Friday, January 31, 2020

We Joy In God.

January 31   We joy in God.    Romans 5:11

And not only so, but we also joy in God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we 
have now received the atonement. Romans 5:11  

This is every believer’s privilege; God is reconciled to him in the person and through the work of Jesus; all charges against him are blotted out; all his sins are freely and full forgiven; he is justified from all things; and stands before God in Christ, accepted, beloved, and blessed.

To him God is love; with him God is at peace; and he is now a son of God.

If this is believed on the testimony of God, and realized in the soul as the effect of faith; then God becomes our exceeding joy, and we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

If we joy in frames, they change; if we joy in friends, they die; if we joy in possessions, they are vanity; but if we joy in God, though the exercise of joy may be interrupted, yet the object remains eternally the same, and we joy for evermore.

Beloved, look at Jehovah in Jesus; there you see Him as the father of mercies and God of all comfort; joy and rejoice in Him as your God, your portion, your everlasting all.

Throughout this day, joy in God as your Father, your Friend, and your Saviour.

In this rejoice and be exceeding glad.

O that I could now adore Him,
Like the heavenly host above,
Who for ever bow before Him,
And unceasing sing His love!
Happy Songsteers,
When shall I your chores join!
James Smith

Thursday, January 30, 2020

And Shalt Thou Be Delivered?

January 30    And shalt thou be delivered? 

2 Kings 19:11  Behold, thou hast heard what the kings
of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them
utterly: and shalt thou be delivered?

This is plainly the language of an insulting foe; he had triumphed, and now he boasted, but his power was bounded, his pride procured his fall.

Often when in trouble, when distressed, when tried by a sense of sin and unworthiness, unbelief, and Satan join, and pointing to others who have fallen, and to our acknowledged unworthiness, insultingly ask the question, “And shalt thou be delivered?” 

Yes, Satan, we shall be delivered; the God of Hezekiah is our God, and He hath said, “I will deliver thee in six troubles, and in seven I will not forsake thee.”

We believe His word, we rely on His faithfulness, we plead at His throne: and so sure as He can deliver He will. He hath often done so in times past, He doth deliver all His praying people now, and in Him we trust that He will deliver us.

Not on account of any thing is us, or of any thing done by us, but because he hath said, “I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him; I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.”

He is faithful, His word cannot fail, nor should our faith be shaken. Deliverance is certain, for God hath spoken, and God is true.

The same His pow’r, His love the same,
Unmoved the promise shines;
Eternal truth surrounds His name,
And guards the precious lines.
James Smith

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Search the Scriptures

January 29    Search the Scriptures   John 5:39

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye
have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

The Bible is God’s book, a favour bestowed on man; intended to lead him to a knowledge of the nature, perfections, purposes, providence, and salvation of God.

It contains all that is really necessary to be known. It should be read carefully, prayerfully, frequently, and in course: every part of the Bible should be read, meditated upon, and prayed over.

It makes us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

We cannot understand the Scriptures, or gather spiritual profit therefrom but by the Holy Ghost; nor should we expect to be taught the mind of God but by the Scriptures.

Praying, reading, and thinking, should go together; and no one but he who has proved it, can possibly tell the profit which may thus be gained.

Let the Bible be the every-day book.

In it God speaks to your soul; by it He will sanctify your nature, direct your steps, and give you joy and peace.

Let not the works of man occupy the place of the book of God; but search the Scriptures daily, and exercise faith therein.
“Open thou mine eyes, that I may see wondrous things out of thy law.”

Unfold to me the riches of thy grace.

O may thy counsels, mighty God,
My roving feet command;
Nor I forsake the happy road,
That leads to thy right hand.

James Smith

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

We have an advocate

January 28   We have an advocate.      I John 2:1

1 John 2:1  My little children, these things write I unto you,
that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate
with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Yes – Jesus pleads for us in heaven; by His own blood He entered once into the holiest, there to appear in the presence of GOD FOR US.

He pleads for us against Satan, answering all his accusations; and for us with the Father, that we may be kept, supplies and glorified. O what a comfort when the heart is straitened in prayer, when the mouth is closed by guilt, when the spirit is harassed by temptation, to know that Jesus as our Advocate appears and pleads for us above!

Beloved, Jesus is before God for YOU this morning, and every morning; and the benefits of His intercession you daily enjoy. 

When doubting and fearful, put your cause afresh into His hands, and leave him to carry it; He can plead well; His arguments are powerful, and His manner is divine.

