Daily Devotional – Messed Up

text over a background picture of a city

Psalm 138:6

AMP and RVR 1960


The bible is full of references that make it clear that man that is ALL MANKIND is messed up apart for the Grace of God. A few of the more known examples (ESV) include: 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— … Ephesians 2:1-22

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— Romans 5:12

I could go on and on and on. I think I counted well over 100 bible verses referencing man’s sin nature. While many deny the bible, one only has to look at the utter chaos and depravity going on in the streets of many major cities in the U.S. and around the world to understand mankind is truly MESSED UP.


Though the Lord be high, – The Lord sits in His rightful position of Leadership and Authority; deserving all the dignity, honor and glory that comes with being the Lord Almighty creator of Heaven and Earth.

yet hath he respect – Some (just look at many of our elected officials) let the Authority and Power of a position swell their heads so to speak. If anyone had the right to be arrogant it would be He who is All Knowing, All Powerful and Ever Present. 

Instead God is a respecter of persons, that is He views His creation with pleasure. 

unto the lowly: – Ah, but not all His creation pleases Him. As this and many other verses make clear it is only the lowly, those who have a contrite heart.  

but the proud – The proud man, that is the kind of pride in man that God hates, The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. Proverbs 8:13 is different than pride we can have in accomplishing something for the Kingdom. 

he knoweth afar off. – Note it is very clear, God hates a prideful (arrogant) man but we must be WARNED even taking pride in one’s accomplishments can lead to self pride and sin. This leads to separation (no fellowship with) from God.


It is not often I get to use a Clint Eastwood movie in one of my devotionals but here goes:

The Good: God’s love His creation

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

THE BAD: Not everyone will respond to God’s Love


AND THE UGLY: Those failing to respond are doomed for eternity

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

Last point before I close, less anyone think the “Ugly” is unfair, unjust etc. the same old tired excuses we hear all the time from doubters, remember Romans 1:19-21 God makes it clear the maximum effective range of your excuse is zero meters. 





Today in Church History

Puritan John Owen Focused on Christ

Puritan John Owen Focused on Christ

John Owen’s later years were hard. As a young man, he had been majestic in appearance; but long hours of study, the many troubles of his life, and disease wasted him. He died on this day, August 24, 1683 at Ealing (a few miles from London). But his funeral showed how highly he was regarded, for throngs attended, including many notable men.

At Oxford University, which he entered in 1628 at twelve years of age, John pored over books so much that he undermined his health by sleeping only four hours a night. In old age he deeply regretted this misuse of his body, and said he would give up all the additional learning it brought him if only he might have his health back. Naturally, he studied the classics of the western world, but also Hebrew, the literature of the Jewish rabbis, mathematics and philosophy. His beliefs at that time were Presbyterian, however, his ambition, although fixed on the church, was worldly.

John was driven from Oxford in 1637 when Archbishop Laud issued rules that many of England’s more democratically-minded or “low” church ministers could not accept. After this, John was in deep depression. He struggled to resolve religious issues to his satisfaction. While in this state, he heard a sermon on the text “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” which fired him with new decisiveness.

After that, John wrote a rebuke of Arminianism (a theology which teaches that man has some say in his own salvation or damnation although God is still sovereign). Ordained shortly before his expulsion from Oxford, he was given work at Fordham in Essex. After that he rose steadily in public affairs. Before all was over, he would become one of the top administrators of the university which expelled him and he even sat in Parliament.

John’s reputation was so great that he was offered many churches. One was in Boston, Massachusetts. John turned that down, but he once scolded the Puritans of New England for persecuting people who disagreed with them.

He also engaged in controversy with such contemporaries as Richard Baxter and Jeremy Taylor. Through it all, John focused his teaching on the person of Christ. “If Christ had not died,” he said, “sin had never died in any sinner unto eternity.” In another place he noted that “Christ did not die for any upon condition, if they do believe; but he died for all God’s elect, that they should believe.”

John wrote many books including a masterpiece on the Holy Spirit. Kidney stones and asthma tormented him in his last years. But he died peacefully in the end, eyes and hands lifted up as if in prayer.

