Tag Archives: Truth or life

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Argue from the Past

Then David said in his heart, ‘Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul.’

1 Samuel 27:1

The thought in David’s heart at this time was a false thought, because he certainly had no ground for thinking that God’s anointing him by Samuel was intended to be left as an empty, unmeaning act. On no occasion had the Lord deserted His servant; he had often been placed in perilous positions, but not one instance had occurred in which divine intervention had not delivered him. The trials to which he had been exposed had been varied; they had not assumed one form only, but many—yet in every case He who sent the trial had also graciously ordained a way of escape. David could not put his finger on any entry in his diary and say of it, “Here is evidence that the Lord will forsake me,” for the entire course of his past life proved the very reverse. He should have argued from what God had done for him that God would be his defender still.

But is it not in the same way that we doubt God’s help? Is it not mistrust without a cause? Have we ever had the shadow of a reason to doubt our Father’s goodness? Hasn’t His loving-kindness been marvelous? Has He ever once failed to justify our trust? Our God has never left us at any time. We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone out amid the blackness; we have been in tough battles, but over our head He has held high the shield of our defense. We have gone through many trials but never to our detriment, always to our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experience is that He who has been with us in six troubles will not forsake us in the seventh.

What we have known of our faithful God proves that He will keep us to the end. Let us not, then, reason contrary to the evidence. How can we ever be so ungenerous as to doubt our God? Lord, throw down the Jezebel of our unbelief, and let the dogs devour it.

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 –Who Can Endure?

But who can endure the day of his coming . . . ?

Malachi 3:2

Christ’s first coming was without external pomp or display of power, and yet in truth there were few who could endure its test. Herod and all Jerusalem with him were stirred at the news of the wondrous birth. Those who supposed themselves to be waiting for Him showed the fallacy of their professions by rejecting Him when He came. His life on earth was like a winnowing fan that sifted the great heap of religious profession, and only a few could survive the process.

But what will His second coming be? What sinner can endure to think of it? “He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.”1 In Gethsemane when He said to the soldiers, “I am he,” they fell backward. What will happen to His enemies when He will reveal Himself more fully as the “I Am”?

His death shook earth and darkened heaven. What will be the dreadful splendor of that day when as the living Savior He will summon the living and the dead before Him? O that the terrors of the Lord would persuade men to forsake their sins and kiss the Son in case He is angry!

Though a lamb, He is still the lion of the tribe of Judah, tearing the prey in pieces; and though He does not break the bruised reed, yet He will break His enemies with a rod of iron and dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel. None of His foes shall stand before the tempest of His wrath or hide themselves from the sweeping hail of His indignation.

But His beloved blood-washed people look for His appearing with joy; in this living hope they live without fear. To them He sits as a refiner even now, and when He has tested them they shall come forth as gold. Let us examine ourselves this morning and make our calling and election sure, so that the coming of the Lord may not be the cause of fearful expectations. O for grace to discard all hypocrisy, and to be found of Him sincere and without rebuke on the day of His appearing.

1) Isaiah 11:4

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 Is Spiritual Knowledge?

I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Philippians 3:8

Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with Him. I must know Him myself; I must know Him on my own account.

It will be an intelligent knowledge—I must know Him not as in the visionary dreams of Him, but as the Word reveals Him. I must know His natures, divine and human. I must know His offices (Prophet, Priest and King)—His attributes—His works—His shame—His glory. I must meditate upon Him until I “comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.”1

It will be an affectionate knowledge of Him; indeed, if I know Him at all, I must love Him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of Him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Savior, my mind will be full to the brim—I will feel that I have that which my spirit longs for. This is the bread that satisfies all hunger.

At the same time it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I will want to know. The higher I climb, the loftier will be the summits that invite my eager footsteps. I shall want more as I get more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more.

To conclude, this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating that sometimes it will completely lift me above all trials and doubts and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man . . . born of a woman . . . few of days and full of trouble,” for it will throw about me the immortality of the ever-living Savior and cover me with the golden cloak of His eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’ feet, and learn of Him all this day.

