Grace Gems for NOVEMBER, 2015

Grace Gems for NOVEMBER, 2015

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If I had a little bucket of water

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

1. I must use life well, because every moment of it is so precious. The minutes and hours of life are like the gold-dust which the goldsmith so carefully gathers together that none be lost. "I have lost a day!" was the sorrowful lament of one who had learned the real value of time. Life is very precious, and I dare not and will not throw any of it away!

2. I must also use life well, because it will soon be over. "The time is short!" 1 Corinthians 7:29. My days and years will soon be spent, and I cannot recall them. My life is but a shadow — it is but a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. Even if I am spared to the full age of man, compared with the long life awaiting me hereafter — my life here is but as a moment. "You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before You. Each man's life is but a breath." Psalm 39:5.

Let me endeavor then to remember how soon life will be gone, and be very careful to use well each precious moment.

If I had a little bucket of water, and no more could be obtained — how carefully would I watch that none of it ran to waste. Each drop I would reckon of great value. Such is my life. It is all I have. I must therefore lose none. I must squander none. "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm 90:12

3. I must use life well, because it is very uncertain. I may have far less than I think. I may be looking forward to years to come — and yet I may have but a few months or weeks or days to live!

I remember a woman who said that some day she would begin to attend our village church. She was in middle age, and had lived a sadly wicked and abandoned life. She thought that she had time enough and to spare, to think of more serious subjects. She did indeed soon afterwards come to our village church — but how did she come? She was carried in a casket on men's shoulders, and then left in the silent grave. Only six weeks had passed since the day she promised that some day she would begin a new life. "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth!" Proverbs 27:1

So I trust my life will not be a wasted one. And though I can do but little compared with many others, I trust that He will say to me at last: "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little — I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master!" Matthew 25:23

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time!" Ephesians 5:15-16

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Direction by an omniscient mind, and an omnipotent hand!

"In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths!" Proverbs 3:6

The acknowledgment of Christ in all endeavors, results in the assurance of direction by an omniscient mind, and an omnipotent hand.

If God in Christ can paint the blush on the bud that hangs from the limb of the rose;
if He can make the dew drops of morning tremble like molten diamonds on the virgin white lip of the lily;
if He can plant the rivers in lines of rippling silver;
if He can cover His valley floors with carpets of softest green, tacked down with lovely daisies and laughing daffodils;
if He can scoop out the basin of the seven seas;
if He can pile up the granite of the mountains until they pierce the turquoise skies;
if He can send a Niagara thundering on a mighty and majestic minstrelsy from century to century;
if He can fuel and refuel the red-throated furnace of a million suns to blaze His universe with light;
if He can weave on the lovely looms of the heavens, the delicate tapestry of a rainbow to throw across the shoulders of the retreating storm, and at even-tide fashion a fleece of crimson to curtain the couch of the dying sun, and across the black bosom of the night that follows, bind a glittering garment spangled with ten thousand stellar jewels —
then I can believe and rest securely in the belief that this Christ whom I acknowledge will direct my life in a path . . .
  chosen by His love,
  chartered by His wisdom,
  and made victorious by His power!

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The healing medicine!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

We are to fully recognize the hand of God in whatever trials and sorrows may be appointed for us. And if we see God's hand in them, we shall . . .
  find that our cares and sorrows give us fresh errands to the throne of grace;
  see redeeming love in them all;
  be assured that Divine wisdom has ordered all for good;
  believe that a Fatherly discipline and a tender regard for our highest welfare, have in some way seen them to be needful. So we shall trust and not be afraid.

One day a mother's hand brings to a child a present of a toy.
At another time, the same hand gives the necessary food.
At another time, the same kind hand dries the child's tear, and lifts it up when it has fallen.
At another time, the mother brings to the child, a cup of bitter medicine.
All of her dealings with the child are ways of showing her love, and perhaps the last in giving the medicine manifests her love the most.

Is it not so with our Father above? With far more than a mother's love, He cares for His children.
Sometimes He bestows a temporal gift that greatly adds to our happiness.
Sometimes He gives the necessary provision for our life.
Sometimes He raises us up when we have fallen, and dries the tear of penitence or sorrow.
But it is equal love — yes, perhaps greater love — when He sends to us some distressing providence, or appoints some bitter cup of suffering or bereavement. It is for our highest good. It is the healing medicine which is to overcome some sinful propensity, or to preserve us from some temptation.

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The Bible is like a sealed book!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

"Open my eyes, that I may see wonderful things in your law!" Psalm 119:18

To very many, both learned and unlearned, the Bible is like a sealed book! They see the words, but they do not discern the meaning. Or if they understand something of the meaning, they do not feel its mighty power. It does not convince them of their sin — nor does it help them to know and love the Savior. And why is this? Because the veil is upon their heart.

Reader, be sure you never neglect to pray whenever you take the Bible in your hand. It is only in this way that you will find real profit and comfort in reading it. Pray that you may understand whatever you read.

If you read there of one who committed sin — then pray that the grace of God may preserve you, that you may never fall into the same snare.

If you read of any one who exercised any particular grace, as faith, or repentance, or love, or patience, or obedience — then pray that the Spirit may plant the same grace in your heart.

If you read any solemn warning or threatening — then pray that the curse or punishment spoken of may never light on you.

If you read any gracious promise — then pray that God may make good the promise to you.

If you read anything of Christ, as the Good Shepherd, as the High Priest — then turn in prayer to Him, and ask Him to guide and guard you, to make you and keep you as one of His sheep, to bear your name before the Father, and to intercede on your behalf.

There is no part of Scripture that you cannot in some way turn into prayer
— and the more you do so, the more you will find it like a well of living water. You will never fail to find help and refreshment from it.

Reader, may you learn to prize God's precious Word, and to find it food and drink to your soul. The Bible is the only book that tells us . . .
  about the way of salvation,
  of Christ and His cross,
  of the gift of the Holy Spirit,
  of the new life, and
  the blessed hope of everlasting life.

May it be yours to use the book aright, to meditate therein, and as you read to grow in the knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord.

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That is Heaven!

(Matthew Mead, "The Truest Ground of Joy")

Heaven is the habitation of the great God, where He dwells in His infinite glory!

Heaven is a freedom from all evil — both of sin and suffering.

There is no SIN there. Grace weakens sin — but it is glory which abolishes sin!

There is no AFFLICTION there. Sin and sorrow came in together — and they shall go out together. There the Shunamite's son no more complains of his aching head; nor Mephibosheth of his lame feet. There Job's blotches are perfectly cured; and Lazarus' sores are all dried up!

Heaven is the quintessence of all blessedness, the sum of all felicity. Reckon up all comforts and pleasures, and satisfactions, and delights, and happinesses — and put them all together; and then separate from them all finiteness and imperfection — that is Heaven!

All the objects of joy which are scattered among the creatures — are everlastingly heaped up in Heaven! Whatever it is that you delight in — it will be in Heaven!

Do you delight in wealth? There are "unsearchable riches in Heaven," Ephesians 3:8. "Unending riches," Proverbs 8:18.
— and therefore without bottom and without bounds.
Unending — and therefore without termination.

Do you delight in honor and dignity? In Heaven, the glory of the great God Himself shall be put upon you! "We know, when He shall appear, that we shall be like Him!" 1 John 3:2. "Such honor have all His saints!" Psalm 149:9

Is it pleasure you delight in? In Heaven "there are rivers of pleasures!" Psalm 36:8. "You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand!" Psalm 16:11

Do you delight in feasting? In Heaven there is both plenty and variety — fullness without excess: "the bread of life, the tree of life, the fountain of life!"

Do you delight in music? It is not fit that such a feast should be without music! In Heaven, the saints and angels are in one concord, "singing eternal hallelujahs to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever!"

Do you delight in magnificent residences? In Heaven is "a house not made with hands — whose builder and maker is God!" "The city was pure gold, as clear as glass. The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve gems. The twelve gates were made of pearls — each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass!" Revelation 21:18-21.

Thus you see, that Heaven is the sum of all good, and the quintessence of all felicity! "So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all who obey Him! Shout for joy, all whose hearts are pure!" Psalm 32:11

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King Alphonso's folly!

(Letters of John Newton)

It is reported of King Alphonso of Portugal, that he presumed to say that if God had consulted him at the creation about the dispositions and motions of the planets — he would have contrived them better than they are. I suppose the poor man took the schemes and dreams of the astronomers of his day to be an accurate representation of the solar system. It sounds, however, like a blasphemous speech in our ears.

We take it for granted that the Sun, the Moon, planets, and the stars are exactly where they should be — and move just as they ought. But if we are content that the Lord should manage the heavenly bodies without our assistance — we are ready enough to advise Him how He should dispose of our insignificant selves! We think we could point at twenty things in our situation which might be mended; and that we would serve Him much better than we do — if we were but at liberty to choose where and how we would be thus placed.

Thus we rightly censure
King Alphonso's folly — without being aware that the thoughts that we sometimes indulge, are no less vain and arrogant than his! We might with as much reason, offer to assist God in the government of the universe — as in the direction of our own paltry concerns!

"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!" Romans 8:28

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Samson's riddle unriddled!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward Samson. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. Some time later, he turned aside to look at the lion's carcass. In it was a swarm of bees and some honey, which he scooped out with his hands and ate as he went along." Judges 14

Conflicts come to us when we are least prepared for them. Samson was walking in the vineyards of Timnath, thinking of anything but lions, and "Suddenly," says the Scripture, "a young lion came roaring toward him!" Fresh and furious, a young lion is the worst kind of beast that a man can meet with. Let us expect, as followers of Christ, to meet with strong temptations, fierce persecutions, and severe trials, which will lead to stern conflicts.

What a type we have here of our Divine Lord and Master, Jesus, the conqueror of death and Hell. He has destroyed the lion that roared upon us and upon Him. To me, the comparison seems wonderfully apt and suggestive. I see our triumphant Lord laden with sweetness, holding it forth to all His brethren — that we may have our lives sweetened and our hearts filled with joy.

All this is clear to the eye of faith, which unriddles the riddle. Alas, when under deep depression, the mind forgets all this, and is only conscious of its unutterable misery — the man sees the lion, but not the honey in its carcass. But faith finds honey in the lion!


"This riddle may be an emblem of those sweet blessings of grace which come to the people of Christ through His having destroyed Satan the roaring lion, and all his works." (John Gill)

"This riddle may be viewed as referring to the blessed results of affliction to the Lord's children." (Arthur Pink)

"Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the lion that roared upon Samson. But if we overcome them, the next time we see them, we shall find a nest of honey within them!" (John Bunyan)


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By-and-by the old man died, and the widow was left alone!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

I well remember the tenants of a humble cottage in a village in one of the eastern counties. The old couple who dwelt there had once known better days. But they were not left altogether without provision. They had an only son, who had risen to a position of competency, and he never neglected his aged parents. Very liberally did he contribute to their support, and spared nothing that would add to their comfort.

