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Thursday, August 16, 2018

August Devotional ~"Why Do These Trials Come?"


In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by manifold trials, that the proof of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…
1 Peter 1:6-7


Jesus, You shine in marvelous splendor,
Reigning from Heaven’s throne of glory!
Creator of the sun, moon and stars of wonder;
Angels praise Your Name from all eternity.

Sovereign over all, You reign as the Prince of Life,
My sins You carried in Your Body upon the tree.
Conquering death, You arose with power divine,
Shepherd of the stars, I now need You to carry me.

Shine your wisdom upon this shadowed path of mine,
Give me hope and the strength to carry on.
Anoint me with Your gladness from on high,
Lift up my head, my Light and great Salvation.

May my faith come through this fire like pure gold,
Reflecting and revealing Your marvelous glory.
These trials will seem us nothing when all is told,
Lift up Your face and shine upon us; give us peace.

Endless honor and praise to the Lord of uncreated light,
Any glimmers streaming from us are borrowed rays.
Yet, You bestow upon us the brightness of the noonday sky,
Like the stars who will forever shine forth Your praise.
C.A. TAYLOR
Prince of Life

         Now these ‘manifold trials’ assume many guises and employ varied weapons of painful inquisition. Some of them may be found in the antagonism of men. Loyalty to truth may be confronted with persecution. A beautiful ministry may be given an evil interpretation. Our beneficence may be maligned. This may be one of ‘the manifold trials.’ Or our antagonism may be found in the apparent hostility of our circumstances. Success is denied us. Every way we take seems to bristle with difficulties. Every street we enter proves to be a cul-de-sac. We never emerge into an airy and spacious prosperity. We pass our days in material straits. Such may be another of ‘the manifold trials.’ Or it may be that our antagonist dwells in the realm of our own flesh. We suffer incessant pain. We are just a bundle of exquisite nerves. The streets of the city are instruments of torture. The bang of a door shakes the frail house to its base. We are easy victims of physical depression. Who knows but that this may have been Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’? At any rate, it is one of ‘the manifold trials’ by which many of our brethren are put to grief.
         Why do these trials come? Why are antagonisms allowed to range themselves across our way? Why are there any blind streets which bar our progress? Whey does not labor always issue in success? Why are ‘manifold trials’ permitted? We may find a partial response in the words of our text. They are permitted for ‘the proof’ of our faith. That is the purposed ministry of the sharp antagonism and the cloudy day—‘the proof of your faith.’ Now ‘to prove’ the faith means much more than to test it.
         First of all, it means to reveal it. To prove the faith is to prove it to others. God wants to reveal and emphasize your faith, and so He sends the cloud. May we not say that the loveliness of the moonlight is revealed and emphasized by the ministry of the cloud? It is when there are a few clouds about, and the moonlight transfigures them, that the glory of the moon herself is declared. And it is when the cloud is in our life that the radiance of our faith is proved and proclaimed. The ‘manifold trials’ set out in grand relief that which might have remained a commonplace. Light which fringes the cloud is light which is beautified. Faith which gleams from behind the trial is faith which is glorified. It is the hard circumstance that sets in relief the quality of our devotion.
         But ‘the manifold trials’ do more than reveal the faith. There is another ministry wrapped up in this suggestive word ‘prove.’ The trial that reveals the faith also strengthens and confirms it. The faith that is ‘proved’ is more richly endowed. The strong wind and rain which try the tree are also the ministers of its invigoration. The round of varying seasons makes the tree ‘well seasoned,’ and solidifies and enriches its fibre. It is the negative that develops the strength of the affirmative. It is antagonism that cultivates the wrestler. It is the trial that makes the saint. The man who sustains his hold upon God through one trial will find it easier to confront the next trial and exploit it for eternal good. And so these ‘manifold trials’ prove our faith. They reveal and they enrich our resources. They strengthen and refine our spiritual apprehension. They may strip us of our material possessions, ‘the gold that perisheth,’ but they endow us with the wealth of that ‘inheritance’ which is ‘incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.’

