18th December

Written by Steven Black on 18/12/2018. Posted in Devotionals

“That I may be found in him.” Philippians 3:9

The Apostle knew a time was coming when God would search Jerusalem as with candles. He knew a day was hastening on when the secrets of all hearts would be revealed. He knew an hour was approaching when the eyes of the Lord would try, and the eyelids of the righteous judge would weigh the words and actions of men. And he knew in his own soul’s experience, that all who, in that awful day, were not found in Christ, would be consigned to the eternal pit of woe. He knew that when the judge took his seat upon the great white throne, and heaven and earth fled away from his presence, no one could stand before his look of infinite justice and eternal purity, but those who had a vital standing in the Son of God. And therefore, looking to that awful time, and the solemnities of that day of judgment, that day of wonders, this was the desire of his soul—and towards that he pressed forward, as an active runner presses towards the goal—”that he might be found in him;” that when the Lord comes a second time to judgment, and his eyes run over the assembled myriads, he might be found in the Man who is “a refuge from the storm, and the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,” the only Saviour from the wrath to come, which will one day burst upon the world.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

17th December

Written by Steven Black on 17/12/2018. Posted in Devotionals

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1

How many a poor sensible sinner has, upon the strength of these words, looked unto Jesus and been lightened (Psalm 34:5), come to him and met with a kind reception. By the power which attends such invitations the heart is opened, as was the heart of Lydia, to attend unto the things spoken in the gospel. It is not put away as too holy for a poor polluted sinner to touch, nor is the Lord Jesus viewed as an angry judge; but in these invitations his clemency, tenderness, and compassion are seen and felt, and beams and rays of his mercy and grace both enlighten the understanding and soften and melt the heart. Thence spring confession of sin, self-loathing, renunciation of one’s own righteousness, earnest desires and breathings after the Lord, and an embracing of the love of the truth so far as made known.

And as all these effects, so different from the old dead pharisaic religion, are produced by the power of the word upon the heart, the Bible becomes a new book, and is read and studied with attention and delight. The ears, too, being unstopped, as well as the eyes opened, if there be the opportunity of hearing the preached gospel, with what eagerness is it embraced, and what a sweetness there is found in it. All who have passed through these things will agree with us that there are no such hearing days as what Job calls “the days of our youth, when the secret of God is upon our tabernacle” (Job 29:4).

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

16th December

Written by Steven Black on 16/12/2018. Posted in Devotionals

“Beloved of God, called to be saints.” Romans 1:7

The very word “saint” has become, through man’s perverseness and wickedness, a word of reproach and contempt. But God will honour it, let men dishonour it as they please. God has put a crown of glory upon it, let men despise it as they may. There is no privilege or blessing that God can confer so great and glorious as to crown you with the crown of saint. He might have given you titles without number; he might have showered riches upon your head in the greatest profusion; rank, fame, talent, beauty, health, all might have been poured at your feet; but what would all these be compared to making you a saint of God?

But what is it to be a saint? It is to be sanctified by God the Father, set apart for himself, to shew forth his praise. It is to be washed in the atoning blood and clothed in the justifying righteousness of the Son, and to be regenerated by the Spirit of God. It is to be introduced into a new world by being delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.

What heart can conceive or tongue express the state of blessedness to which the despised saints of God are advanced even in this time state! They are sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty; jewels in Jesus’ mediatorial crown; members of his mystical body, and as such united to him by indissoluble ties; pillars in the temple of God which shall go no more out; sheep redeemed by precious blood; virgin souls espoused to the Lord the Lamb. They are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, and mansions of glory are prepared for them beyond the skies. There they shall sit as overcomers with Christ on his throne, and there they shall sing upon harps of gold the praises of a Three-One God to all eternity.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

15th December

Written by Steven Black on 15/12/2018. Posted in Devotionals

“Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” Isaiah 45:24

The same blessed Spirit who shines as with a ray of light and life into the conscience, to make it feel the guilt of sin, the curse of the law, and its own miserable state as a transgressor, leads it also into this secret, that it has no strength. Have you never felt that you were utterly powerless—that you would believe, but could not; would hope, but could not; would love, but could not; would keep God’s word, but could not; would obey his commandments, but were not able? Has a sense of your own miserable impotency and thorough helplessness never pressed you down almost to despair?

