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In Loving Memory of Vic

Find A Meeting

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 27

Just For Today
July 27
We Do Recover

“After coming to NA, we found ourselves among a very special group of people who have suffered like us and found recovery. In their experiences, freely shared, we found hope for ourselves. If the program worked for them, it would work for us.”
Basic Text, p.10

A newcomer walks into his or her first meeting, shaking and confused. People are milling about. Refreshments and literature are set out. The meeting starts after everyone has drifted over to their chairs and settled themselves in. After taking a bewildered glance at the odd assortment of folks in the room, the newcomer asks, “Why should I bet my life on this group? After all, they’re just a bunch of addicts like me.”

Though it may be true that not many of our members had much going for us when we got here, the newcomer soon learns that the way we are living today is what counts. Our meetings are filled with addicts whose lives have turned completely around. Against all odds, we are recovering. The newcomer can relate to where we’ve been and draw hope from where we are now. Today, every one of us has the opportunity to recover.

Yes, we can safely entrust our lives to our Higher Power and to Narcotics Anonymous. So long as we work the program, the payoff is certain: freedom from active addiction and a better way of life.

Just for today: The recovery I’ve found in Narcotics Anonymous is a sure thing. By basing my life on it, I know I will grow.

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Daily Reflections
July 27
GIVING FREELY

We will make every personal sacrifice necessary to insure the unity of Alcoholics Anonymous. We will do this because we have learned to love God and one another.
A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 234

To be self-supporting through my own contributions was never a strong characteristic during my days as a practicing alcoholic. The giving of time or money always demanded a price tag.  As a newcomer I was told “we have to give it away in order to keep it.” As I began to adopt the principals of Alcoholics Anonymous in my life, I soon found it was a privilege to give to the Fellowship as an expression of the gratitude felt in my heart. My love of God and of others became the motivating factor in my life, with no thought of return. I realize now that giving freely is God’s way of expressing Himself through me.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
July 27
A.A. Thought For The Day

To paraphrase the psalm: “We alcoholics declare the power of liquor and drunkenness showeth its handiwork. Day unto day uttereth hangovers and night unto night showeth suffering. The law of A.A. is perfect, converting the drunk. The testimony of A.A. is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of A.A. are right, rejoicing the heart.  The program of A.A. is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the first drink is clean, enduring forever.” Have I any doubt about the power of liquor?

Meditation For The Day

“Walk humbly with thy Lord.” Walking with God means practicing the presence of God in your daily affairs. It means asking God for strength to face each new day. It means turning to Him often during the day in prayer for yourself and for other people. It means thanking Him at night for the blessings you have received during the day.  Nothing can seriously upset you if you are “walking with God.” You can believe that He is beside you in spirit, to help you and to guide you on your way.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to walk humbly with God. I pray that I may turn to Him often as to a close friend.

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As Bill Sees It
July 27
Reason–a Bridge to Faith, p. 208

We were squarely confronted with the question of faith. We couldn’t duck the issue. Some of us had already walked along the bridge of reason toward the desired shore of faith, where friendly hands stretched out in welcome. We were grateful that reason had brought us so far. Perhaps we had been relying too heavily on reason that last mile, and we did not like to lose our support.

Yet, without knowing it, had we not been brought to where we stood by a certain kind of faith? For did we not believe in our own reasoning? Did we not have confidence in our ability to think? What was that but a sort of faith? Yes, we had been faithful to the god of reason. So, in one way or another, we discovered that faith had been involved all the time!

Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 53-54

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Walk In Dry Places
July 27
No tap dancing around problems.
Inventory

Our program calls for a “searching and fearless” moral inventory, not only in the beginning, but as we continue to follow our new way of life.

What this means is complete honesty about who and what we really are. We should not tap-dance around our problems in order to evade responsibility. This willnot bring the cleansing we need for real sober living. We need deep changes, not mere surface ones.

Difficult as it is to be fully honest, it’s made easier when we remind ourselves that it’s all for our own recovery. We benefit in proportion to the amount of honesty we bring to our inventory. If it’s searching and fearless, the results will be far-reaching and substantial.

I will not shirk from facing the truth about myself as I go through the day. What I need for self-improvement will be revealed to me.

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Keep It Simple
July 27

To enjoy freedom, we have to con troll ourselves.
Virginia Woolf

Freedom is a funny thing, in a way, it makes life harder. We are free to do what we want but every choice makes a difference in our lives. Some choices make us happy and some bring trouble.

We can make good choices. We can control our actions. We can start by having control in little ways: follow the law, pay the rent, and make the bed every day. These choices put order in our lives. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. These choices make us strong enough to live each day to the fullest.

These kinds of choices set us free.

Prayer for the day: Higher Power, I was drinking and drugging. I couldn’t enjoy my freedom. I had no control over the little things in my life. Help me stay sober today.

Action for the day: Today, I’ll be grateful for having some control. I will list five way I am more free because I can control my actions.

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Each Day a New Beginning
July 27

To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.
—Mother Teresa

Our spiritual nature must be nurtured. Prayer and meditation lovingly kindle the flame that guides us from within. Because we’re human, we often let the flame flicker and perhaps go out. And then we sense the dreaded aloneness. Fortunately, some time away, perhaps even a few moments in quiet communion with God, rekindles the flame.

For most of us, the flame burned low, or not at all, for many years. The flickering we may feel today, or tomorrow, or felt yesterday, will not last, so we may put away our fears. We can listen to the voice of our higher power in others. We can listen, too, as we carry the message. Prayer surrounds us every moment. We can fuel our inner flame with the messages received from others. We can let our spirit spring forth; let it warm our hearts and the hearts of others.

We each have a friend whose flame may be flickering today. I will help her and thus myself. A steady flame can rekindle one that’s flickering.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
July 27
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.

After this incident in 1940, I sought some other means of livelihood. I had a very good friend who was in the government service, and I went to him about a job. He got me one. I worked for the government about a year and still maintained my evening office practice when the government agencies were decentralized. Then I went south, because they told me that the particular county I was going to in North Carolina was a dry county. I thought that this would be a big help to me. I would meet some new faces and be in a dry county.

pp. 238-239

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
July 27

Step Twelve – “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Now, what about the rest of the Twelfth Step? The wonderful energy it releases and the eager action by which it carries our message to the next suffering alcoholic and which finally translates the Twelve Steps into action upon all our affairs is the payoff, the magnificent reality, of Alcoholics Anonymous.

p. 109

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Xtra Thoughts
July 27

Today, I will focus on practicing one recovery behavior on one of my issues, trusting that this practice will move me forward. I will remember that acceptance, gratitude, and detachment are a good place to begin.
–Melody Beattie

“God gives us abundance in all things, that we might use it on behalf of the healing of the world.”
–Marianne Williamson

“We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among those who don’t.”
–Frank A. Clark

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I
can change.”
–Carl Rogers

He that gives should never remember, he that receives should never forget.
–Talmud

“With every prayer and every thought of love, we release the light that will cast out darkness. One light alone seems small and weak, but no one’s light is ever alone, for all our lights are part of God.”
–Marianne Williamson

All time spent angry is time lost being happy.
– Mexican Proverb

Progress comes from caring more about what needs to be done than about who gets the credit.
–Dorothy Height

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
July 27
IDEAS

“Ideas shape the course of history.”
–John Maynard Keynes

I get so excited about my sobriety because it has given me ideas.  Today I can think, ponder and create. God is such a big idea today — every thing is involved.

For years I had made God a prisoner of the Church or an idea in history, but in my sobriety I have discovered Him in art, poetry, music and literature. God is found in friendship, advice, sharing and sexuality. God is forcibly experienced in nature, sunsets, animals and the sea.

God can be found through my failures. He is perceived in suffering, loneliness and resentments. The acknowledgment of my disease has brought me closer to God as I understand Him.

My idea of God is alive and it makes me want to live.

May my ideas and thoughts always reflect Your beauty.

