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Spiritual muscles need exercise

Cover of Drummond’s devotional Beautiful Thoughts

Today's Devotional

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusts in you: yes, in the shadow of your wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performs all things for me—Psalm 57:1, 2

If a man does not exercise his arm he develops no biceps muscle; and if a man does not exercise his soul, he acquires no muscle in his soul, no strength of character, no vigor of moral fiber, nor beauty of spiritual guards.—Henry Drummond

The exercise of faith strengthens, as the neglect to exercise, weakens it. It is the constant play of the arm that brings out its muscular power in all its fullness; were that arm allowed to hang by its own side, still and motionless, how soon would its sinews contract, and its energy waste away! So it is with faith, the right arm of a believer’s strength; the more it is exercised, the mightier it becomes; neglect to use it, allow it to remain inert and inoperative, and the effect will be a withering up of its power.... God never places His child in any difficulties, or throws upon him any cross, but it is a call to exercise faith; and if the opportunity of its exercise passes away without improvement, the effect will be a weakening of the principle, and a feeble putting forth of its power in the succeeding trial. Do not forget, that the more faith is brought into play, the more it increases; the more it is exercised, the stronger it becomes. Some of the choicest mercies of the covenant brought into the experience of the believer, come by a travail of faith....—Octavius Winslow

About the author and the source

Henry Drummond (1851–1897) was a Scottish evangelist, writer and lecturer, most famous for his exposition on Paul’s “Love Chapter” (1 Corinthians 13), published as The Greatest Thing in the World. He worked closely with D. L. Moody but was also well-known in scientific circles, being a world traveler and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Geographic Society. The first of today’s selections is from September 3rd of his Daily Thoughts, but fit so well with Winslow’s theme that we moved them together. Octavius Winslow (1808–1878) was an ardent evangelical preacher who served in the United States and in Great Britain. In addition to many books that emphasized the life and work of Christ, he wrote morning and evening devotionals.

Henry Drummond. Daily Thoughts from Henry Drummond, F.R.S.E, F.G.S. Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company, 1893.

Octavius Winslow. Evening Thoughts. 1858.

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