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The Best Physician

The Best Physician

Today’s Morning and Evening underscores our Savior’s tender care. Are you sick? Run to the Lord in prayer. Does He really care? Another passage that comes to mind is 1 Peter 5:6-7:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.

Cast your cares on the caring Christ. As Spurgeon writes, “You will find Jesus the best physician by far.” Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever,
and immediately they told Him about her. — Mark 1:30

This is a very interesting little peep into the house of the apostolic fisherman. We quickly observe that household joys and cares are no hindrance to the full exercise of ministry; rather they furnish an opportunity for personally discovering the Lord’s gracious work in one’s own family. They may provide better instruction for the teacher than any other earthly discipline. There are those who decry marriage, but true Christianity and family life live well together. Peter’s house was possibly a poor fisherman’s hut, but the Lord of Glory entered it, lodged in it, and worked a miracle in it. If these words are being read this morning in some very humble cottage, let this fact encourage the inhabitants to seek the company of King Jesus. God is more often in little huts than in rich palaces.

Jesus is looking around your room now and is waiting to be gracious to you. Into Simon’s house illness had entered; fever in a deadly form had prostrated his mother-in-law; and as soon as Jesus came, they told Him of the sad affliction, and He hurried to the patient’s bed. Do you have any illness in the house this morning? You will find Jesus the best physician by far; go to Him at once and tell Him all about the matter. Immediately lay the case before Him. It concerns one of His people, and therefore He will not regard it as trivial.

Notice that immediately the Savior restored the ill woman; none can heal as He does. We dare not assume that the Lord will remove all illness from those we love, but we dare not forget that believing prayer for the sick is far more likely to be followed by restoration than anything else in the world; and where this does not happen, we must meekly bow to His will by whom life and death are determined. The tender heart of Jesus waits to hear our griefs; let us pour them into His patient ear.

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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Devotional

 

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The Election Question

The Election Question

Religion and politics might be famous conversation killers to avoid at Thanksgiving. But if you really want to push Aunt Suzy to tears, defend the doctrine of election. You know… the biblical doctrine that God has foreknown and predestined those who are saved since the beginning (Matthew 22:14; Mark 13:20; John 6:37, 17:9; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29-30, 9:11-13, 16, 18-20; Ephesians 1:4-5, 11, 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:1-2, and many, many more…).

As important as this precious truth is, this morning’s Morning and Evening warns against the frenzy of focusing on this doctrine without Christ. He is the answer to all of election’s questions. Do you want assurance of your salvation? Run to Jesus before running to a Christian bookstore. As Spurgeon says below:

Leave all curious inquiry about election alone. Go straight to Christ, and hide in His wounds, and you shall know your election.

I am so thankful for the truths of election and divine sovereignty. God has not only won the war, but every battle belongs to Him as well. Nothing surprises Him. No one fools Him. He is in complete control of all things from beginning to end. Not one of His children will slip through His fingers. He loses no one. Salvation truly belongs to the Lord. However, if I rely on my growing understanding of election while ignoring the Christ who saves, what have I gained? No, we know our election when we know the Savior.

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

* * * * *

For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you. — 1 Thessalonians 1:4

Many persons want to know their election before they look to Christ, but that is not possible; it is only to be discovered by “looking to Jesus.”1 If you desire to ascertain your own election, after the following manner shall you assure your heart before God.

Do you feel yourself to be a lost, guilty sinner? Go straight to the cross of Christ, and tell Jesus so, and tell Him that you have read in the Bible, “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”2 Tell Him that He has said, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”3 Look to Jesus and believe on Him, and you shall make proof of your election directly, for as surely as you believe, you are elect.

If you will give yourself wholly up to Christ and trust Him, then you are one of God’s chosen ones; but if you stop and say, “I want to know first whether I am elect,” you do not know what you are asking. Go to Jesus, just as you are, in all your guilt. Leave all curious inquiry about election alone. Go straight to Christ, and hide in His wounds, and you shall know your election. The assurance of the Holy Spirit shall be given to you, so that you shall be able to say, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”4

Christ was at the everlasting council—He can tell you whether you were chosen or not; but you cannot find it out in any other way. Go and put your trust in Him, and His answer will be, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”5 There will be no doubt about His having chosen you when you have chosen Him.

Sons we are through God’s election,
Who in Jesus Christ believe.

