FILTER BY:

December 1 Read Psalm 119:113-120

As we are quickened by the Spirit and called by the Word we are made principally new creatures.  As new creatures in Christ we can say with the psalmist that we hate vain thoughts and love the law of God. We find our delight in His Word, and we would be freed from all evildoers. However, we have this new life only in Christ and only in principal. Therefore, we need to be kept by God and we confess that He is our hiding place and our shield. He alone can deliver us from our threefold enemy, and He gives us by His word the instruments of war to fight the battle of faith.

Again we must say how precious His Word is. As God upholds us according to His Word we shall stand, and only then. In this way we shall live, apart from His work we shall die. Our prayer is with the psalmist that we not be ashamed of our hope. We trust in the faithful covenant God.

 

Sing Psalter 335.

December 2 Read Psalm 119:113-120

Our instructor teaches us that God trods down the wicked that err from the statutes of God, further He puts away all the wicked of the earth like dross. The wicked have a place in the midst of the earth and it is implied in this text when the term dross is used. The wicked serve the trying of the elect, but when the trying is done as is the case in a furnace where the molten gold is made pure the dross is cast off as waste. The wicked indeed serve the trying of our faith that it may be purified. But all the wicked who think themselves important shall perish. There is no grace for them.

But then the psalmist must confess that he trembles for fear of God, and he is afraid of God’s judgments. This is true for the psalmist knows his own frailties and weaknesses. We are sinners and cannot stand for a moment in our own strength. Only as God gives us to love His testimonies shall we be kept from the same destruction of the wicked. Thus in godly fear we must walk before Lord in His Word.

Sing Psalter 260:4-6.

December 3 Read Psalm 119:121-128

We must repeatedly petition God for His care and blessing, as the writer also does. It is because we live in such a consciousness of our own weakness and sin. It is only possible to be delivered from those that would oppress us if God blesses and if He has mercy upon us. Further as the psalmist we too must pray that God may be surety for our good (salvation). That God is our surety means that He provides the ransom, He provides our justification. God is this in His promise of salvation in Christ which He provides in sending His Son to die on the cross to pay the price of our redemption. Thus is a pledge of our salvation.

Now when confronted with the enemies of God who make void the law of God and deny it, it is time for Jehovah to work. Only He can make judgment and bring it to pass. Especially for those that make light of the law and who depart from its ways, the prayer is for God to judge and bring their ways to naught.

We find by the grace of God the law to be more precious than any gold of this life. That is so, is it not my readers, in principle in our lives. We then esteem the law of God and hate and flee every false way. As Christ lives in our hearts it shall be so.

Sing Psalter 336.

December 4 Read Psalm 119:129-136

This section of the Psalm is written once more from the deep consciousness of the psalmist’ weakness and sinful inclinations and thus is uttered in light of his own need. We find so often in our lives that we too should bring this prayer forth from our own soul. He is able to seek God’s care exactly because the Word is a light unto his soul. As God gives to us His Word through the preaching and other means He gives light upon our life. It leads us in the midst of darkness. This we must remember in all the trials of this life, one thing is constant and that is God’s word gives to us understanding and thus peace. When we pant as did the psalmist we also long for God’s commandments.

Let us remember this when we have trouble; we do have a place to turn. The Scripture abounds with comfort and wisdom. God gives us His Word to be a guide unto us, and to strengthen us and to lead us. When we lose a father or mother in death it is the Word that strengthens and leads us on. When we have fallen in sin it is the Word that will comfort us and be our strength in turning from that path. God is gracious through His Word unto His children.

Sing Psalter 192:1-3.

December 5 Read Psalm 119:133-136I John 2:1-18

It is especially necessary in the consciousness of our sin and iniquity that we pray as the psalmist does, “order my steps in thy word.” The Scripture gives direction to all of our life, and it warns us of the consequence of our sin, it calls us to repentance and it strengthens us to turn from darkness and to walk in the light. How very necessary in your and my life. Without God ordering our steps by His Word we would only follow the path to destruction. But by His grace led by His Spirit to hear the Word of Christ we indeed know that sin and iniquity cannot have dominion over us. The word applied to our hearts will cause us to repent every time anew and to follow the way of righteousness wherein is blessing.

Not only do we battle against our own sin, but we are oppressed by man. The devil and his co-workers try to destroy us. They do this by temptation, by mockery, by persecution and any means available to them. This enemy also is very strong especially as you young people know. But we may pray to God with the knowledge that as he delivers us we will keep his precepts. In I John 2:12-14 this is given as our assurance. As our God in His Son makes His face to shine upon us we know we have forgiveness of sin, and we seek more and more to be taught by His Word. On the other hand we have sorrow when those about us keep not the law, especially is this so when our brother or sister departs from the word.

Sing Psalter 337.

December 6 Read Psalm 119:137-144; II Tim. 3:1-9

At the time of great apostasy we find dark and perilous times for the church. It has been so in the history of the church and also in the days of the psalmist. In these days it is also the last times and many cease to follow the ways of God and make life difficult and at times it almost sees unbearable for God’s child. We have witnessed this in the various times of apostasy within our own denomination, and it is always a difficulty and a cause of trouble throughout our days on this earth. It is at this time that it is good to reflect upon God’s ways for He governs and upholds all things and all history as the sovereign God. Today in Christ He leads and guides all things unto the perfecting of His kingdom.

When we so reflect upon God and His ways through the means of His word, we too must exclaim, “Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments.” This is true when even those judgments reach into our own family or congregation. His truth and Word is always righteous and His way is always faithful to His perfect purpose of gathering His church in Christ Jesus. We may be consumed at times because our enemies have departed from God’s Word. But His word is pure, His judgment just, and our love for His testimonies remains strong by His grace.

Sing Psalter 338:1, 2.

December 7 Read Psalm 119:137-144

It is often during these days and at times of such oppression and trouble when reflecting upon ourselves in gracious wisdom we see ourselves as very small. It may even seem as though we are absolutely insignificant. We compare ourselves even to the things of this life, the universe, the power of creation with its earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes and we seem so small. But especially when we are compared to the living God we are nothing. Why would God even be mindful of such as we are? Yet as we remember His Word we are struck by God’s righteousness as revealed in Christ, and are given to confess it is an everlasting righteousness. He has chosen us before the foundation of the world in Christ that we might be holy and without blame, and His word is truth.

In faithfulness to His own righteousness and truth, God will deliver us from our enemies, and uphold us in the truth. He will save us, His only begotten Son is testimony of this as He died on the cross and arose from the grave. Our righteousness is sealed by His death and resurrection. We shall live!

Sing Psalter 338:3, 4.

December 8 Read Psalm 1 19:145-152; Psalm 1

When is the last time that you cried over your sin and or the sin of your neighbor? Do we do this or are we too straight- laced to sob over sin. The saints of the past were never ashamed to sob over sin. They were free to express what is in their heart whether it be with joy declaring, “Praise the Lord,” or whether it be sobbing in repentance over their sin or that of the neighbor. May we have grace not to cover up our spiritual needs, but rather to freely and deeply express our needs unto God.

The psalmist cries out to God to hear him, that he may indeed keep God’s statutes. It is impossible to keep them except God gives His grace to us in Christ and by His Spirit. Only then shall we keep His way. So we cry also save us that we may keep Thy testimonies.

It is good for us even to pass through the night with prayer and meditation that our thoughts may be cleansed and our ways directed by God. Is God’s word so important to you and the keeping of His statutes that you spend a whole night in its meditation. In the meditation of that word is our delight, cf. Psalm 1.

Sing Psalter 1.

December 9 Read Psalm 119:149-152

In this section the psalmist as he nears the end of this psalm reflects on the goodness of his God unto him in the time of his great need. We ought also to be filled with reflection upon the things of God and upon His faithfulness to us. It is necessary that we often and repeatedly call upon our God in Christ in the way of our prayer. Prayer is a great means of blessing, and it is the chief part of thankfulness. We need to be busy with prayer unto the God of our salvation.

This is emphasized by the writer as he again turns to God and rests in God’s faithfulness. We and the psalmist rest upon Jehovah’s lovingkindness, who looks favorably upon us because that lovingkindness is unfailing for His chosen people. Again the greatest measure of His love and His compassionate mercy for us is revealed as He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross to cover our sin and iniquity. Indeed on the basis of His work we can cry out, “Quicken me according to Thy judgment.” We know that for Jesus’ sake we are covered in His blood and righteous before God according to His own judgment.

Sing Psalter 339:1, 2.

December 10 Read Psalm 119:149-152

Those that oppose the godly life of the people of God follow after mischief. This term says that those opposing God and His people do so having an evil plan, they are filled with malice for God’s people and purpose. So is the world of darkness whether that world be far off or as near as our own family.

But no matter how great the enemy or how difficult the trial we say with the writer, “Thou art near, O Jehovah.” He is sovereign over all and He is the faithful covenant God and His promises are sure. We know by the searching of the Scripture and by the testimony of Christ through the true preaching, that of old God has founded the testimonies for ever. The promises of God never end. He is faithful to save.

Sing Psalter 339:3, 4.

December 11 Read Psalm 119:153-160

One may wonder at the times the psalmist calls upon God to consider his afflictions and his enemies, and yet it is not difficult at all to understand this if you have seen your own sin and weakness, as well as the strength of your threefold enemy. Our sins that we have walked in only show how very prone to evil we are, and how depraved our own nature. They show how very dependent we are if we are to enjoy the blessings of salvation. Indeed we must often and repeatedly cry out for mercy, for the reality is that in this life we are not delivered from the old man and we must confess we have sinned each day.

Thus we seek our Lord to plead our cause for we cannot. God heard the psalmist and hears us. He sent our Lord to die for us and to be raised in victory over our sin that He might be our advocate to plead our cause before Jehovah. We need daily quickening, a being made alive to live out of Christ. Daily we need the fullness of the Spirit to stand in the battle of faith.

Sing Psalter 340:1, 2.

December 12 Read Psalm 119:153-160

One more comment on this passage and that has to do with David’s persecutors. I am sure in one way or another you have faced persecution as a godly child. One might ask how we can call ourselves godly when there is so much sin in our lives. Some refuse to take the words of the psalmist upon their lips, but they should if they are God’s children. To refuse to do so is the greater sin for then we deny the work of Jehovah in Christ Jesus our Savior. David had sinned greatly in his life. One might consider his the greatest sin of any recorded in the Scripture, with the exception of Peter’s sin, and yet he says to God, “Consider how I love thy precepts O Jehovah.” He is able to say this because of the new life he has in the blood of Christ. He trusted in the promise of God to come through sacrificial offerings having the testimony of God’s word that His sin would be covered. We may say the same thing through the promises realized in the blood of Christ spilled on Calvary. He trusts in the promises of God and so must we.

But further He is grieved with the transgressors because they kept not God’s word. They would not glorify God, would not humble themselves before the Holy One. Their sin grieves him for it detracts from God’s glory. Do we so grieve over the impenitent sin of the wicked? We must also. May God grant us the grace.

Sing Psalter 340:3, 4.

December 13 Read Psalm 119:159-162; Proverbs 3:1-4

As we near the end of this Psalm we find the holy writer both summarizing what has been set forth in the Psalm and also drawing his final conclusions. When he does this we find that he reflects again upon the Word of God. In this Word he finds life, peace and consolation, even as we surely also do confess. The Scripture is most precious to every child of God for it reveals the God of our salvation and our Savior unto us. In this word we find strength and peace. The psalmist confesses by God’s grace that he loves the precepts of God’s law and would have God consider that love that arises in his heart for the law. But even as we must, so must the psalmist go on to pray that the God of his salvation quickens him. For he understands as we must that apart from the work of the Spirit of Christ we would never love His law nor walk according to its precepts. So relying upon God’s lovingkindness he prays for God’s quickening work in him. It is not that we are worthy of this quickening work, but it is in the knowledge of God’s eternal mercy and love revealed in Christ that we are able to seek this quickening work of the Spirit of God.

Now the writer sees the word so precious because he knows by God’s grace that it is true from the beginning and endures forever the same. What confidence we have when turning to the word for our strength and comfort. For it is God’s Word, the word of Him that changes not, and who is ever faithful to His own. Thus whether princes or any powers that be come against us we may stand in the sure confidence of God’s word. No wonder that we hold so precious the Lord’s Day when we come together to hear that word expounded unto us. This is true of you, by the grace of God, is it not?

Sing Psalter 341:1, 2.

December 14 Read Psalm 119:163-168

When we truly rejoice in the word and find that word a great treasure, then we shall with the psalmist hate and abhor lying. Sometimes this is not so clearly manifest in our lives when we take delight in the latest gossip that our fellow classmates have to entice us. Often we take a certain delight in the lies of this world as it would lead us down the paths that appeal to our flesh or pride. But as the grace of God by the power of the Spirit leads us in the true path of penitence, then indeed we find our delight in God’s law and detest the lies of those about us and of Satan the father of the lie.

Hence we and the psalmist find the need to fall down constantly before God seeking grace to praise God in the keeping of His law and for a love of His commandments. The writer expresses that he does this seven times a day, not just in the morning and evening prayers, nor is he guided by some other standard, but often and now he mentions the covenant number seven. Seven times a day, in the consciousness of God’s covenant with him he finds the need to fill his life with prayer that he may praise His God Who gives him such a precious word.

In the law, precepts and testimonies of God’s word we find our hoped for salvation and the strength in our lives not to offend our God, we find there our peace. How very important that we keep that word faithfully as churches and as individual believers. May God so grant it.

Sing Psalter 341:3, 4.

December 15 Read Psalm 119:169-172

The psalmist now comes to the final conclusion of the whole matter of this prolonged prayer and testimony. He knows himself as we must know ourselves, that we are not able to stand a moment in our own strength. We fail to seek God as we ought whenever we rely on our natural strength or abilities. As a covenant young person we have not the strength nor ability to fight the battle of faith, but this is no less true of the older and more experienced saint.

So we with the psalmist must cry out unto God. The idea here is that we have a shrill and audible cry unto God in the knowledge of our absolute need of His care. And we pray for our God to hear us and to give us understanding according to the word. It is needful that God gives us the ears to hear and the hearts to understand His Word. When He hears our supplication for Christ’s sake and delivers us by the power of His word from our sins and weaknesses, our praise shall be given to Him and Him alone. We then shall speak of God’s righteousness and of His goodness in all His ways with us. It does not matter how strong the enemy, nor how great our affliction. We pray that His hand shall help us and uphold us, then all shall be well.

Sing Psalter 342:1, 2.

December 16 Read Psalm 119:173-176Isaiah 53:1-7

Praying that God will uphold us by His hand, teaches us that we can only be delivered if our God delivers us. Salvation is not of man. It is not a cooperative work of God and man, but salvation is God upholding us in His hand to save us. This He does by sending His only begotten Son to stand in our stead and to bear our guilt to deliver us from the depths of darkness to bring us into the light of His fellowship. So the psalmist prays, “Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee.” We will praise God only when He delivers us from the condemnation of our own sin. Only as we are lifted up by God out of the morass of our sin that we shall ever praise Him.

And above all, this has become the goal of the writer’s and our lives. On our part we have gone astray. God’s word by grace makes this clear to us. We have sinned, we cannot praise God as we are in sin. But as a shepherd brings back the lost sheep so we acknowledge that our God in Christ has redeemed us and called us by His word, so that we may with newness of life and in repentance seek Him alone. May He grant that we forget not His commandments. Amen.

Sing Psalter 342:3, 4.

December 17 Read Genesis 3:8-20

In the fourteen remaining meditations for this month we will turn our attention to some of the prophecies of the Old Testament that are fulfilled with the coming of Christ. This is appropriate I believe for us to consider in this month. The first prophecy of the coming of Christ is that found in Genesis 3:15. It is often referred to as the mother promise, because all others flow from it.

Let us briefly consider this promise and its wonder. In the first place we might be surprised that at such an early stage God reveals His eternal decree of election and reprobation. He does because this was His purpose from eternity, that He would send His elect Seed to deliver His elect people from destruction, and to do so also through the trials that would come upon them through the reprobate seed. It would become evident that the only deliverance from sin and destruction would be by the grace of God in His sending of the Seed of the woman to bruise or trample the head of the seed of the serpent.

This text speaks then to us of a twofold seed within the sphere of the church and in the midst of this world that would oppose one another. And while God gives Satan and his seed the power to bruise the heel of the children of God and their Head, they shall surely have the victory through their Head as God sends the Seed of the woman to save His people. This promise is made ever clearer throughout the old dispensation and we are given to understand it more perfectly by the power of the Spirit of Christ poured out upon us and revealing to us the wonder of the incarnation, Jesus’ sacrifice, death, resurrection and ascension to glory as our Head.

Sing Psalter 15.

December 18 Read Genesis 17:1-16

As we take time to read this passage of Scripture we find that there is already some increasing clarity of the promise as given to the church of God already in the days of Abraham. God came to Abraham and basically repeated the promise made to Adam and Eve. A seed would be given to the church to deliver her and to provide for her blessing. This, most certainly, covenant young people is what this season is all about. God’s people have need of God’s blessings. Really we need nothing more and nothing less. When we have the blessing of God all is well and our salvation is sure.

The covenant God establishes with Abraham is one-sided and this is a good thing. For if the covenant blessing of God was dependent upon us in any way it would fail. You know this don’t you? You know this because you know your own sin and failure. We have an eternal covenant God that loves us in Christ. The blessings were assured Abraham and his seed for He promises to establish His covenant with His church in their generations. What a rich blessing this is for it teaches us that God will not forsake His covenant nor the people of His covenant love. We are the children of the promise as we are gathered by the Spirit of Christ. This is the testimony of this promise repeated in Acts 2:39.

Sing Psalter 30.

December 19 Read Galatians 3:16-29

The promise made unto Abraham was the promise of Christ’s coming. How precious is this truth for except Christ comes and represents us we could not have any blessing and the covenant of God would fail. Of course this is impossible, because God is God and thus His promise, His will cannot fail. He would bless Abraham and his Seed and through the Seed-Elect God will bless all chosen in Him.

This is also the point that the Scripture makes in Galatians 3:17 and the following argument against work’s righteousness, which concludes in verse 29. The apostle points out that the passage in Genesis spoke of the Seed. The apostle correctly points out that the promise to bless the seed of Abraham is spoken in the singular case and that the Seed spoken of is Christ. God fulfills His promise to the church (through Abraham) in the sending of His only begotten Son to fulfill all righteousness on behalf of those given to Him. We by the grace of God believing that we are Christ’s, that we belong to Him from eternity, know ourselves to be heirs according to that promise.

This is the blessed wonder of grace revealed to us in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh.

Sing Psalter 48:1-3.

December 20 Read Deut. 18:15-19; Acts 3:13-26

We continue with further prophecy of Christ’s blessed coming by turning our attention to Deuteronomy 18. In the fifteenth verse we are told that “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee.” He spoke this word to Israel as His promise of blessing through this Prophet he shall raise up. However, those that will not hear what His Prophet speaks shall be cursed. God’s children must hear Him. We must by His grace receive the words He sends us by the mouth of His Prophet. In doing this there is blessing without measure.

As the Scripture presents this Prophet it is striking that already at this time God reveals that the Prophet shall be very God and very man. The Prophet is raised from the midst of the people, yet is like unto God. Acts makes it very clear that the Scripture in Deuteronomy has its fulfillment in the coming of Christ. Peter says this in verse 20 of our reading from Acts. Jesus Christ which is preached before us is the Prophet spoken of by Moses. Peter rightly interprets that we must hear him in all things whatsoever he shall say unto us. For the voice of this Prophet is the voice of God in our midst. May we have ears to hear and hearts of understanding.

To fail to hear the Prophet is to disobey God, and as many as shall not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. This is the sad state of so much of the world today and even of the church world that will not hear the Word of Christ, but do their own good pleasure. Such shall surely perish. May God deliver us from such disobedience as individual children of God and as churches.

Sing Psalter 51.

December 21 Read Psalm 2; Psalm 110; Heb. 5:1-10

Beloved readers there are many, many Psalms that prophesy of Christ and His coming, but for now we will treat only the selections for our reading today and perhaps another one or two. The psalmist gives us the Word of God Who said, “Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee.” God glorified Christ to be our high priest said the author of the Hebrews under the inspiration of the Spirit. Already in the days of David it was pointed out that Christ would come, as our high priest that He might be a sacrifice for our sin.

And the psalmist in Psalm 110 points out that He shall be an high priest after the order of Melchizedek. It was thus prophesied that He would in a sense be without beginning or ending of days, and yet be a priest raised up from the midst of God’s people. He is eternally our high priest, the only begotten God, yet could suffer the infirmities of His people for our sake, being made the perfect author of eternal salvation unto us, unto all them that obey him. He is our high priest still today, for on the basis of His one sacrifice He still utters prayers which we cannot raise unto God for our salvation. How precious the word of God, the word of salvation.

Sing Psalter 303.

December 22 Read Psalm 132:13-18; Luke 1:69- 75

We will look at another Psalm and the New Testament reference to it for today’s meditation. In this Psalm God has prophesied that He would “make the horn of David to bud,” and Zacharias as filled with the Holy Ghost teaches us that this is a reference to Christ. The prophecy of this Spirit-filled man teaches us that God in Christ has raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of David. This promise the Psalmist gave to God’s people in the day of David. When Christ came in our flesh He came as the horn of salvation. We had no strength to save ourselves but Christ came in our flesh in the line and lineage of David to save us from our sins.

He would perform the mercy already promised to our fathers. God through His Son would cover our sin with His obedient death on the cross and save us. By this God remembered His holy covenant, and the oath which he sware to our father Abraham. By His coming would believers and their seed be delivered from the torments of their own iniquity and nature.

The fruit of this precious gift of God is that we are delivered out of the hand of our enemies, and we go on by His grace and in the power of His Spirit to serve God without fear during the days of our lives. This is our portion through the Christ child come in our flesh. For He is our God come to save us.

Sing Psalter 368.

December 23 Read Isaiah 7:12-15; Matthew 1:20-25

As we come closer in the history of the old dispensation to the coming of Christ, the prophecies become more complete or more detailed concerning the coming of our Lord in the flesh to save His people. We see this in the well known prophecy in Isaiah seven. In the midst of pronouncing the coming of judgment upon Judah to Ahaz the king, Isaiah prophesies of the wonder of wonders that shall provide for deliverance. He gives Ahaz a sign, “A virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” The Seed in which the nations should be blessed comes forth of the woman by the birth of a son to a virgin in the line of David. Impossible as this would be, God would provide for the salvation of His people by His hand alone. The fact that Christ would come forth of a virgin in the line of David shows us with God’s people of the ages that what is impossible for man is the very place where the grace of God is revealed in all of its majesty and wonder.

Our sins and our natural depravity keep us from any hope of salvation, it binds us on the path of destruction, but God provides what we cannot. God brings to pass that we cannot hope for, He and He alone saves. Joseph is also told this that Mary is with child according to promise, the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord spoken to the prophet Isaiah many years before. A virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son.

But further the prophecy given to Isaiah and brought before Ahaz and the word to Joseph quoting that Scripture declares that “they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Born of the woman without the will of man, yet flesh of our flesh, but also the only begotten God, God with us. The wonder the Incarnation. God saving His people.

Sing Psalter 61.

December 24 Read Daniel 7:13-28; Luke 1:26-37

We turn to the prophecy of Daniel as he prophesies of the Christ as the little horn who would crush the kingdoms of darkness in the midst of this earth. He would be given dominion and glory and a kingdom that all nations and languages should serve Him. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominions shall serve and obey Him (Luke 1:27). Now this prophecy that speaks of the coming of one like unto the Son of Man, to Whom such dominion would be given is quoted by the angel Gabriel as he declares to Mary that she would be favored among women and would bear the Christ Child. It is striking in this announcement of the angel that the Savior would be born of the virgin made in the likeness of man, who shall rule over all nations and dominions. He is the King of the kingdom of God for He is God come in our flesh to save His people chosen in Him from before the foundation of the world.

This Child’s name shall be JESUS, we read. What a precious announcement. He is Jehovah saving us, saving God’s chosen. There is such a wonder here, for we for whom He came are not worthy of the least of God’s blessing, yet God Himself comes in our flesh to suffer in our stead, to die on the cross, to satisfy judgment for our sin, that we might inherit His kingdom. That little child born of a lowly virgin shall be given everlasting dominion over all things to the saving of the church. Glorious Grace.

Sing Psalter 183.

December 25 Read Ezek. 16:1, 2, 48, 59-63; Luke 1:64-80

This is the day we remember with great thanksgiving the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. But what is the reason for this great joy that we have at this time of the year? Why are you filled with joy today, or are you not so filled with joy? If you are not, if you say my portion is too hard, my way too difficult, I cannot find joy, not on this Christmas day then beware of God’s judgment. Consider your sin and repent.

God’s children by His grace do rejoice today no matter the circumstance in which they are found. Indeed we are filled with rejoicing because our sins have been covered; God has remembered His covenant with us and our fathers. This is the ground for our joy.

Understand we have been worse than Sodom; as the prophet speaks of Jerusalem and Judah we have sinned in ways that are worse than any sins of the nations about us. We have on our part forsaken God’s covenant, we have trampled it underfoot and the Holy God as well. We have transgressed all the law of Jehovah. That is the prophet’s testimony over God’s chosen people in Judah, and it applies to us as well. Our nature is totally depraved and in our lives we have transgressed God’s way. We are not worthy of salvation. But then the prophet proclaims over Jerusalem the words of verses 60 and 62 of Ezekiel 16. This prophecy is said to be fulfilled with the coming of Jesus in our flesh according to the Spirit inspired words of Zacharias upon the birth of John and his naming. The wonder of salvation is God remembering His covenant with His people. Praise the Lord.

Sing Psalter 255:1-3.

