Tag Archives: Daily Devotional

Alistair Begg – The Aim and End of Life

 

Daily Devotional for January 7, 2015

For to me to live is Christ. Philippians 1:21

 

The believer did not always live to Christ. He began to do so when God the Holy Spirit convinced him of sin, and when by grace he was brought to see the dying Savior making a propitiation for his guilt. From the moment of the new and heavenly birth the man begins to live to Christ. Jesus is to believers the one pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all that we have. He has so completely won our heart that it beats alone for Him; to His glory we would live, and in defense of His Gospel we would die. He is the pattern of our life, and the model after which we would sculpture our character.

Paul’s words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ–nay, his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, he ate and drank and slept eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life. Can you say, as a professing Christian, that you live up to this idea? Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ? Your business–are you doing itfor Christ? Is it not done for self-aggrandizement and for family advantage? Do you ask, “Is that a mean reason?” For the Christian it is. He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another object without committing spiritual adultery?

There are many who carry out this principle in some measure; but who is there that dares say that he has lived wholly for Christ as the apostle did? Yet this alone is the true life of a Christian–its source, its sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one word–Christ. Lord, accept me; I present myself, praying to live only in You and to You. Let me be as the creature that stands between the plow and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, “Ready for either.”

Today’s Bible Reading

The family reading plan for January 7, 2015
Genesis 7
Matthew 7

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

Alistair Begg – Belonging

Alistair Begg

Daily Devotional for July 29, 2014

All that the Father gives me will come to me. John 6:37

This declaration involves the doctrine of election: There are some whom the Father gave to Christ. It involves the doctrine of effectual calling: These who are given must and shall come; however stoutly they may set themselves against it, yet they shall be brought out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. It teaches us the indispensable necessity of faith, for even those who are given to Christ are not saved except they come to Jesus. Even they must come, for there is no other way to heaven but by the door, Christ Jesus. All that the Father gives to our Redeemer must come to Him; therefore none can come to heaven except when they come to Christ.

Oh, the power and majesty that rest in the words “will come.” He does not say they have power to come, nor that they may come if they will, but they “will come.” The Lord Jesus by His messengers, His Word, and His Spirit sweetly and graciously compels men to come in, that they may eat of His marriage supper; and this He does not by any violation of the free agency of man, but by the power of His grace. I may exercise power over another man’s will, and yet that other man’s will may be perfectly free, because the constraint is exercised in a manner accordant with the laws of the human mind. Jehovah Jesus knows how by irresistible arguments addressed to the understanding, by mighty reasons appealing to the affections, and by the mysterious influence of His Holy Spirit operating upon all the powers and passions of the soul so to subdue the whole man, whereas he was once rebellious, that he yields cheerfully to His government, subdued by sovereign love. But how shall those be known whom God has chosen? By this result: that they do willingly and joyfully accept Christ and come to Him with simple and unfeigned faith, resting upon Him as all their salvation and all their desire. Reader, have you come to Jesus in this way?

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The family reading plan for July 29, 2014 * Jeremiah 25 * Mark 11

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

Alistair Begg – Count Your Trespasses

Alistair Begg

Daily Devotional for July 6, 2014

How many are my iniquities and my sins?  Job 13:23

Have you ever really weighed and considered how great the sin of God’s people is? Think how heinous is your own transgression, and you will find that not only does a sin here and there tower up like an alp, but that your iniquities are heaped upon each other, as in the old fable of the giants who piled Pelian upon Ossa,1 mountain upon mountain. What an aggregate of sin there is in the life of one of the most sanctified of God’s children! Attempt to multiply this, the sin of one only, by the multitude of the redeemed, “a great multitude that no one could number,”2 and you will have some conception of the great mass of the guilt of the people for whom Jesus shed His blood. But we arrive at a more adequate idea of the magnitude of sin by the greatness of the remedy provided.

It is the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s only and well-beloved Son. God’s Son! Angels cast their crowns before Him! All the choral symphonies of heaven surround His glorious throne. “God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”3 And yet He takes upon Himself the form of a servant and is scourged and pierced, bruised and torn, and at last slain; nothing but the blood of the incarnate Son of God could make atonement for our offenses.

No human mind can adequately estimate the infinite value of the divine sacrifice, for although the sin of God’s people is great, the atonement that takes it away is immeasurably greater. Therefore, even when sin rolls in like a flood, and the remembrance of the past is bitter, the believer can still stand before the blazing throne of the great and holy God and cry, “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised.”4 While the recollection of the believer’s sin fills him with shame and sorrow, its very darkness serves to show the brightness of mercy; guilt is the dark night in which the fair star of divine love shines with serene splendor.

