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The Walk of Faith

The Walk of Faith

Today’s Morning and Evening echos the evangelical battle cry, “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” In other words, faith is the foundation of a holy life. As Spurgeon says below…

You will never find true faith unaccompanied by true godliness; on the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life that does not have at its root a living faith relying upon the righteousness of Christ.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

If we live by the Spirit,
let us also walk by the Spirit. — Galatians 5:25

The two most important things in our Christian journey are the life of faith and the walk of faith. The person who grasps this is not far from being a master in experimental [experiential] theology, for they are vital points to a Christian. You will never find true faith unaccompanied by true godliness; on the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life that does not have at its root a living faith relying upon the righteousness of Christ.

Woe to those who seek the one without the other! There are some who cultivate faith and forget holiness; these may be very high in orthodoxy, but they shall be very deep in condemnation, for they hold the truth in unrighteousness! There are others who have strained after a holy life but have denied the faith, like the Pharisees of old, of whom the Master said they were “whitewashed tombs.”1 We must have faith, for this is the foundation; we must have holiness of life, for this is the superstructure.

What use is the mere foundation of a building to a man on the day of tempest? Can he hide himself in it? He needs a house to cover him as well as a foundation for that house. Even so we need the superstructure of spiritual life if we want comfort in the day of doubt. But do not seek a holy life without faith, for that would be to erect a house that can provide no permanent shelter because it has no foundation on a rock. Let faith and life be put together, and like the two supports of an archway, they will make our devotion endure. Like light and heat streaming from the same sun, they are full of blessing. Like the two pillars of the temple, they are for glory and for beauty. They are two streams from the fountain of grace, two lamps lit with holy fire, two olive trees watered by heavenly care.

Lord, give us today life internally, and it will reveal itself externally to Your glory.

1 Matthew 23:27

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Happy Monday: DoubtHeart

Coming Soon! (maybe)

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Video

 

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Wait? I Hate Waiting…

Wait? I Hate Waiting…

Learning to wait is one of life’s hardest lessons. Most of us echo this sentiment on a daily basis.

When darkness comes, our inclinations are to run away from danger or throw ourselves headlong into the fight. We run because we are afraid. We foolishly attack because we rely too much on our own strength or assume we have God’s plan figured out for ourselves.

Today’s Morning and Evening is an encouragement to faithfully remember where our help comes from. A patient pause will often protect us from anxiety, fear, retreat, and presumptuous folly. Time and again, the noblest course of action is simply to wait.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! — Psalm 27:14

It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures that a Christian soldier cannot learn without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier for God’s warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desiring to serve the Lord, does not know what role to play. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Retreat back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the matter before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of help.

In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is best to be humble as a child and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly and are genuinely willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting is just an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keeps you waiting even until midnight, He will still come at the right time; the vision will come and not delay. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because things are difficult, but blessing your God for the privilege of affliction.

Never grumble against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the circumstance as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any selfish agenda, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now, Lord, not my will, but Yours be done. I do not know what to do. I am at an end of myself, but I will wait until You part the floods or drive back my enemies. I will wait, even if You test me for a while, for my heart is fixed upon You alone, O God, and my spirit waits for You in the deep conviction that You will still be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.”

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Devotional

 

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The Monster of Unbelief

The Monster of Unbelief

Doubt and unbelief are monstrous sins that produce severe consequences. Thomas Watson once wrote…

There are no sins God’s people are more subject to than unbelief and impatience. They are ready either to faint through unbelief, or to fret through impatience.

Today’s Morning and Evening is an encouragement to continually hack the Agag of our unbelief. It is a fight no one can afford to lose. As Spurgeon points out, to distrust Christ is a needless, foolish, and unwarranted sin. “Among hateful things it is the most to be defeated.”

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

And how long will they not believe in me,
in spite of all the signs
that I have done among them? — Numbers 14:11

Strive with all diligence to keep out the monster of unbelief. It is so dishonoring to Christ that He will withdraw His visible presence if we insult Him by tolerating it. It is true it is a weed that we can never entirely remove from the soil, but we must aim at its root with zeal and perseverance. Among hateful things it is the most to be defeated. Its hurtful nature is so poisonous that he that uses it and he upon whom it is used are both harmed by it. In your case, believer, it is most wicked, for the mercies of your Lord in the past increase your guilt in doubting Him now. When you distrust the Lord Jesus, He may well cry out, “Behold, I will press you down in your place, as a cart full of sheaves presses down.” To doubt is to crown His head with thorns of the sharpest kind.

It is very cruel for a well-beloved wife to mistrust a kind and faithful husband. The sin is needless, foolish, and unwarranted. Jesus has never given the slightest ground for suspicion, and it is hard to be doubted by those to whom our conduct is consistently affectionate and true. Jesus is the Son of the Highest and has unlimited wealth; it is shameful to doubt Omnipotence and distrust His sufficiency. The cattle on a thousand hills will be enough for our most hungry feeding, and the granaries of heaven are not likely to be emptied by our eating. If Christ were only a cistern, we might soon exhaust His fullness, but who can drain a fountain? Countless believers throughout the ages have drawn their supplies from Him, and not one of them has complained at the insufficiency of His resources.

