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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – July 20, 2014

Just For Today
July 20, 2014
Step 0ne

“We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”
Step One

The First Step begins with “we,” and there’s a reason for that. There is great strength in making a verbal admission of our powerlessness. And when we go to meetings and make this admission, we gain more than personal strength. We become members, part of a collective “we” that allows us, together, to recover from our addiction. With membership in NA comes a wealth of experience: the experience of other addicts who have found a way to recover from their disease.

No longer must we try to solve the puzzle of our addiction on our own. When we honestly admit our powerlessness over our addiction, we can begin the search for a better way to live. We won’t be searching alone – we’re in good company.

Just for today: I will start the day with an admission of my powerlessness over addiction. I will remind myself that the First Step starts with “we,” and know that I never have to be alone with my disease again.

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Daily Reflections
July 20, 2014
SHORTCOMINGS REMOVED

But now the words “Of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works” began to carry bright promise and meaning.
12 & 12, p. 75

When I put the Seventh Step into action I must remember that there are no blanks to fill in. It doesn’t say, “Humbly asked Him to (fill in the blank) remove our shortcomings.” For years I filled in the imaginary blank with “Help me!” “Give me the courage to,” and “Give me the strength,” etc. The Step says simply that God will remove my shortcomings. The only footwork I must do is “humbly ask,” which for me means asking with the knowledge that of myself I am nothing, the Father within “doeth the works.”

I thank my Higher Power for letting me know that He works through other people, and I thank Him for our trusted servants in the Fellowship who aid new members to reject their false ideals and to adopt those which lead to a life of compassion and trust. The elders in A.A. challenge the newcomers to “Come To”–so that they can “Come to Believe.” I ask my Higher Power to help my unbelief.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 20, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

We must be loyal to the group and to each member of it. We must never accuse members behind their backs or even to their faces.  It’s up to them to tell us themselves if anything is wrong. More than that, we must try not to think bad things about any members, because if we do, we’re consciously or unconsciously hurting that person. We must be loyal to each other if A.A. is going to be successful. While we’re on this lifeboat, trying to save ourselves and each other from alcoholism, we must be truly and sincerely helpful to each other. Am I a loyal member of my group?

Meditation For The Day

Carry out God’s guidance as best you can. Leave the results to Him.  Do this obediently and faithfully with no question that if the working out of the guidance is left in God’s hands, the results will be all right. Believe that the guidance God gives you has already been worked out by God to produce the required results according to your case and in your circumstances. So follow God’s guidance according to your conscience. God has knowledge of your individual life and character, your capabilities and your weaknesses.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may live according to the dictates of my conscience. I pray that I may leave the results to God.

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As Bill Sees It
July 20, 2014
Unlimited Choice, p. 201

Any number of alcoholics are bedeviled by the dire conviction that if they ever go near A.A. they will be pressured to conform to some particular brand of faith or theology.

They just don’t realize that faith is never an imperative for A.A. membership. that sobriety can be achieved with an easily acceptable minimum of it, and that our concepts of a Higher Power and God–as we understand Him–afford everyone a nearly unlimited choice of spiritual belief and action.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

In talking to a prospect, stress the spiritual feature freely. If the man be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that he does not have to agree with your conception of God. He can choose any conception he likes, provided it makes sense to him.

The main thing is that he is willing to believe in a Power greater than himself and that he live by spiritual principles.

1. Grapevine, April 1961
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 93

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Walk In Dry Places
July 20, 2014
Spiritual guidance.

If we go through the day with a confidence that our Higher Power is with us, events will go better than they would if we hadn’t held to this belief. We will be more effective in everything we do. We will actually have more power in all activities.

This is what is meant in the Eleventh Step; “the power to carry that out.” Knowing that the Higher power is in our lives, we also find the power to do what we believe to be God’s will for us. As this confidence strengthens and is seasoned by experience, it becomes part of our nature.

Eventually, we’ll sense our Higher Power working in our lives. We can learn to accept this with the same sure belief that we accept the sun’s rising and the changing of the seasons. And we’ll have the power to do whatever must be done by us.