 Keep Jesus before thee this day as thy Advocate; rejoice in His office and name, and remember He is saying, “Father, I will that those whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, to behold my glory.”

Him the father heareth always; and all for whom he pleads are safe, and shall be happy.

Look up, my soul, with cheerful eyes,
See where the great Redeemer stands,
The glorious Advocate on high,
With precious incense in His hands:
And on His pleading still depend,
Who is your Advocate and Friend.
James Smith

Monday, January 27, 2020

Lacked ye any thing?

January 27   Lacked ye any thing?    Luke 22:35

And he said unto them, When I sent you without
purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing?
And they said, Nothing.   Luke 22:35

The Lord will always provide for His own people, who keep His company, do His will and aim at His glory.

If He sends us, though He chooses to carry the purse, our bread shall be given, and our water shall be sure. The disciples went out unfurnished, but then Jesus commanded them; they return and confess that they lacked nothing, the God of providence supplied them.

If we are in the Lord’s way, we may rest assured that we shall meet the Lord’s messengers bringing our supply. They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

He notices our wants, remembers His promises, times His mercies, and proves Himself a faithful God.

Have you lacked any thing? – for body? – for soul?

He who has supplied the past will provide for the future. Jesus is full of grace; go and receive, that your joy may be full.

Jesus is the God of providence; look to Him, trust in Him, plead with Him, and you shall never be destitute.

Believe His word, He cannot deny himself; trust in His faithfulness, and He will put honour upon thy faith, fulfilling His own word.

“Thy bread shall be given, thee, and thy water shall be sure.”

His love in times past forbids me think,
He’ll leave me at last, in trouble to sink;
Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review,
Confirms his good pleasure to help me quite thro.

James Smith

Sunday, January 26, 2020

I will instruct thee Psalm 32:8

January 26    I will instruct thee.    Psalm 32:8

Psalm 32:8  I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way 
which Thou  shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

At best we know but little, and we are slow to learn: but as the Lord has promised to instruct us, we may yet expect to be made wise unto salvation. The Lord’s teaching always produces humility, self-loathing, confidence in God, zeal for His glory, and devotes the heart to His praise.

It brings us to the feet Jesus, and delivers us from the present evil world.   Under divine instruction we learn the true nature of sin, the vanity of the world, the emptiness of creatures, and the fullness and preciousness of Christ.

Is God willing to instruct us? Then let us be early and often at His throne, praying as the Psalmist did, ”Lead me thy truth, and teach me; for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day”

Then shall we exclaim as Elihu did, “Behold, God exalteth by His power: who teacheth like Him?”

The Lord will teach us to profit, and sanctify us through the truth He imparts. Christ is our great lesson, and to know Him rightly is life, peace, and joy.

Is Jesus thy teacher?            Then sit at His feet, treasure up His words, and show forth His praise.

He says, “Learn of me.”        Learn to know Him, love Him, obey Him, and live upon Him.

Eternal life thy words impart;
On these my fainting spirit lives;
Here sweeter comforts cheer my heart,
Than the whole world around me gives.
James Smith

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Ye are my friends John 15:14

January 25          Ye are my friends.  John 15:14

John 15:14  Ye are my friends, if ye do
whatsoever I command you.

What infinite condescension in Jesus, to call us worms, His friends!

But he not only calls us so but treats us as such, and expects us as friends to do whatsoever He commands us. Is Jesus thy friend?

Then visit Him often, let him hear thy voice in prayer and praise; then trust him confidently, let him see a proof of thy faith in thy dependence; then walk with Him in love, let Him enjoy much of thy company;  then expect Him to be thy 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 father and mother forsake, He will take us up and take us in; we can never be miserable, He will receive us and be a Father unto us; we can never be neglected for He will never fail us nor forsake us but will do for us all He has promised in His word.

He will defend us from foes, visit us in sickness and cheer and support us in death.

Precious Lord Jesus, be thou my friend, call me thy friend and treat me as such, in life, in death at the judgment, and before thy Father’s face for ever.

Oh let us make His name our trust,
He is a Saviour wise and just;
On His Almighty arm depend,
He is a tried and faithful friend;
And all His friends shall shortly prove,
The power and glory of His love.
James Smith

Friday, January 24, 2020

Ye are not your own,

January 24  Ye are not your own,     I Corinthians 6:19

1 Cointhians 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is
the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye
have of God, and ye are not your own?

No- Jesus has purchased you with His own blood, quickened you by His Spirit, espoused you to Himself and intends to glorify you with Himself for ever.

