Sunday Sermon Series – The Man of Sorrows and Grief

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Isaiah 53

The Suffering Messiah or Servant is the Major theme of Chapter three. Matthew Henry divides it this way: The person. (1-3) sufferings. (4-9) humiliation, and exaltation of Christ, are minutely described; with the blessings to mankind from his death. (10-12)

In keeping with our ongoing series on grief, the above artwork was in my inbox this morning and of course, just begged to be today’s feature sermon.

Last Sunday, we returned to Lakeshore Baptist Church, Pastor Don Elborne preached a sermon from 1 Peter 2:24 & Galatians 2:20, entitled;  “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”. In it, he reminded us of the old Black spiritual of the same name. If you have never heard it, here is the 1899 version (v.1-4), the oldest known written copy as passed down and likely the closest to the original.

1 Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (were you there?)
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh!
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

2 Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree? (to the tree?) Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

3 Were you there when they pierced Him in the side? (in the side?) Were you there when they pierced Him in the side? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they pierced Him in the side?

4 Were you there when the sun refused to shine? (were you there?) Were you there when the sun refused to shine? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

5 Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? * Added around 1907

6 Were you there when he rose from out the tomb? Were you there when he rose from out the tomb? O–sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;
Were you there when he rose from out the tomb? * Added around 1950s

No one suffered or grieved on earth more than Christ Jesus. Man cannot even begin to comprehend the weight of all sins bearing down upon him. The inability to grasp this should not deter in fact it should sour us to think about it frequently.


Sermon

The Man of Sorrows

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, March 1, 1873,

Scripture: Isaiah 53:3

From: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 19


Other Resources:

Surely He Has Borne Our Griefs, John Piper

“Acquainted With Grief”, Oswald Chambers

Why is Jesus referred to as a man of sorrows in Isaiah 53:3

Made Righteous In HIM!

Sunday Sermon Series – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

A Christmas Carol's Link to the Gutenberg Printing Press | WQXR Editorial | WQXR

Luke 2:13-14


HISTORY 

When Charles Wesley wrote this carol in 1739, he had no idea it would become famous. He first named it “Hark, how all the welkin ring,” welkin being an archaic English term for the heavens. When George Whitefield published it in 1753, he changed the first line to read, “Hark! The herald angels sing,” and so it has remained that way ever since.

For the first 120 years, the words were sung to various tunes. But that changed in 1856 when William Cummings joined the lyrics with a tune written by Felix Mendelssohn for the Gutenberg Festival in 1840 to celebrate the introduction of printing. Mendelssohn would be surprised by that because he had written that his tune would be welcomed by singers and hearers, “but it will never do to sacred words.”

Charles Wesley’s hymn offers us a good survey of theology. It mentions many of the names and titles of Christ: King, Lord, Prince of Peace, Sun of Righteousness, Everlasting Lord, Desire of Nations, Incarnate Deity, and Emmanuel. After the first stanza’s call to praise “the new-born King,” the following stanzas celebrate the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the resurrection of the body, and the truth of the new birth. Two phrases, in particular, deserve comment: “Mild he lays his glory by” refers to Christ’s willingness to lay aside the glory of heaven to take on human nature and become one of us. “Late in time behold him come” reminds us of Hebrews 1:2 where we are told “in these last days” God has spoken to us through his Son. – Godtube.com 


SERMON

The First Christmas Carol

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, December 20, 1857

Scripture: Luke 2:14

From: New Park Street Pulpit Volume 4


RELATED SERMONS

Songs of Christmas: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Sermon by J. Ligon Duncan on December 19, 2004

The Announcement of Jesus’ Birth, Part 1

The Announcement of Jesus’ Birth, Part 2, John MacArthur, 1999

The Announcement of Jesus’ Birth, Part 3

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/16/2020

 

God, Our Refuge | Bethel Christian Reformed Church, DunnvillePSALM 46

CONTEXT: Some think this psalm was occasioned by the victories which David obtained over the Ammonites and Moabites, and other neighboring countries; and others are of opinion that it was penned on account of the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib being raised, in the times of Hezekiah: but it seems rather to be a prophecy of the church in Gospel times, and is applicable to any time of confusion and distress the nations of the world may be in through any kind of calamity, when those that trust in the Lord have no reason in the least to be afraid. Kimchi says this psalm belongs to future times; either to the gathering of the captives, or to the war of Gog and Magog; to which also R. Obadiah refers it, and Jarchi interprets it of time to come; according to the Targum it was written by the sons of Korah, when their father was hid from them, and they were delivered. John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

Whatever the actual cause for this psalm to be penned, it has blessed countless saints for centuries. The tone is set forth in verse one:

God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], A very present and well-proved help in trouble. – Who is it we (saints) turn to in times of trouble, Christ our Savior. Think on this a moment it only makes sense, if you are acknowledging Christ as savior of your eternal soul, would you not trust Him with lesser issues? 

Verses like Psalm 55:22, Matthew 11:28-30, Philippians 4:6-7, make it clear that God expects us to cast our burdens upon Him through prayer and supplication. He is greater and stronger than any of our problems.  Yet sometimes we get so caught up in our problems we fail to hear the Holy Spirit urging us to just slow down, calm down, and fellowship with God. to seek His peace and understanding. That is why verse 10 was written I believe: 

“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth –   I do not know if you have ever seen a chicken with its head freshly cut off, it runs around for a minute or two in total panic mode. That is a prime example of a “Christian” who is trying to go it alone, in times of trouble without God.  Folks look at that chicken all kinds of funny without any thought but to consume it. How do you think the world looks at us when we are acting like that chicken?

What ever problem or troubles you are having today, know this God is your Refuge. All you need do is Be still and know that He is there for you. By calmly trusting in God’s providence and sovereignty you will bring Glory to God and find peace.   

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/10/2020

 

The Journey: Psalm 35 - Another Prayer for Victory

AMP and RVR 1960

FACING ENEMIES

Some context is need here. All commentaries seem to agree that this is a Psalm of David and that it was written when he was on the run from Saul. There are three distinct divisions within the Psalm:

v. 1-10 David prays for Safety – In the opening verse David prays that God would Contend and fight against those who would harm him. Note he closes this section, and each with words of Praise my soul shall rejoice in the Lord… “Lord, who is like You

v. 11- 16 David complains of his enemies – This is not to be misconstrued as whining but a righteous prayer for salvation from his enemies. Malicious witnesses rise up…They repay me evil for good, I think we have all faced challenging times when it seems like evil abounds around us. The good news is that God hears our pleas and if it be His will, will answer our prayers. 

v. 17- 28 David calls upon God for help and support – When desperation seems to set in DO NOT call 800-Phone a Friend. Your real hotline for help is God and David knew that. v.17 Lord, how long will You look on [without action]? Rescue my life from their destructions…  

The key if you will to this Psalm is found at the end of each section, Praise for God. Again, while most commentators agree the general theme has to do with facing enemies, opposition, or something of that sort. Yet one cannot hope to do that apart from in the case of David God, or in our case Christ. 

“My tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.” See now I have made a discourse something longer; ye are wearied. Who endureth to praise God all the day long? I will suggest a remedy whereby thou mayest praise God all the day long if thou wilt. Whatever thou dost, do well, and thou hast praised God. When thou singest a hymn, thou praisest God, but what doth thy tongue, unless thy heart also praise him? Hast thou ceased from singing hymns, and departed that thou mayest refresh thyself? Be not drunken, and thou hast praised God. Dost thou go away to sleep? Rise not to do evil, and thou hast praised God. Dost thou transact business? Do no wrong, and thou hast praised God. Dost thou till thy field? Raise not strife, and thou hast praised God. In the innocency of thy works prepare thyself to praise God all the day long.Augustine.

Imitators

They say Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! We also know the bible is full of warnings about pride. While I think it natural and normal for any parent to have some level of it when their child follows in their footsteps think for a moment of how God the Father feels when we imitate Christ Jesus His Son. 

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CONTEXT:

This is the Apostle Paul’s first epistle (letter to the church at Thessalonica, v.1 To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: in which he begins Chapter 1 by expounding upon the Faith of and giving thanks for the believers of the church there. v.2-5 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly[a] mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 

That brings us to our text for today so let us break it down: 

And you became imitators – Greek (mimētai), Strong’s Greek 3402: An imitator, follower; so one who follows the example or imitates the example set before them. Should you follow anyone’s example, every pastor? Read on my friend:

of us – Greek (hēmōn), 1st person plural, Strong’s Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I. What is so significant about this is it is Paul writing someone who had direct contact with Christ. Who preaches by Grace Alone, by Faith Alone, By Scripture Alone, in Christ Alone to the Glory of God Alone. Such a person is the only example we should consider following. 

and of the Lord, – Greek (Kyriou) Strong’s Greek 2962: Lord, master, sir; the Lord. From kuros; supreme in authority, i.e. controller; by implication, Master. A lot of folks want to make or claim (you can’t do either on your own) Jesus as savior but refuse to have Him as Lord of their lives. If He is not you are not a Christian! You must imitate the risen Savior by making Him Lord and Master of ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE. 

