Philippians 1:6

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Through a Wilderness of Sins, Sorrows, Trials and Temptations

“Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years!” Deuteronomy 8:2

“Remember how He . . .
pitied us,
awakened us,
convinced us of sin, and
drew us to Himself by the cords of love!

Remember how often He has since . . .
healed our backslidings,
pardoned our sins,
borne with our unbelief, ingratitude, and stubborness,
supplied our needs,
listened to our complaints,
alleviated our sorrows, and
revived our drooping spirits when we were ready to faint.

In short, we must remember all the way which He has led us, these many years, through a wilderness of sins, sorrows, trials and temptations! ~ Edward Payson, 1783-1827

“He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions!” Deuteronomy 8:15

Grace Gems

Worthy Are You Lord

John 14:34

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God, Search Us

“The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9

There is wisdom in the wish that we might see ourselves, as others see us—for it would free us from many a blunder and foolish notion. We are prejudiced in our own favor. We are disposed to be charitable toward our own shortcomings. We make all sorts of allowances for our own faults. We are wonderfully patient with our own weaknesses. We are blind to our own blemishes. We look at our good qualities through magnifying glasses; and at our faults and errors with lenses reversed—making them appear very small. We see only the best of ourselves. If you were to meet yourself on the street some morning—that is, the person God sees you to be—you would probably not recognize yourself!

If the true chronicle of your life were written in a book, in the form of a story, and you were to read the chapters over—you probably would not identify the story as your own! We do not know our real self. We do not imagine there is so much about us that is morally ugly and foul, that is positively wicked. But God searches and knows the innermost and hidden things of our heart!

Are we ready to make the prayer for divine searching? Are we willing to have God search us—and find every secret, hidden sin in us? Are we willing for Him to go down into our heart, among our thoughts and affections and desires, and find and reveal to us every way of wickedness He discovers? Then are we willing to give up, tear out, and cast away forever from us, everything that God finds that is not holy?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way!” ~ J. R. Miller, 1912, from Looking One’s Soul in the Face

My Savior’s Love

Remember…

Remember Christ’s time of love when you were naked (Ezek 16:8,9), and then He chose you. Can you ever have a proud thought? Remember whose arms supported you from sinking and delivered you from the lowest hell (Psalm 86:13), and shout in the ears of angels and men (Psalm 148), and for ever sing praise, praise; grace, grace. Daily repent and pray, and walk in the sight of grace, as one that has the anointing of grace upon you. Remember your sins, Christ’s pardoning; your deserving, Christ’s merits; your weakness, Christ’s strength; your pride, Christ’s humility; your many infirmities, Christ’s restoring; your guilts, Christ’s new applications of His blood; your failings, Christ’s raising up; your needs, Christ’s fullness; your temptations, Christ’s tenderness; your vileness, Christ’s righteousness. Blessed soul! whom Christ shall find not having on his own righteousness (Phil 3:9), but having his robes washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14). ~

Honey Out of the Rock by Thomas Wilcox (1621-1687)

Zephaniah 3:17

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A Word About Temper

An Exerpt:

A fable relates that in the depth of a forest, there lived two foxes. One of them said to the other one day, in the politest of fox-language, “Let’s quarrel!”

“Very well,” said the other; “but how shall we go about it?”

They tried all sorts of ways—but in vain, for both would give way. At last, one fox brought two stones.

“There!” said he. “Now you say they are yours—and I’ll say they are mine—and we will quarrel and fight and scratch! Now I’ll begin.

“Those stones are mine!”

“All right!” answered the other fox, “you are welcome to them.”

“But we shall never quarrel at this rate,” replied the first.

“No, indeed, you old simpleton! Don’t you know, that it takes two to make a quarrel?”

So the foxes gave up trying to quarrel, and never played at this silly game again.

The fable has its lesson for other creatures, besides foxes. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,” Paul tells us, “we should live peaceably with all men.”

A wise man says, “Every man takes care that his neighbors shall not cheat him—but a day comes when he begins to care—that he does not cheat his neighbors. Then all goes well.” So long as a man sees only the quarrelsome temper of his neighbor—he is not far toward holiness. But when he has learned to watch and to try to control his own temper, and to weep over his own infirmities—he is on the way to Christ-likeness, and will soon be conqueror over his own weakness!

Life is too short to spend even one day of it in bickering and strife! Love is too sacred to be forever lacerated and torn by the ugly briers of sharp temper! Surely we ought to learn to be loving and patient with others—since God has to show every day such infinite patience toward us! Is not the very essence of true love—the spirit that is not easily provoked, that bears all things? Can we not, then, train our life to sweeter gentleness? Can we not learn to be touched even a little roughly, without resenting it? Can we not bear little injuries, and apparent injustices, without flying into a rage? Can we not have in us something of the mind of Christ, which will enable us, like him, to endure all wrong and injury and give back no word or look of bitterness? The way over which we and our friend walk together, is too short to be spent in wrangling. ~ J.R. Miller – A Word About Temper