Pithy Gems by Thomas Moor II
Endeavor to attain the constant habit of . . .
Try continually to think of the Lord Jesus as the God-man, who is . . .
ever watching over you,
ever loving you,
ever caring for you,
and ever listening to you.
Endeavor to attain the constant habit of speaking to Jesus as a true-hearted man and a loving friend, telling Him the circumstances of your daily life according as they arise.
Let your duties be done for Jesus.
Let your sufferings be borne for Jesus.
Let your study be to learn more of Jesus.
Let your aim be to grow more like Jesus.
Let your one purpose ever be to please Jesus.
Live, looking into His face.
Live, sitting at His feet.
Live, walking by His side.
Live, leaning on His arm.
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You will find your chief foes
Guard against the natural temper and disposition of your mind, so that when evil within first manifests itself, it may at once be brought to Jesus.
You will find your chief foes more frequently within you than elsewhere. You will more often have need to ask Jesus to save you from, and help you against, yourself—than to save you from or help you against anything or anyone else.
But whatever the evil is, when it first shows itself, it must at once be taken to Jesus. The least evil is too strong for us successfully to overcome. We must at once tell Jesus about it. Delay is dangerous. Delay gives strength to the evil.
To seek to overcome in any other way, than by bringing it to Him, is simply to prepare the way to be overcome by the evil.
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True heart-experience is ever the result of true knowledge. Whenever the experience of the heart is not guided by a right understanding of God’s Word, it becomes dangerous and delusive both as regards the inner life and the daily walk.
Such persons are guided more by the promptings of their inward feelings, than by the simple Word of God. They too often mistake the impressions of a fervid imagination, and the feelings of an easily excited emotional nature—for the influences of the Holy Spirit within them.
The religion of the Gospel is the religion of sanctified common sense that can give a reason for things, because guided by the plain teachings of God’s Word. The exhortation of the Apostle to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” directs to a double growth:
1. Growth in grace, which is heart-growth.
2. Growth in knowledge, which is mind-growth.
The healthiness and correctness of the heart-growth depend greatly upon the healthiness and correctness of the mind-growth. This should lead us to great watchfulness and prayerfulness concerning what we hear and read, and how we hear and read; for errors clothed in the garb of truth have been a great hindrance and stumbling-block to multitudes.
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“This Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Hebrews 10:12
“This Man.” How the heart bounds with joy at the remembrance that the exalted and Holy One, who is now seated in the place of power, “the right hand of God,” ruling throughout all creation, is a real man, possessing a humanity like our own—body, soul, and mind. How much more real, more human, more tangible, heavenly things are—when we are conscious that at the head of all is “this Man,” Jesus; and that the Being whom angels worship and adore, and before whom they bow in loving submission, is the very one who dwelt a lowly one among men!
One with the Father as God—yet is He ever “this Man.” Little do we know how wonderfully His humanity was fashioned and mellowed by His many sufferings, and weaknesses, and sorrows, and pains, and persecutions—in order that He might the better sympathize with His people, and be the more consciously and really like unto His tried and suffering ones.
“This Man,” so loving, so gentle, so gracious, so kind, so humble-hearted, so tender in His sympathy, and faithful in His love, is ours—still our Shepherd, Friend, and Guide, our ever-gracious Sympathizer and ever-ready Helper.
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“From the fullness of His grace, we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:16
He is still the same, and in Him is . . .
all fullness for all our needs;
fullness of strength, for our weakness;
fullness of wisdom, for our ignorance;
fullness of joy, for our sorrow;
fullness of knowledge, for our perplexity.
Yes, a fullness of grace, for every duty, every trial, and every affliction.
The reason of so much of our spiritual weakness and soul-deadness is, because there is such a lack of a receiving disposition. “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.”
Oh for the humble, childlike, receiving heart, which, out of “His fulness”—the fullness of our Lord Jesus—is continually receiving “grace upon grace.”