1) Ephesians 3:18-19

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 –Mourning for Sin

Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation.

2 Corinthians 7:10

Genuine, spiritual mourning for sin is the work of the Spirit of God. Repentance is too rare a flower to grow in nature’s garden. Pearls grow naturally in oysters, but penitence never shows up in sinners except when divine grace produces it in them. If you have one particle of real hatred for sin, God must have given it to you, for human nature’s thorns never produced a single fig. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.”1

True repentance is tied directly to the Savior. When we repent of sin, we must have one eye upon sin and the other upon the cross; or it will be even better if we fix both our eyes on Christ and see our transgressions only in the light of His love.

True sorrow for sin is eminently practical. No man can say he hates sin if he lives in it. Repentance makes us see the evil of sin not merely as a theory but experimentally [experientially]—as a burn victim dreads fire. We will be as afraid of it as a man who has recently been robbed is afraid of the thief on the highway; and we will shun it—shun it in everything—not only in large matters, but in small things, as men avoid little vipers as well as great snakes. True mourning for sin will make us very careful with our tongue in case it should say a wrong word; we will be very watchful over our daily actions in case in anything we offend, and each night we will end the day with painful confessions of shortcomings, and each morning awaken with earnest prayers that God would today hold us up so that we may not sin against Him.

Sincere repentance is continual. Believers repent until their dying day. This is not something we do only once at the beginning of our Christian lives. Nor is it an intermittent exercise. Every other sorrow passes with time, but this dear sorrow grows as we grow, and it is such sweet bitterness that we thank God He permits us to enjoy and to suffer it until we enter our eternal rest.

1) John 3:6

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 –Ponder the Things of God

I will meditate on your precepts.

Psalm 119:15

There are times when solitude is better than company, and silence is wiser than speech. We would be better Christians if we were alone more often, waiting on God and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for service in His kingdom. We ought to ponder the things of God, because that is how we get the real nutriment out of them.

Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: In order to have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully on the bunches or else the juice will not flow; and the grapes must be properly tread or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth if we desire the wine of consolation from them.

Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth, but the process that really supplies the muscle and the nerve and the sinew and the bone is the process of digestion. It is by digestion that the outward food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening for a while to this and then to that and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning all require inward digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies mainly in meditating upon it.

Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make only slow advances in the Christian life? Because they neglect their closets and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they want the corn, but they will not go out into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs on the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it.

Deliver us, O Lord, from such folly, and may this be our resolve this morning: “I will meditate on your precepts.”

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 Praying Believer

Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven.

Lamentations 3:41

The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very salutary lesson for proud people like us. If God gave us favors without constraining us to pray for them, we would never know how poor we are, but a true prayer is an inventory of wants, a catalog of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty.

While prayer is an application to divine wealth, it is also a confession of human emptiness. The most healthy state of a Christian is always to be empty of self and constantly depending upon the Lord for provision; to be consistently poor in self and rich in Jesus; to be weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits. This is where prayer comes in, because while it adores God, it puts the creature where it should be—in the dust.

Prayer is in itself, apart from the answer that it brings, a great benefit to the Christian. As the runner gains strength for the race by daily exercise, so for the great race of life we acquire energy by the holy exercise of prayer. Prayer thins the feathers of God’s young eaglets, so that they can learn to soar above the clouds. Prayer readies God’s warriors and sends them out to combat with their sinews braced and their muscles firm. The praying believer comes out of his closet, even as the sun rises from the chambers of the east, rejoicing like an athlete about to race. Prayer is the uplifted hand of Moses that defeats the Amalekites more than the sword of Joshua; it is the arrow shot from the prophet’s chamber announcing defeat to the Syrians. Prayer equips human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives the peace of God to troubled souls.

We do not know what prayer cannot do! We thank You, great God, for the mercy-seat, a wonderful evidence of your marvelous loving-kindness. Help us to use it properly throughout this day!

