IN COMMUNION WITH HIM…..J.B. Stoney

“We are not in heaven, but we are going on to get possession of it.
The Holy Spirit is down here, and we are highly favored. We must
be captivated by Him ( Jesus Christ). He is not One who will not
attend to our small matters. No, He comes down to the smallest
thing, and helps us out that we may be in company ( communion)
with Him, and now I shrink from anything that would hinder my
communion with Him. I am acquainted with Him now, and having
got the taste of heaven, then I come out in a new way to face every
obstruction between me and heaven, and the only thing I dread
is myself; therefore I have to lay aside every weight and sin which
doth so easily beset (Hebrews 12:1). I do not doubt the power. The
Lord grant that we may be as attached to Him as Peter was (Matt.14).”

SPIRITUAL GROWTH…..C.H. Mackintosh

“It required the protracted period of forty years in the wilderness to teach the
children of Israel “what was in their hearts” (Deut. 8:2) and it is one of the
grand results of the course of discipline through which each child of God
passes, to lead him into a more profound knowledge of his own weakness
and nothingness.  “We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should
not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Cor.1:9).  The more
we are growing in the sense of our infirmities, the more shall we see our need
of clinging more closely to Christ–drawing more largely upon His grace, and
entering more fully into the cleansing virtue and value of His atoning blood.
The Christian, at the opening of his course, never knows his own heart; indeed,
he could not bear the full knowledge of it; he would be overwhelmed thereby.
“The Lord leads us not by the way of the Philistines lest we should see war,”
and so be plunged, in despair.  But He graciously leads us by a circuitous route,
in order that our apprehension of His grace may keep pace with our growing
self-knowledge.”   C.H. Mackintosh  (Abraham and Lot)

EXPOSITION OF THE WORD OF GOD

“I’D RATHER SUFFER LOSS”

It was in that very spot, sir,” said a working shoemaker, pointing to a place in his little workshop, “Yes, in that very place, sir, six years ago, that the Lord spoke peace to my troubled soul; and how good and gracious He is.” Such was almost the beginning of our happy and profitable intercourse on paying a visit to this dear servant of the Lord Jesus. . . . .

After talking generally together, and having had sweet fellowship in the things of our precious Savior and Lord, and we were about to leave, he said, “I should like to let you know something about the exercises of soul I have been lately passing through.” To this we readily assented.

He then said something like this: “When I was converted to God, and knew the Lord Jesus Christ His Son as my Savior, I thought I shall now surely prosper in my little business; but in this I was sadly mistaken, for my earnings very soon fell off. The first year I earned three shillings a week less, the second year three shillings a week less, the third year four shillings a week less, and of late my earnings have been so little that I thought I must give it up, and seek some other employment, though I have so enjoyed the Lord’s presence with me in this little place. Accordingly, knowing Mr. M. to be a kind christian man, and that he held a good situation in a large factory near this, I asked him if he thought he could procure me employment of any kind in his place of business, and he promised to let me know when there was a vacancy.

But after this I became deeply exercised before the Lord as to what I was about. Is this that I am seeking according to my own will or the Lord’s will? Is He bidding me to give up my present calling and seek another? for I have had much of the Lord’s presence, and enjoyed His sweet company when working alone in this corner. And just then the Lord seemed to say to me, Which will you have? Will you go into the factory, and mix with the ungodly multitude with large wages, or remain in this corner and enjoy my presence with small earnings; which will you have? I assure you, sir, it was a serious moment. I turned it well over in my mind. I considered how weak I am, how easily turned aside, and began to think that if I went into that factory to work, I might soon be drawn away, and lose my blessed Lord’s sweet company. So I said, ‘Lord, let me have Thy company even if it must be with small earnings; I’d rather suffer loss, than not enjoy Thy presence with me.’ From that time I became perfectly settled, and told Mr. M. not to think anything more about procuring a situation for me. Now, sir, it is remarkable that from that time work began to come in more than for a long time before.”