December 26 Read Isaiah 40:1-5; Luke 3:1-6

It is striking that not only did the prophets of old speak clearly in their prophecies of the birth of Christ, but also were led by the Spirit to declare in prophesy details of His work when He came in our flesh to dwell in our midst. The prophet of Isaiah in the fortieth chapter speaks of the fact that when God fulfills His promise, he pardons the iniquity of His people. For Jehovah comes in our flesh to save us. This is so necessary for the elect seed in the days of Isaiah to hear but also it is so important that we see that this is the real meaning of Christ’s birth and His walk in our flesh for us.

All the troubles that we have, all the mountains and hills that stand in our path shall be made low, they shall be made passable by the coming of the Lord. The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. There is nothing that shall be in our path whether sickness, poverty, persecution, or even Satan and the wicked in this world shall prevent our entering into the everlasting life with our God.

This it is prophesied shall be the message of the one preparing the way of the Lord who cries in the wilderness. Luke makes it plain in the third chapter that when John the Baptist came into the wilderness as a prophet declaring the arrival of the Christ he was the fulfillment of this promise. His message was exactly that salvation was come. With the coming of Christ, all flesh would see the salvation of God in the person of God’s Son come in our flesh. And through His work all is made straight. Salvation for us is assured.

Sing Psalter 276.

December 27 Read Isaiah 9:1-5; Matthew 4:14-17

As Jesus would begin His ministry and reveal through His Word that indeed He was the salvation of God Whom we could see, He began His labor in the borders of Zabulon and the land of Nephthalim. And we read in Matthew, He did so that the prophesy of Isaiah might be fulfilled. The prophet Isaiah in Isaiah nine had prophesied that the One who would bring light into darkness would do so in these places. The Spirit teaches us that all of the Old Testament prophesies indeed spoke of Christ and His work of saving His people.

When Jesus began His ministry already in these countries was the revelation of the light of God which came to dispel darkness. Now how precious is this testimony to the elect seed in the old dispensation which found themselves in darkness because of their sin, carried into captivity, cut off from the temple of God and the mercy seat. But also how precious is this word for the church of all ages, for we are taught that the labor of Christ in our flesh was light come into our darkness. How important this is! For we are in darkness, this is our nature as we are dead in sin and trespass, and we have walked in darkness in the way of sin. And all is darkness about us, none can have fellowship with God in the present darkness. Further nothing in this life of darkness can deliver us from the darkness, not our works, nor any man, or church. Only, if the Light sent of God comes, can the darkness of our sin be dispelled. But this indeed is the wonder of Christ’s preaching in the midst of this world of sin. God’s children are delivered and led into the light of God’s fellowship.

Sing Psalter 113:1, 8, 9, 10.

December 28 Read Isaiah 53; I Peter 2:21-25

Much of the prophecy of Isaiah 53 is quoted in the New Testament in various passages in connection with the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed as Peter also points out that we like sheep have gone astray and everyone has turned to his own way. This is our natural walk. We make our own gods and think that we can control our own destiny. We seek our own pleasures and fail to take heed to the Word of Jehovah our God. We are filled with iniquity and worthy of damnation. This is the confession of God’s child and therefore we have great need of deliverance. Even more we cannot accomplish that deliverance but can only increase our guilt, and even when Christ came, sent of the Father we despised Him and rejected Him.

But Jesus Who did no sin, neither was there any guile in His mouth, suffered for us. When He was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. He bore our sins, the prophet said in the days of old, that Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. By His stripes we are healed. Blessed truth of the Scripture. Salvation is by grace alone, as Jesus in our stead bears the judgment of God against us, and we live. Now by the grace of God filled with this testimony of the Word we have returned to the Bishop of our souls and have peace.

Sing Psalter 318:1-5.

December 29 Read Isaiah 59:16-21; Rom. 11:13-36

Christ Who becomes the fulfillment of the prophecy of God through the prophets comes as the Deliverer out of Zion. The prophet Isaiah set this hope before the people so that when they were in captivity and all seemed hopeless to receive any good or salvation. There are so many times in our lives when it seems as though it is impossible for us to obtain the hope of the Scripture. This is true either because of our own hopelessly lost condition, or because of the many forces of evil that oppress us. Yet in the depths of our misery God sounds for the gospel of salvation.

Paul applies this prophecy of Isaiah to all Israel. Not only to Israel according to the flesh, but to spiritual Israel including the nations of the Gentiles. This is the blessed message of the gospel that Paul set before those unto whom he preached. This is the message of comfort for us which we receive every Lord’s Day as we worship under the Word of Christ.

God has sent out of Zion the Deliverer. He has done this not because of the worthiness of those carried into captivity by their sin, for there is no worthiness among men. But God has set His covenant upon His people from before the foundation of the world. His covenant is unto us, and thus in Christ the covenant Seed, God works salvation. He takes away our sins and saves His elect, of Israel according to the flesh and of the Gentiles. Neither may boast but God fulfills His covenant with us. Blessed God of grace.

Sing Psalter 121.

December 30 Read Jeremiah 31:31-34; Heb. 8; 10:14-22

In Jeremiah 31, the prophet speaks of a new covenant that shall be realized when Christ comes. The old covenant Israel brake, although God was a husband unto them, and we might add was a faithful husband unto them, but the new covenant will be made with the house of Israel after those days. This statement refers to the time of Christ. Now this new covenant is not a different covenant from the point of view that it is a change of God’s covenant love for His people. But it is a new covenant in that it is a more complete manifestation of this eternal covenant of love for His people that never fails. It is the covenant that is fulfilled with the coming of Christ, His suffering, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.

In Hebrews 8 it is pointed out that the people led out of Egypt continued not in God’s covenant, and God brought them as a people into many troubles, He “regarded them not.” But with the coming of Christ, there is a Mediator of a better covenant (vs. 6). The author of the book of Hebrews then quotes the passage from Jeremiah pointing out that God makes a covenant with the house of Israel whereby He puts His laws into their mind, and writes them in their hearts, whereby He will be to them a God and they shall be to Him a people. This speaks of the fact that on the basis of Christ’s death and resurrection and His ascension into heaven the Spirit of Christ is poured out upon elect Israel, that is upon the church elect in Christ. That Spirit shall not be removed, and we shall experience forever God’s mercy to our unrighteousness, and our sins and iniquities He will remember no more. Wondrous Grace! This is the fruit of the one sacrifice of Christ, which is complete and never has to be repeated. Our salvation is made complete.

Sing Psalter 125:1-4.

December 31 Read Hosea 2; Romans 1:18-32; I Peter 2:4-10

There are many prophesies that speak of the coming of Christ and told before those things that would come to pass. This also is the preciousness of the Scripture. It is the Word of God and it comes to pass according to His will. We could have considered many more such passages, however we are limited to the ones that we have used.

In this last meditation for the year 2005 we look to Hosea and the places where it is quoted in the New Testament. At this time of the year we reflect on many things that have come to pass in the last year, and many of these have to do with the fruits of sin in the world about us and in our own lives. Natural man will not serve God, and natural man can have no hope as this year comes to an end. The world even the church world in the days of Hosea had walked in terrible sin and ungodliness, and so it is also today. On top of this God’s people in Israel in the days of Hosea and also we have transgressed God’s law and we must confess the utter unworthiness of hope in our future.

But God in faithfulness, betroths His people unto Himself. Jehovah through Hosea announces that He will keep His people in covenant faithfulness, and would have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy, and that He will say to them that were not my people, Thou art my people, and they shall say, Thou art my God. According to Paul in Romans 9 and in I Peter 2 in the coming of Christ and His satisfaction for sin, we shall be remembered according to His decree of election. He calls us out of darkness into the marvelous light of His fellowship. So that now we can walk in hope of the future year and years, knowing that all things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose.

Sing Psalter 125:5-9.

November 1 Read Psalm 119:1-8

As we take up the meditations for the present, we shall turn to our Lord’s direction to us in Psalm 119. I am not sure if this has been done in the recent past, but I would believe that the perspective will be somewhat different in any case. We shall therefore turn together to this blessed Psalm.

Our calling as covenant youth and as confessing believers is to keep our way pure and undefiled at all times. We are called to serve God in every path that we travel. At the outset we understand that this seems impossible, and we further know that often we have failed to walk in this way in which we are directed. In the first place then we must understand two things. First there is no excuse for our failure to walk in this path directed by God, and secondly in Christ it is possible to so walk in the ways directed by God. This is our calling, this we must do. This is the command of Jehovah. Let us not make excuses for anything less than what we are called upon to do. Our text in the first verse points out that this means we walk in the way of Jehovah. We will look at this calling in the following meditations.

Sing Psalter 1:1-3.

November 2 Read Psalm 1:1-8

We take note that the Psalmist begins this Psalm telling us of the blessedness of walking in the way of God and in the keeping of his testimonies. This is true no matter where you find yourself. Whether it is at school, in your labor or in your fellowship, in your dating or in any other activity, it is a blessing to walk according to the testimonies of God. Believe this!

The way is the active conscious path that we take in this pilgrim’s life. There really are only two ways: one that is narrow and often filled with many pitfalls but that leads to the eternal and everlasting fellowship with God, and a way that often is much broader and smoother but one that leads one into the clutches of Satan and to hell. There is no way of compromise. There is no compromise between the way of light and that of darkness, the way of Christ and that of Belial (II Cor. 6).

The way which must be undefiled is a way that is guarded by the law of Jehovah, and is kept so safe by a living in His testimonies. Beloved in the Lord we of needs know and prayerfully live as led by God’s word alone. Our own natural understanding will not prevail, but God gives us a perfect Word in the Scripture as proclaimed in the faithful church from Lord’s Day to Lord’s Day.

Sing Psalter 41:1-3.

November 3 Read Psalm 119:1-8; Psalm 1:1-3

The Psalmist points out in verse three that when we walk in the ways of God according to His testimonies, we walk in no iniquity. This again reminds us that there is no in-between. Either we walk in the ways of God or we walk in iniquity. Think a moment of your own sins. When you sin you know it is because you have departed from the ways of God and from His blessed law. The law is blessed for within its bounds we have true freedom, but apart from His testimonies we become bound in the slavery of sin.

Therefore the Psalmist who also experienced the slavery of sin acknowledges that God has commanded us to keep His precepts diligently. Understand that our God perfectly knows what we need in order to experience peace and His blessed favor. It is Jehovah the covenant God who loves us from eternity and commands us to walk in the way that is blessed. We dare not fail to listen to this command. God points out to us that this must be a diligent labor of love. We must give our all to this blessed service of God. May God grant this to you, covenant youth, and to all of us.

Sing Psalter 41:4-7.

November 4 Read Psalm 119:1-8; Psalm 1:4-6

Now the Psalmist in this passage does what you and I must do. He prays that his ways are directed to keep Jehovah’s statutes. This is an exclamation, expressing how necessary it is that we cry to God in light of this high calling to walk in the law of Jehovah. The reason is plain and that is that neither you nor I can stand for a moment in our own strength and upon our own works. Only if God directs our way, only if by the Spirit of Christ He renews our hearts and creates in us clean hearts, and leads us into the way of truth shall we serve God and know His precious fellowship.

When our God through our Lord Jesus Christ by His Spirit leads us then indeed we shall not be ashamed as we have respect unto all Jehovah’s commandments. We shall be kept from iniquity and condemnation as we walk according to His testimonies. Notice it is necessary that we have respect unto all of God’s commandments. If we fail in one we do indeed transgress all and shall be found walking in iniquity and be comfortless.

Sing Psalter 321:1-2.

November 5 Read Psalm 119:1-8; Psalm 51:10-19

The Psalmist tells us that he and we with him may have confidence as Christ works in our hearts by the power of His Word that he shall not be ashamed and that he will keep God’s statutes. This is his confidence and may be ours because God loves us in Christ from eternity as Paul expresses it in Ephesians 1 where we are told that he has loved us in Christ from before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame.

Again he leads us to pray, “O forsake me not utterly.” If God would forsake us utterly as we haltingly walk through this life all would be empty and loss. We must pray for grace that saves us from ourselves, from our own ways.

David and we indeed shall praise God with uprightness of heart, when we have learned the righteous judgments of Jehovah. Sometimes the way of the Lord with us seems so hard, so very difficult. Usually it is as a direct consequence of our own sin and weakness. David knew this path and so have you and I, my readers. But Jehovah will maintain His holiness and He will bring judgments upon His beloved when they walk in sin. But He does this in love and teaches us the righteousness of His judgments that we are turned from the pathway that would bring us into condemnation. Indeed, oh Jehovah, forsake us not utterly!

Sing Psalter 321:3-4.

November 6 Read Psalm 119:9-16

How shall we as young people cleanse our way. The Psalmist speaks of the youth here not because the youth are worse sinners than the aged. In fact when the older members of the church sin it is even more terrible and this because we should have learned the testimonies of the Word much more fully that when we were youth. But it is exactly because as youth we are still growing in understanding of the law of God, and because Satan recognizes that the youth are more susceptible to his temptation and have less strength of experience that the Psalmist speaks of the young man. He knew his own weaknesses and lusts as a young man, he knew of the many trials our youth face in the pilgrim’s walk and so he raises this important question. How shall a young man cleanse his way? It is a question when answered is also the answer for any member regardless of age.

The holy writer in this passage is adding another aspect to that which we have been taught in the first section of this psalm and that is that the seeking of God according to His law is the same for all God’s children no matter the age. The strength of a young person’s body, the flexibility and ability of the youth to think clearly and to reason, the exuberance of youth—all of these—cannot prevail in the battle of faith except it be kept in the true liberty of the law. As covenant youth we also can cleanse our ways and turn from sin and darkness only if we take heed to our whole way according to the precious life giving word that God has given us in the Scripture and which He proclaims unto us in church and teaches us in catechism, etc.

The true children of God in youth also look to God’s testimonies for their strength and wisdom!

Sing Psalter 322:1-2.

November 7 Read Psalm 119:9-16; II Corinthians 5

As kept by the Word of Christ and as we are in Christ we may say already as covenant youth as well as aged saints, “with my whole heart have I sought thee.” In principle even small children may utter this prayer. The reason is that God has loved us and He has sent His Son to walk in obedience to His law on our behalf. He has covered our iniquity by His loving obedient sacrifice on the cross, and He has been raised to God’s right hand now to rule in our hearts by His Spirit and Word. We are made new creatures, as the apostle states in II Corinthians 5:15ff. And in principle we begin now to serve God according to all of His commandments. Further he may say that God’s precious Word has been hidden in his heart that he might not sin against the covenant God.

This of course is our only defense in the battle against sin and Satan. We must hide the Word of God in our hearts. That is, it must rule our lives as all our actions flow from our hearts. When directed by the new man in us, we shall not sin against God but love and serve him as faithful children. The Scripture must bind our lives in all that we do. However, the Psalmist also knows your weakness and mine as well as his own, and he prays and we must with him constantly pray, O let me not wander from thy commandments. For by nature all we would do is wander from the ways of God, and it is only as we are kept by Him that we shall walk rightly as His people.

Sing Psalter 322 3-4.

November 8 Read Psalm 119:9-16;  Ephesians 2:1-10

As the Psalmist led us in the word we considered yesterday, the fact that we may pray should and does give us cause to sing the praises of our God. Indeed we declare, “Blessed art Thou O Jehovah.” We give our praise to God when we are kept in the paths of righteousness, for there is nothing within ourselves in which to boast. After all it is alone by grace we are saved through faith and that not of ourselves, lest we boast as the apostle declares in Ephesians 2. Rather we find whether we are the youth or the older members in the congregation that all that we are we owe to God.

Therefore we with the prophet will with our lips declare the judgments of God’s mouth. We will be ready to testify of the truth and to be witnesses of that truth to others around us. We must do this within the fellowship of the church and without, for we are so full of the blessedness of our God that keeps us in His way to save us that we must declare His glory and the glory of His grace.

So we shall rejoice in the way of His testimonies, we will not complain of them which the world is so prone to do, nor will we try to escape their testimony, but we will find His Word more precious than any riches this world has to offer. To meditate upon God’s precepts is precious for us, to study them is our delight, and to have respect unto them in our way is comfort and peace. May that be true for us so that we forget not His Word.

Sing Psalter 383.

November 9 Read Psalm 119:17-24

We enter another new section of this Psalm and the writer adds a new element once again to this Psalm which calls us to the faithful keeping of God’s commandments. But first he does what we must forever do. He considers his own weakness and inability to serve God according to this Word of himself. We are taught the need for true humility as we would serve God and enjoy His fellowship. The writer prays, as we must, to deal bountifully with him as the servant of God. We must remember that that is all we are and it is our privilege to be Jehovah’s servants. We have the calling to serve God in all of this life. When we forget this and think that all things in this life must serve us and our fancies, then we will not serve God as our Lord. It is necessary for us to see ourselves as servants in all that we do, and in all of our relationships with others as well. We are the servants of God by His grace and according to His counsel.

Only if the Lord deals bountifully with us shall we serve Him as we ought. We need His grace in full measure for if there is anything left to us we shall fail to serve Him and know His blessings. So it is a prayer for a full measure of grace in Christ that we may live, for there is life only by His grace in Christ. Now only as we receive that grace shall we keep His word. We continue our prayer with open eyes, which by nature are closed in sin, so that we may behold the wondrous things of God’s word and testimonies, and law. May God so grant this.

Sing Psalter 324 1-2.

November 10 Read Psalm 119:17-24; I Peter 2

Now we consider some of the new elements that are added in this section. First the writer speaks of the fact that as God’s people we are strangers in the earth. This is the experience of David in his life. Not only were the worldly people the enemies of David and he was a stranger in this earth, but even within Israel and within his own family he was a stranger to some. The child of God finds that as the life of Christ abides in him he indeed becomes a stranger to this world and a stranger in this world. This is a point that Peter makes in his writings. We see this in I Peter 1:1already when he address the church as strangers, and in I Peter 2:11 calling us pilgrims and strangers on the earth. Our abiding place is not here but we are citizens of another country, an heavenly country, that we shall enter by grace. But for this to happen we must see, know and learn the commandments of God and thus the prayer, “hide them not from us.” It is God alone by His Spirit and Word that can reveal them unto us.

This weighs heavily upon David’s soul and also upon our souls. We are nearly crushed by the weight of our longing for the judgments of God’s word. Especially is this true for us as we seek to walk according to that word as servants of God, and in the light of the threefold enemy that opposes this life of the child of God. This heaviness is caused, as we have implied, also by the enemies of God. The Psalmist mentions the reproach and contempt that is heaped upon him by those about because of his faithfulness to the Word. He mentions even the princes of the land that did not sit and speak with him but against him as he served God according to His word. We, too, shall find this when we walk according to the commandments of God. So again we pray to God to remove that from us in the measure that is pleasing to Him. Our delight must be and is in Jehovah’s precious word.

Sing Psalter 324:3-4.

November 11 Read Psalm 119:25-32; Psalm 73

The writer now reflects more thoroughly on his personal life as a child of God. He expresses what we all experience from time to time. We almost become depressed with our life as we strive to serve God as His servants. Asaph also expressed a similar experience when he looked at his life as God’s child and the way of the wicked. He contrasted all that the wicked seemingly had and his own portion as he served God, and said that his feet had well nigh slipped (Psalm 73). We too can get the feeling that everything and everybody is against us. Even when we do the right things it still seems that all we obtain is grief. Sometimes we may even come to the point of despondence that Elijah experienced and feel as though this life has no place for us. But that would be sin, terrible sin as the Psalmist continues to point out to us. He calls upon God in his lowliness, his soul cleaveth to the dust, to be quickened according to Jehovah’s word. We turn to God and seek His quickening grace. This alone shall sustain us in this pilgrim’s pathway.

David knows that God hears this prayer. He expresses it when he says, “I have declared my ways.” He has brought his needs before God, and he states with confidence of faith that God hears him. This is his life-giving word of truth. Further he prays that he shall be made to understand the way of those precepts or truths. Oh how we need to pray this and we shall also then talk of the wondrous works of our God that saves us in Christ.

Sing Psalter 325:1-2.

November 12 Read Psalm 119:25-32

It is not only that the enemies of God outside ourselves cause us to be heavy hearted, but the Psalmist realizes that much of our heaviness is caused by our own sin. “My soul melteth for heaviness,” says the Psalmist and then calls upon His God to remove from him the way of lying. Only when we are delivered from the lie and from our own lying shall we be able to be lifted up in our spirit. Young people, you also know this, that when you try to cover your sin by lying how miserable you are. This is our personal experience. We sin and either deny it to ourselves or to others and we cannot have peace. Further it destroys our fellowship with God and with our fellow saints, whether that be parent, teacher, minister, wife or husband. Lying would destroy our souls. The Psalmist prays, and we must pray, “Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.”

It is only in the grace of God that we shall seek the truth and walk in it. We are not deserving of being delivered from the lie, darkness and destruction, but in grace we have hope even of eternal life. As we receive that grace we too may say we have chosen the way of truth. We find our delight in the law of God. The judgments of God are precious to us. We have cleaved to the testimonies of our Jehovah, Who loves us for Christ’s sake even from eternity.

Thus we have joy even as we pass through this life and know that we shall not be put to shame. But we will run through the paths of this life in the way of God’s commandments as He enlarges our heart and makes us clean.

May you be so comforted and assured, delivered from your heaviness, in the precious way of God’s forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sing Psalter 325:3-4.

November 13 Read Psalm 119:33-40; Psalm 1

The holy writer now turns our attention to the only basis for our requests and our obedience to God’s Word. As David we must turn to God alone for the grace to serve Him according to His Word.

It is rather amazing in this day in which almost all churches are willing to throw away the sovereignty of God in salvation, in stark and absolute contradiction to the Scriptures. The writer makes it clear that it is only if God works in us that we shall ever seek Him and our salvation in His Word. The truth that you believe, covenant youth, is soundly the Scripture’s teaching. Be not ashamed of it.

The Psalmist says that when God teaches, when He gives understanding and when He makes us go in the path of His commandments, then we shall observe His law and observe it with our all heart. In this path we shall find delight. Understand that, apart from this path, outside of God’s law there is no delight but only misery, the misery of sin and death. May God work in our hearts by His Word and Spirit that we may have delight in all our ways.

Sing Psalter 326:1, 2.

November 14 Read Psalm 119:33-40

We hear David continue to implore God as we must, “incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.” David knows our weakness and our natural inclination. First we are naturally dead in sin and trespass. Only if we are delivered from this state shall we ever have life. We pray for God’s gracious salvation and look to Him alone for it in Christ. Only the new heart of the new man in Christ can enable us to observe his ways and be blessed in the delight of God’s fellowship.

Secondly, not only must our hearts be made new by the Spirit of Christ on the basis of His righteousness, but also our life must be quickened, that conscious activity that arises from that renewed heart. Thus the writer prays for the quickening work of God in us in our way. It is the prayer for the life of faith. Oh, how necessary is this prayer, for apart from it there is only hopelessness and despair.

We also are led to pray to be delivered from that which would keep us from being comforted and strengthened by God. Deliver us from covetousness, which would always cause us to be selfish and desire the things which would give us worldly comfort and joy. When we become concerned only for this worldly life and its things we will not serve God nor taste His delights. We pray, “Turn our eyes from beholding vanity.” Vanity is emptiness. Think of that when you are primping to meet your friends, or are putting on a false front. Such a way is empty and leads to destruction. Seek rather to be rich in Christ and pray for quickening and cleansing.

Sing Psalter 326:3, 4.

November 15 Read Psalm 119:33-40; Rom. 8:28-30

We and the psalmist walk in a godly fear and would not do anything that would be displeasing to God. This is the principle of new life working in our hearts that leads us so to pray. Further we understand that God’s judgments are good. It is stated in Romans 8:28 somewhat differently yet with the same understanding. We say, “All things work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to His purpose.”

There are no exceptions to these statements of truth. And as children of God we must confess this, and live in the consciousness of this truth. We therefore long for the precepts, the truths of the Scripture which lead us in the life of thanksgiving and in the way of salvation. This must guide us as young or old. It is the way of true peace and comfort throughout our lives. There is then pressed from our lips at the conclusion of this section of the Psalm the cry, “quicken me in thy righteousness.” This is a righteousness that has its source in God and is ours in Christ and becomes our precious possession by the power of the Spirit. Blessed God of our salvation!

Sing Psalter 327:1, 2.

November 16 Read Psalm 119:41-56; John 8:12-27

The child of God often finds when he walks by grace in the way of God’s law that he is the object of the reproach of God’s enemies. David experienced this as does the faithful child of God in our day. The wicked hate God and hate His people, even as our Lord Jesus Christ experienced. Christ could as well pray this prayer and did. He also taught us that if the world hates him it shall also surely hate us as we would walk in the truth as His disciples (John 8). Thus it is necessary that we call upon God for strength and grace to bear and to be delivered from this reproach.

Of ourselves we are not worthy to be delivered from the reproach of man. That is why David, and we with him, must call upon God to have mercy upon us. We ask that God save us. David addresses our God by His covenant name in our text, “O Jehovah.” He pleads for Father’s mercy, that He remember His covenant with him as the ever faithful covenant God. He rests in the promises of Jehovah as we must. Then we must understand that we rest in God’s faithfulness and not in our own. Then we may have assurance that he will also deliver us from those that reproach us as we trust in our Lord.

We must not and do not have to deny God’s word to have a place in this world. God will give us that which we need to answer those that reproach us. The answer principally is that God is our Savior in Whom we trust, and we need not be afraid. Our hope shall forever be in God’s judgments. May we also say in confidence that we shall keep His law continually, in all of our ways and life, even forever.

Sing Psalter 327:3, 4.

