Category Archives: Alistair Begg

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –A Beautiful Bride

You are altogether beautiful, my love.

Song of Songs 4:7

The Lord’s admiration for His Church is very wonderful, and His description of her beauty is very glowing. She is not merely beautiful, but “altogether beautiful.” He views her in Himself, washed in His sin-atoning blood and clothed in His meritorious righteousness, and He considers her to be full of attraction and beauty. No wonder that this is the case, since it is simply His own perfect excellency that He admires; for the holiness, glory, and perfection of His Church are His own glorious garments worn by His well-beloved spouse.

She is not simply pure or well-proportioned; she is positively lovely and fair! She has actual merit! Her deformities of sin are removed; but more, she has through her Lord obtained a meritorious righteousness by which an actual beauty is conferred upon her.

Believers have a positive righteousness given to them when “he chose us in him” (Eph. 1:4). Nor is the church barely lovely—she is superlatively so. Her Lord styles her “most beautiful among women.”1 She has a real worth and excellence that cannot be rivaled by all the nobility and royalty of the world.

If Jesus could exchange His elect bride for all the queens and empresses of earth, or even for the angels in heaven, He would not, for He puts her first and foremost! Like the moon she far outshines the stars. Nor is this an opinion that He is ashamed of, for He invites all men to hear it. He sets a “behold” before it, a special note of exclamation, inviting and arresting attention. “Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful!” (Song of Sol. 4:1). He publishes His opinion widely even now, and one day from the throne of His glory He will declare the truth of it before the assembled universe. “Come, you who are blessed by my Father” (Matt. 25:34) will be His solemn affirmation of the loveliness of His elect.

1) Song of Solomon 1:8

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Abundance in God

But there the Lord in majesty will be for us a place of broad rivers and streams.

Isaiah 33:21

“Broad rivers and streams” produce fertility and abundance in the land. Places near broad rivers are remarkable for the variety of their plants and their plentiful harvests. God is all this to His Church. Having God she has abundance. What can she ask for that He will not give her? What need can she mention that He will not supply?

“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food.”1

Do you want the bread of life? It drops like manna from the sky. Do you want refreshing streams? The rock follows you, and that Rock is Christ.

If you still have any need, it is your own fault; if you are deprived, you are not deprived in Him, but in yourself. “Broad rivers and streams” also point to business.

Our glorious Lord is to us a place of heavenly merchandise. Through our Redeemer we have business with the past; the wealth of Calvary, the treasures of the covenant, the riches of the ancient days of election, the stores of eternity—all come to us down the broad stream of our gracious Lord.

We have business, too, with the future. What ships, laden to the water’s edge, come to us from heaven! What visions we have of a new heaven and a new earth!

Through our glorious Lord we have business with angels—communion with the bright spirits washed in blood, who sing before the throne. Better still, we have fellowship with the Infinite One. “Broad rivers and streams” are specially intended to set forth the idea of security.

Rivers were often a defense. Beloved, what a defense God is to His Church! The devil cannot cross this broad river of God. How he wishes he could turn the current, but do not fear, for God abides unchangeably the same.

Satan may annoy, but he cannot destroy us; no galley with oars shall invade our river, neither will a majestic ship pass through.

1) Isaiah 25:6

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Complete Fellowship

Fellowship with him.

1 John 1:6

When we were united by faith to Christ, we were brought into such complete fellowship with Him that we were made one with Him, and His interests and ours became mutual and identical.

We have fellowship with Christ in His love. What He loves we love. He loves the saints—so do we. He loves sinners—so do we. He loves the poor perishing race of man and longs to see earth‘s deserts transformed into the garden of the Lord—so do we.

We have fellowship with Him in His desires. He desires the glory of God—we also work for the same. He desires that the believers may be with Him where He is—we desire to be with Him there too. He desires to drive out sin—behold, we fight under His banner. He desires that His Father’s name may be loved and adored by all His creatures—we pray daily, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

We have fellowship with Christ in His sufferings. We are not nailed to the cross, nor do we die a cruel death, but when He is reproached, we are reproached; and it is a very sweet thing to be blamed for His sake, to be despised for following the Master, to have the world against us.

