What A Savior

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“Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” Song of Songs 5:16

O what a Savior is Jesus Christ! He is the chief among ten thousand! Look at His sinless, yet real humanity — without a single taint, yet sympathizing with us in all our various conditions — our afflictions — our temptations — our infirmities — our griefs. Now that He is in glory, He is still cherishing a brother’s heart, bending down His ear to our petitions — ever standing near to catch our sighs, to dry our tears, to provide for our needs, to guide us by His counsel, and afterwards to receive us to glory!

O what a Savior is Jesus Christ! When He is known — all other beings are eclipsed.

When His beauty is seen — all other beauty fades.

When His love is felt — He becomes supremely enthroned in the affections.

To know Him more, becomes the one desire of the renewed mind; and to make Him more known, is the one aim of the Christian life.

O what a Savior is Jesus Christ!

Christ’s Sympathy To Weary Pilgrims

July 10: The Faithful Servant

“Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” Luke 24:26

As the faithful servant of the everlasting covenant, it was proper, it was just, it was the reward of His finished work, that Christ’s deepest humiliation on earth should be succeeded by the highest glory in heaven. “For the joy that was set before Him,”—the joy of His exaltation, with its glorious fruits—”He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” How proper, how righteous does it appear, that the crown of His glory should follow the cross of His humiliation! Toilsome and faithful had been His life; ignominious and painful had been His death. From both there had accrued to God—is now, and will yet be accruing, through the countless ages of eternity—a revenue of glory, such as never had been His before. He had revealed the Father gloriously. Drawing aside the veil as no other hand could do, He caused such Divine glory to beam forth, as compelled every spotless spirit in heaven to cover Himself with His wings, and fall prostrate in the profoundest humility and homage.

The glorious perfections of God!—never had they appeared so glorious as now. The mediatorial work of Jesus had laid a deep foundation, on which they were exhibited to angels and to men in their most illustrious character. Never before had wisdom appeared so truly glorious, nor justice so awfully severe, nor love so intensely bright, nor truth so eternally stable. Had all the angels in heaven, and all creatures of all worlds, become so many orbs of divine light, and were all merged into one, so that that one should embody and reflect the luster of all, it would have been darkness itself compared with a solitary beam of God’s glory, majesty, and power, as revealed in the person and work of Immanuel.

Now it was fit that, after this faithful servitude, this boundless honor and praise brought to God, His Father should, in return, release Him from all further obligation, lift Him from His humiliation, and place Him high in glory. Therefore it was that Jesus poured out the fervent breathings of His soul on the eve of His passion: “I have glorified You on the earth; I have finished the work which You gave me to do: I have manifested Your name, and now, O Father, glorify You me.”

The ascension of Jesus to glory involved the greatest blessing to His saints. Apart from His own glorification, the glory of His church was incomplete—so entirely, so identically were they one. The resurrection of Christ from the dead was the Father’s public seal to the acceptance of His work; but the exaltation of Christ to glory was an evidence of the Father’s infinite delight in that work. Had our Lord continued on earth, His return from the grave, though settling the fact of the completeness of His atonement, could have afforded no clear evidence, and could have conveyed no adequate idea, of God’s full pleasure and delight in the person of His beloved Son. But in advancing a step further—in taking His Son out of the world, and placing Him at His own right hand, far above principalities and powers—He demonstrated His ineffable delight in Jesus, and His perfect satisfaction with His great atonement.

Now it is no small mercy for the saints of God to receive and to be well established in this truth, namely, the Father’s perfect satisfaction with, and His infinite pleasure in, His Son. For all that He is to His Son, He is to the people accepted in His Son; so that this view of the glorification of Jesus becomes exceedingly valuable to all who are “accepted in the Beloved.” So precious was Jesus to His heart, and so infinitely did His soul delight in Him, He could not allow of His absence from glory a moment longer than was necessary for the accomplishment of His own purpose and the perfecting of His Son’s mission; that done, He showed His Beloved the “path of life,” and raised Him to His “presence, where is fullness of joy,” and to “His right hand, where there are pleasures for evermore. “

The Offense Of Christ And His Cross

Our Lord’s was a chequered history. Lights and shadows thickly blended in the marvelous picture of His life. The lights were but few; the shadows predominated. He did not come into the world to be joyful and happy, but to make others so. Hence the portrait, “He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief.” We have just looked upon one of the earthly lights thrown upon the picture; we are now to contemplate one of its dark shadows. From viewing Him as for the moment favored with the adulation of the multitude, we turn to behold Him the object of their bitter scorn and rejection.

