January 28: Our God Of All Comfort

The God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation. 2 Cor. 1:3- 4.

GOD’S family is a sorrowing family, “I have chosen you,” He says, “in the furnace of affliction.” “I will leave in the midst of you a poor and an afflicted people.” The history of the Church finds its fittest emblem in the burning yet unconsumed bush which Moses saw. Man is “born to sorrows;” but the believer is “appointed thereunto.” It would seem to be a condition inseparable from his high calling. If he is a “chosen vessel,” it is, as we have just seen, “in the furnace of affliction.”

If he is an adopted child, “chastening” is the mark. If he is journeying to the heavenly kingdom, his path lies through “much tribulation.” If he is a follower of Jesus, it is to “go unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” But, if his sufferings abound, much more so do his consolations. To be comforted by God may well reconcile us to any sorrow with which it may please our heavenly Father to invest us.

God comforts His sorrowful ones with the characteristic love of a mother. See the tenderness with which that mother alleviates the suffering and soothes the sorrow of her mourning one. So does God comfort His mourners. Oh, there is a tenderness and a delicacy of feeling in God’s comforts which distances all expression. There is no harsh reproof—no unkind upbraiding—no unveiling of the circumstances of our calamity to the curious and unfeeling eye—no artless exposure of our case to an ungodly and censorious world; but with all the tender feeling of a mother, God, even our Father, comforts the sorrowful ones of His people. He comforts in all the varied and solitary griefs of their hearts.

God meets our case in every sorrow. To Him, in prayer, we may uncover our entire hearts; to His confidence we may entrust our profoundest secrets; upon His love repose our most delicate sorrows; to His ear confess our deepest departures; before His eye spread out our greatest sins. Go, then, and breathe your sorrows into God’s heart, and He will comfort you. Blessed sorrow! if in the time of your bereavement, your grief, and your solitude, you are led to Jesus, making Him your Savior, your Friend, your Counselor, and your Shield.

Blessed loss! if it be compensated by a knowledge of God, if you find in Him a Father now, to whom you will transfer your ardent affections—upon whom you will repose your bleeding heart. But let your heart be true with Him. Love Him, obey Him, confide in Him, serve Him, live for Him; and in all the unknown, untrodden, unveiled future of your history, a voice shall gently whisper in your ear—”As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you.”

January 7: A Broken And Contrite Heart

The Lord is near unto those who are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18

A broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17

THERE are those by whom a broken heart is despised. Satan despises it—though he trembles at it. The world despises it—though it stands in awe of it. The Pharisee despises it—though he attempts its counterfeit. But there is one who despises it not. “You will not despise it,” exclaims the penitent child, with his eye upon the loving heart of his God and Father.

But why does God not only not despise it, but delights in and accepts it? Because He sees in it a holy and a fragrant sacrifice. It is a sacrifice, because it is offered to God, and not to man. It is an oblation laid upon His altar. Moses never presented such an oblation—Aaron never offered such a sacrifice in all the gifts which he offered, in all the victims which he slew. And while some have cast their rich and splendid gifts into the treasury, or have laid them ostentatiously upon the altar of Christian benevolence, God has stood by the spot to which some poor penitent has brought his broken heart for sin, the incense of which has gone up before Him as a most precious and fragrant sacrifice.

Upon that oblation, upon that gift, His eye has been fixed, as if one object, and one only, had arrested and absorbed His gaze—it was a poor broken heart that lay bleeding and quivering upon His altar. It is a sacrifice, too, offered upon the basis of the atoning sacrifice of His dear Son—the only sacrifice that satisfies Divine justice—and this makes it precious to God. So infinitely glorious is the atonement of Jesus, so divine, so complete, and so honoring to every claim of His moral government, that He accepts each sacrifice of prayer, of praise, of penitence, and of personal consecration, laid in faith by the side and upon that one infinite sacrifice for sin.

He recognizes in it, too, the work of His own Spirit. When the Spirit of God moved upon the face of unformed nature, and a new world sprang into life, light, and beauty, He pronounced it very good. But what must be His estimate of that new creation which His Spirit has wrought in the soul, whose moral chaos He has reduced to life, light, and order!