By-and-by the old man died, and the widow was left alone. She had one earthly comfort: she was able to rely with confidence on the kindness and affection of her son. Though she had little means of her own, she never feared that she should lack anything so long as he lived. Shortly after her husband's death, her son wrote her a letter full of filial affection. He told her how deeply he felt for her, and then he promised that he would pay the rent of her cottage, and send her amply enough for the supply of all her needs. If ever she had any special need or difficulty, he assured her that if she would only write and tell him, he would do all in his power to assist her.

So the old lady lived upon her son, and was without anxiety. She had no care about the future. She had received many tokens of her son's affection, and knew that he loved her. She knew also that his means were sufficient, and that she could trust his promise. So she lived happily and peacefully, relying entirely upon the care which her son had for her.

The life of this aged woman seemed to me a sort of parable of the life which a Christian should lead. It seemed to me very clearly to illustrate the words of Paul: "The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."

The Christian, like this woman, has no resources in himself.
He has no stock of grace.
He has no strength to meet temptation.
He has no means of providing the supplies needful for the journey of life.
He is poor and needy, frail, weak, and helpless.
He has nothing to call his own, but sin and misery.

But the Christian has One upon whose faithful love he can ever depend. He can say in his heart, "Christ has given me a sure token of His love. He laid down His life for my sake, He gave Himself for me, and shed His precious blood to cleanse me from my guilt. He has brought me back after all my wanderings. He has taught me to love and serve Him. He has heard my prayers and helped me hitherto — and can I doubt that He will help me even to the end?"

The Christian knows that in Christ, there is abundance of all that he needs. This woman could rely upon her son's affection, and she knew also that he had the ability as well as the will to assist her. The Christian also is persuaded that in Christ are to be found inexhaustible supplies. He has unsearchable riches of mercy, grace, and consolation!

Reader, look unto Christ — and expect from Him all you need.

Look unto Him for wisdom, to guide and direct you in the difficulties that beset your path.

Look unto Him for righteousness, that, in spite of all your unworthiness and many sins, you may ever have boldness and confidence before God.

Look unto Him for the continual power and grace of His blessed Spirit, the Comforter. You need to mortify sin, and grow in holiness — and this you can only do as the Spirit empowers in you. You need to have a clearer view of Jesus' love, and an increase of faith day by day — and this, too, is given to you by His Spirit. It is the Spirit who testifies of Him, and who can perfect you in His likeness. And He has promised that the Spirit shall dwell with you and lead you into all truth.

Look unto Christ, to assist you and stand by you in the smallest and in the greatest matters. Everything in earth and in Heaven is in the hand of Christ. He can help us in matters that affect our present comfort. He can help us in the hour of death, when friends and kindred must bid us farewell.

The One in whom we trust, can never die. It is quite possible that the son might have died before the widow of whom I have been speaking — and then her prop and her stay would have been gone. But "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever." He was dead — yet He is alive for evermore.

Though all earthly friends depart, though we are left alone without a human comforter near — yet Christ abides for evermore. If we trust in Him, we can never be left desolate.

Strive thus to live by faith on Christ continually.

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An elastic promise!

(George Everard, "Help on the Way to the Better Land!" 1873)

Very rich and full is the promise, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

It has been spoken of as an elastic promise. The word "sufficient" may not sound very great, but it stretches according to a man's necessity.
A Christian's need may be great today — and the word "sufficient" reaches it.
It may be ten times as great tomorrow — but the word "sufficient" reaches it still.
The grace is still sufficient for the greater need — as for the lesser.

The promise shows also that not until we are weak — does the Lord bestow His strength. We may be too strong for the Lord to help us. Gideon's army must be brought almost to nothing, before the Lord will use it to overthrow the Midianites. And until we are brought low in our own thoughts, until the discipline employed has thoroughly emptied us of all high imaginings as to what we can do, or we can effect, or we can bear — we cannot be strong in the Lord.

"When I am weak," and not before, "then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10.
When I have learned experimentally . . .
  that I am a bruised reed,
  that I have in myself no power to endure affliction,
  that left to myself I shall assuredly rebel against the rod, and murmur against the gracious Hand that holds it
 — then the Lord draws near by the Spirit, and gives a joy and a peace that nothing can destroy!

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Trust in God, and do the right!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

"The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people, and took food and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God!" Nehemiah 5:15

Obey God at all hazards.
A Christian has no other alternative.
There is one plan to adopt — one safe course to follow. 
Set your mind against all wrong practices.
Whatever others may say or do, whatever reproach or trouble or loss it may bring to you — walk steadfastly along the highway of truth, justice, and equity. And as you endeavor to do so, be persuaded that God is on your side, that He will stand by you and befriend you, and that for any present sacrifices you may have to make, He will honor you.

It is the truest wisdom as well as your plain duty to please God rather than man, and in all things to keep the precepts of His Word.

Trust in God, and do the right!
Let this ever be the rule you follow.
It will save you from many a snare.
It will make your course plain and clear.

This was the principle that guided Nehemiah. He was a man of prayer, and trusted God in everything. Moreover, he stood out manfully and boldly against the evils of his day. He determined to act in everything as before God. Whatever evil others did, he acted in a different spirit. He said, "But I did not do so, because of the fear of God!"

