Faith’s Checkbook

Better Farther On

This is what the Lord says: “Even though they are powerful – and what is more, even though their army is numerous – nevertheless, they will be destroyed and trickle away! Although I afflicted you, I will afflict you no more.

[Nah 1:12 NET]

There is a limit to affliction. God sends it, and God removes it. Do you sigh and say, “When will the end be?” Remember that our griefs will surely and finally end when this poor earthly life is over. Let us quietly wait and patiently endure the will of the Lord till He cometh.

Meanwhile, our Father in heaven takes away the rod when His design in using it is fully served. When He has whipped away our folly, there will be no more strokes. Or, if the affliction is sent for testing us, that our graces may glorify God, it will end when the Lord has made us bear witness to His praise. We would not wish the affliction to depart till God has gotten out of us all the honor which we can possibly yield Him.

There may today be “a great calm.” Who knows how soon those raging billows will give place to a sea of glass, and the sea birds sit on the gentle waves? After long tribulation the Rail is hung up, and the wheat rests in the garner. We may, before many hours are past, be just as happy as now we are sorrowful. It is not hard for the Lord to turn night into day. He that sends the clouds can as easily clear the skies. Let us be of good cheer. It is better on before. Let us sing hallelujah by anticipation.

Faith’s Checkbook

Grow Up

But for you who respect my name, the sun of vindication will rise with healing wings, and you will skip about like calves released from the stall.

[Mal 4:2 NET]

Yes, when the sun shines, the sick quit their chambers and walk abroad to breathe the fresh air. When the sun brings spring and summer, the cattle quit their stalls and seek pasture on the higher Alps. Even thus, when we have conscious fellowship with our Lord, we leave the stall of despondency and walk abroad in the fields of holy confidence. We ascend to the mountains of joy and feed on sweet pasturage which grows nearer heaven than the provender of carnal men.

To “go forth” and to “grow up” is a double promise. O my soul, be thou eager to enjoy both blessings! Why shouldst thou be a prisoner? Arise, and walk at liberty. Jesus saith that His sheep shall go in and out and find pasture; go forth, then, and feed in the rich meadows of boundless love.

Why remain a babe in grace? Grow up. Young calves grow fast, especially if they are stall fed; and thou hast the choice care of thy Redeemer. Grow, then, in grace and in knowledge of thy Lord and Savior. Be neither straitened nor stunted. The Sun of Righteousness has risen upon thee. Answer to His beams as the buds to the natural sun. Open thine heart; expand and grow up into Him in all things.

Quiet Time

Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.

[Col 4:2 NET]

Dost thou want nothing? Then I fear thou dost not know thy poverty. Hast thou no mercy to ask of God? Then may the Lord’s mercy show thee thy misery. A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus.

~ Charles Spurgeon ~

Evening Devotional

The Lord our Righteousness.

[Jer 23:6]

It will always give a Christian the greatest calm, quiet, ease, and peace to think of the perfect righteousness of Christ. How often are the saints of God downcast and sad! I do not think they ought to be. I do not think they would be—if they could always see their perfection in Christ. There are some who are always talking about corruption, and the depravity of the heart, and the innate evil of the soul. This is quite true but why not go a little further, and remember that we are “perfect in Christ Jesus!” It is no wonder that those who are dwelling upon their own corruption should wear such downcast looks; but surely if we call to mind that “Christ is made unto us, righteousness,” we shall be of good cheer!

What though distresses afflict me, though Satan assaults me, though there may be many troublesome things to be experienced before I get to heaven, those are done for me in the covenant of divine grace; there is nothing wanting in my Lord, Christ has done it all. On the cross He said, “It is finished!” and if it is finished, then am I complete in Him, and can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, “Not having my own righteousness, which is of the law but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith!”

You will not find on this side heaven a holier people—than those who receive into their hearts the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness. When the believer says, “I live on Christ alone; I rest on Him solely for salvation; and I believe that, however unworthy, I am still saved in Jesus;” then there rises up as a motive of gratitude this thought, “Shall I not live to Christ? Shall I not love Him and serve Him, seeing that I am saved by His merits?” “The love of Christ constrains us!” “Those who which live—should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto Him which died for them.” If saved by imputed righteousness, we shall greatly value imparted righteousness.

Faith’s Checkbook

Obedience Brings Blessing

Pay careful attention to all these things I am commanding you so that it may always go well with you and your children after you when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

[Deut 12:28 NET]

Though salvation is not by the works of the law, yet the blessings which are promised to obedience are not denied to the faithful servants of God. The curses our Lord took away when He was made a curse for us, but no clause of blessing has been abrogated.

We are to note and listen to the revealed will of the Lord, giving our attention not to portions of it but to “all these words.” There must be no picking and choosing but an impartial respect to all that God has commanded. This is the road of blessedness for the Father and for His children. The Lord’s blessing is upon His chosen to the third and fourth generation. If they walk uprightly before Him, He will make all men know that they are a seed which the Lord has blessed. No blessing can come to us or ours through dishonesty or double dealing. The ways of worldly conformity and unholiness cannot bring good to us or ours. It will go well with us when we go well before God. If integrity does not make us prosper, knavery will not. That which gives pleasure to God will bring pleasure to us.

Faith’s Checkbook

A Completed Sacrifice

He must lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf.

[Lev 1:4 NET]

If by that laying on of his hand the bullock became the offerer’s sacrifice, how much more shall Jesus become ours by the laying on of the hand of faith?

My faith doth lay her hand

On that dear head of Thine,

While like a penitent I stand,

And there confess my sin.

If a bullock could be accepted for him to make atonement for him, how much more shall the Lord Jesus be our full and all-sufficient propitiation? Some quarrel with the great truth of substitution; but as for us, it is our hope, our joy, our boast, our all. Jesus is accepted for us to make atonement for us, and we are “accepted in the Beloved.” Let the reader take care at once to lay his hand on the Lord’s completed sacrifice, that by accepting it he may obtain the benefit of it. If he has done so once, let him do it again. If he has never done so, let him put out his hand without a moment’s delay. Jesus is yours now if you will have Him. Lean on Him — lean hard on Him — and He is yours beyond all question; you are reconciled to God, your sins are blotted out, and you are the Lord’s.

Faith’s Checkbook

Mouth Confession; Heart Belief

because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

[Rom 10:9 NET]

There must be confession with the mouth. Have I made it? Have I openly avowed my faith in Jesus as the Savior whom God has raised from the dead, and have I done it in God’s way! Let me honestly answer this question.

There must also be belief with the heart. Do I sincerely believe in the risen Lord Jesus? Do I trust in Him as my sole hope of salvation? Is this trust from my heart? Let me answer as before God.

If I can truly claim that I have both confessed Christ and believed in Him, then I am saved. The text does not say it may be so, but it is plain as a pikestaff and clear as the sun in the heavens: “Thou shalt be saved.” As a believer and a confessor, I may lay my hand on this promise and plead it before the Lord God at this moment, and throughout life, and in the hour of death, and at the Day of Judgment.

I must be saved from the guilt of sin, the power of sin, the punishment of sin, and ultimately from the very being of sin. God hath said it — “Thou shalt be saved.” I believe it. I shall be saved. I am saved. Glory be to God forever and ever!