GOD IS RIGHTEOUS

“The LORD will do what he thinks is right.” 1 CHRONICLES 19:13

Righteousness is who God is. God’s righteousness endures forever (2 Corinthians 9:9) and “reaches to the skies” (Psalm 71:19). God is righteous. His decrees are righteous (Psalm 119:138). His judgment is righteous (Romans 2:5). His requirements are righteous (Romans 8:4). His acts are righteous (Daniel 9:16). Daniel declared, “Our God is right in everything he does” (Daniel 9:14).

God is never wrong. He has never rendered a wrong decision, experienced the wrong attitude, taken the wrong path, said the wrong thing, or acted the wrong way. He is never too late or too early, too loud or too soft, too fast or too slow. He has always been and always will be right. He is righteous.

from TRAVELING LIGHT

Miserable Success

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,and follow Me. —Luke 9:23

“In whatever a man does without God, he must fail miserably—or succeed more miserably,” wrote George MacDonald (1824–1905), a Scottish novelist, poet, and Christian minister. This intriguing statement is often cited by modern speakers and writers and appears in MacDonald’s book Unspoken Sermons.

MacDonald was dealing with the difficult subject of a Christian’s self-denial and how we are to apply this teaching of Jesus: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).

Rather than merely trying to suppress our natural desires, MacDonald said that true self-denial means “we must see things as [Christ] saw them, regard them as He regarded them; we must take the will of God as the very life of our being . . . . We are no more to think, ‘What should I like to do?’ but ‘What would the Living One have me do?’”

Getting only what we want is succeeding miserably. True success is found in “losing” our lives for Jesus’ sake and finding them again full and free in His will.

More like the Master I would live and grow,
More of His love to others I would show;
More self-denial, like His in Galilee,
More like the Master I long to ever be. —Gabriel

The spirit of humility and self-denial precedes a deeper and closer walk with God.

To the Fourth Generation

“Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” (Deuteronomy 5:9)

This seemingly unwarranted penalty imposed on the innocent grandchildren of the idolater cannot possibly negate the later promise of God through the prophet Ezekiel: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezekiel 18:20).

And certainly it cannot obviate the clear promise of Christ Himself in the last chapter of the Bible: “Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). Anyone who desires to do so may accept the Lord’s gracious offer of salvation, regardless of the possible wickedness or anti-Christian religion of any of his ancestors.

At the same time, a man should realize that his decision to follow a false religion and then bring up his children in that false religion will almost certainly affect his grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well. Many of the latter will actually be children while their great-grandfather is still alive. It is a simple fact that most children (though not all) will continue in their parents’ “religion.” They can, if they wish, choose to leave their parents’ religion and become Christians, but most will not.

What a great responsibility, therefore, each father has! He should quickly accept Christ (whose credentials as our Creator and Redeemer are impeccable!) as his Savior and Lord, and then diligently train his own children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). HMM

A door opened in heaven

“A door opened in heaven.” (Rev. 4:1.)

YOU must remember that John was in the Isle of Patmos, a lone, rocky, inhospitable prison, for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. And yet to him, under such circumstances, separated from all the loved ones of Ephesus; debarred from the worship of the Church; condemned to the companionship of uncongenial fellow-captives, were vouchsafed these visions. For him, also a door was opened.

We are reminded of Jacob, exiled from his father’s house, who laid himself down in a desert place to sleep, and in his dreams beheld a ladder which united Heaven with earth, and at the top stood God.

Not to these only, but to many more, doors have been opened into Heaven, when, so far as the world was concerned, it seemed as though their circumstances were altogether unlikely for such revelations.

To prisoners and captives; to constant sufferers, bound by iron chains of pain to sick couches; to lonely pilgrims and wanderers; to women detained from the Lord’s house by the demands of home, how often has the door been opened to Heaven.

But there are conditions. You must know what it is to be in the Spirit; you must be pure in heart and obedient in faith; you must be willing to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ; then when God is all in all to us, when we live, move and have our being in His favor, to us also will the door be opened. —Daily Devotional Commentary.

“God hath His mountains bleak and bare,
Where He doth bid us rest awhile;
Crags where we breathe a purer air,
Lone peaks that catch the day’s first smile.

“God hath His deserts broad and brown—
A solitude—a sea of sand,
Where He doth let heaven’s curtain down,
Unknit by His Almighty hand.”

But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods

“But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.” Exodus 7:12

This incident is an instructive emblem of the sure victory of the divine handiwork over all opposition. Whenever a divine principle is cast into the heart, though the devil may fashion a counterfeit, and produce swarms of opponents, as sure as ever God is in the work, it will swallow up all its foes. If God’s grace takes possession of a man, the world’s magicians may throw down all their rods; and every rod may be as cunning and poisonous as a serpent, but Aaron’s rod will swallow up their rods.

The sweet attractions of the cross will woo and win the man’s heart, and he who lived only for this deceitful earth will now have an eye for the upper spheres, and a wing to mount into celestial heights. When grace has won the day the worldling seeks the world to come. The same fact is to be observed in the life of the believer. What multitudes of foes has our faith had to meet! Our old sins—the devil threw them down before us, and they turned to serpents. What hosts of them! Ah, but the cross of Jesus destroys them all.

Faith in Christ makes short work of all our sins. Then the devil has launched forth another host of serpents in the form of worldly trials, temptations, unbelief; but faith in Jesus is more than a match for them, and overcomes them all. The same absorbing principle shines in the faithful service of God! With an enthusiastic love for Jesus difficulties are surmounted, sacrifices become pleasures, sufferings are honours. But if religion is thus a consuming passion in the heart, then it follows that there are many persons who profess religion but have it not; for what they have will not bear this test. Examine yourself, my reader, on this point.

Aaron’s rod proved its heaven-given power. Is your religion doing so? If Christ be anything He must be everything. O rest not till love and faith in Jesus be the master passions of your soul!

Looking unto Jesus

“Looking unto Jesus.” Hebrews 12:2

It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.”

All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that “Christ is all in all.” Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking unto Jesus.”

Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.

“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”