Morning, July 26, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.” — 2 Peter 1:5-7
If you want to enjoy the most eminent grace of the full assurance of faith, under the Holy Spirit’s influence and assistance, do what the Scripture tells you, “Give diligence.” Take care that your faith is of the right kind–that it is not a mere belief of doctrine, but a simple faith, depending on Christ, and on Christ alone. Give diligent heed to your virtue, your courage. Plead with God that he would give you the countenance of a lion, that you may, with a mindfulness of what is right, go forward boldly. Study the Scriptures well, and get knowledge; for a knowledge of doctrine will tend very much to confirm faith. Try to understand God’s Word; let it dwell in your heart richly.
When you’ve done this, “Add to your knowledge temperance, self-control.” Take care for your body: be temperate without. Take care for your soul: be temperate within. Pursue temperance of speech, life, heart, and thought. Add to this, by God’s Holy Spirit, patience; ask him to give you that same patience which can endure affliction, which, when it is tried, shall come forth as gold. Clothe yourself with patience, that you may not complain nor be depressed in your adversity. When that grace is won look to godliness. Godliness is something more than religion. Make God’s glory your object in life; live in his sight; dwell close to him; seek for fellowship with him; and you will have “godliness;” and to that add brotherly love. Have a love for all the believers: and add to that charity, benevolent love, which opens its arms to all men, and loves their souls. When you are adorned with these jewels, and in proportion as you practice these heavenly virtues, you will come to know by clearest evidence “your calling and election.” “Give diligence,” if you would get confidence about your destiny, for a lukewarm heart and doubting very naturally go hand in hand.
My notes: This devotion begins referencing “the most eminent grace.” Just as Spurgeon’s audience had a better idea of the sacraments of the Church, they had a grasp of a multitude of “Graces” God grants to the Church, the most preeminent one being fully assured of faith (salvation). We have simplified — perhaps to our loss — this concept of “graces.” I was taught early in my Christian walk that grace was “unmerited favor,” which, of course, it is. The Oxford English Dictionary, however, has over two full pages dedicated to the word “Grace.” Grace, like redemption, and like the infinite God that grants grace, has richness and depth beyond our comprehension.