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Daily Devotionals For December 2004

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December 1st
December 2nd

December 3rd
December 4th
December 5th
December 6th
December 7th
December 8th
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December 26th
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December 29th
December 30th
December 31st


List of main devotionals written by Jerry for these December 2004 Devotionals (not posted elsewhere on this site):

Some Thoughts On Martyrdom - December 21st
 


I have preached some of these devotionals on Fridays at the Gospel Mission. They are now marked with asterisks by the date, for those who might be interested.

Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 1st/04

I found a great article online in defense of the Bible by Ian Paisley, which I would like to share with you. It is entitled Seven Reasons Why I Believe The Bible Is The Word Of God. Lord willing, I will also put up other sections of this book he has written in defense of the fundamentals of the Christian faith. It is a long article (but definitely worth reading), so I would encourage you to bookmark the page until you have read it all.

Seven Reasons Why I Believe The Bible Is The Word Of God

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Daily Devotional for Thursday December 2nd/04

"The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks." --Proverbs 30:26

Conscious of their own natural defenselessness, the conies resort to burrows in the rocks, and are secure from their enemies. My heart, be willing to gather a lesson from these feeble folk. Thou art as weak and as exposed to peril as the timid cony, be as wise to seek a shelter. My best security is within the munitions of an immutable Jehovah, where His unalterable promises stand like giant walls of rock. It will be well with thee, my heart, if thou canst always hide thyself in the bulwarks of His glorious attributes, all of which are guarantees of safety for those who put their trust in Him. Blessed be the name of the Lord, I have so done, and have found myself like David in Adullam, safe from the cruelty of my enemy; I have not now to find out the blessedness of the man who puts his trust in the Lord, for long ago, when Satan and my sins pursued me, I fled to the cleft of the rock Christ Jesus, and in His riven side I found a delightful resting-place. My heart, run to Him anew to-night, whatever thy present grief may be; Jesus feels for thee; Jesus consoles thee; Jesus will help thee. No monarch in his impregnable fortress is more secure than the cony in his rocky burrow. The master of ten thousand chariots is not one whit better protected than the little dweller in the mountain's cleft. In Jesus the weak are strong, and the defenceless safe; they could not be more strong if they were giants, or more safe if they were in heaven. Faith gives to men on earth the protection of the God of heaven. More they cannot need, and need not wish. The conies cannot build a castle, but they avail themselves of what is there already: I cannot make myself a refuge, but Jesus has provided it, His Father has given it, His Spirit has revealed it, and lo, again to-night I enter it, and am safe from every foe.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Friday December 3rd/04

I have poured out my soul before the Lord. 1 Sam. 1:15.

HANNAH'S soul was full of complaint and grief, which flowed over into her face and made it sorrowful. But when she had poured out her soul before the Lord, emptying out all its bitterness, the peace of God took the place of her soul anguish, she went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. What a glad exchange! How great the contrast! How much the better for herself, and for her home!

Is your face darkened by the bitterness of your soul? Perhaps the enemy has been vexing you sorely; or there is an unrealized hope, an unfulfilled purpose in your life; or, perchance, the Lord seems to have forgotten you. Poor sufferer, there is nothing for it but to pour out your soul before the Lord. Empty out its contents in confession and prayer. God knows it all; yet tell Him, as if He knew nothing. "Ye people, pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us." "In everything, by prayer and supplication make your requests known unto God."

As we pour out our bitterness, God pours in his peace. Weeping goes out of one door whilst joy enters at another. We transmit the cup of tears to the Man of Sorrows, and He hands it back to us filled with the blessings of the new covenant. Some day you will come to the spot where you wept and prayed, bringing your offering of praise and thanksgiving.

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F. B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday December 4th/04

And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel! 1 Sam. 3:10.

SEE the urgency of God! Four times He came, and stood, and called. Mark how He stands at the door to knock. At first He was content to call the lad once by name; but after three unsuccessful attempts to attract him to Himself, He uttered the name twice, with strong urgency in the appeal, Samuel! Samuel! This has been called God's double knock. There are seven or eight of these double knocks in Scripture: Simon, Simon; Saul, Saul; Abraham, Abraham.

