JUN 6 – HE ALWAYS LISTENS
The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer. (Psalm 6:9) The experience here recorded is mine. I can set to my seal that God is true. In very wonderful ways He has answered the prayers of His servant many and many a time. Yes, and He is hearing my present supplication, and He is not turning away His ear from me. Blessed be His holy name! What then? Why, for certain the promise which lies sleeping in the psalmist’s believing confidence is also mine. Let me grasp it by the hand of faith: “The Lord will receive my prayer.” He will accept it, think of it, and grant it in the way and time which His loving wisdom judges to be best. I bring my poor prayer in my hand to the great King, and He gives me audience and graciously receives my petition. My enemies will not listen to me, but my Lord will. They ridicule my tearful prayers, but my Lord does not; He receives my prayer into His ear and His heart. What a reception this is for a poor sinner! We receive Jesus, and then the Lord receives us and our prayers for His Son’s sake. Blessed be that dear name which franks our prayers so that they freely pass even within the golden gates. Lord, teach me to pray, since Thou hearest my prayers.
JUN 5 – IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. (Exodus 11:7) What! Has God power over the tongues of dogs! Can he keep ours from barking? Yes, it is even so. He can prevent an Egyptian dog from worrying one of the lambs of Israel’s flock. Doth God silence dogs, and doggish ones among men, and the great dog at hell’s gate? Then let us move on our way without fear. If He lets dogs move their tongues, yet He can stop their teeth. They may make a dreadful noise and still do us no real harm. Yet, how sweet is quiet! How delightful to move about among enemies and perceive that God maketh them to be at peace with us! Like Daniel in the den of lions we are unhurt amid destroyers. Oh, that today this word of the Lord to Israel might be true to me! Does the dog worry me? I will tell my Lord about him. Lord, he does not care for my pleadings; do Thou speak the word of power, and he must lie down. Give me peace, O my God, and let me see Thy hand so distinctly in it that I may most clearly perceive the difference which Thy grace has made between me and the ungodly!
JUN 4 – EXCEEDINGLY PRECIOUS
They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts in that day when I make up my jewels. (Malachi 3:17) A day is coming in which the crown jewels of our great King shall be counted, that it may be seen whether they answer to the inventory which His Father gave Him. My soul, wilt thou be among the precious things of Jesus? Thou art precious to Him if He is precious to thee, and thou shalt be His “in that day,” if He is thine in this day. In the days of Malachi, the chosen of the Lord were accustomed so to converse with each other that their God Himself listened to their talk. He liked it so well that He took notes of it; yes, and made a book of it, which He lodged in His record office. Pleased with their conversation, He was also pleased with them. Pause, my soul, and ask thyself: If Jesus were to listen to thy talk would He be pleased with it? Is it to His glory and to the edification of the brotherhood? Say, my soul, and be sure thou sayest the truth. But what will the honor be for us poor creatures to be reckoned by the Lord to be His crown jewels! This honor have all the saints. Jesus not only says, “They are mine,” but, “They shall be mine.” He bought us, sought us, brought us in, and has so far wrought us to His image that we shall be fought for by Him with all His might.
JUN 3 – SURE FOOTEDNESS
The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hind’s feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. (Habakkuk 3:19) This confidence of the man of God is tantamount to a promise, for that which faith is persuaded of is the purpose of God. The prophet had to traverse the deep places of poverty and famine, but he went down hill without slipping, for the Lord gave him standing. By and by he was called to the high places of the hills of conflict; and he was no more afraid to go up than to go down. See! The Lord lent him strength. Nay, Jehovah Himself was his strength. Think of that: the almighty God Himself becomes our strength! Note that the Lord also gave him sure footedness. The hinds leap over rock and crag, never missing their footholds. Our Lord will give us grace to follow the most difficult paths of duty without a stumble. He can fit our foot for the crags so that we shall be at home where apart from God we should perish. One of these days we shall be called to higher places still. Up yonder we shall climb, even to the mount of God, the high places where the shining ones are gathered. Oh, what feet are the feet of faith, by which, following the hind of the morning, we shall ascend into the hill of the Lord!
JUN 2 – IMMEDIATE FREEDOM
For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder. (Nahum 1:13) The Assyrian was allowed for a season to oppress the Lord’s people, but there came a time for his power to be broken. So, many a heart is held in bondage by Satan and frets sorely under the yoke. Oh, that to such prisoners of hope the word of the Lord may come at once, according to the text, “Now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder!” See! The Lord promises a present deliverance. “Now will I break his yoke from off thee.” Believe for immediate freedom, and according to thy faith so shall it be unto thee at this very hour. When God saith “now,” let no man say “tomorrow.” See how complete the rescue is to be; for the yoke is not to be removed but broken; and the bonds are not to be untied but burst asunder. Here is a display of divine force which guarantees that the oppressor shall not return. His yoke is broken, we cannot again be bowed down by its weight. His bonds, are burst asunder, they can no longer hold us. Oh, to believe in Jesus for complete and everlasting emancipation! “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Come, Lord, and set free Thy captives, according to Thy Word.
