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Great Christian Works:       Days of Heaven Upon Earth       By A. B. Simpson

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Days of Heaven Upon Earth
By A. B. Simpson



October 1

"That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace" (Eph. ii. 7).

Christ's great purpose for His people is to train them up to know the hope of their calling, and the riches of the glory of their inheritance and what the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.

Let us prove, in all our varied walks of life, and scenes of conflict, the fulness of His power and grace and thus shall we know "In the ages to come the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Jesus Christ."

Beloved, are you thus following your Teacher in the school of faith, and finishing the education which is by and by to fit you for "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory"? This is only the School of Faith.

Little can we now dream what these lessons will mean for us some day, when sitting with Him on His throne and sharing with Him the power of God and the government of the universe. Let us be faithful scholars now and soon with Him, we too, will have "endured the cross despising the shame," and shall "sit down at the right hand of the throne of God."

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October 2

"Moses gave not any inheritance; the Lord God of Israel was their inheritance, as He said unto them" (Josh. xiii. 33).

This is very significant. God gave the land to the other tribes but He gave Himself to the Levites. There is such a thing in Christian life as an inheritance from the Lord, and there is such a thing as having the Lord Himself for our inheritance.

Some people get a sanctification from the Lord which is of much value, but which is variable, and often impermanent. Others have learned the higher lesson of taking the Lord Himself to be their keeper and their sanctity, and abiding in Him they are kept above the vicissitudes of their own states and feelings.

Some get from the Lord large measures of joy and blessing, and times of refreshing.

Others, again, learn to take the Lord Himself as their joy.

Some people are content to have peace with God, but others have taken "the peace of God that passeth all understanding."

Some have faith "in" God, while others have the faith "of" God. Some have many touches of healing from God, others, again, have learned to live in the very health of God Himself.

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October 3

"The little foxes that spoil the vines" (Song of Solomon, ii. 15).

There are some things good, without being perfect. You don't need to have a whole regiment cannonading outside your room to keep you awake. It is quite enough that your little alarm clock rings its little bell. It is not necessary to fret about everything; it is quite enough if the devil gets your mind rasped with one little worry, one little thought which destroys your perfect peace. It is like the polish on a mirror, or an exquisite toilet table, one scratch will destroy it; and the finer it is the smaller the scratch that will deface it. And so your rest can be destroyed by a very little thing. Perhaps you have trusted in God about your future salvation; but have you about your present business or earthly cares, your money and your family?

What is meant by the peace that passeth all understanding? It does not mean a peace no one can comprehend. It means a peace that no amount of reasoning will bring. You cannot get it by thinking. There may be perfect bewilderment and perplexity all round the horizon, but yet your heart can rest in perfect security because He knows, He loves, He leads.

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October 4

"Instead of the brier, the myrtle tree" (Isa. lv. 13).

God's sweetest memorial is the transformed thorn and the thistle blooming with flowers of peace and sweetness, where once grew recriminations.

Beloved, God is waiting to make just such memorials in your life, out of the things that are hurting you most today. Take the grievances, the separations, the strained friendships and the broken ties which have been the sorrow and heartbreak of your life, and let God heal them, and give you grace to make you right with all with whom you may be wrong, and you will wonder at the joy and blessing that will come out of the things that have caused you nothing but regret and pain.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." The everlasting employment of our blessed Redeemer is to reconcile the guilty and the estranged from God, and the highest and most Christ-like work that we can do is, to be like Him.

Shall we go forth to dry the tears of a sorrowing world, to heal the broken-hearted, to bind up the wounds of human lives, and to unite heart to heart, and earth to heaven?

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October 5

"He hath triumphed gloriously" (Ex. xv. 1).

Beloved, God calls us to victory. Have any of you given up the conflict, have you surrendered? Have you said, "This thing is too much"? Have you said, "I can give up anything else but this"? If you have, you are not in the land of promise. God means you should accept every difficult thing that comes in your life. He has started with you, knowing every difficulty. And if you dare to let Him, He will carry you through not only to be conquerors, but "more than conquerors." Are you looking for all the victory?

God gives His children strength for the battle and watches over them with a fond enthusiasm. He longs to fold you to His arms and say to you, "I have seen thy conflict, I have watched thy trials, I have rejoiced in thy victory; thou hast honored Me." You know He told Joshua at the beginning, "There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life; as I was with Moses, so shall I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." And again, He says to us, "Fear thou not, for I am with thee."

