Daniel 2:21
“And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.”


Our bodies have many different rhythms. For example, your body temperature and your blood pressure cycle throughout the 24-hour day. Other body rhythms complete their cycle in 7 days or 28 days and so on.

Some bodily rhythms are controlled through the hypothalamus, some by the pituitary gland, but there are other glands that control the rhythms of other organs. This arrangement sounds sort of like standing in a room with hundreds of clocks ticking away. And to make matters worse, each clock goes off on its own time – none are set to the same time. It could be a confusing mess.

But now it has been learned that the brain has one master clock that coordinates all the other clocks in the body. This master clock goes by the initials SCN. It was once thought that the hypothalamus did this work. But the hypothalamus is just an assistant to the SCN. Together they turn out a bewildering array of chemical signals for the rest of the body so that everything keeps humming along in fine order.

So here we have one more example of the intricate and wise design of our loving Creator and how He leaves no detail of life to chance. If He can do this, He certainly wants you to bring all the details of your life to Him as well.

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, You teach me that my heavenly Father desires an even closer relationship with me, and that He is intimately involved in every detail of His creation. Teach me through Your Word, and help me to believe what You teach me. Amen.



“A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions, and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar.

The tragic results of this spirit are all about us . . .
shallow lives,
hollow religious philosophies,
the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings,
the glorification of men,
trust in religious externalities,
quasi-religious fellowships,
salesmanship methods,
the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit.

These and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul.”

— A W Tozer



“He will keep the feet of his saints.” –1 Samuel 2:9

The Lord sees his poor scattered pilgrims traveling through a valley of tears, journeying through a waste howling wilderness, a path beset with baits, traps, and snares in every direction. How can they escape? Why, the Lord keeps their feet, carries them through every rough place, as a tender parent carries a little child; when about to fall, graciously lays the everlasting arms underneath them, and when tottering and stumbling, and their feet ready to slip, mercifully upholds them from falling altogether. Thus the Lord keeps the feet of his saints.

But do you think that he has not different ways for different feet? The God of creation has not made two flowers, nor two leaves upon a tree alike; and will he cause all his people to walk in precisely the same path? No; we have each our path, each our troubles, each our trials, each peculiar traps and snares laid for our feet. And the wisdom of the all-wise and only-wise God is shown by his eyes being in every place, marking the footsteps of every pilgrim, suiting his remedies to meet their individual case and necessity, appearing for them when nobody else could do them any good; watching so tenderly over them, as though the eyes of his affection were bent on one individual; and carefully noting the goings of each, as though all the powers of the Godhead were concentrated on that one person to keep him from harm.

— J C Philpot



MANY asked Mr. Müller how he sought to know the will of God, in that nothing was undertaken, not even the smallest expenditure, without feeling certain he was in God’s will. In the following words he gave his answer.

“1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has not will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.

“2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impressions. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.

“3. I seek the will of the Spirit of God through or in connection with the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also.

“4. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These plainly indicate God’s will in connection with His Word and Spirit.

“5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.

“6. Thus through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.”

And did this plan work? one asks. Let Mr. Müller’s testimony answer.

“I never remember,” he wrote three years before his death, “in all my Christian course, a period now of sixty-nine years and four months, that I ever sincerely and patiently sought to know the will of God by the teaching of the Holy Ghost, through the instrumentality of the Word of God, but I have been always directed rightly. But if honesty of heart and uprightness before God were lacking, or if I did not patiently wait upon God for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow men to the declarations of the Word of the living God, I made great mistakes.”

Reprinted from “George Müller – Man of Faith and Miracles,” by Basil Miller, pp. 50-51



Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

“Purity, even purity of heart, is the main thing to be aimed at. We need to be made clean within through the Spirit and the Word, and then we shall be clean without by consecration and obedience. There is a close connection between the affections and the understanding: if we love evil we cannot understand that which is good. If the heart is foul, the eye will be dim. How can those men see a holy God who love unholy things?

