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Sunday, June 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Daily Devotionals
Mornings and Evenings with Jesus
Devotional: May 21st

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Morning Devotional

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 2:5.

TO induce Christians to seek each others’ welfare, the apostle brings forward the example of Christ; and we know that it is far preferable to address a Christian’s hope than his fear, and to address his love even rather than his hope, because the Scriptures tell us that “whatsoever we do in word or in deed, we are to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Our motives, therefore, and our practice, must be Christian and evangelical; and hence, says the apostle to the Philippians, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” We had no claims upon him; we were unworthy of the least of all his mercies, ill-deserving, hell-deserving creatures, and must have perished forever.

“With pitying eyes, tho Prince of grace

Beheld our h`elpless grief;

He saw, and-oh, amazing love!-

He ran to our relief.”

And what did his interposition cost him? He made peace, but it was by the blood of his cross; he redeemed us from the curse of the law, but it was by being made a curse for us; he obtained eternal redemption for us, but he gave his life a ransom. Therefore, if any are selfish, let them remember, “If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

But alas! what cause is there for reproof; for, saith the apostle, “All seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” How few persons are there to be found who are concerned to obtain the approving sentence which the Saviour pronounced on Mary,-“She hath done what she could”! And is there not here also a call for prayer? Prayer for what? Prayer for pardon as to the past, (and there is forgiveness with God, that he may be feared,) and prayer for grace as to the future, that we may be enabled more to exemplify our principles, and to “adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things,” and that his grace may be sufficient for us.

Surely there is also need, lastly, for amendment. Let us begin by having regard to the spiritual concerns of others. What an important thing it is to turn a sinner from the error of his ways, to save a soul from death, to hide a multitude of sins, to create an ecstasy in heaven! for “there is joy in the presence of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Who would not deem himself infinitely honoured, feel himself infinitely delighted, to be thus employed? Nor let us overlook their temporal concerns, but be as tender of their reputation as we are of our own. Let us, instead of encouraging scandal, always crush it.

And so again as to their outward necessities, let us remember, “Whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”

Evening Devotional

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Peter 1:3.

THERE are two things which may be observed with regard to gratitude, and both of them are here exemplified. The one regards the regulation of it. Temporal blessings are never to be overlooked; but what are these when compared with “all Spiritual blessings,” which regard the soul and eternity? How many have said, “What a blessed rain this is!” who have never once in their lives said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath begotten us again unto a lively hope.”

The other regards the importance of confidence in order to gratitude. The discovery of these blessings is a very pleasing thing, and it is well to know that they are attainable, and to rejoice even in hope of them; but it is the appropriation of these blessings which touches all the springs of holy passion and praise. It is this that animates the Apostle and his fellows in this passage-“who hath begotten us.” But how are we to “bless” the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? How can we bless him? We never can bless him as he blesses us. When he blesses us he communicates something, and we receive something we had not before; but this will not apply to our blessing him: our goodness extendeth not to him. He is exalted above all blessing and praise. But gratitude really consists in the disposition to return a favour received.

Among men there may be more than an equivalent given for a favour received, but this can never be the case with regard to the Almighty; our obligations to him can never be discharged. The gratitude therefore must appear principally in feeling them, and, while we are unable to make adequate returns, in showing that we are willing to make suitable ones, such as are in our power. It will appear therefore in our thinking well of him, in our speaking well of his name, in recommending him to others, in endeavouring to please him, in praying that the words of our lips and the meditations of our hearts may be acceptable in his sight, according to the inquiry of David and the admonition of the Apostle, “What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits?” “I beseech you by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto the Lord, which is your reasonable service.”

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