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Author Topic: George H. Morrison's Old And Beautiful Devotions  (Read 63904 times)
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« Reply #90 on: February 12, 2006, 10:23:58 PM »

This post will be way lame after BEPs poetic submission, however because it encompasses dreams I feel compelled to testify that God whispers to me in the night while I sleep.... I've had several dreams "come true".  The Lord has shown me His hand and it's always while I'm sleeping.  Sometimes it takes days, weeks or even months for me to see it ~ but it's there and after so many years I've learned to recognize it for what it is:   Grace.

Blessings-
Terri 


HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HAND~~~ HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD IN HIS HAND!
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« Reply #91 on: February 13, 2006, 05:01:50 AM »

Sister Terri,

I think that the Morrison devotions are at least 100 years old, but I think they are still beautiful and timely. Our REST is in a Living Lord and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST. Our PEACE with God is only through JESUS CHRIST. Our LEADING is through the Holy Spirit of God. We are CHILDREN OF THE KING OF KINGS!

Love In Christ,
Tom

Isaiah 55:10-11 NASB  "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
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« Reply #92 on: February 13, 2006, 08:18:45 AM »

February 13

The Searching of God - Page 1
by George H. Morrison


"O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me." Psa_139:1

We are prone to associate the searching work of God with events of a striking or memorable kind. It is in great calamities and overwhelming sorrow that we feel with particular vividness God's presence. When Job was in the enjoyment of prosperity, he was an eminently reverent man; but it was in the hour of his black and bitter midnight that he cried out, "The hand of God hath touched me." And that same spirit dwells in every breast so that God's searching comes to be associated with hours when life is shaken to its depths. Now the point to be noted is that in this psalm the writer is not thinking of such hours. There is no trace that he has suffered terribly or been plunged into irreparable loss. "Thou knowest my downsitting and my uprising"—my usual, ordinary, daily life—it was there that the psalmist recognized the searching; it was there that he awoke to see that he was known. And as the psalmist's, so our effort must be to try to discover how in our usual round, in the downsitting and uprising of our days, God searches us and shows us to ourselves.

The Passing of Time

In the first place, we are searched and known by the slow and steady passing of the years. There is a revealing power in the flight of time just because time is the minister of God. In heaven there will be no more time; there will be no more need of any searching ministry. There we shall know even as we are known, in the burning and shining of the light of God. But here, where the light of God is dimmed and broken, we are urged forward through the course of years, and the light of passing time achieves on earth what the light of the Presence will achieve in glory.

He is a wise father who knows his child, but he is a wiser child who knows himself. Untested by actual contact with the world, as children we dream our dreams in the sunshine of the morning. And then comes life with all its harsh reality and the changes of the years, and we turn around on the swift flight of time and say, "O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me." We may not have suffered anything profound, we may not have achieved anything splendid. Our life may have moved along in quiet routine, not outwardly different from the lives of thousands. Yet however dull and uneventful, God has so ordered the flight of time for us that we know far more about ourselves now than we knew in the dawn of our morning. Brought into touch with duty and fellowmen, we have begun to see our limitations. We know in a measure what we cannot do, and thank God, we know in a measure what we can do. And underneath it all we have discerned the side of our nature which leans towards heaven, and the other side on which there is the door that opens to the filthiness of hell. It doesn't take any terrible experience to learn our power and weaknesses. Each single day which makes up the passing years, slowly and inevitably shows it. So by the pressure of evolving time—and it is not we, but God, who so evolves it—for better or for worse we come to say "O Lord, thou hast searched me and hast known me."

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« Reply #93 on: February 13, 2006, 08:20:30 AM »

The Searching of God - Page 2
by George H. Morrison


Our Responsibilities Test Us

Then also, God searches us by the responsibilities He lays upon us, for it is in our duties that the true self is searched and known. Think of those servants in the parable who got the talents. Could you have gauged their character before they got the talents? Were they not all respectable and honest and seemingly worthy of their master's confidence? But to one of the servants the master gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, and what distinguished and revealed each one was the use they made of that responsibility. They were not searched by what they had to suffer; the servants were searched by what they had to do. They were revealed by what their master gave and by the use they made of what they got.

And so, I take it, it is with all of us to whom God has given a task, a job, a talent—it is not only a gift to bless our neighbor; it is a gift to reveal us to ourselves. It is not always the greatest jobs that make the greatest demands on a man. It is sometimes harder to be second than first, and sometimes harder to be third than second. In the important jobs there is a certain glow, and generally a cloud of witnesses to cheer us on; but in the humbler jobs there is nothing of that. Great services reveal our possibilities; small services reveal our consecration, calling for patience and rigorous fidelity and the power that can endure through dreary days. So by the daily work we have to do and the task that is given us of God, we are tested in the whole range of manhood. There are no temptations more subtle or insistent than those that meet a man within his calling. There are no victories so quietly rewarding as those that are won within one's daily work.

