Author Archive

17th January

Written by Steven Black on 17/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”—1 John 4:7, 8

If ever you have loved Jesus with a pure affection; if ever you have felt him near, dear, and precious to your soul, that love can never be lost out of your heart. It may lie dormant; it does lie dormant. It may not be sweetly felt in exercise; but there it is. “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha” (1 Cor. 16:22). You would be under this curse if the love of the Lord Jesus Christ were to die out of your heart. But this love is often sleeping. When the mother sometimes watches over the cradle and looks upon her sleeping babe with unutterable affection, the infant knows not that the mother is watching its slumbers; but when it awakes, it is able to feel and return its mother’s caresses.

It is so with the soul sometimes when love in the heart is like a babe slumbering in the cradle. But as the babe opens its eyes, and sees the mother smiling upon it, it returns the smiles, and stretches forth its arms to embrace the bending cheek; so when the eyes of the soul are opened to see the smiling face of Jesus stooping to imprint a kiss of love, or drop some sweet word into the heart, and there is a flowing forth toward him of love and affection—this is the power of love.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

16th January

Written by Steven Black on 16/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.”—Ephesians 2:20, 21

Christ is the Head of every member individually, as he is the Head of the whole body collectively. Growth of the body, from babyhood to manhood, is the growth of individual members in the body. If, then, I am a member of the mystical body of Christ Jesus, I shall grow. My growth may be so slow and gradual as to be scarcely perceptible; but it will be growth still. If I have union with Christ, I shall be supplied, at least in some measure, out of his fulness. He is my life, and he has promised, because he lives, I shall live also; and if I live by him, I shall live upon and unto him. Paul could say, “The life which I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God;” and also, “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).

By a sound gospel ministry our souls are fed. Christ is set before us in all the glories of his divine Person, in his Deity and Sonship, and in all the graces of his suffering humanity. His covenant characters and gracious relationships, his blood and righteousness, his death and resurrection, his ascension and glorification at the right hand of the Father, his present mediation and intercession, his sympathy as a once suffering but now exalted high Priest, and his ability to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him, are brought before us as the food of our faith; and as we taste that he is gracious, and feed upon him as the bread of life, there is a growth into him.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

15th January

Written by Steven Black on 15/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”—2 Corinthians 4:7

Be not surprised if you feel that in yourself you are but an earthen vessel; if you are made deeply and daily sensible unto what a frail body God has communicated light and life. Be not surprised if your clay house is often tottering; if sickness sometimes assails your mortal tabernacle; if in your flesh there dwelleth no good thing; if your soul often cleaves to the dust; and if you are unable to retain a sweet sense of God’s goodness and love. Be not surprised nor startled at the corruptions of your depraved nature; at the depth of sin in your carnal mind; at the vile abominations which lurk and work in your deceitful and desperately wicked heart. Bear in mind that it is the will of God that this heavenly treasure which makes you rich for eternity should be lodged in an earthen vessel.

We are to carry about a daily sense of our base original to hide pride from our eyes. We are to be despised by others; and by none so much as by our own selves. We have ever to feel our native weakness, and that without Christ we can do nothing; that we may be clothed with humility, and feel ourselves the chief of sinners, and less than the least of all saints. We thus learn to prize the heights, breadths, lengths, and depths of the love of Christ, who stooped so low to raise us up so high.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

14th January

Written by Steven Black on 14/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”—2 Corinthians 6:17

If we are entangled in the love of the world, or fast bound and fettered with worldly anxieties, and the spirit of the world is rife in our bosom, all our profession will be vapid, if not worthless. We may use the language of prayer, but the heart is not in earnest; we may still manage to hold our head high in a profession of the truth, but its power and blessedness are neither known nor felt.

To enjoy any measure of communion with the Lord, whether on the cross or on the throne, we must go forth from a world which is at enmity against him. We must also go forth out of self, for to deny it, renounce it, and go forth out of it lies at the very foundation of vital godliness. There must be “a mortifying, through the Spirit, of the deeds of the body;” a being “always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh;” and unless there is a going forth out of self by this self-crucifixion, there is no walking in hand with Christ, no manifest union, no heavenly communion with him; for there can no more be a partnership between Christ, the soul, and self than there can be a partnership between Christ, the soul, and sin.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

13th January

Written by Steven Black on 13/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”—1 Peter 4:12

The “fiery trial,” then, is not a strange thing which happens only to a few of the Lord’s family, but is more or less the appointed lot of all. Do we not hear the Lord saying to his Zion, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction?” All then that are chosen must pass through the furnace of affliction, and all know experimentally the fiery trial, for by it they are made partakers of Christ’s sufferings.

But this is indispensable in order to be partakers of his glory. “If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Thus they suffer with him, “that when his glory shall be revealed, they may be glad also with exceeding joy.” And this suffering with and for Christ in the furnace of affliction salts the soul, preserves it from corruption, communicates health, gives it savour and flavour, is a token of interest in the everlasting covenant, and is a seal of friendship and peace with God.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

12th January

Written by Steven Black on 12/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”—John 10:9

There is a finding pasture in providence. A sweet and healthy pasture indeed this is to watch the Lord’s providential dealings with us spread through a long series of years. It is seeing the Lord’s providential hand which makes the commonest temporal mercies sweet. Every nibble of grass or lock of hay which we can believe to be specially provided for us by the hand of that good Shepherd becomes thereby doubly sweet.

