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Daily Devotionals For July 2005

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Daily Devotional for July 1st/05 

Lord willing, this is the theme I will be preaching on today: Barabbas And Jesus.

The Man Named Barabbas 

This is taken from a really great book called THE SIX TRIALS OF CHRIST. Previously I had sent out two devotionals on the chapters regarding The Denial of Peter and Why Peter Denied His LORD.

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Daily Devotional for Saturday July 2nd/05 

The following study was taken from chapter four of Ruth's Romance Of Redemption by Edward Boone. This is one of the best books/commentaries I have ever read. I highly recommend it, especially if you love the book of Ruth and love learning more about our great Kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ!

THE UNNAMED SERVANT

I wish to call your attention to the unnamed servant, "that was set over the reapers." It does not tell who this servant was. Some may wonder why he, who has such an important part in the work of Boaz and who carried the responsibility of the reapers and the managing of the fields, is not named, but this is made plain if viewed from a dispensational standpoint. The HOLY SPIRIT is the unnamed servant of the dispensation of grace. He was without a name that He might exalt a name which is above every name; that name is JESUS.

There are three characters in the Old Testament whose servants were unnamed. They are given as follows in their typical order:

First, Abraham sent forth his "eldest servant," (Gen. 24:2), into the far-off country to seek a bride for Isaac; the servant's name is not mentioned, but it states "that he ruled over all that he had." Here we see a picture of the HOLY SPIRIT coming into the far-off country, this world of sin, to call out a bride for the Heavenly Isaac, JESUS. The HOLY SPIRIT is now engaged in this work.

Second, there is Boaz, whose unnamed servant had charge "over the reapers" (Ruth 2:6). This is typical of the HOLY SPIRIT bestowing His gifts upon those who are engaged in the vineyard of the LORD as gleaners and reapers of the harvest.

Third, we find in the case of Joseph, who was a type of JESUS CHRIST. When the brethren of Joseph brought Benjamin to him he gave special instruction to the "ruler of his house," (Gen. 43:16) saying, "Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon. And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house" (Gen. 43:16-17). It was the ruler of his house, the unnamed servant, who brought these men home that they might dine with their brother Joseph at his table. In like manner, the HOLY SPIRIT is busily engaged bringing the redeemed of the earth to their Heavenly home that they might dine with their elder Brother, JESUS, at the marriage of the LAMB.

Thus we have the work of the HOLY SPIRIT revealed in a threefold manner: first, how He came to call men out of the world of sin to a life of righteousness, then how He bestows upon them His gifts and graces, and prepares them for the marriage supper of the LAMB. This truth is blessedly portrayed in the servant of Boaz, who is a type of the HOLY GHOST bringing Ruth into the house, a type of the Church of GOD. From this we see the typical teaching of the HOLY SPIRIT is not left out of this little Book of Ruth, which so remarkably portrays the dispensation of grace. Let us notice four facts relative to Christian life: --

A. GOOD INSTRUCTIONS

"Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens" (v. 8). Boaz opens the conversation by saying, "Hearest thou not, my daughter?" He requested that she give him her attention, then he gave the following instructions:

First, "Go not to glean in another field." This was special instruction to remain separate; he asked her not to run off to the world for her supply but to remain by his maidens. A continuous separation for the believer is demanded by GOD. Seemingly this is the first instruction that Ruth receives. Some may wonder why this is so important that it should come first, but JESUS in His High Priestly prayer said, "The world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:14). In His address on the vine and the branches, He said to His disciples, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:18-19).

It is the world that crucified and is rejecting CHRIST, and when the Church becomes allied with it, it will soon lose its spiritual power, as Samson of old, who fell into the lap of Delilah, typical of the world.

Second, she was instructed to cherish Christian fellowship, "Abide here fast by my maidens" (v. 8). It is not enough to remain separate, but man should cherish Christian fellowship, for that is comfort for the soul. The older maidens, who had the advantage of longer experience and who were more accustomed to the work in the field of Boaz, would be desirable companions for her, for they could direct her rightly. It is advisable for any new convert to keep close to the older established Christian that he might learn to walk in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Boaz adds, "Let thine eyes be on the field." Special instruction is given here concerning the eyes, for a glance into the field of the world might cause an unlawful desire, which might later prove a disaster as in the case of Eve, who looked upon the fruit and ere long ate of the forbidden product.

B. GREAT PROVISIONS

First, he provided protection, "Have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee?" (v. 9). As long as we stay in the field of our Heavenly Boaz, we are under His protection; under the shadow of His wing, there is perfect security; and it is under the wings of the ALMIGHTY that she had come to trust (v. 12). What a blessed place of retreat! I was recently told of an aged Christian man of splendid character. One night he was returning at a late hour to his home. As he, with no sense of danger, was hurriedly crossing the street, a strong hand forcibly pushed him backward, thus halting him on his onward course. The force of the assault was so strong it nearly pushed him over, and in the next second an automobile came dashing by at a rapid rate of speed. Immediately he looked for the stranger, whom he thought had severely pushed him to stop him from rushing into the path of the oncoming car, but to his amazement no one was to be seen. He looked to the right and left, but there was no one around. Who was it then? It was the hand of the Divine, Who was interested in His own child, and in mercy spared his life for a few more months or years so that he could fulfill his work on this earth. This incident actually occurred in the State of California. It illustrates the hand of GOD in protection.

Second, she received restoration, "When thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn" (v. 9). A good drink from the wells of salvation restores the weary gleaners in their efforts of service as they glean in the field of Boaz. He said, "Drink of that which the young men have drawn." The young preachers and workers are able today to draw from the wells of truth, and they are able to give the Christian that which will aid him in his spiritual activity. With Boaz these young men "draw water out of the wells of salvation." Notice the liberty he gave to Ruth, "when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels." Any time, any place, and in any condition, CHRIST invites us to drink.

C. GLORIOUS ADORATION

"Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground" (v. 10). With such instruction and wonderful provision, she is immediately struck with a spirit of humility and deep reverence. She bows in adoration and questions, "Why have I found grace in thine eyes?" "I am only a stranger; how is it that you have given me, a Moabitess, so much? Pray tell me, why have you extended to me such wonderful grace?" How many of GOD's people today have experienced this same feeling when they see the marvels of His grace -- how they have been redeemed, forgiven of all the past sin, washed in His blood, filled with His SPIRIT, are now enjoying Christian fellowship, and possessing a blessed prospect for the future. We ask ourselves the question, "Why have we found grace in His sight?" What a touching thought she expressed when she classed herself as a stranger, an outcast of Israel, and an idolater of Moab. Such were we Gentiles before we were saved. Boaz answers her question by saying, "It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done" (v. 11).

First, he speaks of her separation, "How thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity" (v. 11). Boaz recognized the separation she made when she left her relatives and her religion as mentioned in chapter one. Two of the hardest things in the world for people to do is to leave their relatives and to leave their religions. Boaz fully knew all that she had done and, likewise, our Heavenly Boaz understands the decisions and desires of each heart.

Second, he mentions the acceptance, "Art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore" (v. 11). She had become a Jewish proselyte. To accept meant not only to renounce her own relatives and religions but also to embrace the people of another race and of another faith -- to renounce the old and to take on the new.

D. GRACIOUS RECOMPENCE.

"A full reward be given thee" (v. 12). She has a promise of a full reward. Some will receive but a partial reward, some will receive no reward at all, but Ruth had a promise of a "full reward." This reward is to come from the LORD GOD of Israel. It was not man's reward, for he cannot reward honestly and justly; he can only look upon the surface, but the LORD, Who understands the motives back of each life and act, will reward not according to our success but according to our faithfulness.

Doctor Watson, the great Methodist writer, in his book, "Our Own God," pens the following wonderful words concerning rewards: "So many times our dear SAVIOUR uses the word 'great' in connection with coming rewards, so that for a few sufferings, for a few tears, for a few toils, which in reality are essential to our own welfare, JESUS says 'great is your reward in heaven.' It looks as if GOD was beside Himself in love for us. Just see, out of His love He gave us this wonderful existence, and then gave us grace to repent, to believe, and to love Him in return, and out of His love gave us the sanctifying SPIRIT, to live and labor for Him; and then out of His love He contrives to reward us, with honors, and glories in the age to come. He gives us the love to love Him with, and then rewards us for loving Him with His own love. Did you ever see the beat of it in all the world? If we pondered these things, would not our hearts burn within us, with a feverish desire to love Him up to all our capacity.

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Daily Devotional for Sunday July 3rd/05 

The following study was taken from chapter four of Ruth's Romance Of Redemption by Edward Boone.

