“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world — but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned.” John 3:16-18
Oh that these truly precious words were ever warmly impressed on our hearts — that they were our last thoughts at night and the first at our waking in the morning; and that they were improved in such a manner as to make our dying-bed easy in the evening of our life, and ensure our rising with gladness in the morning of the resurrection!
What more blessed and delightful meditations can I daily dwell upon than to think thus: God has loved me, even me when I was His enemy and so loved me, that He gave me His only Son! Bless me with faith in Christ — then Christ is mine, and all things are mine (1 Corinthians 3:21). For since He has not spared His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all — then how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)? He will never allow a believing soul to perish — He has passed His word for it. He has told me that I shall not perish; I shall not be condemned, but have everlasting life, if I believe. This will I build and depend upon, to my last moments, as upon an immovable rock.
Lord Jesus, on You will I rest in life and in death — and on You alone!
A new scene of time now begins. Present your hosanna, O my soul, that the Lord may save, bless, and prosper you!
May He grant you a happy new year, indeed! For this purpose, begin it with a dedication of yourself to God. Your time, circumstances, and life — are in His hands; implore His blessing and protection over you, this ensuing year.
Begin this and every following day with prayer. Let God have your first thoughts in the morning; the impression they make will not easily be erased by worldly things. Grace is promised in the use of means — be diligent then, and punctual in your attendance upon them.
Let your daily request be:
- for an increasing knowledge of yourself, and of Jesus Christ in His offices of prophet priest and king;
- for a sense of pardoning mercy;
- for a lively, vigorous faith; for communion with the Father and the Son, through the Spirit;
- for true holiness in heart and life; for strength and protection against your spiritual foes; and
- for persevering grace, to hold out to the end.
- for the prosperity of spiritual Zion;
- for your friends and relations, (imploring the Almighty to take them into a covenant relation to Himself);
- for a blessing on your worldly affairs;
- for a sanctified use of health or sickness, prosperity or adversity — as God shall be pleased to send.
Perhaps, O my soul, this may be the last year of the Lord’s patience and your pilgrimage.
- Is your state safe?
- Are you a real believer in Jesus? Is the oil of grace in your vessel?
- If so, you are prepared for every emergency. If not, there is danger!
- Lose no time, but flee to Jesus — flee without delay.
Strive to enter in at the straight gate — press through all difficulties! Do not rest until you have the Spirit’s witness in your heart, that you are accepted by God. Begin the new year thus, and you shall find at the end of it — that you are crowned with loving-kindness and tender mercy.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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