Daily Meditations for June

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June 21

ATTACKED BY SPIRITUAL STRANGERS
Psalm 54:3

    When you meet one from a foreign country who speaks a language that you do not understand, you will rightly judge him to be a stranger. And when the child of God, who speaks the language of faith, which is the language of the Kingdom of Heaven, meets those who are citizens in the Kingdom of Darkness, they will appear to him to be strangers, even though they wear the same style of clothing, and have the same color of skin.

    What is more, because the child of God walks by faith, he wants no part in the sinful pleasures that the unbeliever enjoys. And if his godly walk threatens those sinful pleasures, those of the Kingdom of Darkness will come up against these believers and try to get them out of the way.

    David had that experience and in Psalm 54:3 wrote: "For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul; they have not set God before them,''  Our Psalter versification has it thus:

    Strong foes against me rise,
    Oppressors seek my soul,
    Who set not God before their eyes,
    Nor own His just control.

    That is why in verse 1 he had written, "Save me, O God by Thy name and judge me by Thy strength.'' And for us today the question is whether there is that spiritual difference between us and the world. Do we go along with the world in their sinful pleasures of the flesh? Do they look strange to us, or are they our good friends? Are we strangers to them?

    This is a serious matter today even more so than when David wrote these words.  Not only is the world crowding into the church far more than in that day, but much in the church world today is joining with the forces of darkness.  Even the language in the church sounds so often so much like that of the unbeliever. Satan with his 6,000 years of experience and modern inventions has improved his tools and will soon produce an antichrist who will look so much like Christ that, were it not for the grace of God, many would be deceived and led astray. Then we shall see how strangers are risen up against us. They now seek our soul, but will also seek to take away our lives.

Read: Psalm 86
Psalter versification: 147:2

Daily  Meditations
 
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 125
Why not sing along??


Through the Bible in One Year

Read today:


II Kings 1
II Kings 2
Acts 13
Acts 14:1-7
Psalm 139:1-24
Proverbs 17:19-21

Quote for Reflection:

that world, in the midst of which we have our life and walk, tempts us to leave the way of righteousness and to follow after the lusts of the flesh. Sometimes it attacks us by its vain philosophy, attempting to toss us to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Then again, it tries to entice us by its treasures and pleasures, offering them to us if we will only forsake the way of truth and righteousness and become unfaithful to our Lord and Father in heaven. Again, it threatens us with the fury of its wrath, deprives us of name and position in the world, mocks and blashemes, or even erects scaffold and stake, to terrorize us into the denial of the name of God and our Lord Jesus Christ.             The Triple Knowledge by Herman Hoeksema (pg. 617)


June 22

THE CERTAINTY OF OUR SALVATION
Psalm 54:4,5

    Who would dare to deny that we, as citizens of the kingdom of heaven, have enemies? To deny that simply shows that the chief enemy, Satan, has a mighty grip upon us, and that our enemies are many more than we can count. A countless number there is of those that do not have God before them as the Lord Whom they must serve every minute of their lives and with every creature they see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. And because we do love God, and strive to serve Him with all things at all times, we get in their way and they hate us. They do not even want us to remind them of their calling before God.

    But we are safe. As David wrote in Psalm 54:4,5, Behold, God is my helper: The Lord is with them that uphold my soul. He shall reward evil unto my enemies: cut them off in Thy truth.''  Once again David uses God's name Elohim, which means, The Almighty One. And he calls us to look clearly and constantly at this truth. Behold, he says, which means, look with both eyes, and do not take them off for a fraction of a second from the fact that our Lord is the Almighty One, and He is our HELPER. He will save us, but He will also encourage us by His word and Spirit to put all our trust in Himself.

    Not only will He save us completely from all our enemies, but He will through His Son, Who has power over all things in heaven and on earth, give our enemies the reward of punishment which they deserve.

