God Walks Among the Suffering

He took our suffering on him and carried our diseases. MATTHEW 8:17

Picture a battleground strewn with wounded bodies, and you see Bethesda. Imagine a nursing home overcrowded and understaffed, and you see the pool. Call to mind the orphans in Bangladesh or then abandoned in New Delhi, and you will see what people saw when they passed Bethesda. As they passed, what did they hear? An endless wave of groans. What did they witness? A field of faceless need. What did they do? Most walked past.…

But not Jesus.…

He is alone.… The people need him—so he’s there. Can you picture it? Jesus walking among the suffering.…

Little do they know that God is walking slowly, stepping carefully between the beggars and the blind.

He Still Moves Stones

Overcoming Unforgiveness

Matthew 6:9-15

Do you constantly struggle to forgive people who have wronged you? If so, you may be of the opinion that forgiveness is simply a feeling one can have in the face of conflict—and that you are incapable of experiencing it. If that’s your mindset, you are operating with a faulty understanding. Genuine forgiveness is not a feeling, but an action. If you find it hard to forgive others, the following four guidelines can help:

1. Acknowledge and confess an unforgiving spirit. No, it is not always easy to forgive. We are sometimes the target of tremendously hurtful offenses. However, we are not accountable for other people’s behavior; we are responsible only for our own. God commanded us to be loving, forgiving people. If we hold a grudge, that is our problem and no one else’s—we must repent of this sin and ask God to help our unforgiveness.

2. Release the other person. Make a decision to release the offender in your mind. If you find yourself reliving details of the upsetting behavior, force yourself to stop.

3. Forgive the offender forgetfully. By keeping details fresh in your mind, you trap yourself in a cycle of pain. Choose instead to separate the individual from the painful memory.

4. Forgive with finality. Genuine forgiveness is complete. This means that you cannot “forgive” someone and then continually bring the subject up. Forgive him or her, and then move on.

If you’ve been holding onto bitterness, pray for the strength to forgive. Then do it—without delay.

The Turning of the Day

“Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light.” (Judges 19:26)

This tragic story took place in Israel in a time when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). The woman was of the tribe of Judah, concubine to a Levite dwelling among the tribe of Ephraim. Although she had been unfaithful, he had taken her back and they were traveling to Ephraim, staying overnight in a city of Benjamin. The “sons of Belial” among the Benjamites, however, had abused the woman throughout the night, leaving her dead at “the dawning of the day.”

The whole sordid story illustrates the depths of depravity to which even men among God’s chosen people can descend under cover of darkness. We are commanded to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12).

In the midst of this dismal record, however, there is an interesting scientific insight which should be noted. The evil events of the night terminated at what the writer calls “the dawning of the day.” But the Hebrew word used for “dawning” (panah) is not the normal word for the dawn. Instead it is the word for “turning.” Thus, it is not referring to the rising of the sun, but to the rotation of the earth which, after a dark night of evil, once again turns its face to the “light of the world.”

Note also Job 38:14: “It |i.e., the earth’s surface| is turned as clay to the seal,” again suggesting the earth’s axial rotation each day/night cycle. There is coming a glorious dawning, however, when we shall dwell in the presence of the One who is the true light of the world, and “there shall be no night there” (Revelation 21:25). HMM

The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth

“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” (2 Chron. 16:9.)

GOD is looking for a man, or woman, whose heart will be always set on Him, and who will trust Him for all He desires to do. God is eager to work more mightily now than He ever has through any soul. The clock of the centuries points to the eleventh hour.

“The world is waiting yet to see what God can do through a consecrated soul.” Not the world alone, but God Himself is waiting for one, who will be more fully devoted to Him than any who have ever lived; who will be willing to be nothing that Christ may be all; who will grasp God’s own purposes; and taking His humility and His faith, His love and His power, will, without hindering, continue to let God do exploits.—C. H. P.

“There is no limit to what God can do with a man, providing he will not touch the glory.”

