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Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Divine Voice Calls (and others)

A Divine Voice Calls (and others)

"And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?" (Genesis 3:9).

There is a divine voice that continues to call. It is the voice of the Creator God, and it is entreating us. Just as the shepherd went everywhere searching for his sheep, just as the woman in the parable went everywhere searching for her coin, so there is a divine search with many variations of the voice that entreats us, calling us back.

If we were not lost, there would be no Father's voice calling us to return, calling us back. So, I say again that we have not been given up.

Think of the Genesis account: Adam fleeing from the face of God, hiding among the trees of the garden. It was then that the sound of God's gentle voice was heard, saying "[Adam,] where are you?"

I would remind you that His seeking voice has never died out. The echo of that voice is sounding throughout the widening years. It has never ceased to echo and reecho from peak to peak, from generation to generation, from race to race, and continent to continent, and off to islands and back to the continent again. Throughout all of man's years, "Adam, where are you?" has been the faithful call.

I pray earnestly, O God, that I may not be found among those with hardened hearts, no longer able to hear Your voice. Please speak to me today...I'm listening. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Our God: All Sufficient

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).

Have we modern men and women never given thought or meditation concerning the eternal nature of God? Who are we to imagine that we are "bailing out" the living God when we drop a$10 bill in the Sunday offering plate?

Let us thank God for the reality of His causeless existence. Our God only is all-sufficient, uncreated, unborn, the living and eternal and self-existent God!

I refer often to the great worshiping heart of Frederick William Faber, who in these words celebrated his vision of God's eternal self-existence:

Father! the sweetest, dearest Name,
That men or angels know!
Fountain of life, that had no fount
From which itself could flow.

Thy vastness is not young or old,
Thy life hath never grown;
No time can measure out Thy days,
No space can make Thy throne!

Dear Heavenly Father, my daily problems must seem so trivial to You, the eternal God. Yet You invite Your children to bring their cares and concerns to You. Praise be to God! Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Sharing God's Nature

"Precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).

Our heavenly Father disciplines us for our own good, "that we might be partakers of his holiness" (Hebrews 12:10). God's motives are always loving!

I have known people who seemed to be terrified by God's loving desire that we should reflect His own holiness and goodness. As God's faithful children, we should be attracted to holiness, for holiness is Godlikeness - likeness to God!

God encourages every Christian believer to follow after holiness. We know who we are and we know who God is. He does not ask us to be God and He does not ask us to produce the holiness that only He Himself knows. Only God is holy absolutely: All other beings can be holy only in relative degrees.

Actually, it is amazing and wonderful that God should promise us the privilege of sharing in His nature. He remembers we were made of dust. So He tells us what is in His being as He thinks of us: "It is My desire that you grow in grace and in the knowledge of Me. I want you to be more like Jesus, My eternal Son, every day you live!"

Lord, thank You for allowing us to share in Your divine nature. I want to become even more like You, but I need Your Spirit's help and encouragement. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ministry of the Church (and others)

Ministry of the Church (and others)

"The house of God which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15).

Not all of the pooled efforts of any church can make a Christian out of a lost man!

The Christian life begins with the individual; a soul has a saving encounter with God, and the new life is born.

All else being equal, every individual Christian will find in the communion of a local church the most perfect atmosphere for the fullest development of his spiritual life. There he will also find the best arena for the largest exercise of those gifts and powers with which Go may have endowed him.

Unfortunately, the word "church" has taken on meanings which it did not originally have. The meaning of the word for the true Christian was fixed by our Lord and His apostles, and no man and no angel has authority to change it!

The universal Church is the body of Christ, the Bride of the Lamb, the habitation of God through the Spirit, the pillar and the ground of the Truth.

Without doubt the most important body on earth is the Church of God, which He purchased with His own blood!

Heavenly Father, equip and empower Your Church to fight the plague of evil rampant in our generation. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

A Believing Remnant

"Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:5).

What is God trying to do with His believing people? - the Bible calls us a remnant according to grace, believers taken out of the great, teeming swarm of so-called religious people in today's world.

