Care, even though exercised upon legitimate objects, if carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin. The precept to avoid anxious care is earnestly inculcated by our Saviour, again and again; it is reiterated by the apostles; and it is one which cannot be neglected without involving transgression: for the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting ourselves into His place to do for Him that which He has undertaken to do for us. We attempt to think of that which we fancy He will forget; we labour to take upon ourselves our weary burden, as if He were unable or unwilling to take it for us. Now this disobedience to His plain precept, this unbelief in His Word, this presumption in intruding upon His province, is all sinful. Yet more than this, anxious care often leads to acts of sin. He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in God’s hand, but will carry his own burden, is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself. This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our counsellor, and resorting instead to human wisdom. This is going to the “broken cistern” instead of to the “fountain;” a sin which was laid against Israel of old. Anxiety makes us doubt God’s lovingkindness, and thus our love to Him grows cold; we feel mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking. Thus want of confidence in God leads us to wander far from Him; but if through simple faith in His promise, we cast each burden as it comes upon Him, and are “careful for nothing” because He undertakes to care for us, it will keep us close to Him, and strengthen us against much temptation. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.”
If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.nted concerning every one of the human race. “If” – then there is a possibility and a probability that some may not have tasted that the Lord is gracious. “If” – then this is not a general but a special mercy; and it is needful to enquire whether we know the grace of God by inward experience. There is no spiritual favour which may not be a matter for heart-searching. But while this should be a matter of earnest and prayerful inquiry, no one ought to be content whilst there is any such thing as an “if” about his having tasted that the Lord is gracious. A jealous and holy distrust of self may give rise to the question even in the believer’s heart, but the continuance of such a doubt would be an evil indeed. We must not rest without a desperate struggle to clasp the Saviour in the arms of faith, and say, “I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him.” Do not rest, O believer, till thou hast a full assurance of thine interest in Jesus. Let nothing satisfy thee till, by the infallible witness of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with thy spirit, thou art certified that thou art a child of God. Oh, trifle not here; let no “perhaps” and “peradventure” and “if” and “maybe” satisfy thy soul. Build on eternal verities, and verily build upon them. Get the sure mercies of David, and surely get them. Let thine anchor be cast into that which is within the veil, and see to it that thy soul be linked to the anchor by a cable that will not break. Advance beyond these dreary “ifs;” abide no more in the wilderness of doubts and fears; cross the Jordan of distrust, and enter the Canaan of peace, where the Canaanite still lin
1. Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
2. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
3. Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
4. Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
5. Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
6. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.
7. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
8. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.
9. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
10. He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.
11. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. 12. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
13. He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
14. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
15. And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
16. The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;
17. Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. 18. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.
19. He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
20. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
21. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
22. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.
23. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
24. O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
25. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
26. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
27. These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
28. That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
29. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
30. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
31. The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.
32. He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
33. I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.
35. Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.
– Bible Offline
1. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
– Bible Offline
1. Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
3. Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
5. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
7. That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
8. And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.
9. The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.
10. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;
11. And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.
12. Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13. He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.
14. In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.
15. He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.
16. He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.
17. And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.
18. And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.
19. Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
20. Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?
21. Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;
22. Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:
23. Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,
24. And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.
25. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.
26. He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.
27. He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:
28. And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations.
29. So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire;
30. They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths,
31. The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.
32. For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.
33. Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.
34. When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and inquired early after God.
35. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.
36. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.
37. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.
38. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.
39. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
40. How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! 41. Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. 42. They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.
43. How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan:
44. And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink.
45. He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them.
46. He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller, and their labour unto the locust.
47. He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees with frost. 48. He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.
49. He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.
50. He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;
51. And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:
52. But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53. And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54. And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.
55. He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56. Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:
57. But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58. For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
59. When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:
60. So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
61. And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand.
62. He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. 63. The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.
64. Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.
65. Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.
66. And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.
67. Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:
68. But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
69. And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.
70. He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:
71. From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.
72. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.
– Bible Offline
It will always give a Christian the greatest calm, quiet, ease, and peace, to think of the perfect righteousness of Christ. How often are the saints of God downcast and sad! I do not think they ought to be. I do not think they would if they could always see their perfection in Christ. There are some who are always talking about corruption, and the depravity of the heart, and the innate evil of the soul. This is quite true, but why not go a little further, and remember that we are “perfect in Christ Jesus.” It is no wonder that those who are dwelling upon their own corruption should wear such downcast looks; but surely if we call to mind that “Christ is made unto us righteousness,” we shall be of good cheer. What though distresses afflict me, though Satan assault me, though there may be many things to be experienced before I get to heaven, those are done for me in the covenant of divine grace; there is nothing wanting in my Lord, Christ hath done it all. On the cross He said, “It is finished!” and if it be finished, then am I complete in Him, and can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, “Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” You will not find on this side heaven a holier people than those who receive into their hearts the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness. When the believer says, “I live on Christ alone; I rest on Him solely for salvation; and I believe that, however unworthy, I am still saved in Jesus;” then there rises up as a motive of gratitude this thought- “Shall I not live to Christ? Shall I not love Him and serve Him, seeing that I am saved by His merits?” “The love of Christ constraineth us,” “that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto Him which died for them.” If saved by imputed righteousness, we shall greatly value imparted righteousness.
“Train up a child in the way he should go.” Pr 22:6
Raising your child “in the way he should go” means being aware of: (1) Their interests. John Ruskin said, “Tell me what you like, and I’ll tell you what you are.” What do your children like? Numbers? Colors? Activities? The greatest gift you can give them isn’t your riches, but revealing to them their own. (2) Their relationships. What statement best characterizes your child? (a) “Follow me, everyone.” (b) “I’ll let you know if I need help.” (c) “Can we do this together?” (d) “Tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” Don’t characterize loners as aloof, or crowd-seekers as arrogant. God designed them that way. What gives your child satisfaction and makes them say, “Yes”? Do they love the journey, or the destination? Do they like to keep things straight, or straighten things out? What thrills one child bothers another. (3) Their environment. A cactus thrives under different conditions than a rosebush. What soil does your child grow in? Some love to be noticed while others prefer to hide in the crowd. Some do well taking tests, others excel in the subject but stumble when it comes to exams. Winston Churchill repeatedly failed tests in school, yet he changed history. We only excel when we’re in the right environment. (4) Their strengths. At two, Van Cliburn played a song on the piano as a result of hearing someone teaching in an adjacent room. His mother noticed, gave him lessons, and the kid from Kilgore, Texas, won the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. Resist the urge to label your children before studying them, and ask God to help you understand their uniqueness.