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nChrist
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« on: July 02, 2005, 05:06:04 PM »

July 2

Refusing to Go In - Page 1
by George H. Morrison


And he was angry, and would not go in— Luk_15:28

An Inexhaustible Parable

I have often spoken on this beautiful parable, and I hope often to speak on it again. It is so full of teaching and so full of hope that in a lifetime one could not exhaust it. I think I have even spoken on this verse when discussing our duties to our equals. But now I choose it for a different purpose, and I want to put it in a different setting. I want to look at this brother in the parable as the type of the man who will not enter into a love that is too big for earth, and into a household that is home indeed. "And he was angry, and would not go in. "Are there not multitudes in that condition? They see the gleaming of the lights of home, and there is the sound of music in their ears. And yet though they know that they would have a welcome, and add to the gladness of it all by entering, somehow or other, like the brother here, they stand in the cold night outside the door. I am not speaking to those who have accepted Christ, and know His fellowship, I am speaking to those so near to door and window that they see the light and hear the sound of music. And yet though the night is over them and round them, and they are hungry and the feast is there, somehow or other they will not go in. Let me ask you in passing to lay this to heart, that no one will ever force you in. God is too careful of our human freedom to drag us against our will into His home. You must go willingly or not at all. You must make up your mind to go, and do it. And probably there is no hour so fit for that as just this hour which you have reached.

There are two things about which I want to speak in connection with the conduct of this brother. First, I want to look at the reasons which kept him from entering the home that night. Second, I want to find out what he missed because he thus refused to enter.

He Could Not Understand His Father's Ways

First, then, looking at the man, why was it that he refused to enter? I think to begin with, that this was in his heart, that he could not understand his father's ways. Doubtless he had always loved his father. Doubtless he had always honored him. He had never before questioned his sagacity, or dreamed of thinking of him as unjust. But now, in the hour of the prodigal's return, when the house was ablaze with light and loud with merriment, all he had cherished of his father's justice seemed to be scattered to the winds of heaven. Was this the way to receive back a prodigal? Was not this to put a premium on folly? Was it fair to him, so faithful and so patient, that a reckless ne'er-do-well should have this welcome? He could not understand his father's ways. Is this the only man who has stood without because of irritating thoughts like that? Are there none here who will not enter because they cannot understand the Father's dealings? They cannot fathom the mysteries of providence. They cannot understand the cruelties of nature. They cannot grasp the meaning of the cross, or see the power of the death of Jesus. Am I speaking to anyone who feels like that—who cannot understand the Father's dealings? I want to say to you that the one way to learn them is to come at once into the home. For the ways of God are like cathedral windows which to those outside are dim and meaningless, and only reveal their beauty and their story to those who are within.

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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2005, 05:09:13 PM »

Refusing to Go In - Page 2
by George H. Morrison


He Was Indignant with His Brother

I think again this man refused to enter because he was indignant with his brother. He was indignant that one with such a character should have a place at all within the house. It is not likely that he ever loved his brother, and perhaps his brother had never much loved him. There was such a difference between their natures that they could hardly have been the best of comrades. For the one was always generous to a fault, and always getting into trouble somewhere; and the other was a pattern of sobriety, and as cautious as he was laborious. Such Jacobs, and they are found in every region, are always a little contemptuous of Esaus. Secretly they despise them and their singing, and they cannot understand why people love them. And when they find that they are home again, and that all the household is in revelry, then are they angry and will not go in. So was it with this person in the parable. He was not only angry with his father; he was deeply indignant that in the house of gladness a man should be tolerated such as his brother was. And I know many who are standing outside—who are angry and will not go in—for a reason precisely similar to that. I remember a young man coming to me in Dundee to tell me why he would never join the church. It seemed that in the place of business where he worked there was a young woman who made a great profession. And all the time that she was busy in attending meetings and acting as a monitor, she was engaged in pilfering the till. "And he was angry, and would not go in." He was very indignant with his sister. He said, "If these are the kind of people who are in, then it is better that I should be without." And I tell you there are many just like that, who would come in and get their welcome, if it were not for what they have seen in you—if it were not for what they have seen in me. My brother, standing in the darkness there, there is a great deal to justify your attitude. But why do you leave the happiness to us when we are such prodigals and so unworthy of it? Come in yourself tonight out of the cold. Bring your enthusiasm and your courage with you. And not only will you receive a blessing, but you will be a blessing to us all.

