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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
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airIam2worship
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2006, 03:54:49 PM »

Consider Jesus– as Tempted by Satan

"Then was Jesus led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." –Matt. 4:1

It is a consolatory reflection to the child of God that, since the temptations of Satan constitute so severe, yet so essential a part of his spiritual training for glory, Jesus, his Surety-Head, was Himself subjected to a like discipline, equally as essential, yet infinitely more severe, to the completeness of His mediatorial character as the High Priest "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." My soul! devoutly consider your Jesus in this interesting point of light, and with faith's lowly hand pluck a rich cluster of refreshing fruit from Him, your living, life-giving, and life-sustaining Vine. Never forget that, through electing love, and most free and sovereign grace, you are an engrafted branch of that Vine; and that all the fruit that grows upon, and that all the fruitfulness that springs from it (Hos. 14: 8 ), belongs to you. "He that abides in me, the same brings forth much fruit."

Of whom was our Jesus tempted? "Of the devil." The 'heel' of the 'woman's seed' was now bruised of the 'serpent.' And oh, what a bruising! Forty days and forty nights enclosed with the devil in the wilderness, and during that period subjected to every form of fierce assault, until, exhausting his quiver, Satan defeated, retired from the conflict for a season. Such, O my soul! is your great accuser and tempter.

Emancipated from his captivity, you are not yet entirely exempt from his fiery darts. Think it not a strange thing that you should be his target. All the saints of God, more or less, are subjected to a like discipline. He incited David to number the people, smote job with great boils, sifted Peter as wheat, hindered Paul again and again; and, selecting the most shining mark of all, hurled his darts, thick and flaming, at the Lord Himself. Cheer up, then! your great adversary is wounded, deadly wounded; you have to do with a conquered foe, ever under the control of the "Lion of the tribe of Judah," and you yourself shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

And what were some of the darts hurled by Satan at Jesus? The devil tempted Him to distrust God, to commit self-destruction, to yield to the splendor, riches, and possessions of the world, to pay him religious homage. Such was the fiery ordeal through which the Son of God passed. And such are some of the darts by which the devil seeks to wound your conscience and disturb your peace. In need, you are tempted to distrust God; in despondency, to self-violence; in ambition, to grasp the world; and in the idolatrous propensities of your nature, to love and worship the creature more than the Creator. O my soul! count it a great honor to be tempted by the same tempter and with the same temptations as your blessed Jesus, through whom you shall get the victory.

Jesus was now being made like unto His brethren. It was necessary, in order to His perfect sympathy with us, that He should be in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). Fly to Him, then, O tempted one! He is not a High Priest who can be indifferent to your present assault, since He was pierced by Satan, and in a measure is still pierced by the fiery darts which now pierce you. Accept your present temptation as sent to make you better acquainted with His preciousness, His sympathy, His grace, His changeless love. Regard it, also, as a part of that spiritual discipline that is to teach your hands to war, and your fingers to fight in the present with the world, the flesh, and the devil; and to prepare you to take your place among the palm-bearing conquerors of heaven, who overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, who shout the victor's song, and cast their crowns at Jesus' feet. "Take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."


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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2006, 03:56:15 PM »

        Consider Jesus– as Afflicted

        "He was afflicted." –Isa. 53:7

        For this Jesus was born. His mission to our world involved it. In the righteous arrangement of God, sin and suffering, even as holiness and happiness, are one and inseparable. He came to destroy the works of the devil; and sin, being Satan's master-work, Jesus could only destroy it as He Himself suffered, just as He could only 'abolish death' as He Himself died. He was truly "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." In the gospel according to Isaiah--the fifty-third chapter of which might have been written by a historian recording the event of the Savior's sufferings after it had transpired, rather than by a prophet predicting it seven hundred years before it took place--the circumstances of our Lord's afflictive life are portrayed with a fidelity of narration and vividness of description which can only find their explanation in "the Spirit of Christ, which was in him, testifying beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow."

        "He was afflicted." What touching and expressive words are these! Consider them carefully, my soul. Attempt, if it be possible, an analysis of your Lord's afflictions. And the first feature that presents itself is, that He was afflicted BY GOD. How clearly is this fact put--"We did esteem Him smitten by God and afflicted. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him. He has put Him to grief." Was Jesus, then, afflicted of God? So are we! The God that smote Him, smites us; the paternal hand that mingled His cup, prepares ours. O my soul! refer all your trials to God. Be not tossed about amid the troubled waves of second causes, but trace all your afflictions, however dark, bitter, and painful, directly to the wisdom, righteousness, and love of your Father in heaven. "Himself has done it." Enough, Lord, if I but see Your hand and Your heart guiding, shaping, and controlling the whole.

        Jesus was afflicted BY MAN. "He was despised and rejected by men." Beloved, how many of our trials, and how much of our wounding, springs from the same source! This should teach us to cease from man, and to put no confidence in the arm of flesh, since ofttimes the staff we thought so pleasant, and on which we leaned so confidingly, is the first to pierce the hand that too fondly and too closely pressed it.

        Jesus was afflicted IN THE SOUL. "My soul is sorrowful, even unto death." Is not soul-sorrow our greatest, even as the soul is the most spiritual, precious, and immortal part of our nature? Is your soul-sorrowful? Are you conflicting with sin, harassed by doubts, depressed with fears, sorrowful almost unto death?--consider Jesus as having passed through a like soul-discipline, and uplift your prayer to Him--"My heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."

        Jesus was BODILY afflicted. We do not read of actual disease of body, but we do read of bodily suffering such as infinitely surpasses all to which we can possibly be subjected; and endured, be it remembered, O my soul! for YOU! This may be the Lord's affliction in your case. A diseased body, distressing nervousness, extreme debility your daily cross. Be it so--it is all the fruit of everlasting and eternal love. Receive it believingly, endure it patiently, and be anxious only that the rod thus laid upon you by a Father's hand should bloom and blossom with holy fruit to the glory of God.