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Bible Scriptures
July 27

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Psalms 16:11

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 73:26

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Daily Inspiration
July 27

Talents are not just artistic. They include the talent for compassion, care and for bringing harmony to our environment. Lord, help me to say the right words when what I say can make a helpful difference.

If we look to God for guidance, we will not be weighed down by the circumstances of our life. Lord, free me from the worries that come to distract me and keep me focused on that which is important.

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A Day At A Time
July 27

Reflection For The Day

Over and over, I see that those who make the best and steadiest progress in The Program are those who readily accept the help of a Higher Power.  Once they can do that, it’s easier for them to get out of their own way.  Their problems then seem to resolve themselves in a way that is beyond human understanding.  Do I realize that the effectiveness with which I use the consciousness of God in my daily life depends not on Him, but on me?

Today I Pray

May I know that my recovery and growth depends on my being in touch with my Higher Power, not just once in a while, but always.  It means turning to that Power several times a day to ask for strength and knowledge of his will.  When I understand that my own life is part of a Higher Plan, I will be less apt to trip and fall, head off in the wrong direction, or just to sit tight and let life pass me by.

Today I Will Remember

to be God-conscious.

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One More Day
July 27

One of the signs of maturity is a healthy respect for reality — a respect that manifests its4elf in the level of one’s aspirations and in the accuracy of one’s assessment of the difficulties which separate the facts of today from the bright hopes of tomorrow.
–  Robert H. Davies

If we don’t want to live our lives caught in the “what might have been” doldrums, we can assess where we are and how we happen to be here.  We can stop feeling regretful about lost t9ime and concentrate on the possibilities now.

If we haven’t achieved any of the goals we previously set for ourselves, we can make new goals and achieve each of them one step at a time.  We have the rest of our lives to live, and we can realistically shape new goals that are both challenging and reachable.

I will set realistic goals, realizing there is never a better time than now.

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One Day At A Time
July 27
SURRENDER

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
–Abraham Lincoln

More than seven years ago I weighed over 320 pounds and was living the painful life of a compulsive eater. Nothing I tried helped me to make lasting changes … until I began my recovery program. This healing process included Twelve Step recovery, therapy, and changing my life completely. I ended a long-term relationship and moved 2,300 miles away from all of my family and friends. I had no idea as to the extent of this journey I was beginning.

I’ve learned how ignorant I can be ~ and how wise I am. I’ve learned that humility is not humiliation ~ it is found by maintaining a willingness to learn. I’ve been taught how to walk through my fears. I’ve been shown that my HP and God are in all things ~ and that Spirit follows and supports me with each and every step I take. Some of those steps go forwards, some backwards … yet with each there is progress.

I’ve never forgotten the pain. Some days it’s very severe because I don’t have the food to numb it or to hide behind. Thanks to my program, I can always see hope and joy all around me now, even in the midst of pain.

I now weigh 220 pounds. Somehow I’ve lost 100 pounds of my old self and am beginning to see the new me. The new me is still losing weight. The new me is also incredibly beautiful, deserving, loving, and worthy … all things I thought I wasn’t. I’m slowly, gently, learning that with each day I live well … I AM WELL! I am only as happy as I am choosing to be.

One Day at a Time . . .
I pray for complete surrender.  I ask for patience, abstinence and peace.  I reflect on where I’ve come from, and remember to embrace the deepest gratitude for where I am now. Today I am well.

~ Melanie S.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day July 27

“Let us put our minds together as one.”
–Irving Powless, Sr., ONONDAGA

If we sat in a circle and put an object in the center of the circle and we all described what we saw, everyone would see different points of view from each other. Some would even see opposites because they would be sitting on opposite sides of the circle. In other words, you don’t have to see what I see for you to be right. In fact, everyone in the circle is right based on their own point of view. If we are willing to listen to everyone’s point of view, then we can get a more accurate description of the object in the center. This is one way to put our minds together. When we get the clarity from each other, we should give thanks and be grateful to each other.

Grandfathers from the four directions, guide me today with Your wisdom from the east, from the south, from the west and from the north.

