2003

      January 2003      Day by Day

      February 2003    One Way

      March 2003        For this Peace

      April 2003         Comfort

      May 2003          The Sent of Prayer

      June 2003          Proof of Christ

      July 2003              I Must, I Must, I Must

      August 2003          Strength Renewed

      September 2003    Heirs of the Kingdom

      October 2003        Precious Prayer

      November 2003     Am I Salt ?

      December 2003     Perfect Protection

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January's  Day by Day
"So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
"
Jesus ChristPsalm 90:12
   HOW the emphasis rests upon the day as the natural unit of time in human experience! Every day is a fresh beginning: "Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day!" The Shepherd Psalm leads us from morning to evening. The Lord's Prayer teaches us to say: Give us our bread; forgive us our debts; deliver us from evil, day by day. Thus, then, let us plan our lives.
   May each day begin and close in fellowship with our heavenly Father through prayer ; including a period of pause to hear what He shall say to us. May the common toil of each day bear evidence that the increase of God's kingdom is the highest aim of our daily service. May each day be enriched by sacrificial giving, so that we may learn to lay up our treasure in heaven.
   By a daily plan such as this "May we apply our hearts unto wisdom."

Rev. J. Rauch Stein, D.D.        
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
     
(1901)

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February's  One Way
"Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except yeExcept ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
Except ye eat the fleshand drink his blood,
no life ye have no life in you.
  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,
hath hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
"
Jesus ChristJohn 6: 53, 54
   THIS statement, so absolute, so authoritative, and so solemnly reiterated, was a fan with which the Saviour purged His floor. Many were so scandalized by it that from that hour they forsook Him. So is it always. To declare in any age that for us sons of men there is no remission of sins, and no entrance into everlasting life apart from the death of the Son of man, is to rouse the repugnance of the natural heart. From the days of Cain, God's way of life by means of death has been an offence to many. Many also, like Abel, have by faith fed on the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and found His flesh meat indeed and His blood drink indeed. Thus they received and nourished eternal life, and lived in hope of the resurrection of the just.
   How can I share this life, and attain to this resurrection? By no mastication of material elements, but by personal trust in an ascended Saviour. Jesus' words, being spirit and life, impart life wherever received. Hence His deepest complaint is, "There are some of you that believe not." He has the words of everlasting life. Here He speaks them. You may accept them! You may reject them! You cannot alter them!

Rev. A. B. Mackay, D.D.        
Crescent Street Presbyterian Church     
Montreal, Canada.
     
(1901)

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March's  For this peace
"Blessed are the peacemakers: peacemakers
peacemakersfor they shall be called the children of God.
"
Jesus ChristMatthew 5: 9
   HE who speaks this blessed loving text is God incarnate, God the Son, Jesus Christ, the only all-sufficient Saviour. In the economy of God He is the greatest peacemaker known to earth.
   For this peace He was "slain from the foundation of the world."
   For this peace, in God's love for the world, His only begotten Son was given.
   For this peace as the only able one, He made the only propitiation for the sins of the world, and thus bought us, one and all, and thus became as the God-man our Lord under the exaltation of God, who gave Him a name above every name as a reward of His infinitely humble, acceptable, and profitable work, that every tongue should confess Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of God the Father.
   For this peace the Master sent His ministry forth and the Holy Ghost to bless them in the establishment of His Church for the salvation of men.
   For this peace He ascended into heaven to carry on His work in the presence of God, as the great Intercesor, with the marks of His love in His hands, with wounds in His feet, and with the open door in His side to His heart; and so He lives in the smile of heaven to the end of His mediatorial kingdom.
   And now as is the tree so are the branches and fruit; they cannot help being blessed. It is in the very nature of things in the providence of God. And so we naturally read our text and learn our lesson, each in our own degree, as we faithfully apply its use.

Rev. C. F. Hoffman, D.D.        
Protestant - Episcopal Church of All Angels     
New York
     
(1888)

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April's  Comfort
"My sheep hear my voice, my voice
and I know them, and they follow me;
and I give unto them eternal life;
and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
"
Jesus ChristJohn 6: 53, 54
   HERE is a passage that has brought, in times of trial, perplexity and distress, more comfort than any other Bible passage I know. Note first the references to ownership :
"My sheep,    My voice,    I know,
Me,    My hands.
"
   Then note the reciprocal relationship of the owned :
"sheep hear,    they follow,
give unto them eternal life,
and they shall never perish.
"
   Here we have the great secret of security, both now and in eternity. The Shepherd "owns, calls, gives."
   And here are the Two Hands: The hand of Jesus and the hand of the Father ; the eternal hands of God beneath us to bear us up at all times, and we are safe.
   Under the comfort of the above passage there have been a great many sons and daughters of our Lord and Savior that have found peace and rest in dire troubles.
  Comfort that the world can not comprehend.

