God Repays

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will He pay him again” (Proverbs 19:17).

We are to give to the poor out of pity. Not to be seen and applauded, much less to get influence over them; but out of pure sympathy and compassion we must give them help.

We must not expect to get anything back from the poor, not even gratitude; but we should regard what we have done as a loan to the LORD. He undertakes the obligation, and, if we look to Him in the matter, we must not look to the second party. What an honor the LORD bestows upon us when He condescends to borrow of us! That merchant is greatly favored who has the LORD on his books. It would seem a pity to have such a name down for a paltry pittance; let us make it a heavy amount. The next needy man that comes this way, let us help him.

As for repayment, we can hardly think of it, and yet here is the LORD’s note of hand. Blessed be His name, His promise to pay is better than gold and silver. Are we running a little short through the depression of the times? We may venture humbly to present this bill at the bank of faith, Has any one of our readers [oppressed] the poor? Poor soul. May the LORD forgive him.

By Faith, Not Feeling

The just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17).

I shall not die, I can, I do, believe in the LORD my God, and this faith will keep me alive. I would be numbered among those who in their lives are just; but even if I were perfect I would not try to live by my righteousness; I would cling to the work of the LORD Jesus and still live by faith in Him and by nothing else. If I were able to give my body to be burned for my LORD Jesus, yet I would not trust in my own courage and constancy, but still would live by faith.

Were I a martyr at the stake
I’d plead my Saviour’s name;
Intreat a pardon for His sake,
And urge no other claim.

To live by faith is a far surer and happier thing than to live by feelings or by works, The branch, by living in the vine, lives a better life than it would live by itself, even if it were possible for it to live at all apart from the stem. To live by clinging to Jesus, by deriving all from Him, is a sweet and sacred thing. If even the most just must live in this fashion, how much more must I who am a poor sinner! LORD, I believe. I must trust Thee wholly. What else can I do? Trusting Thee is my life….

The Expert Searcher

For thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out (Ezekiel 34:11).

This He does at the first when His elect are like wandering sheep that know not the Shepherd or the fold. How wonderfully doth the LORD find out His chosen! Jesus is great as a seeking Shepherd as well as a saving Shepherd. Though many of those His Father gave Him have gone as near to hell-gate as they well can, yet the LORD by searching and seeking discovers them and draws nigh to them in grace. He has sought out us: let us have good hope for those who are laid upon our hearts in prayer, for He will find them out also.

The LORD repeats this process when any of His flock stray from the pastures of truth and holiness. They may fall into gross error, sad sin, and grievous hardness; but yet the LORD, who has become a surety for them to His Father, will not suffer one of them to go so far as to perish. He will by providence and grace pursue them into foreign lands, into abodes of poverty, into dens of obscurity, into depths of despair; He will not lose one of all that the Father has given Him. It is a point of honor with Jesus to seek and to save all the flock, without a single exception. What a promise to plead, if at this hour I am compelled to cry, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep!”

He Never Fails

l will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (Joshua 1:5).

This word to Joshua is often quoted; it is the basis of that New Testament word “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Beloved, a life of warfare is before us, but the LORD of Hosts is with us. Are we called to lead a great but fickle people? This promise guarantees us all the wisdom and prudence that we shall need. Have we to contend with cunning and powerful enemies? Here is strength and valor, prowess and victory. Have we a vast heritage to win? By this sign we shall achieve our purpose; the LORD Himself is with us.

It would be woe to us indeed if Jehovah could fail us; but, as this can never be, the winds of disquietude are laid to sleep in the caverns of divine faithfulness. On no one occasion will the LORD desert us. Happen what may, He will be at our side. Friends drop from us, their help is but an April shower; but God is faithful, Jesus is the same forever, and the Holy Spirit abideth in us.

Come, my heart, be calm and hopeful today. Clouds may gather, but the LORD can blow them away. Since God will not fail me, my faith shall not fail; and as He will not forsake me, neither will I forsake Him. Oh, for a restful faith!

Enemies at Peace

When a man’s ways please the LORD, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7).

I must see that my ways please the LORD. Even then I shall have enemies; and, perhaps, all the more certainly because I endeavor to do that which is right. But what a promise this is! The LORD will make the wrath of man to praise Him and abate it so that it shall not distress me.

He can constrain an enemy to desist from harming me, even though he has a mind to do so. This He did with Laban, who pursued Jacob but did not dare to touch him. Or He can subdue the wrath of the enemy and make him friendly, as He did with Esau, who met Jacob in a brotherly manner, though Jacob had dreaded that he would smite him and his family with the sword. The LORD can also convert a furious adversary into a brother in Christ and a fellow worker, as He did with Saul of Tarsus. Oh, that He would do this in every case where a persecuting spirit appears!

Happy is the man whose enemies are made to be to him what the lions were to Daniel in the den, quiet and companionable! When I meet death, who is called the last enemy, I pray that I may be at peace. Only let my great care be to please the LORD in all things. Oh, for faith and holiness; for these are a pleasure unto the Most High!