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Showing posts from 2014

Jesus is Son of David, Joshua the High Priest, the Branch of the Lord, and the True Temple of God

Today I read: 2 Chronicles 22-23, Psalm 132-134, Zechariah 6, and Revelation 10.

Gospel summary: Jesus, the true Son of David, the true Joshua, and the true Branch of the Lord, is also the true temple, bringing God's glorious presence to guilty sinners by means of his shed blood. God's long-awaited plan of salvation that was repeatedly seen in shadowy form, but never fully realized, has been fulfilled in the Christ child coming to earth. 
Prayer: All wise and gracious God, you alone are worthy of all glory, for this plan that you have made and that has been seen in types and shadows throughout the Old Testament, has all found its fulfillment in Christ. Thank you for opening my eyes to your dealings with mankind ever since you first breathed life into Adam, for were it not for your illuminating me to your ways, I would have rejected you all my days and lived oblivious to the world I was created into. I thank you that Jesus, the great Shepherd-King who leads me lovingly and trut…

Common Grace to Saving Grace

Today I read: 2 Chronicles 21, Psalm 129-131, Zechariah 5, and Revelation 9.

Gospel summary: We would be wise to trust in the Lord and live in reverent obedience to him, for he has the power to hold our sins against us and let the curse have terrible effects on us. In Christ, God has reversed the curse of sin for all who hope in him.
Prayer: I praise you Father in heaven for not treating me as my sins deserve, but out of your own sheer grace and mercy, forgiving my many sins and promising to eternally bless me in Christ. Before I knew your saving grace, you were extending common grace to me so that my sins were somewhat restrained; but now that you have saved me through Christ, I see how long you have been protecting me from my eternal ruin. Thank you for sparing me from the fate of all who reject you and for graciously drawing me to yourself in Christ! Grant me the grace today to stay humbled in the dust at the thought of your saving me and to stay elevated in the heavens at the same…

From Self-Reliance to God-Reliance

Today I read: 2 Chronicles 13, Psalm 119:97-120, Haggai 1, and Revelation 3.

Gospel summary: We all rely on our own strength and wisdom to handle the circumstances of life, but God blesses those who rely solely upon him and desire his glory above their own. In Christ, God has weaned us off of our selfish bent to rely steadfastly upon him.
Prayer: Father in heaven, I am so prone to rely on my own wisdom to guide me through life and I have found time and again how that self-reliance has left me a rebel against you. Thank you that by the gospel call and the Spirit's awakening I have been converted and now know that you are all I need. Teach me the joy of relying upon you and the folly of resisting you, knowing that resistance to you is resistance to my eternal well-being. When my old sinful nature rises up and calls me to trust my desires instead of your Spirit, give me the power to believe your gospel truth and live by that faith, totally relying on you in all my ways. I pray this a…

Jesus' Blood, Only Refuge for Sinners Before a Holy God

Today I read: 2 Chronicles 10, Psalm 119:49-72, Zephaniah 2, and Revelation 1.

Gospel summary: God is blazing in holiness and the only proper response when we behold his glory is to humble ourselves in the dust and find refuge in the shed blood of Jesus, for that is God's only avenue of cleansing us from the sins that cry out for his justice. Only the heart dipped in Jesus' blood has confident access into God's presence because that is the only heart that longs to obey God's commands.
Prayer: Gracious Father in heaven, your awesome majesty demands perfect obedience and holiness, yet your perfect law leaves me utterly condemned because of my sins. I am all sin and you are all holiness, so the only hope I have is that you somehow meet the demands of your law on my behalf and somehow punish all my sins at the same time while still allowing me to live, then applying that amazing work of redemption to my heart so that I may be accepted in your presence. O God, you have glor…

Kept by God to Keep to God

Today I read: 2 Chronicles 9, Psalm 119:25-48, Zephaniah 1, and Jude

Gospel summary: God, in his infinite wisdom, made a way for guilty and sinful rebels to his authority to be justified and made righteous before him on the basis of Another who kept God's commands perfectly, and to have hearts whose primary longing is obedience to his commands for the glory of his name. These people not only love keeping to God's ways and long to please him, but God keeps them in his ways by his sovereign power.
Prayer: Father in heaven, you alone are holy and worthy of all glory. Thank you for satisfying your own righteous requirements on my behalf through Christ in his life and death, and stamping it upon my heart by the Holy Spirit. Now, all thanks to your grace, I long for a life that brings you glory and pleases you. Help me to live this day not for myself but you, and remind me that you are working all this in me when I do. Spare me from the demise of those who turn away from your comman…

Tremble and Trust

Today I read: 2 Chronicles 5, Psalm 114-115, Nahum 3, 1 John 4.