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October 6

"Ephraim, he hath mixed himself" (Hos. vii. 8).

It is a great thing to learn to take God first, and then He can afford to give us everything else, without the fear of its hurting us.

As long as you want anything very much, especially more than you want God, it is an idol. But when you become satisfied with God, everything else so loses its charm that He can give it to you without harm, and then you can take just as much as you choose, and use it for His glory.

There is no harm whatever in having money, houses, lands, friends and dearest children, if you do not value these things for themselves.

If you have been separated from them in spirit, and become satisfied with God Himself, then they will become to you channels to be filled with God to bring Him nearer to you. Then every little lamb around your household will be a tender cord to bind you to the Shepherd's heart. Then every affection will be a little golden cup filled with the wine of His love. Then every bank, stock and investment will be but a channel through which you can pour out His benevolence and extend His gifts.

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October 7

"He opened not His mouth" (Isa. liii. 7).

How much grace it requires to bear a misunderstanding rightly, and to receive an unkind judgment in holy sweetness! Nothing tests a Christian character more than to have some evil thing said about him. This is the file that soon proves whether we are electro-plate or solid gold. If we could only know the blessings that lie hidden in our lives, we would say, like David, when Shimei cursed him, "Let him curse; it may be the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day."

Some people get easily turned aside from the grandeur of their life-work by pursuing their own grievances and enemies, until their life gets turned into one little petty whirl of warfare. It is like a nest of hornets. You may disperse the hornets, but you will probably get terribly stung, and get nothing for your pains, for even their honey is not worth a search.

God give us more of His Spirit, who, when reviled, reviled not again; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.

Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself.

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October 8

"There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken" (Josh. xxi. 45).

Some day, even you, trembling, faltering one, shall stand upon those heights and look back upon all you have passed through, all you have narrowly escaped, all the perils through which He guided you, the stumblings through which He guarded you, and the sins from which He saved you; and you shall shout, with a meaning you cannot understand now, "Salvation unto Him who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."

Some day He will sit down with us in that glorious home, and we shall have all the ages in which to understand the story of our lives. And He will read over again this old marked Bible with us, He will show us how He kept all these promises, He will explain to us the mysteries that we could not understand, He will recall to our memory the things we have long forgotten, He will go over again with us the book of life, He will recall all the finished story, and I am sure we will often cry: "Blessed Christ! you have been so true, you have been so good! Was there ever love like this?" And then the great chorus will be repeated once more-"There failed not aught of any good thing that He hath spoken; all came to pass."

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October 9

"Peace be unto you" (John xx. 19, 21).

This is the type of His first appearing to our hearts when He comes to bring us His peace and to teach us to trust Him and love Him.

But there is a second peace which He has to give. Jesus said unto them again, "Peace be unto you." There is a "peace," and there is an "again peace." There is a peace with God, and there is "the peace of God that passeth understanding." It is the deeper peace that we need before we can serve Him or be used for His glory.

While we are burdened with our own cares, He cannot give us His. While we are occupied with ourselves, we cannot be at leisure to serve Him. Our minds will be so filled with our own anxieties that we would not be equal to the trust which He requires of us, and so, before He can entrust us with His work, He wants to deliver us from every burden and anxiety.

"Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin,
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed,
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest."

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October 10

"If ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Rom. viii. 13).

The Holy Spirit is the only one who can kill us and keep us dead. Many Christians try to do this disagreeable work themselves, and they are going through a continual crucifixion, but they can never accomplish the work permanently. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, and when you really yield yourself to the death, it is delightful to find how sweetly He can slay you.

By the touch of the electric spark they tell us life is extinguished almost without a quiver of pain. But, however this may be in natural things, we know the Holy Spirit can touch with celestial fire the surrendered thing, and slay it in a moment, after it is really yielded up to the sentence of death. That is our business, and it is God's business to execute that sentence, and to keep it constantly operative.

Don't let us live in the pain of perpetual and ineffectual suicide, but reckoning ourselves dead indeed, let us leave ourselves in the hands of the blessed Holy Spirit, and He will slay whatever rises in opposition to His will, and keep us true to our heavenly reckoning, and filled with His resurrection life.

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October 11

"And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Rom. viii. 27).

The Holy Spirit becomes to the consecrated heart the Spirit of intercession. We have two Advocates. We have an Advocate with the Father, who prays for us at God's right hand; but the Holy Spirit is the Advocate within, who prays in us, inspiring our petitions and presenting them, through Christ, to God.

