Friday, February 23, 2018

Fri.-Sabbath, 2/23-25/18 Devotion

Wahoo—it is almost Sunday! Here is Thomas Watson, from his, "A Body of Divinity" book. . . .

"God's providence reaches to all places, persons, and occurrences. 1.) To all places: 'Am I a God at hand, and not a God afar off?' (Jer 23:23). The dio-cese where Providence visits is very large; it reaches to heaven, earth, and sea. 'They that go down to the sea, see the wonders of God in the deep,' (Psa 107:23, 24). Now, that the sea, which [appears to be] higher than the earth, should not drown the earth, is a wonder of Providence. The prophet Jonah saw the wonders of God in the deep, when the very fish which de-voured him and swallowed him brought him safe to shore.

"2.) God's providence reaches to all persons, especially the persons of the godly, who in a special manner are taken notice of. God takes care of every saint in particular, as if He had none else to care for. 'He cares for you,' (1 Pet 5:7), i.e., the elect in a special manner. 'The eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him; to preserve them from death, and to keep them alive in famine,' (Psa 33:18, 19). God by His providential care shields off dangers from His people, and sets a life-guard of angels about them, (Psa 34:7). God's provi-dence keeps the very bones of the saints, (Psa 34:20). It bottles their tears, (Psa 56:8). It strengthens the saints in their weakness, (Heb 11:34). It sup-plies all their wants out of its alms [charity] basket, (Psa 23:5). Thus Provi-dence wonderfully supplies the wants of the elect."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thurs., 2/22/18 Devotion (Lk. 8:25a)

Today's encouragement comes from Luke 8:25a, where we read these words:

"But [Jesus] said to [His disciples], 'Where is your faith?' "

Our Lord Jesus does not ask the twelve, "Why do you not have enough faith?" (above). Instead, He asks, "*Where* is your faith?" Sometimes our faith may seem to "leave" us, or go away, or be absent (especially when we need it). Christ implies that had His followers summoned their faith, they would not have needed to wake the Messiah from His nap (on the boat).

Today, we will hear all the bad news in the world, and we (even God's church-men) will be tempted to fear, or be rattled to such an extent that we say—like the twelve--"We are perishing!" (v. 24). Instead of this, let us rally our faith in Christ, and call it to mind. As we do so, we are ushering to our hearts, and our sides, our Lord Jesus Himself.

[Puritan quote of the day: "God must be revealed to us as lovely and desir-able . . . before we can ever love God. The saints, in this sense, do not love God for nothing [or, for no reason].” —John Owen, in, "Communion with God"]

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wed., 2/21/18 Devotion (Lk. 7:48)

Today's encouragement comes from Luke 7:48, where we read these words:

"Then He [Jesus] said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.' "

There are no more blessed words spoken to the soul, by Christ, than these (above). This woman's life would never be the same again. She would never have the wrath of God abiding over her ever again; and her love for and de-votion to the Lord would always be driven—not by works and fear—but by this stupendously-wonderful fact (that she had been completely forgiven of all her sins).

This woman would continue to sin every day for the rest of her life on earth; but she would never look on her sins in the same way. Instead of relishing and cherishing them, she would disdain them and repent of them—out of her unfeigned love for God in and through Jesus Christ.

[Puritan quote of the day: "According to the measure of your faith, so will the measure of your love be.” —Thomas Vincent, in, "The True Christian's Love to the Unseen Christ"]

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tues., 2/20/18 Devotion (Lk. 6:19)

Today's encouragement comes from Luke 6:19, where we read these words:

"And the whole multitude sought to touch Him [Jesus], for power went out from Him and healed them all."

Jesus Christ is unquestionably and undoubtedly, by far and away, the most amazing Person alive today, or who has ever lived. As Christian churchmen, our challenge is not so much to make people interested in Jesus, as much as it is to simply help them get a "glimpse" of Him. Once this happens, by divine grace, they are “hooked” forever. God has chosen the foolish means of the church’s preaching of the gospel to bring about this holy addiction, (cf. 1 Cor. 1:21).

For all of us who heard Him on Sunday, let us continue to have "contact" with Jesus today. In Him, we possess perfect healing of our souls, minds, hearts, and spirits.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Have you not thought sometimes, at [hearing] a sermon, the minister has spoken to none but you, and that some or other has told the minister what you have said, what you have done, what you have thought? —Thomas Shepard, in, "The Sincere Convert"]

Monday, February 19, 2018

Mon., 2/19/18 Devotion (Ex. 2:24)

Today's encouragement comes from Exodus 2:24, where we read these words:

"So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abra-ham, with Isaac, and with Jacob."

What a sweet couplet (above). God *hears* us, His beloved church, groaning, and He *remembers* His covenant with us in Christ. Could it be that our an-guish stirs God's compassion (as it were); and that He refreshes and renews the benefits of the covenant He has made with us, His church, in Jesus' blood?

Let us go to the Lord today, even with our groaning; but let us not forget to bring our faith, too. We could never *do* enough to move God to do anything for us; but our unfeigned (though imperfect) faith in the perfect Savior (Jesus) is more than pleasing to Him.

[Puritan quote of the day: "He who does not love God is a beast with a man's head.” —Thomas Watson, in, "All Things for Good"]

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fri.-Sabbath, 2/16-18/18 Devotion

Wahoo—Sunday is almost here. All Christians *get* to go to church! Here is Thomas Watson, from his, "A Plea for the Godly" book:

"A righteous man serves God out of a principle of love. Grace now inclines the heart and carries it strongly towards God in ardent affection. A righteous man serves God not by constraint but consent. It is heaven to him to serve God! He mounts up in the fiery chariot of love and breathes forth his soul into his Savior's heart. Love is the 'shibboleth' that differentiates a righteous man from others. The carnal man says, 'What a weariness is it to serve the Lord!,' (Malachi 1:13). The righteous man says, 'What a pleasure it is!'

"As the bee delights to draw nectar from the flower, so a holy person delights to obey God. He does duty out of love to duty; he prays out of love to prayer. When he sings, he makes melody in his heart to the Lord. Love lines the yoke of religion and makes it easy. As a bride delights in putting on her jewels, as a musician delights in playing on his violin, so a gracious soul delights in obey-ing God. Love to duty is better than duty; serving God with delight is angelic. The seraphims are described as having wings, (Isaiah 6:2), to show their cheerfulness as well as their ability in God's service."

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thurs., 2/15/18 Devotion (1 Cor. 2:9)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 Corinthians 2:9, where we read these words:

"But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love
Him.' "

Paul (above) is quoting Isa. 64:4 and other OT texts. In the very next verse (1 Cor. 2:10) the apostle states that God *has* (past tense) revealed these great blessings to the church, "through the Spirit." This is wonderful, because we do not have to wait for heaven in order to enjoy all of God's *best* things. In fact, if we do not taste heaven here and *now*, in Christ, we will never be part of it later (in full glory).

What has God "prepared for [us]”—the churchmen who "love Christ," by grace? Everything great; and many things about which we could never have imagined. Let us take pleasure in our Lord today; and anticipate His continu-ed blessings of us, in Jesus.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Let us look upon our nature, as it is in Christ, in Whom it is pure, sweet, calm, meek, [and] every way lovely.” —Richard Sib-bes, in, "The Soul's Conflict with Itself"]