III. RUTH'S WEALTH 

Under the division "Ruth's Work," we have seen Ruth as a damsel in the field. Under the division, "Ruth's Welcome," she was pictured as a daughter in the house. Under this division, "Ruth's Wealth," we shall see her as a diner at the table. From this it is evident that grace not only bestows new life, relationship, fellowship, and blessing, but it also provides the opportunity to gain rewards. Let us note: --

A. THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT.

"Thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid" (v. 13). She was so charmed with her first day with Boaz with the fellowship, promises, and blessings he gave that she was forced to acknowledge, "Let me find favour in thy sight" (v. 13). The word "favour" is from the word 'chen" and is the same Hebrew word as "grace" found in chapter two, verse ten. She acknowledges she has found grace in the sight of Boaz, and says, "Thou hast comforted me." The words of Boaz were words of comfort; they were like honey to the taste, like incense to the nostrils, like music to the ear, and like scenery to the eye. His words were not only comforting but charming. How wonderfully CHRIST can speak words of welcome, forgiveness, friendship, and encouragement and says, "for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid" (v. 13).

CHRIST not only speaks to the ear, but His words of comfort find lodgment in the heart. The religion of JESUS CHRIST is a heart religion. While many today are training the physical, CHRIST trains the heart. Then her acknowledgment is consummated with a spirit of humility, "Though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens." She felt herself the least among the thousands of Bethlehem-judah, and yet out of her was to come the ruler in Israel: "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2). The New Testament quotation, "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted," is fulfilled in Ruth. What an acknowledgment she had given: first, a favor extended; second, a comfort received; third, words rightly spoken; and fourth, the least among the thousands of Judah.

B. THE INVITATION.

The previous acknowledgment of Ruth so stirred the heart of Boaz in affection for her that he adds more grace, more comfort, and gives her a special invitation to dine. She has an invitation to the table of the LORD. Now we see the convert rising higher in Divine grace until she is now a partaker of Divine ordinance. Boaz says, "At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread and dip thy morsel in the vinegar" (v. 14). The provisions on the table were bread and vinegar. The word "vinegar" is from the word "chomets," which is the word used for sour grapes or grapes that have been made into sour wine. From this we see the elements of the table are bread and wine, thus pointing forward to the dispensation of grace in which we are living. (The Book of Ruth is full of dispensational teaching)

She is now invited to partake of sweet fellowship that she might have the opportunity to express her appreciation of the bread, the body that was broken, and the wine, the blood that was shed. This points forward to another table found in II Samuel 9.

Saul, who mightily opposed David on his march to the throne, had a descendant by the name of Mephibosheth. David invited him to sit at his table, which foreshadowed an act of Divine grace. This invitation so affected Mephibosheth that he fell on his face and did reverence (II Sam. 9:6). As Ruth, he said, "What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?" (II Sam. 9:8). All who are invited to the table of the LORD also feel that they are not worthy to be partakers; it is only by Divine grace that we receive the invitation. Mephibosheth, who represents the sinner, was so affected by the fall of man that he was unable to produce a righteous walk, being lame in both feet. However, while the emblematic elements of the atonement, bread and wine, were on the table, he was able to sit there in peace. In the same way, man today may enjoy the communion at the LORD's table in peace and gratitude because of what CHRIST has accomplished for him and in him by His atonement. How much like Mephibosheth are the children of light. Although they have been forgiven of all transgressions and their hearts have been made pure by the blood of the LAMB, yet because of poor judgment, human mistakes are made, which in a measure affect the walk of life. Nevertheless, we have a place where our feet are covered by Divine atonement; that is under the LORD's table. We will close this study with the thought of: --

C. THE SUFFICIENCY

"She sat beside the reapers" (v. 14). The weary gleaner not only needs nourishment, but she needs rest. To meet this need she was privileged to sit beside the reapers. Food and rest must go together, and so unlike the beast of the field, who eats standing, we are provided with a place to sit. Sitting in the Scripture always indicates a work accomplished. After the demoniac had been delivered from the legion of devils, we find him no longer among the tombs living a life of self-destruction but rather calmly "sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind" (Luke 8:35). His posture indicated a work accomplished. The same truth is found in the Book of Hebrews, which deals with the New Testament High Priest. In four different places in this Epistle, you will find some form of the verbs "sit" or "set"; (1:3; 8:1; 10:11-12; 12:2). The writer in this Epistle is exalting JESUS CHRIST above the Levitical priesthood and the other various Old Testament characters by describing Him sitting "down on the right hand of God" -- with a work accomplished --- in a place of honor.

There was no seat provided for the priest in the Tabernacle because his work was never completed; Israel's sins were not entirely removed, and sacrifices had to be made continually because of constant transgression. The high priest entered into the Holy of Holies once a year, according to Hebrews 9:7, to put away the sin and transgression of the past year, but the writer to the Hebrews said, "This man [JESUS] after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Heb. 10:12)

He emphasized that the High Priest was a man, "this man." Now we have, as our HIGH PRIEST, perfect manhood sitting in the seat of intercession on the right hand of GOD. This indicates the accomplished work of atonement. It is completed. What man or GOD could add to it would be valueless. When we find Ruth sitting beside the reapers, it indicates, from a spiritual standpoint, that atonement had been accomplished in her life in the work of regeneration.

You will notice that while she sat at the table, Boaz "reached her parched corn" (v. 14). Parched corn has a wonderful significance in the work of redemption accomplished in and by JESUS CHRIST. S. Ridout writes: "She gets food from his own hand. The heart of our LORD is not satisfied till He Himself is ministering to the soul. How He longs for this personal contact, not satisfied merely with feeding, but passing the food from His own hand to the needy one."

How true this is. There is a threefold lesson concerning JESUS CHRIST, typified by the corn.

(1) The Corn of Wheat, ground into fine flour, as seen in the meat offering of Leviticus 2, pictures the LORD in His incarnation and earthly life. The grinding of the corn into the flour speaks of the suffering which He endured during His earthly career. "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him" (Isa. 53:10). The corn must pass through the grinding process before it could be made into fine flour. In the same way nearly the whole life of CHRIST was one of suffering and sorrow.

(2) The Corn was Parched. This speaks of the crucifixion of CHRIST, how He passed through the fiery judgments of Calvary. JESUS brings out this thought when He says, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone" (John 12:24). The fire must pass over the corn to parch it. This reminds us that we are bought with a price; that price was the suffering, death, and penalty that He bore. He, Who knew no sin, was made sin. He endured the Cross, despised the shame, took upon Himself the penalty that mankind deserved, explored death's chambers, endured its agony, and conquered its destinies. All this truth is seen in the parched corn.

(3) The Corn also speaks of Resurrection. When the children of Israel came to Gilgal in the land of Canaan, they did eat of the old corn of the land and the parched corn the very day that they entered (Josh. 5:11). The old corn here speaks of CHRIST in His incarnation as the Son of GOD, the parched corn speaks of crucifixion as just stated, but the eating speaks of CHRIST in resurrection, which is proven in Leviticus 23. We again refer to the feast of the LORD, where GOD demanded that on entering Canaan's land they should wave a sheaf of the firstfruits of their harvest before the priest and bring an offering after which they were allowed to eat parched corn, as was explained. This feast was the feast which was typical of resurrection. When Boaz handed to Ruth this corn, he imparted to her this threefold truth on which she could feed, namely, His incarnation, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. What sacred food for the saints of GOD, who feed at His table in holy fellowship! They do not feed on what the world offers or on human emotion but on CHRIST, Who is all and in all. You will notice the closing words of this study: "And she did eat, and was sufficed, and left" (Ruth 2:14). The word "sufficed" means "she was satisfied," which also Ruth's name indicates. There can be no satisfaction for the soul unless it is found in JESUS CHRIST. He alone can meet all the needs of the human heart. We are closing this study with Ruth in a state of satisfaction.

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Daily Devotional for Monday July 4th/05 

Here are some illustrations I have enjoyed from Knight's Master Book Of New Illustrations on the topic of The Cross and The Blood.

The Only Solvent 

In the chemistry class we learned how acids act on different substances. In the course of our experiment the professor gave us a bit of gold and told us to dissolve it. We left it all night in the strongest acid we had, and tried combinations of acids, then finally told him we thought gold could not be dissolved. He smiled. "I knew you could not dissolve gold," he said; "none of the acids you have there will attack it; but try this," and he handed us a bottle labeled "Nitromuriatic Acid (Aqua Regia)."

We poured some of its contents into the tube that held the piece of gold; and the gold that had resisted so easily all the other acids quickly disappeared in the "royal water." The gold at last had found its master. The next day in the classroom the professor asked, "Do you know why it is called Royal Water?" "Yes," we replied, "it is because it is the master of gold, which can resist almost anything else that can be poured on it."

