Devotional Thought for Today – 30/03/2021

Isaiah 55:8 - “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither...

Isaiah 55

Isaiah 55 can be divided into two sections:

Verses 1-7: God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink “without money” (or freely). He promises an “everlasting covenant” to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, “Seek ye the Lord” and “call ye upon him.”

Verses 8-13: God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His “thoughts” (i.e., purposes and intentions), and “ways” (derakim, or “directions”), are “higher” than ours.  –https://bible-studys.org/index.html

Our text for today comes from the latter, v.8-9, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

A few years ago an interesting press release hit my inbox, citing a recent survey by the Barna Research Group. It seems most folks do not know that some of their favorite biblical quotes aren’t actually from the Bible. See how much you know—which of these famous phrases is found nowhere in scripture:

“To thine own self be true.”

“God helps those who help themselves.”

“The truth will set you free.”

“God works in mysterious ways.”

The only phrase above that is in the Bible is “the truth will set you free,” in the Gospel of John. According to Barna’s poll, only 24% of adults knew that.

So what does that have to do with today’s devotional?  How many times have you heard folks say the last one? Hundreds, maybe more, so unbiblical.  Let us look at a few points:

God’s ways are different and better Proverbs 14:12

His knowledge is boundless and ours limited Psalm 147:5 

The mystery is to those outside the faith 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

The great mystery is revealed to the saints Colossians 1:26, 2 Timothy 2:15

When we say or agree with someone saying “God works in mysterious ways” we are acknowledging that God’s will can not be known for our lives.  That the God of the bible is unpersonable, unrelatable, and by proxy uncaring. I don’t know about y’all but that is definitely not the God I read about in my collection of Bible’s no matter the translation. 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Lord God, I come to you today denying that you are a God that can not be known, that all your works are mysteries and we are but puppets in this life.  You promise to instruct me (Ps 32:8) in your ways and watch over me to ensure my walk, I pray your Holy Spirit will guide my path daily.  Grant me the ability to serve in your will daily, with understanding and compassion. – AMEN


What is the mystery of God referred to in the Bible?

Now no condemnation

One of the great promises of the bible is found in 

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

Viviendo en el Espíritu

Ahora, pues, ninguna condenación hay para los que están en Cristo Jesús, los que no andan conforme a la carne, sino conforme al Espíritu. Porque la ley del Espíritu de vida en Cristo Jesús me ha librado de la ley del pecado y de la muerte. (RVR 1960)

This issue as always can be found in man’s willful desire to go his own way: John 3:19

 

Book of Life

R.C. Sproul Quote: “When God writes our names in the 'Lamb's Book ...

What the late Dr. R.C. Sproul was referring to is sometimes argued over in Evangelical circles. That is can a redeemed person lose their eternal salvation. I am going to leave that discussion for another day (suffice it to say no) and move on to the topic at hand “The Book of Life” or “Lambs Book of Life.”

There are a number of verses found in the bible regarding this topic here is the list found in the AMPLIFIED BIBLE , the one that I have decided to concentrate on isMalachi – Calvary Baptist Church

Malachi 3:16-18 

Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name. 17 “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” (NLT) 

Entonces los que temían a Jehová hablaron cada uno a su compañero; y Jehová escuchó y oyó, y fue escrito libro de memoria delante de él para los que temen a Jehová, y para los que piensan en su nombre. 17 Y serán para mí especial tesoro, ha dicho Jehová de los ejércitos, en el día en que yo actúe; y los perdonaré, como el hombre que perdona a su hijo que le sirve. 18 Entonces os volveréis, y discerniréis la diferencia entre el justo y el malo, entre el que sirve a Dios y el que no le sirve. (RVR 1960) 


CONTEXT: 

Malachi means “My Messenger” in Hebrew in chapter three v.1-6 he delivers the message the nation of Israel has been asking for. That is God will send the promised Messiah and He will be foretold by a messenger. 

In v.7-12 Malachi delivers his final message to the nation of Israel from God, admonishing them for their disobedience and transgressions.   

