My Utmost for His Highest

September 4th

His!

Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me. John 17:6.

The missionary is one in whom the Holy Ghost has wrought this realization—“Ye are not your own.” To say ‘I am not my own,’ is to have reached a great point in spiritual nobility. The true nature of the life in the actual whirl is the deliberate giving up of myself to another in sovereign preference, and that other is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit expounds the nature of Jesus to me in order to make me one with my Lord, not that I might go off as a showroom exhibit. Our Lord never sent any of the disciples out on the ground of what He had done for them. It was not until after the Resurrection, when the disciples had perceived by the power of the Holy Spirit Whom He was, that Jesus said ‘Go.’
“If any man come to Me and hate not …, he cannot be My disciple,” not—he cannot be good and upright, but—he cannot be one over whom Jesus writes the word ‘Mine.’ Any one of the relationships Our Lord mentions may be a competitive relationship. I may prefer to belong to my mother, or to my wife, or to myself; then says Jesus, you cannot be My disciple. This does not mean I will not be saved, but it does mean that I cannot be ‘His.’
Our Lord makes a disciple His own possession, He becomes responsible for him. “Ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” The spirit that comes in is not that of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him. The secret of the missionary is—I am His, and He is carrying out His enterprises through me.
Be entirely His.

Streams in the Desert

September 4

“And when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.” (Joshua 6:5.)

THE shout of steadfast faith is in direct contrast to the moans of wavering faith, and to the wails of discouraged hearts. Among the many “secrets of the Lord,” I do not know of any that is more valuable than the secret of this shout of faith. The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.” He had not said, “I will give,” but “I have given.” It belonged to them already; and now they were called to take possession of it. But the great question was, How? It looked impossible, but the Lord declared His plan.
Now, no one can suppose for a moment that this shout caused the walls to fall. And yet the secret of their victory lay in just this shout, for it was the shout of a faith which dared, on the authority of God’s Word alone, to claim a promised victory, while as yet there were no signs of this victory being accomplished. And according to their faith God did unto them; so that, when they shouted, He made the walls to fall.
God had declared that He had given them the city, and faith reckoned this to be true. And long centuries afterwards the Holy Ghost recorded this triumph of faith in Hebrews:
“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.”—Hannah Whitall Smith.

“Faith can never reach its consummation,
  Till the victor’s thankful song we raise:
In the glorious city of salvation,
  God has told us all the gates are praise.”

365 days with Newton

4 SEPTEMBER

The God of peace

‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ Hebrews 13:20–21
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Isaiah 9:1–7

The title by which God is addressed: the God of peace. Many of the Lord’s titles are taken from the effects of his goodness to his creatures. So he is called the God of grace, of comfort, of hope. The ground of reason is the same in all. He is the author and fountain of all grace, hope and comfort, and so likewise of peace. He designed the plan and provided the means of our peace, according to his eternal purpose. There is no peace to the wicked, that is, not in themselves, not while under the influence of the carnal mind. Yet we are all by nature wicked. But it was the Lord’s pleasure that rebels should obtain peace. This was the song and the wonder of angels, on earth, peace [Luke 2:14]. For this purpose:
(i) he gave his Son. He is our peace.
(ii) he sends his gospel—the gospel of peace. It intimates the full and complete satisfaction of God in the work of Christ, reconciling the world unto himself: every demand satisfied, every perfection glorified, and such an abundance opened for goodwill to mankind, that now he takes his title from hence and is revealed as the God of peace. You that are seeking him by Christ need not be afraid. He is the God of peace, more ready to receive than you to come.
FOR MEDITATION:
As the serpent raised by Moses
Hear his gracious invitation,
Healed the burning serpent’s bite;
‘I have life and peace to give,
JESUS thus himself discloses
I have wrought out full salvation,
To the wounded sinner’s sight:
Sinner, look to me and live.’

SERMON SERIES: HEBREWS 13:20–21, NO. 1 [2/3]

My Utmost for His Highest

September 3rd

The waters of satisfaction scattered

… nevertheless he would not drink thereof but poured it out unto the Lord. 2 Samuel 23:16.

What has been like water from the well of Bethlehem to you recently—love, friendship, spiritual blessing? Then at the peril of your soul, you take it to satisfy yourself. If you do, you cannot pour it out before the Lord. You can never sanctify to God that with which you long to satisfy yourself. If you satisfy yourself with a blessing from God, it will corrupt you; you must sacrifice it, pour it out, do with it what common sense says is an absurd waste.
How am I to pour out unto the Lord natural love or spiritual blessing? In one way only—in the determination of my mind. There are certain acts of other people which one could never accept if one did not know God, because it is not within human power to repay them. But immediately I say—‘This is too great and worthy for me, it is not meant for a human being at all, I must pour it out unto the Lord’; then these things pour out in rivers of living water all around. Until I do pour these things out before the Lord, they endanger those I love as well as myself because they will turn to lust. We can be lustful in things which are not sordid and vile. Love has to get to its transfiguration point of being poured out unto the Lord.
If you have become bitter and sour, it is because when God gave you a blessing you clutched it for yourself; whereas if you had poured it out unto the Lord, you would have been the sweetest person out of heaven. If you are always taking blessings to yourself and never learn to pour out anything unto the Lord, other people do not get their horizon enlarged through you.

Streams in the Desert

September 3

“And he saw them toiling in rowing.” (Mark 6:48.)

STRAINING, driving effort does not accomplish the work God gives man to do. Only God Himself, who always works without strain, and who never overworks, can do the work that He assigns to His children. When they restfully trust Him to do it, it will be well done and completely done. The way to let Him do His work through us is to partake of Christ so fully, by faith, that He more than fills our life.
A man who had learned this secret once said: “I came to Jesus and I drank, and I do not think that I shall ever be thirsty again. I have taken for my motto, ‘Not overwork, but overflow’; and already it has made all the difference in my life.”
There is no effort in overflow. It is quietly irresistible. It is the normal life of omnipotent and ceaseless accomplishment into which Christ invites us today and always.—Sunday School Times.

Be all at rest, my soul, O blessed secret,
Of the true life that glorifies thy Lord:
Not always doth the busiest soul best serve Him,
But he that resteth on His faithful Word.
Be all at rest, let not your heart be rippled,
For tiny wavelets mar the image fair,
Which the still pool reflects of heaven’s glory—
And thus the image He would have thee bear.
Be all at rest, my soul, for rest is service,
To the still heart God doth His secrets tell;
Thus shalt thou learn to wait, and watch, and. Labor,
Strengthened to bear, since Christ in thee doth dwell.
For what is service but the life of Jesus,
Lived through a vessel of earth’s fragile clay,
Loving and giving and poured forth for others,
A living sacrifice from day to day.

Be all at rest, so shalt thou be an answer
To those who question, “Who is God and where?”
For God is rest, and where He dwells is stillness,
And they who dwell in Him, His rest shall share.
And what shall meet the deep unrest around thee,
But the calm peace of God that filled His breast?
For still a living Voice calls to the weary,
From Him who said, “Come unto Me and rest.”
—Freda Hanbury Allen.
“In resurrection stillness there is resurrection power.”

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