14th April

Written by Steven Black on 14/04/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“As having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
2 Corinthians 6:10

How do we possess all things? In possessing Christ who is heir of all things. If we possess Christ, what have we not in him? We have wisdom to teach us, righteousness to justify us, sanctification to make us holy, and redemption to deliver us from sin, death, and hell. If we have him, we have the favour and love of God; we have the pardon of our sins, the reconciliation of our persons, the casting behind God’s back of all our backslidings, and a title to a heavenly crown. If we have him, we have everything in him, for Christ is ours, and Christ is God’s. Therefore in him we possess all things. We shall have in providence things sufficient to carry us to the grave. He will give us everything that is for our good, and keep back nothing that is for our benefit. If we possess him, what have we not in him?

Now the world, when death comes, what has it? Nothing to look to but the anger of God, and a fearful judgment. But the saint of God, when death comes to him, what has he to look to? A crown of life, a mansion in the skies, a smiling God, and a blessed assurance that he shall sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Thus though the saints of God have nothing, yet they possess all things; and possessing a heavenly crown, what can God give them more?

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

13th April

Written by Steven Black on 13/04/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“But now is Christ risen from the dead,
and become the firstfruits of them that slept;
for since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead;
for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:20, 21, 22

Christ risen is the firstfruits of that mighty crop of buried dead whose remains still sleep in the silent dust, and who will be joined by successive ranks of those who die in him, till all are together wakened up in the resurrection morn. The figure is that of the sheaf of the firstfruits which was waved before the Lord before the harvest was allowed to be reaped (Lev. 23:10, 11). This offering of the wave sheaf was the consecration and dedication of the whole crop in the field to the Lord, as well as the manifest pledge that the harvest was fully ripe for the reaper’s sickle.

The firstfruits represented the whole of the crop, as Christ is the representative of his saints; the offering of them sanctified what was still unreaped in the field, as Christ sanctified or consecrated unto God the yet unreaped harvest of the buried dead; and the carrying them into the tabernacle was the first introduction therein of the crop, as Christ entering heaven as the firstfruits secures thereby the entrance of the bodies of the saints into the mansions prepared for them before the foundation of the world.

Thus Christ rising from the dead presented himself before the Lord as the firstfruits of the grand harvest of the resurrection yet unreaped, and by doing so consecrated and dedicated the whole crop unto God. As, then, he rose from the dead, so shall all the sleeping saints rise from the dead at the last day, for his resurrection is the fitstfruits, the pledge, and the earnest of theirs.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

12th April

Written by Steven Black on 12/04/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
Psalm 91:1

What is “the secret place of the most High?” It is the same spot, of which Asaph speaks in the seventy-third Psalm — “Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then understood I their end.” It is the spot, of which the Lord speaks in Ezekiel — “I will be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.” Then this “secret place” is the secret bosom of God. It is an entrance by faith into Jehovah, by a spiritual manifestation of him, leading us into a spiritual acquaintance with him. “The secret place of the most High” is that solemn spot, where Jehovah meets with the sinner in Christ, and where he opens up to him the riches of his mercy, and leads him into his bosom, so as to read the secrets of his loving heart.

It is called a “secret” place, as only known to the persons to whom it is especially communicated. It is called a “secret” place, because none can get into it, — no, nor desire to get into it, — except the Lord himself, with his own mysterious hand, opens up to them a part in it, sets them down in it, and sweetly blesses them in it. Then to be in “the secret place of the most High” is to be brought into something like fellowship and acquaintance with God, — something like communion, spiritual worship, divine intercourse; so as to know something of him experimentally, and “run into” him, as “a strong tower,” and there feel solemn safety.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

11th April

Written by Steven Black on 11/04/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Hold fast that which is good.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21

There are two things especially which every saint of God is called upon to hold fast: these are, first, the beginning of God’s work upon his soul; and, secondly, his deliverance. Any manifestation too that you have had of the Lord Jesus Christ; any application of his atoning blood; any discovery of his glorious Person or shedding abroad of his love; hold that fast, for it is good. And so I may say, hold fast any promise you have ever had applied; any answer to prayer you have ever received; any felt blessing that may have been wrought in your heart by a divine power. All this is good. It comes from a good God; it works in a good way; it leads to a good end; it will make a good deathbed, and will land you in a most blessed eternity.

