Monthly Archives: July 2012

Alone with Jesus


Alone with Jesus!

(from Octavius Winslow’s, “Morning Thoughts”)

“Suddenly they looked around, and Moses and Elijah
were gone, and only Jesus was with them.” Mark 9:8

It is possible, my dear reader, that this page may be
read by you at a period of painful and entire separation
from all public engagements, ordinances, and privileges.

The way which it has pleased God to take thus to set
you aside may be painful and humbling. The inmate
of a sick chamber, or curtained within the house of
mourning, or removed far remote from the sanctuary
of God and the fellowship of the saints, you are,
perhaps, led to inquire, “Lord, why this?”

He replies, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet
place and get some rest.” Oh the thoughtfulness, the
discrimination, the tenderness of Jesus towards His
people! He has set you apart from public, for private
duties; from communion with others, for communion
with Himself. Ministers, friends, privileges are withdrawn,
and you are; oh enviable state! alone with Jesus!

And now expect the richest and holiest blessing of your life!

Is it sickness? Jesus will make all your bed in your
sickness, and your experience shall be, “His left hand
is under my head, and His right hand embraces me.”

Is it bereavement? Jesus will soothe your sorrow and
sweeten your loneliness; for He loves to visit the house
of mourning, and to accompany us to the grave, to
weep with us there.

Is it exile from Christian fellowship? Still it is Jesus who
speaks, “I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile.”

The very circumstances, new and peculiar as they are,
in which you are placed, God can convert into new and
peculiar mercies; yes, into the richest means of grace
with which your soul was ever fed.

The very void you feel, the very need you deplore, may
be God’s way of satiating you with His goodness.

Ah! does not God see your grace in your very desire for grace?

Does He not mark your sanctification in your very thirsting for holiness?

And can He not turn that desire, and convert that thirst,
into the very blessing itself? Truly He can, and often does.

He can now more than supply the absence of others by the presence of Himself.

Oh, who can compute the blessings which now may flow
into your soul from this season of exile and of solitude?

Solitude?

No, it is not solitude! Never were you less alone than now.

You are alone with Jesus, and He is infinitely better
than health, wealth, friends, ministers, or sanctuary,
for He is the substance and the sweetness of all.

And oh, if while thus alone with Jesus you are led more
deeply to search out the plague of your own heart, and
the love of His; to gather up the trailing garment; to
burnish the rusted armor; to trim the glimmering lamp;
and to cultivate a closer fellowship with your Father,
how much soever you may mourn the necessity and
the cause, you yet will not regret that the Lord has
set you apart from others, that you might rest awhile
in His blest embrace; alone with Jesus!

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Think on these things


You were delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9–14)… seek the things that are above, where Christ is… Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth…your life is hidden with Christ in God… Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry… In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away… seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator… And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another… with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:1–17 (ESV)

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The befriended orphans


“Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said”:
“No, I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you.”
John 14:18

Does the Christian’s path lie all the way through Beulah? No, he is forewarned it is to be one of “much tribulation.”

He has his Marahs as well as his Elims—his valleys of Baca as well as his grapes of Eschol.

Often is he left un-befriended to bear the brunt of the storm—his gourds fading when most needed—his sun going down while it is yet day—his happy home and happy heart darkened in a moment with sorrows with which a stranger (with which often a brother) cannot understand.

There is One Brother “born for adversity” who can.

How often has that voice broken with its silvery accents the muffled stillness of the sick-chamber!

“I will not leave you comfortless: the world may, friends may, the desolations of bereavement and death may; but I will not; you will be alone, yet not alone, for I your Savior and your God will be with you!”

Jesus seems to have a special love and affection for His orphaned and comfortless people. A father loves his sick and sorrowing child most; of all his household, that child occupies most of his thoughts.

Christ seems to delight to lavish His deepest sympathy on “him that has no helper.”

It is in the hour of sorrow His people have found Him most precious; it is in “the wilderness” He speaks most “comfortable unto them;” He gives them “their vineyards from thence”; in the places they least expected, wells of heavenly consolation break forth at their feet.

As Jonathan of old, when faint and weary, had his strength revived by the honey he found dropping in the tangled thicket; so the faint and woe-worn children of God find “honey in the wood”; everlasting consolation dropping from the tree of life, in the midst of the thorniest thickets of affliction.

Comfortless ones, be comforted! Jesus often makes you portionless here in this world, to drive you to Himself, the everlasting portion! He often dries every rill and fountain of earthly bliss, that He may lead you to say, “All my springs are in You.”

“He seems intend,” says one who could speak from experience, “to fill up every gap love has been forced to make; one of his errands from heaven was to bind up the broken-hearted.”

How beautifully in one amazing verse does He conjoin the depth and tenderness of his comfort with the certainty of it—“As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you, and you SHALL be comforted!”

Ah, how many would not have their wilderness-state altered, with all its trials, and gloom, and sorrow, just that they might enjoy the unutterable sympathy and love of this Comforter of the comfortless, one ray of whose approving smile can dispel the deepest earthly gloom!

As the clustering constellations shine with the most intense luster in the midnight sky, so these “words of Jesus” come out like ministering angels in the deep dark night of earthly sorrow. We may see no beauty in them when the world is sunny and bright; but He has laid them up in store for us for the dark and cloudy day.

“These things have I told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.”

by John MacDuff

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Grace much more


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I can feelingly say, he has proved himself stronger than I and his goodness superior to all my unworthiness. 

He tells me (and enables me to believe it) that I am fair, and there is no spot in me.  Though an enemy, he calls me his friend; though a traitor, a child; though a beggared prodigal, he clothes me with the best robe and has put a ring of endless love and mercy on my hand.  And though I am sorely distressed by spiritual and internal foes, afflicted, tormented and bowed down almost to death with the sense of my own present barrenness, ingratitude and proneness to evil, he secretly shows me his bleeding wounds and softly and powerfully whispers to my soul, ‘I am thy great salvation.’  His free distinguishing grace is the bottom on which is fixed the rest of my poor weary tempted soul.   On this I ground my hope, often times when unsupported by any other evidence, save only the Spirit of adoption received from him.  When my dry and empty barren soul is parched with thirst, he kindly bids me come to him and drink my fill at the fountainhead.  In a word, he empowers me to say with experiential evidence, ‘Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.’ Amen and amen.”

Joseph Hart (1712-1768), quoted in Peter C. Rae, “Joseph Hart and His Hymns,” Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 6 (1988): 22-23.

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