Our Daily Walk

Rich Toward God

A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

~ Luke 12:15

I have all, and abound.

~ Phil 4:18

Let us never forget this wonderful assertion, that life consists not in what we possess, but in what we are; not in goods, but in goodness; not in things, but qualities. “How much was he worth?” we ask when a man dies, and we expect an answer in the amount that stood to his credit, and on which his estate must pay death duties. Yet surely a man is worth only the love, humility, generosity, and sweet reasonableness which characterize him. Take away some people’s wealth, and, as in the case of the rich man of whom our Lord speaks in His parable, you have nothing left; but take away all things from St. John or St. Paul, from St. Francis or Augustine, or Wesley, and you have an abundance left which makes them the millionaires of all time! “Poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”

The rich man in the parable made three foolish mistakes. First, he treated his wealth as though it were absolutely his own. There is no suggestion that he had made it wrongfully. His wealth had evidently accrued as the gift of prolific harvests, and was certainly due to the goodness of the Creator, on whose co-operation the results of husbandry evidently depend. But to lift up grateful eyes in thankful acknowledgment to God seems never to have occurred to him! Are we not all too prone to magnify our own shrewdness and aptitude, and to exclude God when we make up our accounts for the year.

Second, he thought that the best receptacle for his overplus was in barns, and forgot that there were multitudes of poor and needy souls around. When we begin to accumulate more than we need for our use, or the provision for our families, we should consider, not further investments, but the pressing need of others.

Third, he thought that goods could stay the hunger of the soul. How often has the heart of man or woman been surfeited with goods and remained unsatisfied? Let us give, expecting nothing again, with full measure, pressed down, and running over; give, not only money, but love and tenderness and human sympathy; give as one who is always receiving from the boundless resources of God.

Help us, O God, to set our affections on things above, not on things on earth, for nothing beneath these skies can satisfy the hearts which Thou hast made for Thyself. Amen.

Our Daily Walk

Songs Of Praise

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.~ Luke 1:46-47

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people.
~ Luke 1:68

These two songs have floated down the centuries, stirring human hearts with the ecstasy of their triumph. It is not given to all to be able to express their exultation in words so eloquent and musical, but all may become as saturated with the words of Scripture as Mary was, and all may triumph in Jesus Christ as gladly as did Zacharias, and show forth His praise, as did these two holy souls.

The most wonderful thing for us all is that God looks upon our low estate. The greater His blessing, the more unworthy we feel of it. There is no reason why He has stooped to our lowliness and obscurity except that He would. He does great things for the weakest and merciful things for the unworthiest, for His Name’s sake—“Holy is His Name.” In other words, there is no accounting for the putting forth of God’s power and love, except His own glorious character.

Princes are put down from their thrones, because they have become proud and tyrannical; whilst those of low degree are exalted by God, because in obscurity they have been educated in virtue, which cannot but rise to the level of its specific gravity. The rich are often sent empty away, because they have no taste or desire for true riches which alone can satisfy. Whether the hunger be for love, or for the power to do good, or for the best gifts that the Spirit of God can bestow, whoever fulfils the conditions of humility and faith—these are “filled with good things.” “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

The little babe, known afterwards as John the Baptist, was probably lying in his father’s arms, when he burst forth into this glorious song. Let us see to it that we use every opportunity of making known God’s wondrous salvation, of pointing men to the only source of forgiveness. Nothing so encourages faith as the proclamation of what God is prepared to do for those who trust Him, and when it dawns upon men that there are treasures in Christ which shall enrich their poverty and dissipate their hopelessness, they will yield themselves to be led into the ways of peace even by a little child!

Prayer

We thank Thee, O God, for life and light and love; for the light of Thy mercy shining across our path, revealing to us Thy infinite love without beginning or end. May the Name of our Lord Jesus be glorified in us. Amen.

