“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor.” Isaiah 9:6
Suggested Further Reading: Proverbs 8 (which was read earlier in the same service)
Tried child of God, your daughter is sick; your gold has melted in the fire; you are sick yourself, and your heart is sad. Christ counsels you, and he says, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, he will sustain thee; he will never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Young man, you that are seeking to be great in this world, Christ counsels you this morning. “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not.” I shall never forget my early years. I was ambitious; I was seeking to go to college, to leave my poor people in the wilderness that I might become something great; and as I was walking that text came with power to my heart; “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not.” I suppose about forty pounds a year was the sum total of my income, and I was thinking how I should make both ends meet, and whether it would not be a great deal better for me to resign my charge and seek something for the bettering of myself, and so forth. But this text ran in my ears, “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not.” “Lord,” said I, “I will follow thy counsel and not my own devices;” and I have never had cause to regret it. Always take the Lord for your guide, and you shall never go amiss. Backslider! You that have a name to live, and are dead, or nearly dead, Christ gives you counsel. “I counsel thee to buy of me, gold tried in the fire and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed.” And sinner! You that are far from God, Christ gives you counsel. “Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Depend on it, it is loving counsel. Take it.
For meditation: God has promised to guide his children and to keep an eye on them (Psalm 32:8). His guidance has a sure foundation and a great advantage over the thoughts and intentions of men (Psalm 33:10,11). We can seek his guidance right where we are; isn’t it strange that we can so often go to him last of all?
Sermon no. 215
26 September (1858)