    We may with confidence sing:

    Lo, God my helper is,
    The Lord my mighty Friend;
    He shall requite my enemies
    Their just destruction send.

    And you and I must encourage each other with that truth. We must take hold of that truth with both hands and hold on to it no matter what it is with which we are confronted. We must encourage each other in times of ridicule, and in days of painful persecution. As we fight the good fight of faith, our banner must be: "The Almighty One is our Helper."

Read: Psalm 118
Psalter versification: 147:3

Daily  Meditations
 
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 428
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:


II Kings 3
II Kings 4:1-17
Acts 14:8-28
Psalm 140:1-13
Proverbs 17:22

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Quote for Reflection:

Let us, then, grasp this fact, that nothing should prevent us worshipping the Lord, even though we no longer have access to His ‘public’ ordinances. How thankful we should be for such a merciful provision in a day like ours. Arthur Pink


June 23

STIMULATED UNTO PRAISING GOD
Psalm 54:6

    Life will always manifest itself, and today men measure life not merely by the beating of the heart hut also by brain waves. If brain waves can still be found, there is the possi bility that the heart can be induced to begin beating again. Otherwise it is hopeless to try. And in our spiritual lift, there are both of these signs of life.

    We find this truth in Psalm 54:6 where David writes, "I will freely sacrifice unto Thee: I will praise Thy name, O Lord; for it is good,"  Or as our versification has it:

    My sacrifice of praise
    To Thee I freely bring;
    My thanks O Lord, to Thee I raise
    And of Thy goodness sing.

    Take note of the fact that David speaks of deeds that surely reveal that his heart is beating and enables him to bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving. He does not mean a sacrifice necessary for obtaining salvation, but one of thanks because he has received this gift. It is not one of shedding of blood, but one of thankfulness for blood shed. And when we today sing praises to God as our Savior in Christ, we reveal that we have the gift of salvation.

    However, there are "brain waves'' and not mechanical devices that make our hearts beat and enable us to bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God. David speaks of the truth in his mind that God is good. Here are spiritual "brain waves,'' mental activity that makes our hearts beat with thankfulness to God. The minute we doubt God's goodness, and question what His name declares to us concerning Him, we cease praising Him. Our hearts will continue to beat, but not in love to God.  We can be forced by church rules to go through the motions of singing His praises and of thanking Him but it does not come from the assurance in the mind that He is good. We are not revealing spiritual life.

    How important then is the Word of God to stimulate us and teach us how good He is in His Son. What reason then do we not have to sing His praises and to thank Him for a salvation that is full and free?

Read: Psalm 52
Psalter versification: 147:3

Daily  Meditations
 
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 375
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:


II Kings 4:18-44
II Kings 5
Acts 15:1-35
Psalm 141:1-10
Proverbs 17:23

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Quote for Reflection:

In the light of what immediately follows, it seems to us that the coming to David of Hushai is often His way to so regulate our circumstances as to exhibit the secret workings of our hearts—that we may, subsequently, be humbled thereby, and brought to prize more highly that grace which bears so patiently with us.        Arthur Pink


June 24

DELIVERED OUT OF ALL TROUBLE
Psalm 54:7

    Would you ever dare to say that all your troubles are over? Death lies ahead for each of us. Would you then agree with David when he in Psalm 54:7 wrote, "For He hath delivered me out of all trouble; and my eye hath seen His desire upon my enemies"?

    It is true that David had been speaking of his enemies, the strangers that had risen up against him. But even then David still faces death. And Paul correctly states in I Corinthians 15:26, ''The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.'' When then we sing in our versification:

    From trouble and from woes
    Thou hast delivered me,
    The overthrow of all my foes
    Hast given me to see.

    Death is included in those woes and foes. Yes, you and I can say with clearer insight than David that we are delivered out of all trouble, including death. For we see Christ, the Head of the church, risen from the dead, lifted above all the things that trouble the members of His body, the church, And we can sing that our eye of faith has seen also this enemy destroyed.