JAMES HASTINGS
The Speakers Bible -1 Peter
        

         No man gets good for himself alone out of his sorrows. Whatever purifies and makes gentler and more Christ-like, whatever teaches or builds up—and sorrows rightly borne do all these—is for the common good. Be our trials great or small, be they minute and everyday—like gnats that hum about us in clouds, and may be swept away by the hand, and irritate rather than hurt when they sting—or be they huge and formidable, like the viper that clings to the wrist and poisons the life-blood, they are meant to give us good gifts, which may transmit to the narrow circle of our homes, and in every widening ring of influence to all around us.
We shall never understand our sorrows unless we try to answer the question, What good to others is meant to come through me by this?

ALEXANDER MaCLAREN



Saturday, July 21, 2018

July Devotional "the Almighty God offers Himself to do the work of keeping me"



You, who are kept by the power of God…”
1 Peter 1:5

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
​​From whence comes my help?
 ​​My help comes from the LORD,
​​Who made heaven and earth.
​​​He will not allow your foot to be moved;
​​He who keeps you will not slumber.
 ​​Behold, He who keeps Israel
​​Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand…
The LORD shall keep you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The LORD shall keep your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.”
Psalm 121:1-5, 7-8

The word Peter uses, kept, is the same word the Apostle Paul uses when he is talking about the Governor under King Aretas who guarded the city of the Damascenes. It is the same word that the same Apostle employs, with the same emblematical reference as here, when he speaks of ‘the peace of God’ as guarding your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. That is to say, we are to think of some little undefended, unwalled village, which is made safe because a strong force is thrown into it. St. Peter thinks that every Christian man has enemies that he cannot beat back alone, and he thinks that every Christian man may have round him a ring of defense against which all enemies will break and foam themselves away like waves against a lighthouse.
First, the keeping is all-inclusive. What is kept? We are kept. How much of us? The whole being. Does God keep one part of us and not another? No. Some people have an idea that this is a sort of vague general keeping, and that God will keep them in such a way that when they die they will get to heaven. But they do not apply that word ‘kept’ to everything in their being and nature. And yet that is what God wants.
There are some people who think God will keep them in spiritual but not in temporal things. Now, God sends us to work in the world, but He does not say: I must now leave you to earn your own money, and to get your livelihood for yourself. He knows we are not able to keep ourselves. God says: My child, there is no work you are to do, and no business in which you are engaged, and not a penny which you are to spend, but I, your Father, will take into My keeping. God cares not only for the spiritual, but also for the temporal. The greater part of the life of many people must be spent amid the temptations and distractions of business; but God will care for them there. The keeping of God includes all. In sunshine as in the gloom, our God is ready to keep us all the time.
Once more, there are others who think of God’s keeping thus: God will keep me from doing very great wickedness, but there are small sins I cannot expect Him to keep me from. There is the sin of temper. I cannot expect God to conquer that. When you hear of some man who has been tempted and gone astray, or fallen into drunkenness or murder, you thank God for His keeping power. ‘I might have done the same as that man,’ you say, ‘if God had not kept me.’ We believe He keeps us from drunkenness and murder. And why do we not believe that He can keep us from outbreaks of temper? We thought that this was of less importance; we did not remember that the great commandment of the New Testament is, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ And when our temper and hasty judgment and sharp words came out we sinned against the highest law—the law of God’s love. And yet we say: God will not, God cannot—no, we will not say God cannot; but we say, God does not—keep me from that. We perhaps say: He can; but there is something in me that cannot attain to it, and which God does not take away. Listen to these words, ‘Kept by the power of God.’ There is no qualifying clause to them. The meaning is, that, if we will entrust ourselves entirely and absolutely to the omnipotence of God, He will delight to keep us.
This keeping is not only an all-inclusive keeping, it is also an almighty keeping. God is almighty, and the Almighty God offers Himself to work in my heart, to do the work of keeping me; and I want to get linked with Omnipotence, or rather, linked to the Omnipotent One, to the living God, to have my place in the hollow of His hand. David had very wonderful views of how the everlasting God is Himself the hiding-place of the believing soul, and of how He takes the believer and keeps him in the very hollow of His hand, in the secret of His pavilion, under the shadow of His wings, under His very feathers. And we who are the children of Pentecost, we who have known Christ and His blood and the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven, why is it we know so little of what it is to walk confidently step by step with the Almighty God as our Keeper?
God comes to us as the Almighty One, and without any condition He offers to be our Keeper, and His keeping means that day by day, moment by moment, God is going to keep us.

