“I will give thee for a covenant of the people.” — Isaiah 49:8
Jesus Christ is himself the sum and substance of the covenant and as one of its gifts. He is the property of every believer. Believer, canst thou estimate what thou hast gotten in Christ? “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Consider that word “God” and its infinity and then meditate upon “perfect man” and all his beauty; for all that Christ, as God and man, ever had, or can have, is thine–out of pure free favor, passed over to thee to be thine entailed property forever. Our blessed Jesus, as God, is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. Will it not console you to know that all these great and glorious attributes are altogether yours? Has He power? That power is yours to support and strengthen you, to overcome your enemies, and to preserve you even to the end. Has he love? Well, there is not a drop of love in his heart which is not yours; you may dive into the immense ocean of his love, and you may say of it all, “It is mine.” Hath he justice? It may seem a stern attribute, but even that is yours, for he will by his justice see to it that all which is promised to you in the covenant of grace shall be most certainly secured to you. And all that he has as perfect man is yours.
As a perfect man, the Father’s delight was upon him. He stood accepted by the Most High. O believer, God’s acceptance of Christ is thine acceptance; for knowest thou not that the love which the Father set on a perfect Christ, he sets on thee now? For all that Christ did is thine. That perfect righteousness which Jesus wrought out when through his stainless life he kept the law and made it honorable, is thine and is imputed to thee. Christ is in the covenant.
“My God, I am thine–what a comfort divine!
What a blessing to know that the Savior is mine!
In the heavenly Lamb thrice happy I am,
And my heart it doth dance at the sound of his name.”
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” — Luke 3:4
The voice crying in the wilderness demanded a way for the Lord, a way prepared, and a way prepared in the wilderness. I would be attentive to the Master’s proclamation and give him a road into my heart, cast up by gracious operations, through the desert of my nature. The four directions in the text must have my serious attention.
Every valley must be exalted. Low and groveling thoughts of God must be given up; doubting and despairing must be removed, and self-seeking and carnal delights must be forsaken. Across these deep valleys, a glorious causeway of grace must be raised.
Every mountain and hill shall be laid low. Proud creature-sufficiency, and boastful self-righteousness, must be leveled, to make a highway for the King of kings. Divine fellowship is never vouchsafed to haughty, high-minded sinners. The Lord hath respect unto the lowly and visits the contrite in heart, but the lofty are an abomination unto him. My soul, beseech the Holy Spirit to set thee right in this respect.
The crooked shall be made straight. The wavering heart must have a straight path of decision for God and holiness marked out for it. Double-minded men are strangers to the God of truth. My soul, take heed that thou be in all things honest and true, as in the sight of the heart-searching God.
The rough places shall be made smooth. Stumbling-blocks of sin must be removed, and thorns and briers of rebellion must be uprooted. So great a visitor must not find miry ways and stony places when he comes to honor his favored ones with his company. Oh, that this evening the Lord may find in my heart a highway made ready by his grace, that he may make a triumphal progress through the utmost bounds of my soul, from the beginning of this year even to the end of it.
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