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nChrist
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« Reply #330 on: April 16, 2009, 02:08:40 AM »

_______________________________
Morning Thoughts
or
Daily Walking With God
by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
Free From Grace Gems
http://www.gracegems.org/
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April 16

"The law was our school-master to bring us unto Christ." Galatians 3:24

In the school of the law, the first and the grand lesson which the sinner learns is his sin, his curse, and his condemnation. There he is convinced of his vileness, convicted of his guilt, and learns his poverty, helplessness, and hell-deserving. All the fond conceit of his own worthiness, strength, and fitness, vanishes as a vapor, and he sees himself in the power, under the curse, and exposed to the tremendous condemnation of God's righteous, broken, avenging law. Thus convicted in the very act of his rebellion against God, he is brought, like a felon, into the presence of Jesus. There he stands, pale and trembling, his witnesses many and loud, while his own awakened conscience pleads guilty to the charge.

Are you that soul, dear reader? Has the law arrested and brought you within Christ's court? Oh, you never were in such a position before- so new, so strange, so blessed! It may be, you never felt yourself so near hell as now, under the sentence of God's law; but you never were so near heaven as now, in the presence of Jesus. You are now in that court where justice to the fullest is honored, and where mercy to its utmost is extended. You are in Christ's court, at Christ's bar- awaiting the sentence of Him who was made under that law, fulfilled its precepts, and endured its penalty to the uttermost. You are in the presence of Him who came to deliver sinners from its curse and woe, and to raise them far above the reach of all condemnation. Never were you so sensible of your guilt and ruin as now, yet never were you so near the fountain that cleanses from all sin, or so close to Him who was pierced to shelter the vilest of the vile. Your judge is your Savior. He who sits upon that throne is He who hung upon the cross. You are arraigned in the presence and are thrown upon the mercy of Him, the delight of whose heart, and the glory of whose character, it is to save sinners; whose love for them induced Him to screen His glory, and to appear in humiliation- to suffer, bleed, and die. You are in the presence of Him who, though He has ascended on high, and is now glorified with the glory "he had with the Father before the world was," is yet engaged in securing the precious fruits of His soul's travail.

Look up, poor soul! for "your redemption draws near." Never yet did he allow a sin-accused, self-condemned sinner, to go out of this court unblessed, unsaved.
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« Reply #331 on: April 16, 2009, 02:10:14 AM »

_______________________________
Morning Thoughts
or
Daily Walking With God
by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
Free From Grace Gems
http://www.gracegems.org/
_______________________________


April 17

"If you love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15

As King in Zion, our adorable Lord Jesus delights to reign over a loving and an obedient people. Thus He has made their obedience to His commands a test of their love to His person- "If you love me, keep my commandments." "Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you," was the last charge given to His disciples. Now it is this keeping of His commandments, this observance of what He has enjoined, that glorifies Him in His saints. Coming to Him in our ignorance glorifies Him as Prophet; coming to Him with our guilt glorifies Him as Priest; and walking obediently to His precepts glorifies Him as King. It places the crown upon the head of His sovereignty, it recognizes the spiritual nature of His kingdom, and it upholds the purity, majesty, and authority of His laws. It becomes, then, the solemn and imperative duty of every believer to search the will and testament of his dying, risen, and exalted Lord, to ascertain all that He has enjoined upon his obedience in the way of precept and command. For how can he be a good and an obedient subject, if he does not understand the laws of Christ's kingdom? Then, when the precept is clearly revealed, and the command is distinctly made known, immediate, self-denying, and cheerful obedience is to follow, as that path which, while it insures the sweetest peace to the soul, brings the highest glory to Christ. Let yours be an obedient walk, dear reader! Let your obedience be the fruit of faith, the dictate of love. Permit no reserve in your obedience; let it be full, honest, and complete. Search the New Testament Scripture, and examine closely your own walk, and ascertain in what particular your obedience to Christ is deficient. Be upright, honest, and sincere in your inquiry. Let your fervent prayer be, "Lord, what will You have me to do? Is there any precept of Your word slighted, any, command disobeyed, any cross not taken up? Is there any desire to withhold my neck from Your, yoke, or to withdraw my shoulder from Your burden, or to mark out a smoother path than that which You have chosen and bade me walk in? Is there any secret framing of excuse for my disobedience, any temporizing, any carnal feeling, any worldly motive, any fear of man, any shrinking from consequences? Lord, You know all things, You know that I love You. You are precious to my soul, for You have borne my sins, endured my curse, carried my cross; and in return do only ask, as an evidence of how much I owe, and how much I love, that I should keep Your commandments, and follow Your example. Now, Lord, take my poor heart, and let it be Your, Your wholly, and Your forever. Let Your sweet love constrain me to run in the way of Your commandments, for this will I do, when You shall enlarge my heart." Then will follow the precious fruits of obedience, even as the bud expands into the blossom, and the blossom ripens into the fruit. There will be a growth, a delightful expansion of the life of God in the soul; and with the increase of the divine life, there will be an increase of all the precious "fruits of the Spirit." See that your Redeemer is glorified in your obedience; that for the happiness of your soul, and for the honor of Christ, you "stand complete in all the will of God."
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« Reply #332 on: April 16, 2009, 02:13:26 AM »