We need this Advocate. We know not what to pray for, and we know not how to pray as we ought, but He breathes in the holy heart the desires that we may not always understand, the groanings which we could not utter.

But God understands, and He, with a loving Father's heart, is always searching our hearts to find the Spirit's prayer, and to answer it. He finds many a prayer there that we have not discovered, and answers many a cry that we never understood. And when we reach our home and read the records of life, we shall better know and appreciate the infinite love of that Divine Friend, who has watched within as the Spirit of prayer, and breathed out our every need to the heart of God.

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October 12

"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free" (Rom. viii. 2).

The life of Jesus Christ brought into our heart by the Holy Spirit, operates there as a new law of divine strength and vitality, and counteracts, overcomes and lifts us above the old law of sin and death.

Let us illustrate these two laws by a simple comparison. Look at my hand. By the law of gravitation it naturally falls upon the desk and lies there, attracted downward by that natural law which makes heavy bodies fall to the earth.

But there is a stronger law than the law of gravitation, my own life and will. And so through the operation of this higher law, the law of vitality, I defy the law of gravitation, and lift my hand and hold it above its former resting place, and move it at my will. The law of vitality has made me free from the law of gravitation.

Precisely so the indwelling life of Christ Jesus, operating with the power of a law, lifts me above, and counteracts the power of sin in my fallen nature.

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October 13

"The carnal mind is enmity against God" (Rom. viii. 7).

The flesh is incurably bad. "It is not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can be." It never can be any better. It is no use trying to improve the flesh. You may educate it all you please. You may train it by the most approved methods, you may set before it the brightest examples, you may pipe to it or mourn to it, treat it with encouragement or severity; its nature will always be incorrigibly the same.

Like the wild hawk which the little child captures in its infancy and tries to train in the habits of the dove, before you are aware it will fasten its cruel beak upon the gentle fingers that would caress it, and show the old wild spirit of fear and ferocity. It is a hawk by nature, and it can never be made a dove. "For the carnal mind is enmity against God. It is not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can be."

The only remedy for human nature is to destroy it, and receive instead the divine nature. God does not improve man. He crucifies the natural life with Christ, and creates the new man in Christ Jesus.

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October 14

"Get thee, behind me, Satan" (Matt. xvi. 23).

When your old self comes back, if you listen to it, fear it, believe it, it will have the same influence upon you as if it were not dead; it will control you and destroy you. But if you will ignore it and say: "You are not I, but Satan trying to make me believe that the old self is not dead; I refuse you, I treat you as a demon power outside of me, I detach myself from you"; if you treat it as a wife would her divorced husband, saying: "You are nothing to me, you have no power over me, I have renounced you, in the name of Jesus I bid you hence,"-lo! the evil thing will disappear, the shadow will vanish, the wand of faith will lay the troubled spirit, and send it back to the abyss, and you will find that Christ is there instead, with His risen life, to back up your confidence and seal your victory.

Satan can stand anything better than neglect. If you ignore him he gets disgusted and disappears. Jesus used to turn His back upon him and say, "Get thee behind Me, Satan." So let us refuse him, and we shall find that he will be compelled to act according to our faith.

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October 15

"Faith is the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. xi. 1).

True faith drops its letter in the post-office box, and lets it go. Distrust holds on to a corner of it, and wonders that the answer never comes.

I have some letters in my desk that have been written for weeks, but there was some slight uncertainty about the address or the contents, so they are yet unmailed. They have not done either me or anybody else any good yet. They will never accomplish anything until I let them go out of my hands and trust them to the postman and the mail.

This is the case with true faith. It hands its case over to God, and then He works.

That is a fine verse in the thirty-seventh Psalm: "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He worketh." But He never worketh until we commit.

Faith is a receiving, or still better, a taking of God's proffered gifts. We may believe, and come, and commit, and rest, but we will not fully realize all our blessing until we begin to receive and come into the attitude of abiding and taking.

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October 16

"Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, I will make thee a joy" (Isa. lx. 15).

God loves to take the most lost of men, and make them the most magnificent memorials of His redeeming love and power. He loves to take the victims of Satan's hate, and the lives that have been the most fearful examples of his power to destroy, and to use them to illustrate and illuminate the possibilities of Divine mercy and the new creations of the Holy Spirit.

He loves to take the things in our own lives that have been the worst, the hardest and the most hostile to God, and to transform them so that we shall be the opposites of our former selves.

