Saturday, February 29, 2020

Love Not The World

February 29

Love not the world

Love not the world, neither the things that are in
 the world. If any man love the world, the love
of the Father is not in him.   1 John 2:15

What is the world? 
A shadow. 
A deception.  
The enemy of God.

What can you do for us?   

It may enchant, but it will deceive.   It may please for a time but it will sting in the end.  It is an enemy’s country; we must pass through it, but we should not be too intimate with the inhabitants of it.

It crucified our Saviour; it is in open rebellion against our God; it has allured, deceived, and injured many of our brethren; it is reserved unto fire at the judgement of the great day.

We shall soon be called to leave it, we may be called today; “For what is our life? It is even as a vapour, which appeared for a little while, and then vanisheth away.”

Let us fix and spend our love upon a worthier object;
let us turn our thoughts to heaven, to Jesus; and
let us seek grace that we may daily and heartily say,
“Whom have I in heaven but Thee and there is none upon earth I desire besides Thee.”

Precious Saviour!  engross our attention, fix our affections, and be always our all in all!

None but Jesus, none but Jesus, should be our motto every day.

He alone is worthy of our love; and He is worthy of it, for He died and lives to win it.

Lord, from this world call off my love,
Set my affections right;
Bid me aspire to joys above,
And walk no more by sight.

James Smith

Friday, February 28, 2020

I Am He That Liveth

February 28

I am He that liveth.

Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead;
and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;
and have the keys of hell and of death.

Jesus once died in our stead; He now liveth at the right hand of God. 

He is the fountain of life. 

Because He lives, His people shall live also. He lives in heaven to see of the travail of His soul, in the regeneration, sanctification, preservation, and glorification of His beloved family.

He lives to intercede for them, to sympathise with them, and to pour down blessings upon them.

He lives to watch over them, to counsel and direct them, and save them for ever more.

He lives to execute the purposes of the Father, to manage all the concerns of His church, and to glorify us with himself for evermore.

Gracious Savior! earthly friends may die, but thou livest; temporal comforts may be lost, but we are still a place in Thy heart; Thou art our Friend before thy Father’s throne!

May we ever remember, Jesus liveth who was dead; and He is alive for evermore, and has the keys of hell and of death. Oh to live for Him on earth, who lives for us in heaven!

Oh, to live like Him, that as He is, so we may be in this world-- representatives of God and holiness!

Oh, to live by faith on Him, in sweet and holy fellowship with Him.

His saints He loves, and never leaves;
The chief of sinners, He receives;
Cheer up my heart, with this revive,
The sinner‘s friend is yet alive.

James Smith

Thursday, February 27, 2020

All Things Come Of Thee

February 27

All things come of Thee.

1Chronicles 29:14 But who am I, and what is my people,
that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort?
for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above; creatures apart from God are empty cisterns, dry wells, deceitful brooks.

All good dwells in thy God, and flows from Him to thee.

Every crumb is from Christ. What He gives freely, cost Him groans, sweat, and blood to procure for thee.

View Him as the source of all good, and His atonement as the medium through which all flows to thee. He gives thee thy temporal mercies, and thy spiritual blessings; He gives thee also the ability to enjoy them, and employ them for His glory.

He directs all events, whether pleasing or painful.

“Be not angry with yourselves,” said Joseph to his brethren,” it was not you but God.”

To Him therefore your mind should be directed in prayer, dependence and praise. Look above creatures and see the Lord’s hand, as the Job, Eli, David, and Paul.

Rest with unshaken confidence and filial reservation on His word, power, providence, and love; ever remembering that all things come of Him.

The Lord will give us that which is good, and a blessing with it, if we are looking to, and walking with Him.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, -- from Jesus.

He sank beneath our heavy woes,
To raise us to His throne;
There’s ne’er a gift His hands bestows,
But cost His heart a groan.

James Smith

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Ye Do Dishonour Me

February 26

Ye do dishonour me.

John 8:49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil;
but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.

