Our Daily Walk

June 4
CO-OPERATING WITH GOD
“For we are labourers together with God.” — 1Co_3:9.
IN THIS chapter the Apostle describes the Church as a garden or vineyard, in which the Divine Spirit is ever at work, superintending, directing, inspiring, and calling to co-operate with Him all His servants, whether they be Paul, Apollos, or Cephas; or as a vast temple, rising through the ages, requiring labourers to lay the foundations, others to build the walls, and others to put the final touches in the light of an accomplished purpose. In each case, the design, the successive stages of advancing progress, the engagement of the workers, the direction of their labours and their reward is entirely with the Husband-man and the Master-Builder. It is not our work, but His; we are not responsible for the results, but only to do His Will; He repays us by generous rewards, but there our responsibility ends. When the Garden stands in the mature beauty, and yields the prolific fruitage of autumn; when the Building is completed and stands in symmetrical glory amidst the wrecks of time, then those who have co-operated will stand aside, and “God will be All in all.”
All through human industry there is this co-operation between God and man. He stores the cellars of the earth with gold or coal, and it is for man to excavate it; He fills the hedgerows and woodlands with wild fruits and flowers, it is for man to cultivate them; He fills the earth with iron, copper, and other priceless treasures, it is for man to work them into all manner of useful implements. In every harvest-field, garden, orchard, industry, and employment of natural law for the purpose of civilization, there is this combined effort of God and man. God’s energy works according to laws, which man must study as the key to the unlocking of the forces which he uses to flash his messages, guide the aero plane or motor, or speed him across the ocean.
In the Church the same law prevails. God has given the Word, but the company of preachers has been needed to proclaim it. The Words of inspiration burn with the fire of God, but man is called in to translate them into every language under heaven. The saving power of Christ waits to heal and bless, but He needs the co-operation of the human hand and life as the medium through which His virtue passes. Those whom God calls into fellowship in serving others may count on Him for the supply of all their needs (1Co_3:21-23).
PRAYER
Heavenly Father, show me how I may work with Thee, and in what direction are Thy energies going forth that I may walk and work in fellowship with Thyself. AMEN.