Earlier this year we posted a series of devotionals based on Owens’ classic The Mortification of Sin. If you have never read Owen I highly recommend you do here is a link to his complete works online (vols 2-4 are some on my favs) 

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin (Final Installment)

Thus the author ends this great and important work on the

mortification of sin in believers. Let all God’s people

take to heart their serious continual duty to be

mortifying every sin daily, in order to glorify

God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

“Always be killing sin, or it will be killing you!”

by John Owen – April 7th, 2019

Chapter 14


2). Act faith in conformity to Christ crucified

   Secondly, act faith on the death of Christ under these two notions: first, in expectation of power; secondly, in endeavors for conformity.(103) For the first, the direction given in general may suffice. As to the latter, that of the apostle may give us some light into our direction. Let faith look on Christ in the gospel as He is set forth dying and crucified for us (Gal 3:1). Look on Him under the weight of our sins, praying, bleeding, dying.(104) Bring Him in that condition into your heart by faith. Apply His blood so shed to your corruptions; and do this daily.

   I might draw out this consideration to a great length, in various particulars, but I must come to a close.

2. Understand the Work of the Spirit

   I have only, then, to add the work of the Spirit in this business of mortification, which is so peculiarly ascribed to Him.

   In one word: This whole work, which I have described as our duty, is effected, carried on, and accomplished by the power of the Spirit, in all the parts and degrees of it.

   a. He alone clearly and fully convinces the heart of the evil, guilt, and danger of the corruption, lust, or sin to be mortified. Without this conviction, or while this conviction is so faint that the heart can wrestle with it or digest it, there will be no thorough work made. An unbelieving heart (as in part we all have) will try to find a way to avoid any consideration of sin unless it is overpowered by clear and evident convictions. Now this is the proper work of the Spirit: “He will reprove [that is, convince] of sin” (Joh 16:8). He alone can do it.

   If men’s rational considerations of the preaching of the letter were able to convince them of sin, it might be that we would see more convictions than we do. There comes by the preaching of the Word an apprehension upon the understandings of men that they are sinners, that such and such things are sins, and that they themselves are guilty of them. But this light is not powerful, nor does it lay hold on the practical principles of the soul, so as to conform the mind and will unto them to produce effects suitable to such an apprehension. And therefore it is that wise and knowing men, destitute of the Spirit, do not think those things to be sins at all in which the chief movings and actings of lust do consist. It is the Spirit alone that can do, that does, this work to the purpose.

   And this is the first thing that the Spirit does in order to the mortification of any lust what-ever: it convinces the soul of all the evil of it, cuts off all its pleas, discovers all its deceits, stops all its evasions, answers its pretenses, and makes the soul own its abomination and lie down under the sense of it. Unless this is done, all that follows is in vain.

b. The Spirit alone reveals unto us the fullness of Christ for our relief; which is the con-sideration that stays the heart from false ways and from despairing despondency (1Co 2:9-12).

c. The Spirit alone establishes the heart in expectation of relief from Christ; which is the great sovereign means of mortification, as has been shown (2Co 1:21).

d. The Spirit alone brings the cross of Christ into our hearts with its sin-killing power, for by the Spirit are we baptized into the death of Christ.

e. The Spirit is the author and finisher of our sanctification. He gives new supplies and influences of grace for holiness and sanctification, when the contrary principle is weakened or decreased (Eph 3:16-18).

f. The soul has support from the Spirit in all its addresses to God in this condition. Whence is the power, life, and vigor of prayer? Whence its effectiveness to prevail with God? Is it not from the Spirit? He is the “spirit of grace and of supplications” promised to them “who look upon me whom they have pierced” (Zec 12:10), enabling them to pray “with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom 8:26). This is confessed to be the great medium or way of faith’s prevailing with God. Thus Paul dealt with his temptation (whatever it was): “I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me” (2Co 12:8).

   What the work of the Spirit in prayer is, whence and how He gives us assistance and makes us to prevail, and what we are to do that we may enjoy His help for that purpose, is not my present intention to demonstrate

(103)  Phi 3:10; Col 3:3; 1Pe 1:18-19.
(104)  1Cor15:3; 1Pe 1:18-19; 4:1-2; Col 1:14, 18.
Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

It is our sincere hope that you have been edified and God Glorified through this devotional series. – Mike

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

by John Owen – April 6th, 2019

Chapter 14


d. Particular directions

   Now, on this direction for the mortification of a prevailing distemper, you may have a thousand testimonials as to its value. Who has walked with God under this temptation, and has not found the use and success of it? I dare leave the soul under it, without adding any more. Only some particulars relating thereunto may be mentioned.

