God will fight for you!

 God will fight for you

psalm23_4

 

 

Are you in need of renewal?

 

For the Lord has driven out great and powerful nations for you, and no one has yet been able to defeat him. Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. So be careful to love the Lord your God.

Joshua 23:9-11

About this week’s promise

When strength fails and we grow weary, we need someone to come alongside us, show understanding, cheer us up, and inspire us to have the strength and commitment to move on. When bills pile up and money runs short, we need an encourager. When we become single parents and the world seems against us, we need an encourager. When friends and family turn against us, we need an encourager. Our strength and resolve weaken. Oh, for someone to come beside us and lift us up and comfort us. Encouragers help us stir renewed commitment, renewed resolve. They inspire us with courage and hope. Encouragers bring a beautiful gift, often a spiritual gift, when they bring renewal through encouragement.

adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 1188

Digging Deeper

For more on God’s blessing of courage and encouragement, try Out of Harm’s Way by Jack Thompson, Tyndale House Publishers (2005).
Jack, an outraged father and activist lawyer, is on a mission to protect children from the violent and obscene video games, music lyrics, shock jock radio shows, and television programs he says are creating a culture of violence and degradation. Going beyond outrage, Thompson chronicles his own spiritual journey from bystander to activist and offers the sociological, medical, scientific, and legal evidence that will motivate all Americans—especially parents—to get involved.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

12/26/13 JESUS IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH

Morning

Psalm 139 Dove

“The last Adam.” 1 Corinthians 15:45

Jesus is the federal head of his elect. As in Adam, every heir of flesh and blood has a personal interest, because he is the covenant head and representative of the race as considered under the law of works; so under the law of grace, every redeemed soul is one with the Lord from heaven, since he is the Second Adam, the Sponsor and Substitute of the elect in the new covenant of love. The apostle Paul declares that Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Melchizedek met him: it is a certain truth that the believer was in the loins of Jesus Christ, the Mediator, when in old eternity the covenant settlements of grace were decreed, ratified, and made sure forever. Thus, whatever Christ hath done, he hath wrought for the whole body of his Church. We were crucified in him and buried with him (read Col. 2:10-13), and to make it still more wonderful, we are risen with him and even ascended with him to the seats on high (Eph. 2:6). It is thus that the Church has fulfilled the law, and is “accepted in the beloved.” It is thus that she is regarded with complacency by the just Jehovah, for he views her in Jesus, and does not look upon her as separate from her covenant head. As the Anointed Redeemer of Israel, Christ Jesus has nothing distinct from his Church, but all that he has he holds for her. Adam’s righteousness was ours so long as he maintained it, and his sin was ours the moment that he committed it; and in the same manner, all that the Second Adam is or does, is ours as well as his, seeing that he is our representative. Here is the foundation of the covenant of grace. This gracious system of representation and substitution, which moved Justin Martyr to cry out, “O blessed change, O sweet permutation!” this is the very groundwork of the gospel of our salvation, and is to be received with strong faith and rapturous joy.

 

Evening

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“Lo, I am with you alway.” Matthew 28:20

The Lord Jesus is in the midst of his church; he walketh among the golden candlesticks; his promise is, “Lo, I am with you alway.” He is as surely with us now as he was with the disciples at the lake, when they saw coals of fire, and fish laid thereon and bread. Not carnally, but still in real truth, Jesus is with us. And a blessed truth it is, for where Jesus is, love becomes inflamed. Of all the things in the world that can set the heart burning, there is nothing like the presence of Jesus! A glimpse of him so overcomes us, that we are ready to say, “Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me.” Even the smell of the aloes, and the myrrh, and the cassia, which drop from his perfumed garments, causes the sick and the faint to grow strong. Let there be but a moment’s leaning of the head upon that gracious bosom, and a reception of his divine love into our poor cold hearts, and we are cold no longer, but glow like seraphs, equal to every labour, and capable of every suffering. If we know that Jesus is with us, every power will be developed, and every grace will be strengthened, and we shall cast ourselves into the Lord’s service with heart, and soul, and strength; therefore is the presence of Christ to be desired above all things. His presence will be most realized by those who are most like him. If you desire to see Christ, you must grow in conformity to him. Bring yourself, by the power of the Spirit, into union with Christ’s desires, and motives, and plans of action, and you are likely to be favoured with his company. Remember his presence may be had. His promise is as true as ever. He delights to be with us. If he doth not come, it is because we hinder him by our indifference. He will reveal himself to our earnest prayers, and graciously suffer himself to be detained by our entreaties, and by our tears, for these are the golden chains which bind Jesus to his people.