Verses 13-18 contain two parts one is the very clear distinction between the Righteous and the Wicked. The Second contained in v.16-18 declares God’s promise of Mercy for His chosen people. 

Let us break it down:

v.16

those who feared the Lord spoke with each other – keep in mind that God had just reprimanded them and now they have repented, saw the error of their ways. What do they do the conversed among themselves to encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, (1 Thess 5:11)

and the Lord listened to what they said – Wow, what an amazing phrase, what a promise, God listens to those who fear (revere) Him. 

a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name – There is a two part theological implication here, one to be written in the Book of Life (remembrance) one must first fear or highly revere God and secondly we must do it for life. This is not a once and done deal from our side of the street.  You can not decide today I will Love and fear God but tomorrow I won’t and have any expectation f eternal life. 

v.17

They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – I love this, God is the Commander in Chief of the greatest Army EVER and for those who repent, fear and honor His name for life He will call you His people. Hallelujah!

“On the day when I act in judgment, – Watch out judgement, what judgement I thought when I said that little old prayer I was good to go. Think again, 2 Corinthians 5:10 (AMP) says: For we [believers will be called to account and] must all appear before the [a]judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or [b]bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives—the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities]. 

they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. – The Good News is God promises no eternal damnation to those whom He has called His own. That does not excuse God’s children from redeeming their time on earth wisely.

v.18

Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” – I am not sure there is a better concise commentary on this verse than that of Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary Then shall ye … discern—Then shall ye see the falseness of your calumny against God’s government (Mal 3:15), that the “proud” and wicked prosper. Do not judge before the time till My work is complete. It is in part to test your disposition to trust in God in spite of perplexing appearances, and in order to make your service less mercenary, that the present blended state is allowed; but at last all (“ye,” both godly and ungodly) shall see the eternal difference there really is “between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not” (Ps 58:11).

CONCLUSION: 

As 2 Cor 5:10 points out we will be judged by our works and one of the best works I can think of is to offer prayers of praise by every true believer for being in the Book of Life. Another is to offer prayers of supplication for all our unsaved family, friends, co-workers to join them. God has promised Eternal Life to those that Fear and Honor His name forever; He also promises eternal damnation for those who reject His offer of Grace and Mercy. I pray you are counted among them in the Book. 

 

Tempted

When we think of being tempted we think of doing things wrong that is sinning against God. Of course that is true, and we need to Armor Up daily to fight off the willy temptations of the devil what other types of temptations are running about especially with the COVID-19 situation? How about:

Anger – maybe you have been to that store 3 times for TP and they are out every time

Anxiety – some folks get panic attack for many different reasons a world wide pandemic is probably one to set them off

Depression – as more and more areas have issued “Shelter in Place” orders those not used to being “locked up” will become susceptible to depression

Slothfulness or Laziness – as more Americans are laid off laziness is often the by product

Resentment – my neighbor still has a job why not me I have bills to pay too

12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12

The “GOOD NEWS” is that there is a cure for all these temptations and the cure is Christ. Trust in HIM and HIM alone as not only your Savior equally important LORD of your Life. Christ is able to sustain us through all life’s trials and temptations Psalm 55:22

If you are feeling any of these emotions and want to talk, vent or otherwise express yourself PLEASE feel free to email me and I will gladly send you IM info.

 

 

Call on ME

Image result for Psalm 50:15 Call on Me

“Psalm 50:15”

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (NKJV) 

E invócame en el día de la angustia; Te libraré, y tú me honrarás. (RVR 1960)

Speaking from experience and many many conversations, it seems that we, as Christians, always wait until when we are knee deep in trouble, until we call upon the Lord for help. 

In our text above God makes it very clear that we are to Call upon Me {Him} in the day {our} of trouble, the question is when is that? When are we as believers in the day of trouble? 

This may come as a surprise to some of you but I would say that we are Daily in Our Day of Trouble. Let see if I  can explain; Jesus said that we He was not of this world John 17:14 and just like Jesus, true Christians, are not of this world John 15:19 and are in fact hated by the world around them. We are so opposed by and anti-world that we are commanded to love not the world 1 John 2:15 nor the things the world loves. We are told to be conformed not to the world but to Godly things Romans 12:2 by focusing on Godly values and things above Colossians 3:2. 