Our Daily Walk

Prayer That Obtains

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

~ Luke 11:9

There are many conditions of true prayer. For instance, it must be earnest. There are times when we know we are on the line of God’s purposes, when we may dare to be importunate. Prayer must be offered in the Name of Christ, i.e., it must be in harmony with the nature of Christ, which was devoted to the glory of God and to the blessing of men. That Name will eliminate the ingredient of selfishness which will mar any prayer by whomsoever offered. Prayer must also be based on some promise of God, which is presented to Him as a cheque or note is presented to a bank.

All these are but steps to the faith that obtains, for it is, after all, not prayer but faith that obtains promises. That is why our Lord lays so much stress on receiving. Much of our prayer fails because we forget that He said, “Every one that asketh, receiveth”; and again, “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them” (Mar 11:24).

So far as one can describe the process, it seems something after this fashion. The soul reverently kneels before God, glorifying and praising Him for His greatness and goodness. It is conscious of needing some very special gift which is promised. In the Name of Christ it presents the request with the confidence of a child. With earnestness of desire and speech it unfolds the reasons why the gift sought is so necessary. But it does not leave prayer at this point to go away in uncertainty as to what the issue shall be. By an act of the spirit, the suppliant seems to receive definitely the spiritual or even the temporal gift; and realises that it has received, that the special grace has been imparted, to be discovered and used under stress of need; that the temporal gift has also been received, though it may be kept back until the precise moment when it can be delivered, in much the same way as a present may be purchased long before the time of handing it to its destined possessor (1Sa 1:15, 1Sa 1:18, 1Sa 1:27).

This is what Christ meant by “receiving,” and it has a mighty effect upon prayer, because it makes it so much more definite. It leads to praise, because we are able to thank God for His gift. You must take as well as pray.

We rejoice that our Saviour ever lives to intercede as our High Priest and Mediator. Through the rent veil, let our prayers ascend to Thee mingled with the fragrance of His merit in whom Thou art ever well pleased. Amen.

Our Daily Walk

A Psalm Of Blessedness

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked. But his delight is in the law of the Lord.~ Ps 1:1-2

The blessed, or Happy, man is described negatively (Psa 1:1). There is a gradation in the attitude, the sphere of influence, and the condition of his companions. In attitude, we may begin by walking, advance to standing, and end by sitting. If we would avoid the sitting, let us guard against walking or standing. In the sphere of influence, the beginning of backsliding is when a man listens to counsel; he then drifts into the path trodden by sinners, and finally is hardened enough to sit where scornful talk surrounds him on every hand. The condition of evil companions. We should be repelled if we were to be plunged suddenly into contact with the scornful, but our moral interests may not be specially outraged by the counsel of the wicked. Indeed, the advice which wicked men give sometimes resembles closely what our heart suggests and our taste prefers. It is so specious, so apparently sensible and natural, that we are captivated by it. Only gradually do we slide from those who forget God to those who set His law at defiance or openly blaspheme Him.

Our motive in going amongst ungodly men must be carefully considered. If it is to help and save them, as our Lord did, no harm will come to us. But if we go into the way of sinners for our own amusement, need we be surprised if the bloom pass off the fruit, and the fine edge from the tool? Let us examine ourselves. Are we startled and shocked now, as we used to be, by an indecent illusion or a blasphemous word? Is there a coarsening process at work? Even where we are not injured by worldliness, we may suffer by contact with the low ideals of our fellow-Christians. Let us watch and pray; let us consider one another and exhort one another day by day, lest any be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13).

The Blessed, or Happy, man is also described positively (Psa 1:2). This delight comes as naturally as appetite for food, when the soul is in a healthy condition. Under the inspiration of that delight, we shall meditate on God’s Word continually, storing it in the heart, and reciting it when travelling, or in darkness.

Remember that the Lord knows the way you take. He is sensitive to every jolt and lurch, to the stony hills and the easy valley, to the foes that lie in wait. In His keeping you will never become as the light chaff, or the perishing way of the wicked written in the dust.

