Tag Archives: Alistair Begg

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Faith in Action

Read: James 2:20-26

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (v. 26)

Amy had recently moved and was visiting a local church. She had been warmly welcomed by the usher, and after she sat down, the woman across the aisle gave her an encouraging smile. “So far, so good,” she thought. “Maybe this is where I am supposed to be.” The worship songs and the liturgy were familiar, and Amy was pleased to see a lot of children there.

The minister asked for prayer requests, and heard the usual appeals for safety for troops stationed overseas, and a request for healing for someone’s mother who was hospitalized. Just then, a young man stood up. “I haven’t asked for prayers before, but you all probably know that I’ve been sick for a couple of years. I was just put on the transplant list this week. So if you think of it, pray that God would give me a new kidney.” Then he sat down, and the minister prayed. Silently, Amy prayed too: “Lord, I don’t know what to ask for, but that man needs a kidney and I know you will provide.” Clear as a bell Amy heard a voice say, “Give him one of yours.” Her eyes flew open.

Continue reading Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Faith in Action

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Akolutos

My high school band director was adamant about many things, but none so much as what he called the obligatory rule of good musicianship. That is, the two most important notes in any musical composition are the first and the last. “The audience might forgive you for a bad note that comes in the middle,” he would say, “but they will forget neither your very first impression nor your final remark.”

The last word of the book of Acts in the Greek New Testament is the word akolutos. The word literally means “unhindered,” though many translations render it with multiple words because of its complexity. Others move the word from its final position for the sake of syntax. In both cases, I think something is lost in translation. Luke was intentionally making a statement with this last word of his two-volume testimony to the life of Jesus Christ. I think he intended readers to pause at the conclusion of his words, the very last note in his testimony the provocative thought of the gospel unhindered, the Spirit of God continually improvising with a tune that will not be shushed or silenced. After the stories of Jesus’s ministry were told, after recollections of his death and ruminations of his resurrection, after Jesus’s ascension and the church’s beginnings, after all the resistance, disappointment, and surprises along the way, Luke concludes: “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, unhindered.“(1)

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Akolutos

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Upside Down

Read: Mark 3:20-22

And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” (v. 21)

Mark 3 is disturbing. How hurtful it must have been for Jesus. Sometimes we forget that Jesus’ feelings could be hurt same as anyone else, and if so, then having his own family call him crazy had to sting. To add insult to injury, the religious leaders then turn around and accuse Jesus of being Satan’s little helper. Most of us probably have never had the experience of being called insane by our family and then being labeled evil by others all in one day. But if it ever did happen, it would count as one of our worst days ever.

What brought about these accusations? Well, Jesus was talking about the kingdom of God, about how living for God would look upside-down in a world that was itself already turned upside-down by sin. When all around you are crooked, it is the person who stands up straight who seems to be the odd one out. Here, then, is yet another reminder of how the world resists God’s message.

But thanks be to God, none of this stopped Jesus. He would keep talking and living in ways that seemed backwards right up until that moment when he turned a bloody cross into the gateway to new life. The gospel will always look funny to people. But believers know it is the path to life abundant!May we not try to make the gospel fit our world, O God, but bring the world into the gospel.

Prayer:

May we not try to make the gospel fit our world, O God, but bring the world into the gospel.

Author: Scott Hoezee

https://woh.org/

Joyce Meyer – Just Do It!

She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.—Proverbs 31:17 NKJV

As a Christian, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and you need to keep it in good condition so God can work through you the way He desires to. Being excessively tired can adversely affect us and our spiritual life. We don’t have the desire or stamina to pray as we normally would. We don’t present the best witness to others. It is even easier to be grouchy and unable to walk in the fruit of the Spirit when we feel tired most of the time.

I encourage you to make room in your life for exercise. In my own life, I am not where I need to be yet but I am making progress. I have finally decided that, to do what I can do is better than doing nothing at all. Find something you can enjoy and still get exercise. Try walking or playing a sport to get the exercise you need. Exercising with other people might work for you.