Then he said, "Boys, it will not hurt the lesson today if I take time to tell you that there is one other substance that is just as impervious as gold; it cannot be touched or changed, Though a hundred attempts are made upon it. That substance is the sinful heart. Trial and affliction, riches and honor, imprisonment and punishment will not soften or master it. Education and culture will not dissolve and purify it. There is but one element that has power over it - the blood of CHRIST the SAVIOUR, the aqua regia of the soul."

- Reformative Record

It Is Finished 

Between two thieves, one either side,
The LORD of Life was crucified;
Men marvelled at a sight so rare,
And, sitting down, they watched Him there.

And none that saw could understand
Why darkness covered all the land;
And none who heard that cry, "I thirst,"
Knew why the Sinless One was cursed.

Nor understand these words so true:
"Father, they know not what they do";
For GOD alone, and none beside,
Knew what was done when JESUS died.

But ever since that blood stained day
The eyes of men have turned that way,
And owned that life itself were loss
Without the glory of that Cross.

- F. W. Pitt

"Satisfied Completely!" 

A converted Jewess, daughter of a New York rabbi, tells this story. "My father taught me to read the Bible in Hebrew as a young child. We began at Genesis. When we came to Isaiah, he skipped the fifty-third chapter. I asked him why. He said it was not necessary for Jews to read that chapter. I became more curious. I asked him who it was for, and he said Christians. I asked him what the Christian Bible was doing in our Bible. He became angry and told me to keep quiet. I wondered why GOD would put unnecessary things in the Bible. I copied that fifty-third chapter on paper, and carried it in my stocking for two years, until I came to America - the free country. I looked at it at night, and every chance I could without being seen. I took better care of that paper than people do of money. Through reading this wonderful chapter I was led to accept CHRIST as my SAVIOUR. I was walking in New York one day and heard a lady reading this chapter. She explained that it referred to JESUS CHRIST. It satisfied me completely."

- The Illuminator

Much More Needed! 

I have a friend in the City of Glasgow, who, many years ago, found himself in Barlinnie prison because of his sin. He was given to drunkenness, became a sot, and grieved the heart of his godly mother. After serving his term of imprisonment, he found his way back again to the old home, and the mother who loved him pleaded with him to sign the pledge. But, like the honest man he was, he said, "No, Mother, I have signed enough pledges to paper the wall; I need something more than a pledge." But she said to him, "Sinclair, perhaps if you sign it this time it may help you," and having a pledge near at hand, she urged her wayward boy to sign the paper. But again he said, "No, Mother, I am not going to sign another pledge. I need a power that can make me a sober man, and change my life." Growing desperate, his mother took a knife and opened one of her veins, and dipping a pen into her flowing blood, she said, "Sinclair, sign it with your mother's blood, and that may help you." I heard him say one night before a crowded audience, "What the blood of my mother could not do, the blood of JESUS CHRIST accomplished," and that man tonight is preaching the Gospel of the Redeemer.

- Herbert Lockyer, in London Christian Herald

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I was not able to send out Devotionals yesterday, due to the fact that I moved all my furniture to my new house in the afternoon, and after I work up in the evening, I had problems getting my ADSL Internet installed. Praise the Lord, I got it working - but just before I had to leave for work.

Daily Devotional for Tuesday July 5th/05 

The following are three more quotes from Charles Spurgeon and the Down Grade Controversy.

Taken from Chapter 99 from Spurgeon's Autobiography.

Controversy is never a very happy element for the child of God: he would far rather be in communion with his Lord than be engaged in defending the faith, or in attacking error. But the soldier of Christ knows no choice in his Master's commands. He may feel it to be better for him to lie upon the bed of rest than to stand covered with the sweat and dust of battle; but, as a soldier, he has learned to obey, and the rule of his obedience is not his personal comfort, but his Lord's absolute command. The servant of God must endeavour to maintain all the truth which his Master has revealed to him, because, as a Christian soldier, this is part of his duty. But while he does so, he accords to others the liberty which he himself enjoys. ?C. H. S., in address at the Tabernacle, 1861.

A Christian minister must expect to lose his repute among men; he must be willing to suffer every reproach for Christ's sake; but, then, he may rest assured that he will never lose his real honour if it be risked for the truth's sake, and placed in the Redeemer's hand. The day shall declare the excellence of the upright, for it will reveal all that was hidden, and bring to the light that which was concealed. There will be a resurrection of characters as well as of persons. Every reputation that has been obscured by clouds of reproach, for Christ's sake, shall be rendered glorious when the righteous shall "shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father." ?C. H. S.

Just now, the Lord Jesus is betrayed by not a few of His professed ministers. He is being crucified afresh in the perpetual attacks of scepticism against His blessed gospel; and it may be that things will wax worse and worse. This is not the first occasion when it has been so, for, at various times in the history of the Church of God, His enemies have exulted, and cried out that the gospel of past ages was exploded, and might be reckoned as dead and buried. For one, I mean to sit over against the very sepulchre of truth. I am a disciple of the old-fashioned doctrine as much when it is covered with obloquy and rebuke as when it shall again display its power, as it surely shall. Sceptics may seem to take the truth, and bind it, and scourge it, and crucify it, and say that it is dead; and they may endeavour to bury it in scorn, but the Lord has many a Joseph and a Nicodemus who will see that all due honour is done even to the body of truth, and will wrap the despised creed in sweet spices, and hide it away in their hearts. They may, perhaps, be half afraid that it is really dead, as the wise men assert; yet it is precious to their souls, and they will come forth right gladly to espouse its cause, and to confess that they are its disciples. We will sit down in sorrow, but not in despair; and watch until the stone is rolled away, and Christ in His truth shall live again, and be openly triumphant. We shall see a Divine interposition, and shall cease to fear; while they who stand armed to prevent the resurrection of the grand old doctrine shall quake and become as dead men, because the gospel's everlasting life has been vindicated, and they are made to quail before the brightness of its glory. ?C. H. S., in sermon at the Tabernacle, 1878.

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday July 6th/05

March Forward
 

"Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward" (Exod. 14:15).

Imagine, O child of God, if you can, that triumphal march! The excited children restrained from ejaculations of wonder by the perpetual hush of their parents; the most uncontrollable excitement of the women as they found themselves suddenly saved from a fate worse than death; while the men followed or accompanied them ashamed or confounded that they had ever mistrusted God or murmured against Moses; and as you see those mighty walls of water piled by the outstretched hand of the Eternal, in response to the faith of a single man, learn what God will do for His own.

Dread not any result of implicit obedience to His command; fear not the angry waters which, in their proud insolence, forbid your progress. Above the voices of many waters, the mighty breakers of the sea, "the Lord sitteth King for ever."

A storm is only as the outskirts of His robe, the symptom of His advent, the environment of His presence.

Dare to trust Him; dare to follow Him! And discover that the very forces which barred your progress and threatened your life, at His bidding become the materials of which an avenue is made to liberty. --F. B. Meyer

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life,
Where, in spite of all you can do,
There is no way out, there is no way back,
There is no other way but through?
Then wait on the Lord with a trust serene
Till the night of your fear is gone;
He will send the wind, He will heap the floods,
When He says to your soul, "Go on."

And His hand will lead you through--clear through--
Ere the watery walls roll down,
No foe can reach you, no wave can touch,
No mightiest sea can drown;
The tossing billows may rear their crests,
Their foam at your feet may break,
But over their bed you shall walk dry shod
In the path that your Lord will make.

In the morning watch, 'neath the lifted cloud,
You shall see but the Lord alone,
When He leads you on from the place of the sea
To a land that you have not known;
And your fears shall pass as your foes have passed,
You shall be no more afraid;
You shall sing His praise in a better place,
A place that His hand has made.

--Annie Johnson Flint

Here is another poem by tbe author of the poem above - not on the same topic though - that was handed out by our Pastor tonight at church. It is one of my favourites by her (Oh, I would love to find a book of her poems! I had read a short one years ago, before I ever knew who she was - and have since enjoyed many others), though too often only the second stanza is quoted.

Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today;
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in His way;
He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died;
He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.

We are the only Bible the careless world will read;
We are the sinner's gospel, we are the scoffer's creed;
We are the Lord's last message, given in deed and word;
What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?

What if our hands are busy with other work than His?
What if our feet are walking where sin's allurement is?
What if our tongues are speaking of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him and hasten His return?

--Annie Johnson Flint

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Daily Devotional for Thursday July 7th/05

Pilgrim (BBB) just posted this hardhitting revival sermon last night, and I just had to send it out today as the Devotional. It is based on 1 Kings 18, which is about Elijah and his showdown with the prophets of Baal. Hope it is a blessing to you!

