Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I will correct you-----in measure

"I will correct you — in measure." — Jeremiah 30:11

Here is a gracious and alleviating "thought of God" in a season of trial, "I will correct you," says He. He does not disguise that He will send affliction — that He will subject His own people to chastisement. He knows them too well — He loves them too well — to allow the unbroken sunshine, the unfurrowed, waveless sea. The rough stone needs polishing — the musical chord must be strained to give forth sweet sounds — notes of harmony; but all is "in measure."
Amid our tossings, night and day, on the sea of trial, how comforting the assurance, "When my spirit was overwhelmed, then You knew my path." He suits the yoke — to the neck; He adapts His chastisements — to the characters and necessities, the strengths of His people. All are meted out, all are weighed in the balances of undeviating rectitude.
There is no needless wrinkle on any brow — no redundant or superfluous drop in the cup of suffering. He who paints every flower and molds every raindrop in the natural world — fashions every tear in the dimmed eye, and imparts every delicate touch and shading to grief.
A human father may err — he may wear a needless frown — he may punish with undue and unnecessary severity, "But thus says the Lord your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, which leads you by the way that you should go."
Tried one! seek that this be the end of God's present dealing — that "He teaches you to profit." Too often, in seasons of sorrow, our great aim is to receive comfort. That is a limited and selfish view. God has a higher end — a nobler lesson, "He disciplines us for our profit." Trial is a season for expecting great blessings to ourselves, and for greatly glorifying God. It was from the bruised spices of old that the perfumed clouds of incense arose! The fallen, withered rose, emits the sweetest fragrance — the butterfly shuns it, the bee passes it by — the very rays of sunshine can gild it with no beauty; yet it loads the summer air with richer perfume than when it hung in full-blown glory on its parent branch.
Where the lava stream once carried desolation and ruin down the mountainside, vines are now seen hanging their purple clusters. Just so, where the stream of sorrow once swept distressingly down, are now clusters of heavenly graces — the fruits of righteousness — to the glory and praise of God.
I may not be able at times to see the "measure" in His correction. There may, to the eye of sense, appear nothing but a capricious exercise of sovereign power. No chastening for the present may seem to be joyous but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Oh, let me joyfully endorse every such affliction with an "Even so, Father, because this was Your good pleasure!" "Not my will — but may Your will be done!" "Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs!"

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Deceitful and desperately wicked

(William S. Plumer, "Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness")

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" Jeremiah 17:9

Man is the only creature on earth that practices self-deception. That we should sometimes deceive others is proof of our depravity; but that we should spend our lives in self-deception is truly astonishing! Men of the fewest virtues commonly have the highest thoughts of themselves. How strange and yet how common that he, whose heart has deceived him a thousand times, should yet confide in it as if it had always been honest! 

The human heart deceives every being but one--and it would deceive Him, if He were not omniscient. None but God knows all the depths of iniquity and duplicity within us.

Though the language of the Bible is strong, it is just. God declares, and every Christian knows by sad experience--that his heart is deceitful above all things.A perfect knowledge of the treachery of our hearts is possessed by none but God.

The heart is also VILE. It is "desperately wicked." 

It loves vanity, and folly, and sin. 
It hates holiness, and truth, and divine restraints. 

The heart is . . .
  a sink of iniquity,
  a pool of pestilential waters,
  a cage of unclean birds,
  a sepulcher full of dead men's bones. 
It is torn by wild, fierce, unhallowed passions. 
It rejects good and chooses evil. 
It is wholly corrupt. 
It is full of evil. 
There is no soundness in it. 

"For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander! These are the things which defile the man." Matthew 15:19, 20 

"He who trusts in his own heart is a fool!" Proverbs 28:26