Mornings With God

When he found a pearl of great value, he went out and sold everything he had and bought it.

[Matt 13:46 NET]

We can well afford to give up all that we have to get Christ. If we receive the whole world in place of Him, the exchange would be at a fearful loss to us. The only way to get the pearl of great price is to part with the other pearls we have. We cannot keep the other pearls we have. We cannot keep these and get that. Christ is not to be bought for money, and yet we have to give all we have to get Him. The young ruler was told he must sell all he had and take Christ instead. He would not pay the price, and went away sorrowful.

Unbelief hinders even omnipotence, Jesus could not do many mighty works in Nazareth because of the unbelief of the people. His power ever waits on our faith. We do not know what blessings we keep from others by not believing. John the Baptist’s death seemed untimely. But he did all that he was sent into the world to do. Each life has its own plan of God, something given it to do. When that is done it is time to die.

Mornings With God

These are the things that defile a person; it is not eating with unwashed hands that defiles a person.”

[Matt 15:20 NET]

It is right to have clean hands, but it is more important to have a clean heart. Some people are most punctilious about minute ceremonies, while they pay small heed to the moralities of their lives. It is the inner life that makes character. A bad heart defiles everything; it is a nest of unholy things.

A lady took a dead child’s photograph and touched it with her brush until the little one seemed to live in the picture. But in a day or two the face was covered with blotches. There was something on the paper on which the picture had been taken which worked up through the colors and spoiled it. So in many a life there are bad qualities which work up through all outside manners and refinements, and spoil the beauty.

The Syrophenician woman knew she was in the presence of One who could heal her child, and she simply would not go away till she got her plea; her importunity prevailed upon Him. We give up too easily when the answer is slow in coming.

Mornings With God

Then Peter came to him and said, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother who sins against me? As many as seven times?”

[Matt 18:21]

The Christian way, if one has done us any injury, is to go to him in the spirit of love and talk the matter over with him. Perhaps it is all a misunderstanding, needing only a word of explanation. We are probably as much to blame as the other person is when things go wrong between us and a neighbor.

“There is so much bad in the best of us,

And so much good in the worst of us,

That it hardly behooves any of us

To talk about the rest of us.”

Our forgiving is to be unlimited. The rabbis taught that no one should forgive another more than three times. Peter thought he was making the limit great enough when he suggested that the Master’s followers should forgive seven times. But Jesus swept away all counting of times, and said a Christian should forgive seventy times seven times.

Mornings With God

Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I endure you? Bring him here to me.”

[Matt 17:17]

Visions are given to prepare for tasks. At the foot of the Transfiguration Mount a father was waiting with his distressed boy to have him healed. While we are sitting in rapture at the Lord’s Supper somebody is outside with a great need. We do not know how often we fail to help those in need or trouble because we have not enough faith. Jesus is the strong Son of God, and there is nothing He cannot do.

We ought to make the most we can of our life and do all the good we can. It is wrong for any of us, with our splendid abilities, to stay in “contented insignificance.” The Master wants us to be great and to do great things. But there are mistaken opinions about what it is to be great. Jesus’ disciples thought if they held high positions in the world they would be great. Jesus told them that childlikeness was the highest greatness. We are greatest when we are not aware of being great at all. Simplicity, trust, the absence of ambition, contentment – these are marks of greatness.

Mornings With God

For her benefit is more profitable than silver, and her gain is better than gold.

[Prov 3:14]

There is something that gives better returns than silver or gold in the world’s markets. It is better to be wise than to be rich. A proper use of wisdom yields larger and better gains than the best use of money. Wisdom increases continually in the life of him who possesses it.

Take the wisdom of trusting God, and how experience enlarges it! The timid faith of today becomes the heroic confidence of tomorrow.

Or take the wisdom of loving others. Only begin it and practice it, and your heart will expand and your hand will acquire new skill in ministering. Many a young person with only a commonplace life, by simple beginning in a small way to help others and do good, has at length attained a measure of helpfulness that is simply amazing.

A sailor boy brought home to his mother a little flower from some foreign land, and all the fuchsias in England are the harvest from that little kindness.

Mornings With God

Like apples of gold in settings of silver, so is a word skillfully spoken.

[Prov 25:11]

It is well to form the habit of saying kindly things. Sincere words of commendation help all true men and women to live more worthily and to achieve better things. They should be spoken, too, while people live. Kind words come too late when they are held back till death has closed the ears and chilled the heart, when words cannot avail to comfort or help.

Too many people speak the wrong words, too – words that hurt, that fall on sensitive feelings like frost on the flowers. They thoughtlessly allude to matters which are of painful interest. They stir up sad or bitter memories in those who are trying to forget them. They lack the tact which always turns conversation into pleasant channels.

We should all learn the art of pleasant speech. It is not a matter of elocution or grammar – it is a matter of heart culture. Love must be the inspirer, and there must be the grace of thoughtfulness in word and tone.

Mornings With God

The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months. The Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his family.

[2 Sam 6:11]

The same ark which wrought disaster when irreverently touched now brought blessing to a home in which it was received with love. This fragment of history from the olden days suggests to us the blessing of true religion in a home.

Some people think it would be a loss and a hindrance to receive Christ into a house. It would stop some pleasures. It would drive out some amusements. It would interfere with some ambitions. But those who open their doors to Christ will always be rewarded. Religion blesses a home. It sweetens the home life, enriches the home affections, deepens the home joys, lightens and comforts the home sorrows. It brings true prosperity, for the blessing of the Lord maketh rich. It brings protection, for the angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear Him. It opens a door between the earthly home and the heavenly, and God’s angels come and go in gentle ministries.