ROAD TO REVIVAL By Vance Havner

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Daily Devotional for Friday July 8th/05

"He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you." --John 16:15

There are times when all the promises and a doctrines of the Bible are of no avail, unless a gracious hand shall apply them to us. We are thirsty, but too faint to crawl to the water-brook. When a soldier is wounded in battle it is of little use for him to know that there are those at the hospital who can bind up his wounds, and medicines there to ease all the pains which he now suffers: what he needs is to be carried thither, and to have the remedies applied. It is thus with our souls, and to meet this need there is one, even the Spirit of truth, who takes of the things of Jesus, and applies them to us. Think not that Christ hath placed His joys on heavenly shelves that we may climb up to them for ourselves, but He draws near, and sheds His peace abroad in our hearts. O Christian, if thou art to-night labouring under deep distresses, thy Father does not give thee promises and then leave thee to draw them up from the Word like buckets from a well, but the promises He has written in the Word He will write anew on your heart. He will manifest His love to you, and by His blessed Spirit, dispel your cares and troubles. Be it known unto thee, O mourner, that it is God's prerogative to wipe every tear from the eye of His people. The good Samaritan did not say, "Here is the wine, and here is the oil for you"; he actually poured in the oil and the wine. So Jesus not only gives you the sweet wine of the promise, but holds the golden chalice to your lips, and pours the life-blood into your mouth. The poor, sick, way-worn pilgrim is not merely strengthened to walk, but he is borne on eagles' wings. Glorious gospel! which provides everything for the helpless, which draws nigh to us when we cannot reach after it - brings us grace before we seek for grace! Here is as much glory in the giving as in the gift. Happy people who have the Holy Ghost to bring Jesus to them.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening Devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday July 9th/05

Exposition of Mark 9:2-10 by Charles Spurgeon: 

Mark 9:2-7 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

You and I have sometimes wished that we could see Christ in his earthly glory. We need not however wish it; for, if such a sight were permitted to us, in all probability we should be more full of fear than of joy. These three men, the elect out of the elect, the very choicest of the apostles, yet had little delight in what they saw at the time, for the glory was too bright for their overwhelmed natures.

"At the too transporting sight,
Darkness rushes o'er my sight."

We had better wait awhile until these eyes shall have been cleansed, and our whole fabric shall be fit for such a weight of glory as the sight of our exalted Lord will be.

Mark 9:8 And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

Unhappy, indeed, would they have been if they had looked about and seen none but Moses, for poor comfort could Moses bring. Or if, looking around, they had seen none but Elias, for the stern prophet of fire would have been but a poor consolation to them in their life struggles. But Moses may go, and Elias may go. Lawgiver and prophet may vanish. So long as Jesus Christ remains it is enough. Jesus only is enough for all our wants, - for all our desires.

Mark 9:9-10 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

For they did not understand the Master's words - not even these apostles, for the Spirit of God was not yet fully given. Happy indeed is he upon whom the Spirit of God resteth, and in whom he dwells, for, as John says, "Ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and know all things"; and these men without that measure of anointing did not know at that time, even such a simple word as this - that the Son of man should rise again from the dead. Brethren, we must be taught of the Holy Spirit, or we shall never know anything profoundly. We might go to school to Christ himself - now, mark this word - we might go to school to Christ himself, and yet learn nothing until the Holy Ghost should come upon us to write the truth upon our heart which Christ has spoken in the ear. Oh, if ye lack wisdom, ask of God, and he will give you of his Spirit.

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Daily Devotional for Sunday July 10th/05

Sacrifice of Praise!

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Daily Devotional for Monday July 11th/05 

On Baptist Bible Believers Study Website, we are always posting studies and sermons. One of my favourite authors of material we have posted is a Doctor names Walter Wilson. Here is the third sermon from his book entitled, A Sure Remedy Prescribed By The Doctor - Gospel Messages for Troubled Hearts:

A Drink, A Fountain, A River

If you enjoy this Gospel presentation, you might also appreciate these other books we have by Walter Wilson on our site. These are short testimonials of experiences and difficulties while witnessing and seeing others saved. I have been tremendously blessed and encouraged by them. Keep sowing the seed of God's Word - it WILL bear fruit!

MIRACLES IN A DOCTOR'S LIFE

ROMANCE OF THE DOCTOR'S VISITS

REMARKABLE NEW STORIES TOLD BY THE DOCTOR

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Please keep my Mom and my family in prayer. Yesterday, we found out that she has cancer once again - this time around her liver. Due to this fact, the doctors are now discouraging her from getting a liver transplant, as the surgery will expose the cancer to air and cause it to spread rapidly. Yet without this transplant, her body is shutting down and she possibly will not have much longer to live.

If it is God's will for her to go home soon, please pray that my Mom will accept it - that she will have His grace and complete peace of mind. My sister and I do rejoice in her salvation - so no matter whether she lives or goes home to Heaven, all will be well. Though the waiting and uncertainty is hard to bear - not too hard though, for the Lord knows what we can handle and He is in control.

Daily Devotional for Tuesday July 12th/05 

EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON.

JOHN 14:1-9. 

I suppose that many of you know this chapter by heart. I notice that, in all old Christians? Bibles, this leaf is well worn, ? sometimes worn out, We have here our Lord?s homely talk to his disciples; it is full of sublimity, yet it is blessedly simple. There is a sort of unveiling of himself in this chapter. It is not so much like a public discourse as a private conversations and this tends to make the Savior?s speech appear the more condescending, and yet also the more sublime.

Verse 1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

There is no cure for heart-trouble but heart-trust. ?Ye believe in God,? ? you do trust in Divine Providence, now trust in the Savior?s great atonement. You have come close to God already, come closer still to the Incarnate God, the Lord Jesus Christ; hear him say to you, ?Ye believe in God, believe also in me.? Your faith already deals with some things; now let it deal with more things. Your past troubles hate been endured by faith; now endure the present in the same way.

2. In my Father?s house are many mansions:

You are at home in Christ even now if you are a believer in him. Wherever you are, you are your Heavenly Father?s own child; and you have realized the truth of what David wrote in the twenty-third Psalm, ?I will dwelt in the house of the Lord for ever.? Usually, when we are singing that sweetly solemn hymn, beginning ?

?For ever with the Lord,?

we are thinking about heaven. That is quite right; but ?for ever? means now as well as the future, it covers time here as well as eternity in glory. We are with the Lord even now; whether we are down here or up there.

2. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

So that, when you go from this earth, you need not fear that you will be launched into space, or that you will have to plunge into the great unknown,

3. And if 1 go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where 1 am, there ye may be also.

?I will come to you by my Spirit. I will come to you by-and-by, if my Father shall purpose it, in the hour of death; or if not, I will come in person at my second advent; but, in any case, I will be sure to come. My dear children, I am going away, but it is only for a little while. I am coming again, so be not troubled as though you had said ?Good-bye? to me forever. ?I will come again,? and when I do come, I shall never go from you again.?

4. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Yes, we do know where Christ has gone, and we also know the way.

5. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

I like to hear Thomas talk, even though his is a very unwise speech; I wonder when you and I ever made wise ones. We never do unless we borrow them, for all that comes of us naturally is childish and foolish, ?for we know in part, and we prophesy in part.? When the child becomes a man, he will put away childish things; but meanwhile our speech betrayeth us. We seldom speak even of any of the great mysteries of the gospel without uttering some words of our own which show that we have understood them yet. I think the Lord likes us to display our ignorance, first that we may know it, and then that he may remove it.

6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Christ has gone to the Father?s upper house to make it ready for all the redeemed family. We could never have entered there if he had not gone in first; and even now, there is no coming to the Father in faith or in prayer except by Christ, we must not even dream of communion with God except through our Lord Jesus Christ. Luther used to say ? and to say very wisely, too, ? ? I will have nothing to do with an absolute God; I must come to God by Christ Jesus.? ?No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.?

7. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from hence forth ye know him, and have seen him.

All of the Father that we can know is visible in Christ, ?for in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.? And if we truly know Christ, we also know the Father. Christ always seems to be knowable, for he brings himself down to such a nearness to us that it seems easy to know him. Well, then, knowing Christ, we also know the Father, and have seen him.

8. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

Thomas spoke just now like a babe in grace, now here is Philip talking like another baby; yet how bold his speech is! ?Lord, shew us the Father.? Why, no man can see the Father?s face, and live! Yet here is a child of God apparently forgetful of that fact.

9. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Is not this a homely talk between the Master and his disciples? Said I not rightly that Christ here seems to unveil and unbosom himself? He lets these children of his talk away much at their ease; and I think we ought to be at ease when we are talking with Christ. Some like a very stately service in their worship, something very grand, that makes ordinary worshippers stand afar off. Let them enjoy it if they can; but as for us, we prefer something which permits us to come very near to our Lord.

