Truth for Life - August 16, 2016

August 16

Present Possession

. . . Ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the spirit? - Romans 8:23

Present possession is declared. At this present moment we have the firstfruits of the Spirit. We have repentance, that gem of the first water; faith, that priceless pearl; hope, the heavenly emerald; and love, the glorious ruby. We are already made new creatures in Christ Jesus by the effectual working of God the Holy Spirit. This is called the firstfruit because it comes first. As the wave-sheaf was the first of the harvest, so the spiritual life, and all the graces that adorn that life, are the first operations of the Spirit of God in our souls.

The firstfruits were the pledge of the harvest. As soon as the Israelite had plucked the first handful of ripe ears, he looked forward with glad anticipation to the time when the wagon would creak beneath the sheaves. So, brethren, when God gives us things that are pure, lovely, and of good report, as the work of the Holy Spirit, these are to us the indications of the coming glory. The firstfruits were always holy to the Lord, and our new nature, with all its powers, is a consecrated thing. The new life is not ours that we should ascribe its excellence to our own merit; it is Christ's image and creation and is ordained for His glory.

But the firstfruits were not the harvest, and the works of the Spirit in us at this moment are not the consummation—the perfection is still to come. We must not boast that we have attained, and so reckon the first sheaf to be all the produce of the year: We must hunger and thirst for righteousness and long for the day of full redemption. Dear reader, this evening open your mouth wide, and God will fill it. Let the blessing in present possession excite in you a sacred greed for more grace. Groan within yourself for higher degrees of consecration, and your Lord will grant them to you, for He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Jeremiah 44

verse 2 Psalms 20, 21

Mindscape
 
Anxiety and worry. They’re commonplace in everyday life. We worry about the safety and wellbeing of our children. We worry about our health. We become anxious over our jobs and our finances . . . and uneasy over the seemingly endless challenges of everyday life. Unfortunately, when difficulty happens, worry can lock us it its grip. So, how do we change our thinking? How do we alter our mindscape? Author Timothy Witmer, Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, looks to the Apostle Paul to help us reset our thinking. Mindscape helps readers replace fear and worry with peace that surpasses all understanding. By exploring the root of anxiety, worry, and escapism, learn to rest in what is true, right, noble, pure, lovely, and admirable to find freedom from stress and worry.

Click here to learn more about Truth For Life 

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.

  • Editors' Picks

    Why the Church Must Start Talking about Domestic Violence
    Why the Church Must Start Talking about Domestic Violence
  • Don't Think of Church as Your Own Spiritual Power Bar
    Don't Think of Church as Your Own Spiritual Power Bar
  • So You Think Theology Is Impractical?
    So You Think Theology Is Impractical?