The same principle guided the three Hebrew youths of whom we read in the book of Daniel. They trusted in God, and did the right. Though threatened with a cruel death, they would not flinch. "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king: O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up!" Daniel 3:16-18

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Their resources are very limited — His are infinite!

(Arthur Pink)

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children — then how much more shall your Father who is in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him?" Matthew 7:11

There is a double contrast here.
First, between an earthly parent and God.
Second, between their respective moral characters.

If an earthly parent does not allow his little ones to starve, but instead freely ministers to their needs — then certainly God will respond to the cries of His own children.
They were but the begetters of our bodies — He is the maker of our souls.
Their resources are very limited — His are infinite!

What abundant evidence God has given the Christian that He is his loving heavenly Father!
The sending of His Son,
the gift of His Spirit,
the bestowal of eternal life,
His erection of the throne of grace,
the innumerable promises He has made —
all exclude the idea that He will turn a deaf ear unto their requests.

But more, our parents were "evil" — whereas God is essentially good. The principal emphasis lies there. If  those who by nature are corrupt and filled with selfishness could find in their hearts to bestow needful things on their offspring — then how safely may He who has nothing in Him to check His benignity and bounty be relied upon. He is an ocean of all blessedness, which is ever seeking an outlet to communicate itself to those whom He has loved, chosen, and made His sons and daughters!

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The unseen Friend!

(George Everard, "Christian Living!" 1881)

"The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good!" Proverbs 15:3

"And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age!" Matthew 28:20

Try constantly to realize the nearness and the presence of your Lord. There is always someone in the room with you. The unseen Friend, the Lord Jesus, who has loved you with an everlasting love, who gave Himself to die for your sake — He is most truly, though invisibly, present. He is near you in loving-kindness, ready to help you and comfort you at all times. He sees and hears all — therefore cherish continually the sense of His presence. Believe that He is by your very side.

A man who sincerely believes the omnipresence of God, cannot be indifferent to sin. To realize that the moral Governor of the universe is ever near, in all His holiness and power, and as much present as if He were nowhere else, must awaken solicitude.

To the soul, reconciled to God, the doctrine is full of consolation. In every place, in every condition, to have with us an almighty Friend, is a source of unspeakable comfort and joy. We need not fear, though we pass through fire or flood, if God is with us. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, we may fear no evil. In every circumstance and trial, it conduces to holiness, to know that God is present.

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
 I have called you by name; you are Mine!
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
 When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
 When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up. 
 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!"
Isaiah 43:1-3

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The universal principle!

(George Everard, "The Right Principle!" 1866)

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do — do it all for the glory of God!" 1 Corinthians 10:31

This same principle is applicable in all common actions and every day affairs. No single moment of our lives, no single action — ought to be taken outside of the sphere of this rule.
Our rising up and lying down,
the disposal of our time,
the spending of our money,
our social gatherings,
our conversations,
our recreations,
the way of conducting the affairs of our household,
the books we read,
buying and selling,
business transactions of various kinds —
all these, and a multitude of other suchlike matters, are all to be ordered under the daily guidance of this same principle. We are to do all to glorify Him who is . . .
  our Creator,
  our Savior
  our Preserver,
  our most loving Father.

Reader, beware of neglecting to exercise this universal principle in little things. Great occasions for serving God occur but seldom; lesser ones arise every moment. Little things are not to be despised. "He who despises little things, shall fall little by little." Little omissions of duty, little acts of disobedience, as they may seem to us — may prove a great hindrance along our path. A few grains of dust, or a small insect in the eye, will often cause great pain and annoyance. A little stone in a horse's foot will make it stumble again and again.

The Christian will find much the same thing from the indulgence of apparently trivial sins. They will . . .
  harass the mind,
  destroy the peace and comfort which he might enjoy,
  prove a stumbling-block to him as he endeavors to run the heavenly race.

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These church going atheists!

(Frank Hall)

"The fool says in his heart: There is no God!" Psalm 14:1

To deny the existence of God is to be an atheist — and all atheists are silly fools. However, those who profess to be atheists, and live according to their profession, are more honorable fools than the millions of painted hypocrites who profess faith in Christ and yet live like infidels! At least professing atheists are consistent fools! Atheists say that there is no God, and being true to their profession, they live as if there were no God. But there are untold multitudes of church goers who, in their pretentious religiosity, denounce atheism as an abomination — and yet they live just like atheists! These church going atheists are pathetic because they lack the honesty and courage to speak what they say with their lives and in their hearts every single day — that there is no God!

Men and women who say that they believe in God, and yet live like Hell, are atheists at heart — and that makes them the most foolish of all fools!
"I'm a drunk, but I believe in God.
 I'm a profane worldling, but I believe in God.
 I'm a vile, filthy fornicator, but I believe in God.
 I live like Hell, but I'm going to Heaven.
 I don't worship God, but I believe in God.
 I don't read the Bible or practice its teachings, but I love the God who wrote it."

Such stupid gibberish betrays the atheism that is bound up in the hearts of religious hypocrites around the world! If you want to know what someone believes, look past what they say, and just consider how they live. All who say that there is a God in the heavens, and yet refuse to honor God's Son, are nothing more than atheists masquerading as Christians.

I wonder, what does your life say? Does it prove your profession to be true — or blast it to pieces?

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To walk with God, is to live ever as in His presence!

