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Good Words 1860
Good Words for Every Day of the Year

March 19.

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever."—Heb. xiii. 8.

Jesus liveth and reigneth now, but He is the same Jesus who suffered and died; He is the same who for us became a babe. No "babe in Christ" need fear to draw near to Him who was once the infant in the manger. He is the same who was tempted: none can know so well how to succour us when we are tempted. He was "grieved for the hardness of men's hearts," and all who are in grief for the hardness either of their own hearts or of those of others can find sympathy in Kim, for He is still the same Jesus. He loved His followers on earth, He loves His followers now with the same love. Ho wept, He "groaned in spirit," He "sighed," "He was weary with His journey;" He has not forgotten these things—He is still the same. He hung upon the cross, He went down into the dust of death, He slept in the sepulchre of Joseph, and He rose on the first day of the week; and there is not one of us who may not, by these proofs of what His love led Him to do of old, learn and know what His love is even to this day, and will be through eternity, for He is "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever."

"Fear not, then, distress'd believer,
Venture on His mighty name;
He is able to deliver,
And His love is still the same."

March 20.

"And He saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm."—Matt. viii. 26.

There is a grand simplicity in this narrative. As we read it, we seem to feel Him near and mighty to save; we are humbled at our own ''little faith;" and we are taught that He who could thus still the winds and the sea, can also make a "great calm" in our hearts, and silence the storms within our unruly spirits. "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked;" but when the Lord, by His great power, changes the sinner's heart, and turns him from the error of his ways, though there may be at first "little faith," and a sore strife within, yet if He once speaks the word, and reveals Himself in His power and in His love, there is a "great calm," beyond all that the heart had ever hoped to find. "Lord, increase our faith:" let this be our constant prayer. As faith grows, peace will grow, not perhaps the peace that is undisturbed by conflict, but that far deeper and holier peace, which even in the midst of storms spreads around the soul His own "great calm."

"Fierce passions discompose the mind,
As tempests vex the sea;
But calm repose and peace we find,
When, Lord, we turn to Thee."

March 21.

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."—Phil. ii. 15.

By the conduct of professing Christians men judge of their religion, what need, then, that it should be "blameless and harmless!" The disciples of Christ may expect to find those who will say "all manner of evil against them for His name's sake," it must be their own care that whatever is so said shall be said "falsely." The Christian standard of morality ought to bo so high, and pure, and consistent, that even the worldling may be forced to confess its superiority, and to take knowledge of its followers, that "they have been with Jesus." Let us ask if it is so with us. Let us watch ourselves in this matter, lest we be found gliding down with the stream in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. Let us be on our guard, lest we be found by our conduct either causing Christ's foes to rejoice, or grieving and stumbling Christ's little ones. May our lights shine in the world with no uncertain or feeble ray, to the praise of His grace who has delivered us from the power of darkness.

"Be all my heart, he all my days
Devoted to Thy single praise;
And let my glad obedience prove
How much I owe, how much I love."

March 22.

"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us : that the world may believe that thou hast sent mo."—John xvii. 21.

The mind is overwhelmed when trying to enter into the meaning of this great and deep prayer, and seeking to understand this mighty oneness of which our Saviour prays that His people may be partakers. Divided, as they too often are, it is good for them to keep in mind, that their Lord's desire is that they "may be one;" He has asked this for them, and what a standard— what a measure of oneness has He prayed for! " As Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee!" an inconceivably deep, close, eternal union of character—of love! Am I following the mind of Jesus in this thing? Am I seeking to love all His members for His sake ? Am I looking, not at their failings, but at their union with Him—our Head—both theirs and mine, as a reason for love? These questions ought to be asked by Christians who wish to be Christ-like; the answer may be often humbling, but should lead to much prayer and watchfulness ; and let us remember that, as the time will assuredly come at last, when this prayer of the Saviour will be fulfilled, it becomes us now to cultivate such a spirit of love as we shall in that day wish that we had always cherished towards even the least of Christ's true disciples.

March 23.

"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones ; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish."—Matt. xviii. 10-14.

Note how the connexion between these verses unfolds the scheme by which "little ones" are saved. We may not doubt that they are subjects of grace; we are to "take heed" not to despise them; a warning not given unless needed; great and mysterious privileges are theirs, dimly revealed by the expression, "in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven;" and all this not from any innocence or inherent purity in them, but because the Son of man came to save the lost! These little ones, like other children of Adam, were lost, but they are found in Christ; He seeks lambs as well as the sheep which went astray, and all because of the free grace of the Father, for it is not His will that one of those little ones should perish. Oh, what a vast multitude of redeemed little ones glorify His name on high ! These are they who are redeemed out of every nation, and kingdom, and people, and tongue, taken from this sinful world in infancy, and saved by Him who " came to save that which was lost." May the old sheep follow them into the fold!

"Around the throne of God in heaven
Ten thousand children stand,
Whose sins are all by Christ forgiven,
A holy, happy band,
Singing, Glory, glory, glory!"

March 24.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not alibis benefits."—Ps. ciii. 2.

"Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies."—Ps. cvi. 7.

Let us not be guilty of sinning "with our fathers" in this respect. We marvel at their ingratitude, let us see that we do not partake their sin. Strange that it should be so common a one; for what exercise can be more delightful, elevating, and encouraging than that of recalling the mercies of God, and giving Him thanks for all His benefits ? I do not know a better way of dissipating the cloud of care which the shadow of approaching trouble will sometimes cast upon the mind, than to follow David's holy example, and, turning from present anxieties, call upon our souls, and all that is within us, to "bless the Lord, and forget not all His benefits." Let us recount them if we can, they soon exceed our power to number or express. Let us give Him thanks, and acknowledge each as His good gift to us, whether for this life or for that which is to come'; and when we have added to this the thought that we are unworthy of the least of His benefits, less than the least of His mercies, shall not our hearts burn within us with gratitude, till we rise with the apostle to the highest of all, and cry, "thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!"

"While harps unnumber'd sound His praise
In yonder world above,
His saints on earth admire His ways,
And glory in His love."

March 25.

'' I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me."—Ps. xl. 17.

"He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy."—Ps. Ixxii. 13.

''Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." —Rev. iii. 17.

It is not those who are rich in their own eyes that receive the true riches; it is the poor and needy. Those who confess themselves to be so, are those on whom the Lord thinketh, and to whom He promises the full treasures of His grace. We are too ready to forget our deep spiritual poverty, and none are so apt to do so as those who, like the Laodiceans, are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. It is sad to be "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked," but saddest of all to be in this condition and not know it; to be flattering ourselves in our own eyes; to be saying, '' I am rich," in the midst of our abject poverty; and, all the while, to be regardless of the gold tried in the fire, and the white raiment so freely offered to us. O Lord, make us know our poverty! make us know Thy riches! Teach us to come to Thee as poor and needy beggars. Those who beg for this world's goods may well be our example—they confess their wants freely, and they beg earnestly, importunately, humbly; yet it has never been said to them, as to us, "ask, and ye shall receive."

"Poor, weak, and worthless though I am,
I have a rich, almighty Friend,
Jesus, the Saviour, is His name,
He freely loves, and without end."

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