1). Act faith upon Christ crucified

   First, act faith peculiarly upon the death, blood, and cross of Christ—that is, on Christ as crucified and slain. Mortification of sin is peculiarly from the death of Christ. It is one peculiar, eminent end of the death of Christ that shall assuredly be accomplished by it. He died to destroy the works of the devil. Whatever came upon our natures by the devil’s first tempta-tion,(99) whatever receives strength in our persons by his daily suggestions, Christ died to destroy it all.

   “He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Ti 2:14). This was Christ’s aim and intention (in which He will not fail) for His giving Himself for us. It was His design that we might be freed from the power of our sins and purified from all our defiling lusts. “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:25-27). And this shall be accomplished by virtue of His death, in various and several degrees.

   Hence our washing, purging, and cleansing from sin is everywhere ascribed to His blood (1Jo 1:7; Heb 1:3; Rev 1:5). “How much more shall the blood of Christ,” being sprinkled on us, “purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb 9:14). This is that which we aim at, this we are in pursuit of: that our consciences may be purged from dead works, that they may be rooted out, destroyed, and have place in us no more. This shall certainly be brought about by the death of Christ: virtue will go out from thence to this purpose. Indeed, all supplies of the Spirit, all communications of grace and power, are from His death— as I have elsewhere showed.(100)

   Thus the apostle states it in Romans 6:2, where the case is proposed that we are considering: “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” That is, how shall we live in sin when we are dead to sin by profession; dead to sin by obligation to be so; dead to sin by participation of virtue and power for the killing of it; dead to sin by union and interest in Christ, in and by Whom it is killed?

   This he presses by various considerations all taken from the death of Christ in the ensuing verses. This must not be: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (6:3). We have in baptism(101) an evidence of our implantation in-to Christ; we are baptized into Him. But what of Christ are we baptized into an interest in? “His death,” he says. If indeed we are baptized into Christ (beyond mere outward profession), we are baptized into His death.

   The explanation of this, of one being baptized into the death of Christ, the apostle gives us in verses 4 and 6:

   Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life…Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

   “Our being baptized into the death of Christ,” he says, “is this, namely, our conformity there-unto: to be dead unto sin, to have our corruptions mortified, as He was put to death for sin, so that as He was raised up to glory, we may be raised up to grace and newness of life.”

   He tells us whence it is that we have this baptism into the death of Christ in verse 6, and this is from the death of Christ itself: “Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed”—“is crucified with him,” not in respect of time, but as the cause. We are crucified with Him meritoriously,(102) in that He procured the Spirit for us to mortify sin; efficiently, in that from His death virtue comes forth for our crucifying; as a representation and example, in that we shall assuredly be crucified unto sin as He was for our sin. This is what the apostle intends: Christ by His death—destroying the works of the devil and procuring the Spirit for us—has so killed sin as to its reign in believers that it shall not obtain its end and dominion.

(99)  devil’s first temptation – temptation in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3), resulting in Adam’s (and thereby all mankind’s) fall into sin and depravity.
(100) Owen, Works, Vol. 2, “Communion with Christ,” chapters 7-8.
(101) baptism – water rite, which is an outward sign and symbol of our spiritual identification and union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection; the result of this spiritual union of the soul with Christ is that the old man, characterized by sin and selfishness, has died, and the new man has risen to love, grace, and all the fruits of the Spirit in new life in Christ.
(102) Our crucifixion with Christ is accomplished based on Christ’s merit, not our own.
Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

by John Owen – April 5th, 2019

Chapter 14



2). Christ’s faithfulness

   Consider His faithfulness Who has promised, which may raise you up and confirm you in this waiting in an expectation of relief. He has promised to relieve in such cases, and He will fulfil His Word to the utmost. God tells us that His covenant with us is like the “ordinances” of heaven: the sun, moon, and stars, which have their certain courses (Jer 31:35-36). Thence Da-vid said that he watched for relief from God “more than they that watch for the morning” (Ps 130:6)—a thing that will certainly come in its appointed season. So will be your relief from Christ. It will come in its season, as the dew and rain upon the parched ground, for faithful is He Who has promised (Heb 10:23). Particular promises to this purpose are innumerable. Let the soul be always furnished with some of them that seem peculiarly to suit its condition.

c. Eminent advantages

   Now, there are two eminent advantages that always attend this expectation of succor from Jesus Christ.

