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Ah, souls! when you shall lie upon a dying bed, and stand before a judgment-seat, sin shall be unmasked, and its dress and robes shall then be taken off, and then it shall appear more vile, filthy, and terrible than hell itself; then, that which formerly appeared most sweet will appear most bitter, and that which appeared most beautiful will appear most ugly, and that which appeared most delightful will then appear most dreadful to the soul.
~ Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices
If you are looking for a daily devotional as a Christmas or New year present or even birthday gift then look for one that is deep with theology and will spur you to delve deeper into the scriptures. The Puritan devotional Voices From the Past by Richard Rushing should be high on your list and this is why:
1 Timothy 4:2 … “Whose consciences are seared.”
“Get and keep a tender conscience. Be sensible of the least sin. Some men’s consciences are like the stomach of the ostrich that can digest iron: they can swallow the most notorious sins without regret. A good conscience is very delicate. It feels the least touch of known sin, and is grieved at the thought of grieving God’s Spirit. It will choose the greatest of suffering before the least of sinning.
However, the jeering Ishmaels of the world are ready to reproach and laugh it to scorn for its precise scruples. Daily train all your graces for battle. Live in a military posture, both defensive and offensive. Stand constantly by your weapons. Admit no peace with sin. The soldier of Christ must never lay down his arms. Satan never ceases his wiles and stratagems. He will tell you that sin is pleasant. Ask yourself if the gripping of conscience is also pleasant? Ask yourself if it is pleasant to be in hell, and be under the wrath of God? Ask yourself if the pleasures of sin for a season compare with the rivers of God’s pleasures? How do they compare to a weight of glory, an incorruptible crown, and a heavenly kingdom?
One more teaser from the puritan devotional Voices From The Past by Richard Rushing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
The closet and solitary prayer is a necessary duty, and a profitable one. It does much for the enlargement of the heart. When a man seeks to deal most earnestly with God, he should seek retire- ment, and be alone. Christ in his agonies went apart from his dis- ciples. It is notable that when Jacob sought to wrestle with God, it is said, ‘And Jacob was left alone’ (Gen. 32:24). When he had a mind to deal with God in great earnestness, he sent away all his company. A hypocrite finds a greater flash of gifts in his public duties; but he is slight and superficial when he is alone with God. Usually God’s chil- dren are able to most affectionately pour out their hearts before him in private. Here, they find their affections free to wrestle with God. Here, one finds most communion with God, and enlargement of heart. In private we are wholly at leisure to deal with God in a child-like liberty. Now, will you omit this duty where you may be most free, without distraction, to let out your heart to God? The sweetest experiences of God’s saints are when they are alone with him. Without seeking God often, the vitality of the soul is lost. ~ Thomas Manton
Im currently reading about puritans (and wow) it is challenging to learn about their high view of God. More so how they lived their lives. Here is a quote from Richard Baxter about parenting:
Parents! Your example and life are a continual and powerful sermon, which is always seen by your children! Parents! Your children have an everlasting inheritance of happiness to attain–and it is that which you must bring them up for. They have an endless misery to escape–and it is that which you must diligently teach them. If you don’t teach them to know God, and how to serve Him, and be saved, and to escape the flames of hell–you teach them nothing, or worse than nothing. It is in your hands to do them the greatest kindness or cruelty in all the world! Help them to know God and to be saved, and you do more for them than if you helped them to be kings or princes. …Read More!