WALKING WITH JESUS by Mary Winslow
Spiritual meditations for pilgrims in a weary land on their way to glory!
Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of a throne of grace! It is the only verdant, refreshing spot in this world's wide wilderness. To have the sensible presence of God, the heart of a loving Father to confide in, who is able to do all and more than we require; to have Him always near, His hand ever stretched out; Oh, the comfort! This is my sweetest spot and chief comfort in earth's wild wilderness, where I carry all my cares and troubles, and am ever sure to receive a welcome in the face of a reconciled Father. Oh, the loving heart of Christ! Although He knows our ten thousand infirmities, He does not turn a deaf ear to our poor supplications, but with His own blood blots out all their imperfections.
Why does God discipline His own children but to teach them their own weakness and helplessness, and to make them cling all the closer to Himself. All our trials and afflictions are to wean us from the creature, the world, and self; to find all we need or can wish in the fulness of Jesus. "From among all the families on the earth, I chose you alone. That is why I must punish you for all your sins." Our chastisement is one proof of God's love for us.
Oh, what poor creatures are we, and how needful to have One all mighty and all love to keep us in the way, in spite of our wretched proneness to wander far from our best Friend! How often, had He left us to our own way, we would have ruined ourselves, soul and body, have made shipwreck of our faith, and have been lost forever! Oh, the patience of this good and gracious God, who bears with our woeful manners in the wilderness from moment to moment, and deals not with us according to the least of our sins!
Beloved, you belong to Him who loves you, and who in infinite wisdom and wondrous love will take His own way, His wise way, His loving way, which will be the best for you through time and eternity.
What wretched work it is to depend upon the creature, who changes and varies in all its feelings, purposes, and affections every moment! But our best, dearest, and only Friend changes not. He cannot change, because He is God. A God, too, all sufficient and all mighty. Such is your Friend and mine. So never be cast down. If He has given His Son for us, will He withhold any other good thing? He knows the end from the beginning. We know nothing beyond the present moment. If left to ourselves, we would destroy ourselves; but He has promised to provide, and to care for, and to preserve us, even to the end.
I feel much sympathy for you in this afflictive visitation of our God. It has a voice. He does nothing in vain. He does not afflict willingly. It is, among other designs, to wean us from the world and from ourselves, and from those creature ties which so much draw our hearts from Him, so that we have but half for God. Let us gird up the loins of our mind, and start afresh for heaven. Why does He afflict and correct those whom He loves? It is to cause them to live more above a dying world, walking more humbly and closely with Him. He is jealous of our love.
Never sit down and reason what you should do in this or that perplexity, but go at once to the Lord with it, distrusting your own heart; which is deceitful above all things; but trusting Him, which you may safely do. We are poor blind creatures, and need this Heavenly gracious Guide.
How tenderly is He watching over us! His sleepless eye of love ever upon us; a Friend to guide us through the wilderness, encircled, as we are, by a host of beasts of prey. How wondrous that we are not lost, and lost forever, living in a world lying in the wicked one! No power short of Omnipotence could preserve us from his malice, or foil his deep laid schemes for our ruin. What a debt of love we owe Him who, seeing our danger, ran to our rescue, and undertook our eternal salvation!
A needy sinner and an all sufficient Savior can walk sweetly together.
I wish only to live to show my love to Him, and to manifest the power of His grace in one who in herself is one lump of sin and defilement. How marvellous that the Lord should select out of the mass of the world's sinful beings such a one as myself to show forth the power of His redeeming love and grace! Every fresh manifestation of this love breaks the heart, and humbles the soul even to the dust!
Time is hastening us on, and the moment will quickly come when our dearest Friend will claim us as His own and for Himself. Then we shall see Him face to face; and who will shout the loudest in glory? I think I shall. For, what has He not forgiven me? No tongue can tell how my heart goes out, at times, in wondering gratitude and adoring love towards Him. Such is the Lord Jesus that angels themselves know not half His worth. It is sinners, poor sinners like myself; helpless, lost, ruined in themselves; who alone can appreciate the glorious finished work of Jesus. My soul at this moment; weeping while I write; rejoices with joy unspeakable and full of glory in God my Savior.
Let us live as candidates for a crown of glory. This will keep us above the trials and the trifles of time.
