For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. 15:22
Whereas all who are linked to Adam die, all who are in Christ are given eternal life. The Lord has lifted man to heights where he could never have been before. Phrases like “accepted in the Beloved” and “seated in the heavenlies” describe the exalted
sition where redeemed humans now find themselves (Eph. 1:6; 2:6.) This tremendous blessing was accomplished through the Son of God becoming a man, forever assuring mankind of their importance to their Maker. “”For verily He took not on Him the nature of
ngels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham” (Heb.2:16.) Hallelujah, there is a man the glory!
Thou wouldst like sinful man be made
In everything but sin,
That we, as like Thee might become, as we unlike had been.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Christ–later identified as the Word–never had a beginning. The sense of the first verb means “was and continued to be”; in other words, He eternally existed. Then, John tells us of Christ’s fellowship with the Father and the Spirit, saying literally
He was toward God.” The word picture conjures up the face-to-face intimacy of the triune Godhead. Finally, we discover that the Word was fully divine, co-equal with the other members of the Trinity. These truths ought to make us rejoice that “the Word b
ame flesh & dwelt among us.” (John 1:14, NKJV.)
Worthy, Incarnate Word, to be adored!
All things were made by Thee and for Thee, O Lord!
Yet Thou didst leave Thy bright throne for earth’s shame,
And clothed with humanity our Savior became!
Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Psa. 103:1
Often we are occupied with our blessings–the many good things that we receive from God. Psalm 103 reminds us that it is vitally important to “bless the Lord” through the ascription of praise and worship to His name. If we wonder how much effort shoul
be expended in blessing our Lord, the Psalmist affirms that all that is within him is needed to bless God. As A.P. Gibbs noted in the title of one of his books, worship is “the Christian’s highest occupation.” Blessing the Lord is the natural response o
an emancipated heart, freed from guilt by the grace of God.
Blessed be God, our God,
Who gave for us His well-beloved Son
The gift of gifts, all other gifts in one;
Blessed be God, our God!
I may write 1-2 more. i’ll do my best.
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? Pro. 20:9
This proverb posits the age-old question of humans everywhere. All of man’s inhumanity towards his fellow man, coupled with the vast multitude of iniquities against his Creator has forged an enormous load of sin. Nevertheless, man is not able to remov
the chains of wickedness that bind him. He needs a Savior to cleanse him from his sin. Praise be to God, all of our evil deeds may be cleansed through faith in the risen Christ, Who shed His life’s blood on the Cross to become a propitiation for our sin
(1 John 1:7; 2:1-2.)
Slain to redeem us by His blood, to cleanse from every sinful stain,
And make us kings and priests to God; ‘Worthy the Lamb for He was slain!’
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD. Pro. 17:15
Both evils of this verse were carried out in the trial of the Lord Jesus. The wicked Barabbas was freed, and the innocent Lamb was crucified. Because of this abomination, one would expect the Almighty to rain judgment upon the heads of Pilate and the chief priests. Instead, the wrath fell on the righteous Son of God. Those who persist in rejecting the Messiah, however, will find that God will judge their sin.
Lamb of God when Thou in glory
Shalt to this sad earth return,
All Thy foes shall quake before Thee,
All who now despise Thee mourn;
Then shall we, at Thine appearing,
With Thee in Thy kingdom reign,
Thine the praise and Thine the glory,
Lamb of God for sinners slain.
-James G. Deck
Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word. Psalm 119:67
The Psalmist recognized in his suffering the hand of Divine chastening. He did not question God’s goodness on account of temporal pain; rather, he saw in it the means of his correction. Trials of this life drive us to God’s Word for guidance, sustenance, encouragement, and rebuke. God never wastes the difficulties of life, instead using them to conform us to Christ’s peerless image (Rom. 8:28-29). “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth”. (Heb.12:6)
We cannot always trace the way
Where Thou our gracious Lord dost move;
But we can always surely say
That God is love.
When clouds hang o’er our darkened path,
We’ll check our dread, each doubt reprove;
For here each saint sweet comfort hath
That God is love.
-Sir J. Bowering
For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Phil. 1:8-10
Would we like our love for God’s people to be a matter of public, eternal record? Paul boldly proclaimed his ardor for his fellow-saints, praying that their love would increase. Their passion must be accompanied, however, by greater knowledge of Christ and spiritual discernment. The Scriptures stress the importance of “grace and truth”, as well as “speaking the truth in love” (Joh. 1:17; Eph. 4:15).
“One spirit with the Lord”
Jesus, the glorified,
Esteems the Church for which He bled
His Body and His Bride.
And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.Mark 9:10
The disciples were well-aware of a future day of resurrection. Martha indicated this belief on the occasion of her brother’s death (John 11:24). What puzzled Christ’s followers was the exact connection of resurrection with their Master. They had difficulty fathoming the sufferings of Jesus that must precede the glory. Thankfully, this power not only raised Christ from the dead, it also works on behalf of the believers—“And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead…” (Eph. 1:19-20).
Sin, death, and hell are vanquished by Thee the Church’s head; and lo we share Thy triumphs, Thou Firstborn from the dead. James G. Deck
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. Pro. 16:19
Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isa. 53:12
The One Who had the highest claim to exaltation, humbled Himself to the point of death. Christ could have conquered the world at His first coming, thereby consigning us to hell. Instead, He “bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Pet. 2:24, NKJV). Therefore, God will have Him “divide the spoil with the strong”.
King Who wore the thorny wreath—Son obedient unto death—He shall bear the glory. William Blane
To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of Him who is the First and the Last, Who died and came to life again. Rev. 2:8, NIV
The Lord addressed Himself to these battered believers in the best way possible. He is the “First and the Last”—the Eternal One Who existed before their oppressors, and will remain long after they are gone. He further describes Himself as One Who comprehends their pain. The Crucified One knows what it feels like to suffer. The Resurrected Christ also knows what it is like to triumph over the most extreme persecution. In every trial, Christ understands and will minister to us.
There is rest in the calming grace
that flows from those realms above;
What rest in the thought—we shall see His face,
Who has given us to know His love!
To download the devotions for 2006’s Choice Gleanings Calendar in PDF: choice-gleanings-06