14 FEBRUARY (PREACHED 13 FEBRUARY 1774)
It’s all of grace
‘The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.’ Lamentations 3:24
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Psalm 119:57–72
Happy indeed are the people who have the Lord for their God. Let us consider how the Lord becomes a portion. If the holy angels should use these words they would not seem strange, but when sinful worms are not ashamed or afraid to say so, it seems wonderful indeed. How different our portion by nature: sin our choice, misery our state, wrath our inheritance. Such were once all those who have now the Lord for their portion. They did not obtain their portion as that which Jacob speaks of: by his sword and his bow. It was all of grace. It pleased the Lord to make them his people, to choose them for his portion, and then he gave himself to be a portion for them.
(i) He spared and waited for them (Ezekiel 16:6).
(ii) He opens their understandings, to look upon themselves and desire him.
(iii) He gives them faith—then they claim him as their own.
Once perishing in blood I lay,
At length the time of love arrived
Creatures no help could give,
When I my Lord should know,
But Jesus passed me in the way,
Then Satan, of his power deprived,
He saw, and bid me live.
Was forced to let me go.
Though Satan still his rule maintained,
O can I e’er that day forget
And all his arts employed;
When Jesus kindly spoke!
That mighty Word his rage restrained,
‘Poor soul, my blood has paid thy debt,
I could not be destroyed.
And now I break thy yoke.
Henceforth I take thee for my own, And give myself to thee; Forsake the idols thou hast known, And yield thyself to me.’
SERMON: LAMENTATIONS 3:24 [2/4] [FOR BETTY ABRAHAM’S FUNERAL]