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 –Blameless

Blameless before the presence of his glory.

Jude 1:24

Let your mind revolve around that wonderful word “blameless”! We are far from it now; but since our Lord never stops short of perfection in His work of love, we will reach it one day. The Savior who will keep His people to the end will also present them finally to Himself as “the church . . . in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.”1 All the jewels in the Savior’s crown are pure and without a single flaw. All the maids of honor who assist the Lamb’s wife are pure virgins without spot or stain.

But how will Jesus make us blameless? He will wash us from our sins in His own blood until we are as white and fair as God’s purest angel; and we will be clothed in His righteousness, that righteousness that makes the saint who wears it positively blameless—yes, perfect in the sight of God. We will be unblameable and unreprovable even in His eyes. Not only will His law have no charge against us, but it will be magnified in us. Moreover, the work of the Holy Spirit within us will be altogether complete. He will make us so perfectly holy that we will have no lingering tendency to sin. Judgment, memory, will—every power and passion will be set free from the tyranny of evil. We will be holy even as God is holy, and in His presence we will dwell forever. Saints will not be out of place in heaven; their beauty will be as great as that of the place prepared for them.

Oh, the intense delight of that hour when the everlasting doors will be lifted up, and we, being made fit for the inheritance, will dwell with the saints in light. Sin gone, Satan shut out, temptation past forever, and ourselves “blameless” before God—this will be heaven indeed!

Let us be joyful now as we rehearse the song of eternal praise that will soon sound forth in full chorus from all the blood-washed host; let us copy David’s exultings before the ark as a prelude to our ecstasies before the throne.

1) Ephesians 5:27

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 –Choice Fruits

Choice fruits,
new as well as old,
which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

Song of Songs 7:13

The spouse desires to give to Jesus all that she produces. Our heart has all kinds of “choice fruits, new as well as old,” and they are reserved for our Beloved. In this rich autumn season of fruitfulness, let us survey our supplies.

We have new fruits. We desire to feel new life, new joy, new gratitude; we wish to make new resolves and carry them out by new endeavors; our heart blossoms with new prayers, and our soul is committing herself to new efforts.

But we also have some old fruits. There is the choice fruit of our first love, and Jesus delights in it. There is our first faith—that simple faith by which, having nothing, we became possessors of everything. There is our joy when we first met the Lord: Let us revive it. We have our old memories of the promises. How faithful has God been! In sickness, how kindly He made our bed! In deep waters, how gently He picked us up! In the flaming furnace, how graciously He delivered us. Old fruits indeed! We have many of them, for His mercies have been more than the hairs of our head. Old sins we must regret, but then we have had repentances that He has given us, by which we have wept our way to the cross and learned the merit of His blood.

We have fruits, this morning, both new and old; but here is the point—they are all laid up for Jesus. Without question the best and most acceptable services are those in which Jesus is the solitary aim of the soul, and His glory is the focus of all our endeavors. Let our many fruits be laid up only for Him; let us display them when He is with us, and not use them to draw attention to ourselves. Jesus, we will turn the key in our garden door, and no one will enter to rob You of one good fruit from the soil that You have watered with Your grace. All that we are and have shall be Yours, Yours alone, O Jesus, our Beloved!

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 –Not an Option

Sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!

Psalm 66:2

It is not left to our own option whether or not we will praise God. Praise is God’s most righteous due, and every Christian, as the recipient of His grace, is bound to praise God from day to day.

It is true that we have no authoritative text for daily praise; we have no commandment prescribing certain hours of song and thanksgiving: But the law written upon the heart teaches us that it is right to praise God; and the unwritten mandate comes to us with as much force as if it had been recorded on the tables of stone or handed to us from the top of thundering Sinai.