Rev. F. W. Hofman,        
York            
Pennsylvania
     
(1930)

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May's  The Sent of Prayer
"And the Lord smelled a sweet savour."
Jesus ChristGenesis 8: 21
   YOU have your favorite perfume. It may be heliotrope or attar of roses or lily of the valley. How sweet to your smell is the delicate scent of the violet!
   Just so God has His favorite perfume. Nothing is so sweet to Him as the sincere, grateful worship of His Children. Noah's sacrifice was the expression of his grateful trust in God. Have we any cause for praise? Let our thanksgivings rise like sweet incense. "His name, like sweet perfume, shall rise with every morning sacrifice."
   Let us bring to our family altar our sincere thanksgivings, trusting for acceptance in Him who "hath loved us and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour."

Rev. Irving Maxwell,         
Camden              
New Jersey
     
(1929)

" Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense;"
Jesus ChristPsalm 141: 2
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June's  Proof of Christ
"Believest thou not that I am in the Father,the Father
and the Father in me?
the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:
but the Father that dwelleth in me,dwelleth in me
he doeth the works.
"
Jesus ChristJohn 14: 10
   THE words and works of Christ were the words and works of God. We need not wait to prove the historic miracles which Christ wrought upon men's bodies. We have three greater miracles of His before us to-day. His matchless character, His matchless words, His matchless influence,末the miracle of a character too unique to be invented, too pure and mighty to be human; the miracle of teachings that the world's wisest men have almost universally admitted to be not only unequalled, but unapproached; the miracle of an influence upon individuals and nations greater than has been exerted by any other person that ever walked the earth. These present, indisputable evidences show that Christ is able as well as willing to save me and to save the world.
   Christianity is a science, not a dream, because it is established in part like law and history, upon abundant and reliable testimony; in part, like gravitation and the roundness of the earth upon a proved hypothesis that alone includes and harmonizes all the facts; in part, like medicine and chemistry, upon experiments and experiene. No hypothesis but that of Christianity explains how an unlettered carpenter of Nazareth has become the best known, the most beloved, and the most obeyed of any being "that e'er wore earth about him." But there is yet stronger evidence in experience.
Christ Jesus "Come and see!"

Rev. W. F. Crafts,                               
First Union Pesbyterian Church            
New York
     
(1887)

" God was manifest in the flesh."
Jesus ChristI Timothy 3: 16
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July's  I Must, I Must, I Must
"And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me?sought me
wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
"
Jesus ChristLuke 2: 49
   WHEN the parents of the boy Jesus, after anxiously seeking, found Him in the Temple, He said to His mother, "Did you not know that I must be active in my Father's affairs?"
   There was a great urge in the heart of Jesus, unknown even to His mother. Every Christian life should feel the compulsion of such a purpose. When the appeal of reason and faith desert us, we must depend upon the "I must."
   Good purposes, high ideals, Christian faith, life's greatest achievements are not always to be pursued because of pleasure and allurement. They have their dead spots of discouragement and temptation. When the fog obscures the true perspective of life, when fatigue threatens our vitality, the compulsion of "I must" may furnish the additional necessary push over the goal.
   For the sake of others, for the sake of right, yes above all for the sake of my Lord, "I must" be Christian in my faith, in my service.

Rev. Calvin P Swank, D.D.,                               
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.            
(1937)

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August's  Strength Renewed
"But they that wait upon the LORDrenew strength
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
they shall and they shall walk, and not faint.
"
Jesus ChristIsaiah: 40: 31
   THIS golrious promise is mine. How I need it every day! My ability to meet the presure of duty, the unexpected sorrow and the sudden attack of sin is so feeble末 so fleeting. My impatience to rush into each day's duties, so often, has revealed the absence of a protecting armor; my feet were unshod and my hand held no sword. My strength was but the strength of man.
   This glorious promise offers me a precious privilege of His Holy Presence. Here I may contemplate His Fatherhood末 His sacrificial Saviorhood. Bow in humble, happy worship, O my soul, before your Father, your Savior and your constant Companion! In His Presence are joy and peace末 also, admonition and commission. "Come末wait" gives place to "Go末serve." Now I may rise and radiate the power of His Presence through loving service 末yea, even through trying, difficult service, in the program of this day of grace. Waiting upon Him gives me the strength of His comradeship for every duty and disappointment of life.

