Friday, March 23, 2018

Fri.-Sabbath, 3/23-25/18 Devotion

Praise God, Sunday is coming soon. Hold on. Here is Thomas Watson, from "The Test of Assurance . . . ":

"He who loves God cannot live without Him. Things we love we cannot be without. A man can do without music or flowers, but not food; so a soul deeply in love with God looks upon himself as undone without Him. 'Hide not Your face from me, lest I be like them that go down into the pit,' (Psalm 143:7).

"Job 30:28 says, 'I went mourning without the sun.' 'I have starlight, I want the Sun of Righteousness; I enjoy not the sweet presence of my God.' Is God our chief good, and we cannot live without Him? Alas! how do they show they have no love to God who can do well enough without Him! Let them have corn and oil, and you shall never hear them complain of the lack of God."

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thurs., 3/22/18 Devotion (Eph. 2:4-5)

Today's encouragement comes from Ephesians 2:4 & 5, where Paul wrote these amazing words:

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) . . . "

If God would so love His people, even before He converted them—how much *more* should we believe in His love of us now, that we are His purchased possession (as Christ’s true church)? Before regeneration, we knew nothing of God, nor His love. If we knew anything (which is unlikely), it was only a fuz-zy notion of wrath.

But now that we are the children of God, let us live as such. Let us put away all foolish ideas—such as, that we could earn God's favor; or that salvation comes by any means other than grace, through faith in Christ.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Whatever change or trouble a child of God meets with, it is all the hell he shall have.” —Thomas Watson, in, "The Art of Divine Contentment"]

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wed., 3/14/18 Devotion (2 Cor. 13:8)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Corinthians 13:8, where we read these words:

"For we can do nothing against the truth, but [only] for the truth."

Those Christian churchmen who are faithful in their rightful callings: be they as apostles (which are no more); or as ministers; or as other church officers; or as believing parishioners—cannot do anything "against the truth," but only "for" it.

How is this possible? Does this not seem preposterous? It *is* possible, and true because of the superintending work of God Himself, keeping His children in the fold, and in their faith in Jesus. If we live by faith today, loving Christ—then let us do what we will. Whatever we do will please God (because of Jesus' sacrifice); and it will forward the truth of the gospel.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Peter at one time believes and walks, at another time he doubts and sinks, (Matt. 14:30).” —Thomas Brooks, in, "Heaven on Earth"]

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tues., 3/13/18 Devotion (Job 42:5-6)

Today's encouragement comes from Job 42:5 & 6, where we read these words:

"I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

The church’s ministers preach the word of the gospel; the Holy Spirit applies that word to the hearts of the elect redeemed; but it is only when the believer "sees" Christ, with the eyes of faith, that he or she is thoroughly humbled, and marvels at God's love.

This is the universal testimony of all the Scriptures—(see Isa., ch. 6 as a classic example). Do we need to hear about the Lord Jesus? Yes. But we al-so need to behold Him with the eyes of faith. When or if this happens, we will never be the same; and we will forever disdain our formerly-held (but putrid) self-righteousness.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Surely, it is better to lack any mercy than a humble heart, it is better to have no mercy than lack a humble heart.” —Thomas Brooks, in, "Heaven on Earth"]

Monday, March 12, 2018

Mon., 3/12/18 Devotion (Ex. 23:1a, 2a, 3)

Today's encouragement comes from the words of Exodus 23:1a, 2a, & 3:

"You shall not circulate a false report. . . . You shall not follow a crowd to do evil . . . You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute."

Let us take notice of how our default sinful reaction is always to do these things (mentioned above). Our flesh and the world expects us to slander oth-ers, mindlessly follow fools, and to be politically-correct (at the expense of the truth). It takes a conscious gospel effort to offset this propensity; and this is successful only with the help and power of the Holy Spirit.

Let us not go down the stream with so many, who are on their way to perdi-tion. Instead, let us swim against the tide, by the grace of Christ.

[Puritan quote of the day: "The power that is given to the church is given for edification, not destruction.” —Richard Sibbes, in. "The Bruised Reed"]

Friday, March 9, 2018

Fri.-Sabbath, 3/9-11/18 Devotion

Yes! It is almost Sunday again! We get to go back to church! In order to help us get ready, here is Thomas Watson, from his, "The Art of Divine Content-ment" book. . . .

"[Divine contentment] shows how a Christian may come to lead a comfortable life, even a heaven upon earth—be the times what they will: by Christian con-tentment. The comfort of life does not rest in having much; it is Christ's max-im, 'Man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he posses-ses,' (Lk. 12:15)—but it is in being contented. . . . Contentment lies within a man, in the heart; and the way to be comfortable, is not by having our barns filled, but our minds quiet. 'The contented man,' says Seneca, 'is the happy man.’ . . .

"Would we have comfort in our lives? We may have it if we will: a Christian may carve out what condition he will to himself. Why do you complain of your troubles? It is not trouble that troubles, but discontent. It is not the water out-side the ship, but the water that gets inside, which drowns it. It is not outward affliction that can make the life of a Christian sad; a contented mind would sail above these waters—but when there is a leak of discontent open, and trouble gets into the heart, then it is disquieted and sinks. Do therefore as the marin-ers, pump the water out, and stop the spiritual leak in the soul, and no trouble can hurt you."

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thurs., 3/8/18 Devotion (Ex. 19:8b, 9b)

Today's encouragement comes from Exodus 19:8b & 9b, where we read these words:

" . . . So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD. . . . So Moses told the words of the people to the LORD."

We might be thinking, "Why did God have Moses do this (above)? The Lord could hear what the people said—nothing escapes Him; He knows all things.” All this is true, but The LORD is a covenant God. In other words, He operates with His people through a Mediator (ultimately Jesus). When God deals with the rest of the world, He does not employ a Mediator; but when He com-munes with His church, He does.

No one has any access to God whatsoever without Jesus. No one comes to God "directly." God may *only* be approached through a Perfect Intercessor (Jesus). Moses (here in Ex. 19) is a "type" of Christ. Outside of our Lord Jesus Christ there is virtually no way to the True God (cf. Jn. 14:6).

[Puritan quote of the day: "This [true] God is joy in sadness, light in darkness, life in death, heaven in hell.” —Thomas Shepard, in, "The Sincere Convert"]