“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
If God is our heavenly Father we will have a peaceful spirit. Grace infuses a sweet and pleasant disposition and files off the ruggedness of men’s spirits. It turns the lion-like fierceness into a lamb-like gentleness. The Father is called the ‘God of peace’ (Heb. 13:20).The Son is called the “Prince of peace” (Isa. 9:6). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of peace (Eph. 4:3). The more a person is peaceable, the more he is like God. God is not the Father of those who are fierce and cruel, as if, with Romulus, they had drunk the milk of a wolf. They sport in mischief, and have a persecuting and divisive spirit. The way of peace they have not known, like Maximinus, who, as Eusebius says, took more tedious journeys, and ran more hazards in vexing and persecuting the Jews, than any of his predecessors had done in seeking victories. Such cannot call God – Father. If they do, they will have as little comfort as Dives had in hell when he said, ‘Father Abraham’ (Luke 16:24). Those born of God are peacemakers. Mark those who cause divisions, and avoid them (Rom. 16:17). Can they call God – Father? The devil made the first division in heaven, so let them call the devil their father. Their music is in a discord key, and they unite to divide. Samson tied together fox tails only to set the Philistines’ corn on fire (Judg. 15:4). Satan’s kingdom grows only by making divisions. In the Corinthian church, Satan knew no better way to dam up the current of blessing than to throw in an apple of strife, and divide them into parties; one was for Paul, and another was for Apollos, but few for Christ. Surely God will never be Father to those who are not sons of peace! God hates those who sow discord among brethren (Prov. 6:16, 19).
Over the past fifty years there has been a great resurgence of interest in the writings of the Puritans. The reading of their works has brought great benefit to the people of God in many lands. Christians from many different backgrounds and cultures owe a great debt of gratitude to those faithful pastors and preachers who continue to speak through their writings even though they have long since entered into their heavenly reward. The Puritans really knew how to teach and apply God’s Word in the Spirit’s power!
Richard Rushing has compiled this book of daily devotional readings from his favorite Puritan authors because of the great help he has gained from their works. “How thrilling it has been for me to read the Puritans on the glory and attributes of God, divine providence, fellowship with God, holiness of life and the mortification of indwelling sin, heavenly mindedness, prayer, evangelistic zeal, and trust in the Lord during times of affliction. At every turn these truths are eloquently taught, faithfully applied, and kindly offered as the subject of sweet spiritual meditation.”
This book is sent forth with the prayer that it will open a door to the vast stores of treasure to be found in the writings of the Puritans and that it will stimulate further exploration of this rich spiritual inheritance.