As the season advances, the sap gradually ceases to flow to the summer leaves, which therefore ultimately fade and fall from the tree; and the last movements of it, at the end of autumn, are directed towards the buds, in order to prepare them for taking at the proper time the place of the generation of leaves that has just perished. Forgetting the things which are behind we press forward to the time when "we shall be ever with one another and with the Lord."(M. Continued and ever improving mutual service. There are things before him.1. The bud then dies, and the branch withers and becomes fit for the burning. )Concentration the secret of dispatchS. Wadsworth.Paul's experience teaches us that one unmutilated and entire idea is as much as a man can entertain in his soul, or actualize in his lifetime. The inclusive way, when a man makes a wide circle of engagements converge towards religion.II. Forget past circumstances, whether sorrows or joys. is it in the increase of knowledge, of science, of art? Israel remembered the fleshpots of Egypt and turned back and tempted God. Each is to help the others.3. He would be Hastings of Daylesford. And such an exhortation is still greatly needed.1. It is essential to do everything in order, and only grasp that which is within the reach of your arm; for otherwise you give yourself useless trouble. )Progress inevitable to the ChristianJ. Martin. And so he reached forth unto those things which were before.II. Buxton. She looked back, and as she stood there gazing behind her, precious time was irrevocably lost, the fugitives swept on in front, and the swift-flying death that struck her with terror, as she saw it pressing close behind, caught her up. Lot's wife looked back and perished. The everlasting kingdom.II. The stars were in his heart. This purpose formed in infancy and poverty, grew stronger as his intellect expanded and his fortunes rose. (1) Since the day when man first lighted a fire to boil his pot, and hollowed out his first canoe, up to the day when the latest development of these contrivances appears in the steamship which can sail three thousand miles a week, the world has never rested in its advance. As a child leans on a parent, and a wife on a husband, and a husband on a wife, and so at last all things lean on God; and well it is that it is so, for he can at any time take off the wheels of the most rapid chariot, He can break the wings of the proudest ambition, and He is, in fact, constantly saying, "Arise, this is not your rest. Of what avail, to such a mariner, is even distinct view of some distant point long since swept by, when his vessel is approaching some perilous pass, or passing through some vast and foaming estuary into the deep sea. The sun was just rising. 7). Everybody could see their beauty of character but themselves. There were many things by which his spiritual life was nourished and guarded — which had to be blotted out if he would go on to perfection. Ecclesiastes 1:5). )The nobility of a single aimA. )Singleness of aimConfucius' son once said to him, "I apply myself with diligence to every kind of study, and neglect nothing that could render me clever and ingenious; but still I do not advance." How then about the far more important thing? (3) Allied to this is the mighty power of hope. A bold utterance of our trust in Jesus is an excellent remedy for unbelieving fears. The errors and doubts that marked his first approach to Christ. That purpose is the acquisition of knowledge. Then he must not sit down as if rooted to a place. "First the blade," etc. how civilization leans on morality? Among those who travel constantly on foot, have you ever observed any who run? These are all embraced in fellowship with Christ.1. Many in answer to Christ's call say, "Suffer me first to — ." The people we have left. It is too often the case as life goes on to get contented with our characters such as they are.III. D. Hoge, D. D.)The sense in which the past cannot be forgottenM. What a petty world such a man must live in; under what a low sky he must walk; in what, a muggy atmosphere he must breathe. Both are past; why remember them? Maclaren, D. D.There may have been floating in the apostle's mind, combined with the image of the racer, some remembrance of the old story in the Book of Genesis about Lot's wife. But not at this initiatory stage merely is there to be a discarding of the things that are behind. (1) Did we stand well in the past? The preaching of the gospel to every creature.III. Absolute pardon. He lived only to sweep, as with a roused tempest, over all the AEolian sympathies of the human heart. THERE ARE TWO WAYS IN WHICH WE MAY MAKE RELIGION ONE THING. And evermore afterwards he journeyed towards that city. By a course of prosperity our souls are made to unfold in gratitude to God and beneficence to men. A. "Singleness of aim"Mr. A. often laughs at me," said Professor Henry once, in Princeton College Laboratory, "because I have but one idea. Vaughan, M. A.You have stood upon our shores, and seen a ship under full press of sail making for her destination. - I wonder how often we take advantage of "the arrangement" - just because God doesn't give us quarterly evaluations - just because He doesn't hold the possibility of losing our salvation over our heads as a way to motivate us, - is it possible that some of us have "taken advantage of God's grace? Why the Philippians needed to practice this principle, - there's a lot of answers we could give to this, 1) there's a real possibility that some in the church may have over-corrected in reaction to the Judaizers and their "works-righteousness" - the nature of their over-correction may have been --- - we don't need circumcision -- we've already reached perfection, - in a sense they would be right, in a sense they would be terribly wrong. Up and down the scale he remorselessly runs, until even the calamity of temporary deafness would almost be welcome to me. When the law of development will not work, the law of decay and dissolution is the only one that will. TO MAKE LIFE, AS IT OUGHT TO BE, ONE, THE GREAT REQUISITE IS TO HAVE ONE FIXED AIM. But self-complacency is the mother of spiritual declension. The material system of nature will some day be dissolved. Guilt contracted; time lost; work undone; salvation neglected; resolutions broken; convictions stifled — all this and much more may be behind. This one thing I do, he cries, and he does it.II. What the apostle means is that we are to forget the things which are behind as no longer practically concerning us. Now, why all this? The branch of a tree puts forth bud after bud in its gradual growth anal enlargement. Waiting with the modesty of the hero until he is forced into the strife, with the courage of the hero he steps into the breach to do battle for the living truth.