JAMES HASTINGS
First Epistle of S. Peter

         Look out and up, then. Look up ‘from the depth,’ the vast depth of your weakness, perhaps of your mysteriously inherited weakness. Look up out of your failure under some temptation, inward or outward, inherited, so to speak from yourself, from your own unfaithfulness in the past. Look up out of your ruined purposes—unto Himself. He is able to rebuild, and more than rebuild, the ruins. He is able to untie the knot, and draw out straight the line of will and obedience to Himself. Being what His is, Keeper of Israel, God of the Promise, Lord of the Sacrifice, Prince of Life, present Savior, indwelling Power, He is able to keep you that your feet shall not totter.”

H.C.G. MOULE
All in Christ

Will our God, in His tenderhearted love towards us, not keep us every moment when He has promised to do so?


ANDREW MURRAY

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June Devotional: "a life in which the longings of the heart are satisfied."


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
I Peter 1:3-5


Come closer, weary one, and draw near,
Sink down under the shadow of My wings.
Seek refuge in Your Lord and Maker,
Trust, hide, and rest; let your heart gently sing.

I will be your peace, so you may be secure,
Forgiven and cleansed, restored by My shed blood.
I will be your hope, with a never-ending future,
Lift your head and look up, unto Heaven above.

O, come, draw near, I am your haven and home,
I am with you always; you are never alone.

 Let Me cover you with My merciful grace,
Bestowed upon you without measure.
Abide in my presence ‘til the eternal dawn breaks,
When I gather you to Myself, for forever.

C.A. TAYLOR
For Forever


There is something waiting for us here of which we may say, as of the living hope, that the very sound of it is refreshing: ’an inheritance, incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.’ The refreshing element belongs to the contrast between this and the things to which we are most accustomed. With our regeneration we become heirs to a glorious spiritual estate, with all its inexhaustible possessions and treasures. How the Apostles roll out the New Testament music by ringing the changes upon this eagerly welcomed word! ‘Heirs of salvation!’ ‘Heirs of the kingdom!’ ‘Heirs together of the grace of life!’ ‘Heirs according to the hope of eternal life!’ The Apostles survey their estate from different angles, that they may comprehend the wealth of the vast inheritance. With what fruitful words does the Apostle Peter characterize the nature of the inheritance. It is an inheritance ‘incorruptible.’ It is beyond the reach of death. No grave is ever dug on this estate. It is an inheritance ‘undefiled.’ It is beyond the taint of sin. No contamination ever stains its driven snow. It is an inheritance ‘that fadeth not away.’ It is beyond the blight of change. The leaf never turns. 'Time doth not breathe on its fadeless bloom.’ Into this glorious inheritance are we begotten again by the abundant mercy of God.
All that is pure and lovely on earth is the reflected image in the unstable element of time of the enduring realities of eternity—the calyx that contains within it the unopened blossom of eternity. And just as the calyx in plants is a transformed leaf, and the blossom a transformed calyx, so heaven is only earth transformed by Him who maketh all things new.
It is a life in which the longings of the heart are satisfied, and cherished hopes are translated into tasted experiences. In heaven, personal perfection is attained. They hunger no more, neither thirst any more. There is perfect satisfaction in the attainment of perfect conformity to the will of God. No distance there between what we longed to be and what we are; but the rest of perfect attainment.
And yet all this passes away before something greater. At length there is the perfect satisfaction of our craving for God. With unveiled face we see His face; with the ear that is opened to grasp His utterances and understand we hear the music of His voice. There we know at length what it is to enter into the fullness of union with Him, to find eternal rest and joy, reposing on the heart of God.