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday July 13th/05

Regeneration

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Daily Devotional for Thursday July 14th/05

Christ Sometimes Delays His Help
 

"I called him, but he gave me no answer" (S. of Sol. 5:6).

The Lord, when He hath given great faith, hath been known to try it by long delayings. He has suffered His servants' voices to echo in their ears as from a brazen sky. They have knocked at the golden gate, but it has remained unmovable, as though it were rusted upon its hinges. Like Jeremiah, they have cried, "Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through." Thus have true saints continued long in patient waiting without reply, not because their prayers were not vehement, nor because they were unaccepted, but because it so pleased Him who is a Sovereign, and who gives according to His own pleasure. If it pleases Him to bid our patience exercise itself, shall He not do as He will with His own!

No prayer is lost. Praying breath was never spent in vain. There is no such thing as prayer unanswered or unnoticed by God, and some things that we count refusals or denials are simply delays. --H. Bonar

Christ sometimes delays His help that He may try our faith and quicken our prayers. The boat may be covered with the waves, and He sleeps on; but He will wake up before it sinks. He sleeps, but He never oversleeps; and there are no "too lates" with Him. --Alexander Maclaren

Be still, sad soul! lift thou no passionate cry,
But spread the desert of thy being bare
To the full searching of the All-seeing eye;
Wait! and through dark misgiving, black despair,
God will come down in pity, and fill the dry
Dead place with light, and life, and vernal air.
--J. C. Shairp

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Friday July 15th/05

God Has Chosen Me
 

"I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction" (Isa. 48:10).

Does not the Word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yes, is it not an asbestos armor, against which the heat has no power? Let the affliction come--God has chosen me. Poverty, thou mayest stride in at my door; but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayest intrude; but I have a balsam ready--God has chosen me. Whatever befall me in this vale of tears, I know that He has chosen me.

Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with thee. In all thy fiery trials, His presence is both thy comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own. "Fear not, for I am with thee," is His sure word of promise to His chosen ones in "the furnace of affliction." --C. H. Spurgeon

Pain's furnace heat within me quivers,
God's breath upon the flame doth blow;
And all my heart in anguish shivers
And trembles at the fiery glow;
And yet I whisper, "As God will!"
And in the hottest fire hold still.

He comes and lays my heart, all heated,
On the hard anvil, minded so
Into His own fair shape to beat it
With His great hammer, blow on blow;
And yet I whisper, "As God will!"
And at His heaviest blows hold still.

He takes my softened heart and beats it;
The sparks fly off at every blow;
He turns it o'er and o'er and heats it,
And lets it cool, and makes it glow;
And yet I whisper, "As God will!"
And in His mighty hand hold still.

Why should I murmur? for the sorrow
Thus only longer-lived would be;
The end may come, and will tomorrow,
When God has done His work in me;
So I say trusting, "As God will!"
And, trusting to the end, hold still.
--Julius Sturm

The burden of suffering seems a tombstone hung about our necks, while in reality it is only the weight which is necessary to keep down the diver while he is hunting for pearls. --Richter

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

Reference is made above to a devotional by Charles Spurgeon - after reading his devotional in context, I have also chosen to post it:

Comfort thyself, tried believer, with this thought: God saith, "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Does not the word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yea, is it not an asbestos armour, against which the heat hath no power? Let affliction come--God has chosen me. Poverty, thou mayst stride in at my door, but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayst intrude, but I have a balsam ready--God has chosen me. Whatever befalls me in this vale of tears, I know that He has "chosen" me. If, believer, thou requirest still greater comfort, remember that you have the Son of Man with you in the furnace. In that silent chamber of yours, there sitteth by your side One whom thou hast not seen, but whom thou lovest; and ofttimes when thou knowest it not, He makes all thy bed in thy affliction, and smooths thy pillow for thee. Thou art in poverty; but in that lovely house of thine the Lord of life and glory is a frequent visitor. He loves to come into these desolate places, that He may visit thee. Thy friend sticks closely to thee. Thou canst not see Him, but thou mayst feel the pressure of His hands. Dost thou not hear His voice? Even in the valley of the shadow of death He says, "Fear not, I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God." Remember that noble speech of Caesar: "Fear not, thou carriest Caesar and all his fortune." Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with thee. In all thy fiery trials, His presence is both thy comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own. "Fear not, for I am with thee," is His sure word of promise to His chosen ones in the "furnace of affliction." Wilt thou not, then, take fast hold of Christ, and say--

"Through floods and flames, if Jesus lead,
I'll follow where He goes."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday July 16th/05 

These following entries were taken from The Great Doctrines Of The Bible by William Evans. Note: This is not a complete endorsement of this book, but I wanted to pass on a few sections that I appreciated.

Bible Facts

A theme of Scripture often overlooked is what the Bible promises to do for God's people. The Word, under various synonyms, is said in Psa. 19:7, 8 to convert the soul, make wise the simple, rejoice the heart, and enlighten the eyes. These great rewards are given to all who keep the precepts of Scripture, v. 11.

Men are born again through the instrumentality of the Word, Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23. Faith comes to believers as they hear the Word, Rom. 10:17. Spiritual growth results from the realized desire for the sincere milk of the Word, 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18. Great peace have they who love God's Word, Psa. 119:165. Those who obey it are promised divine blessings, Jas. 1:25. In the same way that Christ overcame the devil by using the written Word, Matt. 4:1-11, Christians are able to overcome the wicked one as the Word abides in them, 1 John 2:14.

Paul spoke of the Word as able to build us up, Acts 20:32. An entire book has been written to provide the assurance of salvation which is normal Christian experience, 1 John 5:13. It is the Word that sanctifies or cleanses, John 17:17, acting as a laver which reveals sin and provides cleansing as well, Eph. 5:25-27. The promise is given that those who honor the Word will find prosperity and success in all of God's will, Josh. 1:8; Psa. 1:3.

Temptation

The Bible presents a threefold division of temptation. We read of "the lust of the flesh," or the desire to enjoy; "the lust of the eyes," or the desire to obtain; "the pride of life," or the desire to accomplish, 1 John 2:16. Each refers to an area of normal, God-given desire, which can become sin when it goes beyond the limits established in Scripture. It is not a sin to be tempted, because Christ was, but yielding becomes "the transgression of the law," 1 John 3:4.

Satan used all three of these avenues to the human heart when he tempted Eve, Gen. 3:1-6. Eating the forbidden fruit appealed to the lust of the flesh. The words "your eyes shall be opened," appealed to the lust of the eyes. The promise, "ye shall be as gods," appealed to the pride of life. Eve capitulated in all three areas, v. 6.

The devil used the same three approaches in tempting Christ, Luke 4:1-13. He still tempts people today to sin through appetite, avarice, or ambition. Christ has given us the means of deliverance. Like Him, we are to be filled with the Spirit, Eph. 5:18; led by the Spirit, Rom. 8:14; empowered by the Spirit, Rom. 15:13; Luke 4:1, 14.

The Lord triumphed by using the Word of God, quoting the particular verse which suited the occasion. So may we, Eph. 6:17; Jas. 4:7.

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Daily Devotional for Sunday July 17th/05 

These following entries were taken from The Great Doctrines Of The Bible by William Evans. Note: This is not a complete endorsement of this book, but I wanted to pass on a few sections that I appreciated.

Hope

Believers are delivered from the great misery facing mankind of "having no hope," Eph. 2:12. At least seven revealed certitudes are eagerly expected by Christians. All of them are doubtless comprehended in "the hope of his calling," Eph. 1:18, "the hope which is laid up for you in heaven," Col. 1:15. The seven are:

1. The blessed hope of the personal return of Christ, Tit. 2:13.
2. The resurrection of the body in a glorious new form, never again subject to sickness, weakness or death, Acts. 23:6.
3. The restoration of loved ones who have fallen asleep in Christ, 1 Thess. 4:13-18.
4. Fellowship with converts and other saints, 1 Thess. 2:19.
5. Being presented spotless, 2 Pet. 3:14, and faultless, Jude 24, in unutterable glory, Col. 1:27.
6. Entering into eternal life with all it means, such as reigning with Christ, Rev. 3:21; 22:5, and knowing God, John 17:3.
7. The receiving of an inheritance which is reserved in heaven until that moment, 1 Pet. 1:3, 4.

This exceedingly rich array of blessings is to believers a source of joy, Rom. 5:2; of comfort in sorrow, 1 Thess. 4:18; of confident assurance, Heb. 6:18, 19. It is an incentive to holy living, 1 John 3:3. Christians are said to be saved by hope, Rom. 8:24, a hope based on the written Word of God, Psa. 119:49.

Will Of God

God knows that men are incapable of planning their own lives, Jer. 10:23; Isa. 53:6. Only He knows the future, Isa. 46:9, 10. Therefore He promises to direct the paths of believers whose trust in Him is sincere, exclusive, and complete, Prov. 3:5, 6. Christians may "prove" His good will by presenting their bodies to the Lord, letting Him transform them until they are no longer conformed to the world, Rom. 12:1, 2.

