Reading: “With lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”—Jeremiah 31:3
O Lord, You are the heart-searching and the thought-trying God. To You all hearts are open; from You no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of my heart this day, by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit. I would seek to begin its hours with You. May all its business and employments be perfumed with the fragrance of “the morning sacrifice.”
O You who are the great origin and end of all things, be to me the Alpha and the Omega of my daily being. May I feel existence to be a blank without You. May I feel that I can only be truly happy when a sense of Your favor and friendship and love is sweetly intermingled with life’s duties thus lessening every burden, hallowing every trial, diminishing every cross!
I come to You once more, an unworthy sinner, to cast myself at my Saviour’s feet. What am I, that You should have borne with me so long! The ax “laid at the root of the trees” might long ago have cut me down; but I, a guilty cumberer, am still spared. The retrospect of existence, while a retrospect of patience and forbearance on Your part, is one of mournful rebellion and ingratitude on mine. I have had a “name to live,” but how much spiritual death in my best frames! I have had a form of godliness; how little have I lived out and acted out its power! More careful have I been to appear to be a Christian than really to be a Christian. How much unevenness in my walk, how much proclaimed and professed by the lip has been undone and denied in the life! Lord, how gracious You have been to me. You have caused me to feel my proneness to wander and graciously brought me back.
Adapted from the Rev. John McDuff, D.D., The Morning Watches, 1852.