Details

God also has a way of searching us by lifting our eyes from the detail to the whole. He sets the detail in its true perspective, and seeing it thus, we come to see ourselves. You know how the writer of this psalm proceeds: "Thou knowest my downsitting and my uprising," he says. These are details, little particular actions, the unconsidered events of every day. But the writer does not stop with these details—he passes on to the survey of his life: "Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways."

You will remember that it was through details that Christ revealed the Samaritan woman to herself. She had been hiding her guilt from her own eyes by busying herself in the details of the day. And then came Jesus with His enlarged vision in which the days are all parts of the one life, and in the eyes of Christ she saw herself because she saw the details as a whole. "Come, see a man," she went and cried, "who told me all things that ever I did." Actually, it was an exaggeration, for Christ had not spoken to her very long. But when you get down to the spirit of the words, you never think of their exaggeration for they reveal the way that Jesus took in searching her and showing her to herself. He would not let her hide in the detail; He wanted her to have a vision of the whole. He wanted to show her what her life was like when looked at closely. And so this woman was searched and self-revealed through detail in its true perspective, and her conscience, which had long been slumbering, awoke.

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« Reply #94 on: February 13, 2006, 08:22:15 AM »

The Searching of God - Page 3
by George H. Morrison


I think that is often the way the Lord deals with you and me. We are all prone to be blinded by details so that we scarcely realize what we are doing. There are lines of behavior which we would never take, if we only realized all that they meant. There are habits and certain sins to which we would never yield if we only saw them in their vile completeness. But the present is so tyrannical and sweet and the action of the hour is so absorbing, that we cannot see the forest for the trees, nor see ahead the path that we are taking.

We often say when looking back upon our sufferings, "We wonder how we ever could have borne it." One secret of our bearing it was that we only suffered one moment at a time. And in looking back upon our foolish past, we sometimes say, "How could we have ever done it!"; and one secret of our doing it was that we only acted one moment at a time. When a man is dimly conscious that he is wrong, he has a strange ability to forget yesterday. When a man is hurrying to fulfill his passion, he shuts his ears to the call of tomorrow. And the work of God is to revive that yesterday and tear the curtain from the sad tomorrow and show a man his action of today set in the general story of his life. Sometimes He does it through sickness; sometimes in a quiet hour such as this. Sometimes He does it in a mysterious way by the immediate working of the Holy Ghost. But when He does it, then we know ourselves and see things as they are, and we are ashamed. Only then we can cry with David, "O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me."

Seeing Ourselves in Another's Life

We may never know ourselves until we see ourselves divested of all the trappings of self-love. It was thus, you remember, that He dealt with David when David had sinned so terribly. For all the depth and the grandeur of his character, David was strangely blind to his own guilt. But then came Nathan with his touching story of the man who had been robbed of his ewe lamb, and all that was best in David was afire at the abhorrent action of that robber.

Has God ever shown you your own heart like that, in drawing the curtain from some other heart? That, you know, is your story, your temptation, your sin in all its strength and sweetness. But ah, how very different it looks now when there is no self-love to plead for it and shield it, when there is no hand to weave excuses for it such as we make so quickly for ourselves. You thought that in yourself it was romance; but in another you see it as being disgraceful. You thought that in you it might be easily understood, yet in another it appears despicable. So in the mirror of another life God shows us what we do and what we are, and, seeing it, what can we do but cry, "O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me."

New Influences

Someone may enter the circuit of our being, and the light they bring illuminates ourselves. We are all prone ordinarily to settle down into a dull routine. The vision of the highest fades away from us, and we go forward without any worthwhile ambition. Our feelings lose their freshness and zest, and we are no longer eager and strenuous as we once were. We become content with far lower levels of achievement now than would have contented us in earlier days. All this may come upon a man, and come so gradually, that he hardly notices all that he has lost. His spiritual life has grown so dull and dead that prayer is a mockery and joy is flown. Then we meet someone whom we have not seen for years, one who has wrestled heavenward against storm and tide—and in that moment we realize it all. Nothing is said to blame or rebuke us. The influence lies deeper than speech. Nothing is done to make us feel ashamed. We may be welcomed with the old warmth of friendship, but there is something in that nobler life suddenly brought into contact with our own that touches the conscience and shows us to ourselves and quickens us to a shame that is medicinal. It is often so when the friend is a human friend. It is always so when the friend is Jesus Christ. "Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man"—the very coming of Christ searches and sifts. But the joy is that if He comes to search, He also comes in all His love to save; and He will never leave us nor forsake us, till the need of searching is gone forever.

