September 11

Salvation belongs to the LORD;
your blessing be on your people!  Psalm 3:8

 

The godly are blessed not only in heaven but as they travel to glory.  This is a paradox to flesh and blood; blessed while being reproached and maligned?  No matter how sense and reason cast their vote, the godly man is blessed.  Though a mourner or martyr, yet blessed.  Saints are blessed when cursed or bruised.  Not only shall they be blessed, they are blessed.  They are partakers of the divine nature, so this blessedness has begun.  Believers have the seed of God abiding in them.  Grace and glory differ not in kind but degree.  One is the root, and the other is the fruit.  Grace is glory in the dawning.  A godly man’s heart is a paradise, planted with the choicest fruit, and God himself walks in the midst of this paradise.  We are blessed because our sins are gone.  The debt book is cancelled in Christ’s blood.  Saints are blessed because they are in covenant with God (Psa, 144:15).  This is the crowning blessing, to have the Lord for our God. This sweet word, ‘I will be your God’, implies that all that is in God is ours – his love, his Spirit, and his mercy are ours.  If the sons of a prince are happy, how blessed are the saints who are of true royal blood!  We have a title to heaven after the lease of life is run out.  Saints are blessed now because they have the first fruits of heaven.  We have the earnest of the Holy Spirit.  Heaven has already begun in a believer; ‘the kingdom of God is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Rom. 14:17).  The kingdom is in a believer’s heart (Luke 17:21).  Israel tasted the fruit of the land before they entered Canaan.  Believers have secret incomes of the Spirit, the smiles of Christ’s face, those kisses, those love-tokens, and they think themselves sometimes in heaven.  A Christian sees heaven by faith, and tastes it by joy, and what is this, but blessedness?  This makes a happy man.

 

Through the Year with William Still

 

Sinclair Ferguson has publicly stated that no one has had a greater spiritual impact on his life than William Still! William Still was the minister of Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen, from 1945 to 1997. While his name may not feature in the official annals of the Church of Scotland, it is doubtful whether any other individual in his Church during the latter half of the twentieth century had such a profound or widespread influence. For over fifty years Mr. Still pioneered a single-minded commitment to expository preaching and congregational prayer which made Gilcomston a beacon of Reformed and evangelical Christianity in Scotland.

A man whose very life breathed the grace and love of God, no one who ever met him, received his counsel, or sat under his ministry, could have escaped the sheer Christlikeness of Mr. Still’s life. In the early days of his ministry he wrote: “There is no part of me, or of my life, that I will withhold from the work that God has called me to.”

It was one of the marks of his evident commitment to the service of Christ that he devoted himself to the pastoral care of his people, providing them with daily Bible reading notes that would feed their souls and prepare them for works of service. The “Notes”, which appeared in the monthly “Congregational Record,” soon became highly sought after across Scotland, the United Kingdom, and even to the far-flung corners of the world, increasing in many a love for and commitment to the Word of God.

Drawn from every book in the Bible, this selection, edited and arranged by David C. Searle, will take the reader through the year with William Still. These pages will explain what it means to live under the authority of Scripture, to exalt the glorious Person of Christ, and to rejoice in the wonder of the gospel.

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