with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for October 8
I will not fear what man shall do unto me.—HEB. 13:6.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell: yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.—None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy.—I will speak of thy testimonies . . . before kings, and will not be ashamed.
“Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”
We learn from this narrative, the necessity of human agency. The draught of fishes was miraculous, yet neither the fisherman nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but all were used to take the fishes. So in the saving of souls, God worketh by means; and while the present economy of grace shall stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. When God worketh without instruments, doubtless he is glorified; but he hath himself selected the plan of instrumentality as being that by which he is most magnified in the earth. Means of themselves are utterly unavailing. “Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing.” What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen plying their special calling? Verily, they were no raw hands; they understood the work. Had they gone about the toil unskilfully? No. Had they lacked industry? No, they had toiled. Had they lacked perseverance? No, they had toiled all the night. Was there a deficiency of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in shoals. What, then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the means of themselves apart from the presence of Jesus? “Without him we can do nothing.” But with Christ we can do all things. Christ’s presence confers success. Jesus sat in Peter’s boat, and his will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the net. When Jesus is lifted up in his Church, his presence is the Church’s power—the shout of a king is in the midst of her. “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” Let us go out this morning on our work of soul fishing, looking up in faith, and around us in solemn anxiety. Let us toil till night comes, and we shall not labour in vain, for he who bids us let down the net, will fill it with fishes.
17. Proverbs of Solomon
Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife. 2A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. 3The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts. 4A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. 5Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished. 6Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. 7Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince. 8A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth. 9He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. 10A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool. 11An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him. 12Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly. 13Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house. 14The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with. 15He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord. 16Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it? 17A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 18A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend. 19He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. 20He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief. 21He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy. 22A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. 23A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment. 24Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth. 25A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him. 26Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity. 27He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. 28Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
22And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be delivered up into the hands of men; 23and they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised up. And they were exceeding sorry.
24And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received the half-shekel came to Peter, and said, Doth not your teacher pay the half-shekel? 25He saith, Yea. And when he came into the house, Jesus spake first to him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? the kings of the earth, from whom do they receive toll or tribute? from their sons, or from strangers? 26And when he said, From strangers, Jesus said unto him, Therefore the sons are free. 27But, lest we cause them to stumble, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a shekel: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
79. Psalm 79
O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.
2The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.
3Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.
4We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.
5How long, Lord? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?
6Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.
7For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.
8O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.
9Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.
10Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.
11Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;
12And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.
13So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.