JAMES HASTINGS
The Speaker’s Bible -I Peter

What Bernard of Cluny saw, as he peered through the darkness, was heaven itself. He saw it in glorious colors, all golden, all joyous, with Christ and the holy angels, and filled with, holy men and women.
But what Bernard of Clairvaux saw was better still. It was the King of the fair, heavenly land. It was the dear Savior who died for us. What he saw was the Person of Jesus. He saw the head that was crowned with thorns, and the feet that were pierced with nails, and His hands and His side.
And each of them put what he saw into a hymn.
The poor monk who had only a cell to live in made the hymn we have so often sung:
Jerusalem the Golden!
With milk and honey blest:
Beneath Thy contemplation
Sink heart and voice oppressed.

I know not, oh, I know not,
What joys await us there,
What radiancy of glory,
What bliss beyond compare.

The rich Abbot of Clairvaux saw past that glory, and fixed his great heart on Jesus Himself:

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest name,
O Savior of mankind!

A. MACLEOD

The Child Jesus

Friday, May 11, 2018

May Devotional: "But to David the earth looked very different..."


You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills;
 they give drink to every beast of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
they sing among the branches.
 From Your lofty abode You water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your work.

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
 and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs;
You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.

You visit the earth and cause it to overflow;
You greatly enrich it;
The stream of God is full of water;
You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth.

 The pastures of the wilderness drip,
And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.
The meadows are clothed with flocks
And the valleys are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, yes, they sing.

Psalm 104: 10-17, 65:8-9, 12-13


The Lord of all, Himself through all diffused,
Sustains and is the life of all that lives.
Nature is but a name for an effect,
Whose cause is God…
One spirit, His
Who wore the platted thorns with bleeding brows,
Rules universal nature. Not a flower
But shows some touch, in freckle, streak, or stain,
Of His unrivall'd pencil.  He inspires
Their balmy odours, and imparts their hues,
And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes,
In grains as countless as the seaside sands,
The forms with which He sprinkles all the earth.
Happy who walks with Him! whom what he finds
Of flavor or of scent in fruit or flower,
Or what he views of beautiful or grand
In nature, from the broad majestic oak
To the green blade that twinkles in the sun,
Prompts with remembrance of a present God.
His presence, Who made all so fair, perceived,
Makes all still fairer.  As with Him no scene
Is dreary, so with Him all seasons please.
William Cowper
The Task

         David looked at the earth as God’s earth: we look on it as man’s earth, or nobody’s earth. We know that we are here, with trees and grass, and beasts and birds round us. And we know that we did not put them here; and that, after we are dead and gone, they will go on just as they went on before we were born. The earth is here, and we on it: but who put it there, and why it is there, and why we are on it, instead of being anywhere else, few ever think. But to David the earth looked very different: it had quite another meaning: it spoke to him of God who made it. By seeing what this earth is like, he saw what God, who made it, is like: and we see no such thing. The earth? —we can eat the corn and cattle on it, we can earn money by farming it, and ploughing and digging it; and that is all most men know about it. But David knew something more—something which made him feel himself very weak, and yet very safe; very ignorant and stupid, and yet honored with glorious knowledge from God,—something which made him feel that he belonged to this world, and must not forget it or neglect it; namely, that this earth was his lesson-book—this earth was his work-field; and yet those same thoughts which showed him how he was made for the land round him, and the land round him was made for him, showed him also that he belonged to another world—a spirit world; showed him that when this world passed away, he should live forever; showed him that while he had a mortal body, he had an immortal soul too; showed him that though his home and  business were here on earth, yet that, for that very reason, his home and business were in heaven, with God who made the earth—with that blessed One of whom he said, “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure: they all shall fade as a garment, and like a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed; but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail.”—“As a garment shalt Thou change them”—ay, there was David’s secret! He saw that this earth and skies are God’s garment—the garment by which we see God; and that is what our forefathers saw too, and just what we have forgotten; but David had not forgotten it.