This is a complaint brought against us by our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us listen to it. He has assured us of His love, that He seeks our good, that He will not be wroth with us;

we dishonor Him therefore by our fretfulness, under trials and troubles;

by our murmuring when all is not as we wish;
by our impatience to be delivered from pain;
by our unbelief in reference to His promises and providence; 
by our unthankfulness for the many mercies we have receive;
by employing His favours in Satan’s service;
by limiting His power or His goodness;
by omitting duties from want of love, or zeal;
by relying on our services instead of free grace;
and by looking to others, instead of looking only and always to Him for all.

Dishonouring  Jesus must be a great sin; it produces deadness, darkness, and misery; let us realize its criminality, lament it before God, seek repentance for it, and forgiveness of it.

Oh, let us aim to honor Jesus by gratitude, patience, faith, love, forbearance, penitence, zeal, and constantly aiming at His glory!

To honor Him in life, death, and forever!

Lord, draw my heart from earth away,
And make it only know thy call;
Speak to my inmost soul, and say,
“I am thy  Saviour, God, thine all!”
Nor let me more dishonour Thee,
But thy devoted servant be.

James Smith

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Christ Is All

February 25

Christ is all

Colossians 3:11  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew,
circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian,
bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Yes-- this is God‘s purpose, which cannot be frustrated, that Christ shall be all.

He is all in our justification and sanctification, for we are justified and sanctified IN HIS NAME.

He is all in our preservation and glorification, for we are kept by His power, and enter heaven through His merits.

He should be all in our pursuits, pleasures, hopes, motives, and aims. 

Many put their comforts in the place of Christ, and then God puts comfort out of their reach; 

others put their graces in the place of Christ, and then faith, hope, and love are concealed by a cloud.

There must be nothing between God and us, but Jesus; we must look away from sin, from graces, and from works and expect to be accepted, blessed, and honored only in the name and for the honor of Jesus.

Christ is our conquering weapon, by which we overcome our foes; our plea, by which we prevail with God; our righteousness, by which we are justified; and our peace, which supports and comforts us in life and in death.

Christ is all we want, or God can give.

He is our sun and shield; our present joy, and endless portion.

Saviour! the knowledge of thy love
Into my soul convey;
Thyself bestow! for Thee alone,
My all in all I pray.
I would be only, always thine,
And prove the power of love devine.

James Smith

Monday, February 24, 2020

Who Gave Himself For Me

February 24

who gave himself for me

Galatians 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: 
nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: 
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the 
faith of the Son of God, who loved me, 
and gave himself for me.

Jesus was our substitute.   He lived, suffered, and died in our stead.   Our sins were imputed to Him,    punished in Him,   and removed by Him.

God had cursed us, but Jesus gave Himself to bear the curse in our stead;  every threatening of the law was executed on Him; every one of the claims of justice was answered by Him; and now God is just and yet the justifier of every one that believeth in Jesus.

The debt-book is crossed, the hand-writing that was against us is destroyed, and every foe is overcome.

Do we think of the law we have broken,
of the justice we have provoked,
of the hell we have deserved?

Let us also think,  Jesus gave himself for me.

He satisfied justice, fulfilled the law, and brought glory to God, in my nature, name, and stead; and God is infinitely more honoured by the life and death of my substitute, then he could  have been either by my obedience had I never sinned, or by my punishing me for sin.

This is our rejoicing, that God can be just in justifying who believe in Jesus.

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Jesus is the chiefest good;
He hath saved us by His blood.
Let us value nought but Him;
Nothing else deserves esteem.
Jesus, when stern Justice said,
“Man his life has forfeited,
Vengeance follows my decree,”
Cried, “Inflict it all on me.”

James Smith

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Who Loved Me

February 23

Who loved me

Galatians 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: 
nevertheless I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life
which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the
Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

And what was Paul?   A blasphemer, a persecutor, one who injured the church of God.

And did Jesus love Paul? Yes-- He loved me.

Then the love of Jesus is free, and not on account of any thing man is.

The cause of love is in God, not in the objects loved.   You may have looked for some reason to conclude that God has loved you, but you have been disappointed; the Lord says, “I will love them freely.”

When we were dead in sins, He quickened us because He loved us;
He revealed Jesus to us because He loved us;
He has given us His Holy Spirit because He loved us.