I am inclined to join others in wondering if the Lord is postponing His coming because He is trying to get His Bride ready.

For years it has been the popular idea in evangelical Christianity that the whole body of believers in Christ would rise like a flock of frightened birds when the Lord comes. But A. B. Simpson and William MacArthur and others in the past generation said, "Oh no! The Lord will take with Him those who are prepared and ready for His coming!"

I do not presume to give an answer satisfying to everyone in our churches. But I know that many Christians are too smug about this, saying in effect: "I am converted to Christ through grace, so I can live as I please!"

Of some things we cannot be dogmatic; but we know this for sure - God has no halfway house between heaven and hell where He takes us to fumigate us!

Dear Lord, today I pray for my pastor and my local church. Help us as a congregation not to be surprised on the day of Your return! Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Christ Will Rule

"I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

I am not surprised that I still meet people who do not believe that Jesus Christ is going to return to earth. In fact, some of them, armed with their own Bibles and interpretations, are insistent on setting me straight.

One gentleman has written saying that I have it all wrong, and that Paul did not mean what I had said he meant, as I applied Paul's statement to everyday life.

It took time to write a reply: "When it comes to saying what he meant, Paul's batting average has been pretty good up to now. So, will string along with what Paul plainly, clearly said."

I did not figure I needed someone to straighten me out - particularly someone who had decided the Bible does not mean what it says.

No one is going to argue me out of my faith in what God has revealed and what God has said. As far as I am concerned, it is a fact that Jesus is coming again! The question I do raise is this: Are we prepared spiritually for His coming? Are we tolerating conditions in our midst that will cause us embarrassment when He does come?

Dear Lord, grant me courage to live today - indeed, every day of my life - as though You were coming back this afternoon. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Bringing Us To Glory (and others)

Bringing Us To Glory (and others)

"For it became him ... bringing many sons unto glory" (Hebrews 2:10).

As Christian believers (I am assuming you are a believer), you and I know how we have been changed and regenerated and assured of eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning death. On the other hand, where this good news of salvation by faith is not known, religion becomes an actual bondage. If Christianity is known only as a religious institution, it may well become merely a legalistic system of religion, and the hope of eternal life becomes a delusion.

I have said this much about reality and assurance to counter the shock you may feel when I add that God wants to fully prepare you in your daily Christian life so that you will be ready indeed for heaven! Many of us here have been in God's household for a long time. Remember that God has been trying to do something special within our beings day after day, year after year.

Why? Because His purpose is to bring many sons - and daughters too - unto glory!

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness in my life - even when I ignore You. Today I want to be especially attuned to Your holy presence in each of my activities. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Spiritual Readiness

"The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer" (1 Peter 4:7).

When the Bible says that God is calling a special people out of the nations to bear the name of His eternal Son, I believe it - and His name is Jesus!

Our pious forefathers believed in spiritual preparation, and they said so. They saw themselves as a bride being prepared to meet the Bridegroom. They regarded this earth as the dressing room to outfit themselves for heaven.

The evangelical church has come through a period when nearly everyone has believed that there is just one prerequisite to readiness: being born again. We have made being born again almost like receiving a pass to a special event - when Jesus returns, we whip out the pass to prove our readiness.

Frankly, I do not think it will be like that. I do not believe that all professed believers are automatically ready to meet the Lord. Our Saviour Himself was joined by Peter and John and Paul in warning and pleading that we should live and watch and pray, so to be ready for Jesus' coming.

Dear Lord, help me to "act out" my faith today with seriousness and passion. Enable me to give spiritual guidance or encouragement to someone who is hurting. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Journey of the Heart

"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).

I object to the charge that "Tozer preaches experience." I preach Christ, the Saviour - that is my calling! But I am positive about the validity, the reality and the value of genuine Christian experience. We can talk to Jesus just as we talk to our other friends.