November 17 Read Psalm 119:45-48

Receiving the mercies of the faithful covenant God whereby we are given an answer to those who reproach us, the child of God has the assurance that all is well. We are at liberty walking according to the Word. This is true liberty. Within the boundary of the law we are free, like a fish within the safe confines of his fish bowl. If the fish jumps out it is in jeopardy of losing its life. But within the bowl it has liberty to eat, drink, move and live. So it is for us within the blessed confines of God’s word, outside of which there is no hope or life.

But also then we are bold in the Lord. We will speak of God’s testimonies and of His Word even before the powers that be in the midst of this world. We will be faithful witnesses of that truth in the midst of the world. How could it be otherwise when we have the joy of living in the blessed liberty of the Word, in the blessed riches of God’s grace. We will give thanks unto our God, especially by meditating in the statutes of our God. How precious it is to study the Scripture. It gives us strength and peace for each day as it testifies of God’s faithfulness to us in Christ.

Sing Psalter 147.

November 18 Read Psalm 119:49-56; I Peter 2:1-10

Do we do what the Psalmist does in this section? He rehearses the comfort and blessing of resting in the Word of the Lord, and in the great gift that he has received of grace only in receiving that Word from God. Do we rejoice in the instruction God gives us in catechism? We have learned more of the truth as covenant youth than many aged saints in this present world. We have not deserved this rich heritage that God has kept alive in our midst, but by grace we have had instruction that is more precious than any man has received from kings or professors. Are we thankful for the precious gospel that is preached unto us every Sunday by faithful ministers of the Word? We receive from Sabbath to Sabbath a richness of the truth of Scripture that hardly anyone else receives.

That Word causes us to hope and trust in all our ways in the blessedness of our God. For it reveals to us that in Christ our sin is covered and we are made heirs of his righteousness. In affliction we have peace with God, being quickened by the Word. Shall we then decline from the law of God? We cannot. It is life unto us.

Sing Psalter 74.

November 19 Read Psalm 119:49-56

Now even when the proud has the child of God in derision, and makes mockery of his faith he does not depart from the ways of God. Remember that when your friends make fun of your faith. Even when horror has taken hold upon us because of the strength of the enemy, especially by those that have known the truth but are turned against us, we shall not be afraid. We have the statutes of God for our songs as we pass through this life.

How true this is throughout history in the literal sense of the word. The martyrs of the past could go to the stake singing the songs of Zion. Already Paul did this in prison in the midst of the night. The martyrs that died at the hands of the Roman emperors did this also. So it was throughout the history of the church.

Further these same songs we sing in this house of our pilgrimage remind us of the faithfulness of our God to His covenant promise. We remember the judgments of old and Jehovah’s faithfulness to deliver His people. This strengthens us as we remember we are but pilgrims in this life, with a heavenly goal.

How precious it is to learn and to sing the blessed Psalms of Zion.

Sing Psalter 221.

November 20 Read Psalm 119:57-64; Rom. 8:29ff.

The Psalmist knows that Jehovah is his portion and so do we by the grace of God. That Jehovah is our portion means that He governs and determines all things that take place in our lives. We are His people, and are loved in Christ. We must say with the apostle Paul, in Romans 8:31-33, that if God be for us who can be against us. He has given His Son to die on the cross to save us, surely He shall provide us all things necessary for life and death.

The writer again rehearses the goodness of God’s grace and the fruit of that grace in his life, namely that he would keep God’s word, and turn his feet to God’s testimonies, and forget not God’s law. We must follow in these same paths, and will have the ability, by grace.

Further we are reminded by the writer that we are not alone, although at times it may seem that way. Even Elijah thought he was the only one left that believed in God, when there were yet seven thousand who had not bowed their knee to Baal. By the gracious care of God and in His mercy we are companions of all that fear the Lord. The mercies of God are plentiful in this earth towards us for Christ’s sake.

Sing Psalter 328.

November 21 Read Psalm 119:65-72

David now gives account of his need to grow in knowledge and judgment. We never grow too old to have this need. Nor do we ever learn so much that we no longer need to grow in knowledge. The writer understands that it is only Jehovah Who can teach him what he needs to know.

He has been taught this by God in very clear and sometimes harsh ways. We are really hard-headed people. Further, we are by nature sinners, have sinned and do too often sin. When we sin, we do not use good judgment nor do we walk with the wise but with the foolish.

And most of us must say with David before we were afflicted we went astray. But God is gracious and He chastens, brings to repentance and leads us to keep and believe in His Word. Then may we daily pray that God, for Christ sake, may teach us His statutes.

Sing Psalter 329:1, 2.

November 22 Read Psalm 119:65-72; Psalm 73:1-17

As God tries us and gives us grace to bear the trials, and leads us to keep His commandments, we too will find that the wicked hate us as stated before. The writer tells us that they forge lies against him. This we find in our lives quite often, that those who stand against God and do hate His people will craftily make lies about the righteous in Christ. They often have the pretense of being so pure, yet their attack is vicious in the attempt of Satan to destroy one of God’s elect.

Yet we are prepared by God, prepared by the afflictions that He has sent us, so that we may say that it was good to be afflicted. Through this life of affliction we learn God’s law and His Word as it shall provide for us a defense against the enemies of God.

And although the wicked’s heart stands out in fatness and he has more than heart could desire, yet we understand that the law of God is a law of true liberty and is better than thousands in gold and silver. Our trials serve our everlasting life in glory through Jesus Christ.

Sing Psalter 329:3, 4.

November 23 Read Psalm 119:73-80; Eph. 1:1-8

In this section once again we see the Psalmist giving reasons unto God for His care over him. This may seem strange until we notice that he calls upon God to care for him on the basis of God’s faithfulness and His work. David says that it is God Who has made and fashioned him. This acknowledges that all that we are we owe to God. From eternity God has called us in Christ that we might be holy and without blame as the apostle states in Ephesians 1. And as God has called us surely He that hath begun a good work in us shall perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

It is no wonder that as the Word of God lives in our hearts that other children of God, who fear Him will be glad when they see us. God’s children have delight in the fellowship of the body of Christ. Indeed, we are glad to see other children of God who walk in the fear of Jehovah.

The proud who see themselves as much, let them indeed be ashamed, brought down from their evil ways, and those that fear the Lord may they turn unto us. Our hope together and our comfort is to be found in the ways of God. Jesus was always comforted as He served God and so shall we who are covered by His obedience.

Sing Psalter 330.

November 24 Read Psalm 119:81-88

There are times in the life of God’s people when we become weary of the battle of faith. There are times when we become almost despondent and think that God has left us, times when it seems as though there is no end to suffering and times when it almost seems that God does not hear when we call upon His name.

The holy writer expresses this in the present section of the Psalm, his soul fainteth for God’s salvation, and his eyes fail for God’s Word to come to fruition. It seems as though we are like a bottle in the smoke that is completely clouded over with the soot. It seems as though there is no way left to traverse in the midst of this earthly path.

We know that there is salvation. We know the Word of God and yet it seems as though there is nothing but darkness around us. We may cry out, Have we not endured enough? How many are the days, O Lord? The Psalmist expresses that he was so pressed upon. The wicked persecute him wrongfully (often the portion of God’s elect). It seems as though they almost consume us upon this earth.

By grace David and we may say that, nevertheless, we still keep God’s ways and forsake not God’s precepts. Our prayer must be: Quicken us after Thy lovingkindness so that we may continue this walk as His children.

Sing Psalter 331.

November 25 Read Psalm 119:89-96; Psalm 33:9-12

Our assurance is in the consideration of our God Who is our Father in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is the emphasis of the words of this section. The Psalmist recounts according to the Word the truth of Who God is and Who He is with respect to us.

In the first place God is sovereign over all things. He is God and God alone. He has made the heavens and the earth. His word is settled in heaven; it cannot be changed. He has established the earth by His Word, “For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast,” Psalm 33:9. His counsel stands forever. It is His God that has established the earth according to His purpose. That purpose is to glorify Himself in the saving of a church in Christ. Thus the apostle may say with confidence, even though all things may point otherwise, that God’s faithfulness is unto all generations. We know this even in a greater way for we have seen God’s Son come in our flesh to die upon the cross to satisfy God’s judgments that we may become children of adoption and be saved.

God’s ordinances still govern all things. His Word and testimony plainly teach this. He is our Father for Christ’s sake.

Sing Psalter 86.

November 26 Read Psalm 119:89-96

We take a few moments in this section to consider the words of the writer when he says that God has established the earth and it abideth, and then says, “They continue this day according to thine ordinances.” The word “they” really refers not only to the earth, but all that it contains. This is not what the world believed in David’s day or believes in our day. The world of man believes in evolution, not in perfect direction according to a perfect purpose of a living God. But clearly the Psalmist finds much comfort in the truth that all things, even the enemies of God, are governed by the ordinances of Jehovah.

They are all God’s servants whether this refers to the stars and moons of heaven, the angels of darkness, the wicked kings of this earth, or the enemies of the truth in the church. It is true that the true servants of God in the midst of this earth are also directed according to the perfect purpose of God to save His church in Christ unto His glory.

So the writer is comforted and strengthened to know that it is because all things are the servants of God and that this testimony is David’s delight he does not perish, but is strengthened to continue in the paths of God, forgetting not His precepts and understanding that he is God’s. The Father cares for us even when the wicked wait to destroy us. The end is perfection of God’s ways—salvation for His children.

Sing Psalter 332.

November 27 Read Psalm 119:97-104; Ephesians 6

It may seem as though some of these sections of Psalm 119 seem to repeat, however there is always something new and we also have this in the present section. The Psalmist very personally speaks now of the preciousness of the law to his personal life. He has stated the wonder of the law. Now he especially emphasizes its necessity for his life as God’s child. He also explains how precious and how important it is to his very being as God’s child.

We also must see this. Do we cry out, “O how love I thy law?” It is indeed necessary to have this love for God’s law as His child. It is the Word of life to us. It strengthens us in the battle of faith and it directs us in that battle. It equips us as the apostle also states in Ephesians six. It is our armament in the battle.

Remember this, young people, especially when your catechism lessons require you to learn portions of God’s word. Look at it as a privilege to study the word and to look up all the references for a particular lesson. Then when you are an aged saint in this pilgrim’s pathway you will be equipped to carry on in the walk of faith.

Sing Psalter 333:1, 2.

November 28 Read Psalm 119:97-104

No wonder the Word is our meditation day and night. It leads us in the safe way in all situations. The psalmist mentions his enemies that are ever with him. They were of the nations about Israel, they were also of his own family, and of course we always carry the enemy of our flesh with us.

However, that word that lives in our hearts by God’s grace makes us wiser than any enemy. For it is the word of our God Who knows exactly what we have need of in this pilgrims journey. Even our Lord Jesus Christ relied upon that word when confronted with the temptations of Satan, saying in answer to the temptations, “it is written.” The law-word is the sword whereby He also fought the battle of faith on our behalf. Surely if Christ relied upon that law in His battle, we who are weak and sinners can only stand upon its basis and strength.

The truth of the Scriptures makes us wiser than any earthly teacher and it is a word that is without error as it would direct us in our paths. Indeed how sweet are God’s words unto our taste.

Sing Psalter 333:3, 4.

November 29 Read Psalm 119:105-112; John 1:1-14

The word is sweet unto our taste because it is a lamp unto our feet and a light upon this pathway we tread. It is significant that we read of the Word as a light. It implies the necessity for a light for a lamp. The reason is that you and I are surrounded by darkness, and apart from Christ, the Word of God, there is only darkness. This world with all of its inhabitants was plunged into darkness by the sin of our natural head Adam, so that all is darkness in this world of man. We are totally depraved as a result of the fall and unless light dispels that darkness we can only know destruction.

Besides this all we can do of ourselves is add to the darkness. That is all natural man can accomplish. Sin begets sin begets more sin. It is necessary that we have light to dispel this darkness. It is a light that cannot then arise from fallen man, yet the living God came in our flesh to dispel the darkness for us. In Him was light. His life is the light of men. That is the one Who is the Word and light unto the church (John 1:1-4).

The Word that became flesh gives us the Scripture from beginning to end and it leads us in the midst of darkness to stand and not stumble.

Sing Psalter 334:1, 2.

November 30 Read Psalm 119:105-112; I Pet. 2:1-10

The light of the Word is like the light in a completely dark room. If that room is filled with chairs and tables placed in all new places and we try to walk through it or find a pathway that is safe to pass, it is impossible and we will stumble and fall. But if we have a powerful flashlight we can easily find the path and safely gain the other side. So the Word reveals the dangers of this life unto us, and keeps us from stumbling into the paths of sin. What a blessed testimony that God gives to us. He leads us by the light of the Son from darkness into His marvelous light, the light of His eternal fellowship.

The testimony of the blessed care of the Word given the writer is given in the light of the fact that he must pass and has passed a difficult way. He knows that it is alone the grace of God extended unto him and manifest in the Word that enables him to safely pass through this life. He repeatedly therefore, calls upon His God to teach him God’s judgments and to keep him faithful to remember the law. Now because it is of grace alone that the psalmist shall walk in the law, he is led to render all praise unto Him. He beseeches God to accept the free-will offerings of thanksgiving that he brings by grace before God, and says that the testimonies of God are the rejoicing of his heart. May we find it so?

Sing Psalter 334:3, 4.

October 1 Read Psalm 14, II Corinthians 5:17

In the meditations this month we will center our thoughts upon various truths of the Scripture. We hope to do this by considering practical questions that arise in the hearts of God’s children as we pass through this life. The first question we will ask is, “Are we fools?” The answer for the true children of God must be in the negative, we are not fools. The Psalmist states that the fool says that there is no God. The fool says this in his heart. While there are times in the weakness of sin we may question the ways of God, and even wonder where is the God Who has said he will never forsake His people? You know these times as you have been weak in faith in facing the trials of life, but our heart is made right with God as He has renewed us by the Spirit of Christ. This is our confession by the grace of God. We confess, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17). This newness includes our heart so that we cannot say from the heart there is no God. Sing Psalter 23:1-3.

October 2 Read Psalm 14

But lest we become proud and say we are new creatures and therefore are not fools, nevertheless we must also confess by nature we are no different than the fool. According to the Psalmist God looked upon man and said that they are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy. This is the fruit of our sin. Our natural life is such that God, when He looks upon man, must say there is none that doeth good; no, not one. According to the apostle Paul this includes you and me. In Romans 3:10-12, Paul applies this to the church, both of the Jews and Gentiles. We must understand and remember that by nature we are dead in sin and cannot of ourselves bring forth any good. Thus it is alone by grace that we are saved. What a wonderwork of God. Saved alone in the blood of Jesus. May this ever humble us. Sing Psalter 23:4-6.

October 3 Read Romans 9:11-13

Not all who call themselves Christian believe that it is alone in Christ that we are saved or simply put, not all believe that salvation is by grace alone. Do you believe this? I often emphasized this truth of Scripture concerning salvation by asking a question. I asked this question whether I was at a school or on the street, and whether they were believers or not. The question was, “Does God love all men, women and children in this world?” The answer usually was immediately and loudly given, “Yes He does.” Then I would say, “If this is the case then you do not serve the same God as I do, you do not know the God of the Scripture.” Following this it is necessary that we point out why this is true. In the first place, it is so because the Scripture teaches the opposite, that God does not love all men, women and children. Literally, we read this in this passage. That the purpose of God according to election might stand it was said of the twins of Rebecca, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” God said this even before they were born, to emphasize the point. Sing Psalter 10.

October 4 Read Psalm 111; Psalm 115:3

To get to the point of showing that God is a God Who elects His people in love before the foundation of the world, it is well to lead those you are speaking with to the truth of salvation and the Savior. Thus after the first question, you ask if God is able to do what He says He wants to do? The answer is almost always, “Yes of course.” Then you ask if He loves someone then this must mean that He surely saves that one He loves? Either this or else He is not God. Understand if one says God loves everyone then it means either He saves every man, woman, and child that has ever lived or God is dependent upon whether those people love Him in return. One must contend if they don’t love God then He will not save them. But if this is so then it must mean man is more powerful than God. For man can reject the love of God and frustrate that love. However this is not the God of the Scripture. God is God, and His will is done. His love saves. Sing Psalter 304.

October 5 Read John 6:36-39

God’s love saves, and all whom God loves He delivers from sin and brings to salvation. This our Lord makes clear when Jesus teaches us in our passage that Father gives to Christ a certain people, and all that Father gives to Him surely come unto Christ. This of course already speaks of the fact that God has given to Christ a people. The fruit of this work of God is that they come to Christ without question or exception. And Jesus further points out that all that Father has given to Him and therefore who come unto Him He in no wise shall cast out. God’s will is done. And Jesus does that will of God, not His own will, but the will of God that has sent Him. Now for emphasis Jesus points out that of all given to Him He will lose nothing. Those God loves He saves without a doubt. This is the wonderful gospel of salvation that brings comfort to the sinner, and this alone. It is not harsh to say God does not love all men. It is the truth, but it also is a most comforting truth to know that God loves a peculiar people and saves them without conditions. Sing Psalter 306.

October 6 Read Ephesians 1:20-23

It is by grace alone that we are saved, it is by grace alone that any are saved. How blessed is this truth when by His grace we come to know our own sin and unworthiness of salvation. If salvation were dependent in any way upon you or me then we can boast, but if it is alone the work of God that brings us to salvation, God receives all glory, and we do not boast, but rest in the work of our God. The passage we are to read today brings this truth to the forefront. The church is most glorious. This is evident in the last verses of this chapter as we take note of again. We read that the church as God has put all things under the feet of Christ, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, that is, for the saving of the church, that that church is Christ’s body and is the fullness of Christ that filleth all in all. Amazing truth of God’s Word. We who are truly the church (elect) are the fullness of Christ! Sing Psalter 141.

October 7 Read Ephesians 1:3-4

We, who are of ourselves sinners, have it said of us that we are the fullness of Christ!! But the only reason that this is true is because of what God has determined to do and has done for His church in Christ. That which God has determined is clearly set forth in the first part of Ephesians 1. For God reveals there that He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, and this only because He has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Think of that! Before God laid the foundations of this world He has chosen us in Christ. Oh, there is nothing of man in this determination; even the very world serves the salvation of the church in order to fulfill the determinate counsel of the living God. Understand that God has chosen us before time began that we should be holy and without blame before God, that we may be the fullness of Christ Who fills all in all. Beautiful grace of salvation. Sing Psalter 293.

October 8 Read Ephesians 1:4-6

Why? Why does God chose a church in Christ from eternity? In the first place, we note that He does so to make us adopted children. Oh, you and I know we are not children naturally. We know this from the depths of our being, we know Paul is right when he says in the second chapter that we were dead in sins. We know our natural depravity as we are brought forth. But God is pleased to predestine us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to be God’s precious children. And again we are reminded that God does not choose us on the basis of what we will do or be, but alone according to the good pleasure of His will. He has determined from eternity our salvation from sin and death in Christ merely because of His good pleasure. He has determined that this will perfectly serve the glory of His grace. He has determined that our salvation will bring to Him the greatest glory in all His works. God be praised. He makes us accepted in the beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Sing Psalter 241:1-4.

October 9 Read Ephesians 1:7-11

Yet we must ask another question, of those that would say God loves all men head for head, or of those who would maintain that God wants to save all men head for head. That question is, when were we actually saved or justified? Even the young catechumens in the third or fourth grade are able to answer this question. They would tell you that we were justified by the blood of Christ, and He died nearly two thousand years ago. Do we who were born but a few years ago have anything to do with Jesus’ work of atonement? We were not even born when He died to redeem us. It is the work alone of God’s elective and saving grace. Paul points out to us that we were predestined to be redeemed through the blood of Jesus. Jesus actually covered the sins of all for whom He died. Shall any for whom He died go lost? Impossible, for Jesus is God come in our flesh, His work is complete and perfect. Sing Psalter 163.

October 10 Read Genesis 17:7; Isaiah 61:8

What a comfort we have in knowing that Christ is our Savior! The eternal work of God shall surely come to pass. God has indeed chosen us unto salvation in Christ, God surely adopts us from eternity to be His children, and He has sent His only begotten Son into our flesh to redeem us nearly two thousand years ago. Surely that God will bring us out of darkness into His marvelous light and fellowship. He does so according to His promise. His covenant shall never fail. This truth is found not only in the two texts listed for our reading, but is found again and again in the Old and New Testament Scriptures. God is faithful to His promises. Thus indeed we shall be brought into the consciousness of that salvation by faith given us of the Father. Sing Psalter 250:1, 2, 5.

October 11 Read Romans 9:10-18

It is God’s eternal good will and pleasure alone that determines the salvation of His church in Christ and the destruction of the wicked in the way of their sin. This chapter nine of Romans clearly teaches. It does so with respect to the twins, Jacob and Esau. One was saved and one was condemned that the purpose of God according to election might stand. The apostle goes on to emphasize that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but it is of God that sheweth mercy. God has mercy upon whom He wills, and has compassion upon whom He wills. He also hardens whom He wills. Salvation is determined alone by God and is brought to pass by His grace in Christ. Knowing our own unworthiness of salvation we can but praise God in everyday thanksgiving. Sing Psalter 267.

October 12 Read Romans 9:19-24

But is it fair that God chooses some unto salvation and condemns others to eternal hell fire? Is it fair, you ask? What kind of question is that? Who are you to determine what is fair and what is not? Is it not more to the point to ask what is right? Then we must conclude immediately this is the word of God, and God is right and just (cf. Deut. 32:4). Who are we to question God and His work. Oh, I know that we would like to think that we can discern what is right and just. That is the great pride of man speaking. We would like to think that we are able to determine what is best for us and other men. This would be foolish. Paul replies and rightly so, “Who art thou, O man, that repliest against God?” Are we going to hold God at fault? Can we judge Him? God is not judged by man, His ways cannot be questioned. He saves whom he wills. Gracious ways of God. Sing Psalter 244.

October 13 Read Romans 9:22-23; Romans 5:12-13

Understand further, that with respect to the question whether it is fair, or even right that God condemns some and that He saves others according to an eternal determination, the child of God understands that it would be right that all men be condemned to eternal suffering and desolation. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. All men died in Adam, and we are not good, no not one. If it were up to our goodness, or spiritual strength or perfections, then none would be saved. God is pleased to save His elect and is pleased to reveal His righteousness in condemning the wicked. To Him belongs the glory. God has determined to lay our iniquity upon Christ, and Jesus gave His life the perfect sacrifice for sin, to deliver that people of God’s eternal love. So judgment is met out upon all that have sinned as the wicked perish eternally and as Jesus suffers eternal judgment for the elect in Him. Sing Psalter 398.

October 14 Read Romans 6:1-8

We will follow the former questions and answers by another question that can be raised by those that would destroy our faith or that just plain have a difficult time acknowledging salvation to be the work of God alone. The latter must be led still further into the blessed truth of the Scripture with respect to the salvation of the children of God. The question raised is that, if salvation is eternally determined, if justification is accomplished already by the sacrifice of Christ, then where is man’s responsibility? Paul states that there are those that would say that if salvation is of grace alone then why do we not just continue in sin as children of God? Or we could ask, Why do good works? Paul says in answer, “How shall we that are dead to sin continue therein.” The point is that the fruit of salvation is that Jesus also sends forth His Spirit into our hearts and we become new creatures in Christ. We are given new life, the dead are made alive, and we who are alive become dead to sin. So that consciously we hate the very sins we would walk in and love to seek and serve God. This is our experience also, and about which we will have more to see and learn. Sing Psalter 65.

October 15 Read Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:9-18

It is true that we are no better than the wicked, as stated before. In and of ourselves we are dead in sin and trespass. Now when speaking to those outside of the church this point must also be emphasized. One can do this only by going to the Scripture in the passage we have just read and in places like Romans 3. Having established by the Scripture that there is none that doeth good and that we are dead in sin we have the opportunity to ask the question, “Can the dead man do anything to get out of the grave?” Naturally one may point out that the only thing the dead man in the grave can do is become more corrupt as he decays and the worms attack his flesh. It is no different spiritually. We cannot make ourselves alive, but can only add to our spiritual corruption. The conclusion is that if we are to live, someone must make us alive, for we cannot. Thank God for His grace! Sing Psalter 137:1-3, 6.

October 16 Read Ephesians 2:3-5

We who are chosen by God and by nature dead in sin, are quickened by God. We who were dead in sin are quickened together with Christ according to the holy writer. It is by grace that we are saved. This happens as Christ sends forth His Spirit into our hearts and we are made to be new creatures in Him. Where salvation is utterly impossible for us God is gracious and makes us alive by sending forth the quickening Spirit. Indeed, by grace are we saved, and that not of ourselves lest we should boast, but we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, as God has ordained that we should walk in them. It is His work unto His glory. Praise God! Sing Psalter 339.

October 17 Read Ephesians 2:8; Ezekiel 11:19-20; Ezekiel 36:26-27

By grace are we saved through faith! That faith is also not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. God plants as it were faith in our hearts by His Spirit. He gives us the ability to believe. We were dead and could not believe, but God makes us alive and gives us the seed of faith and the ability to believe. So that as the prophet of old says for our heart of stone we are given a heart of flesh. Our hearts are softened so that we are made able to receive and believe the truth. Apart from this precious work of God we would continue only to walk in sin and disobedience, but God’s love is eternal and He begins the work of salvation in our hearts according as He has chosen us in Christ and redeemed us by His blood. Wonderful eternal love of God! His love saves. Sing Psalter 327.

October 18 Read Philippians 1:1-6

Where it is impossible for us to even desire the things of God’s kingdom because of natural depravity and sin, God makes us new creatures. He quickens us by His Spirit and we begin to live and are made ready to receive His Word. And this work shall never be thwarted. Not even Satan can overcome the will of God to save His elect in Christ. Oh, if that salvation were in any way dependent upon us, then there would be questions about our salvation. Actually there would be no hope for salvation. But because our salvation is alone the work of God’s grace, there is nothing that can stop us from being saved. Surely this is the meaning of the text we read in Philippians, especially in verse six, where we read that we may be confident that He which hath begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. God’s will is done and we shall surely be saved. Sing Psalter 190.