But O what pastures in grace has God provided for his hungry sheep! Look at the promises and declarations, the sacred truths and heavenly consolations scattered up and down the Scriptures of truth.

But of all spiritual pasture thus provided for the flock, the chiefest is the flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus. This is his own divine declaration: “For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55). And every communication of grace to the soul out of the fulness of Christ, every promise applied with a divine power to the heart, every truth which drops with heavenly savour, every season of encouragement; in a word, every part of God’s word which the soul can eat and feed upon is spiritual pasture. Thus the prophet found it of old: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16). .

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

11th January

Written by Steven Black on 11/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Watch and pray.”—Mark 13:33

There is no keeping up faith except by prayer and watchfulness. As prayer declines in the bosom, so does the strength of faith. You may go on neglecting prayer and supplication until every grain of faith seems lost out of your bosom, and may come at last to think you never knew anything of a work of God upon your heart, and have been deceived in believing there was any grace there.

By watchfulness also is the love of God maintained. Unless you watch against your besetting sins, against the snares spread for your feet, against the temptations that daily and hourly beset your path, against being overcome by the strength or subtlety of your unwearied foe, you are sure to fall; and if you fall you will bring guilt and bondage, darkness and distress into your mind, and cut off for a time all friendly intercourse with God.

Therefore you must pray and watch; for without watchfulness, prayer is of little efficacy. And if we neglect the Scriptures, or read them carelessly, unbelievingly, they will do us little good. They must be read with believing eyes and heart, received as the revelation of God, and must be mixed with faith, or assuredly they will not profit us (Heb. 4:2).

The life of God is a very deep, secret, and sacred thing in the soul. God, it is true, will maintain it; he will not leave his work unaccomplished; but unless we read and pray, watch and meditate, wage war against besetting sins, and seek the Lord’s face continually, we shall find the strength and power of faith very sensibly decline; and if so, there is no comfortable walking with God.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

10th January

Written by Steven Black on 10/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”—1 John 2:1

This advocacy is here called, as elsewhere, “pleading the cause” of the believer, and is connected with deliverance, for such an advocate can never fail: “O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life” (Lam. 3:58). The figure is taken from a lawyer pleading the cause of a criminal, and using his best endeavours to bring him off uninjured. But such advocacy may fail for two reasons:

1. the incompetency of the advocate; or

2. the badness of the cause.

But there are no such hindrances to the success of the advocacy of Christ. How he can plead his own sufferings, blood, and obedience. His very Person as the Son of God, and yet son of man, gives unspeakable value and validity to every plea of the great Intercessor. What validity, then, has his intercession in the court of heaven! It is true that he cannot deny the truth of the charge brought by the accuser of the brethren against his client; but he can present his own meritorious sufferings, and the sorrows he endured for the culprit. On this ground he can stand up as his surety and representative, and plead with the Father that he has suffered in his place and stead. On the firm, solid ground, then, of justice and equity, he can plead on his behalf, “Let him go, for I endured the penalty due to him.”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

9th January

Written by Steven Black on 09/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”—John 8:31, 32

The truth is not known at first in all its sweetness, liberty, and power. We have “to continue in the word;” it maybe at times in very great darkness, distress, exercise, temptation, and trouble; and yet, such has been the power of the word upon the heart, it cannot, will not let us go. We see and feel the misery of departing from the truth, the wretchedness of getting back into the world, and being entangled in the spirit of it; and what must be the consequence if we leave those things we profess to know and believe, and embrace error or fall into the arms of sin!

There is, therefore, a continuance in the word, it may be often, as I have said, in much darkness, much exercise, many trials, many temptations: but still we are brought to this point, never to give up the word which has been made life and spirit to the soul. And though the Lord sometimes may very much hide his face, and we seem to be very poor, dull scholars, and to be much condemned for our unfruitfulness, to know so little of the spirit of the Master, and walk so little in his blessed ways; yet there is a looking unto him, a longing after him, a cleaving to him; and this manifests genuine discipleship.

Now, as we still cling, cleave, hang, trust, and hope, we begin to know the truth; it is opened up to the mind, it is made exactly suitable to our state and case; and the wonderful way in which it addresses and adapts itself to our various and pressing wants and necessities becomes more and more manifest.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

8th January

Written by Steven Black on 08/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.”—Psalm 119:146

If you know anything for yourself inwardly and experimentally of the evils of your heart, the power of sin, the strength of temptation, the subtlety of your unwearied foe, and that daily conflict betwixt nature and grace, the flesh and the spirit, which is the peculiar mark of the living family of heaven, you will find and feel your need of salvation as a daily reality.

Think not that the only salvation to be felt and known is salvation past—salvation accomplished by the bloodshedding and death of the Son of God. There is salvation present— an inward, experimental, and continual salvation communicated out of the fulness of Christ as a risen Mediator. Don’t you want to be daily and almost hourly saved? But from what? Why, from everything in you that fights against the will and word of God.

Sin is not dead in you. If you are reconciled and brought near to God; if you have an interest in the precious blood of Christ; if your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, and heaven be your eternal home, that does not deliver you from the indwelling of sin, nor from the power of sin either, except as grace gives you present deliverance from it. Sin still works in your carnal mind, and will work in it till your dying hour. What then you want to be saved from is the guilt, filth, power, love, and practice of indwelling sin.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869