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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – March 11

Just For Today
March 11
Lightening The Load

“It will not make us better people to judge the faults of another It will make us feel better to clean up our lives.”
Basic Text, p. 37

Sometimes we need something tangible to help us understand what holding a resentment is doing to us. We may not be aware of how destructive resentments actually are. We think, “So what, I have a right to be angry;” or, “I might be nursing a grudge or two, but I don’t see the harm.”

To see more clearly the effect that holding resentments is having in our lives, we might try imagining that we are carrying a rock for each resentment. A small grudge, such as anger at someone driving badly, might be represented by a pebble. Harboring ill will toward an entire group of people might be represented by a enormous boulder. If we actually had to carry stones for each resentment, we would surely tire of the weight. In fact, the more cumbersome our burden, the more sincere our efforts to unload it would be.

The weight of our resentments hinders our spiritual development. If we truly desire freedom, we will seek to rid ourselves of as much extra weight as possible. As we lighten up, we’ll notice an increased ability to forgive our fellow human beings for their mistakes, and to forgive ourselves for our own. We’ll nourish our spirits with good thoughts, kind words, and service to others.

Just for today: I will seek to have the burden of resentments removed from my spirit.

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Daily Reflections
March 11
GOOD ORDERLY DIRECTION

It is when we try to make our will conform with God’s that we begin to use it rightly. To all of us, this was a most wonderful revelation. Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower. We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us. To make this increasingly possible is the purpose of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, and Step Three opens the door.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 40

All I have to do is look back at my past to see where self-will has led me. I just don’t know what’s best for me and I believe my Higher Power does. G.O.D., which I define as “Good Orderly Direction,” has never let me down, but I have let myself down quite often. Using my self-will in a situation usually has the same result as forcing the wrong piece into a jigsaw puzzle–exhaustion and frustration. Step Three opens the door to the rest of the program.  When I ask God for guidance I know that whatever happens is the best possible situation, things are exactly as they are supposed to be, even if they aren’t what I want or expect. God does for me what I cannot do for myself, if I let Him.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 11
A.A. Thought For The Day

By having quiet times each morning, we come to depend on God’s help during the day, especially if we should be tempted to take a drink. And we can honestly thank Him each night for the strength He has given us. So our faith is strengthened by these quiet times of prayer. By listening to other members, by working with other alcoholics, by times of quiet meditation, our faith in God gradually becomes strong. Have I turned my drink problem entirely over to God, without reservations?

Meditation For The Day

It seems as though, when God wants to express to men what He is like, He makes a very beautiful character. Think of a personality as God’s expression of character attributes.   Be as fit an expression of Godlike character as you can.  When the beauty of a person’s character is impressed upon us, it leaves an image which in turn reflects through our own actions. So look for beauty of character in those around you.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may look at great beauty of souls until their beauty of character becomes a part of my soul. I pray that I may reflect this character in my own life.

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As Bill Sees It
March 11
Truth, the Liberator, p. 70

How truth makes us free is something that we A.A.’s can well understand. It cut the shackles that once bound us to alcohol. It continues to release us from conflicts and miseries beyond reckoning; it banishes fear and isolation. The unity of our Fellowship, the love we cherish for each other, the esteem in which the world holds us–all of these are products of the truth which, under God, we have been privileged to perceive.

<< << << >> >> >>

Just how and when we tell the truth–or keep silent–can often reveal the difference between genuine integrity and none at all.

Step Nine emphatically cautions us against misusing the truth when it states: “We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” Because it points up the fact that the truth can be used to injure as well as to heal, this valuable principle certainly has a wide-ranging application to the problem of developing integrity.

Grapevine, August 1961

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Walk in Dry Places
March 11
Living with Bad Vibes
Human Relations

Some of us are sensitive to the feelings we pick up from people in the immediate environment. The feelings we sense from the people around us can be as powerful as odors and sounds. We can feel tense in the presence of domineering people, and we can be uncomfortable around people who seem resentful.

Acceptance and knowledge help us retain mastery of ourselves in these situations. But we don’t have to tune in to another person’s bad feelings, just as we wouldn’t tune in to a radio station whose music bothers us. We can also detach from the situation in thought, just as Al-Anon trained spouses detach from alcoholics in a spirit of love and understanding.

The less we try to resist such a situation, the less power it has to disturb us. And the less involved we become with such situations, the sooner they seem to change. People in Twelve Step programs sometimes report miraculous changes when they adjust their own feelings. One frequently hears of outcomes such as this: “I learned not to let this person bother me, and two weeks later he was transferred to another department.”

