Devotion For December 31

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10 This is it — the last day of another year. In a few hours, the sands of time will have run through the hourglass and a new year will be upon us. For the next few days you will continue to write this year’s date on your letterheads and date your checks incorrectly before the reality sinks in — a new year is upon us. To understand that the next year is merely an extension of last year makes it a bit less overwhelming. Like a birthday, you are only a day older than you were yesterday, not a year. The mileage markers on the highway not only tell us how far we have come, but how far to the next town; likewise, we want to know what is in the future. As Baron Rothschild once said, “Hats off to the past but coasts off to the future…” Yet, with the unknown comes the opportunity to be a little uneasy — whether its a child who faces his first day of school or an adult who faces his first day on a new job, we are apprehensive, yes, even a bit concerned about what lies ahead. Generally, the reason we are uneasy about the future is that we have not made peace with the past. Failures haunt us and we wonder if the future may be but a rerun of yesterday. Lloyd George, a former British Prime Minister, was playing golf with a friend on one occasion when...

Devotion For December 30

Loved to Perfection Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end. John 13:1b This fact is essentially a promise; for what our Lord was He is, and what He was to those with whom He lived on earth, He will be to all His beloved so long as the moon endureth (Psalms 72:7) Having loved: here was the wonder! That He should ever have loved men at all is the marvel. What was there in His poor disciples that He should love them? What is there in me (Romans 5:8 ESV)? But when He has once begun to love, it is His nature to continue to do so (1 John 4:8). Love made the saints “His own” — what a choice title (John 15:14-15)! He purchased them with blood and they became His treasure (Galatians 3:13-15 NLV). Being His own, He will not lose them. Being His beloved, He will not cease to love them. My soul, He will not cease to love thee! The text is well as it stands: “to the end,” even till His death the ruling passion of love to His own reigned in His sacred bosom. It means also to the uttermost. He could not love them more: He gave Himself for them. some read it, to perfection. Truly He lavished upon them a perfect love, in which there was no flaw nor failure, no unwidsom, no unfaithfulness, and no reserve. Such is the love of Jesus to each one of His people. Let our hearts sing a song of praise to our...

Devotion For December 24

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:11 It was Christmas Eve, as I slept in my bed,when I heard a great noise, possibly a sled! I jumped out of bed, to catch Santa in action,but a bearded man in red was not in the caption. Instead a man, in shiny white clothes,he said come nearer, and I’ll share a story of old. He opened a great book, and started to readabout a little town, and man’s new seed; “Oh little town of Bethlehem, a gift for you I bringa child shall be born, and praises angels will sing.For this little child, who in a manger born,will be the Holy Savior, the holy Lord.He will free all men, from this burden of sin,and will hold each dear, as children and kin.” It was then I realized, Christmas was not about toysIt was not about race cars, or fancy alloys. Christmas is about a greater gift, one that never stops.Christmas is about God’s love, a gift we cannot top. Wishing You and Yours a Blessed Christmas! (From Simple...

Devotion For December 23

Immediately Present God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalms 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 the 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 (Matthew 7:7-8). He is more than “present”, He is very present. More present than the nearest friend can be (Proverbs 18:24 ESV), for He is in us in our trouble (Isaiah 41:10 ESV); 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.” — Psalms...

Devotion For December 19

Afflictions, But No Broken Bones He Keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken. — Psalms 34:20 This promise by the context is referred to the much afflicted righteous man: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. (Psalms 34:19)” He may suffer skin wounds and flesh wounds, but no great harm shall be done, “not a bone of him shall be broken.” This is great comfort to a tried child of God, and comfort which I dare accept; for up to this hour I have suffered no real damage from my many afflictions (Isaiah 54:17). I have neither lost faith, nor hope, nor love. Nay, so far from losing these bones of character, they have gained in strength and energy. I have more knowledge, more experience, more patience, more stability than I had before the trials came (James 1:2-4 NKJV). Not even my joy has been destroyed. Many a bruise have I had by sickness, bereavement, depression, slander, and opposition; but the bruise has healed, and there has been no compound fracture of a bone, not even a simple one. The reason is not hard to see! If we trust in the Lord, He keeps all our bones; and if He keeps them, we may be sure that not one of them is broken (Philippians 1:6). Come, my heart, do not sorrow. thou art smarting, but there are no bones broken, Endure hardness, and bid defiance to fear (Isaiah...

Devotion For December 18

Defended And Covered As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also He will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it. — Isaiah 31:5 With hurrying wing the mother bird hastens up to the protection of her young. She wastes no time upon the road when coming to supply them with food, or guard them from danger). Thus as on eagle’s wings will the Lord come for the defense of His chosen; yea, He will ride upon the wings of the wind(Psalms 104:3 ESV). With outspread wing the mother covers her little ones in the nest (Luke 12:24 ESV ). She hides them away by interposing her own body. The hen yields her own warmth to her chicks, and makes her wings a house, in which they dwell at home. Thus doth Jehovah Himself become the protection of His elect. He Himself is their refuge, their abode their all (Psalms 46:1) (Proverbs 18:10). As birds flying, and birds covering (for the word means both), so will the Lord be unto us: and this He will be repeatedly and successfully. We shall be defended and preserved from all evil: the Lord who likens Himself to birds will not be like them in their feebleness, for He is Jehovah of hosts. Let this be our comfort, that almighty love will be swift to succor, and sure to cover (Psalms 91:4). The wing of God is more quick and more tender than the wing of a bird, and we will put our trust under its shadow henceforth and for ever (Psalms...