October 19 Read Ezekiel 36:27; Romans 5:1-10

The passage from Ezekiel teaches us that when God puts His Spirit within us, He also shall cause that we walk in His statutes. In Romans 5:1 we are taught that we are justified by faith and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. What a precious word for the sinner. For in the natural walk in sin there is no peace. Understand that faith in Romans 5 is the activity of faith, and believing in Christ we have peace with God. This activity of faith is also the gift of God. It comes to pass as He causes us to walk in His statutes, and this God accomplishes by bringing the seed of faith implanted in our hearts to the conscious activity of believing. It is like a seed that has been planted in the earth that must be nourished by sun, fertilizer, and rain in order for it to become a fruit bearing plant. God also nourishes the seed of faith He has planted into our hearts that we may believe and bring forth the fruits of thanksgiving. God’s grace saves from beginning to end. Sing Psalter 81.

October 20 Read Romans 8:28-30; I Peter 2:9

How is this faith brought from the seed form in our regeneration to the fruit-bearing activity of believing? Again we must answer, by grace. And we should emphasize that this takes place in such a way that God maintains our moral rational nature. God brings that beginning of new life to activity by a powerful and efficacious calling of His people out of the darkness of sin into the marvelous light of His fellowship and communion. In Romans 9:30, we have an order of salvation, and there we are taught that those that God has predestined or chosen He also calls. This call of God is powerful. It is not like my call to my son when I say, “Come here.” My son might hear me, but might not, he might obey me, but might not. However, when God calls His children they hear and they obey! God’s will is always done, His Word always works its purpose. Sing Psalter 236.

October 21 Read Romans 10:13-17

The calling of the children of God comes under the sound of the Word preached. Faith comes by the hearing of the word of God. It is impossible to believe says the apostle in Romans 10 except we hear Christ, and we cannot hear Christ without a preacher. Further only one that is sent can preach the Word. Christ sends His preacher to bring His Word to His people, and under that Word calls His own unto repentance and belief. He calls His own without fail, as many as the Father has given to Him from eternity. Christ makes no mistake in this work. He knows them that the Father has given Him and loses nothing. He knows the elect in some back country village, and either brings the preaching of the Word there, or He calls the individual away from that village to His minister that is preaching the truth. Every child of God, elect from eternity shall be brought under His Word and called unto salvation by Christ, the One Who cannot fail. What powerful grace. Sing Psalter 403.

October 22 Read Isaiah 55:11

We may ask the question, “Does this mean that everyone who hears the sound of the gospel is saved?” If not, then does it mean that the preaching fails its purpose? The answer is that in the first place not all that hear the sound of the gospel are saved, and the preaching on the other hand does not fail. God says in Isaiah 55 that when His word goes forth it shall not return void or empty. This is true, of course, because it is God that sends it forth. Thus we must conclude, as does verse 11, that God always accomplishes that which He pleases. The preaching accomplishes the will of God and the Word shall prosper whereto He sends it. That word saves where this is the purpose of God, and that word condemns where this is the purpose of God. The preaching of the Word of God serves perfectly the end for which God has determined for it. God is God. Sing Psalter 222:1, 2, 7-9.

October 23 Read II Corinthians 2:12-17

The preaching of the Word is the God ordained means to gather His people unto His fellowship and to salvation. As the Word goes forth it serves as a two-edged sword to make division between His chosen and the world of unbelief. Paul points this out when he speaks of the preaching of Christ’s gospel (vs. 12). When the apostles preached the gospel they were a sweet savor of Christ in both them that were saved and those that perish. For God’s will is done, the wicked must be without excuse, and are brought to judgment in the way of their sin, and the preaching condemns the wicked in their way, so that Paul says that in the preaching they are a savor of death unto death. On the other hand it is God’s eternal good will to save His Church, and the preaching is the means, whereby of those preaching the Word it is said that they are a savor of life unto life. In both they are a sweet savor unto God for His will is done. Sing Psalter 373:1-3, 8-10.

October 24 Read Roman 5:1-11

We return to Romans 5 for this meditation. Take note that as we have come under the preaching of the Word and faith is worked in our hearts unto belief, we are comforted by the testimony of our justification. As sinners, it is a marvelous thing to know that Jesus died on the cross to actually deliver us from the condemnation of our sin. He has justified us by His death on the cross. We are given to know in our hearts that when we were enemies, we were reconciled unto God through Jesus’ death on the cross. Christ died for us. We have the blessed testimony that being reconciled we shall be saved by His life. Praise be to God. We therefore are filled with joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, for we who are convicted of sin have the assurance that through Jesus Christ we have now received atonement. Salvation is ours. Sing Psalter 111.

October 25 Read Romans 6:14-15

Returning to the sixth chapter of Romans we hear the apostle proclaiming our deliverance from sin and death. The word states that sin shall not have dominion over God’s elect redeemed by the blood of Christ. The reason given is that we are no longer under the law, but under grace. Under the law we are condemned by our sin, but under grace we are covered by the death of Christ and justified by His blood. The fruit is that sin shall not and cannot any longer have dominion over us, for we are under grace. This does not mean that we no longer sin, but now are made new or alive in Christ by His Spirit. We are not slaves to sin. We do not live to sin, but to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the blessedness of God’s grace. Delivered to live unto Christ is the elect, redeemed and regenerated child of God. Sing Psalter 310.

October 26 Read Romans 6:15-19

As children of God under grace we have a calling to obey God. Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace. The apostle answers, “God forbid.” There are those that would hold this position saying if we are under grace we no longer need to walk in obedience to the law, in fact the law is of no more account. The antinomian would take this position. Jesus has freed us from the law so we may do whatever we please. But you, child of God cannot take this position, can you? This is not the way for God’s child. The apostle goes on to show this by saying, “know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey.” We who have received grace have Jesus Christ as our Lord. We cannot then give ourselves to the walk of sin. And we may not by His grace follow this path. Understand that to yield oneself to the walk and life of sin is to die, eternally, but to serve Christ is to be accounted righteous. By grace even in the way of deep sorrow for our sin, and in the way of repentance, the child of God serves his Lord Jesus Christ. And God is thanked for it is He that works faith in us to so walk in obedience to our Lord. Sing Psalter 280.

October 27 Read Romans 6:22-23 Philippians 1:6

Because our salvation is the work of God, because we have been made free from sin through the death and resurrection of Christ, because God has shed forth His Spirit in our hearts, because God has irresistibly called us by His Word unto faith, because God has made us to be His servants, we have the fruit of holiness, and we may know that the end is everlasting life. Not so for those not repenting of sin and walking therein. The only testimony for such is that the wages of sin is death. Once again we are reminded that this is all we are worthy of, we are worthy of death alone, but by the gift of God, by His grace, by the death of His Son, we are given eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. This is the promise of the Scripture, the promise of our God. And no one can take this hope from us. Again we are reminded that He that hath begun a good work in us shall perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. It is the work of God it cannot fail. Wonderful Grace! Sing Psalter 347.

October 28 Read Isaiah 45:5; Romans 8:28

Practically, the truths we have been considering bring so much comfort to God’s children for we believe that Jehovah alone is God. God tells us this through the prophet in Isaiah 45:5. He says that He is the LORD, and there is none else, no God beside Him. Now we have learned that Jehovah is our God and covenant Father. He knows us by name from eternity and He has saves us in Christ. Now because Jehovah is our beloved Father then we very personally confess that all things work together for our good, for the good of them that are called according to God’s purpose. We love God because He has so called us. There are no limits to this truth. No trial, no pathway in this life can be anything but good for us. Even when we have passed through the deep ways of sin under the tempting of Satan and delivered by God even then we know it serves our good. We do not always understand how all things serve our good, but we know they shall serve our salvation; they shall serve our obtaining of life eternal. Sing Psalter 53.

October 29 Read Isaiah 45:17-19

The prophet does explain for us some of the mystery of this and it is rooted in God alone. God says that he does not speak in secret. He does not speak in devious ways or in darkness. But he has not said unto the seed of Jacob, God’s own elect people, “seek ye me in vain.” No we never seek God in vain as His children. God speaks in righteousness, and declares things that are right. Our God has said from eternity that He loves us in Christ. He has created to bring forth a people to gather through the deep way of sin and grace into His everlasting fellowship. Surely all things shall serve our good and salvation. Sing Psalter 91.

October 30 Read Romans 8:31-34

The apostle now confirms what we have just pointed out as the rich blessing of knowing that salvation is by grace alone. How necessary it is for us to hear this word of assurance and promise, as we pass through this vale of tears. As we struggle with our sin and the temptations of Satan, and realize the weakness of our own sinful nature, indeed, it is good to read these words of the Scripture. If God be for us, who can be against us? None can be against us. Understand that God did not spare His only beloved Son, but delivered Him to the death of the cross for us, surely then God will give us all things necessary for this life in order that we enter His eternal fellowship. God justifies us and none can charge us anymore. Not even the devil can bring any charge against us. By nature Satan could find much in us with which to charge us, but in Christ we are justified and Satan cannot lay anything to our charge. So that even now Christ Who has ascended as our Lord makes intercession for us on the basis of His meritorious work. Sing Psalter 302.

October 31 Read Romans 8:35-39

The love wherewith God has loved us from eternity, the love that God has shown us by sending Christ to die for us, the love showered upon us by His Spirit shall not be turned away. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Oh, if it were our love that had to stand the test of trial and temptation it would be destroyed. But it is God’s love and it does not matter whether it be the trials of this life, persecutions, famines, poverty, peril or threat of death, in all things we are more than conquerors in Christ. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, neither in life nor in death. Praise the Lord. How important to remember as we face all trials of life, let us in confidence fight the fight of faith without fear. The wonder of the reformation truth that is our heritage! May God grant us grace to so trust Him for all things. Sing Psalter 7.

August 1 Read Isaiah 25:6-12

Isaiah prophesied of the captivity of Israel by Babylon and the darkness that came over Israel because of their sin. Also that prophesy spoke of the many judgments that would come upon the wicked both within Israel and upon the nations around about. However it is evident that this prophecy of Isaiah also speaks of the coming of Christ, both in His incarnation and in His second coming upon the clouds of heaven to usher in the new heavens and the new earth. We will concentrate in the following meditations upon this prophecy and others as they speak to us about the second coming of Christ. Surely Christ comes quickly and we must be prepared for His coming as He Himself tells us in His Word. This means for the church that we look for the time when God will destroy the covering cast over all people and the veil that is spread over the nations. The darkness of God’s judgment shall surely pass and the church shall be delivered. We are filled with gratitude for this testimony. Sing Psalter 104:1-3.

August 2 Read II Timothy 3:1-7

The time of darkness that shall be destroyed we presently live in. This is the time that we read about in II Timothy 3:1where we read that in the last days perilous times shall come. The perilous times are perilous times for the church. We might first want to apply this to man in general, because we see wars, pestilence, economical troubles, etc. And man in general finds that this is a difficult time to live in. In fact there are many pressures upon us to concentrate only on all these hardships that man faces, and it is even said this must be our concern as Christians to work to alleviate these things. But this is not the idea found in our text, rather it is so that these are perilous times for the church because of all the wickedness in the earth, verses 2ff. Thus because of the many temptations that we face in these days it is a perilous time for us. We must be spiritually prepared for this time, and it is necessary that we see the temptations and the urgency of our spiritual strengthening in the days in which we live. May God grant the grace to us for these days and may He lead us in that also through these meditations. Psalter 104:4-6.

August 3 Read Isaiah 25:6-12; Isaiah 1

Now as we begin to expand on the prophesy of Isaiah with respect to those things that must come to pass, we will take time to take note of the promises immediately set forth in this section of the Scripture. In the days in which we live, indeed perilous times for the church and for us as individuals and this because of the many temptations and the extreme wickedness of the age which affects also the church, we are given a comforting word of promise by the prophet. Understand that the day of this prophecy was a very dark day in the history of the church. Judah had walked in terrible sin as the first chapter of Isaiah makes plain. Further the wicked nations seemed to have the upper hand and seemed certain of complete victory. Judah would soon be carried off into captivity and all would appear lost. This is also true in our day, a fact that will even be clearer as we continue these meditations. But even now the question could be truly asked, are there any that have faith? And it shall become worse. Yet there is the promise of the apostle “The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces, he will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth. Sing Psalter 104:7-10.

August 4 Read Isaiah 25: 6-12; Ephesians 2: 1-10

Let us take note specifically to the words of the prophet in the present text. Jehovah the Almighty God will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples. This seems just the opposite from what the people would have and the place in which they found themselves. Because of sin they entered into darkness and all that they had was taken away. In captivity they would be deprived of all but the very barest of necessity in order to live, and even that life would be miserable. But it is even more true of you, covenant young people and of me and of your parents. We have deprived ourselves of all blessing by our sin and have become dead. We have nothing to sustain ourselves. We are empty by our sin. Worthy are we only of eternal death and condemnation. This Paul makes clear in the first three verses of Ephesians 2. But Jehovah will prepare a feast! Blessed God of all grace. Sing Psalter 108.

August 5 Read Isaiah 25 6-8; Isaiah 61:1-3

Jehovah prepares us a feast and on this mountain (within his church) we shall have the oil of joy for mourning, beauty for ashes, life for death, as the prophecy also speaks in the 61st chapter, when speaking of the coming of Christ. The picture of our text in Isaiah 25 is that the Lord will prosper us richly. Even as this prophecy was given to the saints of the day of the prophet, the fulfillment looked beyond the return from the captivity to the coming of Christ. Typically it was in a shadowy way fulfilled at the end of the captivity as the remnant returned to Judah and Mount Zion. But as is obvious from the remaining verses of this 25th chapter of Isaiah, the fulfillment would come later when Christ was born, and suffered and died and was risen and ascended into heaven. And yet more even now covered by the precious blood of Christ and forgiven for His sake, having received His Spirit and now beginning to live in the newness of the life of Christ, we still have but the beginning of the great feast that we will have when Jesus comes upon the clouds of heaven. Think of that! What a precious promise. Then we shall have no more sorrow, no more sin, no more suffering, but only joy and gladness in the fellowship of our God. Sing Psalter 111.

August 6 Read Isaiah 25:6-8; Revelation 21:1-7

The prophet continues to explain why we shall enter into the joy we have spoken of. It is because He will destroy the face of the covering cast over the people and nations. By sending Jesus Christ as our redeemer, God justifies the elect sinner in all peoples, and nations. Clearly this text also speaks of the coming of Christ for the forgiveness of sin extends far beyond the nation of Israel to the nations and peoples. And God swallows up death (the death of our own making by our sin and that of father Adam) and gives to us victory. And by the justifying work of Christ and through the operation of His Spirit, we are made free of sin and guilt and have nothing to fear. We must remember this as we look to the signs of Christ’s coming presently. Cleansed by the blood of Christ we shall have no more tears and all of our reproach shall be removed, for our sin is taken away. This is the comfort of the promise of the certain coming of our Lord that gives us strength also for the trials we now face. Blessed God of our salvation. Sing Psalter 292.

August 7 Read Isaiah 25:9; Psalm 25:1-6

The prophet further states in this promise that the day comes when it shall be said “Lo, this is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” For Israel this was true, for us it shall also certainly come to pass. We wait for our God to come again, do we not? Young people to you live waiting for our God, waiting for Jesus’ return? As godly children we wait, we long for, we seek, we trust, we look for our Lord’s return. Even when it seems there is so much to occupy our thoughts and drive our activities, the child of God does long for the return of the Lord and seeks the day of the Lord. This is your life is it not, by the grace of God it is. And we shall not be dismayed or ashamed. Remember this when by God’s grace you serve Him and seek the coming of Christ you shall never be ashamed, but you shall be sustained in the battle of faith to obtain the day. This is the promise of our Lord in our text. We shall be glad and rejoice in His salvation. It is the promise of life eternal and everlasting fellowship with God. May we so hope for that day! Sing Psalter 298.

August 8 Read Isaiah 25:9-12; II Peter 3:1-15

The prophet points out to us that in this mountain, in the true church God dwells and brings salvation. But also this means the destruction of those that serve Him not, of His enemies. One cannot stand against Jehovah and His cause, one may not turn aside from His ways without tasting His vengeance and wrath. The prophet points out that the enemies of Israel shall be trodden down. Those that are proud and who oppose His word shall be destroyed and the things that they have made shall likewise be brought to naught. They may think that they have power and strength, and so also the world today acts as though there is no God. This is evident in the disdain that they hold for His word, so that the world overflows in wickedness, ungodliness and all manner of sin. But they and all that pertains to them shall be utterly destroyed. The Scripture emphatically teaches that it shall all be burned. We therefore must not trust in the ways of the wicked nor entertain them, but walk in godly fear before our Lord. Sing Psalter 354.

August 9 Read Isaiah 26:20-21

We will return to chapter 26 of Isaiah in these meditations at a later point, but for now I want to draw our attention to the last two verses of the chapter. God calls us as He did Judah through the prophet to enter into His presence. We are directed to find refuge in Him, but this means for a time that we are to enter our little place that he has given us and to close the doors behind us. We are to hide ourselves for a little moment. We cannot do this if we see how close to the world we can come. We cannot do this if we seek our entertainment at the hands of that world, or if we turn to the philosophy and wisdom of the world in our daily lives. We must not look to what this world offers, but are to flee to our chambers. Basically we must flee to our heritage, to our reformed faith, to our church and Bible studies, to our catechism and our parents for strength to stand in faith. But this means we must flee to God and His word and find our refuge and hiding place in that word. This we shall do by His sovereign grace, and in the faith that He gives to us. Sing Psalter 401.

August 10 Read Isaiah 26:20-21; Galatians 6:1-6

The reason we are to hide ourselves, take our refuge apart from the world and within our God given place is to be safe until the indignation is past. You understand that God will not be mocked. He is the Holy One and He cannot allow His holiness to be tarnished by the sin of man. The wicked will also have their reward. God sends judgment to destroy Satan, his co-workers, and the world of sinful man. God’s indignation shall bring the wicked to destruction. Until then the trials will be great, and the wicked as the servants of Satan shall seek to destroy all that trust in God. Motivation indeed to hide oneself from that wicked world in the Word of Christ! Jehovah comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity—the beginning of which time of judgment is here now. Run to God and His word and close the doors by grace behind you against the world and its ways. Sing Psalter 396.

August 11 Read Matthew 24:1-3

When shall the end of His indignation be? Or when shall God so come in judgment against the wicked so as to destroy them? When must we hide ourselves? The answer to the last question of course is now, and every day of our lives. But when is the final judgment? This is basically the same question that the apostles put to Christ in our text, verse 3, “tell us, when shall these things be?” Jesus taught the disciples that this world must come to an end, verse 2. This is obviously the meaning that the apostles got from the words of the Lord that spoke of the stones of the temple being cast down. They desired to know when would the final judgment of the wicked come to pass and thus when would Jesus come again in judgment, and when would this present world come to an end. It is important for the church of Jesus Christ to know this. We must also hear the answer of Christ that we may by grace be properly prepared for that day. Sing Psalter 308.

August 12 Read Matthew 24:4-5; II Peter 3:1-11

Jesus next gives us the signs of His coming and the passing of the day of indignation. He begins by telling us that we must “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Of course the church and you must understand that we live in the day of deceivers. This is a part of the perilous time in which we live, as we learned in our former reading in II Timothy 3:1-7. Part of this deceit is by the world at large when they say as Peter teaches that they would say that there is no God, and there is no day of judgment, and as those before the flood said the same thing and perished so will they and those that listen to them, see II Peter 3. There are many today that will scoff at the idea that this world is becoming ripe for final judgment. And they will attempt to make you think the same way! Be not deceived. Sing Psalter 267.

August 13 Read Matthew 24:5

Jesus goes on to point out however that the way of deceit shall in particular be that many shall say that they are Christ and shall deceive many. In the first place Jesus says that such come in His name. That is He teaches us that the main deceit arises within that which calls itself the church of Christ. O! We know that there are many false religions that have arisen, the Jewish religion after the death of Christ, the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists, Satanists, etc. All of these try to get you to believe that they have the way of truth that leads to peace for the soul. They are liars and deceivers. However, Jesus warns us that within that which calls herself church arise deceivers, that say they are the Christ. They represent their teachings as that which Christ would bring, but are deceivers. This is what we now face, with the doctrines of true reformed faith under attack on every side. And in the name of Christ everything under the sun is approved and deceivingly taught to be the teaching of Christ. Take heed to be not deceived. Sing Psalter 253:1-5.

August 14 Read Revelation 2:18-29

What Jesus has warned us of in Matthew 24:5 we see came to manifest in some of the churches of Asia Minor and to which Jesus refers so as to point out to us as a church what is right and what is not before Him Who is the King of the Church. In Thyatira for instance there were those that in the name of Christ teaching and seducing Christ’s people to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols. The point is that in allowing this evil woman to teach these things in the church many were in danger of being deceived. But today in the church from congregation to congregation things are taught to be right which are contrary to the Word of God, whether we refer to women in church office, or to divorce and remarriage, or to homosexual marriages and way of life. It ought not so to be. Be not deceived. Jesus will not tolerate such sin for long. He comes quickly. Sing Psalter 253: 6-10.

August 15 Read Matthew 24:6-8

Jesus continues to give us further signs of His coming and next speaks of wars and rumors of wars. Now we understand that since the fall there always has been strife among men and wars consequently. But as a sign of Christ’s coming and the coming of the final judgment the world is characterized by the fact that there are many wars and rumors of war. We live in a day in which this is true to the near full. Not because the wars take many lives, for the large part the ones presently fought do not. But there are wars that are found throughout the world and that affect the whole world of man. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan really are not huge, nor have they taken many lives. But they result from the fact that there is a fear of terrorism which has caused the whole world to tremble. And because of this fear there are wars in Africa (Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Congo, etc.) Wars between Israel and the Arabs, between Arabs and Arabs, and a fear of attack in Europe and the Americas. We live in an age of ongoing wars or rumors thereof. A sign that Christ comes! Praise the Lord. Sing Psalter 280.

August 16 Read Matthew 24:7-8; Revelation 6

In verse seven of Matthew 24, Jesus mentions other signs. Signs that are included also in the running of the horsemen of Revelation 6. We will only briefly take note of these signs now. In the first place there is mention made of famines and pestilences. There have always been these things, but it is striking that they persist and even increase in this day in which we have all the modern inventions and technology of man. Further many that think they are serving Christ strive with money and with much time to alleviate these things, but to no avail. We here in North America do not see much famine, but it exists with great effect in Africa, India, some Middle East countries and in other parts of Asia. Man strives to overcome the judgments of God, but cannot prevail. The same is true of pestilences. In the past we might say it was the plague, or polio, or small pox, etc. Man has striven to overcome these pestilences only to find more and more deadly take their place. TB still runs rampant in various nations. Types of flu, insect borne diseases and especially a pestilence like AIDS take an increasing toll. But remember these are signs. Jesus directs the horsemen and sounds forth the trumpets. Jesus directs these judgments against a wicked world, and He alone can lead us through the times of their revelation. Sing Psalter 311.

August 17 Read Matthew 24: 7-8

When we see the famine, the sickness, the earthquakes in many and different places what is our reaction? Do we see these as so many signs of the coming of our Lord and the fulfillment of the promises of our God? While these days are difficult for the flesh, do we find also a time to rejoice and say, the Lord comes quickly? Jesus teaches us that these days are the beginning of sorrows. The idea may be related to a woman with child. As the time draws closer to her delivery there is a growing burden in carrying the child, and then an increasing cramping, and other related aches and pains. The beginning of sorrows, the nearer to delivery the more intense this beginning, especially at the outset of her contractions. As we see the signs revealed that Christ speaks of we are also aware that they affect us. We too, may contract the diseases sent. We may find the famines of this world affect us, at least economically. We too can have the earthquake or tornado, etc. take away our homes and destroy our property. This is the beginning of sorrows, but the beginning of sorrow that trumpets the coming of deliverance. God be thanked for the grace to see. Sing Psalter 291.

August 18 Read Matthew 24:8-9; Luke 12:51-59

Lest we think that the beginning of sorrows of which the Lord speaks is a small thing, Jesus goes on to point out what these days shall mean for the church. Indeed we live in perilous times when our faith shall be severely tried. First we note that Jesus teaches us that they shall deliver up the true believers to be afflicted, and shall even kill us, and we shall be hated of all nations for Christ’s name sake. The wicked cannot stand the righteous testimony and walk of God’s people. That world of man shall turn against the elect children of God as the day of deliverance draws near. This will take place by all nations, for all of man shall be set against God’s true church. This includes our own nation, and even that which shall take the name Christian falsely. As we read Luke 12: 51-53 as those confessing Christ before the return of our Lord shall find that even our children or our parents shall turn against us as we stand by grace in faith. So be prepared. Sing Psalter 103.

August 19 Read Matthew 25:1-13; I Thessalonians 5:1-6

Indeed we must be prepared for the days in which we live, which precede the coming of our Lord. Of this preparation Jesus speaks in the next chapter when He gives us the parable of the virgins. He points out that those unprepared have no place in the great wedding feast at His coming when we shall be forever united with our Bridegroom. At the conclusion of this parable, He calls us to watch for we know not the hour wherein He cometh. The principle idea is that we are to know the signs of His coming and that we must know His Word. This means that we ought to be students of the Scripture, that not only we will know the signs of His coming, but that our lives may be guarded by His strengthening Word. We must be founded in the truth for that truth is under attack and we must know wherein is life. Sing Psalter 341.