Yes, it is the Christian’s duty to praise God. It is not only a pleasurable exercise, but it is the absolute obligation of his life. Those of you who are always mourning should not think that you are guiltless in this respect or imagine that you can discharge your duty to God without songs of praise. You are bound by the bonds of His love to bless His name as long as you live, and His praise should continually be in your mouth, for you are blessed in order that you may bless Him—“the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise”;1 and if you do not praise God, you are not bringing forth the fruit that He has a right to expect from you.

Do not let your harp hang on the willows, but take it down and strum with a grateful heart, bringing out its loudest music. Arise and declare His praise. With every morning’s dawn, lift up your notes of thanksgiving, and let every setting sun be followed with your song. Surround the earth with your praises; circle it with an atmosphere of melody, and God Himself will listen from heaven and accept your music.

E’en so I love Thee, and will love,
And in Thy praise will sing,
Because Thou art my loving God,
And my redeeming King
.

1) Isaiah 43:21

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 –Lessons from Leprosy

And if the leprous disease has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean of the disease.

Leviticus 13:13

This regulation appears to be very strange, but there was wisdom in it, for the throwing out of the disease proved that the constitution was sound. This morning it may be well for us to see the typical teaching of this singular principle. We, too, are lepers and may read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be completely lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and with no part free from pollution, when he disclaims all righteousness of his own and pleads guilty before the Lord, then is he clean through the blood of Jesus and the grace of God.

Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy, but when sin is seen and felt it has received its death blow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it. Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are nothing else but sin, for no confession short of this will be the whole truth. And if the Holy Spirit is at work within us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty in making such an acknowledgment—it will spring spontaneously from our lips.

What comfort this text provides to those under a deep sense of sin! Sin mourned and confessed, however deep and foul, will never shut a man out from the Lord Jesus. “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”1 Though dishonest as the thief, though immoral as the woman who was a sinner, though fierce as Saul of Tarsus, though cruel as Manasseh, though rebellious as the prodigal, the great heart of love will look upon the man who feels himself to have no health in him and will pronounce him clean when he trusts in Jesus crucified. Come to Him, then, poor heavy-laden sinner.

Come needy, come guilty, come loathsome and bare;
You can’t come too filthy—come just as you are.

1) John 6:37

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 –Stooping Down

The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man.

Psalm 33:13

Perhaps no figure of speech represents God in a more gracious light than when He is spoken of as stooping from His throne and coming down from heaven to attend to the needs and to behold the woes of mankind. We love Him who, when Sodom and Gomorrah were full of iniquity, would not destroy those cities until He had made a personal visitation to them. We cannot help pouring out our heart in affection for our Lord who turns His ear from the highest glory and puts it to the lip of the dying sinner, whose failing heart longs for reconciliation. How can we do anything but love Him when we know that He numbers the very hairs of our heads, marks our path, and orders our ways?

This great truth is brought especially near to our heart when we realize how attentive He is, not merely to the passing interests of His creatures, but to their spiritual concerns. Though vast distances lie between the finite creature and the infinite Creator, yet there are links uniting both. When a tear is wept by you, do not think that God does not see it; for “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.”1 Your sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; your whisper can incline His ear to you; your prayer can stay His hand; your faith can move His arm. Do not think that God sits on high taking no account of you. Remember that however poor and needy you are, still the Lord thinks of you. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.”2

Oh! then repeat the truth that never tires;
No God is like the God my soul desires;
He at whose voice heaven trembles, even He,
Great as He is, knows how to stoop to me.

1) Psalm 103:13
2) 2 Chronicles 16:9

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 –Are You Happy Today?

Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord.

Deuteronomy 33:29

The person who declares that Christianity makes men miserable is himself an utter stranger to it. It would be strange indeed if it made us wretched; consider to what a position it exalts us!