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March 10: This Man Receives Sinners

Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them. Luke 15:1, 2.

NEVER was there a tongue like Christ’s—so learned, so eloquent, and so skilled. “Never man spoke like this man.” Greece and Rome, in their “high and palmy state,” never exhibited such philosophy as He taught, such erudition as He displayed, or such eloquence as He breathed. Had He so chosen it, He could have placed Himself al the head of a school of His own, and with a beck might have allured to His feet all the poets and the philosophers of His day, proud to own Him as their Master. But no! the wisdom and the eloquence of this world possessed no charm for Jesus. He drew the learning and the melting power with which He spoke from a higher, even a heavenly, source. His was Divine philosophy; His was the eloquence of God! “The Lord Jehovah has given me the tongue of the learned.”

And to whom did He consecrate this learning, this wisdom, and this eloquence? To the very objects whom the proud philosophers and the doctors of His day despised and neglected—even the weary. What a field was here for the exercise of His skill, and for the play of His benevolence! How fully would he demonstrate that He truly possessed the “tongue of the learned”! If to interest the feelings of the exhausted—if to enchain the attention of the weary—if to concentrate upon one subject the powers of a mind jaded and burdened—if to awaken music from a heart whose chords were broken and unstrung, mark the loftiest reach of eloquence, then His was eloquence unsurpassed—for all this He did.

The beings whom He sought out, and drew around Him, were the burdened, the bowed, the disconsolate, the poor, the friendless, the helpless, the ignorant, the weary. He loved to lavish upon such the fullness of His benevolent heart, and to exert upon such the skill of His wonder-working power. Earth’s weary sons repaired to His out-stretched arms for shelter, and the world’s ignorant and despised clustered around His feet, to be taught and blessed. Sinners of every character, and the disconsolate of every grade, attracted by His renown, pressed upon Him from every side. “This man receives sinners,” was the character and the mission by which He was known. It was new and strange. Uttered by the lip of the proud and disdainful Pharisee, it was an epithet of reproach, and an expression of ridicule. But upon the ear of the poor and wretched outcast, the sons and daughters of sorrow, ignorance, and woe, it fell sweeter than the music of the spheres.

It passed from lip to lip, it echoed from shore to shore—”This man receives sinners.” It found its way into the abodes of misery and want; it penetrated the dungeon of the prisoner and the cell of the maniac; and it kindled a celestial light in the solitary dwelling of the widow and the orphan, the unpitied and the friendless. Thus received its accomplishment the prophecy that predicted Him as the “Plant of renown,” whom Jehovah would raise up. Thousands came, faint, weary, and sad, and sat down beneath His shadow; and thousands more since then have pressed to their wounded hearts the balsam that exuded from His bleeding body, and have been healed.

February 21: For God So Loved The World

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

RICH is the provision which God has made for poor broken-hearted, humble, penitent sinners “God so loved the world.” Oh what love was that! This is the love to which, as a trembling sinner, I invite you. And what has this vast and astounding love provided? A “Savior and a great one.” Jesus is that Savior!

Has the Spirit convinced you of sin? Do you feel guilt a burden, and does the law’s curse lie heavy upon you? Then He is your Savior. Believe in Him, embrace and welcome Him. See, how He points to His atoning blood, and bids you bathe in it! See, how He shows you His wounded side, and invites you to take refuge in it! Hear Him say, “Come unto me, all you that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Him that comes to me, I will in no wise cast out.” Oh come to Jesus!

A full Christ, a willing and an able Christ, a precious Christ, a tender, compassionate, loving Christ is He. There is a fullness of pardon, a fullness of righteousness, a fullness off grace, a fullness of love in Jesus; enough for you, enough for me, enough for every poor, penniless comer. Your vileness, your unworthiness, your poverty, your age, are no hindrance to your coming to Jesus. Where can you take your guilt, your burden, your sorrow, but to Him? Go, then, nothing doubting of a welcome. “Only believe,” and you are saved. Free, free as God’s grace can make it, is the blessing of salvation. Your own righteousness will avail you nothing in the procurement of Divine forgiveness. Coming, building on any work of your own, you will be as surely rejected, as he who comes building on Christ’s work alone will be surely received. “Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” “By grace you are saved, through faith.”

Oh, glad announcement to a poor bankrupt sinner!—without works! without merit! without money! without worthiness! Of faith! By grace! The Spirit of comfort speaking these words to your broken heart, you may exclaim in an ecstasy of joy, “Then I am saved!” God is mine, Christ is mine, salvation is mine, heaven is mine! Such, my reader, is the Lord Jesus. Oh! for a thousand tongues to tell of His dying love to poor sinners—the readiness and the gentleness with which He heals a broken heart, binds up a wounded spirit, soothes a disconsolate mind, and gives the “oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” “Whoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.”

Fountain Of Life

What a Fountain of life is Jesus! The dead, on whose ear falls the sound of his voice, live. There is a grace in Christ- quickening, regenerating, life-giving grace; and to whomsoever that grace is imparted, he that was lying cold and inanimate in the valley, begins to move, to live, to breathe, and to arise. One touch of Christ, a whisper of his voice, a breath of his Spirit, begets a life in the soul that never dies. That faint and feeble pulsation which often the most skillful touch can scarcely detect, is as deathless as the life of God! A stream from the Fountain of essential life has entered the soul, and it lives, and will live, a glorious life, running on parallel with God’s eternity. What a Fountain of life is Jesus! Think of its limitlessness. There is the fulness of life in Christ. The grace that is welled in Jesus, is as infinite in its source as it is divine in its nature. “In him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” “It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.”

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Fan The Most Holy Flame

Cultivate frequent and devout contemplations of the glory of Christ. Immense will be the benefit accruing to your soul. The mind thus preoccupied, filled, and expanded, will be enabled to present a stronger resistance to the ever advancing and insidious encroachments of the world. No place will be found for vain thoughts, and no desire or time for carnal enjoyments.

Oh, how crucifying and sanctifying are clear views of the glory of Emmanuel! How emptying, humbling, and abasing! With the patriarch, we then exclaim, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” And with the prophet, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” And with the apostle, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Oh, then, aim to get your mind filled with enlarged and yet expanding views of the glory of the Redeemer. Let it, in all the discoveries it affords of the Divine mind and majesty, be the one subject of your thoughts — the one theme of your conversation. Place no limit to your knowledge of Christ. Ever consider that you have but read the preface to the volume; you have but touched the fringe of the sea. Stretching far away beyond you, are undiscovered beauties, and precious views, and sparkling glories — each encouraging your advance, inviting your research, and asking the homage of your faith, the tribute of your love, and the dedication of your life.

Go forward, then! The glories that yet must be revealed to you in a growing knowledge of Jesus — what imagination can conceive, what pen can describe them? Jesus stands ready to unveil all the beauties of His person; and to admit you into the very pavilion of His love. There is not a chamber of His heart that He will not throw open to you — not a blessing that He will not bestow upon you — not a glory that He will not show to you.

You shall see greater things than you have yet seen:
greater depths of your sin shall be revealed,
deeper sense of the cleansing efficacy of the atoning blood shall be felt,
clearer views of your acceptance in the Beloved,
greater discoveries of God’s love, and
greater depths of grace and glory in Jesus shall be enjoyed.

Your communion with God shall be closer, and more the fruit of adopting love in your heart. Your feet shall be as hinds’ feet, and you shall walk on high places. Your peace shall flow as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea.
Sorrow shall wound you less deeply,
affliction shall press you less heavily,
tribulation shall affect you less keenly,
all this, and infinitely more, will result from your deeper knowledge of Jesus.

July 28: Through The Lattice

“Showing himself through the lattice.” Solomon’s Song 2:9

This is a clearer and more glorious discovery of Christ, inasmuch as it is the manifestation of Christ in the revealed word. Our Lord cares not to conceal Himself from His saints. He remembers that all their loveliness is through Him, that all their grace is in Him, that all their happiness is from Him; and therefore He delights to afford them EVERY MEANS and occasion of increasing their knowledge of, and of perfecting their resemblance to, Him. The “lattice” of His house is figurative of the doctrines, precepts, and promises of His Gospel. Through these the Lord Jesus manifests Himself, when we come to the study of the word, not as self-sufficient teachers, but as sincere and humble learners, deeply conscious how little we really know, and thirsting to know more of God in Jesus.

