But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works. Psalm 73:28
Carnal reasoning will tell you that God does not see or govern, but has left the earth. But as we go into the presence of God we learn that all things are beautiful in their time (Eccles. 3:11). All of God’s ways are merciful and true though we might feel much forsaken at the present. The Holy Spirit teaches us to see that God is our best friend, and that he will never forsake us. God fills the whole earth and heaven with his presence. He is always present in power and providence by his Spirit in supporting, comforting, and strengthening the hearts of his children. God alone can fill every corner of the soul of man. God is a fountain that will never run dry. If it is good to be near God, then the nearer we are to him, makes it even better. Man must not neglect God for any reason, and it is good to lose all for God. Why? Because we have riches in him, liberty in him, and all in him. A man may be a king on earth, and yet a prisoner in himself. If we lose anything, even our own ife for God, we shall save it. Taste and see how good God is! (Psa. 34:8). How excellent is your lovingkindness, which you have laid up for them that far you! (Psa. 36:7). ‘How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! (Psa. 139:17). Labour to be near to him. God is near to all that call upon him. There is not a minute of time in all of our life but we must either be near to God or we will be undone. We must grow in our understanding and fill our thoughts with him. The soul is never at rest till it rests in him. The soul grows in the Spirit and finds sweet communion. Our afflictions mount up in prayer as in a fiery chariot to hear him speak to us, seeking comfort in our distresses. Draw near to him in praise. This is the daily work of the angels and saints in heaven. Let us lift up our hearts with joy inexpressible (1 Pet. 1:8).
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.