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The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Devotional: August 1st
August 1—Morning—Psalms 89:16
"In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted."—Psalms 89:16.
See, my soul, what a blessed cause is again before thee to begin the month, and to carry it on through every day, and all the day, and in every part of the day, for joy in the name and righteousness of Jesus. And mark it with peculiar emphasis, that it is Jesus, as Jesus, the Christ of God, and his righteousness as the righteousness of God, in which all thy rejoicing is, and not in the finest frames, or spiritual exercises of thine own. A daily sense of a need of Christ, and as constant a sense of acting faith upon Christ; these form the foundation of every true believer’s joy, and make the savour of Christ’s name like ointment poured forth; And whence is it, my soul, that all the redeemed are said to rejoice in the name of the Lord all the day, but because the Lord hath saved them and redeemed them for his name’s sake? And whence is it said, that in his righteousness they shall be exalted, but because from their union with Christ, as their spiritual head, they are accepted in his righteousness, and are made the righteousness of God in him? Here’s an exaltation indeed, enough to make the heart of the most sorrowful glad, let outward circumstances be what they may; when inward joy and peace in believing give such a blessedness to the believer’s view of the name of Jesus. See to it then, my soul, that all thy fresh springs of joy are in him. Be very jealous over thyself, in the happiest moments of thy comfort, that Christ’s name, and his righteousness and salvation, lie at the bottom of thy joy. Where is Jesus? I would ask my heart, when I am most at ease and happy. Is he in this happiness? And is this happiness enjoyed, and enjoyed purely, because Christ is in it? Trace this, my soul, through all the parts of salvation, and through all thy paths in grace, and see whether thou art bottoming every hope and every mercy, both for time and eternity, in the name and righteousness of Jesus only: for, depend upon it, as Jehovah hath said, in the pardoning and blotting out the transgressions of his people," I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my name’s sake;" so it is to the everlasting praise of his name, that all the glory of salvation is, and must be ascribed. Nevertheless, he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.
August 1—Evening—Hebrews 6:19
"An anchor of the soul."—Hebrews 6:19.
In the opening of a new month, look, my soul, at thine anchor! Surely it is good and profitable for thee to see thy safety, that thou mayest ride out all the storms which arise, and never make "shipwreck of faith and a good conscience." And what is thine anchor? Nay, who, or what can it be, but Jesus, and his finished righteousness? He hath accomplished redemption by his blood, and hath entered within the veil to prove its all-sufficiency. On him, then, thou hast cast anchor; indeed, he is himself the anchor of all thine hopes, and the rock of ages, on which thou restest thine eternal security, "both sure and stedfast." True, it is unseen; and, like the sailor’s anchor, thrown out into the deep. But, though unseen, it is not unenjoyed: for concerning him, who is the anchor of the soul, it is the blessed privilege of faith to say, "whom having not seen, we love: and in whom, though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, receiving the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls." But the anchor of this world’s mariner, and that of the spiritual navigator, differ most widely. His anchor is thrown forth at an uncertainty: it may break; it may find no anchorage; the cable may give way; the ship may drive; and one anchor after another be lost, and the vessel, after all, founder. Not so with him, whose hope and anchor of the soul is the Lord Jesus: "He is a rock; his work is perfect." His salvation is founded in the everlasting counsel, purpose, will, and good pleasure, of God our Father; it is secured in the perfect obedience, righteousness, blood-shedding, and death of our Lord Jesus Christ: and the soul who rests on this anchor of hope alone for redemption, bath been brought savingly acquainted with the Father’s love and the Son’s grace, through the blessed teaching, power, and application of God the Holy Ghost. My soul! is this thine anchor? Hast thou this glorious security, entered within the veil for thee; unseen, indeed, but not unknown; undeserved, but not unenjoyed? Oh! what unspeakable mercies are unceasingly arising out of this divine, this rapturous hope, to support my weather-beaten soul! Surely, precious Jesus! I may well look up to thee, in the opening and close of every day, and every month, as the anchor of my soul, both sure and stedfast: for thou hast been to me, and thou wilt still be, until I get into the haven of everlasting rest, what thou hast been to all thy redeemed; "a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall;" Isaiah 25:4.
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18
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