People who exercise regularly do tend to be more confident. For one thing, they feel better and more energetic, so they accomplish more and enjoy what they do. They usually look better, and that increases confidence. Exercise also relieves tension and stress, which will help anyone’s confidence. Don’t think about exercising anymore—just do it!

Lord, I acknowledge that my body is Your temple, and I want it to rightly reflect You. Help me to discipline myself and give my body the exercise it needs. Amen.

From the book The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Joyce Meyer – Read and Reap

[Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation.] For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything [temporarily] kept secret except in order that it may be made known. —Mark 4:22

The Word has tremendous treasures, powerful life-giving secrets that God wants to reveal to us. They are manifested to those who ponder, study, think about, practice mentally, and meditate on the Word of God.

There is no end to what God can show you out of one verse of Scripture. You can study a scripture one time and get one thing, and another time you’ll see something else you did not even notice before.

The Lord keeps revealing His secrets to those who are diligent about studying the Word. Don’t be the kind of person who always wants to live off of someone else’s revelation. Study the Word yourself, and allow the Holy Spirit to bless your life with truth.

Power Thought: Revelation is available to me when I study God’s Word.

From the book the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Christ’s Cure for the Soul

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Ephesians 1:7

Recommended Reading

1 John 1:5-10

The Huffington Post recently ran an article by a woman who opened up about her struggle to forgive herself. Her husband battled cancer, and she had been his caregiver. As his situation grew worse, the stress intensified on her. She often became angry and yelled at him. Now that he’s gone, she feels damaged, guilty, and unable to find peace.

Every human is a sinner, and sometimes we fail at the worst moments. Our sin leads to guilt, and that leads to shame.

Continue reading Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Christ’s Cure for the Soul

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – What Does It All Mean?

Read: Luke 19:35-40

Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zech. 9:9)

The disciples threw their coats and robes on top of a young donkey, and for two miles they continued, travelling from Bethany toward Jerusalem, throwing down their coats, making a show out of the procession. This was the triumphal entry’s “pre-party.” Joining in the jubilation were many of those who had travelled with Jesus the whole way. They were the ones who “began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen” (v. 37). They thought they were headed into their victory lap.

The Pharisees worked to rein them in. But Jesus cherished and craved his disciples’ praise because he knew, as he had always known, that before the victory would come a crushing defeat. As they crested the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem and its temple stood before them. Instead of rebuking his disciples as the religious leaders insisted, Jesus rallied the crowd: “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (v. 40). As the very human Jesus entered the most difficult week of his life and, ultimately, faced his own death, I wonder what solace he found from friends and followers who praised, even when they couldn’t possibly know what it all meant.

Prayer:

We praise you, Lord Jesus Christ. We may not grasp what it all means, but “blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” Amen.

https://woh.org/

Wisdom Hunters – Keep Faith in Jesus 

I [Jesus] am coming quickly. Hold tight what you have, so that no one will take your crown [by leading you to renounce the faith]. Revelation 3:11, AMP

I’m a former 10K runner and a one time half marathoner (13.1 miles). I trained for the longer race with a friend. We of course, enjoyed the camaraderie and provided for each other needed accountability and encouragement. The preparation for the half marathon was hard, but fulfilling. On race day we were in our best shape. The weather, though a chilly 35 degrees, was sunny with a brilliant blue sky—there was only one problem: I was very sick with the flu. The first ten miles went fast. The last three miles were as slow as molasses. My friend waited on me and helped me finish well.

Jesus reminds the church and individual believers to keep their faith in Him. Christ instructed His bride to hold onto the hope of His return, not allowing individual naysayers or the cynical culture to cause the Christians to renounce their reliance on God. The race of faith requires preparation, perseverance and other faithful friends to help us finish well. The victor’s crown is not royalty, but a wreath of righteousness given by the Righteous One—Jesus. Yes, when we faithfully hang onto Jesus—we experience joy—in anticipation of His eternal joy unspeakable!