Therefore “hold fast that which is good.” Everything which is commended to your conscience as really good; every good man; every good minister; every child of God with whom you feel union or communion; every good precept, word, and work; in short, whatever is fully commended to your conscience as spiritual and divine, hold that fast, and you will find the benefit of it. Discard and reject everything bad, unbecoming, inconsistent, ungodly, erroneous, or heretical; discard them all—shew them no mercy. In heart but not in hand, hew them down, as Samuel hewed down Agag in Gilgal.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

10th April

Written by Steven Black on 10/04/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. ”
Habakkuk 3:18

If ever, as we pass through this wilderness, we feel one drop of solid joy, of true happiness, it must flow, it can flow only from one source—the manifestation of Christ to our souls. This joy may be very transient: we may have to look upon it through a vista of many years; and doubts and fears may becloud the mind whether we ever rejoiced truly in Christ, or whether our joy might not have been “the joy of the hypocrite” that perisheth. And yet we are brought to this point—we can find joy and peace in Him alone. Sin, the world, the things of time and sense, business, amusement, pleasure so called, afford now no joy; there is an aching void, a feeling of dreariness and misery connected with everything short of communications of mercy, favour, and love. So that though we may not be enabled to say, ‘we greatly rejoice at all times, in all places, at all seasons, in the Lord;’ yet we can come to this point—we can rejoice in no other; we can take real pleasure in nothing else. One smile from the Lord, one word from his lips, one gracious breaking in of the light of his countenance does, while it lasts, communicate joy; and from no other quarter, from no other source can a moment’s joy be drawn.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

9th April

Written by Steven Black on 09/04/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved:
for thou art my praise.”
Jeremiah 17:14

If we feel that we have ruined our own souls, that no human arm can save us, that we cannot bring salvation into our own consciences, nor of ourselves see any beauty, glory, sweetness, or suitability in the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet are striving with prayer and supplication to touch the hem of his garment, to taste the sweetness of his dying love, to feel the efficacy of his atoning blood, to be wrapped up in his glorious robe of righteousness, and to know him in the sweet manifestations of his grace, we too can say, “Save me, and I shall be saved.”

Here is this sin! save me from it: here is this snare! break it to pieces; here is this lust! Lord, subdue it; here is this temptation! deliver me out of it; here is my proud heart! Lord, humble it; my unbelieving heart! take it away, and give me faith; give me submission to thy mind and will; take me as I am with all my sin and shame and work in me everything well-pleasing in thy sight, for “Thou art my praise.”

If ever I have blessed thee, it has been for thy goodness to my soul; if ever my heart has been tuned to thy praise, if ever my lips have thanked thee, it has been for the riches of thy grace, and the manifestations of thy mercy. I am nothing, and never shall be anything but a poor guilty sinner in thy eyes; but I have to praise thee for all that is past, and to hope in thee for all that is to come; “for thou,” and thou alone, O Lord, “art my praise.”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

8th April

Written by Steven Black on 08/04/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own
but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,
therefore the world hateth you.”
John 15:19

If you walk in the fear of God, and follow in the footsteps of a persecuted and despised Jesus, the world will hate and despise you as it hated and despised him, as he himself declares, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” God himself has put enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (Gen. 3:15); and nothing will secure you from the manifestation of this enmity if you are on Christ’s side. Neither rank, nor property, nor learning, nor education, nor amiability, nor the profusest deeds of liberality, nor the greatest uprightness of conduct, will stave off the scorn of men, if you are a sincere follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, and carry out in practice what you hold in principle.

