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Morning Exercises: Updated for Today's Reader
Authored by Rev. William Jay of Bath
Edited by S. O. Brennan
This is not only a Devotional but also a valuable resource for Bible study.
Feed your soul, be inspired! Receive comfort, hope and guidance from the valuable perspectives of William Jay. Gain fresh insights into the Scriptures and learn how to apply them to your daily life. In addition, this devotional is also an essential reference for Bible study. The Scripture Table and Subject Index enable you to easily locate topics and passages to meet your personal needs and make research a breeze.
“Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.” Haggai 1:9
Churlish souls stint their contributions to the ministry and missionary operations, and call such saving good economy; little do they dream that they are thus impoverishing themselves. Their excuse is that they must care for their own families, and they forget that to neglect the house of God is the sure way to bring ruin upon their own houses.
Our God has a method in providence by which he can succeed our endeavours beyond our expectation, or can defeat our plans to our confusion and dismay; by a turn of his hand he can steer our vessel in a profitable channel, or run it aground in poverty and bankruptcy. It is the teaching of Scripture that the Lord enriches the liberal and leaves the miserly to find out that withholding tendeth to poverty.
In a very wide sphere of observation, I have noticed that the most generous Christians of my acquaintance have been always the most happy, and almost invariably the most prosperous. I have seen the liberal giver rise to wealth of which he never dreamed; and I have as often seen the mean, ungenerous churl descend to poverty by the very parsimony by which he thought to rise.
Men trust good stewards with larger and larger sums, and so it frequently is with the Lord; he gives by cartloads to those who give by bushels. Where wealth is not bestowed the Lord makes the little much by the contentment which the sanctified heart feels in a portion of which the tithe has been dedicated to the Lord.
"I will love them freely." Hosea 14:4
This is a condensed version of the glorious message of salvation which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. It hinges upon the word "freely." This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth, a spontaneous love flowing to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love us as we are.
The text is a death-blow to all sorts of conditions: "I will love them freely." Now, if there were any fitness necessary in us, then he would not love us freely, at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback to the freeness of it. But it stands, "I will love you freely."
We complain, "Lord, my heart is so hard."
"I will love you freely."
"But I do not feel my need of Christ as I would like."
""I will not love you because you feel your need; I will love you freely."
"But I do not feel that softening of spirit which I desire."
Some people seem to have a genius for making others miserable! They are continually touching sensitive hearts, so as to cause pain. They are always saying things which sting and irritate. If you have any bodily defect, they never see you without in some crude way, making you conscious of it. If any relative or friend of yours has done some dishonorable thing, they seem to take a cruel delight in constantly referring to it when speaking with you. They lack all delicacy of feeling, having no eye for the sensitive things in others, which demand gentleness of treatment.
Thoughtfulness is the reverse of all this. It simply does not do the things which thoughtlessness does. It avoids the painful subject. It never alludes to a man's clubfoot or humpback, nor ever casts an eye at the defect, nor does anything to direct attention to it or to make the man conscious of it. It respects your sorrow--and refrains from harshly touching your wound. It has the utmost kindliness of feeling and expression. A truly thoughtful person, is one who never needlessly gives pain to another.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
This implies that God is always present with us, is willing to be consulted by us, and will surely attend to us.
This implies that our way is likely to be difficult, dark, and perplexing; a way in which we have never traveled before, and in which we are likely to be misled.
This implies that only way to be safe, to walk securely--is to seek Divine direction; and this God is willing to give--but He will have us ask it of Him. We are dependents--and we must realize our dependence. We are but children--and we must feel it, and act as under the impression of it.
"In all your ways acknowledge Him."
You have His Word--consult it; make it your counselor, your directory and your guide.
You have His promise--believe it; He says, "I will teach you and instruct you in the way which you shall go, I will guide you with My eye."
God has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Acts 14:17
We ofttimes forget that the common mercies of life are evidences of our Father's loving thought and care for His children. There is no such thing as 'chance' in this world. God sends the rains, orders the seasons, and brings the harvests. In enjoying the gifts--we should not forget the Giver. In accepting and using the blessings--we should not fail to see the Hand which brings them to us! ~ J.R. Miller
In comparison with salvation, all other subjects are trivial. To waste time in the pursuit of wealth, or in the chase of sensual pleasure, while our salvation is not secure, is more than folly -- it is madness. What, would you agree to dwell in the dark dungeon of despair forever and ever, for the sake of living a few years upon earth in a sumptuous house? Would you consent to endure the sting of the never-dying worm, and the torment of unquenchable fire, to all eternity, for the sake of gratifying your appetites and senses for a moment? No man would deliberately make such a determination; yet such is the language which many speak by their conduct. The world is pursued daily, at the risk of eternal damnation.
The resolution of attending to the concerns of the soul at a later time, answers no other purpose than to lull the conscience asleep. Where have we known a person, by virtue of these flattering resolutions, change his conduct? The next day is like the one that preceded it. Every succeeding year passes by, like those that went before. No convenient time for repentance and
"Does Job fear God for no reason?"
Job 1:9 ESV
This was the wicked question of Satan concerning that upright man of old, Job. But there are many today who might be asked the same question with justice, for they love God (after a fashion) because he prospers them; but if things went badly for them, they would give up their boastful faith in God. If they can clearly see that since their supposed conversion, everything has gone well for them, then they will love God in their poor carnal way; but if they endure adversity, they rebel against the Lord. Their love is the love of the table, not of the host; a love to the cupboard, not to the master of the house.
The Safe Side!
There are usually two sides:
the one dangerous--the other safe;
the one is uncertain--and the other is sure.
It is always the wisest--to be found on the safe side!
Look at the unbeliever:
He denies the Bible to be God's book.
He walks by his own reason.
He gratifies his senses and his lusts.
He lives in sin.
He must soon die.
He has no Savior.
He has no true hope.
If the Bible is false--then he is safe; BUT
if the Bible is true--then he is damned forever!
Prayer carries every burden to the Lord -- and leaves it there.
Prayer goes to the Lord...
with every need--to have it supplied;
with every enemy--to have it conquered;
with every corruption--to have it subdued;
with every trouble--to have it sanctified,
and with every promise--to have it fulfilled.