How may we be sure of a Divine call?

We may know God's call when it grows in intensity. If an impression comes into your soul, and you are not quite sure of its origin, pray over it; above all, act on it so far as possible, follow in the direction in which it leads and as you lift up your soul before God, it will wax or wane. If it wanes at all, abandon it. If it waxes follow it, though all hell attempt to stay you.

We may test God's call by the assistance of godly friends. The aged Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child, and gave him good advice as to the manner in which he should respond to it. Our special gifts and the drift of our circumstances will also assuredly concur in one of God's calls.

We may test God's call by its effect on us. Does it lead to self denial? Does it induce us to leave the comfortable bed and step into the cold? Does it drive us forth to minister to others? Does it make us more unselfish, loving, tender, modest, humble! Whatever is to the humbling of our pride, and the glory of God, may be truly deemed God's call. Be quick to respond, and fearlessly deliver the message the Lord has given you.

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F. B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday December 5th/04

Let us fetch the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. 1 Sam. 4:3.

ISRAEL had been defeated with great loss. Their only hope of being able to hold their own against the Philistines and the people of the land was in the protection and help vouchsafed to them by God. They knew this, and thought that they would be secured, if only the Ark of the covenant were on the field. They forgot that it was only the material symbol of a spiritual relationship; that it was useless unless that relationship was in living force; and that the bending forms of the cherubim, emblematic of the Divine protection, would not avail if their fellowship with the God of the cherubim had been ruptured by backsliding.

There is a sense in which we are always sending for the Ark. The reliance on outward rites, such as Baptism and the Lord's Supper, on the part of those who are alienated from the life of God ; the maintenance of the forms of prayer and Scripture reading, which no longer express the passionate love of the soul; the habit of churchgoing, which so many practise, not because they love God, but because they think that it will in some way secure his alliance in life's battle all these are forms in which we still fetch the Ark of the covenant, whilst our hearts are wrong with the God of the covenant.

It should never be forgotten that nothing can afford to us protection and succour but vital union with Christ. We must hide in his secret place if we would abide under his shadow. We must dwell in the most holy place if we would be shadowed by the wings of the Shekinah. There must be nothing between us and God, if we are to walk together, and enjoy fellowship with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F. B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Monday December 6th/04

I just wanted to post a short study that was a blessing to me last night. God bless!

Why a Christian Should Be Encouraged in Days of Difficulty

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 7th/04

Standing Alone

IT IS HUMAN to stand with the crowd; it is divine to stand alone. It is man-like to follow the people, to drift with the tide; it is God-like to follow a principle, to stem the tide.

It is natural to compromise conscience and follow the social and religious fashion for the sake of gain or pleasure; it is divine to sacrifice both on the altar of truth and duty.

"No man stood with me, but all men forsook me" (2 Timothy 4:16) wrote the battle-scarred apostle in describing his appearance before a civil court to answer for his life of believing and teaching contrary to the Roman world.

God's absolute, revealed Truth has been out of fashion since man changed his robe of fadeless light for a garment of faded leaves.

Noah built and voyaged alone. His neighbors laughed at his strangeness and perished in style.

Abraham wandered and worshipped alone. Sodomites smiled at the simple shepherd, followed the world's fashion, and fed the flames.

Daniel dined and prayed alone. Elijah sacrificed and witnessed alone. Jeremiah prophesied and wept alone. Jesus loved and died alone.

And of the lonely way His disciples should walk, He said, "Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14.

Of their treatment by the many who walk in the broad way, He said, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, . . . therefore the world hateth you." John 15:19.

The redeemed children of Israel in the wilderness praised Abraham and persecuted Moses. The people of God in the days of the kings praised Moses and persecuted the prophets. The court of Caiphas, the high priest, praised the prophets and persecuted Jesus. The church of the popes praised the Saviour and persecuted the saints.

And multitudes now, both in the church and the world, applaud the courage and fortitude of the patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and martyrs, but condemn as stubbornness or foolishness the same faithfulness in standing for truth today.

