with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for March 4
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.—COL. 3:2.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.—Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
We walk by faith, not by sight.—We faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.—An inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.
“My grace is sufficient for thee.”
If none of God’s saints were poor and tried, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace. When we find the wanderer who has not where to lay his head, who yet can say, “Still will I trust in the Lord;” when we see the pauper starving on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction, and yet having faith in Christ, oh! what honour it reflects on the gospel. God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring—that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily, or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as he is pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace. There is a lighthouse out at sea: it is a calm night—I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm; the tempest must rage about it, and then I shall know whether it will stand. So with the Spirit’s work: if it were not on many occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we should not know that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it, we should not know how firm and secure it was. The master-works of God are those men who stand in the midst of difficulties, stedfast, unmoveable,—
“Calm mid the bewildering cry,
Confident of victory.”
He who would glorify his God must set his account upon meeting with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts be many. If then, yours be a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will the better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for his failing you, never dream of it—hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.
10. David Defeats the Ammorites
1And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. 2And David said, I will show kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness unto me. So David sent by his servants to comfort him concerning his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon. 3But the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honor thy father, in that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David sent his servants unto thee to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it? 4So Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. 5When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.
6And when the children of Ammon saw that they were become odious to David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, twenty thousand footmen, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men, and the men of Tob twelve thousand men. 7And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men. 8And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entrance of the gate: and the Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob, and the men of Tob and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.
9Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians: 10And the rest of the people he committed into the hand of Abishai his brother; and he put them in array against the children of Ammon. 11And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me; but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee. 12Be of good courage, and let us play the man for our people, and for the cities of our God: and Jehovah do that which seemeth him good. 13So Joab and the people that were with him drew nigh unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him. 14And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, they likewise fled before Abishai, and entered into the city. Then Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.
15And when the Syrians saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the River: and they came to Helam, with Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer at their head. 17And it was told David; and he gathered all Israel together, and passed over the Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him. 18And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians the men of seven hundred chariots, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, so that he died there. 19And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.
2. False Teachers
1But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their lascivious doings; by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And in covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose sentence now from of old lingereth not, and their destruction slumbereth not.
50. Psalm 50
1The Mighty One, God, Jehovah, hath spoken,
And called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God hath shined forth.
3Our God cometh, and doth not keep silence:
A fire devoureth before him,
And it is very tempestuous round about him.
4He calleth to the heavens above,
And to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5Gather my saints together unto me,
Those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
6And the heavens shall declare his righteousness;
For God is judge himself.
7Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
O Israel, and I will testify unto thee:
I am God, even thy God.
8I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices;
And thy burnt-offerings are continually before me.
9I will take no bullock out of thy house,
Nor he-goats out of thy folds.
10For every beast of the forest is mine,
And the cattle upon a thousand hills.
11I know all the birds of the mountains;
And the wild beasts of the field are mine.
12If I were hungry, I would not tell thee;
For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
13Will I eat the flesh of bulls,
Or drink the blood of goats?
14Offer unto God the sacrifice of thanksgiving;
And pay thy vows unto the Most High:
15And call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
16But unto the wicked God saith,
What hast thou to do to declare my statutes,
And that thou hast taken my covenant in thy mouth,
17Seeing thou hatest instruction,
And castest my words behind thee?
18When thou sawest a thief, thou consentedst with him,
And hast been partaker with adulterers.
19Thou givest thy mouth to evil,
And thy tongue frameth deceit.
20Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother;
Thou slanderest thine own mother's son.
21These things hast thou done, and I kept silence;
Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself:
But I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
22Now consider this, ye that forget God,
Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver:
23Whoso offereth the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifieth me;
And to him that ordereth his way aright
Will I show the salvation of God.