The Lord Jesus often shows Himself through these “lattices,”–perhaps some type, or prophecy, or doctrine, or command–and we are instructed, sanctified, and blest. It is the loss of so many readers of the Bible that they do not search it for Christ. Men will study it with the view of increasing their knowledge of science and of philosophy, of poetry and of painting; but how few search into it for Jesus! And yet in knowing Him the pavilion of all spiritual mystery is unlocked–all that God designed to communicate in the present world. To know God is to comprehend all knowledge; God is only truly known as revealed in Jesus; therefore he who is experimentally acquainted with Jesus, holds in his hand the key that unlocks the vast treasury of God’s revealed mind and heart.

Oh, search for Christ in the lattice of the word! The types foreshadow Him, the prophecies unfold Him, the doctrines teach Him, the precepts speak of Him, the promises lead to Him. “Rejoice in the word, but only as the wise men did in the star, as it led them to Christ. The word of Christ is precious, but nothing more precious than Christ Himself and His formation of the soul. Rest not in the word, but look through it to Christ.”

Blessed Lord, I would sincerely open this box of precious ointment–Your own word–that the fragrance of Your grace and of Your name might revive me. It is Your word, and not man’s word, that can meet my case, and satisfy my soul. Man can only direct me to You; Your word brings me to You. Your servants can at best but bring You in Your Gospel to my heart; but Your Spirit of truth brings You through the gospel into my heart. Oh, show Yourself to me in the gospel “lattice” of Your word, and I shall rejoice as one that has found great spoil–in finding You.

July 5: A Sure Foundation

“A sure foundation.” Isaiah 28:16

“A sure foundation” is the last quality of excellence specified of this precious Stone. As if, in so momentous a matter as the salvation of the soul, to remove all lingering doubt from the mind, to annihilate all imaginary and shadowy conceptions of Jesus; Jehovah, the great Builder of the Church, declares the foundation thus laid to be a real and substantial one. Confidently here may the weary rest, and the sinner build his hope of heaven. All is sure.

Sure that the word he credits is true–sure that the invitation that calls him is sincere–sure that the welcome extended to him is cordial. Sure, in coming to Jesus, of free forgiveness, of full justification, of complete and eternal acceptance with a reconciled God. Sure, that in renouncing all self-dependence, and building high his hope of glory on this foundation, he “shall not be ashamed nor confounded, world without end.”

All, too, is sure to the believer in the covenant of grace, of which Jesus is the Surety and Mediator. Every promise is sure–the full supply of all our need–the daily efficacy of the atoning blood–the answer to our prayers, though long delayed–the hope of being forever with Jesus–all, all is certain and sure, because based on Jesus, and springing from the heart of an unchangeable God, and confirmed by the oath of Him who has said, “Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.”

Precious Jesus! we have been contemplating Your glory as through a glass darkly. And yet we thank and adore You even for this glimpse. Dim and imperfect though it is, it has endeared You–unutterably endeared You–to our hearts. Oh! if this is Your glory beheld through a clouded medium, what will it be seen face to face!

Soon, soon shall we gaze upon it. Then, Oh glorious King, we shall exclaim, “It was a true report that I heard of your acts and of your wisdom, and, behold, the half was not told me.” Seeing that we look for such things, grant us grace, that being “diligent, we may be found of You in peace, without spot, and blameless.” Send to us what You will, withhold from us what You will; only vouchsafe to us a “part in the first resurrection,” and a seat at Your right hand when You come to Your kingdom. Low at Your feet we fall! Here may Your Spirit reveal to us more of Your glory!

Oh, irradiate, sanctify, and cheer us with its beams! Behold, we cling to You! You are our Emmanuel, or portion, and our all. In darkness we repair to the fountain of Your light. In sorrow, we flee to the asylum of Your bosom.

Oppressed, we come to the shelter of Your cross. Oh, take our hearts, and bind them closer and still closer to Yourself! Won by Your beauty and drawn by Your love, let there be a renewed surrender of our whole spirit, and soul, and body. Oh, claim a fresh possession of us. “Your statutes have been our songs in the house of our pilgrimage: You shall guide us with Your counsel, and afterward receive us to glory.” Then shall we unite with the Hallelujah Chorus, and sing in strains of surpassing sweetness, gratitude, and love. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!”