My own sensitivity makes me vulnerable to good or bad feelings in the atmosphere. Recognizing them for what they are, I’ll enjoy the good feelings and refuse to e disturbed or upset by those that seem bad.

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Keep It Simple
March 11

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
–AA saying

Before recovery, we never thought we had enough alcohol or other drugs. More would make us feel better, we thought. Sometimes, we are like this in recovery too. We know we need to change, so we want to do it all right now. If we can just change ourselves totally, we’ll feel better, we think.

But we can’t change all at once. If we ask our Higher Power to take charge of our lives, we’ll have the chance to change a little at a time. We’ll learn the right things when we need to know them.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me fix what needs fixing today.

Action for the Day: I’ll make a list of what is broken. Which things on my list can I fix today?

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 11

The influence of a beautiful, helpful, hopeful character is contagious, and may revolutionize a whole town.
–Eleanor H. Porter

We have met certain people who inspired laughter, hope, or changes in us, or those close to us. We look forward to seeing them. We leave their presence believing in ourselves, aware that we can tackle whatever problems had us immobilized. That special gift to inspire is ours for the taking, too. The inspiration comes from God.

We can look to God for the strength we need. It will come. We can look also to God for direction, for the steps we need to take today. And then wait. Those persons who inspire us have developed a secure connection to their God. And it’s their connection that comes through them to inspire us.

We can take some time today, before the demands overwhelm us, to weave our connection to our higher power. When that contact is secure, we won’t have to await inspiration from another person to forge ahead with our plans. The inspiration will live within us, and it will beckon us onward. Our way will be illuminated.

I shall meditate upon this. Conscious contact with God is only a prayer away. My life will be brightened. My burdens will be lifted. My hopes will become realities, whenever I look to God for the gift of inspiration.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 11
HE LIVED ONLY TO DRINK

– “I had been preached to, analyzed, cursed, and counseled, but no one had ever said, ‘I identify with what’s going on with you. It happened to me and this is what I did about it.'”

I wound up in an insane asylum, which probably saved my life. I do not remember how I got there; I do know that I had become suicidal. I became comfortable there, and months later I cried when I was dismissed. I knew by that time that I could not make it in the world. I was safe behind the barred hospital windows and wanted to stay there for the rest of my life. I could not drink there, but tranquilizers and other drugs abounded and I helped myself to them. The word alcoholic was never mentioned. I do not believe the doctors knew much more about alcoholism than I did.

pp. 448-449

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 11

Step Two – “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

“As material success founded upon no more than these ordinary attributes began to come to us, we felt we were winning at the game of life. This was exhilarating, and it made us happy. Why should we be bothered with theological abstractions and religious duties, or with the state of our souls here or hereafter? The here and now was good
enough for us. The will to win would carry us through. But then alcohol began to have its way with us. Finally, when all our score cards read `zero,’ and we saw that one more strike would put us out of the game forever, we had to look for our lost faith. It was in A.A. that we rediscovered it. And so can you.”

p. 29

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Xtra Thoughts
March 11

Sometimes we are so eager to give our children what we didn’t have that we forget to give them what we did have.
–Unknown

If today offers a challenge, be grateful.  Challenges are gifts of awareness and growth.
–Unknown

The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you hear what is sounding outside of you.
–Dag Hammarskjold

Nothing hath separated us from God but our own will, or rather our own will is our separation from God.
–William Law

Never ask the question you don’t want to know the answer to.
–Unknown

Pureness in your heart will provide you with fullness in your life.
–Unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 11
PROFIT

“In freeing people . . . our country’s blessing will also come; for profit follows righteousness.”
— Senator Albert Beveridge

Profit is more than financial benefit or material well-being. Profit, for the recovering alcoholic and drug addict, is being aware of life, feeling feelings and having the capacity for a relationship with God, self and others.

But a financial benefit is also part of spirituality; the blessing of money and financial stability are part of God’s love and trust. His gift of freedom involves our responsibility and stewardship of money.

With money and profit we are not only able to have creative comforts, but we can also make the lives of others creative. A responsible use of money is part of my recovery program and has become one of the joys of the “spiritual awakening”.

Let Your blessing of money in life help me to bless others.

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Bible Scriptures
March 11

When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.”
Psalms 30:6

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Matthew 21:22

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Daily Inspiration
March 11

Sometimes we search for God in the wrong places. To help someone in need is the quickest way to touch His hand. Lord, in my ordinary day in my ordinary ways may I come to know and understand You more.

