Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition


Morning, February 7      Go To Evening Reading

         “Arise, and depart.” 
         — Micah 2:10

The hour is approaching when the message will come to us, as it comes to all—“Arise, and go forth from the home in which thou hast dwelt, from the city in which thou hast done thy business, from thy family, from thy friends. Arise, and take thy last journey.” And what know we of the journey? And what know we of the country to which we are bound? A little we have read thereof, and somewhat has been revealed to us by the Spirit; but how little do we know of the realms of the future! We know that there is a black and stormy river called “Death.” God bids us cross it, promising to be with us. And, after death, what cometh? What wonder-world will open upon our astonished sight? What scene of glory will be unfolded to our view? No traveler has ever returned to tell. But we know enough of the heavenly land to make us welcome our summons thither with joy and gladness. The journey of death may be dark, but we may go forth on it fearlessly, knowing that God is with us as we walk through the gloomy valley, and therefore we need fear no evil. We shall be departing from all we have known and loved here, but we shall be going to our Father’s house—to our Father’s home, where Jesus is—to that royal “city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” This shall be our last removal, to dwell for ever with him we love, in the midst of his people, in the presence of God. Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. [19 highlights] This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss.

         “Prepare us, Lord, by grace divine,
         For thy bright courts on high;
         Then bid our spirits rise, and join
         The chorus of the sky.”
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Go To Morning Reading      Evening, February 7

         “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither.” 
         — Revelation 11:12

Without considering these words in their prophetical connection, let us regard them as the invitation of our great Forerunner to his sanctified people. In due time there shall be heard “a great voice from heaven” to every believer, saying, “Come up hither.” This should be to the saints the subject of joyful anticipation. Instead of dreading the time when we shall leave this world to go unto the Father, we should be panting for the hour of our emancipation. Our song should be—

         “My heart is with him on his throne,
         And ill can brook delay;
         Each moment listening for the voice,
         ‘Rise up and come away.’ ”
       
We are not called down to the grave, but up to the skies. Our heaven-born spirits should long for their native air. Yet should the celestial summons be the object of patient waiting. Our God knows best when to bid us “Come up thither.” We must not wish to antedate the period of our departure. I know that strong love will make us cry,

         “O Lord of Hosts, the waves divide,
         And land us all in heaven;”
       
but patience must have her perfect work. God ordains with accurate wisdom the most fitting time for the redeemed to abide below. Surely, if there could be regrets in heaven, the saints might mourn that they did not live longer here to do more good. Oh, for more sheaves for my Lord’s garner! more jewels for his crown! But how, unless there be more work? True, there is the other side of it, that, living so briefly, our sins are the fewer; but oh! when we are fully serving God, and he is giving us to scatter precious seed, and reap a hundredfold, we would even say it is well for us to abide where we are. Whether our Master shall say “go,” or “stay,” let us be equally well pleased so long as he indulges us with his presence.


Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).

Bread from Heaven and Water from a Rock


February 7: Bread from Heaven and Water from a Rock
Exodus 16:1–18:27

For many years, I said that I believed God would provide for me, but I’m not sure I actually did. Somewhere inside I was still convinced that I was on my own. It wasn’t until recently that I felt convicted about this, and God began working in me to make the necessary changes. As I was dealing with this, I started contemplating what trust issues might have looked like for the ancients. Of nearly all biblical characters, Noah must have seemed the craziest to his friends. But I think Moses faced some of the greatest interpersonal struggles involving trust.
Over and over again, the people Moses is leading blame him for all their problems. And they rarely giving him credit for his good attributes. God is faithful, though. It’s Moses who sees bread come from heaven (Exodus 16) and water from a rock (Exodus 17:1–7).
And this really puts it in perspective: if God is capable of this kind of deliverance, what am I so afraid of? It’s not my own strength that will empower me, and even if it were, what good is it? If I put my trust in my own abilities, how will I grow in my trust in God?
Like Moses, I must be willing to be audacious. If God calls me to look to the heavens for providence, I must do it. If He calls me to strike the rock, I must strike it. As the Gospel of John says, “The one who comes from above is over all. The one who is from the earth is from the earth and speaks from the earth” (John 3:31). Let’s be the people who seek the one from above: Jesus.

How do you trust in yourself instead of in God for your needs? How does this impede your relationship with Him and the work He wants to do through you?

JOHN D. BARRY


John D. Barry and Rebecca Kruyswijk, Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012).