When we turn from earth and gaze upon the glorious prospect that is before us; when we see what rich provision is made in the gospel for such poor sinners as we are; when we see Jesus at the right hand of God waiting to receive us home; when we realize that a very few steps we have to take and then we will be done with time, and a vast eternity burst upon us with all its solemn and glorious realities, oh, how does the world, with all its tinsel and toys, its emptiness and nothingness, sink into the dust beneath our feet! The present world is but weariness, disappointment, and vexation of spirit. Take it in whatever form you may, it brings its troubles and its sorrows.
What debtors we are to grace for opening our eyes to see our need of Jesus, and our hearts to receive Him as the best and dearest of God's blessings to this fallen world!
Nothing is too trifling to bring to Him, which is a trouble to us. It is better to go to God than to the best, the wisest, or kindest earthly friend. Only let us come with the one request which presses the most upon our hearts, to our Guide, our Protector, our Provider, our best Friend and Brother.
How are you traveling heavenward? Are you enjoying the light of His countenance, without which nothing on earth can give true happiness, either here or hereafter? Is Jesus precious? Are you enabled to say, "My best Beloved is mine, and I am His?"
Child of God, Jesus loves you and is watching over your every step through the wilderness. And although you are prone to forget Him, He never for a moment forgets you.
Alas! we live so below our high and heavenly calling, our glorious and eternal destiny!
The day my beloved pastor died, I could have danced for joy, I so vividly and sensibly realized the scene which was taking place between Jesus and himself. I could imagine I heard the "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord!"
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev. 21:4 Do you not almost envy those who have escaped from sin and sorrow and suffering, and are so signally honored as to see Jesus, to bask in the full sunshine of His glory, and to sit forever at His feet? See the loved ones enter the gates of heaven; angels their attendants! See the glorified, loving Savior holding out the golden scepter, and saying, "Come, you blessed of my Father!" Could we be so selfish as to wish them back? Oh no! No more pain, no more sighing, no more sorrow, no more sin!
The humble, penitential, minute confession of sin will keep the conscience tender, create a watchful spirit within, sanctify the heart, and draw us closer and closer to the Cross, and to the Christ of the Cross. Thus go to Jesus. He is with you in all your concerns, in all your trials, in all your blessings, in all your sorrows and in all your joys. His dear eye is ever upon you for good. He loved you with an everlasting love, and with loving kindness drew you to Himself. Veil no secrets from Him. Keep an open heart with Christ. If your love is cold, He will warm it. If your spirit is depressed, He will raise it. If your corruptions are strong, He will subdue them. The oftener you come the more welcome you will be. You cannot weary nor wear Him out!
Time is short, and eternity with all its solemnities will soon burst upon our view! And yet how many who profess and call themselves Christians fritter away their little measure of time in the baubles of this present evil world! Is not this the worst species of madness? May the Lord make us faithful to Him, urging all we love to flee from the wrath to come, pointing them to the Lamb of God whose blood cleanses from sin and sanctifies the heart!
How often we detect ourselves endeavoring to build our nest below, and get wounded by thorns and thistles, with prowling beasts, the voice of the roaring lion seeking for his prey! What a mercy that Jehovah is round about His people, defending them, and watching over them with a sleepless eye, in their eventful and perilous journey homeward! Let us take the world just as God makes it to us, and desire no more than what He gives. To the believer, this world is a great snare and hindrance! The flesh lusts after it, and we require to be constant in prayer to repel its assaults and to resist its seductions.
Dear friend, we are but shadows, passing from shadows, to solemn and glorious realities. We live in a dying world. Death seems stalking about, summoning many to the judgment seat of Christ. What a mercy to be found ready; and when we meet Him, to recognize in the face of the judge upon the throne, the Savior who hung upon the cross; our dearest Friend who died for us, that we might live forever! My own mind is kept sweetly staid upon God, and my eye, in a great measure, fixed upon eternity, to which I am fast approaching.
This poor world is but a wilderness. And who would desire to dwell forever in a wilderness?
Oh for hearts to feel His great goodness, in all the ways He takes with us!
Yes, we are traveling home to God. Our princely mansion is above, prepared for us from the foundation of the world by the hand of Him who loves with an eternal love. Let us be satisfied to be but strangers and pilgrims here in a strange land; looking and longing for the time when He will say to us, "Arise, My love, My fair one, and come away!" We do not know how soon our journey may terminate. Let us be ready; our lamps trimmed, and brightly burning.
I am fully persuaded that formality is the bane of spiritual religion; religion of form without power; of possession, without recognition; satisfied with the performance of a duty, without the sweet enjoyment of a privilege.