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Journey To The Heart
July 27
Be Vulnerable with Yourself

As we go through our days, we meet many people. We learn it’s safe to be vulnerable with some, not so safe or wise to be vulnerable with others. But there is one person it’s always safe to be vulnerable with. Yourself.

Share your deepest secrets with yourself. Whether you rise early in the morning and write your thoughts in a journal or take a few moments throughout the day to bring your deepest secrets to consciousness, you need to be clear, straight, and honest with yourself. Harboring secrets, ducking, dodging, and hiding from the truth will slow you down. It will block the pathway to your heart. It can even stop you cold if you get enough secrets tucked away.

Take time each day to recognize what you think, what you feel. You don’t have to act. The sheer acts of recognition, honesty, and acceptance are all that are necessary to keep you moving, growing, going forward.

Be as vulnerable as you saflely can with those you meet along the way. But always be vulnerable with yourself.

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Today’s Gift
July 27

In summer I am very glad
We children are so small,
For we can see a thousand things
That men can’t see at all.
—Laurence Alma-Tadema

Out behind the house a little boy is turning over stepping-stones, which form the sidewalk. Underneath these stones he has discovered many different kinds of worms and bugs. They wiggle this way and that when their cover is removed. He is only four, but he is the only one in the family who has made this discovery.

In a child’s eyes there are many wonderful things, which escape the attention of the adult world. In order to see them, we must often take the time to let those younger than us show the way. Even though we may have lost our own childlike view of the world, others can guide us and thereby enrich our lives. We have much to teach and share with each other, regardless of our ages.

What can I learn from one younger than me today?

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The Language of Letting Go
July 27
Letting Go

Stop trying so hard to control things. It is not our job to control people, outcomes, circumstances, and life. Maybe in the past we couldn’t trust and let things happen. But we can now. The way life is unfolding is good. Let it unfold.

Stop trying so hard to do better, be better, and be more. Who we are and the way we do things is good enough for today.

Who we were and the way we did things yesterday was good enough for that day.

Ease up on ourselves. Let go. Stop trying so hard.

Today, I will let go. I will stop trying to control everything. I will stop trying to make myself be and do better, and I will let myself be.

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More Language Of Letting Go
July 27
Say how it feels intuitively

The first time intuition clonked me over the head is a story I’ve told many times in my writing. I was in treatment for chemical dependency at the time; I needed a job to get out. I had searched the ads and applied for every opportunity I thought I deserved. No job was too small, meager, or humble to overlook in the application process. No one wanted to hire me. I looked for weeks, months, without success.

One day, I was at the end of my resources. I was waiting for a bus to take me back to the hospital, where the treatment center was located, when a small voice in my heart urged, Look behind you. I did. I was standing in front of a bank. Next to it was a stairway leading to an attorney’s office, on the second floor.

Go upstairs and ask to talk to the head of the law firm. Tell him you want a job, were the words I heard next.

That’s crazy, I though. It doesn’t make any sense. But I did it anyway. That still, small voice kept urging me on. When I talked to the attorney, I told him where I lived and what was going on in my life. He said he understood; someone in his family had experienced problems with chemical dependency,too. Then he looked at me and said, “It’s funny you came in. I was thinking about creating a new position for a legal secretary in my office, but I haven’t gotten around to advertising yet.”

Two weeks later, he called me. I got the job. It was better than any I had applied for, it paid more, and it made the best possible use of the skills I possessed at that time.

We all have a special source of wisdom and guidance available to us, in times of trouble and in the day-to-day workings of our lives.

When faced with a dilemma, take a moment. Feel out the situation. Get out of your head. Make at least one decision intuitivley today.