        Affliction was a SCHOOL for Jesus. "He LEARNED obedience by the things which He suffered." Not less is it ours. We enter it, for the most part, with but a mere notional, theoretical acquaintance with God, and with Christ, and with our own selves; but sorrow's hallowed discipline transforms us into experimental Christians, and, gazing upon the lowly Savior, we exclaim--"I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." O my soul! if this be the result of affliction, let the scythe mow you, the furnace dissolve you, the flail thrash you, the sieve sift you; it will but conform you the more closely to your once afflicted, suffering Lord.



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« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2006, 03:58:46 PM »

Consider Jesus– Our Paymaster

"He was oppressed." –Isa. 53:7

The Hebrew word here rendered "oppressed," signifies to exact, or, to demand payment. It is so rendered in the following passage--"The creditor shall not EXACT of his neighbor, nor of his brother, in the year of release." The word taskmaster comes from the same root; and as there is no noun prefixed to the original, the words may be fitly rendered--it was exacted of Him, demanded, required, and He was 'afflicted,' or, He answered. A truer view of the office and work of the Lord Jesus does not exist; nor is there a more gracious and comforting point of light in which a poor, sin-burdened, guilt-oppressed soul can study Him.

By nature all are God's debtors, owing Him supreme love, perfect holiness, entire obedience, and unreserved service--yes, our whole being, body, soul, and spirit. To meet this great debt, we are--by nature, in consequence of the fall, morally and utterly unable--bankrupt of all righteousness and strength, having "nothing to pay." No will, no heart, no might--in a word, there being in us no good thing. O my soul! ponder this your state by nature--owing an infinite debt to God, with no possible way of discharging a single fraction of the claim, deserving to be cast into the prison of eternal punishment until you have paid the uttermost farthing.

But consider Jesus as the Church's great PAYMASTER and SURETY. Jesus, in eternity, entered into a bond, signed with His own hand, and afterwards sealed with His own blood, to free us from all this great debt. In fulfillment of that covenant engagement, in the fullness of time He was born of a woman, made under the law, and by His perfect obedience and atoning death, He gave full satisfaction to the Divine government, and so Law and Justice exacted from Him the obligation He had undertaken to meet. And now was fulfilled His own prophecy concerning Himself--"Then I restored that which I took not away." Jesus restored the glory of God, of which He had not robbed Him. He satisfied Divine justice, which He had never injured. He fulfilled a Law He had never broken, and so restored to it a righteousness He had never taken away. And He made satisfaction for sins He had never committed; and so, "He restored that which He took not away."

Sin is a debt--Jesus paid it when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Obedience is a debt--Jesus paid it when, by the obedience of One, many were made righteous. Death is a debt--Jesus paid it when He bowed His head on the cross and gave up the spirit. And when thus we behold Him dragged into the court of human justice, and sentenced to a felon's death--and when we follow Him to the garden of His sorrow, sweating great drops of blood, and thence to Calvary, and see Him nailed to the accursed tree--suffering, bleeding, dying--what do we behold but the exacting from Him the full payment of the bond for the honoring of which He had entered into an eternal suretyship on His people's behalf?

What life and liberty are bound up in these words--"I forgave you all that great debt!" Believing soul, the debtor's prison is no longer your abode. The bond is cancelled, and God, the Creditor, fully satisfied with the Atonement of His beloved Son, has given a full discharge both to Him and to us, in that He raised Him from the dead. No longer, then, look at your sins, unworthiness, nothingness, and poverty; but look to Jesus, and, looking constantly by faith at Him, walk in the holy, happy liberty of one all whose debt is cancelled, and for whom there is now no condemnation. Is Jesus your Paymaster, O my soul? Then He has equally engaged to provide for your temporal needs, to deliver you out of all your difficulties, and to enable you to meet all your worldly engagements. Surely He who has paid your greater debt to God, will help you honorably to pay your lesser debt to man.


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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2006, 03:59:45 PM »

        Consider Jesus– as Forsaken by Man

        "Then all the disciples forsook Him, and fled." –Matt. 26:56

        What a sad contrast does this picture present to the one we have just been viewing--"Jesus, our fellow-sufferer." His time of suffering has now come, but, lo! "all His disciples have forsaken Him, and fled." Is there nothing, my soul, in this affecting and significant fact from which you may gather much that is instructive and consolatory concerning your own condition? We have been contemplating the sympathy of Jesus with His afflicted saints. And oh, what heart can conceive, or imagery portray, the reality, humanity, and tenderness of that sympathy! In all our afflictions He is afflicted, in all our trials He is tried, in all our persecutions He is persecuted, in all our temptations He is tempted. My soul! there is no sympathy among men, saints, or angels, that can compare with Christ's. And yet how thankful should you be for the smallest measure of human sympathy given you. It may have been, and doubtless was, but as a drop in comparison of the ocean-fullness of Christ's; nevertheless, that drop has proved inexpressibly and immeasurably soothing, sweetening many a bitter trial, gilding many a cloud, and lighting the pressure of many a burden. For this uplift your praiseful heart to God.

        But even this drop of 'creature sympathy' afforded you was denied your suffering Lord. How earnestly and touchingly did He ask it! "Stay here and watch with me, while I go yonder and pray." And when from the scene of His conflict and anguish He returned, sobbing and gory, to bury His grief in their compassion and love--lo! He found them sleeping! How gentle, yet how searching, His rebuke--"Could you not watch with me one hour?" What condition in the experience of the saints does this page of our Lord's history meet? It meets a sad and painful one--one which could only thus be met--the lack of human sympathy.

        You are, perhaps, in a condition which needs the sympathy of a kind and loving spirit, and your sad and clinging heart yearns for it. But, as in the case of your sorrowing Lord, it slumbers at the moment that you most needed its wakeful, watchful expression. And yet its very absence may prove your richest soothing, by bringing you into a closer experience of the sympathy of Jesus. Having Himself felt its need and its lack, He is all the more fitted, as your fellow-sufferer, to sympathize with, and supply your present need.

        You are, perhaps, suffering from MISPLACED AND WOUNDED AFFECTION. You have naturally allowed the fibers of your heart to entwine around some object of its warm and clinging love; but chilled affection, or the whisper of envy, or the venomed tooth of slander, has wrenched those fibers from their stem, and trailed them, torn and bleeding, in the dust. How like Jesus now you are, of whose loved disciples it is recorded, "They all forsook Him, and fled."