It makes us sons of God. Do you suppose that God will give all the happiness to His enemies and reserve all the mourning for His own family? Will His foes have laughter and joy, while His home-born children inherit sorrow and wretchedness? Will the sinner, who has no part in Christ, call himself rich in happiness, while we go mourning as if we were penniless beggars? No; we will rejoice in the Lord always and glory in our inheritance, for we “did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”1 The rod of discipline must rest upon us in our measure, but it works for us the comfortable fruits of righteousness; and therefore by the help of the divine Comforter, we, a “people saved by the LORD,” will rejoice in the God of our salvation.

We are married to Christ; and will our great Bridegroom permit His spouse to linger in constant grief? Our hearts are knit to Him: We are His members, and though for a while we may suffer as our Head once suffered, yet even now we are blessed with heavenly blessings in Him.

We have the promise of our inheritance in the comforts of the Spirit, which are neither few nor small. Inheritors of joy forever, we have foretastes of our portion. There are streaks of the light of joy to herald our eternal sunrise. Our riches are beyond the sea; our city with firm foundations lies on the other side of the river; gleams of glory from the spirit-world cheer our hearts and urge us onward.

It is truly said of us, “Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD.”

1) Romans 8:15

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 –Consider What Your Actions Say

For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, ‘The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.’

Ezra 8:22

Aconvoy on many accounts would have been desirable for the pilgrim band, but Ezra was ashamed to ask for one. He feared that the heathen king might think his professions of faith in God were mere hypocrisy or might imagine that the God of Israel was not able to preserve His own worshipers. He could not bring his mind to depend on human instruments in a matter so evidently of the Lord, and therefore the caravan set out with no visible protection, and yet guarded by Him who is the sword and shield of His people.

It is to be feared that few believers sense this holy jealousy for God; even those who in some measure walk by faith occasionally spoil the sparkle of their life by seeking help from man. It is a most blessed thing to have no props and no buttresses, but to stand upright on the Rock of Ages, upheld by the Lord alone. Would any believers seek government funds for their church if they remembered that the Lord is dishonored by their asking for Caesar’s help? As if the Lord could not supply the needs of His own cause! Would we run so quickly to friends and relatives for assistance if we remembered that the Lord is glorified by our obvious reliance on His solitary arm? My soul, wait only on God.

“But,” says one, “are means never to be used?” Certainly they are. But our fault seldom lies in their neglect: Far more frequently it springs from foolishly believing in them instead of believing in God. Few run too far in neglecting the arm of man; but many sin greatly in making too much of it.

So learn, dear reader, to glorify the Lord by leaving means untried, if by using them you would dishonor the name of the Lord.

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 –Objects of Divine Satisfaction

He has blessed us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:6

What a state of privilege! It includes our justification before God, but the term “blessed” in the Greek means more than that. It signifies that we are the objects of divine satisfaction, even of divine delight. How marvelous that we—worms, mortals, sinners—should be made the objects of divine love!

But it is only “in the Beloved.” Some Christians seem to be accepted in their own experience—at least that is their apprehension. When their spirit is lively and their hopes bright, they think God accepts them, for they feel so high, so heavenly-minded, so drawn above the earth! But when their souls cleave to the dust, they are the victims of the fear that they are no longer accepted. If they could only see that all their high joys do not exalt them, and all their low despondencies do not really depress them in their Father’s sight, but that they stand accepted in One who never alters. This One is always the beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. How much happier they would be, and how much more they would honor the Savior if they could grasp Him!

Rejoice then, believer, in this: You are blessed “in the Beloved.” You look within, and you say, “There is nothing acceptable here!” But look at Christ, and see if everything is not acceptable there. Your sins trouble you; but God has cast your sins behind His back, and you are accepted and blessed in the Righteous One. You have to fight with corruption and wrestle with temptation, but you are already accepted in Him who has overcome the powers of evil. The devil tempts you, but be of good cheer—he cannot destroy you, for you are accepted in Him who has broken Satan’s head.

Know by full assurance your glorious standing. Even glorified souls are not more accepted than you are. They are only blessed in heaven “in the Beloved,” and you are even now blessed in Christ after the same manner.

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 –Rejoice in God’s Attributes

Let Israel be glad in his Maker.

