“There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.” – Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed, page 13
For years, I have enjoyed reading Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotional. It’s an oasis of comfort leading to the fountain of true joy. Excerpts like this one point me to the One who alone gives rest to the soul:
“It is always the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus. But Satan’s work is just the opposite; he is constantly trying to make us look at ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you do not have the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold on Jesus.” All these are thoughts about self, and we will never find comfort or assurance by looking within.
But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that Christ is everything. Remember, therefore, it is not your hold of Christ that saves you–it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you–it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, although that is the instrument–it is Christ’s blood and merits.
Therefore, do not look so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ as to Christ; do not look to your hope but to Jesus, the source of your hope; do not look to your faith, but to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of your faith.
We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our deeds, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we are to overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “looking to Jesus.”
Keep your eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession be fresh upon your mind. When you wake in the morning look to Him; when you lie down at night look to Him. Do not let your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail you.
‘My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.'”
Morning by Morning, p. 192 (June 28).
May tonight find us looking to Jesus and resting in Him.
This Saturday evening, Redeeming Grace Church had the joy of hosting Ray Ortlund, pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, as our Guest Speaker. For many reasons, it was an immensely encouraging evening for us all.
Ray has been so kind to our church plant and has already served us in countless ways with his encouragement and support. After spending many Sundays benefitting from Ray’s teaching and care during our “waiting period” (prior to the launch of Redeeming Grace Church), Ray has become a very dear friend to us.
Immanuel Church has also become a beloved partner in gospel ministry. So, it was an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure to have Ray with us on Saturday night.
He served us so well.
After communicating about the necessity of Gospel Doctrine and Gospel Culture in Gospel-Centered Churches, Ray preached from the beginning of John’s gospel, John 1:1-18, a text that he said “may be the greatest passage ever written in all of human history.”
As Ray proclaimed the truths of John 1:1-18, my soul was greatly comforted, encouraged, strengthened and filled with joy. I saw once again that “our endless need glorifies his endless supply” and just as the ocean rolls with wave upon wave, so God’s love and grace in Christ is unceasing.
I can’t hear that enough.
Here’s a link to this wonderful message. Trust me, it is worth listening (and re-listening) to.