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    April 1904

    “Daily Bread for Christian Workers” The Medical Missionary 13, 4.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Friday, April 1. Praise ye the Lord, O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: For his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 106:1.

    How often people say, or at least think, “I don’t see what I have to be thankful for.” That is the purely selfish idea of thankfulness,-so much visible, actual rain, so many thanks; nothing in sight, no thanks. Such a conception of thanksgiving naturally exists with one who lives by the law of works, whose reward is not reckoned of grace, but of debt. His thanksgiving is a mere commercial transaction; it pertains to heathenism, and not the Christianity. The intelligent Christian has always and everywhere a cause for thanksgiving: because God is, and he is good. No circumstance, no gain or loss, can ever interfere with true thanksgiving. God is good, and, therefore, whether we consciously possess little or much it is equally good, and calls for thanks. God is “Our Father,” and, therefore, we always have all things in him. Whoever knows God must necessarily give thanks, not for what he himself has, but for what God is.MEDM April 1904, page 123.1

    Sabbath, April 2. O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the people. Psalm 105:1.MEDM April 1904, page 123.2

    Not to give thanks is to deny God; for it is virtually to say that he has done nothing, and that he himself is nothing, for which one should render thanks. It is only by giving thanks for his wonderful works, and because he is, and not by argument, that we can make God known to the people who know him not. God is known by his works; and his works are made known through the thanksgiving of those who take pleasure in them.MEDM April 1904, page 123.3

    Sunday, April 3. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. Psalm 97:12.MEDM April 1904, page 123.4

    The world is corrupt and empty; there is no satisfaction to be found in it. We are all sinful and destitute; in us dwelleth no good thing. But God is good, “glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders,” and he “filleth all in all.” Therefore must we “rejoice evermore” and give thanks. God lives not for himself but for his creatures; his power and his holiness are for us; so though our emptiness and helplessness, if we had nothing else to contemplate, might well cause us to sink in despondency, the remembrance of God’s holiness, of whose fulness we have all received, is sufficient cause for joyous thanksgiving. We must give thanks when we consider God’s holiness; not to give thanks is to doubt it.MEDM April 1904, page 123.5

    “Yet in the maddening maze of things,
    And tossed by storm and flood,
    To one fixed trust my spirit clings;
    I know that God is good!”
    MEDM April 1904, page 123.6

    Monday, April 4. Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks: unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. Psalm 75:1.MEDM April 1904, page 123.7

    When questioned about the healing of the lame man, Peter said, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even in him doth this man stand here before you whole.” Acts 4:10. Thus we see that the name of the Lord is what he himself is-his personality. “Jesus” means “Saviour,” and he himself is Saviour, saving by his own life. Therefore, when we read that God’s wondrous works declare that his name is near, it is the same as though it said that God’s works reveal his presence. That this is the case, is shown by Romans 1:20. So to the one who has eyes to see with, the works of God must produce thanksgiving, because they reveal the everlasting, divine power by which we are saved.MEDM April 1904, page 124.1

    Tuesday, April 5. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High; ... for thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work; I will triumph in the works of thy hands. Psalm 92:1, 4.MEDM April 1904, page 124.2

    “The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” Psalm 111:2. These works are the heavens and the earth. So wonderful are these works that when they were finished “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Now God “hath showed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.” Psalm 111:6. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,” by the same power by which God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth. The creation of a new man in Christ is as wonderful a work as the creation of a new world. This is why there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents, even as there was when the earth was created. All heaven is witness to the fact that it is a good thing to sing praises to the name of the Most High. What makes it so good a thing for us, is the fact that in God’s works we triumph. His works are our salvation.MEDM April 1904, page 124.3

    Wednesday, April 6. “Because that when they knew God they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened.... God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. Romans 1:21, 24.MEDM April 1904, page 124.4

    Here we learn, negatively, the value of giving thanks. “It iss a good thing give thanks unto the Lord,” because it keeps people from lapsing into idolatry. All the evil that is in the world is the result of unthankfulness for God’s gift and lack of appreciation of his works, and this is due to the fact that people think more of themselves than of God, as did Lucifer. No one can consider God’s works, as the works of God, without praising him; and praise is worship.MEDM April 1904, page 124.5

