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Music For the Soul
Devotional: August 1st
THE GRACE OF HOPE
Good hope through grace. - 2 Thessalonians 2:16
In 1 Peter 1:13 we are exhorted to " set our hope perfectly on the grace that is to be brought at the appearing of Jesus Christ." It is to be " brought unto you." Now, the margins of your Bibles give you a truer notion of the Apostle’s meaning. He did not write "that is to be brought," as if the gift was all a future one, but " that is being borne towards you "; or, as one of the old commentators on Peter says, in his archaic and forcible English, " the grace that is a bringing to you." The word is the same which is used to describe the audible approach of that mighty wind on the Day of Pentecost - "rushing." The notion suggested is that this great gift has, as it were, already started on its passage towards us, across the fields of space and the ages of the world. It is in motion towards us, as if some choir of angels were winging their way to this small island in the deep - across the abysses, bearing in their hands this holy bestowment. It is bearing down upon us, like a ship at sea, or like some star travelling towards us, first a point of light, then a disc of brightness, then a world of glory which envelops us. That representation is true, because every tick of the pendulum brings "the grace " nearer. Though centuries pass before the light from the far-off shining reaches us, it is travelling, travelling, travelling towards us at every moment. So we should hope. Peter further suggests to us that this swiftly moving and approximating grace is all wrapped up in " the appearing of Jesus Christ." When He comes, it comes; for it is but the impartation of Him, and we know that " when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
Such, then, is the object of Christian hope stated in its most general terms - a grace which includes resurrection, salvation, righteousness, eternal life, the glory of God, and that grace ever tending towards us, and that ever tending grace to be ours in its fulness, when Christ is manifested and "we shall be manifested with Him in glory." How different in its dignity, in its certainty, in its remoteness, which is a blessing - how different from the paltry, shortsighted anticipations of a near future which delude us along the path of earthly effort! Surely, surely, this great and strange prerogative of humanity, the large discourse which looks before and after, was given to us for other purposes than that we should lavish and waste it upon fleeting things! But the most of us behave with that great faculty of anticipating and imagining the future as an astronomer might do, who, having in his possession a telescope fit to pierce the secrets of the skies, should prefer to turn it only upon the trivialities of earth. "Wherefore, hope perfectly for the grace that is being brought to you in the appearing of Jesus Christ."
'Music For The Soul' daily readings for a year from the writings of the Rev. Alexander Maclaren, D.D., selected and arranged by the Rev. Geo. Coates, published by A.C. Armstrong and Son, 51 East Tenth Street, (1897). The original text is in the Public Domain and this electronic version is free for anyone without cost or obligation. This a year long daily devotional was written by the Rev. Alexander Maclaren over 100 years ago. This Scottish pastor had a heart to follow Jesus and a love for souls.
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18
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