_______________________________
Morning Thoughts
or
Daily Walking With God
by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
Free From Grace Gems
http://www.gracegems.org/
_______________________________


April 18

"Is not this the carpenter's Son?" Mark 6:3

The attending circumstances of His birth, and the subsequent events of His life, entered deeply into the fact of His abasement. In each step that He took, He did seem to say, "I was born to humiliation and suffering; therefore I came into the world." His parents were poor, of lowly extraction, and humble occupation. Until the age of thirty, He lived a life of entire seclusion from the world; and as He was "subject unto His parents," doubtless His early years were employed in assisting His father in his lowly calling; thus, with His own hands, ministering to His temporal necessities. For, be it remembered, it was a material part of the original curse pronounced by God on man, "In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread." Jesus was made under the law, that He might endure the curse; that curse He fully sustained. There was not a part, the bitterness of which He did not taste, and the tremendousness of which He did not endure; and that for His elect's sake. It were no fanciful idea, therefore, to suppose, that in this feature of the curse our Lord personally entered; that this part of the penalty of human transgression He fully paid; and that, in early life, by the sweat of His brow, He did literally provide for His own temporal sustenance. Oh touching view of the humiliation of the Son of God! How does it dignify the most lowly occupation, sweeten the heaviest trial, and lighten the deepest care, to reflect, "thus lived, and labored, and toiled, the Incarnate God!"

His riper years were marked by corresponding lowliness. The curse tracked His every step, pressing its claims, and exacting its penalties, to the last moment of existence. What were all His excessive privations, but parts of the same? No home sheltered Him- no domestic comforts cheered Him- no smile of fondness greeted Him- no hand of affection welcomed Him- "The Son of man has not where to lay His head," was the heart-rending acknowledgment extracted from His Psalms. And when a day of exhausting toil had closed upon Him- a day spent in journeying from village to village, and from house to house, preaching the kingdom, healing all manner of diseases, supplying the needs, alleviating the sufferings, and soothing the cares of others- He would retire, lonely and unrefreshed, to the bleak mountain, and spend His long sleepless night in unremitting prayer for His Church! O adorable and adored Jehovah-Jesus! was ever humiliation and love like yours?
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« Reply #333 on: April 16, 2009, 02:14:54 AM »

_______________________________
Morning Thoughts
or
Daily Walking With God
by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
Free From Grace Gems
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April 19

"They shall call his name, Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."  Matthew 1:23

Apart from the doctrine of the supreme Godhead of Christ, upon what mere sand do men build their hope of heaven; what dreams, what shadows are all their expectations of eternal life! The Divinity of Jesus denied or rejected, all that is precious and valuable in His death is reduced to a mere negation. What would be His obedience to the law, if reduced to a mere finite obedience? What would be His endurance of its penalty upon the cross, if a 'creature' only were suffering? How could either meet the claims of God's moral government, sustain His holiness, satisfy His justice, and present Him to our view- just to Himself, and yet the justifier of him that believes? Never! If your acceptance as a sinner with this holy Lord God is based on any other righteousness than the "righteousness of God," you are lost, and that to all eternity! A 'created' Savior! Oh, wretched fantasy! A finite Redeemer! Oh awful and malignant scheme of Satan to drown men's souls in perdition!

