I. THE OBEDIENT ARE CLAIMED AND OWNED BY GOD AS HIS PEOPLE. "They shall be my people," says the Eternal. They are his:
1. To possess. They are his property, and they bear upon them his mark.
2. To control. They are his servants, yielding themselves to him, and their powers as instruments in his service.
3. To love. God loves his own people, as a father loves his own children, as a husband loves his own wife.
4. To bless. The Lord is mindful of his own. There is nothing that is for their good which he withholds from them.
II. GOD IS CLAIMED AND OWNED BY THE OBEDIENT AS THEIR GOD. On this account:
1. They reverence him. Let others offer their adoration where they will, the Lord, say they, is our God, and him only will we serve.
2. They trust him. His ways may sometimes be dark, and his counsels perplexing; but he is theirs, and therefore they will not withdraw their confidence from him.
8. They glorify him with all their powers. To them there is no limit to their Lord's claims and authority; he has but to say, Go, and they go; Come, and they come; Do this, and it is done.
4. They hope in his promises. He has given them his word that they shall be brought to everlasting salvation; and the assurance, coming from their own covenant God, inspires them with a bright and consolatory hope. "This God is our God forever and ever; ... our Guide, even unto death." - T.
The glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city.I. HOW AVERSE GOD IS TO FORSAKE HIS PEOPLE. Look we to His declarations; look we to examples.
II. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT STEPS BY WHICH HIS DEPARTURE MAY BE DISCOVERED? He withholds —
1. The manifestations of His love.
2. The influences of His grace.
3. The warnings of His Spirit.
III. THE DREADFUL STATE OF THOSE WHO ARE FORSAKEN BY HIM.
1. They are delivered up into the hands of their spiritual enemies;
2. They live only to increase their guilt and misery. Apply —
(1) (2) (C. Simeon, M. A.)
(2) (C. Simeon, M. A.)
(C. Simeon, M. A.)
Stood upon the mountain
I. THE MOUNTAIN OF SCRIPTURE. More study of the Bible, and more meditation on God mean more lofty views of His providence and grace — a mental life of crystalline clearness and purer air; of richer joys than are common to men. Climb, then, for the glory of the Lord is upon the mountain, not down in the valley, and blessed is the man who climbs until he sees it, and is encircled with its beauty and its light. Oh that we may see the glory of God, this day, "in the face of Jesus Christ"!
II. THE MOUNTAIN OF PRAYER. We are satisfied, for a time, with the lispings of a babe, but we expect it to learn a fuller and more comprehensive tongue. So we must not be always as "babes in Christ" in our prayers. There should be new prayers; there should be holier prayers; there should be prevailing prayers. A few more struggles, a few more upward flights, and your soul shall be in the centre of the bright cloud where God dwells, and you shall sun yourselves in His great glory. Climb, then, the mountain of prayer, and you shall be crowned with grace, mercy, and truth.
III. THE MOUNTAIN OF USEFULNESS. Are all the hungry fed, all the children taught, all the drunkards reformed, all the sinners converted? No, no! Our mission is not fulfilled, nor is our work done. Christian usefulness; this is the highest form and sweetest flower of life. Leave the monotony of your work far behind you, and do some new thing for the Lord. Behold His glory is upon the mountain summit, and He is waiting for your fruits and sheaves and noble deeds. Rise; gird up your loins; work for the Lord, as Nelson fought for victory, and as Paul sought to "save some," and God, even our God, will bless you with fruitfulness of life.
IV. THE MOUNTAIN OF SALVATION. A sinner — what a name is that! An unsaved sinner — that is worse. An unsaved, unhappy sinner — that is worst of all. Is that your name? Come and climb the mountain of salvation, and get for yourself a new name. Lo! here on a shining throne is Jesus Himself, and as we enter His presence He benignly says, "I will give you rest." And here, in the mountain of salvation, He does give us rest. He gives full pardon, perfect peace, joyful hope, holy strength, loving confidence, glorious righteousness, and everlasting life. Come, then, far up into the secure heights of this mountain; come, now, to where Jesus and the glory of God are waiting for you.
V. THE MOUNTAIN OF HEAVENLY VISION. Faith, prayer, zeal, work, and love are so many steps leading us to the lofty peaks of the mountain of Celestial vision, whence, even on stormy days, we may see afar the Promised Land. With heaven in sight, toil and tears will be easier to bear, and death be welcome whenever and wherever it may come. Fear not death, nor Jordan's rolling waves. Let the mountain of salvation lead to the mountain of vision, and it will be then only one step into heaven itself.
(G. W. M'Cree.)
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