Psalm 149:2

Rejoice, believer, but take care that your gladness has its spring in the Lord. You have much cause for gladness in God, for you can sing with David, “God my exceeding joy.”1 Be glad that the Lord reigns, that Jehovah is King! Rejoice that He sits on the throne and rules all things!

Every attribute of God should become a fresh ray in the sunlight of our gladness. The fact that He is wise should make us glad, knowing as we do our own foolishness. That He is mighty should cause us who tremble in our weakness to rejoice. That He is everlasting should always be a theme of joy when we know that we wither like grass. That He is unchanging should provide a perpetual song, for we change every hour. That He is full of grace, that He is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant He has given to us, that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory—all this should serve to make us glad in Him.

This gladness in God is like a deep river. So far we have only touched its edge; we know a little of its clear sweet, heavenly streams, but further on the depth is greater, and the current more powerful in its joy.

The Christian feels that he may delight himself not only in what God is, but also in all that God has done in the past. The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were keen to make much of God’s actions and to have a song concerning each of them. So let God’s people now rehearse the deeds of the Lord! Let them tell of His mighty acts and “sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously.”2 Let them never cease to sing, for as new mercies flow to them day by day, so their gladness in the Lord’s loving acts of providence and grace should display itself in continued thanksgiving.

Be glad, children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God.

1) Psalm 43:4
2) Exodus 15:1

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’s Delight

I will rejoice in doing them good.

Jeremiah 32:41

How heartwarming to the believer is the delight that God takes in His saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we do not even take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened, conscious of our sinfulness and deploring our unfaithfulness. We are fearful that God’s people cannot take much encouragement from us, for they surely can see our many imperfections and our follies, and so be caused to lament our infirmities rather than admire our graces. But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery: As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so the Lord rejoices over us.

We do not read anywhere that God delights in the cloud-capped mountains or the sparkling stars, but we do read that He delights in the habitable parts of the earth, and that His delights are with the sons of men. We do not even find it written that angels give His soul delight; nor does He say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, “Thou shalt be called Hephzibah . . . for the LORD delighted in thee.”1 But He does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves—debased and depraved by sin, but saved, exalted, and glorified by His grace.

In what strong language He expresses His delight in His people! Who could have conceived of the Eternal One bursting into a song? Yet it is written, “He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”2 As He looked upon the world He had made, He said, “It is very good”; but when He looked on those who are the purchase of Jesus’ blood, His own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy.

Should we not utter our grateful response to such a marvelous declaration of His love and sing, “I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation?”3

1) Isaiah 62:4 KJV
2) Zephaniah 3:17
3) Habakkuk 3:18

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 –What We Must Do

‘A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!’

Judges 7:20

Gideon ordered his men to do two things: Covering up a torch in an earthen pitcher, he had them, at an appointed signal, break the pitcher and let the light shine. Then he had them blow the trumpet, crying, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”

This is precisely what all Christians must do. First, you must shine: Break the pitcher that conceals your light, throw aside the container that has been hiding your candle, and shine. Let your light shine before men; let your good works be such that when men look at you, they will know that you have been with Jesus.

Then there must be the sound, the blowing of the trumpet. There must be active exertions for the gathering of sinners by proclaiming Christ crucified. Take the Gospel to them. Carry it to their door; put it in their path; do not allow them to escape it; blow the trumpet right against their ears. Remember that the true battle-cry of the church is Gideon’s watchword, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” God must do it; it is His own work.

But we are not to be idle; He uses instruments—“A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” If we only cry, “A sword for the LORD!” we will be guilty of idle presumption; and if we shout, “A sword for Gideon!” alone, we shall display an idolatrous reliance on man: We must blend the two in practical harmony: “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” We can do nothing in ourselves, but we can do everything by the help of our God; let us, therefore, in His name determine to go out personally and serve Him with our flaming torch of holy example and with our trumpet blasts of sincere declaration and testimony, and God will be with us, and the enemy will be put to confusion, and the Lord of hosts will reign forever and ever.

