To Ponder:

God’s salvation, in its entirety, is for His elect people, who are identified in the Scriptures as “the people of God.” All that the Lord Jesus did, does, and will do–is, has always been, and will always be for His chosen people. He came into this world, was born of a virgin, lived under the law, was in all points tempted like as we are, and perfectly obeyed the will of God in all things for one reason–that He might save His elect people with an everlasting salvation. He loved them, chose them, and gave Himself for them–them, and only them. He was born for His people. He kept the law for His people. He suffered for His people. He was made sin for His people. He died for His people. He arose from the dead for His people. He ascended into glory for His people. He rules all things for His people. He intercedes for His people. He is coming again for His people. Listen to the reverberation of God’s distinguishing grace as the apostle Paul sounds the gospel trumpet: “Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her . . . to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless!” Ephesians 5:25-27

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To Ponder:

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. In giving Christ to die for poor sinners, God gave the richest jewel in His cabinet; a mercy of the greatest worth, and most inestimable value. Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ is! Ten thousand thousand worlds–as many worlds as angels can number, would not outweigh Christ’s love, excellency and sweetness! O what a lovely One! What an excellent, beautiful, ravishing One–is Christ! Put the beauty of ten thousand paradises, like the garden of Eden, into one; put all flowers, all fragrances, all colors, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness into one; O what a lovely and excellent thing would that be! And yet it should be less to that loveliest and dearest well-beloved Christ–than one drop of rain compared to all the seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths! Now, for God to bestow the mercy of mercies, the most precious thing in heaven or earth, upon poor sinners; and, as great, as lovely, as excellent as His Son was–what kind of love is this! “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1. (John Flavel 1627-1691)

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To Ponder:

“He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” Ephesians 1:4. “His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ephesians 3:11. “Who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” 2 Timothy 1:9. “He was chosen before the creation of the world” 1 Peter 1:20. “The blood of the eternal covenant” Hebrews 13:20. We may thus suppose the Father dialoging with His Son in the eternal covenant: FATHER: “My son, here is a company of poor miserable souls who have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to My justice! Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in their eternal ruin. What shall be done for these wretched souls?”

SON: “O my Father, such is My love to, and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them as their Surety. I choose to suffer Your wrath in their place, than they should suffer it. Upon Me, My Father, upon Me be all their sin.”

FATHER: “But, my Son, if You undertake for them, You must reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements. If I spare them, I will not spare You.”

SON: “Father, let it be so. Charge it all upon Me, I am able to discharge it. Though it impoverishes all My riches and empties all My treasures, yet I am content to undertake it.”

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich!” 2 Corinthians 8:9. (John Flavel, 1628-1691)

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To Ponder:

All our pompous show of holiness without sincerity, is but folly set forth in its embroidery; it is but going to hell in a more devout way than others. . . Men are ambitious of credit, and would gain repute in the world, therefore they will dress themselves in the garb and mode of religion, that others may write them down for saints. But alas, what is one the better to have others commend him, and his conscience condemn him? What good will it do a man when he is in hell, that others think he is gone to heaven? Counterfeit piety is double iniquity. The hypocrite deceives others while he lives, but he deceives himself when he dies. The hypocrite is abhorred by all. Wicked men hate him because he makes a show, and God hates him because he doth but make a show: the wicked hate him because he hath so much a show of godliness, and God hates him because he hath no more. (Thomas Watson)

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To Ponder:

He has made us kings and priests to our God.” Revelation 5:10. The Lord Jesus infinitely excels all earthly kings, in that He makes all His subjects kings! He has a crown of glory for every subject. Oh, what a glorious King is this. Oh sirs, it is better to be a poor member of Christ, than the head of a nation. Oh, how infinitely happy are all Christ’s subjects. They are all kings, all heirs, all favorites, all sons. Alas, where is there such a king to be found, who makes all His subjects kings? There are many kings who undo their subjects, but Christ makes His subjects kings. There are many kings who make their subjects beggars, but Christ makes His subjects kings. There are many kings who put their subjects to death, but Christ died that His subjects might live. There are many kings who give their subjects titles, but Christ gives all His subjects Heaven. Now, beloved, here is the excellence of our King: He makes all His subjects kings and gives them all crowns of glory! “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne!” Revelation 3:21. Jesus Christ is an Enthroned King! But, beloved, this is not all; Christ not only sits there Himself, but He has promised that all who overcome, shall sit down with Him upon His throne. Now, I wonder where there is any king but Christ, who allows his subjects to sit upon his throne with him. Alas! this would be treason for a man to attempt it. Oh, what a glorious King is Jesus. Every one of His poor subjects shall sit upon the throne with Him. One would think this very promise would draw the whole world after Christ. Oh, what great offers, and privileges, and honors Christ bestows upon all His poor followers. He not only makes them kings, but He brings them to sit upon His very throne with Him! O believer, you say that it would be an honor indeed, if could you but look into heaven, and merely to see Christ sit upon His throne. But this honor have all His saints; yes, much more–He makes them all kings, and grants to them to sit down with Him upon His throne! (William Dyer, “Christ’s Famous Titles”)