(George Everard, "Daily Walking!" 1866)

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account!" Hebrews 4:13

"The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good!" Proverbs 15:3

To walk with God, is to live ever as in His presence! To realize His presence, to abide continually under His eye, to recognize our Father as close by our side — is the secret of much peace. We must ever regard Him, not as if He were far away in some inaccessible abode — but nearer to us than our nearest friend. In our chamber, by the wayside, at our work, in our recreation, when mingling with others, or all alone — we must see One whom the world sees not, we must hear a voice that the world hears not.

In the life of the sweet Psalmist of Israel, the same truth was ever the joy of his heart. As he lay down to rest, it was his joy to know that the sleepless Guardian of His people was by him: "I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, for You O Lord alone make me to dwell in safety." As he arose, he still rejoiced in the almighty Friend who was ever near him: "When I awake, I am still with You." Surrounded by malicious foes, it is still his confidence, "You are near, O Lord." Under all the vicissitudes of his eventful life, the nearness of God was the rock on which he reposed: "I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved."

Whether beneath the eye of man or not, let all things be done under the eye of Him to whom . . . .
  all hearts are open,
  all desires known, and
  from whom no secrets are hidden!

A few plain principles have been given to assist us in carrying this out in daily practice:

Say nothing you would not like God to hear.

Do nothing you would not like God to see.

Write nothing you would not like God to read.

Go to no place where you would not like God to find you.

Read no book of which you would not like God to say, "Show it to Me."

Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like God to say, "What are You doing?"

To consciously live in God's presence, will aid us in cultivating thorough genuine piety and godly character.

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A marvelous combination of all that is lovely and beautiful!

(George Everard, "Counsels to Christians on the Details of Every-day Life!" 1866)

"We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

In Christ is a marvelous combination of all that is lovely and beautiful. Whatever virtue or grace that was ever witnessed in another — was fully, preeminently in Him.
The faith of Abraham,
the godly fear of Isaac,
the meekness of Moses,
the patience of Job,
the holiness of Isaiah,
the devout prayerfulness of David,
the integrity of Daniel,
the sincerity of Nathanael,
the fervency of Peter,
the zeal of Paul,
the tenderness of John —
all these, in their brightest colors, shone forth in Him, who was full of grace and truth.
"Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:16

In our measure, let us follow Christ in this beautiful harmony of Christian graces. Let no part of His character be left out of sight. This coat of many colors which was worn by our Joseph — may be also upon us His brethren. "Leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A story is told of an old man who lived long ago!

(George Everard, "Daily Warfare!" 1866)

A story is told of an old man who lived long ago. A friend asked him the cause of his struggles, since in the evening he so often had great weariness. "Alas," answered he, "I have so much to do every day; I have . . .
  two falcons to tame,
  two hares to keep from running away,
  two hawks to manage,
  a serpent to confine,
  a lion to chain, and
  a sick man to tend and wait upon."

"Why, this is only folly," said the friend, "no man has all these things to do at once."

"Yet indeed," he answered, "it is with me just as I have said.

The two falcons are my two eyes, which I must diligently guard, lest something should please them which may be hurtful to my soul.

The two hares are my feet, which I must hold back, lest they should run after evil objects, and walk in the ways of sin.

The two hawks are my two hands, which I must train and keep to work, in order that I may be able to provide for myself and for my brethren who are in need.

The serpent is my tongue, which I must always keep in with a bridle, lest it should speak anything unfitting.

The lion is my heart, with which I have to maintain a continual fight, in order that vanity and pride may not fill it, but that the grace of God may dwell and work there.

The sick man is my own body, which is ever needing my watchfulness and care. All this daily wears out my strength!"

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him!" James 1:12 

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A marvelous invention!

(George Everard, "Daily Prayer!" 1866)

"And it shall be that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65:24

A marvelous invention
is at work, by which, with great rapidity, messages can be conveyed from city to city, and from country to country. Even beneath the waves of the wide ocean, the cable is laid down by which one continent is linked to another, and by which words, in a few minutes, can be spoken to a friend on a distant shore.

Just so, true prayer links together earth and Heaven, and is more speedy than any telegraph (or phone — or computer! Editor). One moment it arises from a believer's heart — the very same moment it reaches the ears of the Lord Almighty!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The great balm of human woes!

(George Everard, "Daily Prayer" 1866)

"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray!" James 5:13

Prayer is the great balm of human woes! Go from house to house through a country village, or through a single street in a large town — and what a sad catalogue of sorrows you may reckon up!

In one, there is a dying parent — or a child fast sinking into the grave.

In another, there is dire and distressing poverty.

In a third, perhaps, there is a heart bleeding through some bitter disappointment, or the unfeeling conduct of a beloved one.

In a fourth, there is some secret sorrow which may not be told.

In every case, through prayer, relief may be found. By it the sorrowful, afflicted one comes near to a most pitiful Father, and His loving care becomes a sure rest to the weary spirit.

The excellencies of prayer may be summed up in the words of John Chrysostom:
"Prayer, in a spiritual sense, is . . .
  a haven to the shipwrecked man,
  an anchor to those who are sinking in the waves,
  a staff to the limbs that totter,
  a mine of jewels to the poor,
  a healer of diseases, and a guardian of health.
Prayer at once secures the continuance of our blessings, and dissipates the cloud of our calamities. O blessed prayer! You are . . .
  the unwearied conqueror of human woes,
  the firm foundation of human happiness,
  the source of ever-enduring joy,
  the mother of all comfort.
The man who can pray truly, though languishing in extreme indigence, is richer than all beside. While the wretch who never bowed the knee, though proudly seated as monarch of all nations, is of all men, most destitute!"