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Those whom You have given Me
“I do not pray for the world, but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours; and all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine.” John 17:9
It is very comforting to think how peculiarly and wonderfully precious believers are to the Father and to the Son. We belong to the Father, and we belong to Jesus. The Father gave us to Jesus in covenant love, before He drew us to Jesus by constraining grace.
He gave us to Jesus, that we might be redeemed from eternal misery.
He gave us to Jesus, that we might be separated from the world.
He gave us to Jesus, that we might be preserved from the power of the evil one, and from the dominion of sin.
He gave us to Jesus, that we might be brought safely home at last, and presented unto Himself pure and beauteous in His own image!
Jesus loved the Father’s gift and received it joyfully at His hands, and undertook all responsibility for its full salvation, and for its well-being here, and glory hereafter. But, oh! at what a mighty cost, His lowly birth, His laborious life, His shameful death do testify.
How wonderful that the deep eternal love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, should be fixed on such as we are! No gift the Father could have bestowed was so much prized, so longed for by the Son, as the gift to Him of those for whom He died. Oh, then, with such a Jesus, and such a Father—all must be well, and all the experiences of time are but the secret whisperings of a love without beginning and without end.
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God forgets the sins of His people, but He never forgets them, nor their sorrows
“Many, O Lord my God, are Your thoughts to us.” Psalm 40:5
God’s thoughts are ever in a very special manner towards His tried ones:
thoughts of love;
thoughts of wisdom;
thoughts of gentleness;
thoughts of tenderness;
thoughts of blessing.
The believer’s thoughts may often wander from Him, but the Lord’s thoughts never wander from the believer. They are fixed thoughts, for He thinks always and with a loving remembrance of every need.
His thoughts towards them are many, reaching to the very least thing which has any relation to their well-being. God forgets the sins of His people, but He never forgets them, nor their sorrows. Why then should the child of God be anxious, or perplexed, or burdened, or disquieted, or cast down, when the Lord—so gracious, so tender-hearted, and so mighty—has so many and such loving thoughts towards Him!
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Thus the path of conscious weakness
“Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
How often the believer makes his weakness the excuse . . .
for non-success in resisting temptations and overcoming evil,
for breaking down under trial and difficulty,
for drawing back from active duty,
for shrinking from the solitary path of suffering.
Whereas it is only through conscious weakness he can succeed in anything, because human weakness is the channel through which divine power delights to manifest itself.
If believers were consciously weaker, they would be really stronger; even as the Apostle Paul says: “when I am weak, then am I strong.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” If he had not realized his own weakness, he would never have realized Christ as his strength, therefore he boasted in his infirmities, that Christ’s power might more fully rest upon him, and thus Christ’s name and grace be exalted.
The power of Christ rests upon weak ones, and rests most upon those who are most weak, and who, wisely knowing their weakness, look to Him.
“I can do nothing,” says the believer, thinking of himself.
“I can do all things,” says the believer, looking unto Jesus.
Thus the path of conscious weakness is to the soul that trusts in Jesus, the path of omnipotence.
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How little the believer knows the depth of evil within him!
“And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how He had said to him: Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times!” Luke 22:61
And yet Peter was truly sincere when he said to Jesus, “If I should die with You, I will never deny You!” But alas! Peter knew not himself when he thus spoke. If, instead of this self-confident language, he had sought help from his Lord and Master to enable him to stand firm in the hour of temptation, he would not have left such a sad instance of the depth of unfaithfulness and falsehood to which a disciple of Christ may fall, when left to endure temptation in his own strength.
What a warning is this for all believers, and how mistaken is he, who declares that it is impossible that he could ever be guilty of the viler, the fouler sins, the worst of the ungodly practice. Let such an one take heed, for he speaks as did Peter, and with a heart like Peter’s; and it may be, if this self-confidence continues, that the Lord will permit him, in chastisement and for discipline, to fall in the very way he thought the most impossible, even as He did with Peter.
How little the believer knows the depth of evil within him! The Lord Jesus knows it all, and yet it alters not His love, for that love has provided a sure remedy, and that remedy is Himself.