    Thursday, April 7. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me, and prepareth a way that I may show him the salvation of God. Psalm 50:23. Revised Version, margin.MEDM April 1904, page 124.6

    It is no arbitrary requirement that God makes, that people should praise him; there is no element of selfishness in it on his part; he simply desires our salvation. When we praise God we are only giving him the glory due to him, for his wonderful and glorious works; and when we are praising God for his works, and thanking him for his unspeakable gifts, we are not thinking of ourselves. Now as self is the sole cause of sin, it follows that all that draws us away from self works salvation for us. One can not possibly thank God from the heart and at the same time commit sin; and as God’s constant goodness calls for continual praise, it is plain that in praise is the way of salvation. It is with singing that the ransomed of the Lord return and come to Zion.MEDM April 1904, page 124.7

    Friday, April 8. In nothing be anxious but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6.MEDM April 1904, page 124.8

    Why with thanksgiving?-Because thanksgiving keeps fresh in our minds the wonderful works of God, and that begets confidence. We can come to the throne of grace with boldness when know what God delights in doing,-what it is his nature to do. This leads us to cast all our care on him, knowing that cares for us. But thanksgiving in prayer must not be limited to things that are past; we must thank God for the things that we are asking for. What! thank him before we receive them? Certainly if we do not, we show that we have some doubt whether or not we shall receive them; and the man who doubts receives nothing. It is faith that grasps the blessings asked, and wherever there is faith there is thanksgiving. Without thanksgiving there is no real prayer.MEDM April 1904, page 124.9

    Sabbath, April 9. Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57.MEDM April 1904, page 124.10

    Remember that when we ask God for victory he does not have to go out and win it for us before he can give it to us. He does not need to keep us waiting, for he has overcome the world. This, then, is an additional reason for thanking God in advance for the blessing we ask for. “This is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith.” Faith appreciates the victory already won for us; and when one who is sorely pressed by temptation realizes that the deliverance asked for is his already, he can not help breaking forth into thanksgiving as he prays.MEDM April 1904, page 124.11

    Sunday, April 10. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15.MEDM April 1904, page 124.12

    It is by our steadfastness in the faith that we resist Satan, so that he flees from us (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9); and thanksgiving is the signal to him that we know the Mighty One on whom help has been laid, and that we accept the deliverance that he has wrought for us by his victory. The gift is “unspeakable,” and that is why we must continually speak of it; an eternity of thanksgiving will not be sufficient to do it justice.MEDM April 1904, page 124.13

    “Through all eternity to thee
    A grateful song I’ll raise;
    But, oh, eternity’s too short
    To utter all thy praise.”
    MEDM April 1904, page 125.1

    Monday, April 11. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18.MEDM April 1904, page 125.2

    The will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us is our sanctification and salvation: consequently he wills that we should give thanks in everything, because thanksgiving is the way of salvation. He would have us give thanks in everything, because he would have us continually saved. It is not difficult to do this, when we know that all things work together for our good.MEDM April 1904, page 125.3

    Tuesday, April 12. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou established strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. Psalm 8:2.MEDM April 1904, page 125.4

    Compare this with the rendering that Jesus gives of it in Matthew 20:16. In quoting Isaiah 8:2 he substitutes “praise” for “strength,” thus showing that it means the same thing. There is nothing else that will still the enemy as praise to God will; it is an argument that can not be replied to. A little child, therefore, may put an enemy to silence better than a man can for the man may be tempted to argue but the child can not argue, it knows nothing but praise.MEDM April 1904, page 125.5

    Wednesday, April 13. I will give thee thanks in the great congregation; I will praise thee among much people. Psalm 35:18.MEDM April 1904, page 125.6

    And why not? Though we ask in secret, God rewards us openly; and for public gifts public thanks may well be offered. There is altogether too much shyness about making mention of God in his works. Many Christians find it easier to talk about anything else than about God. Possibly this is because to their mind he is a long way off. When we are acquainted with God as the one in whom “we live and move and have our being,” it will not be so difficult to give him proper thanks even in a great congregation.MEDM April 1904, page 125.7

    Thursday, April 14. Thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3.MEDM April 1904, page 125.8