As a boy, I was not a Christian. I did not have the privilege of growing up in a home where Christ was known and loved. God spoke to me through a street preacher who quoted the words of Jesus, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

That invitation let me know that Jesus is still calling "Come now!" I went home and up into the attic. There in earnest prayer I gave my heart and life to Jesus Christ. My feet had taken me home and into the attic. But it was my heart that went to Jesus! Within my heart I consented to go to Jesus. I have been a Christian ever since that moment.

Dear Jesus, I want to thank you for saving me through Your difficult journey to the Cross. Give me grace and strength to honor Your sacrifice through my life this week. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

We Get Around It

"If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13:14).

The lordship of Jesus is not quite forgotten among Christians, but it has been relegated to our hymnbook, where all responsibility toward it may be comfortably discharged in a glow of pleasant religious emotion.

The idea that the Man Christ Jesus has absolute and final authority over all its members in every detail of their lives is simply not accepted as true by the rank and file of evangelical Christians.

To avoid the necessity of either obeying or rejecting the plain instructions of our Lord in the New Testament, we take refuge in a liberal interpretation of them. We find ways to avoid the sharp point of obedience, comfort carnality and make the words of Christ of none effect. And the essence of it all is that "Christ simply could not have meant what He said." Dare we admit that His teachings are accepted even theoretically only after they have been weakened by "interpretation"? Dare we confess that even in our public worship, the influence of the Lord is very small? We sing of Him and preach about Him, but He must not interfere!

Dear Lord, I have to admit that there have been times when I have conveniently ignored the clear instructions of Your Word. Help me to give someone a cup of cold water - in Your Name - today. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Christ As He Really Is (and others)

Christ As He Really Is (and others)

"One like unto the Son of man...out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword" (Revelation 1:13, 36)

The Christian message has ceased to be a pronouncement and has become instead a proposition. Scarcely anyone catches the imperious note in the words spoken by Jesus Christ.

The invitational element of the Christian message has been pressed far out of proportion in the total scriptural scene. Christ with His lantern, His apologetic stance, and His weak pleading face has taken the place of the true Son of man whom John saw - His eyes as a flame of fire, His feet like burnished brass, and His voice as the sound of many waters.

Only the Holy Spirit can reveal our Lord as He really is, and He does not paint in oils. He manifests Christ to the human spirit, not to our physical eyes.

These are strenuous times, and men and women are being recruited to devote themselves to one or another master. But anything short of complete devotion to Christ is inadequate and must end in futility and loss.

Lord, help me to see You as You truly are - mighty, righteous, just, and holy. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Guidance Is By the Spirit

"Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).

We can always trust the moving and the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives and experiences, but we cannot always trust our human leanings and our fleshly and carnal desires. That calls for another word of balance. We know that the emotional life is a proper and noble part of our total personality. But by its very nature, it is of secondary importance, for religion lies in the will and so does righteousness.

God never intended that such a being as mankind should become the mere plaything of his or her feelings. The only good that God recognizes is the willed good. The only valid holiness is a willed holiness. That is why I am always a little suspicious of the overly bubbly Christian who talks too much about himself or herself - and not enough about Jesus. That is also why I am more than a little concerned about the professing Christian whose experience does not seem to have resulted in a true inner longing to be more like Jesus every day in thought, word, and deed!

Dear Lord, today I want to be more like You in everything I do - what I say to my family and colleagues, how I react in difficult situations, and what I think about in my free time. Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Majesty - And Meekness

"I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works" (Psalm 145:5).

When the prophets try to describe for me the attributes, the graces, the worthiness of the God who appeared to them and dealt with them, I feel that I can kneel down and follow their admonition: "He is the Lord -worship thou Him!"

They described Him as radiantly beautiful and fair. They said that He was royal and that He was gracious. They described Him as a mysterious being, and yet they noted His meekness.

The meekness was His humanity. The majesty was His deity. You find them everlastingly united in Him. So meek that he nursed at His mother's breast, cried like any baby and needed all the human care that every child needs.

But He was also God, and in His majesty He stood before Herod and before Pilate. When He returns,coming down from the sky, it will be in His majesty, the majesty of God, yet it will be in the majesty of the Man who is God!