A conscious contact with God can raise my daily activities to higher levels, giving me the power of achievement.

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Keep It Simple
July 20, 2014

Living so fully. I can’t image what any drug would do for me.
—Joan Baez

When we were using alcohol and other drugs, our lives kept getting emptier. We tired to keep new things out of our lives. We were scared and tired. We saw feelings as bad. So we got high instead of feeling them.

Now we can live fully every day. We don’t want to block our feelings. We aren’t afraid to opening up to new things and people.

And the more we open up, the happier we are. Our feelings are free. They bounce around. They don’t get stuck. We feel alive. Sure, we feel pain and fear sometimes. But we feel joy, love, and laughter too. And, more and more often, we feel alive.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, please help me live fully today. Help me notice my feelings.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list five things I’ve enjoyed in the last twenty-four hours.

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 20, 2014

It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our Creator – very self-consciousness – also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures.
—Annie Dillard

Getting outside of ourselves, moving beyond our own egos, opens the door to real communication with the people we’ll meet today. We have to learn to look with loving appreciation into the soul of that person or child who stands before us. We have to practice being concerned with their needs before our own, and in time our concern will be genuine. The separation between us will exist no more.

This division from others, the barrier that keeps us apart, comes from our individual insecurities. We have grown accustomed to the quick comparisons of ourselves with those we meet. Either inferior or superior we determine them to be, and thus ourselves. Whatever gifts we have to offer each other are left unwrapped, at least for now.

Let’s come together, truly together, with someone we’ve been holding off until now. We can trust that the people who have come into our lives are there by design. We are equal to them, and they to us. We need what they have to offer us, and their growth needs our gifts, too.

I will appreciate the design of my life today. I will draw myself close to the day.

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Alcoholics Anonymous 
July 20, 2014
Jim’s Story

This physician, one of the earliest members of A.A.’s first black group, tells of how freedom came as he worked among his people.

I went to elementary and high school in Washington, D.C., and then to Howard University. My internship was in Washington. I never had too much trouble in school. I was wable to get my work out. All my troubles arose when I was thrown socially among groups of people. As far as school was concerned, I made fair good grades throughout.

p. 235

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 20, 2014

Step Eleven – “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. We no longer live in a completely hostile world. We are no longer lost and frightened and purposeless. The moment we catch even a glimpse of God’s will, the moment we begin to see truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs. We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter.

p. 105

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Xtra Thoughts
July 20, 2014

Truth gives a short answer; lies go round about.
–German Proverb

People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change. They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualize in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life’s circumstances to push them down and hold them under.
–Charles Swindoll

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
–Mahatma Gandhi

He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven.
–George Herbert

One doesn’t recognize in one’s life the really important moments…. not until it’s too late.
–Agatha Christie

We can’t all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
–Will Rogers

Man is a creature whose substance is faith. What his faith is, he is.
–Bhagavad Gita

“Learn to see in another’s calamity the ills which you should avoid.”
–Publius Syrus

………… that is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.
–Doris Lessing

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 20, 2014
WORRY

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.”
–Winston Churchill

I know I can worry myself into the grave. I can project an incident into a calamity. I can make mountains out of molehills.

I worried about what people meant by what they said; I always looked for a hidden criticism; I worried about what people did not say; I worried about what people were thinking or were going to do or were plotting. If I had nothing to worry about, then I worried because I felt I should have something to worry about! I created most of the worry in my life.

Today I have a program that helps me deal with this. Of course I still worry, but I have a “checklist” that keeps me sane and allows me to laugh at the insanity of my projections. Today the worry in my life is less destructive and negative.

Let me bring my worry to You in prayer. Then let me sleep!

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Bible Scriptures
July 20, 2014

“Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord Himself is God in Heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.”
Deuteronomy 4:39

I cling to you, and your hand keeps me safe.
Psalm 63:8

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Daily Inspiration
July 20, 2014

Place yourself in God’s hands first thing in the morning so that your entire day will be in His care. Lord, may my prayer and my attitude be one so that my relationship with You never becomes casual.