CHARLES KINGSLY
Village Sermons, I

-1884

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Devotional ~"No One Takes Your Joy Away from You!"

will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you.” 

John 16:22
Very early in the morning, …when it was yet dark, …behold, there was a great earthquake:  for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow… and the angel answered and said unto the women, "Fear not!  For I know that you seek Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here, for He is risen, as He said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  Go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead…” 
Matthew 28:2-7

Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him… 
Luke 24:30-31

Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph, and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.           
      The Day of Resurrection
                                                       JOHN of DAMASCUS ~760AD                                                                

        If you come to seek His face, not in the empty sepulchre, but in the living power of His presence, as indeed realizing that He has finished His glorious work, and is alive forevermore, then your hearts will be full of true Easter joy, and that joy will shed itself abroad in your homes.  And let your joy not end with the hymns and the prayers and the communions in His house.  Take with you the joy of Easter to the home, and make that home bright with more unselfish love, more hearty service; take it into your work, and do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; take it to your heart, and let that heart rise anew on Easter wings to a higher, a gladder, and fuller life; take it to the dear grave-side and say there the two words, "Jesus lives!" and find in them the secret of calm expectation, and hope of eternal reunion.
JOHN ELLERTON
 ~1826-1893


        There are no marks of the crown of thorns upon His Brow, yet He looks more than ever a King!  The placid sunrise is beautiful, but there is not half so much quiet beauty about it as reigns over that ineffably sweet Face.  O, look into His eyes; what a depth of love, what a tenderness, yet what an overwhelming power of love!  In His Easter joy, He thought of us and of our salvation, of each one of us by name and look; He will know that joy again when we come before Him, to rest forever in His presence.
F. W. FABER
~1815-1863

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Good Friday Devotional "Deep Depression of Spirit is the Most Grievous of all Trials..." '

'My heart is like wax: it is melted within My breast…'                       
Psalm 22:14

Therefore He had to be made like His brothers and sisters in every respect, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 2:17


Lord, I know You to be great with compassion,
So I come with a humble heart that’s broken.
Be gracious, forgive, and cleanse me from my sin,
To the praise of Your glorious grace.

I am crushed like a reed, but You’ll not break me;
My soul’s a flickering candle, but You’ll not quench me.
You bind up the brokenhearted and bring healing,
To the praise of Your glorious grace.

Bruised and downtrodden, my heart’s in pieces;
Wrap Your loving arms tightly ‘round me.
Bind and tie my wounded soul for Your glory,
To the praise of Your glorious grace.

I know You to be rich in mercy and grace,
Making my heart joyfully sing of Your praise,
Renew and revive my soul for Your great name’s sake
To the praise of Your glorious grace.

Praise to Your Glorious Grace
C.A. TAYLOR


Our Blessed Lord experienced a terrible sinking and melting of soul.  'The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear?'  Deep depression of spirit is the most grievous of all trials; all besides is as nothing.  Well might the suffering Savior cry to His God, 'Be not far from Me', for above all other seasons a man needs his God when his heart is melted within him because of heaviness.  Believer, come near the cross today, and humbly adore the King of glory as having once been brought far lower, in mental distress and inward anguish, than any one among us; and mark His fitness to become a faithful High Priest, who can be touched with a feeling of our infirmities.  Especially let those of us whose sadness springs directly from the withdrawal of a present sense of our Father's love, enter into near and intimate communion with Jesus.  Let us not give way to despair, since through this dark room the Master has passed before us. 
Our souls may sometimes long and faint, and thirst even to anguish, to behold the light of the Lord's countenance: at such times let us stay ourselves with the sweet fact of the sympathy of our great High Priest.  Our drops of sorrow may well be forgotten in the ocean of His griefs; but how high ought our love to rise!  Come in, O strong and deep love of Jesus, like the sea at the flood in spring tides, cover all my powers, drown all my sins, wash out all my cares, lift up my earth-bound soul, and float it right up to my Lord's feet, and there let me lie, a poor broken shell, washed up by His love, having no virtue or value; and only venturing to whisper to Him that if He will put His ear to me, He will hear within my heart faint echoes of the vast waves of His own love which have brought me where it is my delight to lie, even at His feet forever.
C. H. SPURGEON
 Mornings and Evenings


