SEPTEMBER 24

 

I keep my body under, and bring it into subjection: lest … I myself should be a castaway—1 Cor. 9: 27.

 

There is a tendency for the body, the flesh, to arise from its condition of reckoned deadness; hence, the new nature needs to be continually on the alert to maintain its ascendency, to fight the good fight of faith and to gain the prize as an overcomer. These battlings of the new mind against the flesh are a good fight in the sense that they are fightings against sins and weaknesses that belong to the fallen nature. They are a fight of faith in the sense that the entire course of the Christian is a course of faith, as the Apostle says, "We walk by faith and not by sight." … It is a fight of faith in the sense that no one could keep up this battle against his own flesh and its propensities and desires, except as he can exercise faith in the promises and in the Lord as his Helper.

 

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There is a distinction between keeping the body under and bringing it into subjection. We keep the body under when we suppress its efforts to control us, detach our earthly affections from its objects and prove impenetrable to its attacks. We bring it into subjection when the new heart, mind and will, laying hold of and enslaving it to God's will, makes it serve Truth, righteousness and holiness. Both of these things we must do to gain the prize of our calling. While other things must be done to gain eternal life, these are indispensable to overcoming. Whoever fails in this does not overcome. He will be a castaway as respects the prize.

 

Parallel passages: 1Cor. 9: 25, 26; 2Cor. 6: 4, 5; Rom. 8: 13; Acts 1: 25; 2Pet. 2: 15; Eph. 4: 22; Col. 3: 5; Jer. 6: 30; Luke 9: 25; 2Cor. 13: 5, 6.

 

Questions: How did my experiences this week accord with this text? What was helpful or hindersome therein? What were the effects?

 

A SOLITARY WAY

 

Psa. 107: 1-9; Prov. 14: 10; 1 Cor. 2: 11.

 

THERE is a mystery in human hearts,

And though we be encircled by a host

Of those who love us well, and are beloved,

To every one of us, from time to time,

There comes a sense of utter loneliness.

Our dearest friend is "stranger" to our joy,

And cannot realize our bitterness.

"There is not one who really understands,

 Not one to enter into all I feel;"

Such is the cry of each of us in turn.

We wander in a "solitary way,"

No matter what or where our lot may be,

Each heart, mysterious even to itself,

Must live its inner life of solitude.

 

Job 7: 17; Matt. 10: 37.

 

And would you know the reason why this is?

It is because the Lord desires our love.

In every heart He wishes to be first.

He therefore keeps the secret-key Himself,

To open all its chambers, and to bless

With perfect sympathy and holy peace

Each solitary soul which comes to Him.

So when we feel this loneliness, it is

The voice of Jesus saying, "Come to Me;"

And every time we are "not understood,"

It is a call to us to come again;

For Christ alone can satisfy the soul,

And those who walk with Him from day to day

Can never have "a solitary way."

 

Isa. 48: 16; Psa. 34: 22.

 

And when beneath some heavy cross you faint,

And say, "I cannot bear this load alone,"

You say the truth. Christ made it purposely

So heavy that you must return to Him

The bitter grief, which "no one understands,"

Conveys a secret message from the King,

Entreating you to come to Him again.

The Man of Sorrows understands it well.

In all points tempted, He can feel with you.

You cannot come too often, or too near.

The Son of God is infinite in grace;

His presence satisfies the longing soul;

And those who walk with Him from day to day

Can never have "a solitary way."

 

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