ASSURANCES

CHRIST – A SUFFICIENT SAVIOR

“Christ…is the faithful interpreter…in regard to our salvation” John Calvin (ref#113, p636).

FATHER, do I depend on the merits of CHRIST? Am I confident CHRIST is a sufficient Savior (ref#63, p803)?

“What the ark was to Noah and the blood of the lamb was to the children of Israel, is what the atoning blood of Christ is to the believing soul. It forms his eternal security….Let the professor of Christ not leave the sealing of his pardon and acceptance to that fearful hour; let him earnestly seek it now, so that when he comes to die he will have nothing to do but die” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 24th).

Do I still have my original confidence in CHRIST (Heb 3:14)?

“Though God’s election is a truth,

Small comfort there I see,

Till I am told by God’s own mouth,

That he has chosen me.

 

“[Sinners, I read, are justified,

By faith in Jesus’ blood;

But when it me that blood’s applied,

‘Tis then it does me good.]” J. Hart (ref#224, #31).

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ASSURANCES

ARE YOU REALLY SURE?

If I say I “know” I am saved, how do I know? How would I assure someone else that I am assured of my salvation?

It is true that some who are true Christians are not assured of their true status:

“One may say that he is persuaded that nothing present, or to come, can separate him from the love of God (Rom 8:18). Another comes but this far, ‘Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief’” (Mark 9:24) Puritan Daily Devotional Chronicles (ref#225, Oct 15th).

And it is also true that some who are not Christians are assured that they are:

“Many have lived in an outward profession; they have put on Christ with external garb, have talked well of Him, have been baptized in His name, have given liberally for His cause…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 10th).

CONFESSION

THE NOTION OF DIVINE CONTROL

…FATHER. “The Bible declares that an infinitely good God is in the middle of our most painful experiences…” Paul David Tripp (ref#5, p143).

“…how astonished we would be to find that in the bitterest draught that ever touched our lips, the principal ingredient was love! That love saw the discipline needful, love selected the chastisement sent, love appointed the instrument by which it should come, love arranged the circumstances by which it should take place, love fixed the time when it should transpire, and love heard the sigh, and saw the tear, and marked the anguish, and never for one moment withdrew its beaming eye from the sufferer” Octavius Winslow (ref#61, Oct 7th).

FATHER, I long to stay in Your presence. How easy it is when the tribulations come to lean on my own resources. At the sign of tribulation my notion is to take action using my strength to remove myself from its grip as speedily as possible. I derive help from myself and from others forgetting You, FATHER; I not only forget Your strength to provide for me but also I never consider Your good purposes for the trial.

Aid me quickly so I gain a notion of Your divine control. When perplexities press make the realization come naturally: “God is my Father, He loves me, I shall never think of anything He will forget, why should I worry” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, July 16th)? Allow me, FATHER, to rest in perfect confidence in You (ref#7, July 16th).

SUPPLICATION

SICKNESS Life-Threatening

[The majority of our prayers concern physical health. We all know someone who is dealing with a life-ending disease. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

ANTICIPATING DEATH

…FATHER, support ____ by preparing (him/her) for death. I pray (he/she) anticipate that blessed moment when You send not an enemy, but a friend to open the cage that imprisons (his/her) spirit. Grant (him/her) the ability to look forward to the time when (he/she) escapes to eternal glory (ref#61, Oct 9th).

FATHER, be preparing (him/her) day by day for its realization. Build up in (him/her) a waiting joy for the happy moment when You release (him/her) from (his/her) body of sin and death and usher (him/her) into the full enjoyment of eternal life (ref#61, Oct 9th). In (his/her) inactivity may (he/she) know You.

CONFESSION

DOUBTS AND FEARS

…FATHER, You know me. You do not need anyone to bear witness concerning me. You know me in my deprived state (John 2:24). Yet, even as I display my humanness, You know my meek and broken spirit. Therefore You look on me with “pity, complacency and delight.” You know I mourn because I love and serve You so little. Even though my heart is simple You will love me so that my entire soul shall be full of light (ref#15, [John 2:24]).

But, sometimes I have doubts and fear that I am not Your child because the enemy convinces me my sins separate us. Some days I do not have the faith that assures me I am Yours. But, I do trust You; through experience I know You can be counted on. I do depend on You.

“Doubting faith is not doubtful faith. If the believer has not the faith of assurance, he may have the faith of reliance, and that will take him to heaven” Octavius Winslow (ref#61, March 13th).

