DECEMBER 30

 

Thou crownest the year with thy goodness—Psa. 65: 11.

 

As we review the leadings of Divine providence during the year that is past, let God's goodness and mercy stimulate our faith and confidence in Him as respects the new incoming year. A proper retrospect on the part of a proper child of God will enable him not only to render thanks for the past but also to look up and lift up his head, realizing that our deliverance is nearer than when we first believed; and that He that began a good work in us is both able and willing to complete it, if we will but continue to submit our wills, our lives, our all, to His wisdom and loving care.

 

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The word year in the Bible is sometimes used for a period averaging nearly 365 days, and sometimes for an Age. Both kinds of years the Lord crowns with His goodness. He crowns the natural year with His goodness, bearing up the Universe, and operating its stupendous machinery for His glory and the good of His creatures, giving them the blessings of the seasons. Thus amid the limitations of the curse the Lord abundantly blesses. Viewed as "the acceptable year of the Lord," the Gospel Age has been crowned with the Lord's goodness, in redeeming, teaching, justifying, sanctifying, completing, delivering and glorifying the Church; bringing the Great Company to eternal life; developing the non-Spirit-begotten consecrated for princeship in the earth; and preparing Jews and Gentiles for the Millennial Reign. So, too, the Millennial Age will be crowned with the Lord's goodness—forgiving, awakening, instructing, compassionating, drawing and blessing the whole race; lifting up the earth and the obedient to perfection, and giving the faithful everlasting life in Paradise.

 

Parallel passages: Ex. 33: 19; 34: 6; Psa. 33: 5; 34: 8; 73: 1; 107: 8, 9, 43; 145: 7, 9; Isa. 61: 1, 2; 63: 7; Matt. 7: 11; Luke 4: 18, 19; Rom. 2: 4; Titus 3: 4.

 

Questions: What were this year's special blessings? How did they affect me?

 

THESE MANY YEARS

 

THESE many years! What lessons they unfold

Of grace and guidance through the wilderness,

From the same God that Israel of old

In the Shekinah glory did possess!

How faithful He, through all my griefs and fears

And constant murmurings, these many years!

 

God of the Covenant! From first to last,

 From when I stood within that sprinkled door,

And o'er my guilt the avenging angel passed,

Thy better angel hath gone on before;

And naught but goodness all the way appears,

Unmerited and free, these many years!

 

Thy presence wrought a pathway through the sea;

Thy presence made the bitter waters sweet;

And daily have Thy hands prepared for me

Sweet, precious morsels—lying at my feet.

'Twas but to stoop and taste the grace that cheers,

And start refreshed, through all these many years!

 

What time I thirsted and earth's streams were dry,

What time I wandered and my hope was gone,

Thy hand hath brought a pure and full supply,

And, by a loving pressure, lured me on.

How oft that hand hath wiped away my tears

And written "Pardoned!" all these many years!

 

And what of discipline Thy love ordained

Fell ever gently on this heart of mine;

Around its briers was my spirit trained

To bring forth fruits of righteousness Divine;

Wisdom in every check, and love appears

In every stroke, throughout these many years!

 

Lord, what I might have been, my spirit knows—

Rebellious, petulant, and prone to stray;

Lord, what I am, in spite of flesh and foes,

I owe to grace that kept me in the way.

Thine be the glory! Merit disappears,

As back I look upon these many years.

 

Thine be the glory! Thou shalt have the praise

For all Thy dealings, to my latest breath;

A daily "Ebenezer" will I raise,

And sing "Salvation" through the vale of death—

To where the crown, the golden harp appears,

There to rehearse Thy love through endless years!

 

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