Monday, December 31, 2007

Mon., 12/31/07 Devotion (Mal. 4:2a)

Happy New Year, everyone!

Today's encouragement comes from Malachi 4:2a, where we read these words:

"But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings . . . "

Do you fear the Lord? If you do, you are most blessed indeed. (If you
don't, you fear something else--and you are not much blessed.) God-fearers have hope, help, and health--all from the "Sun of Righteousness."

Is your heart tender today? Ask Christ to administer the gospel medicine you especially need. Contrite hearts are very near and dear to Him. Start the New Year well, with a humbled soul.

[Puritan quote of the day: "The lower Christ comes down to us, the higher let us lift Him up in our hearts." --Richard Sibbes, in "The Bruised Reed"]

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sat./Sabbath, 12/29-30/07 Devotion

Wahoo--it's almost Sunday! Here's TW, from his great work, "The Art of Divine Contentment":

"What it is then to learn Christ?

"To learn Christ is to be made like Christ, to have the divine characters of His holiness engraven upon our hearts: 'We all with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image,' (2 Cor. 3:18). There is a metamorphosis made; a sinner, viewing Christ's image in the glass of the gospel, is transformed into that image. Never did any man look upon Christ with a spiritual eye, but he went away quite changed. A true saint is a divine landscape picture, where all the rare beauties of Christ are lively portrayed and drawn forth. He has the same spirit, the same judgment, the same will, with Jesus Christ."

Fri., 12/28/07 Devotion (Rev. 19:6b)

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

"Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!"

Aren't you glad that this statement above is true? It does not say, "The Lord *will* reign some day," or, "God's reign means everything goes smoothly and without a hitch." The reign of Christ--between the resurrection and the great judgment day--is a rule from the midst of a redeemed church, which finds itself in a fallen world.

Do not be too moved by wars and rumors of wars, and by international intrigue and upheaval. Over all these things is The Lord God Omnipotent.

[Puritan quote of the day: "You have a good God, a good Christ, and a good gospel." --Obadiah Sedgwick, in "The Anatomy of Secret Sins"]

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thurs., 12/27/07 Devotion (2 Chron. 32:1)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Chronicles 32:1, where we read these words:

"After these deeds of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah; he encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them over to himself."

King Hezekiah had been very faithful to God. What was the result of his compliance (among other things)? The great international power, Assyria, comes knocking on his door. God would use this arrangement, to bring greater glory to Himself, and to confirm and strengthen Hezekiah's faith.

Sometimes we are tempted to think that our union with Christ excuses us from troubles and trials--that somehow we "deserve" a break from them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Recognize this: the ongoing development of faith and faithfulness is worth whatever it requires--even if these are hard things.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Sanctification is not perfect in this life. He who has the most grace still has some sin." --Obadiah Sedgwick, in "The Anatomy of Secret Sins"]

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tues., 12/25/07 Devotion

"Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.' " (Luke 2:10-11)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mon., 12/24/07 Devotion (2 Chron. 29:5b)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Chronicles 29:5b, where we read these words:

" . . . and carry out the rubbish from the holy place."

What a great command (above), given by King Hezekiah, to the Levites. God would *still* have us, His true and redeemed churchmen, "carry out the rubbish" from the "holy place." First of all, may all Christ's faithful clergy do all they can, to expunge the church and its worship from all the rubbish that has clogged the sanctuary (as it were). (Let us go back to the gospel.)

And secondarily, let all God's people cleanse their hearts, by grace through faith in Jesus' blood atonement. His blood washes away sin. What a good time for us to do so--at this blessed season.

[Puritan quote of the day: "It is the desire of a holy person to be cleansed, not only from public, but also from private and secret sins." --Obadiah Sedgwick, in "The Anatomy of Secret Sins"]

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sat./Sabbath, 12/22-23/07 Devotion

What could be better than Christmas? The Lord's Day! Wahoo! In order to get you ready for church, here is Thomas Watson, from his, "The Christian Soldier"; or, "Taking Heaven by Storm":

"The second duty of religion wherein we must provoke ourselves, is, in HEARING OF THE WORD. We may bring our bodies to the word with ease, but not our hearts--without offering violence to ourselves. When we come to the word preached, we come to a business of the highest importance, therefore we should stir up ourselves and hear with the greatest devotion. Constantine the emperor was noted for his reverent attention to the word. Luke 19:48 [says]: 'All the people were very attentive to hear Him [Jesus].' In the Greek it is 'they hung upon His lip.' When the word is dispensed, we are to lift up the everlasting doors of our hearts that the King of glory may enter in."

Fri., 12/21/07 Devotion (Zech. 8:2)

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

"Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; with great fervor I am zealous for her.' "

God is not zealous about very many things. Our Lord Jesus Christ's ministry saw Him pass by many things with indifference. But He *was* extremely zealous for God's "house," (see Jn. 2:17). The church, the redeemed people of God, matter to Him.

Our problem is largely that we do not value what God values. Let us readjust our priority schema, so as to love what Christ loves, enjoy what He enjoys, and live for what He lives for. We will never regret doing so.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Where there is love to God, there is grieving for our sins of unkindness against Him." --Thomas Watson, in "All Things for Good"]

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thurs., 12/20/07 Devotion (2 Chron. 24:18)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Chronicles 24:18, where we read these words:

"Therefore they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass."

It is sad when professing believers leave Christ, His church, His gospel, His word, His Sabbath, and His means of grace--to go worship rocks, sticks, and dirt. But such is the tendency of the fallen human heart. Was there any hope for these (mentioned above), who had so devalued their souls?

There *was* hope: but it called for faith and repentance. May we who are the beneficiaries of so much grace, not show ingratitude by leaving God, but gratefulness by more closely clinging to Him.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Christ makes us wise to ponder and weigh things, and to rank and order them accordingly . . . " --Richard Sibbes, in "The Bruised Reed"]

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wed., 12/19/07 Devotion (Zech. 6:12b)

Today's encouragement comes from Zechariah 6:12b, where we read these words:

"Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the LORD."

This OT Messianic prophecy is fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Son of God came from heaven, planted Himself in the fallen earth, and has spread out over all the globe (through the extension of His church).

Basically, that exact same pattern is the one for all true churchmen to follow: be grounded (by grace through faith) in Jesus, be faithful members of His body, and from there bear fruit (which is the expansion of His kingdom [church]).

[Puritan quote of the day: "Can Christ forget Himself? We are His fullness, as He is ours." --Richard Sibbes, in "The Bruised Reed"]

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tues., 12/18/07 Devotion (Jn. 8:42a)

Today's encouragement comes from John 8:42a, where we read these words:

"Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love Me
. . . ' "

There is not a true God-devotee in the entire universe who does not love the Lord Jesus Christ. All other "god-talkers" serve a different ultimate spiritual father, (namely, Satan). Devotion and dedication to a "god-concept"--no matter how ardent and fervent--is worthless idolatry, if it does not center on love for Christ.

Every soul has a "father"; and, in the final analysis--even according to Christ Himself--it is either the Father in heaven, or the one consigned to hell (Satan). Who is your Father? Look at the highest object of your love, and you will know.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Where Christ is, all happiness must follow." --Richard Sibbes, in "The Bruised Reed"]

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mon., 12/17/07 Devotion (Jn. 7:37)

Today's encouragement comes from John 7:37, where we read these words:

"On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.' "

Our problem is not that there are not abundant resources of happiness, joy, pleasure, fulfillment, purpose, meaning, and contentment. Our big problem is simply that we do not *want* them badly enough. It is a great blessing to hunger and thirst for Christ (and the righteousness and life that He alone can provide).

If you are not feeling the hunger "pangs" in your soul--ask God to give
them to you. It is better to thirst for Jesus, than to be filled with the chaff of the world.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Whatever may be wished for in an all-sufficient Comforter is all to be found in Christ." --Richard
Sibbes, in "The Bruised Reed"]

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sat./Sabbath, 12/15-16/07 Devotion

Ya-hoo--Sunday is almost here! We get to worship God, corporately! In order to help get you ready for church, here is the incomparable Thomas Watson, from his work entitled, "The Happiness of Drawing Near to God":

"And as Christ makes way for us into the Holy of Holies by His incarnation: so by His crucifixion, He died to make God and us friends. The divine law being infringed, God's justice was provoked, and satisfaction [was] demanded, before we could approach to God in an amicable way. Now here Christ as our Priest shed His blood for our sins, and so made the atonement, (Col. 1:20): 'Having made peace through the blood of His cross.'  As Joseph being so great at court, made way for all his brethren to draw near into the king's presence, (Gen. 47:2)--so Jesus Christ is our Joseph, who makes the way for us by His blood, that we may now come near into God's presence. Through Christ, God is pleased with us; He holds forth the golden scepter, that we may draw near, and touch the top of the scepter."