        Or, you are suffering from BETRAYED AND DISAPPOINTED CONFIDENCE. One you thought a friend, tender and true, has deserted you; a judgment upon whose guidance you leaned has misled you; a source upon whose supplies you depended has failed you; a confidence in which you too implicitly reposed has betrayed you; and thus you are learning the lesson Jesus learned when, "all His disciples forsook Him, and fled."

        Cheer up, my soul! there is One who has promised never to leave you. When father and mother, husband and wife, lover and friend, forsake you, the Lord will take you up. He who was deserted by friends and followers, will cling to you in prosperity and in adversity, in weal and in woe, with unfaltering fidelity and unchanging love; and though all forsake you, yet will He not in life, in death, and through eternity. How great and precious the divine promise--"They may forget, yet I will not." "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." Precious Jesus! though all forsake me, as all forsook You; yet YOU will never leave me, nor forsake me!



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« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2006, 04:00:57 PM »

        Consider Jesus– as Forsaken by God

        "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" –Matt. 27:46

        My soul! was it not enough that your Lord should be forsaken of man in His sorrow? Was it essential to the accomplishment of your salvation, and to your support and comfort in seasons of soul desertion and darkness, that He should likewise be forsaken of God? Yes! it must be so. The history of the universe never presented such an abandonment--a being so holy, and yet so entirely and so severely forsaken of God and man--as that which Jesus was now experiencing upon the accursed tree. With what a depth of emphasis that word must have sounded from His pale lips, quivering with agony--"'My God, my God, why have YOU FORSAKEN me?' You, my Father--You whose glory I am vindicating, whose government I am honoring, whose Name I am glorifying, whose Church I am redeeming--why, my God, my God, have YOU forsaken me? I can endure to be abandoned by man, but to be forsaken by YOU, my Father, in the hour of my deepest sorrow, at the moment of my keenest suffering, is the bitterest ingredient in my cup of bitter, the darkest hue in my cloud of darkness." Let us devoutly consider Jesus as passing through this eclipse of His soul, and receive the holy instruction and comfort the spectacle was designed to convey.

        Of WHOM was Jesus forsaken? His Father. And when, O my soul! you walk in a sense of divine desertion, who is it that says to you, "For a small moment have I forsaken you, but with great mercies will I gather you?" –it is your Father in heaven. It is a Father's momentary withdrawment; and although this thought adds keenness to the discipline and intensity to the cloud, is there no consolation in knowing that the hiding is paternal--a Father secreting Himself from His child--and but for a moment? Thus, though He hides Himself, He is a Father still.

        But, what was a cloud of thick, all-enshrouding darkness to Jesus is salvation's light to us. Even as His sorrow is our joy, His wounds our healing, His death our life--so His abandonment on the cross, as a foreign divine expresses it, is "our bridge to heaven; an unfathomable abyss for all our sins, cares, and anxieties; the charter of our citizenship, the key whereby we may open the secret chamber of communion with God."

        Thus, if you are, O my soul! walking in darkness and have no light, let the thought be as a ray playing on the brow of your cloud, that, it is not the darkness of hell and condemnation, but the darkness only through which all the 'children of light' more or less travel--the darkness with which the Sun of Righteousness Himself was enshrouded--and which, when it is past, will make the sunshine of God's love and the Savior's presence all the sweeter, dearer, brighter.

        And how did Jesus deport Himself in this season of Divine forsaking? What supported and comforted Him during this total and dreadful eclipse through which His sinless soul passed? He trusted in God. His faith could still exclaim, "MY God, MY God." So lean upon your covenant God, O you children of light walking in darkness. As the veiling clouds, though they hide, cannot extinguish the sun, neither can your gloomy seasons of Divine desertion extinguish one beam of the Savior's love to you. If all is dark--a hidden God, an absent Savior, a frowning providence--now is the time to have faith in God. "Who is among you that walks in darkness, and has no light? let him trust in the name of the lord, and stay upon his God." Stay yourself upon His covenant faithfulness and unchanging love, and believe that Jesus intercedes for you in heaven, and that soon you shall reach that blissful world where your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself.

        "Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
        He gently clears your way:
        O Wait His time--your darkest night
        Shall end in brightest day."


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« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2006, 04:02:04 PM »

Consider Jesus– in Loneliness

"And shall leave me alone." –John 16:32

Jesus, for the most part, lived a lonely and solitary life. It was of necessity so. There was much in His mission, more in His character, still more in His person, that would baffle the comprehension, and estrange from Him the interest and the sympathy of the world; compelling Him to retire within the profound solitude of His own wondrous Being.

The TWOFOLD NATURE of Jesus contributed essentially to the loneliness of His life. The 'great mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh,' would of itself confine Him to an orbit of being infinitely remote from all others. Few could sympathize with His perfect sinlessness as man, fewer still with His essential dignity as God.

As it was with the Lord, so, in a measure, is it with the disciple. The spiritual life of the renewed man is a profound mystery to the unregenerate. Strangers experimentally to the New Birth, they cannot understand the 'divine nature' of which all believers are 'partakers.' Nor this only. Even among the saints we shall often find our path a lonely and solitary one. How much may there be in--the truths which we hold, in the church to which we belong, and even in the more advanced stages of Christian experience we have traveled, which separates us in fellowship and sympathy from many of the Lord's people. Alas! that it should be so.

Our Lord's WORK contributed much to His sense of loneliness. How expressive His words--"I have food to eat that you know not of. My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work." And so may it be with us. The Christian work confided to us by Jesus may be of such a character, and in such a sphere, as very much to isolate us from the sympathy and aid of the saints. It has concealed temptations, hidden trials, unseen difficulties, distasteful employments, with which we can expect but little sympathy and pity; compelling us, like our blessed Lord, to eat our 'food' in solitude. But, oh, sweet thought! the Master whom you serve knows your appointed sphere of labor, and will, by His succouring grace, soothing love, and approving smile, share and bless your lonely meal.