We commend ourselves, and those we love, to Thee, dear Lord. We put our hand in Thine, that Thou shalt lead us by the untrodden” way. Amen.

Our Daily Walk

God’s Forgiveness

Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who fails in his duty to us.

~ Luke 11:4


Forgiveness Is the exclusive prerogative of Christianity. The schools of ancient morality had four cardinal virtues ~ justice in human relations; prudence in the direction of affairs; fortitude in bearing trouble or sorrow; temperance or self-restraint. But they knew nothing of mercy or forgiveness, which is not natural to the human heart. Forgiveness is an exotic, which Christ brought with Him from Heaven. As long as He abode on earth, He forgave, and He left it as an injunction and example that His people were to forgive even as they had been forgiven.

Our Lord does not mean that God’s forgiveness is measured by our own, or that our forgiveness is the cause of God’s. Neither of these is the true rendering of this clause; but that God cannot forgive an unforgiving spirit. The only sure index that our contrition and penitence are genuine is that we forgive those who have wronged us. If we do not forgive, it proves that we have never attained that true position of soul before God in which He is able to forgive.

How is it with you? Do you forgive? Or are there men and women that you obstinately refuse to forgive? If there are, it shows that your own soul is not right before God; your love to God is gauged by your love to men; your relationship to God is indicated by your relationship to your fellows. The man who does not love the brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. Discover where you are to-day. If there is anyone in your life that you refuse to pray for and forgive, know that your heart is wrong with God.

Do the first thing, begin to pray for them, and say: “Forgive us—that one who has hurt me, that man who has wronged me; he needs forgiveness, but I need it equally. We are both in the wrong. I might have made it easier for him to do right than I have done.” Second, ask for the opportunity to meet him. Third, claim that when you meet, there may be in you the royalty of God’s grace, that you may bear yourself with that rare, gracious love which covers the multitude of sins. Be willing that through your lips God’s pitying mercy may pass forth in words of human kindness and tenderness.

Forgive us, we pray Thee; put away our sin, as far as the east is from the west. Remember it no more, cast it behind Thee as into the depths of the sea. May we be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ has forgiven us. Amen.

Our Daily Walk

The Child Heart

He called to Him a little child, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

~  Matt 18:2-3

Our Lord bids us seek the child-heart! Not to be childish, but childlike! It is recorded of the illustrious soldier, Naaman, that after he had washed in the Jordan waters, his flesh came to him as that of a little child. It is a noble combination—the stature and strength of the full-grown man united with the winsome purity and sweetness of a little child. It is not possible for any one of us to attain these two qualities unless we are prepared to pay the price. The orders of rank in the Kingdom of Heaven are diametrically opposed to those of our earthly kingdoms. Here men are ever striving to rise above their fellows; but in Christ’s Kingdom they stoop to serve, and in stooping become crowned!

The King of Glory girded Himself with a towel, and kneeling down washed the feet of His disciples, and the nobles in His Kingdom are those who have become willing to be the servants of all!

Simplicity, humility, and freedom from self-consciousness are the natural traits of early childhood; alas! that they so quickly learn from us to seek for notice, patronage, and the first place! How happy that little one was as he nestled to the Saviour’s heart! Three times over in this chapter the Master speaks about “these little ones.” How dearly He loved the children, and each time must have pressed the child closer to Himself! It was thus that like came to like!

It is the childlike hearts that agree on earth in the symphony of prayer. One may go East and the other West, but beneath the touch of the Spirit of Love, they will be of one accord, i.e. in attuned fellowship with each other and with Christ (Mat 18:19-20). The child-spirit, also, will be willing to forgive and forget (Mat 18:15, Mat 18:21, Mat 18:22).

Grant, O Lord, that I may become as a little child in Thy kingdom. May my heart be filled with Thy love, my lips with gentle, helpful words, and my hands with kind, unselfish deeds. Amen.

Our Daily Walk

Walking In God’s Ways And Paths

Shew me Thy ways, O Lord; Teach me Thy paths.

~ Ps 25:4

He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.

