Daily Word of God

Silence Not Denial

But he answered her not a word.

~ Matt 15:23

There is something very remarkable in this silence of Christ. Usually He was quick to hear every request made to Him by a sufferer. Scarcely ever had any one to ask twice for a favour. His heart was sensitive, as is a mother’s heart to her child’s cries, and instantly responded to every petition for help. Yet now He stood and listened to this woman’s piteous pleading and answered her not a word. Like a miser with hoards of gold, at whose gates the poor and suffering knock, but who, hearing their cries of need and distress, keeps his gates locked and is deaf to every entreaty, so Jesus stood unmoved by this woman’s cries, though He had all power in His hands.

Why was He thus silent? It was not because He could not help her, for His arm was never weak. The best of us have our weak hours, our days of emptiness, when we have nothing wherewith to help; but His fullness was never exhausted. It was not because He was so engrossed in His own approaching sorrows that He could think of no other one’s sorrow, for even on the cross He forgot Himself to show kindness to others. Evidently the reason for silence was to try this mother’s faith, and to draw it out into still greater strength. He was preparing her to receive in the end a better blessing than she could have received at the beginning.

Our Lord sometimes yet seems to be silent to His people when they cry to Him. To all their earnest supplications He answers not a word. Is His silence a refusal? By no means. Ofttimes, at least, it is meant only to make the suppliants more earnest, and to prepare their hearts to receive richer and greater blessings. So when Christ is silent to our prayers, it is that we may be brought down in deeper humility at His feet, and that our hearts may be made more fit to receive heaven’s gifts and blessings.

Daily Comfort

“He picked up the mantle that had fallen from Elijah.”
~ 2 Kgs 2:13

We are continually seeing useful lives removed from earth. The loss seems irreparable. But there are no accidents in God’s providence. Everyone’s life is a plan of God, and no faithful servant is taken away–until his part in the great plan is finished. There is abundance of work remaining–but it is the work of others, not of him who is gone. His mantle falls at someone’s feet– yours, perhaps.

A godly father dies, and there is grief in the home. How he will be missed! Yes, but an elder son stands by the coffin, strong and gifted, blessed with the blessing of the father’s life and teaching. At his feet the mantle falls from the father’s shoulders. He must take it up, and with it lift the burdens and responsibilities of manhood. He must become now his mother’s protector, and the shelter and defender of his younger brothers and sisters.

A godly mother dies, and when a gentle mother goes out of a home–the loss indeed seems irreparable. But if there is an elder daughter in the sorrowing group at the grave, at her feet the mantle falls.

So it is in all the breaches which death makes in Christian homes and communities, in every case the mantle falls at someone’s feet. God makes provision that his work shall not suffer, unless his servants fail in their duty. We must be ready always to take up what is ours.

Today With God

We labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.
~ 2 Cor 5:9

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.

Daily Word of God

One Thing Needful

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life

~ John 6:27

We should call a man very foolish who, in building a great and costly house, should look only after the outside, spending large amounts of money in exterior decoration, while he left the interior in a rough, unfinished state, the walls unplastered, the rooms filled with rubbish and without furniture or decorations of any kind. No one can get comfort from a beautiful exterior in his home and from fine grounds, if within all is bare and rude. The wise man will think more of the inside than of the outside of the house in which he is to live. He will provide beauty, warmth, and comfort, and thus make a true home for himself, in which he may dwell in peace and in real enjoyment.

Still more foolish is the man who thinks only of the needs of his physical nature, and gives no thought to the needs of his immortal soul. He is looking after the outside, and neglecting the inner life. He is providing for his body, which will soon perish, and giving no care to his soul, which will endure for ever. He is planning only for the present, and neglecting the interests that are eternal. How pitiable is such a life, deliberately turning away from all the best, holiest, most beautiful, and most enduring things, and seeking only the poor, miserable, worthless things that are only loads, impediments, not enriching him who has them!

Our Lord’s counsel is, that we should look first after our spiritual necessities. It is a fearful mistake to toil all one’s days for bread and raiment, or for wealth and honour, and never do anything for the inner life. At the end there will be nothing left to show for all the toil and pain and sacrifice. If we look after the interests of our souls, then when this life is ended we shall find ourselves in possession of eternal life. A good motto for life is, “Live for the immortal things.”

Daily Word of God

He  … took the five loaves.
~ Matt 14:9

We are not surprised that a disciple asked, of the five loaves and two fishes, “What are these among so many?” What a little way they will go in feeding such a multitude! Why bring out this poor, paltry store at all? Surely Christ can feed the hungry people without these poor little black loaves.

Still, Jesus bade the disciples bring the loaves to Him, and He used them. Is it not strange that the mighty Christ should need us and our little barley-loaves to feed people’s hunger? Yet He does: He wants our gifts; and then He wants our ministry in dispensing the gifts. He passed the bread to the multitude through the hands of the disciples: He passes salvation through His saved ones to the unsaved.

Only one talent small,  
  Scarce worth to be named:  
Truly he hath no need of this,  
  O soul, art thus ashamed?  
He gave that talent first:  
  Then use it in his strength;  
  
Thereby—thou know’st not—he may work  
  A miracle at length a miracle at length.

Many the starving souls,  
  Now waiting to be fed,  
Needing, though knowing not their need  
  Of Christ, the living Bread.  
Oh! hast thou known his love? 
  To others make it known;  
Receiving blessings, others bless!  
  No seed abides alone.