God wants us to know His will, Col. 1:9. He commands that we obey it, Eph. 5:17; 6:6. A number of clear and specific statements describe His will for everyone. These include our sanctification, 1 Thess. 4:3; prayer and thanksgiving, 1 Thess. 5:17, 18; good works, 1 Pet. 2:15; and suffering, 1 Pet. 4:19.

Practical rules for discovering the will of God call for the surrender of our own wills, Luke 22:42; placing the written Word above all personal impression, Jer. 10:23; seeking the mind of the Lord through prayer, Psa. 143:8; and the use of the Bible, Psa. 40:7, 8. Providential circumstances sometimes become a factor, Prov. 4:14, 15; Acts 16:10.

We are instructed to stay where we are, 1 Cor. 7:20, and to be content, Phil. 4:11, until He leads us elsewhere. "He that doeth the will of God abideth forever," 1 John 2:17.

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Daily Devotional for Monday July 18th/05 

Here is a devotional that Charles Spurgeon wrote for December 31st - but is a truth that is applicable any day of the year:

"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink." --John 7:37

Patience had her perfect work in the Lord Jesus, and until the last day of the feast He pleaded with the Jews, even as on this last day of the year He pleads with us, and waits to be gracious to us. Admirable indeed is the longsuffering of the Saviour in bearing with some of us year after year, notwithstanding our provocations, rebellions, and resistance of His Holy Spirit. Wonder of wonders that we are still in the land of mercy!

Pity expressed herself most plainly, for Jesus cried, which implies not only the loudness of His voice, but the tenderness of His tones. He entreats us to be reconciled. "We pray you," says the Apostle, "as though God did beseech you by us." What earnest, pathetic terms are these! How deep must be the love which makes the Lord weep over sinners, and like a mother woo His children to His bosom! Surely at the call of such a cry our willing hearts will come.

Provision is made most plenteously; all is provided that man can need to quench his soul's thirst. To his conscience the atonement brings peace; to his understanding the gospel brings the richest instruction; to his heart the person of Jesus is the noblest object of affection; to the whole man the truth as it is in Jesus supplies the purest nutriment. Thirst is terrible, but Jesus can remove it. Though the soul were utterly famished, Jesus could restore it.

Proclamation is made most freely, that every thirsty one is welcome. No other distinction is made but that of thirst. Whether it be the thirst of avarice, ambition, pleasure, knowledge, or rest, he who suffers from it is invited. The thirst may be bad in itself, and be no sign of grace, but rather a mark of inordinate sin longing to be gratified with deeper draughts of lust; but it is not goodness in the creature which brings him the invitation, the Lord Jesus sends it freely, and without respect of persons.

Personality is declared most fully. The sinner must come to Jesus, not to works, ordinances, or doctrines, but to a personal Redeemer, who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree. The bleeding, dying, rising Saviour, is the only star of hope to a sinner. Oh for grace to come now and drink, ere the sun sets upon the year's last day!

No waiting or preparation is so much as hinted at. Drinking represents a reception for which no fitness is required. A fool, a thief, a harlot can drink; and so sinfulness of character is no bar to the invitation to believe in Jesus. We want no golden cup, no bejewelled chalice, in which to convey the water to the thirsty; the mouth of poverty is welcome to stoop down and quaff the flowing flood. Blistered, leprous, filthy lips may touch the stream of divine love; they cannot pollute it, but shall themselves be purified. Jesus is the fount of hope. Dear reader, hear the dear Redeemer's loving voice as He cries to each of us,

"IF ANY MAN THIRST,
LET HIM
COME UNTO ME
AND DRINK."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday July 19th/05

10 "MUSTS" IF I AM TO UNDERSTAND GOD'S WORD
 

1. I must be born again. 

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.... Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" (John 3:3,7).

The person who is not born again cannot understand God's Word:

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14).

2. I must desire to know the truth as found in God's Word. 

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).

3. I must desire to DO God's will. 

"Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. If any man will do His will, He shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself" (John 7:16-17).

4. I must desire to GROW. 

"As newborn babes, DESIRE the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Pet. 2:2).

5. I must obey the truth that I already know. 

"If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them" (John 13:17).

6. I must be a DOER of the Word and not a hearer only. 

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:22).

7. I must not only learn Christ's commandments but I must learn to observe (keep) His commandments. 

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:20).

8. I must take heed not only to the doctrine but to MYSELF. 

"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee" (1 Timothy 4:16 and see also Acts 20:28).

9. I must understand that Bible study is hard work. 

"STUDY (be diligent, make every effort) to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

10. I must realize that understanding is a gift from the Lord and thus I need to be right with the Lord and spiritually prepared and ready to receive understanding from Him. 

"Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things....Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (2 Timothy 2:7; James 1:21).

(Taken from The Middletown Bible Church)

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Devotional for Wednesday July 20th/05

Joy of Discovery In Bible Study
 

Many read the Bible only on rare occasions--in crises or in church. They are content to get their Bible knowledge second-hand. Others who read the Bible on a regular basis do not know the method whereby they can discover the riches of Scripture for themselves. The method of study described here will open up God's truth for any purposeful goal. Try it and see!

See 2 Timothy 2:15.

Step 1 ? OBSERVE
Key verse: John 5:39 "SEARCH"
Key Question:
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

Purpose
To discover all the words and details and ideas that are easily overlooked. Often we fail to see what is right before our eyes. We are poor detectives. We read too hastily. We can easily miss what the verse clearly say.

Meaning
To look, inspect, hunt, pay close attention to, notice, watch, consider every word and phrase.

Method
Read and reread. Take notes. Ask questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Paraphrase (restate in your own words).

Step 2 ? INTERPRET
Key verse: Matthew 24:15 "LET HIM UNDERSTAND"
Key Question:
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE MEAN?

Purpose
To explain, give the meaning that the Bible writer intended and which his readers understood.

Meaning
To explain, elucidate, tell the meaning, give the sense.

Method
To bridge the cultural, language and time gap. In order to do this we often need help: translations**, dictionaries, atlases, etc.

**Editor's Note: the author of this book states clearly elsewhere that he means other sound translations of the preserved manuscripts (Textus Receptus and Masoretic Text), and not modern versions based on the Corrupt Texts.

God means what He says and says what He means. The problem is that we often come to God?s Word with our own preconceived ideas and notions about what we think the Bible says. This is why people can prove anything that want by using the Bible. But instead of using the Bible, they are actually abusing and misusing the Bible by forcing their own interpretation upon God?s Holy Word.

Instead of letting God say what He says, we try to make the Bible say what we want it to say or what we think it should say. This subjective approach is very detrimental to true Bible study and God will not honor it. We need to come to God with a humble heart, casting aside all of our preconceived notions and opinions, and say, "Lord, teach me Thy way. Help me to learn, unlearn and re-learn. Correct my thinking. Help me to amend my thinking in favor of what You have said."

May God the Holy Spirit open the eyes of our under-standing so that we might know God?s truth, so that we might walk in God?s truth (2 John 4; 3 John 3-4).

Step 3 ? APPLY
Key verse: James 1:22 "BE DOERS"
Key Question:
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE MEAN TO ME?

Purpose
To learn spiritual lessons and to grow in grace resulting in a changed life. Amending one's life because of what God has said in His Word.

Meaning
To utilize, employ, do, obey, believe, exercise, etc.

Method
Answer these questions: Is there a promise to believe? An example to follow? A sin to avoid? A duty to perform? A prayer to echo? etc.

"There is scarcely anything so dull and meaningless as Bible doctrine taught for its own sake. Truth divorced from life is not truth in its Biblical sense, but something else and something less. The Bible is more than a volume of hitherto unknown facts about God, man and the universe. It is a book of exhortation based upon those facts. By far the greater portion of the book is devoted to an urgent effort to persuade people to alter their ways and bring their lives into harmony with the will of God as set forth in its pages. Theological truth is useless until it is obeyed. The purpose behind all doctrine is to secure moral action. Bible exposition without moral application raises no opposition. It is only when the hearer is made to understand that truth is in conflict with his heart that resistance sets in. As long as people can hear orthodox truth divorced from life they will attend and support churches without objection. Much that passed for NT Christianity is little more than objective truth sweetened with song and made palatable by religious entertainment." ?A.W. TOZER

Step 4 - COMPARE
Key verse: 1 Corinthians 2:13 "COMPARING"
Key Question:
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ELSEWHERE?

Purpose
To relate the portion of Scripture that I am studying with the rest of the Bible. Every part of the Bible must be seen in relationship to the whole. When we see a tree clearly, then we must see its relationship to the whole forest. The Bible is a unified whole and we must see how all the pieces fit together.

