(J.R. Miller) “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles!” Isaiah 40:31
A gentleman had an eagle which had been caught when young, and brought up in a cage like a domestic bird. At length the owner was going away over the sea, and decided to give the eagle its freedom. So he brought it out of its cage, and it walked about, but seemed to have no thought whatever of flying away. The gentleman was disappointed. At length he lifted the great bird to the garden wall. It stood there a moment, and then looked up toward the sun. It seemed suddenly to remember that it was an eagle, whose home was amid the crags and the cliffs. A moment more and it lifted one wing, then the other, and was gone–soaring away into the blue of the sky! Continue reading
(John MacDuff, “Heavenly Aspirations”)
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich–yet for your sakes He became poor–that you through His poverty, might be rich!” 2 Corinthians 8:9
When our Lord dwelt among men, so extreme was His poverty–that He had nothing which He could call His own! If we follow Him through the whole of His memorable career, we shall find that He had to borrow whatever He needed!
Did He ride in solemn state, amid the acclamations of the people, to the Jewish capital? The humble beast on which He was mounted was not His own–but belonged to another.
(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)
This is just the experience I love–willing to be nothing, that Christ may be all in all.
How blessed is my condition! Though so vile a sinner in myself; yet chosen and beloved in Christ from all eternity–every blessing for time, all glory for eternity–secured to me in Him!
Himself my blissful portion!
Himself my endless treasure!
Himself my ocean of love, my God and my glory!
My Lord, these hands and feet, this heart and tongue, and my whole self–afresh I consecrate to You. Oh, to spend and be spent in service for Your glory!
(J.R. Miller – “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul tells of a wonderful experience which he had. He had some great suffering which he called “a thorn in the flesh.” He does not say what it was–but evidently it was some physical pain, some think epilepsy, some think a trouble with the eyes, some think a nervous affliction. No matter what it was–it was very painful and seemed to interfere with the apostle’s usefulness.
(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)
“You are My friends!” John 15:14
What infinite condescension in Jesus, to call us sinful worms–His friends! But He not only calls us so–but treats us as such! And expects us as His friends–to do whatever He commands us.
Is Jesus your friend?
Then visit Him often–let Him hear your voice in prayer and praise.
Then trust Him confidently–let Him see evidence of your faith in your dependence.
Then walk with Him in love–let Him enjoy much of your company.
Then expect Him to be your Friend . . .
in sickness and health,
in poverty and plenty,
in life and in death!
If Jesus is our Friend–we can never be destitute. If our father and mother forsake us–He will take us up and take us in. Continue reading
(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
The Lord cares for His children!
He knows our needs–and has promised to supply them.
He knows our foes–and will deliver us from them.
He knows our fears–and will make us ashamed of them.
All creatures and things are in His hand, and at His disposal; all circumstances are under His absolute control. He . . .
directs the angel,
feeds the sparrow,
curbs the devil, and
manages the tempest! Continue reading
(Arthur Pink, “The Ten Commandments”)
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, who takes His name in vain.” Exodus 20:7
This commandment bids us to speak of God with that frame of spirit which is agreeable to His dignity and solemnity and the majesty: that is, with the utmost sincerity, humility and reverence. O what high thoughts ought we to entertain of such a Being! In what holy awe should we stand of Him!
Anything pertaining to God should be spoken of with the greatest sobriety.
God’s Name is taken in vain–when we use it without due consideration and reverence. Whenever we make mention of Him before whom the seraphim veil their faces–we ought seriously and solemnly to ponder His infinite majesty and glory–and bow our hearts in deepest prostration before that Name. Continue reading