The disciple should not be above His Lord. In our measure we fellowship with Him in His labors, ministering to men by the word of truth and by deeds of love.

Our meat and our drink, like His, is to do the will of Him who has sent us and to finish His work.

We also have fellowship with Christ in His joys. We are happy in His happiness; we rejoice in His exaltation. Have you ever tasted that joy, believer? There is no purer or more thrilling delight to be known this side of heaven than that of having Christ’s joy fulfilled in us, that our joy may be full. His glory awaits us to complete our fellowship, for His Church will sit with Him upon His throne as His well-beloved bride and queen.

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –He Tends His Flock

Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he guarded sheep.

Hosea 12:12

In conversation with Laban, Jacob described what he had done: “These twenty years I have been with you. . . . What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes.”1

Even more arduous than this was the life of our Savior here below. He watched over us until He was able to say, “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.”2 His hair was wet with dew, and His locks with the drops of the night. Sleep departed from His eyes, for all night He was in prayer wrestling for His people.

One night Peter must be pleaded for; suddenly another claims His tearful intercession. No shepherd sitting beneath the cold skies, looking up to the stars, could ever utter such complaints because of the hardness of his toil as Jesus Christ might have brought, if He had chosen to do so, because of the sternness of His service in order to procure His bride.

Cold mountains and the midnight air,
Witnessed the fervor of His prayer;
The desert His temptations knew,
His conflict and His victory too.

It is helpful to meditate upon the spiritual parallel of Laban having required all the sheep at Jacob’s hand. If they were torn by beasts, Jacob must make it good; if any of them died, he must guarantee their replacement.

Was not the toil of Jesus for His Church the toil of One who was under obligation to bring every believing one safe to the hand of Him who had committed them to His charge? Look upon toiling Jacob, and you see a representation of Him of whom we read, “He will tend His flock like a shepherd.”3

1) Genesis 31:38-40
2) John 18:9
3) Isaiah 40:11

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Of Minor Importance

Avoid foolish controversies.

Titus 3:9

Our days are few and are far better spent in doing good than in disputing over matters that are, at best, of minor importance. The old scholars did a world of mischief by their incessant discussion of subjects of no practical importance; and our churches suffer too often from petty wars over obscure points and unimportant questions.

After everything has been said that can be said, neither party is any the wiser, and therefore the discussion promotes neither knowledge nor love, and it is foolish to sow in so barren a field.

Questions about issues on which Scripture is silent, on mysteries that belong to God alone, on prophecies of doubtful interpretation, and on mere modes of observing human ceremonials are all foolish, and wise men avoid them.

Our business is neither to ask nor answer foolish questions, but to avoid them altogether; and if we observe the apostle’s precept (Titus 3:8) to be careful to maintain good works, we will find ourselves occupied with so much profitable business that we will have no time to take much interest in unworthy, contentious, and needless strivings.

There are, however, some questions that are the reverse of foolish, which we must not avoid but fairly and honestly meet, such as these: Do I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I renewed in the spirit of my mind? Am I walking not after the flesh but after the Spirit? Am I growing in grace? Does my behavior adorn the doctrine of God my Savior? Am I looking for the coming of the Lord and watching as a servant should who expects his master? What more can I do for Jesus?

Such inquiries as these demand our urgent attention; and if we have been given at all to frivolous arguments, let us now turn our critical abilities to a much more profitable service. Let us be peacemakers and endeavor to lead others both by our precept and example to “avoid foolish controversies.”

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Heart of a Believer

A spring locked, a fountain sealed.

Song of Songs 4:12

In this metaphor, which has reference to the inner life of a believer, we have very plainly the idea of secrecy. It is “a spring locked.” Just as there were springs in the East over which an edifice was built, so that no one could reach them except those who knew the secret entrance, so is the heart of a believer when it is renewed by grace: There is a mysterious life within that no human skill can touch.

It is a secret that no one else knows, which the individual who is the possessor of it cannot tell his neighbor. The text includes not only secrecy but separation. It is not the common spring, of which every passer-by may drink; it is one kept and preserved from all others; it is a fountain bearing a particular mark—a king’s royal seal, so that all can perceive that it is not a common fountain, but a fountain owned by a proprietor and placed specially by itself alone.

