Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your Word teaching me that diligence and faithfulness leads to success and that being hasty, impulsive, reckless and rash leads to failure. I choose to slow down and lay my decisions before You today. I ask for Your guidance in my plans. Lead my steps, Father. Direct me to accomplish Your purpose that You have placed within me. Help me seek to pray diligently and faithfully. In Jesus’ name,
Jeremiah 2:2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:
“This is what the Lord says: “‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown.
Let us note that Christ delights to think upon His Church and to look upon her beauty. As the bird returns often to its nest, and as the traveler hurries to his home, so the mind continually pursues the object of its choice. We cannot look too often upon the face we love; we continually desire to have what is precious to us.
This is also true with our Lord Jesus. From all eternity He has been “delighting in the children of man.” His thoughts rolled onward to the time when His elect would be born into the world; He viewed them in the mirror of His foreknowledge. “In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Ps. 139:16). When the world was set upon its pillars, He was there, and He set the boundaries of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. Many a time before His incarnation, He descended to this lower earth in the similitude of a man-on the plains of Mamre (Gen. 18), by the brook of Jabbok (Gen. 32:24-30), beneath the walls of Jericho (Josh. 5:13), and in the fiery furnace of Babylon (Dan. 3:19, 25).
The Son of Man visited His people. Because His soul delighted in them, He could not stay away from them, for His heart longed for them. They were never absent from His heart, for He had written their names upon His hands and had graven them upon His side.
As the breastplate containing the names of the tribes of Israel was the most brilliant ornament worn by the high priest, so the names of Christ’s elect were His most precious jewels and glittered on His heart. We may often forget to meditate upon the perfections of our Lord, but He never ceases to remember us. Let us chide ourselves for past forgetfulness, and pray for grace that we might constantly and fondly remember Him. Lord, paint upon the eyeballs of my soul the image of Your Son.
Psalms 84:7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
“They go from strength to strength.” There are various renderings of these words, but all of them contain the idea of progress. “They go from strength to strength.” That is, they grow stronger and stronger. Usually, if we are walking, we go from strength to weakness, then start afresh and in good order for our journey. Hence, as by the road is rough, and the sun is hot; so we sit down by the wayside and then resume our weary way.
Henceforth, the Christian Pilgrim, having obtained fresh supplies of grace, is as vigorous after years of weary travel and struggle as when he first set out. He may not be quite so elated and buoyant, nor perhaps quite so hot and hasty in his zeal as he once was, but he is much stronger in all that constitutes real power; and if he travels more slowly, he does so more surely.
Some gray-haired veterans have been as firm in their grasp of truth and as zealous in spreading it as they were in their youth days. Hence, sadly, it must be confessed. It is often otherwise, for the love of many grows cold, and iniquity flourishes; but this is their own sin and not the fault of the promise, which still holds good: “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Shortly, fretful spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future. “Unfortunately,” they say, “we go from affliction to affliction.” Very true, O you of little faith; but you go from strength to strength also. You will never find a bundle of affliction that does not have in it somewhere sufficient grace. God will give the strength of ripe maturity along with the burden allotted to full-grown shoulders.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
Heaven is a place where we will never sin, where our battle with the evil one will be over. There will be no tempter to ensnare our feet. There, the wicked cause no trouble, and the weary are at rest. Heaven is the undefiled inheritance; it is the land of perfect holiness, and therefore of complete security.
Henceforth, don’t even the saints on earth sometimes taste the joys of blissful security? The doctrine of God’s Word is that all who are in union with Christ are safe. Actually, that all the righteous shall keep to the path, that those who have committed their souls to the care of Christ will find Him to be a faithful and unchanging Protector.
Sustained by such a doctrine we can enjoy security even on earth-not the high and glorious security that makes us free from every slip, but that holy security that comes from the sure promise of Jesus that none who believe in Him will ever perish but will be with Him where He is. Believer, reflect often and joyfully on the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, and honor the faithfulness of God by a holy confidence in Him.
May God bring home to you a sense of your safety in Christ Jesus! May He assure you that your name is graven on His hand and whisper in your ear the promise, “Fear not, for I am with you.”
Look upon Him, the great Guarantee of the covenant. As faithful and true, therefore bound and committed to present you, in your weakness, with all the chosen race, before the throne of God. Additionally, in such a sweet contemplation, you will drink the cup of salvation and taste the fruits of Paradise. You will have a foretaste of the enjoyments that ravish the souls of the saints in heaven, if you can believe with unwavering faith that “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
Deuteronomy 32:9 For the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.
How are they His? By His own sovereign choice. He chose them and set His love upon them. He did this completely apart from any goodness in them at the time or any goodness that He foresaw in them.
He had mercy on whom He would have mercy and ordained a chosen company to eternal life; in this way, therefore, they are His by His unconstrained election.
They are not only His by choice, but by purchase. He has bought and paid for them completely, and so there can be no dispute about His title.
Not with corruptible things like silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord’s portion has been fully redeemed.
There is no mortgage on His estate; no lawsuits can be raised by opposing claimants. The price was paid in open court, and the Church is the Lord’s estate forever. See the blood-mark upon all the chosen, invisible to the human eye, but known to Christ, for “the Lord knows those who are his.”
He forgets none of those whom He has redeemed from among men; He counts the sheep for whom He laid down His life and remembers carefully the Church for which He gave Himself.
They are also His by conquest. What a battle He had in us before we would be won! How long He laid siege to our hearts! How often He sent us terms of surrender, but we barred our gates and built our walls against Him.
Do we not remember that glorious hour when He carried our hearts by storm, when He placed His cross against the wall and scaled our ramparts, planting on our strongholds the blood-red flag of His omnipotent mercy? Yes, we are indeed the conquered captives of His omnipotent love. As those chosen, who have been purchased and subdued, we know that the rights of our divine possessor are inalienable: We rejoice that we can never be our own; and we desire, day by day, to do His will and to declare His glory.
Isaiah 30:18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
God often delays in answering prayer. We have several instances of this in the Bible. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day–he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophoenicia received no answer for a long while. Paul asked the Lord three times for “a thorn . . . in the flesh”1 to be taken from him, and he received no assurance that it would be removed, but instead a promise that God’s grace would be sufficient for him.
If you have been knocking at the gate of mercy and have received no answer, shall I tell you why the mighty Maker has not opened the door and let you in?
Our Father has personal reasons for keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show His power and His sovereignty, so that we may learn that God has a right to give or to withhold.
More often the delay is for our benefit. You are perhaps kept waiting in order that your desires may be more fervent. God knows that delay will quicken and increase desire, and that if He keeps you waiting, you will see your need more clearly and will seek more diligently, and that you will treasure the mercy all the more on account of the wait.
There may also be something wrong in you that needs to be removed before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps your views of the gospel plan are confused, or you may be relying upon yourself instead of trusting simply and entirely in the Lord Jesus. Either, God makes you wait for a while so that He may display the riches of His grace more abundantly in the end.
Your prayers are all filed in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while they will be fulfilled to your delight and satisfaction. Do not allow despair to make you silent, but continue to present your requests to God.