This is our Lord Jesus Christ. Before His foes He stands in majesty. Before His friends, He stands in meekness!

Dear Lord, You are both my King and my Friend. Lead me through this day, O King, and pick me up when I stumble, dear Friend! Amen

~A. W. Tozer~

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Classic Christian Authors # 1

Classic Christian Authors # 1

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined!

(Thomas Doolittle, "Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!")

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined--what God has prepared for those who love Him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9

The lovers of Christ have great preparations made by God Himself, for their happiness in the eternal world. 

For all the lovers of the world, and sin, and vanity--wrath and Hell are prepared! 

But for the lovers of Christ, such things are prepared as transcend . . .
  the most refined mind to conceive, 
  the most eloquent tongue to express, 
  or the ablest pen to describe!

The eye of man has seen admirable things, coasts of pearl, golden mines, stately monuments, kingly palaces--but never has eye seen such things as God has prepared for those who love Him.

The mind of man can conceive more than the eye has seen, or the ear has heard. It can imagine . . .
  all pebbles to be pearls,
  all the earth to be a silver heap, 
  the sea to be liquid gold, 
  the air to be transparent crystal, 
  and every candle to be a star!
And if all these were so--they would be but as . . .
  a grain of sand, compared to a mountain,
  a beam of light, compared to the sun, 
  a drop, compared to the ocean, 
  a grain, compared to a golden mine--
when compared with the things that are prepared for such as love God and Christ! For those things are . . .
  so great--that they cannot be measured; 
  so many--that they cannot be numbered; 
  so precious--that they cannot be valued; 
  so durable and lasting--that they can never be ended!

They exceed our faith! They are beyond our hope--and above our desires! They might be possessed hereafter--but they cannot be comprehended here, because . . .
  for sublimity--they are incomprehensible, 
  for transcendence--they are inexplicable, 
  for glory--they are unutterable, 
  for sweetness--they are inconceivable, 
  for sureness--they are unquestionable, 
  for fullness--they are immeasurable, 
  for firmness--they are unmovable, 
  for lastingness--they are unchangeable!


Oh, what a blessed formula for us! 

(John MacDuff)

"Nevertheless, at Your Word!" Luke 5:5

Oh, what a blessed formula for us! 

This path of mine is dark, mysterious, perplexing! Nevertheless, at Your Word I will go forward.

This trial of mine is cutting, sore for flesh and blood to bear! It is hard to breathe through a broken heart, "May Your will be done!"But, nevertheless, at Your word I will say, "Even so, Father--for this is Your good pleasure!"

This besetting sin or bad habit of mine--is difficult to crucify. It has become part of myself--a second nature! To be severed from it would be like the cutting off of a right hand, or the plucking out of a right eye! Nevertheless, at Your Word I will lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily entangles me! This idol, I will utterly abolish! 

"You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed!" Psalm 119:4

"Help me understand Your instruction--and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart!" Psalm 119:34 


When the knife cuts deep and the pain is sore!

(J.R. Miller)

"My Father is the gardener!" John 15:1 It is comforting to think of trouble, in whatever form it may come to us--as a heavenly messenger, bringing us blessing from God. In its earthly aspect, it may seem hurtful, even destructive; but in its spiritual outworking, it yields blessing. 

Many of the richest blessings which have come down to us from the past, are the fruit of sorrow or pain. We should never forget that redemption, the world's greatest blessing--is the fruit of the world's greatest sorrow. 

In every time of sharp pruning, when the knife cuts deep and the pain is sore, it is an unspeakable comfort to read, "My Father is the gardener!"

One tells of being in a great hothouse where luscious clusters of grapes were hanging on every side. The owner said, "When my new gardener came, he said he would have nothing to do with these vines unless he could cut them clean down to the stalk. He did, and we had no grapes for two years--but this is the result."

There is rich suggestiveness in this illustration of the pruning process, as we apply it to the Christian life. Pruning seems to be destroying the vine, the gardener appears to be cutting it all away; but he looks on into the future and knows that the final outcome will be the enrichment of its life and greater abundance of fruit.

