7th February

Written by Steven Black on 07/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
Ephesians 1:13, 14

Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Holy are its inhabitants, holy its employments, holy its enjoyments. Therefore unless we know something of the teaching, the work, and witness of the Holy Spirit here, and are made partakers of a new, holy, spiritual, and heavenly nature we have no pledge or earnest of our interest in the inheritance of the saints in bliss. A carnal, unsanctified, unholy, unrenewed heart is utterly incapable of understanding, entering into, longing after, and loving an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. But every holy desire, heavenly affection, gracious longing, spiritual enjoyment, and believing, hoping, loving, looking unto and cleaving to the Lord of life and glory by the power of the Holy Spirit, are all so many pledges and earnests of an interest in the glorious inheritance of the saints in light.

The love, the joy, the peace, the calm tranquillity, and holy acquiescence in the will of God; the ravishing views of the glory of Christ which change the soul into the same image, from glory to glory; the delight felt in him, and the whole surrender of the heart and affections to the blessed Lord as the chiefest of ten thousand and the altogether lovely, are all so many earnests of the inheritance above, as being heaven begun below.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

6th February

Written by Steven Black on 06/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:9

You may be cast down by many doubts and fears, and lose the sense of the Lord’s love to your soul, but you cannot lose the reality, nor is your faith destroyed by the hottest flame. It is like gold; the fire melts away and separates the dross and tin, but never touches the gold. In your hottest trials your faith will not have lost a particle. Neither will your hope be destroyed, however you may be cast down about your state or standing; for not a particle of hope, or of any one Christian grace can ever be lost. They may seem to suffer diminution as the apostle speaks, “If a man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss” (1 Cor. 3:15); but it is no real loss,—it is merely the dross taken away, that he may come forth a vessel for the finer.

The work of the Holy Spirit is as indestructible as the work of Christ; and thus every grace which he implants in the soul remains there untouched, unharmed in all its divine integrity. Love, patience, submission, and humility all remain unhurt in the flame, though the dross which is mixed with them is taken from them that they may shine all the brighter. Thus though you may be plunged into the hottest fires, you will not be destroyed, any more than the three children were destroyed in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace, or Jonah in the belly
of the whale.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

5th February

Written by Steven Black on 05/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
John 1:17

The way to learn truth is to be much in prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ; as you lie upon your bed, as engaged in your daily occupation, to be from time to time looking up to the Lord himself as he sits upon his throne of grace, and be begging of him to teach you himself, for he is the best teacher. The words which he speaks, they “are spirit and life.” What he writes upon our hearts is written in characters which will “stand every storm and live at last.”

We forget what we learn from man, but we never forget what we learn from Jesus. Men may deceive—Christ cannot. You can trust no minister really and fully. Though you may receive truth from his lips, it is always mixed with human infirmity. But what you get from the lips of Jesus, you get in all its purity and power. It comes warm from Him; it comes cold from us. It drops like the rain and distils like the dew from his mouth; it comes only second-hand from ours. If I preach to you the truth, I preach indeed as the Lord enables me to speak. But it is he who must speak with power to your souls to do you any real good. Look then from me; look beyond me, to him who alone can teach us both. By looking to Jesus in the inmost feelings of your soul, you will draw living truth from out of his bosom into your own, from his heart into your heart, and thus will come feelingly and experimentally to know the blessedness of his own declaration: “I am the truth.”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

4th February

Written by Steven Black on 04/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:
for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”
Revelation 19:7

We want two things to take us to heaven; a title to it, and a meetness for it. Our only title to heaven is the blood and righteousness of the Son of God— that blood which “cleanseth from all sin,” and that righteousness which “justifies us from all things from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Nothing unclean or defiled can enter heaven. This is God’s own testimony: “There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27).

But besides the title, there must be also a meetness for this heavenly city, according to the words of the apostle: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12). Whilst here below, then, we must learn to sing some notes of that joyous anthem which will issue in full, uninterrupted harmony from the hearts and lips of the redeemed in the realms above, when that glorious company will ever cry, “Alleluia! Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power unto the Lord our God.” If we are to sit down among those blessed ones who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb, not only must we be “arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints,” but we must have had “the kingdom of God, which is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17), set up in our hearts.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

3rd February

Written by Steven Black on 03/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”
Colossians 3:1

How many there are even of those who desire to fear God who are kept down by the world, and to whom it has not lost its attractive power; who are held fast, at least for a time, by worldly business, or entangled by worldly persons or worldly engagements. Their partners in business or their partners in life; their carnal relatives or their worldly children; their numerous connections or their social habits; their strong passions or their deep-rooted prejudices, all bind and fetter them down to earth.

There they grovel and lie amid, what Milton terms, “The smoke and stir of this dim spot which men call earth;” and so bound are they with the cords of their sins that they scarcely seek deliverance from them, or even desire to rise beyond the mists and fogs of this dim spot into a purer air, so as to breathe a heavenly atmosphere, and rise up with Jesus from the grave of their corruptions. But if, as members of his mystical body, they are already risen with Christ, as it was not possible for the Head to be holden of death when God loosed the pains thereof (Acts 2:24), so neither shall they ever be buried in the grave of carnality and worldliness. They must rise spiritually if they rose mystically. If interested in the reality of Christ’s resurrection, they must know the power of Christ’s resurrection.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

