17th February

Written by Steven Black on 17/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28

To look at all our varied circumstances; and then to believe that if we are the lovers of God, all things we experience are working together for our spiritual good, what a view does it give us of the wisdom, grace, and power of a wonder-working God! And we are to measure this good, not by what the creature thinks, but by what God himself has declared to be good in his word, and what we have felt to be good in our soul’s experience.

Have your trials humbled you, made you meek and lowly? They have done you good. Have they stirred up a spirit of prayer in your bosom, made you sigh, cry, and groan for the Lord to appear, visit, or bless your soul? They have done you good. Have they opened up those parts of God’s word which are full of mercy and comfort to his afflicted people? Have they stripped off the covering that is too narrow? Have they made you more sincere, more earnest, more spiritual, more heavenly-minded, more convinced that the Lord Jesus can alone bless and comfort your soul? They have done you good. Have they been the means in God’s hand of giving you a lift in hearing the preached word, of opening your ears to hear none but the true servants of God, those who enter into a tried path, and describe a gracious experience? Have they made the Bible more precious to you, the promises more sweet, the dealings of God with your soul more prized? They have done you good.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

16th February

Written by Steven Black on 16/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it,
but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Galatians 1:12

When I speak of a revelation of Christ, I am not contending for anything visionary. Dreams, voices, appearances in the air, sights and sounds, crosses in the sky, and apparitions at the bedside, I must leave to others. I believe that for the most part they are the portion of visionaries and enthusiasts, for we have all these in the visible Church of God, as well as Pharisees and hypocrites, Arminians and Antinomians. I will not indeed deny that the Lord may have wrought by them in some peculiar instances, as in the cases of Augustine and Colonel Gardiner. But taking the generality of God’s people and the ordinary mode of divine operation, the revelation of Christ to the soul is a gracious internal discovery by the power of the Spirit, revealing him to the eyes of faith.

Nothing is seen or heard by the bodily senses; and yet his glorious Person is as much seen, and his voice as much heard, as though eye and ear beheld his glory and listened to his words. It is altogether of grace, wholly heavenly and divine, and therefore nature, sense, and reason have no place here. It is a divine bringing into the heart of the power and presence, grace and glory, love and blood of Christ in a way that may be felt but never described. Under these spiritual operations and influences,—for it is the Spirit’s work to take of the things of Christ and reveal them to the soul; it is his covenant office to testify of Jesus,—under these sacred influences, divine anointings, and gracious operations, Christ is made known unto the heart and looked unto, according to his own word: “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

15th February

Written by Steven Black on 15/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Then opened he their understanding,
that they might understand the Scriptures.”
Luke 24:45

Blessed opening, when He that hath the key of David puts in his hand by the hole of the door, and opens our heart to receive his own word. Then when we go to the Word of Truth, after it has come to us, our fingers drop with sweet- smelling myrrh upon the handles of the lock. It is said that “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.” O, to hear the voice of the Son of God in our hearts! Surely it shall make our dead hearts, cold frames, withering hopes, drooping love, dying faith, languishing prayers, and fainting minds live; yea, revive as the corn and grow as the vine.

What is all religion without a divine beginning, middle, and end, commencing, carried on, and accomplished with a heavenly power, supernatural life, and spiritual unction? Well may we be ashamed and sick of, and sorry for all our thoughts, words, and works, all our knowledge and profession that have not stood, or do not stand, in the power, teaching, and wisdom of God. All our talk has been but vain babbling, our prayers lip- service, our preaching wind and vanity, our profession hypocrisy, our knowledge the worst kind of ignorance, and all our religion carnality or delusion, if they have not been divinely communicated.