But in what way does God evidence His satisfaction with, and His delight in, the broken and contrite heart? We answer—first by the manifestation of His power in healing it. “He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek: He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.”

Never did a physician more delight to display his skill, or exercise the benevolent feelings of his nature in the alleviation of suffering, than does Jesus in His work of binding up and healing the heart broken for sin, by speaking a sense of pardon, and applying to it the balsam of His own most precious blood.

But our Lord not only heals the contrite heart, but, as if heaven had not sufficient attraction as His dwelling-place, He comes down to earth, and makes that heart His abode. “Thus says the high and lofty One, that inhabits Eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” What, dear, humble penitent, could give you such a view of the interest which Christ takes in your case—the delight with which He contemplates your contrition, and the welcome and the blessing which He is prepared to bestow upon you, on your casting yourself down at His feet, as this fact, that He waits to make that sorrow-stricken heart of yours His chief and loved abode—reviving it, healing it, and enshrining Himself forever within its renewed and sanctified affections.

January 6: Zion’s Mourners

Lo, he goes by me, and I see him not: he passes on also, but I perceive him not. Behold, he takes away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What do you? Job 9:11-12

AND is this the way of the Lord with you, my beloved? Are you bewildered at the mazes through which you are threading your steps; at the involved circumstances of your present history? Deem yourself not alone in this.

No mystery has lighted upon your path but what is common to the one family of God: “This honor have all his saints.” The Shepherd is leading you, as all the flock are led, with a skillful hand, and in a right way. It is yours to stand if He bids you, or to follow if He leads. “He gives no account of any of His matters,” assuming that His children have such confidence in His wisdom, and love, and uprightness, as in all the wonder-working of His dealings with them, to “be still and know that He is God.”

Throw back a glance upon the past, and see how little you have ever understood of all the way God has led you. What a mystery—perhaps now better explained—has enveloped His whole proceedings! When Joseph, for example, was torn from the homestead of his father, sold, and borne a slave into Egypt, not a syllable of that eventful page of his history could he spell. And yet God’s way with this His servant was perfect. And could Joseph have seen at the moment that he descended into the pit, where he was cast by his envious brethren, all the future of his history as vividly and as palpably as be beheld it in after years, while there would have been the conviction that all was well, we doubt not that faith would have lost much of its vigor, and God much of His glory.

And so with good old Jacob. The famine, the parting with Benjamin, the menacing conduct of Pharaoh’s prime minister, wrung the mournful expression from his lips, “All these things are against me.” All was veiled in deep and mournful mystery. Thus was it with Job, to whom God spoke from the whirlwind that swept every vestige of affluence and domestic comfort from his dwelling. And thus, too, with Naomi, when she exclaimed, “Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty.” That it is to the honor of God to conceal, should in our view justify all His painful and humiliating procedure with us. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing,” as it will be for His endless glory, by and by, fully to reveal it all.

But there is one thing, Christian sufferer, which He cannot conceal. He cannot conceal the love that forms the spring and foundation of all His conduct with His saints. Do what He will, conceal as He may, be His chariot the thick clouds, and His way in the deep sea, still His love betrays itself, disguised though it may be in dark and impenetrable providence. There are under-tones, gentle and tender, in the roughest accents of our Joseph’s voice. And he who has an ear ever hearkening to the Lord shall often exclaim, “Speak, Lord, how and when and where you may—it is the voice of my Beloved!”

November 23: The Saints Comfort

“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself; and God, even our Father, which has loved us, and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17

Upon the subject of comfort great stress is laid in the sacred word. It is clearly God’s revealed will that His people should be comforted. The fullness of Christ, the exceeding great and precious promises of the word, the covenant of grace, and all the dealings of God, bear upon this one point, the comfort and consolation of the saints.

A brief reference to the Divine word will convince us of this. This is the very character He Himself bears, and this is the blessed work He accomplishes. Thus, “Blessed be God, even the, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4. Kindred to this, are those striking words in Isaiah 40:1: “Comfort you, comfort you my people, says your God.”

This was God’s command to the prophet. It was His declared will that His people should be comforted, even though they dwelt in Jerusalem, the city which was to witness the crucifixion of the Lord of life and glory. What an unfolding does this give us of Him who is the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, and that, too, in every place!

