with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for September 24
It is good for me to draw near to God.—PSA. 73:28.
Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.—A day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.—Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.—Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us: . . . let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.
“For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.”
A convoy on many accounts would have been desirable for the pilgrim band, but a holy shame-facedness would not allow Ezra to seek one. He feared lest the heathen king should think his professions of faith in God to be mere hypocrisy, or imagine that the God of Israel was not able to preserve his own worshippers. He could not bring his mind to lean on an arm of flesh in a matter so evidently of the Lord, and therefore the caravan set out with no visible protection, guarded by him who is the sword and shield of his people. It is to be feared that few believers feel this holy jealousy for God; even those who in a measure walk by faith, occasionally mar the lustre of their life by craving aid from man. It is a most blessed thing to have no props and no buttresses, but to stand upright on the Rock of Ages, upheld by the Lord alone. Would any believers seek state endowments for their Church, if they remembered that the Lord is dishonoured by their asking Caesar’s aid? as if the Lord could not supply the needs of his own cause! Should we run so hastily to friends and relations for assistance, if we remembered that the Lord is magnified by our implicit reliance upon his solitary arm? My soul, wait thou only upon God. “But,” says one, “are not means to be used?” Assuredly they are; but our fault seldom lies in their neglect: far more frequently it springs out of foolishly believing in them instead of believing in God. Few run too far in neglecting the creature’s arm; but very many sin greatly in making too much of it. Learn, dear reader, to glorify the Lord by leaving means untried, if by using them thou wouldst dishonour the name of the Lord.
The NIV is available for subscribers with a 10-book or 1-year subscription to the CCEL. Find out about CCEL subscriptions.
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.