Whom once He loves he never leaves.

Jesus loves us this morning with a free infinite, and eternal love.

He loves our persons apart from our graces and acts; these are the effects of His love, and not strictly the object of His love. O Holy Spirit! whisper to our hearts this morning, “Jesus loves thee, even thee.’

Oh, to love Him in return! to love Him above health, wealth, comfort, yea, life itself!

Oh, to show forth the praises of His love by humility, faith, consistency and zeal!

Great God, to thy almighty love
What honours shall I rise?
Not all the raptured songs above,
Can render equal praise.
Thy love to me surpasses thought,-
O could I praise thee as I ought!

James Smith

Saturday, February 22, 2020

He Delighteth in Mercy

February 22

He Delighteth in Mercy

Micah 7:18  Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth
iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant
of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever,
because he delighteth in mercy.

The proper object of mercy is misery; sin has rendered us miserable, and God has revealed Himself as merciful.

He delighteth in mercy; it is a pleasure to Him to have mercy upon us;
He delights to pardon our sins, relieve our necessities, and save our souls.

His own glory being secured, He delights to bless His people.

He is styled the father of mercies; and as a father takes pleasure in His children, so does our God is showing mercy.

He always delights in mercy, therefore He does so this morning;
go then and mourn over thy sins which have grieved Him, and render you miserable;
go and plead for mercy at His throne, nor doubt for one moment with His pity, His kindness, or His grace.

Have you obtained mercy?

 Be zealous, to glorify God in the day a visitation;
be honest and ascribe all to mercy which is her due;
and be active to spread the good news abroad, assuring poor miserable sinners,
that God delighteth in mercy.

With this, check thy fears, repel thy temptations, and comfort by heart.

Believe it as an undoubted truth, plead it as a powerful argument with God, and daily rejoice in it.

It is sweet to be an infinite debtor to mercy.

‘Tis mercy in Jesus exempts me from hell;
Its glories I’ll sing, and it’s wonders I’ll tell;
‘Twas Jesus, my friend, when He hung on the tree,
Who open’d the channel of mercy for me.

James Smith

Friday, February 21, 2020

The Lord Trieth The Righteous

February 21.

The Lord trieth the righteous.

Psalm 11:5  The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked
and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Where the Lord gives grace,   He always tries it;   therefore His own people must expect to pass through the fire.

He will try our faith,   of what sort it is;    
our love, of what strength it is.
He will also try our patience and our constancy.

Let us not therefore be surprised at trials, nor let us be discouraged by them;
for He tries out of pure love, with the best design,
according to a wise rule, and at the fittest season.

He considers our frame, our circumstances, and our foes;   He does nothing rashly or unkindly. He would not put us to pain if we did not need it; trials are preservatives or restoratives; they keep us back from evil,   or are intended to bring us out of the evil into which we have fallen.

Thy trials are from the Lord;   His wisdom selected,   His love appointed, and   His providence brings them about.

If you ask, “Why, Lord, am I tried thus?”

The answer is, “To humble thee, and to prove thee, and to do thee good at thy latter end.”

Receive every trial as from God,   and go to Him for strength to bear it,  grace to sanctify it, and deliverance from it;   and so all will be well.

It is not for His pleasure, but for your profit, that you are so tried.

Often the clouds of deepest woe,
A sweet love-message bear;
Dark though they seem, we cannot find
A frown of anger there.

James Smith

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Is the Lord's Hand Waxed Short?

February 20

Is the Lord’s hand waxed short?

Numbers 11:23  And the LORD said unto Moses, 
Is the LORD'S hand waxed short? thou shalt see 
now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

No— what He hath done, He can do; and all He hath promised, or His people need, He will do.

He has all power.    He knows no difficulty.    

Why then are we cast down?

Because we do not believe His word,    depend simply on His veracity,     and expect all we need from His hand.

He was displeased with Moses when he questioned His power,    and He is displeased with us when we doubt His love,    distrust His providence      or ask, “How can this be?”

