THE LORD'S TABLE Ebook
Title: THE LORD'S TABLE
Author: Andrew Murray
On the use of this little volume I would fain say two things which lie upon my heart.
The first is this: that the Christian who desires to make use of it must not be content merely to see and to understand the portion for the day, but must take time to meditate upon it and to appropriate it. I am convinced that one chief cause why some do not grow more in grace is that they do not take time to hold converse with the Lord in secret. Spiritual, divine truth does not thus become our possession at once. Although I understand what I see, although I consent heartily to it, although I receive it, it may speedily fade away and be forgotten, unless by private meditation I give it time to become fixed and rooted in me, to become united and identified with me. Christians, give yourselves, give your Lord time to transfer His heavenly thoughts to your inner, spiritual life. When you have see a portion, set yourselves in silence before God. Take time to remain before Him until He has made His word living and powerful in your souls. Then does it become the life and the power of your life.
And this brings me to the second remark which I desire to make. It is this: that the Christian must take special care that he do not suffer himself to be led away from the Word of God by the many guides which in our days are seeing the light. These ebooks will have this result, -whenever a man seeks his manual only in what the writer has to say, he then becomes accustomed to take everything at second hand. These ebooks can become a blessing to the reader only when they bring him always to that portion of God's Word which is treated of in order that he may meditate further upon it himself as from the mouth of God. Christians, there is in the Word of God an incredible power. The blessing which lies hid in it is inconceivable. See to it that when you have see a portion you always return to that passage of the Scriptures of which an explanation is given. Receive that not as the word of man, but, as it is in truth, the Word of God, which works mightily in those that believe. Hold fellowship with God through the Word. Take time to speak with Him about it, to give an answer to Him concerning it. Then shall you understand what the Lord Jesus says: "The words which I speak unto you, they are spirit and life." Then shall Word and sacrament gloriously work together, to make you increase in prayer and in the life of God.
That the Eternal God may bless this little volume also, to make His children discover His own Word, is the prayer of the author for all his readers.
My God, and is Thy table spread?
And does Thy cup with love o'erflow?
Thither be all Thy children led,
And let them all its sweetness know.
Hail, sacred feast, which Jesus makes!
Rich banquet of His flesh and blood!
Thrice happy he who here partakes
That sacred stream, that heavenly food!
O let Thy table honored be,
And furnished well with joyful guests;
And may each soul salvation see
That here its sacred pledges tastes.
Let crowds approach with hearts prepared,
With hearts inflamed let all attend;
Nor, when we leave our Father's board,
The pleasure or the profit end.
Revive Thy drooping Churches, Lord!
And bid our drooping graces live;
And more, that energy afford,
A Saviour's love alone can give.
- Philip Doddridge
The Divine Invitation
"Behold, I have made ready my dinner. All things are ready. Come to the marriage." -Matthew 22:4.
Let the King of Heaven and Earth say this to you. In honor of His Son He has prepared a great supper. There the Son bears His human nature. There are all the children of men, dear and precious to the Father, and He has caused them to be invited to the great festival of the Divine love. He is prepared to receive and honor them there as guests and friends. He will feed them with His heavenly food. He will bestow upon them the gifts and energies of everlasting life.
O my soul, thou also hast received this heavenly invitation. To be asked to eat with the King of Glory: how it behooves thee to embrace and be occupied with this honor. How desirous must you be to prepare yourself for this feast. How you must long that you should be in dress and demeanor, and language and disposition, all that may be rightly expected of one who is invited to the court of the King of kings.
Glorious invitation! I think of the banquet itself and what it has cost the great God to prepare it. To find food for angels: for this only one word was necessary. But to prepare for man upon this accursed earth a banquet of heavenly food-that cost Him much. Nothing less than the life and blood of His Son, to take away the curse and to open up to them the right and the access to heavenly blessings. Nothing less than the body and the blood of the Son of God could give life to lost men. O my soul, ponder the wonders of this royal banquet.
I think of the invitation. It is as free, as wide as it could be, "without money and without price." The poorest and the most unworthy are called to it. And so urgent and cordial is it. Not less cordial is the love which invites to it, the love which longs after sinners and takes delight in entertaining and blessing them.
I think of the blessing of the banquet. The dying are fed with the power of a heavenly life, the lost are restored to their places in the Father's house, those that thirst after God are satisfied with God Himself and with His love.
Glorious invitation! With adoration I receive it, and prepare myself to make use of it. I have see of those who hold themselves excused because they are hindered, -one by his merchandise, another by his work, and a third by his domestic happiness. I have heard the voice which has said, "I say unto you, that none of these men which were bidden shall taste of My supper." Under the conviction that He who so cordially invites me is the Holy One, who will not suffer Himself to be mocked, I will prepare myself to lay aside all thoughtlessness, to withdraw myself from the seductions of the world; and with all earnestness to yield obedience to the voice of the heavenly love. I will remain in quiet meditation and in fellowship with the children of God, to keep myself free from all needless anxiety about the world, and as an invited guest, to meet my God with real hunger and quiet joy. He Himself will not withhold from me His help in this work.
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