How vain it is to look for happiness in this vile and rebellious world; a world lying in the wicked one. God never designed that His people should have a resting place here, where sin and sorrow meet us at every step. In Him alone we can rest. And when faith is tried and exercised, how pleasant to feel that we have this rest; a rest in His changeless love, deeper than the ocean, vast as eternity.
How sweet is close, confidential communion with Jesus! How fully we can then unveil all our hearts to Him; disclosing every secret; making known every need; and bringing our hidden enemies, our corruptions, to Him, that He might slay them before our eyes!
God is love! Nothing but love to His beloved ones! One ocean of love! Love in all His varied dealings and dispensations of His all wise providence. Dark clouds may hover over us, but love is embosomed in them all. The atmosphere of heaven, too, is love. And before long our bark will float in that infinite sea! What a prospect lies before us!
Oh, He is a jealous God, and will have us lean, not upon the creature, but upon Himself.
These very trials, which now seem ready to crush you, are among the "all things" that are working for your best and eternal interests. The Lord your God is at this moment watching over you for good. From everlasting He has loved us, and will love us through all the varying, shifting scenes and dispensations of His loving providence.
It is sweet to traverse this wilderness with our hand in His, safely led along each narrow path we tread. None but Jesus can make us happy here or hereafter.
Look often at your eternal inheritance. Take your walks by faith in the garden of love above. See Jesus there no longer wearing the crown of thorns but the diadem of glory! Let us give to Him an undivided heart.
What distinguishing grace to us, which has opened our eyes to see our danger and our Refuge; which has led to God's well beloved Son, to be saved in Him with a present, sure, and everlasting salvation!
Let us think more of what awaits us. This will sweeten present trial, and subdue a repining and complaining spirit. We must converse less with the conflicts and trials of the way, however painful, and more with the glory that is to be revealed. Let us draw near to Him, and He will draw near to us.
The formalist and the Pharisee! There is, perhaps, nothing more difficult than to bring a poor formalist out of his religious formality; or a poor Pharisee to drop his filthy rags, and come to Jesus just as he is: blind, naked, wretched. An 'empty sinner' and a 'full Savior' can alone walk together!
Dear friend, when He raises His chastening hand, run at once into His bosom! You cannot lie long there without feeling the throbbings of His loving heart; and this will heal the sorrow, quell the fear, disarm the rebellion, and peace and rich consolation will be the blessed result.
I not only love Him for what He has done for me, but for what He is in Himself; the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely One!
Why should Christ care for us, vile creatures? Oh, what a Savior is ours!
Whenever any cross of whatever kind comes in my way, I take it at once to the Lord. It is, thenceforth, no more a trouble to me. He makes the rough places smooth and the crooked paths straight.
The more I read the Bible, and the closer my communion with Jesus, the more persuaded I am, that so matchless and wondrous is the efficacy of that atonement He has made to Divine Justice, the vilest sinner that breathes the faintest, believing cry to Him for mercy; even at a dying moment- He will hear and save. The thief on the cross found it so!
The broken and the contrite heart God will not despise. There are few who view sin as it really is: a rebellion against the best of beings, the holy Lord God. And many such, without any true self knowledge, take up a profession of religion, float but upon the surface, and imagine they are in reality what they are not.
The life of God in the renewed soul is an astonishing thing. How this great and mysterious work is carried on must be a study and a wonder to the angelic world, and a wonder often to the Christian himself. We do well to watch the dealings of God with us, tracing His love and power in counteracting and overruling, subduing and sanctifying, thus fitting us for the kingdom of glory. May the Lord keep us, and cause us to see that we have but one thing to do, which is, to aim in all things to glorify and honestly to walk with Him.
A constant resort to the Fountain open for sin and uncleanness keeps the conscience undefiled and the heart tender, humble, and loving.
We live in such poor, frail bodies, it is all of mercy that we do not suffer more than we do. Sin, sin has done it all, and sorrow follows close upon its steps. Every pang should remind us of this, and remind us, too, that God has something better in reserve for us who love Him.
How condescending is Christ to one unworthy of a single crumb of mercy from His hands! But so it is! He will, in the exercise of His own sovereignty, have mercy upon whom He will have mercy, and He has had mercy upon me!
We have to contend with a host of enemies, all opposed to the progress of Christ's kingdom. What are we to do? Carry them to Jesus to subdue them for us, for we have no power in ourselves. If we attempt to subdue even one small corruption in our own wisdom and strength, we fail at once, for the smallest will be more than our match. Christ has reminded us, "Without Me, you can do nothing."