Wanted, today, men and women, young and old, who will obey their convictions of truth and duty at the cost of fortune and friends and life itself.

"Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." Hebrews 13:12,13.

Taken from:
http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/standingalone.htm

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 8th/04

I hope others don't mind when I send out links to other devotionals, rather than posting the actual devotional itself. There are some I want to share with you, but am not able to obtain permission to use a particular devotional. If it is on the Internet, I can link to it though.

The Christian's Calling

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Daily Devotional for Thursday December 9th/04

Where To Get Counsel

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Daily Devotional for Friday December 10th/04

The Second Coming

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3:11).

George Mueller bears this testimony, "When it pleased God in July, 1829, to reveal to my heart the truth of the personal return of the Lord Jesus, and to show me that I had made a great mistake in looking for the conversion of the world, the effect that it produced upon me was this: From my inmost soul I was stirred up to feel compassion for perishing sinners, and for the slumbering world around me lying in the wicked one, and considered, 'Ought I not to do what I can for the Lord Jesus while He tarries, and to rouse a slumbering church?"'

There may be many hard years of hard work before the consummation, but the signs are to me so encouraging that I would not be unbelieving if I saw the wing of the apocalyptic angel spread for its last triumphal flight in this day's sunset; or if tomorrow morning the ocean cables should thrill us with the news that Christ the Lord had alighted on Mount Olivet or Mount Calvary to proclaim universal dominion. O you dead churches wake up! O Christ, descend! Scarred temple, take the crown! Bruised hand, take the sceptre! Wounded foot, step to the throne! Thine is the kingdom. --Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage, D. D.

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday December 11th/04

Belief, Not Understanding

"Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"
(John 11:40).

Mary and Martha could not understand what their Lord was doing. Both of them said to Him, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." Back of it all, we seem to read their thought: "Lord, we do not understand why you have stayed away so long. We do not understand how you could let death come to the man whom you loved. We do not understand how you could let sorrow and suffering ravage our lives when your presence might have stayed it all. Why did you not come? It is too late now, for already he has been dead four days!"

And to it all Jesus had but one great truth: "You may not understand; but I tell you if you believe, you will see."

Abraham could not understand why God should ask the sacrifice of the boy; but he trusted. And he saw the glory of God in his restoration to his love. Moses could not understand why God should keep him forty years in the wilderness, but he trusted; and he saw when God called him to lead forth Israel from bondage.

Joseph could not understand the cruelty of his brethren, the false witness of a perfidious woman, and the long years of an unjust imprisonment; but he trusted, and he saw at last the glory of God in it all.

Jacob could not understand the strange providence which permitted the same Joseph to be torn from his father's love, but he saw the glory of God when he looked into the face of that same Joseph as the viceroy of a great king, and the preserver of his own life and the lives of a great nation.

And so, perhaps in your life. You say, "I do not understand why God let my dear one be taken. I do not understand why affliction has been permitted to smite me. I do not understand the devious paths by which the Lord is leading me. I do not understand why plans and purposes that seemed good to my eyes should be baffled. I do not understand why blessings I so much need are so long delayed.

Friend, you do not have to understand all God's ways with you. God does not expect you to understand them. You do not expect your child to understand, only believe. Some day you will see the glory of God in the things which you do not understand. --J. H. McC

If we could push ajar the gates of life,
And stand within, and all God's working see,
We might interpret all this doubt and strife,
And for each mystery could find a key.

But not today. Then be content, poor heart;
God's plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold.
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart--
Time will reveal the calyxes of gold.

And if, through patient toil, we reach the land
Where tired feet, with sandals loosed, may rest,
When we shall clearly know and understand,
I think that we shall say, "God knew best."

