Daily Comfort

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?” Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace!”
~  1 Sam 16:4-5

God’s messengers do not all wear gentle faces; ofttimes they come in a garb of sternness. Yet they come always with a blessing. Sickness is one of these dark-visaged prophets. We cannot welcome it. Yet if we ask this messenger, “Do you come in peace?” the answer is, “Yes, in peace.” Sickness always brings messages of peace, of good–if only we have grace to receive them.

The same is true of all the hard trials of life. We would rather have easy times. Boys and young men who are poor, think ofttimes that they have scarcely a fair chance in life, when they see the sons of rich fathers reveling in luxury, with plenty of money. Yet really the stern prophet of poverty brings ofttimes a holier message and a richer, truer blessing–than the smiling-faced, silken-robed messenger brings to the youth in the fine mansion.

The best things in life, can be developed only by work and discipline. Hence, whatever compels a boy or a young man to toil, to deny himself, to make strenuous efforts–is a blessing to him. The ‘prophet of necessity’ therefore comes to him peaceably. We should never turn from our doors any prophets which God sends, however stern they may appear. They all come with a good message.

Daily Comfort

“Whatever is born of the flesh–is flesh; and whatever is born of the Spirit–is spirit.” 
~ John 3:6

Like produces like. To be born of the Spirit–is to have a new life imparted by the Spirit. This new life will be like that which produces it. Everyone who is born of God–will have some features of God’s likeness. He will love the things that God loves, and hate the things that God hates. In some measure, he will be like God . . .  
in holiness,  
in unselfishness,  
in gentleness,  
in patience,  
in forgiveness,  
in truthfulness,  
in love.

If we would know what God is like–we have only to look at Jesus Christ, for He was the image of God; and if we are born again, we shall have the same features in our lives! They will be dim at first; but they will come out clearer and clearer each day, as we grow in grace.

We can tell whether or not we are born again–by looking closely at ourselves to see if we have the marks of the Spirit in our life. Do we hate sin? Do we love holiness? Do we love the Bible and prayer, and fellowship with the Lord’s true people?

We have the same thought presented by Paul under the figure of the seal of the Holy Spirit. All Christians are sealed by the Spirit. The seal impresses its own features on the wax. So the Holy Spirit seals believers–by stamping His own image on their hearts. Those who have received the Spirit–will bear the marks of His beauty in their lives!

Daily Word of God

Two Roads and Two Gates

Enter ye in at the strait gate.

~ Matt 7:13

All truly valuable things cost much. Such a glorious privilege as the Christian’s, therefore, cannot be gotten without effort. To open the way, and to purchase for us the privilege of becoming children of God, the Son of God had to come from heaven in condescending love and give His own life. Jesus said, too, that any who would reach the glory of His kingdom must go by the same way of the cross by which He went. He said that he who “will save his life”  that is, keep it from self-denial and sacrifice  shall loose it;” and that only he who “will lose his life for my sake,”  gives it out in devotion to God and to duty,  “shall save it.”

In one of His parables Jesus speaks of salvation as a treasure hid in a field, and a man who learns of the treasure and its hiding-place sells all that he has and goes and buys the field. In another parable our Lord presents the same truth under the figure of a merchant seeking goodly pearls, who, finding one pearl of great price, sells all he has and buys it. We must, in a very deep sense, give up all we have to get Christ and the blessings that come with Him.

Here the truth is put in another way. There are two roads through this world, and two gates into the future world. One of these ways is broad and easy, with descending grade, leading to a wide gate. It is not hard to go on this way. The other road is strait, and leads to a narrow gate. To go this way one has to leave the crowd and go almost alone, and leave the broad, easy way, and go on a hard, rugged path, and enter by a gate too small to admit any bundles of worldliness, or self-righteousness, or any of the fashionable trappings of the old life. If we would get to heaven, we must make up our minds it can be only by this narrow way of self-denial. all the world is not flowing into heaven; the crowds are going somewhere else.