I hope I have made my point that the daily walk (life) of a Christian is full of trouble. One can not read the New Testament Epistles not not get that understanding. Has anything changed since they were written, no. Has the Lord changed the way we are to communicate with Him since the time of Moses, no, Call upon Me, He says.

We all want the promise of the Lord, I will deliver you, the problem is we want it on our terms. That is only when we are desperate for rescue. We seem to forget the last part of the verse; and you shall glorify Me. I know this is fictional but sometimes I think the Lord is sitting up there in Heaven saying, hey what about me, have you forgotten about me? Daily praise through prayer and supplication should be the norm not the exception in our lives. Call on me He says have you done that today?


Matthew Poole’s Commentary

And make conscience of that great duty of constant and fervent prayer to me; which is an acknowledgment of thy subjection to me, and of thy trust and dependence upon me, and therefore is pleasing to me.

In the day of trouble; when trouble comes, do not avoid it by sinful shifts, not’ trust to creatures for relief, as hypocrites generally do, but give glory to me, by relying upon my promises, and expect help from me by hearty and unfeigned prayer.

Thou shalt glorify me: this is mentioned, either,

1. As a privilege; thou shalt have occasion to praise and glorify me for thy deliverance. Or,

2. As a further duty; thou shalt give me the glory of thy deliverance by praising me for it, and improving it to my service and glory.

 

Starting Over

7 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

Por tanto, amados, teniendo estas promesas, limpiémonos de toda inmundicia de la carne y del espíritu, perfeccionando la santidad en el temor de Dios. (LBLA)

Having therefore these promises: What are the promises that Paul is speaking about? Context requires us to look back at chapter 6 and see the following: 

14 Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial (Satan)? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said:“I will dwell among them and walk among them;And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17 “So come out from among unbelievers and be separate,” says the Lord, “And do not touch what is unclean;And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor], 18 And I will be a Father to you, And you will be My sons and daughters,” Says the Lord Almighty. (AMP) 

God promises if we will come out from among the filth of this world (willful sinful acts) then He will be a Father to us. Glory, what a promise that is, the almighty creator of all says you will be My sons and daughters. 

Of course this is not some one time say it, pray it and you are done thing. It is a life time commitment and work of mind and spirit. That is why the rest of verse 7:1 says we must not only separate but cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God

Alexander MacLaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture

It is often made a charge against professing Christians that their religion has very little to do with common morality. The taunt has sharpened multitudes of gibes and been echoed in all sorts of tones: it is very often too true and perfectly just, but if ever it is, let it be distinctly understood that it is not so because of Christian men’s religion but in spite of it. Their bitterest enemy does not condemn them half so emphatically as their own religion does: the sharpest censure of others is not so sharp as the rebukes of the New Testament. If there is one thing which it insists upon more than another, it is that religion without morality is nothing–that the one test to which, after all, every man must submit is, what sort of character has he and how has he behaved–is he pure or foul? All high-flown pretension, all fervid emotion has at last to face the question which little children ask, ‘Was he a good man?’

The Apostle has been speaking about very high and mystical truths, about all Christians being the temple of God, about God dwelling in men, about men and women being His sons and daughters; these are the very truths on which so often fervid imaginations have built up a mystical piety that had little to do with the common rules of right and wrong. But Paul keeps true to the intensely practical purpose of his preaching and brings his heroes down to the prosaic earth with the homely common sense of this far-reaching exhortation, which he gives as the fitting conclusion for such celestial visions.

I. A Christian life should be a life of constant self-purifying.

This epistle is addressed to the church of God which is at Corinth with all the _saints_ which are in all Achaia.

Looking out over that wide region, Paul saw scattered over godless masses a little dispersed company to each of whom the sacred name of Saint applied. They had been deeply stained with the vices of their age and place, and after a black list of criminals he had had to say to them ‘such were some of you,’ and he lays his finger on the miracle that had changed them and hesitates not to say of them all, ‘But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.’