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday December 12th/04

As Far As East from West

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Daily Devotional for Monday December 13th/04

I have been tremendously blessed by reading the first two chapters of a book entitled Companions Of The Way by H.C. Hewlett. There are 12 chapters altogether, and each one is on a different Bible character and lessons we can learn from in their walk and fellowship with the Lord. I highly recommend what I've read so far, and can't wait to read the rest of the book! The first two chapters are on Abraham and Jacob - which is interesting, because I have been studying these characters on my own this last month, and have prepared several messages to be preached at the Mission on the life of Abraham. All 12 chapters are now located on EarnestlyContending.

Hope it is a blessing to you as well!

The Companion Of The Way

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 14th/04

A More Excellent Sacrifice

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 15th/04

Men see not the bright light which is in the clouds. Job 37:21.

THE world owes much of its beauty to cloudland. The unchanging blue of the Italian sky hardly compensates for the changefulness and glory of the clouds. Clouds also are the cisterns of the rain. Earth would become a wilderness apart from their ministry. There are clouds in human life, shadowing, refreshing, and sometimes draping it in blackness of night; but there is never a cloud without its bright light. "I do set my bow in the cloud! "

If only we could see the clouds from the other side where they lie in billowy glory, bathed in the light they intercept, like heaped ranges of Alps, we should be amazed at their splendid magnificence. We look at their under side; but who shall describe the bright light that bathes their summits, and searches their valleys, and is reflected from every pinnacle of their expanse? Is not every drop drinking in health-giving qualities, which it will carry to the earth?

0 child of God! If you could see your sorrows and troubles from the other side; if instead of looking up at them from earth, you would look down on them from the heavenly places where you sit with Christ; if you knew how they are reflecting in prismatic beauty before the gaze of heaven, the bright light of Christ's face -- you would be content that they should cast their deep shadows over the mountain slopes of existence. Only remember that clouds are always moving, and passing before God's cleansing wind.

"Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me, where the dark clouds have been:
My hope I cannot measure, my path of life is free;
My Saviour hath my treasure, and He will walk with me."

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer)

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***Daily Devotional for Thursday December 16th/04***

This is the message that I preached Friday night at the Gospel Mission. It went very well.

I have now put this devotion on its own page, so you can send out links directly to it if you so desire. If there are any friends or family that you are witnessing to, you might find this devotional of help to cause them to think about the real reason for the season. I have also put a link on the page to God's Simple Plan Of Salvation, so visitors can find out more about how to be saved according to God's Word.

Have You Any Room For Jesus?

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Daily Devotional for Friday December 17th/04

I thought this one was neat.

Garments For The King

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Daily Devotional for Saturday December 18th/04

Saved By Good Looks

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Daily Devotional for Sunday December 19th/04

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

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

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

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Monday December 20th/04

FROM ANGER TO LOVE

“He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19

God never turns from His love, but He soon turns from His wrath. His love to His chosen is according to His nature, His anger is only according to His office: He loves because He is love, He frowns because it is necessary for our good. He will come back to the place in which His heart rests, namely, His love to His own, and then He will take pity upon our griefs and end them.

What a choice promise is this — “He will subdue our iniquities”! He will conquer them. They cry to enslave us, but the Lord will give us victory over them by His own right hand. Like the Canaanites, they shall be beaten, put under the yoke, and ultimately slain.

As for the guilt of our sins, how gloriously is that removed! “All their sins,” — yes, the whole host of them; “thou wilt cast” — only an almighty arm could perform such a wonder; ‘into the depths of the sea” -where Pharaoh and his chariots went down. Not into the shallows out of which they might be washed up by the tide, but into the “depths” shall our sins be hurled. They are all gone. They sank into the bottom like a stone. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

(Taken from Spurgeon's Faith's Checkbook devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 21st/04

Afraid? Of What?

Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit's glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
Afraid to see the Saviour's face,
To hear His welcome, and to trace,
The glory gleam from wounds of grace,
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
A flash - a crash - a pierced heart;
Brief darkness - Light - O Heaven's art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To enter into Heaven's rest,
And yet to serve the Master blessed?
From service good to service best?
Afraid? Of that?

Afraid? Of what?
To do by death what life could not -
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid? Of that?

