From Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

Devotions

As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. —  John 20:21

We should never leave our room until we have seen the face of our dear Master, Christ, and have realized that we are being sent forth by Him to do His will, and to finish the work which He has given us to do. He who said to His immediate followers, ''As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you,'' says as much to each one of us, as the dawn summons us to live another day. We should realize that we are as much sent forth by Him as the angels who ''do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word.'' There is some plan for each day's work, which He will unfold to us, if only we will look up to Him to do so; some mission to fulfill; some ministry to perform; some lesson patiently to learn, that we may be able to ''reach others also.'' As to our plans we need not be anxious; because He who sends us forth is responsible to make the plan, according to His infinite wisdom; and to reveal it to us, however dull and stupid our faculties may be. And as to our sufficiency, we are secure of having all needful grace; because He never sends us forth, except He first breathes on us and says, ''Receive ye the Holy Ghost.'' There is always a special endowment for special power. —  F. L. Meyer.

A fountain .... for sin and uncleanness. —  Zech. 13:1

   You that have faith in the Fountain, frequent it. Beware of two errors which are very natural and very disastrous. Beware

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of thinking any sin too great for it; beware of thinking any sin too small. There is not a sin so little, but it may be the germ of everlasting perdition; there is not a sin so enormous, but a drop of atoning blood will wash it away as utterly as if it were drowned in the depths of the sea.  James Hamilton

I am black.... as the tents of Kedar. —  Song of Sol. 1:5

I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. —  Song of Sol. 7:10

   Nothing humbles the soul like sacred and intimate communion with the Lord; yet there is a sweet joy in feeling that He knows all, and, notwithstanding, loves us still. J. Hudson Taylor

David inquired of the Lord. —  II Sam. 5:19

   Christian, if thou wouldst know the path of duty, take God for thy compass; if thou wouldst steer thy ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the hand of the Almighty. Many a rock might be escaped if we would let our Father take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid if we would leave it to His sovereign will to choose and to command. The Puritan said, ''As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself he'll cut his own fingers.'' ''I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go,'' is God's promise to His people. Let us, then, take all our perplexities to Him and say, ''Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?'' Leave not thy chamber this morning without enquiring of the Lord.  Spurgeon

A certain man .... who never had walked....heard Paul speak: who.... perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said....Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. —  Acts 14:8, 9, 10

Where true faith is, it will induce obedience; and where it does induce obedience, it will always, in one form or another, bring a blessing. — W. Hay Aitken

Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord....I know....that whatsoever

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thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. John 11:21, 22, 23, 24 

   Beware, in your prayer, above everything, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, above all that we ask or think. Each time you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, of how He delights to hear Christ, of your place in Christ; and expect great things.  — Andrew Murray

As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. — Gal. 3:27

   Not simply the righteousness of our Savior, not simply the beauty of His holiness or the graces of His character, are we to put on as a garment. The Lord Himself is our vesture. Every Christian is not only a Christ-bearer but a Christ-wearer. We are so to enter into Him by communion, to be so endured with His presence, and embued with His Spirit that men shall see Him when they behold us, as they see our garments when they look upon our bodies. — A. J. Gordon

Thou shalt never wash my feet. — John 13:8

   Whatever hinders us from receiving a blessing that God is willing to bestow upon us is not humility, but the mockery of it. A genuine humility will ever feel the need of the largest measures of grace, and will be perfected just in the degree in which that grace is bestowed. The truly humble man will seek to be filled with all the fulness of God, knowing that when so filled there is not the slightest place for pride or for self. — George Boween

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. — Psa. 55:22

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   He that taketh his own cares upon himself loads himself with uneasy burden. The fear of what may come, expectation of what will come, desire of what will not come, and the inability to redress all these, must needs bring him continual torment. I will cast my cares upon God; He hath bidden me. They cannot hurt Him: He can redress them. — Hall

Well done, good and faithful servant.... Thou wicked and slothful servant. — Matt. 25: 21, 26

   God holds us responsible not for what we have, but for what we might have; not for what we are, but for what we might be.                                                                                                                                                                — Mark Guy Pearse

Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship. — Matt. 15:22

   Jesus constrained them to go! One would think that if ever there was the certain promise of success in a mission, it was here. Surely, here, if anywhere, a triumphant issue might have been confidently predicted; and yet here, more than anywhere, there was seeming failure. He sent them out in a voyage, and they met such a storm as they had never yet experienced.

