The Promise of Isaiah 55

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

—Isaiah 55:10-11, ESV

The Word of God Stands Forever

A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

—Isaiah 40:6-8, ESV

The Steadfast Love of the LORD

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

—Psalm 33:18-22, ESV

The Zeal of the Lord of Hosts

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

—Isaiah 9:6-7, ESV

Psalm Nineteen

Who is glorious like our God? And what tells forth his glory, but the Word of God? In the beginning, God gave forth his voice, he spoke the worlds into existence, and by his Word all creation was made (Genesis 1; John 1:1-3); and now, from one day to another, the glories of the sun and sky and stars above all give an unceasing testimony to the greatness of this God. There is no part of the world where divine glory does not overwhelm our myopic, sin-stained eyes with a dazzling brilliance. All creation shouts forth the majesty of the Creator with a voice loud enough to wake the deaf and shake the earth’s foundations. And these are but a whisper of his ways! The staggering beauty of the heavens are but the echoes of that voice that first thundered “Let there be Light”! And the whole universe is awash with these echoes of the Word – so that they are rendered utterly without excuse, who exchange the glory that can be known from Creation, even the divine majesty and Godhead of the Creator, for a lesser glory to worship (Romans 1:18-32).

—Nathan Pitchford
Images of the Savior from the Psalms

Via: Nathan Pitchford

Assurance of the Elect

At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.

—John 10:22-30

Thanksgiving for the Grace of Election

I have so much to be thankful for: a wonderful, loving, supportive wife and family, my health, good friends, a warm home, a good job. My cup certainly overflows. More than anything though, I am thankful for a loving, sovereign God that chose me before the foundation of the world. A God that chose me according to the riches of his grace – for his own pleasure – not because of any merit in me. A God that chose me despite my proud and sinful heart, despite my fickleness, despite my arrogance, and despite my sometimes fearful and thankless heart.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

—Ephesians 1:3-14

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

—Ephesians 2:8-10

If I thought that my salvation rested on or depended on my choice, or any merit or goodness in me, I would certainly despair. But it doesn’t – it is all of grace. Our salvation was arranged before the foundation of the universe and brought about by all three members of the Godhead working in concert: the Father planned it, the Son accomplished it, and the Spirit opens our eyes and our hearts to receive the promised blessing. How could one not give thanks for such a loving Savior?

Reading the Bible Diligently

Let us arm ourselves with a thorough knowledge of the Word of God. Let us read our Bibles more diligently than ever, and become familiar with every part of them. Let the Word dwell in us richly. Let us beware of anything which would make us give less time and less heart to the perusal of its sacred pages. The Bible is the sword of the Spirit – let it never be laid aside. The Bible is the true lantern for a dark and cloudy time – let us beware of traveling without its light.

—J.C. Ryle
Warnings to the Churches

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

The Best Defense Against False Doctrine

What is the best safeguard against false doctrine?  I answer in one word,‘The Bible: the Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.’ If we want a weapon to wield against the devices of Satan, there is nothing like ‘the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.’ But to wield it successfully, we must read it habitually, diligently, intelligently, and prayerfully. This is the point on which, I fear, many fail.

—J.C. Ryle
Warnings to the Churches

Via: J.C. Ryle Quotes

Our Source of Strength

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11b-13)