with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for July 22
Keep yourselves in the love of God.—JUDE 21.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
The fruit of the Spirit is love.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.—Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.—God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.—God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
“Behold the man!”
If there be one place where our Lord Jesus most fully becomes the joy and comfort of his people, it is where he plunged deepest into the depths of woe. Come hither, gracious souls, and behold the man in the garden of Gethsemane; behold his heart so brimming with love that he cannot hold it in—so full of sorrow that it must find a vent. Behold the bloody sweat as it distils from every pore of his body, and falls upon the ground. Behold the man as they drive the nails into his hands and feet. Look up, repenting sinners, and see the sorrowful image of your suffering Lord. Mark him, as the ruby drops stand on the thorn-crown, and adorn with priceless gems the diadem of the King of Misery. Behold the man when all his bones are out of joint, and he is poured out like water and brought into the dust of death; God hath forsaken him, and hell compasseth him about. Behold and see, was there ever sorrow like unto his sorrow that is done unto him? All ye that pass by draw near and look upon this spectacle of grief, unique, unparalleled, a wonder to men and angels, a prodigy unmatched. Behold the Emperor of Woe who had no equal or rival in his agonies! Gaze upon him, ye mourners, for if there be not consolation in a crucified Christ there is no joy in earth or heaven. If in the ransom price of his blood there be not hope, ye harps of heaven, there is no joy in you, and the right hand of God shall know no pleasures for evermore. We have only to sit more continually at the cross foot to be less troubled with our doubts and woes. We have but to see his sorrows, and our sorrows we shall be ashamed to mention. We have but to gaze into his wounds and heal our own. If we would live aright it must be by the contemplation of his death; if we would rise to dignity, it must be by considering his humiliation and his sorrow.
4. Opposition to Rebuilding
But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? 3Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. 4Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: 5And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders. 6So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
7But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, 8And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. 9Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. 10And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. 11And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. 12And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.
13Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. 15And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work. 16And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. 17They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. 18For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.
19And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. 20In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us. 21So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. 22Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day. 23So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.
38Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two. 42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
13. Psalm 13
How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
2How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
3Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
4Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
5But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
6I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.