Pastoral Chat Calendar

6 January 2019

My dear readers,

(Extracts from Daily Remembrancer by Rev James Smith, edited by Dr SH Tow)

1. “Be still, and know that I am God” Ps 46:10 (July 25 MORNING)

CHRISTIAN, WAIT PATIENTLY ON THE LORD. The dispensations of divine providence are often very perplexing: our God has His way in the sea, and His path in the deep waters, and His footsteps are not known. Reason is confounded, and faith is staggered; but He hushes our fears, silences our cries, and bids us “Be still.” We must lie before him, as the lamb at the shepherd’s feet, as the child in the parent’s arms. He will not harm us Himself, nor will He let others do so. We must learn that He is God, infinitely wise, invariably good, always a sovereign. He does according to His will in heaven, on earth, in the sea, and in all deep places. None can stay His hand, or dispute His right to accomplish His will. Let us therefore keep silence before Him. He is our God, and we are His people; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures throughout all generations. Let us not murmur, for He is gracious; let us not complain, for He is a Father unto us; let us not fear, for He is faithful: but let us wait upon Him, submitting in all things to His will, and surrendering ourselves into His hands saying, “Here am I, do with me as seemeth Thee good.” Let us be still for He is God.

When I can trust my all with God,
In trial’s fearful hour
Bow, all resigned beneath His rod,
And bless His pard’ning power;
A joy springs up amidst distress,
A fountain in the wilderness.

2. “My presence shall go with thee” Ex 33:14 (August 19 MORNING)

So the Lord promised Moses, and so He promises us. Let us never venture anywhere if we have reason to think the Lord will not favour us with His presence there. The Lord’s presence produces holiness, imparts power, fires with zeal and fills the breast with comfort, joy, and peace. His presence is our glory and it will yield us support under losses, setbacks, and bereavements. Let us plead for the Lord’s presence to go with us; let us expect it; let us not be satisfied with anything else. He went with Moses and he persevered; with Joshua and he conquered; with David and he reached the throne; with Paul and he was more than a conqueror. Nothing can substitute for the Lord’s presence and as it is so graciously promised, let us not attempt to find a substitute, but daily cry, “If Thy presence go not with me, carry me not up hence.” Jesus has said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

O Lord, be ever near us,
Fix in our hearts Thy home:
By Thine appearing cheer us,
And may Thy kingdom come;
Fulfil our expectation,
And help our souls to prove,
Thine uttermost salvation,
Thine everlasting love.

3. “Trust in Him at all times” Ps 62:8 (May 27 EVENING)

“POUR OUT YOUR HEART BEFORE HIM: GOD IS A REFUGE FOR US.” He warrants us to trust in Him, and He is at all times worthy of our trust for He changes not. We are constantly exhorted to it, but almost as constantly neglect it. It is the exercise of necessity, for a creature must trust in another; it is an evidence of dependence, therefore we should cultivate it. It is the exercise of a servant on his master; of a friend on his friend; of a child on his parent; of a believer on his God. Let us trust His word, for it is true. Let us trust the Saviour’s work, for it is perfect. Nothing should be allowed to disturb our confidence in God, for His nature is always love, His solemn pledge is inviolable, His resources are inexhaustible, and His mercy they are new every morning. Let us trust Him then in joy and sorrow, in darkness and in the light; when increased or bereaved, when tempted or in repose. Let us trust Him and we shall conquer our fears; patiently endure our trials; successfully pursue our work; rise above our cares and overcome our foes. That we may trust Him, He has revealed His character, pledged His word, sworn that He will not be wroth with us, and assured us that He is unchangeable.

O may we with a steady faith
Believe whate’er Jehovah saith!
At all times trust our heav’nly Friend,
And on His faithful word depend.

4. “Thy lovingkindness is better than life” Ps 63:3 (July 4 EVENING)

GOD’S LOVINGKINDNESS EXCEEDS THE GOOD LIFE. Initially it seems to mean life under the most favourable circumstances: a life of ease, honour, plenty. Or social life at its best and better; as a merchant prospering in his business, a student excelling at his books, a monarch glorious on his throne; it is life surrounded by all that is desirable. But there is more to God’s lovingkindness. It is His love displaying itself in kind words, kind acts, discoveries of His divine excellencies, feasting the soul with spiritual delights. This is better than life, for it bestows greater blessings, it confers higher honours, it imparts sweeter pleasures, it raises higher expectations, and it surrounds us with greater security. It is better for it is more lasting; it is more suited to the nature of the soul; it is truly glorious. It is unmixed good, unfading pleasure, inexhaustible wealth. Well, then, may the Psalmist prefer it to life, and well may he say, “My lips shall praise Thee.” Can you not also say, “I will commend Thee in conversation. I will give Thee thanks in my devotions. I will praise Thee for its discovery, for my present enjoyment of it, and for the prospect of eternally enjoying it”? For Thy lovingkindness is better than life.

God’s love, as the day is dying,
Lights the candles of the skies,
From His unseen source, supplying,
Till the morning sun shall rise,
Light to those in darkness groping,
That they may, with true delight,
See His presence, and keep hoping,
As He guides them thro’ the night.

God bless you dear readers.

Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,
Dr SH Tow, Founding Pastor