Our words are powerful tools and can influence even when we are not aware. Lord, help me to speak with kindness and sensitivity and to be a positive source of encouragement and support to others.

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A Day At A Time
March 11

Reflection For The Day

Since I came to The Program, I’ve begun to recognize my previous inability to form a true partnership with another person.  It seems that my egomania created two disastrous pitfalls.  Either I insisted upon dominating the people I knew, or I depended on them far too much.  My friends in The Program have taught me that my dependence meant demand — a demand for the possession and control of the people and the conditions surrounding me.  Do I still try to find emotional security either by dominating or being dependent on others?

Today I Pray

May I turn first to God to satisfy my love-hunger, knowing that all He asks from me is my faith in Him.  May I no longer cast emotional nets over those I excessively dependent upon them — which is just another form of domination.  May I give others the room they  need to be themselves.  May God show me the way to mature human relationships.

Today I Will Remember

To havve faith is His Love.

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One More Day
March 11

The hopeful man sees success where others see failure, sunshine where others see shadows and storm.
—  O.S. Marden

Once in a while we lose sight of the world around us and get caught up in how miserably we are feeling.  We may be in physical or emotional pain and become self-absorded.  Or we may be unhappy because things are not going exactly the way we want.

But we can imagine, just for a moment, a beautiful watercolor picture of a sunrise — the promise of a brand-new day.  The hues are gentle pastels.  The colors blend together subtly, gently, with no perceptible break from one section to another.  We can relax in the beauty and serenity of the scene.  We can enjoy it with no other motive than pleasure.  Positive imagery can help us enhance the beauty of the moment.

I am overwhelmed by nature’s beauty and by the great joy I feel.  I can call back these same feelings by visualizing them in my mind.

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One Day At A Time
March 11
INSANITY

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
–Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Everyday I get up and fight the fight of ‘I am not good enough.’ Nevertheless, I know I am who I am and that’s what counts. I may never be what others expect me to be and many times those expectations were so great that I used to beat myself up over my failures.

That is the insanity of the compulsion that I am being healed from. I now have a mirror in my bedroom! I now can go without cleaning my house compulsively for those who visit me and now I can stand up for myself. Why? Because I love ME!

Program has given me back who I am. The person I love. My welfare comes first! Above all I am grateful for my sponsor, my Higher Power and this program. I am also grateful to the many men and women who have inspired my life because if it were not for all of these, I would still be in that insanity.

One day at a time …

I will not require everyone’s approval; I will not continually beat myself up when I expect more of myself than I can give; I will continue to love ME and all the good things about me.

~ Rosehips

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 11

“The symbol of wholeness, represented by the medicine wheel, is still being used in D/Lakota ceremonies today. The center where the “X” crosses is considered the home of Tunkasila, Wakan-Tanka, God. I speculated, `If this is the symbol of wholeness, the symbol of the psyche, with Wakan-Tanka at the center, then Wakan-Tanka or God would be within you.'”
–Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

The Medicine Wheel represents everything. All the directions originate from the center outward. The center is the home of the Creator. The Medicine Wheel represents the human being. At our center is the home of the Great Spirit. This is why we are spiritual. The easiest way for us to find God and talk to Him, is for us to become centered. This means, relax our bodies, still our minds, let go of our emotions and listen quietly. Shhh. Be still.

My Creator, let me walk in the stillness today.

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Journey to the Heart
March 11
Enjoy the Changing Scenery

How easy it is to think, I will be feeling like this forever. But look at how quickly the scenery changes!

In the space of a few hours while driving down the highway, we can see mountains, deserts, a petrified forest, and iron-rich mesas. In the space of a day we can see courage, faith, despair, desolation, anger, healing, and joy. If there’s one thing that’s true, it’s this: the universe is always changing. It is constant, continual evolution.

The same holds true for the minutes, hours, and days of our lives. We are continually changing and shifting. Each emotion, attitude, and experience– each piece of scenery– leads into the next. Put them all together and what do you have? A grand journey– an exciting trip that leads to someplace worth going and someplace worth being, each moment you are here.

Look at how quickly the scenery changes. Learn to enjoy the view.

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Today’s Gift
March 11

Being a healthy parent means being firm but nurturing, giving children a decent sense of the boundaries along with lots of unconditional love.
—Karen Shaud

In a healthy family, life goes along and everybody pitches in to do the housework. Some people wonder why housework is such a big deal. It is because people need to contribute to a group in order to feel they belong to it. Housework makes us part of the same group–our house, our family. We make our house comfortable so we can feel comfortable and safe in it. We show love for ourselves by making our surroundings likeable. And when we do physical work, we can do our inner housekeeping, letting go of negative feelings that pile up during the day.