So is it with the spiritual life. The chosen of God were separated in the eternal decree; they were separated by God in the day of redemption; and they are separated by the possession of a life that others do not have.

And it is impossible for them to feel at home with the world or to delight in its pleasures. There is also the idea of sacredness.

The locked spring is preserved for the use of some special person: And such is the Christian’s heart. It is a spring kept for Jesus.

Every Christian should feel that he has God’s seal upon him—and he should be able to say with Paul, “From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.”1

Another idea is prominent—it is that of security. How sure and safe is the inner life of the believer! If all the powers of earth and hell could combine against it, that immortal principle must still exist, for He who gave it pledged His life for its preservation. And who or what can harm you when God is your protector?

1) Galatians 6:17

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Our All-Sufficient Portion

 ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul.

Lamentations 3:24

It does not say, “The Lord is partly my portion,” nor “The Lord is in my portion”; but He Himself makes up the sum total of my soul’s inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire.

The Lord is my portion. Not His grace merely, nor His love, nor His covenant, but Jehovah Himself. He has chosen us for His portion, and we have chosen Him for ours.

It is true that the Lord must first choose our inheritance for us, or else we will never choose it for ourselves; but if we are really called according to the purpose of electing love, we can sing—

Lov’d of my God for Him again
With love intense I burn;
Chosen of Him ere time began,
I choose Him in return.

The Lord is our all-sufficient portion. God fills Himself; and if God is all-sufficient in Himself, He must be all-sufficient for us. It is not easy to satisfy man’s desires. When he dreams that he is satisfied, instantly he wakes to the perception that there is still something more, and his longings remain unfulfilled.

But for the believer all that we can wish for is to be found in our divine portion, so that we ask, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.”1 We can then delight ourselves in the Lord who allows us to drink of the river of His pleasures.

Our faith stretches her wings and soars like an eagle into the heaven of divine love, her proper dwelling-place. “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”2 Let us rejoice in the Lord always; let us show the world that we are a happy and a blessed people and cause them to exclaim, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

1) Psalm 73:25
2) Psalm 16:6

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –By His Sovereign Choice

But the Lord’s portion is his people.

Deuteronomy 32:9

How are they His? By His own sovereign choice. He chose them and set His love upon them. He did this completely apart from any goodness in them at the time or any goodness that He foresaw in them.

He had mercy on whom He would have mercy and ordained a chosen company to eternal life; in this way, therefore, they are His by His unconstrained election.

They are not only His by choice, but by purchase. He has bought and paid for them completely, and so there can be no dispute about His title.

Not with corruptible things like silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord’s portion has been fully redeemed.

There is no mortgage on His estate; no lawsuits can be raised by opposing claimants. The price was paid in open court, and the Church is the Lord’s estate forever. See the blood-mark upon all the chosen, invisible to the human eye but known to Christ, for “the Lord knows those who are his.”1

He forgets none of those whom He has redeemed from among men; He counts the sheep for whom He laid down His life and remembers carefully the Church for which He gave Himself.

They are also His by conquest. What a battle He had in us before we would be won! How long He laid siege to our hearts! How often He sent us terms of surrender, but we barred our gates and built our walls against Him.

Do we not remember that glorious hour when He carried our hearts by storm, when He placed His cross against the wall and scaled our ramparts, planting on our strongholds the blood-red flag of His omnipotent mercy? Yes, we are indeed the conquered captives of His omnipotent love. As those chosen, who have been purchased and subdued, we know that the rights of our divine possessor are inalienable: We rejoice that we can never be our own; and we desire, day by day, to do His will and to declare His glory.

1) 2 Timothy 2:19

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Benefit of Trials

The tested genuineness of your faith.

1 Peter 1:7

Untested faith may be true faith, but it is sure to be small faith, and it is likely to remain little as long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: Tempests are her trainers, and bolts of lightning are her illuminators.

When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship does not move to its harbor; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too.

Let the winds rush and howl, and let the waters lift themselves, though the vessel may rock and her deck may be washed with waves and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway toward her desired haven.

No flowers are as lovely a blue as those that grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam as brightly as those that glisten in the midnight sky; no water tastes as sweet as that which springs up in the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity.