~ Mic 4:2

There is a clear difference between a Way and a Path. The one is filled with the throb and stir of the world’s life; the other is comparatively lonely and unfrequented. The roll of vehicles and noisy traffic fills the one, whilst the other is, for the most part, trodden by the individual, being too narrow and quiet for the crowd. It is a great comfort that God has paths as well as ways.

God’s Ways are the great principles on which He acts, the mighty thoroughfares of Creation, Providence, Revelation, Human History, and final Judgment. On these His goings-forth have ever been of old, even from everlasting. To know them is the passionate desire of the purest and loftiest natures. Moses prayed: “Shew me now Thy ways, that I may know Thee,” and God graciously granted his request, for to Moses He made known His Ways, but to Israel only His Acts. There is need for us all to know God’s Ways, especially in this momentous era; because only so can we enter into His rest. In the Old and New Testaments the same warning is repeated: “they shall not enter into My rest, because they have not known My ways” (Psa 95:11; Heb 3:10). We can look out calmly on this troubled world when once we have learnt to know the divine programme of gathering up all things in Christ, who is the Head; when we walk with Him who is the Way to God (Joh 14:6).

The Paths of the Lord may be taken to describe His personal dealings with the individual, who through sickness, or the care of others, or by lonely duty, is isolated from the ordinary worship of the Church, and shut away from fellowship and Christian Ministry. All such may expect and reckon upon the saving help which will come through God’s private communications.

God is faithful to the soul that utterly trusts Him. He always comes on time, not a moment before, nor a moment too late. Remember that all His Paths are Mercy and Truth. Dare to believe that He is coming along a secret pathway to bring the assurance of His mercy and grace to help in this time of need.

Be with me, Lord, as I step out on the untrodden way of this month. I know not what it may bring of joy or sorrow, of temptation or service; but I humbly commit myself and my way to Thee. Make the best that Thou canst of me for Thy glory. Amen.

Our Daily Walk

God’s Partnership With Man

Come now, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh And God said, I AM THAT I AM: Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

~ Exod 3:10-14

Nothing is more needed to-day than God’s Partnership as a realised fact in Christian experience. Many of us may assent to what is written in these lines, and then put it aside, as a dream which is too ethereal to be of practical service. But when the Apostle said that “our fellowship, i.e. our partnership, is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” it is surely meant that we should enter upon our inheritance. “I am… “ says our great Partner; “fill in your need, and I will meet your demand, according to the riches of My glory in Christ Jesus.” Let us tear out the order-forms from God’s service-register, fill them up, and present them for delivery. Not one of them would be dishonoured. And if it happened that we had wrongly diagnosed our need, He would erase the demand based on our imperfect knowledge, and substitute what we would ask if we knew. There is nothing more certain than that the more we ask of God, the more pleased He is to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.

Our Lord made use of this incident when He was challenged by the Sadducees to adduce proof of the future life from the Books of Moses. He answered by quoting this paragraph of the burning bush, calling special attention to the fact that Moses referred to God as the “God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.” He said that the use of the present tense—I AM—proved that God is not the God of the dead but of the living, and that all live unto Him.

What a comfort there is in this thought, that our beloved who have passed from us are in-breathing the same atmosphere as we are. We all eat the same spiritual meat and all drink the same spiritual drink. We see in a mirror darkly, but they face to face; but this identity of fellowship, of partnership with the “I AM,” the ever-present God who fills heaven and earth, is a proof and a pledge that they have not altered essentially. They are drinking of the same stream higher up and nearer its source: “One family we dwell in him.”

Accomplish thy perfect work in our souls, O Father. As yet we are bound with many chains; we tarry among things seen and temporal, we are exposed to the storms of the outer world, and are wrestling with its ills. But we are not dismayed, for we are more than earth and dust, we are akin to Thee, O Spirit of the Lord, and can experience Thy heavenly influence. Fill us with faith and love and hope. Amen.

Our Daily Walk

Christ’s Revelation Of God

Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us, Jesus saith .. he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.

