with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for September 24
Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.—II COR. 8:9.
The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.—Thou are fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips.—All bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.
Ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.—He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.—We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen.
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.—I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.—Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.—As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
“I sleep, but my heart waketh.”
Paradoxes abound in Christian experience, and here is one—the spouse was asleep, and yet she was awake. He only can read the believer’s riddle who has ploughed with the heifer of his experience. The two points in this evening’s text are—a mournful sleepiness and a hopeful wakefulness. I sleep. Through sin that dwelleth in us we may become lax in holy duties, slothful in religious exercises, dull in spiritual joys, and altogether supine and careless. This is a shameful state for one in whom the quickening Spirit dwells; and it is dangerous to the highest degree. Even wise virgins sometimes slumber, but it is high time for all to shake off the bands of sloth. It is to be feared that many believers lose their strength as Samson lost his locks, while sleeping on the lap of carnal security. With a perishing world around us, to sleep is cruel; with eternity so near at hand, it is madness. Yet we are none of us so much awake as we should be; a few thunder-claps would do us all good, and it may be, unless we soon bestir ourselves, we shall have them in the form of war, or pestilence, or personal bereavements and losses. O that we may leave forever the couch of fleshly ease, and go forth with flaming torches to meet the coming Bridegroom! My heart waketh. This is a happy sign. Life is not extinct, though sadly smothered. When our renewed heart struggles against our natural heaviness, we should be grateful to sovereign grace for keeping a little vitality within the body of this death. Jesus will hear our hearts, will help our hearts, will visit our hearts; for the voice of the wakeful heart is really the voice of our Beloved, saying, “Open to me.” Holy zeal will surely unbar the door.
“Oh lovely attitude! He stands
With melting heart and laden hands;
My soul forsakes her every sin;
And lets the heavenly stranger in.”
Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart
1My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
2for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.
3Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4So you will find favor and good success11Or repute
in the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8It will be healing to your flesh22Hebrew navel
and refreshment33Or medicine to your bones.
9Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom
13Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
15She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
18She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.
19The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding he established the heavens;
20by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
and the clouds drop down the dew.
21My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
23Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
24If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin44Hebrew storm of the wicked, when it comes,
26for the Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.
27Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,55Hebrew Do not withhold good from its owners
when it is in your power to do it.
28Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
29Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
who dwells trustingly beside you.
30Do not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
31Do not envy a man of violence
and do not choose any of his ways,
32for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are in his confidence.
33The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34Toward the scorners he is scornful,
but to the humble he gives favor.66Or grace
35The wise will inherit honor,
but fools get77The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain disgrace.
22And straightway he constrained the disciples to enter into the boat, and to go before him unto the other side, till he should send the multitudes away. 23And after he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain apart to pray: and when even was come, he was there alone. 24But the boat was now in the midst of the sea, distressed by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25And in the fourth watch of the night he came unto them, walking upon the sea. 26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a ghost; and they cried out for fear. 27But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto the upon the waters. 29And he said, Come. And Peter went down from the boat, and walked upon the waters to come to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me. 31And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and took hold of him, and saith unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32And when they were gone up into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And they that were in the boat worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
34And when they had crossed over, they came to the land, unto Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place knew him, they sent into all that region round about, and brought unto him all that were sick, 36and they besought him that they might only touch the border of his garment: and as many as touched were made whole.
19You know my reproach,
and my shame and my dishonor;
my foes are all known to you.
20Reproaches have broken my heart,
so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none,
and for comforters, but I found none.
21They gave me poison for food,
and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.
22Let their own table before them become a snare;
and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.33Hebrew; a slight revocalization yields (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome) a snare, and retribution and a trap
23Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,
and make their loins tremble continually.
24Pour out your indignation upon them,
and let your burning anger overtake them.
25May their camp be a desolation;
let no one dwell in their tents.
26For they persecute him whom you have struck down,
and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.
27Add to them punishment upon punishment;
may they have no acquittal from you.44Hebrew may they not come into your righteousness
28Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
let them not be enrolled among the righteous.
29But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your salvation, O God, set me on high!
30I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31This will please the Lord more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.
32When the humble see it they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
33For the Lord hears the needy
and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.
34Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and everything that moves in them.
35For God will save Zion
and build up the cities of Judah,
and people shall dwell there and possess it;
36the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall dwell in it.