August 20 Read Revelation 3:1-6

By taking note of what God reveals to us in the letter to the church of Sardis we are given further understanding of our calling to watchfulness and its urgency. Briefly we note that while there was much apostasy in Sardis, there had been a falling away from the truth and this made her ready to die, nevertheless the Lord admonishes the remnant to be watchful. Here He emphasizes the idea that this is necessary to strengthen the things that remain. We need constantly to strengthen our understanding and holding to the precious reformed doctrines of the Scripture. This shall also be our source of nourishment in the battle of faith that is upon us. Thus here also we are called to repent of all contrary to this way of life and to hold fast the truth. Sing Psalter 365.

August 21 Read I Thessalonians 5:1-6

Finally in this connection we look at the passage from Thessalonians. We note that we are called by the Spirit the children of light. This is true whether we are the covenant youth within the congregations, or whether we are the elder saints. We are children for we are the sons and daughters of the living God, this according to His good pleasure as He has chosen us in Christ. We are children and thus dependent upon our heavenly Father for all things. We are children of light because God has delivered us from darkness through the precious blood of our Saviour. We are children of light because by His Spirit God dwells in us. Now as children of light we must not sleep but be watchful. Sing Psalter 183.

August 22 Read I Thessalonians 5:1-6

Watchfulness according to the apostle means that we also are to be sober. Sober is the opposite of being drunk. Children of the night or of darkness and sin are drunken. When one is drunk even by alcohol he is no longer prepared. His reflexes are slowed or even non-functional. So it is to be spiritually drunk. We cannot defend ourselves if we are filled with the wine of this world of darkness and sin. We will not be prepared for the day of our Lord, if we fill our lives with the intoxicating ways of the world. Young people must remember this wherever they are. Whether in church, at home or on spring break. The dance halls of this world deaden our spiritual lives. The dens of iniquity must be fled. The philosophy of this world’s colleges can only lead us into darkness. Over against these we must be sober. Sober with the Word of God directing all of our lives. Let us be prepared for the day of the Lord. Sing Psalter 363.

August 23 Read Matthew 24:10-14

Returning to the words of our Lord concerning the time of His coming we take note that in the days when the world threatens our very lives and when we shall be hated of all nations then many shall be offended. Jesus says that many within the church shall be offended. He is not speaking of the world at large, but now says that many who say they believe in Christ shall be offended. They will betray one another as we mentioned before even within families. In those days there will be no place left for hypocrites, because if they remain a hypocrite they also shall die, and be hated. Many who have not true faith shall flee the true church. So far our congregations for the large part are still growing by small steps, but already now we see signs of many leaving the true church. They do so because they will not be hated. They want to be like the rest of the world. They will not serve God, and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many wax cold. May God keep us from such apostasy. Sing Psalter 210.

August 24 Read Matthew 24:13; Psalm 89:29-37

Jesus teaches His people that those that endure shall be saved. The Psalmist speaks of God’s sending forth His firstborn, and while there is a reference to David in this passage it also refers to Christ. We read that the seed of Christ principally shall be made to endure forever. When Jesus teaches us that in the last days those that shall endure shall be saved, He speaks of we who are of His true people or church. And the Scripture makes it clear that we endure, because God makes us to endure. We ourselves would never endure to the end, but would follow the way of those who wax cold. But God is faithful also as the Psalmist teaches in this 89th Psalm verses 33 to 36. The seed of David is the seed of Christ, and God will not suffer His faithfulness to fail, nor His covenant will He break, therefore the true seed shall endure forever. What a precious promise in these days in which we live. Sing Psalter 155.

August 25 Read Matthew 24:14; Revelation 6:1-8

The perilous times for the church take place especially as the gospel of the kingdom is preached in all the world for a witness to the nations. This has been done, principally. There are no nations in which the gospel of Christ has not been proclaimed. Oh, it is still being proclaimed in the nations, and even reintroduced to some nations, but the gospel has in fact gone out to all the world as a witness. In the book of Revelation we also are reminded of the running of the white horse where he goes forth conquering and to conquer. There remains of course the final ingathering of the people of God. This is a calling of the remnant but as to the scope the white horse has finished his course. Jesus says to us when we see these things then the end shall come. Jesus comes! Quickly! Repent and believe, be sober and watchful! Sing Psalter 313.

August 26 Read Matthew 24:15-21

Now in the end of time, during the time leading up to the final fulfillment of these signs, indeed we shall face perilous times. It is evident from the verses we have just read that those days shall be days of extreme difficulty for our flesh and spirit. Days in which our Lord points out to us that we must take no time for our normal daily activities and it is not a day to hold precious those things that we so often think are important to us now. We are not even to turn back to take our clothes, for there shall come great tribulation for the true children of God. The suffering at the hands of those who hate God shall be brought upon us with seemingly no measure. But of course we know and must know that our Lord Himself governs even these things. He it is that is able to open the book of Revelation 5. And He shall bring to pass all things to prepare for His coming in judgment and with life for His own. Remember these things and be thankful. Sing Psalter 241.

August 27 Read Matthew 24:22

Yes the days shall be a true trial for us, and difficult indeed, a perilous time, and Jesus teaches us that in fact except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved. In other words so difficult will be those days that one naturally could not endure. The fact is we already are in the midst of these days and we see one church after another following the way to apostasy and we see many individuals fleeing the true church to follow the way of the apostate. And there shall be no salvation in these paths. However, Jesus says those days shall be shortened. He brings the wicked to their just end, and comes on the clouds of heaven before we are consumed. Sing Psalter 78.

August 28 Read Matthew 24:22; Isaiah 53:6

We may wonder why any shall be saved. Surely we must understand that we have all gone astray, we have turned every one to our own way. Yes we have sinned, Oh how we have walked in the ways of darkness. Why should we expect to stand in the days of great tribulation? But we shall! We shall not stand because of our ability or spirituality, but because of the faithfulness of our God, the God of our salvation. Jesus teaches us that for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened and we shall endure and be saved. God knows His elect from eternity. We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Our God will not allow any to go lost. Jesus says in John 6, that of all that Father has given Him, He should lose nothing. We shall endure until He comes again. Praise God. Sing Psalter 166.

August 29 Read Isaiah 26:1

We said that we would return to Isaiah 26 and now we do that in the next several meditations. We will take only one verse a day and perhaps even use two days to consider each verse that we look at from this chapter. We do so because Isaiah in this prophecy has much to say to us that will soon face the end of our days upon this earth. As we face those days that we cannot endure except they be shortened, it is good to hear what the Spirit saith unto the church through the prophet in these verses. Isaiah speaks in this chapter in the day of judgment of the enemies of God and His people there shall be a song sung in the true church, typically in the old dispensation, the land of Judah. Sing Psalter 338.

August 30 Read Isaiah 26:1

In the day of deliverance we shall indeed sing, we even do so now for this prophecy is in principle fulfilled in Christ’s first coming, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. It is fulfilled with the outpouring of His Spirit in our hearts whereby the bondage to sin and death has been broken. So that we sing with the saints of the ages that we have a strong city, that is a city of refuge, one kept by God for us. It is a city in which we may dwell with our savior God. And we shall sing of salvation that God appoints to keep us safe in His care to taste of His love and salvation forever. In Christ we find our refuge and our strength for the battle of these days. Sing Psalter 78.

August 31 Read Isaiah 26:2; Romans 5:10-11

The song that is sung speaks the prayer of our Lord for us, that the living God opens unto us the gates, the gates of the city of refuge, the gates within which there is salvation. Within the gates no enemy can have victory over us. When I speak of “us” I speak of you who are God’s elect children that hear this word of God. You and I are sinners, but sinners that are called here in our text, the righteous nation. We may be considered a righteous nation because our King is righteous and He makes us partakers of His righteousness. While we were yet enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, and being reconciled by Him, we are saved by His life. It is so that Jesus has passed through death by perfect obedience. Now we have received the atonement. Blessed Lord! Sing Psalter 303.

 

September 1 Read Isaiah 26:2

The prophet speaks of the song which we may sing referring to the people of God as the righteous nation, which keepeth the truth and thus may enter into the city of refuge and salvation. The people that are called the righteous nation is composed of those that keep the truth. You see covenant youth how precious it is to know the Scripture and the doctrine of the Word. We are to keep the truth. To keep the truth means that we guard it like one would guard a treasure that none can take away. So we must be jealous for the truth of God’s Word. So precious then is the instruction that we receive in our catechism classes, and under the preaching of the Word. We must by God’s grace love the truth of the Word of God and hold it fast. And now at this point the prophet teaches us that we may sing as those that keep the truth. Understand that Jesus Who has made atonement of our sins does not forsake us, but He works in our hearts by His Spirit that we now already begin to live and to serve Him in steadfastness of faith. Sing Psalter 237.

September 2 Read Isaiah 26:3

We join with the saints in the knowledge that our God will keep us in perfect peace. He will not so keep all men, but will so keep those in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on God. Our minds must be stayed on God. That our minds are stayed on God means that we lean on Him for all of our thoughts. We stand fast in His Word so that we are united to God in all we think. It affects all of our activities, for if any activity is not resting upon God and His Word we cannot have any of it. That is true of our dating, of our school work, of our marriages and of our lives. Is your mind stayed upon God, or upon self? We must stand in the truth of His Word always. By His grace we shall. Sing Psalter 13.

September 3 Read Isaiah 26:3; Romans 8:28

To have our minds stayed on God means according to this text that we trust in God. It is so easy to think that we could pass through this life and especially through the days in which we live trusting in our own ways and knowledge. But how vain this is and would be. We cannot stand a moment in our own ability and strength as the children of God. But by faith we do trust in God, we see that He is the only object of our hope in Whom we may trust without fear of the trust being misplaced. God will give to us peace. He shall keep us in perfect peace. This is a peace that is complete. Even if the enemy takes all things away from us in this life he cannot remove our peace. We trust in God Who is sovereign and Who loves us with a perfect love in Christ. Surely all things shall work together for our good, for our salvation. Sing Psalter 154.

September 4 Read Isaiah 26:4

The prophet in the name of God commands you and me to trust in the Lord forever. Our trust may not be only for a moment, or only for a day, or only during a worship service, etc. Our trust is to be forever in Jehovah. Forever has no limits and our trust is to have no limits. We also may so trust in God because He has no limits. Jehovah is His name, He is the I Am. He changes not for He is the living God. Further as Jehovah He is our faithful covenant God therefore He is our strength. He is our rock in Whom we may trust no matter how great the trial. For in His power and according to His sovereign authority He directs the whole world and even time itself. We need never to fear. Sing Psalter 153.

September 5 Read Isaiah 26:5

The prophecy goes on to warn us, and this too is the love of God for His people. Those who heed not His word shall experience a great judgment. It is a judgment that comes also now upon a wicked world that is given to sin. Those that trust in self, who are filled with pride, that dwell on high, God shall lay low. Those that think that they do not need to follow all the Word of God, who would lean upon their own strength God shall bring down to the ground. They shall have nothing at all left, no hope, no joy but shall be brought to the dust. We must understand this as well. We cannot walk in disobedience and think that there shall be no God to pay. Man will be judged. Sing Psalter 373.

September 6 Read Isaiah 26:6; I Corinthians 6:1-3

The prophet emphasizes this truth by pointing out that the foot shall tread it down. It is like a bug that we might step on and then turn our foot to make sure it will not survive to pester us again. The wicked shall be so tread down. But further we are told that the church takes part in the judgment of the wicked. Not because we are better of ourselves than they, but because we are the body of Christ. Now in this life we may be the poor, the downtrodden, the weak and lowly, but we shall be more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. And we shall with Christ judge the world and even the angels according to Paul in I Corinthians 6. Now we may be oppressed but God is not mocked and He shall bring a right vengeance upon His and our enemies. Not our personal enemies as such, but those that hate us as they hate our God, and because they hate our God. Sing Psalter 124.

September 7 Read Isaiah 26:7; I Thessalonians 5

Now the prophet exclaims that the way of the just is uprightness and God does weigh or measure the path of the just. There are a couple of things to remember from this text as we live in the latter days. Understand that the temptations grow to lead us to leave the ways of God, to live in ways that are not so strictly in obedience to God’s Word. Then the temptation is even to go further and follow the fashions, the way of life of the children of darkness. Yet we must remember and ever be reminded that it is God that weighs the path of the just. The church world may declare that it is just for women to serve in the offices of the church, or that it is just that members of the church divorce and remarry, or that it is just to practice homosexual activity. But neither the church nor man may determine that which is just. Only Jehovah our God in Christ weighs our path. Let us remember this always. Sing Psalter 208.

September 8 Read Isaiah 26:7

But if it is God Who judges our path as to its uprightness, then how is it possible for us to pass through the days in which we live and actually enter into the glory that God promises to the church? How shall we stand in the perilous days? The prophet declares that the way of the just is uprightness. This is true of us only because we are in Christ Jesus cleansed and led by His Spirit by the grace of God to faithfully serve Him according to His Word. Do you fear the days of the fulfilling of the signs that Christ has given us? Jesus our Lord will grant us the grace to stand also in the days of the great tribulation. This is the truth also that stands behind the words of Isaiah. God be thanked! Sing Psalter 403.

September 9 Read Isaiah 26:8; Psalm 4

We find now in the present verse the personal and deeply spiritual expression of the child of God as He passes through the judgments of God as they come upon us and the world in this life. It is not easy to be a child of God, and to live as God’s child. However, the true children of God have a deep desire to be kept by God and to be cared for by our Savior. We wait for Jehovah Who is the ever faithful covenant God. Our God does not forsake His people, nor does he turn from His covenant promises. In the way of the judgments of God, whether in Babylon or at the end of time, God’s people by grace and in faith wait upon Jehovah. To wait means that we rest in the will of the Lord. It is expressed in Psalm 4 as a being still. We from our soul, from our deepest spiritual being, do desire the name of God and the remembrance of Him, resting in His faithfulness. Sing Psalter 296.

September 10 Read Isaiah 26:9

That deep desire is with the children of God day and night. And especially is this true at the time of our greatest trials. It is in fact a way in which our God draws us nearer to Him. When God’s judgments are in the earth this certainly shall be true in our lives. We have even as young people experienced this have we not? When we pass through deepest trial we know that we can depend on none other than God alone As the prophet says, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Nothing else stands before God, only righteousness before God shall prevail. It is evident that when Isaiah speaks of the inhabitants of the world, he speaks of God’s elect over the length and breadth of the earth. In the latter days it is necessary that we seek God early. May God grant us that grace. Sing Psalter 383.

September 11 Read Isaiah 26:10

The opposite of seeking God early in the time of judgment is the reaction of the wicked even when they are favored. When things seem to go the way that man thinks it should, when the path is smooth, even then the wicked will not learn righteousness. This is because the wicked have eyes only for themselves. This is the terribleness of the sin of pride. In pride man can only seek after himself. How dangerous is the pride that is natural to our lives. The wicked who only love themselves even in the land where uprightness is found will cause that they will only deal unjustly with all about them. Basically it is to walk contrary to the will of God; the wicked even in the face of a so-called peace will not behold the majesty of Jehovah. God forbid that we follow this life. Sing Psalter 351.

September 12 Read Isaiah 26:11; II Peter 3

However in the Day of Judgment, in the time of our Lord’s return the wicked will not see, but will see. What does this mean? In the first place even when facing the righteous judgments of God the wicked will still mock at the coming judgment. It is as we read in II Peter 3, the wicked will not see. They refuse to see or to remember the ways of the Lord. But they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people. Peter states it in the following manner, II Peter 3:10: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” They shall see and be ashamed; that is brought down, yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them, even as in the day of the battle of Armageddon. Sing Psalter 92.

September 13 Read Isaiah 26:12; Ephesians 2:8-10

The prophet now leads us to confess the same truth found on almost all the pages of the Scripture, and a truth that has been at the heart of the instruction in our Protestant Reformed Churches in America. The prophet expresses confidence of the fulfillment of God’s promises to us and especially of the peace we shall know, when he states that God has wrought all our works in us. The apostle expresses this truth also in Ephesians 2:10. There we are called God’s workmanship in Christ and are told we are so created in Christ unto good works which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. We take note that we are created in Christ Jesus expressly for the purpose of serving God in the good works which He works in us. This is amazing and we must consider this truth a little more in the next meditation as well. Sing Psalter 80.

September 14 Read Isaiah 26:12; Ephesians 1:4-6

Isaiah emphasizes the reason that Judah may be assured of coming peace and the same is true of us. Right now and in the years ahead much of our life will be spent in turmoil and in trial, but we know we shall have peace when Jesus comes again. Also we already now know that we may have peace in the midst of this life of trouble and turmoil. The reason for this is God’s sovereign grace which we experience in this life. God has made us who we are. He has ordained from eternity our salvation as He has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Further He ordains all of our life and way, so that God works in us all of our works. The works that please Him are all the product of His grace. And we are saved and have peace. Sing Psalter 328.

September 15 Read Isaiah 26:13-14

The prophet once again points out that with the promises made to the elect in whom God works by the Spirit of Christ there is also a prophecy of destruction to the enemies of God and His people. Any hearing this word and continuing to walk in their sin shall not have comfort or peace, but face the eternal wrath of God. Isaiah points out that we may indeed have many other lords in this life, whether the boss at work or a president, king, or despot. But while they may bring us even into captivity or prison we do not find in them our strength nor an overwhelming enemy, for we make mention alone of God’s name. A name, Jehovah that reminds us that God is sovereign in all things, and we trust in His name. He alone can save us, and He always protects us according to His purpose to save us by His grace. May we mention alone the name of Jehovah. Sing Psalter 194.

September 16 Read II Peter 3:1-8

How do we face these days that we have been speaking about? We have spoken of this somewhat in the previous meditations, but let us now consider some other Scripture that addresses these matters more specifically. First we look at the ninth verse, understanding that the wicked claim that Christ is not coming and that judgment is only a figment of the imagination of a few zealots in this world. That this is the thinking of the wicked is clear from these verses, and in particular they scoff, “Where is the promise of His coming?” Foolishly say that all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. This is the attitude of many in our day. But God forbid that we ever think such a thing! Sing Psalter 201.

September 17 Read II Peter 3:9; Ephesians 1:1-4

Christ by His Spirit through the apostle answers the child of God concerning the promises of God in verse nine. It is pointed out that God is not slack concerning His promise. The promise is that God will save us in Christ and bring us to salvation. That promise concerns every one that God has chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. This is evident as the apostle calls those He is addressing “beloved.” He does so in verse eight as well as earlier, and again later in verse 14. The beloved are those loved of God from before the foundation of the world, and which led God in His love for us to chose us in Christ before the world began. So at the outset we are given to see that what is spoken of in verse nine is addressed to God’s elect, beloved people. Wonder of grace, that we are counted as elect in Christ. Sing Psalter 278.

September 18 Read II Peter 3:9; Revelation 5:1-9

The wicked said God is slack, and the world of unbelief tries to convince us that this is true. They say, you do not have to worry about what you do, God will not bring judgment now or even at all. But the apostle points out that God is not slack concerning His promise. The idea here is that God does not tarry, He is not slow to bring to pass what He has promised and what He has determined to do. Especially in the days in which we live, perilous times, we have the assurance that God is perfectly bringing to pass the judgment of the wicked and the salvation of His church. However we also live in the last dispensation and know that Christ is now opening the BOOK, and is bringing to pass perfectly all things unto this end. What assurance! Sing Psalter 86.

September 19 Read II Peter 3:9

God is longsuffering. But He is longsuffering to us-ward, not to all who have lived, but specifically to us-ward. He is longsuffering to His beloved as we said before. Thus God according to His eternal counsel works all things. Christ providentially opens the book to bring unto salvation all whom God loves from eternity. He is not willing that any of His beloved should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God knows our needs, and He knows exactly what is required for each of His beloved to be brought to repentance and salvation. So it was in the time of the Babylonian captivity, and so it is as the signs of Christ’s coming are unfolded in our days. God will bring each of us to repentance and life, and then Christ shall come upon the clouds of heaven. Wonder of wonders! Sing Psalter 394.

September 20 Read II Peter 3:10; Matthew 25: 1-13

While God is not slow or slack concerning His promises, the time continues to pass in this end of the age. In fact the signs of Christ’s coming are very rapidly being revealed. But even you as young people know that the church has been looking for many years to the coming of Christ. It is possible that we might be tempted to become lax in our watchfulness. But we are warned again not to be lax or weary of well doing. We are to know that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. A thief comes when one does not expect, and especially for those who are not watchful. The coming of Christ will be unexpected as He comes with judgment. We must beware lest we be as those at the marriage feast unprepared (cf. Matthew 25). May God grant us this grace. Sing Psalter 361.

September 21 Read II Peter 3:10

For those who are not prepared, a sorry group it shall be. If we are not ready, what a terrible end we would have. For we read that in that day when Christ comes, the very heavens shall pass away and all of the elements of the heavens shall melt with fervent heat. Even the earth also shall be burned up. God’s judgment will come upon this universe and the heat of His wrath against sinful man will cause that all shall be destroyed by fire. Further all the works done in this world, that is the works connected to this world shall also be burned up. There are many that think that their works shall merit something for them. How disappointed they shall be. In fact, they will find that all of their works which they look to for comfort shall be counted for nothing. And they that trust in those works and the things of this life shall likewise be consumed. Pray for grace to seek not this world but that which is to come. Sing Psalter 265.

September 22 Read II Peter 3:11

The apostle now reminds us of our calling in the light of that which shall soon be. He calls us both young and old to understand what manner of persons we ought to be. This is really a command of Christ to God’s children. It is a command that only God’s people will be able to hear, for they alone are given the ears to hear by the Spirit of our Lord. We ought to be those who walk in all holy conversation and godliness. This is possible of course only by grace, yet it is in the way of that grace that we must so order our lives that our life stands in harmony with the Scripture, and thus in obedience to God. This is absolutely necessary if we are to be comforted by God’s promise. Sing Psalter 152.

September 23 Read II Peter 3:12

The apostle instructs us that our holy life and a walk of godliness leads us to look not for the awards, honors, the ends of this life, but consists in looking for and hasting unto the coming day of God. He points out that this even means that we look for the day of the Lord in which day this earth and all in it shall be dissolved and the elements will melt. Perhaps as young people who are making plans for college and a career, or to dating and marriage, or any other of our goals. It may seem odd to look to the day when all we know here in this world shall be destroyed. But we should look for and hasten unto its coming, because it is the day when we shall be delivered of all sin and shall enter the loving fellowship of our Father in Christ forever. So strive to that end in all of your striving. This means in all activity we must have a very strong basis for our lives that is rooted in God’s Word. How precious then the preaching of the gospel we receive from week to week. Sing Psalter 42.

September 24 Read II Peter 3:13

We live according to His promise. We do not live by what we see necessarily. Especially is this true in the natural sense. For all we can often see is suffering, trial, and trouble. Also often we see the wicked and immoral seemingly having the upper hand. It appears as though man is in control of so much, but we know better, we live according to His promise. We know His promise is as certain as God is God. Therefore, we look beyond this life and to that which all the signs of Christ’s coming point us to, the new heavens and the new earth. We look for the beginning of a new and eternal life. Then instead of sin and darkness, instead of the struggle with all of our own weaknesses and sense of guilt, we shall have a life in glory where only righteousness shall abound. For we shall inherit the fullness of life as we are covered by the righteousness of Christ and enjoy the life of righteousness where there is no more sin. Sing Psalter 149.

September 25 Read II Peter 3:14

The apostle again calls us to faithfulness in our life now in the midst of the world as we walk as children of God looking for the fulfillment of the promises of God. The Spirit-led reasoning is that since we look for the fulfillment of the promise of God then we are diligent. It is absolutely necessary for the child of God as a fruit of faith worked in his heart, that he is diligent in seeking the kingdom of God. It would be a shame for us to say that we look for the things of the Spirit, but are lazy or lackadaisical in our spiritual life. This means that we must always be in attendance under the preaching of the word. We may not take vacation from serving God in any aspect of our lives. It means that our trust is alone in His work of salvation in Christ, then indeed we shall be found of God in peace, without spot and blameless. For it is only possible as we live out of Christ Who has given His life for us. Sing Psalter 134.

September 26 Read II Peter 3:15

Finally from this passage we take note of verse 15 and its reminder to us not to be discouraged as we pass down the pathway of life as strangers and pilgrims in the midst of the world. This could easily happen to us as we live during the days when the signs are being fulfilled and we undergo ever increasing apostasy and tribulation. We see that apostasy or at least the inroads of this apostasy entering even our own denomination and congregations. At the very least we see the influence of it in our midst. This is true whether we consider the move to leave the King James Version of the Scripture for another version, or whether we look at the modern day influence of the world’s fashions ruling our lives. It is seen in the growing love of our youth and families for the world’s entertainment. But remember God’s longsuffering over His own also means that His love and grace shall sustain His elect children, His beloved, until the day of Christ. God be praised! Sing Psalter 271.

September 27 Read Isaiah 61:1-3

The true reason that we may see the longsuffering of God as good and as a blessing for us is expressed in many of the verses of Isaiah 61. First our attention is drawn for this short meditation to the third verse. It is evident that as we read the first three verses of this chapter that Isaiah prophesies principally of the Christ, for only Christ accomplishes all that is written in these verses in their full sense. He is the anointed One. By His death in obedience to God suffering for us and bearing away our guilt we find beauty for the ashes of our own sin. He clothes us with the blood cleansed garments of righteousness. Thus we are become the planting of the Lord bringing forth the fruits of that salvation, and God is glorified. Because we are made new creatures we also serve the glory of God. Knowing His work for us and in us we continue in faith down this life’s pathway. Sing Psalter 261.