Daily Comfort

“He heals the brokenhearted–and binds up their wounds!”
~ Ps 147:3

It is said that when one branch of a tree is bruised, the whole tree begins to pour of its life toward the wounded place, to restore it. It is in this manner, that Christ heals His people when bruised by sorrow. “Blessed are those who mourn–for they shall be comforted.”

There are fields where once fierce battles raged, great armies contended, and blood flowed–but where now the birds sing sweet songs, in summer days flowers bloom, meadows are green with waving grass, and ripening harvests bend. So there are homes where once sorrow’s dark clouds hung, tears flowed, and cries of grief were heard–but where now joyous songs ring out, and glad faces smile. God’s comfort has healed the brokenhearted home.

There are many ways in which God restores sorrow’s devastation. He sends new blessings instead of the old ones, which he took away, as new flowers come in place of those that fade. He hides a blessing, too, in the very heart of the sorrow itself!

Grief is like the cloud which comes with its dark portents, into the blue summer sky. It blots out the blue, and fills the air with terrors. The lightnings flash, the thunders roll; but out of the bosom of the blackness–pours the soft rain. So sorrow’s cloud comes with dark, portentous aspect; but it empties blessings upon the life, thus carrying in itself–its own power of restoration.

Daily Word of God

Good Things from God

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him

~ Matt 7:11

No father will answer his hungry childs’s cry for bread with a stone, or give the child a serpent if he asks for a fish. Even sinful parents have in their hearts something of the image of God’s own fatherhood. The argument is from the less to the greater. If a true earthly father, with all his imperfection, will not mock a child’s cry, but will respond lovingly, how much more will our Father in heaven do for us?

“How much more?” is a question none can answer. We can only say as much more as the heavenly Father is more loving, and wiser, and more able to give, than is the earthly father. Yet we must explain this promise also by other scriptures. The gate of prayer is set very wide open in this verse, yet those who would enter must come in the right way and seek “good” things.

While no one who asks for bread will receive a stone, neither will one who asks for a stone receive a stone. And many times do we come to God pleading with Him to let us have a stone. Of course we imagine it is bread, and that it will be food to us. It is some earthly thing, some gift of honour or pleasure, some achievement of ambition, some object of heart desire. It looks like bread to our deluded vision. But God knows it is only a cold stone, that it would leave us starving if we were to receive it; and He loves us too well to listen to our piteous cries for it, or to be moved by our earnestness or our tears to give it to us. When we ask for a stone He will give us bread. Thus it is that many requests for earthly things are not granted. Yet the prayers are not unanswered. Instead of the stone we wish, God gives us the bread we need. We do not always know what is bread and what is a stone, and we must leave to God the final decision in all our prayers.

Daily Quiet Time

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
~ Matt 6:33

We need have only one care, that we put the first thing first faithfulness to God. Then all else we need for both worlds will be supplied. God will never fail us; but we forget, sometimes, in our rejoicing over such an assurance, that we must fulfil our part if we would claim the divine promise.

It will not always be easy. Tomorrow it may mean a distasteful task, a disagreeable duty, a costly sacrifice for one who does not seem worthy. Life is full of sore testings of our willingness to follow the Good Shepherd. We have not the slightest right to claim this assurance unless we have taken Christ as the guide of our life.

~ J. R. Miller

Mornings With God

The Lord my God hath given me rest on every side.
~ 1 Kings 5:4

This was part of the preparation for the building of the temple. Times of quiet in one’s life should not be idle times. There is other work to do then. These are days for temple building.

True living is not all activity struggle, conflict, gathering money, toiling with one’s hands.

Building of character is the great work of life. This goes on best in the quiet. We ought not to wait for idleness to compel us to be still; we should get the quiet into our life even in our busiest times. We must have a restful spirit if we would build up the inner temple. There should be “silent times” in every day’s life.

The secret of Daniel’s noble character, while carrying a great part of the burden of the kingdom of Babylon was that he never forsook the place of prayer. Not even fear of the lion’s den could make him neglect devotion.

There is no other secret of a true and noble life amid the world’s strifes and trials. We must keep quiet within, that we may build up in our hearts the temple of God.