To comfort the saints is one important end of the Scriptures: “Whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4. And thus the exhortation runs—”Comfort the feeble-minded.” “Why comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do.” “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Why comfort one another with these words.” Thus has the Holy Spirit testified to this subject, and thus is it clear that it is the will, and it is in the heart, of God, that His people should be comforted.

The Spirit comforts the believer by unfolding to his eye the near prospect of the coming glory. Heaven is near at hand. It is but a step out of a poor, sinful, sorrow-stricken world, into the rest that remains for the people of God. It is but a moment, the twinkling of an eye, and we are absent from the body, and are present with the Lord. Then will the days of our mourning be ended, then sin will grieve no more—affliction will wound no more—sorrow will depress no more, and God will hide Himself no more.

There will be the absence of all evil, and the presence of all good; and they who have come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, shall take their stand before the throne of God, and shall “serve Him day and sight in His temple: and He that sits on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Why, beloved in the Lord, let us comfort one another with these words, and with this prospect.

November 4: The Pilgrim Way

“Jesus says unto her, Woman, why are you weeping?” John 20:15

In unfolding the tenderness and sympathy of Jesus, the Spirit most effectually restores comfort to the tried, tempted, and afflicted soul. He testifies of Christ especially in the sympathy of His manhood.

There can be no question, that in His assumption of our nature Jesus had in view, as one important end, a closer affinity with the suffering state of His people, with regard to their more immediate comfort and support. The great end of His incarnation, we are well assured, was obedience to the law in its precept, and the suffering of its penalty. But connected with and resulting from this, is the channel that thus is open for the outflowings of that tenderness and sympathy of which the saints of God so constantly stand in need, and as constantly receive. Jesus is the “Brother born for adversity.”—”It behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest.”—”In that He Himself has suffered, being tempted; He is able support those who are tempted.”—”We have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Come, dear reader, what is your sorrow? Has the hand of death smitten? Is the beloved one removed? Has He taken away the desire of your eyes with a stroke? But who has done it? Jesus has done it; death was but His messenger. Your Jesus has done it. The Lord has taken away. And what has He removed?—your wife? Jesus has all the tenderness that ever your wife had. Hers was but a drop from the ocean that is in His heart.

Is it your husband? Jesus is better to you than ten husbands. Is it your parent, your child, your friend, your all of earthly bliss? Is the cistern broken? Is the earthen vessel dashed to pieces? Are all your streams dry? Jesus is yet enough. He has not taken Himself from you, and never, never will. Take your bereaved, stricken, and bleeding heart to Him, and repose it upon His, once bereaved, stricken, and bleeding, too; for He knows how to bind up the broken heart, to heal the wounded spirit, and to comfort those that mourn.

What is your sorrow? Has health failed you? Has property forsaken you? Have friends turned against you? Are you tried in your circumstances? perplexed in your path? Are providences thickening and darkening around you? Are you anticipating seasons of approaching trial? Are you walking in darkness, having no light? Go simply to Jesus.

He is a door ever open. A tender, loving, faithful Friend, ever near. He is a Brother born for your adversity. His grace and sympathy are sufficient for you. The life you are called to live is that of faith—that of sense you have done with. You are now to walk by faith, and not by sight. This, then, is the great secret of a life of faith—to hang upon Jesus daily—to go to Him in every trial—to cast upon Him every burden—to take the infirmity, the corruption, the cross, as it rises, simply and immediately to Jesus. You are to set Christ before you as your Example to imitate; as your Fountain to wash in; as your Foundation to build upon; as your Fullness to draw from; as your tender, loving, and confiding Brother and Friend, to go to at all times and under all circumstances. To do this daily constitutes the life of faith.

Oh to be enabled with Paul to say, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”

Oh holy, happy, heavenly life!—the life Jesus Himself lived when below; the life all the patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and martyrs, and the spirits of just men made perfect, once lived; and the life every true-born child of God is called and privileged to live, while yet a stranger and pilgrim on the earth.

October 27: He Has Done All Things Well

“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

Bereaved Christian, God has smitten, and the stroke has fallen heavily. The blessing you thought you could the least spare, and would be the last to leave you, God your Father has taken. Why has He done this? To show you what He can be in your extremity.

