Day 5 (Dec 1) Transient Gleams & God Our Lord
5. — Transient Gleams.
1. From time to time there broke through the thick darkness of heathendom a gleam of light that seemed to be a harbinger of the coming day. Some sage or poet sang of a golden age that soon would be at hand. But the flash of light soon disappeared, and only left the darkness even darker than before. So in the life of those who have hardened themselves against God there are sometimes moments when the devil seems to have forsaken his prey, and there seems a hope of better things. But if Jesus’ coming is still far away, the improvement soon passes, and the evil seems to have even a more complete mastery than ever before.
2. There is something very beautiful in the sentiments of the old Greek and Roman poets. Their minstrelsy rings sweetly in our ears. Their poems proclaim them men of the highest genius. But they have no power to effect a change of heart, such as is wrought by the inspired words of some great saint or servant of God. God must speak through man’s voice, if it is to avail to turn others to God. Do I pray God thus to rule and direct my words that they may do His work?
3. So, too, many of the deeds of the heroes of antiquity appear worthy of the holy ones of God. Some may have been done from a supernatural motive, and may even have merited eternal life. But no act, however noble in the natural order, is of any value in the sight of God, unless it be done with some sort of conscious desire to please and serve Him. Do my ordinary actions possess this necessary characteristic?
God our Lord.
The Lord hath made all things for Himself. (Prov. xvi. 4.)
1. We are all of us jealous of what belongs to ourselves. We resent it if any one interferes with it, or deprives us of any portion of it. Yet no one owns anything by a title so absolute as that by which God is the Lord and Owner of all creatures in the universe. My body and my soul are His; everything I possess is His; every action, every thought belongs to Him. He has given all these in charge to me to use for Him. Do I do so?
2. God is, moreover, a God infinite in knowledge and in power. His all-seeing eye overlooks nothing, forgets nothing, passes nothing by. No one shall escape who takes anything from Him and does not give Him His due. Have I not therefore cause to tremble when I think how often I have behaved as if I were my own master, independent of God?
3. Yet in the end I must recognize God’s ownership; if I do not do so willingly and with joyful loyalty, I shall have to do so unwillingly and in misery and pain. Everything I have taken from God and appropriated to myself will have to be given back to Him. I shall have to pay the penalty for each misuse of what was entrusted to me. How much wiser and happier to recognize Him now in all things as my Lord and Master!
Offer yourself to God with loyal submission as your God and Lord.
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