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!" Hebrews 4:16

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Turn away from the lovely enchantress!

(J.A. James, "Faith's Victory over the World" 1852)

"Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you — for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world." 1 John 2:15-16

Such is the world that assails the Christian, and which he must overcome — or perish eternally! "For everyone born of God overcomes the world." 1 John 5:4. The whole current of Scripture commands runs against the love of the world. In every possible form, it is forbidden.

Worldliness is the most thronged road to everlasting ruin!

Worldliness does not merely consist in an intense love of money, and an excessive eagerness to be rich — but in a supreme regard to that which is visible and temporal, whether these relate to the quiet scenes of domestic comfort, or to those elegancies, splendors, and accumulations of wealth, which lead a man to seek his highest bliss in these!

The world is a foe which attacks us in various places!
In the shop — by all the temptations incident to trade and wealth.
In the halls of politics and public business — by all the enticements to pride and ambition.
In the places of amusement — by all the soft blandishments of pleasure.
In the haunts of vice — by all the gratifications of the flesh.
In the walks of science and literature — by all the delights of intellectual gratification.
In the social circle — by all the enjoyments of friendship.
Oh, how many are the scenes where the world meets man and subdues him!

Sometimes the world approaches the believer with a smiling face, making promises and offering caresses, like the serpent to our first mother in the garden; or like Satan to our Lord when he said, "All these things will I give you — if you will fall down and worship me!" How difficult is it on such occasions to turn away from the lovely enchantress, to keep the eye steadily fixed on heavenly glories — and instead of greedily quaffing the cup of poisoned sweets, to dash it to the ground!

If immorality slays its thousands — the world slays its tens of thousands! 

"Supreme love of the world" will as certainly lead its possessor to the bottomless pit — as the love of open vice!

Worldliness, I repeat, and repeat with emphasis, is . . .
  the smoothest,
  the most polished,
  the most fashionable,
  the most respectable
path to the bottomless pit!
The Christian is aware of his danger from the strength, subtlety, and ever-present activity of this enemy of his soul.

Victory over the world is subordination . . .
  of the creature to the Creator;
  of earth to heaven;
  of temporal blessings to spiritual ones;
  of time to eternity.

Victory over the world is the formation of an unearthly, spiritual, divine, and heavenly mind-set and character!

"It was the sight of Thy dear cross,
 First weaned my soul from earthly things;
 And taught me to esteem as dross,
 The mirth of fools and pomp of kings!"

How all the splendor of earthly things pales before that infinitely more resplendent object — Jesus!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The children of godly parents go to church every day!

(George Everard, "A Blessing in the Family!" 1866)

"Amaziah did what was right in the eyes of the LORD. In everything he followed the example of his father Joash." 2 Kings 14:3

The life of a godly parent is a daily sermon.

It has been said, "The children of godly parents go to church every day!"

Never doubt for a moment, that genuine piety and eminent holiness are the first requisites for all parents. No parent can expect to influence their children for good, without themselves walking wisely and worthily in the narrow path of holiness.

Here may be seen the reason that sound faithful teaching in Sunday schools, has comparatively effected so little good. It is not the fault of the church — but in the home's pernicious influence! The evil that is witnessed at home, more than counteracts the lessons learned at church!

It is the will of God that parents should exercise control over their children. They must command that which is right — and they must forbid that which is wrong. It was spoken to the praise of Abraham, that God knew that he would command his children after him to keep the way of the Lord. It was the overthrow of the house of Eli, that his sons made themselves vile — and he did not restrain them.

In Scripture children are compared to arrows — but all depends upon the direction given to the arrow by the hand that guides it.

They are compared to vine branches — but an unpruned vine will bear no fruit worth gathering. So it is written, "A child left to himself brings his mother to shame!"

In training their children, let parents begin early. Long before a child is two years old, it will know the meaning of an emphatic "No." Even at that tender age, some measure of discipline may begin.

Yield not to the self-will or pettishness of a child. What you once say — let it be law. Without some special cause — do not turn from it. Especially punish lying and disobedience — they are the root of all that is evil.

Yet with firmness, be very gentle
. Harshness is a cold wind, that nips in the bud the beginnings of better things in the heart. Byron's character was ruined by the cruelty of a harsh and unfeeling mother.

Win your children by love. Draw, rather than drive.

Make home the happiest place in the world to them.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The Christliest life!

(J.R. Miller, "Christian Essentials")

"Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thanksgiving should never be lacking in a Christian life. It is not enough to observe one day in the year for 'Thanksgiving' although that is a beautiful thing to do. Nor is it enough to put a sentence of thanksgiving into our daily prayers, although that, also, is proper.

It is the grateful spirit which pleases God, the spirit that is always full of praise. There should be a note of thanksgiving running through all our life.

Too many of us go to God only with . . .
  our requests,
  our burdens,
  our worries,
  our troubles
 — while we but rarely go to Him with any word of thanks.

We are not to be thankful only for the pleasant and agreeable things that come into our days — we are to be thankful, too, for the things that appear to us to be adversities. "Give thanks in everything." That means . . .
  in the sad days — as well as in the glad days,
  when clouds are in the sky — as well as when the sunshine is pouring everywhere.

It is said here that this is the will of God for us. The Christliest life is the one that is always keyed to the note of praise and thanksgiving.