It may be difficult for faith, in the first moments of your calamity, to see how it can be well to be thus afflicted; but be still and wait the issue. Banish from your mind every hard thought of God, stifle in your breast every rebellious feeling, suppress upon your lip every repining word, and bow meekly, submissively, mutely, to the sovereign, righteous will of your Father. The blessings, like spring flowers blooming on the grave over which you weep, that will grow out of this affliction, will prove that God never loved you more deeply, was never more intent upon advancing your best interests, never thought more of you, nor cared more for you, than at the moment when His hand laid your loved one low. Receive the testimony of one who has tasted, ay, has drunk deeply, of the same cup of grief which your Father God now mingles for you. Let us drink it without a murmur. It is our Father’s cup.

As a father pities his children, so does He pity us even while He mingles and presents the draught. It is bitter, but not the bitterness of the curse; it is dark, but not the frown of anger; the cup is brimmed, but not a drop of wrath is there! Oh, wondrous faith that can look upon the beautiful stem broken; the lovely, promising flower, just unfolding its perfection, smitten; the toils and hopes of years, and in a moment, extinguished, and yet can say—”It is well!” Go, now, you precious treasure! God will have my heart, Christ would not I should be satisfied with His gift of love, but that I should be satisfied with His love without the gift. “You only are my portion, O Lord.” The world looks dreary, life has lost a charm, the heart is smitten and withered like grass, some of its dearest earthly affections have gone down into the tomb, but He who recalled the blessing is greater and dearer than the blessing, and is Himself just the same as when He gave it.

Jesus would be glorified by our resting in, and cleaving to, Him as our portion, even when the flowers of earthly beauty, and the yet more precious fruits of spiritual comfort and consolation wither and depart. Satan would suggest that we have sinned away our blessings and forfeited our comforts, and that therefore the Lord is now hiding His face from us, and in anger shutting up His tender mercies. But this is not really so; He is hiding the flowers, but not Himself. In love to them, He is transferring them to His garden in heaven; and in love to us, He thus seeks to draw us nearer to His heart.

He would have us knock at His door, and ask for a fresh cluster. We cherish our blessings, and rest in our comforts, and live upon our frames and feelings, and lose sight of and forget Him. He removes those who we might be always coming to Him for more. Oh, matchless love of Jesus!

But the place where the clearest view is taken of the present unfathomable dispensations of God, and where their unfolding light and unveiling glory wake the sweetest, loudest response to this truth—”He has done all things well”—is heaven. The glorified saint has closed his pilgrimage; life’s dark shadows have melted into endless light; he now looks back upon the desert he traversed, upon the path he trod, and as in the full blaze of glory each page unfolds of his wondrous history, testifying to some new recorded instance of the loving-kindness and faithfulness of God, the grace, compassion, and sympathy of Jesus, the full heart exclaims—”He has done all things well.”

The past dealings of God with him in providence now appear most illustrious to the glorified mind. The machinery of Divine government, which here seemed so complex and inexplicable, now appears in all its harmony and beauty. Its mysteries are all unraveled, its problems are all solved, its events are all explained, and the promise of the Master has received its utmost fulfilment, “What I do you know not now but you shall know hereafter.”

That dispensation that was enshrouded in such mystery; that event that flung so dark a shadow on the path; that affliction that seemed so conflicting with all our ideas of God’s infinite wisdom, truth, and love; that stroke that crushed us to the earth—all now appears but parts of a perfect whole; and every providence in his past history, as it now passes in review, bathed in the liquid light of glory, swells the anthem—”HE HAS DONE ALL THINGS WELL!”

October 26: A Feeble Glance

“That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:7, 8

It was no little kindness in our God, that as one saving object, and one alone, was to engage the attention and fix the eye of the soul, through time and through eternity, that object should be of surpassing excellence and of peerless beauty. That He should be, not the sweetest seraph nor the loveliest angel in heaven, but His own Son, the “brightness of His glory, the express image of His person.”

