“He made Himself of no reputation.” The Son of God emptied Himself of the state in which He was not a servant, but God’s equal. He had as the Son of God all the properties essential to Godhead and dominion over creation. While He could never empty Himself of Godhead, in which He was equal with the Father, He could empty Himself of the state in which He was equal, and so having taken upon Him “the form of a servant,” He is now for ever subject to the Father. He never will, and never can, return to the state of being simply God’s equal. He is eternally co-equal and eternally subject to the Father. In 1 Corinthians 15:28 we read: “Then shall the Son also Himself be subject,” and in Revelation, “The throne of God and of the Lamb.” He is for ever the Shepherd and for ever the Lamb, and it is the lowly or little Lamb, the diminutive being used. There is an infiniteness in the lowliness of the blessed Lamb, and He is now at the utmost of His lowliness. Satan took upon himself the form of a master, being created a servant; instead of serving in obedience he would be lord, and “the condemnation of the devil” is in his self-will; he chose to take to himself what belonged only to God.
What a rebuke to the devil the exaltation of the Son of God will be to all eternity—a mirror in which to see his own folly!
Acquaintance with the Cross of Christ brings me to nothing. Let any thought of self-exaltation be to me as a serpent; I have nothing to do but to kill it.
Depths and Shallows.
Do not “the deep things of God “(1 Cor. 2) stand in contrast to what we read of in Rom. 1:19, 20, which we may call the shallows of God? It is the shallowest things of these shallows that “the princes of this world” spend their lives upon—the things of creation; the depths of God are the secrets of His bosom, the nature and the ways of Christ; of these they know nothing.
The work of redemption is infinitely more glorious than that of creation.
It is only through redemption that we can know creation.
All the mysteries of creation will be explained in the new creation; not till then.
Nothing that God has created can ever cease to be; there is no warrant to suppose this.
Whoever wrote such a book of Natural History as Psalm 104, or astronomy as Psalms 8 and 19? “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” —see Him in everything. I never had such delight in the world that God has made as I have now, nor such fellowship of spirit in it with Him who said, “Consider the lilies.”
All the speakers in the Book of Job, including God Himself, take for granted all the things that are now called in question by man.
It is not a little matter for young disciples of Christ to learn that they are more in danger from the men that are called philosophers than from any other set of enemies, except those we have within. Next to them come the religious men; but the first of our enemies are the wise men. They are our greatest enemies, because, as a whole, the Church of God has not learned to see how low and shallow they are.
Serving the Lord.
(From Choice Sayings.)
The Lord Jesus always finds service for willing hearts and willing hands: Let us desire only that service for which He has fitted us.
It is a mark of steady progress in the ways of God when a servant of Christ, like his Master, makes no choice of service, seeking only to please his Lord.
If by walking before God we rise above the praise of men, we shall not be vexed or disappointed by their disapproval and blame.
He that is humble, and ever desiring to serve others, will surely find others desiring to serve him.
The joy and triumph of faith are only to be found in the way of unreserved consecration of ourselves to God and diligent service to Christ.
Though God marks that which is wrong in His servants, notwithstanding all their faithfulness, He never forgets that which is right in them, notwithstanding all their imperfections.
God’s Dealings with Israel
I find my faith increased by looking at God’s dealings with Israel.
I rejoice in hope of the fulfilling of the promise, They shall look on Him whom they pierced and mourn. Israel—chief in rejecting Christ—will by-and-by be the Israel of God, the chief witness in the earth for Him whom their forefathers rejected.
I ponder the unbelief of Israel, the seed of Abraham, Thy friend; and look onward, with loving hope, to the morning without clouds—to the day when Israel shall say, “Lo! this is our God; we have waited for Him “: and Thou shalt say, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” How long, Lord? Thou wilt hasten it in Thy time.
If while my soul draws nigh to God by night,
I see the stars in clustering myriads shine,
I mark how all their glories they combine,
A host well ordered, marvellously bright.
I listen to their silence—they unite
A skilful choir to sing of love divine;
And are to me a picture and a sign
Of good things promised, hidden still from sight.
My Father, says my heart, Thou wilt not leave
Israel for ever scattered and forlorn:
They that shall soon the wilful king receive—
Israel, who slew Thy Son with rage and scorn—
Shall, in the land, to their Messiah cleave,
A countless people of Thy Spirit born.