January 23, 2015
A Brother in Heaven
Why was Christ chosen out of the people? Speak, my heart, for heart-thoughts are best. Was it not that He might be able to be our brother, in the blest tie of kindred blood? Oh, what relationship there is between Christ and the believer! The believer can say, "I have a Brother in heaven. I may be poor, but I have a Brother who is rich and is a King, and will He allow me to be in want while He is on His throne? Oh, no! He loves me; He is my Brother."
Believer, wear this blessed thought, like a necklace of diamonds, around the neck of your memory; put it, as a golden ring, on the finger of recollection, and use it as the King's own seal, stamping the petitions of your faith with confidence of success. He is a brother born for adversity--treat Him as such.
Christ was also chosen out of the people that He might know our wants and sympathize with us. "Who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."1 In all our sorrows we have His sympathy. Temptation, pain, disappointment, weakness, weariness, poverty--He knows them all, for He has felt all.
Remember this, Christian, and let it comfort you. However difficult and painful your road, it is marked by the footsteps of your Savior; and even when you reach the dark valley of the shadow of death and the deep waters of the swelling Jordan, you will find His footprints there. Wherever we go, in every place, He has been our forerunner; each burden we have to carry has once been laid on the shoulders of Immanuel.
His way was much rougher and darker than mine.
Did Christ, my Lord, suffer, and shall I repine?
Take courage! Royal feet have left a blood-red track upon the road and consecrated the thorny path forever.
1 Hebrews 4:15
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Genesis 24
verse 2 Matthew 23
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.