As we help those in need or comfort those in trouble, God’s great love and divine glory is revealed to the world. Lord, I am Your servant. May others know more of You through me.

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A Day At A Time
July 20, 2014

Reflection For The Day

“It is the privilege of wisdom to listen,”  Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote.  If I try as hard as I can to cultivate the art of listening — uncritically and without making premature judgments — chances are great that I’ll progress more rapidly in my recovery.  If I try as hard as I can to listen to the feelings and thoughts expressed — rather than to the “speaker”  — I may be blessed with an unexpectedly helpful idea.  The essential quality of good listening is humility, which reflects the fact that God’s voice speaks to us even through the least of most inarticulate of His children.  Does a holier-than-thou attitude sometimes close my mind to the shared suggestions of others?

Today I Pray

May my Higher Power keep me from being “holier-than-thou” with anyone whose manner or language or opposite point of view or apparent lack of knowledge turns me off to what they are saying.  May I be listening always for the voice of God, which can be heard through the speech of any one of us.

Today I Will Remember

Hear the speech, not the speaker.

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One More Day
July 20, 2014

We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.
–  John F. Kennedy

Regardless of our situation, we all need to hope.  When we were young we were in a hurry all the time.  Every problem needed a quick solution.  And our anticipated futures were completely untarnished by adult viewpoints.

Sometimes, what we mislabel as a fear of dying might really be regret that we haven’t led a full enough life.  We know now what is reasonable and what i snot.  We understand where we are in our lives and accept that ideal situations may not come to pass.  We have learned that we must come to terms with who we are and what we can do.  We have learned that we are okay just as we are today.

I have come to terms with where I am in my life.  My fears will not hold me back anymore.

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One Day At A Time
July 20, 2014
BEFORE AND AFTER

“The Light of God surrounds me.
The Love of God enfolds me.
The Power of God protects me.
The Presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is … and all is well.”
–James Dillet Freeman

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was walking in darkness.
Now God’s Light is all around me.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was lonely and felt no one cared.
Now I’m enveloped in God’s love.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, my life was out of control.
Now God is the Higher Power in my life.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was lost in my disease of compulsion.
Now God looks out for me.

Before I found the Twelve Steps, I was isolated and alone.
Now anywhere I go, I know I don’t go there by myself …
for God is with me.

One Day at a Time . . .
I remember that wherever I am, God is …  And all is well.

~ Jeff

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day July 20

“When you begin a great work you can’t expect to finish it all at once; therefore, you and your brothers press on and let nothing discourage you until you have entirely finished what you have begun.”
–Teedyuschung, DELAWARE

All things have their seasons. All thoughts are real. We must think to cause action and each action creates results. Big visions require many thoughts. It takes a series of thoughts to create a series of actions. A series of actions creates a series of results. These results are what makes vision become real. If we are here to serve the Creator then we can expect to be accomplishing big visions. How do we do this? One step at a time.

Let me focus on what needs to be done today. Give me clear thoughts to accomplish the results that you, my Creator, would have me accomplish.

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Journey To The Heart
July 20, 2014
Value Your Connection to Creativity

For years, I had been storing my son’s clothing, some of his favorite articles, in boxes in the garage. I didn’t want to let go of the clothes, yet I had no use for them. One day an idea came. I was talking to a woman enthralled with quilting, with fabrics, textures, and the art of creating quilts. She was talking about how she was making a quilt out of her family’s old blue jeans, because it created a use for the fabric and gave them a blanket that held the energy and memory of their experiences. It wasn’t just a quilt. It became a special comfort quilt because of the energy the fabrics held.

That’s when the idea came. My son had died years ago. His physical presence was no longer here. But the clothes held the memories of his physical presence and the energy of his spiritual presence. I could make them into a quilt, one that would cherish his memory and give me comfort.

How do we get our ideas? From other people. From certain triggers in the world, the universe. From our imagination. We are connected to creativity. It’s a force in the universe, an energy that runs through us. If we’re connected to ourselves, our intuition will guide us to what to do and when to do it. If we love ourselves enough to act confidently and joyfully on that guidance.

