Sunday July 25 “OF HIS FULLNESS”
Every life will have its times of sore testing, its times of sharp trial, its experiences in which ordinary strength and preparation will not avail. It is when we have Christ back of our own little strength, when we are abiding in Christ, when our faith links us to His everlasting fullness, that we have the reserve we need for any future. True religion binds the soul to God, so that from His divine fullness, supply comes for every emergency. We cannot fail if God is back of us. Our lamps can never go out if they are fed from heaven’s olive trees. But if we have no such reserve, our own feeble strength will soon be exhausted, and there will be no refilling of the emptied vessel.
Monday July 26 SHRINKING FROM DUTY
When we stand before any duty, whatever peril or cost it may involve, let us not hesitate to do it. You cannot turn away from duty save at the peril of your soul. Forget not the momentous word of Christ: “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” There are times when the best use we can make of our life is to give it up. Life that is saved by shrinking from duty is not worth saving. It has been stained, and has lost its glory in the saving. It is infinitely better to die in the way of duty than to live by cowardice or disloyalty to Christ or by any unfaithfulness.
Tuesday July 27 AS A FLOWER SCATTERS FRAGRANCE.
Stay at Christ’s feet till your heart overflows with love for all, even for people you have not liked before. Then begin to think about them and to live for them. Begin to scatter happiness as a flower scatters fragrance, as a lamp scatters beams of light. Christ was always making people happy. Shall we not take the same aim for ours? It is a wonderful power, a power that we all have in a greater or smaller measure, to put gladness and joy into other’s hearts. No mission in life can be nobler than to live to be a happiness-maker.
Wednesday July 28 PRAYER AND ANSWERS
True prayer is earnest, not tiring not fainting. It takes every burden to God, the small and the large alike. It is submissive, referring all to the Father’s will. Its answer may not come in the direct granting of the request we make, but may come instead in more grace and strength, enabling us to keep the burden and yet rejoice. Lying at our Father’s feet in the time of our strong cryings and tears, we learn obedience, and our sobbings end in praises, our struggles in acquiescence, our tears are dried and we rise victorious, not getting our own way, but glad and happy and peaceful in God’s way.
Thursday July 29 TAKING SHORT-CUTS.
We should never take short-cuts, even to things that we are sure will someday be ours. Life is full of these opportunities to shorten the path to success, to achievement, to position. God’s way oft-times seems long and far around. But any other way, however short it seems, is longer. Though there may be no sin committed in taking the short-cuts, nothing dishonorable done, nothing to stain the soul, still it is better to go only as God leads. His way is always in the end the shortest.
Friday July 30 WHAT WE TRY TO DO
Christ accepts what we try our best to do for Him, what we truly want to do, even though no results come from our efforts. This ought to be a comfort to many of us, for we do not do, any of us, indeed, what it is in our hearts to do. Our hands are awkward and unskillful, and fail to work out the beauty that our mind dreams. We go out with high resolve and loving thought to do some sweet service for our Lord, and come back with tears and sad regret over the failure or the marring of what we meant to do. But Christ knows what our hearts planned and what we wanted to do, and that is what He counts and sets down on His books.
Saturday July 31 BLESSING OF DAILY CROSSES
A true Christian life never grows easy, never becomes entirely agreeable to our natural tastes. Every day is, in a certain sense, a crucifixion, a nailing of self on the cross. But this very hardness is a means of grade. The cross lifts us upward. We grow under the burden of our daily duties and cares. So it comes that the things we would like to be freed from are the things we could least afford to lose. What we consider our disadvantages may really be our most indispensable advantages. We grow best under pressure, under the hard necessity of toil and care.