God has arranged it that in every conceivable way Jesus has been made like unto His brethren.  There are only two matters in which He is not like them ~His virgin birth and His sinless life. But in everything else, He has been identified with them in their infirmities.  There are no sufferings that His brethren suffer but that He has suffered them too.  There are no tears that His brethren shed, but that He has shed them too. God has made the Captain of our salvation perfect through suffering.  He would not be an adequate High Priest for us had He not been through everything that we go through. In our hour of suffering He says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden.  I am your Brother, I have been made like unto you in everything."
ROY HESSION 1908-87
From Shadow to Substance

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

March '18 Devotional ~"What must be the Glory of the Heavenly City?"

The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.”
Revelation 21:23-26

Take me to the crystal river that flows,
Where fruitful trees are given for our healing.
I want to dwell before the Lamb’s throne,
To see Your face, and stand, forever gazing.

Take me to the New Jerusalem,
Adorned with the beauty of a beloved bride.
Laden with glorious and precious gems,
Radiant with the brilliance of God most glorified.

    Take me to the water of life for the thirsty,
Where Your gentle hand wipes away tears of sorrow;
Where our sun will never set for all eternity,
Dwelling in Paradise with Your perfect Face to behold.

Take me to the clear, Golden City,
Where the forgiven rest in peaceful mansions,
Where darkness becomes a far, distant memory,
And the radiance of the Lamb fills the heavens.

Take me to Yourself upon eagle’s wings,
To the place where Your great glory shines;
Where Your redeemed fill the throne with thanksgiving,
Our sun, our moon, our Morning Star, shining bright.

Take Me
C.A. TAYLOR

Who has not marked even here the glory of God as seen in a great sunset. Rivers of glory wind through meadows of gold. Lakes of glory lie embedded in the evening sky. Seas of glory lap eternal shores with their shimmering waves. Mountains of glory rear themselves to the heavens with cloud-capped summits tipped with the splendor of the dying day. Earth too is flooded with the glory. It falls in the dim aisles of great forests and illumines them with its splendor. It dances among the wind-tossed leaves. It splotches the trunks of giant trees. It bathes in light the upturned faces of those who watch and worship as the climaxing splendor of earth, sea, and sky turns the heart to God our Father who is Himself the glory of all creation and who deigns to give us, in the lavish, golden glory of the sunset the faint forth-shadowing of the glory of the Father's House.
But if the earthly glory is such, what must be the glory of the heavenly city? It needs no sun, for the glory of God doth lighten it. The nations of the earth walk in the glory of it. Its foundations can only be likened to the glory of the diamond, the sapphire, the amethyst, the topaz, and like precious stones of earthly glory. Its gates are pearls —each wondrous gate a single pearl. The city and its street are gold. But it is gold which the earth knows not. For it is called "gold like unto clear glass" (Rev. 21:18), and "transparent glass" (Rev. 21:21). That is —it is the glory-gold. It is gold through which the glory of God can shine forth in crystal splendor. God uses this earthly imagery as the nearest symbolism by which He can give us any glint of the glory of His House prepared for us. But when all has been said it is as nought to that glory of which He says —
“Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people….” (Rev. 21:3)

JAMES McCONKEY

This Devotional is dedicated to the joyful homecoming of Billy Graham to his forever home.