But to the true believer how glorious, invaluable, and precious is this truth! What a rock does he stand upon, whose faith rests upon the Godhead of Christ! He sees in His blood and righteousness the infinite dignity and worth of the God-Man Mediator. All that he needs as a poor, guilty, undone sinner he finds here. A righteousness that fully acquits him from all the charges of law; a fountain that cleanses him from all the pollution of sin; a Savior, not mighty only, but almighty, to carry his sorrows, bear his burdens, and strengthen him for the conflicts and the difficulties of the pilgrimage. Look up, then, O believer! and fasten the eye of your faith upon the eternal glory of your covenant Head. Your salvation is secured by an Almighty Redeemer, who is able to keep that which you have committed unto Him against the day when He will make up His peculiar treasure.
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« Reply #334 on: April 16, 2009, 02:16:27 AM »

_______________________________
Morning Thoughts
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Daily Walking With God
by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
Free From Grace Gems
http://www.gracegems.org/
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April 20

"And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed." Exodus 3:3

This remarkable incident in the history of God's ancient Israel is illustrative of most important truth, bearing upon the experimental and practical experience of each believer in Jesus. It presents a true and beautiful outline of the Church of God. We are reminded of the two opposite natures of the believer- the fallen and the restored, the fleshly and the spiritual. The one low, sinful, unlovely, and of the earth- earthly; the other elevated, holy, glorious, and of heaven- heavenly. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

The conflict between these opposite and antagonist natures in the child of God is also presented to view. As the bush in which the Divinity dwelt was surrounded by flame, so the regenerated man, in whom the eternal God deigns to dwell by His spirit, is perpetually encircled by the fire of conflict, trial, and suffering. Nature and grace, sin and holiness, are as contrary the one to the other as any two principles can be. They can no more agree, commingle, or coalesce, than can the opposite and antagonist elements in the natural world. Nor can there ever be a truce between them. They must necessarily and perpetually be at variance, hostile to and at war one with the other. The contest is for supremacy. The great question at issue is, "which shall reign in the believer- sin or holiness; nature or grace; Satan or God?" Oh, what a fiery conflict is this! Hear the confession of an inspired apostle, drawn from his own painful experience: "I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do, I allow not; for what I would, that I do not; but what I hate, that do I." Who cannot trace the conflict here? Sin he deeply, inveterately abhorred. The prevailing tendency, the habitual and fixed inclination, of his renewed mind was to holiness- the bent of his desires was towards God. And yet, in consequence of the native depravity of his heart, the influence of sinful propensities, corrupt inclinations and desires, he felt like one chained to a body of death, from which he longed to be delivered. Here was that which defined the two natures, marked the perpetual conflict between both, and which distinguished the holy man from the sinner. In addition to this spiritual conflict, there are the flames of suffering and trial which often encircle a dear child of God. This is the baptism of fire, connected with, and ever following, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. "He shall baptize you," says John, "with the Holy Spirit, and with fire." God has His "fire in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem." But it is not the furnace of justice, nor the fire of wrath. Jesus, the surety, has passed through and sustained all this; He has quenched its flame, and extinguished its embers. But it is the discipline of everlasting love and mercy. And though persecution may be permitted to rage, and the confessor of Christ may ascend, to glory in a chariot of fire- though trials of various kinds may overtake the child of God, his grace and his graces "tried with fire,"- yet both the persecution of the Church and the trial of the believer are but the fruit of eternal and unchangeable love; and will prove purifying, sanctifying, and saving. Nothing will be consumed but the tinsel of the world and the dross of sin, the alloy so much and so frequently found mixed with the pure gold.
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« Reply #335 on: April 25, 2009, 04:23:55 AM »

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Daily Walking With God
by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
Free From Grace Gems
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April 21