And when thine eyes shall see,  
  The holy, ransomed throng  
In heavenly fields, by living streams,  
  By Jesus led along,  
Unspeakable thy joy shall be,  
  And glorious thy reward, reward  
If by thy barley-loaves one soul,  
 Has been brought home to God.

Daily Comfort

“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak–and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself.”
~ Rom 15:1-3

There are some people who are anointed to be helpers of others–to build them up. Those who have questions or perplexities, those who are seeking light or guidance, turn to them instinctively, with confidence, sure of finding what they seek.

There is need for such helpers. There are questions which books or sermons do not answer; it is a friend that is needed, one who can understand and sympathize. No other ministry to which men are ordained in this world, is so sacred as this, which comes into lives in their deepest experiences, at times when, without wise help, they may be wrecked. There is not one of us who may not be such a helper.

Daily Word of God

Daily Word of God

Herodia’s Revenge

The daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.

 ~ Matt 14:6

It was deemed disgraceful even in that country and in those days for a woman to show herself at all in a hall of revelry and carousal. Then to perform such a dance in such a place for the entertainment of the revellers was regarded as a most debasing and shameful act. The dance was indecent, and only those who had lost all sense of modesty and womanly propriety would so debase themselves. That a mother should send her own daughter into such a scene to perform such a part, seems almost incredible. The act reveals the kind of home life and the ideas of womanly purity that prevailed in the court of Herod; also the strength of Herodians’s passion for revenge upon John. She would even send her own daughter to play this shameful part, in order to accomplish her purpose.

While this picture is before them, young girls should learn hat they cannot be too careful of their behaviour and bearing in public. A young woman’s reputation is a precious jewel, which she should prize above all wealth or pleasure. If she lose it, neither wealth nor pleasure will be of much avail to her afterward. Her name once sullied, never can be altogether white again.

Sometimes young girls think their parents unreasonable in the restraints which they put upon them with regard to appearance or conduct in public; but some day they will see how wise and loving is such restraint. It may very fairly be questioned whether young ladies can take part in certain fashionable dances of to-day, and not pass beyond the bounds of pure womanly delicacy and propriety. At least, heart-purity is so holy a thing, and so easily tarnished, and the harm when done is so irreparable, that one had better deny one’s self many a fascinating pleasure rather than risk the loss of anything so precious.

Daily Comfort

“Praise be to the Lord! Not one word has failed, of all the wonderful promises He gave!”
~ 1 Kgs 8:56

It is nearly three thousand years since Solomon uttered this testimony; but we can say now, just as confidently as the king did that day, that in all these centuries since not one word of all God’s good promise has failed any one of his people. No one has ever trusted a promise of God–and had that word fail of fulfillment.

The most real and sure things in this world–are the words of God. In every one of them, God’s own almighty hand is gloved. We clutch them–and find ourselves clutched in turn by divinity, out of whose clasp we never can fall, nor be torn away. We lean upon these words–and find ourselves encircled and upborne by the everlasting arms. We pillow our head in weariness or sorrow upon God’s words of love and comfort–and find ourselves drawn close to our Father’s heart, held in his warm bosom, and soothed by his tenderness, which is gentler than a mother’s.

So all through life, in every experience, we may trust the promises of God, and commit all our interests to them, and be assured in our heart that not one of them will ever fail us. We may trust them, too, in death, and we shall find everything just as God has said: the divine presence with us in the valley, dying but a going to be at home, absent from the body at home with the Lord, in eternal blessedness. Not one Word of God can fail.

Daily Comfort

“As a man thinks in his heart–so is he.”
~ Prov 23:7

Our thoughts make us. They are the silent builders on the ‘temple of character’ which we are constructing. They give color and form to the whole building. If we think purely and truly, we are rearing up a holy fabric. If our thoughts are evil, the fabric that is rising within us is blemished.

The inner and the outer life will always correspond in the end. A bad heart–will work through to the surface. If a man’s life is righteous, you know his thoughts are holy. Unholy thoughts will never yield righteousness in conduct.

Thoughts seem mere nothings; flecks of cloud flying through the air; flocks of birds flitting by, and gone. But they are the most real things about our life. All things we do–are thoughts first. Our thoughts fly out like birds, and take their place in the world. Then our heart is still their home-nest, where they will return at last to dwell.

Daily Comfort

“Unto you who believe, He is precious!”
~ 1 Pet 2:7

The close friends of Christ have found no other influence in their life, so strong as his precious friendship, in forming and transforming their lives. Continually before them in all its purity and spotlessness, in all its strength and heroism, in all its gentleness and beauty that fair life has shone, a pattern in the mount, let down from heaven, brought close to them, and winning them by its loveliness. The vision has hung before them continually, and has lifted them up. No one who has had Christ for a friend, in any true, real, vital sense has failed to be blessed by him, in the way of growth into nobler, richer life.

Gentle, sympathetic, strong human friendships can do much for us. You can tell me how in your life, in some time of grief, certain friends came to you, and how by their sweet sympathy, their quiet peace, their strong comfort, they helped you through some valley of trouble. But tell me, rather, what Christ did for you, in your hours of sorrow. When the shadows hung over your home, when your heart was bowed in grief, when a life dearer to you than your own hung trembling in the balance, when at last death came and your heart was broken what was Christ to you then? Was he not precious to you in those dark experiences? We find the best things of Christ’s grace and love only in life’s experiences of trial.