The Cross of Calvary

“Here we commemorate the greatest and deepest demonstration of true love the world has ever known. For God looked down upon sorrowing, struggling, sinning humanity and was moved with compassion for the contrary, sheep-like creatures He had made. In spite of the tremendous personal cost it would entail to Himself to deliver them from their dilemma He chose deliberately to descend and live amongst them that He might deliver them.incarnation

This meant laying aside His splendor, His position, His prerogatives as the perfect and faultless One. He knew He would be exposed to terrible privation, to ridicule, to false accusations, to rumor, gossip and malicious charges that branded Him as a glutton, drunkard, friend of sinners and even an imposter. It entailed losing His reputation. It would involve physical suffering, mental anguish and spiritual agony.

In short, His coming to earth as the Christ, as Jesus of Nazareth, was a straightforward case of utter self-sacrifice that culminated in the cross of Calvary. The laid-down life, the poured-out blood were the supreme symbols of total selflessness. This was love. This was God. This was divinity in action, delivering men from their own utter selfishness, their own stupidity, their own suicidal instincts as lost sheep unable to help themselves.” – A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

Glory for the Newborn Child of God

Source

Monday the 10th of December

in Meditations I

Psalm 63:11

    A beautiful truth that a born again child of God can and will sing is stated in these words (PRC Psalter):

    My Savior ‘neath Thy sheltering wings,
    My soul delights to dwell;
    Still closer to Thy side I press,
    For near Thee all is well.
    My soul shall conquer every foe,
    Upholden by Thy hand;
    Thy people shall rejoice in God,
    Thy saints in glory stand.

    This is the versification of Psalm 63:11. In this verse David wrote: But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by Him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”

    We should note two elements here. The born again child of God will “rejoice in God” and “shall glory.” For the last step in the work of salvation for the child of God is that God glorifies him and gives him the heavenly joy of a covenant life of fellowship with God.

    Now glory is the radiation, the shining forth of virtue. That lies ahead for every child of God. Not only will he receive a glorified body, like that of Christ, wherein his new man in Christ shall have a life of bliss, but he will rejoice in fellowship with God.

    Glory makes us rejoice. The curse brings us tears and sorrow. That will all be behind us when we reach the glory promised us. Now already we have protection. As David wrote in verse 7: “Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.” Satan and his servants cannot keep the reborn child of God from reaching that heavenly glory. And reaching that glory with both body and soul, he will have an endless life of heavenly bliss.

    Our new life wants that covenant fellowship with God. That is the blessedness that every reborn child of God hopes to obtain. That he will reach, and then he will rejoice in the Lord and shall have glory that never fades.

    What a work of salvation it is then that God wrought in Christ! What a great praise and thanksgiving we owe Him and will in that glory be able to bring to Him!

Read: Psalm 63
Psalter versification: #163:3

Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter #21
Why not sing along??

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Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Amos 1 ; Amos 2 ; Amos 3:1-15
Revelation 2:1-17
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 29:19-20 
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Quote for Reflection:

How sweet is it to godly minds to be assured, not only by word, but by sight, that they obtain so much favour with the Heavenly Father that their offspring are within His care?” ~ John Calvin

Sorrows of Sin

elder silas

“The terrible afflictions of soul I cannot describe. I cannot tell of the sorrows on account of sin in thought and word and deed, of the going down into the depths, when deep has called unto deep in my soul, when I have felt that “the bars of the earth were about me forever.” But so far the Lord has showed me his delivering power and grace, and out of every one of these deep and heavy afflictions the Lord has brought me into some deeper and more glorious understanding of his goodness.” Silas Durand, Exercises About Preaching

Redemption all is ours!

“If sinless innocence be theirs, Redemption all is ours.”

“O the riches of the love of God!

The redemption of the soul by the blood of the God-man-mediator is all ours; and the angels cannot even sip it. It is out of the reach of their pure lips and holy hearts; but the Lord, in the riches of his grace, bestows that especial favour, with all the blessings connected with it, upon the objects of his precious choice, of his love, his own love.

Have you, my friends, been brought, as poor sinners, poor broken down sinners, to gadsbybelieve in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Have we been brought to cast our cares upon Christ, to feel a little measure of his love and blood?

O how amazing, then, how wonderfully amazing the feeling, when sometimes we have been drawn up by the power of God the Spirit to behold the glory of the workings of a faith entering into the bosom and the love of the God-man, and saying, “My Lord and my God!”

How amazing!

Reason is confounded; even Unbelief is obliged to skulk away for a moment; but it is such a devil it will soon come again; but it is obliged for a moment to skulk away, while the soul has solemn, sweet, and blessed intercourse with God in Christ Jesus.

To speak of a millionth part of the blessings that God’s people have secured to them, which are causes for thankfulness, we never can. Just let us drop a hint or two, if we can, upon the suggestion, and then leave it.”

