The Destitution Of Service 'Though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.'
2 Corinthians 12:15
Natural love expects some return, but Paul says - I do not care whether you love me or not, I am willing to destitute myself completely, not merely for your sakes, but that I may get you to God. "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, thoug ...read
The Determination To Serve 'The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.'
Paul's idea of service is the same as Our Lord's: "I am among you as He that serveth;" "ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." We have the idea that a man called to the ministry is called to be a different kind of being from other men. According to ...read
The Devotion Of Hearing 'Speak; for Thy servant heareth.'
1 Samuel 3:10
Because I have listened definitely to one thing from God, it does not follow that I will listen to everything He says. The way in which I show God that I neither love nor respect Him is by the obtuseness of my heart and mind towards what He says. If I love my friend, I intuitively detect w ...read
The Dilemma Of Obedience 'And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.'
1 Samuel 3:15
God never speaks to us in startling ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, "I wonder if that is God's voice?" Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him "with a strong hand," that is, by the pressure of circumstances. Nothing touches our lives but it is Go ...read
The Discipline Of Dejection 'But we trusted ... and beside all this, to-day is the third day ...'
Every fact that the disciples stated was right; but the inferences they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that savours of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If depression and oppression visit me, I am to blame; God is not, nor is anyone else. Dejec ...read
The Discipline Of Difficulty 'In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.'
An average view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble. It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High...there shall no evil befall thee" - no plagu ...read
The Discipline Of Disillusionment 'Jesus did not commit Himself unto them for He knew what was in man.'
Disillusionment means that there are no more false judgments in life. To be undeceived by disillusionment may leave us cynical and unkindly severe in our judgment of others, but the disillusionment which comes from God brings us to the place where we see ...read
The Discipline Of Dismay 'And as they followed, they were afraid.'
At the beginning we were sure we knew all about Jesus Christ, it was a delight to sell all and to fling ourselves out in a hardihood of love; but now we are not quite so sure. Jesus is on in front and He looks strange: "Jesus went before them and they were amazed."
There is an a ...read
The Discipline Of Heeding 'What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.'
At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God's hand until we learn to hear Him. "What ...read
The Discipline Of Spiritual Tenacity 'Be still, and know that I am God.'
Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to be ...read
The Divine Region Of Religion 'But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.'
The main idea in the region of religion is - Your eyes upon God, not on men. Do not have as your motive the desire to be known as a praying man. Get an inner chamber in which to pray where no one kno ...read
The Divine Rule Of Life 'Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.'
Our Lord's exhortation in these verses is to be generous in our behaviour to all men. In the spiritual life beware of walking according to natural affinities. Everyone has natural affinities; some people we like and others we do not like. We must never le ...read
The Drawing Of The Father 'No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.'
When God draws me, the issue of my will comes in at once - will I react on the revelation which God gives - will I come to Him? Discussion on spiritual matters is an impertinence. Never discuss with anyone when God speaks. Belief is not an intellectual act ...read
The Eternal Crush Of Things 'I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.'
1 Corinthians 9:22
A Christian worker has to learn how to be God's noble man or woman amid a crowd of ignoble things. Never make this plea - If only I were somewhere else! All God's men are ordinary men made extraordinary by the matter He has given them. Unless we ...read
The Eternal Goal 'By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing ... that in blessing I will bless thee... .'
Abraham has reached the place where he is in touch with the very nature of God, he understands now the Reality of God.
"My goal is God Himself . . .
At any cost, dear Lord, by any road."
The Exclusiveness Of Christ 'Come unto Me.'
Is it not humiliating to be told that we must come to Jesus! Think of the things we will not come to Jesus Christ about. If you want to know how real you are, test yourself by these words - "Come unto Me." In every degree in which you are not real, you will dispute rather than come, you will quibble rathe ...read
The Forgiveness Of God 'In whom we have ... the forgiveness of sins.'
Beware of the pleasant view of the Fatherhood of God - God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That sentiment has no place whatever in the New Testament. The only ground on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ; to put for ...read
The Fruitfulness Of Friendship 'I have called you friends.'
We never know the joy of self-sacrifice until we abandon in every particular. Self-surrender is the most difficult thing - I will if...I Oh, well, I suppose I must devote my life to God. There is none of the joy of self-sacrifice in that.
As soon as we do abandon, the Holy Ghost gives us an inti ...read
The Gateway To The Kingdom 'Blessed are the poor in spirit.'
Beware of placing Our Lord as a Teacher first. If Jesus Christ is a Teacher only, then all He can do is to tantalize me by erecting a standard I can not attain. What is the use of presenting me with an ideal I cannot possibly come near? I am happier without knowing it. What is the good of te ...read
The Glory That Excels 'The Lord ... hath sent me that thou mightest receive thy sight.'
When Paul received his sight, he received spiritually an insight into the Person of Jesus Christ, and the whole of his subsequent life and preaching was nothing but Jesus Christ - "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. ...read