What Follows Us

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6).

A devout poet sings:

LORD, when Thou
Puttest in my time a day,
as Thou dost now,
Unknown in other years, grant, I entreat,
Such grace illumine it, that whate’er its phase
It add to holiness, and lengthen praise!

This day comes but once in four years…. Up till now goodness and mercy, like two guards, have followed us from day to day, bringing up the rear even as grace leads the van; and as this out-of-the-way day is one of the days of our life, the two guardian angels will be with us today also. Goodness to supply our needs and mercy to blot out our sins — these twain shall attend our every step this day and every day till days shall be no more. Wherefore, let us serve the LORD on this peculiar day with special consecration of heart and sing His praises with more zest and sweetness than ever. Could we not today make an unusual offering to the cause of God or to the poor? By inventiveness of love let us make this twenty-ninth of February a day to be remembered forever.

Real Estate in Heaven

Knowing in yourselves that ye have in Heaven a better and an enduring substance (Hebrews 10:34).

This is well. Our substance here is very unsubstantial; there is no substance in it. But God has given us a promise of real estate in the gloryland, and that promise comes to our hearts with such full assurance of its certainty that we know in ourselves that we have an enduring substance there. Yes, “we have” it even now. They say, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” but we have our bird in the bush and in the hand, too. Heaven is even now our own. We have the title deed of it, we have the earnest of it, we have the firstfruits of it. We have heaven in price, in promise, and in principle; this we know not only by the hearing of the ear but “in ourselves.”

Should not the thought of the better substance on the other side of Jordan reconcile us to present losses? Our spending money we may lose, but our treasure is safe. We have lost the shadows, but the substance remains, for our Savior lives, and the place which He has prepared for us abides. There is a better land, a better substance, a better promise; and all this comes to us by a better covenant; wherefore, let us be in better spirits, and say unto the LORD, “Every day will I bless thee; and praise thy name for ever and ever.”

Unstaggering Trustfulness

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD (Psalm 112:7).

Suspense is dreadful. When we have no news from home, we are apt to grow anxious, and we cannot be persuaded that “no news is good news.” Faith is the cure for this condition of sadness; the LORD by His Spirit settles the mind in holy serenity, and all fear is gone as to the future as well as the present.

The fixedness of heart spoken of by the psalmist is to be diligently sought after. It is not believing this or that promise of the LORD, but the general condition of unstaggering trustfulness in our God, the confidence which we have in Him that He will neither do us ill Himself nor suffer anyone else to harm us. This constant confidence meets the unknown as well as the known of life. Let the morrow be what it may, our God is the God of tomorrow. Whatever events may have happened, which to us are unknown, our Jehovah is God of the unknown as well as of the known. We are determined to trust the LORD, come what may. If the very worst should happen, our God is still the greatest and best. Therefore will we not fear though the postman’s knock should startle us or a telegram wake us at midnight. The LORD liveth, and what can His children fears.

Truth Established

The lip of Truth shall be established for ever; but a lying tongue is but for a moment (Proverbs 12:19).

Truth wears well. Time tests it, but it right well endures the trial. R; then, I have spoken the truth and have for the present to suffer for it, I must be content to wait. If also I believe the truth of God and endeavor to declare it, I may meet with much opposition, but I need not fear, for ultimately the truth must prevail.

What a poor thing is the temporary triumph of falsehood! “A lying lip is but for a moment!” It is a mere gourd which comes up in a night and perishes in a night; and the greater its development the more manifest its decay. On the other hand, how worthy of an immortal being is the avowal and defense of that truth which can never change; the everlasting gospel, which is established in the immutable truth of an unchanging God! An old proverb saith, “He that speaks truth shames the devil.” Assuredly he that speaks the truth of God will put to shame all the devils in hell and confound all the seed of the serpent which now hiss out their falsehoods.

O my heart, take care that thou be in all things on the side of truth, both in small things and great; but specially, on the side of Him by whom grace and truth have come among men!

Set Apart

Ye shall be named the priests of the LORD (Isaiah 61:6).

This literal promise to Israel belongs spiritually to the seed after the Spirit, namely, to all believers. If we live up to our privileges, we shall live unto God so clearly and distinctly that men shall see that we are set apart for holy service and shall name us the priests of the LORD. We may work or trade as others do, and yet we may be solely and wholly the ministering servants of God. Our one occupation shall be to present the perpetual sacrifice of prayer, and praise, and testimony, and self-consecration to the living God by Jesus Christ.

This being our one aim, we may leave distracting concerns to those who have no higher calling. “Let the dead bury their dead.” It is written, “Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vine-dressers,” They may manage politics, puzzle out financial problems, discuss science, and settle the last new quibbles of criticism; but we will give ourselves unto such service as becomes those who, like the LORD Jesus, are ordained to a perpetual priesthood.

Accepting this honorable promise as involving a sacred duty, let us put on the vestments of holiness and minister before the LORD all day long.