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

The God of Peace

Psalm46-10[7]

The God of peace

“Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.” Romans 15:33

Suggested Further Reading: Philippians 4:1-9

Let me briefly show you the appropriateness of this prayer. We indeed ought to have peace amongst ourselves. Joseph said to his brethren when they were going home to his father’s house, “See that ye fall not out by the way.” There was something extremely beautiful in that exhortation. You have all one father, you are of one family. Let men of two nations disagree; but you are of the seed of Israel; you are of one tribe and nation; your home is in one heaven. “See that ye fall not out by the way.” The way is rough; there are enemies to stop you. See that if you fall out when you get home, you do not fall out by the way. Keep together; stand by one another, defend each other’s character; manifest continual affection. The world hates you because you are not of the world. Oh! You must take care that you love one another. You are all going to the same house. You may disagree here, and not speak to one another, and be almost ashamed to sit at the same table, even at the sacrament; but you will all have to sit together in heaven. Therefore do not fall out by the way. Consider, again, the great mercies you have all shared together. You are all pardoned, you are all accepted, elected, justified, sanctified, and adopted. See that you fall not out when you have so many mercies. Joseph has filled your sacks, but if he has put some extra thing into Benjamin’s sack, do not quarrel with Benjamin about that, but rather rejoice because your sacks are full. You have all got enough, you are all secure, you have all been dismissed with a blessing.

For meditation: The God of love and peace will be seen to be present when his people live in peace with one another (2 Corinthians 13:11)

Sermon no. 49 3 November (Preached 4 November 1855)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

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A Christmas question

 

 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.   Isaiah 9:6

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 2:8-20

Why are we sad? I am looking upon faces just now that appear the very reverse of gloomy, but maybe the smile covers an aching heart. Brother and sister, why are we sad this morning, if unto us a child is born, if unto us a Son is given? Listen to the cry! It is “Harvest home! Harvest home!” See the maidens as they dance, and the young men as they make merry. And why is this mirth? Because they are storing the precious fruits of the earth, they are gathering together into their barns wheat which will soon be consumed. And what, brothers and sisters, have we the bread which endureth to eternal life and are we unhappy? Does the worldling rejoice when his corn is increased, and do we not rejoice when,  Unto us a child is born, and unto us a Son is given?” Listen yonder! What means the firing of the Tower guns? Why all this ringing of bells in the church steeples, as if all London were mad with joy? There is a prince born; therefore there is this salute, and therefore are the bells ringing. Ah, Christians, ring the bells of your hearts, fire the salute of your most joyous songs, For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given  Dance, O my heart, and ring out peals of gladness! Ye drops of blood within my veins, dance every one of you! Oh! All my nerves become harp strings, and let gratitude touch you with angelic fingers! And thou, my tongue, shout—shout to his praise, who hath said to you:  Unto you a child is born, unto you a Son is given.  Wipe that tear away! Come, stop that sighing! Hush your murmuring. What matters your poverty?  Unto you a child is born.  What matters your sickness?   Unto you a Son is given.  What matters your sin? For this child shall take the sin away, and this Son shall wash and make you fit for heaven.

For meditation: God sent his only begotten Son to be born as a child, so that sinners could be born again and become the children of God. The deepest sadness belongs to all who still refuse to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour (John 1:12-13).

Sermon no. 291 25 December (1859)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon

MARY’ SONG

Mary’s song

 

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And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour

Luke 1:4617

Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 2:1-12

When we meet with our kinsfolk and acquaintances, let it be our prayer to God that our communion may be not only pleasant, but profitable; that we may not merely pass away time and spend a pleasant hour, but may advance a day’s march nearer heaven, and acquire greater fitness for our eternal rest. Observe the sacred joy of Mary that you may imitate it. This is a season when all men expect us to be joyous. We compliment each other with the desire that we may have a Merry Christmas. Some Christians who are a little squeamish, do not like the word merry.  It is a right good old Saxon word, having the joy of childhood and the mirth of manhood in it; it brings before one’s mind the old song of the waits, and the midnight peal of bells, the holly and the blazing log. This is the season when we are expected to be happy; and my heart’s desire is, that in the highest and best sense, you who are believers may be merry.  Mary’s heart was merry within her; but here was the mark of her joy, it was all holy merriment, it was every drop of it sacred mirth. It was not such merriment as worldlings will revel in today and tomorrow, but such merriment as the angels have around the throne, where they sing, Glory to God in the highest, while we sing On earth peace, good will toward men. Such merry hearts have a continual feast. I want you, children of the bride-chamber, to possess today and tomorrow, and all your days, the high and consecrated bliss of Mary, that you may not only read her words, but use them for yourselves, ever experiencing their meaning: My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For meditation: The reasons why Mary’s soul magnified the Lord were God’s might and majesty (Luke 1:49), God’s mercy (Luke 1:50) and God’s memory (Luke 1:54-55). Such holy mirth is good for the soul (2 Chronicles 7:10; Proverbs 15:13,15; 17:22; James 5:13) and makes for a truly Merry Christmas.

Sermon no. 606 25 December (1864)

All rights belong to the collection of Charles Spurgeon(C)



 

Miraculous Conception

Morning

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Let us today go down to Bethlehem, and in company with wondering shepherds and adoring Magi, let us see him who was born King of the Jews, for we by faith can claim an interest in him, and can sing, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” Jesus is Jehovah incarnate, our Lord and our God, and yet our brother and friend; let us adore and admire. Let us notice at the very first glance his miraculous conception. It was a thing unheard of before, and unparalleled since, that a virgin should conceive and bear a Son. The first promise ran thus, “The seed of the woman,” not the offspring of the man. Since venturous woman led the way in the sin which brought forth Paradise lost, she, and she alone, ushers in the Regainer of Paradise. Our Saviour, although truly man, was as to his human nature the Holy One of God. Let us reverently bow before the holy Child whose innocence restores to manhood its ancient glory; and let us pray that he may be formed in us, the hope of glory. Fail not to note his humble parentage. His mother has been described simply as “a virgin,” not a princess, or prophetess, nor a matron of large estate. True the blood of kings ran in her veins; nor was her mind a weak and untaught one, for she could sing most sweetly a song of praise; but yet how humble her position, how poor the man to whom she stood affianced, and how miserable the accommodation afforded to the new-born King!

Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendour.

Evening

PILLARS OF CREATION closeup-nebula-02

“And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.” Job 1:5

What the patriarch did early in the morning, after the family festivities, it will be well for the believer to do for himself ere he rests tonight. Amid the cheerfulness of household gatherings it is easy to slide into sinful levities, and to forget our avowed character as Christians. It ought not to be so, but so it is, that our days of feasting are very seldom days of sanctified enjoyment, but too frequently degenerate into unhallowed mirth. There is a way of joy as pure and sanctifying as though one bathed in the rivers of Eden: holy gratitude should be quite as purifying an element as grief. Alas! for our poor hearts, that facts prove that the house of mourning is better than the house of feasting. Come, believer, in what have you sinned today? Have you been forgetful of your high calling? Have you been even as others in idle words and loose speeches? Then confess the sin, and fly to the sacrifice. The sacrifice sanctifies. The precious blood of the Lamb slain removes the guilt, and purges away the defilement of our sins of ignorance and carelessness. This is the best ending of a Christmas-day–to wash anew in the cleansing fountain. Believer, come to this sacrifice continually; if it be so good tonight, it is good every night. To live at the altar is the privilege of the royal priesthood; to them sin, great as it is, is nevertheless no cause for despair, since they draw near yet again to the sin-atoning victim, and their conscience is purged from dead works.

Gladly I close this festive day,

Grasping the altar’s hallow’d horn;

My slips and faults are washed away,

The Lamb has all my trespass borne.

All rights belong to the collections of Chalres Spurgeon(C)

ON THIS DAY 12/25/ LONG AGO…

Isaiah 9:6

 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

Read at Bible Gateway   Read all of Isaiah 9    Public Domain

 

God will give you peace

Where do you find peace?

“A child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!”

Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3 NLT

I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give you isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 14:27 NLT

Peace is a person

“His peace of mind came not from building on the future but from resting in what he called “the holy Present.”

If you were navigating in strange waters or tracking through the wilderness, you would feel at peace with a competent navigator. As we move through spiritual territory that’s frightening, new to us, or full of trouble, what a comfort and support to have the Lord God, creator of peace, walking with us. He knows the way!2
1from The Quotable Lewis edited by Jerry Root and Wayne Martindale (Tyndale) p 416 2from the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 535

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House