for you received the word – Greek (dexamenoi) Strong’s Greek 1209: To take, receive, accept, welcome. Middle voice of a primary verb; to receive. You cannot pick and choose what parts of God’s Holy Word you will follow or imitate it is ALL OR NOTHING. 

in much affliction, – Greek (thlipsei) Strong’s Greek 2347: Persecution, affliction, distress, tribulation. From thlibo; pressure. Life can be hard, full of trails and turmoil but better to have welcomed the Gospel and become imitators of Christ having eternal assurance and…

with the joy of the Holy Spirit, – Greek (charas) Strong’s Greek 5479:  Joy, gladness, a source of joy. From chairo; cheerfulness, i.e. Calm delight. How would you rather go through tough times with no hope or with a source of joy that cannot be defined? The Holy Spirit indwells 1 Corinthians 3:16 and is our source of joy and comfort in times of trouble (the Beatles got it wrong all those years ago). 

CONCLUSION:

Christians are to live their lives as examples to the rest of the world.  That is not always easy to do, there will be trying times both on a large scale (pandemics, disasters, etc.) and more personal level (loss of jobs, sickness, etc.). Yet like the Thessalonians, we can both receive the Word in our afflictions and do so with the joy of the Holy Spirit  that we may share it with others by our example. 

Daily Devotional – The Holy Spirit Part VII

the work of the holy spirit in the life of the believer
work of the holy spirit bible verses
who is the holy spirit in the bible
the work of the holy spirit in the church
what is the holy spirit

This is the second in our series on the Holy Spirit this section entitled The Roles or Work Of.  As I noted I found this list, there are many others, called 70 Functions of the Holy Spirit and while I have some reservations that some of the items on the list (could easily be taken out of proper biblical context) it can be a helpful tool. We however will only look at a few of the many roles the Holy has concentrating on those in a believers life including those as;

He ministers truth. (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13)

He teaches. (Luke 12:12; John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 John 2:27)

He restrains. (Acts 16:6)

The Holy Spirit brings direction and guidance. (Mark 13:36; 13:11; Acts 10:19; 11:12; 21:11; 1 Timothy 4:1

The Holy Spirit invites us to walk with Him. (Romans 8:4-5)

The Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives. (Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9)

He washes, sanctifies, purifies and justifies. (Romans 15;16, 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:2,22)

The Holy Spirit builds us together for a house for God. (Ephesians 2:22)

The Holy Spirit gives comfort, health, and strength. (John 15:26; Acts 9:31)


Yesterday we explored the Role of the Holy Spirit in Ministering Truth. Today we will look at His role as a Teacher so let us break it down:

He Teaches

John 14:26, John 16:12-15, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16, 1 John 2:27 (NKJV) 

John 14:26, John 16:12-15, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16, 1 John 2:27 (RVR 1960)

 

John 14:26 But the [a]Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Jesus makes it plainly simple when He tells the Apostles and disciples, He will teach you all things. What things is the question? The Holy spirit can never go against the Word of God. He can never go against the teachings of Jesus. John Gill in his commentary says: to teach, interpret, and explain all things which Christ had said to them; to make them more plain and easy to their understandings; to instruct them in all things necessary to salvation, and to be known by them, that they might teach them others: this is the proper work and business of the Spirit, to teach, interpret, and explain all things which Christ had said to them; to make them more plain and easy to their understandings; to instruct them in all things necessary to salvation, and to be known by them, that they might teach them others:

 John 16:12-15 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He[a]will take of Mine and declare it to you.

We looked at v.13 yesterday the Spirit of truth… today we will skip over the context we covered yesterday and look at v.15 He[a]will take of Mine and declare it to you. The role of the Holy Spirit is to take of those things that the Father has and the Son has for our (true repentant believers) benefits and declare or Teach them to us. 

1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the [a]Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

No one can no the “deep things” the most inner thoughts of God because we are not God. But God does not leave to wander aimlessly and blindly; But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.  These revelations of God’s Word (not new some revelation but an illumination of His written word) produce the ability Paul speaks of in v.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the [a]Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. The Holy Spirit’s teaching produces proper spiritual things that the natural man can never achieve. 

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you [a]will abide in Him.

WARNING, do not read into scripture what is not meant to be there in the original languages.