If you are not conformed to Jesus here in his suffering image, you will most certainly not be conformed to Jesus hereafter in his glorified likeness. But if by living for and unto Jesus and his cross, your name be cast out as evil, wear it as your distinguishing badge, as adorning the breast of a Christian warrior. If men misrepresent your motives or actions, and seek to hunt you down with every calumny that the basest malignity can invent, do not heed it as long as you are innocent. They cannot find you a better or more honourable crown, if indeed your godly life provoke the cruel lie. It is a crown that your Master bore before you when they crowned his head with thorns. If you feel as I have felt, you will at times count yourself even unworthy to suffer persecution for his name’s sake.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

7th April

Written by Steven Black on 07/04/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“I will be as the dew unto Israel.”
Hosea 14:5

Sometimes the Lord, without applying his word with any very great and distinguishing power to the heart, makes his truth to drop with a measure of sweetness into the soul. This is as rain or dew, according to his own gracious declaration, “My doctrine shall drop as the rain; my speech shall distil as the dew” (Deut. 32:2). The dropping, then, of his doctrine, or, as the word means, his “teaching,” as rain, and the distilling of his gracious speech as dew, kindle in the soul a love of the truth, and wherever this is felt there is salvation, for we read of those who perish that “they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10).

There is a receiving of the truth, and a receiving of the love of the truth. These two things widely differ. To receive the truth will not necessarily save; for many receive the truth who never receive the love of the truth. Professors by thousands receive the truth into their judgment, and adopt the plan of salvation as their creed; but are neither saved nor sanctified thereby. But to receive the love of the truth by the truth as it is in Jesus being made sweet and precious to the soul, is to receive salvation itself. It is in this way that the gospel is made the power of God unto salvation; and therefore the Apostle, speaking of “the preaching of the cross,” says that “it is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” Now it is impossible that this power should be felt without its having an alluring effect upon the soul, whereby it comes out from every evil thing and cleaves to the Lord with purpose of heart.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

6th April

Written by Steven Black on 06/04/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“And I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written,
which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”
Revelation 2:17

In ancient times they used to decide cases by white and black stones. The judges (for they were rather judges than jury) did not give their verdict upon the prisoner by oral testimony, “guilty,” or “not guilty,” as in our country, but by dropping into an urn a white stone to express their opinion that the prisoner was innocent, or a black stone to declare their judgment that the prisoner was guilty. The Lord has made use of this figure. He says, “To him that overcometh I will give a white stone;” that is, I will give into his conscience a sentence of acquittal. As the white stone was dropped into the urn, so peace and pardon are dropped into the sinner’s bosom; and just as the judge, when he deposited the white stone in the urn, declared thereby the prisoner’s innocence; so when the Lord is pleased to speak peace to the soul, he drops into the heart a white stone, to proclaim him discharged from the law’s accusations, and interested in his love and blood.

“And in the stone a new name written.” What is this new name? Is it not a new heart, a new nature—Christ in the soul the hope of glory? This is the “new name which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” New thoughts of Jesus, new openings up of Scripture, new meltings of heart, new softenings of spirit, everything made new by him who renews us “in the renewing of our mind”—no man knows these things saving he who receives them. It is all betwixt the Lord and the soul, it is all betwixt a pardoning God and a pardoned sinner; it is all mercy, all grace, all love, from first to last. Grace began, grace carries on, and grace finishes it; grace must have all the glory, and grace must crown the work with eternal victory.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

5th April

Written by Steven Black on 05/04/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.”
Revelation 2:17

How often God’s word is to you a sealed book; how often you hear from the pulpit the most encouraging preaching, yet get no encouragement from it; how often you hear Christ held forth in his Person, blood and righteousness, and go away as you came, without any sensible relief. What is the reason? Because you are overcome. Unbelief, bondage, darkness of mind, insensibility rest upon your spirit, and all these keep you from feeding upon the manna.

But sometimes a gracious word comes over all these hills and mountains of unbelief, bondage, doubt and fear, and as this word drops into your heart, you begin to shout victory over all your foes and fears. Then the word of God begins to open itself up in its sweetness and blessedness. The Lord of the house brings out the hidden manna, and the word of God is made sweet and precious to the soul.

Sometimes you read the word of God as a dry and barren task to satisfy conscience. When is that? When you are shut up in unbelief and bondage. But at other times the word of God is read with pleasure, and it is to you the joy and rejoicing of your heart. This is when you can believe it; and thus faith turns the word of God into manna. But if you are barren, then the word of God is barren; if dead, the word is dead; if cold and lifeless, the word is so too. But when the scene changes, when the clouds are dispersed, then you see light in God’s light. Then it is a blessed Bible, a precious book, full of sweet promises and encouraging invitations. It is in this way the manna is given to the overcomer.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869