Hope

Hope

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spiritual Helps...The Valley of Vision


Spiritual Helps


Eternal Father, it is amazing love, that Thou hast sent Thy Son to suffer in my stead, that Thou hast added the Spirit to teach, comfort, guide, that Thou hast allowed the ministry of angels to wall me round; all heaven subserves the welfare of a poor worm. Permit Thy unseen servants to be ever active on my behalf, and to rejoice when grace expands in me. Suffer them never to rest until my conflict is over, and I stand victorious on salvation's shore.
Grant that my proneness to evil, deadness to good, resistance to Thy Spirit's emotions, may never provoke Thee to abandon me. May my hard heart awake Thy pity, not Thy wrath, And if the enemy gets an advantage through my corruption, let it be seen that heaven is mightier than hell, that those for me are greater than those against me.
Arise to my help in richness of covenant blessings, keep me feeding in the pastures of Thy strengthening Word, searching Scripture to find Thee there. If my waywardness is visited with a scourge, enable me to receive correction meekly, to bless the reproving hand, to discern the motive of rebuke, to respond promptly, and do the first work. Let all Thy fatherly dealings make me a partaker of Thy holiness. Grant that in every fall I may sink lower on my knees, and that when I rise it may be to loftier heights of devotion. May my every cross be sanctified, every loss be gain, every denial a spiritual advantage, every dark day a light of the Holy Spirit, every night of trial a song.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In Prayer...

In Prayer

O Lord, in prayer I launch far out into the eternal world, and on that broad ocean my soul triumphs over all evils on the shores of mortality. Time, with its gay amusements and cruel disappointments never appears so inconsiderate as then. In prayer I see myself as nothing; I find my heart going after Thee with intensity, and long with vehement thirst to live to Thee. Blessed be the strong gales of the Spirit that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem. In prayer all things here below vanish, and nothing seems important but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.
In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties disappear, and are of as little significance as a puff of wind. In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively thoughts at what Thou art doing for Thy church, and I long that Thou shouldest get Thyself a great name from sinners returning to Zion. In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life, and taste heavenly joys; entering into the eternal world I can give myself to Thee with all my heart, to be Thine for ever. In prayer I can place all my concerns in Thy hands, to be entirely at Thy disposal, having no will or interest of my own.
In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers, sinners, the church, Thy kingdom to come, with greatest freedom, ardent hopes, as a son to his father, as a lover to the beloved. Help me to be all prayer and never to cease praying.

Purification

Lord Jesus, I sin. Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it, never be content with myself, never think I can reach a point of perfection. Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable, to live for Thee and not for self, to copy Thy words, acts, spirit, to be transformed into Thy likeness, to be consecrated wholly to Thee, to live entirely to Thy glory.
Deliver me from attachment to things unclean, from wrong associations, from the predominance of evil passions, from the sugar of sin as well as its gap; that with selfloathing, deep contrition, earnest heart searching I may come to Thee, cast myself on Thee, trust in Thee, cry to Thee, be delivered by Thee.
O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that all things are shadows, but Thou art substance, all things are quicksands, but Thou art mountain, all things are shifting, but Thou art anchor, all things are ignorance, but Thou art wisdom. If my life is to be a crucible amid burning heat, so be it, but do Thou sit at the furnace mouth to watch the ore that nothing be lost. If I sin wilfully, grievously, tormentedly, in grace take away my mourning and give me music; remove my sackcloth and clothe me with beauty; still my sighs and fill my mouth with song, then give me summer weather as a Christian.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Morning...


