Friday, January 23, 2015

The Family


Thou art the Creator-Father of all men,
  for thou hast made and dost support them;
Thou art the special Father of those who know, love, and honor thee,
  who find thy yoke easy, and thy burden light,
  thy work honourable, thy commandments glorious.

But how little thy undeserved goodness has affected me!
How imperfectly have I improved my religious privileges!
How negligent have I been in doing good to others!

I am before thee in my trespasses and sins,
  have mercy on me,
  and may thy goodness lead me to repentance.

Help me to hate and forsake every false way,
  to be attentive to my condition and character,
  to bridle my tongue,
  to keep my heart with all diligence,
  to watch and pray against temptation,
  to mortify sin,
  to be concerned for the salvation of others.

O God, I cannot endure to see the destruction of my kindred.
Let those that are united to me in tender ties 
  be precious in thy sight and devoted to glory.

Sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion, instruction, discipline, example,
  that my house may be a nursery for heaven,
  my church the garden of the Lord,
    enriched with trees of righteousness of thy planting, for thy glory;
Let not those of my family who are amiable, moral, attractive,
  fall short of heaven at last;
Grant that the promising appearances of a tender conscience,
  soft heart, the alarms and delights of thy Word,
  be not finally blotted out,
  but bring forth judgment unto victory
    in all whom I love.

- The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mighty To Save

"Mighty to save."
Isaiah 63:1

(The Holy Scriptures, and Spurgeon, lay waste to the contemporary prevailing view of human "free will" and tell us of One who is free to will and do as He pleases.)

By the words "to save" we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only "mighty to save" those who repent, but he is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but he is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of his name to bend the knee before him. Nay, this is not all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen in the after-work. The life of a believer is a series of miracles wrought by "the Mighty God." The bush burns, but is not consumed. He is mighty to keep his people holy after he has made them so, and to preserve them in his fear and love until he consummates their spiritual existence in heaven. Christ's might doth not lie in making a believer and then leaving him to shift for himself; but he who begins the good work carries it on; he who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul, prolongs the divine existence, and strengthens it until it bursts asunder every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in glory. Believer, here is encouragement. Art thou praying for some beloved one? Oh, give not up thy prayers, for Christ is "mighty to save." You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but your Lord is Almighty. Lay hold on that mighty arm, and rouse it to put forth its strength. Does your own case trouble you? Fear not, for his strength is sufficient for you. Whether to begin with others, or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is "mighty to save;" the best proof of which lies in the fact that he has saved you. What a thousand mercies that you have not found him mighty to destroy!"

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning & Evening