The Gospel Way – A Puritan Prayer

BLESSED LORD JESUS,

No human mind could conceive or invent the gospel.
Acting in eternal grace, thou art both its messenger and its message,
lived out on earth through infinite compassion,
applying thy life to insult, injury, death,
that I might be redeemed, ransomed, freed.

Blessed be thou, O Father, for contriving this way,
Eternal thanks to thee, O Lamb of God, for opening this way,
Praise everlasting to thee, O Holy Spirit, for applying this way to my heart.

Glorious Trinity, impress the gospel upon my soul,
until its virtue diffuses every faculty;
Let it be heard, acknowledged, professed, felt.

Teach me to secure this mighty blessing;
Help me to give up every darling lust,
to submit my heart and life to its command,
to have it in my will,
controlling my affections,
moulding my understanding;
to adhere strictly to the rules of true religion,
not departing from them in any instance,
nor for any advantage in order to escape evil, inconvenience or danger.

Take me to the cross to seek glory from its infamy;
Strip me of every pleasing pretence of righteousness by my own doings.

O gracious redeemer,
I have neglected thee too long,
often crucified thee,
crucified thee afresh by my impenitence,
put thee to open shame.

I thank thee for the patience that has borne with me so long,
and for the grace that now makes me willing to be thine.
O unite me to thyself with inseparable bonds,
that nothing may ever draw me back from thee, my Lord,
my Savior.

How's Your Contentment Quotient?

Find out by checking out this month’s edition of Free Grace Broadcaster.

Here’s a sample from Plumer’s piece, the first of several Puritan writers on the subject:

But what is contentment? And how may it be known from evil states of mind somewhat resembling it?
Contentment is not carelessness or prodigality.3 It is not obtuseness of sensibility.4 It is a disposition of mind in
which we rest satisfied with the will of God respecting our temporal affairs—without hard thoughts or hard
speeches concerning His allotments5 and without any sinful desire for a change. It submissively receives what is
given. It thankfully enjoys present mercies. It leaves the future in the hand of unerring wisdom. Nor is there
anything in true contentment to make men satisfied with the world as a portion or as a permanent abode. The
most contented person may long for the day when Christ shall call him home. He may, like Paul, be in a strait
betwixt two, not knowing whether to desire to abide in the flesh for the sake of others or to depart and be with
Christ, which is far better (Phi 1:23)…

Check it out. This stuff will challenge your socks off but given the economy and a host of other reasons the people of God need in these times to feast on truth like this.

What Shall We Do to Be Thankful?

WatsonThe day before Thanksgiving seems to make such a question advisable.

The Puritan Thomas Watson contended in his book, The Godly Man’s Picture, that, among other things, the goldy man is indeed a thankful man.

Toward the close of his chapter on that notion, he raises the practical question as to what shall godly men, and women for that matter, do to be thankful. His answers are two:

Answer 1: If you wish to be thankful, get a heart deeply humbled with the sense of your own vileness. A broken heart is the best pipe to sound forth God’s praise. He who studies his sins wonders that he has anything and that God should shine on such a dunghill: “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, but I was shown mercy” (1 Tim. 1:13). How thankful Paul was! How he trumpeted forth free grace! A proud man will never be thankful. He looks on all his mercies as either of his own procuring or deserving. If he has an estate, this he has got by his wits and industry, not considering that scripture, “Always remember that it is the Lord your God who gives you power to become rich” (Deut. 8:18). Pride stops the current of gratitude. O Christian, think of your unworthiness; see yourself as the least of saints, and the chief of sinners—and then you will be thankful.

Answer 2: Strive for sound evidences of God’s love to you. Read God’s love in the impress of holiness upon your hearts. God’s love poured in will make the vessels of mercy run over with thankfulness: “Unto him that loved us, be glory and dominion forever!” (Rev. 1:5,6). The deepest springs yield the sweetest water. Hearts deeply aware of God’s love yield the sweetest praises.

What will work in us a spirit of gospel thanksgiving this holiday and beyond? Lord, grant us a sober perspective on our sinful condition AND a deep awareness of your stunning love.

Amazing love, how can it be, that thou my God shouldst die for me!

Puritan Power & Perspective on Waiting

GurnallFor some reason I’ve made it a habit to turn to the Puritans first thing each morning this year in my abiding in Christ time.

Moody Press published a collection of daily readings in spiritual warfare from the writings of William Gurnall called The Christian in Complete Armour (1994). Numerous times the meditations within its pages have framed my perspective for the day and boosted my reserves of spiritual power and strength.

The entry for November 21 this week proved particularly meaningful for me and I thought I would pass it on.

Wait on God as long as you have to, until He comes according to His promise and takes you out of your suffering. Do not be hasty to take yourself out of trouble. . . . The fullest mercies are the ones we wait for the longest. Jesus did not immediately supply wine at the marriage of Cana, as His mother had asked, but they had the more for waiting awhile.

Hope assures the soul that while God waits to perform one promise, he supplies another. This comfort is enough to quiet the heart of anyone who understands the sweetness of God’s methods. There is not one minute when a believer’s soul is left without comfort. There is always some promise standing ready to minister to the Christian until another one comes. A sick man does not complain if all his friends do not stay with him together, as long as they take turns and never leave him without someone to care for him. . . .

The believer can never come to Him without finding some promise to supply strength until another is ripe enough to be gathered.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (Isa. 40:31).