Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Puritians Were Sold Out For Jesus

As believers in Jesus Christ we should continually want to get close to God. A couple of ways we get close to Him and He reveals Himself are by nature (General Revelation) and His Word (Specific Revelation). We are promised to hear the voice of God in Scripture (Specific Revelation) so that is why we should always be in the Word. I say this as I reflected on the lives of the historical Puritians.

I recently had a good friend and brother in the Lord recommend to me a book on some of the prayers and devotions of them. If you do not have a copy of The Valley of Vision put together by Arthur Bennett you need to get one. The booklet contains many prayers from these godly men that will take your breath away and encourage you in your faith. If you are like me sometimes it is easy to think that the Christian road is one hard one to plow, especially in the pastorate. But these writings are great encouragement to hang in there! Others have done it like these great saints of God. So, get yourself a copy today and begin using the easy index of prayers.

Friends, these wonderful men in history took the Word of God at face-value; they did not try and skirt around issues and only deliver some of the Bible. They believed its entirety and that included the Doctrine of Election. Here is their prayer on election:

Holy Trinity,
All praise to thee for electing me to salvation, by foreknowledge of God, the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus; I adore the wonders of thy condescending love, marvel at the true believer’s high privilege within whom all heaven comes to dwell, abiding in God and God in him; I believe it, help me experience it to the full. Continue to teach me that Christ’s righteousness satisfies justice and evidences thy love; Help me to make use of it by faith as the ground of my peace and of thy favor and acceptance, so that I may live always near the cross. It is not a feeling the Spirit that proves my saved state but the truth of what Christ did perfectly for me; All holiness in him is by faith made mine, as if I had done it; Therefore I see the use of his righteousness, for satisfaction to divine justice and making me righteous. It is not inner sensation that makes Christ’s death mine for that may be delusion, being without the Word, but his death apprehended by my faith, and so testified by Word and Spirit, I bless thee for these lively exercises of faith, for the righteousness that is mine in Jesus, for grace to resign my will to thee; I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal, and I love to leave them there. Then prayer turns wholly into praise, and all I can do is to adore and love thee. I want not the favour of man to lean upon, for I know that thy electing grace is infinitely better.

If you are a pastor/teacher in the local church I encourage you to introduce your people to these great historical men; you will not be sorry! Just get a copy of the book today and be encouraged. The bottom line is we need to begin praying like the Puritians in our personal devotions and ministries.

3 comments:

Kelly Randolph said...

Ryan,
I heartily concur with your recommendation of the Valley of Vision. It has often been a source of encouragement to my soul. It challenges me to pray biblically and passionately.

BTW, I think I saw you at the Shepherds Conference this year. I am a pastor in Wichita. It was good to see you.

Justice said...

I love this book and can't recommend it enough to people. I have given away multiple copies to people. i love the depth that these prayers have.

Nick

Pastor Ryan said...

Kelley,

We need to get together! I think about you often, and you are only an hour a way. I apreciate your comment about the book.