September 28 Read Isaiah 61:7-8

In these verses the prophet points out the wonder work of God that shall be our portion, for our shame we shall have double. Think upon this a moment. It is not because we are worthy of a double portion, but when we are suffering at the hands of the wicked we are to know that God shall give us the riches of salvation. When we are troubled by our sin and the guilt we have because of that sin, God shall cover it in the blood of His Son and we shall have double in the land to which he leads us. The prophet surely speaks of more than the land of Canaan as is evident when we are told that everlasting joy shall be our portion. The reason once again is that Jehovah loves judgment, and hates apostasy in worship. How shall we stand? God directs our work in truth and makes an everlasting covenant with us. Praise the Lord. Sing Psalter 253.

September 29 Read Isaiah 61:9

Not only is that the hope of God’s people, but we have the assurance that our seed shall be known among the nations, our offspring among the people. This is also a part of the promise that God will faithfully not only sustain us as covenant youth and as elder members of the church in the hope of the promise and in life, but our God shall be with our children and if the Lord tarries with our children’s children until the Lord comes upon the heavenly clouds. Because of His covenant that He keeps our seed shall be acknowledged as the seed which the LORD has blessed. They too shall be gathered with the saints of all ages, nations and tongues. Sing Psalter 245.

September 30 Read Isaiah 61:10-11

We conclude this series of meditations by rejoicing in the LORD. Our souls shall be joyful in our God for He has given us so much and shall give us even everlasting joy. He does so as He has clothed us for the great wedding feast that shall be our portion. Then we as the bride of Christ shall be forever united in our Bridegroom’s fellowship forever. His righteousness shall be ours as we are clothed with white robes. We shall spring forth even as the earth bringeth forth her bud. So shall the righteousness of Christ spring forth in our lives already now in principle, but soon in perfection. All of His elect before all nations shall praise our God forever. Sing Psalter 277.

August 1 Read Romans 4:1-16

In this series of meditations we will begin by taking a theme as it is set forth in Romans 4:13. We find that the apostle speaks in the context of the possibility of the forgiveness of sin being not found in our works. In contrast to works we are given the assurance of righteousness and salvation by faith. One thing that we all have to contend with is sin, and it is a daily struggle for us in this life. We therefore have a daily need to know of the forgiveness that is ours in Christ. But in order to escape the testimony of our sin against us, it is necessary that we look outside of ourselves and our works to find peace in our daily lives. And this is so important if we are to rightly wait upon our Lord and trust in Him. So let us pray for grace to hear what the Lord says unto us as we consider the truths of His Word in this connection. Sing Psalter 69:1-4.

August 2 Read Romans 4:1-13, Galatians 3:29, 4: 7

As we continue our consideration of the truth found in Romans 4:13 we understand that God’s children are called heirs of the promise in the context. Do you consider yourself an heir of the promise of God? We by faith surely consider ourselves to be such heirs, do we not? Or do we only consider what we are heirs of in this world? God’s child trusts that he is an heir of the promise of God. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). And in Galatians 4:7 we are told that as sons we are heirs of God through Christ. To think that any of us can walk in the hope of being an heir of the promises of God, or to be called an heir of God is absolutely amazing. The amazing grace of God as we shall see! May God grant that we see ourselves as heirs of God or heirs of the promise. Sing Psalter 87.

 

August 3 Read Romans 4:1-13, Ephesians 1:1-11

Today we must see we have become heirs of the promise, only as it has been God’s good pleasure. And for the true child of God this is a relief, for if we would have to do something in order to become heirs of God’s kingdom we would always fail. And would never be heirs. But in Ephesians Paul points out to us that we are become heirs of the promise and of righteousness because God in His good pleasure has chosen us in Christ from before the foundation of the world. And this is true in order that we might be holy and without blame before Him. We are adopted according to God’s decree of election to be redeemed in Christ and to become children and thus heirs of the promise of God. This also is the teaching of Paul in Ephesians 1:11, when we read, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” At the outset we must understand that our hope of salvation is rooted alone in God’s eternal good pleasure. Praise the Lord! Sing Psalter 98.

August 4 Read Romans 4:1-13

We do see in our text in verse 13 that Abraham and his seed are heirs of the world. You who are heirs of the promise, heirs of God are heirs of the world. We must take a bit to understand this. In the first place we should take time to read Genesis 17:4 and 17:8. We are taught in these verses that God establishes His covenant between Himself and Abraham and his seed in their generations, to be a God unto them. Further God promises to give them the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and promises I will be their God. The teaching of the Word here is clear that God promises to make Abraham’s seed heirs of an everlasting inheritance and means that they shall be heirs of everlasting life. Now according to Paul in Romans 4 we are become such heirs in Christ, of Whom God spake as He made this promise to Abraham, our spiritual father in Christ. What a tremendous thing for us to hear who are in ourselves sinners. Sing Psalter 263.

August 5 Read Romans 4:1-13, Hebrews 11:13-16

Our text that we have been considering speaks of Abraham as being the heir of the world, and this of course also speaks of we who are God’s children in Christ as being heirs of the world. We understand that this does not mean we look for a worldly kingdom and earthly kingdom, but that we look for this world to be renewed and brought into heavenly perfection. Too many times in this life we look only to the earthy, but Paul is not here telling us that this is alright. No here we are strangers and pilgrims in the midst of this earthly land. Even this, we read, the saints of old also realized in a passage such as Hebrews 11:13-16. May we count ourselves pilgrims and strangers in this life, and yet we are heirs of the world in Christ. Of this more in tomorrow’s meditation. Sing Psalter 229 1-3, 6.

August 6 Read Rom. 4:1-13, Eph. 1:3-5, Rom. 8:21-23

We are heirs of the world as we understand in the first place that God gave His only Begotten Son to come in our flesh to die upon the cross that He might be raised as the Saviour of God’s elect as they were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. Now the whole world of this brute creation is become partaker of the redemption that is ours in Christ as we read in the passage of Romans 8 that we were to read. We are heirs of this world as it is redeemed in Christ; moreover we should remember that this world serves our redemption and thus its redemption with us. And we know that all things in this world shall serve our good, our salvation and our eternal heritage. When this comes to pass we shall live in God’s presence in Christ and He shall be our God. Glory be His blessed Name! Sing Psalter 295.

August 7 Read Romans 4:1-13, Ephesians 1:5-7, 2: 1-5

Now how is it that we become such heirs that we may live in this hope? Certainly if we are true to ourselves, we know that it is not because we are worthy in ourselves to be such heirs. And we are not worthy of living with such a hope in our hearts for we see ourselves as sinners. Nor was Abraham any more worthy. All in our lives declares by nature it is the opposite: we are heirs of hopelessness, of darkness and of judgment. This we are in our father Adam and this we are in our own sin. Now this means that it is only according to the divine good pleasure of God that we become sons and worthy heirs of life with God. We are become the purchased possession of Christ, and as such we have sonship and are become the heirs of the promise of God. We then ought as young and old to live as the possession of the Lord and heirs of the Kingdom. Sing Psalter 283:1-3.

August 8 Read Romans 4:1-13, Galatians 3:10

Beloved readers the law could only condemn Abraham and can only condemn us as we stand in our own strength. I am not sure we always think of this enough in our day. So often we hear prayers in today’s world and even too often in our own circles that make no mention of the need of the forgiveness of sin. Have we forgotten that our great enemy is our own sin, or that we are dead in sin by nature, and that that sin keeps us from all blessing? Surely it is not because there is no testimony of the Scripture that speaks of our condemnation apart from Christ. The law condemned Abraham and us apart from Christ (Galatians 3:10). We do not keep all of the law as we ought and of needs repent. The promise that came to Abraham and comes to us does not come to us through the law. Indeed we must and do keep the law by grace in thankfulness unto God. But even in this we find it in this life but very imperfectly. And we cannot look in any way to the keeping of the law as the reason for our being heirs of the promise. Keep this in mind and heart! Sing Psalter 273:1-5.

August 9 Read Romans 4:1-13, Galatians 3:23-24

Now the law brought those of the old dispensation to Christ, and still the law as we stand in sin brings us to Christ. Not to what we can do to be saved, but points out what we cannot not do and leads us to look to Christ only for salvation. Only in this way could Abraham be justified, not by the works of the law, but by faith in the promised Seed. So it is that we can only be justified by faith. And remember that faith is the gift of God not of man, lest we should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9). For Abraham this meant that it was not the circumcision according to the law that led him to receive the promises. Salvation is not to be found in the mere outward membership in the church, although it is necessary for believers to be joined to the Body of Christ, and that as instituted on earth in a local congregation. But it is because the church elect in Christ have been given faith to cling to Christ. May God grant us that faith daily. Sing Psalter 428:1-4.

August 10 Read Romans 4:13-16, Romans 4:5

The promise that we are heirs of the world is become ours through the righteousness of faith, so it was for Abraham, and so it is for us. Not the righteousness of keeping the law, but the righteousness of Christ that is accounted to us through faith. Thus Paul says in the 16th verse “it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed.” If even a little of our righteousness was of ourselves, then the promise would forever fail of being realized for us. This is the vanity of the free will gospel—do not be led astray. Faith is not a work as we are told in verse five, but we must emphasize it is the gift of God. Christ gives us His Spirit whereby we believe He is our righteousness. Herein lies our peace. It is by faith we are united to Christ and His work, His death, and His resurrection, and His ascension as our Lord. Praise the Lord! Sing Psalter 409.

August 11 Read Romans 4

By faith such sinners as we are united to Christ and His work, we see that He has borne our guilt by His death in obedience to God on the cross. He was accounted guilty in our stead, so that we may have the confidence that God’s judgment is satisfied and we are declared by the Heavenly Judge to be free of all guilt. His blood cleanses, His broken body heals, and by faith we believe God’s promise is sure in Him. Does not your faith rest alone in Christ? If it does not then you have no hope. But as the children of God, chosen in Christ, we have the testimony of His word in our hearts that we are heirs of His kingdom and shall dwell with Him everlastingly. Sing Psalter 243:1-3, 6.

August 12 Read Romans 4:1-25, Ephesians 1:1-12

We reach the end of the consideration of our text from Romans 4. We do so by emphasizing that the end of the teaching of Paul in this section of Scripture is not only the assurance of God’s people; and it is that. But the end is that God receives all the glory for the blessed assurance we have. How can it be otherwise when we as sinners consider the wonder of our righteousness before God in Christ? How can we be heirs of the world and of the eternal fellowship with God? By grace through faith, how blessed. How wonderful, the gospel of our salvation. May we live in gratitude, striving to serve Him in harmony with all His Word, confessing our sin, repenting and turning to Him, and living with joy in our hearts as we hear His promise. Hallelujah and Amen. Sing Psalter 217.

August 13 Read Psalm 111:1-10

In this Psalm we are lead to understand that as the people of God we have so much for which to be thankful. We are to reflect upon the many blessings that we have as the party of the living God. We are His people and as His people must look to all that God does in our behalf, as we stand in the fellowship of the saints within the church for Jesus’ sake. In fact according to the second verse, we are taught that God’s children seek out the works of God, and we must dwell on the greatness of His work in our midst. Do we do this as individuals; do we do this as congregations? Do we find our pleasure in the works of God, and not in the works of man? By His grace we must. Sing Psalter 123.

August 14 Read Psalm 111:1-10

That which makes us blessed over all men, is not something that begins, or is carried forth, or that is brought to an end by us. But that which makes us blessed is God’s work in us and for us. This great truth is carried forth in Psalm 111. Also as we bring forth covenant seed are the people of God made aware of this. We must remember this as we seek for spouses as young people, and this we must remember as we bring forth our children. There are so many in the world today, that look upon children as something over which we must take control, as to whether we will bear them or not. The theory of man is that man can determine and ought to determine when and if he has children. What a temptation it is for us to think that we should limit our families for this or that reason, and pretend to be wiser than God. Not so says the Psalmist as we shall see. Sing Psalter 304:1-3.

August 15 Read Psalm 111:1-10, 115: 3, 127:3

Satan would have us think we can determine who lives and who does not, especially with respect to children. If it is not the right time to have a child then abort it, but continue to take pleasure in our flesh even though it means taking the life of a small life within the womb. So is the evil age in which we live. However, God’s purpose shall be done, He is in the heavens and He does whatsoever He pleases. May we repent of sin when we do not acknowledge this truth. As children of God we see that our being joined in the union of marriage brings with it a most precious promise that God will gather His children from our seed. Then we see our children as the most precious heritage of the Lord. Praise the Lord. Sing Psalm 308.

August 16 Read Psalm 111:1-10, Acts 2:39

The Word in Acts 2:39 points out to us that God has made a covenant with us and our children. He says that the promise is ours and our children’s, even to as many as God shall call. It is God therefore, irrespective of what man does, that causes that His church is born or brought forth. Some couples are given many children, and we must praise the Lord. Some couples are given very few children, or even none at all, but we do know that God’s promise is that He shall give according to His will and He will call according to His will, and will cover our sins and those of His seed perfectly in the blood of His Son in Whom God has called us from before the foundation of the world. It is God alone that determines the gifts He gives to each according to His purpose. He has commanded His covenant forever (vs. 9). Sing Psalter 304:4-7.

August 17 Read Psalm 111:5, 10

Sometimes it is a fearful thing when one looks forward to marriage and to the rightful bringing forth of children. Especially also in light of the time of the year it is. For our children are about to go to school and this brings forth with it questions of how we shall rightly provide for our children and covenant youth in the economic situation of the day. Or we may have serious questions of raising our children, or of standing as covenant youth in a day when there is so much evil and temptation and sin around about. Yet in verse five we read God is ever mindful of His covenant. We see that the bringing forth and the care of covenant seed is God’s work. He shall surely accomplish what He has begun, even through the weak means such as we are. Blessed mercy of God. Sing Psalter 360.

August 18 Read Psalm 111:3, 10

We believe with the Psalmist that all the works of God’s hands are verity and judgment as we read in verse 10. We believe that they are done in truth and perfectly according to God’s will. We know that His works are honorable and glorious as we read in verse three. It is not ours to question then His ways with us also with regard to the children we bear. But we do acknowledge even when bringing forth a child with Down’s Syndrome that requires so very much care, and even if we believe we do not have the ability to care for such a one, that nevertheless God is a righteous and Holy God Who governs all things in perfect harmony with His holy and righteous will. And we have peace! Sing Psalter 30.

August 19 Read Psalm 111, 22: 9-10

We have emphasized the bringing forth and care of children in this part of the meditations because God remembers His covenant according to our Psalm. With respect to our little ones, and our covenant youth must remember this as well, we know and believe that they also are the objects of the comfort of the word of God. For God makes His own to hope upon Him from the womb. In Psalm 22:9-10 we are told that it is God who took the Psalmist out of the womb, and did make him to hope while he was upon His mother’s breasts. We are cast upon God from the womb, and God is faithful to continue the work He has begun until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). What a comfort for us as we pass as strangers and pilgrims through this life. Sing Psalter 47:1-5.

August 20 Read Psalm 111:10, Psalm 22, Eph. 1:1-7

The Scripture in Psalm 22 teaches us that the elect as they are brought forth from the womb are come forth unto faith. Do we believe this? We must—it is the Word of God. It is a faith that God works in us from the beginning upon the basis of our redemption in Christ that is worked in our hearts by the Spirit. This is the reason that the godly mother from the time she brings forth the covenant seed is busy instructing her child in the things of God’s kingdom. What a privilege this is to care for the covenant seed, the heritage of God. Sing Psalter 168.

August 21 Read Psalm 111:10, Ephesians 2:8-10

The only ground for this blessing that comes upon our children and upon ourselves is that God has commanded His covenant forever (vs. 10). The baptism form in our denomination makes it plain that it is not because of the worthiness of our children that they may have the hope of the promises of God, no more that it is so with us. They are without their knowledge partakers of our corruption and depravity, but it is because of God’s covenant, that they are made worthy partakers of all the promises in Christ. We confess that it is by grace that we are saved through faith, and this not of works, lest we should boast. This is ordained by God from eternity. The promise shall stand. Sing Psalter 355.

August 22 Read Psalm 127, Psalm 46:1

God’s covenant stands forever and ever. Herein lies our comfort as a family and as we are given children to care for. God is our refuge and our strength, an helper ever near us. We know that when God gives to us children which are his heritage, that He then will not forsake us when calling us to raise His heritage in the fear of His Name. And even though we struggle ourselves with sin, and yet must teach our children and covenant youth not to sin we must not despair. But we, even though weak and inclined to temptation, nevertheless, know by His grace God shall lead us in the warning of our children against the temptation of the devil, and He will give us grace to teach them, and God will apply the words of instruction, even through such as we are, to the hearts of His little ones. Praise the Lord. Sing Psalter 126.

August 23 Read Psalm 111, 27: 1-3, Proverbs 3:7

We praise the Lord and as we dwell in the world we do so in His fear, serving Him. Our fear is not that which love casts out, but that by which love clings to God. It follows from and flows from our love of God. And we fear to offend our God Whom we love. Trusting in God we would not turn from Him. We reverence our God and flee sin. Oh, we do not do this as we ought, but it is our daily desire, and our daily prayer. And in godly fear we repent before our God for those sins whereby we have offended Him. Is this not your life? It must be if we are to stand uprightly as His children, praising and trusting in Him. May God grant us that grace daily. Sing Psalter 71.

August 24 Read John 14:13-14

Beloved readers do you pray often and sincerely unto God? Do you turn to God in your needs or do you turn to your own ingenuity? All too often I am afraid that we seek to get out of our difficulties in our own strength, with our own wisdom, and according to our own desires. But this of course is fruitless. I am sure you have experienced this in your life. We can only add to our troubles when we rely upon ourselves. Rather we must turn to our God in our time of need. We may do so with confidence for we read in John 14 that whatsoever we shall ask in Christ’s name, that will Christ do. And He does so that Father God may be glorified in the Son. Christ says ask any thing in my name, I will do it. What a comfort. But we will consider further what He means in the following meditations. Sing Psalter 149.

August 25 Read John 14:15

The context in which the last meditation’s text is found goes on to tell us in the next verse, verse fifteen, that if we love Christ, we keep His commandments. In fact, as Jesus teaches us to ask Him for those things that are necessary to this life, He also teaches us that He is speaking to those that love Him. We love Christ because God has first loved us as John also teaches us in His first epistle. The promise to give us those things we need is therefore a promise not to all, but to those who love Christ. And they are those that have been chosen in love and are filled by the Spirit of Christ, are made new in Christ. Then also we are commanded to keep His commandments. Our love of Christ comes to manifestation in our keeping His commandments. And again it is only by grace that we shall ever walk in His commandments. Now as we do so by His grace, we also have the assurance that we are Christ’s and He surely hears and answers our prayer. Sing Psalter 227.

August 26 Read John 15:7

Once again Jesus teaches us that He shall hear our prayers. For the sinner what greater comfort is there for us than to know that Jesus, Who died on the cross to save sinners, hears our personal cries. We read in John 15:7 that as we abide in Christ, and His words abide in us, we may ask what we will and it shall be done unto us. Tremendous promise this is. Now understand when by His grace His words abide in us, they rule our thoughts and will. So that what we ask is in harmony with that word and His will for us. And Jesus says that as we so ask it shall be done. Now if we ask amiss of course we shall not receive what we desire, but when His word abides in us, we shall surly also experience the blessings of His love for us and shall receive answer to our prayer. Sing Psalter 281.

August 27 Read John 15:16

How is it that the Word shall abide in us, and that we shall abide in Christ? Jesus answers this directly in the context of John 15 when in the sixteenth verse he instructs us further. He teaches us that we have not chosen Christ, but He has chosen us and ordains us that we should go and bring forth fruit. That is not only true of the apostles but is true of us in the office of believer. It is exactly because of Christ’s choosing us to be His own precious possession that we are ordained unto life to be His servants. The result of Jesus’ work and will is that we shall bring forth fruit. Not of us, but it is of our Lord. Then Jesus also teaches us that we may ask of the Father in the name of Christ. And the purpose of our asking is that Father may give it to us. How necessary, how wonderful. Sing Psalter 331.

August 28 Read James 1:5-6

But you may think that it is most precious that I may ask of God in Christ for what I need, but how shall I ask? What shall I ask that is right and in harmony with the will of Christ and of the Father? James reflects somewhat upon these questions. They arise out of the fact that we are so weak, and we so often do not even understand the ways in which God has led us, and then we are commanded of Christ to ask. How? Will not we get it all wrong? Or do we even know how or for what we are to ask? James answers: if you lack wisdom, ask of God. God giveth to all men, that is, those of whatever state who are His that which they need and that liberally. Surely He shall also give us the wisdom to face our trials, even to understand His will for us in them. He shall provide us what we need even to rightly pray. Blessed Father. Sing Psalter 362.

August 29 Read James 1:5-6

So often when we pray we may doubt whether God will hear us. This is especially true because of our own weakness and sinfulness. We may think that it is absolutely necessary that certain things come to pass in our lives, and so we ask Father in our prayer for them, but then it seems as though God does not hear. The problem of course is that we often do not want to hear God’s answer to our prayer, we may want it our way. That is why the apostle continues, “but let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. In the first place it is necessary that we ask in faith, not according to natural needs or reasoning, but in faith trusting that Father knows what is right and good for us. This must be our prayer. Faith always lays hold of the truth, and rests in God’s care in harmony with His will. We must then so pray resting in His word and with His word upon our hearts. Sing Psalter 202.

August 30 Read James 1:1-8, Romans 8:28

Now, further, the instruction of James is that we must ask our prayers in faith from the point of view of trusting in God and having a hearty confidence that He shall be with us for Christ’s sake and shall care for us according to His perfect will. Faith is being united to God in all of our life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Then when we pray we shall do so without wavering, without doubt, but shall trust that God shall provide perfectly for us according to all we need—all we need from God’s perfect understanding and will. Praying in this way we also have the confidence that Paul would have us have when he teaches us in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for our good, even as He has chosen us according to His purpose. Praise the Lord! Sing Psalter 353.

August 31 Read I John 5:14-15

We conclude with the words of the apostle John this time as recorded in his first epistle verse fourteen in particular. We may have confidence in Christ, and having confidence in Christ because of His work and His redemption which He has worked in our behalf, then we may have confidence that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. The key here is of course “according to His will.” We as children of God saved in Christ desire the will of Christ, and by grace principally live according to the will of Christ. As we do this we may indeed bring all of our needs before Him knowing that He will certainly hear us. This is our comfort and this is our trust. Blessed Word! Sing Psalter 312.

September 1 Read Psalm 37:1-3

Let us begin with this set of devotions on Psalm 37 by looking at the first few verses, centering the first devotions on verse three as it is found in its context. God’s children are able to pass through this pilgrim’s journey through this life only when we hear the Word of God as found in this text. There is so much in this life that would lead us to have no assurance or comfort or peace in this life. The Psalmist mentions evil doers and the workers of iniquity in the first verse. And we do find many of these in our lives, but besides this we understand that behind the wicked attack of these against God’s children stands Satan the “worker of iniquity.” And Satan is relentless in his attack upon us who are the people of God. The Scripture teaches us that he goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I  Peter 5:8). Important then that we learn to trust in the Lord! Sing Psalter 95.

September 2 Read Psalm 37:1-3

As children of God we are to trust in the Lord. Do we so trust in the Lord always? We must. The idea of the term “to trust” means that we are to remain steadfast, to be confident and sure or secure. We are able to do this when we take refuge in the Lord. In the New Testament we find the idea of walking in hope, many times is this term used as a foundation of our assurance. For example, we read in I Thessalonians 5:8, “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” Thus at the outset of these devotions we are told in verse three that our defense against the evildoer is a trust whereby we take our refuge in God and find that He is the hope that shall sustain us in this life. This is true of our young people with their many battles with the powers of darkness, and is true of the aged saint that still finds there are so many influences of darkness in this life that would draw him aside from a life of faith. Trust in Jehovah! Sing Psalter 96.

September 3 Read Psalm 37:1-3, 49: 6-7

The Psalmist’s instruction to us as we dwell as strangers and pilgrims in the midst of the world is to trust in and take our refuge in the Lord. Our hope must be rooted in Him and in His will for us. Negatively, this means that if we are to have peace in the battle of faith, we must place our trust nowhere else or in none else. That is true of our own heart; Solomon says he that trusts in his own heart is a fool (Proverbs 28:6). We must remember this also as we date, as we seek the goals of our business, etc. We may not trust in our own natural feelings, desires, or even intellect. The reason, of course, is that it is all rooted in the natural depravity that is of our old man which subjects itself to Satan. Further, we may not trust in our wealth for our earthly riches can redeem no one (Psalm 49:6-7). The reality is that all that is temporal perishes, and any hope in these things also perishes. Our only lasting hope must be founded in a trust in that which is eternal. Trust in God. Sing Psalter 136.

September 4 Read Psalm 37:1-3, 32: 10

From the positive point of view, whether young or old, the trust of the believe lays hold of Jehovah. From the heart we are to lay fast hold of the Lord (Psalm 28:7). This trust according to God’s word is rooted in the mercy of God. We trust in the mercy of God for ever and forever (Psalm 52:8). We read that when we trust in the Lord, mercy shall compass us about (Psalm 32:10). We believe that do we not? We are comforted by this. Our enemy may be so great, and our worthiness of blessing because of our sins is nothing. But God’s mercy compasses us. He loves us even from eternity, and He delivers us from all evil, and all sin. So that as children of God, who have need of refuge, we cry unto Jehovah and He shall deliver us. This is the witness of the saints of the ages (Psalm 22:4-5). Now we see by this word of the Psalmist the calling to place our trust alone in Jehovah, with the promise God will have mercy upon us poor sinners in Christ Jesus our Lord. Sing Psalter 83.