"I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned." Exodus 3:3

Contemplate one more surpassing and precious truth- the Church is unconsumed! And why? Because He who dwelt in the bush dwells in the Church. The believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The High and Lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, dwells in him. Christ is in him the hope of glory. It is impossible that he can perish. Why has not the poor feeble bush been consumed? why has not grace declined, and faith failed, and love become totally extinguished? why has not the "fiery dart" of Satan prevailed, and the fierce and hot flame of persecution and of trial utterly consumed? Because greater is He that is in the believer than he that is in the world. Believer in Jesus! tell me not only of the sin that dwells in you, often bringing your soul into bondage and distress; tell me also of the grace that dwells in you, which as often gives you the victory, and sends you rejoicing on your way. Tell not only of the burning fiery furnace seven times heated; tell also of Him whose form is like the Son of God, who is with you in the furnace, and who has brought and who yet will bring you through, with not a hair of your head singed, nor the smell of fire passed upon your garments. Tell not only of the "trial of your faith," "though it be tried with fire," but that also, through the ceaseless intercession of Jesus within the veil, that faith never yet has failed. Tell not only of the burden that has oppressed, tell also of the grace that has sustained- not only of the sorrow that has wounded, but also of the divine sympathy, tenderness, and gentleness that have soothed and comforted, bound up and healed that wound. Oh, to hear more frequently the shout of victory and the song of praise breaking in sweet music from the lips of the redeemed! How much more would Jesus be glorified!
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« Reply #336 on: April 25, 2009, 04:25:54 AM »

_______________________________
Morning Thoughts
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Daily Walking With God
by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
Free From Grace Gems
http://www.gracegems.org/
_______________________________


April 22

"Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Isaiah 53:4

In order to the perfection of His character as the High Priest of His people, as the Brother born for adversity, in order to be "touched with the feeling of our infirmities," He must Himself suffer. He must know from painful experience what sorrow meant- what a wounded spirit and a broken bleeding heart, a burdened and a beclouded mind, were. In this school He must be taught, and disciplined, and trained; He must "learn obedience by the things which He suffered;" He must be made "perfect through sufferings." And oh, how deeply has He been taught, and how thoroughly has He been trained, and how well has He learned thus to sympathize with a suffering Church! You have gone, it may be, with your trouble to your earthly friend; you have unfolded your tale of woe, have unveiled every feeling and emotion. But, ah! how have the vacant countenance, the wandering eye, the listless air, the cold response, told you that your friend, with all his love, could not enter into your case! The care that darkened your brow had never shaded his- the sorrow that lacerated your heart had never touched his- the cup you were drinking he had never tasted. What was lacking? Sympathy, growing out of an identity of circumstance.

You have gone to another. He has trod that path before you, He has passed through that very trouble, His spirit has been accustomed to grief, His heart schooled in trial, sorrow in some of its acutest forms has been His companion; and now He is prepared to bend upon you a melting eye, to lend an attentive ear and a feeling heart, and to say, "Brother, I have known all, I have felt all, I have passed through all- I can sympathize with all." That Friend of friends, that Brother of brothers, is Jesus. He has gone before you; He has left a fragrance on the brim of that very cup you are now drinking; He has bedewed with tears and left the traces of His blood on that very path along which you are now walking; He has been taught in that very school in which you are now learning. Then what encouragement to take your case, in the sweet simplicity of faith, and lay it before the Lord! to go and tell Jesus, confessing to Him, and over Him, the sin which has called forth the chastisement, and then the grief which that chastisement has occasioned. What a wonderful High Priest is Jesus! As the bleeding Sacrifice, you may lay your hand of faith upon His head, and acknowledge your deepest guilt; and, as the merciful Priest, you may lay your head on His bosom, and disclose your deepest sorrow. O my precious Savior! must You sink to this deep humiliation, and endure this bitter suffering, in order to enter into my lonely sorrow!
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« Reply #337 on: April 25, 2009, 04:27:36 AM »

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Daily Walking With God
by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
Free From Grace Gems
http://www.gracegems.org/
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April 23

"Little children, keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:21

An idolatrous and unsanctified attachment to the creature has again and again crucified love to Christ in the heart. Upon the same principle that no man can love the world and God with a like supreme and kindred affection, so no man can give to Christ and the creature the same intensity

of regard. And yet, how often has the creature stolen the heart from its lawful Sovereign! That heart that was once so simply and so supremely the Lord's, those affections that clung to Him with such purity and power of grasp, have now been transferred to another and an inferior object; the piece of clay that God had given but to deepen the obligation, and heighten the soul's love to Himself, has been molded into an idol, before which the heart pours its daily incense; the flower that He has caused to spring forth but to endear His own beauty, and make His own name more fragrant, has supplanted the "Rose of Sharon" in the bosom. Oh! is it thus that we abuse our mercies? is it thus that we convert our blessings into poisons? that we allow the things that were sent to endear the heart of our God, and to make the cross, through which they came, more precious, to allure our affections from their holy and blessed center? Fools that we are, to love the creature more than the Creator!