Morning

Compassionate Lord, Thy mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day. Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace, increase in knowledge, ripen for spiritual harvest. Let me this day know Thee as Thou art, love Thee supremely, serve Thee wholly, admire Thee fully. Through grace let my will respond to Thee, knowing that power to obey is not in me, but that Thy free love alone enables me to serve Thee. Here then is my empty heart, overflow it with Thy choicest gifts; here is my blind understanding, chase away its mists of ignorance.
O ever watchful Shepherd, lead, guide, tend me this day; without Thy restraining rod I err and stray. Hedge up my path lest I wander into unwholesome pleasure, and drink its poisonous streams; direct my feet that I be not entangled in Satan's secret snares, nor fall into his hidden traps. Defend me from assailing foes, from evil circumstances, from myself. My adversaries are part and parcel of my nature; they cling to me as my very skin; I cannot escape their contact. In my rising up and sitting down they barnacle me; they entice with constant baits; my enemy is within the citadel. Come with almighty power and cast him out, pierce him to death, and abolish in me every particle of carnal life this day.

Morning Dedication
Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Thy care. Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me. Incline my heart to thy ways. Mould me wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay. May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Thy praise. Let those around see me living by Thy Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clad in the entire armour of God, shining as a never-dimmed light, showing holiness in all my doings. Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, hands. May I travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In needful transactions let my affection be in heaven, and my love soar upwards in flames of fire, my gaze fixed on unseen things, my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities. May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of my Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth. Order this day all my communications according to Thy wisdom, and to the gain of mutual good. Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable. May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one.If my life should end today, let this be my best day.

Morning Needs
O God the author of all good, I come to Thee for the grace another day will require for its duties and events. I step out into a wicked world; I carry about with me an evil heart. I know that without Thee I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned, however harmless in itself, may prove an occasion of sin or folly, unless I am kept by Thy power. Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe.
Preserve my understanding from subtilty of error, my affections from love of idols, my character from stain of vice, my profession from every form of evil. May I engage in nothing in which I cannot implore Thy blessing, and in which I cannot invite Thy inspection. Prosper me in all lawful undertakings, or prepare me for disappointments. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with food convenient for me, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, Who is the Lord? or be poor, and steal, and take Thy name in vain. May every creature be made good to me by prayer and Thy will. Teach me how to use the world and not abuse it, to improve my talents, to redeem my time, to walk in wisdom toward those without, and in kindness to those within, to do good to all men, and especially to my fellow Christians. And to Thee be the glory.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heart Corruptions...


Heart Corruptions


O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to thee. I have no merit, let

the merit of Jesus stand for me. I am undeserving, but I look to Thy tender mercy. I am

full of infirmities, wants, sin; Thou art full of grace.

I confess my sin, my frequent sin, my wilful sin; all my powers of body and soul

are defiled: a fountain of pollution is deep within my nature. There are chambers of foul

images within my being; I have gone from one odious room to another, walked in a noman's-

land of dangerous imaginations, pried into the secrets of my fallen nature.

I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me

nor fruit, but thorns and thistles; I am a fading leaf that the wind drives away; I live bare

and barren as a winter tree, unprofitable, fit to be hewn down and burnt. Lord, dost Thou

have mercy on me?

Thou hast struck a heavy blow at my pride, at the false god of self, and I lie in

pieces before Thee. But Thou hast given me another master and lord, Thy Son, Jesus, and

now my heart is turned towards holiness, my life speeds as an arrow from a bow towards

complete obedience to Thee. Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble

pride. Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life, from everything that is

natural to fallen man, and let Christ's nature be seen in me day by day. Grant me grace

to bear Thy will without repining, and delight to be not only chiselled, squared, or

fashioned, but separated from the old rock where I have been embedded so long, and

lifted from the quarry to the upper air, where I may be built in Christ for ever.

Longings after God

My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but

Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these

desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion

with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. How

precious it is to have a tender sense and clear apprehension of the mystery of godliness,

of true holiness! What a blessedness to be like Thee as much as it is possible for a

creature to be like its creator! Lord, give me more of Thy likeness; enlarge my soul to

contain fullness of holiness; engage me to live more for Thee. Help me to be less pleased

with my spiritual experiences, and when I feel at ease after sweet communings, teach me

it is far too little I know and do. Blessed Lord, let me climb up near to Thee, and love,

and long, and plead, and wrestle with Thee, and pant for deliverance from the body of

sin, for my heart is wandering and lifeless, and my soul mourns to think it should ever

lose sight of its beloved. Wrap my life in divine love, and keep me ever desiring Thee,

always humble and resigned to Thy will, more fixed on Thyself, that I may be more fitted

for doing and-suffering.