On days when life feels out of control, we feel good when we do one simple job: clean the messy desk, wash dirty dishes, shovel the snowy walk. In this way we regain control of our feelings as well as a perspective on those things within our control.

What simple work do I need to do to feel better today?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 11
Letting Go of Confusion

Sometimes, the way is not clear.

Our minds get clouded, confused. We aren’t certain what our next step should be, what it will look like, what direction we are headed.

This is the time to stop, ask for guidance, and rest. That is the time to let go of fear. Wait. Feel the confusion and chaos, and then let it go. The path will show itself. The next step shall be revealed. We don’t have to know now. We will know in time. Trust that. Let go and trust.

Today, I will wait if the way is not clear. I will trust that out of the chaos will come clarity.

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More Language Of Letting God
March 11
Things happen

A healthy friend dies participating in a sport she loves. A husband works hard on his marriage only to come home one day and find his wife in bed with another man.

A knock at the door, and a starving family opens it to find bags of groceries piled anonymously on the porch. A large order comes in just as a company is getting ready to close its doors, and the owner’s dream is given new life.

Sometimes life twists. Sometimes it goes the other way,too. Things happen. Sometimes we label these events good, sometimes bad. We cannot always see the reason or purpose in them, but most of us choose to believe there’s a Divine plan.

I don’t know why I’ve received some of the blessings I’ve been given. I don’t know why some of the sorrow has come my way. All I can do is trust that whatever comes my way, there’s a lesson at hand.

Are you focusing on the circumstances of your life instead of the lessons? The circumstances are the tools. Be involved in them. Feel the pain of loss and the elation of victory. Let compassion work its way into your soul. Learn caring and kindness for others and yourself,too.

Instead of asking why, learn to ask what the lesson is. The moment you become ready to accept it, the lesson will become clear.

God, help me accept all the twists and turns along my way. Help me learn to say whatever to the good and the unfortunate incidents that come my way.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 11

One must not hold one’s self so divine as to be unwilling occasionally to make improvements in one’s creations.
—Ludwig van Beethoven

We addicted and codependent men too often feel ashamed of our mistakes. It pains us to admit there is room for improvement in what we have done. When we do see that our work can be improved, shame overwhelms us. Our oversensitivity to flaws puts us in a kind of competition with God. We are not yet resigned to letting ourselves be fully human – and letting God be God. Life is much calmer when we remember that who we are and what we do are not the same.

We are deeper and richer than any object we create or any job we hold. A genius like Beethoven could see he needed to make occasional improvements in his composition, and we can follow his model. Allowing for imperfection, we are better prepared to deal with it, and we are liberated to do our jobs and live our lives more fully.

I will be content to let God be God and accept my life with all its need for improvements.

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DailyTAO
March 11
INDEPENDENCE

A solitary crane
In winter snow
Needs no jewels.

A single crane standing unconcerned in the falling snow is the very image of independence. It needs no one, it is secure in its environment, and it is capable of going through life alone. Its independence stems from self-sufficiency.

It needs no clothing, no building, no wealth, no status. It is content, even glorious in its naked identity. So too with ourselves: There is no need for dazzling clothes, an impressive career, an awesome temple, nor a bejeweled master. What we want is something far beyond such externals.

What facets of your personality are encumbrances? What personal aspects prevent you from being independent? These are the areas that will define your self-cultivation, for you must strive to stand alone. This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever join with others, but you will do so as an individual who will cooperate just as much as is necessary. In this way, you will never be lost in a group, and you will never fear being alone.

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DailyZen
March 11

Why do I, who broke
So completely with this world,
Find in my body
Still the pulsing of a heart
Once dyed in blossom’s hues?

– Saigyo (1118-1190)

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Food for Thought
March 11
Sharing

In our fellowship, we share our troubles and we share our joys – our faults as well as our assets. We will be accepted and understood, because we are with people who are like us. We may seem very different on the surface, but underneath we are all amazingly alike.

Someone has said, “I can only know that much of myself which I have had the courage to confide to you.” As we reveal ourselves to others, they act as mirrors so that we may see and understand who we are.

All of us have hidden fears and buried guilts. Before we joined OA, we had no place to go with these negative emotions, and so we turned to unnecessary food. Instead of rationally facing our worries and our hurts, we ate. Even when we were happy, we found it easier to eat than to express our joy to someone else.