Dear reader, why has God been disciplining you as it may be, He has? why has He removed your idols, crumbled into dust your piece of clay, and blown witheringly upon your beauteous flower? Why? Because He hates idolatry; and idolatry is essentially the same, whether it be offered to a lifeless, shapeless stock, or to a being of intellect and beauty. And what does His voice speak in every stream that He dries, in every plant that He blows upon, and in every disappointment He writes upon the creature? "My son, give me your heart. I want your love, your pure and supreme affection; I want to be the one and only object of your delight. I gave my Son for you- His life for yours; I sent my Spirit to quicken, to renew, to seal, and possess you for myself; all this I did that I might have your heart. To possess myself of this, I have smitten your gourds, removed your idols, broken your earthly dependences, and have sought to detach your affections from the creature, that they may arise, undivided and unfettered, and entwine around One who loves you with an undying love."
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« Reply #338 on: April 25, 2009, 04:31:34 AM »

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by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
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April 24

"Precious faith." 2 Peter 1:1

Truly is faith the crowning grace of all, and a most costly and precious fruit of the renewed mind. From it springs every other grace of a gracious soul. It has been designated the 'queen' grace, because a royal train ever attends it. Faith comes not alone, nor dwells alone, nor works alone. Where faith in Jesus is, there also are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, patience, godly sorrow, and every kindred perfection of the Christian character, all blending in the sweetest harmony, all uniting to celebrate the glory of God's grace, and to crown Jesus Lord of all. Is it, then, surprising that this should be distinguished from all the others by the term "precious faith"? No! that must needs be precious which unfolds the preciousness of everything else. It makes the real gold more precious, and it transmutes everything else into gold. It looks to a "precious Christ" It leads to His "precious blood." It relies upon the "precious promises." And its very trial, though it be by fire, is "precious." It so changes the nature of the painful, the humiliating, and the afflictive, as to turn a Father's frown, rebuke, and correction, into some of the costliest mercies of life. Precious grace, that bids me look upon God in Christ as reconciled; and which, in the absence of all evidence of sight, invites me to rest upon the veracity of God! which takes me in my deepest poverty to Jesus, my true Joseph, having in His hands and at His disposal all the treasures of grace and glory! These are some of the characteristics of this royal grace. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." By faith I can not only say that Jesus died for sinners, but that He died for me. Faith makes the great atonement mine. Faith appropriates to itself all that is in Christ. It lays its hand upon the covenant of grace, and exclaims, "All things are mine." Oh, to see one bowed to the dust under a sense of sin, yet by faith traveling to the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus for salvation, and finding it too- to mark the power of this grace in sustaining the soul in deep waters, holding it up in perilous paths- is a spectacle on which God Himself must look down with ineffable delight.
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« Reply #339 on: April 25, 2009, 04:33:48 AM »

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by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
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April 25

"Do you believe on the Son of God?" John 9:35

The application of this question, reader, must be to your conscience. Have you "like precious faith" with that which we have attempted to describe? Alas! it may be that you are that tree which brings not forth this good fruit. Yours may be a species of fruit somewhat resembling it; but do not be deceived in a matter so momentous as this. "You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble." That is, you assent to the first proposition of true religion- the being of God; this is well, because your judgment assents to that which is true. And still you have not gone beyond the faith of demons! They believe, and yet horror inconceivable is but the effect of the forced assent of their minds to the truth- they "tremble." Oh, look well to your faith!