God delights in the beautiful; all true beauty emanates from Him; “He has made all things beautiful.” How worthy of Himself, then; that in providing a Savior for fallen man, bidding him fix the eye of faith supremely and exclusively upon Him, that Savior should unite in Himself all Divine and all human beauty; that He should be the “chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely.”

Adore the name, oh! praise the love of God, for this. In looking to Jesus for salvation, we include each Divine Person of the glorious Trinity. We cannot look unto Jesus without seeing the Father, for Christ is the revelation of the Father. “He that has seen me,” says Christ, “has seen the Father.” Nor can we contemplate Jesus exclusive of the Holy Spirit, because it is the Spirit alone who imparts the spiritual eye that sees Jesus.

Thus, in the believing and saving view a poor sinner has of Jesus, he beholds, in the object of his sight, a revelation of each separate Person of the ever blessed Trinity, engaged in devising and accomplishing his eternal salvation. Oh! what a display of infinite love and wisdom is here, that in our salvation one object should arrest the eye, and the that object should embody an equal revelation of the Father, who gave Jesus, and of the Holy Spirit of truth, who leads to Jesus, and that that object should be the loveliest being in the universe. God has deposited all fullness in Christ, that we might, in all need, repair to Christ. “Looking unto Jesus,” for our standing before God—for the grace that upholds and preserves us unto eternal life—for the supply of the Spirit that sanctifies the heart, and meets us for the heavenly glory—for each day’s need, for each moment’s support—in a word, “looking unto Jesus,” for everything.

Thus has God simplified our life of faith in His dear Son. Severing us from all other sources, alluring us away from all other dependencies, and weaning us from all self-confidence, He would shut us up to Christ above, that Christ might be all and in all.

For the weakness of faith’s eye remember that Christ has suitably provided. His care of, and His tenderness towards, those whose grace is limited, whose experience is feeble, whose knowledge is defective, whose faith is small, are exquisite. He has promised to “anoint the eye with eye-salve, that it may see,” and that it may see more clearly.

Repair to Him, then, with your case, and seek the fresh application of this divine unguent. Be cautious of limiting the reality of your sight to the nearness or distinctness of the object. The most distant and dim view of Jesus by faith is as real and saving as if that view were with the strength of an eagle’s eye.

A well-known example in Jewish history affords an apposite illustration: the wounded Israelite was simply commanded to look to the brazen serpent. Nothing was said of the clearness of his vision or the distinctness of his view; no exception was made to the dimness of his sight. His eye might possibly be blurred, the phantoms of a diseased imagination might float before it, intercepting his view; no, more, it might already be glazing and fixing in death! Yet, even under these circumstances, and at that moment, if he but obeyed the Divine command, and looked towards, simply towards, the elevated serpent, distant and beclouded as it was, he was immediately and effectually healed.

Thus is it with the operation of faith. Let your eye, in obedience to the gospel’s command, be but simply raised and fastened upon Jesus, far removed as may be the glorious object; and dim as may be the blessed vision, yet then “looking unto Jesus,” you shall be fully and eternally saved: “Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood.”

The Darkness Cast Away

The sun’s eclipse is not its withdrawal, but the veiling only of its light. The spiritual gloom and mental depression now shrouding you is not the darkness of hell, nor the despondency of despair; it is the Lord’s wise and gracious dealings, designed but to lead you into the experience of truth, to teach you lessons, and confer upon you blessings, known and learned only in the night season of soul-exercise. But all this is done away in heaven.

Not a passing shadow crosses the sunshine of the spirit. With the corruptions of the body, will be entombed the infirmities of the soul. With every quiver and pang of the body laid at rest, will be every mental doubt and fear. Disencumbered of the vehicle which clogged its progress, repressed its aspirations, and shaded its hope, the soul will expand and expatiate in a world of ever-growing wonder, and ever-widening range, freed from every element that contributed to its night of gloom and woe.

Oh! the bliss of the glorified saints!–no longer tormented with doubts and fears, no more questioning their interest in Christ, their adoption by God, their hope of glory! The agonizing question, “Am I a Christian?” is now answered by the perfect realization of the fact. “Am I a child of God?” is now met by the beatific vision of His face. The distressing fear, “Have I union with the Savior?” is now lulled to rest upon His glorified bosom; and the trembling uncertainty of ever reaching heaven at last is lost in the blissful consciousness of being actually, safely and forever there!