He Trusted the Reports of Others

I think again this man refused to enter because he trusted the reports of others. He did what is always a foolish thing to do—he went on the information of the servants. Had he gone right in and seen things for himself, the night for him would have had a different issue. One look at his brother might have softened him, there were such traces of hell about his face. But instead of that he went to the stable door, where the ostler was loafing and listening to the music, and he, the first-born of his father's family, was content to get his information there. Now of course we know that he was told the truth. "Thy brother is come, and they are making merry." But might not the truth be told in such a way as would irritate and rankle just a little? It is always the prodigals whom the servants love. It is always the prodigals they like to serve. And there would be just a touch of pleasing malice in it, when they told the elder brother what had happened. "And he was angry, and would not go in." It was partly the servants' tone that made him angry. He took his report of that most glorious night from men who knew nothing of its inner mystery. And what I say is that it is often so, and that there are multitudes outside today because they have taken the report of others who are incapable of judging rightly. Are you quite sure that your reports of Jesus are taken from those who know Him and who love Him? Are you quite sure that in your thoughts of Christ there is no travesty of what is true? You must especially beware of that, young man, in an age like this when everyone is talking, and when a thousand judgments are passed on Jesus Christ by men who have never touched His garment's hem. I beg of you to believe that in the Gospel there is something that lies beyond the reach of intellect. There is something which is never understood except by those who have experienced it. And therefore if you are in earnest and are wise you will take no verdict upon the cross of Christ, except the verdict of the man or woman who has experienced its saving power.

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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2005, 05:11:16 PM »

Refusing to Go In - Page 3
by George H. Morrison


He Missed What He Most Needed

So far then on the older brother's reasons. Now will you let me show you what he missed? Well, to begin with, you must all agree with me that the man missed just what he most needed. Think of it, his day's work was over. He was coming home in the evening from the field. Like a faithful servant he had been hard at work, driving the furrow or building up the fences. I honor him for that quiet and steady toil, and for being not above the servant's duty. There would be more prosperous farms and prosperous businesses, if sons today would follow his example. Now the labors of the day were over. "The ploughman homewards wends his weary way." And he was hungry and he needed food. He was weary and he needed rest. He was soiled and stained with his day's work, and he wanted a change of raiment in the evening—and all that he needed in that evening hour was stored and treasured in his father's house. "And he was angry, and would not go in. "He missed the very things that he was needing. All that would freshen him and make him strong again, he lost because he stayed outside the door. He was a soiled, weary, and hungry man, and everything was ready for the taking, yet no one forced him to the taking of it when he deliberately stood without. Is not that always the pity of it, when a man refuses the love of Jesus Christ? Is he not missing just what he most needs, and needs the more, the more he has been faithful? For all of us are soiled and we need cleansing; and all of us are weak and we need strength, and all of us are hungering and thirsting, and Christ alone can satisfy that hunger. My brother and sister, I want you to come in not to please me, but for your own sake first. I want you to come in, because just what you need now is waiting you in Christ. I want you to come in because that heart of yours is restless and unsatisfied and hungry; because when you were tempted last you fell, and you are missing the very thing you need.

He Missed the Joy

But not only did the man miss what he needed; he also missed the merriment and gladness. He missed what some folk would not miss for worlds—he missed an excellent dance and a good supper. Think of him, standing out under the stars, a man alone and out of touch with everybody. Have not you felt it when there was some fine gathering, and you were not one of the invited? And then, to make it worse to bear, the sound of the music floated through the yard, and he could see how happy they all were, as the figures passed beyond the lighted window. The man was bitten by the fiercest jealousy. He was hurt; he was offended; he was miserable. Everyone was joyous except him. Everyone was in the light but he. And the strange thing is that in all the countryside there was not a man who would have been more welcome, nor one who had a better right and title to the gladness and the feasting of the night. Ah! what a right some of you have to know the joy and feasting of the Lord! How you have been prayed for since you were little children! How hearts at home have yearned for you in tears! And yet today you are the very one—you who have had an upbringing like that—who stand without, and will not enter in, and miss the gladness of the Lord Jesus Christ. I want you to come right in tonight. You are far more lonely than some people think. I want you to have the gladness of religion, instead of your little petty evanescent gladness. I want you to feel that in the love of Christ, with all its strengthening and all its saving, there is just that deep strong joy that you are missing, and always will miss till you pass the door. "I am the door," said Jesus. "By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (Joh_10:9).

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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2005, 05:13:59 PM »

Refusing to Go In - Page 4
by George H. Morrison


He Missed a Chance to Serve

Then tell me, did he not miss one thing more? Did he not miss his chance of making others happy? Although I daresay he never thought it so, his absence was the one shadow on that feast. He was not, I take it, a very lovable person, and for that matter perhaps you are not that either. He was not at all the kind of man we know, who is the life and soul of any gathering. And yet that night—that night and that alone—his presence would have been the crowning gladness; his absence was the one dark shadow upon a happiness which was like that of heaven. Do you think the prodigal could be at peace until his brother had come in and welcomed him? Could the father be happy when there was one wanting, one whom he loved and honored for his toil? And all the time, bitter and angry-hearted, the man outside was missing his great chance, a chance that it is worth living years to win—the chance of making other people happy. Have you ever thought, young men and women, of the happiness you would give by coming in? If you have never thought of it before, I want you to think of it today. What of your mother, who has toiled and prayed for you? What of your father, though he never says much? What of that friend whose eyes would be so different if you were but a faithful soul in Christ? What of the angels in their ranks and choirs who are waiting to rejoice when you are saved? What of Jesus Christ, the Lover of mankind, who would see of the travail of His soul and would be satisfied? I beg of you not to miss your opportunity. It is a great vocation to make others glad. I would call you to it even if it were hard, and meant the sacrifice of what was dearest. But the wonderful thing about our Lord is this, that when you trust Him, and make others glad, in that very hour you become glad yourself, and win what you have craved for all along.

