Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.—John xiv. 27.
rvID you ever think that when Christ was dying on the cross, He made a will? Perhaps you have thought that no one ever remembered you in a will. If you are in the kingdom, Christ remembered you in His. He willed His body to Joseph of Arimathea, He willed His mother to John, the son of Zebedee, and He willed His spirit back to His Father. But to His disciples He said,
"My peace, I leave that with you; that is My legacy. My joy, I give that to you."
"My joy," think of it!" My peace "—not our peace, but His peace!
They say a man can't make a will now that lawyers can't break, and drive a four-in-hand right straight through it. I will challenge them to break Christ's will; let them try it. No judge or jury can set that aside. Christ rose to execute His own will. If He had left us a lot of gold, thieves would have stolen it in the first century; but He left His peace and His joy for every true believer, and no power on earth can take it from him who trusts.
For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.—2 Corinthians i. 20.
IS there any reason why you should not have A faith in God? Has God ever broken His Word? I defy any infidel to come forward and put his finger on any promise God has ever made to man that He has not kept.
I can show how for six thousand years the devil has lied, and how he has broken every promise he has made. What a lie he told Adam and Eve! Yet I can find a thousand men that will believe the devil's lies sooner than I can find one man that will believe God's truth.
By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.—John xiii. 35.
HOW are you going to tell whether you are a *■ *■ Christian or not? Not by the fact that you are a Catholic or a Protestant, not that you subscribe to some creed that man has drawn up. We must have something better than that. What did Christ say ?" By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another."
When I was first converted, I used to wish that every Christian would wear a badge, because I would like to know them; my heart went out toward the household of faith. But I have got over that. Every hypocrite would have a badge inside of thirty days, if Christianity should become popular. No badge outside; but God gives us a badge in the heart. The man that hasn't any love in his creed may let it go to the winds; I don't want it. "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another." Love is the fruit of the Spirit. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.—Hebrews xiii. 14.
SURELY it is not wrong for us to think and talk about heaven. I like to locate it, and find out all I can about it. I expect to live there through all eternity. If I were going to dwell in any place in this country, if I were going to make it my home, I would inquire about its climate, about the neighbors I would have, about everything, in fact, that I could learn concerning it. If soon you were going to emigrate, that is the way you would feel. Well, we are all going to emigrate in a very little while. We are going to spend eternity in another
world, a grand and glorious world where God reigns. Is it not natural that we should look and listen and try to find out who is already there, and what is the route to take?
He came unto His own, and His own received Him not, but as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.—John i. 11, 12.
l_J IM—mark you—not a dogma, not a creed, not a myth, but A Person!
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My JVora shall not pass away.—Matthew xxiv. 35.
NOTICE how that statement has been ful1 filled. There was no short-hand reporter following Jesus around taking down His words; there were no papers to print His sermons, and they wouldn't have printed them if there had been any daily papers. The leaders of the people were against Him.
I can see one of your modern freethinkers standing near Christ, and he hears Him say: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away." I see the scornful look on his face as he says: "Hear that Jewish peasant talk 1 Did you ever hear such conceit, such madness? He says heaven and earth shall pass away, but His Word shall not pass away."
My friend, I want to ask you this questionhas it passed away? Do you know that the sun has shone on more Bibles to-day than ever before in the history of the world? There have been more Bibles printed in the last ten years than in the first eighteen hundred years. They tried in the dark ages to burn it, to chain it, and keep it from the nations, but God has preserved it, and sent it to the ends of the earth.
January 7th. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.—Isaiah lxv. 24.
'I17E talk about heaven being so far away. It is within speaking distance to those who belong there.
January 8th. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.—Luke xvi. 25.
T BELIEVE that when God touches the secret spring of memory, every one of our sins will come back, if they have not been blotted out by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they will haunt us as eternal ages roll on.