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful!" Hebrews 12:28

"Overflowing with thankfulness!" Colossians 2:7

"At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father!" Ephesians 5:20 

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Thanksgiving is never out of season!

(James Smith)

"In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus!" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Everything we enjoy, should be viewed as coming from the gracious and liberal hand of our sovereign God.

All was forfeited by our sin.

All that we receive is by His grace.

The providence that supplies us — is the wisdom, benevolence, and power of God in operation for us — as expressive of His infinite love and unmerited grace!

Our talents to provide supplies,
our opportunities to obtain them,
and our abilities to enjoy them,
 — are alike from the Lord.

Every mercy increases our obligation — and deepens our debt to free grace!

Thanksgiving is never out of season, for we have always much to be grateful for.

We must view all things as . . .
  arranged by His wisdom,
  dependent on His will,
  sanctified by His blessing,
  according with His promises,
  and flowing from His love!

"In everything give thanks!" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

   ~  ~  ~  ~

O, give thanks to the Lord!

(James Smith, "Sunny Subjects for All Seasons" 1858)

"O, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His mercy endures forever!" 1 Chronicles 16:34

O, give thanks to the Lord, Christian, for He has not dealt with you after your sins, nor rewarded you according to your iniquities! He has . . .
  pardoned your sins,
  justified your soul,
  renewed your nature, and
  given you a title to everlasting life!

He has thus . . .
  prevented your eternal ruin,
  borne with your faults and follies,
  supplied all your needs,
  guided your steps, and
  promised to conduct you to glory!
His mercy has been ever great toward you!

"O, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His mercy endures forever!"

   ~  ~  ~  ~

In everything give thanks!

(Thomas Watson, "All Things for Good")

"We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

See what cause the saints have to be frequent in the work of thanksgiving! In this, Christians are defective; though they are much in supplication — yet they are little in thanksgiving. The apostle says, "In everything give thanks!" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Why so? Because God makes everything work together for our good. We thank the physician, though he gives us a bitter medicine which makes us nauseated — because it is to make us well. We thank any man who does us a good turn; and shall we not be thankful to God — who makes everything work for good to us?

God loves a thankful Christian! Job thanked God when He took all away: "The Lord has taken away — blessed be the name of the Lord!" (Job 1:21). Many will thank God when He gives; Job thanks Him when He takes away, because he knew that God would work good out of it.

We read of saints with harps in their hands — an emblem of praise (Revelation 14:2). Yet we meet many Christians who have tears in their eyes, and complaints in their mouths! But there are few with their harps in their hands — who praise God in affliction.

To be thankful in affliction — is a work peculiar to a saint.
Every bird can sing in spring — but few birds will sing in the dead of winter!
Everyone, almost, can be thankful in prosperity — but a true saint can be thankful in adversity!

Well may we, in the worst that befalls us — have a psalm of thankfulness, because God works all things for our good. Oh, be much in giving thanks to God!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

O take my all, this worthless heart, and make it wholly Thine!

And did the Holy and the Just,
The Sovereign of the skies,
Stoop down to wretchedness and dust,
That guilty worms might rise?

Yes, the Redeemer left His throne,
His radiant throne on high,
(Surprising mercy! love unknown!)
To suffer, bleed, and die!

He took the dying traitor's place,
And suffered in his stead;
For man (O miracle of grace!)
For man the Savior bled!

Dear Lord, what heavenly wonders dwell
In Your atoning blood!
By this are sinners snatched from Hell,
And rebels brought to God!

What glad return can I impart
For favors so divine?
O take my all, this worthless heart,
And make it wholly Thine!
   Anne Steele, 1859

"Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever!" 1 Chronicles 16:34

"Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men." Psalm 107:8

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise.
 Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
 For the LORD is good and His love endures forever;
 His faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:4-5

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The standard which the Apostle gives!

(George Everard, "All for Christ!" 1882)

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks unto God the Father by Him." Colossians 3:17

"Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do — do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Whatever is done, even in the commonest matters of life, the food we eat, our conduct at the breakfast table or the dinner table — is to be done for the glory of the Father and the Son.

These precepts take in the whole field of a Christian's life and duty.
They cover every inch of ground.
They distinctly bear on every act and word and thought, and on every moment of our time.
They permit no exceptions.
From our first waking thought in the morning — to the last breath we draw before we sleep at night; from the first day of January — to the last day of December, and that of every year of our lives, until our course is run — all is to be yielded, gladly and willingly, to the service of our Redeemer-King!

No aim can be too exalted for one who has been purchased by the blood of Christ, and who has yielded himself as a living sacrifice to the Father in Heaven.

We dare not to please man, or lower the standard, or lessen the responsibility which is laid upon us. We dare not, and we must not, narrow the limit of our service, or the extent of our obedience.

The standard which the Apostle gives, reaches to every sphere and concerns every part of life. It touches the hidden world of the heart, and claims a control over every thought and motive and purpose. It comes to the little world of the family circle, and is our guide as to all we should speak and do amidst children or others about us. It follows us into the social world of friends and acquaintances, and is to control . . .
  our pleasures and recreations,
  the amusements we frequent,
  the books we read, and
  the company we choose.
All of this is taken into account by Him who searches the heart and knows all our ways.

"All for Christ!" is our motto!

In fact, there is no part of our life which can be exempted from this Christian principle — business and recreation, social fellowship, the use of our money and our time — all we are, all we have, all we do or say must be for Christ, if we would be true to Him. We must never mark out one acre, or one square yard, or one inch of our life, and say in our heart, "Christ has nothing to do with this!" If we willfully take one single moment of our lives, or one single act, or word, or thought out of the direct control of the fear and love of God — that moment, or act, or word, or thought is one of sin.

