GOD

SUMMARY OF GOD’S INTENTIONS

“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun” (Rom 8:29-30 MSG).

“…the biblical story is…the story of rebels who not only don’t desire a relationship with God, but who could not possibly earn it even if they did.  This is a story of divine intervention, of divine substitution, of divine sacrifice, and of divine grace.  It is a story of God sending his Son to live as we were meant to live, to die the death that each of us deserves, to satisfy God’s righteous requirement and placate his anger, and to rise out of the grave, conquering sin and death” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Dec 27th).

“There had to be a Savior because we have no ability whatsoever to save ourselves.  We can escape situations, locations, and relationships, but we cannot escape ourselves.  We cannot run from who we are, what we have done, and what we deserve. The only hope is that God in redeeming love and glorious grace will move toward us, doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Sept 30th).

“But as amazing as the grace of forgiveness and the acceptance of God are, there is still more amazing grace…God knew…we would need daily help….He came to us and made us the place where he dwells…By grace, we are the temple of the Most High God” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Dec 27th).

“…And this is the real and eternal life: That they know you, The one and only true God, And Jesus Christ, whom you sent”(John 17:1-5 MSG).

FATHER, Your actions are all to the praise of Your glory!  How joyous is our praise!

ASSURANCES

A CHANGED LIFE IS OUR ASSURANCE

“When I am born again the Spirit of God takes me right out of myself and my experiences, and identifies me with Jesus Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 21st).

“That grace which is but a persuasive offer and in our power to receive or refuse is not the grace which brings us to heaven.  But God’s people feel a powerful work of the Spirit, not only revealing to us our misery and deliverance through Christ, but emptying us of ourselves, as being redeemed from ourselves, and infusing new life into us, and afterwards strengthening us and quickening us…never leaving us till the conquest is perfect” Richard Sibbes (ref#311, p117).

“This new being…is no outer thing, made up of showy moralities and benevolences…It is something deeper, and truer…It’s affinities are with the things above; its sympathies are divine; it sides with God in everything…The new man…produces righteousness and holiness through the power of the Holy Ghost…It is…a new standing or state, a new moral character, a new life, a new joy, a new work, a new hope…” Horatius Bonar (ref#326, p10-11).

“Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:15-16 ESV).

“…true Biblical holiness…that which must be based firmly on a personal experience of the saving work of Christ on the cross, and maintained through the work of the Holy Spirit living in the individual believer…is not simply a matter of outward observance but is rather the whole Christian life, and finds practical expression in every area of day-to-day living” Horatius Bonar (ref#326, back cover).

NOTE: This changed life may not immediately produce all that is mentioned above.  This new life is a “progressive sanctification…a process of change…a way of ongoing transformation, not yet perfect, still failing, but always growing in faith and obedience” Paul David Tripp (ref#5, p340).

“Salvation is unfolded throughout our entire sojourn here.  We continue to repent and to believe, and even the process of our salvation continues as we are changed more and more into the image of our Lord” Charles Spurgeon (ref#330, p88-89).

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

FAITH AVOIDERS

Faith avoiders become “identity amnesias” David Paul Tripp (ref#190, Jan 31st). They have not explored the cliff where faith jumps, therefore they have no solid proof they are truly Christian.

“Will you live in timidity and fear or in the courage of hope? Will you avoid challenges of faith in fear or move toward them, resting not in your own ability but in the presence, power, and grace of the One who rules all and has become your Father” David Paul Tripp (ref#190, Jan 31st)?

“…there must be…faith…a belief that the law is answered and satisfied by Jesus Christ; and…such a sense of the way of salvation by Christ that…sin should not be punished in us…this…lightens the burden and creates hope. This is to have a sense of the sufficiency of salvation” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p99).

FATHER, You move me to ask myself if I am abiding in CHRIST – day to day trusting Him—regularly fellowshipping with Him in prayer and worship (John15:4,7)? Am I making JESUS my trust? Your SPIRIT challenges me to ask myself if I am abiding in CHRIST or simply acting like a Christian.

Can I give up all the good things about myself and let You make me good. I know it will mean stepping off the cliff to the unknown but I also know that You will bring me to trusting in that jump.

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

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

CHRISTIAN

[Because we are Christians and live in the world we will always need prayer for our walk and for witnessing to others about CHRIST. Here’s an opportunity to pray for others or even ourselves. Fill their name or your name in the blanks.]

1 TIMOTHY CHAPTERS – ONE, FOUR, AND SIX

…FATHER, as ____ is a weak vessel of clay that You have filled with the all-surpassing power of Your presence (ref#5, p297), I cry out for Your aid to maintain (him/her) by Your presence.

SUSTAINING FATHER, in ____’s attainment of Your blessings which come through (his/her) exercise of faith, may (he/she) examine (himself/herself) often in order to maintain a pure heart, a good conscience and unfeigned trust in You (1 Tim 1:4,5).

Empower ____ with the ability to place (his/her) training in the race for godliness above all else (I Tim 4:7). Drive (him/her) to covet the prizes of a race well run—prizes such as: righteousness, fear of You, faith, love, steadfast patience, meek-heartedness (1 Tim 6:11) and life eternal (1 Tim 6:12). Motivate (him/her) to keep all Your precepts flawlessly, regarding them as irreproachable and so able to demonstrate their value to others (1 Tim 6:14).

Cause ____ to prosper spiritually in such a way that no one will have any cause to argue against (his/her) words. May all subordinates esteem (him/her) as worthy of the fullest respect so that Your name, O GOD, and Your teaching may not be brought into disrepute (1 Tim 6:1).

SABBATH

CONCLUSIONS

“Man imitates the pattern of God’s work and rest in the sabbath cycle of days (Ex. 20:8-11) and years (Leviticus 25). The sabbath points forward to the rest that Christ achieved with his resurrection and ascension (Heb. 10:12-13), and which will be fully manifested in the consummation (Rev. 22:4-5)” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2635, “History of Salvation in the Old Testament: Preparing the Way for Christ” [Gen. 2:3]).

“So instead of wasting time on that endless quest for life, you have been invited to enter God’s rest for the rest of your life. Rest in your identity as his child. Rest in his eternal love. Rest in his powerful grace. Rest in his constant presence and faithful provision. Rest in his patience and forgiveness. Rest” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Dec. 8th).

“…the Sabbath is a way of remembering and expressing the truth that God is our creator and deliverer and sanctifier….our work neither creates, nor saves, nor sanctifies….All things are from him and through him and to him. Lest we ever forget this and begin to take our strength and thought and work too seriously, we should keep one day in seven to cease from our labors and focus on God as the source of all blessing” John Piper (ref#169).

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land…” (Isa 58:13-14 NIV).

“Is it going too far to say, that if our nation repented of its sin in this matter and returned to the old path of Sabbath observance, we would again become the leading nation of the world? In the light of this promise of Isaiah, I believe that great blessing would follow, blessing far beyond our expectations. But though the nation does not return, let us as individuals, and as a church, put this promise to the test and we shall find the Lord faithful” C.E. Hunter (ref#171).