1 Hebrews 12:2, 2 John 6:37, 3 1 Timothy 1:15, 4 2 Timothy 1:12, 5 Jeremiah 31:3

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Looking to Jesus

Looking to Jesus

This morning’s Morning and Evening reminds us that we are nothing and Christ is everything. We cannot afford to trade the sight of our Savior for a view of ourselves. Today’s passage is taken from Hebrews 12:2.

…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

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

* * * * *

Looking to Jesus… — Hebrews 12:2

It is always the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus. But Satan’s work is just the opposite; he is constantly trying to make us look at ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you do not have the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold on Jesus.” All these are thoughts about self, and we will never find comfort or assurance by looking within.

But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that Christ is everything. Remember, therefore, it is not your hold of Christ that saves you—it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, although that is the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits.

Therefore, do not look so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ as to Christ; do not look to your hope but to Jesus, the source of your hope; do not look to your faith, but to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of your faith.

We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our deeds, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we are to overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking to Jesus.”

Keep your eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession be fresh upon your mind. When you waken in the morning look to Him; when you lie down at night look to Him. Do not let your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail you.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Morning Coffee – 06/04/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • Who Will Go?
  • Millions have never heard the Name of Jesus. Hundreds of millions have seen a missionary only once in their lives, and know nothing of our King. Shall we let them perish?

  • Joseph: His Role in a Bigger Story
  • Three times, Joseph emphasized that God’s hand was behind it all. Joseph was not excusing his brothers’ sin—he was emphasizing the fact that the Lord uses even the wicked choices of sinful people to accomplish His sovereign purposes.

  • A Practical Help for Bible Study
  • If I don’t like something I read in Scripture, perhaps I simply don’t understand it. If so, studying it again may help. If, in fact, I do understand the passage and still don’t like it, this is not an indication there is something wrong with the Bible. It’s an indication that something is wrong with me, something that needs to change.

  • Was Jesus a Party Animal?
  • Conservatives need to be challenged by Jesus’ willingness to socialize with “sinners.” Indeed, they were powerfully drawn to him. Liberals, on the other hand, need to be cautioned against depicting Jesus as an easy going, always-affirming dude’s dude who loved to blast religion and hang out at frat parties.

  • Read, Reflect, Write (Repeat)
  • In this two-minute video, Moore talks not only about getting over “writer’s block,” but about the reading and reflection he finds essential to writing well.

Free eBook Bonus:

  • Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow
  • Just as Olympic athletes work hard to achieve their best performances, our diligence in attending to these aspects of the Christian life will help determine our effectiveness in serving our Lord.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Links

 

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Hating Sin

Hating Sin

This morning’s Morning and Evening is taken from Psalm 45:7.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.

Sin is serious. It should anger us, disgust us, and drive us headlong to the feet of Christ. Charles Spurgeon’s short devotional is excellent today.

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

* * * * *

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. — Psalm 45:7

Be angry and do not sin.”1 There can hardly be goodness in a man if he is not angered by sin; he who loves truth must hate every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation came! Three times it assailed Him in different forms, but He responded with, “Be gone, Satan.” He hated it in others, no less fervently by showing His hatred often more in tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could be more stern, more Elijah-like, than such words as, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers.”

He hated wickedness so much that He bled to wound it to the heart; He died that it might die; He was buried that He might bury it in His tomb; and He rose that He might forever trample it beneath His feet. Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in fine clothes and imitates the language of holiness; but the precepts of Jesus, like His famous scourge of small cords, chase it out of the temple and will not tolerate it in the church.

So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, what a war is waged between Christ and Satan! And when our Redeemer shall come to be our Judge, those thundering words, “Depart from me, you cursed” that are, indeed, but a prolongation of His life-teaching concerning sin shall manifest His abhorrence of iniquity. As warm as His love is to sinners, so hot is His hatred of sin; as perfect as is His righteousness, so complete shall be the destruction of every form of wickedness. Glorious champion of right, and destroyer of wrong, for this cause God has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.

