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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
Usually God’s children 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. ~ Thomas Manton
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?
Of the knowledge of Jesus:
Consider the excellencies of the knowledge of Christ. The comfort of believers are streams from this fountain. Jesus Christ is the object of a believer’s joy. Take away the knowledge of Christ, and Christians would be the most sad and melancholy beings in the world. Let Christ but manifest himself, and dart the beams of his light into their souls, and it will make them kiss the stake, sing in the flames, and shout in the pangs of death, as men that divide the spoil. We can perform no duty, enjoy no comfort, nor can we be saved without it (John 17:3).
If it is life eternal to know Christ, then it is eternal damnation to be ignorant of Christ. Christ is the door that opens heaven, and knowledge is the key that opens Christ. It is profound; all other sciences are but shadows; this is a boundless, bottomless ocean; no creature has a line long enough to fathom its depths, there is height, length, depth, and breadth ascribed to it (Eph. 3:18), yea, it passes knowledge. …Read More!
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