Tested faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness if you had not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God’s strength if you had not been supported in the flood.

Faith increases in quality, assurance, and intensity the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.

Do not let this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: The full portion will be measured out to you in due course.

Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise Him for that degree of holy confidence you have now attained: Walk according to that rule, and you will still have more and more of the blessing of God, until your faith will remove mountains and conquer impossibilities.

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Everlasting Arms

Underneath are the everlasting arms.

Deuteronomy 33:27

God—the eternal God—is Himself our support at all times, and especially when we are sinking in deep trouble. There are seasons when the Christian sinks very low in humiliation. Under a deep sense of his great sinfulness, he is humbled before God until he hardly knows how to pray, because he appears, in his own sight, so worthless.

Well, child of God, remember that when you are at your worst and lowest, even then “underneath” you “are the everlasting arms.” Sin may drag you ever so low, but Christ’s great atonement is still under all. You may have descended into the depths, but you cannot have fallen so low as the uttermost; and He saves “to the uttermost.”1

Again, the Christian sometimes sinks very deeply in sore trial from without. Every earthly prop is cut away. What then? Still underneath him are “the everlasting arms.”

He cannot fall so deep in distress and affliction but what the covenant grace of an ever-faithful God will still encircle him. The Christian may be sinking under trouble from within through fierce conflict; but even then he cannot be brought so low as to be beyond the reach of the “everlasting arms”—they are underneath him; and, while he is sustained, all Satan’s efforts to harm him achieve nothing.

This assurance of support is a comfort to any weary but sincere worker in the service of God. It implies a promise of strength for each day, grace for each need, and power for each duty.

And, finally, when death comes, the promise will still hold good. When we stand in the middle of the Jordan, we will be able to say with David, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”2

We will descend into the grave, but we shall go no lower, for the eternal arms prevent our further fall. All through life, and at its close, we shall be upheld by the “everlasting arms”—arms that neither flag nor lose their strength, for “the everlasting God . . . does not faint or grow weary.”3

1) Hebrews 7:25
2) Psalm 23:4
3) Isaiah 40:28

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –God, Our Refuge

The eternal God is your dwelling place.

Deuteronomy 33:27

“Dwelling place” may be translated “refuge” or “abiding-place” and provides the thought that God is our abode, our home. There is a fullness and sweetness in the metaphor, for our home is dear to our hearts, although it may be the humblest cottage or the tiniest loft; and dearer still is our blessed God, in whom we live and move and have our being.

It is at home that we feel safe: We shut the world out and dwell in quiet security. So when we are with our God we fear no evil.

He is our shelter and retreat, our abiding refuge. At home we take our rest; it is there we find repose after the fatigue and toil of the day. And so our hearts find rest in God when, wearied with life’s conflict, we turn to Him, and our soul dwells secure.

At home also we relax; we are not afraid of being misunderstood, nor of our words being misconstrued. So when we are with God we can commune freely with Him, laying open all our hidden desires; for if the Lord gives favor to the humble, then they may share their secrets with Him, confident in His love.

Home, too, is the place of our truest and purest happiness: And it is in God that our hearts find their deepest delight. We have joy in Him that far outweighs all other joy.

It is also for home that we work and labor. The thought of it gives strength to bear the daily burden, and quickens the hands to perform the task; and in this sense we may also say that God is our home.

Love for Him strengthens us. We think of Him in the person of His dear Son, and a glimpse of the suffering face of the Redeemer constrains us to work in His cause. We feel that we must work, for there are many still to be saved, and we desire to gladden our Father’s heart by bringing home His wandering sons; we would fill with holy laughter the sacred family among whom we dwell. Happy then are those who have the God of Jacob for their refuge!

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –The Practice of Walking

So walk in him.

Colossians 2:6

If we have received Christ Himself in our inmost hearts, our new life will display its intimate acquaintance with Him by a walk of faith in Him. Walking implies action. Our Christian life is not to be confined to our closet; our belief must be revealed in our practice. If a man walks in Christ, then he must act as Christ would act; since Christ is in him—his hope, his love, his joy, his life—he is the reflection of the image of Jesus; and men will say of that man, “He is like his Master; he lives like Jesus Christ.”