We must have more to do with eternal realities. Let us relinquish the poor trifles of earth, and fix our thoughts, and affections, and hopes more on the future.
Our precious Jesus, who deserves ten thousand hearts, if we had them, receives, alas! but half a heart, while the world would retain the other half.
The morning is to me the sweetest and most important time of the day. I then enjoy much of the presence of Him whom my soul loves; and without these sweet visits from Him, what a wretched void would this world be to the Christian! Oh for closer communion, holier intimacy, with the Father and His Son Christ Jesus. This is what we need to raise us above earth, and inspire our soul to depart and to be with Christ. We too much cling to earth and its trifles, forgetting that glory awaits us, and that an instant may put us into its full possession. How much we need to be constantly reminded of this!
It is a mercy to know that the bounds of our habitation are fixed; that is, appointed by Him who cannot err, and who sees the end from the beginning.
We live in a mournful and dying world. What a poor world, if this were to be our all! But to God's children it is but the passage across the desert, in which we are schooled and prepared for the Canaan Jesus has gone to prepare for us! But how do we murmur, often, at the training we have to go through; at the hard lessons we have to learn!
What a hospital is this world! There is but one remedy for all it's evils; the precious blood of Jesus, God's dear Son.
How mysterious are the ways of God! They are often to us a great enigma. But what we don't know now, we shall fully and eternally know hereafter. By all the varying dispensations of His infinitely wise providence, we are being disciplined for the glory that shall be revealed in us.
Afflictions, trials, and cares are the medicine of the soul, bitter for the present, but most salutary and healthful in their hallowed result. How little do we know, or still less can we judge, of Jesus' love to us while passing through a dark cloud. This is the time for faith to repose sweetly on the faithfulness of our unchanging God and Father. Let us then wait, and watch, and pray, looking unto the Lord, whose love never varies. He is doing all things well. Only trust Him, and never doubt, though you cannot discern a ray of light. Place your hand in His, and He will gently and skillfully lead you through every dark providence. Beloved, what an ocean of consolation is this!
I shall not be long here. Heaven looks very attractive. No more tears, no more parting, no more sin there. Who would not live for this glorious eternity!
Oh, how faintly do we realize the wondrous blessings that await us- the fulness of joy, and the pleasures that are at God's right hand! Oh, that we would lived up to them! This passing world engrosses too much our thoughts and time, that we forget the Lord is caring for us, ordering all our concerns in such a way as that we need be anxious for nothing. And all we have to do is to rest upon Him as little helpless children would do upon the tenderest mother. A mother may forget, yet God will not forget us!
Oh what love, that He should ever have descended from His exalted habitation in glory for the express purpose of suffering in our stead, fulfilling the law, atoning for our sins, leaving not one unpardoned thought, word, or deed; then rising from the grave, proving thereby that He had conquered all our enemies, and ascending up on high as our Redeemer, taking possession of heaven for us until He shall have brought home the last elect vessel of mercy!
Do not be satisfied with a little when there is such a rich abundance treasured up in Christ Jesus for us.
Why does the Lord employ the chastening of trial? Is it not with the view to draw us closer to Himself! Is it not to weaken the world's attractions, teaching us that this is not our rest, for it is polluted?
Ten minutes at the feet of Jesus, in a full view of His love, while confessing sins and shortcomings; sins we know already pardoned; yet sorrowing that we should ever grieve One who so tenderly loves us, is a happiness I would not exchange for millions of worlds!
Oh, what a poor wretched exchange professors make when they barter the blessings of a close walk with God, for the beggarly enjoyments of an empty, disappointing world!
If we would keep under control the old nature within us (which can never be mended); and the world outside us (which will ever be what it is); it must be by the increase of every grace of the Spirit within us. Faith in Christ will overcome the cunning world outside us, and the more subtle world within us.
It is no common journey we are upon. Every step of the way is important, and fraught with the deepest interest. God the Father is watching every trembling step we take. God the Son tenderly and graciously enters into all our difficulties, discouragements, and conflicts. God the Holy Spirit instructs and leads us onward, whispering words of comfort, and imparting new life and energy to our minds, by leading us constantly to the Fountain of living waters.
It is a melancholy spectacle to see many who seemed to run well for a season, slacken in the race, and afterwards grow weary, and turn back, and walk no more with Jesus. It is to the flesh so self denying a way; and its pleasures and joys so entirely internal, apart from anything external and visible; that the mere nominal Christian, the religious formalist, soon wearies, turns back, and finds that he was not a true pilgrim.
