Daily Blessings

“By grace you are saved.”

~ Eph 2:5

Oh! the volumes of blessed truth that are couched in these few words; thrown in out of the Apostle’s full heart as if to give a moment’s vent to his love of salvation by grace! Mercy, love, and grace are all in the bosom of God toward his saints; and yet they differ from each other. But how? Mercy regards the criminal; love regards the object; grace, perhaps, is a blending of the two—the union of mercy and love. God loves the holy unfallen angels; there is an object of love in which there is no mixture of mercy; for having never sinned, mercy they do not need. Again, God showed no mercy to the fallen angels; there we have justice and wrath, without mercy; but in the case of the saints of God, the election of grace, we have not only mercy and love, but we have the joint attribute, that uniting mercy and love in one stream flows onward to the Church, as the river of the water of life; the pure crystal river of grace.

Grace means, as you well know, the pure favor of God, and, as such, is sovereign, distinguishing, free, and super-abounding. Every attribute of Jehovah is distinct, and yet so blended that the whole shine forth in one glorious effulgence. The rays of the sun united form one complete body of pure, bright light; but the prism or the rainbow separates these rays into distinct colors. So the attributes of God are not confused though blended, and all shine forth in one pure bright glory. But this is the peculiar character of grace, that any intermixture of worth or worthiness in the object would destroy it. For if the gospel require merit, we are damned by it as inevitably as by the law. This Luther felt when, racked and torn by the words “the righteousness of God without the law is manifested,” he cried out in the agony of his soul, “What! am I damned not only by the law, but damned by the gospel also!”

This pure, free, unadulterated grace is the joy of every soul that is able to receive it; for it comes as a blessed cordial when sinking and swooning under a sight and sense of the deserved wrath of God. When, then, the pure gospel of the grace of God comes as a cordial from the Most High, it lifts up his drooping head, revives his sinking soul, and pours oil and wine into his bleeding wounds. By this grace we are justified, pardoned, accepted, sanctified, and saved with an everlasting salvation. Oh! glad tidings to perishing sinners! Oh! blessed news to those who are sinking under a sense of guilt and misery, in whom the law of God is discharging its dreadful curse!

When we get a view by faith, and a sweet taste of the pure grace of God, what a balm, what a cordial, what a sweet reviving draught it is. It is this which makes us prize so highly, and exalt so gladly the free grace of God; because it is so pure, so free, and so super-abounding over all the aboundings of sin, guilt, filth, and folly. It never can be laid down too clearly, it never can be too much insisted on that “by grace,” and grace alone, “you are saved.” If free grace has reached your soul, it has saved your soul; if free grace has come into your heart, it has blessed you with an everlasting salvation, and you will live to prove it, when your happy soul joins the throng of the blessed.

If anything can lift up a drooping sinner, restore a backslider, break a hard, or soften a stony heart; draw forth songs of praise, and tears of contrition; produce repentance and godly sorrow for sin; a humble mind and a tender conscience; it is a sweet experience of the super-abounding grace of God. Can we then exalt it too much? Can we prize it too highly? Can we cleave to it too closely? No; in proportion as we feel our ruin and misery, we shall cleave to it with every desire of our soul; for it is all our salvation, as it is all our desire.

Share Your Burden

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

~ Galatians 6:2 [NLT]

Life was not meant to be done alone. We are communal creatures. We were created both to be in community with one another but also to be in a relationship with God. When we go through tough times, we need a tribe of trusted others to rely on. Be willing to share your burdens with others and be open to help others when they are in need of a friend to lean on too!

Evening Prayer

OVERCOMING FEAR
Joshua 1:6; 1 John 4:18

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You

I pray that you can overcome fear, for there is no grace with fear. May God strengthen you with confidence in His love, forgiveness and acceptance so there will be no place for fear. Remember that there is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear. Whenever the father of lies feeds false and exaggerated ideas into your mind, I pray that you will know that Jesus has overcome the enemy! Instead, abide in God’s Word so that you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. May you be strong and courageous; do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

If You Claim

If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

~ James 1:26 [NLT]

Our tongues can get the better of us if we let them. But it doesn’t have to be that way if we work on improving control over our tongue. When our tongue goes uncontrolled it allows others to connect the things we say to what we profess to believe. Let’s not let our uncontrolled tongues negate all that we stand for and who we believe in. Put your effort in holding back your tongue as an effort to improve your self-control.

Daily Comfort

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me! But He said to me ~ My grace is sufficient for you ~ for My power is made perfect in your weakness!” – 2 Cor 12:8

Many prayers which seem to be unanswered–are really answered. The blessing comes, but in a form we do not recognize. Instead of the very thing we sought something better is given!

The burden is not lifted away, but we are sustained beneath it.

We are not spared the suffering, but in the suffering we are brought nearer to God, and receive more of His grace.

The sorrow is not taken away, but is changed to joy.

Our ignorant prayers are taken into the hands of the great Intercessor, and are answered in ways far wiser than our thought!

Instead of earthly trifles ~ heavenly riches!

Instead of things which our poor wisdom sought things God’s infinite wisdom chose for us!

Instead of pleasure for a day ~ gain for eternity!

Evening Prayer

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Psalms 32:5; Psalms 38:18; Isaiah 6:5-7

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You

I pray that you will realize that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I pray that you will be set free from condemnation of past sins. May you repent so that you will not be troubled by them. I pray that you will acknowledge your sin and not cover up your iniquity. May you confess your transgressions to the Lord, who will completely forgive your sins and take away your guilt.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

GUIDE-POSTS ON THE WAY OF LIFE

Proverbs 4: 10 ~ 37

One or two sentences stand out in this section, demanding special attention. The path of the just, etc., Pro 4:18. We may compare this beautiful similitude with 2Sa 23:4. In the East, where the heavens are for the most part free of cloud, the steadily increasing light of any day to perfect noontide glory is the ordinary experience. Let us so live that the path of our life may become ever more radiant and beneficent in its heat and light.

Keep thy heart, etc., Pro 4:23. “Above all keeping,” margin. The gates of the heart need careful scrutiny. When we are careless, thoughts creep in with malign intent. We should imitate the good Neh 13:19. Ask that pure and holy angels may stand sentry as at the gates of pearl, Rev 21:12. If you think right, you will live right.

Ponder the path, etc., Pro 4:26. “Weigh carefully.” Act in haste and repent at leisure! Ask God to keep you back from presumptuous sins; and bear in mind the wise exhortation of Ecc 5:2.