William Gadsby

Faith Feeds Upon Christ

Quotations to edify and encourage from John Gill’s Practical Divinity. (emphasis added)

“Faith receives a whole Christ, not in part only, but in whole, he is “altogether”, or “all of him lovely;” the whole of him is, amiable in the sight of a believer, and acceptable to him. As the passover Lamb was to be eaten wholly by the Israelites, no part of it to be left, so faith feeds upon a whole Christ, Christ in his person, offices, grace, and righteousness. “Is Christ divided?” He is not, not in his person; he is but one, God manifest in the flesh; nor in his doctrines; nor from his ministers: nor from his ordinances; where Christ is received all are received.” p65

“Believers feed and live upon Christ by faith; “he”, says Christ, “that eateth me”, his flesh and blood by faith, “even he shall live by me”, a life of grace, which will issue in eternal life; yea, such as thus feed on Christ “have eternal life” (John 6:54,57), and a most comfortable life this is, which a believer lives by faith on Christ, and so a very desirable one; “the life which I now live in the flesh”, says the apostle, “I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20), nor did he desire any other; a better and a more comfortable life cannot be lived in this world; “the just shall live by faith”; not upon his faith; but by faith on Christ (Rom. 1:17).” p73

“The administration of ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s supper; which give such views of Christ in his sufferings and death, burial, and resurrection from the dead, and of the benefits arising from them, as yield delight to believing souls; the eunuch, upon his baptism, “went on his way rejoicing;” the supper of the Lord is a “feast of fat things,” a rich entertainment, where the flesh of Christ, as “meat indeed,” and the blood of Christ, as “drink indeed,” are presented to faith to feed upon; these ordinances are “breasts of consolation,” at which saints may “suck and be satisfied,” and “milk out,” and be “delighted” with the abundance of the glory in them; these are the “lattices” through which Christ shows himself, and these the “galleries” in which he is beheld, to the great joy and satisfaction of those who are favored with a sight of him.” p131

“Christ the Son of God is theirs; the gift of his Father’s love, an unspeakable one he is; given as an head unto them; as an head of government, to rule over them and protect them; and an head of influence, to supply them; he is their husband, to love, nourish, and cherish them, as his own flesh, and to all whose goods they have a common right; he is their Saviour and Redeemer from sin, Satan, the curse of the law, and wrath to come; he is their Mediator and Peacemaker, their Prophet, Priest, and King. All that belong to him are theirs; his righteousness is theirs, for justification; his blood is theirs, to cleanse and pardon them; his flesh is theirs, to feed upon by faith; his fulness theirs, to supply their wants; he is ALL in ALL unto them; and what, not content!” p152

Good Friday

good friday

Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by others;
a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him of no account.

Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people.

They made his grave with the wicked
and his tomb with the rich,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.
When you make his life an offering for sin,
he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.

Out of his anguish he shall see light;
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
The righteous one,[h] my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

divider

My previous experiences with traditional churches was less than impressive as they were seeking to modernize their services to suit cultural tastes and draw in new members. As a Reformed Christian in somewhat of a transition, to what I don’t know, I’ve attended to the worship of God without images. No incense. No cross or crucifix. Simple or plain music. But last night, last nights Maundy Thursday service, was offered in the most solemn manner and respect. With shiny crosses covered in purple, candles and choral music…it was sensory overload. The entire service left me speechless and enraptured.

As the Priest washed the feet of random worshippers I was struck at the humility of both Priest and laity, and understand why some Baptists practice foot washing. The Lord’s Supper was celebrated and the sanctuary striped of its crosses and candles. The organ was not played nor were we dismissed, but invited to stay and pray, to keep vigil until midnight. The sanctuary darkened except for a few lights allowing the darkness to impact us as we contemplated a world without Christ and His promise to raise up again.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Book of Common Prayer

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may pe

I’ve been using the BCP for devotions off and on for a few years now. At one time I believe it was nothing more than popish doctrine made more palatable to Protestants (see Gill here and here) but I have since changed my mind and recommend it as a source guide for devotion and prayer. I’ll include some information for your perusal:

How to use the Book of Common Prayer

About the Canadian Prayer Book

App – I found mine using Play Store

daily prayer app

Still my favourite devotional…

Posted in 2011 and still true!

J. Hart

Lamb of God, we fall before Thee,
Humbly trusting in Thy cross.
That alone be all our glory;
All things else are only dross.

Thee we own a perfect Savior,
Only source of all that’s good.
Every grace and every favor
Comes to us through Jesus’ blood.

Jesus gives us true repentance
By His Spirit sent from Heav’n;
Whispers this transporting sentence,
“Son, thy sins are all forgiv’n.”

Faith He grants us to believe it,
Grateful hearts His love to prize;
Want we wisdom? He must give it,
Hearing ears and seeing eyes.

Jesus gives us pure affections,
Wills to do what He requires,
Makes us follow His directions,
And what He commands, inspires.

All our prayers and all our praises,
Rightly offered in His Name—
He that dictates them is Jesus;
He that answers is the same.