In an address given to ministers and workers after his ninetieth birthday, George Mueller spoke thus of himself: “I was converted in November, 1825, but I only came into the full surrender of the heart four years later, in July, 1829. The love of money was gone, the love of place was gone, the love of position was gone, the love of worldly pleasures and engagements was gone. God, God alone became my portion. I found my all in Him; I wanted nothing else. And by the grace of God this has remained, and has made me a happy man, an exceedingly happy man, and it led me to care only about the things of God. I ask affectionately, my beloved brethren, have you fully surrendered the heart to God, or is there this thing or that thing with which you are taken up irrespective of God? I read a little of the Scriptures before, but preferred other books; but since that time the revelation He has made of Himself has become unspeakably blessed to me, and I can say from my heart, God is an infinitely lovely Being. Oh, be not satisfied until in your own inmost soul you can say, God is an infinitely lovely Being!”—Selected.

I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian.—Whitefield.

Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path

“Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path.” Joel 2:8

Locusts always keep their rank, and although their number is legion, they do not crowd upon each other, so as to throw their columns into confusion. This remarkable fact in natural history shows how thoroughly the a Lord has infused the spirit of order into His universe, since the smallest animate creatures are as much controlled by it as are the rolling spheres or the seraphic messengers. It would be wise for believers to be ruled by the same influence in all their spiritual life. In their Christian graces no one virtue should usurp the sphere of another, or eat out the vitals of the rest for its own support.

Affection must not smother honesty, courage must not elbow weakness out of the field, modesty must not jostle energy, and patience must not slaughter resolution. So also with our duties, one must not interfere with another; public usefulness must not injure private piety; church work must not push family worship into a corner. It is ill to offer God one duty stained with the blood of another. Each thing is beautiful in its season, but not otherwise. It was to the Pharisee that Jesus said, “This ought ye to have done, and not to have left the other undone.” The same rule applies to our personal position, we must take care to know our place, take it, and keep to it. We must minister as the Spirit has given us ability, and not intrude upon our fellow servant’s domain.

Our Lord Jesus taught us not to covet the high places, but to be willing to be the least among the brethren. Far from us be an envious, ambitious spirit, let us feel the force of the Master’s command, and do as He bids us, keeping rank with the rest of the host. To-night let us see whether we are keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, and let our prayer be that, in all the churches of the Lord Jesus, peace and order may prevail.

They shall go hindmost with their standards

“They shall go hindmost with their standards” Numbers 2:31

The camp of Dan brought up the rear when the armies of Israel were on the march. The Danites occupied the hindmost place, but what mattered the position, since they were as truly part of the host as were the foremost tribes; they followed the same fiery cloudy pillar, they ate of the same manna, drank of the same spiritual rock, and journeyed to the same inheritance. Come, my heart, cheer up, though last and least; it is thy privilege to be in the army, and to fare as they fare who lead the van. Some one must be hindmost in honour and esteem, some one must do menial work for Jesus, and why should not I? In a poor village, among an ignorant peasantry; or in a back street, among degraded sinners, I will work on, and “go hindmost with my standard.”

The Danites occupied a very useful place. Stragglers have to be picked up upon the march, and lost property has to be gathered from the field. Fiery spirits may dash forward over untrodden paths to learn fresh truth, and win more souls to Jesus; but some of a more conservative spirit may be well engaged in reminding the church of her ancient faith, and restoring her fainting sons. Every position has its duties, and the slowly moving children of God will find their peculiar state one in which they may be eminently a blessing to the whole host.

The rear guard is a place of danger. There are foes behind us as well as before us. Attacks may come from any quarter. We read that Amalek fell upon Israel, and slew some of the hindmost of them. The experienced Christian will find much work for his weapons in aiding those poor doubting, desponding, wavering, souls, who are hindmost in faith, knowledge, and joy. These must not be left unaided, and therefore be it the business of well-taught saints to bear their standards among the hindmost. My soul, do thou tenderly watch to help the hindmost this day.