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 –Bring Your Children Today

‘Bring him to me.’

Mark 9:19

Despairingly the poor disappointed father turned away from the disciples to their Master. His son was in the worst possible condition, and all means had failed, but the miserable child was soon delivered from the evil one when the parent in faith obeyed the Lord Jesus’ word, “Bring him to me.”

Children are a precious gift from God, but much anxiety comes along with them. They may be a great joy or a great bitterness to their parents; they may be filled with the Spirit of God or possessed with the spirit of evil. In all cases, the Word of God gives us one prescription for the cure of all their ills: “Bring him to me.”

We need to engage in agonizing prayer on their behalf while they are still babies! Sin is there; so let our prayers begin to attack it. Our cries for our offspring should precede those cries that herald their arrival into a world of sin. In the days of their youth we will see sad evidences of that dumb and deaf spirit that will neither pray properly, nor hear the voice of God in the soul, but Jesus still commands, “Bring him to me.” When they are grown up, they may wallow in sin and foam with enmity against God; then when our hearts are breaking we should remember the Great Physician’s words, “Bring him to me.” We must never cease to pray until they cease to breathe. No case is hopeless while Jesus lives.

The Lord sometimes allows His people to be driven into a corner that they may learn how necessary He is to them. Ungodly children, when they show us our own powerlessness against the depravity of their hearts, drive us to the strong for strength, and this is a great blessing to us. Whatever our morning’s need may be, may it like a strong current carry us to the ocean of divine love. Jesus can soon remove our sorrow; He delights to comfort us. Let us hurry to Him while He waits to meet us.

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 Does Partake Mean?

Partakers of the divine nature.

2 Peter 1:4

To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there will always be a fixed gulf in terms of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a diviner sense made in the image of the Most High and are “partakers of the divine nature.”

We are, by grace, made like God. “God is love”;1 we become love—“whoever loves has been born of God.”2 God is truth; we become true, and we love what is true. God is good, and He makes us good by His grace, so that we become the pure in heart who will see God.

Moreover, we become partakers of the divine nature in an even higher sense than this—in fact, in as lofty a sense as can be conceived, short of our being absolutely divine. Do we not become members of the body of the divine person of Christ? Yes, the same blood that flows in the head flows in the hand: And the same life that quickens Christ quickens His people, for “You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”3 As if this were not enough, we are married to Christ. He has betrothed us to Himself in righteousness and in faithfulness, and he who is joined to the Lord is one with Him.

Marvelous mystery! We look into it, but who will understand it? One with Jesus—so much so that the branch is not more one with the vine than we are a part of the Lord, our Savior and our Redeemer! While we rejoice in this, let us remember that those who are made “partakers of the divine nature” will display this high and holy relationship in their relationships with others and will make it evident in their daily walk and conversation that they have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. O for more divine holiness of life!

1) 1 John 4:8
2) 1 John 4:7
3) Colossians 3:3

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 – Bad News?

He is not afraid of bad news.

Psalm 112:7

Christian, you ought not to be afraid of the arrival of bad news; because if you are distressed by such, you are no different from other men. They do not have your God to run to; they have never proved His faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear. But you profess to be of another spirit; you have been born again to a living hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things. If you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace that you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature that you claim to possess?

Again, if you should be filled with alarm like others, you would no doubt be led into the sins so common to them under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when they are overtaken by bad news, rebel against God; they murmur and maintain that God has dealt harshly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do?

Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Your wisest course is to do what Moses did at the Red Sea: “Stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD.”1 For if you give way to fear when you hear bad news, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure that prepares for duty and sustains in adversity.

How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God’s high praises in the fires, but when you act as if there were no one to help, will your doubting and despondency magnify the Most High? Then take courage and, relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”2

1) Exodus 14:13
2) John 14:27

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

http://www.truthforlife.org