28th June

Written by Steven Black on 28/06/2017. Posted in Devotionals

“God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light.”
Psalm 118:27

If God the Lord hath shewed us light, he hath shewed us light both with respect to himself and with respect to ourselves. He hath shewed us with respect to himself who he is; he hath stamped something of himself upon our consciences; he hath discovered something of his glorious character to our souls; and brought us, under the operation of the Holy Spirit, into his presence, there to receive communications of life out of Christ’s inexhaustible fulness.

Thus in this light we see and feel that we have to do with a heart-searching God; in this light we see and feel that we have to do with a sin-hating God; with a God who will not be mocked nor trifled with; in this light we see and feel that every secret of our heart, every working of our mind is open before him; and in this light, so far as he is pleased to manifest it, we see what we are in his holy and pure eyes—a mass of sin, filth, and corruption, without help, without strength, wisdom, or righteousness, without creature comeliness, without anything of which we can say that it is spiritually good.

Again, God the Lord, shewing us light, hath shewed us more or less of the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. He has not only showed us what we are by nature, but he has in a measure condescended to shew us what we are by grace; not merely brought into our hearts some acquaintance with himself as a God of perfect justice, but he has also brought, more or less, into our souls some acquaintance with him as a God of mercy; and has thus brought us, in some solemn measure, to know him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent; and, thus, to have the springing up of spiritual life more or less, each according to his measure, in our souls.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

27th June

Written by Steven Black on 27/06/2017. Posted in Devotionals

“And they that use this world, as not abusing it;
for the fashion of this world passeth away.”
1 Corinthians 7:31

Nothing is real but that which has an abiding substance. Health decays, strength diminishes, beauty flees the cheek, sight and hearing grow dim, the mind itself gets feeble, riches make to themselves wings and flee away, children die, friends depart, old age creeps on, and life itself comes to a close. These fugitive, transitory things are then mere shadows; there is no substance, enduring substance in them. Like our daily food and raiment, house and home, they support and solace us in our journey through life. But there they stop; when life ends, they end with it.

But real religion—and by this I understand the work of God upon the soul—abides in death and after death, goes with us through the dark valley, and lands us safe in a blessed eternity. It is, therefore, the only thing in this world of which we can say that it is real. Is not this John’s testimony? “All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:16, 17).

And who is that man, that blessed man, who lives when all dies, who abideth for ever when all others pass away into the outer darkness? It is he who doeth the will of God. But how and when do we the will of God? “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). If, then, you have seen the Son, and believed in him, you have now everlasting life, and Jesus will raise you up at the last day.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

26th June

Written by Steven Black on 26/06/2017. Posted in Devotionals

“The Spirit searcheth all things,
yea, the deep things of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:10

The Spirit of God which dwelleth in a man, making his body his temple, searcheth the deep things of God; for there is in these deep things a most heavenly treasure, which is to be searched into that it may be found. What depths do we sometimes see in a single text of Scripture as opened to the understanding, or applied to the heart; what a depth in the blood of Christ: how it “cleanseth from all sin,” and if from all sin it must cleanse away millions of millions of the foulest sins of the foulest sinners. What a depth in his bleeding, dying love that could stoop so low to lift us so high! What a depth in his pity and compassion to extend itself to such guilty, vile transgressors as we are! What depth in the eternal counsels and unspeakable wisdom of God to contrive such a plan as was accomplished and brought to light in the incarnation and death of his dear Son, that thus mercy and justice might meet together without jar or discord, every attribute of God be fully honoured, and yet that those who deserved hell should be lifted up into the enjoyment of heaven.

What depths, too, there are in our own heart, not merely of sin but of grace, for true religion has its depths which the Spirit searches and brings to view. Thus if we have any faith, it lies very deep, for it is hidden in the heart, and sometimes so hidden as to be almost, if not altogether, out of sight. The Spirit then searches for it, and brings it out and up. So if we have any love, it strikes its root into the inmost recesses of our affections, and therefore needs to be searched into; or any hope, it lies like the anchor at the bottom of the sea. It therefore has to be searched into that it may be made manifest that it is sure and steadfast and enters within the veil.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

25th June

Written by Steven Black on 25/06/2017. Posted in Devotionals

“At that day shall a man look to his Maker,
and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.”
Isaiah 17:7

In the very name “the Holy One of Israel,” there is something the sweetness of which melts the heart of a poor sensible sinner. For what is he in himself as a fallen child of Adam? A filthy, defiled, polluted wretch, unfit for the presence of God. And what can fit such an unclean, unworthy, deformed sinner for the eternal presence and enjoyment of the Triune Jehovah, but such a Saviour as the Holy One of Israel, whose blood, as a holy fountain, cleanseth from all sin? The soul that stands in him, stands complete, without spot or blemish. And must not his heart leap and dance when with a measure of faith he is able to lay hold of this Holy One of Israel?