    We are going to die, and then our bodies are going to be destroyed.  The church is going to have that trouble. But let it never be forgotten that, because of the cross and resurrection of Christ, death is God's tool — His instrument to bring our souls to the covenant blessedness of the trouble-free house of many mansions.  And when Christ returns, that tool will be destroyed because we will be with body and soul in that blessed realm forever. There is then no need for that tool.

    In our bereavements, and upon our death beds, our eye should be fixed on Christ, His cross, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. Look at Christ, and you will see that He was delivered out of all trouble as Head of His church. It is an established fact; and therefore the members of His church can look forward in all their troubles, and with David say that in principle they are, in Christ, conquerors, and that death is one of the things that works together for our good.

Read: Psalm 59
Psalter versification: 147:5

Daily  Meditations
 
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 278
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:


II Kings 6
II Kings 7
Acts 15:36-40
Acts 16:1-15
Psalm 142:1-7
Proverbs 17:24-25

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Quote for Reflection:

however much things may appear to be mingled and confused in the world, good men will find that God has not promised them help in vain against the violence and injuries of the wicked. John Calvin


June 25

 KNOWING GOD IN HIS LOVE|
Psalm 76:1,2

    There is a vast difference between knowing about a person and knowing that person. We all know much about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but were they to appear before us today, we would not even be able to distinguish between them, if we saw them, as they were at a specific and identical age.

    When then in Psalm 76:1,2 Asaph writes, "In Judah is God known: His name is great in Israel. In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion''  he means much more than that in Israel men know about God. In fact if anyone knows a great deal about God, it is the devil. But he does not know God. For to know Him means to enjoy His fellowship and love, and to experience all the blessedness that His name expresses. Did you notice? Asaph explains knowing God by stating that ''His name is great in Israel." Our versification also expresses it that way:

    God is known among His people,
    Ev'ry mouth His praises fill;
    From of old He hath established
    His abode on Zion's hill;
    There He broke the sword and arrow,
    Bade the noise of war be still.

    Singing His praises, then, is the sign that we do know Him as our God and Savior. For, dwelling in Zion and having His tabernacle in Salem, that is in Jerusalem, means that He lives in covenant fellowship with His people, and they taste the blessedness He has prepared for them in Christ. For Christ is pictured in that tabernacle and its priest, and the kings ruling on Mount Zion also represented Him. They knew God in that they tasted His work on the cross and in the exaltation of Christ with power over all things in heaven and on earth.

    Whether you and I know Him that way, and to what degree we do, is to be seen in whether and to what degree we praise His name. If we have tasted the peace that He wrought in Christ, we know Him in His love. We know Him in His name Savior.

    How much then, and how sincere, is your praise to God? And do you enjoy His nearness and love that upholds you in your spiritual life?

Read: Psalm 76
Psalter versification: 207:1

Daily  Meditations
 
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 400
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:


II Kings 8
II Kings 9:1-13
Acts 16:16-40
Psalm 143:1-12
Proverbs 17:26

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Quote for Reflection:

The lack of modesty in dress is an issue that has faced the human race since the fall of Adam and Eve into sin. Nor will the issue disappear until we go to be with God in glory.              Beacon Lights (6/04)


June 26

THE CHURCH'S CERTAIN SAFETY
Psalm 76:4-7

    Good questions are very important, for finding their answers reveals to us important truths. And in Psalm 76:4-7 Asaph, having made two powerful statements, asks a very important question. He writes, ''Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey.  Thou even Thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in Thy sight when once Thou art angered?' Or as our versification expresses it:

    Excellent and glorious art Thou,
    With Thy trophies from the fray;
    Thou hast slain the valiant hearted,
    Wrapt in sleep of death are they;
    When Thy anger once is risen,
    Who can stand in that dread day?