The first thing, then, that every Christian has is a cleansing which accompanies forgiveness, and however his garment may have been ‘spotted by the flesh,’ it is ‘washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb.’ Strange cleansing by which black stains melt out of garments plunged in red blood! With the cleansing of forgiveness and justification comes, wherever they come, the gift of the Holy Spirit–a new life springing up within the old life, and untouched by any contact with its evils. These gifts belong universally to the initial stage of the Christian life and require for their possession only the receptiveness of faith. They admit of no co-operation of human effort, and to possess them men have only to ‘take the things that are freely given to them of God.’ But of the subsequent stages of the Christian life, the laborious and constant effort to develop and apply that free gift is as essential as, in the earliest stage, it is worse than useless. The gift received has to be wrought into the very substance of the soul, and to be wrought out in all the endless varieties of life and conduct. Christians are cleansed to begin with, but they have still daily to cleanse themselves: the leaven is hid in the three measures of meal, but ‘‘tis a life-long task till the lump be leavened,’ and no man, even though he has the life that was in Jesus within him, will grow up ‘into the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’ unless, by patient and persistent effort, he is ever pressing on to ‘the things that are before’ and daily striving to draw nearer to the prize of his high calling. We are cleansed, but we have still to cleanse ourselves.

Yet another paradox attaches to the Christian life, inasmuch as God cleanses us, but we have to cleanse ourselves. The great truth that the spirit of God in a man is the fontal source of all his goodness, and that Christ’s righteousness is given to us, is no pillow on which to rest an idle head, but should rather be a trumpet-call to effort which is thereby made certain of success. If we were left to the task of self-purifying by our own efforts we might well fling it up as impossible. It is as easy for a man to lift himself from the ground by gripping his own shoulders as it is for us to rise to greater heights of moral conduct by our own efforts; but if we can believe that God gives the impulse after purity, and the vision of what purity is, and imparts the power of attaining it, strengthening at once our dim sight and stirring our feeble desires and energising our crippled limbs, then we can ‘run with patience the race that is set before us.’

We must note the thoroughness of the cleansing which the Apostle here enjoins. What is to be got rid of is not this or that defect or vice, but ‘_all_ filthiness of flesh and spirit.’ The former, of course, refers primarily to sins of impurity which in the eyes of the Greeks of Corinth were scarcely sins at all, and the latter to a state of mind when fancy, imagination, and memory were enlisted in the service of evil. Both are rampant in our day as they were in Corinth. Much modern literature and the new gospel of ‘Art for Art’s sake’ minister to both, and every man carries in himself inclinations to either. It is no partial cleansing with which Paul would have us to be satisfied: ‘_all_’ filthiness is to be cast out. Like careful housewives who are never content to cease their scrubbing while a speck remains upon furniture, Christian men are to regard their work as unfinished as long as the least trace of the unclean thing remains in their flesh or in their spirit. The ideal may be far from being realised at any moment, but it is at the peril of the whole sincerity and peacefulness of their lives if they, in the smallest degree, lower the perfection of their ideal in deference to the imperfection of their realisation of it.

It must be abundantly clear from our own experience that any such cleansing is a very long process. No character is made, whether it be good or bad, but by a slow building up: no man becomes most wicked all at once, and no man is sanctified by a wish or at a jump. As long as men are in a world so abounding with temptation, ‘he that is washed’ will need daily to ‘wash his feet’ that have been stained in the foul ways of life, if he is to be ‘clean every whit.’

As long as the spirit is imprisoned in the body and has it for its instrument there will be need for much effort at purifying. We must be content to overcome one foe at a time, and however strong may be the pilgrim’s spirit in us, we must be content to take one step at a time, and to advance by very slow degrees. Nor is it to be forgotten that as we get nearer what we ought to be, we should be more conscious of the things in which we are not what we ought to be. The nearer we get to Jesus Christ, the more will our consciences be enlightened as to the particulars in which we are still distant from Him. A speck on a polished shield will show plain that would never have been seen on a rusty one. The saint who is nearest God will think more of his sins than the man who is furthest from him. So new work of purifying will open before us as we grow more pure, and this will last as long as life itself.

