Few things are worth fighting for in life. In particular, few things are worth discord and ruffled feathers among your people. The clarity of the gospel, of course, is worth fighting for. Since it was worth the death of your Son to you, the gospel should be a precious treasure to us. When that treasure is contaminated or spoiled or corrupted in any way, we should fight to restore it to its brilliance and beauty. (more…)
Gracious Father: Forgive me for my lack of delight in your Word.
I am so grateful that you don’t make us guess who you are but that you speak directly to us. I know that your Word alone is inspired, without error, and completely true. Yet I do not hunger for your Word as I should. (more…)
Forgive me for my faltering faith in the gospel. Consistently I live below its privileges, contentedly playing with mudpies in the slums when a holiday at sea is on offer. I fail to apply its rich benefits every day. I fail to see myself as you see me, and I fail to live with the joy and thanksgiving that should characterize your children.
I know this is true, Father, because of how I respond to criticism. (more…)
My soul was fed rich gospel-food this Good Friday morning by this prayer, from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan readings and devotionals: (more…)
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge undder the shelter of your wings!
What wonder it is, Father, that you hear my cry and listen to my prayer. When my heart is faint, which is often, I can call to you from the ends of the earth – and I can be sure that you will hear me. Because of the blood of Jesus, I approach you not as a servant or slave but as a son (Rom 8:15). Just as a prince can command an immediate audience with the king, I can come to you in any moment of need, knowing that you will allow me to enter into your presence. What grace! (more…)
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Lord, I confess that I live far below my privileges in Christ. Though rich because of grace, I live as a spiritual pauper. Though given a Spirit of adoption, I live as a spiritual orphan. Though a co-heir with Christ of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, I live as a slave, begging for scraps at your table. Help me to experience the Spirit of adoption. Help me to feel like – to live like – the cherished son that I am in Christ.
How do I betray my failure to experience a Spirit of adoption? (more…)
Weak is the effort of my heart, and cold my warmest thought; but when I see Thee as Thou art, I’ll praise Thee as I ought.
from John Newton, How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds
Father, so often I am confused about what I really need. The shadows of longing and desire in my heart distract me from the true longings and deep desires that only you can fill. (more…)