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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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Waiting Well

In keeping with today’s theme, here is our first chapel message for the Fall semester.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Video

 

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Supreme Sovereignty

Supreme Sovereignty

Nothing operates beyond God’s knowledge or jurisdiction. This truth is a timeless source of comfort and strength. In his book, Chosen By God, R.C. Sproul writes…

If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.

Today’s Morning and Evening is a reminder of God’s sovereign control. As Spurgeon points out, there are no real causes for anxiety so long as the Lord rules heaven and earth. Rogue molecules do not exist. Our King commands all things. Therefore…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. — Philippians 4:6

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

* * * * *

The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice. — Psalms 97:1

There are no real causes for anxiety as long as this blessed sentence is true. On earth the Lord’s power controls the rage of the wicked as readily as the rage of the sea; His love refreshes the poor with mercy as easily as the earth with showers. Majesty gleams in flashes of lightning amid the tempest’s horrors, and the glory of the Lord is seen in its grandeur in the fall of empires and the crash of thrones. In all our conflicts and tribulations, we may behold the hand of the divine King.

God is God; He sees and hears
All our troubles, all our tears.
Soul, forget not, in your pains,
God o’er all forever reigns.

In hell, evil spirits acknowledge, with misery, His undoubted supremacy. When permitted to roam about, it is with a chain at their heel; the bit is in the mouth of the beast, and the hook in the jaws of the monster. Death’s darts are under the Lord’s jurisdiction, and the grave’s prisons have divine power as their jailer. The terrible vengeance of the Judge of all the earth causes fiends to cower and tremble.

Fear not death, nor Satan’s thrusts,
God defends who in Him trusts;
Soul, remember, in your pains,
God o’er all forever reigns.

In heaven there are none who doubt the sovereignty of the King Eternal, but all fall on their faces to do Him homage. Angels are His courtiers, the redeemed His favorites, and all delight to serve Him day and night. May we soon reach the city of the great King!

For this life’s long night of sadness
He will give us peace and gladness.
Soul, remember, in your pains,
God o’er all forever reigns.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Private Prayer

Private Prayer

John Bunyan once said, “He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.” Prayer should characterize the daily conduct of our lives. It ignites the soul with godly passions and holy trajectory. It is essential to the vitality of our walk with Christ. As Paul commanded the believers in Rome…

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. — Romans 12:12

Today’s Morning and Evening is an encouragement to continually engage in private prayer. Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually;
it shall not go out. — Leviticus 6:13

Keep the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety. The sanctuary and family altars borrow their fires here; therefore let this burn well. Secret devotion is the very essence, evidence, and barometer of vital and experimental [experiential] religion.

Burn here the fat of your sacrifices. Let your closet seasons be, if possible, regular, frequent, and undisturbed. Effectual prayer avails much. Have you nothing to pray for? Let us suggest the church, the ministry, your own soul, your children, your relations, your neighbors, your country, and the cause of God and truth throughout the world.

Let us examine ourselves on this important matter. Do we engage with lukewarmness in private devotion? Is the fire of devotion burning dimly in our hearts? Do the chariot wheels drag heavily? If so, let us be alarmed at this sign of decay. Let us go with weeping, and ask for the Spirit of grace and of supplications. Let us set apart special seasons for extraordinary prayer. For if this fire should be smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim the fire on the family altar and lessen our influence both in the church and in the world.

The text will also apply to the altar of the heart. This is a golden altar indeed. God loves to see the hearts of His people glowing toward Himself. Let us give to God our hearts, all blazing with love, and seek His grace, that the fire may never be quenched, for it will not burn if the Lord does not keep it burning. Many foes will attempt to extinguish it; but if the unseen hand behind the wall pours on the sacred oil, it will blaze higher and higher. Let us use texts of Scripture as fuel for our heart’s fire; they are live coals. Let us attend to sermons, but above all, let us be much alone with Jesus.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Keep Praying

Keep Praying

This morning’s Morning and Evening centers around our need for God’s constant provision. Self-reliance, laziness, entitlement, and ungratefulness are easy traps to fall into. At times, we often question God’s control of our situation. Only when we are faced with His glory and greatness, can we say,

Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. — Job 40:4

God has done (and continues to do) so much for us. Everything we have comes from Him. Why would we ever turn to another source?