You and I have but a little while to honor God. Eternity, with all its solemn realities, is before us. Let us not lose a moment of the little space that is left us. Every thought, every word, every step is all important. We must live for God, and for God only. To Him we belong. He has redeemed us at a vast price, and we are His and His alone. Living for Him here, is a pledge of our being with Him throughout an endless and ever increasingly glorious eternity. God be praised for such a hope beaming with immortality beyond the grave!
We were traveling the broad road to eternal woe when Jesus met us and turned our feet into the narrow road that leads to eternal life. What could move His heart towards us? It was love; love from everlasting, and love to everlasting. And it is that same love that still watches over us day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. And although we often loath ourselves, His love never varies. Is it not surprising that He can love us while we hate ourselves? But such is our Jesus. He is ours, and we are His.
The Lord is good, but how little we understand of His goodness! But a blessed eternity will be ever unfolding it to our hearts. The marvel is, that we are so well satisfied to remain where we are, and are not longing more to depart and be where we shall behold Him as He is in all His unveiled beauty and excellence. If the 'drops' we get here are so sweet and refreshing, what must the 'ocean fulness' be!
Is it not marvellous that after all our ungrateful returns and sad departures, He should yet stand with open arms to receive and welcome us back when a fresh trouble brings us to His feet? None but Christ could or would do this!
Nothing in the Christian's life happens in this valley of tears but what God overrules for our best interests. Every event in God's loving dealings is designed to draw us sensibly nearer to Himself.
Let us apply continually to Jesus, and not fail to take our little matters as well as our greater ones. I often find that it requires stronger faith to carry minor concerns to Him than weightier ones. Our lives are made up of little things, like small links in a great chain, forming a complete whole.
We should see His loving hand in all the varying dispensations of His righteous providence. Let us aim to walk by faith in this poor world, through which we are traveling home to a better world. Our ever vigilant foe, the devil, seeks to entrap and wound us; while we have a yet greater enemy within, ever ready to listen to his subtle reasoning. How much need have we to cry to the Lord, "Hold me up, and I shall be safe!"
I can seldom feel the love of Christ without a sensibility that moves me to tears. To think He should ever set His heart upon such sinners as we are; so love us as to lay down His life for us; and still love us in spite of all our wanderings and shortcomings, coldness, barrenness, and forgetfulness of Him; to love us notwithstanding all! Is it not enough to cause us to weep, and to lay ourselves in the dust at His feet, that, in return, we love Him so little?
In all the difficulties we meet in our pilgrim way, let us not sit down and brood over them lest our heart deceive us; but go at once with them to the Lord, making Him, with an open heart, our Confidant.
Let us view the world as passing away, and we ourselves passing away with it. It matters but little whether we are rich or poor, learned or unlearned, for soon we shall be with the Lord, who will come and receive us to Himself. Let us be watchful against the world's entanglements, gathering up our garments that they trail not upon the earth.
What a mercy to know that I am in the hands of One who loves me better than any earthly being can, and better than I can love myself. I feel so sweetly to rely upon the tender care and watchful providence of God, that my heart often overflows with a sense of His goodness and my own unworthiness; and that He should condescend to look upon such a one, and above all to love so worthless a sinner as myself.
We shall have to praise and bless His holy name throughout eternity, for every trial He has been pleased to give us. God is love; and all His purposes towards us are unchanging love, eternal as His being.
May the Lord keep us humble, meekly sitting at His feet, feeling our own wretched weakness and liability to fall, and enable us to look to Him for strength, wisdom, and grace, and above all for precious faith that we might hold fast our confidence to the end!
I firmly believe that when my eyes close on earth, they will instantly open upon Jesus, the first precious object I shall see!
What a God is our God! Who would not love Him! So good, sympathizing, and full of love! Oh for a tongue to praise Him here! We shall be fully able when we reach 'home'.
Little faith can get to heaven, though strong faith will bring us greater comfort, and the vessel will hold more of the coming glory.
We do not expect to travel through this wilderness exempt from its thorns and briers; but it is well when we feel Jesus is with us, and we can lean upon His arm, and often repose our weary heads upon His loving bosom, while He speaks to us and says, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." You need have no troubles- take all to Him, who will arrange them better for you than you can for yourself. Only beware of sitting down first to consult your own heart, and then, when this is done, to think of going to Jesus for help and counsel. Go at once to Christ! Whatever happens, go and tell Jesus, making Him your Confidant, your Friend, your All.
