Devotional: May 28th
In the Lord have I righteousness and strength.- Isaiah 45:24.
To trust in our own righteousness, and to glory in our own strength, is natural to us all. But when a poor sinner "knows himself, even as he is known of the Lord," he thinks otherwise. When he becomes a follower of the Lamb, he learns the language of Canaan, and says, "I have no confidence in the flesh." I subscribe with my whole heart to this confession of faith, "In the Lord have I righteousness and strength." That the Lord Jehovah is a God of righteousness, and that he is almighty in strength, who will dare deny? But by faith we speak the most comfortable knowledge of covenant grace: I, a poor sinner, who am without strength, destitute of righteousness in myself, have both strength and righteousness in Jehovah. What I am, a sinner by nature and practice, that Jesus became by imputation. What Jesus is in his nature, and by his life, perfectly RIGHTEOUS, that I am in him. In myself I have no might, no strength, but "in the Lord Jesus am I strong, strong in him, and in the power of his might."
This is the glorious grace, the joyful truth of the everlasting covenant. Such honor have all the saints of Jesus: his perfect righteousness their clothing; his almighty strength their protection. Who then shall condemn them? What power can prevail against them? O believer! rejoice in thy privilege. This is thy triumph against every accusation, "In Jesus I have righteousness." This is my victory over every enemy, "In Jesus I have strength." Under the most discouraging views of my nature, as corrupt and sinful-my life and practice, as unrighteous-the condemnings of the law, though just-the accusations of Satan, though grievous-yet in my glorious covenant head and representative, I am "made the righteousness of God; in the beloved Son of God I am for ever accepted." Under the most dejecting sense of our own weakness, to withstand corruptions, to get the mastery over sinful passions, to prevail against our enemies; though weak to perform any duty, insufficient to exercise any grace, unable to do the will of God, to walk in his ways, and to please him; yet ever, under all circumstances, the Spirit testifies of Jesus, "who is our strength and righteousness." All fulness is in Jesus; and "out of his fulness we receive grace for grace:" Though "without Christ we can do nothing; yet, through Christ strengthening us, we can do all things." Here is the mystery of faith. "Abide in me," saith the Lamb.
Poor helpless worms in thee possess
Grace, wisdom, pow’r, and righteousness;
Thou art our mighty ALL, and we
Glory, O Lord, only IN THEE.
Let faith and love always combine,
To cause this precious truth to shine,
We sinners poor, and full of need,
Have all things, in our glorious HEAD.
From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the Lord’s name is to be praised. Psalms 113:3.
Praise is the incessant employ of glorified saints in heaven. There they fully see and eternally sing of the electing, redeeming, sanctifying, glorifying love of the blessed Trinity. May our souls catch some of the heavenly flame of love, and imitate them in our praise to-night. This is the work of an humble heart. Pride is the parent of murmuring and discontent. A sense of the blessings of the Lord, and a sight of our unworthiness of them, excite praises in the heart. This is the language of a praising soul, Why me, Lord? Why am I singled out from the ruins of a fallen race, to partake of thy special grace, peculiar love, and precious salvation? Am I better than others? Have I done more to deserve thy mercies than others? Have I a greater right to challenge thy favour than others? O, Lord! why me? Thus, while the soul sinks in humility, it rises in praise. David describes saints, with the “highest praises of God in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand.” (Psalms 149:6.) What for? to execute vengeance upon their heathen notions, of sacrificing any praise to themselves, or ascribing any thing to their own deserts. These are special marks of a regenerate person. (1st.) His heart is formed for, and his soul delights to praise the Lord at all times. For he sees himself infinitely and entirely indebted to the grace of God, for all he is, all he enjoys, and all he hopes for. (2d.) It is his grief, that he cannot praise the Lord as he would, without intermission, “From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same.” For worthy is the Lord of unceasing praise. His mercies are renewed every morning, continued unto evening, and repeated in the night season. But here is a precious word in this Psalm, that endears the Lord to us, and excites praise from us. “Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwellest on high! who humbleth himself”-pause, O my soul! at that astonishing word. How did the most high God humble himself? to the most low and abject state. Made himself of no reputation; took on him the form of a servant; a mean man: yea, more, became obedient to the most ignominious death, even the cursed death of the cross. (Philippians 2:8.) O, my soul, though vile in thine own eyes, though of no repute in the world, consider this. Thou canst never want an inexhaustible fund of comfort, and a never-failing source for praise. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name.” Psalms 103:1.
Each risen sun that I behold,
Calls for my daily praise:
Thy mercies, Lord, can ne’er be told,
How rich! how free thy grace!
The shades of each revolving night
Proclaim thy grace to me:
O, joyful hope! O prospect bright!
In heav’n I shall praise thee.
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.