Rev. William C. Ney,                               
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.            
(1929)      

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September's  Heirs of the Kingdom
"Fear not, little flock; Fear not, little flock
for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you
Father's pleasure to give the kingdom.
"
Jesus Christ Luke 12: 32
   HOW like "the good shepherd!" What tenderness! What loving sympathy! "seek ye the kingdom of God" as your life-work. Enemies and dangers will confront and oppose you. "Fear not them which kill the body." "Fear not" anything. "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
   "Fear not." "Your Father knoweth" your foes and your needs. It is His pleasure to give you the kingdom. His heart's joy is in it. His hand will accomplish it.
   "Fear not, little flock." You may think I am sending you "as sheep in the midst of wolves," which rush with open mouth upon their prey. Seek and fear not; "for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
   "Fear not." Your Father gives. Ye are His children. Where should the sons and daughters of the King dwell but in the kingdom of their Father? How can the Father do otherwise than give you the kingdom?
   "Fear not." Yea rather, rejoice and be glad. Have confidence and expectation. Look for the coming of the King. Await the bestowment of the kingdom, with the throne and the crown, the sceptre and the glory everlasting.

Rev. Giles H. Mandeville, D.D.                               
Secretary Board of Education,                
Reformed Church in America.            
(1889)      

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October's  Precious Prayer
"This poor man cried, and the LORD heard
and the LORD heard, and saved him out of all his troubles.
"
Jesus Christ Psalm 34: 6

   PRAYER will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.

                John Bunyan   (1671)
   I HAVE been driven many times to my knees, by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.
                Abraham Lincoln   (1863)
   PRAYER is not conquering God's reluctance, but taking hold upon god's willingness.
                Philips Brooks   (1868)
   PRAY over every truth; for though the renewed heart is not "desperately wicked," it is quite "deceitful" enough to become so, if God be forgotten a moment..
                Charles Kingsley   (1844)
   {"Continuing instant in prayer."}
   THE Greek is a metaphor taken from hunting dogs that never give over the game till they have got their prey.
                Thomas Brooks   (1672)
   PRAYER pulls the rope below, and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give but an occasional pluck at the rope; but he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might.
                Charles Spurgeon   (1869)
   AND Satan trembles when he sees.
The weakest Saint upon his knees.
                William Cowper   (1766)
   OH GOD, if in the day of battle I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me.
                an Unknown Soldier   (17??)
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November's  Am I Salt ?
"Ye are the salt of the earth: salt of the earth
salt but if the salt have lost his savour,
lost his savour wherewith shall it be salted?
it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out,
and to be trodden under foot of men.
" of men
Christ Jesus Matthew 5: 13
   THE salt in Judea was native salt mingled with various earthy substances. When exposed to the atmosphere and rain, the saline particles in due time wasted away, and what was left was an insipid earthy mass, looking like salt, but entirely destitute of a conserving element, and absolutely good for nothing. It was not merely good for nothing, but actually destructive of all fertility wherever it might be thrown; therefore it was cast into the streets to be trodden under foot of men. The carcass of sheep or bullock might be buried deep in this worthless mass, and the process of corruption not be delayed a moment.
   What an illustration is this of the absolute worthlessness of the form of godliness when the power is utterly lacking! "If the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?" How can its salting, conserving property be recovered? What can you do with it? So your savorless religion is not only worthless in its influence on others, but of no good to yourselves. It will save niether them nor yourself from corruption. How sad for one to have lost the power that belongs to the Christian calling, and instead of being the instrument of saving others, becoming a means of their perdition! Well does the Saviour say in another place, "Have salt in yourselves."

Rev. D. D. Demarest, D.D.                     
Pastor of Pastoral Theology and Sacred Rhetoric,    
Reformed Church Seminary,            
New Brunswick, New Jersey
     
(1889)

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December's  Perfect Protection
"He shall cover thee with his feathers,              
and under his wings shalt thou trust:    
        his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid

Christ Jesus Psalm 91: 4, 5
   ALWAYS to fear the Lord and never be afraid, that is the ideal which God has for us. The two are joined with strong fastenings.
   During the war a son who had been under sharp fire comforted his parents in this country with this, "It is not where you are, but who is looking after you." If we could only get rid of the terror that surrounds so many of us. "Peace and safety." We find them in Him. Living in constant dread is no way for a child of God. Soft, gentle protection and strong, unbreakable defense. Why be afraid while protected against the subtile evils that creep in silently or the evils that make bold attack?
   Start each day with this assurance of perfect protection guaranteed in His many "exceeding great and precious promises" which never fail.

Rev. W. Courtland Robinson, D.D.,                     
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
     
(1930)

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