He walks most safely, who walks conscious that there is no evil into which he would not fall, but for the preserving grace of Christ. He only is truly strong, who is strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. “Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” “In me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing.” “Without Me you can do nothing”
The conscious need of the believer is one of his highest claims upon his Lord’s omnipotence. It is that experience of soul which most prevails with Jesus, and moves Him to send forth His choicest covenant blessings.
And so, O Lord! my prayer to You is, “Hold me up, and I shall be safe!” Psalm 119:117
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You are going home to Jesus!
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand!” Isaiah 41:10
True, the wilderness path is strange and trying, and you are weak and weary and can not see one step before you, but Jesus is with you. Look to Him, and fear not. The path is not strange to Him—He knows it well, and He is with you in it.
Do you say that it is a lonely path? But remember that He is with you, therefore you can never be alone, for He will never leave you. He knows that you are weary, but He is with you. Lean on Him—His arm is your support. Lean on it—lean hard—you can never weary Him, He is your everlasting strength.
Do you say that you meet with none who truly understand you, none who truly sympathize with you. But Jesus is with you. He understands you, He knows you—He knew you from eternity past. Before He created the world and all that is therein, your name was written in His book of life and engraved on His hands. He knows you and He knows the difficult path you take. He fashioned you, He called you His own, and planned this way that you should walk with Him therein, and learn how deep His sympathy and love are.
Do you look around, and do thoughts cause your tears to flow? But look to Him; He is with you, your joy, your light, your peace. Be of good cheer, “let not your heart be troubled.”
Remember, too, that you are going home! Every step shortens the homeward journey. In a very little while, and you will be home—home with Jesus—home forever!
You are now a traveler, a pilgrim—but you are going home to Jesus! There you will behold Him, be like Him, and share His glory forever and ever! Then fear not, for Jesus says:
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand!”
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One of their most marked peculiarities
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24, 25
True believers are a peculiar people in many ways. One of their most marked peculiarities is the constant presence of two opposing influences within them:
One of these influences moves them to desire earthly good as the chief end of life.
The other moves them to seek those things which are above, and to find the chief end of life in a growing intimacy with Christ, and in the consecration to Him of all that they are or have.
In every step in the inner life of grace the believer is sure to find a hindering influence in the consciousness and longings of his carnal and earthly nature. But if he is looking unto the Lord Jesus for strength, crying unto Him for help against the foe, while no encouragement is willingly allowed to sin, he will find that grace is given according to his need, and that the opposing influence of the earthly nature is not only overcome, but that it is overruled to work for his good, in bringing him nearer to Christ, and teaching him, more than ever, the all-sufficiency of His grace, and His readiness to help.
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“He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.” John 10:4
Child of God, that path is not untrodden into which your sometimes reluctant feet are guided. The good Shepherd goes before you. Jesus, the Father’s Shepherd over the Father’s sheep, knows every step. He sees every danger—the end as well as the beginning is marked out by Him. Therefore in that path, however trying and unexpected, all is, all will be well.
“He goes before them”—then looking to Him, they cannot go wrong. The path of duty is where He leads in His providence, and directs by His Word; for in His providence He gives the opportunities for action, and in His Word He gives the principles by which to act.
The path of duty is ever the path of safety, for there—and there only, “He goes before them.”
Why should the disciple fear and be dismayed, why be doubtful, and wavering, and discouraged? The path He points out, judged by sense and not by faith, may seem more difficult and more uncertain in its outcome, and be more opposed to his own wishes; but if it is the path of duty, it matters not how sure and desirable other ways may appear to be; in this and this only can it be said, “He goes before them,” and therefore in no other way but this can blessing be experienced, and blessing be the outcome.
The path may be dark and trying at the beginning, but it will be light and joyful at the end. Whereas, however light and joyful other ways may appear to be at the outset, there will be darkness and sorrow at the end, with the knowledge of time lost, and the right way to be sought at last amidst increasing difficulties. But even then the right way is well sought, though late and amidst increasing difficulties; for being at last the right one, He now goes before, and all is well.