Meeting God

Great God, in public and private, in sanctuary and home, may my life be steeped

in prayer, filled with the spirit of grace and supplication, each prayer perfumed with the

incense of atoning blood. Help me, defend me, until from praying ground I pass to the

realm of unceasing praise. Urged by my need, invited by Thy promises, called by Thy

Spirit, I enter Thy presence, worshipping Thee with godly fear, awed by Thy majesty,

greatness, glory, but encouraged by Thy love.

I am all poverty as well as all guilt, having nothing of my own with which to repay

Thee, but I bring Jesus to Thee in the arms of faith, pleading His righteousness to offset

my iniquities, rejoicing that He will weigh down the scales for me, and satisfy thy justice.

I bless Thee that great sin draws out great grace, that, although the lest sin deserves

infinite punishment because done against an infinite God, yet there is mercy for me, for

where guilt is most terrible, there Thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep. Bless me by

revealing to me more of His saving merits, by causing Thy goodness to pass before me,

by speaking peace to my contrite heart; strengthen me to give Thee no rest untiI Christ

shall reign supreme within me in every thought, word, and deed, in a faith that purifies

the heart, overcomes the world, works by love, fastens me to Thee, and ever clings to the

cross.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Grace...


Grace Active


O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to Thee. I Lord Jesus, great

high priest, Thou hast opened a new and living way by which a fallen creature can

approach Thee with acceptance.

Help me to contemplate the dignity of Thy Person, the perfectness of Thy

sacrifice, the effectiveness of Thy intercession.

O what blessedness accompanies devotion, when under all the trials that weary

me, the cares that corrode me, the fears that disturb me, the infirmities that oppress me,

I can come to Thee in my need and feel peace beyond understanding!

The grace that restores is necessary to preserve, lead, guard, supply, help me.

And here Thy saints encourage my hope; they were once poor and are now rich, bound

and are now free, tried and now are victorious.

Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess, but not more than is

found in Thee, the divine treasury in whom all fullness dwells. To Thee I repair for grace

upon grace, until every void made by sin be replenished and I am filled with all Thy

fullness.

May my desires be enlarged and my hopes emboldened, that I may honour Thee

by my entire dependency and the greatness of my expectation.

Do Thou be with me, and prepare me for all the smiles of prosperity, the frowns

of adversity, the losses of substance, the death of friends, the days of darkness, the

changes of life, and the last great change of all. May I find thy grace sufficient for all my

needs.

Grace in Trials

Father of Mercies, Hear me for Jesus' sake. I am sinful even in my closest walk

with thee; it is of thy mercy I died not long ago; Thy grace has given me in the cross by

which thou hast reconciled thyself to me and me to thee, drawing me by thy great love,

reckoning me as innocent in Christ though guilty in myself.

Giver of all graces, I look to thee for strength to maintain them in me, for it is

hard to practise what I believe. Strengthen me against temptations. My heart is an

unexhausted fountain of sin, a river of corruption since childhood days, flowing on in

every pattern of behaviour; Thou hast disarmed me of the means in which I trusted, and I

have no strength but in thee.

Thou alone canst hold back my evil ways, but without thy grace to sustain me I

fall. Satan's darts quickly inflame me, and the shield that should quench them easily

drops from my hand: Empower me against his wiles and assaults. Keep me sensible of

my weakness, and of my dependence upon thy strength. Let every trial teach me more of

thy peace, more of thy love.

