God’s Goodness

The rich and the poor are alike in that the LORD made them all. PROVERBS 22:2

Have you noticed that God doesn’t ask you to prove that you will put your salary to good use? Have you noticed that God doesn’t turn off your oxygen supply when you misuse his gifts? Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t give you only that which you remember to thank him for? …

God’s goodness is spurred by his nature, not by our worthiness.

Someone asked an associate of mine, “What biblical precedent do we have to help the poor who have no desire to become Christians?”

My friend responded with one word: “God.”

God does it daily, for millions of people.

In the Eye of the Storm

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No More Tears

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

Surely this is one of the most glorious promises in the Bible! No more suffering, no more sorrow, no more death! In this present life, in this present world, every one of us must endure suffering and sorrow in various degrees, and eventually death. But our gracious Savior “hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” and because “the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . he was cut off out of the land of the living” (Isaiah 53:4, 6, 8), and He endured for us the awful suffering of death on the cross.

In dying, however, He defeated death, rose from the grave, and is now alive “for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). Thus He can promise immortal physical bodies that will never die again to all who trust Him.

How can He do such a thing? He “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21). “The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

The believers of pre-Christian days will also share in these blessings. The prophet Isaiah recorded a beautiful promise to them, as well as us, hundreds of years before Christ came to make it possible. “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: . . . And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him . . . we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation” (Isaiah 25:8-9). HMM

MY grace is sufficient for thee

“My grace is sufficient for thee.” (2 Cor. 12:9.)

THE other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work. I felt very wearied, and sore depressed, when swiftly, and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” I reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way, “MY grace is sufficient for thee”; and I said, “I should think it is, Lord,” and burst out laughing.

I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd. It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames said, “Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee.” Or, it seemed after the seven years of plenty, a mouse feared it might die of famine; and Joseph might say, “Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee.”

Again, I imagined a man away up yonder, in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, “I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere,” but the earth might say, “Breathe away, O man, and fill the lungs ever, my atmosphere is sufficient for thee.” Oh, brethren, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to Heaven, but great faith will bring Heaven to your souls. —C. H. Spurgeon.

His grace is great enough to meet the great things—
The crashing waves that overwhelm the soul,
The roaring winds that leave us stunned and breathless,
The sudden storms beyond our life’s control.
His grace is great enough to meet the small things—
The little pin-prick troubles that annoy,
The insect worries, buzzing and persistent,
The squeaking wheels that grate upon our joy.
—Annie Johnson Flint.

There is always a large balance to our credit in the bank of Heaven waiting for our exercise of faith in drawing it. Draw heavily upon His resources.

We too are lepers

“Behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague.” Leviticus 13:13

Strange enough this regulation appears, yet there was wisdom in it, for the throwing out of the disease proved that the constitution was sound. This evening it may be well for us to see the typical teaching of so singular a rule. We, too, are lepers, and may read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves.

When a man sees himself to be altogether lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and in no part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his own, and pleads guilty before the Lord, then he is clean through the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy; but when sin is seen and felt, it has received its deathblow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it.

Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness, or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are “nothing else but sin,” for no confession short of this will be the whole truth; and if the Holy Spirit be at work with us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty about making such an acknowledgment—it will spring spontaneously from our lips.

What comfort does the text afford to truly awakened sinners: the very circumstance which so grievously discouraged them is here turned into a sign and symptom of a hopeful state! Stripping comes before clothing; digging out the foundation is the first thing in building—and a thorough sense of sin is one of the earliest works of grace in the heart. O thou poor leprous sinner, utterly destitute of a sound spot, take heart from the text, and come as thou art to Jesus—

“For let our debts be what they may, however great or small,
As soon as we have nought to pay, our Lord forgives us all.
‘Tis perfect poverty alone that sets the soul at large:
While we can call one mite our own, we have no full discharge.”

Salvation is the work of God

“Salvation is of the Lord.” Jonah 2:9

Salvation is the work of God. It is He alone who quickens the soul “dead in trespasses and sins,” and it is He also who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both “Alpha and Omega.” “Salvation is of the Lord.”

If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God’s gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because He upholds me with His hand. I do nothing whatever towards my own preservation, except what God Himself first does in me.

Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Wherein I sin, that is my own; but wherein I act rightly, that is of God, wholly and completely. If I have repulsed a spiritual enemy, the Lord’s strength nerved my arm.

Do I live before men a consecrated life? It is not I, but Christ who liveth in me. Am I sanctified? I did not cleanse myself: God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me.

Am I weaned from the world? I am weaned by God’s chastisements sanctified to my good.

Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me.

All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art.

I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery. “He only is my rock and my
salvation.”

Do I feed on the Word? That Word would be no food for me unless the Lord made it food for my soul, and helped me to feed upon it.

Do I live on the manna which comes down from heaven? What is that manna but Jesus Christ himself incarnate, whose body and whose blood I eat and drink?

Am I continually receiving fresh increase of strength? Where do I gather my might? My help cometh from heaven’s hills: without Jesus I can do nothing. As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in Him.

What Jonah learned in the great deep, let me learn this morning in my closet: “Salvation is of the Lord.”