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George H. Morrison Devotions

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« Reply #95 on: February 19, 2006, 03:41:49 AM »

February 14

The Comfort of the Universal Presence - Page 1
by George H. Morrison


"If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there." Psa_139:8

In the library of our university are certain old and interesting maps. They have all the charms of a geography which knows no limit save imagination. In modern atlases where there is ignorance, such ignorance is wisely acknowledged. In older atlases, on the contrary, it is curiously and cunningly concealed. And so in reading these dusty parchments covering territories unexplored we are told that here are cannibals, or satyrs and sundry other goblins.

All that has vanished from our maps today, but there is one thing which is left to us still: it is that across the map, even to the remotest boundary, we can write with full assurance Here is God. If I ascend to heaven, thou art there; if I follow the beckoning of the rosy-fingered morning, I am still in the keeping of the eternal Father. Do you and I dwell on that as we should? Do we know the comfort of God's omnipresence?

The Universal Presence Is an Arresting Thought

There is nothing on earth, when we are being tempted, so arresting as the sense of a presence. There are times of temptation when the wisest counsel is swept away from us like leaves before the gale; times when everything we have resolved upon is broken like a thread of gossamer. And how often in such times as these when counsel and resolve have been cast aside, we have found restraining power in a presence. It may be the actual proximity of someone or it may be only the presence in the heart—the presence of someone who has passed on. But love is mighty in resurrection power and eyes which we once loved are on us still, and only God in heaven could tell how many men have been helped by such memories.

There was a certain shopkeeper who had a portrait of Frederick Robertson, that great preacher, in his back shop. Whenever he was tempted to be dishonest, he went and looked for an instant at the photograph, and then the sorry thing he wanted to do became impossible. It was not Robertson's sermons which did that, searching and beautiful though they were. It was not the memory of those flaming words which scorched and shriveled what was bestial. What gripped that man and stayed his itching hand when he was tempted was the constraining power of a presence. That is often the power of little children. It is often the power of a good woman. We may not feel that someone is rebuking us; what we feel is that somebody is watching. Eyes are upon us, pure and tender, or eyes that we have not seen for many years; and God knows—that thing—we cannot do it.

The Presence of God

Now as it is with the presence of our loved ones, it is so with the presence of our God. There is a mighty power to arrest us in the controlling thought that He is here.

There is an old story of a little girl who went to the attic to steal some apples stored there. On the wall hung the picture of some venerable and long-forgotten ancestor. And as she crept along the attic floor, the eyes of that old portrait seemed to follow her until in her childish fear she tore them out of the picture.

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« Reply #96 on: February 19, 2006, 03:43:20 AM »

The Comfort of the Universal Presence - Page 2
by George H. Morrison


If one could only tear out eyes like that, sin would be infinitely sweet for multitudes. But there are eyes no human hand can reach; the eyes of memory and the eyes of God. And that, I take it, is what Scripture means in that text so often misinterpreted, "I will guide thee with mine eye."

Linnaeus, the great botanist, cherished an open heart for God in everything. Over his study door these words were written, Numen adest, vivite innocui. And what they mean is this: Live innocently; do not sully hand nor heart today: numen adest—deity is present.

Now let me ask you, have you tried to live, "as always in the great Taskmaster's eye"? Have you ever stopped in the jostling street and said to yourself, "God is now here"? Say it the next time you are worried, Martha. Say it when the waves are stormy, Peter. Say it, David, when on the roof at evening you catch that glimpse of beautiful Bathsheba.

Men who have tempers often excuse themselves—they cannot help it; they are built that way. But if you were in audience with King George, you could control that nasty temper perfectly. And the simple fact is that wherever you are, among the crowds or with your wife and children, you are always in the presence of the King. There is an arresting power in God's presence which few of us have ever really used. It is a great moment when we say with Hagar, "Thou God seest me." You who are very sorely tempted and know it is an hour of crisis, One who is infinite love and power and purity is right there with you, and He is watching.

The Universal Presence Is a Sustaining Thought

Professor Henry Drummond used to tell us about a student at examination time. It was an examination of a decisive nature which would determine the young fellow's career. And every now and again he took something out of his pocket and gave it a glance, and then as quietly slipped it back again. The examiner had his suspicions aroused and stole up quietly for observation. And he saw—what do you think—scribbled notes? No, what he saw was not scribbled notes. It was a portrait of someone very dear and who would be dearer still for better or for worse through life's long battle—his lovely wife. It was not enough that he should know his subject well. He felt he needed something more than that. He felt he needed, just what we all need, the sustaining power of a loving presence.

And the One presence we can always have, through life and suffering and work and death, is that of Him who loves us to the uttermost. He is with us always and everywhere, when we wake and when we sleep. He is infinite love and perfect understanding and irresistible power that makes the devils tremble. And yet we fuss and worry and dread tomorrow but all in vain and as if everything had not been pledged to us in Christ. But, behold, everywhere Thou art there!

____________________

George H. Morrison Devotions

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
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« Reply #97 on: February 19, 2006, 03:49:48 AM »

February 15

Still With Thee - Page 1
by George H. Morrison


"When I awake, I am still with thee." Psa_139:18

A man whose religion is of a shallow kind is content with only an occasional acknowledgment of God. He has his stated seasons of approach to God and his rigid periods of worship. There are long stretches of time when, as the psalmist says, God is not in all his thoughts. He wages his warfare on the field of business in total forgetfulness of the divine—a mark of a religious life which is neither very deep nor very real. It never thrills in spiritual strength or joy.

Now in the book of Psalms, this is not so. The psalmist's recognition is continuous; always he sets the Lord before him. And it is this continual recognition and this unvarying practice of God's presence which kindles the psalmist when he is discouraged and brings the joy that cometh in the morning. When we go to sleep mastered by some thought, that thought is usually beside us when we awake. If it is trouble on which we closed our eyes, how swiftly in the morning it returns! And it was because the psalmist lived with God and went to sleep under the wings of God that he could take his pen and write in all sincerity, "When I awake, I am still with thee."

Spiritual Lethargy

Our text is full of meaning when we think of waking up from our spiritual lethargy. There are times for most of us, in our spiritual life, when we are little better than asleep. Our prayers—how cold and formal they become; they are merely the semblance and mockery of prayer. And the Bible loses its freshness and its blessing and does not leap to meet our needs when we come to it. There settles down a deadness on our spirits, and we go to church and listen to the preaching and might as well be a thousand miles away. Who has not know such desert seasons, such days of lethargy? And to me the wonder of it all is that when the darkness passes and the dayspring comes, we are still able to lift our heads and say, "When I awake, I am still with thee." God has not forgotten to be gracious. We have been false to Him; not He to us. He has been longing to show His love again.

A Time of Crushing Sorrow

In all great sorrow there is something numbing, an insensibility like that of sleep. It is one of the triumphs of our modern medicine that it can apply opiates so powerfully. A prick of a needle and one forgets the agony of pain. But God has His opiates no less than man, and these are reserved for the hours when the physician fails, so that the mourner says, "I can't understand it—it is like a dream—I cannot realize it." There is mercy in that numbing of the spirit. The worst might be unbearable without it. When vividness of perception would be torture, God giveth to His beloved sleep. And it is when a man awakens from that sleep, slowly and heavily through dreary days—it is then that he can lift his heart to God and say, "When I awake, I am still with thee." The past may seem to be far away now, for there are days which do the work of years. But if the past is distant, God is near; nearer than He has ever been before. And the unseen is very real to us, and truths that once were on the dim horizon become the most tremendous of realities. And there are friends who cannot help us for we are moving in regions where they never traveled. But no man who believes in Jesus Christ can move in regions where God has never traveled, for down to the very bitterness of death, God in the Crucified has gone before. That is the joy of having God in Christ. You can never awaken to the bitter day and say, "Of this, the serene God knows nothing."

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« Reply #98 on: February 19, 2006, 03:51:27 AM »

Still With Thee - Page 2
by George H. Morrison


The Last Awakening in Eternity

And then, in closing, doesn't our text also apply to the last awaking in eternity? "I shall be satisfied when I awake," and satisfied because I am with Thee.

I heard the other day of a young husband who had to go under the surgeon's knife. All went well, and as he awoke again, his first inquiry was for his wife and children. And he was satisfied when he awoke, not merely because of his life which he had regained, but because he was still with those who loved him so and who were all the world to him. That is the Christian doctrine of the future. That is the one clear point in all the mystery. I shall be satisfied when I awake, because when I waken, I am still with Thee—still with the God who was my shepherd here; still with the God who saved me and who blessed me; still with the God in whom I trusted amid the shadows and the doubts of time.

The greatest of all questions is just this, "Am I with God, and is God with me?" Do I trust Him and try to serve Him now? If not, when I awake—what then? But if I do and if I seek His face, then when I awake under the touch of death, this will be the glory of it all, that "I am still with Thee."

____________________

George H. Morrison Devotions

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
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« Reply #99 on: February 19, 2006, 03:53:06 AM »

February 16

Showing It Before Him

"I showed before him my trouble." Psa_142:2

What the trouble of the psalmist was it is impossible for us to say. It was so bitter in its onset that his spirit was overwhelmed within him.

In one of his sermons, Mr. Spurgeon touched on our ignorance of Paul's thorn in the flesh. He suggests that perhaps it is unspecified so that each of us may apply it to ourselves. And I think that the vagueness of the Bible is often of a deliberate intention in order that room may be left within its words for every variety of human need.

When Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled," He was not contemplating exemption for His own followers. He knew there would be troubles in their lives; what He enjoined was an untroubled heart. And one great help to an untroubled heart amid the thronging troubles of our lives is to be found in this practice of the psalmist. A brave man does not show his troubles before all the world. He tries to hide them and keep a smiling face in order that he might not be a discouragement to others. But to show before the Lord our troubles in the quiet moment when the door is shut is one of the secrets of serenity.

The Comfort of Having a Friend to Listen

In one sense, one of the duties of friendship is just to lend an ear. It is an untold comfort when troubles are depressing us to have someone in whom we can confide. A brother is born for adversity, not just that he may lend a helping hand. A helping hand may be a blessed thing, but a helping heart is often better. To have somebody to whom we can open our hearts in the certainty of perfect understanding is one of the choicest gifts of human life. Visitors among the poor have experienced that. How often they bring comfort by just listening! Poor folk, toiling away bravely, discover an easing of their trouble when they can pour it all, if only for an hour, into a listening and appreciative ear. Now it was that easing which David found in God. He showed before Him his trouble. He did not brood on it in solitary bitterness; he quietly laid it before God. And though the trouble didn't disappear any more than the thorn of the Apostle, he gained a sweet serenity of spirit which made him capable of bearing anything.
And, indeed, that is the real victory of faith and of all who quietly wait on God. It may not banish all the trouble, but it always brings the power to bear it beautifully. There is a deep-rooted feeling in the heart that if we are God's, we ought to have exemption. Troubles that afflict the faithless soul ought to be averted from the faithful. But the age-long experience of God's children and all the sufferings of His beloved Son proclaim that this is not so. David was not protected from life's troubles, nor was Paul or our blessed Savior. David knew, in all its bitterness, what a thing of trouble our human life may be. His victory, and that of all the saints who have learned to show their trouble before God, was an inward peace that the world can never give and the darkest mile can never take away. God does not save His children from that dark mile. He saves His children in that dark mile. Whenever they show their trouble before Him, He shows His lovingkindness to them. He keeps them from an embittered heart; He puts beneath them the everlasting arm; He makes them more than conquerors in Christ.

God Cares

One feels, too, that David, like Abraham, had seen the day of Christ. His personal trouble was of concern to God. One hears it said so often that in the Old Testament the nation was the unit, and one remembers right through the Old Testament the insistence on the majesty of God. Yet here is a troubled and persecuted soul who dares to think that the God of all the earth has a heart responsive to his very own trouble. He never dreamed it was a thing too petty for the concern of the infinite Jehovah. With a quiet confidence he showed it before Him who was the Maker of heaven and earth. And the wonderful thing is how this faith of David in the individual loving care of God was confirmed by great David's greater Son. Not a sparrow can fall without our Father. The very hairs of our head are numbered. If we, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto our children, how much more our Father? There would be no surprise in that precious teaching for one who could write in childlike trust, "I showed before him my trouble."

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George H. Morrison Devotions

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
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« Reply #100 on: February 19, 2006, 03:55:09 AM »

February 17

God Knows - Page 1
by George H. Morrison


"When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path." Psa_142:3
It is often a deep relief in trouble to have someone with whom the grief may be shared. There is a certain pride natural to us all which prompts us to hide what we may have to bear. There are trials, too, of such a peculiar character that we can never hope to find an understanding heart. Nevertheless, speaking in general terms, it is a mighty solace to be able in our dark and bitter hour to pour our story into another's ear. Now that comfort, you notice, was denied this psalmist. "No man careth for my soul," he said. Crushed as he was into the very depths, men passed him by in selfish disregard. There was no one to whom he could go for a word of cheer, no one who would be patient while he spoke, no one he could trust with the story of his sorrow.

It was in such an hour this singer did what is always wise in such hours. "I cried unto the Lord with my voice, with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplications." Denied the privilege of human sympathy and with a heart that was likely to break for grief, "I poured out," he said, "my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble." Now, that this was a step of profound wisdom is abundantly manifest by its results. God answers his prayer by breathing a new hope into the cheerless gloom of His petitioner until at last this brokenhearted suppliant is set so surely on the rock again that he cries, "The righteous shall compass me about, for thou shalt deal bountifully with me."

We have all seen, amid our Highland hills, a day that opened in utter desolation. There was the rolling mist, the drenching rain, the forlorn sighing of the cheerless wind. All nature seemed to brood in hopelessness as if she had forgotten to be glad. Heavy sorrow seemed to lie upon her bosom and to struggle in despair in all her voices. But as the day wore on, the aspect changed. First there was a dull and watery sun and then the heavy mists went rolling upward; the light shone and birds began to sing. So in the afternoon came warmth and beauty, and in the beauty a softness and mystery that never would have fallen upon the land but for the dreary vapors of the morning.

