Friday, June 27, 2014

We are usually more aware of our temporal needs than of our spiritual...

This devotional rings so true… when our temporal needs are so great, it keeps us before God and as we cry out for what we can see that we know we need, He uses that time of waiting on Him to bring to the surface things that we were not even aware of that are lodged in our hearts… fears, unforgiveness, judgements of others, selfishness, pride, idols (the things we look to more than Him)… ALL of these things the Lord has in the past year shown us and now we can truly rejoice in our trials because we see our great need of His mercy and His wise ways in delaying to bring these things into His light, so that we can forgive as we have been forgiven..

Give us this day our daily bread, & forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.    Matthew 6:11
"After we have prayed for the glory of God, we also make mention of our temporal needs.  Spiritual things are our greatest need, but God also allows us temporal blessings.  We enjoy them as we might enjoy a visit to an inn.  We refresh ourselves with the comforts there, we are travelling.  We are thankful for the world’s provisions during our journey, and we enjoy the bread we pray for as a support in our passage home.  Our Saviour, in his providence, gives us heavenly blessings as a happy addition to the earthly blessings he daily bestows upon us.  We are usually more aware of our temporal needs than of our spiritual, and our Saviour by degrees raises our desires from the one to the other.  We are invited to pray for the supply of our temporal necessities, but these are trivial in regard to the necessities of our souls.  We ought to be much more earnest and importunate with God for our spiritual mercies.  Bread can only nourish my vile carcass for a few short years and then it moulders into dust, and becomes meat for worms.  How much more important it is to seek pardon for my sins and the spiritual mercies without which my soul must eternally perish!  Bread figuratively denotes all provisions necessary for this natural life.  They are both needful and God has promised to give them to us.  Whatever you enjoy is from bounty.  He spreads your table and fills your cup.  He is your health and strength, and he loads you daily with benefits.  Do you have riches, honour, friends, joy, and comfort?  It is God who fills you with these good things.  He is the great Lord and proprietor who brings forth abundantly from all his stores for the use and service of man."
~ Ezekiel Hopkins
from Voices of the Past: A Puritan Devotional

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