Written by E.H. Hamiliton, after hearing of the death of his missionary colleague, Jack Vinson. Vinson was martyred in 1931 and showed no fear of death to his Chinese captors, telling them, "Kill me, if you wish. I will go straight to God."


Some Thoughts On Martyrdom

1) In the Bible, the Greek word for "witness" is "martus", where we get our word martyr from. So, a martyr is someone who died because of their witness (or testimony) of Jesus Christ.

If you won't live for the Lord here and now, you will not "die" for Him! You may face death, and even be killed, but it won't be as a martyr. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:3, "...and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." Charity means "love" - love for God as well as love for man. If you don't love the Lord, your death as a "martyr" will not profit you anything. I have paraphrased a saying I've heard before:

The Final Proof of our Love is in the Faithful Pattern of our Living.

2) If you are a born-again child of God, through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then you need not fear death, even the cruel death of martyrdom. Romans 8:38-39 says nothing can separate us from the love of God (and from God Himself), not even death - which as you may note, is the first thing listed. In fact, death for the children of God only brings them home to be with the Lord, to live in His presence forever! Why fear that?

3) Finally, Paul makes another comment which is very appropriate to the trials and sufferings we face as a Christian, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18 Nothing we go through can compare to the glory that will be revealed in Heaven!

Just some food for thought. May we all be faithful in our walk with the Lord.

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 22nd/04

"Lo, I am with you alway." --Matthew 28:20

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

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday December 23rd/04

Immediately Present


"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

A help that is not present when we need it is of small value. The anchor which is left at home is of no use to the seaman in the hour of storm; the money which he used to have is of no worth to the debtor when a writ is out against him. Very few earthly helps could be called "very present": they are usually far in the seeking, far in the using, and farther still when once used. But as for the LORD our God, He is present when we seek Him, present when we need Him, and present when we have already enjoyed His aid.

He is more than "present," He is very present. More present than the nearest friend can be, for He is in us in our trouble; more present than we are to ourselves, for sometimes we lack presence of mind. He is always present, effectually present, sympathetically present, altogether present. He is present now if this is a gloomy season. Let us rest ourselves upon Him. He is our refuge, let us hide in Him; He is our strength, let us array ourselves with Him; He is our help, let us lean upon Him; He is our very present help, let us repose in Him now. We need not have a moment's care or an instant's fear. "The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Faith's Checkbook devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Friday December 24th/04

"All they that heard it wondered at those things." --Luke 2:18

We must not cease to wonder at the great marvels of our God. It would be very difficult to draw a line between holy wonder and real worship; for when the soul is overwhelmed with the majesty of God's glory, though it may not express itself in song, or even utter its voice with bowed head in humble prayer, yet it silently adores. Our incarnate God is to be worshipped as "the Wonderful." That God should consider His fallen creature, man, and instead of sweeping him away with the besom of destruction, should Himself undertake to be man's Redeemer, and to pay his ransom price, is, indeed marvellous! But to each believer redemption is most marvellous as he views it in relation to himself. It is a miracle of grace indeed, that Jesus should forsake the thrones and royalties above, to suffer ignominiously below for you. Let your soul lose itself in wonder, for wonder is in this way a very practical emotion. Holy wonder will lead you to grateful worship and heartfelt thanksgiving. It will cause within you godly watchfulness; you will be afraid to sin against such a love as this. Feeling the presence of the mighty God in the gift of His dear Son, you will put off your shoes from off your feet, because the place whereon you stand is holy ground. You will be moved at the same time to glorious hope. If Jesus has done such marvellous things on your behalf, you will feel that heaven itself is not too great for your expectation. Who can be astonished at anything, when he has once been astonished at the manger and the cross? What is there wonderful left after one has seen the Saviour? Dear reader, it may be that from the quietness and solitariness of your life, you are scarcely able to imitate the shepherds of Bethlehem, who told what they had seen and heard, but you can, at least, fill up the circle of the worshippers before the throne, by wondering at what God has done.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday December 25th/04

Christ Our Consolation


"His name shall be called Emmanuel . . . God with us." (Matt. 1:23).

"The Prince of Peace." (Isa. 9:6).