    He had written in verses 1, 2 that God is known in Judah, and that His name is great in Israel. Here, then, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ finds a tremendous comfort. For she is the Judah and Israel of today. No enemies of that church can stand before her Lord. Let them try to touch her, and He will be angry and come to punish in a way that they cannot withstand. They will be cast into the sleep of death.

    Although the believers know God in all His covenant blessings of salvation, the enemies of His church will know Him in His awful wrath, and in everlasting punishment, which they will taste fully.

    What a comfort for us today, in these days when the enemies of the church and of the truth are becoming bolder and bolder, and Satan tries through them to snatch our children away by craftiness, but also by bodily persecution. It may look at times as though the church cannot stand, and as though God has lost control.

    Do not for one minute think that! He is using the wicked even as He used them to realize the cross of Christ, for our salvation. It looked then as though things had slipped out of His hands, but Christ's resurrection and ascension to God's right hand reveal His glory and exaltation. And He will in due time break the bow and shield and sword of the enemy. Not one of His children will be snatched away. No enemy can stand before him. All will fall into the lake of fire, when their work here below is finished.

Read: Exodus 15:20-26
Psalter versification: 207:2

Daily  Meditations
 
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 217
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:


II Kings 9:14-37
II Kings 10:1-31
Acts 17
Psalm 144:1-15
Proverbs 17:27-28

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Quote for Reflection:

the old nature, with its carnal lusts, remains until we breathe our last. And it is exactly those Christians that are spiritually most sensitive and that have advanced farthest on the way of sanctification that will most deeply bemoan their imperfect state , and confess that they have but a small beginning of new obedience. It is they that feel the need of the constant prayer, ‘Deliver us from evil.’. The Triple Knowledge by Herman Hoeksema (pg. 632)


June 27

WRATH THAT PRAISES GOD
Psalm 76:10

    Because their hearts were filled with sinful hatred, the Jews got the Roman soldiers to nail Jesus to His cross. Would you dare to say that God was praised by this dastardly deed? Asaph did, when in Psalm 76:10 he wrote, ''Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shall Thou restrain."  No, Asaph did not say that these wicked Jews praised God, but their work did. As our versification explains it:

    When from heaven Thy sentence sounded
    All the earth in fear was still,
    While to save the meek and lowly
    God in judgment wrought His will;
    E'en the wrath of man shall praise Thee,
    Thy design it shall fulfill.

    There you have it!   The devil and his host do not hurt God's cause. What God designed, for the realization of the day when Christ returns to usher in a creation free from sin and the curse, will happen. And when that takes place God's power, wisdom, and love will he manifested. That which in any way and to any degree would harm His cause, God will restrain.  Then also His power, wisdom, and love are displayed; and He is praised by it.

    Consider the truth that God has the devil and all unbelievers completely under His control in the most absolute sense of the word. No one ever has or ever will keep Him from doing at the precise moment, and in the exact way, what He wants done.

    When the wicked strive to do something that would hurt the church, He will keep them from it. This work of God will say: "He is the almighty One, the all-wise One, the God of love.''  That which they set out to do that will serve His church — as the cross of Christ — will take place and also say: He is the almighty One, the all-wise One, the God of love..'' Behind every event is God using all His creatures to execute what He in His wisdom and love designed for His church. Nothing ever says anything else, but we must read all things correctly, as Asaph did in this Psalm.

    Shall we for one moment doubt that God's people shall know Him in the way of tasting His greatness, wisdom, and love for His church? Nothing today will to any degree slow down or prevent Christ's return, and with it the church 's glorification.

