the First Week of Advent
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The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
December 7—Morning—John 4:16
"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us."—1 John 4:16.
Who hath known, and believed, in terms equal to the greatness of the mercy itself, the love of God to the poor sinner! God’s love must be an infinite love, and consequently the display of it must be infinite also. God, we are told, " Commendeth his love to us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Had God loved and delighted in saints that loved him, this would have been love. Had God taken the holy angels into a nearer acquaintance with him, this would have been love. But when he raised beggars from the dunghill, and took rebels from the prison to sit upon his throne, and at a time when his justice would have been magnified in their destruction; to prefer sinners, haters of God, and despisers of his grace; to bring them into the closest and nearest connection with him, in the person of his dear Son; and all this by such a wonderful plan of mercy, as the incarnation and death of Jesus; who hath ever calculated the extent of such grace? Who hath thoroughly known or considered, or believed, in any degree proportioned to the unspeakableness of the salvation, the love that God hath to us? Oh Lord, add one blessing more. Cause my cold heart to grow warm in the contemplation of it; and let it be my happiness to be daily studying the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of God, which passeth knowledge, that I may be filled with all the fulness of God.
December 7—Evening—Hebrews 13:5-6
"For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."—Hebrews 13:5-6.
Sweet thought! Blessed promise of a covenant promiser, whose name is I AM! Indeed, the whole covenant of grace is made up of God’s wills, and his engaging for our shalls: and the whole is founded in the purposes of God’s love, and faithfulness, and immutability; secured in the blood and righteousness of Christ; and stamped with the broad seal of heaven, by God the Holy Ghost. Hence, therefore, the covenant runs, "I WILL be their God, and they SHALL be my people." Hence, also, Jesus with all his fulness is in the covenant. And hence, also, the Holy Ghost is engaged to abide with them for ever, to lead them into all truth, and to glorify the Lord Christ in their hearts. How is it possible for them to do otherwise than rejoice, and boldly to say, "the Lord is my helper!" for the fear of man is driven out by the fear of God? My soul! what saith thine experience to this? Surely, thou wilt take up the same confident language, and from the same cause, as the church. If the Lord hath said it, he will confirm it: he will never leave, neither forsake the redeemed of Jesus. So that I never shall be left hopeless, helpless, comfortless! Precious Jesus! in thee I set up the Ebenezer afresh this evening: thou, Lord, art my helper: "I will not fear what man shall do unto me!"