~ John 14:8-9

Philip’s inquiry bore witness to the growth of a human soul. Only three short years before Christ had found him. At that time he was probably much as the young men of his standing and age, not specially remarkable, save for an interest in the earnestness about the advent of the Messiah. His views, however, were limited and narrow; he looked for Christ’s advent as the time for the re-establishment of the Kingdom of David, and deliverance from the hated Roman yoke. But three years of fellowship with the Master had made a wonderful difference. He is not now content with beholding the Messiah—he is eager to know the Father: “Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.”

But surely this request was based on a mistake. He wanted to see the Father. But how can you make Wisdom, or Love, or Purity visible, save in a human life? Philip was so absorbed in his quest for the transcendent, that he missed the revelation of the Father which for three years had been passing before his eyes. “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?”

Our Lord revealed the Father in His works (Joh 14:10-11). The story of His miracles are leaves from God’s diary. The right way to read them is not to say: This is what Christ did; but, Thus God is ever doing—always healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, restoring the leper, and raising the dead.

He reveals the Father in answering our prayers (Joh 14:13). He is ever anxious to answer our petitions, that He may reveal the nature and glory of God our Father.

Christ reveals the Father by communicating the Holy Spirit, who comes to abide in us. No miracle could tell us so much of God as the Spirit does when He communicates the Divine nature. When our Lord says that He will manifest Himself to the soul that obeys Him, and that the Father will come in to make His abiding-place with us, He not only shows, but He gives to us the Father (Joh 14:21-23). The life and ministry of our Lord during His earthly life, and throughout the ages, unfolds to us the Father, in the sweetness, tenderness and strength of that glorious Being, whose Love pervades the universe.

We bless Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that Thou hast revealed to us the Father, and hast brought us nigh unto God. Make us pure in heart, not only in our walk, but in our inward temper, that we may never lose sight of God by reason of the obscurity of our own nature. Amen.

Our Daily Walk

The Quest For The Eternal

O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee; my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.

~ Ps 63:1

This psalm has a special fascination for those who can no longer gather with the assemblies of God’s people. David was in flight from Absalom, wandering in the wilderness. The land around is waterless and weary, and his enemies are on his track. But all this seems secondary to his longing for God. Weary and thirsty though he is, his most agonizing desire is for God, the living God, as he had seen and known Him in the tent, which he had reared on Zion for His worship. The barren wilderness, seemed to reflect the craving of his soul for God.

In many hearts and lives his mood is reflected to-day. Our soul thirsts and pines for the vision of the power and glory of God, for the communion of saints. Perhaps David lays greater emphasis on the Sanctuary than we do on our places of worship. We must remember that the Glory of the Shekinah shone between the Cherubim in that hallowed Shrine.

In Psa 63:5-7, the longing soul seems satisfied. As we long for God, we find Him. As we seek, we possess (Isa 41:17-18). As we remember Him, we break into song. The fact is that our yearnings after God are the response of our hearts to the beat of His heart and to the knock of His hand. Prayer is the response of our nature to the circulation of His lifeblood within us. When we seek His face, it is in answer to His own summons. “When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” As one has stated it: “Our desires and aspirations are responses to the outflowings of the Holy Spirit in silent or expressed communion.”

The climax of the Psalm is reached in Psa 63:8. Notice the three-fold steps: my soul thirsts; my soul is satisfied; my soul followeth hard after Thee. Remember Him upon thy bed! Meditate on Him through the night-watches! Hide thyself under the shadow of His wings! Keep step with His purposes! Follow close behind Him! Whosoever follows hard on God’s track, trusting in Him, rejoicing in His companionship, reaching out toward Him, will feel his own outstretched hand enclosed in a strong and tender grasp, steadying against weariness and failure, and making His own footsteps a way for our feet.

Bestow upon me also, O Lord my God, understanding to know Thee, diligence to seek Thee, wisdom to find Thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace Thee. Amen.