Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thurs., 5/24/18 Devotion (Isa. 25:6)

Today's encouragement comes from Isaiah 25:6, where we read these words:

"And in this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees."

The "mountain" spoken of here is the church, (the New Covenant church, in particular). On this "mount" people from all over the world will come and feast on the very best things God could and would ever provide. The Master of the feast, and the Subject (or Food) of the feast is the Same: it is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Redeemer feeds us with the Bread of Heaven, (His own Body); and with the Wine of Canaan (His own blood). We celebrate this in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which is preceded and accompanied by the church's pro-clamation of the Word of God.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Sin is an absurd thing. What greater indiscretion is there than to gratify an enemy? Sin gratifies Satan.” —Thomas Watson, in, "The Doctrine of Repentance"]

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wed., 5/23/18 Devotion (Ps. 77:13)

Today's encouragement comes from Psalm 77:13, where Asaph wrote these words:

"Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great a God as our God?"

God always operates from His sanctuary. The Old Covenant sanctuary was a type of heaven, (cf. Heb. 8:4-5). In the true heavenly sanctuary today, the Son of God intercedes for His church saints by virtue of His atoning death, (cf. Heb. 7:25). The gathered church in Sunday worship constitutes the place of God's sanctuary, (cf. 1 Pet. 2:4-5). And finally, the individual hearts of the re-generate are also the place of His sanctuary, (cf. 1 Cor. 3:16).

*From* God's sanctuary goes forth praise of Christ, and the evangelism of the world. Be thankful that the true God is the God of the sanctuary: the place of worship and rest.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Here is a pillar of support to every soul who has broken off sin and espoused holiness. This is an undoubted evidence that you are a true child of God.” —Thomas Watson, in, "The Mischief of Sin"]

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tues., 5/22/18 Devotion (1 Jn. 1:6-7)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 John 1:6 & 7, where the apostle wrote these words:

"If we say that we have fellowship with [God], and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."

Saying does not equal being. How we walk, or live, is what shows the truth about ourselves. Do we eagerly expose our hearts to the light of the gospel; and then seek, by grace through faith in Jesus, to live in accord with it? If so, then we are in the light. If not, then we are in the darkness.

Light-walking has the benefit of honorable fellowship with God’s true saints; and the assurance that sins are forgiven. Nothing on earth can compare with those advantages.

[Puritan quote of the day: "A man cannot love health and poison too; so one cannot love God and sin too.” —Thomas Watson, in, "All Things for Good"]

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mon., 5/21/18 Devotion (2 Pet. 3:18a)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Peter 3:18a, where we read these words:

" . . . But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. . . . "

How does a whole church *grow* in "the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"? Primarily, by being well-fed. The context of Peter's injunction (above) is largely that of the proper use and understanding of the written word of God (the sacred scriptures)—especially as they are preached as the gospel of pure grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christians *grow* when they ingest Jesus—being hungry for His Person. The written word, which is the base and foundation of the church's preached word, always points to the Incarnate Word (Christ, the "Logos," of Jn. 1:1). This "Word" is the ultimate Revelation of God. Christ feeds us His own "flesh" and "blood," in the preached Gospel, and in the proper administration of the sacrament of The Lord's Supper on the Lord’s Days.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Every godly, gracious man is a praying man.”
—William Bridge, in, "A Lifting Up for the Downcast"]

Friday, May 18, 2018

Fri.-Sabbath, 5/18-20/18 Devotion

Yippee—it is almost Sunday! Here is Thomas Watson, from his, "A Plea for the Godly" book. . . .

"A righteous man has more excellent freedom [than an unbeliever]. 'And I will walk at liberty,' (Ps. 119:45). Another is capable of civil freedom; he may be a Roman born, but he is still enslaved to his lusts. But a righteous person is God's freeman, (1 Cor. 7:22). His neck is out of the devil's yoke. He is 'free from the law of sin,' (Rom. 8:2). He has God's Free Spirit, (Ps. 51:12), which makes him free and cheerful in his obedience. The will is not compelled but changed. A regenerate person is drawn indeed by the Spirit, but sweetly, as one is drawn into a garden of spices by the fragrance of their smell. He is drawn to Christ as one is drawn with another's beauty. He is free; a righteous soul chooses the ways of God, (Ps. 119:30), and what greater act of freedom is there than an act of choice? And a saint cannot have his spiritual freedom taken from him. While be suffers in prison, his conscience is most free. In short, he is made free to enjoy 'the innumerable company of angels,' (Heb. 12:22).

"A righteous man has more excellent food [than an unbeliever]. Carnal men feed only on earthly provision; the righteous feeds on heavenly. He tastes how sweet the Lord is, (Ps. 34:8). He feeds on God's love; this is the hidden manna. He eats Christ's flesh, which not only begets life, (Jn. 6:33), but pre-vents death. 'This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die,' (Jn. 6:50)—that is, not die the second death. Other bread may nauseate or cause bloating, but there is no excess here. We cannot eat too much of the Bread of Life. We cannot have too much of Christ, as one cannot have too much of health. Oh, what excellent food is this! God Himself is in this cheer!"

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thurs., 5/17/18 Devotion (1 Pet. 4:19)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 Peter 4:19, where we read these words:

"Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator."

Suffering is never fun; but it is good for the church’s true saints. When suffer-ing is done right, out of love for Jesus, it has a sanctifying effect on our souls; and it draws us closer to Him. If we are going to suffer, let us do so for doing good, or for insisting on God's ways. Committing our souls to God means that we do what is right, and leave the consequences and results with the Lord.

It is interesting that Peter refers to the Lord as a faithful "Creator," at the end of this verse—rather than a Redeemer. God's creation covers everything in the universe: those things that positively affect our obedience, and those things that "negatively" affect it.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Satan tempts to sin under a pretense of religion. He is most to be feared when he transforms himself into an angel of light.”
—Thomas Watson, in, "All Things for Good"]

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tues., 5/15/18 Devotion (1 Pet. 2:9)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 Peter 2:9, where the apostle wrote these words:

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, [God's] own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."

Note the high and lofty appellations (names) given the children (church) of God—all taken from the Old Testament. Sometimes we may not feel like a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, etc.—but this does not change the reality of who and what God says the redeemed people of Christ’s church are.

The purpose of this great divine pedigree is proclamation of praise, which is the best form of evangelism. If God has called us out of the darkness of sin, into the light of saving grace, then we have a lot to say, in the praise of our Lord Jesus.

[Puritan quote of the day: "The vessel is first seasoned before wine is poured into it: the vessels of mercy are first seasoned with affliction, and then the wine of glory is poured in.” —Thomas Watson, in, "All Things for Good"]