Read: Daniel 3
Psalter versification: 207:3

Daily  Meditations
 
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 182
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:


II Kings 10:32-36
II Kings 11
II Kings 12
Acts 18:1-22
Psalm 145:1-21
Proverbs 18:1

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Quote for Reflection:

What is your relationship to this world? It becomes apparent that many of the saints in James’ day had cultivated a friendship with the world and had become the friends of the world. Sorry to say, the same is also true of many in the church today. Friendship involves especially two things: attraction and companionship. Friendships develop when two or more find in one another something that is mutually attractive and that draws them together. This can be a common interest, a common goal, even a common problem. But for some reason they are attracted to each other. And because they are attracted to each other they also seek each other’s company. They delight to be with each other and to do things together.       –James Slopsema (Standard Bearer, Vol. 66, pg. 411)


June 28

 CALLED TO BRING THANKS TO GOD
Psalm 76:11,12

    Since every breath of life and every crumb of bread comes from God, and we cannot see or touch a creature that is not His, it might seem strange that Asaph concludes Psalm 76 with these words in verses 11, 12: ''Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God: let all that be round about Him bring presents unto Him that ought to be feared. He shall cut off the spirit of princes: He is terrible to the kings of the earth.''   That we should fear God is one thing, but that we can bring presents to Him Who owns all things is quite another thing.

    Yet bear in mind that He also gives us the blessing of salvation, enabling us to praise Him because we know Him in His great name, in that we have tasted what He has done for us in His Son. Our gift to Him then is not trying to enrich Him, or to try to buy something from Him. It is a gift of thanksgiving, a gift of praise of His name. It is not giving Him something He did not have, but sending back to Him, reflecting His glory that is in that great name. Created in the image of God we are with heart and mouth displaying His glory by our words and works.

    And because we have only a small beginning of that new obedience, we do need to be exhorted to make and keep a vow to bring to Him the gift of thanks and praise. That is why our versification has these words:

    Vow and pay ye to Jehovah,
    Him your God forever own;
    All men bring your gifts before Him,
    Worship Him and Him alone;
    Mighty kings obey and fear Him,
    Princes bow before His throne.

    Notice that there is no exception here. Kings and princes, men who have the right to demand obedience from those under their authority, are also exhorted to bring to God the gift of praise and thanksgiving. There is not one exception. The versification does not mean that they do fear and bow before Him but that they must do so.

    You will have the evidence that you belong to those who know God, when you find yourself bringing to God this gift of praise and thanksgiving. By that fruit you will know that you belong to Christ, the True Vine.

Read: Revelation 4
Psalter versification: 207:4

Daily  Meditations
 
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 51
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:


II Kings 13:1-25
II Kings 14
Acts 18:23-28
Acts 19:1-12
Psalm 146:1-10
Proverbs 18:2-3

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Quote for Reflection:

"That is the mystery of the cross. In the moment of the cross God forever blotted out all the sins of all the elect. They are justified. Their sins are no more. And it is on the basis of the atoning, justifying act of God in Christ that our sins are forgiven us. …There is never an end to God's forgiveness. Never does God say to us 'So often have I forgiven you, and always you commit the same sins. I will forgive you no more.' There is never a last time with God. He forgiveth abundantly. His mercy is without limit.  And so there can be no last time with us." Rev. Herman Hoeksema


June 29

CALLED TO BLESS GOD
Psalm 134:1

    A word that falls easily and often off our lips is the word bless. That word is used in two different ways in Scripture. We pray that God will bless us; and often in Scripture we are exhorted to bless God. Thus in Psalm 134:1 we read, "Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord."

    But can we bless God? That He blesses us, we can understand; but can we bring a blessing upon Him Who is the Fountain of all blessings? Can the creature bless the Creator? Yes, man, as the only earthly creature created in God's image, can bless God. And he must bless God.

    There is, however, a tremendous difference in that, when we bless God, we speak well of Him. But when He blesses us, He calls down a good upon us. The word bless means to call good. When we bless God we call Him good, that is, praise Him. When He blesses us, He commands and sends a good upon us. We speak as creatures. He speaks creatively. Thus in our versification we sing:

    Come, all ye servants of the Lord,
    Lift up your voice with one accord
    Jehovah's name to bless;
    Ye that are standing night by night
    Within the house of His delight,
    His glorious Name confess.