Fri., 12/14/07 Devotion (Jn. 4:39)

Today's encouragement comes from John 4:39, where we read these words:

"And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him [Christ] because of the word of the woman who testified, 'He told me all that I ever did.' "

The testimony of believers--even brand new believers--(as above), is often profoundly used by the Holy Spirit in the conversion of other souls. This woman, whose reputation in town had been notoriously bad, now becomes the principal spokesman for the Messiah--and her neighbors believe along with her.

Never say to yourself, "I can't be effective for Christ--after all, my life has been a mess." Everyone's life is a mess. The key is not in our failed past, but in our perfect Savior. Don't hesitate to speak of Him.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Since Christ is thus comfortably set out to us, let us not believe Satan's representations of Him." --Richard Sibbes, in "The Bruised Reed"]

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thurs., 12/13/07 Devotion (2 Chron. 15:7)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Chronicles 15:7, where we read these words:

"But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!"

Judah's prophet Oded spoke these words (above) to the faithful, reforming King Asa. Sometimes, we need to be encouraged to be strong--especially when we are engaged in difficult, unpopular, and counter-cultural labors. Asa would soon be dismantling more idolatry in Judah, and he needed God's (and His prophet's) helpful words.

What are you doing for Christ? Does it rile people up? Does this mean you should stop? No. Do your ministry faithfully, do it with as little offense as possible, but do it with a firm and unswerving commitment to your Redeemer.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Job the sufferer was more renowned than Alexander the conqueror." --Thomas Watson, in "All Things for Good"]

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wed., 12/12/07 Devotion (2 Chron. 13:8a)

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

"And now you think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD, which is in the hand of the sons of David . . . "

Judah's king Abijah is here warning Israel's idolatrous king Jeroboam, that it is futile to fight against the Lord and His church. Jeroboam (the bad guy) had twice the number of soldiers as Abijah (the good guy) had; and yet God gave Abijah a great and resounding victory, (see v. 15 ff.).

The church may be way outnumbered by the world (no doubt)--but the church has Jesus, the Great "Son of David" on her side. Therefore, we should take encouragement, and fight the battles of our Lord--knowing that He is our victorious Captain.

[Puritan quote of the day: "The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer [that] fetched the angel." --Thomas Watson, in "All Things for Good"]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tues., 12/11/07 Devotion (2 Chron. 12:8)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Chronicles 12:8, where we read these words:

"Nevertheless they [the people of Judah] will be his [Shishak's] servants, that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kingdoms of the nations."

Sometimes God, in His mercy, allows His people to feel the sting of sin, by allowing them to "serve" it--and hence taste the bitterness of it. Serving Christ is much better than serving anything or anyone else. Since we have no choice, but to serve someone--let us be wise, and heartily offer our entire beings to the Redeemer.

There is honor in service--so long as we have the right Master. The devil has his servants; let *us* give our God His full due.

[Puritan quote of the day: "God makes the saints' maladies their medicines." --Thomas Watson, in "All Things for Good"]

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mon., 12/10/07 Devotion (Lk. 24:27)

Today's encouragement comes from Luke 24:27, where we find these words:

"And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He [Christ] expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself."

Why did Jesus employ the Scriptures (only), when He was teaching His disciples all things concerning Himself? Why didn't He use tradition, councils, and the opinions of ancient church leaders? Because those sources were not inspired of God--they had no authority over His conscience.

Be sure to garner what you are going to know about God from the Word of God itself. This will require the ministry of the church, to be sure--but your ministers, if they are faithful, will be looking only to the Scripture for their final authority.

[Puritan quote of the day: "None can better discover Satan's sleights and policies, than those who have been long in the fencing-school of temptation." --Thomas Watson, in "All Things for Good"]

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sat./Sabbath, 12/8-9/07 Devotion

Hurray--it's almost Sunday! To get you ready for church, here's TW, from "The Happiness of Drawing Near to God":

"How we are capable of drawing near to God. By nature we stand in opposition to God, (Col. 1:21)--[as] alienated and enemies. How then can we approach near to God? Answer: It is through a Mediator. Jesus Christ is the screen between us and divine justice. Christ as our High Priest assumes our flesh. Christ's flesh is called a 'veil,' (Heb. 10:20). As Moses when his face shone so exceedingly bright put a veil upon it, and then Israel might approach near to him and look upon him--so Christ having veiled Himself with our human nature, we may now draw near to God and behold Him."

Fri., 12/7/07 Devotion (2 Jn. 10)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 John, v. 10, where we read these words:

"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him."

Wow, these are interesting words from the tender and sensitive "apostle of love," (John). Don't sweet people listen to anyone? Aren't they open to everyone's take on God? Actually, no. Real love says, "Hey, buddy, you're coming to my house with a false gospel of works. I serve the God of heaven, who gave His Son for my sins. I don't need, nor will l tolerate your blasphemy."

Does this mean we don't try to reach these people? No, it does not mean that. Here is the rule to go by: inform all works-righteousness people that *you*, not they, will do the talking. If they want to listen, fine; if not, "adieu."

[Puritan quote of the day: "A great part of the pleasure and delight of the Christian life is made out of the observations of Providence." --John Flavel, in "The Mystery of Providence"]

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thurs., 12/6/07 Devotion (2 Chron. 6:18a)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Chronicles 6:18a, where we read these words:

"But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? . . . "

Solomon asks a good question (above). God walked with Adam in the garden, before the fall. God abode in the tabernacle in the wilderness. God had the temple built and dedicated (as here in 2 Chron.). But God would only fully and finally "dwell with men" in the incarnation, birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, and session (seating in heaven) of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Today, God still "dwells with men" in and through the Redeemer's ministry rendered through His church. Heaven and earth are joined in Jesus; and we have cause for comfort and rejoicing.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Discontent is an ungrateful sin, because we have more mercies than afflictions; and it is an irrational sin, because afflictions work for good." --Thomas Watson, in "All Things for Good"]

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wed., 12/5/07 Devotion (Lk. 19:5)

Today's encouragement comes from Luke 19:5, where we read these words:

"And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him [Zacchaeus], and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.' "

This is the only place in the gospels where I can recall that the Son of God actually "looked up" at any man. Zacchaeus, the once-proud, swindling tax collector, is now humbled, and honored (by Christ's presence in his heart, and his house).

Zacchaeus' conversion was thorough. He was a new man. From now on, the former-cheater would now always "look up" at the blessed Savior, and give Him all the glory and honor. May we do the same.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Surely, did the devil know how much benefit accrues to the saints by temptation, he would forbear to tempt." --Thomas Watson, in "All Things for Good"]

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tues., 12/4/07 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 most holy place--the very pattern of what exists 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 bosom of the Holy Trinity, in that God's children are *in* the Son of God, who is now both God and man. Do you need "self-esteem"? Here is where to find it.

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

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mon., 12/3/07 Devotion (1 Jn. 2:2a)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 John 2:2a, where we read these words:

"And He [Christ] Himself is the propitiation for our sins . . . "

"Propitiation" means atonement, sacrifice, satisfaction. Jesus Christ Himself, plus nothing, is the "propitiation" for the sins of all God's elect, who will be saved in time and space. Our works are not our propitiation. Our efforts are not. Our "working together with God" is not.

Christ *alone*, Himself satisfies God's wrath against sin; and He (Jesus) bore the punishment for the redeemed. Therefore, let us destroy all false and God-dishonoring "gospels" of works, and let us rejoice in the fact that we have a real and blessed Savior.

[Puritan quote of the day: "[God] gave His only begotten Son to be a propitiation for our sin, and accepted His suffering instead of ours." --John Shower, in "God's Thoughts and Ways are Above ours"]

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sat./Sabbath, 12/1-2/07 Devotion

Wahoo--Sunday is *almost* here! In order to prepare you for church, here is Thomas Watson, from his "A Body of Divinity" book:

"As God's mercy makes the saints happy, so it should make them humble. Mercy is not the fruit of our goodness, but the fruit of God's goodness. Mercy is an alms that God bestows. They have no cause to be proud that live upon the alms of God's mercy. 'If I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head,' (Job 10:I5). All my righteousness is the effect of God's mercy, therefore I will be humble and will not lift up my head."