But this living faith in and spiritual reception of the only Mediator between God and man cannot exist until a man is brought into circumstances in which he needs the Holy One of Israel. Until he is emptied and stripped of all creature strength he cannot truly understand how, nor really desire that the strength of Christ may be made perfect in his weakness. So with Christ’s wisdom; his righteousness; his blood; so with his love; his gracious presence;—all are mere words, loose and floating ideas, dim, dreamy conceptions, until poverty and need lie hard upon the soul, and the blessed Spirit makes known “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” as so many experimental realities. It is this gracious discovery which endears to him the Holy One of Israel. There is no divine faith, no going out of hope, no flowing of affection toward the Holy One of Israel, till “that day,” when he has no one else to look to, no hope in the creature; till all his righteousness fails him, and he feels that he must be saved by free grace, or eternally perish.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

24th June

Written by Steven Black on 24/06/2017. Posted in Devotionals

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not
redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold,
from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
but with the precious blood of Christ,
as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
1 Peter 1:18, 19

O the unspeakable depths of the goodness and mercy of God! O the riches of his superabounding grace! When there was no other way of redemption, God sent his only-begotten Son, that by his precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, we might be redeemed from all the consequences of our vain conversation received by tradition from our fathers; and not only from all its consequences, but from its power and practice. It is a knowledge, a personal, experimental knowledge of this redemption, which lays us under a spiritual obligation to walk worthy of our high calling. And it acts in this way.

A view by faith of the bleeding, dying Lamb of God, a seeing and feeling what he suffered in the garden and on the cross to redeem us from hell, will ever make sin hateful in our eyes, and holiness longed after as the soul’s happiest element. If ever sin is mourned over, hated, confessed, and forsaken; if ever there be ardent desires after a conformity to Christ’s image; if there ever be a longing after union and communion with him, it is at the foot of his cross. By it and it alone is the world crucified unto us, and we unto the world; and well may we say that our highest attainment in grace is to have the experience of the Apostle: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

23rd June

Written by Steven Black on 23/06/2017. Posted in Devotionals

“The just shall live by faith.”
Romans 1:17

A life of faith in Christ is as necessary to our present and experimental salvation as his death upon the cross was to our past and actual salvation. If you are alive to what you are as a poor fallen sinner, you see yourself surrounded by enemies, temptations, sins, and snares; and you feel yourself utterly defenceless, as weak as water, without any strength to stand against them. Pressed down by the weight of unbelief, you see a mountain of difficulty before your eyes, sometimes in providence and sometimes in grace. You find, too, that your heart is a cage of unclean birds, and that in you, that is, in your flesh, there dwelleth no good thing; neither will nor power have you in yourself to fight or flee.

How then shall this mountain become a plain? How shall you escape the snares and temptations spread in your path? How shall you get the better of all your enemies, external, internal, infernal, and reach heaven’s gate safe at last? If you say, “By the salvation already accomplished,” are you sure that that salvation belongs to you? Where is the evidence of it if you have no present faith in Christ? How can that past salvation profit you for present troubles unless there be an application of it? It is this application and manifestation of salvation which is being saved by his life (Rom. 5:10).

See how it works; and what a suitability is in it. You are all weakness, and he is and has all strength, which he makes perfect in your weakness. You are all helplessness against sin, temptation, and a thousand foes. But help is laid upon Christ as one that is mighty; he therefore sends you help from the sanctuary and strengthens you out of Zion (Psalm 20:2), that these sins and enemies may not get the better of you.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

22nd June

Written by Steven Black on 22/06/2017. Posted in Devotionals

“Jesus saith, Go to my brethren, and say unto them,
I ascend unto my Father, and your Father;
and to my God, and your God.”
John 20:17

Why your Father? Because my Father. Why your God? Because my God. As his only-begotten Son from all eternity, God was the God of our Lord Jesus Christ; as the Father’s messenger and servant, doing his will upon earth, even in his lowest humiliation, God was his God; and now that he is risen from the dead and gone up on high to be the great High Priest over the house of God, now that he is entered into his glory and ever lives to make intercession for us, God is still his God. This view of Jesus is most strengthening and encouraging to faith.

