ASSURANCES

CHECK YOURSELF AGAIN

 “To have grace, and to be sure we have grace…is heaven on this side of heaven.” Thomas Brooks

“Is your belief genuine?…You may be self-proclaimed among His people here on the earth, but you may have to taste of death when the Lord comes.  You may deceive them, but you cannot deceive Him” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p34).

“Do not be too bold or too quick, you who say you are Christ’s.  Never be satisfied until you are absolutely sure.  The best way to be sure is to go again, just as you went at first, and seize eternal life through the power of the blessed Spirit and not by any strength of your own…Get alone with Jesus and…tell Him that at all costs you want to be identified with His death….” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p34-35).

“The divine order…is first pardon, then holiness; first peace with God, and then conformity to the image of …God….For…likeness to God is produced by beholding His glory (2 Cor 3:18), and as we cannot look upon Him till we know that He has ceased to condemn us, and as we cannot trust Him till we know that He is gracious; so we cannot be transformed into His image till we have received pardon at His hands.  Reconciliation is indispensable to resemblance; personal friendship must begin a holy life….first peace, then holiness—peace is the foundation of holiness…” Horatius Bonar (ref#326, p32).

“The evidence that believers are in Christ is that the power of sin has been broken in their lives by the work of the Holy Spirit” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2170, [Rom 8:2]).  “The proof that your old man is crucified with Christ is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 23rd).

“Commit yourself totally into His hands, so that you may be as sure of your salvation as of your existence” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p95).

 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” (Rom 8:16 ESV).

ASSURANCES

FALSE HOPE OF SALVATION

“…let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:12 ESV).

“It is better to have no repentance than a repentance that needs to be repented of.  It is better to have no faith than a false faith.  It is better to make no profession of belief than to make an untruthful one” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p77-78).

“I fear there are some who secretly think, ‘Everything is now complete.  I have experienced the necessary change; I have been to see the elders and the pastor; I have been baptized and received into the church. Thus, everything with me is right forever.’  That is a false view of your condition” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p88).

“It is a very good thing for Christians to be in the church.  However, if you are in the church before you are ‘in the Lord,’ you are out of place.  It is a good thing to be engaged in holy work.  But, if you are doing holy work before you are ‘in the Lord,’ you will have no heart for it, and neither will the Lord accept it” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p78).

“…they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.  For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness” (Rom 10:2-3 ESV).

“…they failed to submit to God’s righteousness and instead attempted to be righteous before God on the basis of their own works” ESV Study Bible(ref#125, p2174, [Rom 10:3]).

“…zeal and sincerity does not lead them to salvation….many sincere, ‘religious’ people are wrong in their beliefs” ESV Study Bible(ref#125, p2174, [Rom 10:2]).

ASSURANCES

NO MORE FEAR OF GOD BEING AGAINST US

 …FATHER, Your “…work in our souls will be carried on until it ends in ultimate perfection and glory….’Whom he called, them he also justified; and whom’—you see the jump—‘he justified, them he also glorified.’  If He starts, He will finish; so if the life is in me, I can be certain of the glory” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Dec 19th)

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, I give them eternal life, and they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 6:27-28 ESV).

“If you’re God’s child, you can rest assured today that both your standing before God and his rule on your behalf are sure and secure….His love will never fail, and his rule on your behalf is eternal” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, March 5th).

“…if any man…be one of those whose names are written in the book of life, his enemies may contend, but they shall never prevail against him.  He muststand whom the Lord ordains to hold; and if God determines his salvation, neither mortal nor infernal power shall prevail to destroy him.  On this account, we may boldly say with the apostle, ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’” Charles Spurgeon (ref#238, p 45).

We can be assured of our godliness if, “…a loss and absence of the sense that God is against us…”is present (ref#189, Nov 28th).

“He is for us…with all the omnipotence of His love…with all His boundless wisdom…He is for us—eternally and immutably for us(ref#238, p48)! “…a loss of the fear of God, while a sense of awe remains…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 28th)—this is one of our assurances.

ASSURANCES

THE HIGHEST JOY

“The richest, the most celestial, the most transporting joy that mortal mind can know is a full assurance of the love of God” C.H. Spurgeon (ref#255, p27).

How can we be assured GOD loves us?  It will do us no good to assure ourselves that we love GOD.

“The picture of the Bible is not that people are ever seeking for God because they love Him. That is the popular theology—that men and women are seeking God and that God responds to their request.  Not at all (ref#255, p23)!  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us…”(1 John 4:10 ESV).

GOD convinces us that He loves us through His written Word and through His Word lived out in His Son: To us, the greatest demonstration of God’s love for us has been his sending his only Son into the world to give us life through him. We see real love, not in that fact that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to make personal atonement for our sins”(1 John 4:9-10 Phillips)

“The more thy glories strike my eyes

The humbler I shall lie;

Thus, while I sink, my joys shall rise

Unmeasurably high” Isaac Watts (ref#224, song, 475).

CONFESSION

THINKING OF JESUS, NOT MYSELF

The SPIRIT reminds me that I am nothing, and that CHRIST is all. How can I even pretend I might be something worthwhile. Even the moon is not bright and the stars are not pure in Your eyes, LORD, much less man who is a maggot and a worm (Job 25:4-6).

You, FATHER, put all things under the feet of CHRIST and give Him as head over all. You seated Him at Your right hand far above all rule and authority and power and dominion. He is above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. He fills all in all (Eph 1:20-23).

