O then, for ever bless the Lord, that hath done that for you, which none else could do, and which he has done but for few be sides you.
..O my blessed Lord, Thou hast called me, and I have followed Thee, that I may bear Thy image in all things. Daily would I seek Thy footsteps, that I may be led of Thee whithersoever Thou goest. This day I have found them, wet with the dew of night, leading to the wilderness. There I have seen Thee kneeling for hours before the Father. There I have heard Thee, too, in prayer. Thou givest up all to the Father’s glory, and from the Father dost ask, and expect, and receive all Impress, I beseech Thee, this wonderful vision deep in my soul: my Savior rising up a great while before day to seek communion with His Father, and to ask and obtain in prayer all that He needed for His life and work.
O my Lord! who am I that I may thus listen to Thee? Yea, who am I that Thou dost call me to pray, even as Thou hast done? Precious Savior, from the depths of my heart I beseech Thee, awaken in me the same strong need of secret prayer. Convince me more deeply that, as with Thee so with me, the Divine life cannot attain its full growth without much secret communion with my heavenly Father, so that my soul may indeed dwell in the light of His countenance. Let this conviction awaken in me such burning desire that I may not rest until each day afresh my soul has been baptized in the streams of heavenly love. O Thou, who art my Example and Intercessor! Teach me to pray like Thee. Amen.
Flee from the wrath to come
You are called upon to depart from sin and self. You must, through divine grace, be ready to quit self, and the righteousness that is of self, and sin, and the follies that go with sin. “Arise ye, and depart.” O man, or woman, if you stay where you are by nature, you stay in a land which, like Sodom and Gomorrah, is given up to destruction by fire from heaven! “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” Ye that are in a state of nature, a state of guilt and condemnation, arise ye, and depart. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
And here is the reason why you should thus arise and depart: you have found no rest in the world: “This is not your rest.” I put it to you, have you found any true peace in the ways of sin? Ah! if you have been aroused to see your state before God, you know that you are not happy. How can you be? An immortal soul contort with mortal things! “Too low they build who build beneath the stars.” He has a poor treasury who has not a treasury in heaven. If all your possessions be here, it is a poor all; for you love it when you die; or it may at any moment be taken from you while you live. You have no rest now. You know many men and women who may enjoy themselves as much as they can, so far as means are concerned; but they never really enjoy themselves at all. They used to get pleasure when they were younger; but now they go to the same places, and they come away dissatisfied. I am glad of it; I am glad that the Lord will not allow them to find satisfaction in the joys of this life.
And if you had a rest here, you would soon have to leave it. What if you had to leave all you have to-night? What if, to-night, instead of my voice, it should be the angel who should sound the trumpet, “Arise ye, and depart”? What if, instead of going home to-night, you went into the eternal state to meet your God and Judge? How would it be with you? How can you rest, if you are unable to give a joyful answer to those questions? You are hanging over the mouth of hell by a single thread, and that thread is breaking. Only a gasp for breath, only a stopping of the heart for a single moment, and you will be in an eternal world, without God, without hope, without forgiveness. Oh, can you face it? I pray God that you may not have a brazen countenance, but may feel that it is time for you to listen to the voice that says, “Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest.”
…The world will ruin you, as the world has ruined its millions, and is ruining its thousands still. Fly to Jesus, fly to Jesus! Sinner, fly this moment! God help you! I shall be well rewarded for having preached if but one soul should be aroused to flee away to Christ my Lord. And why should not many more, in answer to our prayers? The Lord bless you, for Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.
A lamp for my feet!
“Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 God’s Word is represented as a lamp for the feet. It is a “lamp” — not a blazing sun, nor even a lighthouse — but a plain, common lamp or lantern which one can carry about in the hand. It is a lamp “for the feet,” not throwing its beams afar, not illumining a hemisphere — but shining only on the one little bit of road on which the pilgrim’s feet are walking.
The law of divine guidance is, “Step by step”. One who carries a lantern on a country-road at night, sees only one step before him. If he takes that step, he carries his lantern forward, and thus makes another step plain. At length he reaches his destination in safety, without once stepping into darkness. The whole way has been made light for him, though only a single step of it at a time. This illustrates the usual method of God’s guidance.
If this is the way God guides, it ought never to be hard for us to find our duty. It never lies far away, inaccessible to us — but is always near. It never lies out of our sight, in the darkness, for God never puts our duty where we cannot see it. The thing that we think may be our duty — but which is still lying in obscurity and uncertainty, is not our duty yet, whatever it may be a little farther on. The duty for the very moment is always clear — and that is as far as we need concern ourselves; for when we do the little that is clear, we will carry the light on, and it will shine on the next moment’s step.
Jesus said, “He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness.” Prompt, unquestioning, undoubting following of Christ — takes all the perplexity out of Christian life and gives unbroken peace. There never is a moment without its duty; and if we are living near to Christ and following Him closely, we shall never be left in ignorance of what He wants us to do.
Our daily prayer should be, “Direct my footsteps according to Your Word; let no sin rule over me.” Psalm 119:133
– J. R. Miller
To those who love the Lord Jesus and believe in Him, and yet desire to love Him better, suffer this word of exhortation, and apply it to your heart. Keep before your mind, an ever-present truth, that the Lord Jesus is an actual living person, and deal with Him as such. I fear the personality of our Lord is sadly lost sight of by many Christians in the present day. Their talk is more about salvation than about the Savior; more about redemption than about the Redeemer; more about justification than about Jesus; more about Christ’s work than about Christ’s person. This is a great fault, and one that fully accounts for the dry and sapless character of the faith of many Christians. If you would grow in grace, and have joy and peace in believing, then beware of falling into this error. Cease to regard the gospel as a mere collection of dry doctrines. Look at it rather as the revelation of a mighty living Being in whose sight you are daily to live. Cease to regard it as a mere set of abstract propositions and principles and rules. Look at it as the introduction to a glorious Friend. This is the kind of gospel that the apostles preached. They did not go about the world telling men of love and mercy and pardon in the abstract. The leading subject of all their sermons was the loving heart of an actual living Christ. Nothing surely is so likely to prepare us for that heaven where Christ’s personal presence will be all, and that glory where we shall meet Christ face to face, as to realize communion with Christ as an actual living Person here on earth. Oh, there is all the difference in the world between an idea and a person….The last word of this message.. I want men to read the four Gospels more than they do. I want men to become better acquainted with Christ. I want unconverted men to know Jesus, that they may have eternal life through Him. I want believers to know Jesus better, that they may become more happy, more holy and more meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. He will be the holiest man who learns to say with Paul, “To me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).
From Consider Your Ways: Being a Pastor’s Address to His Flock
– J.C. Ryle
Some of you have truly been brought by God to believe in Jesus. Yet you have no abiding peace, and very little growth in holiness. Why is this? It is because your eye is fixed anywhere but on Christ. You are so busy looking at books, or looking at men, or looking at the world, that you have no time, no heart, for looking at Christ. No wonder you have little peace and joy in believing. No wonder you live so inconsistent and unholy a life. Change your plan. Consider the greatness and glory of Christ, who has undertaken all in the stead of sinners, and you would find it quite impossible to walk in darkness, or to walk in sin. Oh, what low, despicable thoughts you have of the glorious Immanuel! Lift your eyes from your own bosom, downcast believer – look upon Jesus. It is good to consider your ways, but it is far better to consider Jesus. Oh, believer, consider Jesus. Meditate on these things. Look and look again, until your peace flows like a river.
— Robert Murray M’Cheyne