What a privilege it is to see God here! A glimpse of Him is heaven below! In Christ Jesus the pure in heart behold the Father. We see Him, His truth, His love, His purpose, His sovereignty, His covenant character, yea, we see Himself in Christ. But this is only apprehended as sin is kept out of the heart. Only those who aim at godliness can cry, “Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord.” The desire of Moses, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory,” can only be fulfilled in us as we purify ourselves from all iniquity. We shall “see him as he is,” and “every one that hath this hope in him purifieth himself.” The enjoyment of present fellowship and the hope of the beatific vision are urgent motives for purity of heart and life. Lord, make us pure in heart that we may see Thee!”

— Charles Spurgeon



What kind of boldness must the minister’s be?

First, a convincing boldness. How forcible are right words, saith Job; and how feeble are empty words, though shot with a thundering voice. Great words in reproving an error or sin, but weak arguments, produce laughter oftener than tears.

Secondly, a wise boldness. The minister is to reprove the sins of all, but to name none. Paul, preaching before a lascivious and unrighteous prince, touched him to the quick, but did not name him in his sermon. Felix’ conscience saved Paul that labour.

Thirdly, a meek boldness. Let the reproof be as sharp as thou wilt; but thy spirit must be meek. Passion raiseth the blood of him that is reproved; but compassion breaks his heart. We must not denounce wrath in wrath, lest sinners think we wish their misery; but rather with such tenderness, that they may see it is no pleasing work to us, but we do it that we might not, by a cruel silence, be accessory to their ruin, which we desire to prevent.

Fourthly, an humble boldness; such a boldness as is raised from a confidence in God and not from ourselves, our own gifts or ability, courage or stoutness.

Fifthly, a zealous boldness. Our reproofs of sin must come from a warm heart. Paul’s spirit was stirred within him when he saw the city given to idolatry. Jeremiah tells us the word of God was a fire in his bones; it broke out of his mouth like a flame out of a furnace. The word is a hammer; but it breaks not the stony heart when lightly laid on. King James said of a minister in his time, that he preached as if death were at his back. Ministers should set forth judgment as if it were at the sinner’s back to take hold of him. Cold reproofs or threatenings are like the rumble of thunder afar off, which affrights not as a clap over our head. I told you the minister’s boldness must be meek and merciful; but not to prejudice zeal.

Some helps to produce this boldness.

First a holy fear of God. We fear man so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another When man’s terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God; this is the way Jeremiah was cured of his anguish distemper, fearing man (Jer 1: 17).

Secondly, castle thyself within the power and promise of God for thy assistance and protection. Our eye, alas! is on our danger, but not on the invincible walls and bulwarks which God has promised to set about us. The prophet’s servant that saw the enemy army approaching, was in a panic; but the prophet that was the heavenly host for his lifeguard about him, cared not a straw for them all.

Thirdly, keep a clear conscience: he cannot be a bold reprover, that is not a conscientious liver; such a one must speak softly, for fear of waking his own guilty conscience. Unholiness in a preacher’s life will either stop his mouth from reproving, or the people’s ears from receiving. O how harsh a sound does such a cracked bell make in the ears of his audience! Good counsel from a wicked man produces no effect.

Fourthly, consider, if thou be not now bold for Christ in thy ministry, thou canst not be bold before Christ at His judgment; he that is afraid to speak for Christ, will certainly be ashamed to look on His face then. ‘We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ’ (2 Cor. 5: 10). Now what use doth Paul make of this solemn meditation? ‘Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.’

A serious thought of that day, as we are going to preach would shut all base fear out of the pulpit. It is a very small thing to be judged by men now for our boldness, but dismal to be condemned by Christ for our cowardice.

Fifthly, consider how bold Christ was in His ministry (1 Tim. 6:13).

Sixthly, pray for this holy boldness. Thus did the apostles come by it… it was the child of prayer (Acts 4: 29f). Mark, they do not pray to be excused the battle, but to be armed with courage to stand in it; they had rather be lifted above the fear of suffering, than have immunity from the suffering. If this be thy sincere request, God will not deny it.

— William Gurnall




Psalms 17:5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

Without scrupulously or superstitiously observing “days, and months, and times, and years,” few of us altogether pass by so marked an epoch as the dawning of another year upon our path without some acknowledgment of it both to God and man. When we open our eyes on the first morning of the year, we almost instinctively say, “This is New-year’s day.” Nor is this, at least this should not be, all the notice we take, all the acknowledgment we make of that opening year of which we may not see the close.