Sir Isaac Newton, the wisest philosopher, is said to have remarked to one who congratulated him on his knowledge, “I have been like a little child on the sea-shore taking up a little water in a shell when the vast ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me.” Much more may a spiritual man feel how little, how nothing he knows of the unsearchable riches of Christ, and the boundless stores of wisdom hid in them.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

14th February

Written by Steven Black on 14/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,
and which entereth into that within the veil.”
Hebrews 6:19

Anchors, you know, are made of different sizes. You may walk in the Queen’s Dockyard, and there you may see anchors for a boat, and anchors for a three-decker. Yet all anchors are made in the same way, and are designed for the same purpose; and the little anchor that holds the boat is as useful and as much an anchor as that which holds the three-decker. So spiritually. There is hope in the heart of the babe. But the hope in the heart of a babe is but as the anchor of a boat; yet it holds that babe as firmly as the anchor holds the boat to which it is moored. But as the Lord increases hope, he increases the size of the anchor; and as the vessel and its anchor always bear a proportion to each other, so when he enlarges the size of the anchor he increases the size of the ship. Nay more, as he increases the size of the ship, he increases its burden, for these two are proportionate. Thus hope takes a more vigorous hold within the veil; it enters more deeply into the presence of God; it takes a firmer grasp of covenant engagements, electing love, the immutability of God’s purposes, and the unchangeable nature of the great eternal I AM.

Have you not felt at times your hope sweetly enlarged, so that it almost attained to the “full assurance of hope?” Scarcely a cloud remained between you and God; and you believed you should ride triumphantly into the haven of bliss and peace; and having these blessed sensations in your heart, you could part with life itself at that moment to fall into the embrace of your God.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

13th February

Written by Steven Black on 13/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me;
let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.”
Psalm 43:3

A living man cannot, in his right mind, bear the idea of standing still, that is to say, standing still so as to have no spiritual work going on within; and still less can he bear the idea of going backward. He wants to go forward. He is often dissatisfied with his state; he feels how little he knows; he is well certified of the shallowness of his attainments in the divine life, as well as of the ignorance and the blindness that are in him; and therefore, labouring under the feeling of his own shortcomings for the past, his helplessness for the present, and his ignorance for the future, he wants to go forward wholly and solely in the strength of the Lord, to be led, guided, directed, kept, not by the wisdom and power of the creature, but by the supernatural entrance of light and truth into his soul.

The mercy-seat is continually covered with clouds; God hideth himself, and he cannot behold him; the truth seems obscured so that he cannot realise it. He often cannot find his way to Christ; he cannot perceive the path of life, nor whether his feet are in that path. He sees so few marks of grace in his soul, and feels so powerfully the workings of sin and corruption; he finds so few things for him and so many things against him, that he often staggers, and is perplexed in his mind, and seems almost to come to a feeling in his heart, that he is destitute of the grace of God altogether, that the secret of the Lord is not with him, but that he is a hypocrite in Zion, who has never had even the beginning of wisdom communicated to his soul.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

12th February

Written by Steven Black on 12/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“In whom we have redemption through his blood,
even the forgiveness of sins.”
Colossians 1:14

Of all spiritual blessings made known to the soul by the power of God “a knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins” is the hardest to be obtained, and most prized when got. How many poor tried, exercised, distressed souls are at this very moment sighing and crying for the manifestation of this one blessing. These well know, and some of them by the painful experience of many years’ hard bondage and travail, how hard it is to get forgiveness sealed on their heart. Not that it is really hard on the part of God now to forgive, that is, in experimental manifestation; for it is already done to and for all the elect of God: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2:13); and again, “In whom we have” (not “shall have,” but “have,” that is, now have) “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Though he may not be able to lay hold of it for himself, appropriate it as a personal blessing, and feel sweetly and blessedly assured, in his own heart and conscience, of the forgiveness of all his sins; yet every quickened soul is really forgiven all his trespasses, past, present, and to come. It is one of the spiritual blessings with which he has been blessed, already blessed, in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

11th February

Written by Steven Black on 11/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew,
as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.”
Deuteronomy 32:2

In the falling of the natural dew there is something soft, still, and gentle. We therefore read, “We will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground” (2 Sam. 17:12), that is, stealthily and unseen. It does not rush down like the pelting hail, but falls stilly and often imperceptibly; so that we scarcely know it has fallen, till we go out in the morning and see every blade of grass tipped with the sparkling dew-drops; by these bright gems we know that dew has fallen during the still hours of the night.