1). Speedy assistance

   This expectation of help from Christ engages Him to a full and speedy assistance. Nothing more engages the heart of a man to be useful and helpful to another than the man’s expectation of help from him, if justly raised and countenanced by him who is to give the relief. Our Lord Jesus has raised our hearts to this expectation by His kindness, care, and promises; certainly our rising up to it must of necessity be a great engagement upon Him to assist us accordingly. This the psalmist gives us as an approved maxim: “Thou, Lord, hast never forsaken them that seek thee” (Psa 9:10). When the heart is once won to rest in God, to repose itself on Him, He will assuredly satisfy it. He will never be as water that fails; nor has He said at any time to the seed of Jacob, “Seek ye me in vain” (Isa 45:19). If Christ be chosen for the foundation of our supply, He will not fail us.

2). Attend to all Christ’s ways

   This expectation of help from Christ engages the heart to attend diligently to all the ways and means whereby Christ is accustomed to communicate Himself to the soul, and so takes in the real assistance of all graces and ordinances whatever. He that expects anything from a man applies himself to the ways and means whereby it may be obtained. The beggar that expects alms lies at the door or in the way of the person from whom he expects it. The way whereby and the means wherein Christ ordinarily communicates Himself are His ordinances. He that expects anything from Him must attend upon Him therein.

   It is the expectation of faith that sets the heart on work. It is not an idle, groundless hope that I speak of. If now there be any vigor, efficacy, and power in prayer or sacrament(98) to this end of mortifying sin, a man will assuredly be interested in it all by this expectation of relief from Christ. On this account, I reduce all particular actings—by prayer, meditation, and the like—to this head; and so, shall not further insist on them when they are grounded on this foundation and spring from this root. They are of singular use to this purpose, and not else.

(98) sacrament – baptism and the Lord’s Supper. “Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by Christ, to represent him and his benefits, and to confirm our interest in him, and solemnly to engage us to the service of God in Christ, according to his Word.”—Savoy Declaration of Faith and Order, chapter 28. Baptists often refer to these as “ordinances.”

Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

by John Owen – April 4th, 2019

Chapter 14

HOW TO MORTIFY SIN (Continued)  

1). Christ our High Priest

   Consider His mercifulness, tenderness, and kindness, as He is our great High Priest at the right hand of God. Assuredly He pities you in your distress. He says, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you” (Isa 66:13). He has the tenderness of a mother to a nursing child.

   “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour(96) them that are tempted” (Heb 2:17-18).

   How is the ability of Christ upon the account of His suffering proposed to us? “In that he him-self hath suffered being tempted, he is able.” Did the sufferings and temptations of Christ add to His ability and power? Not, doubtless, considered absolutely and in itself. But the ability here mentioned is such as is accompanied by readiness, inclination, and willingness to put it-self forth; it is an ability of will against all dissuasions.(97) He is able, having suffered and having been tempted, to break through all dissuasions to the contrary in order to relieve poor tempt-ed souls: “He is able to help.”

   It is a metonymy(°) of the effect; for He can now be moved to help, having been so tempted. So it is in Hebrews 4:15-16: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” The exhortation of verse 16 is the same that I am upon: namely, that we would entertain expectations of relief from Christ, which the apostle there calls “grace for seasonable help.”

   “If ever,” says the soul, “help were seasonable, it would be so to me in my present condition. This is that which I long for: grace for seasonable help. I am ready to die, to perish, to be lost forever. Iniquity will prevail against me if help come not in.” Says the apostle, “Expect this help, this relief, this grace from Christ.” Yea, but on what account? That which he lays down in verse 15. And we may observe that the word which we have translated to obtain is literally to receive. “That we may receive it”: suitable and seasonable help will come in. I shall freely say that this one thing of establishing the soul by faith in expectation of relief from Jesus Christ (Mat 11:28), on the account of His mercifulness as our high priest, will be more available to the ruin of your lust and distemper, and have a better and speedier result, than all the most rigid means of self-maceration that ever any of the sons of men engaged in. Yea, let me add that never any soul did or shall perish by the power of any lust, sin, or corruption, who could raise his soul by faith to an expectation of relief from Jesus Christ (Isa 55:1-3; Rev 3:18).

(96) succour – help.
(97) dissuasions – persuasions not to do or believe something.
(°) metonymy (added) – the substitution of the name of an attribute or adjunct for that of the thing meant
Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

by John Owen – April 3rd, 2019

Chapter 14


2). Expect relief from Christ

   Raise up your heart by faith to an expectation of relief from Christ. Relief from Christ in this case is like the prophet’s vision; it “is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Hab 2:3). Though it may seem somewhat long to you while you are under your trouble and perplexity, yet it shall surely come in the appointed time of the Lord Jesus, which is the best season.