(W. There is a circular movement in which all motions turn on themselves, and return to the point from whence they first set out, and then there is an onward movement, as when the whole system is borne upward into infinite space. "The power of a single aimC. )Progress inevitable to the ChristianJ. As one endowed with talents which must be ceaselessly used. What a beautiful thing is unity, where all the attributes of God meet together in love; beautiful is the world of harmonies in the home where there is no jarring element, in the knit Church, in the man who, having learned the pervading power of the love of Jesus, says henceforth, "This one thing I do."I. He finds the pen too slow, hence his types and cylinders scatter libraries. W. Robertson, M. A.Perfection is being, not doing — it is not to effect an act but to achieve a character. His was A SANCTIFIED, BUT BOUNDLESS AMBITION, forever reaching forth in the direction of higher acquisitions of spiritual truth and nobler results of Christian work.III. He, too, did other things; he trained his servants, commanded his household after him, etc. There is a circular movement in which all motions turn on themselves, and return to the point from whence they first set out, and then there is an onward movement, as when the whole system is borne upward into infinite space. He finds the pen too slow, hence his types and cylinders scatter libraries. And if you stand there looking backwards instead of making the best of your way out of evil, the evil will catch you up. He sought —1. Yes, and you ate your dinner twenty years ago; will that serve to strengthen you for today? Nearly every figure by which Christians are described implies this. We may say of ourselves, "Well done, good and faithful servant." W. Robertson, M. THE APOSTLE'S LIFE AFFORDS MANY STRIKING ILLUSTRATIONS OF THIS.1. Nothing can now be altered. THIS WAS ALSO THE PRIZE HE SOUGHT. M. Punshon, LL. It is God's end: the end for which God is, for which He gave Christ, for which He does everything.IV. Remembering always tends to become a substitute for doing. Napoleon was the most efficient man of his own time, not because gifted above his fellows, either physically or intellectually, but because universal empire was his single aim — he lived only to conquer! The world is good for an inn; but an inn is not a home; and it is unwise to lay any plan of life in which provision is not made for the infinite future of the soul. As one endowed with talents which must be ceaselessly used. Maclaren, D. D.No bounds can be set to that progress of growth. Maclaren, D. D.The future for the young, we say, the present for the middle-aged, the past for the old. His spiritual life from the beginning to the end was a series of fresh beginnings. We may go on working the sum for years, and though each succeeding figure brings us nearer to it, we can never actually reach it.(H. "(Sir T. F. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. FROM THESE THOUGHTS WE MAY DRAW FRESH CONVICTIONS FOR THE REALIZATIONS OF THE SPIRITUAL CAPABILITIES OF OUR NATURE.1. But we must not suppose that the dropping was without effort or pain. ST. PAUL EXHORTED THE HEBREW CHRISTIANS TO LEAVE THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, AND TO GO ON TO PERFECTION. The world's building was prospective. There is no point on that happy voyage, beyond which icy cliffs and a frozen ocean forbid a passage; but before us, to the verge of our horizon of today, stretch the open waters; and when that furthest point of vision lies as far astern as it now gleams ahead, the same boundless sapphire sea will draw our yearning desires, and bear onwards our advancing powers.(A. They are formed in spring, and grow during the whole summer, though very slowly, owing to the diversion of the sap from them to the foliage, behind which they are hid. Animal organism reads onward toward the image of God. But Paul rebukes this spirit. Former sins.3. The exclusive way. D.)Winter leavesH. : Grace Theological SeminaryD.Min. )The nobility of a single aimA. Paul's entire life was an illustration of the text. is it in the growth of a nation in the numbers of its population, or in its territory? the philosopher from the savage? Demosthenes was the prince of all earth's orators, not because God gave him a splendid voice, and exquisite grace of motion, but because eloquence was his one idea. D. Hoge, D. D.Paul could not have meant that he literally forgot the past, for had he done so, both present and future would have been alike useless to him. If we have taken a gun from the enemy, let us go and take another, and not sit idly down.2. What a petty world such a man must live in; under what a low sky he must walk; in what, a muggy atmosphere he must breathe. These summer leaves, having added a cubit to the stature of the branch, pass away; and the added growth in its turn puts forth a new bud covered with its scales or winter leaves, which drop off the following spring, and allow the imprisoned summer leaves once more to unfold themselves in the sunny air.
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