Devotion For December 17

Nearest And Dearest Fellowship So shall we ever be with the Lord. — 1 Thessalonians 4:17b While we are here the Lord is with us, and when we are called away we are with Him (Joshua 1:9 ESV) (Matthew 28:20). There is no dividing the saint from His Saviour. They are one, and they always must be one: Jesus cannot be without His own people, for He would be a Head without a body (Colossians 1:18). Whether caught up into the air, or residing in Heaven, or sojourning here, we are with Jesus; and who shall separate us from Him (Romans 8:38-39)? What a joy is this! Our supreme honor, rest, comfort, delight, is to be with the Lord (Matthew 11:28) (Psalms 37). We cannot conceive of anything which can surpass or even equal this divine society. By holy fellowship we must be with Him in His humiliation, rejection, and travail, and then we shall be with Him in His glory (Romans 8:18) (Galatians 2:20). Before long we shall be with Him in His rest and in His royalty, in His expectation and in His manifestation. We shall fare as He fares, and triumph as He triumphs (Ephesians 2:6). O my Lord, I am to be for ever with thee, so I have a destiny incomparable. I will not envy an archangel. To be for ever with the Lord is my idea of Heaven at its best. Not the harps of gold, nor the crowns unfading, nor the light unclouded, is glory to me; but Jesus, Jesus Himself, and myself for ever with Him in nearest and dearest fellowship...

Devotion For December 16

Divine Expulsion Thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong. — Joshua 17:18b It is a great encouragement to valor to be assured of victory (1 Corinthians 15:57), for then a man goes forth to war in confidence, and ventures where else he had been afraid to go. Our warfare is with evil within us and around us (Ephesians 6:12 ESV), and we ought to be persuaded that we are able to get the victory (2 Timothy 1:12), and that we shall do so in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not riding for a fall, but to win; and win we shall. The grace of God in it’s Omnipotence is put forth for the overthrow of evil in every form: hence the certainty of triumph. Certain of our sins find chariots of iron in our constitution, our former habits, our associations, and our occupations (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV). Nevertheless, we must overcome them, The enemy’s strongholds in us seem to be very strong, and in reference to them we, by ourselves, are very weak; yet in the name of God we must master them, and we will (Romans 8:31). If one sin has dominion of us we are not the Lord’s free men. A man who is held by only one chain is still a captive (John 11:44). There is no going to Heaven with one sin ruling within us, for of the saints it is said, “Sin shall not have dominion over you (Romans 6:14).” Up, then, and slay ever Canaanite, and break to shivers every...

Devotion For December 13

Evening Brightens Into Day It shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. — Zechariah 14:7b Light at the time for darkness? It is a surprise that it should be so; for everything that we have experienced tells us that at evening time it shall be dark (Genesis 1:5). God wants to work in a way, so much above our fears and beyond our hopes, that we would be greatly amazed, and be led to praise His Sovereign Grace (Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV; Romans 12:12 NLT). No, it shall not be with us as the enemy is prophesying: the dark will not deepen into midnight, but it will on a sudden brighten into day. Never let us despair. In the worst times let us trust in the Lord who turneth the darkness of the shadow of death into the morning (Psalms 23:4 ESV). When the taskmasters doubled the number of bricks Moses appeared, and when tribulation abounds it is nearest it’s end (Exodus 1:8-12) . This promise should assist our patience. The light may not fully come till our hopes are quite spent by waiting all day for seemingly no purpose (James 1:4-8). To the wicked, the sun goes down while it is yet day: to the righteous, the sun rises when it is almost night. May we, with patience, wait for that heavenly light, which may feel to be so long in coming, but is sure to prove itself well worth waiting for (Isaiah 40:31 ESV)? Come, my soul, take up thy praise and sing unto Him who will bless thee in life and in...

Devotion For December 12

A Quiet Heart In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. — Isaiah 30:15b It is always weakness to be fretting and worrying, questioning and mistrusting. What can we do if we wear ourselves to skin and bone? Can we gain anything by fearing and fuming? All it does is make us unfit for action, and unhinge our minds for wise decisions? We are sinking by our struggles when we might float by faith. (Proverbs 12:25 NLT; 1 Peter 5:7 NLT; Philippians 4:6-7 NLT) Oh, for grace to be quiet! Why run from house to house to repeat the weary story which makes us more and more heart-sick as we tell it? Why even stay at home to cry out in agony because of perceived bad things which may never be fulfilled? It would be well to keep a quiet tongue (James 1:19), but it would be far better if we had a quiet heart. Oh, to be still and know that Jehovah is God! (Psalms 46:10) Oh, for grace to be confident in God (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)! The Holy One of Israel must defend and deliver His own. He cannot run back from His solemn declarations (Psalms 89:34 NLT). We may make sure that every word of His will stand though the mountains should depart (Psalms 119:89 CSB; Isaiah 40:8 CSB). He deserves to be confided in; and if we would display confidence and consequent quietness, we might be as happy as the angels before His throne. Come, my soul, return unto thy rest, and lean thy head upon the bosom of the Lord Jesus. (Matthew...