Ephesians 4:1-8, 11-32
So far from being ashamed of being shut up in a dungeon like a felon, Paul again repeats, as his choice title of honour, the words, “the prisoner of the Lord.” It is inexpressibly delightful to be allowed to suffer for him who suffered to the death for us. Paul uses his afflicted condition as an affectionate plea with the Ephesians to give heed to his counsel.
True believers are one; Christ has only instituted one church, he has quickened it with but one Spirit, and set before it one sole hope. The Lord is the alone Head of the church, she has not two Lords, neither has Jesus revealed more than one faith, or commanded any other than one baptism: hence believers should anxiously maintain unity, and endeavour each one to promote the good of the whole.
All the ascension-gifts come to us for the building up, not of many sects, but of the Lord’s one church. His choicest gifts are holy men, qualified for various gracious works, which they carry on for the perfecting of each believer, and of the whole body of the faithful.
Being made parts of a new body, of which the Lord Jesus is the head, we cannot act as we once did, or we should belie our profession altogether. Filthiness must be now abhorred, and holiness panted for; is it so with us?
We may be angry at wrong without sinning thereby, but if anger be a selfish resentment, it is always sinful, and if it lives beyond a day it cannot be justified. One of the hardest things in the world is to be angry and not to sin.
The cure for dishonesty is industry, and the remedy for a disposition to steal from others, is to learn to give to them.
Do we always attend to this? Are not some jests which are commonly heard very far from edifying?
Let this be written up in our chambers, and practiced in every room in the house. What a heaven will our family then become.
Fill every part of me with praise,
Let all my being speak
Of thee and of thy love, O Lord,
Poor though I be, and weak.
So shalt thou, Lord, from me—e’en me,
Receive the glory due;
And so shall I begin on earth
The song for ever new.
Lost in astonishment I see,
Jesus, thy boundless love to me;
With angels I thy grace adore,
And long to love and praise thee more.
Still may I view thee on the cross,
And all beside esteem but loss;
Here still be fixed my feasted eyes,
Enraptur’d with thy sacrifice.
Grace led my roving feet
To tread the heavenly road;
And new supplies each hour I meet
While pressing on to God.
Grace taught my soul to pray,
And made my eyes o’erflow;
‘Twas grace that kept me to this day,
And will not let me go.
Grace all the work shall crown,
Through everlasting days;
It lays in heaven the topmost stone,
And well deserves the praise.
Bless’d are the pure in heart,
For they shall see our God;
The secret of the Lord is theirs;
Their soul is Christ’s abode.
The Lord, who left the heavens
Our life and peace to bring,
To dwell in lowliness with men,
Their Pattern and their King;
He to the lowly soul
Doth still himself impart,
And for his dwelling and his throne
Chooseth the pure in heart.
Lord, we thy presence seek;
May ours this blessing be;
Give us a pure and lowly heart,
A temple meet for thee.
A fulness resides in Jesus, our Head,
And ever abides to answer our need;
The Father’s good pleasure has laid up in store,
A plentiful treasure to give to the poor.
Whate’er be our wants, we need not to fear;
Our numerous complaints his mercy will hear;
His fulness shall yield us abundant supplies;
His buckler shall shield us when dangers arise.
When troubles attend, or danger or strife,
His love will defend and guard us through life;
And when we are fainting and ready to die,
Whatever is wanting his hand will supply.
Worthy art thou, O dying Lamb?
Worthy, O bleeding Lord;
Eternal, Infinite, I AM,
Ceaseless to be adored!
Fulness of riches is in thee!
From thee all mercies spring:
And grace and love, divine and free,
And power enlivening.
Out of the deep of every heart,
Let praise to thee ascend:
Till thou to heaven shalt us translate,
Where praises never end!