Devotionals by Alistair Begg

September 27

Persistent Knocking

My beloved put his hand to the latch, and my heart was thrilled within me. - Song of Songs 5:4

Knocking was not enough, for my heart was too full of sleep, too cold and ungrateful to rise and open the door; but the touch of His effectual grace has caused my soul to stir. How patient of my Beloved to wait when He found Himself shut out, and me asleep upon the bed of indolence! How great His patience to knock and knock again, and to add His voice to His knockings, beseeching me to open to Him! How could I have refused Him! My heart is base; I blush and without excuse!

But the greatest kindness of all is this, that He becomes His own porter and unlocks the door Himself. Blessed is the hand that condescends to lift the latch and turn the key. Now I see that nothing but my Lord's own power can save such a naughty mass of wickedness as I am; ordinances fail, and even the Gospel has no effect upon me, until His hand is stretched out. I also see that His hand is good where everything else is unsuccessful; He can open when nothing else will. Blessed be His name, I feel His gracious presence even now. Well may my heart be thrilled within me when I think of all that He has suffered for me and of my ungenerous response.

I have allowed my affections to wander. I have tolerated rivals. I have grieved Him. Sweetest and dearest of all lovers, I have treated You as an unfaithful wife treats her husband. Oh, my cruel sins, my cruel self. What can I do? Tears are a poor evidence of my repentance; my whole heart palpitates with indignation at myself. I am wretched to treat my Lord, my All in All, my exceeding great joy, as though He were a stranger. Jesus, You freely forgive, but this is not enough; prevent my unfaithfulness in the future. Kiss away these tears, and then purge my heart and bind it with sevenfold cords to Yourself, so that I may never wander from You again.

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Ezekiel 30

verse 2 Psalms 78:38-72

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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

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About Alistair Begg

Alistair Begg has been in pastoral ministry for more than 30 years. Following graduation from The London School of Theology he served eight years in Scotland at both Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh and Hamilton Baptist Church. For the last 22 years he has been the senior pastor at Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio. He has written several books and is heard daily and weekly on the radio program, Truth For Life. The teaching on Truth For Life stems from the week by week Bible teaching at Parkside Church. He was recently awarded an honorary doctorate from Cedarville University. He and his wife, Susan, have been married 30 years and have three grown children.

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