Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 21-Chosen For Prayer

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 21-Chosen For Prayer

When God chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world, He did not merely choose me to be “holy and blameless”; He chose me also to be “before Him in love.”79 To be sure, I am always in God’s presence on earth, and in heaven I will be in His presence more fully than ever. But it could also be said that in this life I am especially “before Him in love” when I come “before Him” in prayer and worship.80

Therefore, I can infer that prayer is not simply something that I am allowed to do as a Christian; prayer is actually one of the great purposes for which God chose to save me. Christ Himself confirms this fact when He makes the following statement to His disciples: “I chose you…that whatever you ask of my Father in My Name He may give you.”81 As a chosen one of God, I was saved to pray; and whenever I come into God’s presence to behold Him, worship Him, or make request of Him, I am arriving at the pinnacle of God’s saving purposes for me.

God is radically committed to my life of prayer. He shed the blood of His Son so that I might be cleansed and rendered fit 82 to stand before Him in love. He also permitted the brutal rending of His Son so that I might now have a way into the Holy Place through the torn flesh of Jesus.83 “Draw near,”85 He says in Hebrews 4; “draw near.” He says in Hebrews 10;85 “pray without ceasing,”86 he urges elsewhere. How can I not feel the infinite sincerity of these invitations, especially when considering the painful lengths that God endured so that I might enter His presence in prayer?

Indeed, the gospel itself serves as the sweetest of invitations to pray; and preaching to myself each day nurtures within me a mighty impulse to come “before [God] in love” and do the praying that I was elected to do.

79-Ephesians 1:4. “…He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,” (NKJV)

80-Psalm 100:2. “Serve the LORD with gladness, Come before Him with joyful singing.” Psalm 68:4. “Sing to God, sing praises to His name…and exult before Him.” 1 John 5:14. “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything to His will, He hears us.”

81-John 15:16. “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

82-Ephesians 1:7. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.” Romans 5:9. “[we have] been justified by His blood.”

83-Hebrews 10. “(19)…we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, (20) by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh…”

84-Hebrews 4:16. “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

85-Hebrews 10. “(19)…we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, (20) by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh…”(22) let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…”

86-1 Thessalonians 5:17. “Pray without ceasing;”

Reasons To Rehearse the Gospel Daily. Day 20-Exposed By The Cross, Part II

Taken from HERE

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 20-Exposed By The Cross, Part II

The Cross also exposes me before the eyes of other people, informing them of the depth of my depravity. If I wanted others to think highly of me, I would conceal the fact that a shameful slaughter of the perfect Son of God was required that I might be saved. But when I stand at the foot of the Cross and am seen by others under the light of that Cross, I am left uncomfortably exposed before their eyes. Indeed the most humiliating gossip that could ever be whispered  about me is blared from Golgotha’s hill; 75 and my self-righteous reputation is left in ruins in the wake of its revelations. With the worst facts about me thus exposed to the view of others, I find myself feeling that I truly have nothing left to hide.

Thankfully, the more exposed I see that I am by the Cross, the more I find myself opening up to others ongoing issues of sin in my life. (Why would anyone be shocked to hear of my struggles with past and present sin when the Cross already told them I am a desperately sinful person?) And the more open I am in confessing my sins to fellow-Christians, the more I enjoy the healing of the Lord in response to their grace-filled counsel and prayers.76 Experiencing richer levels of Christ’s love in companionship with such saints,77 I give thanks for the Gospel’s role in forcing my hand toward self-disclosure and the freedom that follows.78

75-Golgotha was the place where Jesus was crucified. John 19. “(17)…and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of the Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. (18) There they crucified Him…

76-James 5:16. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed…”

77-Ephesians 3. “(14) For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,…(17)…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (19) and to know the love of Christ…”

78-Ecclesiastes 4. “(9) Two are better than one…(10) For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up…(12) And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

 

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 19-Exposed By The Cross, Part I

Taken from HERE

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 19-Exposed By The Cross, Part I

It was while rehearsing gospel truths in Romans 5-8 that the apostle Paul was moved to speak of his struggle with sin and exclaim, “O wretched man that I am!” While reviewing God’s abundant saving grace on another occasion, Paul was prompted to confess that he was the “the foremost” sinner of all.72

Likewise, the deeper I go into the gospel, the more I comprehend and confess aloud the depth of my sinfulness. A gruesome death like the one that Christ endured for me would only be required for one who is exceedingly sinful and unable to appease a holy God. Consequently, whenever I consider the necessity and manner of His death, along with the love and selflessness behind it, I am laid bare and utterly exposed 73 for the sinner I am.

Such an awareness of my sinfulness does not drag me down, but actually serves to lift me up by magnifying my appreciation of God’s forgiving grace in my life. And the more I appreciate the magnitude of God’s forgiveness of my sins, the more I love Him and delight to show Him love through heart-felt expressions of worship.74

72-1 Timothy 1:15. “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.”

73-Hebrews 4:13. “…all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”

74-Luke 7. “(37) And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that [Jesus] was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, (38) and standing behind Him at His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the head of her hair, and kissing his feet and anointing them with the perfume…(40) And Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ And he replied, ‘Say it, Teacher.’ (41) ‘A moneylender had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. (42) When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?’ (43) Simon answered and said, I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’ And He said to him, ‘You have judged correctly.’ (44) Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman?…she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. (45)…since the time I came in, [she] has not ceased to kiss My feet. (46)…she anointed My feet with perfume. (47) For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.'”