In the same way, there are blessings we can never have--unless we are ready to pay the price of pain. There is no way to reach them, but through suffering.

"Every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." John 15:2


Put it into practice!

(Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice!" Philippians 4:8-9

You see the perfection of the Apostle's method. In verse 8 he has dealt with the realm of thought. Ah, but the Apostle knows the subtle danger that is always confronting us . . .
  the danger of being content with theoretical knowledge,
  the danger of being satisfied with doctrine only,
  the danger of failing to put into practice, that which we know.

You can be a great student even of the Bible--and live a life that is utterly contrary to it!

It is the masterpiece of Satan to make us put theory and practice into separate watertight compartments--to make men so interested in the Book, that they forget to apply its teaching. "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me," says Paul, "put it into practice!"

"If you know these things--blessed and happy are you if you DO them."
 John 13:17

"It is not the knowing, nor the talking, nor the reading man, but the doing man--who at last will be found the happiest man!" Thomas Watson


The Almost Christian!

(Matthew Mead, "The Almost Christian Discovered; Or, The False Professor Tried!")
"You almost persuade me to become a Christian!" Acts 26:28

How far a man may go in the way to heaven--and yet be but almost a Christian? This shown in twenty various steps:

1. A man may have much knowledge--and yet be but almost a Christian.

2. A man may have great and eminent spiritual gifts--and yet be but almost a Christian.

3. A man may have a high profession of religion, be much in external duties of godliness--and yet be but almost a Christian.

4. A man may go far in opposing his sin--and yet be but almost a Christian.

5. A man may hate sin--and yet be but almost a Christian.

6. A man may make great vows and promises, strong purposes and resolutions against sin--and yet be but an almost Christian.

7. A man may maintain a strife and combat against sin--and yet be but almost a Christian.

8. A man may be a member of a Christian church--and yet be but almost a Christian.

9. A man may have great hopes of Heaven--and yet be but almost a Christian.

10. A man may be under visible changes--and yet be but almost a Christian.

11. A man may be very zealous in matters of religion--and yet be but almost a Christian.

12. A man may be much in prayer--and yet be but almost a Christian.

13. A man may suffer for Christ--and yet be but almost a Christian.

14. A man may be called by God and embrace his call--and yet be but an almost Christian.

15. A man may have the Spirit of God--and yet be but almost a Christian.

16. A man may have faith--and yet be but almost a Christian.

17. A man may have a love to the people of God--and yet be but almost a Christian.

18. A man may obey the commands of God--and yet be but almost a Christian.

19. A man may be sanctified--and yet be but almost a Christian.

20. A man may do all the external duties and worship which a true Christian can--and yet be but almost a Christian.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

How To Live A Beautiful Christian Life # 2

How To Live A Beautiful Christian Life # 2

And the same is true in spiritual life. God adapts His grace to the peculiarities of each one's necessity. For rough, flinty paths - He provides shoes of iron. He never sends any one to climb sharp, rugged mountainsides, wearing silken slippers. He always gives sufficient grace. As the burdens grow heavier - the strength increases. As the difficulties thicken - the angel draws closer. As the trials become sorer - the trusting heart grows calmer. Jesus always sees His disciples, when they are toiling in the waves - and at the right moment comes to deliver them. Thus it becomes possible to live a true and victorious life - in any circumstances. Christ can as easily enable Joseph to remain pure and true, in heathen Egypt - as Benjamin in the shelter of his father's love. The sharper the temptations, the more of divine grace is granted. There is therefore, no environment of trial, or difficulty or hardship - in which we cannot live beautiful lives of Christian fidelity and holy conduct.

Instead, then, of yielding to discouragement when trials multiply and it becomes hard to live right, or of being satisfied with a broken peace and a very faulty life - it should be the settled purpose of each one to live, through the grace of God - a patient, gentle and unspotted life - in the place and amid the circumstances He allots to us. The true victory is not found in escaping or evading trials - but in rightly meeting and enduring them. The questions should not be, "How can I get out of these worries? How can I get into a place where there shall be no irritations, nothing to try my temper or put my patience to the test? How can I avoid the distractions that continually harass me?" There is nothing noble in such living. The soldier who flies to the rear when he smells the battle is no hero; he is a coward.