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Keep Faith in Jesus 

Charles Stanley – A True Servant

Read | John 13:1-15

Do you equate success with wealth, acclaim, and power? If we measured by these standards, then Jesus, who was rejected by His community and didn’t even own a house, was a failure. But, of course, we know that’s not the case. So God must use something other than these worldly goals to define success. In fact, Scripture is clear that Jesus is our example—we should strive to be like Him.

So, what exactly was our Savior’s mission? In today’s passage, we see the answer through His actions: He came to serve. Jesus performed the task of the lowliest servant when He took off His outer garment and washed the dirty feet of His followers—the very followers He knew would betray and deny Him. The next day, almighty God was crucified by His own creation. In allowing this, He offered salvation to all—even those who nailed Him to a cross.

Continue reading Charles Stanley – A True Servant

Our Daily Bread — What Will Be

Read: Revelation 22:1-5

Bible in a Year: Exodus 39-40; Matthew 23:23-39

No longer will there be any curse. —Revelation 22:3

You and I have something in common. We live in a mixed-up, tarnished world and we have never known anything different. Adam and Eve, however, could remember what life was like before the curse. They could recall the world as God intended it to be—free of death, hardship, and pain (Gen. 3:16-19). In pre-fall Eden, hunger, unemployment, and illness did not exist. No one questioned God’s creative power or His plan for human relationships.

Continue reading Our Daily Bread — What Will Be

Alistair Begg – Wonder of Wonders

 

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” John 7:37

Patience had her perfect work in the Lord Jesus, and until the last day of the feast He pleaded with the Jews, even as on this last day of the year He pleads with us and waits to be gracious to us. The long-suffering of the Savior is truly admirable as He bears with some of us year after year despite our insults, rebellions, and resistance to His Holy Spirit. Wonder of wonders that we are still in the land of mercy!

Mercy expressed herself most plainly, for Jesus “cried,” which implies not only the loudness of His voice, but the tenderness of His tones. He entreats us to be reconciled. “God making his appeal through us,” says the apostle, “we implore you on behalf of Christ . . .” What earnest, pathetic terms are these! How deep the Father’s love that causes Him to weep over sinners and, like a mother, to tenderly call His children to Himself! Surely at the sound of such a cry our willing hearts will come.

Provision is made most generously: Everything that man needs to quench his soul’s thirst is available. To his conscience the Atonement brings peace; to his understanding the Gospel brings the richest instruction; to his heart the person of Jesus is the noblest object of affection; to the whole man the truth as it is in Jesus supplies the purest nourishment. Thirst is terrible, but Jesus can remove it. Even if the soul were utterly famished, Jesus can restore it.

Proclamation is made most freely, that every thirsty one is welcome. No other distinction is made but that of thirst. Whether it be the thirst of greed, ambition, pleasure, knowledge, or rest, he who suffers from it is invited. The thirst may be bad in itself, and not be a sign of grace, but a mark of inordinate sin that longs to satisfy itself with deeper lust; but it is not goodness in the creature that brings him the invitation-the Lord Jesus sends it freely and without respect of persons.

Personality is declared most fully. The sinner must come to Jesus-not to works, ordinances, or doctrines but to a personal Redeemer who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree. The bleeding, dying, rising Savior is the only ray of hope to a sinner. Oh, for grace to come now and drink, before the sun sets upon the year’s last day!

No waiting or preparation is even hinted at. Drinking represents a reception that has no special requirements. A fool, a thief, a harlot can drink; our sinfulness is no barrier to the invitation to believe in Jesus. We need no golden cup, no fine china, in which to convey the water to the thirsty; the mouth of poverty is welcome to stoop down and drink of the life-giving stream. Blistered, leprous, filthy lips may touch the stream of divine love; they cannot pollute it but will themselves be purified. Jesus is the fount of hope. Dear reader, listen to the dear Redeemer’s loving voice as He cries to each of us, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”

Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 2 Chronicles 36
  • Revelation 22

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

Alistair Begg – Anticipate the End

 

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning. Ecclesiastes 7:8

Look at David’s Lord and Master; consider His beginning. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Then look at the end! He sits at His Father’s right hand, waiting until His enemies are made his footstool. “As he is so we are also in this world.”1 You must bear the cross or you will never wear the crown; you must wade through the water or you will never walk the golden pavement.

