Monday, December 4, 2017

Mon., 12/4/17 Devotion (2 Chron. 3:8a)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Chronicles 3:8a, where we read these words:

"And he [Solomon] made the Most Holy Place. . . . "

What a remarkable statement (above). A fallen man, a sinner, would “make" the earthly most holy place—in the very pattern of what Jesus entered into for His church in heaven. God honors us, by giving us such amazing privileges. Think of it: Mary, a fallen soul, bears the sinless Christ Child. We, depraved sinners (in ourselves), become the vessels of the Blessed Holy Spirit, (see 2 Cor. 4:7).

The redeemed church—even now—is nestled in the very heart of the Holy Trinity, in that God's children are *in* the Son of God, who is now both God and man. The worship offered by regenerated churchmen here on earth is perfectly received by God, in Jesus, in glory (heaven).

[Puritan quote of the day: "It is not how much we do, but how much we love.” —Thomas Watson, in, "All Things for Good"]

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thurs.-Sabbath, 11/30-12/3/17 Devotion

Wahoo—it is almost Sunday! We *get* to return to church, to worship God! In order to help us get ready, here is Thomas Watson, from his, "A Body of Di-vinity" book:

"Why was Jesus Christ made flesh?

"The 'causa prima,' and impulsive cause, was free grace. It was love in God the Father to send Christ, and love in Christ that He came to be incarnate. Love was the intrinsic motive. Christ is God-Man, because He is a lover of man. Christ came out of pity and indulgence to us: 'non merita nostra, sed misera nostra,' Augustine. 'Not our deserts, but our misery, made Christ take flesh.' Christ's taking flesh was a plot of free grace, and a pure design of love. God Himself, though Almighty, was overcome with love. Christ Incarnate is nothing but love covered with flesh. As Christ's assuming our human nature was a masterpiece of wisdom, so it was a monument of free grace."

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wed., 11/29/17 Devotion (2 Pet. 1:2)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Peter 1:2, where we find these won-derful words:

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord . . . "

To have grace and peace *multiplied* to one's soul is a very blessed thing. God does not only "add," or "drip" His good gifts onto His beloved churchmen (a little at a time)—but He multiplies them. And notice how He does this: in our knowledge of Him, and of His Son Jesus.

If we know Christ, the Prince of Peace, we have grace and peace. The more we know Him, the greater the levels of these blessings we enjoy—though they often come through trouble and difficulty.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Upon this reconciliation with God, you and God come to have common friends and common enemies.” —Jeremiah Bur-roughs, in, "Gospel Reconciliation"]

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tues., 11/28/17 Devotion (Lk. 12:1b)

Today's encouragement comes from Luke 12:1b, where we find the Savior saying these words:

" . . . He [Christ] began to say to His disciples first of all, 'Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.' "

Our Redeemer prioritized this teaching (re. the pharisees and their hypocrisy) because He knew that it could, and would destroy His followers if it was not addressed head-on. The pharisees' "leaven," (or teaching) is dangerous, be-cause it seeks to seduce the soul into smug self-righteousness.

Christ's worst opponents (by far) were the pharisees—the very ones who were the most religious and devout. Jesus reserved His harshest words for them; and He warns us (even today) to watch out for their doctrinal poison, (which, like the snakes the Lord compared them to, comes from their lips).

[Puritan quote of the day: "God does not bring His people into troubles, and leave them there.” —Thomas Watson, in, "All Things for Good"]

Monday, November 27, 2017

Mon., 11/27/17 Devotion (Mic. 2:7b)

Today's encouragement comes from Micah 2:7b, where we read these few words:

" . . . Is the Spirit of the LORD restricted? . . . "

This is a good question (above). Is the Spirit of the Lord restricted? The an-swer, of course, is, “No.” No matter how sinful, difficult, trying, excruciating, scary, or threatening anything in the fallen world is (or may seem to be), it is not stronger than God. Sometimes even true believers are tempted to think that something may be able to thwart the inevitable advance of King Jesus, His gospel, and His church—but, in fact, nothing can.

This should be a real encouragement for every sincere Christian churchman today: The Spirit of God is not (in anyway) “restricted.” This means that He is free and able to answer our faith-filled and God-honoring prayers and peti-tions—all in and through our Risen Lord and glorified High Priest Jesus.

[Puritan quote of the day: "A good Christian is not a grave to bury God's mer-cies, but a temple to sing His praises.” —Thomas Watson, in, "All Things for Good"]

Friday, November 24, 2017

Fri.-Sabbath, 11/24-26/17 Devotion

Praise God: Sunday is almost here! To help get us ready for this special day in church, here is Thomas Watson, from his "A Body of Divinity" book:

"All believers are alike justified. Justification does not apply to some more than to others. Though there are degrees in grace, yet not in justification; one is not justified more than another; the weakest believer is as perfectly justified as the strongest. Mary Magdalene is as much justified as the Virgin Mary. This may be a cordial [comfort] to a weak believer. Though you have but a drachm [small bit] of faith, you are as truly justified as he who is of the highest stature in Christ."

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thurs., 11/23/17 Devotion (Lk. 7:50)

Happy Thanksgiving Day, all you American Christians.  Enjoy your Puritan holiday.

Today's encouragement comes from Luke 7:50, where we find our Savior saying this:

"Then He [Christ] said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you. Go in
peace.' "

We are not only saved by grace through faith in Christ alone, (plus nothing)—but we also derive all our peace from Him as well. The woman Jesus had spoken these words to was a "sinner," (see v. 37).

The self-righteous pharisees had condemned her; but the blessed Messiah had encouraged her. Why? Because He (Christ) had forgiven her all her sins, and had set her on a new and free path of grace in Him.

[Puritan quote of the day: "We can never love God as He deserves. As God's punishing us is less than we deserve (Ezra 9:13), so our loving Him is less than He deserves.” —Thomas Watson, in, "All Things for Good"]