"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."
Friday, November 30, 2007
" . . . 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
"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
" . . . 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
" . . . 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
"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
"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."
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
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"]