II. The Christian life is to be not merely a continual getting rid of evil, but a continual becoming good.

Paul here draws a distinction between cleansing ourselves from filthiness and perfecting holiness, and these two, though closely connected and capable of being regarded as being but the positive and negative sides of one process, are in reality different, though in practice the former is never achieved without the latter, nor the latter accomplished without the former. Holiness is more than purity; it is consecration. That is holy which is devoted to God, and a saint is one whose daily effort is to devote his whole self, in all his faculties and nature, thoughts, heart, and will, more and more, to God, and to receive into himself more and more of God.

The purifying which Paul has been enjoining will only be successful in the measure of our consecration, and the consecration will only be genuine in the measure of our purifying. Herein lies the broad and blessed distinction between the world’s morality and Christian ethics. The former fails just because it lacks the attitude towards a Person who is the very foundation of Christian morality, and changes a hard and impossible law into love. There is no more futile waste of breath than that of teachers of morality who have no message but Be good! Be good! and no motive by which to urge it but the pleasures of virtue and the disadvantages of vice, but when the vagueness of the abstract thought of goodness solidifies into a living Person and that Person makes his appeal first to our hearts and bids us love him, and then opens before us the unstained light of his own character and beseeches us to be like him, the repellent becomes attractive: the impossible becomes possible, and ‘if ye love Me keep My commandments’ becomes a constraining power and a victorious impulse in our lives.

III. The Christian life of purifying and consecration is to be animated by hope and fear.

The Apostle seems to connect hope more immediately with the cleansing, and holiness with the fear of God, but probably both hope and fear are in his mind as the double foundation on which both purity and consecration are to rest, or the double emotion which is to produce them both. These promises refer directly to the immediately preceding words, ‘I will be a Father unto you and ye shall be My sons and daughters,’ in which all the blessings which God can give or men can receive are fused together in one lustrous and all-comprehensive whole. So all the great truths of the Gospel and all the blessed emotions of sonship which can spring up in a human heart are intended to find their practical result in holy and pure living. For this end God has spoken to us out of the thick darkness; for this end Christ has come into our darkness; for this end He has lived; for this end He died; for this end He rose again; for this end He sends His Spirit and administers the providence of the world. The purpose of all the Divine activity as regards us men is not merely to make us happy, but to make us happy in order that we may be good. He whom what he calls his religion has only saved from the wrath of God and the fear of hell has not learned the alphabet of religion. Unless God’s promises evoke men’s goodness it will be of little avail that they seem to quicken their hope. Joyful confidence in our sonship is only warranted in the measure in which we are like our Father. Hope often deludes and makes men dreamy and unpractical. It generally paints pictures far lovelier than the realities, and without any of their shadows; it is too often the stimulus and ally of ignoble lives, and seldom stirs to heroism or endurance, but its many defects are not due to itself but to its false choice of objects on which to fix. The hope which is lifted from trailing along the earth and twining round creatures and which rises to grasp these promises ought to be, and in the measure of its reality is the ally of all patient endurance and noble self-sacrifice. Its vision of coming good is all directed to the coming Christ, and ‘every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself even as He is pure.’

In Paul’s experience there was no contrariety between hope set on Jesus and fear directed towards God. It is in the fear of God that holiness is to be perfected. There is a fear which has no torment. Yet more, there is no love in sons or daughters without fear. The reverential awe with which God’s children draw near to God has in it nothing slavish and no terror. Their love is not only joyful but lowly. The worshipping gaze upon His Divine majesty, the reverential and adoring contemplation of His ineffable holiness, and the poignant consciousness, after all effort, of the distance between us and Him will bow the hearts that love Him most in lowliest prostration before Him. These two, hope and fear, confidence and awe, are like the poles on which the whole round world turns and are united here in one result. They who ‘set their hope in God’ must ‘not forget the works of God but keep His commandments’; they who ‘call Him Father,’ ‘who without respect of persons judgeth’ must ‘pass the time of their sojourning here in fear,’ and their hopes and their fears must drive the wheels of life, purify them from all filthiness and perfect them in all holiness.

