Devotion of the Day

ISHAMEL AND ISAAC

Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Galatians 4:22, 23

Ishmael was the result of a resort to the flesh, proposed by Sarai when God had already promised a son by her. To this day Ishmael and Isaac war in Arab and Jew. Any scheme of our own that takes matters in our own hands when God has spoken otherwise leads to plenty of trouble.

How many today live with war in their hearts because that which is of the flesh contends with that which is of faith! Call it inhibitions, complexes, neuroses, dress it up in psychiatric verbiage, it is but Ishmael and Isaac warring in the soul.

Abraham gave up Ishmael and he never returned. He gave up Isaac but God returned him. Give God your Ishmael – all that is of the flesh – that it may not return. Give Him Isaac too – that which is of faith – that He may return it sanctified and meet for the Master’s use.

Devotion of the Day

LOVE AND LABOR

Lovest thou me?…Feed my sheep.
John 21:16

Our Lord joins love and labor. Our service for Him is a “labor of love” (I Thess. 1:3), a labor growing out of love. We should feed not only the sheep He has, but other sheep that He seeks we should help to bring into the fold.

Our Lord never thought of relationship to Him that does not issue in fruitfulness for Him. If we abide in Him we shall bring forth much fruit (Jno. 15:5). He that is with Him gathers with Him. He had no thought of fellowship without fruitfulness. We are married to Another, that we might bring forth unto God (Rom. 7:4).

There is no place in Scripture for this type of church member who sings, “O How I Love Jesus,” but feeds no sheep; who sings, “Rescue the Perishing,” but does no rescue work himself.

“He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Because we love we labor.