Value your connection with creativity. Embrace your imagination. The universe will show you how, teach you how, help you along the way.

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Today’s Gift
July 20, 2014

It is terribly amusing how many different climates of feeling one can go through in a day.
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

When we travel by canoe down a river we can notice the changes that take place. In one spot the river is wide and the water moves slowly. Around the next bend the river narrows and the current speeds up. Ahead of us we see rapids waiting to test our skill.

Our feelings can also change as quickly as the river. We may have times in our day when we feel good about ourselves. Then, all of a sudden, someone may tease us about something. We begin to feel like the scared canoeist shooting the rapids for the first time. How wonderful it is to know that we are never given a test we can’t handle, that everything that happens in our lives is for the sake of our growth, and that we are watched over at all times by God.

How can I use today’s obstacles for my own growth?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 20, 2014
Letting Go of Resistance

Do not be in such a hurry to move on.

Relax. Breathe deeply. Be. Be in harmony today.

Be open. There is beauty around and in us today. There is purpose and meaning in today.

There is importance in today – not so much in what happens to us, but in how we respond.

Let today happen. We learn our lessons, we work things out, we change in a simple fashion: by living our life fully today.

Do not worry about tomorrow’s feelings, problems, or gifts. Do not worry about whether we can trust life, our Higher Power, or ourselves tomorrow.

Everything we need today shall be given to us. That is a promise – from God, from the Universe.

Feel today’s feelings. Solve today’s problems. Enjoy today’s gifts. Trust yourself, life, and your Higher Power today.

Acquire the art of living fully today. Absorb the lessons, the healing, the beauty, the love available to us today.

Do not be in such a rush to move on. There is no hurry. We cannot escape, we only postpone. Let the feelings go, breathe in peace and healing.

Do not be in such a hurry to move on.

Today, I will not run from my circumstances, my feelings, or myself. I will be open to others, Higher Power, my life, and myself. I will trust that by facing today to the best of my ability, I will acquire the skills I need to face tomorrow.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 20, 2014
Take down those walls

Frank was a happily married man, or so he thought. Then one day, his wife of ten years came home and told him that she didn’t feel like being married anymore. “I love you. I’m just not in love with you,” she said, walking out the door.

Frank was devastated. He got mad at his wife, mad at his church, and mad at God. He got mad, and he stayed that way. He fumed and generalized. He decided that all women must be this way and sooner or later anyone who got too close would hurt him.

Many of us experience hurt in life. It comes with the game.

It’s okay to hurt, to be angry, even to be bitter for a while. But no one is interested in hearing our lost love story ten years after it happened.

We even get sick of hearing it, ourselves.

Sometimes it’s time to nurture our pain. Sometimes it’s time to get over it and get back in the game.

We all fall. Most people change their minds. We all make mistakes.

We don’t have to let a bad experience in life prevent us from having positive experiences in the future. Walls are indiscriminate. While they may protect us from being hurt again, they’ll also prevent us from experiencing joy.

God, help me let go of self-sabotaging attitudes formed in a moment of hurt. Open me to the beauty that awaits when I approach life with an open heart.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 20, 2014

Without solitude there can be no real people…. The measure of your solitude is the measure of your capacity/or communion.
—John Eudes

If we listen in those moments when we hear a message from ourselves, we become true men – real human beings. The message comes in our solitude, when our defenses against truth are set aside. It comes popping out without our planning it. Our solitude is a relationship with ourselves, and it might occur in silent meditation, or driving down the street, or during a dinner conversation. The message might be a painful truth like, “You just acted like a small child,” or a frightening fact like, “You are deeply loved by another person.”

Letting another person know what messages we are getting in solitude helps us deal with the messages. As we accept our imperfections and make peace with ourselves, we increase our sense of solitude. We become real men, full partners in relationships and in our communities.

Today, I will welcome solitude. When the messages from myself are painful or frightening, I will be gentle with myself.