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To Ponder:

Believer, what are you doing, going groaning through the world beneath a load of fears and cares? What should discourage you? What should disturb your peace? What can ruffle the calm spirit of a man who knows that the hands which were once nailed to the tree for him, now hold the helm of his destiny? The blessed Savior, who by love’s golden scepter reigns within his heart, holds sovereign sway over earth and Heaven; and by both bitter and sweet providences, by both coffins and cradles, by both disappointments and joys, by both losses and gains, shall cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Thomas Guthrie, 1803-1873)

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To Ponder:

“I hate pride and arrogance!” Proverbs 8:13. Nothing stops the current of His blessings so much as pride. He resists the proud–He is at war with them. A futile war! A proud sinner fighting against a holy God! Who do you think will conquer? Oh, beware of all high thoughts of yourself and your doings. Take heed of admiring your own greatness or goodness. Self-delight is a very pleasing sin, but more odious to a jealous God than the gross sins of the flesh. I am sure that the more we love Him, the less we shall admire ourselves. The Pharisee, full of self-delight, remained in his guilt. The poor publican, who loathed himself, went home justified. There is no perfect humility but in Heaven. Until we get there, we should be learning, and every day seeking for more grace to humble us–learning from our Master to be meek and lowly of heart. May God make us better scholars. “If God,” says Augustine, “did not spare the angels when they grew proud; will He spare you–who are but dust and sin?” “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 16:5. (Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

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To Ponder:

I beg the reader to make a solemn pause over this chapter (Jeremiah 40), and to remark, how soon a sense of divine judgments lose their effect; except divine grace keep the remembrance of them, with all their blessed consequences, alive in our hearts. Who should have conceived that after so alarming a visitation, in the putting out the eyes of the king, and carrying him and his nobles away into captivity, with all the remaining people but for the poor, that rebellion and dissatisfaction should have sprung up among them. But so it is. There can be no change but what grace makes. And much it is to be feared, that if the miserable in everlasting chains, under darkness to the judgment of the great day, were once again to be permitted to come on earth, their minds would be the same, and the sin and malignity of their nature remain unchanged. Lord Jesus, give your people that new heart, and that new mind, in which the new birth consists: that by regeneration they may be prepared for the everlasting enjoyment of you in glory; since you yourself have said, without it, we cannot see the kingdom of God! (Robert Hawker in the Family Worship Bible Commentary on Jeremiah 40)

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To Ponder:

“These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes!” Revelation 14:4. A believer follows the Lamb TRULY, without hypocrisy. Many follow the Lamb, as beggars follow a rich man–only for his money. They prize the wages of religion–above the works of religion! “I tell you the truth, you are looking for Me . . . because you ate the loaves and had your fill!” John 6:26. Oh, beloved, God abhors a hypocrite more than a Sodomite! Hell is provided on purpose for hypocrites, “He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites–where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!” Matthew 24:51. My beloved, following the Lamb fully is to have the heart fixed and resolved for God. “My whole being follows hard after You, and clings closely to You,” says David in Psalm 63:8. “As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, O God. I thirst for God–for the living God!” Psalm 42:1-2. William Dyer (1632-1696) Follow the Lamb

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To Ponder:

Perhaps, there never was a greater profession of Christ, and of the truth as it is in Him, than in this day; yet many, very many professors content themselves with the form of godliness—instead of the power; the mere notion of truth—instead of the experience of it; the name of faith—instead of the grace of faith—the mere profession of Christ—instead of the actual possession of him. How few really feel their hearts happy in Him, their hopes centered on him, and then affections going out after him! Hence they are not devoted in life and walk to the glory of Christ. This calls for much self-examination, and great searching of heart. But, O the love of his royal heart! Instead of executing fierce vengeance upon us, for our sins, lo, he came from heaven to earth, with a flame of love in his heart, and matchless grace on his lips, on purpose to die for us, to wash us from our sins in his own blood, to conquer the rebellion of our hearts against him, and to win our affections to him. Has he saved us by his precious blood? Has he made us his willing, loving disciples, by his powerful grace? Surely, it is that we should live in the sweet enjoyment of all the rich blessings of his kingdom, and be holy and happy every day, yes, every hour, in him. In life and love be wholly devoted to him. (William Mason, 1719-1791)

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