Gospel summary: God alone is worthy of our faith and worship, for he alone is the sovereign Lord of creation and Judge of all the earth. Although we were guilty sinners worthy of his just punishment who refused to tremble before him or trust in him, he gave his only Son to the agony and shame of the cross to secure both of these for us forever. Now, in light of God's unfathomable love for sinners through Christ, we love with his love and tremble before and trust in him.
Prayer: Father in heaven, you are worthy of my awe, wonder, amazement, and trust, but I so often yawn at your majesty and ignore the grace of Calvary. Give me eyes to see afresh your glory and a heart that truly trembles before you and wholeheartedly trusts in you. As I study your Word each day, show me more of the glorious vistas of this gospel, so that my heart may turn away from the trinkets and idols of this world (like the number of 'pageviews…

We Have an Advocate with the Father

Today I read: 2 Chronicles 2, Psalm 110-111, Nahum 1, and 1 John 2.
Gospel summary: We were all at one time enemies of God by the sin nature we inherited from Adam and God would have been just to condemn us, but out of his infinite grace and mercy God sent Jesus to bear the punishment for our sins on the cross. Now those who hope in Christ have him as their advocate and high priest so that they always stand justified before God, on the basis of Christ's atoning work on the cross.
Prayer: Father in heaven, I am eternally grateful that you don't condemn me as my sins deserve, but have lavished all your marvelous grace on me through Christ. Help me to live today completely dependent on you, clinging to the cross, instead of my own efforts at being good. I praise you that even when I sin I have an Advocate with you Father. Grant me to be always at your feet, ready to do your holy will, and keep me from the destruction to come on all those who continue in sin. Keep me ever mindful…

Possessor of the Nations, and of My Soul

Today I read: 2 Chronicles 1, Psalm 108-109, Micah 7, and 1 John 1.

Gospel summary: The Lord God owns all he has made and has a special possession of his people whom he redeemed by the blood of his Son, so that even when they sin at times, they still belong to him and he will not let them be condemned.
Prayer: Father in heaven, you alone own all the stars in the vaultless heavens and every creature from the skies to the seas. You alone are worthy of unceasing worship. Yet what is even sweeter to me than your general ownership of the universe is your special possession of your redeemed saints. You purchased men and women from every tribe, tongue, nation, and language by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. This is sweet for me because I often sin against you and loathe the selfishness that still clings to my flesh, but you promise to cleanse me of all unrighteousness and even defend me before the great accuser, Satan, if I persevere in faith and continual repentance. Jesus, I would h…

The God Against Us Came For Us

Today I read: 1 Chronicles 15, Psalm 91, Amos 9, James 2.

Gospel summary: Although we all deserve God to be against us and pursue us for evil, in Christ he has become for us and pursues us for good. The gospel is the good news not primarily that we changed in our relation to God, but that God changed in his relation to us...all because of his grace.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you that you chose of your own free and sovereign will to pursue my eternal salvation instead of pursuing my eternal ruin as my sins deserved. It was nothing but your grace that led you to send Christ to bear my sins in exchange for his righteousness and to send your Spirit to apply Christ's redeeming work to my heart, so for that I praise you. Let me remember how utterly lost I was so I will never forget how great your saving power has been in my life and may never spend a moment ungrateful again. Preserve me ever faithful by your Word, that I may resist the tug of the old man toward my destruction and …

The Finite and the Infinite

Today I read: 1 Chronicles 13-14, Psalms 90, Amos 8, James 1.

Gospel summary: Our earthly lives are brief while God is eternal. In our few moments of life, God gives us new life through Christ's atoning death and builds our faith through the trials we face. We must learn to heed God's trustworthy Word to us and doubt our own sin-stained desires.
Prayer: Father in heaven, you are the everlasting God and worthy of my constant worship. Remind me how brief my earthly existence is so that I may gain a heart of wisdom and fear you properly. My sinful desires are constantly tugging me towards heeding myself, but override my selfish bent through the power of your Spirit and grant me a firm faith in you. Teach me that every trial is a faith-building one with you at the ship's helm. Since my life is all a sigh and a vapor and a wilting flower, equip me to serve you with it while I still have breath. Give me an urgency to see a lost and dying world and go to them with the everlasting…

A Faith That Fears God

Today I read: 1 Chronicles 9-10, Psalms 87-88, Amos 6, Hebrews 12.