The TEMPTATION of Jesus rendered His path lonely. He was alone with the devil forty days and nights in the wilderness. No bosom friend, no faithful disciple, was there to speak a word of soothing sympathy. And are not our temptations solitary? How few are cognizant of, or even suspect, the fiery assaults through which we, perhaps, are passing. Of the skeptical doubts, the blasphemous suggestions, the vain thoughts, the unholy imaginations transpiring within our inner man they know nothing--and this intensifies our sense of loneliness. But the Tempted One knows it all, and will not leave us to conflict single-handed with the tempter, but will with the temptation make a way for our escape. "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation."

The SOUL-SORROW of Jesus rendered His path lonely. Prophesying of Himself, He said, "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me." How lonely may be your grief, O believer! None share your sorrow, few understand it. You are 'as a sparrow alone on the house-top.' There are none to watch with you in the garden of your anguish--your wounded heart, like the stricken deer, bleeds and mourns in secret. But your sorrow is all known to your loving, compassionate Savior; whose wisdom appointed it, whose love sent it, whose grace sustains it, and who will soothe and strengthen you with His tenderest sympathy. Let your labor of love, your lonely sorrow, throw you more entirely upon, and bring you into closer, more believing, and more loving relations with, the Savior; wean you more from the creature; separate you more from the world; and set you more supremely apart for God. Oh! then you will thank Him for the discipline of loneliness as among the holiest and most precious blessings of your life!


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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2006, 04:03:13 PM »

        Consider Jesus– as Not Alone

        "And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me." –John 16:32

        There is a sweetness in every cup, a light in every cloud, a presence in every solitude of the Christian's experience. It was so with Jesus, who will mold all His followers like unto Himself. We have just considered Him in loneliness--forsaken by man, deserted by God. But now comes the alleviation--the sweetening of the bitter, the gilding of the cloud, the soothing of the solitude. He was never less alone than at the moment that He mournfully said to His retiring disciples, "You shall leave me alone;" for, as if immediately recovering Himself from the painful sense of MAN'S DESERTION, He added, "And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me." No; Jesus never was really alone. Shunning human society, and plunging into solitude the most profound, as He often did, His Father's presence was there to sweeten and soothe it, to replenish and strengthen Him for the work He had given Him to do, and to make those long midnight hours of holy watching and wrestling prayer, melodious with the music, and radiant with the sunshine of heaven. Oh yes, Jesus was not all alone!

        Nor are you really alone, O child of God! Alone, indeed, you may be as to human companionship, affection, and, sympathy. Nor is this trial of your spirit to be lightly spoken of. God has, perhaps, given you by nature a confiding, warm, and clinging heart; a heart that yearns for companionship, that seeks a loving, sympathizing friend, to whose bosom you may confide the thoughts and emotions of your own--"another self, a kindred spirit, with whom you may lessen your cares by sympathy, and multiply your pleasures by participation." But the blessing is not permitted you; or, if once possessed and enjoyed, is possessed and enjoyed no longer--the coldness of death, the yet colder and more painful chill of 'alienated affection and changed friendship', has left your heart like a tree of autumn, stripped of its foliage, through whose leafless branches the wintry blast moans piteously.

        But this discipline of the affections, though intensely painful to a heart gushing with sensibility like yours, may prove one of the costliest blessings to the soul. A heart that is satiated with the creature, has little or no place or yearning, for Christ. And when the Lord is resolved to be supreme, and finds a 'rival sovereign' enthroned, or a 'created idol' enshrined, He wisely and lovingly removes it, to make room for Himself. Oh, it is when the heart is withered like grass--when its chords are all broken, and its fibers are all torn, and silence, desolation, and solitude reign within--wounded by one, betrayed by another, forsaken by all--that Jesus approaches and occupies the vacant place, takes down the harp from the willow, repairs and retunes it, then breathing His own sweet Spirit upon its wires, wakes it, to the richest harmonies of praise, thanksgiving, and love. My Father, I cannot be alone, blessed with Your presence, solaced with Your love, cheered with Your fellowship, kept by Your power, and wisely, gently led through the solitude of the wilderness, home to be with Yourself forever! "You are near, O Lord!"

        "You are near--yes, Lord, I feel it–
        You are near wherever I rove;
        And though sense would try conceal it,
        Faith often whispers it to love.

        "Am I fearful? You will take me
        Underneath Your wings, my God!
        Am I faithless? You will make me
        Bow beneath Your chastening rod.

        "Am I drooping? You are near me,
        Near to bear me on my way;
        Am I pleading? You will hear me–
        Hear and answer when I pray.

        "Then, O my soul, since God does love you,
        Faint not, droop not, do not fear;
        For, though His heaven is high above you,
        He Himself is ever near."


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« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2006, 04:32:10 PM »

Consider Jesus– in Soul-trouble

"Now My soul is deeply troubled." –John 12:27

In this lay our Lord's greatest suffering--His soul-sorrow. Compared with this, the lingering, excruciating tortures of the cross--the extended limbs, the quivering nerves, the bleeding wounds, the burning thirst--were, as nothing. This was physical, the other spiritual; the one, the suffering of the body, the other, the anguish of the soul. Let a vessel traversing the ocean keep afloat, and she may still plough the deep and brave the tempest; but let the proud waves burst in upon her and she sinks. So long as our blessed Lord endured outwardly the gibes and insults and calumnies of men, not a complaint escaped His lips; but, when the wrath of God, endured as the Surety-Head of His people, entered within His holy soul, then the wail of agony rose strong and piercing--"Save Me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to My neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can't find a foothold to stand on. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm Me. I am exhausted from crying for help; My throat is parched and dry. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help Me." Psalm 69:1-3

How true is God's word--"The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit, who can bear?" Such was Christ's. And why was His soul troubled? One rational answer alone can be given--He was now bearing sin and, consequently, the punishment of sin--the wrath of God overwhelming His soul. This was the 'cup' which He prayed might, 'if possible, pass from Him.' Divine justice, finding the sins of God's elect meeting on His holy soul, exacted full satisfaction and inflicted the utmost penalty. And thus a glorious gospel truth shines out of this terrible cloud of Jesus' soul-sorrow– that is, the substitutionary character and the atoning nature of His sufferings and death. Upon no reasonable ground other than this can we satisfactorily account for His language--"My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." But turn we now from Jesus to His saints.