He claims you, and says, “I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.”

He will provide for you as His own, and spare you, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

You are His beloved bride, His portion.

A member of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.

In loving you, He loveth Himself.

He requires you to live under the daily conviction that you are His; that all all you have is His. You have nothing of your own; all you have he freely gave, and all you have you profess to have surrendered to Him.

Think more of Jesus than of his gifts, cleave to Him, and not yo what you may be called to surrender. He will never take anything from you, but He will give you something better.
If he strips you, it is to teach you; to lead you to live upon Himself; and to find your heaven in His company, grace, and offices.

Do you live, walk and act, so as to leave the impression upon the minds of observers that you are the Lord’s?

Do not expect Him to preserve, guide and supply you?

Let conscience answer.

Lord! Am I thine, entirely thine?
Purchased and saved by blood divine?
With full consent thine I would be,
And own thy sovereign right in me.
James Smith

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Why are ye so fearful? Mark 4:40

January 23  Why are ye so fearful?

Mark 4:40  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful?
how is it that ye have no faith?

The disciples appeared to be in danger, and fear filled their hearts; they did not realize that they were the care and charge of Jesus, or else knowing Him their fears could have had no place.

Beloved, you are in the hands of your loving Saviour; He has charge of you and all your concerns; He has numbered the very hairs of your head, and watches over you every moment, by night as well as by day.

He is ever present, His eye cannot be diverted from you, His fulness to supply you, His wisdom to guide you, and all His perfections will be glorified in your everlasting holiness and happiness.

He says, “I am glorified in them.”  Why are you so fearful?

Jesus is a very present help, He is a friend that loveth at all times, He is your shield, and will be your exceeding great reward.

But perhaps you have wandered from Him; your conscience accuses, and Satan tempts you to despond; go, go and return unto Him, delay not a moment, cast yourself, guilty as you are, at His feet, confess all, and give yourself to Him afresh. He will receive you graciously, love you freely and restore the joys of His salvation.

The saints should never be dismay’d.
Nor sink in hopeless fear;
For when they least expect His aid,
The Saviour will appear.
James Smith

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

I am thy shield, Genesis 15:1

January 22  I am thy shield,       Genesis 15:1

Genesis 15:1  After these things the word of the LORD 
came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: 
I am thy shieldand thy exceeding great reward.

They that believe are blessed with believing Abraham;  the promise God made to him,  He will fulfil to us.  We are surrounded by foes;   fiery darts fly in every direction;   but Jehovah, in Jesus, interposeth Himself as our shield.

Our safety and protection is from our relation to Him;    we should soon be overcome if He did not preserve and defend.    How safe and how happy we feel, when we realise that our God is our defence, and the most high God our protector?

If foes alarm, or dangers affright, yet remember, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower,” you may run into that and be safe.

Faith is the arm;   Jehovah is the shield;   with Satan, sin, and the world,   we are in conflict: but we are preserved as in a garrison by the power of God,   through believing unto salvation.

My brother, look to Jesus through this day as thy shield, and expect safety and protection alone from Him; He is present to protect thee, and answer thy prayers. He will thus preserve thy going out and coming in, from this time forth, and even for evermore. He will give thee the shield of His salvation, and His gentleness will make thee great.

His righteousness to faith reveal’d
Wrought out for guilty worms,
Affords a hiding-place and shield,
From enemies and storms.
James Smith

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matt. 6:24

January 21   Ye cannot serve God and mammon.   

Matthew 6:24  No man can serve two masters:
for either he will hate the one, and love the other;
or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Our God is a jealous God.

He requires the devotion of the heart, the consecration of all the powers, and we cannot enjoy
religion without these.

Persons who try to unite God and the world, the service of sin and the service of God, cannot
be happy.

We must be decided. Well, who is to be God TO-DAY?

Is gain, carnal pleasure, or worldly company to be the idol to-day?

Or, is Jesus to have the thoughts, the desires, and the talents?

Shall we seek His glory, and aim at His honour?

Or, shall we say to some worthless bramble,
Come thou and reign over us?

Choose you, whom will you serve?

Attempt not to reconcile opposing claims, but let God or mammon have the whole.
Surely you are ready to cry out—“Thine am I, Jesus, and thee only will I serve!”

But you can only serve him acceptably, as you serve Him with the grace He imparts; He has
provided, promised, and invites you to receive. Let us therefore have grace whereby we may
serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

Serving God in the spirit of adoption is true happiness.