September 5 Read Psalm 37:1-3, Ephesians 1:3-10

Having been instructed to trust in Jehovah, it is necessary to see what this means. The Psalmist instructs us that our trust must be alone in Jehovah. He is to be the object of our hope and confidence. Now the God in Whom we are to trust is according to His Name the Sovereign God. He it is that has made all things and unto Him are all things servants. In the first place, Jehovah has determined for eternity the creation and the purpose of the creation. It must serve Him and all creatures and all history must serve Him and His eternal purpose to glorify Himself in the saving of His Church (Ephesians 1:5-6). Secondly, we understand that the name “Jehovah” teaches us that He is the ever faithful covenant God. From eternity He has chosen a people in Christ in love unto everlasting life (Ephesians 1:3-4). This God has done not because of our worthiness, not because of our strength, but simply because it is His Sovereign will to reveal His covenant love by setting that love upon us from eternity. Thus He shall bring us into His precious fellowship unto the glory of His grace. Trust in the Lord! Sing Psalter 95.

September 6 Read Psalm 37:1-3, Colossians 1:19-22

That Jehovah is the Sovereign Covenant God in Whom we may trust is most wonderfully and clearly manifested in Christ Jesus our Lord. For Jesus was sent of God for the people of His eternal love. In love God has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, and He comes in our flesh to redeem us to be the adopted children of our Father (again read Ephesians 1). In Christ we see God in the clearest manifestation possible as the merciful Covenant God Who is faithful to His promises, so that while we were enemies God sent His only Begotten Son to reconcile us unto Himself through the death of His only Begotten. So great is the mercy and faithfulness of God, that from the time of His lowly birth Jesus suffered in our stead, until He hung upon the cross and in the hours of darkness bear all of our judgment to deliver us from all our enemies, yea even from death itself. He sent His Son to suffer all the pains and anguish of hell that we may dwell with Him forever. Trust in the Lord. Sing Psalter 100.

September 7 Read Psalm 37:4

We are to trust always in Jehovah. However, in this life there are many things that would prevent this trust. And it is no wonder, whether we be young or old, that we see that we have need of many repeated admonitions of the Scriptures to walk in faithfulness in this calling. We find in our lives so much of the saint Jacob in his life before he learned to trust completely in the Lord. We so often struggle with our own sinful pride, a pride that will prevent us from trusting in the Lord. This pride always hinders us from the true fellowship with our God. In the way of self-assurance there can only be hopelessness, because we have so much sin and weakness. Thus, how very often is it necessary to refer again to this Psalm and the many other passages of God’s Word to be led in a true godly trust in the Lord. We must follow the activities of faith set forth here that we may be delivered from our own sin and pride. Trust in the Lord. Sing Psalter 188.

September 8 Read Psalm 37:4-5, Isaiah 58:13-14

The Psalmist would lead us to trust in the Lord, by teaching us in the first place to delight ourselves in the Lord. To delight ourselves in the Lord is by His grace to make ourselves pliable to His way. It is to find our joy in God’s law. The Psalmist teaches us that we are blessed as our delight is in the law of God. And he teaches us that in that law as God’s children we are to meditate day and night. When we live all the moments of each day and night bound to His law and finding our delight in it, then our trust is indeed in Jehovah, and we find that He is our refuge in all that we do. We are then kept also from the enemy, whether that be the world, Satan or our own flesh. On the other hand, we hear Isaiah prophesy that when we do not our own ways, nor find our own pleasure, nor speak our own words, then we find our delight in the Lord and we shall have the riches of God’s blessing. How pleasant it is to trust in the Lord. Sing Psalter 190.

September 9 Read Psalm 37:5

The activity of trusting in the Lord, which verse three of the 37th Psalm calls us unto, includes also that which is set forth in verse five of this Psalm. To trust in the Lord means that we shall commit our way unto the Lord. We notice that the Psalmist speaks of the way in the singular and thus teaches us that really we are to have only one way. There is not a time to sow wild oats while we are young and then say we will later serve the Lord. There is not a time latter in our life that we may let down our guard even for a moment for we shall fail to serve our Lord. Understand that sin is ever at our doorstep, and only shall we trust in the Lord when the whole of our way is committed unto the Lord. Our text in verse five says that we are to commit our way unto the Lord. And as we by grace do this, it means that all of our activity without exception is given over to our seeking God and His ways. To commit our way is to walk with a complete trust in God’s hand to lead us in all of the right paths, yea even for our salvation. Trust in the Lord. Sing Psalter 149.

September 10 Read Psalm 37:7, I Peter 5:7, Psalm 4

As we are called to trust in the Lord, the Psalmist now in the seventh verse teaches us to rest in Jehovah, and wait patiently. This is so important for us in this life. This life is filled with so many things that could cause us turmoil and anxiety. But understand that anxiety is against our trust in the Lord. If we are filled with care it means that we are not resting in Jehovah. What blessed words that we hear through the apostle Peter when he tells us to cast all of our cares upon God (I  Peter 5:7). To rest in Jehovah means that we are silent before Him. That is possible because we by His grace find peace in His ways. It matters not when we wait upon God where those ways lead us, for we know that they are sent by the God Who loves us in Christ. They are sent by the God Who has sent His Son to die for us, and they are sent by God Who is rich in mercy towards us. Finally, the path we are called to walk therefore being sent by the Sovereign God of heaven and earth serves our salvation, our good. Trust in the Lord. Sing Psalter 7.

September 11 Read Psalm 37:3, 18

Returning to the third verse of the 37th Psalm we are reminded that to trust in the Lord is also to fulfill the calling to do good. The eighteenth verse of this Psalm speaks of our calling to be upright, really a part of the same teaching. In this Psalm we are led to the idea that is emphasized, that to trust in the Lord means that we stand before God uprightly, finding our delight in His law. To do good is to trust in the Lord, but we cannot find this good in ourselves, for by nature there is in us no goodness at all. We all know this by grace; we have experienced this in the most heart wrenching ways. To sojourn in the midst of this world of darkness as one whose trust is in the Lord is an impossibility as we stand by nature, for we of ourselves are dead in sin and trespass. That the Psalmist calls us to trust in God and to do good, then, is blessed, for it speaks of the work of God in us. By grace alone shall we begin to so walk. May God grant us grace to trust in the Lord. Sing Psalter 1.

September 12 Read Psalm 37:3, 18, 23; Deut. 6:24

The last time we saw the Psalmist teaches us that to trust in the Lord requires also that we do good, and that this is impossible apart from grace. Understand that the only good flows alone out of the living God. We are taught that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23). Now this good becomes manifest in our lives as a godly fear. That is, we are led to walk according to God’s commandments as the author writes in Deuteronomy 6:24. Again and again we are led to the Word of God are we not? God’s child has delight in the truth of the Scripture, and finds his way there. The Psalmist directs us to the activity of a living faith, a faith that is the gift of God to His own and which unites us to Christ. Dear readers, one cannot be united to Christ by a living faith without at the same time manifesting that life in our activity. It is an activity of believing the Word and walking in obedience to the same, confident that God will guard our ways and lead us in all paths to the richest blessing we can imagine. Trust in the Lord. Sing Psalter 101.

September 13 Read Psalm 37:9-11

As our God gives us grace and as He nourishes us by His word leading us to trust in Him, we have a blessed promise that becomes our conscious possession. In the text in Psalm 37:3 we are told that we shall be fed as we dwell in the land. The saints of the old dispensation knew that to dwell in the land of Canaan was to receive the blessings of Jehovah. It was there that God dwelt with them in the temple, and they enjoyed the blessings of the land as they walked in obedience to His word. Also, as they trusted in Him, God gave them victories over all of their enemies no matter the strength of those that came against them. And the promise still stands today for us. We are assured that we do and shall stand with God. Now as we pass our pilgrims journey here below, and soon in the perfection of the everlasting and heavenly country in fellowship with our God in Christ with the saints. This confidence ought to be ours as young people and as older members of the body of Christ, and by His grace, the more our trust is alone in God the more we shall have this comfort. God grant us grace to so trust in Him. Sing Psalter 302.

September 14 Read Revelation 21:1-5

As the Psalm was written which we have been considering, not only did the saints of the day believe that they would be blessed in the land of Canaan, but as we are told the saints of the old dispensation looked for a more full realization of the hope in their hearts, that is, that they would enjoy God’s everlasting fellowship in a heavenly country. Thus we read in Hebrews 11:13-16. They saw that Canaan was typical of a much better country with a much more wonderful temple. They longed for the days when they would have enemies no more. A day when nothing would inhibit their trust of Jehovah. Is this not also our longing? Too often our thoughts are alone on this daily life, but, my readers, trusting in Jehovah our hope goes well beyond this life. For in Christ we know that the mercy of God is upon us and we shall be His people and He shall be our God, yea even forever. So also does the holy writer finish this chapter. Read it. Oh! The blessedness of trusting in the Lord. Sing Psalter 317.

September 15 Read Psalm 62

In this Psalm we read several times that God is our rock and defense. While I write these meditations we have been in the midst of God’s great creation, near many majestic mountains. These mountains of course God can move, but man cannot. That God is our rock and defense means that even stronger than the mountains is the God in whom is our trust. For any of us there is no enemy nor any trial that is greater than God’s living care of His chosen children in Christ. Christ has perfectly served God’s will and stands as our sure defense always. None can defeat us or take us from our refuge in Him. Sing Psalter 128.

September 16 Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-10

In the devotions that follow we continue somewhat on the same theme as the first fifteen days, however we will turn to look at our trust in God from the perspective of the general idea set forth by the holy writer in Ecclesiastes 3:1 and its context. We read that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. This statement is very broad as is evident of the list that follows the first verse, a list that is representative and not comprehensive. The holy writer tells us basically that there is a purpose for all things that come to pass in this life. Do we believe that and live as though it is true? Hopefully we will see that it is absolutely necessary for us as the children of God to hold to this truth. It shall lead us to a confidence in our walk as people of God. Therefore we shall be led every day of our lives to give thanksgiving and praise to God in all things. May God so grant us the grace to so live. Sing Psalter 204.

September 17 Read Eccl. 3:1, Psalm 115:3, 13-18

The purpose that the text in Ecclesiastes 3:1 speaks of is the purpose of God not of man. God is He Who makes the determination of all things. This sadly is not always the way we think. So often we want to say we are the author’s of our own destiny. We may say to Mom or Dad, I can take care of myself, I know what is best for me. And as parents we think often that we will set our own goals according to our own reasoning as to what is right and good for the family. But God’s is the purpose with all things. He is the Creator and we must confess with the Scripture He is the sustainer of all things. It is God Who created all things ( Genesis 1), surely He did so according to a holy and perfect purpose. The God who created, has determined the end of all things and all that goes between. This we confess. But do we live in this confession? The Psalmist said, “Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth” (Psalm 115:15). Sing Psalter 308.

September 18 Read Ecclesiastes 3:1, Col. 1:16-18

It is well that we understand for a moment what basically is this purpose of God with all things? And we immediately should think of our Savior Jesus Christ. And this brings to us at the outset to have great comfort. God determines all things in harmony with His creation, and He tells us in Colossians that by Christ and for Christ all things were created. Further, also from this passage in Colossians, we read that Christ is the Head of the Church and that it pleases God that in Christ all fullness should dwell. Do you believe that you belong to your faithful Savior Jesus Christ? Then you believe that all things work together for the glory of God in His Son. Must not all things then serve our salvation for us who are members of His body? Already we begin to understand the blessedness of the text in Ecclesiastes 3. For God brings to pass all things according to His Divine purpose. Rejoice in your God. Sing Psalter 310.

September 19 Read Eccl. 3:1, Psalm 107:28-43

“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:31). God governs and upholds all things according to His purpose. The Psalm we were to read emphasizes this with a view to all areas of our life, and all things that take place. We read in Proverbs 21:1 that even the kings heart is in the hand of God. Especially in the days in which we live, with all the activities of the governments of this world and their wars and peace activities, we can take comfort and assurance from this truth. Further, in our chapter from Ecclesiastes we learn in the 14th verse that whatever God determines to be done, nothing can take away from it, for God does it. God’s will and word comes to pass always. His purpose is accomplished. Thus no one, no enemy, no sickness, no sin can come upon us by chance, but it serves our Father’s covenant purpose and will. Hallelujah! Sing Psalter 297.

September 20 Read Ecclesiastes 3:1, Eph. 2:8-10

We believe and confess that God’s purpose determines all things, also our salvation. And just as God’s purpose does not change with respect to the things we have mention before, so we confess it is true with salvation. Now we understand that our God has chosen His own in Christ before the foundation of the world, and that all things were created by Christ and for Christ unto the gathering of His body. This is comforting for us is it not, for it means salvation is determined by God and not by us. It is by grace that we are saved and not of ourselves. We are God’s workmanship not our own. Thus, my readers young and old, we may be assured and confident of this very thing, that He that has begun a good work in us will perform it until Jesus Christ comes again (Col. 1:6). Praise the Lord, our salvation was determined from eternity by God and the whole of creation serves the purpose of our covenant God to bring to pass our salvation! Sing Psalter 407.

September 21 Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

Now our attention is upon the times set forth for us in our text. To everything there is a season, a time set by God for all things coming to pass. Now we could use this text in an evil way in our lives. We may even have an inclination to so view our text; certainly it would stand in harmony with our old man. We could sinfully reason that there is a season and purpose for all things in this life. This is true whether we kill, or dance, or hate, or even sin. Now this text does teach that even the sin of the church is determined by God, but it does not do so to afford us an excuse for our own sin. We may not say, well we sinned because God placed us in the situation and would use us in our sin for His purpose, and therefore we were really serving God when we walked in sin. How very evil is such reasoning on our part. It is true that God determines even the sin of man (Acts 2:23), but this never becomes an excuse for our disobedience before God. Hold fast the Holiness of God, confess your sins. Sing Psalter 291:1-4, 11, 12.

September 22 Read Ecclesiastes 3, Isaiah 57:15-21

It is not so that we are the ones that determine the time that is right for this or that. Man does not have the right to decide when we get sick, or when we have peace, when we have loved ones taken from us or when we have the time of earthly comfort and ease. It is God Who brings this all to pass. It is ours rather to wonder at the wondrous works of God as He leads us through the trials and joys of this life. As God’s children we have been given the blessed gift to see that God for Christ’s sake governs and upholds all things for our salvation (Romans 8:28). This fact makes separation between the elect believer and the wicked. The wicked has no rest (Isaiah 57:20-21). They have no rest because they do not trust in God nor do they believe that He brings all things to pass according to His will. But for us there is precious peace in the ways of God. Believe and live it. Sing Psalter 280.

September 23 Read Ecclesiastes 3:1, Psalm 9:7-11

As we do contemplate the wonder of the sovereign care of the living God for us in all things, we must confess not only with the mouth and believe with the heart this truth, but we must also live in its teaching, and this in confidence of His care. The question is again do we do this? When the Lord leads your boyfriend or girlfriend to leave you behind, when the Lord is pleased to take your infant to glory before he or she is born, when you have a child that is severely handicapped to care for, when you lose your job and have tuition bills to pay and food to put upon the table, when you are informed of cancer that will destroy your body, do we confess that for all things there is a season and purpose? A season and purpose that serves the perfect will of God for us. Do we hear the Psalmist, when he says “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee” (Psalm 9:10)? Sing Psalter 17.

September 24 Read Ecclesiastes 3:1, James 1:1-7

As children of God we do indeed confess that there is a time and purpose for all things in our life. This is not easy from our point of view, for it is difficult to understand the purpose of God for us when things take place that cast us into severe trials. And yet by the grace of God we know that the Sovereign God Who loves us, sends all things upon our path. Thus by God’s grace we can understand and believe that we may count it all joy when we fall into diverse trials (James 1:2). Thus the Word leads us to begin each day with the conviction that we may place our way consciously in the hands of our God, and know all things are well. We may say with the Psalmist, “Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Psalm 73:23-24). Sing Psalter 203.

September 25 Read James 4:6-8

We will close our meditations this month by reflecting upon the way we experience the comfort of trusting and waiting upon Jehovah. We will consider who shall experience the great comfort of knowing God sends all things for our salvation. In James 4:6 we read that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. The comfort and peace of soul we have been talking about is not for the proud. This is a warning to us, for so often we can be proud, of which pride we must repent. For God says clearly in our text that God resists the proud. Yet the text in James teaches us that there is grace given to the humble. By grace may we strive after this humility in all of our life. Sing Psalter 228.

September 26 Read James 4:6-8, Ephesians 2:8-10

Many times we as Protestant Reformed young people and older children of God have spoken of and had expounded unto us the grace of God as a most precious gift of our God. And it is, and we do not grow tired of hearing about the amazing grace of God towards us. Grace is defined, and scripturally so, as undeserved favor, or unmerited favor of God in Christ shown to the people of God. In the Old Testament times we read at the time of the destruction of the first world that, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” And it meant salvation for Noah and the church of all ages, as on the basis of God’s eternal love the church was saved and Christ continued to come. This same grace that saves is the portion of the humble and by God’s mercy is our portion. Sing Psalter 166.

September 27 Read James 4:6-8, Eph. 2:8-10, Acts 15:11

As we implied in the last meditation, grace is not given to us based upon our merit or goodness. We thank God for that, for we are weak and all too often fall into the paths of sin. Our worthiness of receiving this grace is non-existent. Is this not your confession? We are sinners, but when by grace we see this then we have the assurance also that grace is the gift of God, and is not of ourselves. But rather we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. We may walk as children of God and in true humility because God is pleased to make us His in Christ, and He delivers us from our sin to be a Father unto us. Receiving grace of God we are saved, for in the many references in the Bible to the term grace, it is always used as saving. Thus we read, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved” (Acts 15:11). Hallelujah! Sing Psalter 30.

September 28 Read James 4:6-8, Proverbs 3:34

The precious grace of God given His people in Christ saves and does so without exception. What a blessed truth for the elect sinner. When I am in this life, how I must hear this word, for sin is my constant enemy. This grace that saves according to our text in James is not for all men, nor intended for all men. The proud shall not receive it. The proud man is natural man, and in a sense we are all proud. So many times way too proud, sinfully proud. Of this we must repent and shall by His grace. However, those that live and die in their pride shall only taste the wrath of God. Our text teaches us that God resisteth the proud. This is the same truth we read in Proverbs 3:34, speaking of God the writer points out that, “Surely he scorneth the scorners: but giveth grace unto the lowly.” Those who walk in pride of needs are scorners of God and His people. May we have grace to turn from this evil sin. Sing Psalter 69.

September 29 Read James 4:6-8, I Peter 5:5

God gives grace to the humble! And this abundantly, sufficient for all of our trials and life. The humble are not such of themselves, but are those made humble by the testimony of our Lord’s Word. To be humble is to acknowledge we have nothing of ourselves, but that we are dead in sin and trespass. It is to know and confess that we are but dead sinners and to look completely away from ourselves to the God of all grace for salvation. This also becomes evident in our lives as we take heed of the Holy writer’s words in I Peter 5:5 and submit to our elders and to one another, being clothed with true humility. This is the precious gift of God and the reason also that He leads us through the severest way of trials often while we dwell here as pilgrims and strangers. For the humble are those called of God and as He has called us unto eternal glory, we have the assurance we shall obtain it after we have suffered a while, that we may be made ready for it (I Peter 5:10). Sing Psalter 111.

September 30 Read James 4:6-8

The rich blessing of grace is multiplied unto the forgiven and repentant sinner. Our text emphasizes this when it says, “But he giveth more grace.” There is grace for grace, to those God quickens, to them He gives grace for grace, as they are made low by the Word, He lifts them up to serve Him and to worship Him aright. There is a divine influence upon the heart of the elect sinner that leads His children to humble themselves before their God and to give alone all praise to His Name. This affects all of our lives so that strife is driven out of our lives and the selfish thoughts are cast away, and we love one another in the Lord and strive together to serve the living God. Receiving the grace of God we shall resist the Devil, and shall fight the battle of faith, and we shall be more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. There is peace as God draws near unto us! Sing Psalter 221.

Question #26

Just one small question: In one of your replies last week to a question, you indicated that no young believer or old saint should stay up past midnight. You further claimed that no good comes out of this time frame. Could you elaborate on that a bit more, as it relates to God’s Word?

Answer # 26

First of all as we answer this question, we may note that the point I made formerly was a passing remark that it would be better if any saint would not stay up past midnight. I also said that it is not a time when good comes to pass, and the idea is that usually when one is out after midnight he or she is in danger of involving oneself in activities that shall not serve the glory of God, but usually the pleasures of the flesh, in one way or other.

Now of course this is not always the case. A person may be working the night shift in a factory, or hospital and of needs be up after midnight, and could very well be serving the glory of God in his or her labor. It may be that one with a family chooses to drive a long distance through the night, because it is easier for the children to make the trip. And I am sure we could find many other legitimate examples of a proper staying up through the late night hours.

But clearly these are exceptions. My remarks have to do with the fact that we ought to be properly preparing for the next day of labor or activity so that we can serve the Lord with all of our energy, by getting a good night’s rest. The late night time is obviously given to us for rest. The Scripture abounds with this truth.

However, more to the point I was concerned with the sanctified activity of the saint, young or old. And then we ought to acknowledge that it is not good for us to be spending the wee hours of the night in various activities. Realizing that most of the activities we might engage in during these hours are in the service of sin. That is true whether we are on a late night date sitting in a car with our girl friend or boy friend, or sitting in a business establishment that is still open at that time of night, usually a bar or tavern, etc.

The reason that the late night is dangerous to the saint is set forth in principle by many Scriptures, we examine very briefly a few. The principle is seen when one chooses to seek out his activities in the darkness, the Proverbs say in Proverbs 2:13-14 those “Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness” are really those “who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked.” Now I understand that darkness in this text is speaking of spiritual departure, but this is done because darkness is a picture in Scripture of such spiritual departure.

The Holy writer says, in Ecclesiastes 2:14 that “The wise man’s eyes {are} in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness:” The sum of the matter is that the Scripture repeatedly speaks of darkness in association with foolishness, sin and evil. We see this also in the words of our Lord as He addresses us in Luke 12:35 “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” And in one other example and in this text we again see the principle idea set forth that God’s children are of the day and speaks of a contrast between the day and night. In I Thessalonians 5:5-8 “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as {do} others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”

In the last text it is striking that we are called upon to be spiritually alert, and spiritually sober, it is very difficult to do this and to be this in the late hours of the night. Our physical strength and alertness not only becomes impaired in the late night, but you may be sure that our spiritual strength and sobriety shall wane in the late hours of the night. In this we place ourselves close to the fire, and too often we shall be burned.

For our spiritual welfare we ought to be very careful when it comes to the hours that we keep. There is plenty of time during the day and evening to serve the Lord in our activities.

Remember to write your questions to me at repmo@mfcl.mfcnef.nef . Also feel free to write follow up questions.

Young people, ministers, and friends: It is a pleasure to address you this afternoon. It is a special pleasure to speak to you about the coming of our Lord. We turn today to the period of time that precedes Christ’s coming and that prepares us for it. We look to the signs which speak to the church that Christ comes quickly!

This morning it was a distinct privilege to take part in the discussions about the Kingdom of heaven. I found it a pleasure. The leaders found a sincere desire to study these matters, a sincere interest displayed by you, our covenant young people, in the heavenly things. A hope was revealed in these discussion groups — a hope that Christ comes quickly. You look for that new age of glory for which every child of God looks. Now as you look with the hope of the child of God to the day of Christ’s bodily return; you must do so with prepara­tion. It is imperative that not only do we desire that day, but that also we prepare for it. I think it is probably in light of this fact that your committee has chosen for its theme of this speech: “The Churches Outlook on the Earthly Future.” Our hope is for the kingdom of heaven — When does it come? What must precede it? As we look forward to the coming of Christ we must necessarily face all that stands be­tween us and His coming. What must we yet face? What takes place? Let us con­sider these questions under our theme as it is divided in the following 3-fold way:

  1. The Main Signs We See
  2. What Is Yet to be Faced.
  3. Facing It in Confidence

As we turn to our topic, we immediately are struck with the fact that there is a vast amount of material we could consider. It is my intention to emphasize the main line of the things we shall see before Christ comes in glory, and in this way, limit this speech. It would help in considering this material, if you were to open your Bibles to the book of Revelation.

Which are the main signs that precede the coming of our Lord? The main signs which the Lord gives to us? In the first place, let us consider the sign of the preaching of the gospel to all nations. This is the first sign or major earthly event, that telegraphs the swiftly approaching Christ, that I would point out. We are told in Scripture that the preaching of the gospel to all nations must precede the coming of anti-Christ. This was seen in Matthew 24 which was read to us, and also this is the teaching of the book of Revelation. Let us turn our attention to this book. In particular we shall consider the seals and more specifically the running of the white horse. I read from Revelation 6:1-2: “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him; and he went forth conquering and to conquer.” Of course we haven’t time in this speech to enter into all the details of these seals. So that, at this time I would like to remark that one is hard put to find better material on Eschatology than in H. Hoeksema’s book: “Behold He Cometh.” Study this book! You can understand it, for it is written in a form to enable you to understand. In this volume is excellent exposition of the Scrip­tural symbols of the book of Revelation. For many of the details of the various proph­ecies we consider today, I refer you to this book.

However, I will point out the more significant parts of the proper interpretation of the particular signs I choose to treat. First, then, the horses of the seals are representative of war and battle. We often read in Scripture of the strong horses of battle. These horses are depicted as having a rider. This rider as a symbol indicates direction and control. To this direction and control our speaker last night referred, He emphasized that Jesus is coming quickly and that the pace of coming steadily in­creases as we approach closer to the end. And when that time comes, all things will be fulfilled!  And, beloved young people, it is Christ that fills them! He directs the horsemen of Revelation. He is coming to­day and He is fulfilling all things today!

