MARCH 8

 

God hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him—1 Cor. 12: 18.

 

No member of the Body of Christ can say that he has no need for another member, and no member may say that there is nothing whatever that he can do in the service of the Body. Under the guidance of our glorious Head each member who is filled with His Spirit, and desirous of serving Him, may do so. When the time for rewards shall have come, who knows how much of the usefulness of Paul and Apollos may be accredited to some of the humble ones, such as Aquila and Priscilla, who in various ways ministered to and encouraged and supported their abler brethren in the Lord's work.

 

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If we could but learn the lesson that God sets the members in the Body as it pleases Him, not only would we not envy the fellow-members their places, but we would cheerfully co-operate with them in fulfilling the privileges of their places. God is pleased to place each member in the Body, where he can best help the others, and where he can best be helped by the others.

 

Parallel passages: 1Cor. 12: 5-31; 3: 5; 4: 1-16; Rom. 12: 3-8; 8: 29; Eph. 1: 22, 23; 2: 15; 4: 3-6, 11-15; 5: 23, 30; Col. 1: 24; 2: 10; Acts 2: 36; Heb. 3: 3, 6; Rev. 1: 13; 2: 1.

 

Questions: How have I acted this week toward the brethren? Why did I so act? What were the results?

 

IN THE GARDEN OF THE LORD

 

LAST night I dreamed the Master came to me and

gently said,

"Beloved, lay thy cross aside, and come with me

awhile,

For I would have thee rest within the garden of the

Lord."

And then He took my trembling hand and led me

through the gloom

Until we came to where a massive gateway barred

our path,—

The gates were closed, but opened at the Master's

sweet command.

We entered, and the shadows fled before His radiant

smile,—

 Oh, vision rapturous, can words be found to tell how

fair!

Ten thousand roses beckoned with Love's crimson

hue, and round

About our feet the violets nestled in their purple grief;

While velvet pansies, clothed in royalty, together grew

With lovely, clinging, pink and white sweet peas, and

close beside,

The lilies of the valley bent in sweet humility,—

And everywhere, the tender grass, a carpet soft and

cool.

 

And often as we passed, the Master's hand with

loving touch

Did rest upon some drooping flower, and lo! at once

it seemed

Refreshed. At last we came to where a stately lily

stood,

Its snowy crown uplifted like a chime of silvery bells,

Whose swaying filled the garden with a fragrance

sweet and rare.

We closer drew, and then I saw, alas! how here and

there

A petal fair was torn and brown, as though by some

rude wind

Or scorching heat. I wondered greatly at the sight,

then turned,

The question on my lips,—when suddenly there rose

a storm

So fierce that every flower in the garden bent its head;

And then a shower of flaming arrows, hurled by

shadowy forms

Outside the garden's ivy-covered walls, rained down

upon

The lilies, while I clung in terror to my Heavenly

Guide.

A moment only did the storm prevail, and then I

heard

The Master's "Peace, be still!" The tempest ceased,

and there was calm,

The wonderous light grew dim, the garden vanished,—

and I woke.

 

The Master had not spoken thus, and yet I seemed

to know

The fair dream-garden was a picture of his "little

 ones,"

(He neither sleeps nor slumbers in His watch-care

over these),

And then the thought,—if in this garden I might

choose my place,

Would I be like the rose? Ah! no, lest in my

passionate zeal

To show by works my heart of love, I should forget

the thorns,

Dear Lord, and wound Thy loving hand! Ah! then,

perhaps I would

The lily be, and sound Thy blessed Truth o'er land

and sea

In clear-toned eloquence. Ah! no, I might not bear

the storms

That beat upon the one whose head Thou hast

uplifted far

Above his fellows,—and a shining mark for Satan's

darts!

And thus I thought on each and all that garden's

lovely ones,

Then cried, "My blessed Lord, if I might choose,

Oh, let me be

The tender grass, that I may rest and soothe Thy

weariness,—

A lowly place, safe-sheltered from the wind and fiery

dart,—

What rapture this,—to lay down life itself beneath

Thy feet!"

 

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