Thy Holy Spirit is given to increase thy graces, and I cannot preserve or improve

them unless he works continually in me. May he confirm my trust in thy promised help,

and let me walk humbly in dependence upon thee, for Jesus' sake.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Power and Wisdom


Prov. 1 wisdom with Isaiah 40 power and wisdom of God…how does this change our perspective of God and his wisdom.

Wisdom’s Rebuke

Proverbs 1:
20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall[d] she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech:
22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
I will make known to you my teachings.
24 But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
25 since you disregard all my advice
and do not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the LORD.
30 Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

Isaiah 40:
Comfort for God’s People

1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare
the way for the LORD[a]; make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.[b]
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.”
9 You who bring good news to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,[c]
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit[d] of the LORD,
or instruct the LORD as his counselor?
14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.
18 With whom, then, will you compare God?
To what image will you liken him?
19 As for an idol, a metalworker casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A person too poor to present such an offering
selects wood that will not rot;
they look for a skilled worker
to set up an idol that will not topple.
21 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Through reading these passages I was challenged by the fact that often times we think we can do things on our own and we are the all "wise" one. It was humbling reading the contrast of the wisdom and power. Who are we as clay to say to the potter we know what is best. How often do we do that. These passages have reminded me of the amazing God that we serve and His desire for His children to bring everything to His feet. How often we are distracted by the lies of Satan and of our mind. We think we can handle it, or we're not good enough, or whatever it may be. Those however are contrary to Scripture. We are His children bought with a price and no longer slaves to this world. Our wisdom and power are from the almighty God and His Word is our source. As I continued reading on through Isaiah 41 I was reminded at how powerful the Lord is and how is the creator of this whole universe, not one thing goes without notice. Take the time to stop and meditate on these Scriptures remembering who upholds you and the God we serve. The things that we allow to control us, other than God, are what often times we treat as our idols and god, instead of the ONE TRUE GOD. This is MY GOD, the one who upholds me, who wants to show me Himself, His love, His mercy, etc. He demands our love and obedience...He deserves our love and obedience...Our Life! It is the only way to find true peace, wisdom, hope, love...
Whatever your heart clings to and relies on is your God. -Martin Luther

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Evening...Puritan Prayers...Rich in Truth!


Evening Praise


Giver of all, another day is ended and I take my place beneath my great

redeemer's cross, where healing streams continually descend, where balm is poured into

every wound, where I wash anew in the all-cleansing blood, assured that Thou seest in

me no spots of sin. Yet a little while and I shall go to Thy home and be no more seen;

help me to gird up the loins of my mind, to quicken my step, to speed as if each moment

were my last, that my life be joy, my death glory.

I thank Thee for the temporal blessings of this world—the refreshing air, the light

of the sun, the food that renews strength, the raiment that clothes, the dwelling that

shelters, the sleep that gives rest, the starry canopy of night, the summer breeze, the

flowers' sweetness, the music of flowing streams, the happy endearments of family,

kindred, friends. Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort. My cup runs

over. Suffer me not to be insensible to these daily mercies. Thy hand bestows blessings:

Thy power averts evil. I bring my tribute of thanks for spiritual graces, the full warmth of

faith, the cheering presence of Thy Spirit, the strength of Thy restraining will, Thy

spiking of hell's artillery. Blessed be my sovereign Lord!

Evening Prayer

O lover of Thy people, Thou hast placed my whole being in the hands of Jesus, my

redeemer, commander, husband, friend, and carest for me in Him. Keep me holy,

harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; may I not know the voice of strangers, but

go to Him where He is, and follow where He leads. Thou hast bathed me once for all in

the sin-removing fountain, cleanse me now from this day's defilement, from its faults,

deficiencies of virtue, harmful extremes, that I may exhibit a perfect character in Jesus. O