We can only enjoy the comfort and peace which Christ gives, in proportion as we walk as He directs. If we desire to spend a happy, useful life, if we desire to meet the trials and the cares it may bring in quiet confidence and hope — we must not only rely upon the Savior's all-sufficient grace, but carefully obey the precepts which He has given us.

Doing this, we need never be afraid. Dark clouds may overshadow our path, disease and death may visit our homes, losses and bad debts and hard times and multiplied troubles may come upon us — but doing God's will, trusting in His never-failing Providence, relying upon His free grace and mercy in Christ, we are assured that He is with us, and will never fail us.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

An ignorant, profane, and soul-flattering clergy!

Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

"Be an example to all believers . . .
  in what you teach,
  in the way you live,
  in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

A preacher's life should be a commentary upon his doctrine;
his practice should be the counterpart of his sermons. 

Heavenly doctrines should always be adorned with a heavenly life.

An ignorant, profane, and soul-flattering clergy, are the greatest pest, plague, affliction and judgment, which can befall a people! There is no rank nor order of men on earth, who have so enriched Hell, who have been such benefactors to Hell — as the ignorant and profane clergy! How many are there in these days, who are more ready and willing to make a sacrifice of the gospel . . .
  for profit sake,
  and preferment sake,
  and prestige sake,
  and lust's sake!

Where there is no serious, sincere, faithful, and powerful preaching — there the people grow abominably wicked, and will certainly perish and go tumbling to Hell.

Pastors! Either preach as the ministers of Jesus Christ ought to preach . . .
and live as the ministers of Jesus Christ ought to live . . .
 — or else lay down your names of being the ministers of Jesus Christ. Do not any longer put a cheat upon yourselves, nor upon the people — by making them believe that you are ministers of Jesus Christ, when you have . . .
  nothing of the spirit of Christ,
  nor of the anointings of Christ,
  nor of the grace of Christ,
  nor of the life of Christ in you.

"Watch your life and doctrine closely." 1 Timothy 4:16

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The Book of God!

(author unknown)

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness — that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

This book contains:
  the mind of God,
  the state of man,
  the way of salvation,
  the doom of lost sinners, and
  the happiness of believers.

Its doctrine is holy,
its precepts are binding,
its histories are true, and
its decisions are immutable.

It contains . . .
  light to direct you,
  food to support you, and
  comfort to cheer you.

This book is . . .
  the traveler's map,
  the pilgrim's staff,
  the pilot's compass,
  the soldier's sword, and
  the Christian's charter.

Here Heaven is open — and the gates of Hell are disclosed.

Christ is the grand subject,
our good is its design, and
the glory of God is its end.

This book should . . .
  fill the memory,
  rule the heart,
  and guide the feet.

It is . . .
  a mine of wealth,
  health to the soul,
  and a river of pleasure.

It . . .
  involves the highest responsibility,
  will reward the greatest labor, and
  condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

Read it to be wise,
believe it to be safe,
and practice it to be holy.

Read it . . .
  and prayerfully.

This Book — the Book of Books, the Book of God, the Bible — is the revelation of God to man!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The only way to obtain relief under the manifold cares that often encompass our path!

(George Everard, "The Four ALLS!" 1882)

"Casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." 1 Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible)

The remembrance of this word of Peter may help you to bring God into everything — He can manage and undertake for you far better than you can for yourself. There is . . .
  no load of anxiety for yourself or others,
  no strait in which you can be placed,
  no perplexities that can harass and bewilder you —
but the Lord bids you to cast it upon Him and leave it trustfully in His hands.

The only way to obtain relief under the manifold cares that often encompass our path, is to cast them all on God. We must bring them to our Father — and leave them with Him! We must tell them out in the ear of our great High Priest — and have confidence enough in Him to know that He will not neglect that which we commit to Him.

"Casting all your cares upon Him, for HE CARES FOR YOU." Yes, this is our consolation. Christ is the Friend who . . .
  cares for us,
  thinks upon us,
  hears every sigh and groan,
  marks every tear, and
  knows every sorrow that weighs upon the mind.

Ah, it is a thought to cheer a believer at all times — what a Friend have I in Christ! He is the Friend always near. Though banished far from home and kindred, Christ is always by my side. I cannot see Him, but I know that He is here. He has promised me, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," and He will be as good as His Word.

Then I may add another thought: Christ is kinder than the kindest. Could I gather together all the rays of kindness, pity, tender love, that have ever glowed in the heart . . .
  of a mother toward her child,
  of a bridegroom toward the bride,
  of a brother to brother,
  of a friend to friend —
all combined would be but as one tiny sunbeam, compared to that wondrous love which is in the heart of Christ for His redeemed people!

Nor is it less comforting for me, to remember that He who cares for me is changeless in His faithfulness and love.

Oh, the marvelous sympathy, gentleness, loving-kindness which Christ daily shows me, and which I know will never cease!

Hence it is a most reasonable thing for me to cast all my cares on Him. His presence, His kindness, His effectual power, His unswerving faithfulness — warrant me in leaving all in His hand. Oh, that I may ever have grace to flee to this refuge and hiding-place! Oh, that every burden, every fear, every foreboding, every jot and tittle of my daily anxieties, may all be entrusted to His loving hand!