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Daily Devotionals

The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions

Devotional: May 26th

May 26—Morning—Psalms 68:18

"Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men: yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them."—Psalms 68:18.

Sweet view of a risen, ascended, and triumphant Saviour. My soul, ponder over these words, and while meditating upon them, see that thou art ascending after thy exalted head, and partaking in his glories. Jesus is he who hath indeed ascended, far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. He hath led captivity captive; and that not only in conquering all the powers of hell, but taking his people that were in captivity out of the prison-house, and causing them to partake in the felicity of his triumphs. And mark, my soul, what follows. "He hath received gifts for men;" or as the apostle to the church of Ephesus expresseth the same blessed truths, he gave gifts to men, Ephesians 4:8. And sweetly Jesus hath done both; for he received that he might give. He needed not for himself, but it was all for his people. He said himself, when speaking to the Father," that I should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given me." And, my soul, mark another sweet expression in these words:" he hath received gifts for men:" or, as the margin of our old bibles hath it, and our old bibles are like old gold, precious things, he hath received gifts in the man; that is, in his human nature, as Mediator; to give out to his people. See, then, my soul, all thy blessings are treasured up in him, that is, in one and the same moment, thy God and thy Brother. Oh glorious thought! Oh! soul-comforting truth! Neither is this all. For this sweet scripture points out also for whom he hath received gifts. It is for men. Not for angels, but for men. Not for holy men neither, but for sinners. Not for Jews only, but for gentiles. "Yea," saith the Holy Ghost, as if the Lord the Spirit would lay an emphasis upon it, that it might be particularly noticed," for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them." Oh matchless grace! Oh world of wonders! Fallen angels passed by, and rebels of men taken into favour. Great Father of mercies, what manner of love is this, which thou hast bestowed upon our fallen nature? Oh thou risen and exalted Jesus, send down, Lord, thine ascension gifts. Nay, blessed Lord, come down thyself and dwell among us. Set up thy church in the earth, and in the hearts and souls of thy people, and reign and rule there, the Lord of life and glory.

May 26—Evening—Ephesians 4:9-10

"Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things."—Ephesians 4:9-10.

My soul! thy morning portion led thee to the contemplation of a risen and ascended Saviour; and by faith and love, I hope thou didst find thyself ascending with him, and art now still looking to him on the throne of the Majesty on high. And while thy thoughts are thus occupied in the most blessed of all subjects, listen to this word of God’s grace, as of a voice behind thee, to remind thee, that he who is thus gone up, first came down! He that is now in heaven, first came down from heaven; he is only returned, as a rightful Lord, to his own kingdom. He hath, indeed, both by his Father’s gift, and his own purchase, obtained a mediatorial crown, to add to his crown of the Godhead, which he had before in common with the Father and the Holy Ghost; but in his ascension, thou art not to lose sight of his descent, which preceded it, when he left the bosom of the Father, to tabernacle in our nature, for our redemption, in these lower parts of the earth. And let this sweet view of Jesus give thee an holy boldness and comfort, in looking to thy risen and exalted Saviour for those ascension gifts which he is gone up purposely to send down! I want, my soul (Oh! that the Holy Ghost would for ever be giving it to me) to keep in constant remembrance who it is that thus "ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." I charge it upon thee, this evening, that thou never cease to ask this blessing from God the Spirit, that in his glorifying the Lord Jesus, he would keep it continually uppermost in thine heart, that it is Jesus who is thus exalted; Jesus thy Brother, thy Redeemer, thine Husband, thine Head. Surely, while thou bearest in remembrance, that" he is ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things," he would never let thee go empty, didst thou tell him that thou art part of himself! Could Jesus, as the head of his body, the church, suffer that body, or any of its poorest or least members, to go lean, and poor, and wretched, while he is gone up purposely to send down, and to fill all things? To use his own words, "No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church," Ephesians 5:29. Were these things left upon record as a testimony how Jesus nourisheth and cherisheth the church, and shall any poor member be without it? Precious Lord Jesus! henceforth I beseech thee, look on me, and give me, by thy sweet Spirit, to be always looking unto thee! I see, Lord, that thou, who art ascended, art the same that descended: this is enough for me; for, sure I am, thine heart is not changed, but thy love is the same. And if thy love brought thee down to save, thy love hath led thee up to bless: and what mercy can my soul want which thy fulness cannot supply? How can a poor member of thine below, long need, while "Jesus is ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill things?" Oh! for grace to come to thee, to look to thee, to depend upon thee, and to rest, with full assurance of faith, in that dependence, that Jesus, our risen, our ascended, our exalted, and full Saviour, will give to every one of his members, "grace, according to the measure of the fulness of Christ."

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