365 days with Newton

10 AUGUST

All upon the wing!

‘But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; the glory and the lifter up of mine head.’ Psalm 3:3
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Psalm 42:1–11

The Lord … our shield. This is a glorious word, yet some other things are wanting to give us full comfort in it. The soul will desire:
(i) his presence and the light of his countenance: if it be so, why go I mourning?
(ii) power over sin: I cannot rejoice in my portion while I feel so many things in me contrary to thy will.
(iii) a lively spirit for his service: I am a debtor not to the flesh to live after the flesh. O give me so to feel my privileges, that I may be all upon the wing to show forth thy praise.
These and the like are petitions surely agreeable to his will. And it is a proof of sincerity not to rest satisfied with any comforts or experiences we have received, but to thirst after a fuller accomplishment of what he has bid us hope for. Too many fall sadly short here. They have been in distress for sin and the Lord has given them a hope in his mercy. They believe he has accepted them, and, by degrees, set down easy and contented, though there is little liveliness in their spirits, much amiss in their tempers, and a prevalent cleaving to the world in their conversation. Though their profession is known by little more than an outward attendance upon ordinances, they satisfy themselves with looking back to past times, when they think it was better with them, and rest in a doctrinal notion of his unchangeableness and the sure perseverance of his people. This is a bad sign. If such are the children of God, they may expect something to rouse them from their security.

FOR MEDITATION: Alas, I teach others but cannot teach myself. Thou knowest a want of taste for thy Scripture is one of my chief burdens. How often it is to me as a sealed book, How often do I read it as a mere task. How defective am I in searching into this inestimable mine and how seldom is it the medium of real intercourse between thee and my soul. O send forth thy light and shine upon thy truth that I may not only judge but taste it to be more sweet and desirable than my necessary food.
Diary, 16 October 1775

SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 30 [2/2], GENESIS 15:2

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