There must be, in true faith, not only an assent, but also a consent. In believing to the saving of the soul, we not only assent to the truth of the word, but we also consent to take Christ as He is there set forth- the sinner's reconciliation with God. A mere intellectual illumination, or a historical belief of the facts of the Bible, will never place the soul beyond the reach of hell, nor within the region of heaven. There is a "form of knowledge," as well as a "form of godliness;" and both existing apart from vital religion in the soul constitute a "vain religion." Again we press upon you the important inquiry, Have you the "faith of God's elect"? Is it a faith that has stained the glory of self-merit, and laid the pride of intellect in the dust? Is it rooted in Christ? Has it transformed you, in some degree, into the opposite of what you once were? Are any of the "precious fruits" of the Spirit put forth in your life? Is Jesus precious to your soul? And to walk in all circumstances humbly with God- is it the earnest desire of your heart? If there is no sorrow for sin, no going out of yourself to Jesus, no fruits of holiness, in some degree, appearing, then is yours but a "dead faith,"- dead, because it is a part and parcel of a nature "dead in trespasses and in sins,"- dead, because it is not the fruit of the quickening Spirit- dead, because it is inoperative, even as the lifeless root transmits no vitality and moisture to the tree- dead, because it never can bring you to eternal life. Of what value, then, is it? Cut it down! why should it use up the ground? If, then, you have never brought forth the good fruit of prayer, and repentance, and Faith, you are yet in the old nature of sin of rebellion, and of death.
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« Reply #340 on: April 25, 2009, 04:35:32 AM »

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by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
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April 26

"For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father." Ephesians 2:18

What is prayer? It is the communion of the spiritual life in the soul of man with its Divine Author; it is a breathing back the divine life into the bosom of God, from where it came; it is holy, spiritual, humble converse with God. That was a beautiful remark of a converted heathen- "I open my Bible, and God talks with me; I close my Bible, and then I talk with God." Striking definition of true prayer! It is a talking with God as a child talks with his father, as a friend converses with his friend: "And the Lord talked with Moses." Let it be remembered, then, that true prayer is the aspiration of a renewed soul towards God; it is the breathing of the divine life, sometimes in the accents of sorrow, sometimes as the expression of need, and always as the acknowledgment of dependence; it is the looking up of a renewed, afflicted, necessitous, and dependent child to its own loving Father, in all the consciousness of utter weakness, and in all the sweetness of filial trust.

Who is the object of prayer? Jehovah, the Lord of heaven and earth; to Him, as the Three in One, does true prayer only address itself. He alone has an ear to hear our tale of sorrow; an arm than can support in time of need; and a heart that can sympathize with our deep necessity. The high and lofty One, that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, who is the Creator and Governor of all worlds, who bears up the pillars of the universe, to whom all the powers in heaven, in earth, and in hell are subject, He is the glorious object to whom we address ourselves in prayer.

Not less amazing is the medium of prayer- what is it? Not a creature, dependent as ourselves; but the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, equal in might, majesty, and dominion with the Father, and yet the Elder Brother, the slain Lamb, the Mediator and Surety, the High Priest of His people. Prayer finds acceptance within the veil, only as it is presented in the name of Jesus. The voice that speaks there, in behalf of the lowly suppliant, is the voice of Immanuel's blood; this is the "new and living way,"- this is the plea that prevails, this is the argument that moves Omnipotence itself. He who pleads the blood of Jesus in prayer may have ten thousand tongues all pleading against him, but "the blood of Jesus speaks better things," and drowns their every voice. Oh precious, costly medium of prayer!

Marvelous, too, is the Author of prayer- who is He? The apostle informs us: "Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered." Thus is it the Holy Spirit who begets the desire, indites the petition, and breathes it forth in prayer through Christ to God. What a sublime exercise, then, is prayer! The outgoing of the divine life in the soul is its nature- Jehovah its object- the Lord Jesus its medium- and the Holy Spirit its author. Thus the blessed Trinity is unity is engaged in the great work of a sinner's approach unto God.
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« Reply #341 on: April 25, 2009, 04:37:08 AM »