Oh, let thy love my soul inflame,
And to thy service sweetly bind;
Transfuse it through my inmost frame,
And mould me wholly to thy mind.
James Smith

Monday, January 20, 2020

The wisdom of the just, Luke 1:17

January 20     The wisdom of the just.      Luke 1:17

Luke 1:17  And he shall go before him in the spirit and 
power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to 
the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just
to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

The Lord’s people are justified freely, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ
The work of Jesus is their justification before God; in this they trust: this they plead, and in this they rejoice.

Taught by the Holy Spirit, they manifest wisdom in readily believing God’s faithful word, and
trusting Him to make good the same to them.

They resign themselves and all they value into His hands for preservation, and to be entirely at His disposal, persuaded that his wisdom and love will do better for them, than they possible
could for themselves.

They refer all things to God for His decision, and cheerfully abide by His sentence.  They live in simple, child-like dependence upon His providence and grace, for body and soul, for time and
eternity, seeking to make His will theirs.

They walk in charity with their fellow-christians, who differ in some things from them, and
would do good to all, especially to them that are of the household of faith.

Beloved, do you manifest this wisdom? Do you walk by this rule?

Do you mind the same things? Have you the wisdom that is from above, which is pure, gentle,
easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits?

Boundless wisdom, power divine,
Love unspeakable, are thine;
Wisdom, Lord, to me be giv’n,
Wisdom pure, which comes from heaven.
James Smith

Sunday, January 19, 2020

My Brother. Matthew 12:50

January 19     My brother.    Matt. 12:50

Matthew 12:50  For whosoever shall do the will of 
my Father which is in heaven,  the same is my brother
and sister, and mother.

And who is the brother of Jesus?

Every one who does the will of His Father.

Every believer who proves the truth of his faith by the goodness of his works; who shows the
excellence of his nature by the piety, benevolence, and charity of his life.

Believer, Jesus calls thee BROTHER. He has for thee a brother’s love.

Oh, how tender!         Oh, how tried!

Stronger than death; passing knowledge. He bears with thy infirmities, reproves thy follies,
encourages thy faith, forbids thy fears, and will certainly provide for thy wants.

Joseph in Egypt supplied his brethren during the famine, and shall not Jesus supply His?

If He seem to speak roughly, He will act kindly, and perform a brother’s part.

He has all power in heaven and earth.

He doeth according to His will, and He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

He will correspond with us, and bid us daily, yea hourly, correspond with Him. Oh, remember,
when you go to the throne of grace that your BROTHER fills it, He calls you to it, and will
withhold no good thing from you.

Precious Lord Jesus, manifest to me a brother’s love; and help me to rely on thy fraternal

Our nearest friend, our Brother now,
Is He to whom the angels bow:
They join with us to praise His name,
But we the nearest interest claim.
James Smith

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Evil is present with me. Romans 7:21

January 18    Evil is present with me.           Romans 7:21

Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

But what a mercy that it does not reign in you  and over you;   it did once, and would now but for free and sovereign grace.

If sin makes you groan, leads you to the throne to plead with God, and the fountain of the Saviour’s blood to be cleansed from it, it does not, it cannot reign. It may disturb your peace, distress  your mind, hinder you in duty, mix with all your efforts to do good; and even make you cry out, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?”

But even then you would not doubt; Jesus still loves you, grace will reign in your experience, and you shall be more, than a conqueror. Paul had know the Lord many years, he had been in the third heaven, and daily triumphed in Christ; yet he felt just as you feel, when he would do good evil was present with him, and  he could not do the things that he would.

If sin annoys you, is you burden, and causes you grief; holiness lives in you and the present painful conflict will en everlasting peace.

You may even now sing. “Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Live upon Christ, and you will live down all evil.

Crosses and changes are our lot,
Long as we sojourn here;
But since our Saviour changes not,
What have the saints to fear?
James Smith

Friday, January 17, 2020

I would do good. Romans 7:21

January 17       I would do good .     Romans 7:21

Romans 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Every believer has experienced the renewing of the Holy Ghost; sin has not dominion over him. He perceives the beauty of holiness, and loathes himself on account of sin.

He would be internally holy , and externally conformed to  the precepts of the Bible. He would pray with fervour; praise with gratitude; believe with confidence; war against sin, Satan, and the flesh, with courage; and glorify God by every feeling, thought, word and action.