"There's a song in the air!
There's a star in the sky!
There's a mother's deep prayer,
And a baby's low cry!
And the star rains its fire
While the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King."

A few years ago a striking Christmas card was published, with the title, "If Christ had not come." It was founded upon our Saviour's words, "If I had not come." The card represented a clergyman falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.

In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out on the public street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to Heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Saviour had disappeared.

A ring at the door-bell, and a messenger asked him to visit a poor dying mother. He hastened with, the weeping child and as he reached the home he sat down and said, "I have something here that will comfort you." He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended at Malachi, and there was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.

Two days afterward he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service, but there was no message of consolation, no word of a glorious resurrection, no open Heaven, but only "dust to dust, ashes to ashes," and one long eternal farewell. He realized at length that "He had not come," and burst into tears and bitter weeping in his sorrowful dream.

Suddenly he woke with a start, and a great shout of joy and praise burst from his lips as he heard his choir singing in his church close by:

"O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels,
O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord."

Let us be glad and rejoice today, because "He has come." And let us remember the annunciation of the angel, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10, 11).

"He comes to make His blessing flow, Far as the curse is found."

May our hearts go out to the people in heathen lands who have no blessed Christmas day. "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and SEND PORTIONS TO THEM FOR WHOM NOTHING IS PREPARED." (Neh. 8:10).

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday December 26th/04

Lineage Of The Savior

(Notice that the devotional in the link above has the wrong title on the page - but this is the link I wanted to send out, about the line to the Saviour.)

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Daily Devotional for Monday December 27th/04

"I will give thee for a covenant of the people." --Isaiah 49:8

Jesus Christ is Himself the sum and substance of the covenant, and as one of its gifts, He is the property of every believer. Believer, canst thou estimate what thou hast gotten in Christ? "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Consider that word "God" and its infinity, and then meditate upon "perfect man" and all His beauty; for all that Christ, as God and man, ever had, or can have, is thine --out of pure free favour, passed over to thee to be thine entailed property forever. Our blessed Jesus, as God, is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. Will it not console you to know that all these great and glorious attributes are altogether yours? Has He power? That power is yours to support and strengthen you, to overcome your enemies, and to preserve you even to the end. Has He love? Well, there is not a drop of love in His heart which is not yours; you may dive into the immense ocean of His love, and you may say of it all, "It is mine." Hath He justice? It may seem a stern attribute, but even that is yours, for He will by His justice see to it that all which is promised to you in the covenant of grace shall be most certainly secured to you. And all that He has as perfect man is yours. As a perfect man the Father's delight was upon Him. He stood accepted by the Most High. O believer, God's acceptance of Christ is thine acceptance; for knowest thou not that the love which the Father set on a perfect Christ, He sets on thee now? For all that Christ did is thine. That perfect righteousness which Jesus wrought out, when through His stainless life He kept the law and made it honourable, is thine, and is imputed to thee. Christ is in the covenant.

"My God, I am thine--what a comfort divine!
What a blessing to know that the Saviour is mine!
In the heavenly Lamb thrice happy I am,
And my heart it doth dance at the sound of His name."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 28th/04

Winning The Battle

If you ever struggle with depression, or know others that do, you might be interested in reading or passing on My Victory Over Depression. I have added an update (of sorts) to this testimony:

Winning The Battle
Update On My Victory

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Daily Devotional for December 29th/04

Our Great Opportunities

"Hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the day of trouble?" (Job 38:22-23)

Our trials are great opportunities. Too often we look on them as great obstacles. It would be a haven of rest and an inspiration of unspeakable power if each of us would henceforth recognize every difficult situation as one of God's chosen ways of proving to us His love and look around for the signals of His glorious manifestations; then, indeed, would every cloud become a rainbow, and every mountain a path of ascension and a scene of transfiguration.