Brethren, have you ever noticed in the Psalms a progress like that of our hills? Have you ever noticed how often they begin cheerless and tearful and with a shrouded sun? And then have you noticed how, as they proceed, they break into the light of joy and trust, a light that is made more beautiful and tender by its trailing and misty fringes of the morning. Such is the little Psalm before us here. It begins with a cry out of the very depths. It ends with the sunshine of the glad assurance, "Thou shalt deal bountifully with me."

Times of Desolation

First, then, let us examine some of the times in which our spirit is overwhelmed within us. And may I ask you to note the word the psalmist uses? "My spirit," he says, "was overwhelmed within me." Now, in the Old Testament whenever that word spirit is used, it carries the suggestion of activity. There is another passage in which the psalmist says, "When my heart is overwhelmed within me, lead me to the rock that is higher than I." But the overwhelming of the heart is a little different from the overwhelming of the spirit. The heart is the inward nature of the man viewed passively as the groundwork of his character. The heart is the soil from which the actions spring, white as the lily or black as the night. But the spirit is the action and the energy, the manhood rising up to face its duty, the treasury of life, if I may put it so, out of which all our conduct draws supply. And when the spirit is overwhelmed within us, there will always be one sign of that dejection. It is the sapping of the springs of energy, the heaviness and the weariness of duty. The hands grow weak, the knees become feeble; power and hope die down. The spirit hears the call but cannot rise to it—as the psalmist puts it, it is overwhelmed.

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« Reply #101 on: February 19, 2006, 03:56:47 AM »

God Knows - Page 2
by George H. Morrison


Now one of the seasons when this is likely to happen is the season when troubles are multiplied. A single problem we can generally handle; it is when problems are multiplied that we fail. Now you may always be certain that where you find a proverb, it voices a pretty general experience. If a proverb is not generally true, men have no use for it and it dies. And one of the proverbs that has survived the years and grown familiar to every one of us is that troubles never come singly. Why, think of Job when a messenger came running to tell him that his oxen and asses had been stolen; and while he was yet speaking came another to tell him that his camels were gone. And while he was yet speaking another hotfooted in with more trouble, and I say that that is the experience which humanity corroborates. Had Job been written by some hermit scholar, he would have put an orderly space between the messengers. But whoever wrote that book knew human life well when he hurried the messengers on one after the other. Isn't that how troubles often come, thronging together, following one another, blow after blow in shattering succession? Now it is just that relentlessness that is so prone to overwhelm the spirit. "Innumerable evils have compassed me about; therefore my heart faileth me," says David. If a single wave were to dash against us, we would have power to resist the shock. It is when "all thy billows are gone over me" that the spirit is so near to being overwhelmed.

When We Feel Unequal to Our Duties

Another time when we are likely to faint is when we feel ourselves unequal to our difficulties. When the tasks of our appointed calling overwhelm us, then often our spirit is overwhelmed too. There comes times to every one of us when our courage melts, when tasks appall us, and doubts and fears rush in like the tide. It may be all a matter of our health, for body and spirit are in close union. It may be that our work becomes more difficult through competition or altering conditions. Or it may be that there is trouble somewhere that cannot be eradicated so that a person is unable to give himself to a task that calls for quiet or concentration. It is in such a time that even the most valiant are in danger of an overwhelmed spirit. The knees become weak; the hands hang down; strong men bow themselves and the keepers tremble. One cannot look upon the golden bowl but he shudders lest it be broken at the fountain.

The Mysteries of Providence

Such mysteries do not only crush the heart, they do far more; they overwhelm the spirit. You know how hard it is to be a faithful servant if you are serving an unreasonable master. Nothing so crushes the spirit out of service as to be at the sport of whim and of caprice. But, on the other hand, nothing is more effectual in making our service one of joy and steadfastness than just to know that the master whom we serve is a perfectly just and reasonable man.

You can crush the spirit of a child by cruelty and by terrorizing its imagination. But remember, there is another way that may be quite as fatal in the after-years. It is bringing the child up under the growing sense that in the conduct of the home there is no justice, that there is nothing over it from day to day but the foolish whim of affection or of temper.

Brethren, we are all children in this world, and we know that in heaven is our Almighty Father. And it isn't His chastisements that try our spirit, although His chastisements are often hard to bear. It isn't even what we cannot fathom—for who are we to comprehend the Infinite? It isn't what we cannot comprehend, but what we cannot reconcile. We do believe that God is perfect wisdom and perfect justice and all love. And it is when we meet with mysteries that we cannot reconcile with justice or love or wisdom that our spirit—our power for reasonable action—is likely to be crushed into the very dust. Why should one who would not harm a creature be bowed for years in acute pain? Why should a mother lose her one and only child? Why should the reprobate live for many years and be useless to all and a misery to many; and some precious life be terminated in the morning when its influence was so needed in the world?

