Today With God

Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican.

~ Matt 10:3

It is remarkable how little we know about most of the apostles. Peter, James, and John, we know quite well. Matthew we know by the Gospel he wrote. Thomas we remember by his doubts. James, the son of Alphaeus, wrote an epistle. Another Judas, not Iscariot, left us a little letter. Of the rest we know almost nothing but their names.

No doubt one reason why no more is told about the apostles is that the Bible magnifies only one name. The Gospels were written to hold up Christ before the world. We need not trouble ourselves about the obscurity of great men. Earth keeps scant records of its benefactors, but there is a place where every smallest kindness done in the name of Christ is recorded and remembered. The stories of the obscure apostles and of the beautiful lives which have wrought God and for man have vanished, but are recorded indelibly before God. Their memorials are in other lives, and some day every touch and impression will be revealed.

Today With God

We are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.

~ Eph 5:30

Nothing in this world means more to God than a beautiful home of love and prayer.

Our chapter for today is given to suggestions as to the making of a home. Each member of the family has a share. There is the husband’s part. He must love his wife and give himself to her, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it. This is a high order of love. The wife has a part. She is to love her husband and live for her home. There is a part also for parents. They live for their children. They care for them. They train and teach them. They show them how to live. They are the revealers and interpreters of God to them. There is a part also in the home–making for the children. They are to obey their parents.

People sometimes say facetiously that in these days the commandment runs, “Parents, obey your children.” Where this is the interpretation, it is an unhappy reversal.

The true Christian home is one in which love rules, and where each one fills his own place.

Today With God

The Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.

~ Mark 2:28

Jesus remembered the Sabbath day, and kept it holy.  

But He did not put Himself under the burdensome rules and regulations, which His people followed. He taught them that the Sabbath was to be man’s friend, not his taskmaster.

In His own observance of the day, He attended the church services and took every opportunity to speak His Father’s words to those who were present. He went on with His ministry of kindness and helpfulness on the Sabbath, just as on other days – healing the sick, casting out demons, delivering those who were in trouble.

If we follow the example of Jesus, the Sabbath will be a blessing to us and not a burden.

Some people find it a day of wearisome–ness. But if they loved Christ in such a real way as to find delight in His company and in His work, the day would prove to be one of pleasure to them.

Its purpose is to prepare us physically, mentally, and spiritually for the life and work of the week–days that follow.

Today With God

The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart.

~ Rom 10:8

Many people never find what they seek, because they do not seek it where it is. They travel far to look for something, which is waiting at their very feet.

They want to find Christ in their needs and heart–hungers, and they strain their eyes looking for Him in the heavens, while all the time He is close to them, closer than the air. “Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down)… The word is nigh thee.” Always Christ is nigh, and we never need to look for Him far off.

A monk was praying for a vision of Christ. A little child came to his door and cried for help, but the monk had no time for the child – he was watching for the vision, which did not appear. At the close of the day he learned that Christ came in the little child, called, sobbed, was refused, and went away.

We should look close to ourselves always for the thing we seek. We need only to listen any moment to hear the voice we want to hear.

Today With God

There was a darkness over all the earth.~ Luke 23:44

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?”

Today With God

Thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee.

~ 1 Kgs 17:4

God is never at a loss to find a way of providing for His children.  

All things are His servants. The brooks of water, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, the wings of ravens, the waves of the sea – all creatures, all things animate and inanimate – belong to Him and are ready to serve Him at His call.

Some people are troubled about miracles, asking how God can interrupt the regular order of nature to do any special favor for a child of His. If we understand how completely all things are under God’s hands, it will not be hard for us to believe that miracles are possible.

Perhaps none of us ever were fed by ravens as Elijah was, but in other ways, not less marvellous, God brings to us our daily bread. Railroad trains carry it across continents, or ships bear it around the globe to bring it to our doors. We are too wise in these days – too wise on scientific subjects – to get the most perfect peace from the promises of God.

Today With God

But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him.

~ Luke 24:16

There is a picture of a woman in great sorrow. She is sitting beside the sea, looking out upon the dark waters, which have swallowed down her heart’s treasures. Close behind her is an angel with his harp, whose strings he is gently touching. But the woman is not aware of the angel’s presence and is uncomforted by the music of the celestial harp.

So it ofttimes is with mourners when Jesus Himself comes to give them consolation. In their grief they are unaware of His presence and deaf to His words of love.

We go afar in quest of Christ, while all the time He is close beside us. “Sir Launfal wandered over all the earth in search of the Holy Grail; and when at last, after long years had flown, he returned aged and bent to his old home, lo! there under his own castle walls did he find the object of his search.

So often we will find close by us, in the Scriptures we already possess, in the circumstances in which we are placed, the help we are seeking and the truth we need.”

Today With God

But whom say ye that I am?

~ Matt 16:15

It really does matter what one thinks about Christ.  

For example, if we consider Him as only a man, we may admire His personal character and His teachings, but we cannot trust Him as our Saviour. A mere man could not by His death make atonement for our sins. A man could not deliver us in temptation, nor help us in weakness, nor guide us in the tangled paths of life.

But if we believe in Christ as a divine being, all this is changed. His death was of sufficient value to atone for all sin. He is able to defend, deliver, and save His people. An important question is what is Christ to us personally? Is He only in our creed, or is He our personal Saviour, our friend, our Lord? It is this form of the question that most concerns us.

There is only one person for whose opinions and beliefs we are individually responsible, and that is – our–self. Then mere opinions are not enough; we must have a personal, living faith in Christ if we would be saved.

Today With God

He shall separate them one from another.

~ Matt 25:32

Our Lord’s parable of the Judgement is wonderfully suggestive.  

There will be a great separation on that day of days. Men’s relation to Christ will determine their destiny. Great crimes are not charged against those who are assigned to the King’s left hand – the charge is that they have failed to be kind to those who needed kindness. They are condemned for not doing.

This is a startling truth. We sin against Christ when we pass by those who are suffering or are in need of help.

Another wonderful revelation here is that Christ puts Himself in the place of His friends in this world, so that what we do to them we do to Him, and when we neglect one of His, even the lowliest, we neglect Him. “I was hungry, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink.”

This should make us kind to every needy or suffering one who comes before us. It may be Christ. It will be very sad if we turn Him hungry from our doors.

Today With God

These are the things which defile a man.

~ Matt 15:20

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.