_______________________

By George H. Morrison
_______________________

These beautiful messages by George H. Morrison are distributed freely and Internationally in the excellent freeware Bible Study package called e-Sword. These messages are representative of many sweet Christians who want to put excellent Bible Study material in the hands of many, free of charge.

You can obtain e-Sword at:
http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Author: Rick Meyer
(The goal of Rick Meyer is to freely distribute Bibles to every country on earth in their own language, and that goal gets closer by the day. Thanks to countless Christian individuals and organizations with big hearts, many excellent Bible Study tools are also being distributed with e-Sword around the world, free of charge.)
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2005, 06:54:02 AM »

August 10


The Thing Incredible - Page 1
By George H. Morrison


Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life .... No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself— Joh_10:17-18

History Has Come Full Circle

It is strange how often in the course of history the wheel has "come full circle." The impossibilities of yesterday have proved the commonplaces of today. Our Christian faith has always had its elements which powerfully commended it to men, and always there have been aspects of it which were obstacles to its acceptance; but the singular fact which steadily emerges from a growing knowledge of its story is how often the glory of the past becomes the difficulty of the present. One sees that in regard to miracles. Once they were confirmations of the faith. For multitudes the Gospel was authenticated by the signs and wonders of the Lord. And now for multitudes these very miracles are obstacles and stumbling blocks, only making it harder to believe. Today it is the divinity of Christ which so many find it difficult to credit; in the early days of Christianity there was far more difficulty over His humanity. Today we have to battle with agnosticism, which is the denial of all certain knowledge; but in the early Church the conflict was with gnosticism, which, of course, is agnosticism's opposite.

The Change in Attitude Towards Christ's Death and Resurrection

Something of the same kind is seen in regard to our Lord's death and resurrection. Nobody today questions that He died, but many question if He rose again. That He incurred the bitter enmity of men by the fearless proclamation of His message, that the passions He inevitably roused finally brought Him to His death—all this seems so natural to us that no one has any trouble with the cross now, viewed, I mean, just as a fact of history. The problem for us is not that Christ should die; the problem is that He should rise again, with the very body which the nails had pierced and which had known the thrusting of the sword. Multitudes of earnest souls have difficulty in crediting that. This is seen in the various attempts of modernism to explain away His resurrection. No one tries to explain away His death now. It is universally accepted that He died. Nobody finds it a thing almost incredible that at last He was hung upon a tree. The thing almost incredible to many is that on the third day He rose again, in all the power of an endless life.

The Mystery of Mysteries for the Early Disciples

And yet, if I do not greatly err, the opposite was true in the first days. For those who stood nearest to the Lord the staggering difficulty was His death. They had seen Him in conflict with all the powers of darkness, and from every conflict He had emerged victorious. He had challenged evil in all its ugly forms, and as a Conqueror driven it from the field. He had marched on in triumph, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and every foe of full abundant life had been forced to acknowledge His supremacy. Blindness had vanished at His word. Leprosy had departed at His touch. Fevers had fled away, and the withered arm had become strong again. Even death itself, that universal conqueror, had been forced to render up its prisoners at the kingly command of the Lord Jesus. All this they had seen with their own eyes. It was the constant experience of comradeship. They had walked with One who had matched Himself with death and compelled death to acknowledge he was beaten. And to them the thing incredible was this, that He, who had triumphed all along the line, should Himself become a prisoner of the tyrant. For us the resurrection is the staggering thing: the death but the inevitable end. For those who had corn-partied with Jesus it was the other way about. That He should die, that death should conquer Him, that over Him the grave should be victorious, was to them the mystery of mysteries.

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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2005, 06:57:39 AM »

The Thing Incredible - Page 2
By George H. Morrison


Almost certainly some such thought as this moves through the disciples' aversion from the cross. It underlies their incredulous astonishment when our Lord began to speak about the end. That they heard with horror of a death of shame is in consonance with human nature. Mingling with that horror was the agony of losing their Beloved. But perhaps we shall never fully understand their wild and incredulous astonishment till we recall the personality of Jesus. Men find it difficult to associate death with powerful and arresting personalities. From Nero to Lord Kitchener we trace the conviction that the dead are living. And for men who had companied with Jesus and seen the energies of His victorious life, it must have been extraordinarily hard to picture Him under the power of the grave. That He who was the life should be overcome by the opposite of life, that He who was continually giving life should be powerless to retain His own, this was what perplexed those earliest followers mingling with their love and sorrow, whenever Jesus turned their thoughts to Calvary. It was easy to think of Him as living; it was impossible to think of Him as dead. How could death, whom He had faced and beaten, overthrow that radiant personality? And now the wheel has "come full circle," and it is not the fact of His death that staggers anybody; it is the assertion that He rose again.

