To Ponder:

When the believer is smarting under the rod let him not say, “God is now punishing me for my sins!” That can never be. That is most dishonoring to the blood of Christ. God is correcting you in love, not smiting in wrath. Nor should the Christian regard the chastening of the Lord as a sort of necessary evil to which he must bow as submissively as possible. No, it proceeds from God’s goodness and faithfulness, and is one of the greatest blessings for which we have to thank Him. Chastisement evidences our Divine sonship. The father of a family does not concern himself with those on the outside–but those within he guides and disciplines to make them conform to his will. Chastisement is designed for our good, to promote our highest interests. Look beyond the rod, to the all-wise hand that wields it!
“No chastening seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11. (A. W. Pink)

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To Ponder:

An old writer well said, “A family without prayer is like a house without a roof–open and exposed to all storms.” All our domestic comforts and temporal mercies issue from the loving-kindness of the Lord. The best we can do in return is to gratefully acknowledge His goodness to us as a family. Family worship should be conducted reverently, earnestly and simply. It is then that the little ones will receive their first impressions and form their initial conceptions of the Lord God. Great care needs to be taken lest a false idea be given to them of the Divine Character. For this, the balance must be preserved between dwelling upon His holiness, and His mercy, His power, and His tenderness, His justice, and His grace. Worship should begin with a few words of prayer invoking God’s presence and blessing.
A short passage from His Word should follow, with brief comments thereon. Two or three verses of a Psalm or hymn may be sung.
Close with a prayer of committal into the hands of God. Though we may not be able to pray eloquently, we should pray earnestly. Prevailing prayers are usually brief ones. Beware of wearying the young ones. (Arthur Pink)

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To Ponder:

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Divine providence is the daily, constant, sovereign rule of our God over all things for the accomplishment of His eternal purpose of grace in predestination.
Predestination is the sovereign, eternal, immutable, unalterable purpose of God almighty, by which He ordained and ordered, according to His own will and good pleasure, all things that come to pass in time.
Divine providence is the accomplishment of God’s sovereign will and purpose. Providence is God bringing to pass in time (sovereignly, absolutely, and perfectly) what He purposed in eternity. Predestination is God’s purpose. Providence is God’s execution of His purpose. Nothing in the universe happens by luck, chance, fortune, or accident, or by blind fate. (Don Fortner)

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To Ponder:

“Do not forsake me, O Lord! Do not be far from me, O my God!” Psalm 38:21. Frequently we pray that God would not forsake us in the hour of trial and temptation–but we too much forget that we have need to use this prayer at all times. There is no moment of our life, however holy–in which we can do without His constant upholding. Whether in light or in darkness, in communion or in temptation–we alike need the prayer, “Do not forsake me, O Lord!” Hold me up–and I shall be safe!” A little child, while learning to walk–always needs the parent’s aid. The ship left by the navigator–drifts at once from her course. We cannot do without continuous aid from God!

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To Ponder:

“The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth!” John 1:14. And He is full of truth. True have His promises been, not one has failed. I bear witness that never any servant had such a master as I have; never any brother had such a kinsman as He has been to me; never any spouse had such a husband as Christ has been to my soul; never any sinner had a better Savior; never any mourner had a better comforter than Christ has been to my heart. I desire none beside Him! In life, He is my true life. In death, He shall be the death of death. In poverty, Christ is my true riches. In darkness, He is my sun.
He is my manna in this poor wilderness world. He shall be heavenly manna when I come to the heavenly Canaan. Jesus is to me all grace, and no wrath; all truth, and no falsehood. And of grace and truth He is full, infinitely full!  (Charles Spurgeon)

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To Ponder:

“The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth!” John 1:14. Believer, you can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father. You can say, “He is truly divine. He has done that for me, which none but a God could do! He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron! He has turned my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy! He has made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory! Let others think as they will of Him–to me He must be the only begotten of the Father! And He is full of grace. Ah! had He not been, then I would never have been saved! He drew me when I struggled to escape from His grace; and when at last I came all trembling like a condemned culprit to His mercy-seat He said, “Your sins which are many, are all forgiven!” (Charles Spurgeon)

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To Ponder:

“Do men make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” Jeremiah 16:20. One great besetting sin of ancient Israel was idolatry, and we who are the spiritual Israel are vexed with a tendency to the same folly! We no longer bow down to sticks and stones–but Mammon still intrudes his golden calf, and the shrines of pride are not forsaken. SELF in various forms, struggles to subdue the chosen ones under its dominion; and the flesh sets up its altars wherever it can find space for them. It is truly said that “they are not gods,” for the objects of our foolish devotion are very doubtful blessings, the solace which they yield us now is dangerous, and the help which they can give us in the hour of trouble is little indeed. Why, then, are we so bewitched with vanities? We pity the poor heathen who adore a god of stone–and yet worship a god of gold! The principle, the sin, the folly is the same in either case, only that in our case–the crime is more aggravated because we have more light and sin in the face of it. The heathen bows to a false deity–but he has never known the true God. We commit two evils, inasmuch as we forsake the living God–and turn unto idols. May the Lord purge us all from this grievous iniquity! “Dear children, guard yourselves from idols!” 1 John 5:21. (Charles Spurgeon

“The dearest idol I have known,
Whatever that idol be;
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee!”

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