When we bend our knees before the throne of grace, we mingle with thankful acknowledgment for the mercies of the past year, both in providence and in grace, earnest petitions for similar mercies to be experienced and enjoyed through the present. Last evening witnessed our confessions of the many, many grievous sins, wanderings, backslidings, and departings from the living God during the year now gone; this morning witnesses our supplications for grace to hold up our goings in his paths, that our footsteps slip not through the year just come. Tears are most suitable at the burial of the dead; hopes and desires at the birth of the living. The past year was the departed father, worn out with age and infirmity; the present year the new-born babe in the arms of the smiling mother. It is still, however, mid-winter. Today, the first of the present year, differs little in outward appearance from yesterday, the last of the past. But the thoughtful, prayerful mind takes little notice of wintry skies. It feels that the old, worn-out year has sunk into its grave, with all its trials and afflictions, and that a new year has come in its place, with its new hopes and new mercies; and if it bring new trials, yet that the promise still stands, that new strength will be given to meet and overcome them.

Refreshed and strengthened at the throne by such or similar communings with the God of all our mercies, we go down to meet our families, and are at once greeted on all sides with, “I wish you a happy new year,” a greeting which we as warmly and affectionately return. Almost every friend, well-near every acquaintance that we meet with in the course of the day, greets us with the same kind wish. Now in all this there may be a great deal of formality, lip-service, and traditional usage; but there may be also a good deal of sincerity, kindness, and affection. We are not, surely, so shut up in miserable self as to have no desire for the health and happiness, the temporal and spiritual welfare, of our families, our friends, or even our acquaintances. And if we desire their good, we need not be backward or unwilling to express it in a few words of friendly greeting. “Be kind one to another, tender-hearted;” “Be sympathetic, be courteous;” “If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men,” are precepts imbued with all the spirit of the gospel, and may be, indeed, should be, attended to without the least sacrifice of that faithfulness which becomes those who would daily walk in the fear of the Lord. There may be a form of kind words as well as “a form of sound words;” and as we may use the latter in perfect harmony with the doctrines of the gospel, so we may use the former in perfect harmony with the spirit of the gospel.

— J C Philpot



“God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

What a treasure-trove is here for poverty-stricken souls! If our faith were but strong and eager enough to gather up the riches stored in this chest of blessing — what millionaires in grace we might become!

“But the chest is fast locked,” you say, “how can we grasp what we cannot see?” True, yet faith is the key which not only unlocks these treasures — but gives us the right to claim them as our own, and use them to the constant enrichment of our daily life.

I do not know how it is with you, my dear readers — but when I look upon such an exhibition of Divine possibilities as is contained in this and similar portions of God’s Word, I wonder, with a sore amazement, at my own spiritual condition, which, far too often, is reduced to one of indigence and distress. The grand assurance, here given by the apostle, of our God’s ability to supply all our need — is no new thing to us. We know that He “is able to make all grace abound toward us,” we fully recognize the blessedness of “always having all sufficiency in all things,” we desire intensely to “abound to every good work,” but few of us have joyfully entered upon this inheritance. We have not yet taken possession of the land; we may have cut a cluster or two of its fruit, and eaten a mouthful or so of its honey — but our faith has not yet dared to claim the fulfillment of that wonderful promise, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon — that have I given unto you.”

O come, all you longing souls, come, poor doubting reader, come, weak and trembling pilgrim — gird up the loins of your mind, and let your faith march boldly into this promised land, never again to leave it until it is exchanged for the heavenly Canaan!

Think for a moment how wealthy we would be, could we but thus believe in our God. What could we not be, and do, and suffer — if all grace abounded toward us? With what persistency and impressiveness, does the apostle repeat the word “all” — that little word with so vast a meaning! Can we imagine the bliss of possessing all grace — always, and having all sufficiency — in all things?

I lay down my pen for a moment to thank God for these riches of grace in Christ Jesus my Lord, and I take it up again with this thought in my heart —

“What more can He say, than to you He has said, You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?”