The great and glorious God, the great self-existent I AM, the God in whom we live and move and have our being, the God before whom we stand with all we are and have, the God against and before whom we have so deeply and dreadfully sinned—this great and glorious God is “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We may, therefore, draw near unto him with all holy boldness, present our supplications before him, call upon his holy name, and worship him with all reverence and godly fear as the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our God in him. A believing view of God, as revealing himself in the person of his dear Son, as reconciling us to himself by his precious blood, as accepting us in the Beloved, and not imputing our trespasses unto us, disarms God of all his terrors, removes the bondage of the law out of our hearts and the guilt of sin from our consciences, enlarges, comforts, and solaces the soul, soothes the troubled spirit, and casts out that fear which hath torment.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

21st June

Written by Steven Black on 21/06/2017. Posted in Devotionals

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
1 Peter 1:3

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was God’s grand attestation to the truth of his divine mission and Sonship, for by it he was “declared to be the Son of God with power.” It therefore set a divine stamp upon his sacrifice, bloodshedding, and death, shewed God’s acceptance of his offering, and that sin was thus for ever put away. Now, just think what would have been the dreadful consequences if Christ had not been raised from the dead, or if we had no infallible proofs (Acts 1:3) of his resurrection. There would have been, there could have been no forgiveness of sin (1 Cor. 15:17); and therefore, when the conscience became awakened to a sense of guilt and condemnation, there could have been nothing before it but black and gloomy despair. But Christ being raised from the dead and having gone up on high to be the High Priest over the house of God, and the Holy Spirit bearing witness of this both in the word and through the word to the soul, a door of hope is opened even in the very valley of Achor. The Holy Ghost, who would not have been given had not Christ risen from the dead and gone to the Father, now comes and testifies of him to the soul, takes of the things which are his, reveals them to the heart, and raises up faith to look unto and believe in him as the Son of God, and thus, according to the measure of the revelation, it abounds in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost (Rom. 15:13).

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

20th June

Written by Steven Black on 20/06/2017. Posted in Devotionals

“Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”
Psalm 103:4

The coronation of a king puts the last and highest seal upon his reigning authority. This made the spouse say, “Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart” (Song Sol. 3:11). And what a day will that be when the anti-typical Solomon is crowned Lord of all.

Thus there is a crown put upon the soul which is healed of all its diseases, and whose life is redeemed from destruction. It is as if God could not be satisfied till he had put the crown of his lovingkindness upon the soul, until he had himself crowned the heart with his own love. And what is the effect? The soul puts a crown of glory upon his head. So the soul has the crown of grace, and God has the crown of glory. This is being crowned with lovingkindness and tender mercies. And O what a crown it is! How it crowns all our iniquities, hides them from God’s sight as a crown covers a monarch’s brow. How it crowns all our trials that we have had to pass through, severe and cutting as they were at the time to the flesh. How it crowns all our bereavements by putting upon the bereaved heart the crown of God’s lovingkindness. How it crowns all our prayers by enabling us to see their gracious answer. How it crowns all God’s dealings with us in providence and in grace, and stamps lovingkindness upon them all; for the crown includes everything in it. As the Queen’s crown includes her royalty, her dignity, her power—for all are symbolled thereby—so God’s lovingkindness, put upon the heart as a crown, includes and secures every blessing for time and eternity.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

19th June

Written by Steven Black on 19/06/2017. Posted in Devotionals

“For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor,
to save him from those that condemn his soul.”
Psalm 109:31

How cheering, how comforting it is, to have a friend to stand by us when we are in trouble. Such a friend is Jesus. In the hour of necessity, he comes as a friend to stand by the right hand of the poor creature, whose soul is condemned by guilt and accusations. But he stands in a far higher relation than that of a friend; he stands too as a Surety and a Deliverer. He goes, as it were, into the court; and when the prisoner stands at the bar, he comes forward and stands at his right hand as his surety and bondsman; he brings out of his own bosom the acquittance of the debt signed and sealed with his own blood, he produces it before the eyes of the court, and claims and demands the acquittal and absolution of the prisoner at whose right hand he stands. He stands there, then, that the prisoner may be freely pardoned, and completely justified from those accusations that “condemn his soul.” O sweet standing!—O blessed appearance!

Unbelief, the workings of a desperately wicked heart, and the fearful suggestions of the enemy, come forward to condemn us; but Christ Jesus, this Mediator betwixt God and man, “stands at the right hand of the poor,” and produces his own glorious righteousness. Are we pressed down with unbelief? He communicates faith. Is our mind sinking into despair? He breathes into it hope. Is the soul bowed down with guilt, at a distance from God, unable to approach him on account of its heavy temptations? He puts his own arm under this poor dejected soul and lifts up his bowed-down head, and then the soul looks upwards, and instead of wrath sees the countenance of the Father beaming mercy and love, because the Surety is “standing at the right hand of the poor.”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869