It is sweet to feel Jesus' love kindling in our hearts, enabling us to draw sensibly near, telling Him every need, and wish, and fear. This is your Friend and mine.
Cheer up! We are now nearer glory than when we first believed. There sits Jesus, once crowned with thorns, bruised and crucified for your sins and mine, in all His ineffable beauty and glory waiting to bid us welcome home. "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." Heaven is not so far off as we think. It invites us; and it is but a step and we are there! This poor world is not our rest! Heaven is our home, and we are but sojourners here in this wilderness for a while, soon to be away! Cheer up!
Holy counsels to a young clergyman- The Holy Spirit must be your teacher. He alone can accompany His own Word spoken to the soul. He it is who gives life. He it is that convinces of sin, strips the sinner of his filthy rags, and applies the blood of Christ to the guilty conscience and speaks peace. Do not give the promises to the goats, which are intended only for the sheep! Here, my friend, make a distinction, lest any take the children's bread and are self deceived. I have seen a whole congregation addressed as believers, while fully two thirds or more were unconverted! Oh, how awful is such a deception! Oh, preach with your eye upon eternity! Preach the gospel as though Jesus were at your side! Think of the never dying souls around you, unawakened, insensible, led captive by Satan at his will. Work for Christ. Be much in prayer. Go to Jesus for all your supplies. "Without me you can do nothing." Get your message from Him. Great is your work! Vast is your responsibility! You are in yourself powerless, but He is all power, and is ready to give you all you need. Carry your empty vessel to His overflowing fountain of living grace!
Pray in prayer. Oh, how many unmeaning, heartless prayers are offered up that never reach the ear or heart of God!
Praise and laud His holy name for all His mighty goodness and rich display of love to us, poor lost sinners! It was love that carried Him through His deep degradation and sorrow, and that transfixed Him to the cross! It was boundless, matchless love from first to last! Oh, should we not live for Him! I think if I had ten thousand hearts, I would give them all to Him! May the Lord bless you with much of His presence, and shed abroad His own precious love in your heart!
Dear friend, do you feel Jesus precious to your soul? Is He not the fountain, yes, the ocean of love? Oh, get much of His love into your heart! Aim to live on high! The soul naturally, through the weakness of the flesh, cleaves to the dust; and Satan is ever busy in encumbering our minds with the poor world we are rapidly passing through. Well may he be called the "god of this world." Do not be ignorant of his devices.
While passing through all the daily changes of life, we should call to mind that, either sooner or later, we are hastening to the great and most eventful change that will take place. The world, with Satan at its head, will be incessantly calling off our attention to the poor trifles of time, making every effort to occupy our thoughts, and so leave very few, if any, for the glory that awaits us above. Do we not daily see the extreme folly of taking up our rest here on earth?
On looking back upon the past of my eventful life, I can trace God's fatherly hand in all His correctings and disappointings, the crosses and losses by the way, and how needful they all were to bring me to seek all my good in Jesus; for in Him I find all my soul needs.
Oh, to have such a Friend to go to, who has all things at His command; the gold and the silver are His, and the cattle upon a thousand hills, and all hearts are His. Let there be no distance between you and Jesus. Live upon Him. Live for Him. Yes, live with Him even here. Cling to Him, for He is your life. Carry all your cares, little or great, to Him. He will listen to all. It is written, "Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." Do not let the poor trifles, the gewgaws of this trifling world entangle your heart's best affections. Look at this world as "passing away," and not worthy of a thought. Keep close to Jesus. He loves you. Oh, repay Him by giving Him your whole, your undivided heart! He will accept it just as it is, and make it all you may wish to have it.
Oh, this is a world full of snares, and our sinful hearts are so deceitful, they are ever ready to fall into them.
Dear child of God, Jesus' loving eye is ever upon you, and His loving heart is ever towards you.
Jesus is now, though in heaven, what He was when on earth. He is just as ready to bow down His loving ear, and listen to our faintest whisper, as He was when here in this world of sin and sorrow. He was never known to turn one away that came to Him for help. He is the same now; full of the tenderest sympathy; and He needs us to deal with Him as helpless children, who can do nothing of ourselves that is good, and need to be led and upheld every step we take in this sinful and treacherous world.
The purity of heaven is sweetly attractive, and, next to being with Jesus, will make heaven what it is, a place of perfect happiness. It is sin that creates all our sorrow here on earth.
