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Showing posts from August 8, 2019

He is Here

Today : He is Here

After Jesus left there, he went to the region of Tyre. When he went into a house, he did not want anyone to know, but he was not able to escape notice. — Mark 7:24 NET

The fame of Christ had gone out too widely over the whole country for Him to travel anywhere without being recognized. No doubt there was something in His appearance and bearing that distinguished Him from other men and soon revealed Him. There must have been a rare sweetness in His face, the outpouring of the great love of His heart. There was no halo upon His features, as artists represent Him in their pictures; yet there must have been a glow of grace that revealed Him to sad and hungry hearts.

But really Christ never can be hid. He can be in no place in this world very long and His presence not be recognized. You may hide sweet flowers so that they cannot be seen, but soon the fragrance will disclose their hiding-place. So the sweetness of the Saviour’s life and love will always tell when He is near.…

What Defileth?

Today : What Defileth?

What defiles a person is not what goes into the mouth; it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a person.” — Matt 15:11 NET

There are many applications of this principle. The food we eat does not affect our moral character. No external ceremonies really touch the soul. Indeed, nothing in this world has any power to defile a heart while it remains outside and is not allowed to enter. A man may be a coal-miner, always black and grimy, and always working in dirt, and yet he may have a soul white and unspotted. This is true of living amid temptations. So long as we keep them outside, they have no power to injure us.

Luther says somewhere that we cannot prevent the birds flying about our heads, but we can prevent them building their nests in our hair. We cannot prevent a great many evil things buzzing around us continually, but we can keep them from entering our hearts and nesting there. And so long as we do this, the worst things in the world cannot lay a spot up…

Corban

Today : Corban

Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like this.” — Mark 7:13 NET

It is a good thing to dedicate one’s property to God. But when we have done this we must take good heed that we use it in the ways marked out for us by the Divine commandments. It will not do to cover miserliness and greed by a pretence that we have given our money to God, and therefore cannot use it for charitable purposes.

For example, if a man has needy parents, one of the first uses of consecrated money is to provide for their wants. He may say that he is gathering means to build an orphanage, or an asylum for infirm old men or old women, and that he has consecrated his property to this great charity; but if meanwhile he allows his own aged parents to suffer, his consecration of property is not acceptable to God. He who sets aside the fifth commandment that he may use his money for the poor is playing a miserable farce before God. No amount o…

Pharisaism

Today : Pharisaism

(For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they perform a ritual washing, holding fast to the tradition of the elders. — Mark 7:3 NET

The religion of the Pharisees consisted not in love to God, and in disposition, character, and conduct, but in certain ceremonial rites which they observed with great scrupulousness. They washed their hands before meals, because ceremonial uncleanness in the hands communicated itself to the food. Yet they took no pains to wash their hearts of evil or uncharitable thoughts and feelings toward others. They washed when they came in from their shops because worldly business defiled them; but they were not careful in their dealings with others to be just, honest, and true. They saw that every pot and kettle, every vessel, and all household arrangements, were ceremonially cleansed; but they did not stop to look within their own heats to see if all was clean there for the indwelling of God’s Spirit.

We all need to watch against makin…

Failures

Today : Failures

I brought him to your disciples, but they were not able to heal him.” — Matt 17:16 NET

There are a great many teachers in our Sunday schools who have had similar experiences. Children have been brought to them possessed by evil spirits, and they have failed to cast out the demons. They have tried every device, gentle and severe; they have prayed and laboured, they have talked and wept; but the evil spirits in their scholars have defied all efforts to dislodge them. Teachers of such incorrigible scholars may learn some lessons here.

It may be a little encouragement, first of all, to know that even Christ’s apostles met at least one case that they could not do anything with; no wonder if common people like us fail now and then. It is failures like this in the apostles that bring them down to our level. When we see them victorious and successful at every point, we are discouraged. But when we find them baffled and defeated, we see that they were human, just like us, and cou…