It is better, however, never to go out of His way—so shall our joy abound, and our path ever be as the ways of pleasantness, and the paths of peace—for “He goes before.”
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28
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“Grow in grace.” 2 Peter 3:18
Believers can judge as to their growth by comparing their present experience with that of years ago, and considering whether the Lord Jesus is more a reality to them as their refuge, their friend, their helper, and their Lord. Also, whether there is a growing distaste for those things that hinder fellowship with Him, and a more ardent desire after whatever has been found helpful to growth in the knowledge of Him, and likeness to Him. Also, whether they are more self-distrustful, and more Christ-trustful, and more content with Him and His providential disposal of all things concerning them.
Spiritual growth, like physical growth, results from living upon suitable food, and avoiding whatever is injurious to health. To live to the pleasing of the flesh is always injurious to spiritual health; whereas, to live daily a life of faith upon Christ, seeking continually to be strong in the grace that is in Him, and to act in all things according to His Word, is the sure way to promote spiritual health and growth.
Growth downward into a deeper experience of spiritual things, in close heart-walk with the Lord Jesus—will result in a fuller manifestation of healthy fruit. A superficial rooting can never produce a very prosperous tree, though it may make a very showy appearance for a time.
In the Lord’s garden no two plants are alike—so many things exist to make each a special object with Him, that it is never well to judge ourselves in comparison with others.
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The ever-sympathizing, ever-loving Man; the ever-gracious, ever-loving God!
“I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever!” Revelation 1:18
He “was dead “—mark that. These words mean much—they tell you that Jesus as a man trod the path of earthly life, experiencing
its trials, its weaknesses,
its necessities, its sorrows,
and then—He died.
Oh, how well He understands what human life is, and how well able to sympathize with and support you, for remember He now lives, and lives forevermore—the ever-sympathizing, ever-loving Man; the ever-gracious, ever-loving God, in one person.
Be then of good cheer—nothing can do you harm since Jesus lives, for He is yours, and you are His.
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“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
Yet many believers are walking for the most part by sight and not by faith, very much to the discomfort of their souls, and to the hindrance of their growth in spiritual life and spiritual understanding.
But if they walked by faith in Christ, by faith in His watchful and constant care for them, and in the assurance that nothing can befall them but what His love and grace ordains, and did by faith walk with Him in the path He appoints—their hearts would be filled with confidence and peace.
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“My meditation of Him shall be sweet.” Psalm 104:34
A believer never need be without pleasant and sweet thoughts, if the Lord Jesus is the subject of his meditation.
How sweet to meditate on His everlasting love to His people—so astonishing, so fervent, so pure, so changeless.
How sweet to meditate on His unfailing faithfulness amidst all the ever changeful circumstances of life, and the too frequent changefulness of earthly friends.
How sweet to meditate on His life on earth, so gentle, so kind, so holy, so self-denying, so perfect as a servant in carrying out his Father’s eternal purposes of love in bringing many sons unto glory.
How sweet to meditate on His constant presence with His people, who laid down His life for them, and who watches over their every step, with a care and an interest far beyond that of any earthly mother for her only child.
How sweet to meditate on His second coming, when we shall see Him, and be made like Him, and realize the blessedness of being with the Lord forever!
How sweet to meditate on His eternal presence in the midst of the eternally loved family, in the glorious family home above—its leader, its teacher, its joy forever.
Truly my meditation of Him is sweet!
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The right thing is sure to be done at the right time, and in the right way!
“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious unto you.” Isaiah 30:18
The Lord Jesus is never in a hurry. However much unbelief may desire to hasten His hand—He still abides His own time. Omnipotence can afford to wait, because it is always sure of success; and when that omnipotence is combined with infinite love and wisdom, the right thing is sure to be done at the right time, and in the right way!
Sometimes the Lord waits until it is quite dark before He breaks forth in refreshing and delivering and directing light and grace. The dusk becomes more gloomy, and yet He waits. He waits to be gracious. He waits His own opportunity; and then, when twilight has ceased and it is night, when . . .
all plans are frustrated,
all hopes disappointed,
no help seems near,
and darkness thickens—
then He shines forth suddenly and gloriously, and there is light abundant. The deliverance is complete and the way made plain to the end.