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April 27

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8

You will make no advance in the divine life, if your eye is ever upon yourself instead of Christ. What though the experience of today is the opposite of the experience of yesterday- yesterday all brightness, today all cloudiness; yesterday your soul like a well-tuned psalm, today every string loosed and breathing no melody; yesterday, Jesus felt to be so near and precious, today seeming to awaken not a loving emotion in your heart; yesterday, communion with God so sweet, today, none whatever; yesterday, desiring to walk uprightly, holily, and humbly, today detecting so much that is vacillating, weak, and vile. Nevertheless, Jesus is not changed. The work of Christ is the same- your acceptance in Him is the same- His intercession in heaven for you is the same; then, where should you fly to spiritual experiences for support, strength, and consolation- rising when they rise, falling when they fall- when all your standing, joy, peace, and hope are entirely out of yourself, and are solely in Christ? What though you change a thousand times in one day? He never changes. God may vary His dispensations- He may alter His mode of dealing- He may change the nature of His discipline - He may vary the lesson, but His loving-kindness and His truth are as unchangeable as His very being. He may dry up the earthly cistern, but He will never seal up the heavenly fountain! -that will flow on in grace through all time, and in glory through all eternity.
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« Reply #342 on: April 25, 2009, 04:38:51 AM »

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by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
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April 28

"For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that eve might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

My reader, it is your highest honor, as it was His deepest shame; your richest glory, as it was His deepest humiliation; that He literally did bear all the sins of all His Church. As truly as we are "made the righteousness of God in Him," He was "made sin," or a sin-offering, for us. Behold how beautifully has the Holy Spirit brought out the doctrines of substitution and union. Of substitution thus, "He has made Him (who knew no sin) to be sin for us." And of union thus, "that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." Oh amazing truth! Sinking to our deepest dishonor, He raises us to His highest glory. Sinking Himself with our fallen humanity, He raises us to a union with God. Substituting Himself for us, He makes us one with Himself. An affecting thought! Were all our iniquities, and all our "transgressions in all our sins," laid on Jesus? Yes, all! Before His infinite mind, to whom the past and the future are one eternal now, the sins of all His chosen ones, to the remotest period of time, passed in review, and were made to meet on the head of the atoning Lamb. Here is opened the high source of all real blessedness to a believing soul. Sweet is the spring, and sweet are the streams that flow from it. Reconciliation with God- His free forgiveness- union with His nature- adoption into His family- acceptance in the Beloved- oneness with a risen Head- access within the veil- filial and perpetual communion- and the "peace of God, which, passes all understanding," are among the costly results of Christ bearing sin. And see how completely He has borne the mighty load. The moment our iniquities touched Him, it would seem as though He flung them to an infinite distance, or sunk them to an infinite depth. Never, in point of law and justice, can they appear against the pardoned soul. Laid upon our Surety, condemned, and punished, and pardoned in Him, "there is now no condemnation" of, or for sin, to "those who are in Christ Jesus." How strong is the language which declares this truth: "I have blotted out as a thick cloud your transgressions, and as a cloud your sins;" "You have cast all my sins behind Your back;" "Thus says the Lord, The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found." And why? "Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world!" And may we not account as among the most precious and costly blessings resulting from this truth, its sanctifying tendency? My beloved, the deepest view you can ever have of God's hatred of sin is in the cross of Calvary; and the deepest sense of the "exceeding sinfulness of sin" you can ever feel is its entire pardon, imprinted on your heart with the atoning blood of Jesus, and witnessed by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit. You hate it because it is forgiven; you abhor it because it is pardoned. Oh, powerful and precious motive to holiness! My soul, yield yourself to its sweet influence, draw your constraints to a life of deeper sanctification from the cross; thirst and pant with more intense desire after Divine conformity, as one all whose iniquities, transgressions, and sins are forever cancelled by the heart's blood of God's dear Son. Oh hateful and hated sin, atoned for so richly, pardoned so freely, blotted out so entirely, how can I admire you? how can I love you? how can I cherish you? and how can I yield to you now? You did burden and bow down to the earth the soul of my blessed Lord. You did mar the beauty, and veil the glory, and humble the spirit of my Beloved. You did crimson His body with the bloody sweat- you did wreath His brow with thorns- you did trouble his soul even unto death; and yet you, my transgressions, are forgiven- you, my sins, are covered- you, my iniquities, are not imputed, and that because Jesus, my surety, was wounded, and bruised, and stricken for me!
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« Reply #343 on: April 25, 2009, 04:40:16 AM »