Truly, all whose eyes the Lord has opened must say this is a world of sorrow. Trials, in endless forms- crosses, sickness, temptations; assail us at every step we take through this wilderness. But we look for better things to come. The Lord is too good to put us off, even with the best of this poor world. For what is the best of it? If we had health, riches, and all the honor of a princely throne, what would they avail us? We are appointed to die, and a better world, or a worse world, is prepared for us.
I am unworthy of the least crumb of mercy that falls from His own dear, loving hand.
Remember, all the way you are led is chalked out for you by infinite wisdom; and in that covenant that is ordered in all things and sure. Not a step we take but is ordered by infinite love. All our chastenings and rebukes are so many precious tokens of our adoption into the family of God. Unbelief would often suggest hard thoughts of Him whose heart is always love towards us; but He, seeing the best way for each to attain to that blessed preparation for the full enjoyment of what He has gone to prepare for us, deals with us as seems in His infinite wisdom to be the best. Then, let us hush every murmur, or desire to have our own way, seeing that the Lord's way must be the best way. When we get above, we shall then study all the way He has led us, and admire and adore the wisdom that condescended to take such care of us, and at last to make all our trials, crosses, and losses, to work together for our good and His glory.
May we never forget that God's glory is connected with every step a saint of God takes through the wilderness.
How sweet it is to look above and beyond this transient valley of tears! This is not our rest, because it is polluted. There is no sickness in heaven; no desponding feelings there; all love, enjoyment, and blessedness.
How is our loving, gracious God dealing with you? In all His dealings, whatever they may be, there is nothing but the tenderest love towards you, all designed to draw you nearer and nearer to Himself. We are tried in order to bring us to a better acquaintance with His tenderness, sympathy, and unchanging love. He cares for you. You need not trouble yourself about, or load yourself with, earthly cares. Carry them, as they arise, to Him. Do not fret yourself about managing matters, when He, who has sent the cares, will manage better for you than you can for yourself. Come with an open heart, and pour all into His own loving heart. This is the confidence He loves. What a mercy to have such a God and Father to deal with us, who pities and loves us too! Oh, let us rejoice together, and cast all our cares upon Him, and be anxious for nothing.
Do not be concerned with all the tinsel glory of this empty, unsatisfying world. It is not worth a straw when compared with what awaits us! What an unsatisfying world this is, to have our all in! How trifling does everything appear which is not in some way connected with God's glory. Look upon all you now see or admire as passing away, yourself passing away with it. This world is a waste land, a howling desert! Oh, that we did but consider it as such, and expect nothing in it but thorns and thistles; looking unceasingly, with the anticipation of holy joy, to the period when He shall say to us, "Come away, my love, my fair one, enter into the joy of your Lord!"
Go to Jesus when you will, you will be always welcome, and never more so than when you come full of needs. You may tire a fellow creature out with your often coming, but you will never weary Jesus, your own Jesus, that Brother born for your adversity. Recollect you can, at all times, and under all circumstances, in the streets, in company, abroad, or at home, have the loving, listening ear of Jesus! What an honor is this put upon a poor worm! Whatever concerns you, equally concerns Christ.
What poor creatures we are if left to ourselves! What a mercy there is One that loves us better than we love ourselves, and will watch over us all our journey here, and who has engaged (by all the varying dispensations of His providence) to prepare us for that blessed place He has gone to prepare for us. And oh, what a place will that be! Love Him supremely! Live for eternity! Live for Jesus! Have much to do with Him!
Live for eternity! This world is not worth living for. Its honors, its riches, its glories are things ever passing away; but the love of Jesus is eternal as Himself. Oh, live for eternity! The glory of this world is fading, and is soon gone, and gone forever! Again I say, live for a glorious eternity! If you could have the glory, the wealth, and the honors of this world laid at your feet, short would be the empty enjoyment of them. Then, live and act with reference to eternity! And oh, the glory that awaits the true follower of Christ, who has cast overboard all that the world calls good and grand, and taking the Bible as his directory, walks as Jesus did.
Let us keep very near to Jesus. Be much in close communion with Him. While we tell Him all that is in our hearts, He will unfold His own tender loving heart to us. How He loves us! It is His glory and delight to do us good. We must die before we can know how much He loves. He is watching over us moment by moment; and there is not a pain or a trial but by its discipline He is preparing us for that dwelling above, which His infinite love has prepared for us, and which He will have us in the full enjoyment of.
We need not fear the prospect of changing worlds- earth for heaven; sin for holiness; and the disappointing creature for the overflowing fountain of all goodness and love. That world we hope to go to is worthy of all our thoughts and best affections.