Christ's Death Was a Glorious Act of Service

And it was then, brooding in the darkness, that the word of Jesus came back to them with power. They recalled how He had told them once, "I lay it down of myself." That death, which was so hard to understand, was not the ghastly token of defeat. It did not mean that He who had raised Lazarus had Himself been beaten by the enemy. It meant that He had given Himself, in the wise and holy purposes of love, into the clutching fingers of the tyrant. His death was not a dark necessity. It was a glorious and crowning act of service. The very love that had conquered death for Lazarus submitted to it for the sake of sinners. So did the death of Jesus for these sorrowing men cease to be an inexplicable problem and become the center of their hope and joy.

_______________________

By George H. Morrison
_______________________

These beautiful messages by George H. Morrison are distributed freely and Internationally in the excellent freeware Bible Study package called e-Sword. These messages are representative of many sweet Christians who want to put excellent Bible Study material in the hands of many, free of charge.

You can obtain e-Sword at:
http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Author: Rick Meyer
(The goal of Rick Meyer is to freely distribute Bibles to every country on earth in their own language, and that goal gets closer by the day. Thanks to countless Christian individuals and organizations with big hearts, many excellent Bible Study tools are also being distributed with e-Sword around the world, free of charge.)
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2005, 07:17:56 AM »

October 17

The God of Hope

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost — Rom_15:13

In the Hebrew language, as scholars know, there are several different words for rain. From which we gather that in Hebrew life rain was something of very great importance. It is the same, though in the realm of spirit, with the names of God in the letters of St. Paul. The variety of divine names there betrays the deepest heart of the apostle. Think, for instance, of the names one lights on in this fifteenth chapter of the Romans, all of them occurring incidentally. He is the God of patience and of consolation (Rom_15:5). I trust my readers have all found Him that. He is the God of peace (Rom_15:33), keeping in perfect peace every one whose mind is stayed on Him. He is the God of hope (Rom_15:13), touching with radiant hopefulness everything that He has made, from the mustard seed to the children of mankind.

The Hopefulness of God in Nature

Think, for instance, how beautifully evident is the hopefulness of God in nature. Our Lord was very keenly alive to that. There is much in nature one cannot understand, and no loving communion will interpret it. There is a seeming waste and cruelty in nature that often lies heavy on the heart. But just as everything is beautiful in nature that the hand of man had never tampered with, so what a glorious hopefulness she breathes! Every seed, cast into the soil, is big with hopefulness of coming harvest. Every sparrow, in the winter ivy, is hopeful of the nest and of the younglings. Every streamlet, rising in the hills and brawling over the granite in the valley, is hopeful of its union with the sea. Winter comes with iciness and misery, but in the heart of winter is the hope of spring. Spring comes tripping across the meadow, but in the heart of spring there is the hope of summer. Summer comes garlanded with beauty, but in the heart of summer is the hope of autumn when sower and reaper shall rejoice together. Paul talks of the whole creation groaning and travailing in pain together. But a woman in travail is not a hopeless woman. Her heart is "speaking softly of a hope." The very word natura is the witness of language to that hopeful travail — it means something going to be born. If, then, this beautiful world of nature is the garment of God by which we see Him, if His Kingdom be in the mustard seed, and not a sparrow can fall without His knowledge, how evident it is that He in whom we trust, who has never left Himself without a witness, is the God of hope.

The Hopefulness of the New Testament

Again, how evident is this attribute in the inspired word of the New Testament. The New Testament, as Dr. Denney used to say, is the most hopeful book in the whole world. I believe that God is everywhere revealed — in every flower in the crannied wall. But I do not believe that He is everywhere equally revealed anymore than I believe it of myself. There are things I do that show my character far more fully than certain other things — and God has made me in His image. I see Him in the sparrow and the mustard seed; I see Him in the lilies of the field; but I see more of Him, far more of Him, in the inspired word of the New Testament. And the fine thing to remember is just this, that the New Testament is not a hopeless book. Hope surges in it. Its note is that of victory. There steals on the ear in it the distant triumph song. It closes with the Book of Revelation where the Lamb is upon the throne. And if this be the expression of God's being far more fully than anything in nature, how sure we may be that He is the God of Hope.

Christ, the Gloriously Hopeful One

And then, lastly, we turn to our Lord and Savior. Is not He the most magnificent of optimists? Hope burned in Him (as Lord Morley said of Cromwell) when it had gone out in everybody else. There is an optimism based on ignorance: not such was the good hope of Christ. With an eye that sin had never dulled, He looked in the face all that was dark and terrible. There is an optimism based on moral laxity: not such was the good hope of Christ. He hated sin, although he loved the sinner. Knowing the worst, hating what was evil, treated by men in the most shameful way, Christ was gloriously and sublimely hopeful till death was swallowed up in victory; hopeful for the weakest of us, hopeful for the very worst, hopeful for the future of the world. Now call to mind the word He spake: "He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father. "He that hath seen into that heart of hopefulness hath seen into the heart of the Eternal. Once a man has won that vision though there are many problems that may vex him still, he never can doubt again, through all his years, the amazing hopefulness of God.

_______________________

By George H. Morrison
_______________________

These beautiful messages by George H. Morrison are distributed freely and Internationally in the excellent freeware Bible Study package called e-Sword. These messages are representative of many sweet Christians who want to put excellent Bible Study material in the hands of many, free of charge.

You can obtain e-Sword at:
http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Author: Rick Meyer
(The goal of Rick Meyer is to freely distribute Bibles to every country on earth in their own language, and that goal gets closer by the day. Thanks to countless Christian individuals and organizations with big hearts, many excellent Bible Study tools are also being distributed with e-Sword around the world, free of charge.)
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2005, 02:35:54 PM »

October 19

The Grace of Happy-Heartedness - Page 1
by George H. Morrison


I would have you without carefulness — 1Co_7:32 Cast thy burden upon the Lord — Psa_55:22

There are few graces which the world admires so much as the grace of a cheerful heart. There is a certain perennial attraction in men and women who bear their burdens well. When we see a face all lined with care it often touches the chord of pity in us. We are moved to compassion when it flashes on us what a story is engraven there. But the face that really helps us on our journey is seldom the face of battle and of agony; it is the face which has its sunshine still. None of us is enamored by a frown. All of us are attracted by a smile. We recognize by an unerring instinct that in happy-heartedness there is a kind of victory. And so we love it as we love the sunshine or the song of the birds upon the summer morning. It takes its place with these good gifts of God.

The Charms of Children

Children are possessors of this sunny attribute. That is one reason why the presence of children is such a perpetual solace and so refreshing. Children are far from being little angels as every father and every mother knows. They can be cruel and intensely selfish and amazingly and unblushingly untruthful. Yet when the worst is said of them that can be said, there yet remains in them this touch of heaven which is a greater blessing to the world than all the modem methods of communication. They cry., and then in the passing of an hour the heart that was inconsolable is healed. They scowl (and they are not pretty when they scowl), but so far as I know them they never bear any malice. They bully in the most shocking fashion, when you and I happen to be absent, but if they bully they almost never brood. "I would have you without carefulness" — that is how the great apostle puts it. He was one of these men whose interests were too vast to allow him time for watching little people. But Christ, whose interests were far vaster, somehow or other always had time for that, and so He puts it, not "I would have you without carefulness," but "except ye become as little children."

Frivolity

Of course we must distinguish happy-heartedness from that poor counterfeit we call frivolity. A child may be absolutely irresponsible, but a child is never frivolous. No one is so swiftly touched to wonder. No one is so deeply moved with awe. When our children laugh at what to us is sacred, it simply means that they do not understand. The things that are wonderful and great in their eyes are not at all what we consider so, and note, you never find them mocking at what is wonderful and great to them. Now that is the very hallmark of frivolity. It recognizes what is great and jests at it. It is not an intellectual inability; it is much more truly a moral inability. Some of the most frivolous people I have known had plenty of brains and were as sharp as needles; it was their heart and not their brain which was contemptible. The great instance of frivolity in Scripture is that of the men who refused the invitation. They were by no means intellectual fools, these men. They could do a bit of work and do it admirably. But when this moment came they all made light of it — they took it as a joke though it was kingly —they lost the opportunity of their lives because of their old habit of belittling. Different by all the world from that is the sweet genius of happy-heartedness. It is as swift to recognize the best as is frivolity to have a laugh at it. Indeed so far as my experience goes, frivolous people are commonly unhappy and are very often trying to forget something which is akin to tragedy.

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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2005, 02:37:36 PM »

The Grace of Happy-Heartedness - Page 2
by George H. Morrison


Temperament

Now we are all apt to think that such a happy disposition is just temperamental. We are apt to think it is just born with people, and of course in a measure that is true. There are those with a perfect genius for the sunshine, and those with a perfect genius for the shadow. There are those who will carry a burden in a happy way without the slightest aid from any faith, and you, who wrestle in prayer about the thing, are bowed with it to the very ground. And not only is it temperamental. We might go further and say that it is racial. Broadly speaking, as we survey the world, we find it to be a national characteristic. For the Irish have it and the Scots have not; and the southern peoples and not the northern peoples; and the Kaffir boy out in South Africa will go singing and laughing over his work all day while his Dutch master, for all his Bible reading, will have a face as long as his prayers.

A Virtue To Be Won

But there is one thing in the Bible I have often noticed. I wonder if it has occurred to you? It is how often it classes with virtues to be won what we have reckoned to be gifts of nature. The Bible is always true to the great facts. It never diminishes nor distorts anything. It recognizes in the most liberal way the infinite divergences of nature. And yet I am often struck by how often it takes these natural endowments and says to you of what you do not have —"that is a virtue to be won." Think of courage — do not we regard that as a gift? Don't we know that certain men are born courageous? Do you think every boy could say what Nelson said: "Fear, mother — what is fear?

I never saw it"? And yet this courage, which with perfect justice we are in the way of regarding as temperamental, is viewed in Scripture as something to be won. Take joy. Are we the masters of our joy? Is not the capacity for joy inherent? Are there not those who gravitate to joy as there are others who gravitate to gloom? And yet our Savior says to His disciples, "These things have I spoken to you, that in me ye might have joy." And the fruit of the spirit is love and joy and peace.

Well now, as it is with these, so I take it as with happy-heartedness. In the eyes of God and in the light of Scripture it is a shining virtue to be won. It may be easier for some than others just because of the nature God has given. But remember we do not win our best when we have won our most congenial virtues. A happy disposition is possible for all — that is what I want to urge tonight —and the unfailing secret of it lies in the casting of the burden on the Lord. It does not matter what the burden be. Burdens are just as various as blessings: They may be secret, or they may be public. They may be real, or they may be imaginary. But once a man has learned this deepest lesson that God is with him and will see him through, I say to the weariest and most desponding soul that happy-heartedness is in his grasp. Many of the heaviest burdens men can bear have to be borne where eyes can never pierce. Many of the heaviest burdens men can bear fall on them through the relationships of life. It matters not. There can be no exceptions in the magnificent impartiality of God. Cast thy burden on the Lord.

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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2005, 02:39:35 PM »

The Grace of Happy-Heartedness - Page 3
by George H. Morrison


Depending upon God

Now I want you to notice — it is very important — the words in which our text is couched. It is "cast thy burden on the Lord"; it is not "cast thy burden anywhere." I think there is nothing poorer or more cowardly than just the desire to be rid of burdens. It is always the mark of meanness in a character and the sorry witness of a contracting soul. For life grows richer by what we have to bear, and sympathies grow tenderer and broader, and the world expands into a richer place through things which we once thought would make us poorer. They say that the Indian by putting his ear to the ground can hear far off the galloping of horses. Erect, there is not a sound upon the breeze. Prone on the earth, he hears the distant trampling. And I daresay there are some here tonight who lived and moved upon a silent prairie until somehow they were bowed into the dust. The Bible never urges any man recklessly to cast his cares away. As soon would it urge the captain of a ship to cast out his ballast when he was clear of port. Knowing the preciousness of what is heavy, it bids us summon to our aid the power of God, and it is that which makes all the difference in the world. Now we know we are in the hands of One who providently caters to the sparrow. Now we know that on the line of duty we shall have strength for all that must be done. Now we can laugh with the children in the thick of it, and have our sunshine even in December, for God is with us and His name is wonderful and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Christ Makes the Difference

In closing I have one thing more to say — one thing I never think of without shame. It is how much easier this secret is for us than it ever could have been for David. "Cast thy burden on the Lord," he wrote — and of course he had first done it for himself. Now tell me, what was that Lord to David- that Lord into whose keeping he committed everything? He was the King eternal and invisible, and clouds and darkness were around His throne, and men looked to the left hand and He was not there, and to the right and lo! they could not find Him. Was not the faith of these old Jews magnificent? Could you have trusted in such a God as that? Could you have believed that the infinite Creator would open His arms and take your burden in? It might have been easy for a Greek to do it for he believed in the divinity of man, but how a Jew rose to a faith like that is to me as wonderful as any miracle.

But do you see how everything is changed now? We have Christ and that makes all the difference. For do you remember how, when Christ was here, men came and cast their burdens upon Him? Everyone did it, and did it as by instinct — it did not matter what the burden was — and "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Run through the gamut of our human burdens, and tell me if there were any that they failed to bring. They brought their sicknesses and they brought their fears. They brought their children and they brought themselves. And the strange thing is that though Christ was angry sometimes, and His eyes flashed in righteous indignation, not in a single instance do you find Him angry because anyone cast a burden upon Him.

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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2005, 02:41:36 PM »

The Grace of Happy-Heartedness - Page 4
by George H. Morrison


We Can Achieve Joy

My brother and sister, if your faith is to be real, shall I tell you what you must always do? You must always carry into your thought of God what you have learned and seen of Jesus Christ. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father:" He is the express image of His person. You must carry up into your thought of God all the revelation of His Son. And I tell you that when you once do that the Fatherhood of God becomes so wonderful that even you, with your weak and trembling faith, are able to cast your burden upon Him. It took a hero to achieve it once. The weakest woman can achieve it now. It was once the act of a sublime enthusiasm. It is now within the reach of everyone of you. So sure are we in Christ of God's deep sympathy and of His care for us and of His love, that there is not a man or woman here who may not know the strength of happy-heartedness. Therefore I charge you in the name of Christ that you are not to let that burden weigh you down. I charge you to remember that you sin if you live in gloom and miserable wretchedness. Never frivolous, but always reverent-happy-hearted just because He knows — I know no better way in this strange world of glorifying the Father and the Son.

_______________________

By George H. Morrison
_______________________

These beautiful messages by George H. Morrison are distributed freely and Internationally in the excellent freeware Bible Study package called e-Sword. These messages are representative of many sweet Christians who want to put excellent Bible Study material in the hands of many, free of charge.

You can obtain e-Sword at:
http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Author: Rick Meyer
(The goal of Rick Meyer is to freely distribute Bibles to every country on earth in their own language, and that goal gets closer by the day. Thanks to countless Christian individuals and organizations with big hearts, many excellent Bible Study tools are also being distributed with e-Sword around the world, free of charge.)
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2005, 02:44:57 PM »

October 20

The Wonder of That Night - Page 1
by George H. Morrison


The same night in which he was betrayed — 1Co_11:23

Attention has been directed in these days of ours to what is called the method of suggestion. The power of suggestion to influence thought and conduct is one of the great themes of educational science. We are taught that beneath our consciousness there is a whole world within each of us that lies asleep, and that it depends on the suggestive touch whether it will awaken to evil or to good. Now there can be little question that in throwing in this clause, Paul is acting on the method of suggestion. He is not just stating an historic fact nor indicating a bare point of time. He is conveying to the Corinthian church by the suggestion of the betrayal-night a veiled and delicate rebuke.

Divisions in the Church

Recall the circumstances of that church at Corinth. It was in a sad and pitiable state. It was rent with such unseemly factions that any one but Paul would have despaired of it. A church is always in the most deadly peril when its divisions are felt at the Lord's Table. It is bad enough when they interfere with service; it is far worse when they invade the ordinance. Yet at Corinth that was what had happened, and brotherly love had vanished from the ordinance and pride and selfishness and disregard of decency had reared their heads at the communion table. It was to such a church that Paul was writing when he said, "On that night in which he was betrayed. "Let them but think of that, in all the pathos of it, and it would shame them into a better spirit. How could any of them be proud again, or drunken or scornful of the poor, when they remembered that their feast was instituted in the infinite sorrow of betrayal-night. In other words, Paul flung this clause in to quicken and intensify right feeling. It was not an item of information merely; it was a call to worthier communicating.

The Wonder of Christ's Thanksgiving

One of the great features of the Last Supper was the prayer of thanksgiving which Jesus offered. It had its place, no less than the breaking of the bread, in the revelation which Paul had had from Christ. What was included in that thanksgiving is one of the things which God has hidden from us. We know from the Gospels that the bread and wine were blessed, but no one imagines that that was all. Clearly, there was such an outpouring of the heart, such adoration of the Heavenly Father, that none of the little band in that upper room ever forgot it to his dying day. John carried the thought of it to Ephesus. Peter recurred to it in distant Babylon. It had moved them to a depth of awe and wonder that was vivid to their last hour of ministry. Whenever they met to break the bread again on distant shores and after the lapse of years, swift as an arrow-flight their hearts went back to the wonderful thanksgiving of Jesus.

Thanksgiving Distinguishes the Lord's Table

So powerfully has that been impressed upon the church that thanksgiving has always distinguished the Lord's Table. In every fellowship and throughout all the ages one great mark of the Communion Service is gratitude. One of the oldest names for the feast is eucharist, and eucharist is the Greek for thanksgiving. One of the oldest traditions of the Table is that the poor should be remembered at it. And all this thankfulness expressed in name and offertory is not only the witness of our debt to God, it is the witness also of the depth of feeling that was stirred by the thanksgiving of Jesus. It is that which is written out in after ages. It is that which is testified to in every ordinance. Every time we meet to break the bread, we touch on the wonder of the upper room. We touch on the awe that filled the little company, as with the filling of the Holy Ghost, when they listened with rapt hearts and straining ears to the thanksgiving of their Master and their Lord.

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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2005, 02:47:13 PM »

The Wonder of That Night - Page 2
by George H. Morrison


The Adoring Gratitude of Christ

Now what was it that made that thanksgiving so wonderful? Well, that is a question we cannot fully answer. It may be that even if you and I had been there we could not have explained why we were moved so. But this is certain, that as the days went on and the disciples looked back upon it all, the thanksgiving grew doubly wonderful to them because of the hour in which it had been spoken. On that night in which he was being betrayed — it was on that night our Lord broke into thanks. Think of it, in such an hour as that, no room for anything but an adoring gratitude! No wonder Peter never could forget it — no wonder John never could forget it — they never could forget that joy in God in the tense agony of the betrayal-night. Had Christ been looking forward to triumph the next day they might more easily have comprehended it. Had He been ringed about with perfect loyalty —they could have understood it then. But on that night on which He was betrayed- that then, in such an hour, Christ should adore, was something that grew and deepened in its mystery the more they brooded on it in the years.

The Wonder of Christ's Certainty

There is nothing more notable in the memorial supper than the perfect confidence of Jesus in the future. No trace of doubt can be detected in Him — no slightest misgiving seems to have crossed His heart- as He looked away from His own little company down through the ages that were yet to be. Like all great moments in our earthly life, the Lord's Supper has a twofold reference. It reaches back into bygone days; it stretches forward to the untrodden future. And one of the singular things about our Lord which has attracted the eyes of every age is that at the Table, looking forward, He was possessed with a quiet and perfect confidence. "This do in remembrance of me," — then He was to be loyally and lovingly remembered. "Ye do show the Lord's death until he come," — then His memory was to last while the world lasted. In loving hearts right through the ages, on and on till the last trumpet sounded, Christ never doubted that His Name would live in warm and powerful memorial. Had He looked with quiet confidence across the past, it would not have arrested us so much. For all the past had been leading up to Him, and He had perfectly fulfilled the will of God. But that with equal confidence, unsullied and serene, He should have anticipated all coming time is something that has always stirred the church.