If we will look back upon the past, many of us will find that the very time our Heavenly Father has chosen to do the kindest things for us, and given us the richest blessings, has been the time we were strained and shut in on every side. God's jewels are often sent us in rough packages and by dark liveried servants, but within we find the very treasures of the King's palace and the Bridegroom's love. --A. B. Simpson

Trust Him in the dark, honor Him with unwavering confidence even in the midst of mysterious dispensations, and the recompense of such faith will be like the moulting of the eagle's plumes, which was said to give them a new lease of youth and strength. --J. R. Macduff

"If we could see beyond today
As God can see;
If all the clouds should roll away,
The shadows flee;
O'er present griefs we would not fret.
Each sorrow we would soon forget,
For many joys are waiting yet
For you and me.

"If we could know beyond today
As God doth know,
Why dearest treasures pass away
And tears must flow;
And why the darkness leads to light,
Why dreary paths will soon grow bright;
Some day life's wrongs will be made right,
Faith tells us so.

"'If we could see, if we could know,'
We often say,
But God in love a veil doth throw
Across our way;
We cannot see what lies before,
And so we cling to Him the more,
He leads us till this life is o'er;
Trust and obey."

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for December 30th/04

"Acquaint now thyself with Him." --Job 22:21

If we would rightly "acquaint ourselves with God, and be at peace," we must know Him as He has revealed Himself, not only in the unity of His essence and subsistence, but also in the plurality of His persons. God said, "Let us make man in our own image"--let not man be content until he knows something of the "us" from whom his being was derived. Endeavour to know the Father; bury your head in His bosom in deep repentance, and confess that you are not worthy to be called His son; receive the kiss of His love; let the ring which is the token of His eternal faithfulness be on your finger; sit at His table and let your heart make merry in His grace. Then press forward and seek to know much of the Son of God who is the brightness of His Father's glory, and yet in unspeakable condescension of grace became man for our sakes; know Him in the singular complexity of His nature: eternal God, and yet suffering, finite man; follow Him as He walks the waters with the tread of deity, and as He sits upon the well in the weariness of humanity. Be not satisfied unless you know much of Jesus Christ as your Friend, your Brother, your Husband, your all. Forget not the Holy Spirit; endeavour to obtain a clear view of His nature and character, His attributes, and His works. Behold that Spirit of the Lord, who first of all moved upon chaos, and brought forth order; who now visits the chaos of your soul, and creates the order of holiness. Behold Him as the Lord and giver of spiritual life, the Illuminator, the Instructor, the Comforter, and the Sanctifier. Behold Him as, like holy unction, He descends upon the head of Jesus, and then afterwards rests upon you who are as the skirts of His garments. Such an intelligent, scriptural, and experimental belief in the Trinity in Unity is yours if you truly know God; and such knowledge brings peace indeed.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for December 31st/04

Hitherto


"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (I Sam. 7:12).

The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet "hitherto hath the Lord 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--"hitherto hath the Lord helped us!"

We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from one end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves. Even so look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely, there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received "hitherto."

But the word also points forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark, and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end; there are still distances to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No! there is more yet--awakening in Jesus' likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fullness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. Oh, be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer," for,

"He who hath helped thee hitherto
Will help thee all thy journey through."

When read in Heaven's light, how glorious and marvelous a prospect will thy "hitherto" unfold to thy grateful eye! --C. H. Spurgeon

The Alpine shepherds have a beautiful custom of ending the day by singing to one another an evening farewell. The air is so crystalline that the song will carry long distances. As the dusk begins to fall, they gather their flocks and begin to lead them down the mountain paths, singing, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. Let us praise His name!"

And at last with a sweet courtesy, they sing to one another the friendly farewell: "Goodnight! Goodnight!" The words are taken up by the echoes, and from side to side the song goes reverberating sweetly and softly until the music dies away in the distance.

So let us call out to one another through the darkness, till the gloom becomes vocal with many voices, encouraging the pilgrim host. Let the echoes gather till a very storm of Hallelujahs break in thundering waves around the sapphire throne, and then as the morning breaks we shall find ourselves at the margin of the sea of glass, crying, with the redeemed host, "Blessing and honor and glory be unto him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever!"

"This my song through endless ages,
Jesus led me all the way."


(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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