1) The giant sons of Iphimedia who tried to reach Olympus by piling Mt. Pelian on Mt. Ossa (The Odyssey).

2) Revelation 7:9

3) Romans 9:5

4) Romans 8:34

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

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The family reading plan for July 6, 2014 * Jeremiah 2 * Matthew 16

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Alistair Begg – God’s Is the Victory

Alistair Begg

Daily Devotional for June 28, 2014

But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.  Exodus 7:12

This incident is an instructive illustration of the certain victory of God’s handiwork over all opposition. Whenever a divine principle is set in the heart, even though the devil may create a counterfeit and produce swarms of opponents, we may be sure that God is in the work, and it will swallow up all its foes. If God’s grace takes possession of a man, the world’s magicians may throw down all their staffs, and every staff may be as cunning and poisonous as a serpent; but Aaron’s staff will swallow up their staffs.

The sweet attractions of the cross will woo and win the man’s heart, so that although he had lived only for this deceitful earth, he will now have an eye for heaven, and his mind will be set on the things that are above. When grace has won the day, the unbeliever begins to seek the world to come. The same fact is to be observed in the life of the believer. A company of enemies assailed our faith—our old sins; the devil threw them down before us, and they turned to serpents. What numbers of them! But the cross of Jesus destroys them all. Faith in Christ makes short work of all our sins.

Then the devil has launched another host of serpents in the form of worldly trials, temptations, unbelief; but faith in Jesus is more than a match for them and overcomes them all. The same absorbing principle shines in the faithful service of God!

With an enthusiastic love for Jesus, difficulties are surmounted; sacrifices become pleasures; sufferings are honors. But if faith is a consuming passion in the heart, then it follows that there are many people who profess it but do not have it; for what they have will not bear this test. Examine yourself, my reader, on this point. Aaron’s staff proved its heaven-given power. Is your faith doing so? If Christ is anything, He must be everything. Do not rest until love and faith in Jesus are the master passions of your soul!

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

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The family reading plan for June 28, 2014 * Isaiah 60 * Matthew 8

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Alistair Begg – Is Sin Subdued in You?

 Alistair Begg

Daily Devotional for February 8, 2014

Matthew 1:21

Many people, if they are asked what they understand by salvation, will reply, “Being saved from hell and taken to heaven.” This is one result of salvation, but it is not one tenth of what is contained in that blessing. It is true our Lord Jesus Christ does redeem all His people from the wrath to come; He saves them from the fearful condemnation that their sins had brought upon them; but His triumph is far more complete than this. He saves His people “from their sins”–a complete deliverance from our worst foes.

Where Christ works a saving work, He casts Satan from his throne and will not let him be master any longer. No man is a true Christian if sin reigns in his mortal body. Sin will be in us–it will never be utterly expelled till the spirit enters glory; but it will never have dominion.

There will be a striving for dominion–a lusting against the new law and the new spirit that God has implanted–but sin will never get the upper hand so as to be absolute monarch of our nature. Christ will be Master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. The Lion of the tribe of Judah shall prevail, and the dragon shall be cast out.

Professing Christian, is sin subdued in you? If your life is unholy, your heart is unchanged; and if your heart is unchanged, you are an unsaved person. If the Savior has not sanctified you, renewed you, given you a hatred of sin and a love of holiness, He has done nothing in you of a saving character. The grace that does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people not in their sins but from them “. . . for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”2 “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”3 If not saved from sin, how shall we hope to be counted among His people? Lord, save me now from all evil, and enable me to honor my Savior.

2 Hebrews 12:14

3 2 Timothy 2:19

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

The family reading plan for February 8, 2014 Job 7 | Romans 11

 

 

 

 

Alistair Begg – The Pace of Your Spiritual Journey

Alistair Begg

Daily Devotional for January 31, 2014

2 Samuel 18:23

Running is not everything. There is much in the way that we select: A swift foot over hill and down dale will not keep pace with a slower traveler upon level ground. How is it with my spiritual journey? Am I laboring up the hill of my own works and down into the ravines of my own humiliations and resolutions, or do I run by the plain way of “Believe and live”?

