Friday, May 26, 2023

Fri.-Sabbath, 5/26-28/23 Devotion

Praise God—it is almost Sunday. All the true Christians get to worship God in church. To help get us ready, here is Thomas Watson, from his book, "The Lord's Supper.” . . .

"Behold the love of God the Father in giving Christ to be broken for us. That God should put such a Jewel before us is the admiration of angels. 'God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son,' (John 3:16). It is a pat-tern of love without a parallel. It was a far greater expression of love in God to give His Son to die for us than if He had voluntarily acquitted us of the debt without any satisfaction at all. If a subject is disloyal to his sovereign, it argues more love in the king to give his own son to die for that subject than to forgive him the wrong freely."

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Thurs., 5/25/23 Devotion (1 Jn. 4:16a)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 John 4:16a, where we read these few words:

"And we have known and believed the love that God has for us . . . "

It is a monumental blessing for us Christians in the true church to know and believe that God loves us. This is especially remarkable, since in our natural state of sin we hated God. But now, as we are in Jesus, we are loved by God; and we love Him (cf. v. 10a). Now, because we recognize that we are loved by God, and we actually believe the incredible fact of this truth—we cannot do enough for Christ. God's love now "compels" us, (2 Cor. 5:14), to a lively and loving obedience.

. . . If we do not know and believe that God loves us, then we will inevitably show ourselves to be spiritually unfaithful—since we will seek our affection from idolatrous sources. This is why it is imperative that Christians get a solid interest in Jesus’ gospel—so that we know that we are the genuine objects of God's love.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Such as think totally to ruin the church, must do it in a time when it is neither day nor night, for the Lord keeps the church by His providence night and day.” —Thomas Watson, in, "A Body of Divinity"]

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wed., 5/24/23 Devotion (1 Jn. 3:8b)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 John 3:8b, where the apostle wrote these words:

"For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."

If the devil had not done his best to destroy God's world—especially by tempting human beings to sin—there would have been no reason for the Son of God to appear, as a Redeemer. Though sin is to be abominated in all its forms, it is still the case that it made the way for God to demonstrate the full range of His wonderful characteristics—including love, forgiveness, atone-ment, mercy, grace, righteousness, justification, and patience.

Has the devil left some of his dirt on us in Christ's true church? Let us be en-couraged: Jesus is in the sanctification process of destroying our sin; and building us up, in our growing love for Him—all through Christ.

[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"]

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Tues., 5/23/23 Devotion (Ps. 77:13)

Today's encouragement comes from Psalm 77:13, where Asaph wrote these words:

"Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great a God as our God?"

God always operates from His “sanctuary." The Old Covenant sanctuary was a type of heaven, (cf. Heb. 8:4-5). In the heavenly sanctuary today, the Son of God intercedes for His saints by virtue of His atoning blood, (cf. Heb. 7:25). The church that meets (especially) in the Sunday worship services constitute the place of God's sanctuary on earth, (cf. 1 Pet. 2:4-5). And finally, the indi-vidual hearts of the regenerate churchmen are also the abodes of His sanc-tuary, (cf. 1 Cor. 3:16).

*From* God's sanctuary goes forth praise of God in Jesus Christ; and the ev-angelism of the world. Let us be thankful that the true God is the God of the “sanctuary": the place of worship and rest.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Here is a pillar of support to every soul who has broken off sin and espoused holiness. This is an undoubted evidence that you are a true child of God.” —Thomas Watson, in, "The Mischief of Sin"]

Monday, May 22, 2023

Mon., 5/22/23 Devotion (1 Jn. 1:10)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 John 1:10, where we read these words:

"If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him [God] a liar, and His word is not in us."

Sin is an insidious thing. If we acknowledge it, we must confess it and repent of it—receiving fresh absolution in Jesus’ blood. If we do not acknowledge sin, we sin even worse (by pretending it does not exist). The best thing to do, in confessing sin, is to be as honest with God as we possibly can be. This re-quires God's gracious and loving assistance.

Confession of sin usually has these two temptations attached to it: 1) to say things to God that we do not really mean (just to ease our conscience); or, 2) to confess things to God which (in themselves) are really not sin at all. Again: the key is candor. May the Lord help us know our hearts well enough, in order to make good confession to Him; and then to enjoy our full freedom in Christ.

[Puritan quote of the week: "The eyes of our souls cannot be towards God unless He has cast a gracious look upon us first.” —Richard Sibbes, in, "The Bruised Reed"]

Friday, May 19, 2023

Fri.-Sabbath, 5/19-21/23 Devotion

Bless God—it is almost Sunday, God's holy day! In order to encourage us as we prepare for church, here are some good words (with modern updates) from Jonathan Edwards, taken from his sermon entitled, "Christians a Chos-en Generation.” . . .

"Christians are of a very different nature and temper from the rest of the world. The truly godly people are very different in their disposition from oth-ers. They hate those things that the rest of the world loves, and they love those things for which the rest of the world has no interest—so much so is this the case that [ungodly] people wonder why they place their happiness in a strict observance of the self-denying duties of religion.

“[The ungodly] wonder at the delight the godly take in spending so much time in meditation and prayer; and that they do not place their happiness in those things which [the ungodly] do. 1 Peter 4:4: 'Wherein they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same excess of riot; so they speak evil of you.’

"But the reason is that [the godly] are of a different [spiritual] race, and so they are driven by different dispositions."

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Thurs., 5/18/23 Devotion (Ps. 71:16b)

Today's encouragement comes from Psalm 71:16b, where we read these words (of David):

" . . . I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.”

This little phrase (above) is a good reminder that The *only* One who has any inherent "righteousness" is God alone, Who communicates it through Christ alone. All of our righteousness is derived from Him. When it comes to the greatest form of righteousness (i.e. justification before God), this is imputed to the churched Christian in regeneration; and it is enjoyed by faith in Jesus. When it comes to any form of "civil" righteousness (which cannot and does not save), any person may have it; but it is given as a token of God's "com-mon" grace.

Let us who have received the gift of atonement in Christ’s blood bless God that we possess *His* (Jesus') Own righteousness. This is the great advan-tage of the church; and it is cause for unbounded rejoicing.

[Puritan quote of the day: "The truth is, we should listen as much to the voice of God in the ministry of His Word as if the Lord should speak out of the clouds to us.” —Jeremiah Burroughs, in, "Gospel Worship"]