1 Ephesians 4:26

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Fellow Heirs

Fellow Heirs

This morning’s Morning and Evening is a joyful reminder of the inheritance we have with Christ. The text is taken from Paul’s letter to the Romans.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.  Romans 8:16-17

This is a tremendous truth indeed! However, we should not ignore the clause of suffering and glorification that follows. Glory is always preceded by suffering. Even Christ Himself had to be rejected before He could be accepted. He asked the travelers on the road to Emmaus:

Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory? — Luke 24:26

Peter understood this truth well when he stood before the men who crucified Jesus, looked them in the eye, and boldly interpreted the fulfillment of Psalm 118:22. He proclaimed:

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. — Acts 4:11-12

Suffering comes first, then glory. But when we suffer, we do not agonize as those who are without hope. As fellow heirs with Christ, our eternal reward has been safely secured. It exceeds our greatest anticipations and transforms our darkest hours into “light momentary afflictions” (2 Corin 4:17). As David declared in Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

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

* * * * *

Fellow heirs with Christ.  Romans 8:17

The boundless realms of His Father’s universe belong by right to Christ. As “heir of all things,”1 He is the sole proprietor of the vast creation of God, and He has admitted us to claim it all as ours, by making us His fellow heirs. The golden streets of paradise, the pearly gates, the river of life, the transcendent bliss, and the unutterable glory are all, by our blessed Lord, made ours for an everlasting possession. All that He has, He shares with His people.

The royal crown He has placed upon the head of His Church, granting her a kingdom, and calling her sons a royal priesthood, a generation of priests and kings. He uncrowned Himself that we might have a coronation of glory; He would not sit upon His own throne until He had procured a place upon it for all who overcome by His blood. Crown the head, and the whole body shares the honor.

Here then is the reward of every Christian conqueror! Christ’s throne, crown, scepter, palace, treasure, robes, heritage are yours. He deems His happiness completed by His people sharing it. “The glory that you have given me I have given to them.”2 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”3

The smiles of His Father are all the sweeter to Him because His people share them. The honors of His kingdom are more pleasing because His people appear with Him in glory. More valuable to Him are His conquests since they have taught His people to overcome. He delights in His throne because on it there is a place for them. He rejoices in His royal robes since they cover His people. He delights all the more in His joy because He calls them to enter into it.

1 Hebrews 1:2, 2 John 17:22, 3 John 15:11

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Glad Tragedy

Glad Tragedy

The greatest tragedy of human history is the cross of Christ. And yet, as Charles Spurgeon puts it in today’s Morning and Evening

No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like Calvary’s tragedy.

How can one act both sadden and gladden the soul? I am so thankful for Romans 5:6-9. It says:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.

God’s love and wrath are found in the cross. As agonizing as it would be to see my Savior crucified, I could never “take the nails from His hands…” (sorry, Jeremy Camp). In anguish, He took the cup and bore my sin as it pleased the Father to crush Him. He was obedient unto death. The cross is the greatest tragedy of human history, but also the greatest act of love that mankind has ever known.

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

* * * * *

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull,
there they crucified Him… — Luke 23:33

The hill of comfort is the hill that is called The Skull or Calvary; the house of consolation is built with the wood of the cross; the temple of heavenly blessing is based upon the riven rock—riven by the spear that pierced His side. No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like Calvary’s tragedy.

Is it not strange, the darkest hour
That ever dawned on sinful earth,
Should touch the heart with softer power,
For comfort, than an angel’s mirth?
That to the Cross the mourner’s eye should turn,
Sooner than where the stars of Bethlehem burn?

Light springs from the midday-midnight of Golgotha, and every herb of the field blooms sweetly beneath the shadow of the once accursed tree. In that place of thirst, grace has dug a fountain that runs continually with water pure as crystal, each drop capable of alleviating the woes of mankind. You who have had your seasons of conflict will confess that it was not at Olivet that you ever found comfort, not on the hill of Sinai, nor on Tabor; but Gethsemane and Golgotha have been a means of comfort to you. The bitter herbs of Gethsemane have often taken away the pains in your life; and the groans of Calvary yield rare and rich comfort.

We never would have known Christ’s love in all its heights and depths if He had not died; nor could we guess the Father’s deep affection if He had not given His Son to die. The common mercies we enjoy all sing of love, just as the seashell, when we put it to our ears, whispers the sounds of the deep sea from which it came; but if we desire to hear the ocean itself, we must not look at everyday blessings, but at the transactions of the crucifixion. If you want to know love, then go afresh to Calvary and see the Man of Sorrows die.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Devotional

 

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