James 1:17 says,

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Likewise, Matthew 7:11 declares,

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

God does not only give good gifts to His children, He enjoys giving them. I like how Spurgeon says we are “constant beggars” who ask God for everything and receive nothing apart from His hand. Let’s not forget that, even for a moment, as we continually offer praise and petition to our Provider.

Here is Alistair Begg’s paraphrase of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

…praying at all times… — Ephesians 6:18

What countless prayers we have offered from the first moment we learned to pray. Our
first prayer was a prayer for ourselves; we asked that God would have mercy upon us and
blot out our sin. He heard us. But when He had blotted out our sins like a cloud, then
we had more prayers for ourselves. We have had to pray for sanctifying grace, for
constraining and restraining grace; we have been led to crave for a fresh assurance of
faith, for the comfortable application of the promise, for deliverance in the hour of
temptation, for help in the line of duty, and for comfort in the day of trial. We have
been compelled to go to God for our souls, as constant beggars asking for everything.

Remember, child of God, you have never been able to get anything for your soul anywhere
else. All the bread your soul has eaten has come down from heaven, and all the water it
has drunk has flowed from the living rock—Christ Jesus the Lord. Your soul has never
grown rich in itself; it has always been dependent upon the daily provision of God; and
consequently your prayers have ascended to heaven for a vast range of spiritual
mercies. Your wants were innumerable, and therefore the supplies have been infinitely
great, and your prayers have been as varied as the mercies have been countless.

So then have you not reason to say, “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and
my pleas for mercy?” For as your prayers have been many, so also have God’s answers
been. He has heard you in the day of trouble, has strengthened you and helped you, even
when you dishonored Him by trembling and doubting at His throne. Remember this, and let
it fill your heart with gratitude to God, who has graciously heard your poor, weak
prayers. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”1

1Psalm 103:2

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Need Help?

Need Help?

This morning’s Morning and Evening is a reminder that our God is more than willing to help us in times of need.

For those of us who despise the growing monster of the prosperity gospel, this can become a surprisingly hard pill to swallow. It is too easy to swing the pendulum so far in the other direction and forget that God takes pleasure in coming to our aid.

This morning’s devotional echos Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:7-11.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Not only does God give good things; every good gift has come from Him. James 1:17 states,

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

That said, God is not a cosmic gumball machine. He will not supply our every whim. According to James 4:2-3, we often ask with wrong motives or fail to ask at all.

You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

We cannot see the big picture and often our landscapes are filled with self. Thankfully, we have an intercessor who knows exactly how to pray for us and meet our needs. Romans 8:26 says,

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

What a comfort! Let’s not fall too far on either side of the petitioning pendulum with demands for prosperity or too much silence. God is both able and willing to meet our needs in Christ.

In Philippians 4:4-7, Paul writes,

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Even if we don’t get what we want, God will always give us what we need. He is a compassionate and gracious Father who lovingly provides good things for His children. As if that were not enough, He will guard our hearts and minds with His unfathomable peace if we prayerfully and thankfully take our requests to Him.

Here is Alistair Begg’s paraphrase of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD. — Isaiah 41:14

This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I will help you.”

“It is but a small thing for Me, your God, to help you. Consider what I have done already. What! Not help you? Why, I bought you with My blood. What! Not help you? I have died for you; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help you! It is the least thing I will ever do for you; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose you. I made the covenant for you. I laid aside My glory and became a man for you; I gave up My life for you; and if I did all this, I will surely help you now.

In helping you, I am giving you what I have bought for you already. If you had need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it to you; you require little compared with what I am ready to give. It is much for you to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. Help you? Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of your granary asking for help, it would not ruin you to give him a handful of your wheat; and you are nothing but a tiny insect at the door of My all-sufficiency. I will help you.”

O my soul, is this not enough? Do you need more strength than the omnipotence of the united Trinity? Do you want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring here your empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Hurry, gather up your wants, and bring them here–your emptiness, your woes, your needs. Behold, this river of God is full for your supply; what else can you desire? Go forth, my soul, in this your might. The Eternal God is your helper!

Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismay’d!
I, I am your God, and will still give you aid.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Devotional

 

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Need Prayer?

David Platt puts the need for prayer in perspective.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Video

 

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