My Utmost for His Highest

April 21st

Now don’t hurt the Lord!

Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? John 14:9.

Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at us—astounded at how un-simple we are. It is opinions of our own which make us stupid; when we are simple we are never stupid, we discern all the time. Philip expected the revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in the One Whom he knew. The mystery of God is not in what is going to be, it is now; we look for it presently, in some cataclysmic event. We have no reluctance in obeying Jesus, but it is probable that we are hurting Him by the questions we ask. “Lord, show us the Father.” His answer comes straight back—‘There He is, always here or nowhere.’ We look for God to manifest Himself to His children: God only manifests Himself in His children. Other people see the manifestation, the child of God does not. We want to be conscious of God; we cannot be conscious of our consciousness and remain sane. If we are asking God to give us experiences, or if conscious experience is in the road, we hurt the Lord. The very questions we ask hurt Jesus because they are not the questions of a child.
“Let not your heart be troubled”—then am I hurting Jesus by allowing my heart to be troubled? If I believe the character of Jesus, am I living up to my belief? Am I allowing anything to perturb my heart, any morbid questions to come in? I have to get to the implicit relationship that takes everything as it comes from Him. God never guides presently, but always now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the emancipation is immediate.

Streams in the Desert

April 21

“And being absolutely certain that whatever promise He is bound by, He is able to make good.” (Rom. 4:21)

WE are told that Abraham could look at his own body and consider it as good as dead without being discouraged, because he was not looking at himself but at the Almighty One.

He did not stagger at the promise, but stood straight up unbending beneath his mighty load of blessing; and instead of growing weak he waxed strong in the faith, grew more robust, the more difficulties became apparent, glorifying God through His very sufficiency and being “fully persuaded” (as the Greek expresses it) “that he who had promised was,” not merely able, but as it literally means “abundantly able,” munificently able, able with an infinite surplus of resources, infinitely able “to perform.”

He is the God of boundless resources. The only limit is in us. Our asking, our thinking, our praying are too small; our expectations are too limited. He is trying to lift us up to a higher conception, and lure us on to a mightier expectation and appropriation. Oh, shall we put Him in derision? There is no limit to what we may ask and expect of our glorious El-Shaddai; and there is but one measure here given for His blessing, and that is “according to the power that worketh in us.”
—A. B. Simpson.
“Climb to the treasure house of blessing on the ladder made of divine promises. By a promise as by a key open the door to the riches of God’s grace and favor.”

365 days with Newton

21 APRIL (PREACHED OLNEY FAIR DAY, 17 APRIL 1775)

The thirsty come

‘And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ Revelation 22:17
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Isaiah 55:1–5

The persons called: him that is athirst. In a sense, this includes all, and I think the Word of God warrants such a general call (Isaiah 55:1–2). You that are thirsting after happiness and seeking it where it is not to be found, in creature comforts and sinful pleasures, spending your money for that which is not bread, this Spirit calls on you to come for the Bread of Life. The pearl of great price is set before you. The water of life is pointed out to you. Come, there is room enough and water enough. If you never thought of it before, begin now. What? No desire after the water of life? Alas, if you put it from you, you will perish. If you despise this invitation it will lie heavily upon your conscience hereafter. What will you say to the Lord of the feast? That you never heard of it? That you were not warned? I take that poor excuse from you now. I call upon everyone now in the Lord’s presence—I adjure you by his cross and passion that you seek him for the water of life. But alas, I cannot persuade you or turn your hearts. Lord, put forth thy power.
The words, I hope, will be welcome to awakened souls. Do you not thirst, and for these very things which the Lord has promised? You know the nature of thirst is that nothing can assuage it but drink. Are your desires thus? Then you are called, as it were, by name. As sure as there is a water of life, so sure you have a right to it.

FOR MEDITATION: See the Lord says whosoever will. Are you willing? Then here is no exception of persons. Whatever you have been in time past, no matter, if you are now willing. Surely you would not have been so, had not the Lord made you. He says freely. You are spiritually poor, and if it was to be bought you must go without, for you have nothing to pay. But did you ever pay for the rain? Or sunshine? No, these blessings are bestowed freely, bountifully. All the wealth in the world could not purchase them, but they come without money and without price. Just so free is gospel grace to every seeking soul.

SERMON: REVELATION 22:17 [5/6] [EASTER MONDAY EVENING]

Revelation 22

The River of Life
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Jesus Is Coming
And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails

And if one asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your back?’ he will say, ‘The wounds I received in the house of my friends.’

wounds in thine hand—The interrogator still suspects him: “If so, if you have never pretended to be a prophet, whence come those wounds?” The Hebrew is literally, “between thine hands.” The hands were naturally held up to ward off the blows, and so were “thrust through” (Zec 13:3) “between” the bones of the hand. Stoning was the usual punishment; “thrusting through” was also a fit retribution on one who tried to “thrust Israel away” from the Lord (De 13:10); and perfects the type of Messiah, condemned as a false prophet, and pierced with “wounds between His hands.” Thus the transition to the direct prophecy of Him (Zec 13:7) is natural, which it would not be if He were not indirectly and in type alluded to.
wounded in … house of my friends—an implied admission that he had pretended to prophecy, and that his friends had wounded him for it in zeal for God (Zec 13:3). The Holy Spirit in Zechariah alludes indirectly to Messiah, the Antitype, wounded by those whom He came to befriend, who ought to have been His “friends,” who were His kinsmen (compare Zec 13:3, as to the false prophet’s friends, with Mr 3:21, “His friends,” Margin, “kinsmen”; Joh 7:5; “His own,” Joh 1:11; the Jews, “of whom as concerning the flesh He came,” Ro 9:5), but who wounded Him by the agency of the Romans (Zec 12:10).

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