We talk about forgetting, but we cannot forget if God says " Remember!" We talk about the recording angel keeping the record of our life. I have an idea that when we get to heaven, or into eternity, we will find that the recording angel has been ourselves. God will make every one of us keep our own record; memory will keep the record; and when God shall say, "Son, remember," it will all flash across our mind. It won't be God who will condemn us. We shall condemn ourselves, and we shall stand before God speechless.
And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.—Genesis iii. 13.
\ 17HAT had she done? She had disobeyed "* God. She had turned from the fountain of life to the fountain of death, and had drunk from that fountain. She had introduced sin into the world.
God let her live long enough on the face of the earth to see what she had done. The first child that was born after the fall was a murderer. Bear in mind that sin leaped into this world full grown. The woman had gained for herself a fallen nature, and she transmitted it to her posterity. She .ived nearly a thousand years if she lived as long as Adam, and had a chance to see something of the untold woe and misery she had introduced into this world.
January 10th. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.—Psalm lxvi. 18.
T SOMETIMES tremble when I hear people
* quote promises, and say that God is bound to fulfill those promises to them, when all the time there is some sin in their lives they are not willing to give up. It is well for us to search our hearts, and find out why it is that our prayers are not answered.
He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.—John ix. 11.
T TE told a straightforward story, just what the
* A Lord had done for him. That is all. That is what a witness ought to do—tell what he knows, not what he does not know. He did not try to make a long speech. It is not the most flippant and fluent witness who has the most influence with a jury.
This man's testimony is what I call "experience." One of the greatest hindrances to the progress of the gospel to-day is that the narration of the experience of the Church is not encouraged. There are a great many men and women who come into the Church, and we never hear anything of the Lord's dealings with them. If we did, it would be a great help to others. It would stimulate faith and encourage the more feeble of the flock. The apostle Paul's experience has been recorded three times. I have no doubt that he told it everywhere he went: how God had met him; how God had opened his eyes and his heart; and how God had blessed him.
Depend upon it, experience has its place; the great mistake that is made now is in the other extreme. In some places and at some periods there has been too much of it—it has been all experience j and now we have let the pendulum swing too far the other way.
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.—Daniel iii. 25.
TT was doubtless the Son of God. That Great Shepherd of the sheep saw three of His true servants in peril, and He came from His Father's presence and His Father's bosom to be with them in it. He had been watching that terrible attempt to burn the faithful. His tender pitying eye saw that they were condemned to death because of their loyalty to Him. With one great leap He sprang from the Father's presence, from His palace in glory, right down into the fiery furnace, and was by their side before the heat of the fire could come near unto them. Jesus was with His servants as the flames wreathed around them, and not a hair of their heads was singed. They were not scorched; not even the smell of fire was upon them. I can almost fancy I hear them chanting:
"When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not he burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee"
The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.—Luke xix. 10.
TOme this is one of the sweetest verses in the whole Bible. In this one short sentence we are told what Christ came into this world for. He came for a purpose, He came to do a work. He came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
January 14th. And one cried unto another, and said: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.—Isaiah vi. 3.
YJL7HEN we see the holiness of God,we shall adore and magnify Him. Moses learned this lesson. God told him to take his shoes from off his feet, for the place whereon he stood was holy ground. When we hear men trying to make out that they are holy, and speaking about their holiness, they make light of the holiness of God. It is His holiness that we need to think and speak about; when we do that, we shall be prostrate in the dust.
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. —Matthew xi. 23.
A MAN said to me some time ago: "Don't you think David fell as low as Saul?" Yes, he fell lower, because God had lifted him up higher. The difference is that when Saul fell there was no sign of repentance, but when David fell, a wail went up from his broken heart, there was true repentance.
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.—Nehemiah viii. 8.
WE must study the Bible thoroughly, and hunt it through, as it were, for some great truth.
If a friend were to see me searching about a building, and were to come up and say, "Moody, what are you looking for? have you lost something?" and I answered, "No, I haven't lost anything; I'm not looking for anything in particular," I fancy he would just let me go on by myself, and think me very foolish. But if I were to say, " Yes, I have lost a dollar," why, I might expect him to help me to find it.
