AUGUST 5

 

We know that all things work together for good to them that love God … the called according to his purpose—Rom. 8: 28.

 

Remembering this, all the Lord's people should be content with the lot which Providence seems to mark out for them—not indolent, but content, when they have done all that their hands find to do—not restless, peevish, dissatisfied, complainers against God and His providence. It may be that the Lord is fitting and preparing us individually for some special service, and that the permitted experiences alone will prepare us for that service. We are to remember also that we are incompetent to judge of our own imperfections, and hence incompetent to judge of the experiences which would be most helpful to us.

 

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What blessed comfort the child of God who, as one of His called ones, wholeheartedly loves God finds in the assurance of this text that all his interests are under Divine care and supervision, and that all his experiences, under Divine direction, are conspiring to his development as a Christian. Unlike the poor world, whose interests are exposed to all sorts of accidents, the Christian, assured that there are no accidents in his experiences, knows that whatever befalls him is an expression of God's love and care, and that it helps him to attain his life's ambition—Christlikeness.

 

Parallel passages: Gen. 5: 20; Deut. 8: 2; Jer. 24: 5-7; 2Cor. 4: 15-18; Heb. 12: 9-11; Rev. 3: 19; Rom. 1: 6; 9: 11, 23, 24; 1Pet. 5: 7, 10; Psa. 76: 10; Isa. 51: 2; Prov. 16: 7.

 

Questions: Do I love God supremely? What evidence have I of being of the called?

Wherein have "the all things" of this week wrought good to me?

 

DISCIPLINE

 

THE hammer of Thy discipline, O Lord,

Strikes fast and hard. Life's anvil rings again

To Thy strong strokes. And yet we know 'tis then

That from the heart's hot iron all abroad

The rich glow spreads. Great Fashioner Divine,

Who spareth not, in Thy far-seeing plan,

The blows that shape the character of man,

Or fire that makes him yield to touch of Thine,

Strike on, then, if Thou wilt! For Thou alone

Canst rightly test the temper of our will,

Or tell how these base metals may fulfill

 Thy purpose—making all our life Thine own.

Only we do beseech Thee, let the pain

Of fiery ordeals through which we go

Shed all around us such a warmth and glow,

Such cheerful showers of sparks in golden rain,

That hard hearts may be melted, cold hearts fired,

And callous hearts be taught to feel and see

That discipline is more to be desire.

Than all the ease that keeps us back from Thee.

 

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