DECEMBER 5

 

Choose you this day whom ye will serve … as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD—Josh. 24: 15.

 

Let others reverence whom and what they will; we who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, we who have come to know Him through His Word, and through His providences, and through the power of the Spirit by which we are energized to newness of life—we can do naught else than reverence our God; and reverencing Him we must trust Him implicitly; and trusting Him implicitly we will gladly walk in whatever way He may mark out for us; and thus trusting and thus walking we are content, whatever lot we see, since 'tis His hand that leadeth us. And let us be assured that, following the true Shepherd after this manner, we shall ultimately reach the Kingdom fold. In these assurances we have joy and peace and blessing of heart, even in the house of our pilgrimage.

 

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Prompt decision to do the Lord's will after discerning it, is the course of the faithful. It is characteristic of the measurably unfaithful to hold back from doing God's will and measurably to compromise with evil, even after discerning the Lord's will respecting the good and the evil. While the Lord is long-suffering, ultimately He will force these to come to a decision; for He will so shape their experiences that they must decide for or against His will. Like Joshua of old, let the faithful seek by word and example to encourage the measurably unfaithful to a righteous decision; but whether the latter accept the encouragement so given, or not, let the faithful under Christ, their Head, continue to remain dead to self and to the world, and alive to God, and thus, with as many as we can influence, serve the Lord.

 

Parallel passages: 1Kings 18: 21; Ezek. 20: 39; Luke 16: 13; Rom. 6: 16; Gen. 18: 19; John 6: 67-69; Matt. 19: 16-22; 26: 33, 35; Josh. 24: 16-18; 23: 15; 1Chron. 28: 9.

 

Questions: Have I exercised decisiveness this week? How? Under what circumstances? With what results?

 

WHOM WILL YE SERVE?

 

John 19: 12, 13.

 

CASESAR'S friends? or friends of Jesus?

Solemn question for to-day!

Friends of Caesar! Friends of Jesus!

Take your sides without delay.

If ye pause for man's forbidding,

Caesar's friendship ye secure;

 If ye do the Father's bidding,

Scorn, reproach, ye shall endure.

 

Friends of Caesar! Friends of Jesus!

Stand revealed! your choice declare!

Who in truth two masters pleases?

Who may rival banners bear?

Jesus' friends account Him precious,

Lose for Him all other gain:

Dearer far the smile of Jesus

Than the praise of worldly men.

 

Free from Caesar, friends of Jesus!

Stand in phalanx! never fear!

Love, severely tried, increases;

Courage yet! The Lord is near!

Onward still, His name confessing,

Weaving crowns to grace His brow;

Lo! His hands are full of blessing,

Lifted for your succor now.

 

Caesar's friends were we, but Jesus

Owns us for His friends to-day!

What! Shall rival friendship please us,

While the Bridegroom is away?

No! through grace would we surrender

Caesar's things to Caesar's care,

whilst to God, our God, we render

Filial homage, praise, and prayer.

 

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