Master, who didst wash the disciples' feet, be very patient with me, be very

condescending to my faults, go on with me till Thy great work in me is completed. I

desire to conquer self in every respect, to overcome the body with its affections and

lusts, to keep under my flesh, to guard my manhood from all grosser sins, to check the

refined power of my natural mind, to live entirely to Thy glory, to be deaf to unmerited

censure and the praise of men. Nothing can hurt my new-born inner man, it cannot be

smitten or die; nothing can mar the dominion of Thy Spirit within me; it is enough to

have Thy approbation and that of my conscience. Keep me humble, dependent,

supremely joyful, as calm and quiet as a sucking child, yet earnest and active. I wish not

so much to do as to be, and I long to be like Jesus; if Thou dost make me right I shall be

right; Lord, I belong to Thee, make me worthy of Thyself.

Evening Renewal

My Father, if Thy mercy had bounds, where would be my refuge from just wrath?

But thy love in Christ is without measure. Thus, I present myself to Thee with sins of

comission and omission, against Thee, my Father, against Thee, adorable redeemer,

against Thee and Thy strivings, 0 Holy Spirit, against the dictates of my conscience,

against the precepts of Thy Word, against my neighbours and myself. Enter not into

judgment with me, for I plead no righteousness of my own, and have no cloak for

iniquity. Pardon my day dark with evil.

This night I renew my penitence. Every morning I vow to love Thee more fervently,

to serve Thee more sincerely, to be more devoted in my life, to be wholly Thine; Yet I

soon stumble, backslide, and have to confess my weakness, misery and sin. But I bless

Thee that the finished work of Jesus needs no addition from my doings, that His oblation

is sufficient satisfaction for my sins.

If future days be mine, help me to amend my life, to hate and abhor evil, to flee

the sins I confess. Make me more resolute, more watchful, more prayerful. Let no evil

fruit spring from evil seeds my hands have sown; Let no neighbour be hardened in vanity

and folly by my want of circumspection. If this day I have been ashamed of Christ and His

Word, or have shown unkindness, malice, envy, lack of love, unadvised speech, hasty

temper, let it be no stumbling block to others, or dishonour to Thy name. 0 help me to

set an upright example that will ever rebuke vice, allure to goodness, and evidence that

lovely are the ways of Christ.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Divine Support

Thou art the blessed God, happy in Thyself, source of happiness in Thy creatures,

my maker, benefactor, proprietor, upholder. Thou hast produced and sustained me,

supported and indulged me, saved and kept me; Thou art in every situation able to meet

my needs and miseries.
May I live by Thee, live for Thee, never be satisfied with my Christian progress but

as I resemble Christ; and may conformity to His principles, temper, and conduct grow

hourly in my life. Let Thy unexampled love constrain me into holy obedience, and render

my duty my delight. If others deem my faith folly, my meekness infirmity, my zeal

madness, my hope delusion, my actions hypocrisy, may I rejoice to suffer for Thy name.

Keep me walking steadfastly towards the country of everlasting delights, that

paradise-land which is my true inheritance. Support me by the strength of heaven that I

may never turn back, or desire false pleasures that will disappear into nothing. As I

pursue my heavenly journey by Thy grace let me be known as a man with no aim but that

of a burning desire for Thee, and the good and salvation of my fellow men.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Devotion...


God of my end, it is my greatest, noblest pleasure to be acquainted with Thee and

with my rational, immortal soul; it is sweet and entertaining to look into my being when

all my powers and passions are united and engaged in pursuit of Thee, when my soul

longs and passionately breathes after conformity to Thee and the full enjoyment of Thee;

no hours pass away with so much pleasure as those spent in communion with Thee and

with my heart.

O how desirable, how profitable to the Christian life is a spirit of holy

watchfulness and godly jealousy over myself when my soul is afraid of nothing except

grieving and offending Thee, the blessed God, my Father and friend, whom I then love

and long to please, rather than be happy in myself! Knowing, as I do, that this is the

pious temper, worthy of the highest ambition, and closest pursuit of intelligent creatures

and holy Christians, may my joy derive from glorifying and delighting Thee. I long to fill

all my time for Thee, whether at home or in the way; to place all my concerns in Thy

hands; to be entirely at Thy disposal, having no will or interest of my own. Help me to

live to Thee for ever, to make Thee my last and only end, so that I may never more in one

instance love my sinful self.

Monday, February 7, 2011

He shall gather the lambs...

"He shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom."

- Isaiah 40:11

Who is he of whom such gracious words are spoken? He is THE GOOD SHEPHERD. Why doth he carry the lambs in his bosom? Because He hath a tender heart, and any weakness at once melts his heart. The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the little ones of his flock draw forth his compassion. It is his office, as a faithful High Priest, to consider the weak. Besides, he purchased them with blood, they are his property: he must and will care for that which cost him so dear. Then he is responsible for each lamb, bound by covenant engagements not to lose one. Moreover, they are all a part of his glory and reward.

But how may we understand the expression, "He will carry them"? Sometimes he carries them by not permitting them to endure much trial. Providence deals tenderly with them. Often they are "carried" by being filled with an unusual degree of love, so that they bear up and stand fast. Though their knowledge may not be deep, they have great sweetness in what they do know. Frequently he "carries" them by giving them a very simple faith, which takes the promise just as it stands, and believingly runs with every trouble straight to Jesus. The simplicity of their faith gives them an unusual degree of confidence, which carries them above the world.

"He carries the lambs in his bosom." Here is boundless affection. Would he put them in his bosom if he did not love them much? Here is tender nearness: so near are they, that they could not possibly be nearer. Here is hallowed familiarity: there are precious love-passages between Christ and his weak ones. Here is perfect safety: in his bosom who can hurt them? They must hurt the Shepherd first. Here is perfect rest and sweetest comfort. Surely we are not sufficiently sensible of the infinite tenderness of Jesus!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Deeps


Hope you are enjoying these puritan prayers as much as me! LOVE THEM!


Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach.

Help me chastely to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone.

Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground

of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour,

master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy

Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought,

action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.

Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may be a

tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide, until Thou alone art seen in me,

Thy beauty golden like summer harvest, Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.

I have no master but Thee, no law but Thy will, no delight but Thyself, no wealth

but that Thou givest, no good but that Thou blessest, no peace but that Thou bestowest.

I am nothing but that Thou makest me. I have nothing but that I receive from Thee. I can

be nothing but that grace adorns me. Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to

overflowing with living water.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Contentment


Heavenly Father, if I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty,

make my heart prize Thy love, know it, be constrained by it, though I be denied all

blessings. It is Thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants, for by these trials I see my

sins, and desire severance from them. Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows,

temptations, if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil, and be delivered from it with

gratitude to Thee, acknowledging this as the highest testimony of Thy love.

When thy Son, Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin He became more dear to

me than sin had formerly been; His kindly rule replaced sin's tyranny. Teach me to

believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued I must not only labour to overcome it,

but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it, and He must become to me more than

vile lust had been; that His sweetness, power, life may be there. Thus I must seek a grace

from Him contrary to sin, but must not claim it apart from Himself.

When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me by showing me that in myself I am

a dying, condemned wretch, but in Christ I am reconciled and live; that in myself I find

insufficiency and no rest, but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace; that in myself I am

feeble and unable to do good, but in Christ I have ability to do all things. Though now I

have His graces in part, I shall shortly have them perfectly in that state where Thou wilt

show Thyself fully reconciled, and alone sufficient, efficient, loving me completely, with

sin abolished. O Lord, hasten that day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Confession and Petition


Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and

unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life.

My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless

Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to

subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of

the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over

me in liberty and power.

I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and

do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and

been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering 'no' to my wrongful

prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base

aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for

all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace

to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give me choice to

live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me

sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins,

everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me

taking delight in Thee. Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be

upright.