God, help me trust my intuitive powers.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
July 27

You cannot get it by taking thought;
You cannot seek it by not taking thought.
—Zenrin poem

We are transported into unfamiliar worlds in this program by ideas that sometimes confound our mind. In the spiritual realms we learn things we didn’t learn anywhere else, and gradually they bring us peace. We can decide with our will to follow a spiritual direction, to turn our life and will over to the care of our God. We cannot control what God will do with them. When we learn that part of our problem was trying too hard, being too self sufficient, or being too controlling, our old ways tell us to try hard to control that. But then we are only doing more of the same old thing. We learn that after making our decision, our Higher Power takes over. Now it is possible to be released from our own trying, to move beyond our own efforts by falling into the caring hand of God.

I must give this program first priority in my life, remembering my spiritual progress comes as a gift, not as an achievement.

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Daily TAO
July 27
Essence

When admiring a painting,
Don’t examine the paint.
When meeting an artist,
Don’t look at the brush.

Searching for life in the mechanics of cells and molecules is like trying to appreciate a painting by analyzing the paint. It might be interesting in a narrow way, but the true point is to grasp the idea the painting conveys.

Why concern yourself exclusively with the mechanics of a situation? That is like seeking an artist’s genius in the brushes; it is the mind of the artist, not the tools, that is responsible for the beauty of a painting.

In the same way, the nature of life cannot be merely understood as the interplay of mechanistic forces. It may only be comprehended by taking in the essence behind the physics, chemistry, biology, math, and other scientific outlooks. All too frequently, we become so mesmerized by life’s details that we fail to comprehend the whole.

The essence of life shall never be known by a human being as long as that person seeks to observe life like viewer and subject. The absolutely essential nature of life can only be comprehended by merging fully with the flow of life, so that one is utterly a part of it.

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In God’s Care
July 27

True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one’s self, but the point is not only to get out – you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand.
~~Henry James

When we are down, when everything seems to be going wrong for us, that’s when we probably notice that for some time our attention has been on ourselves. We may be concentrating on what we want and how we’re not getting it. We might be thinking of all the ways we have been slighted or ignored or rejected, and be keeping score.

It’s trite to say that we can get out of this painful self-absorption only by helping someone else, but it’s true. Helping others is a way to help ourselves. It is a spiritual principle, and our program is based on this principle of love for one another.

    I will remember that happiness may be found in getting out of myself.

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Day By Day
July 27
Making progress

As addicts, we have a disease, as recovering addicts it is important for us to recognize that we are getting better. It is exciting and encouraging to see how we are changing.

We are sick, but we are getting better. For example, it used to be that every time something went wrong, we had to run; now we just want to run. The running feeling is still there, but we now have a choice. Later, by the grace of God, we may not even want to run.

Can I see the progress I am making?

    Higher Power, while I know there is always room for improvement, help me see the progress I have already made.

    I will seek to improve myself today by…

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Food for Thought
July 27
OA Unity

When we come into OA, we are amazed to find so many other people with the same problems and difficulties. We are even more amazed at the stories we hear of the successful solution of these problems, which have defeated us for so long.

We are united in our common illness – compulsive overeating – and we are united in our common program of recovery – abstinence and the Twelve Steps. What we could not accomplish alone, by our own efforts, becomes possible through the strength of the group and the Higher Power.

Each of us is responsible for the life of OA. We each have a role to play and an area in which to serve. If we do not do our part, the organization as a whole is weakened. By our service to the common goals, our own program is strengthened. “Letting someone else do it” will not work. Saying yes when there is a job that I can do is what maintains OA unity and my own recovery.

May I contribute to OA unity.

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DailyZen
July 27

One who wishes to know that all dharmas are equally comprised in the dharmadhatu, and thereby to free his mind from all obstructions, should learn the paramita of wisdom.

One who wishes to extend kindness to all sentient beings without restriction and without entertaining any notion of sentient beings should learn the paramita of wisdom.

One who wishes to know right from wrong, to obtain the ten powers and the four fearlessnesses, to abide in the Buddha’s wisdom, and to acquire unimpeded eloquence should learn the paramita of wisdom.

– Perfection of Wisdom

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Faith’s Check Book
July 27
More than Mere Words

I wilt give you the sure mercies of David.
(Acts 13:34)

Nothing of man is sure; but everything of God is so. Especially are covenant mercies sure mercies, even as David said “an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.”