We could not help thinking that the result was just what we should have expected. We believe that one of the greatest hindrances to souls is their being so taken up with desire for worldly prosperity. The consequence is that the Lord has not got His rightful place in their hearts; and, however many excuses they may make, the question really is, “Am I seeking earthly gain, or the enjoyment of the Lord’s presence? Is communion with Him the uppermost desire of my heart?” Perhaps no point is of more importance for us really to settle in the presence of God. If

worldly advantage, to say nothing of the accumulation of wealth, has the first consideration, let it not surprise us, if such go further and further away from the Lord; but if we are willing to suffer loss, and to lay aside everything that hinders our enjoyment of His sweet company, then we may be sure that He will not forsake us as to food and raiment. We believe the scripture is as true as ever,

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).

We do well to remember that to the believer it is said,

Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake (Phil. 1:29).

Things New and Old 25:330-332.

Articles from Things New and Old 377

2 TIMOTHY 4:7……Paul

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”  2 Timothy 4:7
This faith was to be fed and nourished amongst the saints, and it was also to be published abroad in the world. Timothy was to do the work of an evangelist. Love never fails. It cannot be enfeebled by apostasy, it cannot be killed by treachery, it cannot be crushed by opposition, it cannot be frozen to death by neglect; it withstands the severest winters, the most biting frosts, the fiercest tempests, the most destructive storms of snows and hails and rains. It has melted the hardest hearts, it has broken the most stubborn wills, it has humbled the haughtiest, subdued the most obstinate, and won the most intractable. It is omnipotent, invincible, inviolable. It is self-neglecting, self-denying, self-sacrificing. It is life-imparting, life-preserving, life-nourishing. It is infinite, changeless, eternal, divine: for GOD IS LOVE.
In the power of this love Timothy was to carry on the work of the Lord among the saints of God, and among the nations of the earth. He was to care for the people of God, and he was to preach the gospel to those still unconverted. The great Apostle of the Gentiles was about to put off his armour, and depart to be with Christ. To Timothy he looks for a continuation of that work that had been for so many years carried on by himself. He had found in his pathway of service for Christ much the same character of things that had beset the path of his Saviour: persecution from the world, desertion by his companions, carelessness regarding the interests of Christ. But he had found the Lord Himself all-sufficient. The Lord had stood by him when all had deserted him; and he had the confidence that He would still be at his side, in all the tribulations through which he might yet have to pass.

The Lord’s Testing and Love

A number of years ago a Christian blacksmith who suffered much was challenged by an unbeliever to account for it.

His explanation was this: “I don’t know if I can account for these things to your satisfaction, but I think I can to my own. I am a blacksmith. I often take a piece of iron and put it into the fire and bring it to a white heat. Then I put it on the anvil and strike it once or twice to see if it will take temper. If I think it will, I plunge it into water, and suddenly change the temperature. Then I put it into the fire again, and again I put it in water. This I repeat several times. Then I put it on the anvil and hammer it, and bend it, and rasp and file it, and make some useful article which will do service for many years. If, however, when I first strike it on the anvil, I think it will not take temper, I throw it into the scrap pile and sell it for a few cents a pound.
“I believe my God and Father has been testing me to see if I will take temper. He has put me into the fire and into the water. I have tried to bear it as patiently as I could, and my daily prayer has been, ‘Lord, put me into the fire if You will; put me into the water if You think I need it; do anything You please, Lord, only don’t throw me into the scrap pile.'”
Our life is like the face of a clock. The hands are God’s hands passing over – the short hand of discipline and the long hand of mercy.
Slowly and surely the Hand of discipline must pass, and God speaks at every hour; but over and over passes the Hand of mercy, showering us sixty-fold of blessings for each stroke of discipline and trial; and both hands are fastened to one secure pivot – the great unchanging heart of a God of love.
“. . . The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
{Grace & Truth, 215 Oak St., Hillery, Danville, Ill. 61832.}

QUOTE

“Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will
flee from you.”  James 4:7
“If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And
ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8: 31-32
“It is not wickedness to be harassed by bad thoughts if you resist them.
It is satan’s effort to get you to adopt them, and thus you are sifted.
You will find, if you keep near the Lord, that you are more established
after an assault of the kind than you were before; and the only way
to combat satan’s attacks is by the Word…If satan can lead you to
become indifferent to these assaults, then they will lead you to great
damage; but if, on the contrary, they urge you to be more dependent
on the Lord Himself and on His Word, they will eventually cease, and you
will be ‘settled.’  J. B. Stoney
After you have suffered awhile make you perfect [mature], stablish,
strengthen, settle you.”  1 Peter 5:10