Pisgah Views

Our Hiding Place

Are you, beloved, all your lifetime in bondage through the fear of death? Alas! how this impedes your happy, joyful progress heavenward! But Jesus can loosen, and virtually has loosened, these bonds. He reminds you that you are to contemplate not death, but His personal and glorious coming; but that if your thoughts will wander from this bright and blessed hope to the more gloomy and repulsive object of your departure to Him, you are to remember that He has vanquished death, and has passed through the grave as your Substitute, your Surety, your Head; that He has extracted the venom of the one, and has irradiated the gloom of the other; and that you have no sting to apprehend, and no shadows to dread, because He has passed that way before you.

Moreover, He has pledged His most loving and most faithful word that when you tread the valley, solitary and alone as you must be, you shall fear no evil, for that He, your risen, living Lord and Savior, will be with you. Lo! I am with you aways! Then, why hug these chains, why wear these bonds, when simple, unquestioning faith in this your Lord’s assurance,—and, oh, He is worthy of your love’s implicit confidence!—would disenthrall you? Perhaps with you life is ebbing, earth’s toils and scenes are fading, and the ties that bind you here are one by one breaking, but that yet one fetter still enslaves you—the most painful and the heaviest of all—the fear of death!

Oh, turn your eye to Jesus, with whom your soul is in living and inseparable union; Jesus, your life creating, life keeping Head— one glance, one touch, and your fears are dissolved, and your fettered spirit is free! What; will Christ be enough for life, its trials, its sorrows, its changes, its sins, and not be equal, in the supports of His grace, in the comfort of His love, and in the sunshine of His presence, for the sinkings, the becloudings, the partings, the throb and three of death? Away with such suspicion and distrust! How dishonoring to Him who so loved you as to part with the last drop of blood and the last pulse of life! Sickening, sinking, dying believer! your Savior is near.

The present moment may find the cold chill of adversity stealing over you, perchance forsaken and neglected, lone and sad. But why these fears? Jesus is near,—oh, how near!—nearer than ever at this moment. His sheltering wing flutters over you, the warm pavilion of His heart encircles you. Compose the ruffled pinions of your redeemed soul for its glorious flight. Take a firm, clinging, unyielding hold of the Strong One, the Ransoming One, the Faithful One, the Near and Precious One, and you need fear no evil. Oh, what a hiding place is Christ!

Help Heavenward

October 12: Flee To The Crucified

“Then Jesus spoke again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

Are you, my reader, a searcher of this life? Are you breathing for it, panting after it, seeking it? Then be it known to you, that He who inspired that desire is Himself the life for which you seek.

That heaving of your heart, that yearning of your spirit, that “feeling after God, if haply you may find Him,” is the first gentle pulsation of a life that shall never die. Feeble and fluctuating, faint and fluttering, as its throbbings may be, it is yet the life of God, the life of Christ, the life of glory in your soul. It is the seedling, the germ of immortal flower; it is the sunshine dawn of an eternal day.

The announcement with which we meet your case—and it is the only one that can meet it—is, “THIS MAN RECEIVES SINNERS.” Oh joyful tidings! Oh blessed words! Yes, he receives sinners—the vilest—the meanest—the most despised! It was for this He relinquished the abodes of heavenly purity and bliss, to mingle amid the sinful and humiliating scenes of earth. For this He quitted His Father’s bosom for a cross. For this He lived and labored, suffered and died. “He receives sinners!” He receives them of every name and condition—of every stature and character and climate.

There is no limit to His ability to pardon, as there is none to the sufficiency of His atonement, or to the melting pity of His heart. Flee, then, to Jesus the crucified. To Him repair with your sins, as scarlet and as crimson, and His blood will wash you whiter than snow. What though they may be as clouds for darkness, or as the sand on the sea-shore for multitude; His grace can take them all away. Come with the accusations and tortures of a guilty conscience, come with the sorrow and relentings of a broken heart, come with the grief of the backslider, and with the confession of the prodigal; Jesus still meets you with the hope-inspiring words—”Him that comes unto me, I will in no wise cast out.”

Then, “return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon you; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon!”