We are sure that the Lord meant His mercy. He did not speak mere wards: there is substance and truth in every one of His promises. His mercies are mercies indeed. Even if a promise seems as if it must drop through by reason of death, yet it never shall, for the good Lord will make good His word.

We are sure that the Lord will bestow promised mercies on all His covenanted ones. They shall come in due course to all the chosen of the Lord. They are sure to all the seed, from the least of them unto the greatest of them. We are sure that the Lord will continue His mercies to His own people. He does not give and take. What He has granted us is the token of much more. That which we have not yet received is as sure as that which has already come; therefore, let us wait before the Lord and be still. There is no justifiable reason for the least doubt. God’s love, and word, and faithfulness are sure. Many things are questionable, but of the Lord we sing—

For his mercies shall endure

Ever faithful, ever sure.

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This Morning’s Meditation
July 27

“Exceeding great and precious promises.”
—2 Peter 1:4.

IF you would know experimentally the preciousness of the promises, and enjoy them in your own heart, meditate much upon them. There are promises which are like grapes in the wine-press; if you will tread them the juice will flow. Thinking over the hallowed words will often be the prelude to their fulfillment. While you are musing upon them, the boon which you are seeking will insensibly come to you. Many a Christian who has thirsted for the promise has found the favour which it ensured gently distilling into his soul even while he has been considering the divine record; and he has rejoiced that ever he was led to lay the promise near his heart.

But besides meditating upon the promises, seek in thy soul to receive them as being the very words of God. Speak to thy soul thus, “If I were dealing with a man’s promise, I should carefully consider the ability and the character of the man who had covenanted with me. So with the promise of God; my eye must not be so much fixed upon the greatness of the mercy—that may stagger me; as upon the greatness of the promiser—that will cheer me. My soul, it is God, even thy God, God that cannot lie, who speaks to thee. This word of His which thou art now considering is as true as His own existence. He is a God unchangeable. He has not altered the thing which has gone out of His mouth, nor called back one single consolatory sentence. Nor doth He lack any power; it is the God that made the heavens and the earth who has spoken thus. Nor can He fail in wisdom as to the time when He will bestow the favours, for He knoweth when it is best to give and when better to withhold. Therefore, seeing that it is the word of a God so true, so immutable, so powerful, so wise, I will and must believe the promise.” If we thus meditate upon the promises, and consider the Promiser, we shall experience their sweetness, and obtain their fulfillment.

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This Evening’s Meditation
July 27

“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?”
—Romans 8:33.

OST blessed challenge! How unanswerable it is! Every sin of the elect was laid upon the great Champion of our salvation, and by the atonement carried away. There is no sin in God’s book against His people: He seeth no sin in Jacob, neither iniquity in Israel; they are justified in Christ for ever. When the guilt of sin was taken away, the punishment of sin was removed. For the Christian there is no stroke from God’s angry hand—nay, not so much as a single frown of punitive justice. The believer may be chastised by his Father, but God the Judge has nothing to say to the Christian, except “I have absolved thee: thou art acquitted.” For the Christian there is no penal death in this world, much less any second death. He is completely freed from all the punishment as well as the guilt of sin, and the power of sin is removed too. It may stand in our way, and agitate us with perpetual warfare; but sin is a conquered foe to every soul in union with Jesus. There is no sin which a Christian cannot overcome if he will only rely upon his God to do it. They who wear the white robe in heaven overcame through the blood of the Lamb, and we may do the same. No lust is too mighty, no besetting sin too strongly entrenched; we can overcome through the power of Christ. Do believe it, Christian, that thy sin is a condemned thing. It may kick and struggle, but it is doomed to die. God has written condemnation across its brow. Christ has crucified it, “nailing it to His cross.” Go now and mortify it, and the Lord help you to live to His praise, for sin with all its guilt, shame, and fear, is gone.

“Here’s pardon for transgressions past,
It matters not how black their cast;
And, O my soul, with wonder view,
For sins to come here’s pardon too.”

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