But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, This is an obvious reference to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit each and every born again Christian receives. John has mentioned the Holy Spirit’s role in abiding in the believer already 6 times in this chapter v. 6, 10, 14, 17, 20 and 24. 

and you do not need that anyone teach you; This is the phrase SOOOO often taken out of context. Does John really mean there is no use for biblical teachers as some try and interpret it? Is he says the the Apostle Paul was wrong in Romans 12:6-7, 1 Corinthians 12:28 or Ephesians 4:11-16Certainly not, John is saying that the Holy Spirit is our Moral Compass but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you [a]will abide in Him. This is something natural man is incapable of teaching themselves or others. 

In conclusion the Holy Spirit has many roles none less important the teaching us and if I had to pick one thing He teaches us that is critical or most important, it would be that Moral Compass on a daily basis. One of my favorite Hymns is Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing and the 4th verse reminds me how much I need that moral compass:

O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be!

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,

Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,

Seal it for Thy courts above.

 

 

Reason of the Hope

Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. Do not be afraid of their intimidating threats, nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition]. 15 But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect. 16 And see to it that your conscience is entirely clear, so that every time you are slandered or falsely accused, those who attack or disparage your good behavior in Christ will be shamed [by their own words]. 17 For it is better that you suffer [unjustly] for doing what is right, if that should be God’s will, than [to suffer justly] for doing wrong.  – 1 Peter 3: 13-17 (AMP)

   In context Peter is telling us to expect suffering for Christ’s sake. This can take many forms from openly physical and verbal abuse to the very covert like backbiting and passing on rumors. Yet through it all we are to be encouraged to “Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you.” 

   This is not always an easy task when we consider the often hostile surroundings a Christian can find themselves in today. Yet the key here as with all we are asked to do for the Kingdom is found in the first part of verse 15; But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord.”  If we think we can do things on our own we are setting ourselves up for failure. It is in Christ that I can do all things especially in difficult situations. If I take my eyes (heart mind and soul) off my Lord and let them wander to the trivial things of this world what hope do I have? – Mike

DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD

A RADiCAL Divorce Recovery Conference for Women • February 13-14 • Kansas City • "Your Heart's Desires" www.midlifedivorcerecovery.com

December 14, 2018

Dare to Trust Devotional

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Too often we read Scripture without concentrating on what we are reading and therefore miss completely what God has to say to us. We read quickly without delving into the depths of what has been written. We need to read God’s Word slowly, thoughtfully, incisively with a desire, not only to understand what is being said, but to seek to apply to our lives the truth or principle before us. With this, we need to have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts open to respond to all God wants to reveal to us. The Holy Spirit has been given to us, not simply to dwell within our hearts, but to teach and give us discernment to understand His Word and make it a reality in our daily walk.

What do you think it means to “delight yourself in the Lord?” We quickly read the following words “and he will give you the desires of your heart” without realizing this promise is to those who “delight themselves in the Lord.” So let us see what it means to delight ourselves in the Lord.

First, “delight” means to find great joy and pleasure in someone or something. If we are to delight ourselves in the Lord we will have to withdraw from the base desires we have in the things of this world that hinder, distract, and impede the focus of our hearts on Christ. Paul admonished the believers in Corinth to “Come out from among them and be separate…touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). We cannot delight in the Lord when a divided heart contaminates our lives. God responds to a clean heart and pure spirit that is bent to being filled to overflowing with His Spirit.

The major thrust of our heart must be to fix our desires on HIM. We must cultivate the habit of a holy intimacy with the Lord. This takes discipline on our part responding to the Holy Spirit as He seeks to draw us unto the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a hunger and thirst to know the Lord in a new and living way that will bring you into this personal intimate relationship. It will be the joy of your heart and the love of your life. When we are receptive and responsive to the Holy Spirit, He will create in us a peace that passes human understanding, a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory with a desire for the Lord that will enable HIM to give us the desires of our heart.

When God is the desire of our hearts, our seeming disappointments will be His appointments to prove anew His grace and mercy to us. He becomes the sufficiency for all our need “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Fear, anxiety, and apprehension are lost as we rest and abide in His care and compassion.

God wants to encompass our life with His presence and power. His virtues, attributes and works should be ever before us and spur us on to an abandoned faith in the One who is “the same yesterday, today and forever.” Looking steadfastly to Jesus will create a deeper admiration of who He is and elicit our allegiance, reverence, and respect. It is then we will know the joy and peace from finding our delight in the Lord. The resources of His grace are infinite.

To delight in the Lord is to find the desires of our heart the very expression of His will, plan, and purpose in our life. His desires for us become our desires. He delights to give us what will be for our good, for His glory, and to magnify His name. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart.”

