One Secure Place

I will be with you always.
MATTHEW 28:20

David, the man after God’s own heart, said: “I’m asking Yahweh for one thing, only one thing: to live with him in his house my whole life long” … (Ps 27:4 MSG).

What is this house of God which David seeks? Is David describing a physical structure? Does he long for a building with four walls and a door through which he can enter but never exit? No. “Our Lord does not live in temples built by human hands” (Acts 17:24). When David says, “I will live in the house of the LORD forever” (Ps. 23:6), he’s not saying he wants to get away from people. He’s saying that he yearns to be in God’s presence, wherever he is.

The Great House of God

Our Lord Jesus differs from all other teachers

“Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45

He whom we viewed last evening as opening Scripture, we here perceive opening the understanding. In the first work He has many fellow-labourers, but in the second He stands alone; many can bring the Scriptures to the mind, but the Lord alone can prepare the mind to receive the Scriptures. Our Lord Jesus differs from all other teachers; they reach the ear, but He instructs the heart; they deal with the outward letter, but He imparts an inward taste for the truth, by which we perceive its savour and spirit.

The most unlearned of men become ripe scholars in the school of grace when the Lord Jesus by His Holy Spirit unfolds the mysteries of the kingdom to them, and grants the divine anointing by which they are enabled to behold the invisible. Happy are we if we have had our understandings cleared and strengthened by the Master! How many men of profound learning are ignorant of eternal things! They know the killing letter of revelation, but its killing spirit they cannot discern; they have a veil upon their hearts which the eyes of carnal reason cannot penetrate.

Such was our case a little time ago; we who now see were once utterly blind; truth was to us as beauty in the dark, a thing unnoticed and neglected. Had it not been for the love of Jesus we should have remained to this moment in utter ignorance, for without His gracious opening of our understanding, we could no more have attained to spiritual knowledge than an infant can climb the Pyramids, or an ostrich fly up to the stars. Jesus’ College is the only one in which God’s truth can be really learned; other schools may teach us what is to be believed, but Christ’s alone can show us how to believe it. Let us sit at the feet of Jesus, and by earnest prayer call in His blessed aid that our dull wits may grow brighter, and our feeble understandings may receive heavenly things.

I could not find the Lord

“I sought him, but I found him not.” Song 3:1

Tell me where you lost the company of Christ, and I will tell you the most likely place to find Him. Have you lost Christ in the closet by restraining prayer? Then it is there you must seek and find Him. Did you lose Christ by sin? You will find Christ in no other way but by the giving up of the sin, and seeking by the Holy Spirit to mortify the member in which the lust doth dwell. Did you lose Christ by neglecting the Scriptures? You must find Christ in the Scriptures.

It is a true proverb, “Look for a thing where you dropped it, it is there.” So look for Christ where you lost Him, for He has not gone away. But it is hard work to go back for Christ. Bunyan tells us, the pilgrim found the piece of the road back to the Arbour of Ease, where he lost his roll, the hardest he had ever traveled. Twenty miles onward is easier than to go one mile back for the lost evidence.

Take care, then, when you find your Master, to cling close to Him. But how is it you have lost Him? One would have thought you would never have parted with such a precious friend, whose presence is so sweet, whose words are so comforting, and whose company is so dear to you! How is it that you did not watch Him every moment for fear of losing sight of Him?

Yet, since you have let Him go, what a mercy that you are seeking Him, even though you mournfully groan, “O that I knew where I might find Him!” Go on seeking, for it is dangerous to be without thy Lord. Without Christ you are like a sheep without its shepherd; like a tree without water at its roots; like a sere leaf in the tempest—not bound to the tree of life. With thine whole heart seek Him, and He will be found of thee: only give thyself thoroughly up to the search, and verily, thou shalt yet discover Him to thy joy and gladness.

Practice makes perfect

“Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1.)

“GO to the ant.” Tammerlane used to relate to his friends an anecdote of his early life. “I once,” he said, “was forced to take shelter from my enemies in a ruined building, where I sat alone many hours. Desiring to divert my mind from my hopeless condition, I fixed my eyes on an ant that was carrying a grain of corn larger than itself up a high wall. I numbered the efforts it made to accomplish this object. The grain fell sixty-nine times to the ground; but the insect persevered, and the seventieth time it reached the top. This sight gave me courage at the moment, and I never forgot the lesson. —The King’s Business.

Prayer which takes the fact that past prayers have not been answered as a reason for languor, has already ceased to be the prayer of faith. To the prayer of faith the fact that prayers remain unanswered is only evidence that the moment of the answer is so much nearer. From first to last, the lessons and examples of our Lord all tell us that prayer which cannot persevere and urge its plea importunately, and renew, and renew itself again, and gather strength from every past petition, is not the prayer that will prevail.—William Arthur.

Rubenstein, the great musician, once said, “If I omit practice one day, I notice it; if two days, my friends notice it; if three days, the public notice it.” It is the old doctrine, “Practice makes perfect.” We must continue believing, continue praying, continue doing His will. Suppose along any line of art, one should cease practicing, we know what the result would be. If we would only use the same quality of common sense in our religion that we use in our everyday life, we should go on to perfection.

The motto of David Livingstone was in these words, “I determined never to stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose.” By unfaltering persistence and faith in God he conquered.

Have you visited our Prayer Request Page?

CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY

Sing praises to the LORD … Tell the nations what he has done.
PSALM 9:11

You have Christmas every day. Your gift bears, not toys and books, but God himself! His work: on the cross and in the resurrection. As a result, your sin brings no guilt, and the grave brings no fear.

His energy: it’s not up to you. You can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength.

His lordship: he is in charge of you and looks out for you.

His love: what can separate you from it?

Who could imagine such gifts? Who could imagine not opening them?

from COME THIRSTY

Walk by Faith

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Although today’s verse appears in parentheses in the King James Bible, it is a most important concept in Scripture and is the summary of an extensive passage which precedes it. Beginning with 2 Corinthians 4:8, Paul continually contrasts the seen and the unseen, finishing up with the admonition to “walk by faith.”

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (vv. 8-9). Though we have trials on the outside, through faith we have inward triumph.

“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus . . . that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (vv. 10-11). Even though “death worketh in us,” that same persecution results in “life in you” (v. 12). Through faith we know “that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus” (v. 14).

“Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (vv. 16-17).

“If our earthly house [i.e., body] of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (5:1), “that mortality might be swallowed up of life”(v. 4). The death and decay of this life will ultimately be eradicated. We know this to be fact, for He “hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit” (v. 5) as a guarantee of our resurrection, if indeed we have been born again by faith, the same faith by which we walk.

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

by John D. Morris, Ph.D.