Daily Devotionals

Music For the Soul

Devotional: January 16th

THE MISERIES OF SECRET DISCIPLESHIP
And the children of Israel did secretly things that were not right against the Lord their God. - 2 Kings 17:9

How much Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus lost! - all those three years of communion with the Master; all His teaching, all the stimulus of His example, all the joy of fellowship with Him! They might have had a treasure in their memories that would have enriched them for all their days, and they had flung it all away because they were afraid of the curled lip of a long-bearded Pharisee or two.

And so it always is, the secret disciple diminishes his communion with his Master. It is the valleys which lay their bosoms open to the sun that rejoice in the light and warmth; the narrow clefts in the rocks that shut themselves grudgingly up against the light, are all dank and dark and dismal. And it is the men that come and avow their discipleship that will have the truest communion with their Lord. Any neglected duty puts a film between a man and his Saviour; any conscious neglect of duty piles up a wall between you and Christ. Be sure of this, that if from cowardly or from selfish regard to position and advantages, or any other motive, we stand apart from Him, and have our lips locked when we ought to speak, there will steal over our hearts a coldness: His face will be averted from us, and our eyes will not dare to seek, with the same confidence and joy, the light of His countenance.

What you lose by unfaithful wrapping of your convictions in a napkin, and burying them in the ground, is the joyful use of the convictions, the deeper hold of the truth by which you live and before which you bow, and the true fellowship with the Master whom you acknowledge and confess. And when these men came to Christ's corpse, and bore it away, what a sharp pang went through their hearts! They woke at last to know what cowardly traitors they had been. If you are a disciple at all, and a secret one, you will awake to know what you have been doing, and the pang will be a sharp one. If you do not awake in this life, then the distance between you and your Lord will become greater and greater; if you do, then it will be a sad reflection that there are years of treason lying behind you. Nicodemus and Joseph had the veil torn away by the contemplation of their dead Master. You may have the veil torn away from your eyes by the sight of the throned Lord; and when you pass into the heavens, may even there have some sharp pang of condemnation when you reflect how unfaithful you have been.

Blessed be His name! The assurance is firm that if a man be a disciple, he shall be saved; but the warning is sure that if he be an unfaithful and a secret disciple, there will be a lifelong unfaithfulness to a beloved Master to be " purged away so as by fire."

Copyright Statement
'Music For The Soul' daily readings for a year from the writings of the Rev. Alexander Maclaren, D.D., selected and arranged by the Rev. Geo. Coates, published by A.C. Armstrong and Son, 51 East Tenth Street, (1897). The original text is in the Public Domain and this electronic version is free for anyone without cost or obligation. This a year long daily devotional was written by the Rev. Alexander Maclaren over 100 years ago. This Scottish pastor had a heart to follow Jesus and a love for souls.

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