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Daily TAO
July 20, 2014
Appearances

      Some look fierce, but are mild.
      Some seem timid, but are vicious.
      Look beyond appearances;
      Position yourself for the advantage.

Without experience, we are easily fooled by appearances. A large man speaks loudly, so we judge him crass and belligerent, but he may turn out to be quite kind. If we approach him defensively, we may not notice his good points. On the other hand, when we meet a petite and quiet woman, we may become complacent in our attitude. If she turns out to be a treacherous person, our laxity contributes to our victimization.

Sometimes people are exactly as they appear. Other times, they are only showing camouflage.

Humans, like animals, have different strategies for survival. Coloring, movement, scent, and so on are all ways in which animals practice deception. People are no different. They promise a great many things, but they seldom come through. They proclaim lifelong friendships, and yet they never return again. They promise you many things, but they are only looking for a way to take advantage of you. We must learn to clearly discern the personalities of others in spite of the facades they project.

Position yourself in the most advantageous way at all times. Use experience to pierce the trickery of others. That is the right way to cope with appearances.

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In God’s Care
July 20, 2014

The answer to personality problems is found in a quiet return to Godlike thinking.
~~Science of Mind, magazine

When we’re edgy and critical or perhaps feeling inadequate or depressed, we’ve lost our attunement with God. And when acting the way God would have us act is no longer our priority, our character defects once again emerge and, in time, grow ever more numerous.

We can make the simple decision to always check out our proposed behavior against the behavior we know is from God. When we remember to think of God first before proceeding, we avoid unnecessary conflicts; we refrain from consciously hurting anyone; we manage to take our experiences restfully, moment by moment.

There’s really no mystery to having a rewarding and peaceful life. Those we notice who do, have likely made a more frequent companion of God than we. The decision to work more on our own friendship with God is an easy one to make.

    I will act according to God’s wishes today and in the process, strengthen our friendship.

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Day By Day
July 20, 2014
    Making a decision

We made a decision, a decision to try this program because all else had failed. (We still doubted it would work, but we were desperate.) This decision was made mostly on hope and a belief. At first, it did not reflect belief in a Higher Power but belief in other people.

When we make a decision to do whatever is necessary, our belief can grow. It can grow to a point where no power on earth can shake our foundation. And from this foundation we can, in turn, offer hope to others in need. We can plant in them the same seeds of belief that made it possible for us to be clean and sober.

Is my belief growing?

    Higher Power, help me stay strong in the program and help others who need to establish roots.

    Today I will renew my commitment to the program and its members by

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Food for Thought
July 20, 2014
Turning Toward the Light

Plants, as they grow, automatically turn toward the light. People can choose between light or darkness. The OA program is available to us, but we may choose whether or not we will follow it. Our Higher Power is also available to us, if we choose to seek His will.

Before we found OA, we wandered around in the darkness of compulsive overeating. Now that we see glimmers of light, we need to turn ourselves in the direction from which the light is coming. Working the program requires taking the time and effort to change our routine. The light is here, but we need to turn away from darkness and open ourselves to it.

As we examine ourselves in the light that comes from our Higher Power through OA, we begin to see more clearly where we should make changes and how we may find health and peace.

Grant us grace to turn toward Your light.

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DailyZen
July 20, 2014

Bring to rest the thoughts of the ceaselessly seeking mind, and you’ll not differ from the Patriarch-Buddha. Do you want to know the Buddha?

He is none other than you who stand before me listening to my discourse. Since you students lack faith in yourselves, you run around seeking something outside.

Even if through seeking you find something, that something will be nothing more than elaborate descriptions in written words; in the end you will fail to gain the mind of the Living Patriarch.

Make no mistake, worthy Ch’an practitioners! If you don’t meet the Buddha here and now, you’ll go on transmigrating through the three realms for myriads of kalpas and thousands of lives, and held in the clutch of agreeable circumstance, be born in the womb of as ass or cow.

– Lin-chi Hui-chao

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Faith’s Check Book
July 20, 2014

Looking for Him

Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
(Hebrews 9:28)

This is our hope. He to whom we have already looked as coming once to bear the sins of many will have another manifestation to the sons of men; this is a happy prospect in itself. But that second appearing has certain peculiar marks which glorify it exceedingly.