Believer in Jesus, yours is, perhaps, soul-sorrow. A sense of sin troubles you, the consciousness of guilt distresses you, and you begin to think you know nothing of God's pardoning love. Oh, what would you not give to be quite sure that your sins were all forgiven for Jesus' sake!

Or, your soul is in sorrow, perhaps, from the painful loss of the evidences of your saintship and adoption. Like Bunyan's pilgrim, you have dropped the 'white stone with the new name,' and, retracing your steps, mournful and sad, to recover it, you exclaim, "Oh that it were with me as in days that are past, when the candle of the Lord shone round about me."

Or, you are, perhaps, in soul-distress in consequence of the corroding doubts and distressing fears which assail you; and instead of going on your heavenly way rejoicing, forgetting the things that are behind, and pressing on towards those things that are before, your time is spent, as just intimated, in searching for Christian evidences, and in battling with unbelieving doubts and fears.

Or, perhaps, your soul may be in sorrow because you discern so little love to God, so faint a resemblance to the Savior, and so little real, vital, operative religion in your life--in a word, the spiritual life beating with a pulse so sickly and faint, that your soul is cast down within you.

One word of encouragement. Be thankful to God for this soul-sorrow--it is a sure evidence of spiritual life. A soul dead in sin is insensible to any real distress because of sin; a heart destitute of love to God, feels no distress because it does not love Him. A graceless sinner never longs for grace: an unrenewed person never thirsts for holiness, and a dead soul never breathes after life. Take heart, then, O believer, for your soul-sorrow is the prelude to your soul's eternal joy.

But see to it that Christ has alone to do with your present sorrow. Take it only to Him. It will prove the greatest, the holiest joy of your life, if it makes you better acquainted with Jesus. O sweet and welcome sorrow, which He who changed the water into wine changes into a joy unspeakable and full of glory. Any sorrow, Lord, if it but enthrone YOU more supremely upon my heart, to reign--"the Lord of every motion there."


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« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2006, 04:33:55 PM »

Consider Jesus– in Communion with God

"And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." –Mark 1:35

To whom can this impressive picture of high devotion properly apply but to Him whose life was one continuous act of prayer; whose vital and all-pervading atmosphere was communion with God? Jesus literally "walked with God." As man, He was deeply conscious of the spiritual necessities of man; and as the God-man Mediator, He felt the need of looking up to the Strong One for strength, to the Wise One for wisdom, to the Loving One for sympathy--in a word, to His Father in Heaven for the constant replenishing of His daily need from the boundless resources of His own Infinite Being, for the great work His Father had given Him to do.

Wise will it be for us to consider Jesus touching the article of prayer. If He, the sinless One, He the mighty One, He the divine One felt, deeply and momentarily felt, the need of drawing from above by the breath of prayer those supplies needful for the accomplishment of His work and for the glorifying of His Father, oh, how much more have we need that prayer should precede, accompany, and follow every step we take; that communion with God should prompt, aid, and sanctify every act of our lives; that, in a word, in imitation of our blessed Lord, we should often rise up a great while before day, and depart into a solitary place, and, before secular and worldly things took possession of our minds, give ourselves to prayer.

My soul! consider this precious privilege! Is there a holier, sweeter, or more needful one? Consider Jesus in this matter, and form your prayerful life upon the model of His. He always approached God in prayer as His Father. His spirit, His language, His approach was filial. "Holy Father." "My Father." Equally is this your privilege. God stands to you in the close, the endeared relation of a Father by adopting grace, and it were a dishonor done to His name, and an ignoring of His Fatherhood, to approach Him in prayer in any other relation and character than this. Oh, feel that, when you pour out your sinful heart, your sorrowful heart, your broken heart before Him, you are pouring it all into a Father's ear, a Father's bosom.

The prayer of Jesus was REAL COMMUNION with God. So let yours be, O my soul! Rest not content with the form of prayer, the duty of prayer, the act of prayer. Be not satisfied unless conscious of the listening ear of God, the responding heart of Jesus, the vital breathing of the Spirit. Oh, let your communion with heaven be a blessed reality. Do not leave the Mercy-Seat without some evidence that you have been in solemn, holy, precious audience with the Invisible One. It may be the evidence of contrition, of humiliation, of confession; or, of simple faith, of child-like love, of filial trust--but leave it not until God in Christ has spoken to you face to face. Oh, whatever your sin, or sorrow, or need may be, rise amid the twilight shadows which drape your soul, and give yourself to prayer!

By this example of Jesus, we are taught the necessity and the blessedness of secret prayer. "He departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." My soul! enter into your closet, and shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in secret. You have secret declensions to confess, secret sorrows to unveil, secret wants to present, secret blessings to crave. Away, then, to your chamber. Take with you the blood of Jesus, and with your hand of faith upon His Word, open all your heart in filial, loving confidence, to God, and, in paternal love, He will open all the treasures of His heart to you. Let nothing keep you from secret communion with God. Business, family, friends must all give place to this, if you want soul prosperity. Five minutes alone with Jesus will carry you through five hours of toil and trial. "Come, my people, enter into your chamber." Lord! I come!


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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2006, 04:37:27 PM »

Consider Jesus– in the Forgiveness of Injury

"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." –Luke 23:34

If the Christian precept of FORGIVENESS be estimated by the magnitude of the injury forgiven, then these words of Jesus present to our view a forgiveness of an inconceivable and unparalleled injury. The greatest crime man ever committed was the crucifixion of the Son of God; and yet, for the forgiveness of that crime, the Savior prays at the very moment of its perpetration, fully persuaded of the sovereign efficacy of the blood His enemies were now shedding, to blot out the enormous guilt of the sin of shedding it.

This interceding prayer of Jesus for His murderers was in the sweetest harmony with all He had previously taught. On no gospel precept did He seem to lay greater stress than the precept of forgiveness of injury. "FORGIVE, and you shall be forgiven." "When you stand praying, FORGIVE, if you have anything against any." "But if you do not FORGIVE, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive you your trespasses." "How often shall my brother sin against me, and I FORGIVE him? Until seven times? Jesus says unto him, I say not unto you, Until seven times, but UNTIL SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN." Where shall we find any Christian precept enjoined in our Lord's teaching so lucidly explained, so frequently enforced, or so impressively illustrated, as the forgiveness of injury?