Thankfully these doubts and fears keep me humble. Being weak and dependent make me gravitate toward prayer as I long to possess the merits of JESUS (ref#61, March 13th). The enemy’s accusations drive me in a good direction. They move aside the pride assurance brings and allow more seeking of my Savior.

ADORATION

Chord Progression: (Am F C Am) (Dm G C Am)

PRAISE TO THE SPIRIT

To the SPIRIT of GOD, I exert my best praise:

You awoke the first thrill of life in my soul,

showed me my guilt and sealed my pardon.

You led me to CHRIST.

 

You inspire every breath of my life,

dwell in my heart—

give me Your healing sanctifying,

comforting, and restoring grace.

 

Praise for Your influence,

which no ingratitude has quenched.

Praise for Your patience,

which no backsliding has exhausted.

 

You renew my intellect,

sanctify my heart,

inhabit my body

awaken every pulse of love.

 

I am a debtor to Your quickening mercy;

I owe You undivided and supreme affections.

To the SPIRIT of GOD,

I exert my best praise (ref#61, Sept 5th).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN Resisters

[We all have friends and family that do not want anything to do with Christianity so it is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

THE SELF-INDULGENT

FATHER, because JESUS, in His priestly role makes continual intercession I bow before Him. Compel ____ to draw close to You through CHRIST, for it is CHRIST who is able to save completely (Heb 7:25). May Your SPIRIT perform His sanctifying work in (him/her) (1 Pet 1:2).

____ satisfies (himself/herself) with adulterous pleasure. Like Israel, (he/she) loves raison cakes—delicacies that appeal “to the senses, and gratifies the carnal impulses and desires” Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament (ref#68, [Hos 3:1]).

(He/She) appears to be living a self-gravitating, dissolute life rejecting what (he/she) knows of You and choosing the way of self-discovery—deciding (himself/herself) what is right and wrong (ref#123, p31,33).

“God…never designed that the…immoral creature should sip its bliss at a lower fountain than Himself….Love to God…forms the grand requirement…of the divine law….no opposition of rival interest can lessen the obligation of every creature…to love…God with all his heart…” Octavius Winslow (ref#61, May 18th).

Even if ____ would turn and decide on (his/her) own to do good and make an effort to follow You, it would do nothing for (his/her) salvation. ____’s good deeds will not move You to accept (him/her) into Your kingdom. My prayer is not for ____ to amend (his/her) rebellious ways, but for You to call (him/her) to Yourself (Rom 9:16). Call to (him/her) in such a way that (he/she) will answer.

SUPPLICATION

SICKNESS – LIFE THREATENING

[The majority of our prayers concern physical health. We all know someone who is dealing with a life-ending disease. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

THE AFFLICTED SOUL UNABLE TO THINK

FATHER, ____ may be too deeply absorbed in sorrow, or too weakened by disease and racked with pain to muster prayers to You. Many situations make ____ unfit for concentrated spiritual thought. But, sweet JESUS intercedes in (his/her) stead (ref#61, Feb 10th).

 “…when human sympathy and power are exhausted, Jesus has ‘entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God’ (Heb 9:24)” Octavius Winslow (ref#61, Feb 10th).

Pray for ____, JESUS. When ____ in (his/her) affliction cannot think of You, aid (him/her) to know You are thinking of (him/her). You live to make intercession (Heb 7:25).

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 SICKNESS

[The majority of our prayers concern physical health. We all know someone who is dealing with the pain of sickness. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

DISCIPLINE NOT PUNISHMENT

“Punishment for sin will take place in the next world. God’s dealings with people in this world are of the nature of discipline….Trouble is no evidence whatever of the Diving displeasure” E. M. Bounds (ref#64, p50).

FATHER, whom in heaven does ____ have but You? (His/her) flesh and heart may be failing but You are the strength of (his/her) heart and (his/her) portion forever (Ps 73:25-26). Let nothing terrify (him/her); keep (him/her), please, from giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve (him/her) (1 Pet 3:6).

You warrant us to take our troubles to You in prayer, so assist ____ in doing that. Favor (him/her) so that she can calmly pray over (his/her) troubles and seek “to get the greatest spiritual benefits out of them” E.M. Bounds (ref#64, p58). By sickness and suffering, by silence and solitude You are giving ____ other than normal work to perform which shall not the less secure (his/her) usefulness and promote Your glory (ref#61, Aug 16th).

FATHER, how manifold are the ways ____ needs You. And in manifold ways You can be found (ref#27, p16).