DISCUSSION FORUMS
MAIN MENU
Home
Help
Advanced Search
Recent Posts
Site Statistics
Who's Online
Forum Rules
Bible Resources
• Bible Study Aids
• Bible Devotionals
• Audio Sermons
Community
• ChristiansUnite Blogs
• Christian Forums
• Facebook Apps
Web Search
• Christian Family Sites
• Top Christian Sites
• Christian RSS Feeds
Family Life
• Christian Finance
• ChristiansUnite KIDS
Shop
• Christian Magazines
• Christian Book Store
Read
• Christian News
• Christian Columns
• Christian Song Lyrics
• Christian Mailing Lists
Connect
• Christian Singles
• Christian Classifieds
Graphics
• Free Christian Clipart
• Christian Wallpaper
Fun Stuff
• Clean Christian Jokes
• Bible Trivia Quiz
• Online Video Games
• Bible Crosswords
Webmasters
• Christian Guestbooks
• Banner Exchange
• Dynamic Content

Subscribe to our Free Newsletter.
Enter your email address:

ChristiansUnite
Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 22, 2017, 04:17:23 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
277688 Posts in 26446 Topics by 3790 Members
Latest Member: Goodwin
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  ChristiansUnite Forums
|-+  Theology
| |-+  Completed and Favorite Threads
| | |-+  George H. Morrison's Old And Beautiful Devotions
« previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 44 Go Down Print
Author Topic: George H. Morrison's Old And Beautiful Devotions  (Read 43255 times)
nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2005, 10:30:33 PM »

October 27

The Three Centers of Love

God so loved the world— Joh_3:16

Christ also loved the church— Eph_5:25

The Son of God, who loved me— Gal_2:20

John's Assurance of God's Love for the World

We have first the love of God for the whole world, or, as we should put it, for all the human race. The world of John is not the world of nature, but the teeming world of sinful men and women. Now, the extraordinary thing is this, that such a statement should fall from Jewish lips. The ancient Hebrew was the true aristocrat looking with proud disdain on every Gentile. And it was because this Jew had companied with Christ and drunk deep of His spirit, that there had come to him the rich assurance that the love of God was for the world. Born of a Jewess, made under the law, Christ was the Son of man. For all mankind He lived and taught and died. He was the light of the world. It was in following Him and brooding on His mystery, that the eyes of John were opened by the Spirit to recognize the worldwide love of God.

The Universality of God's Love

The wonder of it deepens when we remember what the world of men is like. The Bible, for all its unconquerable optimism, never gives us a rosy view of man. It is the writer of our text who tells us that the whole world "lieth in the evil one." Like a precious vessel sunk in a foul stream, it is submerged under a tide of evil. And this is not only the view of the disciple, it is the view of our blessed Lord Himself—"the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." I could understand God loving the world of nature where the sunshine is sleeping on the lake. If the human heart is drawn to hill and meadow, how much more the infinite heart in heaven. But that that heart, knowing every secret, should love the teeming millions of mankind lies on the utmost verge of the incredible. It only becomes credible in Christ. It is a dream but for the Incarnation. Unless God gave His only begotten Son, worldwide love goes whistling down the wind. It was because this writer had learned, from personal contacts, the universality of the unspeakable Gift that he awoke to the worldwide love of God.

God's Love for the Church

The second center of divine love is the Church—Christ also loved the Church. And at once this question rises in the mind, why should the Church be singled out like that? Well, when you read the story of the prodigal, you feel that the father always loved that son. When he was far away rioting with the harlots, the father was yearning for him night and day. But only when that prodigal came home could the pent-up love be poured upon the child—and the Church is the bit of the world that has come home. The true Church is not an organization. It is not Episcopalian nor Methodist. It is the mighty company of quickened souls who could never rest content among the swine. Drawn by need, hungry and despairing, they have traveled back to "God who is our home," and found the love that had been always yearning for them. The prodigal was loved in the far country, but there no ring could be put upon his finger. So long as he was there no cry was heard, "Bring forth the best robe and put it on him." To gain these tokens of unwearying love, the poor rebellious child had to come home—and the Church is the bit of the worm that has come home. That is why the Church, and not the family, is the second center of the love of heaven. Some in the family may still be far away, living in utter heedlessness and sin. But no one in the true Church is in the far land. All are brought nigh by the blood of Christ, and love is able to show itself at last in the ring and in the shoes and in the robe.

God's Love for the Individual

The third center of divine love is the individual—He loved me, says the apostle. And it is just here that the love of God so infinitely transcends the love of man. No man can love a multitude with the intensity wherewith he loves his child. No patriot can feel towards all his countrymen as he feels towards his little daughter. But the wonder of the love of God is this, that with a compass that encircles millions, every separate soul is loved as if there were no one else in the whole world. Our Lord was moved to His depths by mighty multitudes. He brooded over them with infinite compassion. He came to be the Savior of the world, and He came because He loved the world. Yet, living for mankind, He gave His richest to the one who fell suppliant at His feet, and, dying for mankind, He gave His heart to the one who was hanging by His side. He loved the world—and gave. He loved the Church—and gave. But all would be incomplete could we not add, "He loved me and gave Himself for me." When we are tempted to doubt the love of heaven for the little unit in unnumbered millions, there comes a gentle voice across the darkness, "He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father."

_______________________

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.)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2005, 05:04:52 PM »

November 7

The Power of the Resurrection

That I may know…the power of his resurrection— Phi_3:10

The Fact Versus the Power

Of the fact of the resurrection, Paul had not a shadow of a doubt. It was one of his indubitable certainties. He himself had had a revelation of the Lord which had altered the whole tenor of his life. He had known and conversed with those who saw Him in the days that followed upon Easter morning. Whatever might be doubtful to his intellect or might remain a matter of conjecture, his life, both of experience and thought, was based upon the fact that Christ was risen. But the power of a fact is to be distinguished from the fact itself. The power is the influence it exercises in its various relationships to life. And so the power of the resurrection is not the power that raised Christ from the dead, but the increasing pressure upon life of the stupendous fact that Christ is risen. To penetrate more fully into this, to grasp it in its infinite significance, that was the ambition of St. Paul as he made his lonely way among the mysteries. Like some bright star the fact was always shining. It was unalterable and unsetting. His passion was to know the power of the fact.

One thinks, for instance, of its evidencing power. The resurrection was the seal of heaven. In it the stupendous claims of Jesus were guaranteed and ratified of God. The dark hours when He lay buried were to the disciples hours of anguish. They could not reconcile that last indignity with the magnificence of His spiritual program. It must have seemed to them, and seemed to everybody, as if all that they had shared in was a dream now quenched forever by the grave. The fact of death extinguished all their hopes. It invalidated every claim of Jesus. It brought down into a hopeless ruin the building they had thought to be of God. And the first great power of the resurrection, its primary influence upon thought and life, was the power to scatter the agonizing doubts that filled the breasts of those who trusted Him. It gave beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning. It guaranteed the Messiahship of Jesus. It flooded with the authority of heaven the vocation of their blessed Lord. That was why, in the earliest Christian preaching, there was such impassioned and unswerving emphasis on the resurrection of the Savior. It was not an isolated fact. Isolated facts are quite inoperative. It was a fact fraught with a tremendous influence on the whole concept of the Lord. Every word He spoke and every claim He made was charged with new and heavenly significance under the power of the resurrection.

The Resurrection Provided the Intimacy of a Living Friend

Or one thinks again of its sustaining power amid the tasks and burdens of mortality. It gave to men, wherever they might wander, the near presence of a living Friend. The soul thirsts for a living God, and the heart thirsts for a living friend—for one who knows and understands and loves in the intimacy of a present fellowship. And the power of the resurrection is that it answers that steady yearning of the heart in a way no memories can ever do. It gives us a Friend who is alive, closer than breathing, nearer than hands or feet. It confronts our lives not with the storied past, but with One who lives and loves us to the uttermost. And the best of all is that this living Friend has sounded all the depths of human life and has "come smiling from the world's great snare uncaught." What the law could never do for Paul was done victoriously by the risen Savior. In fellowship with Him he triumphed, and when he was weak then he was strong. His one passion was to know more fully the resources of that living Friend. That was the power of His resurrection.

The Resurrection Provided for Paul a Pull for Things Above

Or one thinks of its exalting power which was never absent from the apostle's thought. The spiritual power of the resurrection is its steady upward pull upon the life. When one is climbing in our Scottish highlands, there are often places perilous to negotiate. In such places it is a mighty succor when someone above reaches down a helping hand. And the mystical thought that Christ was gripping him from the upper security of heavenly places turned the apostle into a daring climber on the steeps that lead to God. Christ was above him—He was risen. He was stooping down to lift the climber up. Paul felt the urge of the true mountaineer which lies in seeking the things which are above. But for him there was the splendid certainty that he was not going to perish for before him and above him there was Christ. In union with Him there was an upward pull. Paul turned his back upon the lower things. Just because Christ was risen and above him, he must gain in Christ the heights of holy living. Had you asked the apostle, I think he would have answered that that was the dominant thought within his breast when he wrote of the power of His resurrection.

_______________________

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.)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2005, 05:07:39 PM »

November 8

The Discipline of Thought - Page 1
by George H. Morrison (Worth The Length)


Think on these things— Phi_4:8

Two Unseen Worlds

When we speak of unseen things, we commonly refer to things that are eternal. We associate the unseen with the world beyond the veil where the angels of God, innumerable, are around the throne. Now it is true that that is an unseen world though the time is coming when our eyes shall see it, but we must never forget that far nearer to us than that there is another world which also is unseen. We live in a day of very strange discoveries and look on many things that were once invisible. By means of our telescopes we see very distant stars, and we can watch the beating of our hearts. But the world of thought, of feeling, of passion and of desire—that world still baffles the finest powers of vision; as surely as there is an unseen heaven above us, there is an unseen universe within. What a mysterious and strange thing is life—a burning point, and round it what a shadow! How utterly must a man fail who walks by sight and who will not recognize the all-embracing mystery! Deep calleth unto deep wherever man is—the invisible deep within to the unseen depths beyond. It is one distinguishing feature of the Gospel that it never makes light of these great and awful things.

Let us turn to the world within, our thoughts. For I believe that most of us give far too little heed to what I might call the discipline of thought. "If there be any virtue, or any praise, think on these things." First, I shall speak on the vital need there is of governing our thoughts. Next, on how the Gospel helps men to this government.

The Government of Our Thoughts

First, then, on the government of our thoughts—and at the outset I would recognize the difficulty of it. I question if there is a harder task in all the world than that of bringing our thoughts into subjection to our will. It is very difficult to regulate our actions, yet there is a social pressure on our actions. It is supremely difficult to order our speech aright, yet speech is restrained and checked by countless barriers. Every time we act and every time we speak we come into direct contact with society, and prudence and self-love and reputation and business interests admonish us instantly to walk with caution. But thought is free—at least we think it is. It is transacted in a world where none can observe it. The law cannot reach us for unclean imaginations. Think how we will of a man, he cannot charge us with libel. All the prudential safeguards which God has set on speech, and all the deterrent motives which surround our deeds, are lacking when we enter the silent halls of thought. It is that—perhaps above all other things—which makes the management of thought so difficult. It is the secrecy—the absence of restraint—the imagined freedom of the world within. And yet there are one or two considerations I can bring before you that will show you how, in the whole circle of self-mastery, there is nothing more vital than the mastery of thought.

Much of Our Happiness Depends on Thought

Think, for example, how much of our happiness—our common happiness—depends on thought. We begin by imagining it depends on outward things, but we all grow to be wiser by and by. "There's nothing either good or bad," says Shakespeare, "but thinking makes it so." Now of course that is only half a truth. There are things that in themselves are forever good, and there are other things that eternally and everywhere are bad—never be juggled out of these moral certainties. But in between these everlasting fixities there lies a whole world of life and of experience, and what it shall mean for us—how we shall regard it—depends almost entirely upon thought. Our happiness does not depend on what we view. Our happiness depends on our point of view. There are men who can think themselves any day into a paradise, and others who think themselves into a fever. Have we not known or met or read of men and women who seemed to have everything this world could give, yet only to look at their faces or their portraits was to read the story of frustration and discontent? But St. Francis of Assisi, the sweetest of all saints, sitting down to dine by the roadside on a few crusts of bread, was so exquisitely and radiantly happy that he could not find words enough for thankfulness. That then is an integral part of happiness—the discipline and the government of our thoughts. Basically, it is not things themselves, it is our thoughts about them, that constitute the gentle art of being happy.

==========================See Page 2
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2005, 05:09:29 PM »

The Discipline of Thought - Page 2
by George H. Morrison (Worth The Length)


The Unconscious Influence of Our Thoughts

Again I want you to consider this—how much of our unconscious influence lies in our thoughts. Not only by what we do and what we say, but by the kind of thoughts we are cherishing in secret, do we impress ourselves upon our neighbors and help or hinder the little world we move in. That very suggestive and spiritual writer, Mr. Maeterlinck, puts the matter in his own poetic way. He says, "Though you assume the face of a saint, a hero or a martyr, the eye of the passing child will not greet you with the same unapproachable smile, if there lurk within you an evil thought." Now probably there is a little exaggeration there; one thought, flashing and then expelled, may not reveal itself. The totality of saintly character is too great to be overborne by the intrusion of one shadow of the devil. But it is certain that by the thoughts we harbor and let ourselves dwell upon and cherish in the dark, we touch and turn and influence our world when we never dream that we are doing it. There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed—what a depth there is in that one word of Jesus! He is not merely thinking of God's judgment bar tomorrow. He is thinking of the undetected revelation of today. Christ recognized that the kind of thing we brood on, the kind of thought we allow ourselves to think, though it never utter itself in actual words, or clothe itself in the flesh and blood of deeds, encompasses and affects the life of others like a poisonous vapor or like a breath of spring. Your secret is not such a secret as you think. Why are men drawn to you? Why are men repelled by you? Why is it that sometimes we instinctively shrink from people in the very first hour that we meet them? It is because the heart—more powerful than any x-ray—deciphers for itself the secret story, brushes past speech and deed into the hidden place and apprehends the existence that is there. To think base thoughts is a sin against our neighbor as surely as it is a sin against ourselves. To be unclean even in imagination is to make it harder for others to be good. In the interests of our influence then, no less than of our happiness, you see the need of governing our thoughts.

The Power of Thought in Our Temptations

There is only one other consideration that I would mention, and that is the power of thought in our temptations. In the government of thought—in the power to bring thought to heel—lies one of our greatest moral safeguards against sin. You have all read the words of Thomas A Kempis in that immortal book, "The Imitation of Christ." They occur in his thirteenth chapter, Of Resisting Temptation. How does sin reach us? That is his question—and this is his never-to-be-forgotten answer to it: "For first there cometh to the mind a bare thought of evil, then a strong imagination thereof, afterwards delight and evil motion, then consent." First, a bare thought—that is the beginning, and it is then that the government of thought means heaven or hell. For if a man has disciplined himself to crush that thought—which may come to the purest and holiest mind—still better, if he has acquired the power to change the current and to turn his thought instantly into other and nobler channels, temptation is baffled at its very start and the man stands upon his feet victorious. A man will never regulate his passions who has never learned to regulate his thoughts. If we cannot master our besetting thoughts, we shall never master our besetting sins. I think you see, then, that in the interests of morality no less than in the interests of our happiness and influence, it is supremely necessary that we all give heed to the great subject of thought—discipline.

How the Gospel Helps in Governing Our Thoughts

So now in the second place, I wish to ask how the Gospel helps us to that. I wish to ask why a Christian above all other men has powers available for governing his thought. To some of you the mastery of thought may seem impossible—it is never viewed as impossible in Scripture, and the secret of that
Gospel-power lies in the three great words—light, love, life.

=======================See Page 3
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2005, 05:12:14 PM »

The Discipline of Thought - Page 3
by George H. Morrison (Worth The Length)


Think first of light as a power for thought-mastery. We all know how light affects our thoughts. In twilight or darkness what sad thoughts come thronging, which the glory of sunlight instantly dispels. I have a dear friend who is a terrible sufferer and who rarely has any quiet sleep after three in the morning, and the worst of wakening then, he tells me, is that that is just the time when everything seems melancholy, cheerless, hopeless. We need the light if we are to see things truly. We need the light if we are to think aright. And the glory of Christ is that by His life and death He has shed a light where before there was only darkness. What had the old and beautiful religion of the Greeks to say when a man was confronted by sorrow or disease? It was dumb, it turned away its head in silence; it had no light to shed upon the mystery—till men, having no light to think by, lost all thought-control and wandered into a labyrinth of evil. But the sufferings of Christ have shed a light on suffering. The death of Christ has shed a light on death. Faced by the worst now and called to bear the cross, we can think bravely and luminously of it all. The light of Christ, for the man who lives in it, is an untold help in the government of thought.

Then think of love—Is it not one mark of love that our thoughts always follow in its train? A love that never thought about the loved one would be the most heartless and hopeless of all mockeries. A man who is deeply in love with a good woman thinks of her every hour of the day, and there is no such certain sign of love's decay as the dying out of gentle and sweet thoughtfulness. That sign a woman instantly detects—it is the unuttered tragedy of countless lives—and the sorrow of it springs from the intuition that thought is under the mastery of love. Do you see then how the Gospel helps us to thought-control? At the very center of its message it puts love. It shows us a Savior who lived and died for us and who stretches out His pierced hands towards us. It speaks of Gethsemane and Calvary and at its burning heart reveals a love that passes the love of women. "Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me?"—that will determine the current and trend of thought. That master-passion is the power of God for bringing every thought into captivity. If the love of a woman can control and purge our thoughts, how much more the love of Jesus Christ!

Then think of life—are not our thoughts affected by the largeness and abundance of our lives? When life is poor and feeble, base thoughts scent us out as the vultures of the desert scent out the dying traveler. Half of the vile or bitter thoughts we think are the children of our lusterless and unprofitable days. Expand the horizon—get a new breath of life —and they take to themselves wings and fly away. Now what did Christ say about His coming? I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly. Life is expanded and filled with undreamed-of fullness when we live in the glad fellowship of Jesus. And that great tide of life, like the tide of the sea that covers up the mudbanks, is the greatest power in the moral world for submerging every base and bitter thought. Do you know anything of that light—that love—that life? What a great deal we miss in ignoring Jesus Christ! The king's daughter is all beautiful within—just because her king is her Redeemer.

_______________________

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.)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2005, 02:41:35 PM »

November 21

Christ and the Fear of Death - Page 1
by George H. Morrison


And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage— Heb_2:15

We Face Death with Curiosity

There are two feelings which the thought of death has always kindled in the human breast, and the first of them is curiosity. Always in the presence of that veil through which sooner or later we all pass, men have been moved to ask with bated breath, What is it which that veil conceals? It is as if the most diaphanous of curtains were hung between our eyes and the great secret, making men the more wistful to interpret it. It has been said by a well-known Scottish essayist that this would account for the crowd at executions. You know how the people used to flock by the thousands when a criminal was to die upon the gallows. And Alexander Smith throws out this thought that it was not just savagery which brought them there. It was the unappeasable curiosity which death forever stirs in human hearts.

We Face Death with Fear

But if the thought of death moves our curiosity, there is another feeling which is always linked with it. Death is not alone the source of wonder. Death has ever been the source of fear. How universal that feeling is we see from this, that we share it with all animate creation. Wherever there is life in any form there is an instinct which recoils from death. When the butterfly evades the chasing schoolboy—when the stag turns at bay against the dogs—we have the rudiments of that which in a loftier sphere may grow to be a bondage and a tyranny. The fear of death is not a religious thing, although religion has infinitely deepened it. It is old as existence, wide as the whole world, lofty and deep as the whole social fabric. It touches the savage in the heart of Africa as every reader of Dr. Livingstone knows, and it hides under the mantle of the prince as well as under the jacket of the prodigal. How keenly it was felt in the old world every reader of pagan literature has seen. The aim and object of the old philosophy was largely to crush it out of human life. In the great and gloomy poem of Lucretius, in many a page of Cicero, above all in the treatises of Plutarch and of Seneca, we learn what a mighty thing the fear of death was with the men and women of the Roman Empire.

Of course I do not mean that the fear of death is always active and present and insistent. To say that would be an exaggeration and would be untrue to the plain facts of life. When a man is in the enjoyment of good health, he very rarely thinks of death at all. When the world goes well with him and he is happy, he has the trick of forgetting he is mortal. He digs his graves within the garden walls and covers them with a wealth of summer flowers so that the eye scarce notices the mound when the birds are singing in the trees. We know, too, how a passion or enthusiasm will master the fear of death within the heart. A soldier in the last rush will never think of it though comrades are dropping on every side of him. And a timid mother, for her little child's sake, or a woman for the sake of one she loves, will face the deadliest peril without trembling. For multitudes the fear of death is dormant else life would be unbearable and wretched. But though it is dormant, it is always there ready to be revived in the last day. In times of shipwreck—in hours of sudden panic—when we are ill and told we may not live, then shudderingly as from uncharted deeps, there steals on men this universal terror. Remember there is nothing cowardly in that. A man may be afraid and be a hero. There are times when to feel no terror is not courage. It is but the hallmark of insensibility. It is not what a man feels that makes the difference. It is how he handles and controls what he feels. It is the spirit in which he holds himself in the hour when the heart is overwhelmed.

==========================See Page 2
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2005, 02:45:29 PM »

Christ and the Fear of Death - Page 2
by George H. Morrison


The Guard Around the Grave

Nor can we be altogether blind to the purposes which God meant this fear to serve. Like everything universal in the heart, it has its duty in the plans of heaven. You remember the cry wrung from the heart of Keats in his exquisite music to the nightingale. "Full many a time," he sings, "I have been half in love with easeful death." And it may be that some who read these pages have been at times so weary of it all that they too have been in love with easy death. It may have been utter tiredness that caused it. It may have been something deeper than all weariness. Who knows but that some may even have dreamt of suicide? Brethren, it is from all such thoughts and from all the passion to be done with life that we are rescued and redeemed and guarded by the terror which God has hung around the grave. Work may be hard, but death is harder still. Duty may be stem, but death is sterner. Dark and gloomy may be the unknown morrow, but it is not so dark and gloomy as the grave. Who might not break through the hedge and make for liberty were the hedge easy to be pushed aside? But God has hedged us about with many a thorn—and we turn to our little pasturage again. When Adam and Eve had been expelled from Eden, they must have longed intensely to return. It was so beautiful and the world so desolate; it was so fertile and the world so hard. But always when they clasped repentant hands and stole in the twilight to the gate of Paradise, there rose the awful form with flaming sword. Sleepless and vigilant he stood at watch. His was a dreadful and terrible presence. No human heart could face that living fire which stood in guardianship of what was lost. And that was why God had placed His angel there, that they might be driven back to the harsh furrow and till the soil and rise into nobility while the sweat was dropping from the brow. So are we driven back to life again by the terror which stands sentinel on death. So are we driven to our daily cross, however unsupportable it seems. And bearing it, at first because we must, it comes to blossom with the passing days until we discover that on this side of the grave there is more of paradise than we had dreamed. Christ then does not deliver us from the deep instinct of self-preservation. That is implanted in the heart by God. It is given for the safeguarding of His gift. It is only when that fear becomes a bondage and when that instinct grows into a tyranny that Christ steps in and breaks the chains that bind us and sets our trembling feet in a large room. The question is, then, how did He do that? How has Christ liberated us from this bondage? I shall answer that by trying to distinguish three elements which are inherent in that fear.

Fear of Dying

In the first place, our fear of death is in a measure but a fear of dying. It is not the fact of death which terrifies; it is all that we associate with the fact. We may have seen a deathbed scene of agony; it is a memory which we shall never lose. We may have read a story of torment in the closing hours. And it is not what death leads to or removes, but rather that dark accompanying prospect which lies hidden within a thousand hearts as an element of the terror of the grave. I think I need hardly stop to prove to you that this is an unreasonable fear. If there are deathbeds which are terrible, are there not others which are quiet as sleep? But blessed be God, Christ does not only comfort us when we are terrified with just alarms: He comforts us when we are foolish children. Clothed with mortality, He says to us, "Take therefore no thought for the morrow." Dreading the pain that one day may arrive, He says, "Sufficient unto the day is its own evil." He never prayed, "Give us a sight of death, and help us to contemplate it every hour we live." He prayed, "Give us this day our daily bread." Christ will not have us stop the song today because of the possible suffering tomorrow. If we have grace to live by when we need it, we shall have grace to die by when we need it. And so He sets His face against that element and says to us, "Let not your heart be troubled." "My grace shall be sufficient for thee, and my strength made perfect in thy weakness."

==========================See Page 3
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2005, 02:48:12 PM »

Christ and the Fear of Death - Page 3
by George H. Morrison


Fear Lest Death Spells the End of Everything

Secondly, much of our fear of death springs from the thought that death is the end of everything. It is always pitiful to say farewell, and there is no farewell like that of death. You remember how Charles Lamb uttered that feeling with the wistful tenderness which makes us love him. He did not want to leave this kindly world nor his dear haunts nor the familiar faces. And deep within us, though we may not acknowledge it, there is that factor in the fear of death—the passionate clinging of the human heart to the only life which it has known. We have grown familiar with it over the years. It has been a glad thing to have our work to do, and human love and friendship have been sweet. And then comes death and takes all that away from us and says it never shall be ours again, and we brood on it and are lonely and afraid. Thanks be to God, that factor in the fear has been destroyed by Jesus Christ. For He has died, and He is risen again, and He is the first fruits of them that sleep. And if the grave for Him was not an end, but only an incident in life eternal, then we may rest assured that in His love there is no such sadness as the broken melody. All we have striven to be we shall attain. All we have striven to do we shall achieve. All we have loved shall meet us once again with eyes that are transfigured in the dawn. Every purpose that was baffled here and every love that never was fulfilled, all that, and all our labor glorified, shall still be ours when shadows flee away. This life is but the prelude to the piece. This life is the introduction to the book. It is not finis we should write at death. It is not finis, it is initium. And that is how Jesus Christ has met this element and mastered it in His victorious way and made it possible for breaking hearts to bear the voiceless sorrow of farewell.

Fear of Coming Judgement

Thirdly, much of the fear of death springs from the certainty of coming judgement. Say what you will, you know as well as I do that there is a day of judgement still to come. Conscience tells it, if conscience is not dead. The very thought of a just God demands it. Unless there be a judgement still to come, life is the most tragic of mockeries. And every voice of antiquity proclaims it, and every savage tribe within the forest; and with a certainty that never wavered it was proclaimed by the Lord Jesus Christ. Well may you and I fear death, if "after death, the judgement." Seen to our depths with every secret known, we are all to stand before Almighty God. Kings will be there, and peasants will be there, and you and I who are not kings nor peasants. And the rich and the poor will meet together there, for the Lord is the maker of them all. It is that thought which makes death so terrible. It is that which deepens the horror of the tomb. Dwell on that coming day beyond the grave, and what a prospect of terror it is! And it is then that Jesus Christ appears and drives these terrors to the winds of heaven and says to the vilest sinner, "Son of man, stand upon thy feet." He that believeth hath everlasting life. He gives us our acquittal here and now. He tells us that for every man who trusts Him there is now therefore no condemnation. And He tells us that because He died for us and because He bore our sins upon the tree and because He loves us with a love so mighty, neither life nor death can tear us from it. That is the faith to live by and to die by: "I will both lay me down in peace and sleep." That is the faith which makes us more than conquerors over the ugliest record of our past. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

_______________________

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.)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2005, 05:06:24 AM »

December 3

The Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead- 1Pe_1:3

One of the glorious things in our religion is the preeminence it gives to hope. There is a radiant hopefulness in Christianity that is discoverable in no other faith. When the Gospel was first preached, the hopes of men were practically dead. As one of the old satirists expresses it, the world had the death-rattle in its throat. And then came the message of the Gospel, and everywhere, like the blossoming of spring, hope began to blossom in the world. As Peter puts it here, men were begotten into hope. The first effect of being born again was the awakening of hope within the heart. Like little children opening their eyes on the face of a mother bending over them, men, reborn, looked on the face of hope. Life was no longer dull and dreary and desperate. Hope touched the bitterest experiences. The song of hope sounded through the night and could not be silenced even by the grave. It is difficult for us to realize the tremendous difference that Gospel hope made in a world whose highest reach was Stoicism.

Begotten Into a Living Hope

Now the interesting thing is that here St. Peter calls that hope a living hope. And in that word living there is a wealth of importance that all our thinking never can exhaust. It implies that other hopes are dying. They grow dim and fade away and vanish. They buoy us up and lure us on, and, having accomplished that, they disappear. But though that contrast was in Peter's mind, and in the mind of every reader of his letter, there was something far more positive than that. A living hope is a hope that answers life. It is a hope that is commensurate with life. It moves triumphant through every sphere of life in which the regenerate man may fret himself. Let life bring with it what it will in the whole range of possible experience, and the shining of the living hope is there. It is always easy to be hopeful when we see the glory of a new dawn. There are times when men are as naturally hopeful as birds are naturally musical. But to be hopeful when things are dead against us and life is cruel and not a star is shining, that is the victory which overcomes the world. A hope like that is never natural. It is something into which we are begotten. It lives in the harshest experience of life. It moves and has its being in Gethsemane. Thus it is called a living hope because it interpenetrates the whole of life and brightens even the darkness of the grave. Such was the hope of Jesus. It shone through every chamber of His being. It was radiant in the agonies of Calvary not less than among the lilies of the field. It was a hope commensurate with life in its whole expanse of suffering and sorrow—and into that living hope we are begotten.

The Certainty of Future Blessedness

Then this living hope, St. Peter tells us, is based on the certainty of future blessedness, and here we must be careful to distinguish. Very commonly, in the New Testament, heaven is set as the object of our hope. It is for that sweet country that the heart is longing; it is the hope of God's elect as the hymn says. But sometimes as in our present passage, heaven is not the object of our hope, but the great certainty from which there springs the new-born spirit of hopefulness in life. Tell me that death ends everything and that my strivings are never to be crowned, and I may still toil and suffer on, "with head bloody but unbowed." But tell me that a fuller life is coming when the broken arc will grow into the circle, and hope sings its music in my heart. The sea shore is a dull and dreary place when over it is nothing but the mist. But when the vault of the sunlit heaven over-arches it, the barren sand becomes a thing of beauty. And only when the mist goes and the blue of heaven is radiant over life, does glory lie on the path of our pilgrimage. Every true believer hopes for heaven. He also hopes just because of heaven. He is begotten into a living hopefulness because some day there is to be a crowning. He does not struggle on despairingly as if everything were to be cast into the void. He is the child and heir of immortality.

Because of Jesus' Resurrection

And then St. Peter tells us that we win that hope by the rising of Jesus from the dead. We are begotten into a living hope by the resurrection of the Lord. Note that the resurrection does not give that hope, for it lies latent in the human breast. In every human heart, when we decipher it, are intimations of immortality. The thoughts that wander through eternity and the shadows that fall upon our hours of triumph and the things on board of us "not wanted for the voyage," and the "forever" graven on the heart of love, all these are stirrings, as of a babe unborn, in the secret places of our being—all these are hints that heaven is our home. The resurrection is not a bestowal. The resurrection is a confirmation. It makes our latent hope a living hope. It brings the struggling embryo to birth. All our human yearnings are authenticated by the tremendous fact of resurrection. We are begotten into a living hope by the rising of Jesus from the dead.

_______________________

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.)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2005, 04:16:38 PM »

December 5

The Cross and Sin

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree — 1Pe_2:24

The cross, though it be a single fact, is a fact with large diversity of meaning. Its significance is inexhaustible. Calvary is the uttermost of service; it is the commendation of the love of God; it is the compendium of self-sacrifice. But we must never forget that right through the New Testament, whatever its other implications may be, it stands in vital relationship to sin. No one will ever understand the cross who does not set it as the Bible sets it in immediate relationship to human sin. The question we have to ask then is this: What does the cross tell us about sin? What do we learn about the fact of sin when we set it in the light of Calvary?

The first thing which the cross tells us is that sin is something tremendously important. God did not just utter warnings against sin; He gave His only begotten Son to die for it. There are many things we are willing to be taxed for, but we should never dream of letting our sons die for them. But some years ago when war broke out, we were willing to give our sons to die for liberty. Fathers gave their sons to die for liberty because liberty is so tremendously important—and God gave His Son to die for sin. It is important in His eyes for many reasons, perhaps most of all because He loves His children. Anything is important in our eyes that keeps our own dear children from the best. And the one thing that keeps His children from the best and tricks them and robs them of their heritage is the dark fact that we call sin. It disables and enfeebles them. It saps their character and wrecks their homes. It lies at the back of every tragedy that we read of in our daily newspapers. We may not "bother about sin," but God bothers intensely about sin—and He bothers most because His children are precious to Him.

Sin Neither Hopeless nor Incurable

Again, the cross tells us that sin is neither hopeless nor incurable. Into a hopeless and despairing world came the thrilling hopefulness of Calvary. When a surgeon is called in to see a patient, his conduct is determined by his hope. If there is hope that the patient can be saved the surgeon proceeds to operate. But if the case is absolutely hopeless and if the seal of death is on the patient, no surgeon worthy of the name will lift a finger. He acts because he hopes. He intervenes because he hopes. If there is not a single ray of hope, he holds his hand and he does nothing. And the very fact that God has intervened and given His Son to die for us on Calvary tells us that sin is not incurable. From the first hour that the cross was preached, that thrilling hope entered the human heart. Despair, which held the old world in its grip, went flying away in the wind. If the heavenly Surgeon had seen fit to operate, then sin was not incurable; there was healing and all the joy of life for the vilest sinner of mankind.

God Entered the Battle With Sin

The other thing which the cross tells us is that if sin is to be grappled with, God must come right into it. I illustrate that from what my eyes have seen among the sick and blind in the jungles of heathendom. If these poor sufferers are to be saved, there must be intervention from a higher realm with its science and its knowledge of the Christian art of healing. It is not enough to send them drugs or medicine. Someone from a higher sphere must come among them carrying in his heart and head and hand the science and the skill of the learned. I have been helped to understand the incarnation by living with doctors in the heart of Africa. If sickness there is ever to be grappled with, some one of greater ability must come into its midst. And if sin is ever to be grappled with, God must come into its midst. And this we adoringly believe that He has done when in the person of His beloved Son He lived our life and died for sin on Calvary.

And if anyone asks how that can save us, let us think of the penitent thief a moment. That thief is a living picture of us all. There he hung suffering condemnation for his undisciplined and lawless life. And then he turned his eyes and saw Jesus of whose beautiful life he had heard a hundred times (Luk_23:41 ). There He hung sharing the condemnation, bearing it in His body on the tree, and it was that which broke the criminal's heart and has broken the hearts of sinners ever since. Jesus did not stand beneath the cross and speak to him sweet and comfortable words. Jesus cried in the freedom of His will, "Hang Me on that cross beside My brother." And there they hung Him and pierced His hands and feet, those hands and feet that had always moved in loveliness—and the dying thief saw it and was saved. God grappled with sin on Calvary by bearing it; by sharing in its condemnation; by taking its agony into His own heart; by letting Himself be pierced by all its arrows. No wonder that the great apostle facing a decadent and rotting world cried "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."

_______________________

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.)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2005, 04:18:14 PM »

December 6

Keeping in Love With Life

For he that will love life (lit., he that wisheth to love life), and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile; Let him eschew evil, and do good,' let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers — 1Pe_3:10-12

What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil — Psa_34:12-13

These words of Peter are not original; they are a quotation from the Book of Psalms. The interesting thing to note is how Peter gives a new turn to the old thought. The psalmist asks, Do you desire life; do you want to live for many years? Peter asks, Do you wish to love life, to find it sweet and delightful to the end? In other words, the psalmist teaches us how to live if we want to reach old age, while Peter teaches us how we ought to live if we want through everything to find life lovable.

At the back of Peter's mind there lies the thought that in youth we are all in love with life. That is an experience, not a problem. To the child life is always sweet in spite of the childish bitterness of tears. To the young man or woman life is thrilling in its morning freshness of sensation. Of course, that very freshness and intensity has its reaction in the realm of suffering and darkens all the stars it sets shining. Still, speaking generally, we are all in love with life at one-and-twenty. We do not need to be taught to make life exquisite. It is fashioned so by Him who commands the morning. The difficult thing is to keep in love with life through all the experience of the years, through the sorrows and trials of the after days and the disappointments which are the lot of everybody.

It is notable that in Peter's answer there is not a word about poverty or hardship. That is one of the silences of Scripture which are as eloquent as any speech. Desperate poverty may make a man rebellious; it may rouse him against the social order; it may fill him with passionate anger at the flaunting of luxury and wealth. But that very anger is a token that poverty has not lost its love for life, for we are never angry about things that are indifferent. Poverty, strange though it may seem, does not throw men out of love with life. Far more often it is the idle rich who have lost the tang of living. I have scarcely ever known a working person for whom life was not sweet. But I have known scores of rich and idle people who were dead sick of everything.

We Must Not Shun the Cross

Nor is it less important to observe that Peter says nothing of suffering or cross-bearing. There is not a hint that we must shun the cross if we want to keep in love with life. One might think that constant suffering would create a loathing against life, or that a hidden cross, borne daily, would transform life into a thing unlovable. As a matter of fact, witnessed by experience, it does nothing of the kind. Suffering is a challenge; it calls out what is bravest in us; it makes us set our teeth and hold on tighter, determined never to be beaten. And who does not know how many a woman's life grows richer and more Christlike by some daily hidden cross she has to bear? Peter never dreams of saying that we must shun the cross to keep in love with life. That would make it impossible for most of us.

Now just here we face the splendid fact that our Lord was in love with life right to the end. To Him it was a glorious thing, and He came to give it more abundantly. Every element was in His cup that might seem to make life unendurable. There was hardship, poverty, misunderstanding; there was infinite and unutterable loneliness. Yet at the end, and in agony, He cried, "Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me," (Luk_22:42) and "this cup" was not life, but death. Buddha said, Life is an evil thing; let us be done with it, and win Nirvana. Christ said, Life is a glorious thing: believe on Me and have eternal life. And yet His life knew all the depths of suffering and was tempted in all points like as ours is and was passed in a loneliness we cannot fathom.

How to Keep in Love With Love

And just here we come to Peter's answer, for do you not see what Peter's answer is? He says, If you want to keep in love with life, then live as the blessed Master did. Keep thy lips from speaking guile—there was no guile upon His lips. Eschew evil and do good—He went about continually doing good. Seek peace and ensue it, and He is the Prince of peace forever in a divided and alienated world. For Him life was not possessions. It was character; it was service; it was love. And do you want to keep in love with it? Then you must follow in His steps. Put first things first. Give primacy to character. Serve your brother.

Walk in love—and you will keep in love with life to the end.

And then remember life was sweet to Jesus because He lived it under the eye of God. He felt, as nobody else has ever felt, the continual presence of the Father. There was no God for Buddha. There is no God for any pessimist. For Jesus, God was Father: He was Friend; He shared in every heart-beat of His child. And does not Peter say, If you want to keep in love with life as Jesus did, right on to the end, then never forget that the eyes of the Lord are on you, and His ears are open to your prayers. When over life there is an arch like that, when underneath are the everlasting arms, when there is a heavenly hand to guide and a heavenly breast on which to lean, then, bring life what it may, a man is able to keep in love with it till the day break and the shadows flee away.

_______________________

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.)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2005, 04:19:54 PM »

December 7

What to Do With Our Cares

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant. — 1Pe_5:7-8

The cares of which the apostle speaks were those associated with persecution. He was writing to those who might, at any moment, be exposed to the fury of the populace. A great deal of pagan trade was intimately bound up with idolatry. Wherever the Gospel came and took a grip, it began to interfere with trade. And for that, as for many other reasons, Christians were never safe. Their life was one of continuous anxiety. Such anxieties are gone now where the populace is nominally Christian. But care remains, haunting the human heart and robbing life of the gladness of the sunshine. And so to us, in a land that is called Christian as well as to those sojourners in paganism, comes the message of the great apostle. The question, then, for all of us is this: How does a man cast his care on God? That I should answer by asking another question: How does a man cast his care on anybody? Our Lord was very fond of that procedure, arguing from the lesser to the greater, and reaching heavenly things through things of earth.

We Cast Our Cares on Someone by Relying on Him

In human life, then, we cast our cares on anybody when we confidently rely on him. We can illustrate that by the captain of a ship. When a wild storm falls upon a vessel, the passengers are naturally anxious. Children cry; women begin to tremble; men look grave and often become silent. And then they see the captain on the bridge relaxed, smiling as he talks to his officer, and they remember he never lost a ship and is reputed the finest captain in the service. The moment they see that their anxieties begin to vanish. Trusting the captain when the storm is raging, they find that they have cast their cares on him. And whenever anyone trusts God and quietly puts his confidence in God, he awakens to the same discovery. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee," and then the prophet adds, "because he trusteth in Thee." Trust is the great antidote to care. It is by simple, quiet, unswerving confidence that we cast our cares on anybody, and just so do we cast our cares on God.

By Talking We Share Our Care

Once again we cast our cares on anybody when we go to him and talk things over frankly. That is one of the benefits of friendship. The chief office of friendship, says Lord Bacon, is the ease and discharge of the swellings of the heart. And then he adds that the man who has no friend is a cannibal of his own heart. That is to say, he eats his heart out because he has no one to whom he can resort to speak of the anxieties that gnaw him. People often approach me for advice, and frequently go away without it. And yet they thank me when they go away and say that everything looks different now. You see, what has helped them isn't my advice; it is just that they have talked the matter over with one who feels for them and is a friend. Friendship is like a lancet; it opens the abscesses which are very painful. And as it is with a true friend on earth, so is it with our truest Friend in heaven. When we go to Him and tell Him all, opening our hearts to Him in quiet communion, how wonderfully do we discover that we have really cast our cares on Him! Be careful for nothing, says St. Paul, but in everything let your requests be made known unto God. And then what happens? Are your requests granted? The wise apostle says nothing about that. But he does say, and it is always true, that the peace of God which passeth understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.

In Faithful Duty We Find Security

Once again we cast our cares on anybody when we do our duty by him faithfully. I think of the public servants of Glasgow Corporation. The dustmen who pass my windows in the morning have their cares just like other men. They are married and have to feed and clothe their wives and children. And yet so long as they do their duty faithfully, they have no need to worry about that. They cast their cares upon the Corporation. Is not that precisely what our Savior meant when He was speaking about care and worry? "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you." Put God first, be loyal to Him daily, live for the happy service of the kingdom, and will God do less than the Glasgow Corporation? If any man is living for self, he has no warrant to cast his care on God. But if he lives for service and not self, he can lean his weight upon the word of Jesus. There is a deeper meaning than we think of in that word of our Lord beside the well, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me."

What Does God Expect of us?

And then when our cares are cast on God, what kind of life does God expect of us? It is here that Peter displays a heavenly wisdom, for he says, "Be sober and be watchful." It is a perilous thing to have a load of cares. It is fraught with manifold temptation. It may make a husband very cross and irritable as many a wife knows. But never forget that to be free from cares may be as perilous as to be burdened with them, and that's why Peter adds, "Be sober and be watchful." I have known people suddenly freed from care by some large legacy of fortune—and that freedom has sometimes been their ruin. God does not make His children carefree in order that He may make them careless. Surely better a thousand cares than that. He makes them carefree that with undivided heart they may give themselves to the service of their brother and to the glory of His blessed name.

_______________________

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.)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2005, 08:03:50 AM »

December 19

Reverence - Page 1
by George H. Morrison


And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead — Rev_1:17

John was a prisoner in the isle of Patmos when he had this revelation of Jesus Christ. He had been banished thither because he was a Christian; and if the early legends can be trusted, he was condemned to the hard slavery of the Patmos mines. But sweet are the uses of adversity. There are some things we cannot learn in Babylon that become plain to us in sea-girt Patmos. There are some sights we are blind to in the markets: our eyes are only opened in the mines. It was not at home that Jacob had his Bethel: it was in the hills, a wanderer and alone. It was not at Pharaoh's court that Moses saw Jehovah in the burning bush: it was when flying from Pharaoh in the desert. It was not in peaceful days that Stephen saw heaven opened and Jesus standing at the right hand of God: it was in the hour of martyrdom. And this vision of Jesus, the alpha and omega, the first and last, whose head and hairs were white as snow and whose eyes were as a flame of fire,—this vision came to John, an exile in the mines. "It is adversity," says Bacon in his priceless essays, "which carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God's favour."

Reverence

Now there are many lessons in this story. An old and fragrant commentary that I opened on the chapter rises into a height of eloquence, lost in this day and age, over these eyes that were like a flame of fire. But I want to center on one point only. I want to take this falling-down of John as a true instance of a truly reverent spirit. John saw, John worshipped, John adored. And we are living in a world that's full of God, and we have something better than a vision; we have the word of prophecy. And do we stand or fall upon our faces, and are we reverent or are we not? that is the question.

I do not think that the most cheerful optimist would dare to assert this was a reverent age. Of course we shall always have some reverent souls in every congregation, but reverence is not a note of modern life: still worse, it is not a desire. There was a time when to be thought reverent was an honorable thing. Now, to be thought reverent is to be old-fashioned. Men want to be smart and clever and successful, and somehow reverence does not agree well with these. We are all busy: few of us are reverent. Yet without reverence life is a shallow thing, and true nobility of character is impossible; and without reverence we shall be strangers to the end to all that is best and worthiest in our faith.

The Lack of Reverence

Can we explain the comparative absence of this grace? I think we can. It springs from certain features of our modern life, and the first of these is the wear and hurry of it. It is no chance that the most reverent hour in Moses' life was in the desert. It is no accident that John fell down as dead, not in the streets of Babylon, but in the isle of Patmos. It was no whim, though it seems whimsical to us, that a prophet of reverence whom we lost a week ago should have denounced our crowded city life. It is not easy for an overdriven man to keep a reverent heart. It is very hard to feel perpetual reverence when life for thousands is a perpetual rush. When I travel fast enough by train, castles and towns and woods and battlefields flash for an instant and are gone, and the great things are but little for the speed. So in the rush of life, worrying, leisureless, the great things of the soul and of the universe are dwarfed, and it is hard to be a reverent man. There is a certain leisure needed for the cultivation of a truly reverent spirit, a certain inward quietness, a certain detachment from the present day. But do note that leisure is a thing of heart and not of hours. Some of our hardest workers, who never enter a church door, it may be, are far more reverent, and being more reverent are better men, than many a church-goer who never felt the awe of things and never fell down at His feet as dead.

========================See Page 2
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2005, 08:06:32 AM »

Reverence - Page 2
by George H. Morrison


The lack of reverence too, I cannot doubt, is partly due to the spirit of inquiry of today. God knows that if to be reverent meant to be ignorant, some of us, in the eagerness to know, would say farewell to reverence forever. But is not the keenest teacher sometimes as reverent and humble as a little child? We had three great professors in my day at Glasgow, men known in every academy in Europe—the one for Greek, the other for medicine, the third for natural philosophy —and only to hear them was to be reminded of Sir Isaac Newton who felt like a little child picking some pebbles from the shore and casting them into the infinite ocean of the truth. Still, for all that, it is the truth that an inquisitive age is rarely reverent. And of all inquisitive and critical times, I fancy we have fallen on the worst. We are all eager: few of us are reverent. We are never afraid to criticize, but we have almost forgotten to adore. We can discuss these seven golden candlesticks, and trace the sources of the vision in Daniel, and smile at the strange mixing of the metaphors; but "when I saw Him," says John, "I fell at His feet as dead."

But this present lack of reverence has another source: it is the dying-out from heart and conscience of the fear of God. "Ah, Rogers," said Dr. Dale of Birmingham to his old friend,—"ah, Rogers, no one fears God now." And there can be little question that in the largest sense Dale was right. Man's views of God have changed in the past century. It was the Sovereignty of God that was the watchword once. It is the Fatherhood of God that is the watchword now. And no man can quarrel with that change of emphasis, when we remember how it has flashed new light upon the love of God and kindled into meaning many a page and parable. But things are not right if we can only love God more by reverencing Him less. And who can doubt that something of the majesty, and something of the grandeur, and something of the awesome fear of God is gone in this reiterated insistence on His Fatherhood? I sometimes think God had a special purpose in giving us the Old Testament in our Bible. With all its difficulties, I feel it was preserved to counteract a natural tendency of man. For God in the Gospel comes so very near us, and the love of God shown in the love of Jesus is so brother like, that only to realize it is to run the danger of forgetting reverence and growing very familiar with God. And it takes all the Psalms and all the prophets, with their magnificent Gospel of a Sovereign God, to make us fall down at His feet as dead. O living Spirit, open our eyes and give us back again something of the fear of God! For we shall never love or serve Thee well till we have learned to reverence Thee more!

What Is Reverence?

Now what is reverence ? It has been variously defined, but perhaps the old definition is the best. It is the practical recognition of true greatness. It is my attitude of heart and mind when I am confronted by the truly worthy and the truly great. It does not matter of what kind the greatness is: it may be the greatness of my brother's character, it may be the greatness of this mysterious world, or it may be the greatness of Almighty God; but the moment I see it, feel it, and recognize my place, I am a reverent man.

And that is the condemnation of the irreverent man. He may be clever, but he is always shallow. He may be smart, but he is blind. To live in a universe like this and to find nothing to reverence is to condemn, not the world, but myself. Irreverent men are often amusing, and are always selfish. For not to see and feel what is sublime, and not to be touched by what is truly great, is a true token of a selfish heart. The other side of reverence is humility. The other side of irreverence is pride. It is the curse of the irreverent heart that underneath all lightness and all jest it is a stranger to the humility of Jesus.

Now where does individual irreverence begin? I think that generally it begins at home. When I have ceased to reverence myself, it is the hardest thing in the whole world to reverence my brother and to reverence God. If I am mean, I shall read meanness in my neighbor's heart. If I am selfish, I shall find selfishness in the most Christlike thing my neighbor ever did. We all get as we give. If there is nothing great in you, no hope, no ideal, you pay the penalty by finding the world mean. If there is any glimmering of greatness in you and any passion for righteousness and God, it is wonderful what a grand world this becomes, and what new worth we find in other men, and what a majesty we see in God.

======================See Page 3
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60391


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2005, 08:09:47 AM »

Reverence - Page 3
by George H. Morrison


The Reverence of Jesus

Now there are two things in the life of Jesus that arrest me. And the first of these is His reverence for God. Jesus knew God as God was never known on earth before. God was His Father in far deeper senses than He is yours or mine. His intimacy with His Father was complete. He was at home with God. Yet nothing can match the perfect reverence of Christ towards this Father He knew and loved so well. I can always speak of Jesus' fellowship with God. It is a misuse of language to speak of Jesus' familiarity with God. There is an awe and reverence in all the recorded communication of Jesus with His Father that is as wonderful as His perfect trust.

But still more arresting than the reverence of Jesus for His God is the reverence that Jesus had for man. Sometimes you reverence a man because you do not know him well; you get to know him better, and your reverence dies. Christ knew men thoroughly. Christ knew men through and through,—their thoughts, their hopes, their fears, their weaknesses, their struggles, and their passions. Christ saw each sin more deadly and each vice more horrible than the most tender conscience in its most tender hour had ever dreamed of. If you had seen what Christ had seen, you would have spumed your brother. If you had known what Jesus knew, you would have spat on him. The wonder is Christ reverenced him still, still thought it worth His while to teach him, still thought man great enough to live for, still thought man great enough to die for. There never was a reverence so loving, there never was a love so sweetly reverent, as the love of Jesus Christ for you and me, fallen men, yet still in our ruin not without tokens of a heavenly greatness and of the God who made us in His image!

Lessons to a More Reverent Life

So as I think on reverence, and link it with the supreme reverence of Jesus, I learn three lessons that may guide us to a more reverent life.

And first, if we are ever to grow reverent again, we must know more. The reverence of ignorance is gone. Half-knowledge is irreverent: a fuller knowledge will make us reverent again. Jesus was reverent because His knowledge was perfect: we are irreverent because our knowledge is shallow. When we know man, far off, as Jesus knew him, we shall find something to reverence in our most ordinary brother. When we know God as Jesus knew Him, we shall adore. And is that knowledge possible to me? Thank God, through daily fellowship with Christ,

I may follow on to know the Lord.

And then, if we are ever to grow reverent again, we must trust more. If John had never trusted Christ, he never would have seen the vision and never would have fallen at Jesus' feet as dead. I cannot reverence a man whom I distrust, I cannot reverence a God. It wants deep faith to make me reverent. It wants a perfect faith like Jesus had to make me perfectly reverent like Him. I never can be noble without reverence. I never can be reverent without faith.

And if we are ever to grow reverent again, we must love more. There never was a time when so much was spoken and written about Christian love. If we loved more and said less about it, we might revive our dying reverence. Oh, how much of our so-called love to Jesus is spurned by an infinite God because the feeling of reverence is not in it. It is so easy to talk of leaning on Jesus' bosom. It is so easy to forget that he who leaned on Jesus' bosom fell down at Jesus' feet as dead. I plead for more love, not to increase, but to remove that light familiarity that blots our Christian service. For love reveals, love sees, love breaks the bars, love reads the secrets both of man and God. And when I have seen my brother's secret story, and when I have seen into the deep things of God, I never can be irreverent again.

_______________________

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.)
Logged

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 44 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



More From ChristiansUnite...    About Us | Privacy Policy | | ChristiansUnite.com Site Map | Statement of Beliefs



Copyright © 1999-2016 ChristiansUnite.com. All rights reserved.
Please send your questions, comments, or bug reports to the

Powered by SMF 1.1 RC2 | SMF © 2001-2005, Lewis Media