September 1st. Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. —Mark viii. 38.
T DO not believe there is any false religion in 1 the world that men are not proud of. The only religion of which I have ever heard, that men were ashamed of, is the religion of Jesus Christ. I preached two weeks in Salt Lake City, and I did not find a Mormon that was not proud of his religion. When within forty miles of Salt Lake City, the engineer came into the car and wanted to know if I wouldn't like to ride on the engine. I went with him, and in that forty mile ride he talked Mormonism to me the whole time, and tried to convert me so that I would not preach against the Mormons. But how many, many times I have found men ashamed of the religion of Jesus Christ, the only religion that gives men the power over their affections and lusts and sins!
September 2d. Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven thee.— Matthew ix. 2.
""THAT was more than his friends expected;
they only thought of his body being made whole. So let us bring our friends to Christ, and we shall get more than we expect.
The Lord met this man's deepest need first. It may be his sins had brought on the palsy, so the Lord forgave the man's sin first of all.
September 3d. Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.— Mark xv. 43.
I CONSIDER this one of the sublimest, *■ grandest acts that any man ever did. In the darkness and gloom, His disciples having all forsaken Him, Judas having sold Him for thirty pieces of silver, the chief apostle Peter having denied Him with a curse, swearing that he never knew Him, the chief priests having found Him guilty of blasphemy, the council having condemned Him to death, and when there was a hiss going up to heaven from over all Jerusalem, Joseph went right against the current, right against the influence of all his friends, and begged the body of Jesus.
Blessed act! Doubtless he upbraided himself for not having been more bold in his defence of Christ when He was tried, and before He was condemned to be crucified. The Scripture says he was an honorable man, an honorable councillor, a rich man, and yet we have only the record of that one thing—the one act of begging the body of Jesus. But what he did for the Son of God, out of pure love for Him, will live forever; that one act rises up above everything else that Joseph of Arimathea ever did.
September 4th. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with Me in paradise.—Luke xxiii. 42, 43.
\17HEN a prominent man dies, we are anxious to get his last words and acts. The last act of the Son of God was to save a sinner. That was a part of the glory of His death. He commenced His ministry by saving sinners, and ended it by saving this poor thief.
September 5th. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.—John xiv. i2.
T USED to stumble over that verse, but the longer I live the more I am convinced it is a greater thing to influence a man whose will ;c set against God, to have that will broken and brought into subjection to God's will—or, in other words, it is a greater thing to have power over a living, sinning, God-hating man, than to quicken the dead. He who could create a world could speak a dead man into life; but I think the greatest miracle this world has ever seen was the miracle at Pentecost. The men who surrounded the apostles were full of prejudice, full of malice, full of bitterness, their hands, as it were, dripping with the blood of the Son of God; and yet an unlettered man, a man whom they detested and hated, stood up and preached the gospel, and three thousand of them were immediately convicted and converted, and became disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become * new.—2 Corinthians v. 17.
I SAW an advertisement which read like this: * "If you want people to respect you, wear good clothes." That is the world's idea of getting the world's respect. Why! A leper may put on good clothes, but he is a leper still. Mere profession doesn't transform a man. It is the new nature spoken of in Corinthians, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
September 7th. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.—Philippians ii. 12, 13.
I HAVE very little sympathy with any man who has been redeemed by the precious blood of the Son of God, and who has not got the spirit of work. If we are children of God we ought not to have a lazy drop of blood in our veins. If a man tells me that he has been saved, and does not desire to work for the honor of God, I doubt his salvation.
Laziness belongs to the old creation, not to the new. In all my experience I never knew a lazy man to be converted—never. I have more hope for the salvation of drunkards, and thieves, and harlots than of a lazy man.
September 8th. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I -x say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.—John iii. 3.
HTHE only way to get into the kingdom of God is to be "born" into it. The law of this country requires that the President should be born in the country. When foreigners come to our shores they have no right to complain against such a law, which forbids them from ever becoming presidents. Now, has not God a right to make a law that all those who become heirs of eternal life must be "born" into His kingdom?