The sweetest spirits are made out of the most stormy and self-willed, the mightiest faith is created out of a wilderness of doubts and fears, and the Divinest love is transformed out of stony hearts of hate and selfishness.

The grace of God is equal to the most uncongenial temperaments, to the most unfavorable circumstances; and its glory is to transform a curse into blessing, and show to men and angels of ages yet to come, that "where sin abounded, there grace did much more abound."

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October 17

"Abraham believed God" (Rom. iv. 3).

Abraham's faith reposed on God Himself. He knew the God he was dealing with. It was a personal confidence in one whom he could utterly trust.

The real secret of Abraham's whole life was that he was the friend of God, and knew God to be his great, good and faithful Friend, and, taking Him at His word, he had stepped out from all that he knew and loved, and gone forth upon an unknown pathway with none but God.

Beloved, are we trusting not only in the word of God, but have we learned to lean our whole weight upon Himself, the God of infinite love and power, our covenant God and everlasting Friend?

We are told that Abraham glorified God by this life of faith. The true way to glorify God is to let the world see what He is, and what He can do. God does not want us so much to do things, as to let people see what He can do. God is not looking for extraordinary characters as His instruments, but He is looking for humble instruments through whom He can be honored throughout the ages.

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October 18

"All things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Heb. iv. 13).

The literal translation of this phrase is, all things are stripped and stunned. This is the force of the Greek words. The figure is that of an athlete in the Coliseum who has fought his best in the arena, and has at length fallen at the feet of his adversary, disarmed and broken down in helplessness. There he lies, unable to strike a blow, or lift his arm. He is stripped and stunned, disarmed and disabled, and there is nothing left for him but to lie at the feet of his adversary and throw up his arms for mercy.

Now this is the position that God wants to bring us to, where we shall cease our struggles and our attempts at self-defence or self-improvement, and throw ourselves helplessly upon the mercy of God. This is the sinner's only hope, and when he thus lies at the feet of mercy, Jesus is ready to lift him up and give him that free salvation which is waiting for all.

This, too, is the greatest need of the Christian seeking a deeper and higher life, to come to a full realization of his nothingness and helplessness, and to lie down, stripped and stunned at the feet of Jesus.

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October 19

"Denying ungodliness" (Titus ii. 12).

Let us say, "No," to the flesh, the world and the love of self, and learn that holy self-denial in which consists so much of the life of obedience. Make no provision for the flesh; give no recognition to your lower life. Say "No" to everything earthly and selfish. How very much of the life of faith consists in simply denying ourselves.

We begin with one great "Yes," to God, and then we conclude with an eternal "No," to ourselves, the world, the flesh and the devil.

If you look at the ten commandments of the Decalogue, you will find that nearly every one of them is a "Thou shalt not." If you read the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, with its beautiful picture of love, you will find that most of the characteristics of love are in the negative, what love "does not, thinks not, says not, is not." And so you will find that the largest part of the life of consecration is really saying, "No."

I am not my own,
I belong to Him.
I am His alone,
I belong to Him.

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October 20

"Let us not be weary in well-doing" (Gal. vi. 9).

If Paul could only know the consolation and hope that he has ministered to the countless generations who have marched along the pathway from the cross to the Kingdom above, he would be willing to go through a thousand lives and a thousand deaths such as he endured for the blessing that has followed since his noble head rolled in the dust by the Ostian gate of Rome.

And if the least of us could only anticipate the eternal issues that will probably spring from the humblest services of faith, we should only count our sacrifices and labors unspeakable heritages of honor and opportunity, and would cease to speak of trials and sacrifices made for God.

The smallest grain of faith is a deathless and incorruptible germ, which will yet plant the heavens and cover the earth with harvests of imperishable glory. Lift up your head, beloved, the horizon is wider than the little circle that you can see. We are living, we are suffering, we are laboring, we are trusting, for the ages yet to come!

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October 21

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Rom. viii. 35).

And then comes the triumphant answer, after all the possible obstacles and enemies have been mentioned one by one, "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us." Our trials will be turned to helps; our enemies will be taken prisoners and made to fight our battles. Like the weights on yonder clock, which keep it going, our very difficulties will prove incentives to faith and prayer, and occasions for God becoming more real to us.

We shall get out of our troubles not only deliverance but triumph, and in all these things be even more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

Our security depends not upon our unchanging love, but on the love of God in Christ Jesus toward us. It is not the clinging arms of the babe on the mother's breast that keep it from falling, but the strong arms of the mother about it which will never let it go. He has loved us with an everlasting love, and although all else may change, yet He will never leave us nor forsake us.

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October 22

"Touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Heb. iv. 15).

Some of us know a little what it is to be thrilled with a sense of the sufferings of others, and sometimes, the sins of others, and sins that seem to saturate us as they come in contact with us, and throw over us an awful sense of sin and need.

This is, perhaps, intended to give us some faint conception of the sympathy that Jesus felt when He had taken our sins, our sicknesses and our sorrows. Let us not hesitate to lay them on Him! It is far easier for Him to bear them off us than to bear them with us. He has already borne them for us, both in His life and in His death. Let us roll the burden upon Him, and let it roll away, and then, strong in His strength, and rested in His life and love, let us go forth to minister to others the sympathy and help which He has so richly given us.

The world is full of sorrow, and they that have known its bitterness and healing are God's ministers of consolation to a weeping world.

O, the tears that flow around us,
Let us wipe them while we may;
Bring the broken hearts to Jesus,
He will wipe their tears away.

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October 23

"How long halt ye between two opinions?" (I. Kings xviii. 21).

It is strange that people will not get over the idea that a consecrated life is a difficult one. A simple illustration will answer this foolish impression. Suppose a street car driver were to say, "It is much easier to run with one wheel on the track and the other off," his line would soon be dropped by the public, and they would prefer to walk. Of course, it is ever so much easier to run with both wheels on the track, and always on the track, and it is much easier to follow Christ fully than to follow with a half heart and halting step. The prophet was right in his pungent question, "How long halt ye between two opinions?" The undecided man is a halting man. The halting man is a lame man and a miserable man, and the out-and-out Christian is the admiration of men and angels, and a continual joy to himself.

Say, is it all for Jesus,
As you so often sing;
Is He your Royal Master,
Is He your heart's true King?

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October 24

"First gave their ownselves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God" (II. Cor. viii. 5).

It is essential, in order to be successful in Christian work, that you shall be loyal not only to God, but to the work with which you are associated. The more deeply one knows the Lord the easier it is to get along with Him.

Superficial Christians are apt to be crotchetty. Mature Christians are so near the Lord that they are not afraid of missing His guidance, and not always trying to assert their loyalty to Him and independence of others.

The Corinthians, who had given themselves first to the Lord, had no difficulty in giving themselves to His Apostle by the will of God. It is delightful to work with true hearts on whom we can utterly depend.

God give us the spirit of a sound mind and the heart to "help along."

You can help by holy prayer,
Helpful love and joyful song;
O, the burdens you may bear;
O, the sorrows you may share;
O, the crowns you may yet may wear,
If you help along.

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October 25

"Now it is high time to awake out of sleep. Let us cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light" (Rom. xiii. 11, 12).

Let us wake out of sleep; let us be alert; let us be alive to the great necessities that really concern us.

Let us put off the garments of the night and the indulgences of the night; the loose robes of pleasure and flowing garments of repose; the festal pleasures of the hours of darkness are not for the children of the day. Let us cast off the works of darkness.

Let us arm ourselves for the day. Before we put on our clothes, let us put on our weapons, for we are stepping out into a land of enemies and a world of dangers; let us put on the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of faith and love, and the shield of faith, and stand armed and vigilant as the dangers of the last days gather around us.

Let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ. This is our robe of day. Not our own works or righteousness, but the person and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave us His very life, and becomes to us our All-Sufficiency.

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October 26

"Go out into the highways and compel them to come in" (Luke xiv. 23).

In the great parable in the fourteenth chapter of Luke, giving an account of the great supper an ancient lord prepared for his friends and neighbors, and to which, when they asked to be excused, he invited the halt and the lame from the city slums and the lepers from outside the gate, there is a significant picture and object lesson of the program of Christianity in this age.

In the first place, it is obvious to every thoughtful mind that the Master is beginning to excuse the Gospel-hardened people of Christian countries. It is getting constantly more difficult to interest the unsaved of our own land, especially those that have been accustomed to hear the Gospel and the things of Christ. They have asked to be excused from the Gospel feast, and the Lord is excusing them.

At the same time, two remarkable movements indicated in the parable are becoming more and more manifest in our time. One is the Gospel for the slums and the neglected classes at home; the other is the Gospel for the heathen or the neglected classes abroad.

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October 27

"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jer. xxxii. 27.)

