Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Saying Is Sure

Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
God's people, like sheep in a fold,
he brought from their distress,
and them conducted like a flock
throughout the wilderness.
He led them forth, and in their path
no cause of fear they found;
but marched securely through the deeps
in which their foes were drowned.
Suggested tune: Kingsfold (CMD)

The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him.
—2 Timothy 2:11
We shall not be partakers of the life and glory of Christ, unless we have previously died and been humbled with him; as he says, that all the elect were "predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Rom 8:29). This is said both for exhorting and comforting believers. Who is not excited by this exhortation, that we ought not to be distressed on account of our afflictions, which shall have so happy a result? The same consideration abates and sweetens all that is bitter in the cross; because neither pains, nor tortures, nor reproaches, nor death ought to be received by us with horror, since in these we share with Christ; more especially seeing that all these things are the forerunners of a triumph.
By his example, therefore, Paul encourages all believers to receive joyfully, for the Name of Christ, those afflictions in which they already have a taste of future glory. If this shocks our belief, and if the cross itself so overpowers and dazzles our eyes, that we do not perceive Christ in them, let us remember to present this shield, "The saying is sure." And, indeed, where Christ is present, we must acknowledge that life and happiness are there. We ought, therefore, to believe firmly, and to impress deeply on our hearts, this fellowship, that we do not die apart, but along with Christ, in order that we may afterwards have life in common with him; that we suffer with him, in order that we may be partakers of his glory. By death he means "always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies" (2 Cor 4:10).
—John Calvin
Teach me what it truly means to give my life to you, O Christ...
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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