Thus, what Jesus taught in His preaching, He embodied in His example. In addition to this prayer for His murderers, uttered amid the insults and tortures they were at that moment inflicting--see Him healing the ear of one of the band sent to arrest Him; see Him turning a look of forgiving love upon the penitent dying at His side; listen to the charge He gave to His apostles after His resurrection, to 'begin' their work of unfolding the message of salvation 'at Jerusalem,' whose inhabitants were to be the first to drink of the Rock they had smitten, and the first to wash in the blood they had shed. Oh, was ever forgiveness of injury like Christ's? My soul, sit down at His feet, yes, beneath His cross, and learn the lesson now so solemnly taught, and so touchingly enforced, even the lesson of forgiving and praying for your enemies, and for all who despitefully use you--"Father, forgive them!"

We cannot pass through an ungodly world, nor even mingle with the saints, and not be often unjustly misrepresented, strangely misunderstood, and unkindly wounded. The lily grows among thorns; the lamb goes forth among wolves. So Jesus reminded His disciples. And yet it is the saddest thought of all that, our deepest wounds are those which we receive in the house of our friends. There are no injuries so unexpectedly inflicted, or so keenly felt, as those which we receive from our fellow-saints.

But, oh, the blessedness of writing as Christ did, those injuries upon the sands, which the next flood-tide of forgiving love shall instantly and utterly efface! Standing before this marvelous spectacle of forgiveness--Christ on the cross praying for His slayers--what true believer in Jesus can think of the wrong done to himself, the injustice inflicted, the pain produced, and yet harbor in his heart a revengeful, unforgiving spirit? My soul, go to the brother who has offended, to the sister who has wounded you, and say, "In lowly imitation of my Savior, I FORGIVE you all that wrong." "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Col. 3:12-13

This prayer of Jesus was ANSWERED. On the Day of Pentecost among the three thousand converts were many of His murderers, who, pierced in their heart, washed in the fountain their own hands had opened, and were forgiven. So soon did God answer the prayer of His Son! Let us, like Jesus, "pray for those who despitefully use us." Who can tell how soon God may answer, turn their hearts, convert and save them?


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« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2006, 04:38:29 PM »

Consider Jesus– in the Exercise of Praise

"I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." –Hebrews 2:12

These are the words of Jesus quoted by the apostle from a prophetical psalm concerning Him. We have considered Him as teaching us by His example to pray; it may promote our personal holiness by considering Him as teaching us to PRAISE. Praise is an element of the gospel. It entered essentially, if not prominently, into our Lord's personal life. "A man of sorrow," though He was--oftener seen to weep than to smile--yet there were moments when gleams of joy shone upon His soul, and strains of praise breathed from His lips.

Our Lord was of a THANKFUL spirit, and a thankful spirit is a praiseful spirit. How often the words were on His lips, "I thank You, O Father." He thanked God for the sovereignty of His grace for manifesting Himself to His disciples, for the food He was about to distribute, and over the grave of the friend He was about to raise from the dead. In all things Jesus was of a thankful, and therefore of a praiseful spirit.

And so, my soul, should you be! You have everything to praise God for. For the GLORIOUS GOSPEL of the blessed God; which, in the blessed announcements it makes of full pardon, of free justification, of gracious adoption, of present grace and future glory--is praise, all praise, eternal praise. There is not one announcement in the gospel to dishearten or repel a poor, penitent sinner. To such it is a 'joyful sound' without one jarring note, a salvation without a condition, a righteousness without a work, a pardon without money, a heaven without human merit or purchase--all the free gift of God's most free and unmerited grace. Is not this sufficient to awaken the deepest gratitude and the loudest praise in your soul?

And, O my soul! what shall be said of the praise due from you for the GIFT OF JESUS? Can you think of Him for a moment, and not feel your whole soul thrilling with thanksgiving and tremulous with praise? Oh, praise God for Jesus--for such a divine yet such a human Savior--for such a life, for such a death, for such a righteousness, and for such an Atonement as His. Is there no deep response of your heart to the thankful, praiseful words of the apostle--"Thanks be unto God, for His unspeakable gift?" Oh, praise Him for such a lovely and loving, for such a gracious and precious Savior, but for whom, you had been lost forever!

And have you not reason to praise God for YOUR CONVERSION? Oh, what a wonder of sovereign grace that ever you were brought out of nature's darkness into God's marvelous light! That, ever divine power drew you, and divine love chose you, and divine blood cleansed you, and a divine righteousness was imputed to you! That, ever you did hear the voice of Jesus, when lying in your blood, cast out to the loathing of yourself, saying to you, "Live!" And that then He washed you, and clothed you, and decked you with ornaments, and put a fair chain on your neck, a crown and a mitre on your head, and you became lovely through His loveliness put upon you--a king and a priest unto God! Praise, oh, praise Him loudly for that happy day when, having betrothed you in eternity, He savingly drew you to Himself, and you became His. Can you recall the memory of that blissful hour, and not make the desert ring with your loudest, sweetest praise?

"Oh! to grace, how great a debtor!"

My soul! seek from God the spirit of thankfulness, and cultivate habitually the grace of praise. It is a soul-purifying and a God-glorifying grace. It keeps the heart in perpetual bloom, and converts the life into a daily psalm! Praise God for all--praise Him for the blessings--of His providence, for the barrel of meal and for the cruse of oil that have not failed, for the providence that brightens, for the sorrow that shades, for the mercy that smiles, and for the judgment that frowns--for God's love breathing through all. Thus shall you be learning to sing the 'new song,' and to unite in the never ending music of heaven, where–
"Praise shall employ our noblest powers,
While immortality endures."


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« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2006, 09:43:51 PM »

Consider Jesus– in the Avoidance of Offence

"Lest we should offend." –Matt. 17:27

How truly was our Lord Jesus 'harmless' because He was 'undefiled.' In Him was no sin. That His Gospel should have been an offence to the scribes and Pharisees, and that His cross was an offence to the world, is no marvel. It was so then, it is so now, and it will be so to the end. But our Lord never, in any one instance, gave NEEDLESS offence. His heart was too tender, His disposition too kind, His nature too holy, maliciously and thoughtlessly to wound the feelings or offend the 'innocent sentiments' of others. Maligned by His enemies, misunderstood and neglected by His friends, yet on no occasion did He retort, revile, or wound; but, with the harmlessness of the dove and the innocence of the lamb. He opened not His mouth. Let us learn of Him in this holy feature of His character, study it closely, and imitate it faithfully.

A desire to avoid offence does not demand a compromise of our Christian faith or profession. On no occasion did it in the life of Jesus. When He might have avoided a snare, or warded off a thrust, or escaped a wound by concession, conciliation, or compromise, He stood firm to His own truth and His Father's honor, unswerving and unswerved--and yet the "sword" with which He fenced and foiled His foes was, "bathed in heaven" (Isa. 34:5). Thus, O my soul! learn of Him. Let this be your guiding precept, as it was Christ's, "speaking the truth in love." Offences will come. For, since "the offence of the cross is not ceased," we cannot maintain its great distinctive and essential doctrines purely, faithfully, manfully, and not evoke animosity against us; nor the hostility and offence of the world.

And yet the Christian law, "giving no offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God," is unrepealed; and the Christian precept, "that you may live pure and BLAMELESS lives until Christ returns" is still binding upon all true followers of the meek and harmless Savior. "The mind that was in Christ Jesus," dwelling in us, will lead us to respect the convictions, to be tender towards the feelings, and to be charitable towards the infirmities, and to honor the consciences of other Christians differing from us in things not essential to salvation. "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby your brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak."

"Lest we should offend." What instructive words, O my soul, are these! How much evil in the world, dissension in the Christian Church, and alienation in families would be avoided and averted were the holy precept taught in these words of Jesus more fully observed. Let us, then, pray and watch against every least violation. Let us be careful of our words, our motives, and our actions, lest, wounding and offending one of Christ's little ones, we offend and wound Christ Himself. Oh never give needless cause of offence to a weak believer, to a conscientious Christian, to a tried, tempted child of God--to one who, in his own way and sphere, is seeking to serve his Lord and Master. Let us deny ourselves any and every gratification, and allow any and every loss involving not disloyalty to Christ and compromise of His truth--rather than hurt the feelings, wound the conscience, or put a stumbling-block in the way of one who loves Jesus, and for whom the Savior died.

Oh, how seldom we remember, how faintly we recognize, the perfect ONENESS of Christ with His people! That it is utterly impossible to do an injury to, or confer a favor upon, a true believer in Jesus, and not be brought into personal contact with Jesus Himself--"He that touches you touches the apple of my eye." "Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me." Lord, help me more and more clearly to see You in Your saints; and in conferring upon them a kindness, or in inflicting on them an injury, to see Jesus only!



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« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2006, 09:45:32 PM »

Consider Jesus– in Sickness

"He Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses." –Matthew 8:17

How closely and tenderly is Jesus one with His Church! Take the subject of the present meditation as an illustration. There is not a chamber of pining sickness, nor a couch of suffering languor, at which His presence may not be experienced in all the divine power and human sympathy of His nature. The careful reader of His life must have been deeply impressed with the frequency with which His personal contact with bodily infirmity and disease is recorded, and with what promptness and skill He addressed Himself to the task of alleviation and cure. "And He healed people who had every kind of sickness and disease." And still His power and skill are needed, and still are the same. Into the shaded chamber of how many a sick one whom Jesus loves will these pages come, breathing, it is humbly prayed, the soothing fragrance of His Name around the restless pillow! "He Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses." Let us consider IN WHAT WAY Jesus did this.

He bore our sicknesses WHEN HE BORE OUR SINS. Sin is the prolific source of all evil, and especially of all disease. This reflection embitters and intensifies the sufferings of the child of God. The thought that, perhaps, had it not been for some particular defection, some hidden declension of soul, some sin of omission or of commission, his Heavenly Father would not have not sent the discipline of sickness--is intensely painful to the heart that desires to please God in all things. But how consolatory the truth that, if we may trace all disease to sin as its original and primary cause, we may also trace all sin to the cross of Christ, where He atoned for it, unsealing in His own heart's blood a stream which has cleansed it all away. Oh, let this thought, my soul, soothe and comfort you--that in all your bodily suffering there is no condemnation, the atoning blood of Jesus having washed you whiter than snow, leaving you not the cause, but the effects only of your sin.

But, if sin is the originating cause of sickness, love--divine, everlasting, unchangeable love--is the immediate and proximate cause. That is a sweet expression in reference to Lazarus--"He whom you LOVE is sick." No physician can bring to your sick-bed a medicine so healing, a remedy so soothing, as this truth--that your sickness originated with a Father's love--love selecting the NATURE, love appointing the TIME, love grouping all the CIRCUMSTANCES of the affliction. If, Lord, I can but see that Your love kindled this burning fever, appointed these silent hours, this darkened room, this unrefreshed bed, these quivering nerves, this throbbing head, this fluttering heart--"may Your will, not mine, be done."

Jesus bears our sickness in the grace and sympathy by which He enables us, uncomplainingly and submissively, to bear it. Oh, what a hallowed sanctuary is often the sickroom of a child of God! What divine presence is there felt, what glorious manifestations of the Savior are there made, what holy lessons are there learned, what heavenly prospects are there unveiled! Jesus is there, and thus makes it all that it is.

Be not hasty in judging of the state of your soul in sickness. Mind and body reciprocally and powerfully act upon each other. A diseased body will often impart its morbid complexion to a healthy soul; and, looking away from Jesus, will fill it with doubt, darkness, and despondency. It is what Christ is, and not what you are, that is to fill you with peace, joy, and hope.

Cheer up, my soul! this long, this painful sickness is not unto death, but that God may be glorified. When He has tried you, you shall emerge from this fire all the holier, and more Christ-like--rising from your couch and going forth from your sick-room, "as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, rejoicing as a strong man to run a race." And thus by the sanctifying discipline of sickness, your covenant God and Savior is but preparing you to dwell in that happy land, the inhabitants of which shall no more say, "I am sick."