An unregenerated man would rather be in hell than in heaven. Take a man whose heart is full of corruption and wickedness, and place him in heaven among the pure, the holy and the redeemed; and he would not want to stay there. Certainly, if we are to be happy in heaven we must begin to make a heaven here on earth. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. If men were taken to heaven just as they are by nature, without having their hearts regenerated, there would be another rebellion in heaven. Heaven is filled with a company of those who have been Twice Born.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.—John xi. 25.
A T the battle of Inkerman a soldier was just
able to crawl to his tent after he was struck down. When found, he was lying upon his face, his open Bible before him, his hand glued fast to the page by his life-blood which covered it. When his hand was lifted, the letters of the printed page were clearly traced upon it, and with the ever-living promise in and on his hand, they laid him in a soldier's grave. The words were:
"I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
I want a religion that can comfort even in death, that can unite me with my loved ones. Oh, what gloom and darkness would settle upon this world if it was not for the glorious doctrine of the resurrection! Thank God, the glorious morning will soon break. For a little while God asks us to be on the watch-tower, faithful to Him and waiting for the summons. Soon our Lord will come to receive His own, whether they be living or dead.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another,—Ephesians iv. 25.
\17E have got nowadays so that we divide lies into white lies and black lies, society lies, business lies, and so on. The Word of God knows no such letting-down of the standard. A lie is a lie, no matter what are the circumstances under which it is uttered, or by whom. I have heard that in Siam they sew up the mouth of a confirmed liar. I am afraid if that was the custom in this land, a good many would suffer.
Parents should begin with their children while they are young and teach them to be strictly truthful at all times. There is a proverb: "A lie has no legs." It requires other lies to support it. Tell one lie and you are forced to tell others to back it up.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.—Matthew vii.
I\A ANY a man would be willing to enter into
1"1 the kingdom of God, if he could do it without giving up sin. People sometimes wonder why Jesus Christ, who lived six hundred years before Mohammed, has got fewer disciples than Mohammed to-day. There is no difficulty in explaining that. A man may become a disciple of Mohammed, and continue to live in the foulest, blackest, deepest sin; but a man cannot be a disciple of Christ without giving up sin.
Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.—Proverbs iii. 27.
A FTER the Chicago fire I came to New
York for money, and I heard there was a rich man in Fall River who was very liberal. So I went to him. He gave me a check for a
large amount, and then got into his carriage and drove with me to the houses of other rich men in the city, and they all gave me checks. When he left me at the train I grasped his hand and said:
"If you ever come to Chicago, call on me, and I will return your favor."
He said: "Mr. Moody, don't wait for me; do it to the first man that comes along."
I never forget that remark; it had the ring of the true good Samaritan.
Great peace have they who love Thy law; and nothing shall offend them.—Psalm cxix. 165.
""THE study of God's Word will secure peace.
Take those Christians who are rooted and grounded in the Word of God, and you will find they have great peace; but it is these who don't study their Bible, who are easily offended when some little trouble comes, or some little persecution. Just a little breath of opposition, and their peace is all gone.
September 14th. My son, give Me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe My ways.—Proverbs xxiii. 26.
T REMEMBER hearing a story about an Indian who wanted to come to the Lord. He brought his blanket, but the Lord wouldn't have it. He brought his gun, his dog, his bow and arrow, but the Lord wouldn't have them. At last he brought himself, and the Lord took him. The Lord wanted himself.
What the Lord wants is not what you have got, but yourself, and you cannot do a thing to please God until you surrender yourself to Him.
September 15th. Verify, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.—John xii. 24.
"TAKE a little black flower seed and sow it;
after it has been planted some time, dig it up. If it is whole you know that it has no life; but if it has begun to decay, you know that life and fruitfulness will follow. There will be a resurrected life, and out of that little black seed will come a beautiful fragrant flower.
Here is a disgusting grub, crawling along the ground. By and by old age overtakes it, and it begins to spin its own shroud, to make its own sepulchre, and it lies as if in death. Look again, and it has shuffled off its shroud, it has burst its sepulchre open, and it comes forth a beautiful butterfly, with different form and habits.
So with our bodies. They die, but God will give us glorified bodies in their stead. This is the law of the new creation as well as of the old: light after darkness: life after death: fruitfulness and glory after corruption■ and decay.