Gospel summary: The only way to be secure from the snares of falling away is to live by faith in the gospel of Christ. This faith is a reverential awe in the power, person, and grace of God given freely to us in Christ.
Prayer: Father in heaven, you are a consuming fire and a terribly awesome God who is to be feared, and how much more should I fear you for the unthinkably good news of the gospel to such an unworthy worm as I. I so often live as though your gospel is just a ho–hum, been-there-done-that sort of thing and it often isn't news at all to my cold hard. Teach me the wonder and glory of the gospel afresh so that my heart may be in constant awe-filled worship before your cross. Spare me from the peril of breaking faith with you and the punishment to fall on those who do. As I reflect upon your gospel and cling to it more each moment of every day, mold me into your Son's image more and more until I finall…

He Has Perfected Those Being Sanctified

Today I read: 1 Chronicles 5-6, Psalm 85, Amos 4, Hebrews 10.

Gospel summary: We who were rebels against God have been redeemed by the blood of his only Son and that one sacrifice has perfected us before God in a way none of our own efforts could have done.
Prayer: O God of such extravagant grace, glory be to your name for giving me a perfect status before you by faith in the finished work of Christ alone. I thank you that you are not waiting for me to add up my own righteousness here on earth, but that you have already fulfilled all righteousness on my behalf, for I could never come close to the demands of your perfect holiness unless you meet them for me. Thank you for purchasing for me not only my redemption, but also my confident entrance into communion with you and direct access into your awesome presence by the blood of Christ. For this entrance to your throne of grace in prayer I am humbled to the dust. Help me to use the amazing privilege you have won for me and regularly see…

My Righteousness is in Heaven

Today I read: 1 Chronicles 3-4, Psalm 83-84, Amos 3, Hebrews 9.

Gospel summary: While I was deserving of God's judgment for my sins against a holy God, he atoned for my sins as my great High Priest by offering a sacrifice pleasing to God on my behalf. Now, in Christ, my righteousness is safe in heaven and I live my life as a living sacrifice here till he returns.
Prayer: Father, I thank you for welcoming my unworthy soul into your holy presence on the basis of Christ's atoning work on my behalf. Help me to rest secure in Christ's finished work instead of running frantically to create my own work. Fill me with joy in your presence as I contemplate my right standing with you so that I may work by basking in the glory of your Son and not trying to work a glory of my own. To you alone be the glory! In Jesus' name, amen.
Memory verse: "For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appea…

God Overcomes Our Unbelief to Bless Us

Today I read: 1 Chronicles 1-2, Psalm 81-82, Amos 2, Hebrews 8.

Gospel summary: God is good and longs to bless his people abundantly, but because of our slavery to sin and selfishness, he must punish us. In Christ, God has wisely punished all of our sins and applied that work of redemption to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, thus causing us to love and serve him, so we could enjoy his abundant goodness over our lives as we seek him.
Prayer: Father in heaven, I praise you for changing my heart and setting me free from my chamber of selfishness by the regenerating work of your Holy Spirit. You have poured out on me such lavish grace in the gospel when I deserved perpetual downfalls of your wrath for my sins. Teach me to humbly and gratefully comprehend the grace of your gospel and take this life-giving message to a lost and dying world. In your gracious name I pray Jesus, amen.
Memory verses: "But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as…

Jesus Pleads His Blood for Me

Today I read: 2 Kings 25, Psalm 80, Amos 1, Hebrews 7.

Gospel summary: God planted his people, watches over them, purchased their redemption, and actively intercedes for them as their great High Priest Jesus, bearing the marks of the cross on their behalf perpetually.
Prayer: Thank you Father that you are sovereign over every aspect of my redemption, for this gives me peace and sweet security knowing there is nothing I must do to earn it or maintain it of myself. Thank you that my crucified and risen Savior stands constantly before you on my behalf, for his blood speaks an infinitely better word than all my efforts. Teach me to live each day by faith in this Savior, so that I may have confidence and joy as I go through life and not be wrecked by doubt and depression. Glory to your glorious name Jesus, amen.
Memory verses: "The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he con…

The God Who Invites Us to Repent

Today I read: 2 Kings 23, Psalm 78, Joel 2, Hebrews 5.