Christ's View of the Centuries to Come

Of course it is possible to minimize this thought as it is possible to belittle everything about Christ. We are told that He was thinking only of His own here, and that His coming was expected in a year or two. There was no vision of the coming centuries — no thought of you and me on that evening — it was a word spoken to the disciples only till in a dozen years or so their Lord should come again. Of course there is much to be said for that view, or thinking men would never have advanced it. But deeper than any arguments in favor of it is its injustice to the spirit of the scene. And once we have grasped the spirit of the scene and turn to the life of Christ for confirmation of it, we see that it is something more than sentiment which finds the centuries in the heart of Jesus here. We learn from some of His most familiar parables how slowly and gradually the kingdom was to come. It could no more be hurried on than one could hasten the growing of the mustard seed.

We learn, too, that Jesus had an eye which ranged away beyond the bounds of Israel: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." It is that far-ranging and large spirit which you must carry into the upper room. An hour of high intensity like this was certain to be an hour of vision. If ever Christ saw imperially and magnificently, and we know from other sources that He did, would it not be on the eve before that day which was to close His earthly ministry by death? I believe, then, that in the upper room Jesus had an eye for all the ages. I believe that He was looking down the centuries to the table which is spread for you and me. And the singular thing is that with a range like that over the illimitable fields of time, Christ should have shown such quiet and perfect confidence.

========================See Page 3
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2005, 02:48:58 PM »

The Wonder of That Night - Page 3
by George H. Morrison


Christ's Confidence in Spite of Human Betrayal

It is that wonder which is deepened as we recall the season when it was exhibited. Do we not feel afresh the marvel of such confidence on that night in which He was betrayed? Now it was evident beyond dispute what was moving in the heart of Judas. Now at last came leaping to the surface the treachery that had been brooded on in secret. And if this was the issue of the years of fellowship — this unutterable malice of today — was it likely there would be a bright tomorrow? Christ had spared no pains on His betrayer. He had lavished His love upon him constantly. He had done everything to woo and win him, and every effort He had made was baffled. And it was then, in such a bitter hour, when He well might have lost His faith in human loyalty, that He looked forward with confidence unquenched to the loyal remembrance of the ages. Christ knew in the quiet of that evening what was involved in the treachery of Judas. Already He saw the shadow of the cross and heard the evil voices crying "Crucify him." Yet with so much to drive Him to despair — so much to suggest to Him that He had failed — with a heart as calm as any summer sea He looked away to the loyalty of time. "This do in remembrance of me: ye do show the Lord's death till he come." Think of it, this grand unfaltering confidence amid the despairing horrors of that night! It would have been wonderful at any time, but surely we feel afresh the wonder of it when we remember that it was exhibited on the night in which He was betrayed.

The Wonder of Christ's Love

The Lord's Table is a feast of love, and yet the word love was never spoken at it. It is the picture of a love that is commended to us not so much in words as in deeds. In the early church they used to have a love-feast, and the love-feast was at first associated with the communion. But gradually and with growing insight the love-feast fell into disuse. Men came to feel that they did not need a love-feast to express the love that was in Christ; it was exhibited in all its height and depth in the simple ritual of the Last Supper. Here in the quiet of the upper chamber was given the pledge of a love that was unquenchable. Here there was gathered into one swift moment the yearning and the tenderness of years. Here did there flash out as in a flame of glory the love which had been striving through the past and which tomorrow, on the cross of anguish, was to be consummated and crowned in sacrifice.

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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2005, 02:51:47 PM »

The Wonder of That Night - Page 4
by George H. Morrison


Now do you not feel the wonder of that love afresh as you recall when it was pledged and sealed? That sealing would have been wonderful at any time, but on such a night as that it passeth knowledge. Had it been some Pharisee who was betraying him, we should not have marveled at it so. But it was no Pharisee —no enemy — it was His own familiar friend in whom He trusted. Yet in the very hour of His betrayal when any other heart might have grown bitter, Christ deliberately seized his opportunity to show forth and to seal His dying love. Mazzini, that great-heart of Italy, tells us something of his sad experience. He tells us how bitter he grew — how sick of soul — when the men who had followed him fell away from him. But on that night when all forsook Him there is not one trace of hardening in Christ; on the contrary, it was that hour He chose to institute the memorial of His love. Is not this the wonder of Christ's love, that right through that betrayal it survived? And the question is, have not we too betrayed Him since we last gathered at the Communion Table? God knows we have, yet shall we eat and drink because of a love that has survived our past- that has forgiven everything in mercy, and in mercy will not let us go.

_______________________

By George H. Morrison
_______________________

These beautiful messages by George H. Morrison are distributed freely and Internationally in the excellent freeware Bible Study package called e-Sword. These messages are representative of many sweet Christians who want to put excellent Bible Study material in the hands of many, free of charge.

You can obtain e-Sword at:
http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Author: Rick Meyer
(The goal of Rick Meyer is to freely distribute Bibles to every country on earth in their own language, and that goal gets closer by the day. Thanks to countless Christian individuals and organizations with big hearts, many excellent Bible Study tools are also being distributed with e-Sword around the world, free of charge.)
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