Mornings With God

Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge someone else. For on whatever grounds you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things.

[Rom 2:1 NET]

We are not judged according to our advantages, but by what we make of these advantages.

Indeed the more light we have the greater is our responsibility and the more will be required of us. If we sit apart, in the comfort of our superior privileges, and judge those who have not our privileges and live unworthily, we must beware, for in condemning others we condemn ourselves.

It is a good thing to be born in a Christian land and to be brought up in a Christian home, but if we do not live according to our advantages, it would have been better for us if we had been born in a heathen land.

That was what Jesus said about the people in Capernaum and the other cities where He had lived and preached and wrought, doing His works of love and grace. He said it would be more tolerable for Sodom than for those cities, because having the privileges, they had rejected them.

We need to lay the lesson to heart, for we have Christ ever on our streets.

Mornings With God

After the disturbance had ended, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them and saying farewell, he left to go to Macedonia.

[Acts 20:1 NET]

Driven from one place, Paul only went to preach in another. No persecution ever quenched his zeal. A Hindu said Christians were like certain fruit–trees – clubbing only brought down the fruit. This was true of Paul.

It ought to be true of every Christian. The more people oppose us and seek to injure us, the more love should be revealed in our lives.

Paul’s preaching might not have pleased some present–day congregations that insist on having abbreviated sermons. On one occasion at least Paul kept his congregation a good deal over the thirty–minute standard. It was well past midnight, and he would not have stopped then if something had not happened.

We can scarcely blame Eutychus for getting sleepy, and it must have made a great commotion when he fell. But even this did no more than interrupt the preaching – it did not stop it, for Paul continued till daybreak, and then they had the Lord’s Supper before he left them.

Mornings With God

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,

[Luke 23:44 NET]

He died in darkness, that when we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, the light of glory may shine about us. Death for the Christian has no bitterness, because Jesus drained the curse from it.

Mrs. Browning has pictured, with rare beauty, the effect of Christ’s death upon two seraphim who lingered a little behind the hosts of heaven that had gathered about the cross. One of them is troubled by the thought that men will now have more reason to love God than even the angels have.

“Oh! Not with this blood on us – and this face,

Still, haply, pale with sorrow that it bore

In our behalf, and tender evermore

With nature all our own, upon us gazing –

Nor yet with these forgiving hands upraising

Their un–reproachful wounds, alone to bless!

Alas, Creator! shall we love Thee less

Than mortals shall?”

Mornings With God

He was committed to following the Lord; he even removed the high places and Asherah poles from Judah.

[2 Chr 17:6 NET]

There is a bad lifting up and a good lifting up. Some people are made vain by prosperity. The temptation for us when first called to do any work, if we accomplish it with some measure of success, is to become proud.

It ought to make us humble to learn that God is using us, is entrusting us with something of His to minister to others, and is blessing the work which we are doing for Him. Every favor we receive should make us more earnest in doing the will of God.

Too often, as money comes in, and prosperity increases, people get so absorbed in these new gifts of God that the Giver Himself fades out of their vision.

We should never forget that every new kindness which comes to us is a new evidence of God’s thought for us, and that because of it we should love Him the more and devote ourselves the more earnestly to His work.

If only we thus see the hand of God in every new mercy and goodness that comes to us, our hearts will be lifted up in the ways of the Lord.

Mornings With God

When Solomon became old, his wives shifted his allegiance to other gods; he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been.

[1 Kgs 11:4 NET]

The trouble was all in Solomon’s heart. It is the heart that needs watching and keeping with all diligence. A “perfect” heart does not mean a sinless heart, but a heart wholly devoted in its aim and motive to God and His service.

Solomon had a corner in his heart for the Lord, and then other corners for the gods of all the other nations. The Saviour’s words are: “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

We need to be on our guard against Solomonian religion. There is plenty of it. It abhors the preaching of the stern truths of god’s word about sin and penalty, and about holiness. It sends well–nigh everybody to heaven, and regards hell as a mere fable. It calls strict Christians “puritanic” or “strait–laced.” It calls great sins “escapades,” and finds no use for such psalms as the fifty–first.

It is not hard to see in this verse, however, which of the two kinds of religion pleases God best, and which leads to the best end.

Mornings With God

I will keep today the oath I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel: ‘Surely Solomon your son will be king after me; he will sit in my place on my throne.’”

[1 Kgs 1:30 NET]

David had sworn to Bathsheba that her son Solomon should reign as king. He now declares to her that his oath will be sacredly kept. One of the marks of the man who shall abide in God’s presence, is, “He sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.”

Too many persons find it very easy to “forget” to do what they have solemnly said they would do. Pledges sit very lightly upon them. Vows are thoughtlessly made, and just as thoughtlessly broken.

There should be no need for an oath – one’s simple word should be held irrevocably binding – just as binding as one’s most solemn oath. Forgetfulness is no excuse for failing to keep promises. If our memory is defective, we should put down our promises in writing, and keep them so before our minds that it will be impossible for us to forget them.

One who can be implicitly relied upon, who never fails any one who trusts in him, is like a fragment of the Rock of Ages.

Mornings With God

Joshua told the priests, “Pick up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they picked up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people.

[Josh 3:6 NET]

The ark was the symbol of God’s own presence. God is always ready to lead us. To go without Him into life’s experiences, is to fail.

A little way back, when instructions were given for this crossing, Joshua said to the people, “You have not passed this way heretofore, and therefore you must keep in sight of the ark which will go before you.”

The same may be said of every day’s experiences. We have not passed this way heretofore. Although we have lived thousands of other days, each new day presents an unknown pathway to us, a way we have never gone over before. The only safe thing to do is always to keep the ark in sight, and to follow it.

One of the marks of the true Christian is that he follows Christ. Christ’s sheep know His voice and follow Him, and He goeth before them. Children should learn in their earlier years that Christ is their Leader, and that every morning they can put their hand in His for guidance for the day.