Month: May 2012

January 2

STEPPING WESTWARD
“But this one thing I do.”—Ph1l. 3:13

MINE be the Pauline oblivion of the past. It is well to forget the things which are behind. If I remember too vividly former failures, the recollection will depress my soul and hamper my movements. If I remember too often former attainments, I shall grow contented and make no further progress. There is a tyranny of success as hurtful as the tyranny of defeat. And if I remember too constantly the modes of my religion hitherto, I shall look simply for a repetition of old experiences, instead of desiring fresh gifts. Yes, let me forget.
And mine be the Pauline aspiration towards the future. Like the runner in the chariot race, I should stretch forward to the things which are before. In front of me lie a fuller holiness, a larger likeness to Christ, a deeper humility, a more wide-reaching usefulness, the victory over death, the abundant entrance, the glory yet to be revealed. These things I must seek with the intensity which the man of the world carries into his business, the scholar into his studies, the explorer into his journeys and toils.
And mine be the Pauline endeavour in the present. Always let me be pressing toward the mark for the prize. Some sin I ought to put off every day ; some grace of the new nature I ought to put on. I must open my soul more absolutely to the Holy Ghost. Each hour must bring its work and its battle, its duty to be done, its prize to be gained. “Who would fail for a pause too early?” Ah, life is too solemn, too momentous, too earnest.
By forgetfulness, by expectation, by effort, I grow, I make progress in the pilgrim march, I climb nearer and nearer the summits of God’s snow-white Alps of purity.

January 1

THE HEART OF THE ETERNAL
“God is Love.” –1John 4:5

IT is a little flower which I pluck from the garden of St. John’s letter—this fragrant definition of God. Yet it suggests mysteries and miracles for which my intellect has no solution.
For it carries me away into the dateless years of eternity. Always Love has been God’s name ; always Love has summarised and crowned God’s nature. Deep in His heart it lay through these far-off years. But, even then, it cared for me, and foresaw my loss and bitterness and unrest and death. Long before my world was made, God, who is Love, was busy devising my salvation.
I look again at St. John’s rose-blossom, and I see a Cross on the Hill of Reproach. Love could not remain pent up in the breast of God. It must have egress and escape. It broke the confining barriers. The God of love, Plato said with unconscious prophecy, would be found one day lying on the city streets, shoeless, penniless, homeless. It is true of my God. He gave Himself for me. He became, in this apostle’s phrase, the Propitiation for my sins.
Again I lift St. John’s flower, and it awakens in me a glowing hope for myself. There is none so prevalent and powerful as this God of love. I welcome Him; and my heart is transfigured, my life is sublimed. I am changed into His image. I carry His superscription. I dwell myself in love. It becomes my atmosphere and my universe.
God is Love—Love indwelling, Love outflowing and suffering, Love melting and conquering and making all things new.

Psalter 2

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1. Blest is he who loves God’s precepts,
Who from sin restrains his feet,
He who will not stand with sinners,
He who shuns the scorners’ seat.

2. Blest is he who makes the statutes
Of the Lord his chief delight,
In God’s law, divinely perfect,
Meditating day and night.

3. He is like a tree well planted
By the flowing river’s side,
Ever green of leaf and fruitful:
Thus shall all his works abide.

4. Like the driven chaff the wicked
Shall be swept from off the land;
With the just they shall not gather,
Nor shall in the judgment stand.

5. Well the Lord will guard the righteous,
For their way to Him is known;
But the way of evil-doers
Shall by Him be over thrown.

Psalter 1

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1. That man is blessed who fearing God,
From sin restrains his feet,
Who will not stand with wicked men,
Who shuns the scorners’ seat.

2. Yea, blest is he who makes God’s law
His portion and delight,
And meditates upon that law
With gladness day and night.

3. That man is nourished like a tree
Set by the river’s side;
Its leaf is green, its fruit is sure,
And thus his works abide.

4. The wicked like the driven chaff
Are swept from off the land;
They shall not gather with the just,
Nor in the judgment stand.

5. The Lord will guard the righteous well,
Their way to Him is known;
The way of sinners, far from God,
Shall surely be o’er thrown.

Lesson 10 – Understanding Contemporary Church Movements

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