Friday, July 29, 2011

Fri.-Sabbath, 7/29-31/11 Devotion

Wahoo--it's almost Sunday again! We *get* to go to church and wor-
ship God! In order to help us get ready, here is the great Puritan pas-
tor Richard Sibbes, from his amazing, "The Bruised Reed" classic. . . .


"When we think of Joseph, Daniel, John the Evangelist, we frame conceptions of them with delight, as of mild and sweet persons. Much more when we think of Christ, we should conceive of Him as a mirror of all meekness. If the sweetness of all flowers were in one, how sweet must that flower be? In Christ all perfections of mercy and love meet. How great then must that mercy be that lodges in so gracious a heart? Whatever tenderness is scattered in husband, father, brother, head, all is but a beam from Him; it is in Him in the most eminent manner. We are weak, but we are His; we are deformed, but yet carry His image upon us. A father looks not so much at the blemishes of his child as at his own nature in him; so Christ finds matter of love from that which is His own in us. He sees His own nature in us: we are diseased, but yet His members. Whoever neglected his own members because they were sick or weak? None ever hated his own flesh. Can the head forget the members? Can Christ forget Himself? We are His fullness, as He is ours. He was love itself clothed with man's nature, which He united so near to Himself, that He might communicate His goodness the more freely to us. And He took not our nature when it was at its best, but when it was abased, with all the natural and com-
mon infirmities it was subject to.

"Let us therefore abhor all suspicious thoughts, as either cast in or cherished by that damned spirit who, as he labored to divide between the Father and the Son by jealousies, by saying, 'If You be the Son of God' (Matt. 4:6), so his daily study is to divide between the Son and us by breeding false opinions in us of Christ, as if there were not such tender love in Him to such as we are. It was Satan's art from the be-
ginning to discredit God with man, by calling God's love into question with our first father Adam. His success then makes him ready at that weapon still."