for January 15
Following the Truth
To know the truth is the greatest privilege any man can enjoy in this life, as truth itself is without doubt the richest treasure anyone can possess. This follows from the nature of truth, and from the world-outlasting dowry it brings to those who open their hearts to it. Apart from truth our human lives would lose all their value, and we ourselves become no better than the beasts that perish. Our response to truth should be eager and instant. We dare not dally with it; we dare not treat it as something we can obey or not obey, at our pleasure. It is a glorious friend, but it is nevertheless a hard master, exacting unquestioning obedience. While a life lived in conformity with the truth will come at last to a good and peaceful end, candor requires us to admit that the lover of truth will have to endure many a heartache, many a sorrow as he journeys through the wilderness. This is the price the world makes him pay for the priceless privilege of obeying the truth. The worl d being what it is, truth must carry its own forfeit. The servant of truth will be penalized for his devotion. So goes the world always.
Personally Weak but Strong in Him
After the exchange of sin for righteousness is that of wrath for acceptance. Then comes the exchange of death for life. Christ died for dead men that they might rise to be living men. Paul's happy if somewhat involved testimony makes this clear: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) . This is mysterious but not incredible. It is one more example of how the ways of God and the ways of man diverge. Man is a born cobbler. When he wants a thing to be better he goes to work to improve it. He improves cattle by careful breeding; cars and planes by streamlining; health by diet, vitamins. and surgery; plants by grafting; people by education. But God will have none of this cobbling. He makes a man better by making him a new man. He imparts a higher order of life and sets to work to destroy the old. Then as suggested in the Isaiah text, the Christian exchanges weakness for strength. I suppose it is not improper to say that God makes His people strong, but we must understand this to mean that they become strong in exact proportion to their weakness, the weakness being their own and the strength God's. "When I am weak, then am I strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10), is the way Paul said it, and in so saying set a pattern for every Christian.
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