Psalm 136

I was reading Psalm 136 today and was struck as I traced with each line hundreds — thousands — of years of human history with God. There truly is none like the God of Israel, whose love endures forever. He is relentlessly good and he is eminently worthy.

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures for ever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures for ever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures for ever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures for ever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures for ever.
who made the great lights –
His love endures for ever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures for ever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures for ever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures for ever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures for ever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures for ever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a] asunder
His love endures for ever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures for ever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures for ever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures for ever.

17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures for ever.
18 and killed mighty kings –
His love endures for ever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures for ever.
20 and Og king of Bashan –
His love endures for ever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures for ever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures for ever.

23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures for ever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures for ever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures for ever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures for ever.

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Puritan prayers: Morning dedication

Morning Dedication

Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Thy care. Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me. Incline my heart to thy ways. Mould me wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay. May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Thy praise. Let those around see me living by Thy Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clad in the entire armour of God, shining as a never-dimmed light, showing holiness in all my doings. Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, hands.

May I travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In needful transactions let my affection be in heaven, and my love soar upwards in flames of fire, my gaze fixed on unseen things, my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities. May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of my Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth. Order this day all my communications according to Thy wisdom, and to the gain of mutual good. Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable. May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day.

Puritan prayers: Meeting God

Meeting God

Great God, in public and private, in sanctuary and home, may my life be steeped in prayer, filled with the spirit of grace and supplication, each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood. Help me, defend me, until from praying ground I pass to the
realm of unceasing praise. Urged by my need, invited by Thy promises, called by Thy Spirit, I enter Thy presence, worshipping Thee with godly fear, awed by Thy majesty, greatness, glory, but encouraged by Thy love.

I am all poverty as well as all guilt, having nothing of my own with which to repay Thee, but I bring Jesus to Thee in the arms of faith, pleading His righteousness to offset my iniquities, rejoicing that He will weigh down the scales for me, and satisfy thy justice. I bless Thee that great sin draws out great grace, that, although the least sin deserves infinite punishment because done against an infinite God, yet there is mercy for me, for where guilt is most terrible, there Thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep. Bless me by revealing to me more of His saving merits, by causing Thy goodness to pass before me, by speaking peace to my contrite heart; strengthen me to give Thee no rest until Christ shall reign supreme within me in every thought, word, and deed, in a faith that purifies the heart, overcomes the world, works by love, fastens me to Thee, and ever clings to the cross.

C. H. Spurgeon – Morning Meditation, December 14th

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

This Morning’s Meditation

C. H. Spurgeon

“They go from strength to strength.”—Psalm 84:7.

They go from strength to strength. There are various renderings of these words, but all of them contain the idea of progress. Our own good translation of the authorized version is enough for us this morning. “They go from strength to strength.” That is, they grow stronger and stronger. Usually, if we are walking, we go from strength to weakness; we start fresh and in good order for our journey, but by-and-by the road is rough, and the sun is hot, we sit down by the wayside, and then again painfully pursue our weary way. But the Christian pilgrim having obtained fresh supplies of grace, is as vigorous after years of toilsome travel and struggle as when he first set out. He may not be quite so elate and buoyant, nor perhaps quite so hot and hasty in his zeal as he once was, but he is much stronger in all that constitutes real power, and travels, if more slowly, far more surely. Some gray-haired veterans have been as firm in their grasp of truth, and as zealous in diffusing it, as they were in their younger days; but, alas, it must be confessed it is often otherwise, for the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds, but this is their own sin and not the fault of the promise which still holds good: “The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” Fretful spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future. “Alas!” say they, “we go from affliction to affliction.” Very true, O thou of little faith, but then thou goest from strength to strength also. Thou shalt never find a bundle of affliction which has not bound up in the midst of it sufficient grace. God will give the strength of ripe manhood with the burden allotted to full-grown shoulders.

How true! When we feel cold toward our God: “… this is [our] own sin and not the fault of the promise which still holds good.” What a gracious God, that his gospel promises hold true regardless of how hot or cold our hearts are toward him.

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”  What does it mean to wait upon the Lord? Is this not simply to believe on Christ whom he has sent, and to receive him as our true High Priest, our true Sacrificial offering, our true Temple, our true Righteousness, and our true Friend? Will this truth not begin to warm even the coldest of Christian hearts?

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10.