Sharing our thoughts, feelings, and experiences with other people shows us who we are and helps us to accept ourselves. Those with whom we share also benefit.

Grant me courage and trust so that I may share.

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In God’s Care
March 11

Can’t find

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Faith’s Check Book
March 11
Whose Battle?

And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saith not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.

–(1 Samuel 17:47)

Let this point be settled, that the battle is the Lord’s, and we may be quite sure of the victory, and of the victory in such a way as will best of all display the power of God. The Lord is too much forgotten by all men, yea, even by the assemblies of Israel; and when there is an opportunity to make men see that the great First Cause can achieve His purposes without the power of man, it is a priceless occasion which should be well employed. Even Israel looks too much to sword and spear. It is a grand thing to have no sword in the hand of David, and yet for David to know that his God will overthrow a whole army of aliens.

If we are indeed contending for truth and righteousness, let us not tarry till we have talent, or wealth, or any other form of visible power at our disposal; but with such stones as we find in the brook, and with our own usual sling, let us run to meet the enemy. If it were our own battle we might not be confident; but if we are standing up for Jesus and warring in His strength alone, who can withstand us? Without a trace of hesitancy let us face the Philistines; for the Lord of hosts is with us, and who can be against us?

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 11

“Sin . . . exceeding sinful.”

—Romans 7:13.

BEWARE of light thoughts of sin. At the time of conversion, the conscience is so tender, that we are afraid of the slightest sin. Young converts have a holy timidity, a godly fear lest they should offend against God. But alas! very soon the fine bloom upon these first ripe fruits is removed by the rough handling of the surrounding world: the sensitive plant of young piety turns into a willow in after life, too pliant, too easily yielding. It is sadly true, that even a Christian may grow by degrees so callous, that the sin which once startled him does not alarm him in the least. By degrees men get familiar with sin. The ear in which the cannon has been booming will not notice slight sounds. At first a little sin startles us; but soon we say, “Is it not a little one?” Then there comes another, larger, and then another, until by degrees we begin to regard sin as but a little ill; and then follows an unholy presumption: “We have not fallen into open sin. True, we tripped a little, but we stood upright in the main. We may have uttered one unholy word, but as for the most of our conversation, it has been consistent.” So we palliate sin; we throw a cloak over it; we call it by dainty names. Christian, beware how thou thinkest lightly of sin. Take heed lest thou fall by little and little. Sin, a little thing? Is it not a poison? Who knows its deadliness? Sin, a little thing? Do not the little foxes spoil the grapes? Doth not the tiny coral insect build a rock which wrecks a navy? Do not little strokes fell lofty oaks? Will not continual droppings wear away stones? Sin, a little thing? It girded the Redeemer’s head with thorns, and pierced His heart! It made Him suffer anguish, bitterness, and woe. Could you weigh the least sin in the scales of eternity, you would fly from it as from a serpent, and abhor the least appearance of evil. Look upon all sin as that which crucified the Saviour, and you will see it to be “exceeding sinful.”

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This Evenings Meditation
March 11

“Thou shalt be called, Sought out.”

—Isaiah 62:12.

THE surpassing grace of God is seen very clearly in that we were not only sought, but sought out. Men seek for a thing which is lost upon the floor of the house, but in such a case there is only seeking, not seeking out. The loss is more perplexing and the search more persevering when a thing is sought out. We were mingled with the mire: we were as when some precious piece of gold falls into the sewer, and men gather out and carefully inspect a mass of abominable filth, and continue to stir and rake, and search among the heap until the treasure is found. Or, to use another figure, we were lost in a labyrinth; we wandered hither and thither, and when mercy came after us with the gospel, it did not find us at the first coming, it had to search for us and seek us out; for we as lost sheep were so desperately lost, and had wandered into such a strange country, that it did not seem possible that even the Good Shepherd should track our devious roamings. Glory be to unconquerable grace, we were sought out! No gloom could hide us, no filthiness could conceal us, we were found and brought home. Glory be to infinite love, God the Holy Spirit restored us!

The lives of some of God’s people, if they could be written would fill us with holy astonishment. Strange and marvellous are the ways which God used in their case to find His own. Blessed be His name, He never relinquishes the search until the chosen are sought out effectually. They are not a people sought to-day and cast away to-morrow. Almightiness and wisdom combined will make no failures, they shall be called, “Sought out!” That any should be sought out is matchless grace, but that we should be sought out is grace beyond degree! We can find no reason for it but God’s own sovereign love, and can only lift up our heart in wonder, and praise the Lord that this night we wear the name of “Sought out.”

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