it bitter or resentful. It is kind, not to the good only, but also to the evil. “Love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly.” It is humble and lowly, not proud. It is not envious of those who seem to be more highly favored. It is sweet–tempered, does not fly into a passion, and never acts rudely. “Love seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil.”

It forgets self altogether, and seeks only the good of others. It sees the good in others, and not the faults and defects. It does not rejoice in the failure or misfortune of others, but in their success. It beareth all things, endureth all things – never faileth.

Comfort

After a while, the stream dried up because there had been no rain in the land.

[1 Kgs 17:7 NET]

That is the way this world’s brooks always do. For a time they flow full; then they begin to waste away, and at last dry up altogether. This is true of all earthly joys. There is a comfort, however, in what comes after the statement made in these words. When the brook dried up, God had another place ready for his servant. “Arise, and go to Zarephath.” There he found other help ready.

It must have been a sore test of Elijah’s faith–to watch the stream growing less and less every day. “What shall I do when the brook is dry?” he would wonder. But we need not suppose that he ever worried about it. He knew that God was providing for him, and would have something else ready when this supply ceased. One morning there was no water running over the stones, and the prophet had to eat a dry breakfast only bread and meat; but still, I think he did not grow anxious. Then after breakfast the Lord came and told him to move.

The lesson is, that we are never to doubt God, no matter how low the supply gets. Though we have come down to the last mouthful of bread–and the last cupful of water, and still see no new provision beyond, we are to take the last morsel with thankfulness, believing that God will have something else ready in time. It will be soon enough if it is ready when we have eaten the last crust!

Today With God

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.

[1 Cor 10:31 NET]

Nothing in life is left out – “whatsoever ye do.” It extends even to eating and drinking. We are to do all things to the glory of God. This means that we must do everything in a way that will please Him.

To eat to the glory of God is to recognize Him as the Giver of our daily bread, to seek His blessing on it, to eat according to the divine laws, eating to be ready for the best service, and then to use all our strength in doing the work, which God gives us to do.

One who eats self–indulgently or gluttonously, or who eats food that is injurious to his health, or who does not use the strength he derives from his food in living obediently, is not glorifying God.

In all our life, in everything we do, we are to think of what will honor God. We are to seek first His kingdom and righteousness, which includes the law of love – the things that will bless those about us.

Selfishness never glorifies God, but He is always pleased with the love that seeketh not its own.