September 16th. From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house.—Nchemiah iii. 28.
TF this world is going to be reached, I am convinced it must be done by men and women of average talent. After all, there are comparatively few people in the world who have great talents. Here is a man with one talent; there is another with three; perhaps I may have only half a talent. But if we all go to work and trade with the gifts we have, the Lord will prosper us, and we may double or treble our talents. What we need is to be up and about our Master's work, every man building against his own house. The more we use the means and opportunities we have, the more will our ability and our opportunities be increased.
September 17th. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel.—Luke ii. 34.
PVO you know that the gospel of Jesus Christ proves either a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death? You sometimes hear people say: "We will go and hear this man preach. If it does us no good, it will do us no harm." Don't you believe it! Every time one hears the gospel and rejects it, the hardening process goes on. The same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay. The sermon that would have moved to action a few years ago makes no impression now.
There is not a true minister of the gospel who will not say that the hardest people to reach are those who have been impressed, and whose impressions have worn away. It is a good deal easier to commit a sin the second time than it was to commit it the first time, but it is a good deal harder to repent the second time than the first.
September 18th. And Zacchaus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.—Luke xix. 8.
A SHORT speech; but how the words have come ringing down through the ages! By making that remark Zacchaeus confessed his sin—that he had been dishonest. Besides that, he showed that he knew the requirements of the law of Moses. If a man had taken what did not belong to him, he was not only to return it, but to multiply it by four. I think that men in this dispensation ought to be fully as honest as men under the Law. I am getting so tired and sick of your mere sentimentalism, that does not straighten out a man's life. We may sing our hymns and psalms, and offer prayers, but they will be an abomination to God, unless we are willing to be thoroughly straightforward in our daily life. Nothing will give Christianity such a hold upon the world as to have God's believing people begin to act in this way. Zacchaeus had probably more influence in Jericho after he made restitution than any other man in it.
September 19th. To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.—Romans iv. 5.
T FREELY admit salvation is worth working for. It is worth a man's going round the world on his hands and knees, climbing its mountains, crossing its valleys, swimming its rivers, going through all manner of hardship in order to attain it. But we do not get it in that way. It is to him that believeth.
September 20th. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. —Revelation xix. 9.
T WOULD rather die to-night and be sure of sharing the bliss of the purified in yon world of light than live for centuries with the wealth of this world at my feet, and miss the marriage supper of the Lamb. I have missed many appointments in my life, but by the grace of God I mean to make sure of that one. Why, the blessed privilege of sitting down at the marriage supper of the Lamb, to see the King in His beauty, to be forever with the Lord—who would miss it?
September 21st. As thy days, so shall thy strength be.—Deuteronomy xxxiii. 25.
JVfl ANY look forth at the Christian life, and 1' *■ fear that they will not have sufficient strength to hold out to the end. They forget the promise "As thy days, thy strength." It reminds me of the pendulum to the clock which grew disheartened at the thought of having to travel so many thousands of miles; but when it reflected that the distance was to be accomplished by "tick, tick, tick," it took fresh courage to go its daily journey.
So it is the special privilege of the Christian to commit himself to the keeping of his heavenly Father, and to trust Him day by day. It is a comforting thing to know that the Lord will not begin the good work without also finishing it.
September 22d. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.—2 Corinthians vi. 17.
T BELIEVE that a Christian man should lead a separated life. The line between the church and the world is almost obliterated today. I have no sympathy with the idea that you must hunt up an old musty church record in order to find out whether a man is a member of the church or not. A man ought to live so that everybody will know he is a Christian. The Bible tells us to lead a separate life. You may lose influence, but you will gain it at the same time. I suppose Daniel was the most unpopular man in Babylon at a certain time, but, thank God, he has outlived all the other men of his day.
Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.—Joshua i. 2.
\A/E need the courage that will compel us to move forward. We may have to go against the advice of lukewarm Christians; there are some who never seem to do anything but object, because the work is not carried on exactly according to their ideas. They are very fruitful in raising objections to any plans that can be suggested. If any onward step is taken they are ready to throw cold water on it; and suggest all kinds of difficulties. We want to have such faith and courage as shall enable us to move forward without waiting for these timid unbelievers.