Dispel this lying traitor unbelief, for his only errand is to cut the bonds of communion and make us mourn an absent Savior. Bunyan tells us that unbelief has “as many lives as a cat”; if so, let us kill one life now, and continue the work until the whole nine are gone. Down with you, traitor, my heart detests you.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Stand Firm

Stand Firm

The command for God’s people to “stand firm” is found all throughout the Bible (Exodus 14:13; 2 Chronicles 20:17; Isaiah 46:8; Daniel 11:32; 1 Corinthians 16:13; 2 Corinthians 1:24; Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 6:13; Philippians 1:27, 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 1 Peter 5:12).

This morning’s Morning and Evening highlights the importance of a rock steady faith. Our worst enemies often conspire against us from within. Spurgeon lists despair, cowardice, precipitancy, and presumption in today’s devotional. All four of these fleshly fiends are at war with our faith. In a world of self-help books and twelve step programs, it is easy to loosen our grip on the source of our strength and comfort. Abraham Lincoln once said:

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.

Are you are trapped by the darkness of despair? Is fearfulness as natural as a cold glass of water on a hot day? Do you become a self-reliant busy-bee when things fall apart? Have you ever drowned while expecting God to part the waters? Cling to the immovable rock of Christ and when all has passed, keep standing.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. — 1 Corinthians 16:13

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord,
which He will work for you today. — Exodus 14:13

These words contain God’s command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do? The Master’s word to him is, “Stand firm.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions.

Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage and even in our worst times rejoice in His love and faithfulness. Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part—it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.” But however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine decree has bid you go from strength to strength, and so you shall, and neither death nor hell shall turn you from your course. Even if you are called to stand firm for a while, this is in order to renew your strength for some greater advance in due time.

Precipitancy cries, “Do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once—we must do it, so we think—instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, “If the sea is before you, march into it and expect a miracle.”

But faith listens neither to presumption, nor to despair, nor to cowardice, nor to precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand firm,” and immovable as a rock it stands. “Stand firm”—keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long before God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”

 

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Faith’s Secret Strength

Faith’s Secret Strength

This morning’s Morning and Evening is about faith in God and His promises. Hebrews 11:1-3 says,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Our faith is strengthened when we remember who God is and what He has done. He cannot lie and He has never failed. His every word is a promise. Whatever He intends to do, He accomplishes. That is why our hope in Christ is so secure. In our continual weakness, He continues to prove Himself strong.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

Please tell me where your great strength lies. — Judges 16:6

Where does the secret strength of faith lie? It lies in the food it feeds on; for faith studies what the promise is—an emanation of divine grace, an overflowing of the great heart of God. And faith says, “My God could not have given this promise except from love and grace; therefore it is quite certain His Word will be fulfilled.” Then faith thinks, “Who gave this promise?” It considers not so much its greatness as, “Who is the author of it?” She remembers that it is God, who cannot lie—God omnipotent, God immutable—and therefore concludes that the promise must be fulfilled; and onward she proceeds in this firm conviction. She remembers why the promise was given—namely, for God’s glory—and she feels perfectly sure that God’s glory is safe, that He will never stain His own insignia, nor spoil the sparkle of His own crown; and therefore the promise must and will stand.

Then faith also considers the amazing work of Christ as being a clear proof of the Father’s intention to fulfill His word. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”1 Moreover, faith looks back upon the past, for her battles have strengthened her, and her victories have given her courage. She remembers that God has never failed her, that He never once failed any of His children. She recalls times of great peril when deliverance came, hours of awful need when as her day her strength was found, and she cries, “No, I never will be led to think that He can change and leave His servant now. Thus far the Lord has helped me, and He will help me still.”

Thus faith views each promise in its connection with the promise-giver and, because she does so, can with assurance say, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life!”2

1 Romans 8:32, 2 Psalm 23:6

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2014 in Devotional

 

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None Lost

None Lost

This morning’s Morning and Evening remembers the powerful grace of God. The text is John 10:28:

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

His grace is eternal, unbreakable, and permanent. It is impossible for true children of God to lose standing with their eternal family. This truth should continually compel us to praise and worship. Since before the beginning of time, the Lord has always kept His promises. Doubt yourself, but never question the faithfulness of your Savior.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish… — John 10:28

The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief. For when a child of God mistrusts His love, His truth, His faithfulness, it is greatly displeasing to Him. How can we ever grieve Him by doubting His upholding grace?

Christian, it is contrary to every promise of God’s precious Word that you would ever be forgotten or left to perish. If it could be so, how could He be true who has said, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”1 What would be the value of the promise—”‘The mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you”?2 What truth would there be in Christ’s words—”I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand”?3

What value would there be in the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved if one child of God should perish. What value could be placed in the veracity of God, His honor, His power, His grace, His covenant, His oath, if any of those for whom Christ died, and who have put their trust in Him, should nevertheless be cast away?

Banish then those unbelieving fears, which so dishonor God. Arise, shake yourself from the dust, and put on your beautiful clothes. Remember, it is sinful to doubt His Word in which He has promised you that you will never perish. Let the eternal life within you express itself in confident rejoicing.

The gospel bears my spirit up:
A faithful and unchanging God
Lays the foundation for my hope,
In oaths, and promises, and blood.

1 Isaiah 49:15, 2 Isaiah 54:10, John 10:28-29

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Devotional

 

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