    God is “not far from every one of us,”-even though we be unconscious of his presence, or ignore it; but he dwells in the praises of his people, that is, in the hearts of those who praise him. This does not show that God is not everywhere, even in the heart and the mouth of the sinner, but with such he is present as a stranger-a transient lodger. It is with those who praise him that he has a permanent habitation. God’s presence recognized means something far different from his presence unrecognized. If the whole life and soul be filled with God’s praise, then his presence there fills the being with his holiness.MEDM April 1904, page 125.9

    Friday, April 15. The Lord is my strength and my song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2. Revised Version.MEDM April 1904, page 125.10

    A comparison of this reading with that of the common version will show how naturally the truth expressed in Psalm 22:3 is taken as a matter of fact. That says, “He is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation.” The two renderings amount to the same thing, because God inhabits the praise of his people. Then, by singing,MEDM April 1904, page 125.11

    “Let every heart prepare him room.”MEDM April 1904, page 125.12

    Sabbath, April 16. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4.MEDM April 1904, page 125.13

    “For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations.” “He is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture,” or the flock that he feeds. So we, his people, and the sheep of his pasture will come to his gates, gratefully recognizing the hand that feeds us with bread, of which one may eat and live forever. See John 6:50.MEDM April 1904, page 125.14

    Sunday, April 17. Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. 1 Corinthians 2:14.MEDM April 1904, page 126.1

    The word here rendered “savor” signifies odor or perfume. The perfume of God’s presence is shed forth from those in whom God abides; for he can not be hid. His presence gives us always the victory, which calls for thanksgiving, and this, in turn, makes more sure the abiding Presence.MEDM April 1904, page 126.2

    Monday, April 18. What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward men. I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. Psalm 116:12, 13.MEDM April 1904, page 126.3

    What a marvelous way of paying debts! God’s benefits, with which he daily loads us, put us under everlasting obligation to him. How shall we discharge this obligation? Only by calling upon God and taking more. This, of course, places us under renewed and increased obligation, which can be paid only by taking yet more at the hands of the Lord. And, so the stream flows on throughout eternity, its flow increasing instead of diminishing, if a way is only made for it by thankful reception.MEDM April 1904, page 126.4

    “Dig channels for the streams of love
    Where they may broadly run,
    And love has overflowing streams
    To fill them every one.”
    MEDM April 1904, page 126.5

    Tuesday, April 19. I will praise the name of the Lord with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. Psalm 69:30, 31.MEDM April 1904, page 126.6

    In Hebrews 13:15 we read: “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.” This thought is taken from Hosea 14:2, where we are instructed to say, “Take away iniquity, and receive us graciously; so will we render the calves of our lips.” A better rendering is, “So will we render as calves our lips.” The lexicons show us that the Hebrew words “bullock” and “fruit” are almost identical, having a common origin, and with one underlying idea. So when we offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, the fruit of our lips, which is not mere lip-service, but which comes from the heart, we are offering bullocks that are, and always have been, more acceptable to God than bullocks with horns and hoofs. The heathen rightly conceived that a human sacrifice was the highest and best that could be offered; but they were wholly mistaken as to the mode of offering. It is a “living sacrifice,” not a dead one, that is acceptable unto God.MEDM April 1904, page 126.7

    Wednesday, April 20. O come, let sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise unto the Lord of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. Psalm 95:1, 2.MEDM April 1904, page 126.8

    When we do this, then will our prayers be set forth before him as incense, and the lifting up of our hands as the evening sacrifice. Such sacrifice when it is the spontaneous outflow of the whole being not only brings, but is salvation.MEDM April 1904, page 126.9

    Thursday, April 21. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15.MEDM April 1904, page 126.10

    Note the form of this commandment, it is that of the word which creates. Thus, “Let there be light,” “Let there be a firmament,” etc. When God spoke thus to the matter that was wholly subject to him, “it was so.” Even so will he be with us, if we lend a willing ear when God says, “Let the peace of God rule your hearts,” and “Be ye thankful.” We can not make peace in our heart we can only allow Christ free sway there and “he is our peace.” We can not manufacture thankfulness; but we can meditate on God and his works, and thankfulness will spring up of itself.MEDM April 1904, page 126.11

