Daily Devotionals

Devotional: July 20th

"I pray with all my heart; answer me, Lord! I will obey your principles. I cry out to you; save me, that I may obey your decrees. I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise." Psalms 119:145-148

To be heavenly-minded, in the true and scriptural sense, is to carry our holy Christianity into every department of life, and with it to elevate and hallow every relation and engagement. There is no position in which the providence of God places His saints, for which the grace of Jesus is not all sufficient, if sincerely and earnestly sought. Nor is there any sphere, however humble, or calling, however mean, to which the life of Jesus in the soul may not impart dignity, luster, and sacredness. Christianity, through all grades, and classes, and occupations, is capable of diffusing a divine, hallowing, and ennobling influence, transforming and sanctifying all that it touches. Blessed and holy are they who know it from personal and heartfelt experience.

But "if we be risen with Christ," what is it to seek those things which are above, and to set our affections not on things on the earth? In other words, what is true heavenly-mindedness? It involves the habitual and close converse with God. The life of the soul can only be sustained by constant and ceaseless emanations from the life of God. There must be a perpetual stream of existence flowing into it from the "Fountain of Life." And how can this be experienced but by dwelling near that Fountain? Of no practical truth am I more deeply and solemnly convinced than this, that elevated spirituality-and, oh, what a blank is life without it!-can only be cultivated and maintained by elevated communion. The most holy, heavenly-minded, devoted, and useful saints have ever been men and women of much prayer. They wrestled with God secretly, and God wrought with them openly; and this was the source which fed their deep godliness, which supplied their rich anointing, and which contributed to their extensive and successful labors for Christ. Thus only can the life of God in the soul of man be sustained. Other duties, however spiritual-other enjoyments, however holy-other means of grace, however important and necessary, never can supply the place of prayer. And why? because prayer brings the soul in immediate contact with Christ, who is our life, and with God, the Fountain of life. As the total absence of the breath of prayer marks the soul "dead in trespasses and sins," so the waning of the spirit of prayer in the quickened soul as surely defines a state in which all that is spiritual within is "ready to die." Let nothing, then, rob you of this precious mean of advancing your heavenly-mindedness-nothing can be its substitute.

The believer should correctly ascertain the true character of his prayers. Are they lively and spiritual? Are they the exercises of the heart, or of the understanding merely? Are they the breathings of the indwelling Spirit, or the cold observance of a form without the power? Is it communion and fellowship? Is it the filial approach of a child, rushing with confidence and affection into the bosom of a Father, and sheltering itself there in every hour of need? Examine the character of your devotions; are they such as will stand the test of God’’s word? will they compare with the holy breathings of David, and Job, and Solomon, and the New Testament saints? Are they the breathings forth of the life of God within you? Are they ever accompanied with filial brokenness, lowliness of spirit, and humble and contrite confession of sin? See well to your prayers! "The Lord is far from the wicked: but He hears the prayer of the righteous." "The Lord is near unto all those who call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth."

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