Thus He feels, and for this he prays in his best monuments, but he finds that he needs the frequent renewing of the Holy Spirit, for the prone to sink into coldness, deadness, darkness, and stupidity, and he is obliged to cry out,  “My soul cleaveth unto the dust; quicken thou me according unto thy word.”

The Lord must work in us to WILL as well as to do; for by nature we are unwilling, and the desire after holiness, proved by effort to obtain it, is from God.

Beloved you must be coming to Jesus daily for fresh supplies of the Holy Spirit, or you will find yourself not only weak, but careless; not only will the power of godliness decline, but you will become indifferent.

Watch against temptation.   Watch unto prayer.   Watch over you own heart.

O Lord, assist me through the fight,
My drooping spirit raise;
Make me triumphant in thy might,
And thine shall be the praise.
James Smith

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Is it well with thee? II Kings 4:26

January 16     Is it well with thee?     2 Kings 4:26

2 Kings 4:26  Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.

Is Jesus precious to your soul?

Are you mourning over sin, or after the presence of your beloved Saviour? 

Are you strong in faith, giving glory to God?

Are you panting for communion with your heavenly Father?

Is the world beneath your feet?

Are you glowing with love to all saints?    Are you seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?     Are you lying at the feet of Jesus in trouble, crying, “Lord, help me?”
If so, it is well with thee: there is a spiritual life in thy soul, and the blessed Spirit is thy teacher.

But if the world is preferred to Jesus, the pleasures of time to fellowship with God, if self-examination is neglected, and the Bible is become dry and unsavoury, it is not well.

Health of soul is manifested by habitual prayer, zeal in the Lord’s cause, an appetite for the bread of life, and activity in the Lord’s ways.

Is thy soul sick?

If so, apply at once to Jesus, as the great physician; and plead with Him to restore unto thee the joys of His Salvation, and to uphold thee with His free Spirit. He will heal thy backslidings, and love thee freely.

‘Tis well; my soul fill’d with joy,
Through in myself a feeble worm;
For Jesus will His power employ,
And save my soul in every storm;
He will His gracious word fulfil,
And guard my soul from every ill.
James Smith

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

But thou art the same - Psalm 102:27

January 15  But thou art the same.    Psalm 102:27

Psalm  102:27  But thou art the same, and 
thy years shall have no end.

Every thing below is liable to change; health may give place to sickness, pleasure to pain, plenty to poverty, love to enmity, honour to disgrace, strength to weakness, and life to death. Remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. But though all our circumstances and friends should change, there is one who never changes; he is in one mind, and none can turn Him.

With Him is no variableness.

He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; and Hi is our best friend, our nearest relation, our gracious Saviour.

Yesterday, His name was Jesus; His nature was love; His purpose was to do us good with His whole heart and soul; to-day He is the same; we cannot expect too much from Him, or be too confident in Him, if we are walking humbly with Him.

He will be our God and we shall be His people. Let us cultivate intimacy with Him, dependence upon Him, concern to please Him, fear to offend Him, zeal to glorify Him; and it must be well with us in health and sickness, plenty and poverty, life and death; for He is the same, and will never turn away from doing us good, but remain the fountain of love and holiness for ever.
Praise ye the Lord.

This God is the God we adore,
Our faithful, unchangeable friend,
Whose love is as large as His power,
And neither knows measure nor end.
James Smith

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Walk Circumspectly. Ephesians 5:15

January 14   Walk circumspectly.  Ephesians 5:15

Ephesians 5:15  See then that ye walk circumspectly,
not as fools, but as wise,

You are in an enemy’s land; surrounded by temptations; and have a heart that is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

To honour Jesus in your spirit communications, and every action, should be your constant aim. You are to live unto the Lord, for Him who died for you and rose again.

To this end, provision was laid up in the everlasting covenant, for  this purpose the precious promises were made, and with this design the Holy Spirit is given; that you may serve Him in righteousness and holiness all the days of your life. 

This world  is not your home; Satan’s family are not to be your associates; riches, honours or pleasure, are not to be your objects; you are to walk as in the midst of snares;  watchful,  praying, depending upon Jesus, and cultivation fellowship with Him.

Oh, keep your eyes on Jesus as your example;  walk by His word as your rule; be not venturesome or presumptuous, but avoid the very appearance of evil.   Never leave the Lord’s ways or ordinances, to join the world’s parties or please a carnal fancy.

Keep close to Jesus, and follow on to  know the Lord. Act as a loving child going home to his father’s house.

So let our lips and lives express
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine.
James Smith