Whatever may be your difficulty,    trial,     or want,      plead with the Lord and confidently expect deliverance;      and if any temptation is presented to weaken your faith,     rouse your fears,      or disturb your tranquillity,      meet it with this question, “Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? “

Beloved, look not to the hand of man,    but look simply to the hand of God;     man may disappoint you,      God will not.

He is faithful that promised.

He is a God at hand.

He will be near you throughout this day;     His hand is able and ready to help you;    therefore trust and be not afraid.

In heaven, and earth, and air and sea,
He executes His firm decrees;
And by His saints it stands confess’d
That what He does is ever best;
Then own His powerful arm rely,
And He will bring salvation nigh.

James Smith

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

He Cares For You

February 19

He cares for you

1 Peter 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; 
for he careth for you.

The Lord knows all His people, their persons, wants, and trials; He thinketh upon them to benefit, deliver, and supply them.

He keeps His eye upon them in all places, at all times, and under all circumstances.

He has them in His hand, and will not loose His hold.   He looks upon them always as His own; the objects of His love, the purchase of His Son’s blood, the temples of the Holy Spirit.

They are precious in his sight.

He knows they are weak, fearful, and have many enemies. He teaches them to cast themselves and all their cares into His hands;   and He has given them His word, that He will care for them.

It is a Father’s care which He exercises.

It is wise, holy, tender, and constant;   therefore all will be well, only trust.

Believe that He cares for you this day;   carry all your concerns to Him in the faith of this; leave all with Him, persuaded that He will manage all by His infinite wisdom, and bring all to a good issue by His omnipotent power.

Cast all your cares upon Him as fast as they come in;   be anxious for nothing.

“Casting thy burden upon the Lord,   and He shall sustain the;   He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

Cast, He says, on me thy care,
‘Tis enough that I am nigh
I will all thy burdens bear,
I will all thy want to supply.

James Smith

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Be Ye Also Patient

February 18

Be Ye Also Patient

James 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh

Our God is a God of patience.

The Lord Jesus is the great example of patience.

The Holy Spirit is the agent producing patience.

Trials, troubles and disappointments are the means which exercise and strengthen it. The patience required, is a disposition to bear all that God has appointed for us, without complaining; yea, with resignation and hope: to wait God’s time for the mercies we need, or for answer to the prayers we put up.

Patience is the daughter of faith; and it is only as we believe that God has appointed, overrules, or commands, for our good and His glory, that we can be patient.

Patience produces his self-possession, shuts the mouth from complaining, keeps back the heart from seeking revenge, and is the principal point of self-government.

Are you impatient?

Then confess it, and mourn over it before God; it will make you miserable, and lead you to dishonour God.

Watch against it; the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Look at the prophets, apostles, martyrs, at Jesus; and be ye also patient:

“In your patience possess ye your souls.”

Oh for grace! to aid us on,
And arm with fortitude the breast,
‘Till life’s tumultuous voyage o’er,
We reach the shores of heavenly rest.
Oh may we still with patience strive,
Till we at Zion’s gate arrive!

James Smith

Monday, February 17, 2020

Now is the Day of Salvation

February 17

Now is the day of salvation

2 Corinthians 6:2  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

What an unspeakable mercy to live at such a period.

We are poor, lost, ruined sinners; but this is the day when salvation is freely bestowed, without money and without price. The Lord saves from love, power, and consequences of sin;  gives His Holy Spirit,    writes His law in the heart,   and directs our feet into the way of peace.

He gives us Jesus, who is the Saviour;
gives us grace which conquers sin;
gives us heaven, to enjoy when the journey of life is ended.

This is the day in which He works deliverance for His people;   He employs His power, His wisdom, His word, His providence, and His angels for our deliverance.

What then shall we fear?

Of whom shall we be afraid?

Let us go to His throne, remembering that it is the day of salvation; let us plead for deliverance from all that mars our peace, prevents our enjoyment, or hinders us in our Christian course.

Let there be no despondency, for this is the day of good tidings; it is,
Believe, and be saved;
pray, and be delivered;
wait on the Lord, and He will strengthen your heart.

 “By grace are you saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Salvation, O the joyful sound!
‘Tis pleasure to our ears;
A sovereign balm for every wound,
A cordial for our fears.
James Smith