Walking signifies progress. “So walk in him.” Proceed from grace to grace; run forward until you reach the ultimate degree of knowledge that a man can attain concerning Christ. Walking implies continuance. There must be a continual abiding in Christ.

Many Christians think that in the morning and evening they ought to come into the company of Jesus, but regard the rest of the day as their own: But this is poor living; we should always be with Him, treading in His steps and doing His will.

Walking also implies habit. When we speak of a man’s walk and conversation, we mean his habits, the constant theme of his life.

Now, if we sometimes enjoy Christ and then forget Him, sometimes call Him ours and then lose our hold, that is not a habit; we do not walk in Him. We must keep to Him, cling to Him, never let Him go, but live and have our being in Him.

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him”; persevere in the same way in which you began, and, just as at the beginning Christ Jesus was the trust of your faith, the source of your life, the principle of your action, and the joy of your spirit, so let Him be the same until life’s end, the same when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death and enter into the joy and the rest that remain for the people of God. O Holy Spirit, enable us to obey this heavenly precept.

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –What We Receive

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord . . .

Colossians 2:6

The life of faith is represented as receiving—an act that implies the very opposite of anything like merit. It is simply the acceptance of a gift.

As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night accepts light from the stars, so we, giving nothing, partake freely of the grace of God. The believers are not by nature wells or streams; they are just cisterns into which the living water flows; they are empty vessels into which God pours His salvation.

The idea of receiving implies a sense of realization, making the matter a reality. One cannot very well receive a shadow; we receive that which is substantial: So is it in the life of faith—Christ becomes real to us.

Until we come to faith, Jesus is just a name to us—a person who lived a long time ago, so long ago that His life is only a history to us now! By an act of faith Jesus becomes a real person in the consciousness of our heart. But receiving also means grasping or getting possession of. The thing that I receive becomes my own: I appropriate to myself that which is given.

When I receive Jesus, He becomes my Savior, so much so that neither life nor death will be able to rob me of Him. All this is to receive Christ—to take Him as God’s free gift, to realize Him in my heart, and to appropriate Him as mine.

Salvation may be described as the blind receiving sight, the deaf receiving hearing, the dead receiving life; but we have not only received these blessings—we have received Christ Jesus Himself. It is true that He gave us life from the dead.

He gave us pardon from sin; He gave us imputed righteousness. These are all precious things, but we are not content with them; we have received Christ Himself. The Son of God has been poured into us, and we have received Him and appropriated Him. What a heart-full Jesus must be, for heaven itself cannot contain Him!

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Made Perfect in Weakness

 ‘For my power is made perfect in weakness.’

2 Corinthians 12:9

Aprimary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God’s work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God’s warrior marches out to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, “I know that I will overcome—my own ability and my self-confidence will be enough for victory,” defeat is staring him in the face.

God will not enable the man who marches in his own strength. He who reckons on victory by such means has reckoned wrongly, for “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.”1

Those who go out to fight, boasting of their ability, will return with their banners trailing in the dust and their armor stained with disgrace. Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way and in His strength, or He will never accept their service.

Whatever a man does, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casts away; He will only reap corn the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love.

God will empty out all that you have before He will put His own into you; He will first clean out your granaries before He will fill them with the finest of wheat.

The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles but the strength that He Himself imparts.

Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give you victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and you are being humbled to prepare you for being lifted up.

When I am weak then am I strong,
Grace is my shield and Christ my song.

1) Zechariah 4:6

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – He Loves to Hear

Behold, he is praying.

Acts 9:11

Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray, the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. When our hearts are broken and we bow in prayer, we are often only able to employ the language of sighs and tears; still our groaning has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music.

That tear has been caught by God and treasured in the receptacle of heaven. “Put my tears in your bottle”1 implies that they are caught as they flow. The petitioner, whose fears prevent his words, will be well understood by the Most High. He may only look up with misty eye; but “prayer is the falling of a tear.”

Tears are the diamonds of heaven; sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court and are numbered with “the sublimest strains that reach the majesty on high.” Do not think that your prayer, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded.

Jacob’s ladder is lofty, but our prayers shall lean upon the Angel of the covenant and so climb its starry rounds.

Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it.

He does not forget the cry of the humble. True, He does not regard high looks and lofty words; He does not care for the pomp and pageantry of kings; He does not listen to the drums of war; He does not regard the triumph and pride of man.

But wherever there is a heart enlarged with sorrow or a lip quivering with agony or a deep groan or a penitential sigh, the heart of Jehovah is open.

He marks it down in the registry of His memory; He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when at last the volume is opened, there will be a precious fragrance springing from it.

Faith asks no signal from the skies,
To show that prayers accepted rise.
Our Priest is in His holy place,
And answers from the throne of grace.

1) Psalm 56:8

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

For I the Lord do not change.

Malachi 3:6

It is just as well for us that in all the variableness of life there is One whom change cannot affect, One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow inconsistency can make no furrows.

All other things have changed—all things are changing. The sun grows dim with age; the world is growing old; the final chapter of the worn-out vesture has begun; the heavens and earth must soon pass away; they will perish—they shall grow old like a garment. But there is One who only has immortality, of whose years there is no end, and in whose person there is no change.

The delight that the sailor feels when, having been tossed about on the waves, he steps again upon the solid shore is the satisfaction of a Christian when, in all the changes of this distressing life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth—“I the LORD do not change.”

The stability that the anchor gives the ship when it has at last obtained a solid hold is like that which the Christian’s hope provides him when it fixes itself upon this glorious truth. With God “there is no variation or shadow due to change.”1

Whatever His attributes were in the past, they are now; His power, His wisdom, His justice, His truth are unchanged. He has forever been the refuge of His people, their stronghold in the day of trouble, and He is still their sure Helper.

He is unchanged in His love. He has loved His people with “an everlasting love”;2 He loves them now as much as ever He did, and when the creation itself is set free from its bondage to decay, His love will still endure.

Precious is the assurance that He does not change! The wheel of providence revolves, but its axle is eternal love.

Death and change are busy ever,
Man decays, and ages move;
But His mercy waneth never;
God is wisdom, God is love.

1) James 1:17
2) Jeremiah 31:3

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –A Question to Consider

The church in your house.

Philemon 1:2

Is there a church in this house? Are parents, children, and friends all members of it, or are some still unconverted? Let us pause here and let the question go round: Am I a member of the church in this house?

The father’s heart would leap for joy, and the mother’s eyes would fill with holy tears if from the eldest to the youngest all were saved! Let us pray for this great mercy until the Lord shall grant it to us.

Probably it had been the dearest object of Philemon’s desires to have all his household saved; but it was not at first fully granted to him. He had a wicked servant, Onesimus, who, having wronged him, ran away from his service.

His master’s prayers followed him, and at last, as God would have it, Onesimus was led to hear Paul preach; his heart was touched, and he returned to Philemon not only to be a faithful servant, but a beloved brother, adding another member to the church in Philemon’s house.

Is there an unconverted family member absent this morning? Make special supplication that they may, upon returning to their home, gladden every heart with good news of what grace has done! Is there an unconverted family member still at home? Ask God to save him also.

If there is such a church in our house, let us order it well, and let everyone conduct themselves as in the sight of God. Let us go about our daily routines with studied holiness, diligence, kindness, and integrity. More is expected of a church than of an ordinary household.

Family worship must, in such a case, be more devout and hearty; internal love must be warmer and unbroken, and external conduct must be more sanctified and Christlike. We need not fear that the smallness of our number will put us out of the list of churches, for the Holy Spirit has enrolled a family-church here in the inspired book of remembrance.

As a church let us now draw near to the great Head of the one Church universal, and let us beseech Him to give us grace to shine before men to the glory of His name.

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –The Importance of Thanksgiving

I will give thanks to the Lord.

Psalm 9:1

Thanksgiving should always follow answered prayer, just as the mist of earth’s gratitude rises when the sun of heaven’s love warms the ground.

