Pages From Ruth’s Library

By Various Authors   •   July 31, 2007

Sleep
from “Valley of Vision”

Blessed Creator,
Thou hast promised Thy beloved sleep;
Give me restoring rest needful for tomorrow’s toil.
If dreams be mine, let them not be tinged with evil.
Let Thy Spirit make my time of repose a blessed temple of His holy presence.
May my frequent lying down make me familiar with death,
the bed I approach remind me of the grave,
the eyes I now close picture to me their final closing.
Keep me always ready, waiting for admittance to Thy presence.
Weaken my attachment to earthly things.
May I hold life loosely in my hand,
knowing that I receive it on condition of its surrender. …
I retire this night in full assurance of one day awaking with Thee.
All glory for this precious hope,
for the gospel of grace,
for Thine unspeakable gift of Jesus,
for the fellowship of the Trinity.
Withhold not Thy mercies in the night season;
Thy hand never wearies,
Thy power needs no response,
Thine eye never sleeps.
Help me when I helpless lie. …
when my conscience accuses me of sin,
when my mind is harassed by foreboding thoughts,
when my eyes are held awake by personal anxieties.
Show Thyself to me as the God of all grace, love and power. …
Permit me to commit myself to Thee awake or asleep.

Are We Full of His Love?
by Amy Carmichael

“Jesus … loved them unto the end” (John 13:1, KJV).

If our hearts are full of the love of God, the roughest knocks cannot make us unloving or unpeaceful. But how often, in a moment of impatience, we blame the rough knock! “So-and-so did this; so-and-so said that; my circumstances are difficult. I could be good somewhere else, in some other place or work.”

All such excuses are folly. It is not what happens to us but what is in us that settles the matter. How often we have had to go to our Savior for cleansing and pardon, after some hard knock has caused us to spill something unloving which was inside us.

But have we not been comforted by the generous wealth of His pardon? Is it not just like Him to assure us again and again that nothing is changed on His side? He loves us as He did before. His tender mercy embraces us.

Such love draws us back to Calvary. As we think of our newly discovered sin, we see Him, the sinless One, with new eyes. How did we react toward some trivial, trying touch of people or circumstances? How did He react to the torture of the hammer and the nails? “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34, KJV). Nothing could surprise anything unloving in Him, for there [is] nothing in Him but love.

Is it not wonderful that such a Lord can care for such as us? Is it not a wonder of wonders that He can want our love?

Life’s Supremacies
by F.W. Boreham

Life has a wonderful way of tapering majestically to its climax. It narrows itself up toward its supremacies, like a mountain rising to its snow-capped summit in the skies. Our supreme interests assert themselves invincibly at the last. Our master passions are “in at the death.” Let us glance at an illustration of this truth.

Paul is awaiting his last appearance before Nero. The old apostle is caught and caged at last. He is writing his very last Letter. He expects, if spared, to spend the winter in a Roman dungeon. “Do your very best,” he says to Timothy, “to come to me before winter” (Cf. 2 Timothy 4:21).

“And,” he adds, “the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13, KJV). We know the parchments to be his copies of the Scriptures.

The emphasis is upon especially. Paul knows how isolated he will feel in his horrid cellar, and he twice begs his young comrade to hurry to his side. He knows how cold he will be, and he pleads for his cloak. He knows how lonely will be his incarceration, and he says, “Bring the books.” Yet he feels that, after all, these do not represent the supremacies of life. It is not on these that he is prepared to make his final stand. Much as he yearns for the clasp of Timothy’s hand, he is prepared, if need be, to face the stern future alone. Much as he longs for his tunic to warm his aged limbs, he is prepared, if need be, to sit and shiver the long winter through. … But the parchments! These are life’s supreme, essential, indispensable requisites. These represent life’s irreducible minimum.

“Come,” says Paul, “for I am lonely; bring the cloak, for I am old and cold; bring the books, for my mind is hungry; but, oh, if all these fail, send the parchments!” Especially the parchments! Life’s supremacies must always conquer and claim their own at the last.

“Are We Full of His Love?” taken from “Whispers of His Power,” by Amy Carmichael, ©1982 Dohnavur Fellowship, CLC Publications, Fort Washington, Pa. “Life’s Supremacies” excerpted from “The Luggage of Life,” by F.W. Boreham, 1922 American Edition, Abingdon Press, New York. “Sleep” taken from “The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions,” edited by Arthur Bennett, ©1975 The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, Scotland, and Carlisle, Pa. Bibles verses marked KJV are taken from The Holy Bible, King James Version. Selections are used by permission.

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