By and by it will all be plain to us, for now we know in part and see in part. Blessed are they that having not seen, yet believed. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Yet compassed as we are by clouds and darkness and confronted by the mysteries of providence, have we not all had times like the psalmist's when our spirit was overwhelmed within us?

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« Reply #102 on: February 19, 2006, 03:58:15 AM »

God Knows - Page 3
by George H. Morrison


The Consolations of the Psalmist

Isn't it a mark of our overwhelming hours that our pathway seems to stop or disappear? Like the children of Israel on the banks of the Jordan, we are confronted by a swollen river. Our path seems to suddenly reach some chasm or ravine, and on the edge it disappears. How often we have taken a path across the fields that seemed to lead in the way we wished to go. For a little while it was plain beneath our feet, and then it grew fainter and became divided, until at last, perhaps when the sun was setting and the shadows of evening were falling on the valleys, the path we followed just disappeared. It is always so in overwhelming hours. We lose our peace because we lose our path. Our plans are crushed; our prospects are destroyed. We seem like helpless wanderers in the twilight. And it was then that David comforted his soul with the assurance that was given him from God, that all the time, although he couldn't see it, there was a pathway for his weary feet. He was not an aimless wanderer in the dark, the result of an accident or chance. His feet were moving on a prepared path through light and shade to a prepared end. Let him go forward trusting Jehovah—that was his duty if the path were there, and by and by it would lead him from the valley and bring him to the waters of repose.

And then the psalmist had this other comfort: not only was there a pathway, but God knew it. As he reviewed his overwhelming hours, he saw it clearly—"then thou knewest my path." The Thou is emphatic—the accent is on Thou. I did not know my path—but Thou didst. Of that the psalmist could never be in doubt when he surveyed the way he had been led.

Brethren, where the Scripture says "God knows," it means far more than bare words convey. Our knowledge is often useless and inoperative, but the knowledge of God is always full of action. He knows us, and therefore He will help us. He knows our path, and therefore He will guide us. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, the Lord was my shepherd and I did not want. Let us hold to that confidence whenever, like the psalmist, we are crushed in spirit. Clouds and darkness are around His throne, and yet He knows and is very merciful. And then at last, when the dayspring has arisen and the mystery has passed away forever; when the book is opened in which He keeps our wanderings, then we shall look back upon it all with all its happiness and all its heartbreak and say, "When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path."

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« Reply #103 on: February 19, 2006, 03:59:40 AM »

February 18

When the Spirit Is Overwhelmed

"My spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate." Psa_143:4
There are some natures more prone than others to this overwhelming of the spirit, but it wouldn't be true to say that the peril is limited to temperament. Some of the last persons one would ever dream of are prone to this hopeless sinking of the heart. I would expect it in Jeremiah, that most tremulous of all the prophets; but in Elijah—that man of iron will—I would scarcely anticipate finding it. Yet in the life of Elijah came an hour when, plunged into the deeps, his prayer was that God would let him die. There are few things that men hide so well as this inner desolation.

Sometimes such an overwhelming feeling comes for reasons that are purely physical. This is the body of our humiliation, and we are fearfully and wonderfully made. I asked a friend only the other evening if she ever experienced an overwhelmed spirit, and she answered, "When I am very, very tired." Nothing is more delicate and subtle than the interaction of the body and the soul. Lack of faith is sometimes related to lack of health which should make us very tenderhearted and forbearing in judgment towards those who are never really well.

Sometimes we become overwhelmed through simple failure to do our duty. To shirk our God-appointed task is to court the presence of despair. When Christian and Hopeful were on the King's Highway, Giant Despair was never encountered. But when they got into By-path Meadow, then they fell into the giant's clutches. And whenever anybody leaves the King's Highway, sooner or later, but inexorably, "melancholy marks him for her own." To omit the task we know we ought to do, to shirk the duty of the hour and shun the cross, to refuse to lift the burden and put selfishness in place of service—all this, in this strange life of ours, is to head straight for the overwhelmed spirit.

Times of Darkness Are Not Times for Judgment

I should like, too, to add here that we should never pass judgment in overwhelming hours. Let a man accept the verdict of his Lord, but never the verdict of his melancholy. Hours come when everything seems wrong and when all the lights of heaven are blotted out, and how often, in such desolate hours, do we fall to judging the universe and God! It is part of the conduct of the instructed soul to resist that as a temptation of the devil. Such hours are always unreliable. The things that frighten us in the night are the things we smile at in the morning. We are like that traveler who in the fog thought he saw a ghost; when it came nearer, he found it was a man; and when it came up to him, it was his brother. Overwhelming times are times for leaning; God does not mean them to be times for judging. They are given to us for trusting; they are not given to us for summing up. Leave that till the darkness has departed and the dawn is on the hills, and in His light we see light again.

