with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for November 15
We are his workmanship.—EPH. 2:10.
They brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.—The house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house.—Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.—Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God.
Ye are God's building.—Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.—Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
“Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.”
It is our wisdom, as well as our necessity, to beseech God continually to strengthen that which he has wrought in us. It is because of their neglect in this, that many Christians may blame themselves for those trials and afflictions of spirit which arise from unbelief. It is true that Satan seeks to flood the fair garden of the heart and make it a scene of desolation, but it is also true that many Christians leave open the sluice-gates themselves, and let in the dreadful deluge through carelessness and want of prayer to their strong Helper. We often forget that the Author of our faith must be the Preserver of it also. The lamp which was burning in the temple was never allowed to go out, but it had to be daily replenished with fresh oil; in like manner, our faith can only live by being sustained with the oil of grace, and we can only obtain this from God himself. Foolish virgins we shall prove, if we do not secure the needed sustenance for our lamps. He who built the world upholds it, or it would fall in one tremendous crash; he who made us Christians must maintain us by his Spirit, or our ruin will be speedy and final. Let us, then, evening by evening, go to our Lord for the grace and strength we need. We have a strong argument to plead, for it is his own work of grace which we ask him to strengthen—“that which thou hast wrought for us.” Think you he will fail to protect and sustain that? Only let your faith take hold of his strength, and all the powers of darkness, led on by the master fiend of hell, cannot cast a cloud or shadow over your joy and peace. Why faint when you may be strong? Why suffer defeat when you may conquer? Oh! take your wavering faith and drooping graces to him who can revive and replenish them, and earnestly pray, “Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.”
My child, if you have given your pledge to your neighbor,
if you have bound yourself to another,
you are snared by the utterance of your lips,
caught by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my child, and save yourself,
for you have come into your neighbor’s power:
go, hurry, and plead with your neighbor.
Give your eyes no sleep
and your eyelids no slumber;
save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter,
like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
Go to the ant, you lazybones;
consider its ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief
or officer or ruler,
it prepares its food in summer,
and gathers its sustenance in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O lazybones?
When will you rise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want, like an armed warrior.
A scoundrel and a villain
goes around with crooked speech,
winking the eyes, shuffling the feet,
pointing the fingers,
with perverted mind devising evil,
continually sowing discord;
on such a one calamity will descend suddenly;
in a moment, damage beyond repair.
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that hurry to run to evil,
a lying witness who testifies falsely,
and one who sows discord in a family.
My child, keep your father’s commandment,
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Bind them upon your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
to preserve you from the wife of another,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
for a prostitute’s fee is only a loaf of bread,
but the wife of another stalks a man’s very life.
Can fire be carried in the bosom
without burning one’s clothes?
Or can one walk on hot coals
without scorching the feet?
So is he who sleeps with his neighbor’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
Thieves are not despised who steal only
to satisfy their appetite when they are hungry.
Yet if they are caught, they will pay sevenfold;
they will forfeit all the goods of their house.
But he who commits adultery has no sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
and he shows no restraint when he takes revenge.
He will accept no compensation,
and refuses a bribe no matter how great.
4. Apostles of Christ
1Let a man so account of us, as of ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2Here, moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4For I know nothing against myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5Wherefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall each man have his praise from God.