You felt sure that there was a faith, a hope, a love, a blessing, and a blessedness in the truth of God; a pardon, a peace, a heavenly joy; an assurance of salvation, a union and communion with the Lord Jesus, which you saw, but could not reach. You felt that if you could believe, all would be well, but believe you could not. Thus you learnt you had no strength, and as we learn our weakness in this way, we begin to learn also in whom is our strength; and as we get access to Christ by a living faith, we receive strength out of him for a supply of our spiritual necessities.

Despairing of all strength in self, we look to the Lord Jesus Christ, at the right hand of the Father, to give us his; we lift up our prayers and supplications to the great High Priest over the house of God, to strengthen us with strength in our soul; and when he is pleased, in answer to prayer, to send down his Spirit and grace, we are “strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” This is being “strong in the Lord and in the power of his might;” and a being “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

14th December

Written by Steven Black on 14/12/2018. Posted in Devotionals

“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24

So we are allowed to glory. But in what and in whom? Not in ourselves; that is for ever disannulled. The Lord has purposed to pour contempt upon all human glory, that none should glory in himself, whatever he be or whatever he have. But when a man has a view of the Son of God in his beauty, in his suitability, in his heavenly grace and divine glory, then he can and may glory in the Lord. He can say, “O what a Lord there is above! How glorious is he in his excellency, in his suitability, and in his blessedness; how glorious his wisdom, his righteousness, his sanctification, and his redemption. Let my whole glory be there; let me not take to myself a single atom of it. If I am wise, let me give him the glory of being my wisdom; if righteous, let me give him the glory of being my righteousness; if I have any fruit of the Spirit, let me give him the glory of being my sanctification; if I am redeemed from death and hell, let the glory of my redemption be his.” This is doing as God would have us to do, glorying in his dear Son.

And the Lord will bring all his people to this spot sooner or later. He will give them such views of the effects of the fall, of the misery of sin, and of their own helplessness; and will give them such gracious views of his dear Son, as shall wean them from glorying in the creature and make them glory in the Lord as all their salvation and all their desire. It may be by a long course of severe discipline, but the Lord will eventually bring all his people there; for he has determined to glorify his dear Son, and when we can thus glorify him, then we have the mind of Christ, and are doing the will of God.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

13th December

Written by Steven Black on 13/12/2018. Posted in Devotionals

“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Hebrews 5:9

By his sufferings in the garden and upon the cross the Lord Jesus was made perfect. But what perfection was this? It clearly does not mean that by these sufferings in the garden and upon the cross our Lord was made perfect as the Son of God, nor perfect as the Son of man, for he was perfect before as possessing infinite perfection in his eternal Godhead, and was endued also with every possible perfection of which his sacred humanity was capable. He needed no perfection to be added to his Godhead; it was not susceptible of it; no perfection to be added to his manhood, for it was “a holy thing” in union with eternal Deity.

But he needed to be made perfect as a High Priest. It was through his sufferings that he was consecrated or dedicated in an especial manner to the priesthood, for this corresponds with his own words: “And for their sakes I sanctify myself” (John 17:19); that is, I consecrate or dedicate myself to be their High Priest. The two main offices of the high priest were to offer sacrifice and make intercession. Sacrifice came first; and the sufferings of our Lord in the garden and upon the cross were a part of this sacrifice. He was therefore “made perfect through suffering,” that is, through his sufferings, blood-shedding, and death he was consecrated to perform that other branch of the priestly office which he now executes.

Thus as Aaron was consecrated by the sacrifice of a bullock and a ram, of which the blood was not only poured out at the bottom of the altar and sprinkled upon it, but put also on his right ear and hand and foot, so was his great and glorious Anti-type consecrated through his own sacrifice and blood-shedding on the cross; and thus being made perfect, or rather, as the word literally means, being perfected, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all
them that obey him.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

12th December

Written by Steven Black on 12/12/2018. Posted in Devotionals

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26

In all our prayers, in all our approaches to the throne, our mercy and wisdom will be to seek to possess the mind of the Spirit; to desire to know the will of God, and do it; to look up more believingly and continually to the Lord Jesus, that he himself would teach and guide us; that he would by his Spirit and grace conform us more inwardly and outwardly to his suffering image; that he would grant unto us to know him more, and serve him better; that our prayers may day by day be more and more fervent, earnest, and sincere, more spiritual, more in accordance with the will of God; that thus they may be more and more manifested as the interceding breath of the Spirit of God in our hearts, and as such may bring more clear and evident answers down.