2nd February

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

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”—1 John 2:27

Have you ever had a solitary drop of this holy anointing oil fall upon your heart? One drop, if it be but a drop, will sanctify you for ever to the service of God. There was not much of the holy anointing oil used for the service of the tabernacle, when we consider the size and quantity of what had to be consecrated, for Moses had to anoint therewith the whole of the tabernacle of the congregation, as well as all the vessels, with all their various appurtenances. When he went through the sacred work, he touched one vessel after another with a drop of oil; for one drop sanctified the vessel to the service of the tabernacle. There was no repetition of the consecration wanted; it abode. So if you ever had a drop of God’s love shed abroad in your heart,—a drop of the anointing to teach you the truth as it is in Jesus; a drop to penetrate, to soften, to heal, to feed and give light, life, and power to your soul,—you have the unction from the Holy One; you know all things which are for your salvation, and by that same holy oil you have been sanctified and made meet for an eternal inheritance.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

1st February

Written by Steven Black on 01/02/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them.”
— Jeremiah 31:9

Until God is pleased to pour out upon us the spirit of grace and of supplications, we cannot worship him aright; for God is a Spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth; nor can we without this spirit offer up that spiritual sacrifice which is acceptable to him through Jesus Christ. When this spirit has been once given and kindled in a believer’s breast, it never dies out. It is like the fire upon the brazen altar, which was first given by the Lord himself from heaven, and concerning which God gave this command: “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” (Lev. 6:13). This fire might sink low; it might be covered with the ashes of sacrifice, but it never was suffered to go out for want of supply of fuel.

So at times it may seem to you as if there were scarcely any spirit of prayer alive in your bosom; and you may feel as destitute of a spirit of grace and of supplications as if you had never known its lively movements and actings. But you will find it drawn out from time to time by circumstances. You will be placed under peculiar trials, under which you will find no relief but at a throne of grace; or God will in tender mercy breathe again upon your soul with his own gracious Spirit, and by his quickening breath will revive, I will not say kindle, for it is not gone out, that holy fire which seemed to be buried under the ashes of corruption, that inward spirit of prayer which he gave you at regeneration, and which will never cease till it issue in everlasting praise.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

31st January

Written by Steven Black on 31/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”
—Ephesians 1:11

By these words the apostle brings before our eyes God’s omnipotent power as carrying into effectual performance the counsel of his own will towards the objects of his distinguishing favour. An especial blessing is couched in this. Next to a believing view of the purposes of God’s grace, and a sweet persuasion of our interest in them, nothing is more strengthening and encouraging than a realising apprehension of the power of God to carry them into full execution.

Feeling, as we do, our own miserable helplessness, sinking under the pressure of our daily weakness, mourning over continual failures, and grieving on account of perpetual backslidings, encompassed by foes, and distressed by fears, how strengthening it is to our faith, thus tried to the utmost, to believe that he who has purposed has power to perform. This persuasion of the almighty power of God was the support and strength of Abraham’s faith, which bore him up in the face of seeming impossibilities, and whereby he gave glory to God (Rom. 4:18-21). When, then, as walking in the steps of the faith of Abraham, we can look up believingly to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, as we behold sovereign grace in his heart, and infinite wisdom in his mind, so we see almighty strength in his arm, and thus become sweetly persuaded that all which his loving heart feels, his infinite wisdom directs, and his omnipotent power can execute.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

30th January

Written by Steven Black on 30/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold.
She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework.”
—Psalm 45:13, 14

This is a beautiful description of the bridal garments of the Church as the queen. The gold was to be wrought into her clothing, the raiment to be of needlework, intimating that her robe of justifying righteousness was wrought, as it were, as in needlework, stitch by stitch; yet that every thread was embroidered with gold. Here we have the thread of the humanity in union with the gold of Deity, and yet each in such close union that the thread is but one. In gold thread the beauty, the value is in the gold; yet how close the union. Gold by itself could not be made into embroidery. So Deity cannot suffer, bleed, or die; but humanity can in union with it. Thus, as our blessed Lord went through the whole work which the Father gave him to do, his Deity, being in union with his obeying, suffering humanity, stamped each successive movement, as he went through it, with all the value and validity of Godhead. It is this union of Deity with humanity which made the work of redeeming love so unspeakably glorious, and so meritoriously efficacious. As Hart says: “Almighty God sighed human breath.”

It is indeed a mystery; but “great is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh.” O glorious mystery!

“The highest heavens are short of this;
‘Tis deeper than the vast abyss;
‘Tis more than thought can e’er conceive,
Or hope expect, or faith believe.”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

29th January

Written by Steven Black on 29/01/2019. Posted in Devotionals

“A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil:
but the fool rageth, and is confident.”
Proverbs 14:16

I believe no living soul can be satisfied with a notional religion: though a miserable backslider, and driven into the fields to feed swine, he cannot feed on their husks, but sighs after the bread of his Father’s house. The eyes being enlightened to see the nature of sin, the justice and holiness of God, and the miserable filthiness of self, the quickened soul can find no rest in anything short of a precious discovery of the Lamb of God; and the more that the soul is exercised with trials, difficulties, temptations, doubts, and besetments of various kinds, the more does it feel its need of that blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

What is a Christian worth without inward trials and exercises? How dead and lifeless are our prayers; how cold and formal when the soul is not kept alive by inward exercises! Where are the sighs, cries, groanings, wrestlings, and breathings of a soul that is at ease in Zion? The world is everything and Christ nothing, when we become settled on our lees, and are not emptied from vessel to vessel; but inward exercises, fears, straits, and temptations stir up the soul to cry, and pray, and beg for mercy. The certainty, the power, the reality of eternal things are then felt, when guilt, and wrath, and fear, and disquietude lay hold of the soul.

Mere notions alone of Christ, false hope, a dead faith, a presumptuous confidence, a rotten assurance, are all swept away as so many refuges of lies, when the soul is made to feel its nakedness and nothingness, its guilt and helplessness before God. And thus all these inward exercises pave the way for discoveries of Christ—those views of his blood and righteousness, that experimental acquaintance with his Person, love, grace, and work, which is life and peace.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869