Gospel summary: We have all rebelled against God in our sins, often even rejecting his gifts of grace to us, and he has set a day in which he will judge mankind. But God freely offers us his sweet fellowship and the eternal blessings of the gospel if we will repent and trust in Christ.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you that in my rebellion and rejection of you, you came for my salvation in the person of your Son Jesus. Yet even now as I have come to know your grace, I still reject your good purposes for me and think I know better. Let me see your amazing patience toward me in Christ and your fervent desire to see my heart on fire for you so that I may stop playing with sin and truly repent. Help me to live a life of repentance, always coming broken before you and clinging to your Son. I pray it in Jesus' name, amen.
Memory verses: "“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with …

Persevere with Sweeter Promises in the Gospel

Today I read: 2 Kings 21, Psalms 75-76, Hosea 14, and Hebrews 3.

Gospel summary: Knowing that we all will be judged by God, we must constantly exhort one another in the faith to persevere and resist the deceitful promises of sin. We are God's children by his gracious choice, not our wise decision making or moral uprightness, but if we fall away we are proving ourselves to have never known Jesus.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for graciously drawing me to yourself in Christ though I was lost in sin and a rebel to your throne. The deceitful promises of sin held me fast, but you broke through and conquered Satan and sin's grip on me by means of the cross. You freed me to believe your trustworthy Word and be saved. Sin is always making its sweet promises to me everywhere I turn, but show me that there is gravel and fire at the end of sin's path. Help me remain faithful to you, resisting sin's very real hardening dangers by the sweeter promises Jesus bought for me in t…

All Will Bow to Jesus

Today I read: 2 Kings 18, Psalms 72, Hosea 10, and Philemon.

Gospel summary: All people will one Day bow to the King of heaven and earth, Jesus Christ, the Son of David. Those who put their trust in Jesus in this life will joyfully worship Him in eternity, while those who refuse to trust in the saving blood of Jesus will fearfully bow in shock on Judgment Day, only to be eternally condemned for rejecting His gracious work on the cross for sinners.
Prayer: God my Savior, thank you for bowing the heavens and coming down for my salvation, though I was obstinate and unwilling to bow in reverence to your majesty. Thank you for bowing your head in the agony and shame of the cross to lift my shame-filled head to God in forgiveness. Keep me ever near the cross, constantly humbled in worship to you. When my old rebellious flesh tries to stiffen its neck against your ways and turn back in foolish resistance, grant me your Spirit's power to put it to death and stay on my knees before your k…

The Regenerating Power of God

Today I read: 2 Kings 17, Psalms 70-71, Hosea 9, and Titus 3.

Gospel summary: Our salvation is due to none other than the loving kindness of God toward us in Christ. Were it not for the grace of the gospel, we would all be self-centered and God-hating, but his grace transforms rebel hearts through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Gracious Father, thank you for accomplishing the work of redemption for me at the cross and for applying the work of redemption to my heart at conversion. Help me to never forget how utterly lost I was before Christ, so that I may comprehend the greatness of your saving power in my life and live with the resurrection power each day. Give me compassion for those without the Savior as I reflect on your saving me, so that I may share with them in the power of your Spirit. In your powerful name I pray Jesus, amen.
Memory verses: "For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing o…

Glorious Judge

Today I read: 2 Kings 15, Psalms 68, Hosea 8, and Titus 1.

Gospel summary: God is awesome in his power and glory, judging all people based on how they respond to his gospel of grace in Christ.
Prayer: Judge of the secrets of the hearts of men, I am eternally grateful that you have judged me righteous by the work of Christ on my behalf, though I was altogether unrighteous and fully deserving of your wrath. May your awesome majesty only further drive me to humility in prayer as I reflect upon your infinite grace in Christ. Keep me in the fear of you and sustain me by your grace to live all for your glory and not selfish gain. Show me the world around me that stands condemned already and in need of your justifying grace, so that I may stay humble and fervent in order to reach them. May you be shown to be all glorious and worthy of praise through my life today. In your glorious name Jesus, amen.
Memory verse: "O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, Selah to h…

Praise Him! He is Worthy!

Today I read: 2 Kings 14, Psalms 66-67, Hosea 7, and 2 Timothy 4.

Gospel summary: God alone is worthy of all praise, yet we so often live for our selfish and ungodly desires, instead of the glory of God's name. Because of the infinitely glorious gospel where Jesus died for the ungodly and atoned for their sins, saints of all people, ought to be living in a way that praises God.
Prayer: Father in heaven, may your name alone be eternally exalted, for you are so worthy of all praise. Glory be to your name for redeeming us wicked and self-centered rebels to your throne by the sacrifice of your only Son Jesus. Help me to see the folly of praising the creation over you the Creator and give me eyes to see your sheer worth over all things, that I may perpetually have a song of praise in my heart to you. Teach me to praise you and lead others to praise you, though I live in a world where this is not very popular. May you use me to bring the nations to praise you, as I show them your worth …