    There you have it. When we bless God, we confess that He is good. We bless His name, that is, we bless Him for that wherein He is known. We say that He is good. When He blesses us He makes us become good. He changes us from depraved sinners to become saints, and gives us the joys of sinless creatures in His house of many mansions, and that which brings us there. It is with the cross and by the Spirit of Christ that He blesses us.

    What a reason we have then for blessing Him. All the good of the forgiveness of our sins and the riches of Christ's kingdom He calls down upon us. Night by night we have reason to call Him good. For eternally He is the fount of all good; and not a day must go by that we do not confess His goodness toward us in Christ,

Read: Psalm 134
Psalter versification: 372:1

Daily  Meditations
 
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 418
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:


II Kings 15
II Kings 16
Acts 19:13-41
Psalm 147:1-20
Proverbs 18:4-5

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Quote for Reflection:

John Calvin on Psalm 87:2: "Here we are taught that all the excellence of the holy city depended on the free choice which God had made of it. With this agrees what is stated in Psalm 77:60, 67, that God rejected Shiloh, the tribe of Ephraim, and the tabernacle of Joseph, that he might dwell in Zion which he loved. The prophet then points out the cause why God preferred that one place before all others; and the cause which he assigns is, not the worth of the place itself, but the free love of God. If it is demanded why Jerusalem was so highly distinguished, let this short answer be deemed sufficient, Because it so pleased God."


June 30

COMING TO THE FOUNTAIN OF ALL BLESSEDNESS
Psalm 134:2,3

    In Psalm 134 :2, 3 we read "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.''   That sanctuary is the temple, God's house, and lifting up the hands is pointing the soul unto God Who is the fountain of all blessedness.

    The hands only symbolize what the soul does. The mere closing of our eyes, folding of our hands, and bowing of our heads means nothing, if the soul is not pointed to God.  In our prayers we lift not only our desires but also our thoughts concerning God. Our thoughts while we pray will reveal whether we are blessing God or elevating ourselves above Him and trying to make Him our servant.

    Then too, lifting our souls to the sanctuary is pointing to Christ and His cross, which was so clearly pictured in the temple in its bloody sacrifices. That cross must be a basic reason for blessing God. Nothing He has done brings true goodness to us apart from that cross. As we in our versification sing:

    Yea in His place of holiness
    Lift up your hands the Lord to bless;
    And unto you be given
    The joys that Zion doth afford,
    The richest blessings of the Lord
    Who made the earth and heav'n.

    Here mention is made of "the joys that Zion doth afford.''  These are the blessings which we receive through God's Son as our heavenly King, because of what He did for us as our High Priest and through His cross.

    We do well also to note that He Who blesses us is the maker of heaven and earth, and thus has all things completely under His control. Therefore no matter what your problem is, go to Him. He has the solution and the power to make all things well with you.  Bless Him as the one Who knows what is good for you and can bring it to pass.

    If you approach Him that way, He will bless you. Not because a blessing upon you depends upon you blessing Him but because you are coming to the Fount of  all blessing. Question His goodness, and you are coming to an idol that cannot bless you.

Read: Psalm 124
Psalter versification: 372:2

Daily  Meditations
 
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 404
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:


II Kings 17
II Kings 18:1-12
Acts 20
Psalm 148:1-14
Proverbs 18:6-7

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Quote for Reflection:

Robert Candlish on I John 2: "This anointing is permanent; ‘it abideth in you.’ It is not a fitful emotion or wayward impulse, a rapture of excitement, alternating perhaps with deep depression. It partakes more of the nature of a calm, constant, settled conviction. Frames, feelings, fancies, are all fluctuating; they are like the surface waters of the ocean, agitated by every wind. But this inward anointing is far down in the still depths beneath. It "abideth in us;" the same always in its own inherent stillness and strength, amid whatever tossings its contact with the upper air may cause."


Go to: July 1


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Last modified, 28-Apr-2007