 

Image result for Hebrews 11:16
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We cannot begin to understand this verse without first looking back what preceded it. All the way back to v.4 we see a list of Biblical men who lived their lives by Faith in God. They not only obeyed God, they were faithful to Him. There is a difference folks. Many people today are obediently going to church every Sunday but not faithful in all things (maybe it their Tithes and offerings or some hidden sin) to God. 

These men and women in Chapter 11 did not see the fulfillment of all of God’s promises in their lifetimes but their faithfulness pleased God so, He was not ashamed of them and has prepared an even greater home for them.

Alexander MacLaren has in my humble opinion a great commentary on this verse it starts like this:

“These are bold words. They tell us that unless God has provided a future condition of social blessedness for those whom He calls His, their life’s experience on earth is a blot on His character and administration. He needs heaven for His vindication. The preparation of the City is the reason why He is not ‘ashamed to be called their God.’ If there were not such a preparation, He had need to be ashamed”… 

I would encourage you to read the rest here: MacLaren Heb 11:16

 

 

 

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 16 & 17 July

GOD’S FAITHFULNESS

God himself hath said, I will never, never forsake you – Hebrews 13:5 (Weymouth)

Whatever God can do, he unquestionably will do, if he has promised it. – John Calvin

Two negatives make an affirmative in grammar, but ten thousand will not make one in divinity. – Thomas Goodwin

THOUGHTS

The thoughts of thy heart – Daniel – 2:30

The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man – Psalm 94:11

Thy thoughts are vocal to God. – John Flavel

Thought are the spies and messengers of the soul. – Thomas Manton

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. The topics are
“FACING DEATH” and “A WOULD-BE FOLLOWER”

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 27 & 28 May

TEMPORARY AND FALSE FAITH

These have no root, which for a while believe, and in the time of temptation fall away – Luke 8:13

Faith in temporary believers is as a guest comes for a night, and is gone. Thomas Fuller

Faith is not an idle grace. Thomas Manton

PROVIDENCE

His kingdom ruleth over all – Psalm 103:19

The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth – 2 Chronicles 16:9

Grace makes the promise, and providence the payment. – John Flavel

God’s works are never above right though often above reason. – Thomas Fuller

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. The topics are MISGUIDED ZEAL and THE SIMPLICITY OF THE GOSPEL

A Prayer about Being Claimed by God’s Promises

March 19

 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ]English Standard Version (ESV)

 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire 2 Peter 1:4 (ESV)

 Patient Father, the “farther up and further in” I go into the gospel, the more you challenge and change the way I think about everything. It’s another kind example of your commitment to complete the good work you’ve begun in your children and in the entire creation. At times this process is quite painful, but it’s always about more glory for you and more Christlikeness in us. We praise you for the perfection of your plan and the persistence of your heart.

Recently I’ve been thinking about your promises, so generously and copiously given in your Word. I now see, and grieve, how as a young follower of Jesus, I was pretty much trained to be a computer programmer, and you were the computer. I acted as though you were passively waiting for me to tell you what to do. Your hands were bound by the limitations of my faith. All I had to do was “claim the promises” without negative thoughts or a wavering will, and you would spring to action.

I confess and repent of my cynicism, but you know how long this way sounded really good to me. Thankfully, I now see that your promises are primarily about changing us, not programming you. Through your promises, we increasingly share in your divine nature— that is, you’re making us more and more like Jesus. By your promises, we can escape the corruption in the world, not simply accumulate more of its treasures.

Father, every one of your promises directs our gaze away from us to Jesus, who is the ultimate “Yes!” to every promise you’ve made (2 Cor. 1: 20). Oh, the difference the gospel makes in how we view all things. We don’t claim your promises— they claim us! If we’re going to “name and claim” anything, may it be to have greater passion for your glory. May our “standing on your promises” lead to living under your authority and serving well in your kingdom until Jesus returns. We pray in Jesus’ triumphant and transforming name. Amen.

Smith, Scotty. Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith (p. 92). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.