There is another sense in which the words of this text may come home to us. The apostle Paul, in previous verses, had been stirring up the Christians in Corinth to liberality of spirit, and zeal in ministering to the saints. It is noteworthy that he brings abounding grace and generous giving into very close connection, linking them together as cause and effect, even as the plentiful sowing of the seed ensures a bounteous harvest. He says, in effect, “Your God is so immensely rich, and so anxious to enrich you, not with grace alone — but with gifts of all things — that the more you give, the more you will have. And if you purpose in your heart to be bountiful, giving love, money, help, and kindness, to all around you — God, who loves a cheerful giver, will see to it that you have the means of carrying out your desire, for you shall have ‘all sufficiency of all things’ that you may abound to every good work!

I think this is a very grave and important view of the text, for may it not be that we, who complain of being impoverished for this very reason, that we have lacked zeal in enriching others? Perhaps we have forgotten that “the worldling prospers by laying up — but the Christian by laying out.” Beloved, if in this “our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” Let us seek earnestly from Him the power to “abound in this grace also.”

“God is able,” dear friends, and He is as willing as He is able, “to make all grace abound toward you.” There is no need for any child of His to be destitute, or distressed in spiritual matters. Does this assertion startle you? Yet God’s Word bears it out; and the fact that there are so many half-starved Christians, poor in faith, penniless in comfort, leading unlovely and joyless lives — does not alter it in the least.

“He is able!” Say it over and over to yourself till you learn its blessed music; it will encourage your souls against every sort of despair. You are very sinful — yes — but, “He is able to save to the uttermost.” You are weakest of the weak — true — but, “He is able to keep you from falling.” You are subject to fierce temptations — but, “He is able to help those who are tempted.” You tremble lest you should not endure to the end — ah! but, “He is able to present you faultless before the presence of His glory, with exceeding joy.” Is not this enough?

Listen, dear soul, the Master Himself says to you, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” See to it that your heart answers, “Yes, Lord,” and then His sweet response will be, “According to your faith — be it unto you.”



“It is the Lord’s will. Let Him do what He thinks best.” 1 Samuel 3:18

One who genuinely loves God, interprets all His dealings in the best sense. Though He afflicts sharply—the soul takes all well. This is the language of a gracious spirit:
“My God sees what a hard heart I have, therefore He drives in one wedge of affliction after another—to break my heart. He knows how full I am of the cancer of covetousness, or the swelling of pride, or the fever of lust—therefore He gives me bitter remedies, to save my
life. This severe dispensation is either to mortify some corruption—or to exercise some grace. How good is God, who will not let me alone in my sins—but smites my body to save my soul!” Thus genuine piety puts a good gloss upon all God’s afflictive dealings. It is Satan who makes us have high thoughts of ourselves, and hard thoughts of God. “Take away everything he has—and he will surely curse You to Your face!” Job 1:11

“Then Job fell to the ground in worship and said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” Job 1:20-22



“Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you” (Isaiah 30:18).

“God often DELAYS IN ANSWERING PRAYER. We have several instances of this in sacred Scripture. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day-he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophenicia was answered not a word for a long while. Paul besought the Lord thrice that “the thorn in the flesh” might be taken from him, and he received no assurance that it should be taken away, but instead thereof a promise that God’s grace should be sufficient for him. If thou hast been knocking at the gate of mercy, and hast received no answer, shall I tell thee why the mighty Maker hath not opened the door and let thee in?

Our Father has reasons peculiar to himself for thus keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show his power and his sovereignty, that men may know that Jehovah has a right to give or to withhold. More frequently the delay is for our profit. Thou art perhaps kept waiting in order that thy desires may be more fervent. God knows that delay will quicken and increase desire, and that if he keeps thee waiting thou wilt see thy necessity more clearly, and wilt seek more earnestly; and that thou wilt prize the mercy all the more for its long tarrying. There may also be something wrong in thee which has need to be removed, before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps thy views of the Gospel plan are confused, or thou mayest be placing some little reliance on thyself, instead of trusting simply and entirely to the Lord Jesus. Or, God makes thee tarry awhile that he may the more fully display the riches of his grace to thee at last. Thy prayers are all filed in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while shall be fulfilled to thy delight and satisfaction. Let not despair make thee silent, but continue instant in earnest supplication.”

— Charles Spurgeon