Quiet Time

Worship the Lord with joy! Enter his presence with joyful singing!

[Ps 100:2 NET]

God wants our life to be a song. He has written the music for us in His Word and in the duties that come to us in our places and relations in life. The things we ought to do are the notes set upon the staff. To make our life beautiful music we must be obedient and submissive. Any disobedience is the singing of a false note, and yields discord.

~ J. R. Miller ~

Today With God

There is nothing outside of a person that can defile him by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles him.”

[Mark 7:15 NET]

It is right for us to preserve cleanness of body. A filthy person is not a good Christian.

But it is still more important that we have clean hearts. It is not enough to honor God with the lips – we must worship Him with our heart. A man may work in a coal mine or a foundry, and have blackened hands and face, and yet have a white heart, be pure, sincere, and true in the inward parts. On the other hand, one may have a body washed with water, and yet have a black heart.

If we would please God we must have our hearts pure, even if our bodies are necessarily soiled because we have to work in dust or soot.

The glimpse Jesus shows of the interior of the human heart is not flattering. It is a nest filled with all manner of evil things.

There is a good deal of talk in some quarters about social rank. A man who works on the streets or in certain occupations is rated away down in the scale. But nothing really degrades a man but sin.

Today With God

Paul lived there two whole years in his own rented quarters and welcomed all who came to him,

[Acts 28:30 NET]

God’s purposes never miscarry. Paul was to go to Rome. The obstacles appeared insuperable. Even the elements seemed to be in league to prevent his reaching there.

But through all hindrances the way was opened, and at last he entered the “Eternal City.”

A prison life is not an ideal one for a missionary. But Paul’s imprisonment did not limit his usefulness. Indeed, the fact that he was thus under the protection of Rome made him safe from persecution. That was God’s way of providing for him.

We are apt to think of shut–in days as lost time. One looking at it only superficially might say, “What a pity Paul had to lose those two whole years in prison!” But perhaps no other two years of Paul’s life yielded better returns. From his prison he preached to those who came in. Then four of his epistles were written during that time, and they have been blessing the world now for nineteen hundred years.

Today With God

Then he came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake for one hour?

[Mark 14:37 NET]

One of the saddest elements in the Gethsemane experience was the disappointment of Jesus in His disciples.

He asked the three most loved of them to be near Him in His great agony. He craved the help of their sympathy. But when He came back to them, hoping to be strengthened by their love, He found them asleep.

A legend of the Brittany peasants tells how the robin got its red breast. As Jesus was being led out to Calvary, a bird, pitying Him, flew down and plucked one thorn from the crown of thorns He wore. The blood spurted from the wound and splashed the bird’s breast.

Ever since, the peasants say, the robin has had a spot of red on its breast in remembrance of its pity for the Master that day. The disciples had it in their power that night, not to pluck thorns from their Master’s brow, but to strengthen Him by their sympathy.

They missed their opportunity, however, and only made Gethsemane harder for Him.

Today With God

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

[Mark 13:31 NET]

The Christian need never fear any calamities or judgements that can possibly come.

Our Lord here foretells great destructions and troubles that would come upon the country. But He told His disciples not to be afraid. No harm should come to them. They were only to take heed not to be led astray. If they would continue faithful, they should be kept in perfect peace through all the perils. “He that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.”

History tells us that when the terrible calamity came upon Jerusalem no Christians perished in the awful destruction, because they had been forewarned of the coming disaster and had obeyed their Master’s command, all leaving the doomed city before the siege began, and finding safe refuge.

Always those who believe in Christ and obey His word are safe in any danger. Though the earth itself should be destroyed, God’s children are safe in His love, from which nothing can separate them.

Today With God

Now all the Jews know the way I lived from my youth, spending my life from the beginning among my own people and in Jerusalem.

[Acts 26:4 NET]

It is a great thing when a man can confidently appeal to his own past. Paul could challenge his enemies to find anything against him from his youth up. The only way we can be ready to make such appeal is to watch all our years, from the youngest.

It is a great thing when a man has a religion about which he is sure. Too many people’s religion is vague. Paul knew Him whom he trusted. He knew that He was the Messiah, the Saviour, and told Agrippa why he knew it, and why he had given his life to witnessing for Christ to all men.

Some people talk in these days as if the thought of the raising of the dead is incredible. Paul did not think it an incredible belief. God has all power – can He not bring up from death those who have died? If He can create from nothing, can He not bring back the dead?

Jesus gave Paul no time for grief over his terrible mistake. “Arise, and stand upon thy feet!” He was to show his penitence not in tears, but by service.

Today With God

Both those who went ahead and those who followed kept shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

[Mark 11:9 NET]

Jesus was the people’s idol that day.

Did He suppose that now at the last they were going to accept Him as their Messiah? No: He knew it was only the outburst of an hour, and that this triumphal pageant was but the first stage of His last journey to His cross.

As He heard the song, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” there was a deep undertone ringing in His ear:

“Ride on, ride on in majesty,

I lowly pomp ride on to die.”

The triumphal ride was our Lord’s final declaration of His Messiahship. He fulfilled an ancient prophecy, and thus clearly announced that He was the King foretold.

We cannot but think of the fickleness of earthly enthusiasm.

Five days later Jesus was led in another procession to His cross. A picture by Tintoretto gives the scene of the Crucifixion, after all was over. The crosses stand empty, the people are gone. In the background an ass is nibbling some withered palm leaves.