Cheer up, then, poor Christian. “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.” View the creeping worm-how contemptible its appearance! It is the beginning of a thing. Mark that insect with gorgeous wings, playing in the sunbeams, sipping at the flowers, full of happiness and life-that is the worm’s end. You are that caterpillar, wrapped up in the chrysalis of death; but when Christ appears, you will be like Him, for you will see Him as He is.

Be content to be like Him, a worm and no man, so that like Him you may be satisfied when you wake up in His likeness. The rough-looking diamond is put upon the wheel of the gem-smith. He cuts it on all sides. It loses much-much that seemed costly to itself. The king is crowned; the diadem is put upon the monarch’s head accompanied by the trumpet’s joyful sound. A glittering ray flashes from that coronet, and it beams from that same diamond that was so recently fashioned at the wheel.

You may venture to compare yourself to such a diamond, for you are one of God’s people; and this is the time of the cutting process. Let faith and patience have their perfect work, for in the day when the crown is set upon the head of the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, one ray of glory shall stream from you. “They shall be mine, says the LORD of Hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession.”2 “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.”

1) 1 John 4:17

2) Malachi 3:17

Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 2 Chronicles 35
  • Revelation 21

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

Alistair Begg – The Lord Has Helped Us

 

Till now the Lord has helped us. 1 Samuel 7:12

The phrase “till now” is like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and still “till now the LORD has helped us.” Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honor, in dishonor, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, “till now the LORD has helped us.”

We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves. In the same way look down the long aisles of your years at the green branches of mercy overhead and the strong pillars of loving-kindness and faithfulness that support your joys.

Are there no birds singing in those branches? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received “till now.”

But the word also points forward. For when a man reaches a certain point and writes “till now,” he is not yet at the end; he still has a distance to go. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then he faces sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over then? No! Then there is wakening in Jesus’ likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the company of saints, the glory of God, the fullness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. Be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise your banner, for —

He who hath helped thee hitherto

Will help thee all thy journey through.

When read in light of heaven, how glorious and marvelous a prospect will the “till now” provide for your grateful eye!

Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 2 Chronicles 34
  • Revelation 20

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

Alistair Begg – A Firm and Determined Grasp

 

And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. Galatians 2:20

When the Lord in mercy drew near and saw us in our deadness, He first of all said, “Live”; and He did this, first, because life is absolutely essential in spiritual matters, and until it is given we are incapable of seeing or entering the kingdom. Now the life that grace confers upon believers at the moment of their conversion is none other than the life of Christ, which, like the sap from the stem, runs into us, the branches, and establishes a living connection between our souls and Jesus. Faith is the grace that perceives this union, having proceeded from it as its firstfruit. It is the neck that joins the body of the Church to its all-glorious Head.

A faith that shines more bright and clear,

When tempests rage without,

That when in danger knows no fear,

In darkness feels no doubt.

Faith lays hold upon the Lord Jesus with a firm and determined grasp. It knows His excellence and worth, and no temptation can induce faith to place its trust elsewhere. And Christ Jesus is so delighted with this heavenly grace that He never ceases to strengthen and sustain that faith by the loving embrace and all-sufficient support of His eternal arms.

This establishes a living, sensible, and delightful union that produces streams of love, confidence, sympathy, contentment, and joy, from which both the bride and Bridegroom love to drink. When the soul can clearly see this oneness between itself and Christ, the pulse may be felt as beating for both, and the one blood as flowing through the veins of each. Then the heart is as near heaven as it can be on earth and is prepared for the enjoyment of the most sublime and spiritual kind of fellowship.

Lord, give me such a faith as this,

And then, whate’er may come,

I taste e’en now the hallowed bliss,

Of an eternal home.

Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 2 Chronicles 33
  • Revelation 19

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

Alistair Begg – Flourish Even in Drought

 

Can reeds flourish where there is no water? Job 8:11

The reed is spongy and hollow, and so is a hypocrite; there is no substance or stability in him. It is shaken back and forth in every wind, just as the outwardly religious yield to every influence; for this reason the reed is not broken by the storm, neither are hypocrites called to face persecution. I would not willingly be a deceiver or be deceived; perhaps the text for today may help me to test myself to see whether I am a hypocrite or not.

The reed by nature lives in water and owes its very existence to the mire and moisture in which it has taken root; let the water drain away, and the reed withers very quickly. Its greenness is absolutely dependent upon circumstances; a continuous supply of water makes it flourish, and a drought destroys it at once.

Is this my case? Do I only serve God when I am in good company or when faith is profitable and respectable? Do I love the Lord only when I am enjoying comforts from His hands? If so I am just a hypocrite, and like the withering reed, I will perish when death deprives me of outward joys.

But can I honestly maintain that when there have been few bodily comforts, and my surroundings have been adverse to grace rather than at all helpful to it, I have still maintained my integrity? Then I have hope that there is genuine vital godliness in me.

The reed cannot grow without water, but the Lord’s plants can and do flourish even when there is a drought. A godly man often grows best when his worldly circumstances are daunting. He who follows Christ for money is a Judas; those who follow for loaves and fishes are children of the devil; but those who stay close out of love to Himself are His own beloved ones. Lord, let me find my life in You, and not in the shifting sands of this world’s favor or gain.

Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 2 Chronicles 32
  • Revelation 18

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

Alistair Begg – The Sponsor and Substitute

 

The last Adam. I Corinthians 15:45

Jesus is the representative head of His people. In Adam every heir of flesh and blood has a personal interest, because he is the covenant head and representative of the race when 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 eternity the covenant settlements of grace were decreed, ratified, and made sure forever.

Whatever Christ has done, He has accomplished 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 in this way that the Church has fulfilled the law and is “blessed in the Beloved.”1

She is regarded with satisfaction 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 way, all that the Second Adam is or does is ours as well as His because 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!” is the very groundwork of the Gospel of our salvation and is to be received with strong faith and rapturous joy.

1) Ephesians 1:6

Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 2 Chronicles 31
  • Revelation 17

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

Alistair Begg – A Miraculous Conception

 

Behold, the 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, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”1

Jesus is God incarnate, our Lord and our Savior, and yet our brother and friend; let us adore and admire Him. 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 concerned the seed of the woman, not the offspring of the man. Since venturesome woman led the way in the sin that resulted in paradise lost, she, and she alone, ushers in the Regainer of Paradise.

Our Savior, 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.

Do not fail to note His humble parentage. His mother has been described simply as “the virgin,” not a princess or prophetess, nor a woman of influence. True, the blood of kings ran in her veins; and her mind was not weak or untaught, for she could sweetly sing a song of praise. Yet how humble her position, how poor the man to whom she was engaged, and how miserable the accommodation provided for the newborn King!

Immanuel-God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our daily work, in our punishment, in our death, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor.

1) Isaiah 9:6

Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 2 Chronicles 30
  • Revelation 16

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

C.S. Lewis Daily – Today’s Reading

 

TO MR. YOUNG: Lewis’s last letter of direction—on the virgin birth; on the glorified body of the risen Christ; on atonement theories; and on the wrath of God.