Indeed, the great need in overwhelming hours is the old, old need of trust in God. It is to feel, as the hymn has it, that we are "safe in the arms of Jesus." To be assured that God is love and that He will never leave us nor forsake us; to be assured that He knows the way we take and that His wings are folded over us all the time, that is the way to keeping a brave heart when everything is dark and desolate. Plunged into such depths, there is something even deeper. There is the love of God commended in the cross. Underneath are the everlasting arms. So we endure as seeing the invisible, and then (and often sooner than we expect) the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

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George H. Morrison Devotions

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« Reply #104 on: February 19, 2006, 04:57:54 PM »

February 19

The Setting of the Pearl

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ— Mat_1:1

The Fact of Jesus—Mark's Gospel

It is generally agreed that the Gospel of St. Mark is the earliest of the four Gospels, and it is notable that in this earliest Gospel there is no genealogy at all. St. Mark does not give the ancestry of Christ, nor does he say a word about His lineage. He stands beside the flowing river, and never seeks to trace it to its source. St. Mark, from the very outset, has his gaze fixed upon the Savior, and brings the reader face to face with Him. There is no attempt to explain the fact of Christ, by relating it to the long past. All that will come in season, for unrelated facts can never satisfy. The first thing is to have Jesus shown us, to be confronted with Him as a living person, and that is the divine office of St. Mark.

His Relation to the Old Testament—St. Matthew's Gospel

But just because man is a reasonable being he can never find rest in isolated facts. And in the next Gospel, the Gospel of St. Matthew, you have our Lord related to the past. St. Mark plunges into the heart of things. He confronts you with the Savior. He says: "If you want to understand the Lord the first thing is to fix your gaze on Him." Then St. Matthew takes that isolated fact, and traces it back to David and to Abraham; Christ is "the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Mat_1:1). St. Matthew is thinking out what Christ implies, the Christ who had changed his life down to the deeps, and the great truth which dawns on him is this, that it takes David and Abraham to comprehend Him. In other words, St. Matthew says that if you want to understand the Lord, you must take in the whole of Jewish history. To St. Matthew, Christ is the crown of Jewish history. Without Him it is inexplicable. It was to Him that the sacrifices pointed. It was of Him that all the prophets wrote. That is why, for all its difficulties, we never can dispense with the Old Testament. Christ is the son of David, who is the son of Abraham.

His Relation to Adam—Luke's Gospel

Then you come to the Gospel of St. Luke, and in St. Luke you have a larger setting. St. Luke does not trace the lineage to Abraham. He traces it right back to Adam: "which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam" (Luk_3:38). Beyond the parent of the Jewish race stands the parent of the human race. Beyond the representative of Israel stands the representative of man. And St. Luke sees that to comprehend the Lord calls for more than the history of Israel; it calls for the long story of humanity. Much in Christ will always be unintelligible, unless you know the page of the Old Testament. But it takes more than the page of the Old Testament to reach His full significance. Christ is the son of Adam, says St. Luke. He is vitally related to humanity. He is in living touch with all mankind. St. Matthew says: "If you want to understand Him, you must lay your hand upon the Jewish heart."

St. Luke says: "If you want to understand Him, you must lay your hand upon the human heart." And one of the beautiful features of St. Luke's Gospel is the stress it lays upon that larger setting—on Christ as the Savior of mankind. The Gospel is full of tender human touches, such touches as make the whole world kin. Roman officers march across its avenues. The Good Samaritan is there. In the Christ of St. Luke there is neither Jew nor Greek, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free. He is the son of Adam.

His Relation to God—John's Gospel

Lastly we come to the Gospel of St. John, the last of the four Gospels, written after years of ceaseless brooding on everything the Lord had meant. How then does St. John begin? What is the lineage he gives? Is he content to trace Christ back to Abraham, or to set Him in relationship to Adam? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." St. Mark gives the fact of Christ, and bids us start by contemplating that. St. Matthew relates that fact to Jewish history; St. Luke to the whole history of man. Then comes St. John, after the lapse of years, and says, "All that-is not enough. If you want to understand the Lord you must relate Him immediately to God." That is the final setting—that the ultimate relationship. The glory of the Man St. John had known is that of the only-begotten of the Father. He comes from Abraham. He comes from Adam. Yes, says St. John, but there is another lineage: "the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."

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George H. Morrison Devotions

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
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