Meaning
To correlate, integrate Scripture.

Method
Ask yourself: What other verses and paragraphs and chapters in the Bible can I tie together with what I have just studied? Can I find parallel passages that would shed light on and help confirm what I have just studied? You may find help using the cross references found in your Bible as well as a concordance.


God's Word should be read PRAYERFULLY (Psalm 25:4-5; 119:18); REGULARLY (Matt. 4:4; Job. 23:12); SLOWLY (1 Cor. 14:19); CAREFULLY (John 5:39); SYSTEMATICALLY (1 Cor. 14:40); INQUISITIVELY (asking questions as given above); LOVINGLY (Psalm 119:97); REVERENTLY (Isaiah 66:2); BELIEVINGLY (Hebrews 4:2) and OBEDIENTLY (Rev. 1:3; 22:7,14; James 1:22).

(Taken from The Middletown Bible Church)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday July 21st/05 

In an age where many are reducing the Gospel (and their presentation of it) to the lowest common denominator, it is beneficial to note what knowledge the thief on the cross had of the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His coming Kingdom.

The following is from The Seven Sayings Of The Saviour On The Cross by Arthur Pink. This is not a full endorsement of all he has written - but aside from his Calvinism, there is much that I have found beneficial and edifying if read with discernment.

Here we see a marvellous case of spiritual illumination.

It is perfectly wonderful the progress made by this man in those few dying hours. His growth in grace and in the knowledge of his Lord was amazing. From the brief record of the words that fell from his lips we may discover seven things which he had learned under the tuition of the Holy Spirit.

First, he expresses his belief in a future life where retribution would be meted out by a righteous and sin-avenging God. "Dost not thou fear God")" proves this. He sharply reprimands his companion, and as much as says, How dare you have the temerity to revile this innocent man? Remember, that shortly you will have to appear before God and face a tribunal infinitely more solemn than the one which sentenced you to be crucified. God is to be feared, so be silent.

Second, as we have seen, he had a sight of his own sinfulness - "Thou art in the same condemnation. And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds" (Luke 23:40, 41). He recognized that he was a transgressor. He saw that sin merited punishment, that "condemnation" was just. He owned that death was his "due". This was something that his companion neither confessed nor recognized.

Third, he bore testimony to Christ?s sinlessness - "This man hath done nothing amiss" (Luke 23:41). And here we may mark the pains God took to guard the spotless character of his Son. Especially is this to be seen toward the end. Judas was moved to say, "I have betrayed innocent blood." Pilate testified, "I find no fault in him." Pilate?s wife said, "Have nothing to do with this just man." And now that he hangs on the cross, God opens the eyes of this robber to see the faultlessness of his beloved Son, and opens his lips so that he bears witness to his excellency.

Fourth, he not only witnessed to the sinless humanity of Christ but he also confessed his Godhead - "Lord, remember me," he said. A marvellous word was that. The Saviour nailed to the tree, the object of Jewish hatred and the butt of a vulgar mob?s ridicule. This thief had heard the scornful challenge of the priests: "If thou be the Son of God come down from the cross", and no response had been given. But moved by faith and not by sight he recognizes and owns the deity of the central sufferer.

Fifth, he believed in the saviour-hood of the Lord Jesus. He had heard Christ?s prayer for his enemies, "Father, forgive them . . ." and to one whose heart the Lord had opened, that short sentence became a saving sermon. His own cry, "Lord, remember me" included within its scope, "Lord, save me", which therefore implies his faith in the Lord Jesus as Saviour. In fact he must have believed that Jesus was a Saviour for the chief of sinners or how could he have believed that Christ would "remember" such as he!

Sixth, he evidenced his faith in Christ?s kingship - "when thou comest into thy kingdom". This too, was a wonderful word. Outward circumstances all seemed to belie his kingship. Instead of being seated on a throne, he hung upon a cross. Instead of wearing a royal diadem, his brow was encircled with thorns. Instead of being waited upon by a retinue of servants, he was numbered with transgressors. Nevertheless, he was king - King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2).

Finally, he looked forward to the second coming of Christ - "when thou comest". He looked away from the present to the future. He saw beyond the "sufferings", the "glory". Over the cross the eye of faith detected the crown. And in this he was before the apostles, for unbelief had closed their eyes. Yes, he looked beyond the first advent in shame to the second advent in power and majesty.

And how can we account for the spiritual intelligence of this dying robber? Whence did he receive such insight into the things of Christ? How comes it that this babe in Christ made such amazing progress in the school of God? It can be accounted for only by divine influence. The Holy Spirit was his teacher! Flesh and blood had not revealed these things unto him but the Father in heaven. What an illustration that divine things are hidden from "the wise and prudent" and are revealed to "babes"!

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Daily Devotional for Friday July 22nd/05 

There is a series of devotionals by Days Of Praise that I wanted to share with you - comparing the week of Creation with the final week of Christ's ministry leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection. I thought Henry Morris brought up some neat parallels. I do not agree with his timing of the Crucifixion (Good Friday, based on three partial days - I believe in a Wednesday Crucifixion with 3 literal days and 3 literal nights) - but aside from that, these are very good. I hope they are a blessing to you, and a blessed reminder of all that the Lord has done for us - in both creating this world and in redeeming us.

The Two Greatest Weeks

Preparation Of The Father's House

The Sea And The Mountains

The Lights Of The World

The Lamb Of God

The Groaning Creation

It Is Finished!

Resurrection And Creation

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Daily Devotional for Saturday July 23rd/05 

I had an opportunity to preach on Psalm 84 on Friday, as part of my series on Lessons In The Valleys - this one being The Valley of Weeping (or Vale of Tears). I shared some of what my family is going through with my Mom's health problems - and I know that the Lord was working as people listened. Truly, the Lord made our Valley of weeping a well to comfort and give others hope! Lord willing, I will type it up one day (I know, I never seem to get around to doing that!) But until then, here is a good devotional on this passage by Charles Spurgeon:

"Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well, the rain also filleth the pools." --Psalm 84:6

This teaches us that the comfort obtained by a one may often prove serviceable to another; just as wells would be used by the company who came after. We read some book full of consolation, which is like Jonathan's rod, dropping with honey. Ah! we think our brother has been here before us, and digged this well for us as well as for himself. Many a "Night of Weeping," "Midnight Harmonies," an "Eternal Day," "A Crook in the Lot," a "Comfort for Mourners," has been a well digged by a pilgrim for himself, but has proved quite as useful to others. Specially we notice this in the Psalms, such as that beginning, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul?" Travellers have been delighted to see the footprint of man on a barren shore, and we love to see the waymarks of pilgrims while passing through the vale of tears.

The pilgrims dig the well, but, strange enough, it fills from the top instead of the bottom. We use the means, but the blessing does not spring from the means. We dig a well, but heaven fills it with rain. The horse is prepared against the day of battle, but safety is of the Lord. The means are connected with the end, but they do not of themselves produce it. See here the rain fills the pools, so that the wells become useful as reservoirs for the water; labour is not lost, but yet it does not supersede divine help.

Grace may well be compared to rain for its purity, for its refreshing and vivifying influence, for its coming alone from above, and for the sovereignty with which it is given or withheld. May our readers have showers of blessing, and may the wells they have digged be filled with water! Oh, what are means and ordinances without the smile of heaven! They are as clouds without rain, and pools without water. O God of love, open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing!

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday July 24th/05

Lost Sheep - A Sermon by Dewitt Talmage

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I will be visiting my Mom and trying to be an encouragement to her from this Wednesday to Saturday, so I have decided to post all the subsequent devotionals before I leave. I hope they are a blessing and source of encouragement to all who read them - just as I want to be to my Mom. Please keep my visit in prayer. The time we have left is precious and I want to make the most of those days - perhaps it might be our last time together (the last time I saw her in person was over five years ago). Thank you.

Daily Devotional for Monday July 25th/05

Degrees Of Faith
 

"Let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece" (Judges 6:39).

There are degrees to faith. At one stage of Christian experience we cannot believe unless we have some sign or some great manifestation of feeling. We feel our fleece, like Gideon, and if it is wet we are willing to trust God. This may be true faith, but it is imperfect. It always looks for feeling or some token besides the Word of God. It marks quite an advance in faith when we trust God without feelings. It is blessed to believe without having any emotion.

There is a third stage of faith which even transcends that of Gideon and his fleece. The first phase of faith believes when there are favorable emotions, the second believes when there is the absence of feeling, but this third form of faith believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, and human reason all urge to the contrary. Paul exercised this faith in Acts 27:20, 25, "And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away." Notwithstanding all this Paul said, "Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer; for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me."

