January 17, 2015
The Chief Object of Contemplation
The apostle John was privileged to look within the gates of heaven, and in describing what he saw, he begins by saying, "I looked, and, behold, . . . the Lamb." This teaches us that the chief object of contemplation in the heavenly state is "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"1 Nothing else attracted the apostle's attention so much as the person of that Divine Being who has redeemed us by His blood. He is the theme of the songs of all glorified spirits and holy angels.
Christian, here is joy for you; you have looked, and you have seen the Lamb. Through your tears your eyes have seen the Lamb of God taking away your sins. Rejoice then. In a little while, when your eyes shall have been wiped from tears, you will see the same Lamb exalted on His throne. It is the joy of your heart to hold daily fellowship with Jesus. You shall have the same joy to a higher degree in heaven; you shall enjoy the constant vision of His presence; you shall dwell with Him forever. "I looked, and, behold, . . . the Lamb." Why, that Lamb is heaven itself; for as good Rutherford says, "Heaven and Christ are the same thing." To be with Christ is to be in heaven, and to be in heaven is to be with Christ.
That prisoner of the Lord very sweetly writes in one of his glowing letters, "O my Lord Jesus Christ, if I could be in heaven without you, it would be a hell; and if I could be in hell, and have you still, it would be a heaven to me, for you are all the heaven I want." It is true, is it not, Christian? Does not your soul say so?
Not all the harps above
Can make a heavenly place,
If God His residence remove,
Or but conceal His face.
All you need to make you blessed, supremely blessed, is to be with Christ.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Genesis 18
verse 2 Matthew 17
Prone To Wander
Confessing our sins might seem like a gloomy business—God already knows about them, so what's the point of dwelling on failure? But confession is more celebratory than we think. It does not simply remind us of our guilt, but points us to our great Savior, who has atoned for us and lovingly pursues us despite our wandering.
These prayers open with a scriptural call of confession, confess specific sins, thank the Father for Jesus' perfect life and death in our place, ask for the help of the Spirit in pursuing holiness, and close with an assurance of pardon.
Inspired by the Puritan classic The Valley of Vision, these prayers were developed for both personal devotions and church use.
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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.