We are now experiencing July! I have family coming in to town for the week. We are all so excited to see each other again. As a result, I may not be regular with these posts. Feel free to browse through old ones online, if you wish. Leave comments, forward posts, “Like” pages, whatever you wish. I distribute these three ways:
Again, feel free to share this stuff and welcome others to do so as well. I’m going to write these as my devotional whether or not anyone reads them. It’s not the recognition that I am looking for. What is super exciting for me is when people tell me that they encourage them in their daily walk with the Lord. Sometimes a post hits a person as if it was written specifically for them, as we all witnessed just recently.
For me, it’s a time of experiencing blessing right now. My family is all here. There has been plenty of rain. The morning sun is shining, and there is beautiful breeze blowing. My sister and husband are cooking breakfast, so we all can smell bacon and coffee. Life is good. My Puritan devotional today gave me a reminder to put even this into perspective. Normally, times of trouble give us pause to put things into perspective. You know, we assure one another that our Father is trustworthy and will never leave us when we experience trials. The same is true during times of plenty. This was exactly the message of Thomas Lye who preached from 1659-1689, or thereabouts. Let me share some of that with you.
Faith must fix its eyes on God, the fountain of all its enjoyments. Faith acknowledges every good gift is from above. Since all my enjoyments are from him, all should be to his praise and glory, and faith must willingly surrender them at God’s call. If he sees fit to call in his debts, we must submit to his sovereignty. A gracious heart is pleased to spend its worldly goods for Christ. Mary’s ointment could never have been carried to a better market than it was, when poured so freely on her dear Saviour’s head. A believer’s enjoyments are never so great or precious that they cannot be thrown overboard rather than hazard the wreck of faith or a good conscience (1Tim. 1:19).
“Voices from the Past, Volume 1- Puritan Devotional Readings” July 2, 2018
What wonderful images Pastor Lye has given us. First, we think of Mary, who poured costly perfume over Jesus. How expensive must that have been! Yet, she gave it up without hesitation. Here’s a side note to ponder. Mary must have had substantial income in order to acquire that ointment in the first place, right? All too often we view wealth as a dirty thing, but, here, Jesus was friends with a wealthy woman. What she did with that wealth is what mattered. She viewed it as God’s in the first place, so it was nothing to give freely to anoint Jesus. See that? Money can expose the worst in people, both the rich and poor alike. It can also expose how we worship our Lord.
The other image, that of a shipwreck, is meaningful to me. I once witnessed a man whose actions I compared to throwing everything overboard so that he might return with his “ship” safely to harbor. That ship wasn’t God but rather wealth. It was remarkable and at the same time very, very disturbing. Yet, that is how we need to view all of our blessings in light of relationship to God. Nothing must come in the way. Money, fame, friends, even family.
In this view, can we see a new dimension to the following passage from my beloved Romans 8?
Romans 8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall have any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So, as I enjoy this wonderful time with my family, I will not let this enjoyment to put the love my Father has for me in the background. I need Jesus all the time, no more or less in times of plenty than in times of need. I will ponder these things today and the week to come.
Father, thank you so much for my trials as well as my time of plenty. Please use me to share the gospel. Open doors, as it seems right and good for you to do. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers