with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for December 9
The spirit shall return unto God who gave it.—ECCL. 12:7.
The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.—There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.—The first man Adam was made a living soul.—The spirit of man that goeth upward.
Whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. We are confident, . . . and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.—With Christ; which is far better.—I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
“My people shall dwell in quiet resting places.”
Peace and rest belong not to the unregenerate; they are the peculiar possession of the Lord’s people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence. In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation. Israel rested safely beneath the blood-besprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose. At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that his words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of his word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of his grace, which is a haven of delight. More highly favoured are we than David in Adullam, or Jonah beneath his gourd, for none can invade or destroy our shelter. The person of Jesus is the quiet resting-place of his people, and when we draw near to him in the breaking of the bread, in the hearing of the word, the searching of the Scriptures, prayer, or praise, we find any form of approach to him to be the return of peace to our spirits.
“I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood,
I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.
’Tis everlasting peace, sure as Jehovah’s name,
’Tis stable as his steadfast throne, for evermore the same:
The clouds may go and come, and storms may sweep my sky,
This blood-sealed friendship changes not, the cross is ever nigh.”
3. The Fellowship Offering
And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the Lord. 2And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. 3And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 4And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. 5And Aaron’s sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
6And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto the Lord be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. 7If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the Lord. 8And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar. 9And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 10And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. 11And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord.
12And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the Lord. 13And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. 14And he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 15And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. 16And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the Lord’S. 17It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.
2. Warning Against Antichrists
1My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. 3And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5but whoso keepeth his word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected. Hereby we know that we are in him: 6he that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk even as he walked.
129Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.
130The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
131I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.
132Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
133Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
134Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.
135Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.
136Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.
137Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments.
138Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.
139My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
140Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
141I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.
142Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
143Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.
144The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.