No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24
Child of God, be sure there are no secret reservations in your heart for the world and the flesh. You may not divide your heart between God and the things below. The hypocrite gives God what the flesh can spare. If the devil cannot keep you from seeking reformation, he will seek to deceive you with a superficial change and half reformation. By a partial change he can persuade you that you are truly renewed and sanctified so you will advance no further. When you think you can divide half between God and the world, and secure both your fleshly interest of pleasure and prosperity, and your salvation, you are seeking to serve God and mammon. This is the true character of a self-deceived hypocrite. He will not lose his hold on present things, nor forsake his worldly interest for Christ as long as he can keep it. He will not be any further religious than may stand with his personal welfare. He is truly a carnal, worldly-minded man. And yet, he knows he must die, and so he takes up as much religion as will stand with his temporal welfare. He is resolved to be as godly as will stand with a worldly, fleshly life. He will be the first to make a controversy about every sin that his flesh considers necessary. He does not see himself a hypocrite, and no one else must think so or they will be labeled unloving. He only seeks out the opinion of those who would agree with that which he desires to be true. O sirs, take warning of this sin and danger! Jesus told you how necessary self-denial is for his disciples. You must take up his cross, and follow him in his sufferings to be indeed one of his disciples. Consider the cost to be followers of Christ. See that there is no secret reserve in your hearts for worldly interests and prosperity. Take God as enough for you, yea, as all, or else you do not take him as your God.
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.