Today With God

Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, He distributed to them that were set down.
~ John 6:11

We ought to pray continually that Christ’s touch may be upon us and upon the things we are doing.

It is instructive to think of the responsibility of the disciples that day. If they had merely fed themselves with what Jesus gave into their hands, the hungry thousands would not have been fed.

It is just as important that we, into whose hands Christ gives the blessings of the gospel, shall pass them on to those who are round us. If we only feed ourselves, take the comfort and the grace for our own lives, and do not pass on the broken bread, we have disappointed Christ and have failed in our duty as His helpers and co–workers.

Or if the disciples had begun feeding the people with what they had, without bringing it to the Master, it would not have gone far. We must bring our paltry resources to Christ, and put them into His hands. When we have done this, no one can tell the measure of good which may be wrought.

Today With God

For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth.
~ Prov 3:12

We are apt to put it just the other way.  

“My father does not love me, or he would not be so severe with me,” a boy says. Then he points to another boy whose father lets his son do as he pleases, and never restrains or corrects him. “That father loves his boy, and is always kind to him,” he says.

So it may seem just at the time. But to be left without discipline, to have no chastening, no correction, no restraining or withholding, is not proof of love. A father who does this with his son is letting him go to destruction unhindered. The one who corrects and chastens is intent on saving his son. Chastening is, therefore, a proof of love. God chastens us because He wants to save us and make something of us.

It should be a comfort to us to know, when we have trials or afflictions, that instead of being a proof that God does not love us, it is just the reverse – a new assurance of our heavenly Father’s tender affection and deep interest in us.

Today With God

We cannot but speak the things, which we have seen and heard.
~ Acts 4:20

One of the Beatitudes is, “Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you.” The first Christians very soon had opportunity to receive this blessing. Their behaviour in persecution has its lessons for us. One is that we should give to Christ the honor of all that we do.

Another lesson is, that we should always take our commands from Christ and from no other. The apostles were bidden to speak no more in Christ’s name. Their answer was heroic: “We cannot but speak.”

We may find it hard sometimes to obey Christ – it is easier to keep silent than to speak for Him. But we have no choice if we would remain loyal to Him.

We have also here a lesson in prayer. The apostles did not pray to be delivered from suffering. They prayed that they might have power to speak the word with boldness. We should not pray to be kept from suffering, but that we may be brave and loyal in His service.

Today With God

Therefore I tell you, her sins, which were many, are forgiven, thus she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little loves little.”

[Luke 7:47 NET]

The love of Christ has power to change the worst sinner into the whitest saint. The woman we see wetting the feet of Jesus with her tears, and anointing them with ointment, was a poor outcast a little while ago.

One writer represents her as going along the street that day in her gay attire, and getting a glimpse of Jesus through the window of the house where He was being entertained by the Pharisee. That look shrivelled her to nothingness; her old self was dead and gone forever.

The same instant a new woman sprang up in her, in place of the old, and a moment later she was at the feet of her Saviour. Her tears told of her penitence. Her ointment, costly and fragrant, told of honor, of love, and gratitude. It represented her best – all she had she gave to Him who had rescued her. It was what was left of the old life, and she gave it to her new Master.

We all need the blessing, which this woman got, and we can get it if we come with penitence to Christ’s feet.

Today With God

But you did not learn about Christ like this,

[Eph 4:20 NET]

Christians are not to live as other people do. Something far better is expected of them.

They have come out from the world, and they are to show the world an example of heavenly life. They are no longer to “walk as the Gentiles also walk.”

Those who have learned Christ should put away all the evil things of their former life, and be renewed in the spirit of their mind.

They should put away falsehood and speak truth with their neighbors. If they get angry they should be sure not to hold hate in their hearts overnight. “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” If they had ever stolen, they should steal no more, but should earn by honest labor whatever they get. They should keep special watch over their speech, never speaking any corrupt words. They should utter only words that will do good, imparting grace, making people happier and better. They should be careful never to do anything to grieve the Holy Spirit. They should keep their hearts free from all bitter thoughts and should be kind to everybody.

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.