    Friday, April 22. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18-20.MEDM April 1904, page 126.12

    Again the creative word. God will attend to it, if we will but let it be done. Our part is to stop hindering; for we can hinder the work of the Spirit, although we can do nothing to help it. Thanksgiving always for all things will come from one who is filled with the Spirit. It will come as naturally as babblings from one who is filled with wine.MEDM April 1904, page 126.13

    Sabbath, April 23. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him; rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6, 7.MEDM April 1904, page 126.14

    How have we received Christ Jesus Lord?-By faith only. See John 1:13 and Ephesians 3:17. Therefore, we are to walk in him by faith. This does not mean that we are to imagine that we walk in him, nor to make believe that we do, but actually to do it, and to do it by faith, the only way that it can be done either now or in eternity. Faith is certainty, and certainty begets thanksgiving; and this, in turn, creates abundance.MEDM April 1904, page 126.15

    Sunday, April 24. Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, O give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. Psalm 106:47.MEDM April 1904, page 126.16

    We triumph in God’s praise because it is his works that cause praise, and we triumph in the works of his hands. God gives us and gathers us out from among the heathen (note that he doesn’t gather us and then save us, but saves us and gathers us), that we may give thanks. This shows that the essence of heaven-that which will make heaven for us-will be thanksgiving. Hereby we may know how to have a section of heaven even here on this sin-cursed earth. The way is to thank God for all that he does for us.MEDM April 1904, page 126.17

    Monday, April 25. Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope in God, for I shall yet give him thanks for the help of his countenance. Psalm 42:5, margin.MEDM April 1904, page 126.18

    We must beware of reading this in such a way as to lead us to put off the One of thanksgiving. Not, I will yet, sometime in the future, give him thanks, but I will yet, still, continually, thank him for the help of his countenance, which is never withdrawn.MEDM April 1904, page 126.19

    Tuesday, April 26. Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die (the children of death); ... So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever; we will show forth thy praise to all generations. Psalm 79:11, 13.MEDM April 1904, page 126.20

    Mark the words: “We will show forth thy praise to all generations,” not merely speak it. A prayer that God puts into mouths, as this one, is answered already. “He hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven will the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death.” Psalm 102:19, 20. When we sigh and groan for deliverance, God hears us, and hastens to our help. And he gives help, even his life.MEDM April 1904, page 126.21

    Wednesday, April 27. O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory. Psalm 98:1.MEDM April 1904, page 126.22

    Why should we sing because God’s right hand and holy arm have gained the victory for him?-Because his victory is ours. The Lord has made common cause with us, linking his fate with ours. Every assault on us, is an assault on him. Nay, more, he has assumed the sole responsibility, so that the battle is not ours, but God’s. Therefore, whenever tempted to doubt if you can ever gain the victory, forget yourself, and fall to wondering if God can withstand his foes. Oh, but there is no chance for wonder about that. He has the victory already. Then rejoice because you are safe.MEDM April 1904, page 126.23

    Thursday, April 28. I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude. For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul. Psalm 109:30, 31.MEDM April 1904, page 126.24

    God has especially chosen the poor, and “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:33, 34. So we may say: “The Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me?” Isaiah 50:7, 8.MEDM April 1904, page 126.25

    Friday, April 29. Be thou exalted. O Lord, in thine own strength; so will we sing and praise thy power. Psalm 21:13.MEDM April 1904, page 126.26

    This is all that we need ask-that God will lift himself up in his own strength, above his enemies. That he can do it, does not admit of any doubt, because he rules the raging of the sea, and by the greatness of his might he keeps the infinite starry host. But he is our dwelling-place in all generations, and so shall our head be lifted up above our enemies round about; therefore will we offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy.MEDM April 1904, page 126.27

    Sabbath, April 30. Let the people praise thee, O God; let the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our God, shall bless us. Psalm 67:5, 6.MEDM April 1904, page 126.28

    How much depends upon praise and thanksgiving to God by the people! Let the people return to their allegiance to God, acknowledging him in all their ways, and that alone would work a transformation in the face of the earth, such as no one could imagine.MEDM April 1904, page 126.29

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