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Chapter 24 - Saturday Morning. The End The Lord's Table. A Help to the Right Observance of the Holy Supper by Murray, Andrew
"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me."
"Being confident of this very thing, that He which began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ."-Ps. cxxxviii. 8; PHIL. i. 6.
HOW many times has the believer gone from the Lord's Table with the sorrowful thought, Shall I indeed continue standing? Shall my resolutions and promises not be frustrated? Who tells me that I shall persevere unto the end? "I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul" (1 Sam. xxvii. 1).
It was just in such a crisis that David said, "I will cry unto God Most High, unto God that performeth all things for me" (Ps. Ivii. 2). It is in God alone that the Christian has the assurance of his perseverance. To see from the beginning to the end, yea, to be Himself alike "the Beginning and the End," is one of the glorious attributes of the God who dwells in eternity. And it is one of the characteristics of His work, that, while man often begins without ending, with Him the end is as certain as the beginning. "What He has begun He will complete."
O my soul, if thou wouldst enjoy the comfort of this promise, be much occupied with this fact: "He has begun." The Christian speaks too often of his conversion and his faith and his self-surrender. Contemplating all this from the side of man, he keeps himself too little occupied with the thought: "HE has begun." My soul, understand what this means: He has sought me and found me and made me His own, and what He has thus done to me points back to that which He did for me: He gave His own Son, and by His blood He bought for Himself as His own possession. And that again points back to eternity. He chose me and loved me before the foundation of the world. My soul, ponder what this means: "HE HAS BEGUN."
Then shalt thou be able joyfully to exclaim, "He will perfect": "the Lord will perfect that which concerneth me." Then shall thy life become a life of humility and thanksgiving and confidence and joy and love. Thou seest that there is nothing in thyself, and thou learnest to expect all from God, and thank Him for all: thou learnest to rely upon Him in everything. And the end will be to you as certain as the beginning, because the end as well as the beginning has its root and stability in God. The selfsame faith that, looking back, acknowledges the beginning as God's, also looks forward, and in the eternal and unchangeable God finds the end secured. "What He has begun He will perfect."
Lord God, Thou art without beginning and without end. For Thou art Thyself alike the beginning and the end. Thou art the Eternal, with whom there is no yesterday and no tomorrow. Thou art Thyself yesterday, to-day, and for ever. With Thee there is no changeableness nor shadow of turning. Lord, in Thee alone Thy believing people find their comfort and their security. Nothing that we have done or still desire to do, nothing that we are or shall be, can give us rest. But, thanks be to Thy name, Thou Thyself, the Eternal, with Thine unchangeableness, Thou art our rest and our strength. In Thee alone and in Thy faithfulness does our life become freed from all fear.
Father, give me to understand this. Make me to know Thee as the God who has begun a good work in me. Let Thy Spirit seal it to me that Thou receivest me as the possession which Thou hast bought for Thyself, which is precious to Thee, and which no one shall pluck out of Thy hands. And then teach me, in the midst of all the sense of my own weakness and the power of sin which I have, always to trust and always to exclaim: "He that began a good work in me will perfect it."
Father, once again I thank Thee for the Supper that has been observed. Blessed Perfecter, perfect in me also Thy work of grace. Teach me to go forward on my way, full of joy, full of confidence and courage, full of thanksgiving and love. My God, become Thou everything to me: the God who has done everything, the God who will do everything, the God to whom all is due. And give me thereafter to await the glorious end, when I too shall be in perfection what I was at the beginning, and every day hope more and more to be, a monument of the grace of God on which he that runneth may read: "FROM HIM AND BY HIM AND TO HIM ARE ALL THINGS: TO HIM BE GLORY FOR EVER AND EVER." Amen.