by James Smith, 1860
To every Christian, there is a last enemy, a last conflict, and a last pain — and this prospect cheers us under our trials, and troubles, and temptations. David outlived all his foes, and he sang one of his sweetest songs unto the Lord, in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul; and he said, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer! My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior — from violent men you save me!" 2 Samuel 22:2-3.
What a precious representation of what the Lord is to his people,
and what he does for them. It is not what we are, or where we are —
but what the Lord is to us — which makes us safe and happy. God, as revealed
in the old covenant, was David's Savior, and God as revealed in the new
covenant — as revealed in Jesus — is ours: and a precious Savior, he is too.
My soul, meditate for a few moments on what Jesus is to you, and what
Jesus has done for you. Look back and glance at . . .
the circumstances in which he found you,
the deliverance which he wrought for you,
and how he became yours.
1. The circumstances in which Jesus found you. Jesus found me out of the way. God by his law had marked out a way in which his creatures should walk, its character was holiness, and its end His glory. But all we like sheep had gone astray, we had turned every one to his own way. We were in the path of death and destruction, and in the way to hell.
We were not only out of the way — but we were enslaved. We were slaves of sin, the drudges of the world, and were led captive by the Devil at his will.
We were diseased — as well as enslaved. We were leprous from head to foot. We had the plague of the heart. The whole head was sick, and the whole heart was faint.
We were imprisoned, as well as diseased. Shut up in unbelief and sin. Our cell was cold and damp, dark and narrow — and our imprisonment was not merely for a few years, it was forever.
We were dead, though still conscious, and to some things alive. Dead in our sins. Dead in trespasses and sins. For us, there was no help found on earth, nor hope out of heaven.
In this state we were — and we loved it well. At times we dreaded the
future — but we neither desired, nor sought deliverance. Left to ourselves .
we would have wandered on in darkness, until we had perished in our sins;
we would have continued the slaves of sin and Satan forever;
our disease would have preyed upon our vitals to all eternity;
our prison walls would have enclosed us still;
we would have remained dead while we lived;
we would have suffered all the pangs of damnation forever!
2. The deliverance which Jesus wrought for you. But Jesus saved me!
He saved me from the roaring lion, who goes about seeking to
He saved me from my raging lusts, so that sin shall not have dominion over me!
He saved me from righteous wrath, and I, being justified by His blood, shall be saved from wrath through Him!
He saved me from death, the 'king of terrors,' depriving the monster of his sting, and giving me the victory over him!
He has also saved me from the flaming furnace of Hell--from that lake of fire, and those floods of flame in which the lost must welter forever!
Jesus saved me by his mercy, the depth of mercy that was in his heart — by his merit, the infinite merit found in his obedience and blood — by his might, the omnipotent power of his arm — by his intercession, his living and pleading my cause with his Father in heaven — by his sentence, your sins are forgiven you, go in peace. O you ever blessed Jesus, you are My Savior, you have saved me, you do daily save me, and you -will save me with an everlasting salvation!
3. How Jesus became yours. Jesus became mine by believing on him. He is presented to sinners as his Father's free gift; his Holy Spirit taught me my need of him, led me to him, and enabled me to commit my soul unto him. The moment I exercised confidence in him, I felt my soul flow out in love to him. Then I was enabled to place my entire dependence on him, and felt that I had a rock beneath me, a stronghold around me, and a glorious heaven above waiting to receive me. Then I had fellowship with him, for he opened his heart to me, and I opened my heart to him. He said "You are Mine!" — and I replied, "You are mine!" I told him of my guilt, and he pointed me to his blood — I told him of my fears, and he assured me of his love — I told him of my foes, and he said, "My grace is sufficient for you." Then I bowed before him and asked, "Lord, what will you have me do?" For I longed to obey him, and serve him, and glorify him. Then I enjoyed the Spirit's witness — he shone upon the Scriptures, and I saw my interest in it — he brought home the promises, and I tasted their sweetness and felt their power — he melted my heart, breathed sweet fragrance over it, shed abroad the love of God in it, and looking at Jesus with confidence I could say, "My beloved is mine — and I am His!"
See then the object of my joy, it is Jesus. Jesus in his glorious person — Jesus in his precious blood — Jesus in his magnificent righteousness — Jesus in his infinite grace. It is not what I am — but what Jesus is. It is not what I do — but what Jesus has done. It is not what I feel — but what Jesus is to me.
See too the subject of my songs, if I sing — I will sing of Jesus; if I sing — I will sing to Jesus. They sing sweetly of Jesus in heaven, and we will sing of Jesus on earth.
See also the cause of my happiness. I have a Savior!
A Savior, who is divine.
A Savior, who has ever loved me.
A Savior who lived, labored, and died for me.
A Savior, who pleads for me before the throne of his Father.
A Savior, who is in his Father's house, preparing a place for me.
A Savior, who will soon come and receive me to himself, that so I may be
forever with him! Yes, I have a Savior — one who . . .
watches over me,
walks through the wilderness with me,
and rejoices to do me good.
Reader, have you a Savior? Can you use these two precious words, "My Savior?" Have you realized that you were lost? Have you fled to his cross? Have you fallen into his arms? Have you been cleansed by his blood, and clothed in his righteousness? Do you possess his Spirit? Make sure work, O make sure work, for eternity is just at hand. Death is coming, judgment follows — and then an eternity of happiness or woe! Your eternal all depends on having Jesus for your Savior! No one can save you but Jesus. No one can support you in sickness, comfort you in death, or give you victory over the grave — but Jesus. O make sure then of your saving interest in Jesus! Delay not, rest not, until with well-founded confidence you can say of God's Son, "He is my Savior!"
You glittering toys of earth — adieu!
A nobler choice is mine;
A real prize attracts my view,
A treasure all divine!
Begone, unworthy of my cares,
You specious baits of sense;
Inestimable worth appears —
The Pearl of price immense!
Jesus, to multitudes unknown —
O name divinely sweet!
Jesus, in you, in you alone,
Wealth, honor, pleasure meet!
Should both the Indies, at my call,
Their boasted stores resign;
With joy I would renounce them all,
For leave to call You mine!
Should earth's vain treasures all depart —
Of this dear gift possessed,
I'd clasp it to my joyful heart,
And be forever blessed.
Dear sovereign of my soul's desires,
Your love is bliss divine;
Accept the wish that love inspires,
And bid me call You mine!