September 24th. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.—1 Corinthians xiii. 1.
TF we want to be wise in winning souls and to be vessels meet for the Master's use, we must get rid of the accursed spirit of self-seeking. That is the meaning of this chapter in Paul's letter. He told the Corinthians that a man might be full of faith and zeal, he might be very benevolent, but if he had not love he was like sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. I believe many men might as well go into the pulpit and blow a tin horn Sabbath after Sabbath as go on preaching without love. A man may preach the truth; he may be perfectly sound in doctrine; but if there is no love in his heart going out to those whom he addresses, and if he is doing it professionally, the apostle says he is only a sounding brass.
September 25th. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.—John v. 24. ]M OTE that the difference between a believer and unbeliever is right here. An unbeliever is living in his day, and he has nothing but a long dark eternal night to look forward to; a Christian is now living in his night, and he has a grand morning that he is looking forward to. The day is ahead, the glory is ahead, the best of life is ahead; it is not behind. That is the teaching of Scripture. For a man whose life is hid with Christ in God, judgment is already passed; he will not come into judgment. Christ was judged for me, and judgment is behind me, not before me.
September 26th. / take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.—2 Corinthians xii. 10.
"yHE devil thought he had done a very wise thing when he got Paul into prison, but he was very much mistaken; he overdid it for once. I have no doubt Paul has thanked God ever since for that Philippian jail, and for his stripes and imprisonment there. The world has made more by it than we shall ever know till we get to heaven.
September 27th. The way of transgressors is hard.—Proverbs xiii. 15. T~\0 you mean to say that God is a hard ^ master? that it is a hard thing to serve God, that Satan is an easy master, and that it is easier to serve him than God? God a hard maste-^ Y I read my Bible right, I read that the way of transgressors is hard. It is the devil who is the hard master. If you doubt it, young man, look at the convict in the prison, right in the bloom of manhood, right in the prime of life. He has been there for ten years, and must remain for ten years more—twenty years taken out of his life; and when he comes out of that miserable cell, he comes out a branded felon! Do you think that man will tell you that the way of the transgressor has been easy?
Go ask the poor drunkard, the man who is bound hand and foot, the slave of the infernal cup, who is hastening onward to a drunkard's hell. Ask him if he has found the way of the transgressor easy. "Easy?" he will cry; "easy? The way of the transgressor is hard, and gets harder and harder every day!"
Go ask the libertine and the worldling, go ask the gambler and the blasphemer, take the most faithful follower of the devil and put the questions to him; with one voice they will all tell you that the service has been hard.
Then said they unto Him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.—John vi. 34.
T CANNOT but believe that the reason for the standard of Christian life being so low, is that we are living on stale manna. You know what I mean by that. So many people are living on their past experience—thinking of the grand times they had twenty years ago, perhaps when they were converted. It is a sure sign that we are out of communion with God if we are talking more of the joy and peace and power we had in the past, than of what we have to-day. We are told to "grow in grace "; but a great many are growing the wrong way. The Israelites used to gather the manna fresh every day: they were not allowed to store it up. There is a lesson here for us. If we would be strong and vigorous, we must go to God daily. A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough to-day to last him for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at once to sustain life for a week to come. We must draw upon God's boundless stores of grace from day to day, as we need it.
September 29th. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.—Luke xv. 13.
T_F E started off, holding his head very high that morning. He was full of pride and conceit, and he had very lofty ideas. If any one had told him what he was coming to, he would
have laughed in scorn. But mind you, once a man starts on the downward track, he will sink lower and lower, unless by the grace of God he turns from sin to righteousness. The first lie, the first drink, the first petty theft, is often a crisis in a man's life.
And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.—Luke xiv. 23.
TS it not time for us to launch out into the deep? I have never seen people go out into the lanes and alleys, into the hedges and highways, and try to bring the people in, but the Lord gave His blessing. If a man has the courage to go right to his neighbor and speak to him about his soul, God is sure to smile upon the effort. The person who is spoken to may wake up cross, but that is not always a bad sign, he may write a letter next day and apologize. At any rate it is better to wake him up in this way than that he should continue to slumber on to death and ruin.