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April 29

"You are complete in Him." Colossians 2:10

Here is a truth, the vastness of which is only equaled by its unspeakable preciousness. The Lord Jesus is the life of our acceptance with God. We stand as believers in the righteousness of a living Head. Within the veil He has entered, "now to appear in the presence of God for us," presenting all His people each moment complete in Himself. It is a present justification. "You are complete in Him," "accepted in the Beloved," "justified from all things." Perfection in himself the enlightened soul utterly repudiates. Completeness in anything that he is, or has done, he totally rejects. Incomplete his deepest repentance- incomplete his strongest faith- incomplete his best obedience- incomplete his most costly sacrifice- low in the lowest dust does he lay himself. Too wretched he cannot think himself-  too little he cannot be in his own eyes. Language fails to express the deep self-loathing and sin-abhorrence of his soul. But lo! a voice is heard- oh, it falls upon his ear like the music of the spheres- "You are complete in Him." In one moment all is peace. The believing soul ceases from his works- the weary spirit enters into rest, because, believing, it enters into Jesus. In Christ he now stands complete. His pardon complete- his justification complete- his adoption complete- his whole person complete before a holy God! Is not this a vast truth? and is it not a glorious one? Where is the doctrine that exceeds it? Where is the declaration that has in it such life as this? Dear reader, it may be you have long been looking at yourself for some one thing complete. Something- in your judgment you may reject the thought, yet in your heart there is that principle which has been looking for something in yourself to commend you to God- something to make you more acceptable to, more welcomed by, Him. But behold where your completeness is found- in, and solely in, Christ. Oh precious truth! A poor, vile sinner, standing before a holy God, complete in righteousness! the object of His infinite love and delight, over whom He rejoices with singing. Oh, how divine, how finished, how glorious must that righteousness be, which so covers your soul as to present you before a God of immaculate purity, "without a spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing!"
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« Reply #344 on: April 25, 2009, 04:42:20 AM »

_______________________________
Morning Thoughts
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Daily Walking With God
by Octavius Winslow ( 1808 - 1878 )
Free From Grace Gems
http://www.gracegems.org/
_______________________________


April 30

"You have received the Spirit of adoption." Romans 8:15

The Spirit of adoption is the same as the Spirit of God. There are two essential features which identify Him as such. The first is, He imparts the nature of the Father to all the children of the family. In this there is a wide difference between a human and a Divine adoption. Man can only confer his name and his inheritance upon the child he adopts. But in the adoption of God, to the name and inheritance of God is added the Divine nature, imparted in regeneration; so that, in the words of our Lord, we become manifestly the "children of our Father who is in heaven." The second feature is- having begotten the nature of the Father, He then breathes the spirit of the child into the heart. He inspires a filial love. The love which glows in the believer's heart is the affection of a child to its parent. It is not a servile bondage, but a filial and free spirit. Oh sweet and holy emotion! How tender and confiding, how clinging and child-like is it! Such ought to be our love to God. He is our Father- we are His children. Why should not our love to Him be marked by more of the exquisite tenderness, and the unquestioning confidence, and the calm repose of a child reclining upon a parent's breast? A child-like fear of God is another inspiration of the Spirit of adoption. Love and fear are twin graces in the Christian character. The Spirit of God is the Author of both; and both dwell together and cooperate in the same renewed heart. It is not the dread of the servant, but the holy trembling of the child, of which we speak. It is a filial, loving, reverential fear. A child-like trust in God also springs from the Spirit of adoption. The trust of a child is implicit, affectionate, and unquestioning. Upon whose counsel may he so safely rely, in whose affection may he so fully confide, upon whose fidelity may he so confidently trust, as a parent's? God is your Father, O child of a divine adoption, of a heavenly birth!- let your trust in Him be the result of the relationship you sustain. It admits you to the closest intimacy, and invites you to the most perfect confidence. You have not a need, nor an anxiety, nor a grief, which is not all His own. His adoption of your person- an act of His spontaneous and most free grace- pledged Him to transfer all your individual interests to Himself. To these we must add a filial obedience- "If you love me, keep my commandments." Obedience, whether to the Savior's precept, or to the Father's law, is the test of love; and love is the spring of obedience. "All that the Lord God has spoken to us will we do," is the language of that heart where the Spirit of adoption dwells. Such are some of the features of adoption.
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