© 2007 by Ed Powell

A few years ago I shared the following when posting another devotional on the same subject; it holds just as true today: As I am sure most of you have heard of the “prosperity” and “name it and claim it theology” cults. They love for the second half of this verse “and he will give you the desires of your heart”(ESV) saying just ask and God will give you whatever you desire even a new Cadillac. What they fail, so miserably to do, is make the connection, that the desires of a true believers heart will always be aligned with the Lord’s will and calling for your life. This devotional clearly points out it is NEVER about you and ALWAYS about the Sovereign Lord of Lords who saved you. As we near the day that we celebrate the birth of our saviour take time to reflect upon the true desires of your heart. – Mike 

 

Delight Yourself in the Lord

Truth For Life – Daily Devotional June 14, 2017
Delight yourself in the Lord… Psalm 37:4

The teaching of these words must seem very surprising to those who are strangers to vital godliness, but to the sincere believer it is only the reminder of a recognized truth. The life of the believer is described as a delight in God, and we are reminded of the great fact that genuine faith overflows with happiness and joy.

Ungodly persons and mere professors never look upon religion as a joyful thing; to them it is service, duty, or necessity, but never pleasure or delight. If they attend to religion at all, it is either because of what they might get or because they are afraid of the consequences of neglect. The thought of delight in religious exercise is so strange to most men that no two words in their language stand further apart than holiness and delight.

But believers who know Christ understand that delight and faith are so wonderfully united that the gates of hell cannot manage to separate them. Those who love God with all their hearts find that His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His paths are peace. The saints discover in Christ such joy, such overflowing delight, such blessedness that far from serving Him from custom, they would follow Him even though the whole world rejected Him. We do not fear God because of any compulsion; our faith is no shackle, our profession is no bondage, we are not dragged to holiness, nor driven to duty. No, our piety is our pleasure, our hope is our happiness, our duty is our delight.

Delight and true faith are as interwoven as root and flower, as indivisible as truth and certainty; they are, in fact, two precious stones glittering side by side in a setting of gold.

Tis when we taste Thy love,
Our joys divinely grow,
Unspeakable like those above,
And heaven begins below.

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

As I am sure most of you have heard of the “prosperity” and “name it and claim it theology” cults. They love for the second half of this verse and he will give you the desires of your heart (ESV) saying just ask and God will give you whatever you desire even a new Cadillac. What they fail, so miserably to do, is make the connection, that the desires of a true believers heart will always be aligned with the Lord’s will and calling for your life. It is NEVER about you and ALWAYS about the Sovereign Lord of Lords who saved you. – Mike 

A Prayer for Engaging in Gospel Warfare

everyday-prayersFor I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

(Rom. 7: 22– 25)

Jesus, though I’m conflict avoidant by nature and choice, this is one conflict about which I am actually excited. The very fact that there’s a war going on inside of me is a good thing, especially since the combatants are the gospel and my sinful nature. For this means that the outcome of this war has already been decided. The gospel will prevail! Yet I’m not naïve about the “mop-up” operation. Growing in grace is great, but it sure gets messy and intense.

The only reason I now delight in God’s law, in my heart of hearts, is because the demands of the law drove me to you, Jesus. I needed a substitute and a Savior, not a model and a coach. You perfectly met all the requirements of God’s law for me, and you’ve exhausted his judgment against all my law breaking. This is the good news, indeed.

The messy part of knowing you comes from your commitment to make me like yourself. You’re more committed to getting “heaven” in me than getting me into heaven. Why couldn’t you have just glorified me after justifying me? It would’ve been so much easier. Why couldn’t we have just skipped over the whole sanctification process?

Silly questions, indeed. I’m just very thankful to know that one day I will be as loving and as lovely as you, for the Father will complete his work in each of his children, including me. Until that day, here’s my prayer . . .

Jesus, allow me to grieve the sinfulness of sin— the sinfulness of my sins. Now that I’m no longer guilty or condemned, let me fearlessly see my sins, ruthlessly hate my sins, and relentlessly repent of my sins. Increase my love for holiness and decrease my self-contempt. Only the gospel can bring me such freedom. Only by seeing more of you, Jesus, will I delight in this journey.

Jesus, you’re the end of all my wretchedness. You’re the one who’s rescuing me from this “body of death”— all the effects and residue of the fall, all the trappings of my graveclothes, every semblance of every way I’m not like you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I pray in your most powerful and loving name. Amen.

Smith, Scotty. Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith (pp. 25-26). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.