   Let me ponder this, for it has been so with me, too. I have sometimes felt myself impelled to act by an influence which seemed above me  constrained to put to sea. The belief that I was constrained gave me confidence, and I was sure of a calm voyage. But the result was outward failure. The calm became a storm; the sea raged, the winds roared, the ship tossed in the midst of the waves, and my enterprise was wrecked ere it could reach the land.

   Was, then, my divine command a delusion?

   Nay; nor yet was my mission a failure. He did send me on that voyage, but He did not send me for my purpose. He had one end and I had another. My end was the outward calm; His was my meeting with the storm. My end was to gain the harbor of a material rest; His was to teach me there is a rest even on the open sea. — George Matheson

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Study to shrew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II. Tim. 2:15 

   Have thy tools ready; God will find thee work. — Charles Kingsley

 Come out from among them, and be ye separate. — I Cor. 6:17

   With all the world in his choice, God placed His ancient people in a very remarkable situation. On the north they were walled in by the snowy ranges of Lebanon; a barren desert formed their eastern boundary; far to the south stretched a sterile region, called the howling wilderness; while the sea — not then, as now, the highway of the nations, facilitating rather than impeding intercourse — lay on their west, breaking on a shore that had few harbors and no navigable rivers to invite the steps of commerce.

   May we not find a great truth in the very position in which God placed His chosen people? It certainly teaches us that to be holy, or sanctified, we must be a separate people — living in the world, but not of it — as oil, that may be mixed, but cannot be combined with water. — Guthrie

I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land. — Gen. 28:15

   ''With thee,'' companionship; ''Keep thee,'' guardianship; ''Bring thee,'' guidance

I have set thee....that thou shouldst be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. Acts 13:47

Ye shall be witnesses unto me.... unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Acts 1:8

   Men are questioning now, as they never have questioned before, whether Christianity is, indeed, the true religion which is to be the salvation of the world. Christian men, it is for us to give our bit of answer to that question. It is for us, in whom

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the Christian church is at this moment partially embodied, to declare that Christianity, that the Christian faith, the Christian manhood can do that for the world which the world needs.

   You ask, ''What can I do?''

   You can furnish one Christian life: You can furnish a life so faithful to every duty, so ready for every service, so determined not to commit every sin, that the great Christian church shall be the stronger for your living in it, and the problem of the world be answered, and a certain great peace come into this poor, perplexed, phase of our humanity as it sees that new revelation of what Christianity is. — Philips Brooks

I know whom I have believed. — II Tim. 1:12

   Personal acquaintance with Christ is a living thing. Like a tree that uses every hour for growth, it thrives in sunshine, it is refreshed by rain — even the storm drives it to fasten its grip more firmly in the earth for its support. So, troubled heart, in all experience, say, ''This comes that I may make closer acquaintance with my Lord.'' — Selected

Wait for the promise of the Father. — Acts 1:4

When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place .... and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. — Acts 2:1, 4

   Obedience to a divine prompting transforms it into a permanent acquisition. — F. B. Meyer

We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. — I John 4:16

   The secret of walking closely with Christ, and working successfully for Him, is to fully realize that we are His beloved. Let us but feel that He has set His heart upon us, that He is watching us from those heavens with tender interest, that He is working out the mystery of our lives with solicitude and fondness, that He is following us day by day as a mother follows

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her babe in his first attempt to walk alone, that He has set His love upon us, and, in spite of ourselves, is working out for us His highest will and blessing, as far as we will let Him, and then nothing can discourage us. Our hearts will glow with responsive love. Our faith will spring to meet His mighty promises, and our sacrifices shall become the very luxuries of love for one so dear. This was the secret of John's spirit. ''We have known and believed the love that God hath to us.'' And the heart that has fully learned this has found the secret of unbounded faith and enthusiastic service. — A. B. Simpson

Endure .... as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. — II Tim. 2:3

   Life is not victory, but battle. Be patient a little longer. By and by, each in his turn, we shall hear the sunset gun. — Selected

Whosoever doth not bear his cross and came after me, cannot be my disciple. — Luke 14:27

   There is always the shadow of the cross resting upon the Christian's path. Is that a reason why you should avoid or not undertake the duty? Have you made up your mind that you will follow your Master everywhere else, save when he ascends the path that leads to the cross? Is that your religion? The sooner you change it, the better. The religion of the Lord Jesus Christ is the religion of the cross, and unless we take up our cross, we can never follow Him. — W. Hay Aitken

These ... have turned the world upside down. — Acts 18:6

   The serene beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world next to the might of God. — Pascal

What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. — John 13:7

   God keeps a school for His children here on earth and one of His best teachers is Disappointment. My friend, when you and I reach our Father's house, we shall look back and see that the sharp-voiced visaged teacher, Disappointment,

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was one of the best guides to train us for it. He gave us hard lessons; he often used the rod; he often led us into thorny paths; he sometimes stripped off a load of luxuries; but that only made us travel the freer and the faster on our heaven-ward way. He sometimes led us down into the valley of the death shadow; but never did the promises read so sweetly as when spelled out by the eye of faith in that very valley. Nowhere did he lead us so often, or teach us such sacred lessons, as at the cross of Christ. Dear, old, rough-handed teacher! We will build a monument to thee yet, and crown it with garlands, and inscribe on it: Blessed be the memory of Disappointment! — Theodore Cuyler

As the days, so shall thy strength be. — Deut. 33:25

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. — Phil. 4:13

   He will not impose upon you one needless burden. He will not exact more than He knows your strength will bear. He will ask no Peter to come to Him on the water, unless He impart at the same time strength and support on the unstable waves. He will not ask you to draw water if the well is too deep, or to withdraw the stone if too heavy. But neither at the same time will He admit as an impossibility that which, as a free and responsible agent, it is in your power to avert. He will not regard as your misfortune what is your crime. — Macduff

Thy heart is not right in the sight of God. — Acts 8:21

   The worst of all mockeries is a religion that leaves the heart unchanged: a religion that has everything but the love of Christ enshrined in the soul. — F. Whitefield

The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. — Acts 12:2

   We have such a nice little quiet, shady corner in the vineyard, down among the tender grapes, with such easy little weedings and waterings to attend to. And then the Master comes

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and draws us out into the thick of the work, and puts us in a part of the field where we never should have thought of going, and puts larger tools into our hands, that we may do more at a stroke. And we know we are not sufficient for these things, and the very tools seem too heavy for us, and the glare too dazzling and the vines too tall. Ah! but would we dally, go back? He would not be in the shady corner with us now; for when He put us forth He went before us, and it is only by closely following that we can abide with Him. — Frances Ridley Havergal

Small things. — Zech. 4:10

   It is the little words you speak, the little thoughts you think, the little things you do or leave undone, the little moments you waste or use wisely, the little temptations which you yield to or overcome — the little things of every day that are making or marring your future life. — Selected

Be perfect, be of good comfort. — II Cor. 13:11

   A glance at the words is enough to make us feel how contradictory they are. Be perfect — that is a word that strikes us with despair; at once we feel how faraway we are from our own poor ideal, and alas! how much farther from God's ideal concerning us. Be of good comfort — ah, that is very different! That seems to say, ''Do not fret; do not fear. If you are not what you would be, you must be thankful for what you are.''

   Now the question is this — How can these two be reconciled?

   It is only the religion of Jesus Christ that reconciles them. He stands in our midst, and with the right hand of His righteousness He pointeth us upward, and saith, ''Be perfect.'' There is no resting place short of that. Yet with the left hand of His love He doth encompass us, as He saith, ''Soul, be of good comfort; for that is what I came to do for thee.'' — Mark Guy Pearse

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Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. — Matt. 5:48

   Seeking the aid of the Holy Spirit, let us aim at perfection. Let everyday see some sin crucified, some battle fought, some good done, some victory won; let every fall be followed by a rise, and every step gained become, not a resting-place, but a new starting-point for further and higher progress. — Guthrie

Sleep on now, and take your rest. — Mark 14:41

   Never did that sacred opportunity to watch with Christ return to His disciples. Lost then, it was lost forever. And now when Jesus is still beholding the travail of His soul in the redemption of the world, if you fail to be with Him watching for souls as they that must give account, remember that the opportunity will never return. ''Watch, therefore,'' says your Lord, ''lest coming suddenly, He may find you sleeping.'' — A. J. Gordon

Let us not sleep, as do others. — I Thess. 5:6

   There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves:

   ''To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.''

   Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. — Spurgeon

Chapter Nineteen  ||  Table of Contents for The Best of D.L. Moody