The questions should rather be, "How can I pass through these trying experiences, and not fail as a Christian? How can I endure these struggles, and not suffer defeat? How can I live amid these provocations, these reproaches and testings of my temper, and yet live sweetly, not speaking unadvisedly, bearing injuries meekly, returning gentle answers to insulting words? This is the true problem of Christian living.

We are at school here. This life is disciplinary. Processes are not important: it is results we want. If a tree grow into majesty and strength, it matters not whether it is in the deep valley or on the cold peak, whether calm or storm nurtures it. If character develops into Christlike symmetry, what does it matter whether it be in ease and luxury - or through hardship? The important matter is not the process - but the result; not the means - but the end; and the end of all Christian nurture is spiritual loveliness. To be made truly noble and godlike - we should be willing to submit to any discipline.

Every obstacle to true living should, then, only nerve us with fresh determination to succeed. We should use each difficulty and hardship,as a leverage to gain some new advantage. We should compel our temptations to minister to us - instead of hindering us. We should regard all our provocations, annoyances and trials, of whatever sort - as practice lessons in the application of the theories of Christian life. It will be seen in the end - that the hardships and difficulties are by no means the smallest blessings of our lives. Someone compares them to the weights of a clock, without which there could be no steady, orderly life.

The tree that grows where tempests toss its boughs and bend its trunk, often almost to braking - is more firmly rooted than the tree which grows in the sequestered valley, where no storm ever brings stress or strain. The same is true in life. The grandest character is grown in hardship. Weakness of character, springs out of luxury. The best men the world ever reared - have been brought up in the school of adversity and hardship.

Besides, it is no heroism to live patiently - where there is no provocation, bravely where there is no danger, calmly where there is nothing to perturb. Not the hermit's cave - but the heart of busy life, tests, as well as makes character. If we can live patiently, lovingly and cheerfully, amid all our frets and irritations day after day, year after year, that is grander heroism than the farthest famed military exploits, for "he who rules his own spirit - is better than he who captures a city."

This is our allotted task. It is no easy one. It can be accomplished only by the most resolute decision, with unwavering purpose and incessant watchfulness.

Nor can it be accomplished without the continual help of Christ. Each one's battle must be a personal one. We may decline the struggle - but it will be declining also the joy of victory. No one can reach the summit - without climbing the steep mountain path. We cannot be born up on any strong shoulder. God does not put features of beauty into our lives - as the jeweler sets gems in clusters in a coronet. The unlovely elements are not magically removed and replaced by lovely ones. Each must win his way through struggles and efforts - to all noble attainments. The help of God is given only in cooperation with human aspiration and energy. While God works in us - we are to work out our own salvation. He who overcomes, shall be a pillar in the temple of God. We should accept the task with quiet joy. We shall fail many times.

Many a night we shall retire to weep at Christ's feet - over the day's defeat. In our efforts to follow the copy set for us by our Lord - we shall write many a crooked line, and leave many a blotted page blistered with tears of regret. Yet we must keep through all, a brave heart, an unfaltering purpose, and a calm, joyful confidence in God. Temporary defeat should only cause us to lean on Christ more fully. God is on the side of everyone who is loyally struggling to obey His divine will, and to grow into Christlikeness. And that means assured victory, to everyone whose heart fails not.

~J. R. Miller~

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Christ's Sympathy To Weary Pilgrims # 1

Christ's Sympathy To Weary Pilgrims # 1

What A Boundless, Fathomless Ocean!

Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to relinquish heaven for earth; a diadem for a Cross; the robe of divine majesty for the garment of our nature; by taking upon Himself the leprosy of our sin. Oh, the infinite love of Christ! What a boundless, fathomless ocean!