JUN 1 – GOD’S PROMISE KEEPS
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. (Ecclesiastes 11:1) We must not expect to see an immediate reward for all the good we do; nor must we always confine our efforts to places and persons which seem likely to yield us a recompense for our labors. The Egyptian casts his seed upon the waters of the Nile, where it might seem a sheer waste of corn. But in due time the flood subsides, the rice or other grain sinks into the fertile mud, and rapidly a harvest is produced. Let us today do good to the unthankful and the evil. Let us teach the careless and the obstinate. Unlikely waters may cover hopeful soil. Nowhere shall our labor be in vain in the Lord. It is ours to cast our bread upon the waters; it remains with God to fulfill the promise “Thou shalt find it.” He will not let His promise fail. His good word which we have spoken shall live, shall be found, shall be found by us, Perhaps not just yet, but some day we shall reap what we have sown. We must exercise our patience, or perhaps the Lord may exercise it. “After many days,” says the Scripture, and in many instances those days run into months and years, and yet the Word stands true. God’s promise will keep; let us mind that we keep the precept and keep it this day.
MAY 31 – “BE OF GOOD CHEER”
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33) My Lord’s words are true as to the tribulation. I have my share of it beyond all doubt. The flail is not hung up out of the way, nor can I hope that it will be laid aside so long as I lie upon the threshing floor, How can I look to be at home in the enemy’s country, joyful while in exile, or comfortable in a wilderness? This is not my rest. This is the place of the furnace, and the forge, and the hammer. My experience tallies with my Lord’s words. I note how He bids me “be of good cheer.” Alas! I am far too apt to be downcast. My spirit soon sinks when I am sorely tried. But I must not give way to this feeling. When my Lord bids me cheer up I must not dare to be cast down. What is the argument which He uses to encourage me? Why, it is His own victory. He says, “I have overcome the world.” His battle was much more severe than mine. I have not yet resisted unto blood. Why do I despair of overcoming? See, my soul, the enemy has been once overcome. I fight with a beaten foe. O world, Jesus has already vanquished thee; and in me, by His grace, He will overcome thee again. Therefore am I of good cheer and sing unto my conquering Lord.
MAY 30 – HOLY FORESIGHT
Nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven. (Matthew 26:64) Ah, Lord, Thou wast in Thy lowest state when before Thy persecutors Thou wast made to stand like a criminal! Yet the eyes of Thy faith could see beyond Thy present humiliation into Thy future glory. What words are these, “Nevertheless-hereafter!” I would imitate Thy holy foresight, and in the midst of poverty, or sickness, or slander, I also would say, “Nevertheless-hereafter.” Instead of weakness, Thou hast all power; instead of shame, all glory; instead of derision, all worship, Thy cross has not dimmed the splendor of Thy crown, neither has the spittle marred the beauty of Thy face. Say, rather, Thou are the more exalted and honored because of Thy sufferings. So, Lord, I also would take courage from the “hereafter.” I would forget the present tribulation in the future triumph. Help thou me by directing me into Thy Father’s love and into Thine own patience, so that when I am derided for Thy name I may not be staggered but think more and more of the hereafter, and, therefore, all the less of today. I shall be with Thee soon and behold Thy glory. Wherefore, I am not ashamed but say in my inmost soul, “Nevertheless-hereafter.”
MAY 29 – FISHERS FOLLOW HIM
And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. (Mark 1:17) Only by coming after Jesus can we obtain our heart’s desire and be really useful to our fellow men. Oh, how we long to be successful fishers for Jesus! We would sacrifice our lives to win souls. But we are tempted to try methods which Jesus would never have tried. Shall we yield to this suggestion of the enemy? If so, we may splash the water, but we shall never take the fish. We must follow after Jesus if we would succeed. Sensational methods, entertainment, and so forth—are these coming after Jesus? Can we imagine the Lord Jesus drawing a congregation by such means as are now commonly used? What is the result of such expedients? The result is nothing which Jesus will count up at the last great day. We must keep to our preaching as our Master did, for by this means souls are saved. We must preach our Lord’s doctrine and proclaim a full and free gospel, for this is the net in which souls are taken, We must preach with His gentleness, boldness, and love, for this is the secret of success with human hearts. We must work under divine anointing, depending upon the sacred Spirit. Thus, coming after Jesus, and not running before Him, not aside from Him, we shall be fishers of men.
MAY 28 – REMIND GOD OF HIS PROMISE
And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good. (Genesis 32:12) This is the sure way of prevailing with the Lord in prayer. We may humbly remind Him of what He has said. Our faithful God will never run back from His word, nor will He leave it unfulfilled; yet He loves to be enquired of by His people and put in mind of His promise. This is refreshing to their memories, reviving to their faith, and renewing to their hope. God’s Word is given, not for His sake, but for ours. His purposes are settled, and He needs nothing to bind Him to His design of doing His people good; but He gives the promise for our strengthening and comfort. Hence He wishes us to plead it and say to Him, “Thou saidst.” “I will surely do thee good” is just the essence of all the Lord’s gracious sayings, Lay a special stress on the word surely. He will do us good, real good, tasting good, only good, every good. He will make us good, and this is to do us good in the very highest degree. He will treat us as He does his saints while we are here, and that is good. He will soon take us to be with Jesus and all His chosen, and that is supremely good. With this promise in our hearts we need not fear angry Esau or anyone else. If the Lord will do us good, who can do us hurt?