Our Lord will have ended the business of sin. He has so taken it away from His people and so effectually borne its penalty that He will have nothing to do with it at His second coming. He will present no sin offering, for He will have utterly put sin away.

Our Lord will then complete the salvation of His people. They will be finally and perfectly saved and will in every respect enjoy the fullness of that salvation. He comes not to bear the result of our transgressions but to bring the result of His obedience; not to remove our condemnation but to perfect our salvation.

Our Lord thus appears only to those who look for Him. He will not be seen in this character by men whose eyes are blinded with self and sin. To them He will be a terrible Judge and nothing more. We must first look to Him and then look for Him; and in both cases our look shall be life.

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 20, 2014

“The earnest of our inheritance.”
—Ephesians 1:14.

OH! what enlightenment, what joys, what consolation, what delight of heart is experienced by that man who has learned to feed on Jesus, and on Jesus alone. Yet the realization which we have of Christ’s preciousness is, in this life, imperfect at the best. As an old writer says, “‘Tis but a taste!” We have tasted “that the Lord is gracious,” but we do not yet know how good and gracious He is, although what we know of His sweetness makes us long for more. We have enjoyed the firstfruits of the Spirit, and they have set us hungering and thirsting for the fulness of the heavenly vintage. We groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption. Here we are like Israel in the wilderness, who had but one cluster from Eshcol, there we shall be in the vineyard. Here we see the manna falling small, like coriander seed, but there shall we eat the bread of heaven and the old corn of the kingdom. We are but beginners now in spiritual education; for although we have learned the first letters of the alphabet, we cannot read words yet, much less can we put sentences together; but as one says, “He that has been in heaven but five minutes, knows more than the general assembly of divines on earth.” We have many ungratified desires at present, but soon every wish shall be satisfied; and all our powers shall find the sweetest employment in that eternal world of joy. O Christian, antedate heaven for a few years. Within a very little time thou shalt be rid of all thy trials and thy troubles. Thine eyes now suffused with tears shall weep no longer. Thou shalt gaze in ineffable rapture upon the splendour of Him who sits upon the throne. Nay, more, upon His throne shalt thou sit. The triumph of His glory shall be shared by thee; His crown, His joy, His paradise, these shall be thine, and thou shalt be co-heir with Him who is the heir of all things.

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This Evening’s Meditation
July 20, 2014

“And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor?”
—Jeremiah 2:18.

Y sundry miracles, by divers mercies, by strange deliverances Jehovah had proved Himself to be worthy of Israel’s trust. Yet they broke down the hedges with which God had enclosed them as a sacred garden; they forsook their own true and living God, and followed after false gods. Constantly did the Lord reprove them for this infatuation, and our text contains one instance of God’s expostulating with them, “What hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of the muddy river?”—for so it may be translated. “Why dost thou wander afar and leave thine own cool stream from Lebanon? Why dost thou forsake Jerusalem to turn aside to Noph and to Tahapanes? Why art thou so strangely set on mischief, that thou canst not be content with the good and healthful, but wouldst follow after that which is evil and deceitful?” Is there not here a word of expostulation and warning to the Christian? O true believer, called by grace and washed in the precious blood of Jesus, thou hast tasted of better drink than the muddy river of this world’s pleasure can give thee; thou hast had fellowship with Christ; thou hast obtained the joy of seeing Jesus, and leaning thine head upon His bosom. Do the trifles, the songs, the honours, the merriment of this earth content thee after that? Hast thou eaten the bread of angels, and canst thou live on husks? Good Rutherford once said, “I have tasted of Christ’s own manna, and it hath put my mouth out of taste for the brown bread of this world’s joys.” Methinks it should be so with thee. If thou art wandering after the waters of Egypt, O return quickly to the one living fountain: the waters of Sihor may be sweet to the Egyptians, but they will prove only bitterness to thee. What hast thou to do with them? Jesus asks thee this question this evening—what wilt thou answer Him?

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