Ask the ransomed of the Lord, whose chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon He has opened, whose liberty He has conferred - if there ever was love like His!

What shall we say of the ransom price? It was the richest, the costliest, the heaven could give! He gave Himself for us! What more could He do? He gave Himself; body, soul and spirit. He gave His time, His labor, His blood, His life, His ALL - as the price for our ransom, the cost of our redemption. He carried the wood and reared the altar. Then, bearing His bosom to the stroke of the uplifted and descending arm of the Father - He paid the price of our salvation in the warm lifeblood of His heart!

What a boundless, fathomless ocean!

How is it that we feel the force and exemplify the practical influence of this amazing, all commanding truth so faintly? Oh, the desperate depravity of our nature! Oh, the deep iniquity of our iniquitous hearts! Will not the blood drops of Jesus move us? Will not the agonies of the Cross influence us? Will not His dying love constrain us to a more heavenly life?

Lean Hard!

"Cast your burden upon the Lord - and He shall sustain you" (Psalm 55:22)

It is by an act of simple, prayerful faith that we transfer our cares and anxieties, our sorrows and needs, to the Lord. Jesus invites you come and lean upon Him, and to lean with all your might upon that arm that balances the universe, and upon that bosom that bled for you upon the soldier's spear!

But you doubtingly ask, "Is the Lord able to do this thing for me?" And thus, while you are debating a matter about which there is not the shadow of a shade of doubt, the burden is crushing your gentle spirit to the dust. And all the while Jesus stands at your side and lovingly says, "Cast your burden upon Me - and I will sustain you. I am God Almighty! I bore the load of your sin and condemnation up the steep of Calvary; and the same power of omnipotence, and the same strength of love that bore it all for you then - is prepared to bear your need and sorrow now. Roll it all upon Me! Child of My love! Lean hard! Let me feel the pressure of your care. I know your burden,child! I shaped it - I poised it in My own hand and made no proportion of its weight to your unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers. So shall I keep My child within the encircling arms of My own love. Here lay it down! Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds! Yet closer come! You are not near enough! I would embrace your burden, so I might feel My child reposing on My bosom. You love Me! I know it. Doubt not, then. But, loving me, lean hard!"

The Flaming Sword of Justice Quenched In the Holy, Loving Bosom of Jesus!

"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24)

The most significant and appalling demonstration of God's holiness that the universe ever beheld, infinitely distancing and transcending every other - is the sufferings and death of His only and beloved Son! The Cross of Calvary exhibits God's hatred and punishment of sin in a way and to an extent which the annihilation of millions of worlds, swept from the face of the universe by the broom of His wrath,could never have done!

Behold the most solemn display of God's hatred of sin! Finding the sins of the Church upon Christ as its Surety, Substitute, and Saviour- the wrath of God was poured out upon Him without measure! Finding the sins of His people laid upon His Son - God emptied upon His holy soul, all the vials of His wrath due to their transgressions! Go, my soul, to Calvary, and learn how holy God is, and what a monstrous thing sin is, and how imperiously, solemnly, and holily bound, Jehovah is to punish it, either in the person of the sinner, or in the person of a Surety. Never was the Son of God dearer to the Father than at the very moment that the sword of divine justice, flaming and flashing, pierced to its hilt His holy heart!

But it was the wrath of God, not against His beloved Son - but against the sins which met on Him when presenting Himself on the Cross as the substitutionary sacrifice and offering for His Church. He gave Himself for us!

What a new conception must angels have formed of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, when they beheld the flaming sword of justice quenched in the holy, loving bosom of Jesus! And in what a dazzling light does this fact place the marvelous love of God to sinners! Man's sin - and God's love; the indescribable enormity of the one - and the immeasurable greatness of the other; are exhibited in the Cross of Christ as nowhere else.

Oh, to learn experimentally these two great facts: sin's infinite hatefulness - and love's infinite holiness! The love of God in giving His Son to die; the love of Christ in dying; the essential turpitude and unmitigated enormity of sin, which demanded a sacrifice so divine, so holy, and so precious!

~Octavius Winslow~