Cyrus, the King, was compelled to fulfil the vision of Jeremiah, by making a decree, the instant the prophecy had foretold, declaring that Jehovah had bidden him rebuild Jerusalem and invite her captives to return to their native home. So Jeremiah's faith was vindicated and Jehovah's prophecy gloriously fulfilled, as faith ever will be honored. Oh, for the faith, that in the dark present and the darker future, shall dare to subscribe the evidences and seal up the documents if need be, for the time of waiting, and then begin to testify to the certainty of its hope like the prophet of Anathoth!

The word Anathoth has a beautiful meaning, "echoes." So faith is the "echo" of God and God always gives the "echo" to faith, as He answers it back in glorious fulfilment. Oh, let our faith echo also the brave claim of the ancient prophet and take our full inheritance, with his glorious shout, "Oh, Lord, Thou art the God of all flesh, is there anything too hard for the Lord?" and back like an echo will come the heavenly answer to our heart, "I am the God of all flesh, is there anything too hard for Me?"

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October 28

"Thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities" (Luke xix. 17).

It is not our success in service that counts, but our fidelity. Caleb and Joshua were faithful and God remembered it when the day of visitation came. It was a very difficult and unpopular position, and all of us are called in the crisis of our lives to stand alone and in this very matter of trusting God for victory over sin and our full inheritance in Christ we have all to be tested as they.

Our brethren even in the church of God, while admitting in the abstract the loveliness and advantages of such an ideal life, tell us as they told Israel that it is impracticable and impossible, and many of us have to stand alone for years witnessing to the power of Christ to save His people to the uttermost and like Caleb following Him wholly, if alone. But this is the real victory of faith and the proof of our uncompromising fidelity.

Let us not therefore complain when we suffer reproach for our testimony or stand alone for God, but thank Him that He so honors us, and so stand the test that He can afterwards use us when the multitudes are glad to follow.

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October 29

"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you" (John xvi. 23).

Two men go to the bank cashier, both holding in their hands a piece of paper. One is dressed in expensive style, and presents a gloved and jeweled hand; the other is a rough, unwashed workman. The first is rejected with a polite sentence, and the second receives a thousand dollars over the counter. What is the difference? The one presented a worthless name; the other handed in a note endorsed by the president of the bank. And so the most virtuous moralist will be turned away from the gates of mercy, and the vilest sinner welcomed in if he presents the name of Jesus.

What shall we give to infinite purity and righteousness? Jesus! No other gift is worthy for God to receive. And He has given Him to us for this very end, to give back as our substitute and satisfaction. And He has "testified" of this gift what He has of no other, namely, that in Him He is well pleased and all who receive Him "are accepted in the Beloved." Shall we accept the testimony that God is satisfied with His Son? Shall we be satisfied with Him?

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October 30

"Dwell deep" (Jer. xlix. 8).

God's presence blends with every other thought and consciousness, flowing sweetly and evenly through our business plans, our social converse our heart's affections, our manual toil, our entire life, blending with all, consecrating all, and conscious through all, like the fragrance of a flower, or the presence of a friend consciously near, and yet not hindering in the least the most intense and constant preoccupation of the hands and brain. How beautiful the established habit of this unceasing communion and dependence, amid and above all thoughts and occupations! How lovely to see a dear old saint folding away his books at night and humbly saying, "Lord Jesus, things are still just the same between us," and the falling asleep in His keeping.

So let us be stayed upon Him. Let us grow into Him with all the root and fibers of our being. He will not get tired of our friendship. He will not want to put us off sometimes. Beautiful the words of the suffering saint: "He never says good-bye." He stays. So let us be stayed on Him.

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October 31

"My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (II. Cor. xii. 9).

God allowed the crisis to close around Jacob on the night when he bowed at Peniel in supplication to bring him to the place where he could take hold of God as he never would have done; and from that narrow pass of peril Jacob came enlarged in his faith and knowledge of God, and in the power of a new and victorious life. He had to compel David, by a long and painful discipline of years, to learn the almighty power and faithfulness of his God, and to grow up into the established principles of faith and godliness, which were indispensable for his subsequent and glorious career as the king of Israel.

Nothing but the extremities in which Paul was constantly placed could ever have taught him, and taught the church through him, the full meaning of the great promise he so learned to claim, "My grace is sufficient for thee." And nothing but our trials and perils would ever have led some of us to know Him as we do, to trust Him as we have, and to draw from Him the measures of grace which our very extremities made indispensable.

November

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© 1999 The Old Time Gospel Ministry
"When to seek God has become life and to glorify God has become self, then you have truly found God."