Thursday, December 2, 2021

Thurs., 12/2/21 Devotion (Micah 7:18a, 19b)

Today's encouragement comes from Micah 7:18a & 19b, which relates these fabulous words:

"Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? . . . You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea."

One of the greatest blessings we can possibly possess is the forgiveness of our sins. This is a magnificent deed God performs in us. If we are forgiven of our sins, it took the very blood of God's own dear Son to bring this about. God had to overcome our hearts, the fallen world, and the devil, in order to pro-cure the pardon of our iniquities—in Jesus Christ alone.

. . . But if we are forgiven our sins, nothing else really much matters. If we are fully and perfectly justified in Jesus, and hence have a clear and clean consci-ence before Almighty God—is it of any great consequence that we have to go through trials and tribulations? We have already obtained God’s supernal Gift (Christ).

[Puritan quote of the day: "They dishonor the pardoning grace of God . . . by seeking and expecting it any other way than through the mediation of the Son of God.” —Jeremiah Burroughs, in, "Gospel Remission"]

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Wed., 12/1/21 Devotion (1 Chron. 29:3)

Today's encouragement comes from 1 Chronicles 29:3, where we read these words of David, inspired by the Holy Spirit:

"Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver."

Whatever we value and love, we adorn. David eminently-esteemed the house of his God, having affection for it. Jesus loves His church, and bedecks it with all His gracious jewels, (cf. Rev. 21:10 ff.). Upon whoever or whatever we love, we are careful to bestow our highest honor.

The wise and happy person loves who and what God loves; and invests his or her life in beautifying what will last forever. Let us set our affection on the Son of God, and the house (church) of God—even as David did.

[Puritan quote of the day: "For the greatest and most glorious work that you can perform is not nearly worth so much as one drop of the blood of Christ.” —Jeremiah Burroughs, in, "Gospel Remission"]

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Tues., 11/30/21 Devotion (2 Pet. 2:19b)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Peter 2:19b, where we read these words:

" . . . for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bond-age."

All of us are in "service" and "bondage" to someone. The way to know who this being is, is to ask oneself, "About whom do I most often think? About whom am I practically obsessed?" The answer to this query reveals our ulti-mate master.

When the master is another fallen human being (be he or she good or bad)—this is a miserable bondage. When the Master is the King of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, this is a liberating "bondage." When the master is self or Satan—this is torturous labor. But when the Master is the Triune God, this is sweet service. Let all Christ's faithful churchmen gladly serve under the banner of Christ today!

[Puritan quote of the day: "Lord, let the magnet of Your Spirit draw my heart upward. Lord, dig the earth out of my heart; teach me how to possess the world, and not love it; how to hold it in my hand, and not let it get into my heart.” —Thomas Watson, in, "The Ten Commandments"]

Monday, November 29, 2021

Mon., 11/29/21 Devotion (2 Pet. 1:2)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Peter 1:2, where we find these wonderful words:

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord . . . "

To have grace and peace *multiplied* to one's soul is a very blessed thing. God does not only "add," or "drip" His good gifts onto His beloved churchmen (a little at a time)—but He multiplies them. And notice how He does this: in our knowledge of Him, and of His Son Jesus.

If we know God in the Lord Jesus Christ, we possess the Person of grace and peace. The more we love God (in Christ), the more we enjoy God’s blessings—though they often do come with trouble and difficulty.

[Puritan quote of the day: "Upon this reconciliation with God, you and God come to have common friends and common enemies.” —Jeremiah Bur-roughs, in, "Gospel Reconciliation"]

Friday, November 26, 2021

Fri.-Sabbath, 11/26-28/21 Devotion

Thank God—it is almost Sunday! In order to help get us ready for church, here is the incomparable Puritan Thomas Watson, from his book entitled, "The Ten Commandments":

"Faith in Christ is acceptable to God because it is a self-denying grace; it makes a person go out of him- or herself, renounce all self-righteousness, and wholly rely on Christ for justification. It is a very humble grace that con-fesses its own poverty, and lives wholly upon Christ. As the bee derives all its sweetness from the flower, so faith derives all its strength and comfort from Christ.

"Faith is a grace acceptable to God, because by faith we present a righteous-ness to Him which best pleases Him: we bring the righteousness of Christ in-to court, which is called 'the righteousness of God,' (2 Cor 5:21). . . . A believ-er may say, 'Lord, it is not the righteousness of Adam, or of the angels, but of Christ who is God/Man, that I bring before You.' The Lord cannot but smell a sweet savor in Christ's righteousness."

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thurs., 11/25/21 Devotion (Jonah 4:6)

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Today's encouragement comes from Jonah 4:6, where we read these words:

"And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant."

To his honor, Jonah was "grateful for the plant"; but it would soon be evident that Jonah's thankfulness was piecemeal. When God removed the plant, Jo-nah became very peevish and churlish. When God refused to give Jonah a divine fireworks display, by blowing up Nineveh, it displeased the prophet greatly.

True gratitude that glorifies God is universal and uniform. This does not mean that we Christians will always get it right; but it does mean that we are to set our hearts on being grateful to God for *all* things, be they "good" or "evil."

[Puritan quote of the day: "As the sun rises by degrees till it comes to shine in glory, so it was with the Sun of Righteousness [Christ]. He revealed Himself in the church little by little.” —Richard Sibbes, in, "Glorious Freedom"]

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Wed., 11/24/21 Devotion (Lk. 8:1a, 39b)

Today's encouragement comes from Luke 8:1a & 39b, where we read these words:

"Now it came to pass, afterward, that [Jesus] went through every city and vil-lage, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. . . . And [the formerly demon-possessed man] went his way and proclaimed through-out the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him."

Here is a great pattern of how true Christianity works. Jesus' gospel is pro-claimed from the church's pulpits, the cities of the world are filled with Christ's doctrine (cf. Acts 5:28b), and the individually-redeemed saints bring this good news to everyone they can.

Today, just like then, what Christ preaches through His clergy, the parishion-ers proclaim in their worlds and spheres of influence. In this way "every city" and "whole cit[ies]" are reached with the gospel of God’s grace in our Lord Jesus Christ.

[Puritan quote of the day: "What would become of us if there were not grace above sin, and mercy above misery, and power in Christ Jesus above all the power in Satan and death?” —Richard Sibbes, in, "Glorious Freedom"]