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 17-Liberation From Self-Love

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 17-Liberation From Self-Love

Compared to greater endeavors, self-love is mundane and tiresome. Consequently, the more thoroughly I can be done with such tedium, the freer my soul will be to soar at its God-intended heights.

One of the leading causes of my natural tendency to self-love is fear. I fear that if I do not love myself there would be no one left to love me quite as well as I do. An even more significant cause of self-love is a lack of persuasion that there is someone out there who is worthy to be loved more than I. Arrogance lies underneath both of these causes: I love myself supremely because I am the most worthy person I know to be loved and also because I think I can do a better job at it than anyone else. Such arrogance makes me dangerous,62 yet it is deeply ingrained in my sinful flesh.

Thankfully, the gospel frees me from the shackles of self-love by addressing both of these causes. First, the gospel assures me that the love of God is infinitely superior to any love that I could ever give to myself. “Greater love has no one than this,” says Jesus while speaking of His love.63 And the deeper I go into the gospel, the more I experience the truth of His claim and thereby know how far His love for me surpasses even my own.64 His astonishing love for me renders self-absorption moot and frees me up to move on to causes and interests far greater than myself.65

Second, the gospel reveals to me the breathtaking glory and loveliness of God,66 and in so doing, it lures my heart away from love of self and leaves me enthralled by Him instead. The more I behold God’s glory in the gospel, the more lovely He appears to me. And the more lovely He appears, the more self fades into the background like a former love interest who can no longer compete for my affections.

Preaching the gospel to myself every day reminds me of God’s astounding love for me and also of His infinite worthiness to be loved by me above all else. These reminders deliver a one-two punch to my innate self-absorption and leave me increasingly absorbed with Christ 67 and with God’s ultimate plan to gather together all heavenly and earthly things to Him.68

62-2 Timothy 3. “(1) But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: (2) For men will be lovers of themselves…” (New King James Version)

63-John 15:13. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

64-Romans 8:32. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”

65-2 Corinthians 5. “(14) For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; (15) and He died for all so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for him who died and rose again on their behalf.”

66-2 Corinthians 4:4. “…the gospel of the glory of Christ…” 1 Timothy 1:11″…the gospel of the glory of the blessed God…” (literal translation)

67-Philippians 3. “(7) But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. (8) More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them by rubbish so that I may gain Christ,”

 

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 14-A Heart For The Lost

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY

Day 14-A Heart For The Lost

The more I rehearse and exult in gospel truths, the more there develops within me a corresponding  burden  for non-Christians to enter into such blessings. This is also what seems to happen to the apostle Paul while writing the book of Romans.

In Romans 5 Paul exults in his righteous standing before God.44 In chapter 6 he speaks of the freedom of sin which Christ has accomplished in believers,45 a freedom from which Paul confesses had not yet become fully realized in his own daily practice (chapter 7).46 Nonetheless, coming into chapter 8, he recounts the fact that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.47 With increasing flourish, he rehearses numerous gospel themes throughout the length of chapter 8, and he climaxes the chapter with a triumphant exclamation to conquer overwhelmingly in all things.48

What effect do such gospel meditations have upon Paul? What emotions so they produce in him besides the obvious joy he feels while reciting them? Paul bares his soul at the very beginning of chapter 9: “I have great sorrow,” he says, “and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could which that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, my kinsman according to the flesh.”49

Coming down from the heights of gospel meditation, Paul’s heart is devastated by a burden for his fellow-Jews to experience the saving power of the gospel. His burden existed long before he started writing, but it is undoubtedly intensified by his rehearsal of gospel truths in Romans 5-8, a rehearsal which inevitably leads his thoughts toward the plight of those outside Christ.

Hence, if I wish to have a ‘Romans 9″ kind of burden for non-Christians, I should become practiced at celebrating the gospel as Paul does in Romans 5-8. Over time, my joy in the gospel will become increasingly tinged with grief, and this grief-stained joy will lend a God-inspired passion to my ministry of evangelizing the lost.

44-Romans 5. “(1) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,…(2)…and we exult…(3)…we …exult…(11)…we exult…”

45-Romans 6. “(1) What shall we say then? Are we to continue to live  in sin so that grace may increase? (2) May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:6. “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin,”

46-Romans 7:19. “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.”

47-Romans 8:1. “(35) “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…(37) But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. (38) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, (39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

48-Romans 9. “(1) I am telling the truth in Christ…(2) that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. (3) For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh. (4) who are Israelites…”

 

Reasons To Rehearse The Gospel Daily. Day 13-Stimulated To Love Others

REASONS TO REHEARSE THE GOSPEL DAILY
Day 13-Stimulated To Love Others

When my mind is fixed on the gospel, I have ample stimulation to show God’s love to other people. For I am always willing to show love to others when I am freshly mindful of the love that God has shown to me.42 Also, the gospel gives me the wherewithal to give forgiving grace to those who have wronged me, for it reminds me daily of the forgiving grace that God is showing me.43

Doing good and showing love to those who have wronged me is always the opposite of what my sinful flesh wants me to do. Nonetheless, when I remind myself of my sins against God and of His forgiving and generous grace toward me, I give the gospel an opportunity to reshape my perspective and to put me in a frame of mind wherein I actually desire to give this same grace to those who have wronged me.

42-Titus 3. “(1) Remind them…(2) to malign no one, to be peaceable, showing every consideration for all men. (3) For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. (4) But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, (5) He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, (6) whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, (7) so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (8) This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.”

43-Ephesians 4:32. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Colossians 3. “(12) So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; (13) bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”