How blessed is it to wait upon the Lord by faith! The soul runs without weariness and walks without fainting in the way of believing. Christ Jesus is the way of life, and He is a plain way, a pleasant way, a way suitable for the tottering feet and feeble knees of trembling sinners. Am I found in this way, or am I hunting after another track such as priestcraft or metaphysics may promise me?

I read of the way of holiness, that the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein. Have I been delivered from proud reason and been brought as a little child to rest in Jesus’ love and blood? If so, by God’s grace I shall outrun the strongest runner who chooses any other path.

This truth I may remember to my profit in my daily cares and needs. It will be my wisest course to go at once to my God, and not to wander in a roundabout manner to this friend and that. He knows my wants and can relieve them. To whom should I repair but to Himself by the direct appeal of prayer and the plain argument of the promise? “Straightforward makes the best runner.” I will not parley with the servants but hasten to their master.

In reading this passage, it strikes me that if men vie with each other in common matters, and one outruns the other, I ought to be in solemn earnestness so to run that I may obtain. Lord, help me to gird up the loins of my mind, and may I press forward toward the mark for the prize of my high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Alistair Begg – I Know

 

I know that my redeemer lives.

Job 19:25

The essence of Job’s comfort lies in the little word “my”–“my Redeemer”–and in the fact that the Redeemer lives. Oh, to get hold of a living Christ. We must get a share in Him before we can enjoy Him. What is gold to me while it is still in the mine? It is gold in my possession that will satisfy my necessities by purchasing the things I need. So a Redeemer who does not redeem me, an avenger who will never stand up for my blood, what benefit is there in that?

Do not rest content until by faith you can say, “Yes, I cast myself upon my living Lord; and He is mine.” You may hold Him with a feeble hand and half think it presumption to say, “He lives as my Redeemer.” But remember, if you have faith even as a grain of mustard seed, that little faith entitles you to say it.

But there is also another word here, which expresses Job’s strong confidence: “I know.” To say, “I hope so, I trust so” is comfortable, and there are thousands in the fold of Jesus who hardly ever get much further. But to reach the essence of consolation you must say, “I know.” Ifs, buts, and maybes are sure destroyers of peace and comfort. Doubts are dreary things in times of sorrow. Like wasps they sting the soul! If I have any suspicion that Christ is not mine, then there is vinegar mingled with the gall of death. But if I know that Jesus lives for me, then darkness is not dark: Even the night is light about me.

Surely if Job, in those ages before the coming of Christ, could say, “I know,” we should not speak less positively. God forbid that our positiveness should be presumption. Let us make sure that our evidences are right, in case we build upon an ungrounded hope; and then let us not be satisfied with the mere foundation, for it is from the upstairs rooms that we get the panoramic views. A living Redeemer, truly mine, is unspeakable joy.

John MacArthur – The Cushion of Peace

 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9).

I remember reading about what is called “the cushion of the sea.” The ocean surface is often greatly agitated, but as you descend, the water becomes increasingly calm. At its greatest depths the ocean is virtually still. Oceanographers dredging ocean bottoms have found animal and plant remains that appear to have been undisturbed for hundreds of years.

Similarly, Christians can experience a cushion of peace in their souls regardless of their troubled surroundings. That’s because they belong to God, who is the source of peace; serve Christ, who is the Prince of Peace; and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who is the agent of peace. Galatians 5:22 says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, [and] peace.” When you become a Christian, God grants you the gift of peace.

God is not only the source of perfect peace, but also its purest example. Everything He does is marked by peace. First Corinthians 14:33 says He is not a God of confusion but of peace. In Judges 6:24 He is called Jehovah-shalom, which means, “the Lord is peace.” The Trinity is characterized by a total absence of conflict: perfect oneness, perfect righteousness, and absolute harmony. It is impossible for God to be at odds with Himself!

God wants everyone to know that kind of peace. He created the world with peace and sent His Son to offer peace. Someday Christ will return to establish His kingdom and reign in peace for eternity.

In the meantime turmoil exists for all who don’t know Christ. They have no cushion for their souls. You, however, have peace with God through the death of Christ Jesus, and as you obey Him, His peace will continually reign in your heart. Don’t ever let sin rob you of that blessed cushion. Only as you experience peace within yourself can you share it with others.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank God for the cushion of peace He has provided amid difficult circumstances.

Ask God to use you as an instrument of His peace today.

For Further Study:

Read Isaiah 57:15-21, noting how God encourages the repentant and warns the wicked in relation to peace.