Pray for the manifestation of Christ to your soul, for a revelation of the Person, blood, righteousness, and love of Jesus; seek to have your signs and evidences of divine life more cleared up; your Ebenezers and tokens for good more brightly shone upon; your doubts and fears more plainly dispelled, and a fuller and sweeter assurance of personal interest given in the finished work of Christ. Desire also to have the promises applied to your heart, the word of God brought with divine power into your conscience, and a living faith raised up and drawn forth to mix with the truth which you read or hear.

Beg, as the Lord may enable, for submission, patience, resignation, brokenness, contrition, humility, godly sorrow for sin, heavenly affections, and that sweet spirituality of mind which is life and peace. Above all, seek an inward assurance that your prayers are heard and accepted, and then watch for the answer. This will give you the surest and best of all evidences that the blessed Spirit is himself interceding for you with groanings which cannot be uttered.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

11th December

Written by Steven Black on 11/12/2018. Posted in Devotionals

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

When we rest, we find relief to our weary limbs. So spiritually. When the soul comes to Jesus, he gives it rest and relief from its burdens; as well as deliverance from anxiety, and cessation from the labour that distresses and distracts it. He promises to give this—”Come unto me, and I”—who else can do it? None, either in heaven or earth—”Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” How?

By communicating to the soul out of his infinite fulness, by sprinkling upon the conscience his atoning blood, by shedding abroad in the heart his dying love, and enabling the soul to believe on his name, and cling to his Person. In this there is rest—nothing else will do it—nothing else will give it. Other remedies will leave us at last under the wrath of God. But he that comes to and leans upon Jesus, his finished work, his dying love, will have rest here and heaven hereafter.

Are not our poor minds often restless, often anxious, and pensive, because of a thousand doubts, perplexities, painful trials, and grievous afflictions—do they not all make your spirit weary and restless within you? There never can be anything but restlessness while we move round this circle of sin and self. But when by precious faith we come out of our own righteousness, our own strength, our own wisdom, our own worthiness; come to, believe in, hang upon, and cleave unto the Person, blood, and work of the only-begotten Son of God, so as to feel a measure of his preciousness in our hearts—then there is rest. This is solid, this is abiding, this is not delusive; this will never leave the soul deceived with false hopes. No, it will end in eternal bliss and glory—in the open vision of eternal love—in seeing him face to face whom the soul has known, looked to, believed in, and loved upon earth.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

10th December

Written by Steven Black on 10/12/2018. Posted in Devotionals

“That they all may be one,
as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us:
that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
John 17:21

The Apostle declares, “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17). If, then, we are joined to the Lord, in other words, have a union with him, this is the closest of all unions. A man and his wife are one flesh, but Jesus and the saint are one spirit. If possessed of this we are one spirit with him; we understand what he says; we have the mind of Christ; we love what he loves, and hate what he hates. But out of this spiritual union flows communion with him, intercourse with him, communications from him, and the whole of that divine work upon the heart whereby the two spirits become one.

The Spirit of Christ in his glorious Person and the Spirit of Christ in a believing heart meet together, and meeting together as two drops of rain running down a pane of glass, or two drops of oil, kiss into each other, and are no longer two but one. Now if you have been ever blest with a manifestation of Christ, your spirit has melted into his, and you have felt that sweet union and communion with him that you saw as with his eyes, heard as with his ears, felt as with his heart, and spoke as with his tongue.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

9th December

Written by Steven Black on 09/12/2018. Posted in Devotionals

“When thou passest through the waters,
I will be with thee.”
Isaiah 43:2

How many of the dear saints of God, when they have been brought into tribulation and sorrow, have found the fulfilment of this most gracious promise! And is there not one of these waters through which all must go—that deep and rapid Jordan which every one must pass through? How dark and gloomy those waters have appeared to the eyes of many a child of God, in whom is continually fulfilled the experience of the words, “Who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” But how often have these waters only been terrible in prospect, in anticipation. How different has been the reality. When he comes down to the river’s bank and his feet dip in these waters, and it appears as though they would rise higher and higher, the Lord suddenly appears in his power and presence, and then the water sinks. He speaks a word of peace to his soul upon a dying bed—reveals Christ in his love and grace and blood—removes those doubts, fears, and disturbing thoughts which have perplexed him for years, and brings into his heart a holy calm, a sweet peace, assuring him that all is well with him, both for time and eternity. Has he not then the fulfilment of the promise, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee?”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869