My for His Highest


And if thy right hand offend thee cut it off and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:30.

Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off the right hand, but— ‘If your right hand offends you in your walk with Me, cut it off.’ There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but Jesus says if it hinders you in following His precepts, cut it off. This line of discipline is the sternest one that ever struck mankind.

When God alters a man by regeneration, the characteristic of the life to begin with is that it is maimed. There are a hundred and one things you dare not do, things that to you and in the eyes of the world that knows you are as your right hand and your eye, and the unspiritual person says—‘Whatever is wrong in that? How absurd you are!’ There never has been a saint yet who did not have to live a maimed life to start with. But it is better to enter into life maimed and lovely in God’s sight than to be lovely in man’s sight and lame in God’s. In the beginning Jesus Christ by His Spirit has to check you from doing a great many things that may be perfectly right for everyone else but not right for you. See that you do not use your limitations to criticize someone else.

It is a maimed life to begin with, but in v. 48 Jesus gives the picture of a perfectly full-orbed life—“Ye shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

If that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended. Phil. 3:12.

Never choose to be a worker; but when once God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or to the left. We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has apprehended us. There is never any thought of—‘Oh well, I am not fitted for this.’ What you are to preach is determined by God, not by your own natural inclinations. Keep your soul steadfastly related to God, and remember that you are called not to bear testimony only, but to preach the gospel. Every Christian must testify, but when it comes to the call to preach, there must be the agonizing grip of God’s hand on you. Your life is in the grip of God for that one thing. How many of us are held like that?

Never water down the word of God; preach it in its undiluted sternness. There must be unflinching loyalty to the word of God; but when you come to personal dealing with your fellow men, remember who you are—not a special being made up in heaven, but a sinner saved by grace.

“I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do . . .”

I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 1:8.

God promised Jeremiah that He would deliver him personally— “Thy life will I give unto thee for a prey.” That is all God promises His children. Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are a matter of indifference, we have to sit loosely to all these things; if we do not, there will be panic and heartbreak and distress. That is the inwardness of the overshadowing of personal deliverance.

The Sermon on the Mount indicates that when we are on Jesus Christ’s errands, there is no time to stand up for ourselves. Jesus says, in effect, ‘Do not be bothered with whether you are being justly dealt with or not.’ To look for justice is a sign of deflection from devotion to Him. Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it. If we look for justice, we will begin to grouse and to indulge in the discontent of self-pity—‘Why should I be treated like this?’ If we are devoted to Jesus Christ we have nothing to do with what we meet, whether it is just or unjust. Jesus says—‘Go steadily on with what I have told you to do and I will guard your life. If you try to guard it yourself, you remove yourself from My deliverance.’ The most devout among us become atheistic in this connection; we do not believe God, we enthrone common sense and tack the name of God on to it. We do lean to our own understanding, instead of trusting God with all our hearts.

We . . . beseech you that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 Cor.6:1.

The grace you had yesterday will not do for to-day. Grace is the overflowing favour of God; you can always reckon it is there to draw upon. “In much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses”—that is where the test for patience comes. Are you failing the grace of God there? Are you saying—‘Oh, well, I won’t count this time?’ It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you; it is taking the grace of God now. We make prayer the preparation for work, it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God. Don’t say—‘I will endure this until I can get away and pray.’ Pray now; draw on the grace of God in the moment of need. Prayer is the most practical thing, it is not the reflex action of devotion. Prayer is the last thing in which we learn to draw on God’s grace.

“In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours,”—in all these things manifest a drawing upon the grace of God that will make you a marvel to yourself and to others. Draw now, not presently: The one word in the spiritual vocabulary is Now. Let circumstances bring you where they will, keep drawing on the grace of God in every conceivable condition you may be in. One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be humiliated without manifesting the slightest trace of anything but His grace.

“Having nothing . . .” Never reserve anything. Pour out the best you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful about the treasure God gives. This is poverty triumphant.

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