He Came; He Is Coming
This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. – Acts 1:11
Many are celebrating our Lord’s first coming this day; let us turn our thoughts to the promise of His second coming. This is as sure as the first advent and derives a great measure of its certainty from it. He who came as a lowly man to serve will assuredly come to take the reward of His service. He who came to suffer will not be slow in coming to reign.
This is our glorious hope, for we shall share His joy. Today we are in our concealment and humiliation, even as He was while here below; but when He cometh it will be our manifestation, even as it will be His revelation. Dead saints shall live at His appearing. The slandered and despised shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Then shall the saints appear as kings and priests, and the days of their mourning shall be ended. The long rest and inconceivable splendor of the millennial reign will be an abundant recompense for the ages of witnessing and warring.
Oh, that the Lord would come! He is coming! He is on the road and traveling quickly. The sound of His approach should be as music to our hearts! Ring out, ye bells of hope!
Daily Prayer Guide
But the path of the righteous is as the dawning light, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day. – Prov 4:18
To think and to feel constitute the two grand divisions of men and genius—the men of reasoning and the men of imagination.
Grow old along with me! the best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand who saith, a whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!
– Robert Browning.
Almighty God, I pray that I may have the grace to penetrate the deep things of life and test their truth and greatness. May I have faith in thy power and train for the best which thou hast made possible for me to live. Help me to think and feel aright, that I may be thine to-day, and in the days of to-morrow may I still be thine, ever keeping bright memories of past days. Amen.
Streams in the Desert
Put on as the elect of God, kindness – Col 3:12
There is a story of an old man who carried a little can of oil with him everywhere he went, and if he passed through a door that squeaked, he poured a little oil on the hinges. If a gate was hard to open, he oiled the latch. And thus he passed through life lubricating all hard places and making it easier for those who came after him.
People called him eccentric, queer, and cranky; but the old man went steadily on refilling his can of oil when it became empty, and oiled the hard places he found.
There are many lives that creak and grate harshly as they live day by day. Nothing goes right with them. They need lubricating with the oil of gladness, gentleness, or thoughtfulness. Have you your own can of oil with you? Be ready with your oil of helpfulness in the early morning to the one nearest you. It may lubricate the whole day for him. The oil, of good cheer to the downhearted one—Oh, how much it may mean! The word of courage to the despairing. Speak it.
Our lives touch others but once, perhaps, on the road of life; and then, mayhap, our ways diverge, never to meet again, The oil of kindness has worn the sharp, hard edges off of many a sin-hardened life and left it soft and pliable and ready for the redeeming grace of the Saviour.
A word spoken pleasantly is a large spot of sunshine on a sad heart. Therefore, “Give others the sunshine, tell Jesus the rest.”
“We cannot know the grief
That men may borrow;
We cannot see the souls
Storm-swept by sorrow;
But love can shine upon the way
Let us be kind.
Upon the wheel of pain so many weary lives are
We live in vain who give no tender token.
Let us be kind.”
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love” (Rom. 12:10).
Morning and Evening
Morning, December 5
Ask, and it shall be given you. – Matt 7:7
We know of a place in England still existing, where a dole of bread is served to every passerby who chooses to ask for it. Whoever the traveler may be, he has but to knock at the door of St. Cross Hospital, and there is the dole of bread for him. Jesus Christ so loves sinners that He has built a St. Cross Hospital, so that whenever a sinner is hungry, he has but to knock and have his needs supplied.
Nay, He has done better; He has attached to this Hospital of the Cross—a bath. Whenever a soul is black and filthy, it has but to go there and be washed. The fountain is always full, always effectual. No sinner ever went into it and found that it could not wash away his stains. Sins which were scarlet and crimson—have all disappeared, and the sinner has been whiter than snow!
As if this were not enough, there is attached to this Hospital of the Cross—a wardrobe, and a sinner making application simply as a sinner, may be clothed from head to foot! And if he wishes to be a soldier, he may not merely have a garment for ordinary wear but armor which shall cover him from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. If he asks for a sword, he shall have that given to him, and a shield too. Nothing that is good for him shall be denied him. He shall have spending-money so long as he lives, and he shall have an eternal heritage of glorious treasure when he enters into the joy of his Lord.
If all these things are to be had by merely knocking at mercy’s door, O my soul, knock hard this morning, and ask great things from your generous Lord. Do not leave the throne of grace until all your needs have been spread before the Lord, and until by faith you have a comfortable prospect that they shall be all supplied. No bashfulness need retard when Jesus invites. No unbelief should hinder when Jesus promises. No cold-heartedness should restrain when such blessings are to be obtained!
Morning and Evening
Morning, December 1
Thou hast made summer and winter. – Ps 74:17
My soul begin this wintry month with your God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind you, that He keeps His covenant with day and night, and tend to assure you that He will also keep that glorious covenant which He has made with you in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world—will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with His own well-beloved Son.
Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it be upon you just now, it will be very painful to you but there is this comfort, namely—that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation. He scatters the hoarfrost like ashes over the once verdant meadows of our joy. He casts forth His ice like morsels freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all, He is the great Winter King, and rules in the realms of frost and therefore you cannot murmur.
Losses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other troubles—are of the Lord’s sending, and come to us with wise design. Frosts kill noxious insects, and put a bound to raging diseases. Winter in the soul breaks up the clods, and sweetens the soul. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction! How we prize the fire just now! how pleasant is its cheerful glow! Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw near to Him, and in Him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises, and go forth to labors which befit the season, for it is bad to be as the sluggard who will not plough by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing!