Friday, July 22, 2011

Fri.-Sabbath, 7/22-24/11 Devotion

Wahoo--it's almost Sunday! We *get* to go back to church! Here is Rev. Richard Sibbes, the great Puritan pastor, from his, "The Bruised Reed" book. . . .


"Those that are under Christ's government have the spirit of revela-
tion, whereby they see and feel a divine power sweetly and strongly enabling them to preserve faith when they feel the contrary, and hope in a state which is hopeless, and love to God under signs of His dis-
pleasure, and heavenly-mindedness in the midst of worldly affairs and allurements which draw a contrary way. They feel a power preserving patience, nay joy, in the midst of causes of mourning, inward peace in the midst of assaults. Whence is it that, when assaulted with temp-
tation and compassed with troubles, we have stood firm, but from a secret strength upholding us? To make so little grace so victorious over so great a mass of corruption, this requires a spirit more than human. This is like preserving fire in the sea, and a part of heaven even, as it were, in hell. Here we know where to obtain this power, and to Whom to return the praise of it. And it is our happiness that it is so safely hid in Christ for His, in one so near to God and us.

"Since the fall, God will not trust us with our own salvation, but it is both purchased and kept by Christ for us, and we for it through faith, wrought by the power of God, which we lay hold of. This power is gloriously set forth by Paul: it is (1) a great power; (2) an exceeding power; (3) a working and a mighty power; (4) such a power as was wrought in raising Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19, 20). That grace which is but a persuasive offer and in our power to receive or refuse is not the grace which brings us to heaven. But God's people feel a pow-
erful work of the Spirit, not only revealing to us our misery and de-
liverance through Christ, but emptying us of ourselves, as being re-
deemed from ourselves, and infusing new life into us, and afterwards strengthening us and quickening us when we droop and hang the wing, never leaving us till the conquest is perfect."