31 October 1963

  1. I believe in the Virgin Birth in the fullest and most literal sense: that is, I deny that copulation with a man was the cause of the Virgin’s pregnancy.
  2. It is not easy to define what we mean by an ‘essentially human body’. The records show that Our Lord’s Risen Body could pass through closed doors, which human bodies can’t: but also that it could eat. We shall know what a glorified body is when we have one ourselves: till then, I think we must acquiesce in mystery.
  3. When Scripture says that Christ died ‘for’ us, I think the word is usually υπερ (on behalf of), not αντι (instead of). I think the ideas of sacrifice, ransom, championship (over death), substitution et cetera are all images to suggest the reality (not otherwise comprehensible to us) of the atonement. To fix on any one of them as if it contained and limited the truth like a scientific definition would in my opinion be a mistake.
  4. All associations of human passions to God are analogical. The wrath of God: ‘something in God of which the best image in the created world is righteous indignation’. I think it quite a mistake to try to soften the idea of anger by substituting something like disapproval or regret. Even with men real anger is far more likely than cold disapproval to lead to full reconciliation. Hot love, hot wrath. . . .

Your questions are not in the least offensive.

Yours sincerely

C.S. Lewis

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III

Alistair Begg – He Became Poor

 

For your sake he became poor. 2 Corinthians 8:9

The Lord Jesus Christ was eternally rich, glorious, and exalted; but “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor.” As the wealthy believer cannot be true in his fellowship with his poor brethren unless from his wealth he ministers to their needs, so (the same rule holding with the head as between the members) it is impossible that our Divine Lord could have had fellowship with us unless He had given to us from His own abounding wealth and had become poor so as to make us rich.

If He had remained upon His throne of glory, and we had continued in the ruins of the Fall without receiving His salvation, fellowship would have been impossible on both sides. Our position by the Fall, apart from the covenant of grace, made it as impossible for fallen man to communicate with God as it is for Satan to be in communion with Christ. In order, therefore, that communion might be enjoyed, it was necessary for the rich relative to bestow his estate upon his poor relatives, for the righteous Savior to give to His sinning brethren from His own perfection, and for we, the poor and guilty, to receive of His fullness grace for grace, so that in giving and receiving, the One might descend from the heights, and the other ascend from the depths, and in this way be able to embrace each other in true and hearty fellowship.

Poverty must be enriched by Him in whom are infinite treasures before it can begin to commune; and guilt must lose itself in imputed and imparted righteousness before the soul can walk in fellowship with purity. Jesus must clothe His people in His own garments or He cannot admit them into His palace of glory; and He must wash them in His own blood or else they will be too defiled for the embrace of His fellowship.

Believer, herein is love! For your sake the Lord Jesus “became poor” that He might lift you up into communion with Himself.

Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 2 Chronicles 29
  • Revelation 15

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

Alistair Begg – Seeing Face to Face

 

Friend, move up higher. Luke 14:10

When the life of grace first begins in the soul, we instinctively draw near to God, but it is with great fear and trembling. The soul, conscious of guilt and humbled by it, is overawed with the solemnity of its position; it is prostrated by a sense of the grandeur of God, in whose presence it appears.

With sincere humility it takes the lowest room. But later on, as the Christian grows in grace, although he will never forget the solemnity of his position and will never lose that holy awe that must encompass a gracious man when he is in the presence of the God who can create or destroy, yet his fear has all its terror taken out of it; it becomes a holy reverence, and no longer an overshadowing dread.

He is called up higher, to greater access to God in Christ Jesus. Then the man of God, walking among the splendors of Deity and veiling his face like the glorious cherubim with those twin wings, the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, will, reverent and bowed in spirit, approach the throne; and seeing there a God of love, goodness, and mercy he will realize the covenant character of God rather than His absolute Deity.

He will see in God His goodness rather than His greatness, and more of His love than of His majesty. Then the soul will bow just as humbly as before and enjoy a more sacred liberty of intercession; for while prostrate before the glory of the Infinite God, it will be sustained by the refreshing awareness of being in the presence of unlimited mercy and infinite love and by the realization of acceptance “in the Beloved.”1 In this way the believer is invited to come up higher and is enabled to exercise the privilege of rejoicing in God and drawing near to Him in holy confidence, crying, “Abba, Father.”

So may we go from strength to strength,

And daily grow in grace,

Till in Thy image raised at length,

We see Thee face to face.

1) Ephesians 1:6

Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 2 Chronicles 27, 28
  • Revelation 14

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003,