Monday, October 19, 2020

Mon., 10/19/20 Devotion (1 Ki. 22:7)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 Kings 22:7, where we read these words:

"And Jehoshaphat said, 'Is there not still a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of Him?' "

There are many false "prophets” out there today, who will tell people whatever and exactly what they want to hear. But, there are still some true, faithful, and lawfully-called "prophets" (ministers) today, as well. In ancient Israel, during Ahab's reign, the ratio was something like 400 to one. (That is, one true pro-phet, to four-hundred fake ones.)

As we might expect, Ahab (the bad king), did not accept Micaiah's (the good prophet's) words—but he (Ahab) certainly respected him (Micaiah). Let all God's church be careful to give heed to God's ministers; and disregard Sa-tan's hirelings, who are "wolves in sheep's clothing."

[Puritan quote of the day: "Nothing in all the world can deliver from the fear of death but forgiveness of sin, and then this makes a man look on the Day of Judgment with comfort.” —Jeremiah Burroughs, in a book of his sermons, en-titled, "Gospel Remission"]

Friday, October 16, 2020

Fri.-Sabbath, 10/16-18/20 Devotion

Praise God—it is almost Sunday! In order to help get us ready for church, here is Thomas Watson, from his "The Ten Commandments" book. (Here, he is dealing with the Fourth [or Sabbath] Commandment.) . . .

"Rejoice at the approach of the day [Sunday], as a day wherein we have a prize for our souls, and may enjoy much of God's presence. Jn. 8:56: 'Abra-ham rejoiced to see My day.' So, when we see the light of a Sabbath shine, we should rejoice, and ‘Call the Sabbath a delight.' This is the queen of days, which God has crowned with a blessing, (Isa. 58:13). As there was one day in the week on which God rained manna twice as much as upon any other day, so He rains down the manna of heavenly blessings twice as much on the Sabbath as on any other.

"This is the day wherein Christ carries the soul into the house of wine, and displays the banner of love over it. Now the dew of the Spirit falls on the soul, whereby it is revived and comforted. How many may write the Lord's day, the day of their new birth! This day of rest is a pledge and earnest of the eternal rest in heaven. Shall we not then rejoice at its approach? The day on which the Sun of Righteousness shines should be a day of gladness."

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Thurs., 10/15/20 Devotion (1 Ki. 18:21a)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 Kings 18:21a, where we read these words:

"And Elijah came to all the people, and said, 'How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him. . . . ' "

I appreciate this perspective, put forth by Elijah. Even today this principle still applies. All people everywhere worship some deity (alleged, or true). "Let the best [God] win,” is the approach we true Christian churchmen should have. Is the Muslim god the true one? Then all people should worship him (or it). Is the atheists' god the true one? Then we should all bow down to it. Is the sec-ularists' god true? Then let all people honor it (or her, or whatever). Is the God of the True Christian Religion the only Real Deity? Then, let all human beings worship The Holy Trinity.

It turns out that the God of the Old and New Testament scriptures *is* the one and only God. We know this—among other reasons—primarily by the resur-rection of the Son of God, who lives and reigns today. Christ can withstand all pretenders to His throne. Let us joyfully worship Him, and not fear any fake gods.

[Puritan quote of the day: "There are the greatest reasons in the world to be a Christian . . . “ —Richard Sibbes, in, "Glorious Freedom"]

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Wed., 10/14/20 Devotion (Ezek. 47:12b)

Today's encouragement comes from Ezekiel 47:12b, where we read these amazing words:

"They [the trees] will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine."

The first part of Ezekiel, ch. 47, is remarkable—one of my favorite parts of the Bible. The expanse of the New Covenant church, and the spread of the gos-pel of Jesus' grace are all in view here. Christ dwells in the "sanctuary," (the church). The church, through the Holy Spirit, feeds, nourishes, and heals the whole world. And, in God’s good time, the "knowledge of the Lord covers the earth, as the waters cover the sea,” (cf. Isa. 11:9).

Let us be thankful that the God of earth and heaven has *not* abandoned this planet, or the people thereon. He has left His colony, the church, here. As the “house of prayer for all the nations,” (cf. Mk. 11:17)—let us be "feeders" and "healers" of the entire earth.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Grace continues and increases.” —Richard Sib-bes, in, "Glorious Freedom"]

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Tues., 10/13/20 Devotion (1 Ki. 16:22b)

Today's encouragement comes from the words which make-up 1 Kings 16:22b, which say this:

" . . . So Tibni died and Omri reigned."

These few Holy Spirit-inspired words (above) are almost comical. But this was how it was in the ancient (and even the modern) world: when claimants to the throne battled it out, one won, and the other died. But it dawns on me that there is a much more profound (and legitimate) application of this prin-ciple; and it is this . . .

. . . When Christian churchmen are regenerated, the "old man" of the flesh dies, and the "new man" of the Spirit of Christ reigns. The *experience* of this truth is the struggle all converted souls on earth have to traverse, (and we call this, "sanctification"). Let all us true believers reckon ourselves to be dead to sin, and alive to Christ.

[Puritan quote of the day: "The more a true saint loves God with a gracious love, the more he desires to love Him, and the more uneasy is he at his lack of love to Him.” —Jonathan Edwards, in, "Religious Affections"]

Friday, October 2, 2020

Fri.-Sabbath, 10/2-4/20 Devotion

Praise God—Sunday is almost here! So as to help prepare us for the Lord's Day's church worship services, here are some good words from the great Jonathan Edwards, as they are taken from his sermon entitled, "God Glorified in Man's Dependence":

"The grace of God in bestowing this gift [of grace] is most free. God was under no obligation to bestow it. He might have rejected fallen man as He did the fallen angels. We never did anything to merit it; it was given while we were yet enemies, and before we had so much as repented. It was from the love of God, who saw no excellency in us to attract it; and it was without ex-pectation of ever being requited [paid back] for it. And it is from mere grace that the benefits of Christ are applied to such and such particular persons. Those who are called and sanctified are to attribute it to the good pleasure of God's goodness alone, by which they are distinguished. God is sovereign, and has mercy on who He will have mercy."

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Thurs., 10/1/20 Devotion (Eph. 1:7)

Today's encouragement comes from Ephesians 1:7, where we read these words:

"In Him [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace . . . "

When it is all said and done, the only thing that really matters in life (and in re-ligion) is the soul's cleansing before a Holy God. Christ's blood *alone* wash-es away sins; and our confidence before the Triune Deity is based solely in and on our God-given faith in Christ—which flows from the Holy Spirit's pre-vious regeneration of our dead hearts.

So much religious talk and discourse is nothing other than the bluster of peo-ple who wish to find some substitute (for the blood atonement of Jesus). Let us not be ensnared by this; and may God's true churchmen rejoice in their right standing with the Lord, by grace through faith in Jesus.

[Puritan quote of the day: "It is a Christian's duty to triumph, not only over the world, but over Satan . . . “ —William Bridge, in, "A Lifting Up For the Down-cast"]