Sunday, May 15, 2016

May Devotional: "He pursues the thankless with offers of grace..."

 Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.  Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.
Ecclesiastes 11:1-2

Something, my God, for Thee,
Something for Thee:
That each day’s setting sun may bring
Some penitential offering;
In Thy dear name some kindness done;
In Thy dear love some wanderer won;
Some trial meekly borne for Thee,
Dear Lord, for Thee.

 Something, my God, for Thee,
Something for Thee:
That to Thy gracious throne may rise
Sweet incense from some sacrifice–
Uplifted eyes undimmed by tears,
Uplifted faith unstained by fears,
Hailing each joy as light from Thee,
Dear Lord, from Thee.

 Something, my God, for Thee,
Something for Thee:
For the great love that Thou hast given,
For the great hope of Thee and heaven.
My soul! her first allegiance brings,
And upward plumes her heavenward wings,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, Nearer to Thee.

         I  believe that no Church can expect to prosper, or to get God’s blessing, that does not try to do good to bless unbelievers. There is still another reason, personal to myself and therefore somewhat selfish, a desire to keep myself in work, and not get rusty in the quiet of a country parish. With some spare time on my hands why not employ it in doing some little good in God’s world, even though it should entail labour and trouble and botheration. One day or other the world will slip through our fingers, and all we hold dearest in it. Only the good we have done will remain. That cannot pass away. It is written down in the memory of God, registered in the books of His Divine Retribution.  We will need it all when we come to give in our account of our service and go to get our wages—our love, and kindliness and faith, and unselfishness, and well-doing—we will need it all and more than all when God puts the question to us: ‘Of what use have you been in My world? What have you done with the talents and the time I gave you?’
Life and Letters

But let us remember how God’s work and gifts are unappreciated. The multitude crowds into the music-hall and gazes with rapture on some vulgar stage scenery painted in glaring ochres, whilst God’s bright landscapes full of perfect beauty solicit their eye in vain. There is a great crush in the public gardens to witness an exhibition of fire-works—small tricks in saltpetre; but the eager crowd turns its back on the moon walking in brightness and God’s heaven sown with stars. And men treat God’s government and grace as they do His handiwork, ignoring Him who is wonderful in counsel, excellent in working. Yet for all this He does not suspend His beneficent action; He continues His glorious and generous administration, whatever may be the response of His creatures. He makes His sun to shine upon the evil and the good, His rain to descend upon the just and the unjust, despite the thanklessness of the far greater portion of those who are so richly and undeservedly blessed. How largely the sublime work of the Lord Jesus is unrecognized! “Where are the nine?” is a mournful question still on our Master’s lips. But He does not fail, neither is He discouraged because of the blindness and heartlessness of those whom He suffered to redeem; He pursues the thankless with offers of grace and blessing. We are far too anxious about acknowledgments and congratulations. It is natural, perhaps, that we should suffer some sense of disappointment, but have we not considerations and motives to lift us far above such discontent? It is rather the gratitude than the apathy of men that should leave us mourning. Let us work in the spirit of a noble faith and consecration, knowing that what we give and suffer will be lightly esteemed among men.

There is no labour lost

Though it seem tossed

Into the deepest sea.

In dark and dreary nights,

’Mid stormy flash of lights,

It cometh back to thee.

Fear not to labour, then,

Nor say, “I threw my time away!”

It is for God, not men,

To count the cost and pay.



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