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« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2006, 09:47:53 PM »

        Consider Jesus– in the Anticipation of Death

        "Father, save Me from this hour." –John 12:27

        There were some expressions of feeling in our Lord's life which can only be accounted for on the ground of His perfect humanity. Such, for example, as His apparent shrinking from suffering and death. And this, in its turn, can only find a solution in the fact that, He was not suffering as a common sufferer, but as the Sin-Bearer of His Church. We read of martyrs going to the stake displaying, apparently, much more fortitude than Jesus did in view of His death. The reason is obvious. In the case of the Christian martyr there was no burden of sin, no mental anguish increasing the tortures through which they passed to glory. The sense of God's forgiving love, and of acceptance in Christ, transformed the fiery chariot in which they ascended to heaven into a 'chariot of love'.

        But the case of our Lord Jesus was essentially and totally different. His holy soul was suffering for the sins of His Church, and this was the cause of the shrinking and the cry in the garden of Gethsemane--"If it is possible, let this cup pass from me." He bore in His sufferings the burden of their sins, while they in theirs bore only the burden of His love. But what comfort springs from this consideration of Jesus shrinking from suffering and death, to those who are expecting the near approach of the hour of their dissolution!

        Consider Jesus as having Himself TASTED death. What a comfort is this fact! He knows what death really is. He tasted its bitterness, was pierced by its dart, felt its sting, and at length succumbed to the foe. He died! Thus, He can enter into your expectancy, fear, and shrinking, in view of this terrible crisis of your being, as no being on earth, or even in heaven, can. The glorified spirits look back upon death, but you are looking forward to death, and in its solemn anticipation there is but One Being in the universe who can deliver you from its bondage and its fear, That being is--JESUS.

        But Jesus not only died, but, in dying, He OVERCAME and ABOLISHED death. It is no longer in the experience of the believer in the Lord Jesus death to die. Jesus has, in a sense, so annihilated death, so entirely absorbing it in His own Essential life, that He has declared; "If a man keeps my saying, he shall not SEE death." What an entire abolishment of death, must that be when a dying believer shall not see death! Yes, O my soul! looking in simple faith to your Savior, you shall see JESUS ONLY in that solemn moment. So entirely will He fill the whole scope of your vision, that death will be an invisible object--the pale messenger entirely hidden from your view by the personal sufficiency, beauty, and presence of Jesus. Glorious Savior! veiling the foe so long and so painfully dreaded, my dying eye will see You only--death's illustrious Victim, yet death's triumphant Conqueror.

        Be not, then, O my soul! distressed in the prospect of your departure. Christ has come to "deliver those who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Alas! through lack of faith in Jesus, we suffer a thousand deaths in anticipation, while in reality we shall not suffer one! "Those who SLEEP in Jesus" is the epitaph which the Holy Spirit inscribes over the dust of every believer in Him. Away, then, with your fears, O my soul! Learn to die daily to sin, to self, to the world; and then from the valley of the shadow of death will ascend, as you pass down, the triumphant shout, "Thanks be unto God, who gives me the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

        O You! from whose belt hang the keys of Hades and of death; go ahead of the "last enemy" with Your grace, accompany him with Your presence, and follow him with Your power; then shall I fear no evil, but fall asleep in Your arms and wake up in Your likeness.

        "It is not death when souls depart,
        If You depart not from the soul."


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« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2006, 09:49:00 PM »

Consider Jesus– in Intercessory Prayer

"I pray for them." –John 17:9

There is no part of Christ's Priestly office more soothing to the sick, tried, and suffering believer, than His intercessory supplication on their behalf. To know that we are borne upon the prayerful hearts of our fellow-Christians, in times when providences are trying, and our hearts are breaking, is unspeakably soothing. How much more so is the thought that Jesus, our merciful High Priest, Friend and Brother born for adversity, is praying for us in heaven--our names worn upon His heart, our woes and needs, sins and sorrows entwined with His prayers before the throne; that, His intercession for us is not a past, nor even an anticipatory intercession alone; but, that it is a present intercession, an intercession moment by moment, "NOW appearing in the presence of God for us."

O sweet thought that, when some new trial comes, and some dark cloud lowers, and some bitter sorrow crushes; at that very moment Jesus is praying for us, asking His Father on our behalf the strength that will support; the grace that will sanctify; the love, comfort, and precious promise applied by the Spirit, that will calm, soothe, and sustain us. Thus consider Him.

Intercessory prayer for others is one of our most spiritual and richest privileges. "Pray one for another." "Praying for all the saints," is the divine and apostolic precept constantly enforced, and by arguments the most persuasive and touching. How many of the Lord's tried ones, through bodily pain, or mental depression, or crushing sorrow, cannot pray for themselves! What a privilege to pray for them, to be "God's remembrancers" on their behalf, to imitate Jesus, and intercede for them outside the veil, while He intercedes for them within the veil! Thus, intercessory prayer on earth, and intercessory prayer in heaven, will envelop them as with a cloud of incense, and the tried saint will be upheld, and the weak strengthened, and the tempted shielded, and the sorrowing comforted, and the sick soothed, and the dying one supported and cheered, as he passes down the valley, homeward to be forever with the Lord.

For the use of those who visit the sick and the dying, the following PRAYER for one who appears to be approaching the eternal world is affectionately suggested–

"O Father of mercies, God of all comfort, our only help in time of need, we fly unto You for support on behalf of this sick person lying under Your hand, in great suffering and weakness of body. Look graciously upon him, O Lord; and the more the outward man decays, strengthen him, we beseech You, so much the more continually with Your grace in the inner man. Give him sincere repentance for all the errors of his past life, and true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that, washed in His atoning blood, which cleanses from all sin, he may have peace with God before he goes hence and be seen no more . We know, O Lord, that there is nothing impossible with You, and that, You can raise him up as from the grave, and prolong his life; yet, if it be Your will that he should die, so fit and prepare him for the solemn change by the regenerating grace of Your Spirit, and simple reliance upon the Savior of sinners, that his soul may have an abundant entrance into Your everlasting kingdom, through the sole merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, in union with Yourself, O Father, and with You, O Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen."

Offering up by that dying couch and in that solemn moment, this prayer in faith of the Divine assurance, that, "He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them," we may humbly hope that, at the evening time it shall be light; and that, at the last moment, the brand shall be plucked from the burning, and free grace wear the crown.


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PS 91:2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust
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