CHRIST is altogether superior yet my default thinking centers on myself that spurs constant judging. “I don’t have enough faith; I don’t repent enough; I’ll never be able to make it to the end.” And when I think about myself, the introspection spurs constant planning—“I need to pray more; I need to do more; I need to feel more.”

“…it is not your hold of Christ that saves you; it is Christ. It is not your joy in Christ that saves you; it is Christ. It is not even your faith in Christ, though that is the instrument, but it is Christ’s blood and His merits that save you; therefore, do not look as much to your hand, with which you are grasping Christ, as to Christ” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, June 28th AM).

FATHER, I want my thoughts to rest on CHRIST—“His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, and His intercession…” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, June 28th AM). SPIRIT, satisfy the desire of my heart; let the action of my thoughts turning inward remind me to stop, refocus, and think on CHRIST.

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL TRIBULATION

[We all can think of a Christian sister or brother experiencing so much affliction they may not be able to pray for themselves. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

ADVERSE PROVIDENCES

…FATHER, Charles Spurgeon once said, “Faith never prospers as well as when all things are against her. Tempests are her trainers, and lightning is her illuminator” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 12th AM). I pray for ____ that this trial strengthen (his/her) faith. Even if (he/she) thinks (his/her) faith is failing, give (him/her) an awareness that JESUS will not allow it ultimately.

Direct ____ toward considering Your glory and grace and to identify (himself/herself) as Your child. Cause ____ to note how more inclined (he/she) is to pray in this circumstance— how much more alive Scripture becomes—how much easier it is to worship. May (he/she) note how (his/her) strength has increased—how easily (he/she) finds love in the midst of rejection—wisdom in the face of foolishness (ref#5, p157).

Assist ____, FATHER, to contemplate how involved You are in (his/her) life which shows Your great care for (him/her). You are with (him/her) in this hardship. You have arranged it and measured it out.

____’s present pain did not come by accident, it was not a mistake, or brought on by an enemy. Help ____ trace (his/her) adverse providence back to the foot of Your throne. Overwhelm (him/her) with Your majesty and power. I pray that You enable ____ to comprehend Your absolute control over all that is happening to (him/her) (ref#151).

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL TRIBULATION

[We all can think of a Christian sister or brother experiencing so much affliction they may not be able to pray for themselves. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

CARRYING CHRIST’S CROSS

…FATHER, Your Son did not suffer so His church can be excluded from suffering (ref#34, April 5th AM). I pray ____ remember that and expect to suffer.

“He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 5th AM).

As ____ is willing to share CHRIST’s glory, motivate (him/her) to also share in His suffering (Rom 8:17).

“…let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator…” (1 Pet 4:19 ESV).

FATHER, as ____ is hard-pressed, I pray (he/she) constantly commit (his/her) soul to Your safekeeping. “The great secret of all comfort in seasons of affliction is to take the affliction, as it comes, simply to Christ” (ref#61, Feb 5th). It is not (his/her) cross but CHRIST’ cross (he/she) carries (ref#34, April 5th AM).

Prod ____ to permit CHRIST to lay His cross on (him/her) so that (he/she) might bear it after Him (Luke 23:26). Some think Simon of Cyrene carried the end of the cross, the light part, while the transverse beam rested on JESUS’ shoulder Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [Luke 23:26]).

This is a good word-picture of what a Christian life should look like. Empower ____ to think of (his/her) suffering in that way.

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL TRIBULATION

[We all can think of a Christian sister or brother experiencing so much affliction they may not be able to pray for themselves. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

SUFFERING COMES WITHIN AS WELL AS WITHOUT

“Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins” (Isa 38:17 NLT).

FATHER, suffering comes in two forms: within—“the apparent desertion of the Bridegroom which is the most agonizing of the soul’s sufferings, and without, the persecuting malice of men and devils” Madame Guyon (ref#128, p442).

____ knows, O LORD, that Your rules are righteous (Ps 119:75) and (he/she) is not. Can You treat (him/her) more cruelly than (he/she) deserves? Never, (he/she) is never smitten as harshly as (his/her) sins deserve (ref#34, April 30, AM).

You, FATHER, have afflicted ____ in faithfulness. (Ps 119:75). But, LORD, see to (his/her) suffering within for it is most debilitating.

In ____’s despondency remove (his/her) anxious thoughts and forebodings, grant (him/her) a glad heart that has a continual feast regardless of circumstances (Prov 15:15). Make (him/her) delight in Your law so (he/she) will not perish in this affliction (Ps 119:92). You who make ____ see many troubles and calamities will revive (him/her) again (Ps 71:20).

Now that (he/she) lives among bitterness and crosses and is prostrate under a load of trouble and affliction, instill within (him/her) that (he/she) comes closest to being “all fair” in the Bridegroom’s eyes. In suffering (he/she) is “all fair” and there is no spot or deformity in (him/her) (ref#128, p 439-440, [Song 4:7])

Suffering scours out ____’s harsh, unyielding, bounded and limited nature that stands in the way of (his/her) happiness. This present suffering is not (his/her) fault nor is it offensive in Your sight; “it is simply a natural defect, derived from Adam, which (his/her) Bridegroom will insensibly take away” (ref#128, p440, [Song 4:7]). This circumstance may destroy (his/her) beauty in the eyes of people around (him/her), but (his/her) Bridegroom is most pleased for ____ has no longer any comeliness of (his/her) own. In CHRIST’s eyes through this suffering (he/she) has become possessed of true beauty (ref#128, p440, [Song 4:7]). In His time, CHRIST will “reanimate this annihilated soul” Madame Guyon (ref#128, p446, [Song 4:16]) and ____ will become His perfect bride.