Read the Bible as if you were seeking for something of value. It is a good deal better to take a single chapter, and spend a month on it, than to read the Bible at random for a month.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shah tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?—Romans viii. 35.
NOW, who is going to do it? Devils?
men? angels? Paul throws down a challenge. He challenges heaven, and earth, and angels, and men, and principalities and powers; and not only that, but all things past, present and to come; all creatures, internal or external; all states, death or life, height or preferment, depth or dungeon, prison or stripes.
Nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ. Let my enemies come collectively or singly, I don't care. Let them come one and all. I have no foes that can overcome me. Why? Because God has justified me. I do not dread death. Why? Because Christ has tasted death for me. I dread no judgment. Why? That is past. I dread no separation, and I anticipate no failure.
January 18th. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.—Daniel xii. 3.
IT OW empty and short-lived are the glory and the pride of this world! If we are wise, we will live for God and eternity; we will get outside of ourselves, and will care nothing for the honor and glory of this world. In Proverbs we read: "He that winneth souls is wise." If any man, woman, or child by a godly life and example can win one soul to God, their life will not have been a failure. They will have outshone all the mighty men of their day, because they will have set a stream in motion that will flow on and on forever and ever.
I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.—Jeremiah xvii. 10.
\J7HEN I was going through the land of Goshen in Egypt a few years ago, as I came near the city of Alexandria I saw one of the strangest sights I had ever seen. The heavens were lit up with a new kind of light, and there seemed to be flash after flash; I couldn't understand it. I found later that the Khedive had died, and that a new Khedive was coming into power. England had sent over some war vessels, and the moment darkness came on they had turned their searchlights upon the city. It was almost as light as noonday. Every street was lit up, and I do not suppose that ten men could have met in any part of Alexandria without being discovered by that searchlight.
May God turn His searchlight upon us, and see if there be any evil way in us!
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not:for God took him.—Genesis v. 24.
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death ; and was not found, because God had translated him : for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.—Hebrews xi. 5.
A GREAT deal is being said about holiness.
Every true child of God desires to be holy, as His Father in heaven is holy. And holiness is walking with God. Enoch had only one object. How simple life becomes when we have only one object to seek, one purpose to fulfill— to walk with God, to please God! It has been said that the utmost many Christians get to is that they are pardoned criminals. How short they fall of the joy and blessedness of walking with God!
Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that My fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.—Jeremiah ii. 19.
I HAVE travelled a good deal, but I never found a happy backslider in my life. I never knew a man who was really born of God that ever could find the world satisfy him afterward. Do you think the prodigal son was satisfied in that foreign country? Ask the prodigals to-day if they are truly happy. You know they are not. "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."
Virily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.—Matthew xviii. 3.
IT is a master-piece of the devil to make us believe that children cannot understand religion. Would Christ have made a child the standard of faith if He had known that it was not capable of understanding His words? It is far easier for children to love and trust than for grown-up persons, and so we should set Christ before them as the supreme object of their choice.
If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.—Romans x. 9.
I DO not know of any more important truth to bring before an unconverted person than the answer to the question—" What must I do to be saved ?"—because that is the beginning of everything with regard to the divine life. A man must know he is saved before there is any peace, or joy, or comfort. The answer is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
The question that comes right after that from almost every one is, " What is it to believe?" I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God ; I believe that He came into the world to save sinners. Well, so do the devils. The devils not only believe, but they tremble. I can believe intellectually that Jesus Christ is able and willing to save, and yet be as far from the kingdom of God as any man who never heard about Jesus Christ. To be saved I must believe in my heart, and trust in His atoning work.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shallJiee away.—Isaiah xxxv. 10.
JOSEPH PARKER of London uttered something that I thought was splendid in regard to the thirty-fifth of Isaiah, where it says: "Sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Take up an old dictionary, he said, and once in a while you will come across a word marked "obsolete." The time is coming, he said, when those two words," sorrow " and " sighing " shall be obsolete. Sighing and sorrow shall flee away, to be no more. Thank God for the outlook!
O Lord, open Thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise !—Psalm li. 15.
IT is a very sad thing that so many of God's children are dumb; yet it is true. Parents would think it a great calamity to have their children born dumb; they would mourn over it, and weep, and well they might; but did you ever think of the many dumb children God has? The churches are full of them. They can talk about politics, art, and science; they can speak well enough and fast enough about the fashions of the day j but they have no voice ibr the Son of God.
Dear friend, if Christ is your Saviour, confess Him. Every follower of Jesus should bear testimony for Him. How many opportunities each one has in society and in business to speak a word for Him! How many opportunities occur daily wherein every Christian might be "instant in season and out of season" in pleading for Jesus! In so doing we receive blessing for ourselves, and also become a means of blessing to others.
January 26th. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.—Ephesians iv. 3.
ONE of the saddest things in the present day is the division in God's church. You notice that when the power of God came upon the early church, it was when they were "all of one accord." I believe the blessing of Pentecost never would have been given but for that spirit of unity. If they had been divided and quarrelling among themselves, do you think the Holy Ghost would have come, and those thousands been converted?
I have noticed in our work, that if we have gone to a town where three churches were united in it, we have had greater blessing than if only one church was in sympathy. And if there have been twelve churches united, the blessing has multiplied fourfold; it has always been in proportion to the spirit of unity that has been manifested. Where there are bickerings and divisions, and where the spirit of unity is absent, there is very little blessing and praise.
Search me, 0 God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.—Psalm cxxxix. 23, 24.
TF we should all honestly make this prayer once every day, there would be a good deal of change in our lives. "Search Me "—not my neighbor. It is so easy to pray for other people, but so hard to get home to ourselves. I am afraid that we who are busy in the Lord's work, are especially in danger of neglecting our own vineyard. In this Psalm, David got home to himself.
There is a difference between God searching me and my searching myself. I may search my heart, and pronounce it all right, but when God searches me as with a lighted candle, a good many things will come to light that perhaps I knew nothing about.
January 28th. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. —Matthew vi. 21.
IT does not take long to tell where a man's treasure is. In fifteen minutes' conversation with most men you can tell whether their treasures are on earth or in heaven. Talk tc a patriot about his country, and you will see his eye light up; you will find he has his heart there. Talk to business men, and tell them where they can make a thousand dollars, and see their interest; their hearts are there. Talk to people who are living just for fashion, of its affairs, and you will see their eyes kindle, they are interested at once; their hearts are there. Talk to a politician about politics, and you see how suddenly he becomes interested. And talk to a child of God, who is really laying up treasures in heaven, about heaven and about his future home, and he responds at once, there are chords in his heart that vibrate at the thought of heaven and home. January 29th. Godliness with contentment is great gain.—1 Timothy vi. 6.
WOULD to God we might all be able to say with Paul—" I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel." The Lord had made him partaker of His grace, and he was soon to be a partaker of His glory, and earthly things looked very small. "Godliness with contentment is great gain," he wrote to Timothy; "having food and raiment, therewith let us be content." Observe that he puts godliness first. No worldly gain can satisfy the human heart. Roll the whole world in and still there would be room.
And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.— Genesis iii. 10.
I\yi OST of us live away from home. We are hiding as Adam did in the bushes of Eden. There was a time when God's voice thrilled Adam's soul with joy and gladness, and he thrilled God's heart with joy. They lived in sweet fellowship with each other. God had lifted Adam to the very gates of heaven, had made him lord over all creation. I haven't a doubt that He had plans to raise Adam still higher—higher than the angels, higher than seraphim and cherubim, higher than Gabriel, who stands in the presence of Jehovah, and Michael, the archangel. But the man turned and became a traitor to Him who wanted to bless him.
As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.—John i. 1 2.
YES, sons of God! Power to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil; power to crucify every besetting sin, passion, lust; power to shout in triumph over every trouble and temptation of life, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!"