Fri., 11/30/07 Devotion (1 Chron. 28:9b)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 Chronicles 28:9b, where David said these words:

" . . . For the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. . . . "

How hard is it for you to be honest with God? Do you ever consider that it is very good to be candid with yourself (and God)--and to express yourself with complete openness to Him? After all: the Lord knows our hearts, and our motivations--therefore, He loves to hear honest, heartfelt prayers.

It is better to blurt out two words that come from the heart, than to speak a thousand words of meaningless repetition. Let us give God our best--and may it be from hearts that love Him, because of His initial love to us (in Jesus).

[Puritan quote of the day: "The depth of affliction is to save us from the depth of damnation." --Thomas Watson, in "All Things for Good"]

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thurs., 11/29/07 Devotion (Mic. 4:5)

Today's encouragement comes from Micah 4:5, where we read these words:

"For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever."

Many idolaters worship their gods with more intentionality and devotion, than the children of light worship the True God. Let this not be the case with us. May we do all we can to assure that the God of grace and glory receives more homage (in our own realms), than Satan could ever dream of.

After all: what is the devil's "reward" to his followers? Misery in this world, and an eternity in flames. What does the True God do for His sincere churchmen? He gives them everything they need (and *really* want) in this world, as well as in the one to come.

[Puritan quote of the day: "If we love God, our hearts ache for the dishonor done to God by wicked men." --Thomas Watson, in "All Things for Good"]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wed., 11/28/07 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, because 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 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"]

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tues., 11/27/07 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. Is the Spirit of the Lord restricted? Answer: no. No matter how sinful, vile, wicked, or polluted a person, nation, or whole world may be--evil is still not stronger than God. Sometimes even true believers begin to wonder if even God is able to subdue the rampant rebellion of fallen souls.

But, of course He can. Will He? If it is His sovereign will and desire to do so. Our prayer ought to be that God would revive His true religion, strengthen His church, crush His enemies, and bless the whole world. For you, is the Spirit of the Lord restricted?

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

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mon., 11/26/07 Devotion (Lk. 10:19)

Today's encouragement comes from Luke 10:19, where we find the Redeemer saying these words:

"Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

This authority the Savior gave His apostles and ministers is very important, for the building up of the faith and lives of the saints. Preachers are to "trample" on the devil's "gospels" and doctrines--and ruthlessly destroy them, (exposing them to be the frauds and
blasphemies that they are).

If you are a faithful churchman, redeemed by the grace of Christ
alone--apprehended by faith alone--then be sure to pray for those in this spiritual authority over you (that they would be bold, and not cower from their responsibilities).

[Puritan quote of the day: "If you set your love on worldly things, they will not satisfy. You may as well satisfy your body with air, as your soul with earth." --Thomas Watson, in "All Things for Good"]

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sat./Sabbath, 11/24-25/07 Devotion

Yee-haw, Sunday's on the "wah"--er, I mean, "way"! To get you ready for the one day in the week you need to be 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 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."

Fri., 11/23/07 Devotion (Lk. 7:50)

[Note: Dears, there is a brand new web page that will include today's and all subsequent devotions, (and as many older ones as I can get on there). You may find it at:]

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"]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thurs., 11/22/07 Devotion (1 Chron. 17:2)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Enjoy the American Puritan holiday.

Today's encouragement comes from 1 Chronicles 17:2, where we read these words:

"Then Nathan said to David, 'Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.' "

Sincere churchmen, who are saved by grace through faith in Christ, are not under law--they are under grace, (see Rom. 6:14). Therefore, they are free to do whatever they want to--because everything they desire to do will be in accord with the God they love. They love this God because He has forgiven them their sins.

It doesn't so much matter to God what you do--so long as it is some-
thing you desire from the heart. If you love Jesus, do everything that is in your heart.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Now it is only faith that shows a man the end and the issue of all his troubles." --William Bridge, in, "A
Lifting Up for the Downcast"]