So spiritually, the kingdom of God is not in noise, rant, or wild excitement. The Lord was not in the strong wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in the still small voice (1 Kings 19:11, 12). And thus there may be a great deal of religious fire, but no presence of God felt; fleshly passions worked up into a storm, but no “still small voice” speaking to the conscience; a very earthquake of natural convictions, but no inward “demonstration of the spirit and of power.” But when the spiritual dew falls, it drops gently, softly, and stilly into the heart, and it is only known by the sweet and blessed effects it produces.

Dew also has a softening effect, especially in warm climates, where it falls very copiously. We therefore read, “Thou makest it soft with showers” (Psalm 65:10). It does not tear up the ground as with thunderbolts, but by moistening and softening penetrates into the soil. And thus the dew of God’s grace moistens and softens the heart, humbles, dissolves, and fertilises it; not by tearing it up with the thunderbolts of wrath and condemnation, but by dropping gently and stilly into it, so as to melt it into contrition, meekness, and godly sorrow before the throne of mercy and grace.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

10th February

Written by Steven Black on 10/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Lord, all my desire is before thee;
and my groaning is not hid from thee.”
Psalm 38:9

Many of the Lord’s people cannot clearly read their names in the book of life; many are the doubts and fears that work in their bosom whether the Lord really has begun a work of grace upon their souls, and whether they truly are among the Lord’s living family. But this thing they must know— whether at times and seasons they can lie in humility at the footstool of mercy, and appeal to a heart-searching God—”All my desire is before thee.” They must know whether they ever fell down in humility and brokenness of heart before the divine Majesty, and felt these living desires going out of their bosom into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth; and whether they can, with honesty, uprightness, and godly sincerity, say to the Lord in the language before us, “O Lord, all my desire is before thee.” “Thou seest my heart, and knowest everything that passes in my troubled breast.” If you can say that, it is a mark of life. If that has been the feeling of your heart from time to time, you find it was the same feeling that worked in the bosom of David. And God saw fit that it should be written by the finger of the Spirit, and placed upon solemn record for the consolation and encouragement of souls in similar circumstances.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

9th February

Written by Steven Black on 09/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence
to make your calling and election sure;
for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.”
2 Peter 1:10

Have you any testimony to your effectual calling? Has grace indeed laid hold of your heart? O that you might know more fully—more powerfully—what a blessed hope of eternal life is laid up in the bosom of this heavenly calling, that it might cheer and encourage you to press on more and more to realise all that is given you in Christ, both for here and hereafter, in present grace and in future glory! In knowing what is the hope of their effectual calling, the saints of God learn that this hope embraces all things which are made theirs in Christ, whether life or death, or things present or things to come, that all are theirs; and for this blessed and all-sufficient reason, that they are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.

It is by making sure our calling that we make sure our election,—for the one is the sure evidence of the other; and thus, if doubt and uncertainty hang over our calling, the same doubt and uncertainty must rest upon our election to eternal life. But as these doubts and fears are removed by the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ, and we can clearly see and fully believe that the grace of God effectually called us out of darkness into his marvellous light, then we see by faith what is laid up in the bosom of this calling, and what a glorious hope of eternal life is thereby afforded as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and thus abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

8th February

Written by Steven Black on 08/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“These all died in faith.”
Hebrews 11:13

When death came it did not rob them of their faith. They held with their believing hand in death every truth which they had held with their believing hand in life. It is in death that the gospel is such a blessing when held by a believing hand. What should we do upon a dying bed, with all our sins staring us in the face in all their awful magnitude, accused by Satan, condemned by conscience, terrified by a holy law, and frowned upon by an indignant God? What must be our end upon the bed of death if we had nothing to look to but a God who is a consuming fire, with nothing but the bitter recollection of past sins to agonise the mind and distress the conscience?

O, if ever faith is needed, it will be needed then; if ever the gospel embraced, embraced then; if ever Christ looked to, looked to then; if ever laid hold of by the hand of faith, laid hold of then! Now if you know what faith is, and your faith has embraced the Son of God, and love has worked by that faith, and Christ in that faith has made himself precious, that faith will never give up the ghost in a dying hour. False faith will then expire; but the faith of God’s elect will not leave you in the hour of death, but support you as you pass through the dark valley, and land you safe on that happy shore where faith is turned into sight, hope into enjoyment, and love abides in its fullest manifestation.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869