Has the Lord been gracious to you and inclined His ear to the voice of your prayer? Then thank Him as long as you live. Let the ripe fruit fall upon the fertile soil from which it drew its life. Do not fail to sing in praise of Him who has answered your prayer and has given you the desire of your heart. To be silent about God’s mercies is to incur the guilt of ingratitude; it is to act as poorly as the nine lepers who after they had been cured of their leprosy did not return to give thanks to the healing Lord. To forget to praise God is to refuse to benefit ourselves; for praise, like prayer, is one great means of promoting the growth of our spiritual lives. It helps to remove our burdens, to excite our hope, to increase our faith. It is a healthy and invigorating exercise that quickens the pulse of the believer and prepares him for new enterprises in his Master’s service.

To bless God for mercies received is also the way to benefit our fellowmen; “let the humble hear and be glad.”1 Others who have been in similar circumstances will take comfort if we can say, “Magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. . . . This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him.”2 Weak hearts will be strengthened, and sagging spirits will be revived as the saints listen to our “shouts of deliverance.”3 Their doubts and fears will be rebuked as we teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. They will also “sing of the ways of the LORD”4 when they hear us magnify His holy name.

Praise is the most heavenly of Christian duties. The angels do not pray, but they do not cease to praise both day and night; and the redeemed, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, are never tired of singing the new song, “Worthy is the Lamb.”5

1) Psalm 34:2
2) Psalm 34:3,6
3) Psalm 32:7
4) Psalm 138:5
5) Revelation 5:12

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – How Do We Pray?

Pray then like this:
‘Our Father in heaven. . .’

Matthew 6:9

This prayer begins where all true prayer must start, with the spirit of adoption: “Our Father.” There is no acceptable prayer until we can say, “I will arise and go to my Father.”1 This childlike spirit soon perceives the grandeur of the Father “in heaven” and ascends to devout adoration, “hallowed be your name.” The child lisping, “Abba, Father” grows into the cherub crying, “Holy, holy, holy.” There is but a step from rapturous worship to the glowing missionary spirit, which is a sure expression of filial love and reverent adoration—“your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Next follows the heartfelt expression of dependence upon God—“Give us this day our daily bread.”

Being further illuminated by the Spirit, the one praying discovers that he is not only dependent but sinful; so he cries for mercy, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”; and being pardoned, having the righteousness of Christ imputed, and knowing his acceptance with God, he humbly prays for holy perseverance, “Lead us not into temptation.” The man who is really forgiven is anxious not to offend again; the possession of justification leads to an anxious desire for sanctification. “Forgive us our debts”—that is justification; “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”—that is sanctification in its negative and positive forms.

As the result of all this, there follows a triumphant ascription of praise, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.” We rejoice that our King reigns in providence and shall reign in grace, from the river even to the ends of the earth, and of His dominion there shall be no end. So from a sense of adoption, up to fellowship with our reigning Lord, this short model of prayer conducts the soul. Lord, teach us then to pray.

1) Luke 15:18

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –A Lofty Doctrine

I chose you out of the world.

John 15:19

Here is distinguishing grace and discriminating regard, for some are made the special objects of divine affection. Do not be afraid to dwell upon this lofty doctrine of election. When your mind is heavy and depressed, you will find it to be a spiritual tonic. Those who doubt the doctrines of grace or who throw them into the shadows miss the richest clusters of grapes; they lose the best wines, the choice food.

There is no balm in Gilead comparable to it. If the honey in Jonathan’s wood when simply touched illumined the eyes, this is honey that will illumine your heart as you love and learn the mysteries of the kingdom of God. You must feed on this; live upon this choice provision, and do not be afraid that it will prove too delicate a diet. Meat from the King’s table will hurt none of His servants. Desire to have your mind enlarged, that you may comprehend more and more of the eternal, everlasting, discriminating love of God.

When you have soared as high as election, linger on its twin peak, the covenant of grace. Covenant engagements are the mighty fortresses behind which we lie entrenched; covenant engagements with our Savior, Christ Jesus, are the quiet resting-places of trembling spirits.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the raging flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
This still is all my strength and stay.

If Jesus undertook to bring me to glory, and if the Father promised that He would give me to the Son to be a part of the infinite reward of the travail of His soul, then, my soul, until God Himself shall be unfaithful, until Jesus shall cease to be the truth, you are safe. When David danced before the ark, he told Michal that election made him do so. Come, my soul, dance before the God of grace, and let your heart leap for joy!

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org