I can truly say I love the Lord. But oh, how little in proportion to His love to me!
Who could or would have borne with us as Jesus has done? He has led and kept us, loving us in spite of all that was so unlovely in us.
What a change from a bed of suffering at once into the presence of Christ! Oh, let us make and sustain a close acquaintance with Christ here, that we may not feel we are going to a stranger when we depart, but to be with one with whom we have had close communion and heavenly communion here below.
Truly we live in a dying world! We see one another pass away out of sight, and yet how little impression it makes upon the survivors!
What a mercy to know that all these events which seem confusion to us are, even now, accomplishing His own eternal plans and purposes of love. Oh to trust Him fully, and watch His providence in all that is transpiring.
Is it not a blessed thing to know that God has to do with us, and that we have to do with God, every moment of our fleeting existence? How precious is the thought! I would not desire it otherwise for millions of worlds! It is the joy of my heart by night and by day. How sweetly and securely can I travel through all the intricate mazes of this wilderness state, while I feel that God is with me, that His eye is upon me, and His heart toward me.
Oh, to be more alive to eternal things, and to sit loose to the things that are passing away daily. We too much magnify present trifles, and dwell too little upon the glory that awaits us above. And yet, in one moment, we may be put into possession of our glorious inheritance. What a heaven awaits us! What glory is before us! Jesus standing ready to receive us! Let us encourage each other in the way. We shall soon be at home; our happy home; no home like it here. It is sweet in prospect! Absent from the body, present with the Lord!
Blessed be God for all the rich supplies afforded us in this wilderness.
Such a Friend is Christ to us- always ready to help us, to strengthen us, to comfort us when we are cast down, and to lift us above the base cares of time, and to speak sweet peace to our too often failing and doubting hearts. Unbelief, cruel unbelief, destroys more than half our comforts while on our short passage to glory.
A little while and we shall be put into possession of our glorious inheritance; and all our poor, short lived trials, crosses, and disappointments are so many rich blessings in disguise to prepare us for it. What a hope we have of being shortly with Jesus! Oh that we might be kept disentangled from the rubbish of this fallen world! In a fallen house we must expect a great deal of rubbish; such are the poor trifles of this contaminating world by which we are so often engrossed, and through which we are so rapidly passing.
Oh, to look forward more! Are we not too much like children playing with toys, and when they are broken, sitting down and mourning over them? Let us keep our hearts near to Jesus, so as to be quite willing to depart and be with Him.
We trifle too much with our God!
God will not put us off with the worldling's trash. He has higher enjoyments for His children.
What a poor, unsatisfying world is this! While we have cause to be grateful; oh, how grateful; for the accommodation afforded us while here, yet what a mercy of mercies we are not to live here always! Oh, the goodness of God, to prepare us for, and point us to, a better world! My soul is often overwhelmed at the thought of it, and how very soon I shall be there in its full enjoyment.
Dear friend, think more of that eternity to which day by day we are hastening, and less of this world we are so soon to leave.
Jesus is watching over us with an ever watchful eye. Oh, to know that He loves us, that His love never changes, that He is causing all things to work together for our best interests, and in due time will come and receive us unto Himself, and that when we see Him we shall be like Him! What a thought is that for a poor sinner; to be like the Son of God; the Son of the Highest; the Great Jehovah! Oh, if I had a thousand hearts I would give them all to Jesus!
What a mercy that Jesus is ever with us, by day, by night, in sickness, in health, in time, and through eternity! "I will never leave you nor forsake you." But we live in a changing world. The creature changes, we change, but, "I the Lord, do not change." Ever the same loving, faithful friend is Jesus. Bless the Lord for this, O my soul! I live in Him, and I desire to live for Him, and with Him, even here, as far as I can, in the body. But oh, the joy of knowing and feeling, that before long I shall be with and like Him forever! How great the bliss, even in anticipation, of beholding Him face to face!
Often my aged heart seems to spring into youth again at the prospect of being with Jesus; seeing Him face to face; sitting at His feet; beholding Him as He is. I am favored sometimes with glimpses of the coming glory, a look into heaven now and then, a little anticipative realization of the presence of Him who will make heaven what it will be to us.
Dear friends, live above a dying world and all its fading things. It is not worth a thought. Live independently of the creature, and walk hand in hand with Jesus. Keep an open heart with Him, confiding to His love all you feel or fear. He will not betray your confidence, but will lead you safely along the right road to glory; glory begun here, and increasing through the countless ages of eternity.
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