   If, then, you can raise up your heart to a settled expectation of relief from Jesus Christ—if your eyes are towards Him “as the eyes of servants look unto the hands of their masters” (Ps 123:2) when they expect to receive somewhat from them—your soul shall be satisfied. He will assuredly deliver you. He will slay the lust, and your latter end shall be peace. Only look for it at His hand; expect when and how He will do it. “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established” (Isa 7:9).

b. Jesus Christ: The ground of faith

   But will you say, “What ground have I to build such an expectation upon, so that I may expect not to be deceived?”

   As you have necessity to put yourself on this course, you must be relieved and saved this way or not at all. To whom will you go (Joh 6:68)? So there are in the Lord Jesus innumerable things to encourage and engage you to this expectation.

   For the necessity of it, I have in part discovered it before, when I showed that this is the work of faith and of believers only. “Without me,” says Christ, “ye can do nothing” (Joh 15:5), speaking with special relation to the purging of the heart from sin (15:2). Mortification of any sin must be by a supply of grace; of ourselves we cannot do it! Now, “it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Col 1:19), that of His fullness we might receive grace for grace (Joh 1:16). He is the head from whence the new man must have influences of life and strength, or it will decay every day. If we are “strengthened with all might” “in the inner man,” it is by Christ’s dwelling “in your hearts by faith” (Col 1:11; Eph 3:16-17).

   I have also showed before that this work is not to be done without the Spirit. Whence, then, do we expect the Spirit? From Whom do we look for Him? Who has promised Him to us, having procured Him for us? Ought not all our expectations to this purpose to be on Christ alone? Let this, then, be fixed upon your heart, that if you have not relief from Him, you shall never have any relief at all! All ways, endeavors, and contendings that are not animated by this expectation of relief from Christ, and Him only, are to no purpose and will do you no good. If they are anything but supports of your heart in this expectation, or means appointed by Himself for the receiving help from Him, they are in vain.

   Now, further to engage you to this expectation, consider the following.

Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

by John Owen – April 2nd, 2019

Chapter 14


1). Fill your soul with Christ’s provisions (continued)

   Christ tells us that we obtain purging grace by abiding in Him (Joh 15:4). To act faith upon the fullness that is in Christ for our supply is an eminent way of abiding in Christ, for both our engrafting and abode is by faith (Rom 11:19-20). Let, then, your soul by faith be exercised with such thoughts and apprehensions as these:

   I am a poor, weak creature; unstable as water, I cannot excel. This corruption is too hard for me and is at the very door of ruining my soul—and what to do I know not. My soul is be-come as parched ground, and an habitation of dragons. I have made promises and broken them; vows and engagements have been as nothing to me. Many persuasions have I had that I had got the victory and should be delivered, but I am deceived. I plainly see that, without some eminent help and assistance, I am lost and shall be prevailed on to utterly forsake God. But yet, though this be my state and condition, let the hands that hang down be lifted up, and the feeble knees be strengthened (Heb 12:12). Behold, the Lord Christ, Who has all fullness of grace in His heart, all fullness of power in His hand, He is able to slay all these His enemies (Joh 1:16; Mat 28:18). There is sufficient provision in Him for my relief and assistance. He can take my drooping, dying soul and make me more than a conqueror (Rom 8:37).

   Why sayest thou, O my soul, “My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa 40:27-31).

   He can make the dry, parched ground of my soul to become a “pool,” and my thirsty, barren heart as “springs of water.” Yes, He can make this “habitation of dragons”—this heart, so full of abominable lusts and fiery temptations—to be a place for “grass” and fruit to Himself (Isa 35:7).

   In this way, God strengthened Paul under his temptation with the consideration of the sufficiency of His grace: “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2Co 12:9). Though he were not immediately so far made partaker of it as to be freed from his temptation, yet the sufficiency of it in God, for that end and purpose, was enough to stay his spirit.

   I say, then, by faith, be much in the consideration of that supply and the fullness of it that is in Jesus Christ, and how He can at any time give you strength and deliverance. If hereby you do not find success to a conquest, yet you will be supported in the chariot so that you shall not retreat out of the field until the battle be ended. You will be kept from an utter despondency and a lying down under your unbelief, or a turning aside to false means and remedies, that in the end will not relieve you. The efficacy of this consideration will be found only in its practice.

Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

by John Owen – April 1st, 2019

Chapter 14


Now, the considerations which I have hitherto insisted on are more about things preparatory to the mortification of sin (chapters 9 through 13), than such as will actually accomplish it. It is the heart’s due preparation for the work itself, without which it will not be accomplished, that hitherto I have aimed at.

There are very few directions that are peculiar to the actual mortifying of sin itself. They are these that follow.

1. Set Faith at Work on Christ

   Set faith at work on Christ for the killing of your sin. His blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this, and you will die a conqueror. Yes, you will, through the good providence of God, live to see your lust dead at your feet.

a. How faith acts upon Christ

   But you will say, “How shall faith act itself on Christ for this end and purpose?” I say, in various ways.

1). Fill your soul with Christ’s provisions

   By faith fill your soul with a due consideration of the provision that is laid up in Jesus Christ for this end and purpose, so that all your lusts, this very lust wherewith you are entangled, may be mortified. By faith ponder on this: that though you are in no way able in or by yourself to get the conquest over your distemper, though you are even weary of contending and are utterly ready to faint, yet that there is enough in Jesus Christ to yield relief to you (Phi 4:13). It sustained the prodigal when he was ready to faint that yet there was bread enough in his father’s house (Luke 15:17); though he was at a distance from it, yet it relieved and strengthened him that bread was there. In your greatest distress and anguish, consider that fullness of grace (John 1:16; Col 1:19), those riches, those treasures of strength (Isa 40:28), might, and help that are laid up in Him for our support. Let them come into and abide in your mind. Consider that He is “exalted…to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel” (Act 5:31)—and if to give repentance, to give mortification, without which there is no repentance, nor can there be.

Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

by John Owen – March 31th, 2019

Chapter 13
Speak No Peace (Continued)

c. When to take comfort from a promise of God

But you will say, “When may we take the comfort of a promise as our own, in relation to some peculiar wound, for quieting the heart?”

1). When God speaks the promise to you

   We may take the comfort of a promise for our own, first and in general, when God speaks it—be it when He will, sooner or later.(95) I told you before, He may do it in the very instant of the sin itself, and that with such irresistible power that the soul must receive His mind in it. And sometimes He will make us wait longer. But when He does speak—be it sooner or later, be it when we are sinning or repenting, be the condition of our souls what they please—if God speaks, He must be received. There is not anything in our communion with Him that the Lord is more troubled with us about, if I may so say, than our unbelieving fears, which keep us from receiving that strong consolation He is so willing to give to us.

   But you will say, “We are where we were. When God speaks it, we must receive it, that is true; but how shall we know when He speaks?” I would we could all practically come up to this, to receive peace when we are convinced that God speaks it, and that it is our duty to receive it.

   There is, however, if I may so say, a secret instinct in faith whereby it knows the voice of Christ when He speaks indeed. As the babe leaped in the womb when the blessed virgin came to Elisabeth (Luke 1:41), faith leaps in the heart when Christ indeed draws nigh to it. “My sheep,” says Christ, “hear my voice” (Joh 10:4, 27)—that is, they know My voice; they are used to the sound of it. They know when His lips are opened to them and are full of grace. The spouse was in a sad condition, asleep in security; but yet as soon as Christ speaks, she cries, “It is the voice of my beloved” (Song 5:2). She knew His voice and was so acquainted with communion with Him that instantly she discovers Him. And so, will you also. If you exercise your-selves to acquaintance and communion with Him, you will easily discern between His voice and the voice of a stranger. And take this criterion with you: when He speaks, He speaks as never man spoke. He speaks with power, and one way or other will make your “heart burn within” you as He did to the disciples (Luke 24:32). He does it by putting “in his hand by the hole of the door” (Song 5:4)—that is, putting His Spirit into your hearts to seize on you.

   He that has his senses exercised to discern good or evil is the best judge for himself in this case, being increased in judgment and experience by a constant observation of the ways of Christ’s communication, the manner of the operations of the Spirit, and the effects it usually produces.

2). If the Word does true good to your soul

   If the Word of the Lord does good to your souls, He speaks it: if it humble, if it cleanse, and if it be useful to those ends for which His promises are given—namely, to endear, to cleanse, to melt and bind to obedience, to self-emptiness, etc. But this is not my business, nor shall I further divert in the pursuit of this direction. Without the observation of it, sin will have great advantages towards the hardening of the heart.

(95) See The Leading of the Holy Spirit by A. W. Pink (1886-1952), available from CHAPEL LIBRARY.
Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org