Thus it is that patient perseverance in the path of duty, amidst many and great difficulties, often results through the Lord’s grace in more complete and unexpected success than could otherwise have been accomplished. Therefore, believer, do what you can, and when the right time comes the Lord’s hand will be manifest, for He “waits to be gracious unto you.”
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Deep love creates deep interest in the very least things that pertain to the object loved
“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30
How well He knows us!
How much He cares for us!
Deep love creates deep interest in the very least things that pertain to the object loved. Oh, what love is His! How deep is His interest in us, as the very hairs of our head are all numbered. As the all-seeing God, He knows everything everywhere; but He knows us and everything pertaining to us in a special, and particular, and gracious, and fatherly manner.
Two emphatic words here denote the particularity of the love, and the universality of its interest:
“Your” as distinct from those who are not His own.
“All,” as showing that not even a little one is unnoticed.
We, however, cease to wonder at our Father’s special and watchful care for us in little things, when we remember that He gave His Son, His only-begotten Son for us!
If such minute things as the hairs of our head are a special object of thought to Him—then how much more the varied things of daily life which have such an influence over our lives for good or evil. Let us then trust in Him at all times, and let our expectation be continually from Him.
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A heart experience of constant need continually and abundantly met by the fullness which is in Christ Jesus
“He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31
Those most glory in the Lord Jesus, who most make Him their all—for such find Him to be what they make Him, namely, their all.
Glorying in the Lord comes not from a mere intellectual knowledge of Him, but from a heart experience of constant need continually and abundantly met by the fullness which is in Christ Jesus.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and that heart which is filled with Christ will give forth, as from a living fountain, praise and glory to His most holy name.
Whatever hinders this glorying in the Lord is of the flesh; and no greater hindrance is there than being occupied with self in any of its various forms, such as . . .
self-vileness, or self-righteousness,
self-hardness, or self-obedience,
self-hating, or self-pleasing.
To a heart full of Christ, self is never a subject of consideration. Such a one is occupied with Christ, and looks at all things from the perspective of Christ, and evermore glories in Him, whatever be the path of providence into which He may lead His beloved one. “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
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The tighter they are grasped, the sooner they wither and perish
Closeness to Jesus, not only includes wider separation from everything that would draw us away from Him, but often an acquaintance with those things that make this world still more a wilderness than before.
When Jesus, however, really becomes all to the believer, life is such a very different thing. Then all earthly things, and earthly joys, even the most innocent and desirable—are held with a loose grasp; so that when it pleases Him to remove them, the already loosened grasp makes it easier to let them go. If the tear does fall, it is soon wiped away by His loving and gentle hand. If the heart does feel a wound, it is soon alleviated by Him who delights to comfort those who mourn, and to lift up those that be bowed down.
Earth’s fairest flowers should ever have Christ for their root. Severed from Him they soon lose their fragrance. The tighter they are grasped, the sooner they wither and perish, leaving nothing but thorns behind.
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A Christ to lean upon
“Return unto your rest, O my soul.” Psalm 116:7
We cannot ourselves decide what is best for our ultimate good, and it is therefore a comfort to know that we are in the hands of One who is as able as He is willing to decide for us.
It is certain that all His dealings with His people are but to make Himself more a necessity and a reality to them. This result is produced when physical weakness and perplexing circumstances make us more fully conscious of our complete inability to help ourselves.
Christ likes to be to His people, a Christ to lean upon. Not merely a Christ to be worshiped, a Christ to be followed, a Christ to be preached, but especially a Christ to be leaned upon. He is a Christ for weary and needy souls. This is His glory, and this is our blessing. Whatever therefore brings us nearer to Him as a helpful Christ, is a messenger of love.
When the Lord deals very specially with any child of His, bringing that child very low, He means that the result shall be special blessing. The voice of all His dealings with us is, “Come nearer to Me!” Did He not love us, He would not desire this.
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