May God give us faith to fully trust His Word though everything else witness the other way. --C. H. P.

When is the time to trust?
Is it when all is calm,
When waves the victor's palm,
And life is one glad psalm
Of joy and praise?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is when the waves beat high,
When storm clouds fill the sky,
And prayer is one long cry,
O help and save!

When is the time to trust?
Is it when friends are true?
Is it when comforts woo,
And in all we say and do
We meet but praise?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is when we stand alone,
And summer birds have flown,
And every prop is gone,
All else but God.

What is the time to trust?
Is it some future day,
When you have tried your way,
And learned to trust and pray
By bitter woe?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is in this moment's need,
Poor, broken, bruised reed!
Poor, troubled soul, make speed
To trust thy God.

What is the time to trust?
Is it when hopes beat high,
When sunshine gilds the sky,
And joy and ecstasy
Fill all the heart?
Nay! but the time to trust
Is when our joy is fled,
When sorrow bows the head,
And all is cold and dead,
All else but God.
--Selected

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday July 26th/05 

Suffering And Helping

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday July 27th/05 

"God, that comforteth those that are cast down." --2 Corinthians 7:6

And who comforteth like Him? Go to some poor, melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises, and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he is like the deaf adder, he listens not to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and comfort him as you may, it will be only a note or two of mournful resignation that you will get from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to His child, let Him lift up his countenance, and the mourner's eyes glisten with hope. Do you not hear him sing--

"'Tis paradise, if thou art here;
If thou depart, 'tis hell?"

You could not have cheered him: but the Lord has done it; "He is the God of all comfort." There is no balm in Gilead, but there is balm in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-rophi. It is marvellous how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is the goldbeater, and can hammer that promise out for whole weeks. So, then, poor Christian, thou needest not sit down in despair. Go to the Comforter, and ask Him to give thee consolation. Thou art a poor dry well. You have heard it said, that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all, and then you will get water, and so, Christian, when thou art dry, go to God, ask Him to shed abroad His joy in thy heart, and then thy joy shall be full. Do not go to earthly acquaintances, for you will find them Job's comforters after all; but go first and foremost to thy "God, that comforteth those that are cast down," and you will soon say, "In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday July 28th/05

We Need Minor Keys Too
 

Giving thanks always for all things unto God" (Eph. 5:20).

No matter what the source of the evil, if you are in God and surrounded by Him as by an atmosphere, all evil has to pass through Him before it comes to you. Therefore you can thank God for everything that comes, not for the sin of it, but for what God will bring out of it and through it. May God make our lives thanksgiving and perpetual praise, then He will make everything a blessing.

We once saw a man draw some black dots. We looked and could make nothing of them but an irregular assemblage of black dots. Then he drew a few lines, put in a few rests, then a clef at the beginning, and we saw these black dots were musical notes. On sounding them we were singing,

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below."

There are many black dots and black spots in our lives, and we cannot understand why they are there or why God permitted them to come. But if we let God come into our lives, and adjust the dots in the proper way, and draw the lines He wants, and separate this from that, and put in the rests at the proper places; out of the black dots and spots in our lives He will make a glorious harmony. Let us not hinder Him in this glorious work! --C. H. P.

"Would we know that the major chords were sweet,
If there were no minor key?
Would the painter's work be fair to our eyes,
Without shade on land or sea?

"Would we know the meaning of happiness,
Would we feel that the day was bright,
If we'd never known what it was to grieve,
Nor gazed on the dark of night?"

Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties. --C. H. Spurgeon

When the musician presses the black keys on the great organ, the music is as sweet as when he touches the white ones, but to get the capacity of the instrument he must touch them all. --Selected

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

A friend of mine has also written a beautiful poem on this same theme, which will be in my new poetry book, The Seasons Of Your Pilgrimage.

A Beautiful Symphony 

A musician needs all the keys
To play a symphony;
If he only used the white ones,
What beauty would there be?

The black keys make the music
Melodic to the ear;
If the pianist never used them,
What a different song we'd hear.

And just like that piano,
So it is with life;
It takes both light and dark to make
The music flow just right.

God uses trials and sorrows
Like the pianist uses keys;
He combines the light and dark to make
Life's music sound so sweet.

The song of life sounds better
When He uses all the keys;
For then He can turn a simple tune
Into a beautiful symphony.

Copyright 1995 by Jan McIntosh
Used With Permission

A Beautiful Symphony

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Daily Devotional for Friday July 29th/05 

"Watchman, what of the night?" --Isaiah 21:11

What enemies are abroad? Errors are a numerous horde, and new ones appear every hour: against what heresy am I to be on my guard? Sins creep from their lurking places when the darkness reigns; I must myself mount the watch-tower, and watch unto prayer. Our heavenly Protector foresees all the attacks which are about to be made upon us, and when as yet the evil designed us is but in the desire of Satan, He prays for us that our faith fail not, when we are sifted as wheat. Continue O gracious Watchman, to forewarn us of our foes, and for Zion's sake hold not thy peace.

"Watchman, what of the night?" What weather is coming for the Church? Are the clouds lowering, or is it all clear and fair overhead? We must care for the Church of God with anxious love; and now that Popery and infidelity are both threatening, let us observe the signs of the times and prepare for conflict.

"Watchman, what of the night?" What stars are visible? What precious promises suit our present case? You sound the alarm, give us the consolation also. Christ, the polestar, is ever fixed in His place, and all the stars are secure in the right hand of their Lord.

But watchman, when comes the morning? The Bridegroom tarries. Are there no signs of His coming forth as the Sun of Righteousness? Has not the morning star arisen as the pledge of day? When will the day dawn, and the shadows flee away? O Jesus, if Thou come not in person to Thy waiting Church this day, yet come in Spirit to my sighing heart, and make it sing for joy.

"Now all the earth is bright and glad
With the fresh morn;
But all my heart is cold, and dark and sad:
Sun of the soul, let me behold Thy dawn!
Come, Jesus, Lord,
O quickly come, according to Thy word."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday July 30th/05 

Exodus 9:26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.

Those who are included in the provisions of the covenant are sealed. The storm may sweep around them, but the great angel, who ascends from the east, cries with a great voice to the angels to whom it is given to hurt the earth, and the sea, and the trees, saying, Hurt them not "till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." (See Revelation 7:2-3)

The only spot on which the soul is safe is within the encircling provisions of the covenant. Israel stood there, and was safe - not only from the hail, but from the destroying sword. The invulnerable walls of that sacred enclosure were the oath and promise of God to Abraham. God had bound Himself by the most solemn sanctions to be a God to this people, and deliver them; it was necessary, therefore, that He should be their pavilion and canopy, catching the hailstones on His outstretched wings and securing them from hurt.

The covenant is entered, not by merit nor by works. There was neither the one nor the other in that race of slaves; but they stood there simply because of their relationship to the Friend of God. So we enter the blessed safety of the better covenant, through our relationship with the Lord Jesus, who is the Beloved of the Father, the one glorious and blessed Man. Without beauty or merit, the soul attaches itself by faith to Him, and discovers that it was loved before the worlds were made.

Ah, blessed Lover of souls, we see how the storm swept Thy heart, that it might never touch us. Thou art our hiding-place, our shield, our deliverer, our strong tower. Without dismay we can anticipate the storms of death, judgment, and eternity, sure that wherever Thou art there can be no hail.

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday July 31st/05

Exodus 11:2 Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold.

The Egyptians knew very well that they would never see their jewels again; and the people of Israel were thus, to some extent, compensated for their unpaid toils. The Lord gave them such favor with the Egyptians that they gave them whatever they asked; so that "they spoiled the Egyptians." (Exodus 12:36)

These jewels were employed afterward in the adornment and enrichment of the Sanctuary. They flashed in the breastplate of the High Priest, and shone in the sacred vessels. In this they remind us of the treasures which David gathered by his conquests from neighboring nations, and which were afterward incorporated in the Temple of Solomon. They recall also the glowing predictions of the prophet, that the kings of the earth shall bring their treasures into the New Jerusalem.

The jewels of the Church, whether they stand for her graces or her choice children, have often been obtained from the midst of Egypt. Was not Saul of Tarsus just such a jewel? The world counted him one of her rarest sons; but God set him as a jewel in the breastplate of Immanuel.

Let us ever seek jewels from the land of our captivity and suffering. It will not do to come away empty. It is not enough merely to bear what God permits to fall on us for our chastisement; but to go further, and extract from all trials, jewels. Let every trial and temptation enrich you with the opposite grace. There are Egyptians in your life, which have grievously tormented you with their heavy whips, yet even these shall yield wealth - "jewels of silver, and jewels of gold"; which you shall consecrate to holy service, and which shall shine in the fabric and worship of the New Jerusalem.

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer)

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