Devotional Sermons

June 4
Somewhat to Say
Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee — Luk_7:40
Jesus Christ Has Somewhat to Say
It is one of the notable things about our Lord that always He has somewhat to say. No hour of need ever finds Him silent. The intrusion of the woman into Simon’s dining room was an entirely unexpected incident. It was a painful and perplexing moment when she made her way into the feast. But our Lord had somewhat to say then, and one of the wonderful things about Him is that, always, He has somewhat to say still. Listen to the speaker at the street corner discussing Socialism or industrial unrest. Join an eager company of young fellows gathered to reconstitute the universe. Socrates and Shakespeare are not mentioned, but almost always Christ is summoned in; they all feel He has somewhat to say still. Heaven and earth have passed away, but His words have not passed away. We live under a different heaven now, and the earth has been displaced from her centrality. Yet still, on every problem which emerges, Jesus Christ has somewhat to say. It is a fact which is well worth considering.
Jesus Has Somewhat to Say When Everybody Else Is Silent
He has somewhat to say, it should be noted, just when everybody else is silent. My impression is that when that woman entered, you might have heard a pin drop in the dining room. Some of the guests would hang their heads, and some would look at each other “with a wild surmise.” A sudden quiet would fall upon the table; conversation would instantly be hushed. And just then, when there was silence, when nobody else had a syllable to utter, our Lord had somewhat to say. So was it in the house of Jairus, when the father and mother could do naught but weep. So was it outside the gates of Nain, when the widow was stricken dumb in her great sorrow—and the wonderful thing is that so is it still. When all the philosophers are dumb, and cannot give one word of help or comfort; when learning has no message to inspire or to console the heart; when sympathy hesitates to break the silence, lest it give “vacant chaff well-meant for grain,” the Lord has something to say. Nothing can rob Him of His message, not even the bitterest experience of life. He never grows silent when the way is dark, nor when the feet go down into the valley. There are many voices, and none without significance; but the hour comes when they all fail us, and then we find how in such hours as that. Jesus has somewhat to say.
He Has Somewhat to Say to Those Separated from Him by Great Distances
One notes, too, that He has somewhat to say to those separated from Him by great distances. What a gulf there was between our Lord and Simon! It is true that Jesus was sitting next to Simon, for that was the place of the chief guest. But sometimes one may sit beside another, and all the while be thousands of miles away. Just as two may live in the same dwelling, and sleep under the same roof at night, and yet seas between them “broad may roar.” Many a young fellow is nearer Keats or Shelley than he is to the fellow-clerk on the next stool. Real nearness differs from proximity. And that night, though seated next to Simon, our Lord was really separate from Simon by a gulf it is impossible to measure. The One a provincial from Galilee; the other trained in the learning of the schools. The One with love filling His great heart; the other discourteous and cold and legal. And yet across that gulf the Savior reaches, with His searching and revealing word—”Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.” That is the wonder of the word of Christ. it is universal. It bridges every gulf. Men hear that word in their own tongue, as they did at the miracle of Pentecost. He has somewhat to say to the millions of India. He has somewhat to say to the myriads of China. He has somewhat to say to the New Guinea cannibals. When one thinks of our industrial civilization and compares it with the environment of Jesus, it might seem incredible that that lone Man of Galilee should have anything to say to us. yet there come times when we most profoundly feel that there is no one who understands us and our problems like the Guest who was in Simon’s house that night.
The Lord Has Somewhat Personal to Say
Then, too, we must not forget that our Lord has somewhat personal to say. To his intense surprise Simon discovered that. I imagine that when he invited Christ to dinner, he was counting on some splendid talk. Had he not heard from the assembly officers that never man spake like this man? Simon was a man who loved good talk, and had an abhorrence of gossip at the dinner table, as every decent person ought to have. He would get this prophet to talk of the Old Testament—He was said to have strange views of the Old Testament. He would get Him to speak about the Coming One. He would urge Him to tell one of His beautiful stories. And then, suddenly, and in the deathlike silence, came what he was never looking for: “Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.” It was a word for him and him alone. It was intensely personal and individual. It reached his solitary, selfish heart. It probed his conscience and convicted him. And that is the abiding wonder of the Lord, that He speaks to each of us in such a way that there might be no one else in the wide world at all. He holds the answer to the vastest problems. He has a message for international relationships. But when we listen to Him He never leaves us brooding on international relationships. As He speaks to me, I come to realize that the problem of all problems is myself. “Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.”

Rylisms

June 4
The Night-and-Day Difference
Tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you– from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” (1Pe_2:9-10, The Message).
Jesus doesn’t merely clean us up, dust us off, and patch up a few dings here and there — He performs a total overhaul. His grace transformation of our lives is not cosmetic — it’s cosmic!
“I once was blind but now I see.”
That’s the kind of testimony people have after Jesus gets hold of them. He takes us from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. He calls us to a position way above our pay-grade and introduces us to the high calling of telling others of the night-and-day difference Jesus makes in our lives — and in theirs.
That’s how Simon Peter saw it as he looked at his own life; and that’s how anyone who follows Jesus today feels about themselves.
When I reflect back over the years in review of how the Lord brought me through the orphanage and then out of prison, and set me forth in the midst of the Great Congregation preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ — I am more than overwhelmed by His grace and mercy! And I can hardly wait to see what the next chapter holds.
That’s why I write the way I do — I know the Lord has something in mind for you that will drop your jaw to the floor. So, if you are ready for a change — call upon the name of Jesus. He, and He alone, will make “the night-and-day difference” in your whole world.
Perhaps the words of this old hymn may sum up the deepest longings of your heart today…
Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,Thy freedom, gladness, and light,, I come to Thee;of my sickness into Thy health,of my want and into Thy wealth,of my sin and into Thyself,, I come to Thee.
Out of my shameful failure and loss,the glorious gain of Thy cross,, I come to Thee;of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,of life’s storms and into Thy calm,of distress to jubilant psalm,, I come to Thee.
Out of unrest and arrogant pride,Thy blessed will to abide,, I come to Thee;of myself to dwell in Thy love,of despair into raptures above,for aye on wings like a dove,, I come to Thee.
Make that call, my friend — and watch what the Lord Jesus will do!