Christ directs the white horse. This white horse is a stallion of victory. The symbolism plainly indicates this. The color white is the color of victory, the rider car­ries the bow of battle, but at the same time wears the garland of victory. The picture is that of a warrior going forth con­quering and to conquer. A picture of a battle that is assured of victory. Now if you have read the book before mentioned, or if you have heard your minister speak about this horseman, you have heard that the complete picture of this white horse­man pictures to us the triumphal progress of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of earth in this dispensation. And it represents the ingathering of the people of God throughout this whole dispensation, until the last child of God is safely called in. It is a triumphal progress of the kingdom of God that is brought to pass by the preaching of the Word under the operation of the Spirit of Christ. By this means God gathers His Church and leads her forward until the day when His Kingdom is complete. This preaching of the gospel to all nations must be complete before anti-Christ comes, and therefore before Christ comes bodily upon the clouds of glory. Thus, we read in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Mark 14:10 states the same truth — the gospel must first be pub­lished to all nations.

When we consider these signs I want to emphasize that by studying the events about us we may see the nearness of the coming of Christ! We may see that we are actually in the last minutes of God’s time clock. Christ is coming swiftly! Beloved young people, as you hope for that day, be aware that this day is soon upon us. We read that the preaching of the gospel must be before all nations. By the running of the white horseman, with its preaching to all nations the people of God will be gathered in; the battle will be won against the wicked one, the Kingdom will be completely realized. It is a sign! And my listeners, for all in­tents and purposes the preaching has spread to all nations: the white horseman has run his course. This is true at least according to its scope. The gospel in es­sence has been published to all nations in the world. The final work is not quite completed, the final ingathering remains. But even this final work is now being ac­complished. Just think of this! And then shall the end come, says Christ! And as the seals belong together and to a certain ex­tent are simultaneous in their revelation we must conclude that Christ’s return is very near.

In continuing to discuss the major signs of our Lord’s return let us turn our atten­tion to another major sign—the sign of the great apostacy. Again I will state that I will bring a limited number of the signs in this speech. I will treat the ones that in my opinion are the major ones we must see for the purpose of this topic. In this light let us turn our attention to the great apostacy. We find this sign another signif­icant marker of our day. In Matthew 24:11-­12 we also find this sign as very closely related to Christ’s return, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” This is a definite sign. It is true that throughout the new dispensation there has been apostacy in the Church. And this has been manifest from time to time in greater degree. In the last minutes of God’s timepiece apostacy shall become the general rule. And a reason for this is the “iniquity’ shall abound.” Again there has always been a good deal of iniquity in the world since the fall of Adam. But the point is that open sin and iniquity shall abound, it shall be the characteristic of those latter days.

One look around you emphasizes that our world today must be characterized with the terms unrestrained sin and iniquity abound­ing. It is not necessary to illustrate this with many examples, I believe. You can see this easily enough for yourselves. Per­haps a look at the Democratic Convention just completed will serve our purpose here. A world characterized by iniquity and open wickedness was clearly displayed. I refer to the fact that on the floor of a major political convention we were able to see planks offered and debated on issues of: abortion with no restraint, supporting homo­sexuality, or to watch or hear the news that there were people on the streets before the hall smoking or taking drugs of several types freely and openly without reprisal. This world does not want God, it does not care for His law. This sin and wickedness per­formed in, and accepted by the world has led the so-called church to flee front God’s Word. And this leads to the great apostacy, beloved. The true preaching of the Word as you hear it, and as you see it applied by your ministers and elders and parents condemns sin. You know that! But those that would live in sin and iniquity cannot stand this preaching! So that the result is that God’s Word must be cast away. It must be diluted, gotten rid of. And in its place must be put man’s philosophy, man’s morality.

There is a publication, a Christian paper, that calls the Good News for Modem Man the devil’s masterpiece. This evaluation is very near to the truth. When man can­not stand God’s Word or hold to it, he must change it or paraphrase it. In this way he takes the power out of it. These paraphrases of today do just that. Do not put them in the place of God’s Word. This same principle lies behind the movement in the church world that involves extensive liturgy, emotionalism, tongue speaking or the relating of conversion experiences from the pulpit. They place all of this in the place of the preaching of God’s Word.

Yea, the church world apostacy is on the increase in our day. And this apostacy proceeds the immediate coming of Christ. The church gets smaller, the love of many waxes cold. Again I say apostacy has al­ways been in the church, hut never as in our day. And today’s apostacy is distinct from any that preceded it. Today there is not the possibility that there shall be a new awakening. This is the distinguishing fac­tor. In the time of the Reformation there was apostacy, but then a renewal, a turning back to God’s Word, followed even by an advance of the gospel into more of the world. But now the Word has spread throughout the World. And there is no new place for the Word to go, and apostacy now becomes absolute. Christ is coming! And I urge you young people to see the removal of the emphasis on the preaching as apostacy. Notice this! Sometimes you may think it would be nice to have shorter sermons on the Sabbath Day or much more liturgies in our services. The point, how­ever, is that we must not remove nor sub­tract from the preaching of God’s Word. Rather love the Word and see apostacy as wicked, but also as a sign of Christ’s return. A sign we see today!

However, the committee requested that this speech should cover more than that which is clearly revealed now. We are to look even more to the future. Doing this I would like to call attention to the book of Revelation again. This time we will turn to the revelation of the trumpets. Make yourselves familiar with this Book, with the seals, the trumpets and with the vials that bring the end of time. Let us now direct our attention to the trumpets. You may ask what happened to the rest of the seals? I would point out that it is my be­lief that throughout the whole new dis­pensation these seals have been on the foreground. But now they are being re­placed by the trumpets. By this I mean that the trumpets more and more become the prevailing characteristic of the world today. The emphasis begins to fall upon the revelation in time of the trumpets. As the day of Christ ever draws nearer the trumpets are on the foreground, And as it is my belief that the while horseman’s course draws near to its close, and because the seals are to a great extent simulta­neously revealed, the seals, I believe, now give way to the seventh seal — the revelation of the trumpets.

So let us draw our attention to the seventh seal and the revelation of the trum­pets. You may ask what is the relationship between the seals and the trumpets? I will say to you again, it is wise to study the book, Behold He Cometh, for a more ex­tensive study of this relationship. For now we must limit our study. The seals are the white horseman, the red horseman of war, the black horseman of conflict be­tween economic and social classes, and the green horse of death, the prayer of the saints for Christ’s quick return, and the shaking up of the physical universe. The trumpets also refer to many of these same types of acts only in a more intensified form. The seals concerned one-fourth of men. The result of their opening was that a fourth of man was affected and died, etc. It is our belief that this represents the normal rate of death and trouble in the New Dispensation. How­ever, the revelation of the trumpets show an increased intensification of the judg­ments of God upon man. And this is re­presented by the new fraction 1/3. As the new dispensation draws nearer to the close more intensified judgment characterizes the world. I believe we move into this time period now! Therefore, I wish to look for­ward with you to that which shall become more fully revealed.

We read of the trumpets in Revelation 8. They are divided into two main groups. The first four concern the physical universe. The first trumpet consists of hail and fire mingled with blood cast upon earth de­stroying 1/3 part of the trees and grass. The second is the great burning mass as a mountain cast into the sea, turning 1/3 of the sea into blood with 1/3 of the creatures and ships destroyed. The third trumpet — a great star called worm wood falls from heaven poisoning 1/3 of the inland waters and rivers which affects man of which many die. The fourth trumpet affects the heavenly luminaries 1/3 of which are darkened.

What do these signify? In each case we see the fraction one third. The seals were accompanied by the fraction one fourth. We find an increase in death and destruc­tion as the trumpets are revealed. Under­stand the fraction only increases a small amount. However, it is enough increase to make man worry, to cause alarm in the world. And it adds enough alarm in the world to enhance universal peace and unity. Secondly, notice what is affected by these judgments: the land, the sea, the inland waters and rivers, and the air. Upon each man is dependent for food, water and life! The plagues are such that the waters are poisoned, the sky darkened and the land affected so the death is the result. These trumpets of the book of Revelation, be­loved, immediately precede the outpouring of the vials of absolute destruction. So close does Christ come!

For I believe, beloved young people, we see the era today that is characterized by this increased measure under the trumpets. I call these first four trumpets, the trumpets of ecology. I do not say that the only way we will see these trumpets revealed is in the form of the ecological crisis of today, yet I do maintain that in the ecological crisis we see the trumpets characterize the age of the world today. We have the be­ginning of this era now! The third part of the water, land, and air is affected and there is an increase in death. Do we not see what is here symbolized, today’? Can we not see this increase of judgment? Is not this world in a state of alarm because of all the pollution? The air is so polluted that we cannot even see clearly. Especially are the delegates of Redlands, Chicago, and other areas near large cities able to attest to this fact. But also this is true elsewhere. I drove to a small city of about 90,000 population and could clearly see the haze of pollution hanging over it. And pilots tell us that this haze extends for miles and miles from the cities, to such an extent that the air is polluted to a great degree over all the lands of this world. In the ocean trash extends from shore to shore and more and more the sea is dying. The insecticides, fertilizers, and waste continue to take an ever increasing toll on the inland waters and land. And man is afraid, he is scared! They say we must do something or we shall pol­lute ourselves to death. Hence, the world cries for peace and unity to stave off this cursed plague.

The fifth and sixth trumpets also are closely connected with this same theme. They, too, affect one third part of men. The fifth trumpet is the loosing of the locusts out of the bottomless pit, and from their description it is evident they represent a special number of evil spirits that ply upon the hearts of the wicked, reprobate man. They are given the power to disrupt and torment wicked men for a particular period of time. The sixth trumpet is composed of four angels based in the river Euphrates which are released with monsters of destruc­tion, which kill a third part of man uni­versally. Here, I believe, is found an in­tensification of what we saw represented by the plagues of the horsemen. In this in­stance one third of men dies.

As we look ahead to what we must yet face we shall take a closer look at these trumpets. As the fifth and sixth trumpet are fulfilled we are told of an ever increas­ing wanton sinfulness which characterizes the world. Under the description of the effect of the fifth trumpet we find that God gives the wicked world over to its own lusts in ever increasing measure. Thus the spirit of this world becomes that of ambitious power grabbing, worldliness, false wisdom, false philosophy unrestrained lusts, anarchy, sensuality, etc. The locusts prey upon the passions of man. And so great is the effect that man in his sin wants to die, but cannot! Can we see anything of this trumpet? A trumpet that stands extremely dose to the end of time and the opening of the fatal vials. I believe we can. To a great degree we see man tormented by sinfulness to the point he would like to die, but often does not. Take for example the man on dope who fills his veins with that vile stuff. He becomes so held by the habit that he goes out and steals and even kills. He can’t stand himself, yet he must have the dope. He would like to die when he conies off a trip, yet he doesn’t have the courage to die. We can see the same thing with the gutter drunk. And is not this a character of our world. The world flocks to the psychiatrist and psychologist for this very reason. Man doesn’t know what to do! The world can’t stand to live with itself. This is a result of the unrestrained sin which surrounds us today.

We find this same idea in connection with the sixth trumpet. The world under the influence of the sixth trumpet is character­ized in the following way. The people were adulterers, murderers, sorcerers, fornicators, and thieves. And so great is their sin that even after the increase of death from one- fourth to one-third they still will not repent. In Matthew 24 we read that before the end the days will become as the days of Noah. Is this not that which we already begin to witness in our day? There is no thought given to murder through abortion, a world serving false prophets, christs, and gods. And it is for this cause that the preaching is corrupted. Remember when a minister says from the pulpit that one must do something in order to be saved, he preaches a false christ! However, remem­ber young people, we do not see the final revelation of these trumpets, but rather the beginning of their revelation as the char­acterization of the final age. Christ is filling up the measure of iniquity, now! And He does so in ever increasing measure.

All of these things and all the other signs I have not touched upon today lead to anti-­Christ. When we face the age of anti-Christ, what must we be prepared for? You realize that if I were to extensively go into what Scripture says of anti-Christ we would be here another hour. So briefly, I will point out some very specific ideas that we obtain from Scripture concerning anti-Christ. Anti­-Christ is he that opposes Christ. He tries to take the place of Christ. In Revelation 13 and 17 we find the main revelation of anti-Christ. Read these chapters, as well as, Daniel 7, I Thessalonians 2:3-10, II John 2. Anti-Christ is the beast rising out of the sea of nations. His general appearance is pictured as that of the leopard, with the feet of a bear, the mouth of a lion with seven heads and ten horns. The over-all picture is that of a great political power who has control over all nations. A power which shall unite all together under one govern­ment and head. He will be one whom the world will admire, follow, and under whom they will unite. Why? You know that our world is presently filled with the sign of peace. Beloved, I hope you don’t use this peace symbol. It is a peace of a wicked world which is represented. It is the peace of anti-Christ. Why or how can the world attain peace coming under one power? After all, we see war, strife and strikes! Nevertheless, we see this uniting process taking place already! Rev. Kuiper men­tioned we already can see the beginning of the development of anti-Christ. We certainly do! Why? Because of all the signs we see about us. The world hates the true gospel — this unites. The world looks at pollution and says we must get together or die! The world looks at war and says we must stop or none shall live. And we could go on. This is happening today, young people. The world strives to get together. So that pres­idents journey to one another’s lands, scien­tists combine their efforts and trade begins to flow between all nations. The world powers know they must get together or perish. And soon it shall be accomplished!

The spiritual head of anti-Christ is the second beast of the book of Revelation. He arises out of the earth with horns of a lamb, but speaks like a dragon, He forms a unity with the first beast. The purpose of the second beast is to maintain the world’s obedience unto the power of the first beast. He attempts to convince all to believe in the political head. And this second beast commands a tremendous power to convince all to seek anti-Christ. It is the power of false prophets, philosophers, scientists, doc­tors and preachers. He has the power to make miracles. Miracles which will deceive man through science, medicine, etc. This beast has the most learned, proficient philosophers and orators. It is a power ac­cording to the book of Revelation which causes man to worship anti-Christ and to receive the mark of the beast — the number 666. He works hand in hand with the first beast and has an almost unbelievable power.

This power with its many means will attempt to tear apart the church, you and me. It will try to lead you away from the walk of faith. Comprehend this power, be­loved young people, that you may oppose it and stand against it in all of your life. To do so means we must stand absolutely antithetically! Do this or come under the influence of anti-Christ. The best the world offers is in anti-Christ’s service. Take heed of the power of anti-Christ from another point of view. We read that he has the power to create an image that can keep track of every man; an image that can tell the beast who has worshipped anti-Christ and who has not. He will make an image which will cause us to worship and serve anti-Christ or die! Beloved that power is already in the hands of man! It is in the world. Right now the computers of man to a large extent keep track of every one of you. Most of you know that we had twins born to us about two years ago. In less than a month after their birth we received a catalog from a company in Milwaukee, Wisc, with a letter attached. (We lived in Isabel, So. Dakota at the time.) The letter congratulated us on the birth of twins and urged us to order our baby needs from them. In less than one month this took place! Now surely if a private company can keep such good track of its customers, the government can watch us continually to see how we worship, etc. It is possible today; that is how near the time is!

This means, beloved young people, in a very real sense we face the great affliction of which we read in Matthew 24. I don’t think we can fully understand this great affliction. For we read that an affliction such as this has never been seen before in the history of man. And when we think of the martyrs that have died on the burning post, or think upon other great persecutions against Christians standing in faith, and then read that this persecution shall be greater than all, we begin to see its sever­ity. When we look to the day of anti-Christ we see a day that will be terrible from the view point of the flesh and earthly misery and death. Don’t ever believe that day does not come. It comes! And we must face it! Maybe ourselves or maybe our children will live in this time. In that day will you be able to stand in faith? We read in Matthew 24:15-22 the following: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child and give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Yea, this day comes and we must face its reality. We must be prepared for these things. Rev. Decker will speak about this tomorrow for us. Do not be mislead by pre-millennial ideas that Christ will come and take His Church away from earth before the final affliction; nor the post-millennial idea that this world progresses until heaven is found on earth. Don’t be led astray! Be prepared, be watchful, be prayerful, and be ready to stand in faith even in the face of outright persecution.

Yet do so, beloved young people with confidence. God’s children do not have to be afraid of those coming days. Oh, as we look forward to the days preceding the coming of Christ it does not appear easy, rather very difficult. Already the anti­christian plys of temptation come upon us. And difficult it is to stand faithful. Our parents see this too, and it gives them ap­prehension when they see their John or Mary go away from home. Already the walk of God’s children becomes more dif­ficult and we may face the great affliction itself. But do not fear! Of course if you were to set your hopes and goals of life in this present sphere, then one would have to be afraid. For standing for the cause of Christ, we stand to lose all. But beloved I believe you are God’s children and hence have nothing to fear. You may face the future with optimism, because our Lord testifies in His Word that those tried shall receive all they stand in need of. And at no time in the history of this world shall God’s children live closer to their God, than under the great affliction. They that live then shall receive the richest measure of grace. Our fellowship with God then will be the most intimate possible on earth. Hence, we can look forward to that day! The more we shall be placed under the rule of anti­christ, the more we will grow in faith! By grace, beloved, face those days knowledgably, with an awareness that they bring Christ. Face them with confidence knowing they proclaim Jesus is very swiftly coming!

1 John 2:15-17: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Today much emphasis is placed on the attachment for this world. More and more it is the case that the church no longer separates itself from the world, but professes an open attachment and love for it. Churches tolerate and even promote worldliness, while the love of the things of God fail. Such things as divorce and remarriage, union membership, and movie attendance are approved even in the Reformed community of churches. It is not uncommon to see church participation in the social causes of this world. And these things have an appeal to our flesh. But John severely condemns this modern spirit in the church when he says, “Love not the world, neither the things in the world.”

The world to which John refers is the world as it develops in sin with fallen man at its head. It includes all things in this world from the spiritual-ethical viewpoint of their subjection to sin. That world, says John, is a world full of lusts. Fallen man, standing in enmity against God, creates a world of lusts. Rather than loving God and serving Him with all things of this creation, man hates God and subjects all things to the service of his own pleasure, enrichment and praise.

This results in a world of lusts. There are the lusts of the flesh, the most carnal lusts — adultery, murder, drunkenness, and all kinds of immorality. There are the lusts of the eyes and the higher senses. To satisfy these lusts man has created worldly art, movies, literature, science and worldly clothes. And these lusts stand in the service of man’s pride of life. In this natural, earthly life man has made himself the goal of all that he does. He subjects all things to serve the glory, honor and well-being of man. The world seeks not the glory and honor of God, but man’s excellence and glory. This present creation as it is characterized by sin with fallen man at its head is a world of lusts and man’s pride of life. There is nothing else in it. No good is in it at all!

Therefore, covenant youth, who have the love of God shed abroad in your hearts, you must not love this world. You must not seek its lusts. You cannot allow– yourselves to be yoked in fellowship with it in any sense. For everything in the world is of the world and not of God, and if you love what is of the world, you love the world, not your Father! The love of this world excludes in every respect the love of the Father. A love it is that leads to life eternal.

Remember, young people, the world and all of its lusts passes away. Even now it proceeds to its destruction. The wicked world with man at its head is the object of God’s wrath. God’s wrath destroys! And any who love and trust that which perishes likewise perish! But they who do the will of the Father abide forever. They do not belong to the world that perishes, but to the world of God’s eternal love in Christ. As God in Christ has shed His love abroad in your hearts, covenant youth, do the will of your Father and love not the world.

Beloved readers, this means that when the appeal is made to you to embrace your “calling” to join hands in approving this world as much as possible; when the appeal is made to you to attend movies for art’s sake; when the appeal is made to you to exercise tolerance and “love” for your fellow- citizen, lest you offend; when you are invited to try dancing as an art form you are not deceived. Our calling is love not this world in any sense. And this does not mean that we take a neutral attitude toward that world. This is impossible; we either hate it, or we love it! Rather, we must love God and seek His righteousness in all things, and antithetically firmly oppose all that is of this world. We pray that God may grant us the grace to maintain this calling in this age of worldliness.

James in the third chapter of his epistle speaks of the tongue as the most powerful member of our body. In verse five we read: “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” James uses a figure of a ship at sea driven by fierce winds in verse four. This ship is of great size, yet if it is to reach its home port it must depend on a small rudder to direct it. Likewise the tongue is a small but powerful member.

One who with the new man controls the tongue by a living faith controls the whole body. In verse five James speaks of the evil power of the tongue, and by the contrast the positive power is emphasized.

The power of the tongue is all out of proportion with its size. The tongue boasts great things, and the prideful boast of the tongue can be backed up! It boasts and can do great evil.

The tongue can boast because of its unique position among the members of the body. The tongue refers to the entire power of speech. This is a tremendous power. It was a most important power given to Adam in Paradise. By it Adam was able to echo the Words of God which he saw in creation in a creaturely way. He was able to speak about God and to God. Because of this power Adam was able to enter into covenant fellowship with God. And through his power he could influence and have fellowship with the other creatures especially his wife.

When the fall came Adam did not lose this great power, but it now became subservient to sin. As a result of the fall man uses his tongue to blaspheme God, to curse Him, and to deny Him. Hence the tongue was turned into the most powerful instrument of sin in the world.

James uses another figure to illustrate the unbelievable capacity of the tongue for evil. He uses the figure of a forest fire. It takes only one small spark to kindle a whole forest. The forest is a place of life and beauty, but then comes a spark and the huge fire. All that remains is destruction, death, and the most depressing silence conceivable.

Covenant youth this is exactly what the tongue does! It starts wars and spreads destruction. It speaks worldly philosophies that are empty and vain. The tongue is the most powerful agent of temptation. It said, “God is dead:” and carries the world into unbelief and destruction. The tongue is the member used for gossip, backbiting, and slander which spread like wildfire. Always in the wake of these fires started by the tongue is desolation, immorality, corruption, damnation, and death.

Does the above characterize the way we use our tongues? Do we say things about our peers that will cause them no end of grief? Even if what we say concerning another is the truth, but is meant to harm him, it is slander and backbiting. Do we talk back to our parents and teachers denying their God given authority? Do we lead others astray with the words: “O come on your parents won’t find out,” or the vain philosophy, “Its O. K. everyone is doing it?” Do we not control our tongues? If we must answer any of these questions in the affirmative we sin and spread destruction.

Answer these questions readers, and then remember the positive aspect of James’ instruction which is emphasized by the contrast. To the child of God with a living faith what a power for good is the tongue. By this power the gospel is spread, and the covenant youth are instructed. Think, for example, of the encouragement of words to the sorrowful and the sick when the tongue is controlled by the new man in Christ. The tongue is able to lift the weary soul brought low in the battle of faith.

It is a wonderful thing to see the tongue of youth being used as such a power for good. I have seen covenant youth anxious to speak of the wonders of God in the discussion of a catechism lesson. I have seen members of young people’s societies eager to discuss the antithetical walk the child of God must engage in. I have seen young people visiting the elderly, and seen them comfort them in their own wonderful way. I have heard the voices of our P. R. young people singing God’s praises with joy upon their faces. I have heard our young people defend the truth of God’s Word over against error. This use of the tongue is a power for good; it is the opposite of apathy, and I have witnessed you, readers, use it as such. So we must strive always to use this great power. This is possible only when the new man controls our tongue. May God grant us the grace to use this powerful member for good.

It is a wonderful season! Fall is here and once more we have begun our studies. We have begun our school work receiving our instruction in grade schools, in high schools, or in colleges. Also, the most important part of instruction has resumed. Catechism classes have started. This season of study is wonderful for God’s covenant youth. It is wonderful because in this season the covenant youth grows in knowledge.

The knowledge that I speak of is not the “knowledge’’ of the world. Natural man is busy in the field of education, too. However, he gains no true knowledge. He has only the vain philosophy of his own making. And this is no knowledge at all. Natural man’s motive for study is self- centered. He desires to study in order to improve this world as a place to live. He strives to learn, so that he can occupy a place of honor and distinction in the midst of his fellow man. The question he tries to answer is; what can I conquer next? Scripture presents the true picture of natural man’s learning. In Romans 1:22-25, we read: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” The season of study is a damning season for the natural man. They are given up to the lusts of their hearts.

How does the covenant youth’s study differ from the world’s study? First, creation and history is much more than a story of what man has done and discovered. History is the revelation of God. To study history is to see God more clearly and to understand His counsel more fully. All of our studies in school concern some aspect of God’s creation or creatures. Therefore, the covenant youth studies God’s creation and creatures and their history, in order to know God. Through all of our instruction we come to know God as our God in Jesus Christ.

Secondly, as covenant youth, our motive for study differs from the world’s self-centered motive. Our studies lead to the knowledge of the One we love. Thus, our motive is the love of God instead of the love of man. There is an example of this motive that has been used before. It is the example of a girl’s search for knowledge concerning her boyfriend. If a girl loves a boy she wants to know, as much as possible, about him. If one asked her why she wants this knowledge, she will answer, I want to know him because I love him. She needs no other motive. This girl’s love is but a weak picture of that great love we have for God. We love God, that is why we say this is a wonderful season.

Covenant youth, if the love of God fills our hearts, we want to know Him. Some of the messages of God are found in trees, some are found in animals, and some are found in the sea or sky. God’s message to us is found in the history of the world. Jehovah reveals Himself to us in all things about us. This we study in our schools. And this study must be grounded in the Scriptures, for God’s revelation is principally there. In the Bible, God makes Himself known through His Word. God’s Word tells us of His Promise and of how He gathers His people. As covenant youth we hear this word in our catechism classes. There we receive the official, authoritative instruction of the church in the truth. In catechism we learn to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. This is our basic and most important study.

It is a wonderful season! Who else but God’s covenant youth in the Protestant Reformed Churches have the opportunity to know God as we do? God graciously gives us this opportunity to know Him. And we read that the knowledge of Cod and His Son is life eternal (John 17:3). Therefore, with thankful hearts pray for grace to be diligent in all of your studies, in which, you are blessed!

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

Continue reading

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

Continue reading

The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

Continue reading

Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

Continue reading

Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

Continue reading

Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

Continue reading

Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

Continue reading